search  
print
23.08.2009

The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact: 70 years of pain and lies

   

70 years ago, on 23 August 1939, the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany signed a non-aggression pact, and a secret protocol which divided Poland and Eastern Europe into German and Soviet spheres of influence.  The immediate consequence was the Nazi invasion of Poland on 1 September, with the Soviets occupying “their part” on 17 September. The bitter memories from two occupations remain strong in Western Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova (then Romanian Bessarabia) and the Baltic States. As reported (please see the links below), members of the European Parliament have called on European governments to establish 23 August as a Europe-wide Remembrance Day for the victims of all totalitarian and authoritarian regimes

 

The following are the documents signed 70 years ago (a thank you to Andrew Grigorenko for providing them)

THE MOLOTOV-RIBBENTROP PACT: THE DOCUMENTS

TEXTS OF TREATIES AND CORRESPONDENCE 1939-1941(

- Treaty of Nonaggression Between Germany and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the Secret Additional Protocol, 23 August 1939.

- Secret Additional Protocol of 28 September 1939 Amending the Secret Agreement of 23 August 1939.

- German-Soviet Boundary and Friendship Treaty of 28 September 1939; Confidential Protocols Concerning Repatriation and Political Subjugation of Poland; Declaration of the German Reich and the Government of the USSR.

- German-Soviet Protocol of 10 January 1941 Concerning Transfer of the Rights to the Suwalki Strip to the USSR.

GERMAN CORRESPONDENCE ON THE PACT, OCTOBER 1939

- The German Foreign Minister Ribbentrop, to the German Ambassador in Moscow, Schulenberg.

- The German Minister in Kaunas Informed of the Secret Protocol; Zechlin Reports on Lithuanian Reaction.

- Ribbentrop Tells German Envoys in the Baltic About the Secret Protocol.

 

Treaty of Nonaggression Between Germany and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics

The Government of the German Reich and the Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics desirous of strengthening the cause of peace between Germany and the U.S.S.R., and proceeding from the fundamental provisions of the Neutrality Agreement concluded in April 1926 between Germany and the U.S.S.R., have reached the following agreement:

Article I

Both High Contracting Parties obligate themselves to desist from any act of violence, any aggressive action, and any attack on each other either individually or jointly with other powers.

Article II

Should one of the High Contracting Parties become the object of belligerent action by a third power, the other High Contracting Party shall in no manner lend its support to this third power.

Article III

The Governments of the two High Contracting Parties shall in the future maintain continual contact with one another for the purpose of consultation in order to exchange information on problems affecting their common interests.

Article IV

Neither of the two High Contracting Parties shall participate in any grouping of powers whatsoever that is directly or indirectly aimed at the other party.

Article V

Should disputes or conflicts arise between the High Contracting Parties over problems of one kind or another, both parties shall settle these disputes or conflicts exclusively through friendly exchange of opinion or, if necessary, through the establishment of arbitration commissions.

Article VI

The present treaty is concluded for a period of ten years, with the proviso that, in so far as one of the High Contracting Parties does not denounce it one year prior to the expiration of this period, the validity of this treaty shall automatically be extended for another five years.

Article VII

The present treaty shall be ratified within the shortest possible time. The ratifications shall be exchanged in Berlin. The agreement shall enter into force as soon as it is signed.

Done in duplicate, in the German and Russian languages.

Moscow, August 23, 1939.

For the Government

of the German Reich:With full power of the

Government of the U.S.S.R.:

v. RibbentropV. Molotov

 

 

Secret Additional Protocol

On the occasion of the signature of the Nonaggression Pact between the German Reich and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics the undersigned plenipotentiaries of each of the two parties discussed in strictly confidential conversations the question of the boundary of their respective spheres of influence in Eastern Europe. These conversations led to the following conclusions:

1. In the event of a territorial and political rearrangement in the areas belonging to the Baltic States (Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania), the northern boundary of Lithuania shall represent the boundary of the spheres of influence of Germany and the U.S.S.R. In this connection the interest of Lithuania in the Vilnius area is recognized by each party.

2. In the event of a territorial and political rearrangement of the areas belonging to the Polish state the spheres of influence of Germany and the U.S.S.R. shall be bounded approximately by the line of the rivers Narew, Vistula, and San.

The question of whether the interests of both parties make desirable the maintenance of an independent Polish state and how such a state should be bounded can only be definitely determined in the course of further political developments.

