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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 The policy of encouraging fascism

1. Support for German militarism by the ruling circles of England

The main political force in England, most consistently pursuing a policy of turning Germany into an anti-Soviet springboard of international imperialism, was the Conservative Party, primarily its extremely reactionary wing, the so-called "Diehardites" - "hardheaded". V. I. Lenin in his work “Arms and Capitalism” classified the British conservatives among those bourgeois politicians “who constitute a close international gang that incites peoples to compete in the matter of armaments ...” {575}. Subsequent events fully confirmed the profound historical validity of Lenin's assessment.

The British monopolies, grown fat in the war, sought to maintain their international positions and establish British world domination. However, the economic situation of Great Britain did not correspond to these grandiose plans.

The first post-war years were characterized by a deepening crisis in the British economy. In the second half of 1920, an economic crisis began in England. The index of industrial production, which was 90.5 in 1920 (100 in 1913), fell in 1921 to 61.5 per cent. During the years of temporary stabilization of capitalism, the British economy did not take any significant step forward. It was seriously undermined by payments on American loans, which during the First World War amounted to a huge amount - 850 million pounds sterling.

In 1929, England, whose industrial production had barely reached the pre-war level, was gripped by the global economic crisis. The volume of industrial output in 1932 decreased by 17.8 percent. The old industries were especially affected by the crisis. Thus, iron smelting fell from 7.59 million tons in 1929 to 3.57 million tons in 1932. The index of profits of joint-stock companies decreased by almost 25 percent compared to 1924.

The deepening of the crisis in the British economy had a direct connection with the policy of reviving the German industrial and military potentials pursued by the ruling circles. The British monopolies strove to create in Germany a profitable sphere for the investment of capital and a sales market. At the same time, the British bourgeoisie hoped to use German financial and industrial capital as a competitive economic counterbalance to French capital, its main rival in Europe.

Some Western scholars state that "England tried to soften the Franco-German differences" {576}. An analysis of events refutes this thesis. E. Thalmann is profoundly right when he wrote that according to the concept worked out by the English ruling circles, "contradictions between individual states, and primarily between France and Germany, should be used in the interests of England's world policy" {577}.

The British working people fought against ever-increasing poverty, unemployment, and lack of rights, against the new pressure of reactionary forces, came out in support of Soviet Russia and the national liberation movement of the peoples of the colonies of the British Empire, which was especially active in India, Egypt, and Iraq.

In 1919, the first major uprising of the English working class after the war took place - a general strike of industrial workers in Clyde (Scotland). In Glasgow, it turned into a violent clash between the strikers and the police. The railroad workers declared a general strike. The government's attempt to use troops against the strikers ended in failure: the soldiers fraternized with the workers, so the military units had to be returned to the barracks. The influence of the trade union and labor movements increased.

The greatest achievement of the British working class during the upsurge of the class struggle was the creation in 1920 of the Communist Party of Great Britain, the vanguard of the British working people.

The experienced British bourgeoisie, taking advantage of the opportunism of the Labor leaders, which is characteristic of the labor movement in England, went over to the counteroffensive. Repressions against the strikers intensified. In the country, one after another, emergency anti-worker laws were adopted. However, the working people of England put up a powerful rebuff to the reaction, which was forced to maneuver. Evidence of this is the formation in 1924 of the first Labor government and its subsequent recognition of the Soviet Union.

The strike movement continued to grow and assumed an ever more massive character. In 1926, England was shaken by the first general strike in its history. In 1931, sailors rebelled on several ships of the British Navy, located in the harbor of Invergordon (Northern Scotland).

The economic situation of the working people of England was difficult. By 1932, the number of unemployed reached 3.5 million {578} . The cost of living has increased by almost one and a half times compared with 1914. Part of the workers received wages below the subsistence level. About 20 percent of the population could only provide themselves with a beggarly diet close to the diet established for prisoners in Scottish prisons {579} (in Scotland, the population subjected to national discrimination lived especially poorly). In subsequent years, the country was swept by a more powerful wave of the class struggle of the proletariat. A new form of this struggle was the famous "hunger campaigns" in protest against [165] economic policy of the government. In February 1934, at the call of the Communist Party, a congress of unity of action was held in London, which adopted a program of specific demands of the British workers and unemployed to the government. After the end of the congress, a grandiose demonstration of workers took place in Hyde Park, in which about 200 thousand people took part. The militant demonstration of the working people took place under the slogans of struggle against unemployment, hunger, fascism and war.

The policy of remilitarization and support of fascism in Germany was also considered by the British ruling circles as an important factor for suppressing the anti-imperialist struggle of the working people of Europe, building a dam against Bolshevism and creating more favorable conditions for crushing the labor movement inside the country. “Waves of class hatred,” wrote the progressive English historian R. Arnot, “swept the supporters of British official principles ... The Bolsheviks were the most dangerous enemy for them” {580} .

The reactionary domestic and foreign policy of the British ruling circles contributed to the creation and vigorous activity of fascist organizations in England itself. English fascism did not have a broad mass base and was used by British monopoly circles as a reserve instrument for strengthening their power. At the same time, the fascist movement in the country was considered by the reactionary English bourgeoisie as one of the effective forms of support for international, especially German, fascism.

The forerunners of fascist organizations in England were various extremist groups that the ruling circles used to fight the labor movement. One of them was the "British Imperial Union", which acted under nationalist slogans and with a fascist program. The prototype of the fascist assault detachments were the "special" units of the "black and piebald" and "auxiliary detachments" that participated in the 20s in the suppression of the national liberation struggle of the Irish people. As a rule, criminals or former officers were recruited into these units. In 1923, in circles close to the leader of the right wing of the conservative party, the Duke of Northumberland, the British Fascists organization was created, the activities of which were officially allowed by the government. Its program set itself the task of "preventing the spread of communism and Bolshevism." In August 1924, the organization numbered more than 100 thousand people who united in small groups headed by commanders. Their duty was to "take energetic measures against the revolutionary elements in their area". This organization, like many others like it, was led by representatives of the military, parliamentarians, and businessmen of England. In 1924, Brigadier General Blakeney became chairman of the British Fascists. The organization was most active during the general strike in 1926. In 1924, Brigadier General Blakeney became chairman of the British Fascists. The organization was most active during the general strike in 1926. In 1924, Brigadier General Blakeney became chairman of the British Fascists. The organization was most active during the general strike in 1926.

In the late 1920s and early 1930s, other fascist and pro-fascist organizations also appeared in England. In 1928, the "Imperial Fascist League" was created, which published the newspaper "Fashist", the "National Socialist League", the organization "Green Shirts" and some others. The main backbone of the "British Fascists" and various fascist groups merged into the "British Union of Fascists" created in 1932, the largest fascist organization in England in the 30s. The head of the union, the British "Fuhrer" millionaire O. Mosley, was a member of the executive committee of the Labor Party and was a member of the Macdonald government. In May 1930, he left the government and tried to exploit the discontent [166] rank-and-file members of the Labor Party to seize leadership and make a career for themselves. When these attempts failed, Mosley announced the creation of a new party, which then became the British Union of Fascists. Imitating Hitler, Mosley outlined his program in the book "Great England", published in 1932. Mosley's domestic political program was reduced to the subordination of the working class to the dictatorship of the "corporate state". It contained social demagogy, designed for various segments of the population: he promised work to the unemployed, small entrepreneurs - protection from the "workers-Bolsheviks", capitalists - new profits. Mosley advanced the chauvinist slogan "England First" and vowed to achieve British world domination.

Mosley's program attracted into the ranks of the fascists mainly representatives of the petty bourgeoisie, disillusioned with their position, as well as various declassed elements and the military. In the first two years of its existence, the party grew quite quickly, although the number of its members was kept secret. But it is known that by the beginning of 1934 there were at least 400 active branches of the "British Union of Fascists" in England, with an average of 50 people {581}.

Following the example of the Nazis, Mosley introduced a special party uniform (black shirt) for members of his union and formed the so-called "defensive forces" with the corresponding headquarters. English fascists held rallies in Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Sheffield and other major cities in England. Often they ended with the beating of those who opposed the fascist youths. The British police in these cases, as a rule, took the side of the Blackshirts.

In the 1930s, in addition to the British Union of Fascists, new ultra-right organizations appeared in England. A prominent place among them was occupied by the Imperial Politics group, created by parliamentarians headed by R. Banks. Its members were ardent supporters of the policy of appeasement of the aggressors and vicious enemies of the Soviet Union. The Group published a monthly review of international relations that slandered the USSR and lauded the fascist regimes in Germany and Italy.

In the autumn of 1935, the "Society of the Anglo-German Commonwealth" was created in England. It included representatives of British financial capital (among them the heads of the largest banks) and a number of prominent figures of the Conservative Party. The society carried out propaganda for the rapprochement between England and Nazi Germany. One of its leaders, Lord Londonderry, declared that the society considers it its task to facilitate the conclusion of a pact between England, France, Italy and Germany, that is, to achieve what was subsequently carried out by the conservatives led by Chamberlain in Munich.

The British ruling circles, and especially the Conservative Party, took a patronizing attitude towards British fascism. "Scratch a conservative and you will find a fascist" {582} - these words of Lloyd George have never lost their relevance. Fascist organizations were created with the money of big British capitalists and enjoyed their support. In particular, the "British Union of Fascists" was mainly financed by the newspaper magnate Lord Rothermere; The union received material assistance and all-round support from Germany and Italy. [167]

The working class of England gave a resolute rebuff to the fascist attacks. On September 9, 1934, when about 2,500 Mosley supporters gathered in Hyde Park, the workers of London organized a counter-demonstration, in which up to 150,000 people took part. The fascist rally was disrupted. Characteristically, the action of the working people of London took place despite the efforts of the reactionary Labor and trade union leaders, who sabotaged the anti-fascist struggle of the working class. The General Council of the British Trade Unions prevented union members from participating in a counter-demonstration against Mosley, but the force of labor unity thwarted this action by the opportunist leaders of the British labor movement {583} .

