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Old November 18th, 2012, 12:02 PM   #31

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In my opinion, and probably we agree on that, National Socialism in many aspects was worse than Communism even in its Stalinistic version. Strangely however, for the average German, it was easier to bear than Stalinism for the average Soviet citizen. If you were not Jewish/ homosexual/ politically interested/ resistant etc., life was not that bad in Germany at least until 1943/44. In the Soviet Union, you never knew when the NKVD was waking you up in the middle of the night. However I seriously doubt that A.H. really loved his people; at least in his last orders and his testament he showed nothing but disdain for Germany.



One could also argue that the Soviet Union in 1939/40 only took back what was taken from them after WWI. Poland was divided between Germany and the Soviet Union approximately along the Curzon line, and actually the Poles were in the minority in the Eastern part of their territory. Finland and the Baltic states have been under Russian influence for much of their existence. Nevertheless, the invasion and occupation of these countries was not justified and was part of the beginning of WWII.



There is probably no second country that took a 180 turn like Germany, but then there is also no crime that is equal to the Holocaust. Morality aside, I am not sure whether such a 180 turn is good for a nation. If you come to the US as a new citizen, the first thing you learn is to be proud of America and its achievements. In Germany, the first thing you have to learn is to feel ashamed. Not a good start for building the future.
Hard to tell, but I would assume things changed for worse for the Germans by 1942, because the Eastern front was already hard on their economy. It took Speer to make it work till 1943. But of course, you know better. As to Stalin...yes, he was persistently restoring the borders of pre-revolutionary Russia. At that time an
d later, there was a rumor that he was an illegitimate son of Alexander III. Was this tale concocted for him? By him? Knowing his grandiosity, I wonder if he believed it. And acted as "the heir".

A.H.'s testament was written by a seriously ill person, perhaps on drugs. Yes, by that time he already killed his generals and said, "such nation does not deserve to live" about his own people. But such Hitler was a ruin. Such Hitler could have never come to power.

A young German colleague of mine said "the Germans are a nation without its own history".
Which she learned to live with, and I assume it was the nation's way to cope with historic guilt. But trust me, these days America is so much divided, even about its history. I live in a "blue" state, things are taught different here. Some even remind that, BTW, Thanksgiving is the day of mourning for the Native Americans. Things have changed.
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Old November 18th, 2012, 12:13 PM   #32

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did not Russia have a 'hand' in helping Germany start the war by having the pact with Germany?
Yes. With the Russo-German non aggression pact, it gave the Russians time to open an old wound against the Finns. I believe Stalin figured there would be war between the Russians and the Germans eventually, but I don't believe he figured it was going to be so soon.
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Old November 18th, 2012, 03:39 PM   #33
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Interestingly, the Western powers of France and the UK were not really opposed against the expansion of the Soviet Union - thus they declared war on Germany alone, and so Germany became the sole culprit.
Technically, Poland was not in state of War with Soviet Union also. After 17th of September SU invasion of Poland, there was no official declaration of War from Soviet side.
Poland also did not declare state of war, I can not explain why.
In such unclear legal situation, there were no legal bases for France and UK to declare war on Soviet Union.
However, both France and UK has been planning to send military contingent to Finland during the Winter War but the planning was from beginning on a very shaking ground assuming that Norway and Sweden will allow free passage of Allied troops through their territory. End of Winter War put end tho this scheme.
Most of the troops earmarked for this intervention have been used in Norway instead.
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Old November 18th, 2012, 08:45 PM   #34

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Technically, Poland was not in state of War with Soviet Union also. After 17th of September SU invasion of Poland, there was no official declaration of War from Soviet side.
Poland also did not declare state of war, I can not explain why.
In such unclear legal situation, there were no legal bases for France and UK to declare war on Soviet Union.
However, both France and UK has been planning to send military contingent to Finland during the Winter War but the planning was from beginning on a very shaking ground assuming that Norway and Sweden will allow free passage of Allied troops through their territory. End of Winter War put end tho this scheme.
Most of the troops earmarked for this intervention have been used in Norway instead.
The declaration of war by Poland on USSR wouldn't affect the Allies much due they weren't bound to defend Poland from anyone but Germany. Talking about the other Soviet aggression - against Finland, the Allies clearly planned to knock Soviets out in 1940. I'm always wondering what would have happened if the Germany delayed the French campaign for few days.

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Old November 18th, 2012, 09:09 PM   #35
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Back to the OP, we have already been here more than once.

Strictly speaking, Herr Hitler and Uncle Joe were never allies.
Period.

Please allow yours truly to quote myself from a related thread:
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... Any military alliance implies common military operations against common enemies; even the case of the (still nominally neutral) US & the UK previous to Pearl Harbor for the Battle of the Atlantic might reasonably qualify.

So far it seems no hard evidence has been shown here on such being the case for the III Reich & the SU in 1939-1941.

"Offered" contributions were by definition theoretical, not actual; that seems to include even Basis Nord.

In practice, the respective German & Soviet agendas were utterly different and often even contradictory.

Specifically in Poland 1939, not only was the Soviet advance of no "help" tor the German Fall Weiss, but it actually obstructed its advance and even made the Wehrmacht to peacefully deliver some critical conquered fortesses to the Soviets (AFAIK, a one in a lifetime event).

