Pit One Side Against the Other - Stalin's 1939 Plan for Soviet Domination of Europe

Discussions on all aspects of the USSR, from the Russian Civil War till the end of the Great Patriotic War and the war against Japan. Hosted by Art.
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wm
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Re: Pit One Side Against the Other - Stalin's 1939 Plan for Soviet Domination of Europe

Post by wm » 08 May 2021 21:05

Russian not needed. How it was, from the "Soviet Mein Kampf" (i.e., the Short Course), actually in comparison Mein Kampf is a child play.
4. LIQUIDATION OF THE REMNANTS OF THE BUKHARIN-TROTSKY GANG OF SPIES, WRECKERS AND TRAITORS TO THE COUNTRY.

In 1937, new facts came to light regarding the fiendish crimes of the Bukharin-Trotsky gang. The trial of Pyatakov, Radek and others, the trial of Tukhachevsky, Yakir and others, and, lastly, the trial of Bukharin, Rykov, Krestinsky, Rosengoltz and others, all showed that the Bukharinites and Trotskyites had long ago joined to form a common band of enemies of the people, operating as the "Bloc of Rights and Trotskyites."

The trials showed that these dregs of humanity, in conjunction with the enemies of the people, Trotsky, Zinoviev and Kamenev, had been in conspiracy against Lenin, the Party and the Soviet state ever since the early days of the October Socialist Revolution. The insidious attempts to thwart the Peace of Brest-Litovsk at the beginning of 1918 the plot against Lenin and the conspiracy with the "Left" Socialist-Revolutionaries for the arrest and murder of Lenin, Stalin and Sverdlov in the spring of 1918, the villainous shot that wounded Lenin in the summer of 1918, the revolt of the "Left" Socialist-Revolutionaries in the summer of 1918, the deliberate aggravation of differences in the Party in 1921 with the object of undermining and overthrowing Lenin"s leadership from within, the attempts to overthrow the Party leadership during Lenin"s illness and after his death, the betrayal of state secrets and the supply of information of an espionage character to foreign espionage services, the vile assassination of Kirov, the acts of wrecking, diversion and explosions, the dastardly murder of Menzhinsky, Kuibyshev and Gorky—all these and similar villainies over a period of twenty years were committed, it transpired, with the participation or under the direction of Trotsky, Zinoviev, Kamenev, Bukharin, Rykov and their henchmen, at the behest of espionage services of bourgeois states.

The trials brought to light the fact that the Trotsky-Bukharin fiends, in obedience to the wishes of their masters—the espionage services of foreign states—had set out to destroy the Party and the Soviet state, to undermine the defensive power of the country, to assist foreign military intervention, to prepare the way for the defeat of the Red Army, to bring about the dismemberment of the U.S.S.R., to hand over the Soviet Maritime Region to the Japanese, Soviet Byelorussia to the Poles, and the Soviet Ukraine to the Germans, to destroy the gains of the workers and collective farmers, and to restore capitalist slavery in the U.S.S.R.

These Whiteguard pigmies, whose strength was no more than that of a gnat, apparently flattered themselves that they were the masters of the country, and imagined that it was really in their power to sell or give away the Ukraine, Byelorussia and the Maritime Region.

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Re: Pit One Side Against the Other - Stalin's 1939 Plan for Soviet Domination of Europe

Post by Art » 09 May 2021 08:17

wm wrote:
08 May 2021 15:05
According to communist ideology, all bourgeois nations were evil, led by inherently hostile toward socialism classes.
Some of them might appear relatively less dangerous but according to the cornerstone of Stalinism the "aggravation of the class struggle" they would eventually become a deadly threat anyway, it was only a matter of time.