The British bourgeoisie showed in every way its disposition towards Italian and then German fascism. In 1923, the English king, for the services rendered to the counter-revolution, granted Mussolini one of the highest awards in England - the Order of the Bath. In 1928, the head of the largest English monopoly, Imperial Chemical Industries, A. Mond, while in Rome, assured the Duce's supporters: "I admire fascism, because it ensures social peace." Churchill said at a press conference in Rome that he was "fascinated by Mussolini" {584} . This statement provoked enthusiastic responses in the Italian press, which especially praised Churchill for having "recognized the true spirit of the fascist movement" {585} .

British reaction in every possible way supported the growing fascist movement in Germany and contributed to Hitler's rise to power. The English magnates Deterding and Rothermere, who had been financing German fascism for many years, showed particular zeal. In the autumn of 1930, Rothermere left for Germany, where he met with Hitler. Then he published an article in German and English newspapers in which he advocated the coming of the Nazis to power. “The transfer of political influence in Germany to the National Socialists is also beneficial for the rest of Europe,” Rothermere wrote, “because in this way another bulwark against Bolshevism is being erected ...” The scope of the hysterical campaign of the English reactionary press in favor of Nazism caused a negative reaction even in the German bourgeois press. “If we focus only on English newspapers,” wrote the Kölnische Zeitung on October 15, 1930,

Contacts between the British bourgeoisie and representatives of the Nazi leadership were intensified. At meetings, British leaders always found "Hitler's achievements remarkable." In 1932, Churchill was going to visit Hitler {586}. Rosenberg was invited to England, and then Ribbentrop. The meeting of the latter with the leader of the Conservatives Baldwin was organized at his dacha in 1933 by the chairman of the English Conservative Party, Lord Davidson, who testified that it "was a success" {587} .

In the late 1920s and early 1930s, the process of providing direct assistance by England to the formation of the German military machine intensified. The conditions for this were created by all the previous activities of the British reactionary bourgeoisie: the active participation of England, together with the United States, in the Dawes and Young plans, the strengthening of ties between the British and German cartels, [168] the pro-German diplomatic activity of England, the most important act of which was the Locarno Pact, the secret and open support violations by the government of the Weimar Republic of the military restrictions established by the Treaty of Versailles.

The composition of the English government in the early 1930s, dominated by conservatives, fully corresponded to the goals of further intensifying the anti-Soviet, in fact, pro-fascist foreign policy. The list of its members resembled a list of representatives of the largest military concerns, firms and banks. Prime Minister S. Baldwin was a co-owner of Baldwin Limited military factories. Minister of Finance N. Chamberlain held the director's chair of the military firm "Birmingham Small Arms Company". Foreign Minister Simon was a major shareholder in the chemical concern Imperial Chemical Industries. Secretary of War Hailsham, Secretary of the Interior Gilmour, and Minister of the Colonies Canleaf-Lister had close ties to the Vickers military-industrial concern.

Bourgeois historians and memoirists, especially from among the British Conservatives, are trying to justify this policy. The former Prime Minister of Great Britain, one of the prominent figures of the Conservative Party, G. Macmillan wrote in his memoirs: “The first actions of Hitlerism did not give cause for concern. Moreover, we knew Mussolini and fascist Italy, and the results seemed good... Naturally, it never occurred to anyone to read Mayi Kampf {588} .

But Macmillan has a short memory. The British reaction met the pogrom actions of the Nazis who came to power in a different way. In England, there were many obvious well-wishers of the fascist regime. In one of the documents of German diplomacy, such well-wishers are named: the royal court, the aristocracy, a significant part of the clergy, the military and other influential circles of England {589} .

The Hitler regime was provided with extensive financial support for the City of London. The Bank of England began to play the role of an institution under the guarantee of which the most prominent British firms supplied Germany on credit with copper, aluminum, nickel, and other raw materials necessary for the war industry. At the end of 1934, the bank provided the German Reichsbank with a loan of 750 thousand pounds sterling. “The financiers believed,” the Daily Worker wrote on December 6, 1934, “that this was the only possible means to suppress the growing discontent of the German workers and peasants ...”

In December 1934, after a meeting between the head of the British oil trust Royal Dutch Shell and Hitler, a deal was concluded between German industrialists and Anglo-American oil magnates: the latter provided Germany with oil products in the amount of its annual consumption for 1934. The British concerns Imperial Chemical Industries and Vickers supplied the German military industry with raw materials and strategic materials, the British Petroleum Company supplied aluminum. Deliveries were carried out both openly and secretly, in particular through Canada. This fact was revealed by the Secretary General of the Communist Party of Great Britain, Harry Pollitt, in connection with the investigation by the Royal Commission of the private production and trade in arms, which [169] assumed scandalous proportions. Speaking at a meeting of the commission, G. Pollit drew the attention of those present to the fact that the chairman of the commission, D. Banks himself, is a shareholder of an English concern involved in arms speculation {590} .

The Rolls-Royce automobile company handed over to the Nazi government, allegedly for "commercial purposes", a batch of new Kestrel-type engines used in combat aircraft. In April 1934, the Armstrong-Siddley company sold to Germany aircraft engines created as a result of sixteen years of research by British engineers {591}. And in May, the Nazis placed an order in England for eighty powerful aircraft engines from this company. In response to an inquiry in Parliament, Foreign Minister Simon announced that the execution of the order "does not contravene the terms of existing international agreements." Aircraft, tanks, and machine guns were imported from England to Germany. Despite the fact that Germany's rearmament was rampant, and it was preparing to officially announce the legalization of the construction of the air force and the introduction of universal conscription, the British government, and primarily the conservatives, continued to support the formula of "equality" in armaments {592} .

English military circles played an active pro-German role. The Imperial General Staff established close contacts with the command of the Nazi Wehrmacht. According to the then German military attaché in London, the command of the British General Staff believed that "Germany should use the favorable chance in order to put things in order in Europe in the future" {593} . The British military representatives in Germany openly expressed their satisfaction with the build-up of the German armed forces. “On March 16, 1935,” Guderian wrote in his memoirs, “I was invited to an evening conversation with the British military attaché (in Berlin. - Ed.).Shortly before I left home, the radio broadcast a government announcement about the re-introduction of compulsory military service in Germany. The conversation I had that evening with the English attaché and an officer I knew from Sweden who was present was extremely lively. Both of these officers expressed complete understanding when I said that the German army met with satisfaction the joyful news of the introduction of universal military service .

Formally, the British government sent a note with "objections" in connection with the introduction of universal conscription in Germany. But, in essence, it meant a covert approval of the actions of the Nazis. “If the German government,” Pravda wrote on March 20, 1935, exposing the policy of British imperialism, “ostentatiously rejected any guarantees of security and is furiously arming itself in order to impose a new war on Europe, then it dared to take this step only thanks to the position British imperialism... British imperialism does its best to hinder the coordinated actions of those for whom the armaments of fascist Germany are an immediate danger. [170]

On March 24-26, 1935, Simon and Hitler held talks in Berlin. They took place in the presence of Lord Privy Seal Eden and the British ambassador in Berlin, Phipps. Neurath and Ribbentrop were also present on the German side. Hitler delivered a long speech in which he demanded for Germany a powerful army, navy and air force "necessary to solve the problem of living space", including at the expense of the USSR. He also put forward demands: to liquidate the "Polish corridor", to annex the northern regions of Czechoslovakia and Austria to Germany. During the negotiations, Hitler raised the question of the return of Germany's former colonies, which provoked an objection from Simon, and of a revision of the agreement on naval armaments. Although in this aggressive program outlined by Hitler, there were clear outlines of a military threat to the Western countries, it corresponded to the main intention of British imperialism - to direct the German war machine to the East, against the USSR. Hitler was pleased with the meeting, as well as other contacts with the British ministers. "We understood each other"{595} , - he confidentially informed his associates.

The materials of German diplomatic documents of that time convincingly testify that Hitler's Germany relied on England as the main international force in its preparations for war. The German ambassador in London reported on Wilhelmstrasse {596} in March 1935: “Now we have achieved the actual equality of rights for Germany in armaments on land; the task of the German state leadership is to complete this enormous achievement ... The key to a positive solution lies in the hands of England» {597} .

Further events were not long in coming. On June 18, 1935, the Conservative government, headed by Baldwin, signed the Anglo-German Naval Agreement, which was the largest act of encouragement by British imperialism of the arms race and aggressive plans of Nazi Germany. The Anglo-German Naval Agreement was not "the most unexpected act", as Winston Churchill {598} tried to assert. It deliberately opened up the possibilities for fascist Germany for a huge, virtually limitless, increase in its naval forces. The agreement was concluded despite the official protest of France and became one of the links in the treacherous policy of the British ruling circles towards their French ally {599} .

The agreement was primarily directed against the USSR, as it led to a sharp change in the strategic situation in the Baltic Sea in favor of Germany. This was noted in English and American official circles {600} . At the same time, it changed the balance of power in the North Sea, which created a potential threat from Germany to both England and France. With the assistance of the British ruling circles, Hitlerite Germany forged weapons, which in the end [170] were turned not only against the USSR, but also against England and France and their allies.

The international communist movement correctly assessed the events that were taking place and warned the working people in time about the consequences of the reactionary foreign policy of the British ruling circles. “The line pursued by the British national government in support of fascist Germany, and in particular the Anglo-German naval agreement,” wrote R. Palm Dutt at the end of 1935, “led to such a situation that contributes to the implementation of the German “plans for Austria and the South-East Europe" {601} . Subsequent events confirmed this conclusion.

It should be noted that not all representatives of the ruling circles of England supported the policy of remilitarization of Germany, but the opinion of the opponents of such a course did not influence the policy of the conservatives.