The Soviet conquest of the Baltic Republica also obstructed any firthe German advance, e.g. like Memel (Lithuania was actually on the "German side" accpording to their original mutual pact).

The Winter War was another eloquent example of the absolute absence of any common objectives between the aforementioned purported "allies" on virtually any single aspect.

Not to mention the Soviet involvement in the Balkans, notoriously the conquest of Romanian territory, which couldn't have been any more a nuisance for the III Reich,

The SU was of course objectively more hostile to the western allies than to Germany during this period, but that itself is extremely far from any military alliance. The deliberately equivocal term "semi-alliance" has been sometimes used for this actually not so rare diplomatic status. I guess that might still be an option that would avoid any unnecessary academic confusion on this issue.

Far as I can tell, the R-M Pact was objectively no military alliance; it was just an attempt of a peacefuld delimitation of spheres of influence between two active imperialist powers...

Last but not least, please everybody note that the aforementioned tautology couldn't even remotely modify any ethical assessment on any totalitarian dictator involved.
AFAIK this summary is still perfectly valid.

The thread in question is here http://www.historum.com/war-military...tml#post930884

It is a really long thread (34 pages) but even so it may be worth reading it for anyone truly interested on this fascinating issue, as the posts from yours truly and several distinguished Historumites often included abundant relevant hard evidence on this issue.

Hope this stuff may be useful here.
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Old November 18th, 2012, 10:37 PM   #36
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The declaration of war by Poland on USSR wouldn't affect the Allies much due they weren't bound to defend Poland from anyone but Germany. Talking about the other Soviet aggression - against Finland, the Allies clearly planned to knock Soviets out in 1940. I'm always wondering what would have happened if the Germany delayed the French campaign for few days.

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Finns would have to resist little bit longer. However with Red Army overwhelming superiority in men and equipment, it was not possible so all planning went back to shelf. Subsequent invasion of Norway and France changed the picture completly.
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Old November 19th, 2012, 03:31 AM   #37
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Yes. With the Russo-German non aggression pact, it gave the Russians time to open an old wound against the Finns. I believe Stalin figured there would be war between the Russians and the Germans eventually, but I don't believe he figured it was going to be so soon.
the Russo-Finn war was after the pact?
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Old November 19th, 2012, 03:50 AM   #38

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the Russo-Finn war was after the pact?
Yes, 3 months later.
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Old November 19th, 2012, 04:52 AM   #39

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Talking about the other Soviet aggression - against Finland, the Allies clearly planned to knock Soviets out in 1940. I'm always wondering what would have happened if the Germany delayed the French campaign for few days.
Nothing would have happened. Allied "help" to Finland was not so much aimed against USSR as it was aimed at Swedish ore supplies to Germany. Brits largely wanted to intervene in Finland without triggering direct hostilities against Soviets. War in Finland was more of an useful pretext for establishing presence in Scandinavia and either to drag Germans to war there or cut their iron ore supplies.

In any case, there was no way Allies could intervene in Finland because both Norway and Sweden refused to even give Allies permission to transfer their troops through their territory. Germans made it clear to both Norwegians and Swedes that any Allied soldier on their territory would equal German invasion of both Norway and Sweden.

Last edited by arras; November 19th, 2012 at 05:17 AM.
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Old November 19th, 2012, 05:00 AM   #40

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One could also argue that the Soviet Union in 1939/40 only took back what was taken from them after WWI.
One could not, Grimald, unless "one" equals Soviet perspective.

These territories - called "Kresy" (borderlands) in Polish - had been linked with Poland ever since 1386, when Lithuanian Grand Duke Jogailla married the Polish Queen Jadwiga. They formed part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth up till 1795, when the state was destroyed and partitioned by three imperial neighbours: Prussia, Austria and Russia.

Prior to the partitions of 1795, these Lithuanian and Ruthenian (Ukrainian and Belarusian) lands had never been part of Muscovy.

The Tzarist rule lasted approximately 120 years.

The political connection of Kresy with Poland lasted approximately 400 years. The cultural connection - in spite of Partitions - for 600 years.

By 1939, Ukrainians and (to a lesser extent) Belarussians had developed strong determination to form their own separate states, independent of both of Poland and of USSR. They had every right to do so and their wish should have been respected. Russia, however, had no claim to these lands - unless one argues that anything you've once stolen is your rightful property.

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Poland was divided between Germany and the Soviet Union approximately along the Curzon line
The "Curzon line" was proposed in the wake of World War I by the Allied Supreme Council for the Allies' convenience. That's all there's to it. Why should anything Western Europeans deem convenient be regarded as lawful?

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and actually the Poles were in the minority in the Eastern part of their territory.
Yes, that is true. The cities of Vilnus and Lvow were overwhelmingly Polish, however, and their importance for Polish history and culture enormous. Certainly no lesser - if not greater - than that of Konigsberg and Breslau for Germany.

Still, it is my firm belief that the future of these territories should have been solved by referendum. National aspirations of Ukrainians and Belarusians should have been respected, Lithuanian sentiments about Vilnus likewise.

However, invasion by the Red Army and forced incorporation into the USSR was the last thing the overwhelming majority of people inhabiting these lands had in mind. Whatever their ethnicity.

Last edited by antonina; November 19th, 2012 at 05:10 AM.
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