In any event both Governments will resolve this question by means of a friendly agreement.

3. With regard to Southeastern Europe attention is called by the Soviet side to its interest in Bessarabia. The German side declares its complete political disinterestedness in the areas.

4. This protocol shall be treated by both parties as strictly secret.

Moscow, August 23, 1939.

For the Government

of the German Reich:Plenipotentiary of the

Government of the U.S.S.R.:

v. RibbentropV. Molotov

 

Secret Additional Protocol of 28 September 1939

The undersigned plenipotentiaries declare the agreement of the Government of the German Reich and the Government of the U.S.S.R. upon the following:

The Secret Additional Protocol signed on August 23,1939, shall be amended in item 1 to the effect that the territory of the Lithuanian state falls to the sphere of influence of the U.S.S.R., while, on the other hand, the province of Lublin and parts of the province of Warsaw fall to the sphere of influence of Germany (cf. the map attached to the Boundary and Friendship Treaty signed today). As soon as the Government of the U.S.S.R. shall take special measures on Lithuanian territory to protect its interests, the present German-Lithuanian border, for the purpose of a natural and simple boundary delineation, shall be rectified in such a way that the Lithuanian territory situated to the southwest of the line marked on the attached map falls to Germany.

Further it is declared that the economic agreements now in force between Germany and Lithuania shall not be affected by the measures of the Soviet Union referred to above.

Moscow, September 28, 1939

For the Government

of the German Reich:By authority of the

Government of the U.S.S.R.:

v. RibbentropV. Molotov

 

German-Soviet Boundary and Friendship Treaty of September 28, 1939

The Government of the German Reich and the Government of the U.S.S.R. consider it exclusively their task, after the collapse of the former Polish state, to re-establish peace and order in these territories and to assure to the peoples living there a peaceful life in keeping with their national character. To this end, they have agreed upon the following:

Article I

The Government of the German Reich and the Government of the U.S.S.R. determine as the boundary of the respective national interests in the territory of the former Polish state the line marked on the attached map, which shall be described in more detail in a supplementary protocol.

Article II

Both parties recognize the boundary of the respective national interests established in Article 1 as definitive and shall reject any interference of third powers in this settlement.

Article III

The necessary reorganization of public administration will be effected in the areas west of the line specified in 1 by the Government of the German Reich, in the areas east of the line by the Government of the U.S.S.R.

Article IV

The Government of the German Reich and the Government the U.S.S.R. regard this settlement as a firm foundation for a progressive development of the friendly relations between their peoples.

Article V

This treaty shall be ratified and the ratifications shall be exchanged in Berlin as soon as possible. The treaty becomes effective upon signature.

Done in duplicate, in the German and Russian languages.

Moscow, September 28, 1939

For the Government

of the German Reich:By authority of the

Government of the U.S.S.R.:

J. RibbentropV. Molotov

 

Confidential Protocol

The Government of the U.S.S.R. shall place no obstacles in the way of Reich nationals and other persons of German descent residing in the territories under its jurisdiction, if they desire to migrate to Germany or to the territories under German jurisdiction. It agrees that such removals shall be carried out by agents of the Government of the Reich in cooperation with the competent local authorities and that the property rights of the emigrants shall be protected.

A corresponding obligation is assumed by the Government of the German Reich in respect to the persons of Ukrainian or Belorussian descent residing in the territories under its jurisdiction.

Moscow, September 28, 1939

For the Government

of the German Reich:By authority of the

Government of the U.S.S.R.:

J. RibbentropV. Molotov

 

Secret Additional Protocol

The undersigned plenipotentiaries, on concluding the German-Russian Boundary and Friendship Treaty, have declared their agreement upon the following:

Both parties will tolerate no Polish agitation in their territories which affects the territories of the other party. They will suppress in their territories all beginnings of such agitation and inform each other concerning suitable measures for this purpose.

Moscow, September 28, 1939

For the Government

of the German Reich:By the Authority of the

Government of the U.S.S.R.:

J. RibbentropV. Molotov

 

German-Soviet Secret Protocol

The German Ambassador, Count von der Schulenburg, Plenipotentiary of the Government of the German Reich, on the one hand, and the Chairman of the Council of People’s Commissars of the U.S.S.R., V.M. Molotov, Plenipotentiary of the Government of the U.S.S.R., on the other hand, have agreed upon the following:

1. The Government of the German Reich renounces its claim to the strip of Lithuanian territory which is mentioned in the Secret Additional Protocol of September 28, 1939, and which has been marked on the map attached to this Protocol;

2. The Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics is prepared to compensate the Government of the German Reich for the territory mentioned in Point 1 of this Protocol by paying 7,500,000 gold dollars or 31,500,000 million reichsmarks to Germany.

