|Drafted||October 23, 1936|
|Signed||November 25, 1936|
|Events leading to World War II|
The Anti-Comintern Pact (German : Antikominternpact; Japanese : 防共協定Boukyou kyoutei) was an anti-Communist pact concluded between Germany and Japan (later to be joined by other, mainly fascist, governments) on November 25, 1936, and was directed against the Communist International.
German is a West Germanic language that is mainly spoken in Central Europe. It is the most widely spoken and official or co-official language in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, South Tyrol (Italy), the German-speaking Community of Belgium, and Liechtenstein. It is also one of the three official languages of Luxembourg and a co-official language in the Opole Voivodeship in Poland. The languages which are most similar to German are the other members of the West Germanic language branch: Afrikaans, Dutch, English, the Frisian languages, Low German/Low Saxon, Luxembourgish, and Yiddish. There are also strong similarities in vocabulary with Danish, Norwegian and Swedish, although those belong to the North Germanic group. German is the second most widely spoken Germanic language, after English.
Japanese is an East Asian language spoken by about 128 million people, primarily in Japan, where it is the national language. It is a member of the Japonic language family, and its relation to other languages, such as Korean, is debated. Japanese has been grouped with language families such as Ainu, Austroasiatic, and the now-discredited Altaic, but none of these proposals has gained widespread acceptance.
Anti-communism is opposition to communism. Organized anti-communism developed after the 1917 October Revolution in Russia and it reached global dimensions during the Cold War, when the United States and the Soviet Union engaged in an intense rivalry. Anti-communism has been an element of movements holding many different political positions, including nationalist, social democratic, liberal, libertarian, conservative, fascist, capitalist, anarchist and even socialist viewpoints.
... recognizing that the aim of the Communist International, known as the Comintern, is to disintegrate and subdue existing States by all the means at its command; convinced that the toleration of interference by the Communist International in the internal affairs of the nations not only endangers their internal peace and social well‑being, but is also a menace to the peace of the world desirous of co‑operating in the defense against Communist subversive activities ...
The origins of the Anti-Comintern Pact go back to the autumn of 1935 shortly after Anglo-German Naval Agreement was signed and after the Seventh World Congress of the Comintern, when various German officials both within and outside the Foreign Ministry were attempting to achieve alignment between the Reich's foreign policy of traditional alliance with China and Hitler's desire for friendship with Japan.In October 1935, this idea was raised that an anti-Communist alliance might be able to tie in the Kuomintang regime, Japan and also Germany. In particular, this idea appealed to Joachim von Ribbentrop, the Special Ambassador at large and the head of the Dienststelle Ribbentrop and the Japanese Military Attaché in Berlin, General Hiroshi Ōshima, who hoped that such an alliance might lead to China's subordination to Japan. Lack of Chinese interest doomed the project's original intention, but in October–November 1935, Ribbentrop and General Oshima worked out a treaty directed against the Comintern. The pact was to be originally introduced in late November 1935 with invitations for China, Britain, Italy and Poland to join. However, concerns by the German Foreign Minister Baron Konstantin von Neurath and War Minister Field Marshal Werner von Blomberg that the pact might damage Sino–German relations and cause political disarray in Tokyo, following the failed military coup of February 26, 1936, led to the pact being shelved for a year. By the summer of 1936, the increased influence of the military in the Japanese government, concerns in Berlin and Tokyo about the Franco-Soviet alliance, and Hitler's desire for a dramatic anti-Communist foreign policy gesture that he believed might bring about an Anglo-German alliance led to the idea of the pact being revived. The pact was initiated on October 23, 1936, and later signed on November 25, 1936. In order to avoid damaging relations with the Soviet Union, the pact was supposedly directed only against the Comintern, but in fact contained a secret agreement that in the event of either signatory power becoming involved with a war with the Soviet Union, the other signatory power must maintain a benevolent neutrality.