The Communist Party of Great Britain, which relied on the anti-war movement of the working masses, acted as a resolute and consistent fighter against the suicidal policy of encouraging the British ruling circles to encourage the revival of the German military machine and fascism. The British people responded to the growing danger of war by intensifying their struggle against the government's reactionary home and foreign policy. In June 1935, the results of the so-called "peace plebiscite" were summed up in England, in which, despite the negative attitude of the government, the Conservative Party and the reactionary press, 11.5 million people took part. The overwhelming majority of the participants in the plebiscite spoke in favor of collective security, disarmament, and effective sanctions against aggressive states. “Undoubtedly,” G. Pollit noted in his speech at the 7th Congress of the Comintern, “the same result could be achieved by organizing such a vote against fascism” {602}. However, the British monopolists and the Conservative government did not consider the opinion of the people. With stubborn tenacity, they continued to follow the anti-Soviet course, encouraging German expansion and fascism.

The Nazi leadership, considering the line of the conservatives, drew the appropriate conclusions for their aggressive plans. Hitler, according to the West German historian S. Haffner, believed that he could carry out "the capture of living space at the expense of Russia" with the help of his most reliable ally - England {603}. Anglo-German cooperation, which was formed on an anti-Soviet basis, was one of the important factors that contributed to the transformation of Germany into the main center of the Second World War.

2. Internal political struggle in the United States of America and assistance of the American monopolies to Nazi Germany

The development of world events was significantly influenced by the foreign policy of the United States of America, conditioned by the domestic policy of the ruling circles of the country. The situation in the USA was characterized by sharp class contradictions, as well as by the struggle of various political trends, the roots of which were deeply rooted in the field of economics. [172]

The First World War was widely used by the US monopolies as a source of unprecedented enrichment. Significantly increased industrial and agricultural production, fertile ground arose for its increase in the years of post-war capitalist stabilization (1924-1929). From 1913 to 1929, US industrial production rose by 70 percent {604}. The profits of the monopolies and banks reached enormous proportions, and the process of centralization of capital intensified extraordinarily. By 1918, one percent of the country's population owned more than half of all US wealth. Along with the economic might of the monopolies, their political strength and influence on all aspects of the country's social life have increased. However, there was no unity among the monopolists in determining the government's course, which led to sharp turns in the country's domestic and foreign policy.

The new balance of economic forces that developed after the First World War had a significant impact on US foreign policy. By 1928, US industrial production exceeded that of all of capitalist Europe. The economic center of world capitalism has moved across the ocean to the American continent. From being a debtor, the United States became a powerful creditor: if by the beginning of the First World War they owed European countries 4.5 billion dollars, by the end of it, the war debts of capitalist Europe alone to the United States of America amounted to ten billion dollars.

V. I. Lenin wrote: “The American billionaires were all richer and were in the safest geographical position. They profited the most. They made everything, even the richest countries, their tributaries. They have plundered hundreds of billions of dollars.” {605} . From now on, the American monopolists, spreading the idea that a new world war would be not a disaster for the United States, but a boon, cherished plans for new enrichment.

But even with such profits received from military supplies and robbery of other countries, the labor of producers of material values, primarily workers, remained the main source of profit for the United States. Their position, as well as that of the farmers, remained extremely difficult. During the war years and in the post-war period, the intensity of labor increased sharply, and capitalist exploitation intensified. In the United States, a labor movement was booming, inspired by the October Revolution in Russia. Strikes were the main form of action by the American proletariat against the policy of the ruling circles. In 1919, more than 4 million people took part in them. The growing consciousness of the working class led to the emergence of the Communist Party of the USA, founded in September 1919.

The working class of the United States resolutely opposed the participation of their country in the armed attack of the interventionists on the young Soviet state and sought to provide it with international support. However, any manifestation of class solidarity between US workers and Soviet Russia was mercilessly suppressed by the government, which increasingly resorted to the means of class violence, to arms.

In 1929, the United States suffered a severe economic crisis, from where it spread throughout the world. By March 1933, the number of unemployed reached 17 million people. There was no social insurance, and the unemployed, deprived of their livelihood, were on the verge of starvation. [173] he bourgeois historian Schlesinger described the plight of a working-class family in this way: “And here is a new search for work - first energetic and hopeful, then gloomy, then desperate ... The search continues, clothes turn into tatters, shoes come apart. The newspaper under the shirt saves from the frost, the cardboard insulates the boots, the cotton wool in their socks softens the difficult walking through the streets, the mat wrapped around the feet facilitates the long hours of waiting in the cold at the factory gates. Meanwhile, savings are dwindling and horror seizes the family. Father has lost his vigor, he spends many hours at home, irritated, guilty ... Meat disappears from the table, lard replaces butter, father goes out less and less, he is terribly quiet ... Shadows thicken in dark cold rooms, father is angry, helpless and full of shame, emaciated children are getting sick more often, and a mother, invigorating during the day,{606} .

The working class in the United States was not a passive contemplator of the scourge of the economic crisis that befell it. On March 6, 1930, crowded demonstrations of the unemployed took place in dozens of cities, demanding that they be given work and bread. A large police force deployed against the demonstrators brutally cracked down on them. In 1931-1932. massive "hunger campaigns" took place in Washington.

During the second "hunger campaign" 25 thousand veterans of the First World War arrived in the capital. They pitched their camp in Anacostia Flats, a swampy suburb of Washington. The manifestation of former soldiers was held under the slogans of loyalty to the existing system and was not associated with the leftist movement in the country. However, the government sent troops against the veterans under the command of the Chief of Staff of the American Army, General D. MacArthur. Tanks, cavalry and tear gas were used. Farmers also joined in the struggle against the ruling circles, who sought to put the entire burden of the crisis on the shoulders of the working people. In a number of areas of the United States, joint action committees of farmers and workers arose. Representatives of the progressive intelligentsia also joined the movement. The economic crisis developed into a political crisis, a crisis of the entire system of American capitalism. The newspapers wrote with dismay: "The disturbing economic phenomena not only surpass all previous episodes of this kind, but also threaten the death of the capitalist system" {607}

The masses listened more attentively to the voice of the communists, whose influence was growing, especially among the unemployed. The resulting situation caused deep concern among the rulers of the United States. Although a relatively small part of class-conscious workers followed the Communists, Washington tried to blame the US Communist Party for all the troubles that the country was going through. In May 1930, a committee was organized in the House of Representatives to "investigate communism." In its fight against left-wingers, the government made extensive use of the expulsion of "undesirable elements" from the country. In 1930-1933 74 thousand people were deported from the USA.

The anti-communist campaign, contrary to the hopes of its instigators, could not alleviate the situation in the country. It was obvious to millions of Americans that the capitalist system was to blame for the crisis, and they rose more and more actively against the bourgeois order.

But the government was ready to suppress any mass demonstrations. In January 1934, G. Woodring, who was soon appointed Secretary of War, [174] frankly stated: “People who believe that the American army is not ready and not able to take control of the country simply do not know the facts. Our army is the only government organization that is already ready not only to defend the country, but also able to cope with social and economic problems in the event of a state of emergency ... Let's be direct! If there is a threat of external war, economic chaos or social revolution, the army has the training, experience, organization and people to protect the government ... " {608}

However, some representatives of the American bourgeoisie believed that the mere readiness of the armed forces to suppress social unrest was not enough. They demanded that the threat of revolution be met at a distant approach, insisting on a change in the US state structure. There was no unity in the ruling circles on this issue. A certain part of the monopolists, bankers and military men were inclined to borrow the experience of Italy and establish a fascist dictatorship. Conservative publicist V. Jordan described the mood of the participants in the annual conference of the Chamber of Commerce in 1931 as follows: “In a matter of months, an economic dictator like Mussolini can induce them to march in red, white, blue shirts, welcoming some new symbol.” In the spring of 1932, Pennsylvania Senator D. Reed found it possible to state publicly: "I rarely envy the system of government in other countries, but I say: if our country ever needed Mussolini, then now is the hour." In 1931, the president of Columbia University, N. Butler, greeted the freshmen with a speech in which, among other things, he said that totalitarian systems “put forward much more intelligent, strong-willed and much more courageous people than states with a representative form of government” {609} . These assessments also extended to the leaders of the fascist dictatorship in Germany. The chairman of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, K. Pittman, called Hitler "a man of courage and zeal", "a crusader ... in the struggle against Bolshevism" {610} .

Not only individuals, but also entire organizations spoke in favor of the fascist regime in the United States. In September 1931, the American Legion (a far-right organization of ex-servicemen) decided at its convention that the crisis could not be "quickly and effectively resolved by existing political methods." In the Midwest, the Black Legion terrorist organization arose, the center of activity of which was in the state of Michigan. The Black Legion, named after the uniform, worn by its members, a black robe with skull and crossbones and a hood covering the face, was a typical fascist organization.

The "Black Legion" was built on a military model. Its members were included in the territorial "divisions" commanded by "colonels". The activities of the legion were kept in strict secrecy. At an extremely grim legionary initiation ceremony, each was given a large-caliber bullet with a warning that he would receive another if he did not remain silent. Since 1933, the states of Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio have become the arena of the bloody activities of the Black Legion, which, in close contact with the entrepreneurs, unleashed terror against active trade union workers and democratically minded people. In the mid-1930s, legionnaires [175] killed several dozen people, trying to intimidate, first of all, representatives of the labor movement.

In January 1932, a new senator, Hugh Long, from Louisiana appeared in the Capitol. A short but noisy career began for a man who sought to create a fascist dictatorship. Before being elected to the Senate, Long was the governor of Louisiana, where he created a powerful political machine, personally devoted to him.

Since becoming a senator, Long from the first days challenged not only the government, but also the faction of the Democratic Party to which he belonged. In the spirit of fascist demagogues, Long declared that "in America, of course, we are in the face of communism." Heaping curses on the "rich", he vaguely promised a better future to broad sections of the people, where there would be no blatant inequality. And he said this, widely using the support of large monopolies, which personified inequality. However, the more influential part of the monopolists believed that the extremes of fascism would add fuel to the fire of popular indignation and create an even greater danger to the social and political system of the United States. They tended to put at the head of the country a man who could bring peace to the masses through a system of reforms that did not affect the foundations of American bourgeois democracy.

