Why Did France Fall So Easily To The Nazis In WW2 – Hitler Stalin 1939 … Western propaganda claimed that the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany were “allies”. The Second World War was entirely their fault, while France, Great Britain, and Poland were innocent victims of totalitarianism.
Historians interpret and reinterpret history. This is a normal process … except when politicians are reinterpreting. Their interests are not intellectual but rather political. They seek to justify their politics by evoking the past, history as they need it to be.
Table of Contents
Why Did France Fall So Easily To The Nazis In WW2
The origins and conduct of the Second World War are of particular interest to Western politicians, past and present. It was true, even from the beginning. In December 1939, the British government decided to produce a white paper on the Anglo-French-Soviet negotiations in the spring and summer of this year, with the aim of organizing an alliance to fight against Hitler’s Germany.
Foreign Ministry officials carefully selected a hundred or so documents to show that they and the French had been serious about organizing an anti-German alliance and that the USSR was primarily responsible for the failure of the negotiations. At the beginning of January 1940, the white paper was in the testing stage. Almost everyone in London was eager to publish it.
All that was needed was the approval of France and the Polish government in exile. To the surprise of British officials, France opposed the publication of the white paper, as did the Polish government in exile. This may surprise today’s readers.
Why would the French and Polish officials oppose a publication considered as “good propaganda” by the British to blacken the reputation of the Soviet Union?
Let the French ambassador in London explain it in his own words: “The general impression that emerges from reading [the white paper],” he writes in a memorandum dated January 12, 1940, “is that the Russian government has never stopped insisting, from beginning to end, to give the agreement [currently being negotiated] the maximum scope and effectiveness. Whether sincere or not, the Soviet Government’s determination to effectively cover all the possible routes of German aggression appears throughout the negotiations but met with Franco-British reluctance and the clear intention of the two governments to limit the scope of the negotiations. Russian intervention. ”
The French ambassador did not stop there. He observed that critics who felt that the USSR had been forced into an agreement with Nazi Germany because of Anglo-French “reluctance” to make real commitments in Moscow, would find in the white paper “a number of ‘arguments in their favor’. The language used here conformed to the best traditions of diplomatic euphemisms, but the Foreign Office received the message.
Especially since there was still the irritating fact for Gallic sensibilities that the documents chosen for the white paper failed to show that they, the French, had been more worried to conclude with Moscow than their British allies.
What would happen, the French wondered if the Soviet government published its own collection of documents in response to a white paper? Who would public opinion believe? The French were not sure of the answer.
As for the Poles in exile, they could not insist much, but they too preferred that the white paper should not be published. Even in the first days of their exile, the Poles were unwilling to make known their responsibilities in the origins of the war and their blazing defeat against the Wehrmacht.
In fact, the three governments, the British, the French, and the Polish, had much to hide, and not only their conduct in 1939 but during the whole period after the accession of Adolf Hitler to power in January 1933. The government Soviet had been quick to sound the alarm of danger and to propose a defensive anti-Nazi alliance to France and Great Britain. And yes, Moscow also made overtures to Poland. The Soviet Commissioner for Foreign Affairs, Maxime Litvinov, even hoped to attract Fascist Italy to an anti-Nazi coalition. In Bucharest, the Soviet government developed concerted efforts to obtain Romanian participation in a broad anti-German alliance evoking the Entente coalition of the First World War.
Were all these Soviet efforts a ruse to fool the West, while Soviet diplomats secretly negotiated with Nazi Germany?
Not at all, the Russian archives seem conclusive on this point. The Soviet overtures were serious, but its so-called allies hesitated, except for Poland, which at no time had considered joining an anti-Nazi alliance with the Soviet Union.
Commissioner Litvinov saw that the so-called allies of the Soviets were trying to deal with Nazi Germany. Poland constantly obstructed Soviet policy, and Romania, under Polish and German pressure, gave up better relations with Moscow. A Soviet ambassador even recommended that the Soviet government not break all relations with Berlin in order to send the message, especially to Paris and London, that the USSR could also deal with Nazi Germany. The four most important French diplomats in Moscow during the 1930s repeatedly warned that France must protect its relations with the USSR or risk seeing it reconcile with Berlin.
In Paris, these reports disappeared in the files and finally remained ineffective. The greatest blow to collective security came in September 1938, when France and Great Britain concluded the Munich Agreement, which sanctioned the dismemberment of Czechoslovakia. Neither Czechoslovak diplomats nor Soviet diplomats were invited to the negotiations. As for Poland, it allied itself with Nazi Germany. “If Hitler obtains the Czechoslovak territories,” said the Polish diplomats before Munich, “then we will have our share too. ”
Is it surprising that after about six years of futile attempts to organize an anti-Nazi front, the Soviet government is losing all confidence in the French and British governments and is making an agreement with Berlin to stay out of the war, that all world-recognized as imminent?
This was the German-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact, signed on August 23, 1939. As for the Poles, in their arrogance and blindness, they mocked the idea of an alliance with the USSR until the first day of the war…
The German-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact was the result of the failure of six years of Soviet policy to conclude an anti-Nazi alliance with the West and not the cause of this failure. The British ambassador in Moscow accused the Soviet government of “bad faith,” but it was only the hospital that made fun of Charity. Even during the last days of peace, the British and French governments sought to escape the war. “Although we can not, under these circumstances, avoid declaring war,” declared a British minister, “we can always write the letter declaring war without immediately going there. In fact, France and Great Britain barely raised a finger to help Poland, when it was invaded on September 1, 1939. After bringing the disaster upon itself, the Polish government fled Warsaw after the first days of combat, its members passing in Romania to be interned there.