The Anglo-German Naval Agreement of 18 June 1935 was a naval agreement between the United Kingdom and Germany regulating the size of the Kriegsmarine in relation to the Royal Navy. The Anglo-German Naval Agreement fixed a ratio whereby the total tonnage of the Kriegsmarine was to be 35% of the total tonnage of the Royal Navy on a permanent basis. It was registered in League of Nations Treaty Series on 12 July 1935. The agreement was renounced by Adolf Hitler on 28 April 1939. The Anglo-German Naval Agreement was an ambitious attempt on the part of both London and Berlin to reach better relations, but it ultimately foundered because of conflicting expectations between the two states. For the Germans, the Anglo-German Naval Agreement was intended to mark the beginning of an Anglo-German alliance against France and the Soviet Union, whereas for the British, the Anglo-German Naval Agreement was to be the beginning of a series of arms limitation agreements that were made to limit German expansionism. The Anglo-German Naval Agreement was controversial, both at the time and since, because the 35:100 tonnage ratio allowed Germany the right to build a Navy beyond the limits set by the Treaty of Versailles, and the British had made the agreement without consulting France or Italy.
The 7th World Congress of the Communist International (Comintern) was a multinational conference held in Moscow from July 25 through August 20, 1935 by delegated representatives of ruling and non-ruling communist parties from around the world and invited guests representing other political and organized labor organizations. The gathering was attended by 513 delegates, of whom 371 were accorded full voting rights, representing 65 Comintern member parties as well as 19 sympathizing parties.
Nazi Germany is the common English name for Germany between 1933 and 1945, when Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party (NSDAP) controlled the country through a dictatorship. Under Hitler's rule, Germany was transformed into a totalitarian state that controlled nearly all aspects of life via the Gleichschaltung legal process. The official name of the state was Deutsches Reich until 1943 and Großdeutsches Reich from 1943 to 1945. Nazi Germany is also known as the Third Reich, meaning "Third Realm" or "Third Empire", the first two being the Holy Roman Empire (800–1806) and the German Empire (1871–1918). The Nazi regime ended after the Allies defeated Germany in May 1945, ending World War II in Europe.
In case of an attack by the Soviet Union against Germany or Japan, the two countries agreed to consult on what measures to take "to safeguard their common interests". They also agreed that neither of them would make any political treaties with the Soviet Union, and Germany also agreed to recognize Manchukuo.
Manchukuo was a puppet state of the Empire of Japan in Northeast China and Inner Mongolia from 1932 until 1945. It was founded as a republic, but in 1934 it became a constitutional monarchy. It had limited international recognition and was under the de facto control of Japan.
On November 6, 1937, Italy and Spain also joined the pact, [ citation needed ]thereby forming the group that would later be known as the Axis Powers. Italy's decision was more or less a reaction against the failed Stresa Front, the Franco-British initiative of 1935 designed to keep Germany from extending beyond its present borders. In particular, both nations tried to block "German expansionism", especially the annexation of Austria, which was also in Italy's best interests to prevent. Distrustful relations and Benito Mussolini's own expansionism furthered the distance between Italy and the United Kingdom, as well as France. Italy invaded Ethiopia in October 1935, in an act of unprovoked aggression that was a breach of the League of Nations policy. Nevertheless, Britain and France joined in a secret agreement with Italy to give it two-thirds of Ethiopia, the Hoare–Laval Pact. When this information was leaked to the public in Britain and France, their governments were entangled in a subsequent scandal and the British Foreign Secretary, Samuel Hoare, was later forced to resign. Consequently, the Hoare-Laval Pact was aborted.
The Kingdom of Italy was a state which existed from 1861—when King Victor Emmanuel II of Sardinia was proclaimed King of Italy—until 1946—when a constitutional referendum led civil discontent to abandon the monarchy and form the modern Italian Republic. The state was founded as a result of the unification of Italy under the influence of the Kingdom of Sardinia, which can be considered its legal predecessor state.
