Question by Kiddo: WWII: Nazis, Soviet Union, Fascism?
I am trying to understand WWII and I am getting confused. Why did the Nazis and the Soviet Union sign the Nazi-Soviet Pact? I thought it was something to do with being anti-fascist, but then why did the Nazis join with fascist Italy to form the axis powers?
Also, were the Nazis fascist, communist, or neither? And what were the Soviets?
Photo Credit: Alex //Berlin _ Alexander Stübner/Flickr
Answers and Views:
Answer by WiiMan
Both Germany and the USSR wanted Poland. So they signed the pact to peacefully divide Poland.
Nazi Germany = Fascist
Mussolini Italy = Fascist
USSR = Communist
Answer by bruiserkc2
In addition to what WiiMan said…Nazi Germany wanted to avoid a two-front war the way they fought one in World War I. In WW1 up until the Russian Revolution the Germans fought the British and French on the Western Front, then fought the Russians on the Eastern Front in Poland. Hitler knew that Britain and France had vowed to declare war if the Germans moved on Poland. He wanted to assure himself that the Soviets wouldn’t fight against him.
Of course, history showed Hitler was just trying to bide time and intended to focus his attention on the Soviets once he conquered western Europe.
Answer by tham153
The Soviet Union had a far more coherent and thought out philosophy (Marxist communism) than did Germany or Italy. Mussolini started the fascist movement in the 1920s, named for the fasces, a symbol of state power in ancient Rome. Unlike Marxism, it encouraged some forms of religion so long as they were subservient to the state, and allowed businesses to operate as an arm of the state.
Hitler adopted some of the fascist economic methods and promoted religion as totally an agent of the state. However, he was far more interested in racial matters, while the communists used ethnic groups as a front for their control.
The Molotov-Ribbentrop Treaty to which your question alludes was in the interests of the two powers because at the time both were pretty much ostracized by Western nations. It also gave each the idea of buying time on their border, Hitler to prepare to attack France, Stalin to build his industrial and military base.
Answer by Dan S
It was a deception.
Hitler hated the Soviets and the Russians and he didn’t trust them. He hated the Russians only a little less than he hated the Jews. In fact he planned to extent the “Final Solution” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Final_Solution) to them as well. Remember that Hitler wanted the so called Aryan Race (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aryan_Race) to take over the world and that did not include the Slavic People.
But, Hitler’s generals were no fools they told him he couldn’t win a two front war and with fighting in Africa that made three fronts. A peace treaty with Russia was a necessary deception until England was defeated. When England and the Russians couldn’t make a treaty Hitler negotiated a secret one to split Poland between them (Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact).
Hitler jumped the gun though and attacked Russia before beating England. Operation Barbarossa (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Barbarossa) was a surprise attack meant to quickly take Moscow and when it failed the Nazis pretty much lost the war at that point. America got involved in the war and Mexico refused to attack the US so in the Nazi point of view the entire situation went to pot.
According to Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adolf_Hitler#Rearmament_and_new_alliances
“Hitler claimed German grievances relating to the Free City of Danzig and the Polish Corridor, that Germany had ceded under the Versailles Treaty. Britain had not been able to reach an agreement with the Soviet Union for an alliance against Germany, and, on 23 August 1939, Hitler concluded a secret non-aggression pact (the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molotov-Ribbentrop_Pact) with Stalin on which it was likely agreed that the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany would partition Poland. On 1 September Germany invaded the western portion of Poland. Having guaranteed assistance to Poland, Britain and France declared war on Germany on 3 September but did not immediately act. Not long after this, on 17 September, Soviet forces invaded eastern Poland….
On 22 June 1941, three million German troops attacked the Soviet Union, breaking the non-aggression pact Hitler had concluded with Stalin two years earlier. This invasion, Operation Barbarossa, seized huge amounts of territory, including the Baltic States, Belarus, and Ukraine. It also encircled and destroyed many Soviet forces. But the Germans were stopped short of Moscow in December 1941 by the Russian winter and fierce Soviet resistance. The invasion failed to achieve the quick triumph Hitler wanted.”
