Takes “with the devil” *

Takes “with the devil” *

It was 1pm Moscow time, when at an airport in the capital of the Soviet Union, amid the great noise and the flashes of flashes, elegant Immelman sat softly on the tarmac, carrying the German Minister for Foreign Affairs, Joachima from Ribbentropa. The airport was unusually decorated for such a special occasion. The red flags with the emblem of the USSR were, as a sign of friendship between the two countries, interspersed with flags depicting German swastikas. Ribbentrop dressed in a bright coat and a dark hat, among the sounds of the German and International anthems, he went with his team to the big one, black evil, prepared for him by Stalin.

The car stopped at Miertwyj Piereułok, where, in apartments number six, the German minister was to live during his stay in Moscow. After a hastily eaten lunch, the German team got into the Black Zil again. The car took the Germans to the Kremlin, where Ribbentrop and his comrades met Stalin and Molotov.

After a short greeting, Ribbentrop presented the Soviet side with the draft pact, developed during a stop in Königsberg. In fact, it was almost unchanged in form, which Vyacheslav Molotov proposed to the German government a few days ago. The only major change made by the German minister was a pompous preface to him, which Stalin did not like anyway and had to be thrown out of the project.

The proposal was accepted, after which brief discussions on the secret protocol began, which also ran smoothly. At 8 p.m. the completed pact was typed and translated, and the German team was finally able to take a short break at the embassy.

After eating dinner, Ribbentrop returned to the building of the Council of People's Commissars, where immediately after his arrival, vodka was brought into the room. The binge has started, during which Stalin, drinking from his private carafe (about which there were suspicions, that there was water in it), he did not fail to raise toasts to the head of the Third Reich, Adolf Hitler.

Finally at two o'clock in the morning, day 24 of August, documents ready for signing were brought in to the hall that echoed with various toasts. After Ribbentrop and Molotov signed the pact, who are in a highly advanced state intoxicated, to their satisfaction, alcohol was brought into the room once again. This time, however, it was not vodka, but not equal to her percentage of champagne, but despite this, the two politicians kept a smile on their faces.

The content of the non-aggression agreement itself is not remarkable, so it is not worth citing all its content here. However, the content of the secret protocol deserves great attention, being an integral part of the pact (author's translation):

“Art. I. In the event of political and territorial changes in the territories belonging to the Baltic states (Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania), the northern border of Lithuania will be the border of the spheres of influence of Germany and the USSR. Both sides recognize the interests of Lithuania to Vilnius.
Art. II. In the event of political and territorial changes in territories belonging to the Polish state, the spheres of influence of Germany and the USSR will be delimited roughly along the Narew river line, Vistula and San. Issue, whether the interests of both sides render the presence of an independent Polish state desirable and within what boundaries such a state should lie, it can be finally resolved in the course of further political events. In any event, the two governments will resolve this matter by friendly agreement.
Art. III. As for Southeast Europe, the Soviet side notes its interest in Bessarabia. The German side declares a complete lack of interest in those areas.
Art. IV. This protocol should be treated by both parties as top secret.”

On the occasion of discussing the secret protocol, it should be mentioned, that after Ribbentrop's departure from Moscow, the soviet government realized, that a great mistake had been made: when discussing the draft secret protocol, wrong maps were used. As you know, the Narew River did not touch the then Polish-German border, which could lead to numerous misunderstandings. The amendment to the second article was finally approved: “Pisa, Narew, Vistula and San”, and not “Narew, Vistula and San”. However, this was not the last change in the established demarcation line. Yet 28 September, after the victory parade in Brest, the Soviet government traded the Lublin region with Germany in exchange for Lithuania.

The quoted passages from the pact speak for themselves: in Moscow at night with 23 on 24 of August 1939 Poland was partitioned unofficially (an official place took place 28 September in Brześć nad Bugiem). The document was a decision about the outbreak of the war – war, in which the Soviet Union would fight alongside Germany.

There is still a question, why Poles did not notice the possibility of a Soviet-German alliance? By analyzing the situation that then arose, it was impossible to ignore the growing threat from the Soviet Union. The Polish government was deluded all the time, that in the event of a possible war, Poland will become the object of aggression only by the Third Reich. How he might not have been aware of the Soviet threat, since everything indicated it, that Germany will not attack Poland alone.

The first fact that could alarm Poles was the account of the newly appointed Polish ambassador to Moscow, Wacław Grzybowski, he made on the day 4 November 1936 Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Jan Szembek, in which he emphasized, that “fundamental conclusion, which comes to him after several months of stay in Russia, is to find the enormous dynamism that characterizes the Soviet state. This dynamism undoubtedly leads to aggression. (…) The Soviet industry is completely geared towards a future war. (…) In sum: the Soviets' raison d'être is expansion. (…) In the Soviets (…) there is a fiercely cultivated hatred of Poland, and the soviet power is essentially against us”.

What's better, Poles completely did not notice the tendency to bring the USSR closer to the Third Reich, trusting Stalin's covers, that his goal was an alliance with England and France (Look 1.4.). Even after the pact described in this chapter was concluded, the situation did not change.

However, nothing could undo it anymore, what happened. After signing the pact, Germany and the USSR quietly began to implement plans for joint aggression, and the outbreak of war was only a matter of days.

*
the title of the chapter alludes to the words of the German general Karl Bodenschatz, which in May 1939 he spoke to the Polish military attaché in Berlin, Lt. Col.. Antoni Szamanski, the following sentence: “[If] Hitler will come to his conviction, that Germany may be encircled by Poland from the east, it will not hesitate to connect with the devil himself!”

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