From that point, it was absurd to help any bourgeois nation - "pit one side against the other" was the only proper, the only moral way.
That's a kind of caricature of the "communist ideology", I'm afraid. On a rhetorical level both Comintern and Soviet officials in 1935-1939 stressed the difference between "aggressive" or "fascist" nations and "nonagressive" or "peaceful" or "democratic" nations. The threat of war was thought to come from the first, whereas cooperation or alliance with the second group was considered useful and advisable. Profitable or even friendly relations with bourgeois nations were considered possible as far as they rested on the basis of mutual interests. According to Stalin (March 1939):
"We stand for peace and the strengthening of business ties with all countries, we stand and will stand on this position, as long as these countries maintain the same relations with the Soviet Union, as long as they not try to violate the interests of our country."
Finally, according to the "ideology" struggle for national liberation or anti-colonial struggle was a moral and progressive thing, even when it was fought by bourgeois politicians and under bourgeois slogans.
On a practical level the Communist government had no problems lending assistance to Kemal in Turkey or Chang in China, even though the latter had been fighting communists in previous years.

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Re: Pit One Side Against the Other - Stalin's 1939 Plan for Soviet Domination of Europe

Post by ljadw » 09 May 2021 11:48

OTOH ...
It is questionable to use Stalin's/Hitler's words as indications for their policy .Between 1929 and 1939 there was a general war paranoia in the USSR,because,they were convinced that capitalism was collapsing and that the only way for capitalism to survive, was to attack the USSR .
I doubt very much that the USSR made any difference between aggressive and non aggressive capitalist countries and based its economic relations on such a difference .They sold oil to fascist Italy,to Japan ,to all countries which were willing to buy their oil .They had to : they were the only communist state in the world .
Other point : economic relations do not mean that the ideological hostility has disappeared :
when Mussolini attacked Ethiopia,Stalin continued to sell him oil .
when the Soviets invaded Afghanistan, Carter stopped to sell them grain and ..lost the elections .His successor,Reagan, started the grain exports to the USSR again. This does not mean that Reagan was a crypto-communist .

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Re: Pit One Side Against the Other - Stalin's 1939 Plan for Soviet Domination of Europe

Post by Steve » 09 May 2021 17:54

When Hitler wrote Mein Kampf wm he was a private citizen in Landsberg jail therefore to write “let’s attack Russia” would have seemed strange indeed to a German reader in a Germany with a 100,000 man army.

And so, we National Socialists consciously draw a line beneath the foreign policy tendency of our pre–War period. We take up where we broke off six hundred years ago. We stop the endless German movement to the south and west, and turn our gaze toward the land in the East. At long last, we break off the colonial and commercial policy of the pre–War period and shift to the soil policy of the future.
If we speak of soil in Europe today, we can primarily have in mind only Russia and her vassal border states.
Taken from Mein Kampf Vol.2 Chapter 14. I presume you did not read this quote from Mein Kampf the first time I posted it.

If this does not satisfy you with regard to how Hitler thought of Russia then nothing will. The events of 1941 would seem to show that he never changed his mind. I would completely agree with the quote from Nicolaus von Below. Was the slogan “Britain will be defeated in Russia” plastered all over Germany before or after Hitler attacked Russia?

Are you saying wm that Stalin always acted according to his communist ideology and did not make decisions based on realpolitik?

I’m sure Voroshilov did phone Stalin because though Voroshilov had the authority to sign he would never have signed anything without checking with Stalin. At the start Voroshilov put his written authority on the table and asked to see the French and British. Doumenec showed a letter of authority couched apparently in vague terms while Drax the British negotiator according to Doumenec was “extremely embarrassed and coughing” and “after a long pause” replied he had none. Given that the French had no offensive plans against Germany the British were unable to decide if they wanted an agreement or not and the Poles refused to cooperate no wonder Stalin did a deal with Hitler.

Danzig is not Polish today because Poland won the war, Poland lost the war.
Last edited by Steve on 09 May 2021 18:01, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Pit One Side Against the Other - Stalin's 1939 Plan for Soviet Domination of Europe

Post by wm » 09 May 2021 18:00

Art wrote:
09 May 2021 08:17
According to Stalin (March 1939):
"We stand for peace and the strengthening of business ties with all countries, we stand and will stand on this position, as long as these countries maintain the same relations with the Soviet Union, as long as they not try to violate the interests of our country."