The amount of 31,5 million Reichsmarks will be paid by the Government of the U.S.S.R. in the following manner: one-eight, that is, 3,937,500 Reichsmarks, in nonferrous metal deliveries within three months after the signing of this Protocol, the remaining seven-eights, or 27,562,500 Reichsmarks in gold by deduction from the German gold payments which Germany is to make by February 11, 1941, in accordance with the correspondence exchanged between the Chairman of the German Economic Delegation, Dr. Schnurre, and the People’s Commissar for Foreign Trade of the U.S.S.R., A.I. Mikoyan, in connection with the "Agreement of January 10,1941, concerning reciprocal deliveries in the second treaty period on the basis of the Economic Agreement between the German Reich and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics of February 11, 1940."

3. This Protocol has been executed in two originals in the German language and two originals in the Russian language and shall become effective immediately upon signature.

Moscow, January 10, 1941.

For the Government

of the German Reich:By authority of the

Government of the U.S.S.R.:

Schulenburg

(Seal)V. Molotov

(Seal)

 

The German Foreign Minister, Ribbentrop, to the German Ambassador in Moscow, Schulenburg

Telegram

Very urgent

Strictly secret

No. 497 of October 4

Berlin, October 5, 1939—3:43 a.m.

Received Moscow, October 5, 1939—11:55 a.m.

Referring to today’s telephonic communication from the Ambassador.

The Legation in Kaunas is being instructed as follows:

1) Solely for your personal information, I am apprising you of the following: At the time of the signing of the German-Russian Nonagression Pact on August 23, a strictly secret delimitation of the respective spheres of influence in Eastern Europe was also undertaken. In accordance therewith, Lithuania was to belong to the German sphere of influence, while in the territory of the former Polish state, the so-called four-river line, Pissa-Narew-Vistula-San, was to constitute the border. Even then I demanded that the district of Vilnius go to Lithuania, to which the Soviet Government consented. At the negotiations concerning the Boundary and Friendship Treaty on September 28, the settlement was amended to the extent that Lithuania, including the Vilnius area, was included in the Russian sphere of influence, for which in turn, in the Polish area, the province of Lublin and large portions of the province of Warsaw, including the pocket of territory of Suwalki, fell within the German sphere of influence. Since, by the inclusion of the Suwalki tract in the German sphere of influence a difficulty in drawing the border line resulted, we agreed that in case the Soviets should take special measures in Lithuania, a small strip of territory in the southwest of Lithuania, accurately marked on the map, should fall to Germany.

2) Today Count von der Schulenburg reports that Molotov, contrary to our own intentions, notified the Lithuanian Foreign Minister last night of the confidential arrangement. Please now, on your part, inform the Lithuanian Government, orally and in strict confidence, of the matter, as follows:

As early as at the signing of the German-Soviet Nonagression Pact of August 23, in order to avoid complications in Eastern Europe, conversations were held between ourselves and the Soviet Government concerning the delimitation of German and Soviet spheres of influence. In these conversations I had recommended restoring the Vilnius district to Lithuania, to which the Soviet Government gave me its consent. In the negotiations concerning the Boundary and Friendship Treaty of September 28, as is apparent from the German-Soviet boundary demarcation which is published, the pocket of territory of Suwalki jutting out between Germany and Lithuania had fallen to Germany. As this created an intricate and impractical boundary, I had reserved for Germany a border correction in this area, whereby a small strip of Lithuanian territory would fall to Germany. The award of Vilnius to Lithuania was maintained in these negotiations also. You are now authorized to make it known to the Lithuanian Government that the Reich Government does not consider the question of this border revision timely at this moment. We make the proviso, however, that the Lithuanian Government treat this matter as strictly confidential. End of instruction for Kaunas.

I request you to inform Mr. Molotov of our communication to the Lithuanian Government. Further, please request of him, as already indicated in the preceding telegram, that the border strip of Lithuanian territory involved be left free in the event of a possible posting of Soviet trrops in Lithuania and also that it be left to Germany to determine the date of the implementing of the agreement concerning the cession to Germany of the territory involved. Both of these points at issue should be set forth in a secret exchange of letters between yourself and Molotov.