The election campaign of 1932 for the presidential elections took place in an extremely tense atmosphere. The Democratic Party nominated Franklin D. Roosevelt, who promised a "New Deal" for the country. Roosevelt was a staunch defender of the capitalist system, and all his policies were aimed at strengthening it. In pursuing the New Deal, he made extensive use of social maneuvering methods and tried to alleviate the position of the working people, but by no means by weakening the role of monopoly capital. On the contrary, the "new course" contributed to the strengthening of the role of state-monopoly capitalism in the economy and political life of the country.

William Foster, who for a long time headed the US Communist Party, wrote: “... Roosevelt supported the trade union movement, but by making concessions to the workers and blacks, he thereby undoubtedly acted in the interests of the capitalist system. Had he not made these concessions, the belligerent masses would probably have moved considerably further to the left, and in open struggle would have won much more substantial reforms from the employers and the government.

F. Roosevelt took various, often contradictory measures. In his eyes, there was only one criterion for the value of this or that law - to what extent it corresponded to the strengthening of the traditional foundations of American capitalism.

The right wing of the US ruling circles was dissatisfied with the social maneuvering of the Roosevelt administration, during which significant concessions were sometimes made to the working people. Opposition to the "new course" existed constantly, and various fascist organizations arose in its ranks, the number of which eventually reached 700.

The day after the Nazis came to power in Germany - January 31, 1933 - W. Pelley founded the Silver Shirts organization in the USA. He stated that her goal was to save America "in the same way that Mussolini and his Blackshirts saved Italy, and Hitler and his Brownshirts brought salvation to Germany." The Silver Shirts became one of the most active fascist organizations in the United States. [176]

Another reactionary figure, "Honorary Commander of the Order of the Knights of the White Camellia" J. Ditheridge, announced that he was striving to unite all "Christians" (that is, racists) under the emblem of the swastika {612} . The vigorous activity of fascist organizations would not have been possible without the financial assistance of representatives of big business, who kept them as a reserve in case the government failed in social experimentation.

Fascist organizations in the United States openly declared their solidarity with the European fascist powers. Their activities were of a subversive nature, since they were agents of Nazi Germany in the United States.

In 1931-1934 in some Wall Street banking houses, they thought of using the American Legion to carry out a fascist coup in the United States. The pro-fascist sympathies of the leaders of the legion were no secret. Back in 1931, National Commander R. O'Neill conveyed, through the ambassador of fascist Italy in Washington, the greetings of the national executive committee of the Legion "His Grace Benito Mussolini." Two years later, the national vice-commander visited Italy and bestowed on the Duce the title of honorary member of the Legion.

The conspirators decided to put the retired General S. Butler, a former commander of the Marine Corps, at the head of the coup. But here they were mistaken: S. Butler, pretending to be a simpleton, found out the details of the conspiracy, the sources of its financing, and, finding this enterprise unconstitutional and dubious, passed the collected information to Congress, where in 1934 an appropriate investigation was carried out. The consideration of the case, entrusted to one of the congressional committees, was extremely superficial. However, the veracity of Butler's testimony was not in doubt. No matter how hard American fascist collaborators tried to belittle their importance, the commission admitted in its investigation report: “Evidence was presented indicating that some individuals made an attempt to create a fascist organization in our country. No doubt {613}

Butler's failure did not discourage the right. They founded the League of American Freedom in August 1934, which announced that it would "fight against radicalism" and "guard and defend the constitution." The League was supported by a number of major monopolists, primarily the DuPonts and Morgans. The American Liberty League was an active right-wing front seeking to cut off further concessions to working people under the New Deal. She steadily opposed new measures of this kind, and her massive propaganda was marked by fierce malice towards the F. Roosevelt administration. This was a much more serious attempt to organize the forces of reaction than the conspiracy proposed by Butler to lead.

Minister of the Interior G. Ickes, describing the situation that developed in the United States in 1935, said: “Every day it becomes more and more clear that in our country there is a dangerous movement that seeks to replace our free institutions with hated fascism. This group is made up of (or at least actively supported by) individuals who have amassed vast fortunes and achieved power by exploiting not only America's natural wealth, but also its men and women [177]and children. They stopped at nothing in their pursuit of these riches, and now they will stop at nothing to preserve and increase them. In an effort to drive us into a patriotic fever with talk that "our country is threatened by a communist uprising," these gentlemen are trying to enlist our support for a fascist coup.

As industrial tycoon K. Vanderbilt later admitted, far-right businessmen discussed at length a plan to kidnap the president in order to change the political course of the country {615} .

Although hotheads among the rightists were ready to launch a coup, their chances of success were slim. The greatest opportunity was offered by an attempt to rebuild the United States in a fascist spirit, using at first the traditional institutions of the country, that is, seeking accession to the White House as a result of the usual electoral procedure of a person with dictatorial powers. In the United States in the first half of the 1930s, there were two potential candidates of this kind—General D. MacArthur, Chief of Staff of the American Army, and Senator H. Long. With the proper support of financial tycoons, any of them could win the presidential election, and even in case of failure, grow into a figure of paramount national importance. F. Roosevelt in the circle of his associates called them "two of the most dangerous people in the United States."

General MacArthur was the idol of extreme reaction, who remembered and blessed his "victory at Anacostia Flats." "No one else," said Roosevelt, "is endowed with such charm, fidelity to tradition, and stately appearance as MacArthur, and Nazi-minded American leaders recalled with approval an incident that seemed to all liberals to be reprehensible - the battle of Anacostia Flats" {616} .

Fascist tendencies were fought against by progressive forces, and above all by the American Communists. They tirelessly exposed the intrigues of the right-wing forces and revealed the secret plans of the reaction.

What became obvious over time was far from clearly manifested in the turbulent whirlpool of the 1930s. The left-wing forces that criticized the administration of F. Roosevelt, sometimes focusing on the cool methods of implementing the New Deal reforms, in fact, did not clearly imagine that there were significant differences between the government and fascist circles. Roosevelt relied on that part of the American bourgeoisie that believed that the resources of the traditional system of government in the United States had not been exhausted. The people, having received some relief from the New Deal, stood for Roosevelt. Under the current conditions, the identification of the "new course" and fascism would be extremely erroneous.

At the 7th Congress of the Communist International G. Dimitrov said: “But even now there are still remnants of a schematic approach to fascism. Isn't it a manifestation of this... approach is the assertion of individual comrades that Roosevelt's "new order" is an even clearer, sharper form of development of the bourgeoisie towards fascism... A significant amount of schematism is needed in order not to see that the most reactionary circles of the American financial capitalists attacking Roosevelt are, above all, the force that stimulates and organizes the fascist movement in the United States. [178] Behind the hypocritical phrases of such circles about "defending the democratic rights of American citizens" of real fascism emerging in the United States, this means disorienting the working class in the struggle against its worst enemy" {617} .

F. Roosevelt's administration fought against those who, in the opinion of the White House, posed a real threat to the existing order. In 1935, MacArthur was removed from the key post of Army Chief of Staff and sent to serve in the Philippines. The ambitious general was mortally offended and in the next 16 years he never visited his homeland - the United States.

It was much more difficult to throw Senator X. Long from the political arena, who launched a feverish activity already on the distant approaches to the presidential elections of 1936. When it became clear that Long had achieved a certain fame, funds began to flow to him from dark sources, which gave him the opportunity to start newspaper "American Progress". Although the newspaper suffered constant losses, the help of the right allowed Long in 1935 to bring its circulation to 375,000 copies. Back in October 1933, Long's book was published with the demagogic title "Every Man Is a King!" In 343 pages of this new fascist bible, the senator tried to prove that he was "fighting for the rights of the common man." Even at a negligible, by American standards, price of $1, only 20,000 books were sold, and Long's supporters distributed another 70,000 copies for free.

Another fascist demagogue directed his efforts in the same direction as Long, the Detroit Catholic priest C. Coughlin. His activity began during the years of the crisis and reached its climax in the mid-1930s. The sermons of the "Holy Father", broadcast over the radio from his church in Michigan, were listened to by 3.5 million people, according to a minimum estimate. Coughlin vilified Wall Street, intellectuals, Jews, openly supported the fascist powers, sought to make Americans feel sympathy for the global strategy of German fascism and the methods for implementing its program. According to Roosevelt Attorney General F. Biddle, Coughlin and "his fighters from the Christian Front and Christian Activists adhered to the tactics of virulent anti-Semitism preached by the Brownshirts of Hitler and the SA"{618} .

In early 1935, Long and Coughlin entered into an unspoken alliance. The sinister "radio pop" found it possible to support the senator's candidacy if she ran in the 1936 presidential election {619} . Roosevelt, concerned about the activities of Long and his supporters in preparation for the presidential election, took a number of countermeasures. In particular, he gave a secret order to investigate the activities of Long's organization in order to obtain information compromising him. The federal authorities have come to grips with the study of corruption in the state of Louisiana. They accused several of Long's associates of theft and put them on trial. In response, Long announced that he would fight the Roosevelt government to the end {620} .

There was no doubt that Hugh Long was bringing fascism to the United States. Communist Party publications constantly emphasized that Long was "the personification of the fascist menace"; it was he, as explained, for example, in The Daily Worker on March 12 and 15, 1935, who was the contender for the role [179] of the American Hitler or Mussolini. Although Long, no doubt for tactical reasons, rejected analogies between him and Hitler, his entire course of action indicated the opposite. In March 1935, General H. Johnson, a man close to the White House, sharply opposed to the alliance between Long and Coughlin, said: “You can laugh at Father Coughlin, you can snort at the name of Hugh Long, but never has our country been danger." In his words, "the great Louisiana demagogue and politicking padre" hoped to carry out a plan in which "American Hitler would enter Washington at the head of the troops." Johnson urged his compatriots to reject Long and Coughlin, to rally around F. Roosevelt, for "in him is our only hope" {621} .