Empty words, the nine condition of the Communist International required:
Every party ... must systematically and persistently develop communist activities within the trades unions, workers’ and works councils, the consumer co-operatives and other mass workers’ organisations.
Within these organisations, it is necessary to organise communist cells which are to win the trades unions etc. for the cause of communism by incessant and persistent work.
So an alliance but with the goal to gain control of it.
Temporary alliances, to achieve some intermediate goal, of course, were allowed - the revolution was won thanks to temporary alliances, but after a few years all the temporary allies were all destroyed.

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Re: Pit One Side Against the Other - Stalin's 1939 Plan for Soviet Domination of Europe

Post by wm » 09 May 2021 18:05

Steve wrote:
09 May 2021 17:54
When Hitler wrote Mein Kampf wm he was a private citizen in Landsberg jail therefore to write “let’s attack Russia” would have seemed strange indeed to a German reader.
But we must stop at no sacrifice in our effort to destroy the French wasn't strange?
Did he ever say “let’s attack Russia” pre-1940?
Steve wrote:
09 May 2021 17:54
Are you saying wm that Stalin always acted according to his communist ideology and did not make decisions based on realpolitik?
Stalinism was realpolitik - quite good and efficient.

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Re: Pit One Side Against the Other - Stalin's 1939 Plan for Soviet Domination of Europe

Post by Steve » 09 May 2021 19:37

“Did he ever say “let’s attack Russia” pre-1940?”

“Germany would have to adapt herself to a purely commercial policy, avoiding harm to English interests. The destruction of Russia with the help of England would have to be attempted. Russia would give Germany sufficient land for German settlers and a wide field of activity for German industry. Then England would not interrupt us in our reckoning with France”.
Conversation with Eduard Scharrer co-owner of the Munchner Neueste Nachrichten December 1922.

Source is Hitler 1989 – 1936 Hubris by Ian Kershaw page 247 and his source is Eberhart Jackel and Axel KKuhn (eds) Samleche Aufzeichnungen 1905 – 1924. Stuttgard 1980.

Hitler wanted to destroy Bolshevik Russia but this ambition would have been shared with lots of politicians after WW1. The difference with Hitler was he also wanted to annex large areas and settle these areas with German settlers.

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Re: Pit One Side Against the Other - Stalin's 1939 Plan for Soviet Domination of Europe

Post by wm » 09 May 2021 21:26

That's a pre-Mein-Kampf statement, early and fully idiotic - England wasn't going to invade Russia with Hitler, ever. England wasn't going to allow Hitler to destroy France, ever.

Hitler was much better political than that. He didn't do anything without reason - and there was no reason to destroy Bolshevism - because the re-emerging Russia would be a natural ally of France and Britain and that would the end of his plans.

Of course, he had nothing against gaining some territory in the East but not at the price of a devastating and uncertain war with a country so much larger and so much populous.

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Re: Pit One Side Against the Other - Stalin's 1939 Plan for Soviet Domination of Europe

Post by Steve » 09 May 2021 22:31

Surely you haven't forgotten wm that you asked did Hitler ever say let's attack Russia pre-1940. I have given you an examplew what more can you possibly want, Hitler's spirit to come back in a seance perhaps and tell us.

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Re: Pit One Side Against the Other - Stalin's 1939 Plan for Soviet Domination of Europe

Post by wm » 10 May 2021 10:59

Here (still inexperienced) Hitler postulates an international intervention (in the vein of the Eight-Nation Alliance that pacified China), it's not "let's attack Russia" (because I hate it.)

Bolshevism was perceived as an existential threat to Western civilization, and it was a real internal threat to Germany.
Additionally, Hitler identified two major benefits: resulting neutralization of Britain and German domination of Eastern Europe.
Although pure fantasy it was good rational thinking - minimal costs, minimal risk (because international), huge benefits.

Both Hitler (at least till he seemingly lost his mojo in 1938) and Stalin was rational politicians.
For Hitler "let's attack Russia" in 1939 would give nothing, it would be an irrational act (and Stalin knew that), similarly for Stalin the even less rational and actually bizarre "let's help Poland for free" (and Hitler knew that.)

Both ideas would result in huge costs, huge risks, uncertain benefits.
They were much better politicians than that and actually represented their countries interests well.

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