The Stresa Front was an agreement made in Stresa, a town on the banks of Lake Maggiore in Italy, between French prime minister Pierre Laval, British prime minister Ramsay MacDonald, and Italian prime minister Benito Mussolini on April 14, 1935. Formally called the Final Declaration of the Stresa Conference, its aim was to reaffirm the Locarno Treaties and to declare that the independence of Austria "would continue to inspire their common policy". The signatories also agreed to resist any future attempt by the Germans to change the Treaty of Versailles. The Stresa Front broke down within two months of the initial agreement after the Italian invasion of Abyssinia.
Anschluss refers to the annexation of Austria into Nazi Germany on 12 March 1938. The word's German spelling, until the German orthography reform of 1996, was Anschluß and it was also known as the Anschluss Österreichs.
Earlier, in June 1935, the surprise Anglo-German Naval Agreement was signed between the United Kingdom and Germany. This marked the beginning of a series of attempts by Adolf Hitler to improve relations between the two countries, form a pact, and isolate the Soviet Union, which resulted in the Soviet Union and Britain attempting to do the same and isolate Germany. Hitler also made an effort to influence the Poles into joining the Anti-Comintern Pact and spoke of his intention to settle territorial disputes between Germany and Poland [ citation needed ] by the Anglo-German Naval Agreement, but the leaders of the military clique then in control in Tokyo concluded that it was a ruse designed to buy the Nazis time to build up their navy. They continued to plot war against either the Soviet Union or the Western democracies, assuming Germany would eventually act against either of them. Hitler's initial efforts to develop relations with Britain eventually failed.[ citation needed ](see also German–Polish Non-Aggression Pact). However, Poland refused Germany's terms, fearing that an alliance with Hitler would render Poland a German puppet state. At the time, many Japanese politicians, including Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, were shocked
Adolf Hitler was a German politician and leader of the Nazi Party. He rose to power as Chancellor of Germany in 1933 and later Führer in 1934. During his dictatorship from 1933 to 1945, he initiated World War II in Europe by invading Poland in September 1939. He was closely involved in military operations throughout the war and was central to the perpetration of the Holocaust.
The German–Polish Non-Aggression Pact was an international treaty between Nazi Germany and the Second Polish Republic, signed on January 26, 1934. Both countries pledged to resolve their problems by bilateral negotiations and to forgo armed conflict for a period of ten years. It effectively normalized relations between Poland and Germany, which were previously strained by border disputes arising from the territorial settlement in the Treaty of Versailles. Germany effectively recognized Poland's borders and moved to end an economically damaging customs war between the two countries that had taken place over the previous decade. Before 1933 Poland had worried that some sort of alliance would take place between Germany and the Soviet Union, to the detriment of Poland. Therefore, Poland had a military alliance with France. The Nazis and the Communists were bitter enemies of each other, so when Hitler came to power in 1933 the likelihood of hostile alliance seemed remote.
A puppet state, puppet regime, or puppet government is a state that is de jure independent but is de facto completely dependent upon an outside power. It is nominally sovereign but effectively controlled by a foreign or otherwise alien power, for reasons such as financial interests, economic or military support.
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At about a year after the Munich Agreement, in August 1939, Germany broke the terms of the Anti-Comintern Pact when the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact was signed between the Soviet Union and Germany. However, by 1940, Hitler began to plan for a potential invasion (planned to start in 1941) of the Soviet Union. The German foreign minister, Joachim von Ribbentrop, was sent to negotiate a new treaty with Japan. On September 25, 1940, Ribbentrop sent a telegram to Vyacheslav Molotov, the Soviet foreign minister, informing him that Germany, Italy, Spain and Japan were about to sign a military alliance. Ribbentrop tried to reassure Molotov by claiming that this alliance was to be directed towards the United States and not the Soviet Union.