The presidential election was still more than a year away, and Long's election campaign had entered the practical stage. He did not skimp on expenses. In addition to large proceeds from the Louisiana party machine, he received secret assurances from representatives of a number of leading monopolies and banks that they would provide up to $ 2 million to his fund, and if necessary - and more with the only condition - to remove F. Roosevelt from the White House { 622} .

In early September 1935, Long arrived in Louisiana on political business. He held a series of meetings, and on the evening of September 8 he went to the governor of the state. In the corridor of the reception room of the governor's palace, under circumstances that are still unclear, a shootout broke out, during which Long was killed.

The movement of Long's supporters after his assassination actually disintegrated. Although the US fascist organizations did not stop their activities, none of their leaders was even remotely popular as Long. The insolent bandits from the "Black Legion" after a series of murders were brought to justice; eleven of them were sentenced to life imprisonment {623} . The prosecution, of course, did not affect all the perpetrators, but it served as a certain warning to the unbridled fascists. The fascist movement in the United States did not develop further, because the vast majority of the ruling circles of the country evaluated the "new course" as the most effective means of preserving capitalism in American conditions. “They understood,” wrote G. Green, a member of the National Committee of the US Communist Party, “that American capitalism still had vast reserves with which to weather the storm; he was not in such a desperate situation as German capitalism... The capitalist factions that encouraged Roosevelt's domestic policy, or at least did not actively oppose it, as a rule, felt more than others, fear of German imperialism and demanded a firm policy towards to him. They even looked favorably on the anti-fascist movement both at home and abroad,{624} .

As a result of maneuvering along the paths of the New Deal, the administration of F. Roosevelt managed to reduce the intensity of social tension in the United States. In this situation, the slide towards fascism was simply not necessary for the monopolists. [180] The complex and contradictory processes that took place in the domestic life of the United States also influenced their foreign policy. The ruling circles of the USA knew that the German monopolists, in their plans for conquest, would also lure the American continent. However, this did not give rise to concern, because, firstly, American imperialism considered Nazi Germany dangerous only for the USSR, and secondly, the United States was confident, based on the experience of the First World War, that a new world war would not affect the territory of their country, but on the other hand, it will allow to get out of the economic crisis and become a source of profits for monopolies. The monopolies not connected with military production feared the war and its social consequences.

In order not to weaken their position within the United States, Roosevelt and his entourage did not want to come into conflict with those American monopolies and banks that were actively helping Germany prepare for World War II. Although fears of Nazi aggression were often heard in the speeches of the American president, the US government did not take the necessary real measures even within the country (against fascist organizations and monopolies associated with German firms), and even more so in the field of foreign policy. The notorious "neutrality" in relation to the aggressors, but in fact their encouragement, reflected the essence of the policy of those American monopolies, whose influence on the government prevailed.

The ideologists of American imperialism, covering the events of the pre-war years, seek to whitewash the criminal policy of encouraging fascist aggression by "isolationism of the masses." D. Perkins writes that it is precisely for this reason that the US government "did not make great efforts to direct its European policy along the line of concerted action" {625} .

W. Langer and S. Gleason argue that “the prevailing mood was a resolute opposition not only to any intervention in conflicts abroad, but also to participation in any collective action to prevent or resolve such conflicts. Behind the high wall of neutrality, the American people considered it wise to work quietly for their own good, despite all the storms that might break out elsewhere.

The existence of such sentiments is an absolute historical fact. But they did not come from the masses, but from the ruling circles and their propaganda. The working people of the USA, according to W. Foster, actively opposed fascism and did not at all support the false "isolationism" of the ruling circles {627} .

The Roosevelt government pursued a kind of "neutrality" in relation to the ties between American and German monopoly capital. It did not oppose such connections, and the slogan "defending democracy against totalitarianism" to a certain extent contributed to them {628} . And although most of the American capital in German industry [181] was invested before Hitler came to power, their flow continued after, until the outbreak of the Second World War.

J. Schacht played an important role in strengthening relations between Nazi Germany and the USA. As early as February 1933, he convinced the US Chargé d'Affaires in Berlin that the fascist regime "poses no danger to American business in Germany" {629}. Shortly after his appointment to the post of president of the Reichsbank, which was received positively by the international monopolies, Schacht left for the USA in May 1933 to consolidate and expand contacts between the fascist leaders of Germany and the ruling circles of America. As an emissary for Hitler and the German monopolists, Schacht met with President Roosevelt, government officials, and Wall Street bosses. Schacht assured his interlocutors that "there is no more democratic government in the world than the government of Hitler", that the fascist regime "is the best form of democracy" {630} , and sought to provide Germany with new American loans. Departing from New York for Europe, Schacht said that he was quite satisfied with the results of his visit.

Shakht also contributed to the expansion of ties between the Nazis and the monopoly circles of other countries. In June 1933, as a member of the German delegation at the international economic conference in London, he, together with the ideologist of the fascist party Rosenberg, took part in the development of the so-called "Hugenberg memorandum", with which the Nazis tried to intimidate the Western powers with the "danger of Bolshevism" and bargain for himself loans {631} .After a series of maneuvers, the German government gradually reduced the payment of loan payments, and in 1935 completely suspended the payment of debts. Thus, with the help of the American and British financial oligarchy, which was interested in restoring the military and economic potential of fascist Germany, the Nazis received large sums, which they directed to armaments.

A large role in coordinating the efforts of the international banking oligarchy in financing the fascist movement in Germany was played by the Cologne banker Baron Schroeder, who was associated with the Nazi Party. He maintained close contacts with branches of his banking firm in the US and England. All legal formalities for loans passing through the Schroeder Bank were carried out in America by the law firm of Sullivan and Cromwell, headed by the brothers John Foster Dulles, Allen Dulles and others.

Shortly after the establishment of the fascist dictatorship, representatives of the US banking associations Aldrich and Mann visited Germany to discuss issues related to the financing of German armaments. A few days later, in a conversation with the American ambassador in Berlin, they declared that Hitler "can be dealt with" {632}. As a result of the negotiations, an important agreement was reached. American banks delayed receiving payments from Germany on previously granted loans. They pledged that henceforth all income from American capital and property in Germany would be spent exclusively within that country. The German and American bankers agreed on the most important thing—that US capital would take an active part in the rearmament of Germany, either by building new military enterprises on its territory or by reconstructing the existing ones. Among them [182] there were Ford automobile plants in Cologne and the Opel plant in Rüsselheim, in the expansion of which General Motors invested, plants of the American companies General Electric and International Telephone and Telegraph Corporation (ITT); Standard Oil built an oil refinery in Hamburg, at that time the largest in the world.

Of the American firms and banks that actively contributed to the seizure of power by the Nazis in Germany, and then to their military preparations, many belonged to Zionist capital. The list of banks and firms that helped Nazi Germany looks like a reference book of US Zionist capital. Particularly active were the bankers Lazar and Liman, connected with German firms by business and family relations. The prominent Zionist activist N. Goldman, who for a long time headed the World Jewish Congress and the World Zionist Organization, notes in his autobiography that when some Jewish organizations in the USA tried to organize an international economic boycott of Germany, Zionist firms, being contractors of German companies, thwarted this boycott {633} .

So, back in 1929, the Amsterdam banking house Mendelssohn & Co. transferred 10 million dollars to Hitler. In 1931, he, together with the Rotterdam banking consortium and through the Rome commercial bank, handed another 15 million dollars to the leader of the German fascists. Finally, after Hitler came to power, he received 126 million dollars {634} through the same channels .

Of great importance for the armament of Germany and the creation of its military machine were the direct investments of American capital in German industry. According to official figures, direct American investment in German industry in 1930 amounted to $216.5 million. In Germany, there were up to 60 branches of American concerns {635} . Senator Kilgore said in 1943: "Great sums of American money went abroad to build factories, which are now a misfortune to our existence and a constant hindrance to our war effort" {636}. Kilgore had every reason to make such a statement, since the Senate commission, headed by him, determined the amount of American investment in Germany at $1 billion. The Kilgore Commission also found that only a fraction of American companies owned such a large share of the share capital, which allowed them to control 278 German joint-stock companies. This shows how much during the years of the Hitlerite dictatorship the ties between the American and German monopolists strengthened and how great was the role of US capital not only in the reconstruction, but also in the further development of the military-industrial potential of fascist Germany.

American investments were directed primarily to machine-building, automotive, electrical, aviation, oil, chemical and other branches of industry of military importance. The US monopolies did not help Germany disinterestedly. Their investments yielded large returns.

Most cartel agreements between American and German firms were concluded in 1926-1929, during the period of the Dawes Plan. [183]

A particularly important role in the preparations for the war was played by the cartel connections of the concerns of the metallurgical industry. Back in 1926, an international steel cartel was created, which included the metallurgical magnates of Germany, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Saarland. The organizer of the cartel was E. Pensgen - the head of the concern "Steel Trust" {637} .Later, the circle of cartel members expanded. It included the main steel producers in Austria, Poland, Czechoslovakia, England and the USA, the largest American steel companies United States Steel, Bethlehem Steel and Republic Steel. The cartel began to produce about 90 percent of the iron and steel supplied to the world market. The leading role in the cartel belonged to the German monopolies, in particular the Steel Trust. The Nazis highly valued Pensgen's merits in arming Germany.

In 1929, an agreement was concluded between the American oil trust Standard Oil and the German chemical concern IG Farbenindustry, which played a major role in preparing Nazi Germany for a world war. The IG Farbenindustry concern received over 60 million dollars from Standard Oil to develop a technology for the production of synthetic fuel on an industrial scale {638} . With the advent of the Nazis to power, the ties between the US and German monopolies became even closer.

