Cover Osteuropa 7-8/2009

In Osteuropa 7-8/2009

Unleashing the War
A Look Back at the Hitler-Stalin Pact

Werner Benecke

Deutsche Fassung


At the end of August 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union concluded a pact that officially obliged both parties to refrain from any kind of aggression against the other. In reality, the previously antagonistic dictatorships divided East Central Europe into spheres of influence. This surprising coup was more deeply rooted in the overall prewar situation in Europe than the hastily achieved agreements between Hitler and Stalin would suggest at first glance.

(Osteuropa 7-8/2009, pp. 33–46)