Analysis of the Inter-War Period

  Nazi-Soviet Non-Agression Pact (1939)

Molotov and Ribbentrop Sign the Pact
An important reason Germany lost World War One was because it was exhausted quickly because it was fighting a two-front war. By 1939, Germany was preparing for another war, and Hitler was looking ahead. In order to avoid a two-front war with east and west Europe, Hitler sent a letter to Soviet leader Joseph Stalin recommending that they form an alliance of sorts, in which, if Germany invaded Poland, which it did in September of 1939, then the USSR would not get involved, and thus, Germany would not have to fight on two fronts. The pact also had an economic clause, in which it stated that, in the case of war, Germany and the USSR would trade products and foodstuffs between each other. Adding to this, a secret clause in the pact divided up Poland and the Baltic States between Germany and the Soviets. The Soviets then used their new territory as a buffer zone between them and the democratic west. Below is Stalin’s response to Hitler’s recommendations:


To the chancellor of the German Reich, Herr A. Hitler.

I thank you for your letter. I hope that the German-Soviet Nonaggression Pact will mark a decisive turn for the better in the political relations between our two countries. .

J. Stalin*

Concepts Surrounding the Non-Aggression Pact

In regards to the Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact, the concepts of confrontation, cooperation, alliances, and economic security must be kept in mind.

How the Non-Aggression Pact Contributed to World War Two

First off, the Non-Aggression Pact was, in itself, an alliance, and it was designed to aid the Germans in the inevitable war. By way of cooperating with the Soviets, Hitler ensured that Germany would only have to fight on one front, and avoid confrontation between them. It also guaranteed economic security in times of war, as each country would remain a viable trading partner with each other when war broke out. Taking all these factors into consideration, it must have been a morale boost for the Germans to have realized all of this. Not only this, but a war could be started as a localized conflict, then other countries, namely the USSR, could be brought in at Hitler’s leisure. This is exactly what happened. As such, the Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact can be said to have paved the way for a smooth ride right into World War Two. The fact that the pact was signed mere weeks before the breakout of World War Two serves to exemplify that fact.