With the active assistance of American firms, the German imperialists organized the importation of weapons from abroad on a large scale. In just eight months of 1934, the American aviation company Aircraft Corporation increased its exports to Germany by 6.4 times compared to 1933. In addition to the Aircraft Corporation, other American firms were also involved in the supply of aircraft. The United Aircraft Transport company imported parts for the construction of aircraft, the Sperry Gyroscope Company imported aircraft radio equipment. The American companies Curtiss Wright, American Aircraft and others sent their products to Germany on a large scale - mainly engines and aircraft.

Of particular importance for Germany was the granting of patents by American firms for the latest inventions in the field of aviation. Pratt & Whitney entered into an agreement with the German company Bayerische Motorwerke to transfer to Germany a patent for air-cooled aircraft engines. The American company United Aircraft Export transferred its patents for military aircraft to a German company. Germany sold a patent for a new aircraft, the largest American company "Douglas".

In February 1933, Dupont's American chemical trust entered into an agreement with IG Farbenindustry for the sale of explosives and ammunition, which were sent to Germany via Holland.

As early as 1934, arms supplies from the United States to Germany reached such proportions that they became interested in the Senate commission investigating the activities of military enterprises. The commission found that there are many secret agreements between American and German firms on mutual information and the exchange of patents in the field of weapons. Commission member Senator Clark said: "If Germany were active tomorrow in the military sense, it would be more powerful thanks to the patents and technical experience transferred to it by American firms." [184]

In 1940, US Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox admitted that “in 1934 and 1935. Hundreds of first-class aircraft engines manufactured in the USA were supplied to Hitler, ”and a Senate commission in the same 1940 concluded that“ American industrialists, with the consent of the US government, freely sold patents and rights to design motors to the German government ... ” {639} .

Standard Oil took over the financing of the construction of new synthetic fuel plants in Germany {640} . The scope of funding can be judged from the statement of the American commercial attaché in Berlin, who in December 1935 in an official conversation noted that “after two years, Germany will produce oil and gas from coal in quantities sufficient for a long war. Standard Oil gave her millions of dollars for this 

The Standard Oil Trust not only actively helped to establish the production of synthetic gasoline, but also spent large sums on the exploration and organization of oil production in Germany {642} . The trust owned more than half of the capital of the oil company, which owned more than a third of all gas stations. The German-American oil company owned oil refineries, mineral oil plants. When the World War began, there were coal hydrogenation plants in Germany and Japan. But they were not in the US.

In 1935, shortly after Hitler broke the military articles of the Treaty of Versailles and introduced universal conscription in Germany, the American company Ethyl Gasoline Corporation transferred, with the permission of the American government, a patent that it owned exclusively for the production of tetraethyl lead, an anti-knock additive in gasoline. In one of the secret documents that became known after the war, IG Farbenindustry experts assessed the importance of the help of an American company as follows: “There is no need to emphasize that modern war is unthinkable without tetraethyl lead. Since the beginning of the war, we have been able to produce tetraethyl lead solely because shortly before that, the Americans built a plant for us, prepared it for operation, and passed on to us the necessary experience” {643}. Equally great was the help of American capital in the development of methods for the production of synthetic rubber.

Jasko's labs and pilot plant in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, developed the process for mass production of buna rubber. The ownership of this patent passed to a German trust. "Standard Oil" has developed a method for obtaining and production technology of a new type of rubber - butyl, higher in quality than "buna".

The American monopolies also helped fascist Germany in the production of aluminium, magnesium, nickel, tungsten carbide, beryllium and other strategic materials.

In 1935, the German production of light and non-ferrous metals already exceeded the French and Canadian four times, the British and Norwegian - six times, exceeded the American output by 16 thousand tons {644} . [185]

For the successful preparation of the war, the Nazis considered it extremely necessary to weaken Germany's dependence on the import of iron ore. In Germany, there were several iron ore deposits with 20-25% iron content. The development of such poor ores was considered unprofitable. Nevertheless, on the basis of these deposits, the construction of three plants began with an annual steel production of 6 million tons, which accounted for a third of all steel production in Germany. Officially, the work was carried out by the Hermann Goering concern, but in reality they were carried out by a specially created American company, R. Brassert. “This company,” writes the English economist N. Muhlen, “until then almost unknown in Germany ... turned out to be closely connected with the “autarky” of the Reich in the field of supplying it with iron ore, one of the main elements of economic independence in the production of weapons”{645} . The firm "R. Brassert was only a branch of the large Chicago firm of Brassert, which collaborated with the American Morgan Trust.

Under the terms of the cartel agreements, American firms had to inform their German partners about all the technical innovations of interest to them. Thus, the Bowshend Lomb firm willingly provided Zeiss with US military secrets and only asked that all information be kept secret {646} .

The major role played by the American monopolies in preparing Germany for war was later confirmed by none other than J. Schacht, who was Hitler's right hand in matters of financing military production. While in his cell during the Nuremberg trials, Schacht laughed when he heard that German industrialists would be charged with arming the "Third Reich." “If you want to bring to justice the industrialists who contributed to the armament of Germany,” he told an American officer, “then you will have to judge your own industrialists. After all, the Opel factories, which belonged to General Motors, worked only for the war” {647} .

Close ties between the Morgan banking house and the German fascists were established through the international telephone and telegraph corporation, ITT, which was under his complete control.

Shortly after the Nazi takeover in Germany, the chairman of the ITT board was received by Hitler. As a result of the conversation, Ribbentrop's agent G. Vestrik was placed at the head of all three German firms belonging to ITT, who appointed SS leaders and other prominent Nazis {648} to leading positions in the boards of firms and enterprises .

If, through ITT, the Morgan house established control over many enterprises that produced telegraph and telephone equipment, as well as over the radio industry in Germany and extended its tentacles to the aircraft industry, then through another large American company, General Electric, it had close ties with the German electrical industry.

During the years of the fascist dictatorship, General Electric achieved complete control over Allgemeine Electricity Gesellschaft (AEG), the largest German electrical engineering concern with a capital of 120 million marks. Through the AEG, the General Electric firm acquired indirect control over a significant part of the German electrical industry, including [186] the well-known electrical concern Siemens, the Osram electric lamp company , etc. {649}

Thus, despite the fact that fascism within the United States was defeated, a part of the American monopolies adhered to the policy of assisting in arming Hitler's Germany. They bear a large share of the responsibility for the course of events that led to the world war.

3. Foreign policy support for the aggressive course of Germany by the ruling circles of England, the USA and France

The tactics of the Nazis in the field of foreign policy was to prevent the creation of a system of collective security of the peoples, for which the government of the USSR, supported by a number of statesmen of the capitalist countries, consistently fought. This tactic met with understanding and support in the ruling circles of the United States and Britain, and its adherents were influential in France as well.

With the coming to power of the Nazis in Germany, the governments of the Western powers saw a new opportunity for the foreign policy isolation of the Soviet Union by creating a bloc of major imperialist powers, including Nazi Germany. This course was reflected in the Pact of Four. The initiator of the pact was the fascist dictator of Italy, Mussolini, supported by British Prime Minister MacDonald and Foreign Minister Simon. In March 1933, the Italian ambassador in Berlin presented the draft pact to German Foreign Minister Neurath. The Hitlerite government received it with enthusiasm. After lengthy negotiations, during which the wishes of fascist Germany were taken into account, the “Pact of the Four” (a pact of agreement and cooperation between England, France, Germany and Italy) was signed in Rome on July 15, 1933.

Under a smoke screen of cooperation "for the purpose of maintaining peace" the four imperialist powers agreed to establish their diktat in Europe on an anti-Soviet basis, and to cooperate in political and in all other matters. In particular, the pact provided for a revision of the Versailles system of peace treaties, the recognition of Germany's equality of rights in arms, cooperation in European and non-European issues, including colonial {650}. Truly, this was a generous gift to Hitler, which significantly strengthened the position of Nazi Germany in the international arena. The pact meant a conspiracy between the governments of England and France with the fascist governments of Germany and Italy, the rejection of a collective rebuff to the aggressors and was aimed at removing the Soviet Union, which was actively fighting to curb the warmongers, from participating in resolving issues of European politics. The pact posed a great threat to the small states of Southeastern and Central Europe, which were in allied relations with France.

The "Pact of Four" also received approval and support in the US ruling circles. On June 9, 1933, in a government statement, he was characterized as a "good omen" {651} .

The governments of England and France believed that the "pact of four" would lead to the fulfillment of their long-standing desire - to create a directory [187] of four powers in Europe (led by the Anglo-French bloc) and turn the German military machine to the east.

However, the "Pact of Four" did not resolve the imperialist contradictions, especially the Franco-German ones. He did not eliminate France's interest in maintaining the Versailles system. Serious concerns were raised by the pact in the countries of the Little Entente and Poland. As early as March 1933, the conference of foreign ministers of the countries of the Little Entente opposed the draft "pact of four".

The Soviet Union gave an exhaustive political assessment of the pact and its inevitable consequences {652} . The revelation of the true meaning of the pact led to the fact that it was not ratified by France. However, although the "Pact of Four" did not formally enter into force, it had a detrimental effect on the subsequent development of international events. The pact contributed to the undermining of the system of French alliances in Europe and the growth of capitulatory and pro-German sentiments in the ruling circles of the countries of Central and South-Eastern Europe. He also played his part in encouraging the implementation by the Nazis of the program of militarization of the country and the preparation of an aggressive war.

The establishment of the fascist regime in Germany was positively received by the Vatican. On his instructions, the faction of the Catholic Center Party in the Reichstag voted for Hitler in March 1933, and then announced its own dissolution. By the way, one of the first successes of Hitler's diplomacy was an agreement (concordat) concluded with the Vatican on July 20, 1933, on behalf of Hitler by the fascist diplomat and international intelligence officer Papen. The Catholic Church received official protection and support from the Nazi government. In turn, Catholic priests were included in the system of "spiritual education" of the German people and the Wehrmacht in accordance with the chauvinist program of Nazism. The Concordat was the first open international recognition of the fascist terrorist regime in Germany.

