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Article Review #2 - Essay Example

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The central theme of the article is the Nazi-Soviet nonaggression pact of 1939, which occurred about a week prior to its attack on Poland and the outbreak of World War II. It discusses the history, terms, context and purpose of the treaty it involved including the economic…
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Article Review #2
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Download file to see previous pages The writer is the author of several books on German and Soviet history during the World War II period, so he draws upon a thorough knowledge of the history of the region and period concerned but does also make use of some other valuable sources such as foreign affairs documents.
In On August 22, 1939, Adolf Hitler directed his foreign minister, Joachim von Ribbentrop, to go to Moscow for a nonaggression pact with Soviet Union involving the signing of a treaty and a secret protocol for immediate effect. The German delegation conversed with Stalin and his commissar for foreign affairs at the Kremlin, and “an agreement was reached on all points”. The pact, to initially last ten years, and the secret protocol were both signed, and this occasion was celebrated as it marked a new era of German-Soviet friendship. The terms stipulated that neither country would attack the other subject to certain conditions. The secret protocol carved Europe into German and Soviet spheres of interest. Some remaining details were settled a month later along with another friendship treaty, “later supplemented by a boundary protocol”, “a confidential agreement on the exchange of populations across the borders separating the Soviet and German spheres in Eastern Europe”, a secret protocol pertaining to non-tolerance of Polish agitation, and extensions of several economic agreements.
These agreements were seen as providing “the Germans with a green light for an attack on Poland”, and whereas previous nonaggression pacts signed by the Soviets were invalidated in the case of either party attacking a third country, this was not the case in this pact. Moreover, the economic agreements were designed to maintain the German war effort through acquisition of raw materials, and enabling Germany to concentrate all its forces on the western front. It is pertinent to note that the friendship was actually “cemented with blood” given that both had attacked and divided Poland ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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