Ribbentrop

 

The German Minister in Kaunas, Zechlin, to the German Foreign Office

Telegram

Most urgent

No. 175 of October 5

Kaunas, October 5, (1939)—7:55 p.m.

Received October 5—10:30 p.m.

With reference to telegram No. 252 of October 5 (4)

[Deputy Prime Minister Kazys] Bizauskas sent for me today even before I could ask for an appointment with the Foreign Minister as instructed in telegram No. 252; he first made excuses for Mr. Urbšys, who was completely occupied today with continuous discussions in the Cabinet and therefore unfortunately could not speak with me himself. He then informed me that Molotov had told Urbšys that Germany had laid claim to a strip of Lithuanian territory, the limits of which included the city and district of Naumiestis and continued on past the vicinity of Mariampolė. This had made a deep and painful impression on Lithuania, and Urbšys had flown back to Kaunas partly because of this information, which he had not wished to transmit by telephone.

The Lithuanian Government has instructed Škirpa to make inquiries in Berlin.

I told him that in the Moscow discussions on the delimitation of the German and Soviet spheres of interest, the Reich Foreign Minister had advocated giving the Vilnius area to Lithuania and had also obtained the Soviet Government’s agreement in the matter. While Lithuania had the prospect of such a great increase in territory a difficult and impracticable boundary in the vicinity of the Suwalki tip had come into existence because of the German-Soviet border division. Therefore the idea of a small border rectification at the German-Lithuanian frontier had also emerged in the course of these negotiations; but I could inform him that the German Government did not consider the question pressing. Bizauskas received this information with visible relief and asked me to transmit the thanks of the Lithuanian Government on his score to the Reich Government. Furthermore he asked on his part that the matter be kept strictly secret, which I promised him.

I might add that since the fixing of the German-Soviet frontier became known, political quarters here have had great hopes of obtaining the Suwalki tip from Germany.

Zechlin

 

The German Foreign Minister, Ribbentrop, to the German Ministers in Tallinn, Riga and Helsinki

Telegram

Most Urgent

(1) To Talinn, N. 257

(2) To Riga, No. 328

(3) To Helskin, No. 318

Berlin, October 7, 1939

Exclusively for the Minister personally.

Supplementing our telegrams No. 241 to (1), No. 303 to (2) and No. 305 to (3), I am communicating the following to you in strict secrecy and for your personal information only:

During the Moscow negotiations with the Soviet Government the question of delimiting the spheres of interest of both countries in Eastern Europe was discussed in strict confidence, not only with reference to the area of the former Polish state, but also with reference to the countries of Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and Finland. At the same time the delimitation of the spheres of interest was agreed upon for the eventuality of a territorial and political reorganization in these areas. The borderline fixed for this purpose for the territory of the former Polish state is the line designated in article 1 of the German-Soviet Boundary and Friendship Treaty of September 28 and publicly announced. Otherwise, the line is identical with the German-Lithuanian frontier. Thus it follows that Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and Finland do not belong to the German sphere of interest in the sense indicated above.

You are requested to refrain, as heretofore, from any explanations on this subject.

The Foreign Minister

The German text of the Treaty of Nonaggression Between Germany and the USSR, 23 August 1939 and the Supplementary Secret Protocol, 23 August 1939, signed by Joachim von Ribbentrop and Vyacheslav Molotov.

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: The English-language translations of the German and Russian documents presented are taken from the following sources with only slight adaptations: Raymond Janes Sontag and James Stuart Beddie, ed. Nazi-Soviet Relations: Documents from the Archives of the German Foreign Office (Washington, D.C.: Dept. of State, 1948), 76-78, 105-107; Paul R. Sweet et. al, ed., Documents on German Foreign Policy 1918-1945: From the Archives of the German Foreign Ministry. (Washington: Dept. of State, 1949-1964), Series D, Vol. VIII (1954), 166; Vol. XI (1960), 1068. The three documents of October 1939 are from the German Foreign Office files, from Documents, Vol. VIII, 214-215, 238. These and other documents are conveniently assembled in Bronis J. Kasias, ed. The USSR-German Aggression Against Lithuania (New York: Robert Speller and Sons, 1973).

Recommend this post
X




forgot the password

registration

X

X

send me a new password


on top