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Germany And The Soviet Union's Non Aggression Treaty

2718 words - 11 pages

It is the inquisitive nature of man that is primary driving force behind the Five W’s: Who, What, When, Where and Why. Though these are all meaningful pursuits in their own right, it is the purpose of this piece to shed light on the Treaty of Non-Aggression between Germany and the Soviet Union’s purpose, as well as the most likely causes for its manifestation. Also in question, but not out of the scope of discussion, is whether or not non-aggression pacts truly work to preserve peace, or whether they are unintentionally one of the primary fuel sources that combust to cause war amongst the nations involved. The realist holds the key to this argument. The realist perspective sits alone as being the most concise angle from which to view the events transpired. However, without understanding a bulk of the history, a moderately concise answer cannot be delivered to the reader.
During WWI, Russia was in dire straits; they were at war with both neighboring and distant countries while also having internal conflicts. Recognizing the need to appease the German war machine, Lenin felt it essential to have the Russian state bound to the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk (Brest-Litovsk). Essentially ceding territory to Germany, this treaty created a sort of buffer between Germany and Russia, allowing the Russians to focus more on internal affairs. However, in April of 1922, Germany and Russia signed yet another treaty; the Treaty of Rapallo had both Germany and Russia renounce territorial and financial claims against each other. To ensure that relations would remain peaceful for at least the near future, Germany and Russia signed the 1926 Treaty of Berlin. Among other things, the purpose of the Treaty of Berlin was to solidify neutrality, should one of the two nations fall under attack or enter in to armed conflict with other nations. Germany knew that Russia was appeasing them, however, and exploited this new found friendship in the form of trade. By 1927, trade agreements between the two former adversaries had enabled the flow of goods to exceed 430 million Reich marks per year (Ericson). Taking that figure, converting it to US dollars and adjusting it for inflation, the actual value of trade, leading up to 1927, between Russia and Germany exceeded $1,244,437,711.49 per year. Most of the goods flowing from Russia were essential wartime resources, such as rubber and grain. Taking in to account the numerous treaties already signed prior to 1939, as well as the increased trade between the two states, a strong argument could be made that these mutual benefactors were acting out of strict paranoia and fear. With memories haunting them all the way back to Napoleon, Russia had been feverishly trying to create a new government, as well as secure its land and protect its people. Germany, still somewhat reeling from the beat down of WWI, was in peril and craved a consistent, and safe, trading partner. It only seemed logical that the two would become trade...

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