Hitler united with Fascist Italy and Japan to form the Axis powers (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axis_Powers). Hitler was the principle power and formed the Axis powers. Japan only joined so it could get the US off of its throat and control the Southern Pacific.
The Nazis were Fascist and very much anticommunist. Even how the politicians referred to their nations was different. It was Mother Russia and the Nazis had the Fatherland.
According to Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingdom_of_Italy_%281861%E2%80%931946%29
“During the time of the regime of the National Fascist Party under Benito Mussolini from 1922 to his ousting in 1943, the kingdom was often called by nationalists and Fascists as the Italian Empire (Italian: Impero Italiano) or the New Roman Empire (Italian: Nuovo Impero Romano, (Latin: Novum Imperium Romanum) but these were not used officially. The name often given by historians to the Kingdom of Italy during the rule of Mussolini and the Fascists is Fascist Italy by historians. Under fascism, the Kingdom allied with Nazi Germany in World War II until 1943. In the remaining two years of World War II, the Kingdom of Italy switched sides to the Allies after ousting Mussolini as Prime Minister and banning the Fascist party. The remnant fascist state that continued fighting against the Allies was a puppet state of Nazi Germany, the Italian Social Republic, still led by Mussolini and fanatical Fascists in northern Italy. Shortly after the war, civil discontent led to a referendum in 1946 on whether Italy would remain a monarchy or become a republic. Italians decided to abandon the monarchy and form the Italian Republic which is the present form of Italy today.”
The funny thing is that Karl Marx (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl_Marx) invented communism for an industrial society like Germany, not an agrarian society like Russia. His original book that inspired communism was “Das Kapital” and it was written in German (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Das_Kapital).
Answer by Larry R
The Soviets were communist.
The Nazis were fascist.
Both are forms of Socialisim, (NAZI is the English language acronym for National Socialist German Workers Party … In German it is Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei or NSDAP… which sort of sounds like NAZI.)
It boils down to this.
The Communists hated the democratic, capitalists, Judeo-Christian West (France, England, USA, etc.) because Communisim is atheistic and it hates capitalisim. They didn’t like the Nazis much either… pretty much because Communisim teaches that Communisim will inevitably take over the entire world. The fact that the Nazis had blocked the Communist take over of Germany after WW1 didn’t make them like each other either.
The Nazis hated the West because France/England/USA had beat them in WW 1, and they wern’t to big on capitalisim, or Christianity either. They hated the Communists too… in fact the Nazis rose to power in large part because they were actively fighting the Communists while nobody else in Germany was. Germany was a real mess after WW1, and it looked like the German Communists were going to take over Germany for a while… but the Nazis fought against that, and for a while that got them a lot of support from other groups who were anti-Communist, like buisness groups and church leaders.
Hitler tossed in racisim as well, he told the Germans they were “the Master Race” who, for evolutionary reasons, were supposed to wipe out all the “undermunchern” or “sub humans”. These subhumans were Jews, Gypsies, and anyone who wasn’t blonde and blue eyed…even Slavic peoples were considered “undermunchen”. To be honest few people thought Hitler really meant this when he said it, but his plan was to take over Russia, enslave the Russians, and settle the land with German war veterans.
Even though they didn’t like them, at first the Communists supported the Nazis… German Pilots and Army officers were secretly trained in the Soviet Union in the 1930s. The Soviets believed that Communisim was going to take over the world and they wanted an ally in their war against the West. They thought they saw that ally in the Nazis. Their plan was to get the Nazis to fight the West, let both sides bomb the heck out of each other, then the Soviets would attack the survivors and take over the world.
The Nazis figured they could use the Soviets help to get strong, then when they got strong enough they would take the Soviets down. That is what they tried to do…almost worked.
As you can see, both groups are pretty slimy. This should not be a suprise, all things considered.
The Nazi-Soviet Pact was basicly an agreement to carve up Poland. This had been done by Russia and Germany before
The Nazis hit Poland on September 1, 1939. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invasion_of_Poland_%281939%29
The Poles put up a good fight unitll the Soviets hit them from behind a few days later.
The Soviets went on to hit Finland (both Poland and Finland had been part of the Russian Empire before WW 1). The Fins put up a good fight.
