Yes, well put. I'm not for one minute suggesting that Germans were born with some sort of war like tendencies. They were, however, born into a country with a certain geography that helped generate certain ideas. And, once that country industrialised and united it was a dangerous mix in a world of Imperialism.I'm not sure the term "psyche" is applicable in regards to any nation. Perhaps, if by it we mean a set of values, traditions and prevalent tendencies.
I'd argue the opposite. Germany prospered prior to WW1 and made the decision to go to war. Clearly, the German Nazis and those who supported them were unique in the barbarity, but Hitler and associates didn't just make up their racial policies and supporting logic out of thin air: those ideas existed prior to WW1. It may not have been a Hitler or the Nazis, but someone advocating war as the answer to Germany's 'problems' would have filled that vacuum, and I dare say support would have been significant enough to put that someone into a position of power. 'Problems' meaning second rate status in world politics.It's hard to determine a single "root cause" for the rise of Nazism. I'd argue, however, that without the Great Depression, it is quite possible that all that explosive material, all that dark matter that would take shape in Nazism and the carnage that followed, would fizzle with little or no actual impact on history. Or at least with a much, much less painful one.
The flaw in your argument is that Hitler was an opportunist who said many things, often times contradictory, depending upon what side he had gotten out of his bed on any given day.It seems to me that you did not read Hitler’s Mein Kampf very carefully. This book was written 8 years before Hitler became Chancellor of Germany and Fuhrer of the German people. In the book he describes the situation in the mid-1920s, with an excursion into the events of previous decades. A separate chapter is devoted to Germany’s relations with Russia.
And if we briefly retell what Hitler writes in his book about Russia, then this comes down to this:
- Russia is ruled by "Jewish Bolshevism"
- The main enemy of Germany is France
- Alliance with England and Italy is extremely important for Germany
- Russia is technically extremely weak - there is not a single plant in Russia that could produce at least a truck (in the mid-1920s)
- Hitler considers the alliance with Russia as an option, but it is unacceptable because of “Jewish Bolshevism” and Russia's extreme technical weakness. It can only be a military alliance, according to |Hitler. At the same time, Poland is located between Russia and Germany, and the German-Russian (military) alliance is possible only after the victorious war of Russia with Poland and Russia's access to the German border
- Russian authorities do not even think about an alliance with Germany in mid 1920s
At the same time, the German Drang nach Osten is not detailed in this book and looks just like an abstract idea. And Hitler mentions in this drang the capture by Germany of non-Russian territories captured by Russia during her advance westward
As you know, the situation in 1939 has changed radically compared to that described in Mine Kampf. Why?
- Russia conducted the Great Purge of 1937-1938, during which thousands of Jews were removed from her administrative and military leadership
- after that it would be incorrect to say that "Jewish Bolshevism" rules over Russia
- Russia in her domestic policy and propaganda indicated the dominance of “Russian priorities” and showed a sharp tilt towards Russian nationalism
- Russia itself proposed to Germany the Secret Protocol - that is, the project of cooperation between Germany and Russia in the capture of the territory of foreign countries
- Russia replaced the Jew Litvinov with Russian Molotov as head of the foreign affairs agency - People’s Commissariat for Foreign Affairs
- Russia carried out industrialization in the 1930s and began to produce not only trucks, but also tens of thousands of tanks and combat aircraft
- an alliance with England for Germany became impossible in September 1939 since England itself declared war on Germany and further rejected Berlin's proposals for peace
- Germany and Russia liquidated Poland as a state in September 1939 and divided her among themselves. In fact, the Russians received a common border with Germany and could render it any military assistance in the event of a confrontation between Germany and France, etc.
Thus, at the beginning of the WWII the situation changed dramatically compared to what Hitler described in Mein Kampf in the mid-1920s (!!!). And Russia indicated for Hitler to become a great military ally instead of England with which Germany found herself in a war
That is why until the summer of 1940 Germany had neither real military plans, nor documented strategic plans for the war with Russia. The Germany had no such plans till Russia herself has not violated her own Secret Protocol till that time. And I do not see any current plans of Hitler, the German government and military leadership to fight Russia till Russia violated the Secret Protocol by her own.
Stalin supplied Hitler with a huge amount of raw materials, and there was also significant technological exchange between Germany and USSR. This I believe did help cause World War II, as Germany otherwise would have had neither technology nor raw materials to launch war. So question on whether the pact caused World War II is basically, whether Stalin would have supplied Hitler without pact? If yes, then pact did not cause World War II.Again, as I have said, inconsequential/circumstantial. You can argue all you want who facilitated Hitler the most, the West or the Soviets, the fact remains that WWII was started by Hitler and Hitler alone. The equation "No pact, no invasion; no invasion, no WW2" is of course false, and you know that (it surprises me that you wrote it). It directly attributes responsibility for WWII to the Soviets, which is an arbitrary interpretation of history to say the least, when you yourself have already accepted that Hitler would invade Poland, no matter what.