If France and Britain did not help the Poles in their moment of despair, could Joseph Stalin reasonably have calculated that the British and the French would have done more to help the Soviet Union if it had entered the war? September 1939?
Obviously no. The USSR should turn to its own defenses. No one should be surprised then that a few months later, the French and the Poles in exile are opposed to the publication of a white paper that could open the Pandora’s box of questions about the origins of the war and their failure to join an anti-Nazi alliance. It is better not to wake the sleeping dog and hope that the government archives will not be open for a long time.
After the war, however, the failure surrounding the British White Paper was long forgotten. The sleeping dogs woke up and began to bark. The West launched a campaign accusing Stalin of being Hitler’s “ally”. In 1948, the US Department of State published a collection of documents under the title of Soviet-Nazi Relations 1939-1941, to which the Soviet government responded with falsifiers of history. The war of propaganda was unleashed, as was especially the American attempt to attribute to the USSR an equal responsibility to Nazi Germany in the provocation of the Second World War.
American propaganda was absurd, given the history of the 1930s as we know it today, from various European archives.
Was there ever a greater act of ingratitude than the US accusations blaming the USSR for the origins of the war and hiding the immense contribution of the Red Army to the common victory against Nazi Germany?
Nowadays, the role of the Soviet people in the destruction of Nazism is virtually unknown in the West. Few people are aware that the Red Army fought almost alone for three years against the Wehrmacht while calling for the opening of a second front to its Anglo-American allies. Few people know that the Red Army inflicted more than 80% of the losses of the Wehrmacht and its allies and that the Soviet people are suffering so much loss that no one knows exactly how many, though they are estimated to 26 or 27 million civilians and soldiers. The Anglo-American losses were insignificant in comparison.
Ironically, the anti-Russian campaign of falsification of history intensified after the dismantling of the USSR in 1991. The Baltic States and Poland led the charge. Like the tail that moves the dog, they dragged all the well-disposed European organizations, such as the OSCE, the European Parliament and Assembly in Strasbourg, into ridiculous statements about the origins of the Second World War.
It was the triumph of the ignorance of politicians who knew nothing or who calculated that the few who knew something of the war would not be heard.
After all, how many people have read diplomatic papers in the various European archives detailing Soviet efforts to build an anti-Nazi alliance during the 1930s?
How many people know the responsibilities of London, Paris, and Warsaw in obstructing the common European defense against Nazi Germany?
“Not much,” must have been the conclusion of European governments. The few historians and informed citizens who knew or know the truth could easily be fooled, marginalized, or ignored.
So Hitler and Stalin had become accomplices, the two friends, and the two “totalitarians”. The Soviet Union and Nazi Germany were “allies”. World War II was entirely their fault.
France, Great Britain, and Poland were innocent victims of totalitarianism. The OSCE and the European Assembly issued resolutions to this effect in 2009, declaring August 23 as a day in memory of the victims of the “alliance” of the Nazis and Soviets, as if the non-aggression pact signed this that day had fallen from heaven and had no other context than totalitarian evil.
In 2014, after US and EU support for the coup in Kyiv, a fascist junta seized power in Ukraine, and the campaign of propaganda to falsify history intensified. Ukrainian Nazi collaborators, like Stepan Bandera, were crowned national heroes. Ukrainian paramilitary forces called the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UUN / UPA), who fought alongside the Wehrmacht and the SS, were similarly transformed into liberation forces.
In October this year, the Polish and Ukrainian legislatures passed resolutions blaming Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union for the Second World War. Given Poland’s role in collaborating with Nazi Germany and obstructing Soviet efforts to create an anti-Nazi alliance in the 1930s, this resolution is surrealistic.
Equally perverse is the equivalent Ukrainian resolution, by a government celebrating the collaboration with the Nazis during the Second World War.
Ironically, the Law and Justice Party have their own problems in its “alliance” with fascist Ukraine. These Ukrainian collaborators who fought with the Nazis and committed atrocities against Soviet citizens also perpetrated mass murders in Poland during the latter part of the war.
Even if Poland tries hard to falsify history, it can not hide the atrocities of Ukrainian Nazi collaborators against the Poles, recalled in a recent Polish hit movie, Volhynia. It sounds like a surrealist quarrel between brigands who have to bury the history of Ukrainian fascism and Nazi collaboration in order to unite against the common Russian enemy.
If only the many Ukrainians living today in southern Poland stopped erecting illegal monuments to commemorate Ukrainian Nazi collaborators. The poor Poles are caught between the hammer and the anvil. It is equally unpleasant for them to recall that the Red Army has liberated Poland and put an end to the atrocities of Nazi collaborators.
Will Russia and Poland finally bury the hatchet to get rid of the new wave of fascist Ukrainians in their territories?
It’s unlikely. The Polish government also had to choose in the 1930s, between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. He chose collaboration with Nazi Germany and rejected an anti-Nazi alliance with the Soviet Union. It is not surprising that history must be falsified. There is so much to hide for Western governments and Poland.