History of World War II 1939–1945 The origin of war. The struggle of progressive forces for the preservation of peace

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  History of World War II 1939–1945 The origin of war. The struggle of progressive forces for the preservation of peace 
Selected Articles from the History of World War II 1939–1945 in 12 volumes.
 
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Introduction

The history of imperialism irrefutably testifies that all major wars were prepared by it in deep secrecy from the peoples. World War II is no exception to this rule. It originated in the depths of the capitalist system long before the peoples of the world actually felt its immediate approach.

The works of V. I. Lenin are of inestimable importance for the analysis of the history of the origin of the Second World War. Investigating the history of the outbreak of the First World War, V. I. Lenin comprehensively and convincingly proved that it was generated by the entire system of European capitalist states. In order to understand, he emphasized, how the First World War inevitably and steadily flowed out of this system, one must take the entire policy of this entire system, study and understand it in its entirety "... for a number of decades before the war ..." {13} .

The process of maturing the Second World War in the bowels of capitalism took about twenty years. And only after a comprehensive analysis of the policy of all the great powers during these two pre-war decades can one expose the deepest roots of the war, make sure that it was not an accident, but was a natural product of the imperialist system, that it began to emerge long before its first volleys thundered.

The first years after the war 1914-1918, the victorious capitalist powers were busy redistributing colonies and spheres of influence, redrawing the borders of many states at the expense of the defeated. But at the same time, the victory of the Great October Socialist Revolution meant a decisive social defeat for the entire capitalist world.

The ruling circles of defeated Germany, as well as Italy and Japan, ranked among the winners, were not satisfied with the division of booty organized by the rulers of the USA, England and France. The monopolists of Germany, Italy, and Japan, even in the course of the war, were thinking about a new redistribution of the globe; The USA, Britain and France sought to maintain and expand their dominance in the bourgeois world by weakening Germany, Italy and Japan.

The confrontation in the capitalist world intensified; the general crisis of capitalism deepened. Along with the factors that divided the imperialists, there were also factors that united them: hatred of the USSR, the desire to destroy the socialist system. [4]

The hatred of world reaction for the socialist state manifested itself in the sharpest form in the military intervention against Soviet Russia. Even after the victory of the Soviet people over their enemies, they did not abandon their plans. At the same time, the contradictions between the capitalist powers escalated. All this led to the fact that the danger of a big new war began to grow immediately after the end of the First World War. In March 1921, the Tenth Congress of the RCP(b) adopted a resolution "On the coming imperialist war." It said: “The Congress considers it necessary that the proletariat should be told that the bourgeoisie is again preparing for a grandiose attempt to deceive the workers, incite national hatred in them and drag the peoples of America, Asia and Europe into the greatest slaughter, and after this, inevitably, the rest of the world. {14}.

As the contradictions in the capitalist world sharpen, the process of the birth of a new world war becomes more and more visible. Already at the conference in Locarno (1925), the foundation was laid for the anti-Soviet bloc of England, France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Poland, and Czechoslovakia. The XIV Congress of the All-Union Communist Party of Bolsheviks assessed the results of the conference as extremely dangerous for the cause of peace {15} . The conspiracy at Locarno cast a dark shadow over the subsequent course of events.

Thus the Second World War was born. The objective course of the historical process shows that the prehistory of the war includes two main stages. At the first stage, until the autumn of 1935, the alignment of forces in the capitalist world was taking shape for the struggle for world domination, and hotbeds of world war arose. The most ominous event of this stage was the fascist coup in Germany and its subsequent rapid preparation for war. This coup introduced profound changes in the entire international situation, especially when the process of rearmament in Germany began, which included the creation of the Wehrmacht, the militarization of the economy and the entire spiritual life of the country. The second stage, from the autumn of 1935, is characterized by the transition of European fascism to open aggression.

With the formation of two centers of a new world war, the alignment of forces with which the bourgeois world entered into a military battle four years later was quite clearly formed.

Two centers of a new world war arose in the first half of the 1930s. The first - in 1931-1932. as a result of the invasion of the troops of militaristic Japan in the northeastern provinces of China (Manchuria). This local military conflict was fraught with the danger of Japan's big war against China and, to no lesser extent, against the Soviet Union, as well as against the United States and England. The second focus arose in 1933-1935. in connection with the fascist coup in Germany and the widespread preparations in the country for a world war, which the German monopolists were going to undertake both against the Western powers and against the USSR.

