A Beautiful Friendship: Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin Essay
The signal that something was up between the two totalitarian powers had come some four months earlier but European chancelleries overlooked it. For on May 3, 1939 came the startling news that the Soviet Foreign Minister Maxim Litvinov had resigned "at his own request." Litvinov, of Jewish origin and strongly anti-Nazi, had been replaced by Vyacheslav Molotov. His …show more content…
The effect on communist and fellow-traveling intellectuals in the U.S. and Western Europe was devastating. Stalin toasting Hitler! Impossible; it must be capitalist propaganda! But there were the photographs, the champagne glasses.
Die-hard communists quickly recovered, forgetting yesterday's anti-fascist slogans. They applauded the new party line as the Nazis bombed Poland into the dust and applauded even louder on Sept. 17, when the Red Army marched over a prostrate Poland to grab its share of the territorial loot.
And now the communist propaganda machine began issuing new manifestos: Britain and France were engaging in an unconscionable "imperialist" war. All means should be taken to sabotage the war effort by the Western allies. Guiding their efforts was Molotov's statement: "It is not only absurd, it is criminal to wage a war to `smash Hitlerism' under the false slogan of a war for democracy."
And so Communist Party members did whatever they could to help Hitler win. It has been forgotten, but Stalin had earlier helped