The pact did NOT cause the invasion, therefore, it did NOT cause WWII. Unless you can somehow prove that Germany would not invade Poland, or anyone else for that matter, if the non-aggression pact with the Soviets was not signed. Do you actually think so, that had the Soviets not signed the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, nothing would have happened? No invasion of Poland, and later, no other invasion that would have triggered a world war?
PS: I'm in a hurry lately, so I missed the "created WW2" last part. Neither the western allies nor the Soviets created WWII. The Nazis did. Please, don't do that, lift the responsibility from their shoulders and share it between the Nazis, the West and the Soviets. Passivity or facilitation of aggression cannot be held responsible for the actual act of aggression, for heaven's sake.
(I can't quote you entirely without exceeding the post limit)Again, as I have said, inconsequential/circumstantial. .
The pact caused the invasion – the western allies attempted to prevent a war breaking out by signing/re affirming a pact with Poland 2 days after the Nazi-Soviet Pact was announced. This didn’t work. Hitler desired Lebensraum and the pact with the Soviets fully enabled this while also ensuring they wouldn’t fight a 2 front war. *A very key lesson learned by the Germans during WW1**On 25 August, Voroshilov told them "n view of the changed political situation, no useful purpose can be served in continuing the conversation." That day, Hitler told the British ambassador to Berlin that the pact with the Soviets prevented Germany from facing a two front war, changing the strategic situation from that in World War I, and that Britain should accept his demands regarding Poland*
The pact held and the Western Allies were fighting the Nazis as the Communists were still holding true to their agreement – indeed, its clear they were fully comfortable with this agreement as they didn’t break the pact, but rather the Nazis.
So yes, without the pact, no invasion of Poland; no invasion, no WW2.The clauses of the Nazi–Soviet Pact provided a written guarantee of peace by each party towards the other, and a declared commitment that neither government would ally itself to, or aid an enemy of the other party. In addition to stipulations of non-aggression, the treaty included a secret protocol that defined the borders of Soviet and German "spheres of influence" in the event of possible rearrangement of the territories belonging to Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and Finland.
After the invasion, the new border between the two powers was confirmed by the supplementary protocol of the German–Soviet Frontier Treaty
On 23 August, a 10-year non-aggression pact was signed with provisions that included: consultation, arbitration if either party disagreed, neutrality if either went to war against a third power, no membership of a group "which is directly or indirectly aimed at the other". The article "On Soviet–German Relations" in the Soviet newspaper Izvestia of 21 August 1939, stated:
Following completion of the Soviet–German trade and credit agreement, there has arisen the question of improving political links between Germany and the USSR
There was also a secret protocol to the pact, revealed only after Germany's defeat in 1945, although hints about its provisions were leaked much earlier, e.g., to influence Lithuania. According to the protocol, Romania, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Finland were divided into German and Soviet "spheres of influence".
Treaty of Rapallo (1922) - WikipediaLike Germany, Russia hoped to make territorial gains at Poland's expense, but it was left without an effective means of doing so. Early in 1919, the Polish-Soviet War had broken out over border disputes between the two countries. After initial Soviet victories, the Poles counterattacked successfully, and a compromise peace was reached in March 1921, leaving Soviet desires for border revision largely unfulfilled. The war also left the Soviets even further isolated from Britain and France. This common isolation and interest in revision in Poland led to a natural sympathy between Russia and Germany. At the Tenth Party Conference in 1921, the Soviets settled on a policy of pursuing opportunities for trade with the Western powers, which could supply badly needed industrial materials
Soviet–Polish Non-Aggression Pact - WikipediaOn September 23, 1938, the Soviet Union sent a note to the Polish government informing it that the pact would be considered null and void in the case of Poland's participation in the occupation of Czechoslovakia . However, that threat was not carried out, as the Soviet government stated on October 31, after Poland occupied Zaolzie area, that the remained in force , and it was reaffirmed by the two powers on November 26, 1938 (see ). The pact was finally broken by the Soviets on September 17, 1939, when the Soviet and German jointly invaded Poland, in accordance with the secret protocols of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact.
And between the USA and both of them, right to the end of the war.Stalin supplied Hitler with a huge amount of raw materials, and there was also significant technological exchange between Germany and USSR.
Those statements about England are not necessarily mutually exclusive. However, I do agree that taking politicians at their word is always a risky proposition. Even dogma consistently repeated may be for effect, serving an ulterior motive.The flaw in your argument is that Hitler was an opportunist who said many things, often times contradictory, depending upon what side he had gotten out of his bed on any given day.
While he may have talked of England as a potential ally at certain points in his career, he also talked of England as a curse on European culture at other times.
Superficially, yes. But that is only because USSR doesn't have among its institutions so-called private corporations. The point I tried to illustrate this with some specifics several pages back, is that there is a significant degree of cooperation between parties that are NOMINALLY enemies. This cooperation is at the highest levels of industry, banking and government, though not supplied equally by all parties, as you point out.That is why I noted that he was not the only one to do it. But IIRC, Hitlers suppliers from USA were private corporations (Ford etc.), while supplies from USSR came by the order of political class.
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