In order for the centers of war to be fully determined, in addition to the actions of the Japanese and German imperialists, appropriate international conditions were needed. They were created by the policy of condoning and encouraging the aggressive aspirations of the German and Japanese militarists, pursued by the ruling circles of the USA, Britain and France. The statesmen of these countries considered German and Japanese monopoly capital, their military might, as a striking force capable of crushing the USSR and thereby resolving [5] the main contradiction of the modern era - between the two social systems - in favor of capitalism. These figures contributed to creating the conditions for German, Italian and Japanese militarism to move towards a world war.

The leaders of the right-wing socialists threw combustible material into the outbreaks of the world military conflagration. Against the will of the majority of the members of their parties, they refused to fight jointly with the communists against the danger of war. The British right-wing Laborites supported the government's course, calculated on the revival of militaristic Germany and its pushing towards war with the Soviet Union. The leaders of the German Social Democrats rejected the proposal of the Communists to unite the efforts of the working class to stop fascism at home. The French right-wing socialists were in many ways in solidarity with the Labor leaders.

The aggressive policy of imperialism was opposed by a powerful class force in the form of the Land of Soviets, which fought firmly and consistently against fascism and war. In close unity with the Soviet Union, the communist parties of the capitalist countries advocated for peace. The left socialists, fighters for national freedom and independence, foreign mass organizations of workers - trade unions, youth, associations of the intelligentsia, supporters of peace also fought for peace.

Relying on the working class and the democratic strata of the population, the communist and workers' parties of the capitalist countries fought against the anti-people policy of the monopolies and bourgeois states, exerted serious pressure on the reactionary governments in order to prevent war and curb fascism. The anti-war activities of the communist parties were directed by the III, Communist International {16} militant international organization of the working class. By uniting the proletarian parties of different countries, he rallied the social forces that opposed fascism, and warned the working people about the real threat of a world war. In the summer of 1935, at the 7th Congress of the Comintern, a historic decision was made on the unity of action of the working class against fascism and the danger of war, and the idea of ​​creating a broad anti-fascist popular front based on proletarian solidarity was put forward. The Comintern tirelessly called on the working people to mobilize progressive forces to help countries fight for their independence against aggression and imperialist oppression.

Of great importance in the struggle for peace were the coordinated actions of the communists with other political parties, their ability to unite the healthy forces of the nation, to carry out a policy of rebuffing the impending war, to achieve unity of views on fundamental questions of the organization and tactics of the anti-fascist movement. Acting as the leading party in the Comintern, the All-Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks) put forward on a principled basis flexible and dynamic forms of cooperation with other parties and organizations, showed the international communist and workers' movement an example of the struggle for the unity of all anti-fascist forces. [6]

Despite the monstrous terror of the reactionary ruling circles and the huge losses of the communists caused by it, the communist parties of Germany, Italy and Japan waged a selfless anti-fascist struggle in the deep underground. They explained to the masses the full danger of war and called on them to actively fight against militarism and aggression.

The inconsistency and complexity of the international situation and the internal and external conditions of development of the colonial and dependent countries of Asia and Africa caused a variety of forms of participation of their peoples in the struggle to prevent a world war. Some of these countries, long before the war became a world war, turned into a field of armed struggle against fascism and militarism, others, chained to the chariot of Anglo-French colonialism, followed the path of their mother countries, and still others stood aside from the emerging war. The development of the anti-fascist movement, its scope and intensity in these countries depended on the maturity of the social forces capable of leading the anti-imperialist struggle.

By united actions of all the supporters of peace, relying on the moral and material might of the Soviet state and its Armed Forces, in the presence of a system of collective rebuffing of fascist aggression in Europe, it was possible to delay the outbreak of the Second World War for a long time, and perhaps even prevent it from arising at all. But the Soviet Union was in the circle of imperialist states hostile to it, all the time under the threat of the creation of a united front of both emerging capitalist coalitions. The avalanche of brutal reprisals unleashed by the reactionary forces of a number of capitalist countries on the working class, its parties and other mass organizations led to the fact that hundreds of thousands of communists, trade unionists, peace activists, anti-fascist fighters were destroyed, driven into concentration camps or were forced to act in difficult underground conditions.

Despite the fact that the social forces that opposed the war failed to prevent the birth and development of its centers, their efforts and sacrifices were not in vain and created certain prerequisites for the mobilization of freedom-loving peoples in the future for a just war against fascism.