German-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact
|Treaty of Non-Aggression between Germany and the Soviet Union|
|Molotov signs the German–Soviet non-aggression pact. Behind him are Ribbentrop and Stalin.|
|Signed||August 23, 1939|
|Location||Moscow, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union|
|Signatories|| Soviet Union|
National Socialist Germany
|Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact at Wikisource|
The German-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact also called the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact and the Hitler-Stalin Pact was an agreement signed on August 23, 1939 in which National Socialist Germany and Soviet Union would never attack one another and would support each other if attacked by a third party.
In addition, the treaty permitted Germany to invade and annex most of Poland; and allowed the Soviet Union, in return, to invade certain states (almost all of which territory had been in Imperial Russia prior to 1918):
This was followed by Soviet annexations of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Bessarabia, Northern Bukovina and the Hertza region. (Later there would also be Soviet aggression against Finland although this was not in the Pact.) This enraged many foreign (non-Soviet) Communists (notably in France), being disgusted with these dealings by parties on the opposite ends of the political landscape. Many members resigned.
Poland was firstly invaded by Germany after numerous Polish provocations and anti-German atrocities in Poland, and then by the Soviets who occupied approx one third of the east of the country. The Pact stayed in effect until intelligence gathered by Germany showed that the Soviet Union was preparing the ground for an attack against Germany by 1943 at the latest. Germany therefore invaded the Soviet Union in Operation Barbarossa on June 22, 1941.
- Suvorov, Victor, The Chief Culprit: Stalin's Grand Design to Start World War II (2013)