Since the Nazis had hit Poland, and Poland had had a treaty with England and France, Nazi Germany was at war with England and France. They moved their army west and went after France, and England.
They got Norway, (need it as a base to attack England from) then went after Holland, Belgum, Luxembourg, Denmark, and France. They got all those, but they didn’t get England. They bombed England, but they couldn’t break her.
Hitler decided that since he couldn’t take England, it was now time to go take Russia, as he had always planned.
The British knew this was going to happen, and tried to warn the Russians. Stalin though HATED Winston Churchill… Churchill was very strongly anti-communist and he had provided much support to the anti-Communist Russians who fought against the Communist take over of Russia in the early 1920s. Stalin did not believe the British when they said Hitler was going to attack Russia. Stalin thought that England was trying to trick him into attacking Germany because England was loosing the war and needed the help. It was true that England was loosing the war against Germany at that point, and they did need the help… but they wern’t trying to trick Stalin, they were trying to warn him.
Hitler attacked Russia on the morning of June 22 1941. It was the largest invasion in human history. Much larger than D-Day (that was the largest AMPHIBIOUS invasion).
At 3:15 am on June 22, 1941, the Axis attacked. It is difficult to precisely pinpoint the strength of the opposing sides in this initial phase, as most German figures include reserves slated for the East but not yet committed, as well as several other issues of comparability between the German and USSR’s figures. A reasonable estimate is that roughly three million German soldiers went into action on 22 June, and that they were facing slightly fewer Soviet troops in the border Military Districts.
Hitler came within a hair of taking down the entire Soviet Union… which would have given him the farmland of the Ukraine, the oil fields of Baku, and millions of slave laborers. With that sort of support he would have cut south, captured the Middle Eastern oil fields, and linked up with the Japanese, and gone after British India… America would have been next on the agenda… probably sometime in the early 1950s if everything had worked out…
The Americans and the British couldn’t let that happen, they had to help Russia to keep Russia in the war, even though Russia was Communist.
At this point the Communist Soviets needed American and British help… most of their factories had been destroyed by the Germans, or captured, or were being moved East to places the Germans couldn’t reach…. they needed tanks and planes and guns….so they started screaming that they had ALWAYS been “anti-fascist”, and they talked about how they fought fascists in the Spanish Civil War, and how they had always hated Fascists, and they did NOT talk about how they had been Nazi allies in Poland.
The Americans and the British needed the Soviets to stay in the war… after all 3,000,000 German Solders were busy fighting them, and that was 3,000,000 that the British and Americans did NOT have to fight, so the Americans and the British sent as much help as they could to the Russians…http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arctic_convoys_of_World_War_II
this is not to say that the Russians didn ‘t do all the heavy lifting… more Russians died in the than any other Allied nation. 23,600,000 is the estimate, that includes 10,700,000 military, 11,900,000 civilains, and 1,000,000 Holocaust victims… but that is just an estimate, nobody knows for sure. It was about 13% of the entire population.
More people died on the Russian front than any other front in WW2.
Finally the combined efforts of the Allied powers turned the tide, and the Russians started pushing west, liberating the parts of Russia the Germans had taken and then moving into Poland and Germany. They finally took Berlin, and linked up with the Americans, British and Free French forces in Germany.
Answer by brainstorm
The nazis were fascist the same as Italy.
The Soviet Union was communist.
Hitler and Stalin made a pact before WW2 because Hitler wanted to give the Soviet Union a false sense of security even though he was persecuting communists in Germany and had always declared his intention of taking more land to the east.
Stalin wanted a pact with somebody because he felt his army was too weak to defend the whole of Russiaand he was politically isolated. He first approached Britain and France but they rejected him so Germany was his only chance.
Answer by darth_lizard06
The Russians stopped to make war with the Nazi but they didn’t make peace. Then Russia was a simple messenger (they where neutral after fascist fall) between the Japanese empire and the allied forces.
If you think all Russians were anti-fascist then ur wrong. Russia was a poor country and the had a period of cannibalism. Then a lot of Russians were recruited to the nazi army because the nazi had food, clothes, chocolate and everything.
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