The struggle against the Soviet Union, the world revolutionary and democratic movement served as the basis for collusion between the two most reactionary forces in the worldGerman fascism and the Vatican. In a conversation with the pope's secretary, Cardinal Pacelli {653} , Papen said that "the German government now has at its head a man who is an uncompromising opponent of communism and Russian nihilism in all its forms" {654} .

The non-aggression pact concluded by the Nazis with the ruling clique of bourgeois-landlord Poland also played an important role in the diplomatic preparations for the Second World War and in undermining the security of the peoples of Europe.

By the time the fascist dictatorship was established, German-Polish relations had reached extreme severity. During the entire period of the Weimar Republic, Polish-German customs conflicts did not stop.

According to the Treaty of Versailles (Article 87), a significant part of the Polish western lands remained with Germany. The governments of the United States, Britain and France, not wanting to satisfy Poland's legitimate demands for access to the sea, created the so-called "Polish Corridor", which was used by war provocateurs as a source of constant conflicts between Germany and Poland. The ancient Polish city of Gdansk (Danzig), [188] controlling the mouth of the Vistula, was declared a "free city" under the auspices of the League of Nations. The borders of Poland in the west, northwest and north were defined in such a way that Poland was strategically in the German pincers. East Prussia, the hotbed of German militarism and aggression, hung over Poland. More than 700,000 Germans who remained on the territory of Poland were used by the German imperialists for all sorts of provocations. The League of Nations, at almost every meeting, dealt with complaints from Germany about the situation of the German national minority in Poland.

Imperialist Germany never wanted to secure Poland's western frontiers. The German imperialists viewed the Polish state as temporary and called it "Saisonstaat" ("state for the season"). In Hitler's cannibal plans "drang nach Osten" one of the first places (after Austria and Czechoslovakia) was assigned to plans of aggression against Poland.

In the first speeches after the seizure of power, the leaders of Nazi Germany continued to demand the rejection of Polish territories. On February 12, 1933, Hitler said that the question of the "Polish corridor" should be resolved soon. In the same year, he demanded the transfer of Danzig and the "Polish Corridor" to Germany. With the help of the Nazis, the Danzig fascists captured the majority in the Senate of the "Free City", and Gauleiter Forster became President of the Senate.

Hitler staged a pompous demonstration in early 1933 at the tomb of Frederick II, the initiator of the partition of Poland, who said that it should be "peeled" like a head of cabbage, "leaf by leaf, city by city."

The German-Polish contradictions were widely used by the imperialist circles in the USA, Britain and France in their behind-the-scenes combinations. Soon articles appeared in the American and British press, and the book "Boiling Cauldron" was published in the United States, where the idea of ​​the expediency of transferring the "Polish corridor" to Germany in exchange for joining Lithuanian Klaipeda to Poland was persistently promoted. The constant contacts of the publisher of a number of English newspapers, Lord Rothermere, with German propaganda centers and his activities in favor of the transfer of Pomerania, Upper Silesia, Danzig and the "Polish Corridor" {655} to Germany encouraged the revanchist claims of German imperialism.

The Nazis tried to create the appearance of a change in their policy towards Poland. They resorted to a deceptive method: to lull the vigilance of the victim in order to use it as far as possible for their aggressive purposes, and then attack him.

The turn in the policy of the Nazis towards Poland corresponded to the plans of the Polish reaction. Although the seizure of power by the fascists in Germany and the encouragement of German aggression by the imperialists of England and France, which was especially confirmed by the signing of the "Pact of Four", created a great threat to Poland, the anti-popular ruling clique of Poland decided to use the new situation in their narrow class interests.

The bourgeois government of Poland pinned great hopes on the seizure of power by the Nazis in Germany. It believed that the long-awaited hour had come for a joint campaign with Germany against the Soviet Union. Therefore, the ruling clique of Poland rushed headlong into the arms of Nazi Germany.

On May 2, 1933, Hitler, in a conversation with the Polish ambassador Vysotsky, and then on November 15, at a meeting with the new ambassador Lipsky, spoke of Germany's desire to establish "friendly" relations with Poland. Playing on the anti-Soviet aspirations of Poland's ruling circles, Hitler, repeating [189] the words of Churchill and Clemenceau, declared that Poland was an outpost of Europe against Asia, "the guardian of the West against the penetration of communism from the East" {656} .

Soon a message was published on the termination of the German-Polish customs war and a German-Polish economic agreement was signed, which was extremely beneficial for Germany. Its signing took place on the day when Germany announced its withdrawal from the League of Nations. In Geneva, Polish Foreign Minister J. Beck continued behind-the-scenes negotiations with representatives of fascist Germany.

The German-Polish pact (for a period of 10 years) of January 26, 1934 with the official name "Declaration on the non-use of force between Poland and Germany" completed the deal. Both governments declared their desire to "open a new era in political relations between Poland and Germany", pledged "in no case to resort to the use of force in order to resolve disputed issues."

The German-Polish Pact was prepared by the entire previous anti-Soviet policy of the governments of Poland, Britain, France and the USA, which encouraged Germany to attack the Soviet Union. The pact became one of the major milestones on the road to World War II. The very fact of signing the treaty was beneficial to the German imperialists. It did not even mention the recognition by Germany of the inviolability of its eastern borders, which provided it with the possibility of further provocations against Czechoslovakia and Poland itself. The pact strengthened the internal and international position of German fascism. By announcing the end of the protracted German-Polish conflict, he helped the Nazis create a false impression of their peaceful aspirations and thereby mislead and weaken the vigilance of the peoples. He nullified the Franco-Polish alliance, weakened the position of France,{657} .

The pact inflicted serious damage on the idea of ​​collective security in Europe and helped Hitler to upset the ranks of its supporters. Germany acquired an ally in the government of Poland, which she used for her aggressive purposes: to undermine the disarmament conference and the League of Nations, to disrupt the measures put forward by the Soviet Union to maintain peace and create a system of collective security, to plan a war against the USSR. In their subversive activities in Europe, the Nazis made extensive use of Pilsud's J. Beck. West German historians write that the pact with Poland "justified itself for Hitler four years later, playing its part in his measures against Austria and Czechoslovakia" {658} .

As early as January 1934, the Soviet Union pointed out the danger of the German-Polish pact both for Poland itself and for peace in Europe. The Izvestia newspaper of November 29, 1934 warned that the pact undermined Poland's alliance with other countries and left "an isolated Poland face to face with fascist Germany. Will the non-aggression pact then be a sufficient basis for peaceful relations between the two countries? Will the question of the Polish-German border and of Polish-German relations in general not arise again, and not only in the diplomatic plane?

However, the Polish government did not heed these well-founded warnings. Disregarding the fundamental national interests [190] of the Polish people and state, the ruling clique of bourgeois-landowner Poland regarded the pact with fascist Germany as a decisive event in preparing for war against the Soviet Union.

In January 1934, Lipsky, the Polish ambassador to Germany, who signed the German-Polish pact on behalf of his government, told the French diplomat Rocha that now “there will never be any talk of any eastern Locarno. We warn Moscow about this. From now on, German expansion changes direction and purpose. We are calm. The fate of Austria and Bohemia no longer interests Poland...» {659} . The reactionary journalist Mackiewicz admitted that the Polish ruling clique viewed this agreement primarily as an anti-Soviet act. “Hitler’s agreement with Poland of January 26, 1934,” he wrote, “was the beginning of the German campaign against the Soviet Union with the active participation of Poland, with the neutrality of England and France” {660} .

After the war, Polish fascist emigre publicists tried to argue that in the current international situation of 1934, when England and France signed the "Pact of Four" with Germany and Italy, the Polish government seemed to have no choice but to conclude a pact with Hitler. Being enemies of the Soviet state, they deliberately keep silent about another possibility - rapprochement with the USSR, which would really guarantee the security of Poland. Signed as early as July 25, 1932, the Polish-Soviet non-aggression pact could become a real guarantee of Poland's independence. The Soviet Union persistently sought the establishment of friendly relations with Poland and made a number of specific proposals, but all its good intentions ran into a blank wall of anti-Sovietism.

In order to further draw Poland into anti-Soviet actions and use it to undermine security in Europe, the Nazis promised the Polish government territorial gains, especially at the expense of the Soviet Union. During the frequent trips of the leaders of Nazi Germany to Poland, plans for a joint war against the Soviet Union were discussed. The Nazis knew that the proposals for a joint war against the USSR would be approved by the ruling clique in Poland.

The plans for the war against the USSR were most fully and frankly discussed during Goering's visits to Poland in 1935 for the so-called "hunt" in Belovezhskaya Pushcha. The essence of these negotiations is set out in an official note by the then Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland, Count Szembek.

“Today I discussed with Mr. Lipsky the question of Goering's visit to Poland,” writes Schembek. - The ambassador claimed that during the conversations in Bialowieza and in Warsaw, Goering was very frank. Especially in a conversation with the generals, when he outlined far-reaching plans, hinting at an anti-Russian alliance and a joint attack on Russia. Goering made it clear that under these conditions Ukraine would become a Polish sphere of influence, and North-Western Russia a German one .

With the fascist dictator Piłsudski and President Mościcki, Goering had an even more frank conversation. He invited Piłsudski to take over the overall command of the combined German-Polish forces in the war against the USSR. The proposal was met with enthusiasm. [191] Thus, the question of a joint war against the Soviet Union was the basis of the German-Polish alliance and served as the bait with which Hitler managed to use the Polish ruling clique for his own purposes. The Polish government obediently followed in the wake of the policy of Nazi Germany and often even outstripped it in undermining the peace and security of the peoples of Europe.

