These men were each triumphant in their rise to power in their countries and they were very comparable in the ways that they succeeded.
Share via Email Molotov signs the non-aggression pact in the presence of Ribbentrop left and Stalin. Stalin knew the pact would not be popular.
And now, all of a sudden, are we to make our peoples believe that all is forgotten and forgiven? The front garden of Nazi party headquarters in Munich was quickly filled with party badges and insignia thrown there by party members appalled at the thought of an alliance with the communist enemy they had spent their lives fighting against.
His attack on Finland was initially repulsed in the "Winter War", but numbers told in the end, and an uneasy peace was reached, marked by Soviet annexations of Finnish territory in the east of the country.
Further south, the Soviets seized Bessarabia and northern Bukovina from the Romanians. These events are hardly "largely unknown", as Roger Moorhouse claims in his new book, nor are they "dismissed as a dubious anomaly" in the standard histories of the second world war.
And alliance indeed it was. For Hitler, the pact provided a guarantee that he could invade first Poland, then France and most of the rest of western Europe, without having to worry about any threat from the east.
For Stalin, it allowed a breathing space in which to build up armed forces that had been severely damaged by the purges of the previous years, as his botched invasion of Finland showed. It also gave him the chance to expand the Soviet Union to include parts of the old Russian empire of pre-revolutionary times.
Moorhouse is right, therefore, to insist that for Stalin the pact was not merely defensive, though he goes too far when he claims it was a golden opportunity for the Soviet leader "to set the world-historical forces" of revolution in motion.
Yet for all its virtues this is a deeply problematic book. Page after page is devoted to a detailed description of the horrors inflicted by Stalin and his minions on the territories the pact allowed him to occupy, with mass arrests and deportatations, shootings, torture and expropriation.
The shooting of thousands of Polish army officers by the Soviet secret police in Katyn Forest and elsewhere has been well known for decades, like the brutal deportation of over a million Poles to Siberia and Central Asia, but much of the material provided by Moorhouse on the Baltic states is relatively new and makes sobering reading.
None of this, however, is balanced by any comparable treatment of the atrocities committed by the Nazis in Poland following their occupation of the western part of the country: If the pact allowed Stalin to visit his murderous policies on the Baltic states, it also permitted Hitler to do the same with the much larger and more heavily populated countries he invaded in western Europe at the same time, and even more so in the areas of southern Europe he conquered early in Moorhouse devotes considerable attention to the Soviet attempt to cover up the Katyn massacre, but fails to mention the deliberate killing of Red Army troops taken prisoner by the Germans.
The book ends by praising the European Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Stalinism and Nazism, instituted by the EU in at the behest of the Baltic states, and held every year on 23 August, the anniversary of the signing of the pact.
It is written very much in the spirit of the founding declaration of this "Black Ribbon Day", whose 19 points focus almost exclusively on Soviet atrocities while sparing barely a thought for Nazi ones.
This reflects the post-communist mood in the Baltic states, where SS veterans are hailed as "freedom fighters" against the Russians and are allowed to parade unhindered through the streets of Tallinn. Yet, in the end, brutal and murderous though Stalinism was, Nazism visited even greater horrors on humanity with its policies of the genocidal elimination of the "inferior" and the "Jewish world enemy".
The Red Army might not have liberated these countries inbut it certainly rescued them. Readers of this thoroughly biased and one-sided account of the Nazi-Soviet pact will have to look for these basic facts elsewhere.Jun 25, · In part two, Stephen Kotkin, author of Stalin: Waiting for Hitler, –, discusses the relationship between Joseph Stalin and Adolf Hitler leading up to and throughout World War II.
During the period leading up to World War II, there were two men who were on opposing sides, the men were Adolph Hitler and Joseph Stalin. These men were each triumphant in their rise to power in their countries and they were very comparable in the ways that they succeeded.
Their success was mostly attributed to their new ideas and their politics. Watch video · Leading up to World War II. Hitler and Soviet leader Joseph Stalin signed the German-Soviet Nonaggression Pact, which incited a frenzy of .
World War II casualties of the Soviet Union So, as you can see - merely a philosophy of elitism, taken to extreme enabled all of these atrocities, and Adolf Hitler was the leader of that movement. Thus, he is .
Conflict. The pact between Hitler and Stalin that paved the way for World War II was signed 75 years ago. Adolf Hitler was the Nazi leader of Germany during World War II, and Joseph Stalin was the Communist leader of the Soviet Union during World War II. Though both men were harsh dictators, the ideologies they functioned under were different.