Precisely because the Polish-German deal dealt a strong blow to the plans for organizing European security, it evoked approval in the ruling circles of the United States, Britain, and even France, who saw in the Polish-German pact a continuation of their own plans for the revival of German militarism and the encouragement of Germany's anti-Soviet policy. The Polish ambassador to the United States, Sokolovsky, reported to Warsaw that Assistant Secretary of State Philippe had expressed great interest and satisfaction in the development of German-Polish relations {662}

The ruling circles of England also pushed Poland to make a deal with Nazi Germany. Counselor of the Polish embassy in London Vselakia reported on his conversation on December 11, 1933 with two directors of departments of the British Foreign Office - Wigram and Kollner, who told him about the identity of the goals of the foreign policy of England and Poland, that the Foreign Office (British Foreign Office) "very well informed" about the Polish-German negotiations and that the British government agrees to put pressure on Lithuania with a view to its "unification with Poland" {663}. When the pact was signed, British Foreign Secretary Simon asked the Polish ambassador Skirmunt to convey to the Polish government on his own behalf and from the government gratitude on this occasion. He also said that he had instructed the ambassador in Berlin to bring Hitler the congratulations of the British government {664} . Despite the fact that the German-Polish pact created a gap in the system of French alliances in Europe, the extreme right circles in France, however, received the German-Polish deal with approval and regarded it as an example for France to follow. On November 25, 1933, the Polish ambassador in Paris, Khlapovsky, reported that “Que d'Orsay (as the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs is called after the name of the embankment on which it is located. - Ed.) Is satisfied with the outcome of the German-Polish reconciliation and expresses dissatisfaction only with the fact that that was not informed about the preparation of the final phase of the negotiations" {665} .

The German-Polish pact was also met with approval by the reactionary forces of other countries of the capitalist world. They saw in it a prototype of the future organization of international relations in Europe, an alternative to the policy of peace and the struggle for the creation of a system of collective security offered by progressive forces led by the Soviet Union.

In view of the fact that capitulatory elements were increasingly gaining the upper hand in the ruling circles of the Western powers, the Nazis decided to use the situation to further undermine the Versailles system, and in particular to annex the Saar. And this is understandable. For Hitler's plans for the rearmament of the country, the Saar region with its developed coal and metallurgical base was of great importance. [192] Through deception, blackmail and terror, the Nazis sought to convince the unemployed in the Saarland that they would be provided with work in Germany. Print, radio, cinema, theaters, mass spectacles, shop windows - everything was used to agitate for the annexation of the Saar to Germany. The results of the Saar plebiscite were influenced by the position of churchmen who called for voting for Nazi Germany. On the day of the plebiscite, January 13, 1935, armed Gestapo men were on duty at the ballot boxes. Hitler's agitation, terror, as well as the favorable position of England and France ensured the outcome of the plebiscite in favor of Germany. On March 1, the Saarland was annexed to the Reich. This was a major foreign policy success of the Nazis, achieved with the assistance of the governments of England and France. The annexation of the Saarland, an important strategic point on the border with France, strengthened the military and economic potential of Germany and contributed to the strengthening of the fascist regime. Fascist propaganda became even more openly demanding the return of other territories to Germany and the revision of the borders established by the Treaty of Versailles.

The Nazi demands for equality in armaments were supported by the monopolies and governments of a number of imperialist powers {666} . In order to legalize German armaments, international imperialist reaction used the Geneva Conference on Disarmament, which resumed its work in February 1932. Its participants rejected the constructive proposals of the Soviet delegation on general disarmament {667} .

The British government played a particularly unseemly role. It was on his initiative that back in December 1932, at a meeting of five powers (Great Britain, France, Italy, USA, Germany), convened in Geneva, an agreement was reached that Germany would be granted “the right of equality (to armament. - Ed. ) in a system that will ensure the safety of all nations" {668} . The agreement effectively freed Germany from compliance with the Treaty of Versailles.

Some historians point out that even in the early 1930s, when France was a stronger military power than Germany, its statesmen did not want to completely oppose the influence of British politics. For fear of setting England against itself, France not only passively watched the rearmament of Germany, but in December 1932 Herriot, under pressure from MacDonald, granted Germany equality in arms, and in 1933 Daladier initialed the four-power pact conceived by MacDonald and Mussolini, which even Reynaud called "the first act of appeasement" {669} .

In the spring of 1933, the British government submitted to the disarmament conference the so-called MacDonald Plan, which provided for an increase in the German army from 100,000 to 200,000 men with a short-term service of soldiers (up to eight months). The plan was also supported by the American government. Feeling the connivance of the Western [193] powers, Germany increased its demands, then, referring to the refusal of the League of Nations to recognize its equal right to arms, on October 14, 1933, announced its withdrawal from the League of Nations and the withdrawal from the disarmament conference. A new step towards the legalization of German weapons by the governments of the Western powers was made during the Franco-British negotiations in early February 1935. In the official communiqué on the results of the negotiations, a proposal was put forward on the need for cooperation with Germany and the conclusion of a number of agreements, among which the Western Air Convention was the most important ( "Air Locarno") with the participation of England, France, Germany, Italy and Belgium. Convinced that the Western powers agreed to the legalization of German weapons, the Nazis on March 10, 1935 openly announced the creation of the German air force. But even this violation of the Treaty of Versailles did not disturb the governments of England and France.

The unilateral termination by Germany of the military articles of the Treaty of Versailles meant a violation of one of the most important foundations of the post-war peace settlement. Germany proclaimed that she was moving to an accelerated pace of rearmament, to preparing for war. Such an act dealt a blow to the security of the peoples of Europe. However, Western countries did not resist. The note of the British government dated March 18, 1935, contained only a ghostly hint of protest. At the same time, the British government announced that it was not postponing Simon's visit to Germany. As E. Kordt, a former adviser at the German embassy in London, admits, "Hitler concluded from this that no more serious opposition should be expected from the British side" {670} .

The French government, which was more sensitive to German rearmament, proposed that the matter be referred to the League of Nations. The efforts of the Nazis thus received more and more support from the reactionary circles in England, which directed British foreign policy. As Ribbentrop said at the Nuremberg trials, Hitler proceeded from the fact that, "considering the changed situation in Europe and the rapid strengthening of Russia, England now wants to see a strong Germany."

Having received sanction for unlimited armaments from the largest European power, Great Britain, and relying on the help of American monopolies, fascist Germany considered it possible to begin the implementation of its aggressive plans.

Not a few bourgeois scholars ask the question: "How could this happen?" They have in mind the aid of the USA, Britain, and France to Hitlerite Germany. The American historian E. Bennett writes: “Now we have documentary evidence from the German archives, which show the unconditional desire of the government (Hitler. - Ed.) to change the existing order. However, the Allies had evidence of this even then - in the reports of the attache, in speeches in the Reichstag, in the German press. It was not the lack of evidence, but rather the inability to realize their importance» {671} .

Inability or unwillingness? Mistake or crime? It has long been said: the best judge is the time. The experience of history, paid for by grief, torment, [194] the blood and lives of many millions of people, irrefutably testifies that the then policy of encouraging fascism on the part of the governments of the Western powers was completely vicious.

The main trends in the development of capitalism after the First World War confirmed the historical correctness and scientific foresight of Lenin's theory of imperialism, its most important proposition that war is rooted in the very essence of the capitalist world.

The reactionary historians of Germany, the USA and England are trying to remove from the agenda of historical science the study of the processes of the origin of war, which involves the disclosure of the deep contradictions of capitalism. An analysis of these contradictions undermines the main basis for the interpretation of the history of the Second World War by falsifiers, who claim that it arose by chance, due to the action of not fundamental, but incidental factors. The reactionary historians of the FRG {672} strive to refute the indisputable truth that the main driving force in the preparation of the war was the influential circles of German monopoly capital, to hide the interconnection of fascism, its policy and ideology with the entire system of imperialism.

Many bourgeois authors try to present fascism as an extra-class phenomenon that has nothing in common with the big bourgeoisie. E. Nolte in his book "The Age of Fascism" wrote that fascism is defined primarily by "relatively classless appearance" {673} and that it has never been "the main brainchild of the aristocracy and the big bourgeoisie" {674} . To whitewash monopoly capital, Nolte is ready to blame fascism. W. Troye in 1966 argued that only a few industrialists sought to establish contact with Hitler and the Nazi Party {675} and that even before they came to power in Germany, influential groups of Ruhr industrialists were frightened by "Hitlerian totalitarianism" {676} .

However, the documents that became widely known in the post-war period indicate that those who in 1932 signed the letter addressed to Hindenburg transferring power to Hitler stood on the captain's bridge of the German policy that led to the war {677}. Reactionary historiography seeks in every possible way to discredit the Marxist-Leninist assessment of the essence of fascism and to prove the absence of its organic connection with the main trends in the development of state-monopoly capital, which put the system of capitalist regulation at the service of the Hitlerite totalitarian regime {678} . [195]

The economic origins of the Second World War were laid in the ever-deepening conflict between the social nature of production and the private capitalist form of appropriation, in the uneven development of the capitalist countries, the significant strengthening of various forms of militarism under state-monopoly capitalism, the formation of all-powerful financial and industrial associations that divided the world economically, the aggravation competition in international markets.

Preparations for war found expression in a whole system of economic, scientific, technical, social and ideological measures in the emerging groupings of the opposing capitalist countries. These measures led to a one-sided development of the economy, an increase in its mobility and military capabilities, a concentration of strategic raw materials and labor in the interests of the arms race, a high degree of subordination of scientific research and development work to military goals, and state financing of monopolies that produced military equipment.

As the factors that led to military conflict matured, significant shifts took place in the socio-political system of the imperialist states, in the alignment and correlation of their internal class forces. The democratic freedoms won by the struggle of the working class were gradually abolished, and a broad offensive was launched against the communist parties and the mass organizations of the working people. Military dictatorial regimes were established in a number of countries, measures were taken to strengthen the social base of militarism and the military, and the state apparatus was subordinated to military-industrial monopolies and military leadership. The more the pace of the military-militarist machine accelerated, the more clearly the tendency to growth of political reaction along all lines was revealed.

It was during this period that fascism, the most dangerous weapon of the most reactionary and militant circles of monopoly capital, appeared at the forefront of history. Fascism became the main counter-revolutionary and anti-democratic force that threatened humanity with the incalculable calamities of a world war.