The Anti-Comintern Pact was revised in 1941, after Germany's assault on the Soviet Union that commenced with Operation Barbarossa and on November 25 its renewal for further five years was undertaken. This time the signatories were:
The government of occupied Denmark demanded four exemptions to make it clear they took upon themselves no military or political obligations, that the only actions against communists would be police enforcements, that the actions would apply only to Denmark's own territory, and that Denmark remained a neutral country. The German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop was furious and in a fit threatened the Danish Foreign Minister Erik Scavenius with arrest. In the end Ribbentrop settled down and the Danish addendum was accepted as a secret one with only a few minor changes. The secrecy was the German demand, to avoid diluting the propaganda effect; this apparent full participation damaged Denmark's reputation as a "neutral" country. Several Danish diplomats stationed in Allied countries decided to distance themselves from their government after the signing.
In reality, and some months prior to the signing, the Danish police had on their own initiative arrested and detained hundreds of Danish Communists without charge on 22 June 1941, including members of parliament, and later, on 20 August, they deported around one hundred of them to the Horserød camp. With the signature of the Anti-Comintern Pact, which was made retroactive, the Danish government officially justified these arrests, but the prisoners were never put before any court and 150 were later deported to the Stutthof concentration camp by the Gestapo in 1943.
Ulrich Friedrich Wilhelm Joachim von Ribbentrop, more commonly known as Joachim von Ribbentrop, was Foreign Minister of Nazi Germany from 1938 until 1945.
The Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact was a neutrality pact between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union signed in Moscow on 23 August 1939 by foreign ministers Joachim von Ribbentrop and Vyacheslav Molotov, respectively. The pact was also known as the Nazi–Soviet Pact, the Hitler–Stalin Pact, or the German–Soviet Nonaggression Pact.
The Axis powers, also known as "Rome–Berlin–Tokyo Axis", were the nations that fought in World War II against the Allies. The Axis powers agreed on their opposition to the Allies, but did not completely coordinate their activity.
The Tripartite Pact, also known as the Berlin Pact, was an agreement between Germany, Italy and Japan signed in Berlin on 27 September 1940 by, respectively, Joachim von Ribbentrop, Galeazzo Ciano and Saburō Kurusu. It was a defensive military alliance that was eventually joined by Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Yugoslavia, as well as by the German client state of Slovakia. Yugoslavia's accession provoked a coup d'état in Belgrade two days later, and Italy and Germany responded by invading Yugoslavia and partitioning the country. The resulting Italo-German client state known as the Independent State of Croatia joined the pact on 15 June 1941.
The Pact of Steel, known formally as the Pact of Friendship and Alliance between Germany and Italy, was a military and political alliance between Italy and Germany.
German–Soviet Union relations date to the aftermath of the First World War. The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, dictated by Germany ended hostilities between Russia and Germany; it was signed on March 3, 1918. A few months later, the German ambassador to Moscow, Wilhelm von Mirbach, was shot dead by Russian Left Socialist-Revolutionaries in an attempt to incite a new war between Russia and Germany. The entire Soviet embassy under Adolph Joffe was deported from Germany on November 6, 1918, for their active support of the German Revolution. Karl Radek also illegally supported communist subversive activities in Weimar Germany in 1919.
The German–Soviet Credit Agreement was an economic arrangement between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union whereby the latter received an acceptance credit of 200 million Reichsmark over 7 years with an effective interest rate of 4.5 percent. The credit line was to be used during the next two years for purchase of capital goods in Germany and was to be paid off by means of Soviet material shipment from 1946 onwards. The economic agreement was the first step toward improvement in relations between the Soviet Union and Germany. The next day after the Credit Agreement, the Soviet Union went to war against Japan, in a successful four-week military campaign in the Far East. The Nazi-Soviet Pact was signed four days after the Credit Agreement. The 1939 German–Soviet Commercial Agreement renewed declined Nazi–Soviet economic relations and was adjusted and expanded with the larger German–Soviet Commercial Agreement in February 1940 and January 1941 German–Soviet Border and Commercial Agreement. German shipments to the Soviets became tardy and failed to provide all that was promised the closer the date of Barbarossa came. The Soviets fulfilled their obligations to the letter right up until the invasion, wanting to avoid provoking Germany. All these agreements were terminated when Germany invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941, in violation of the treaties between the two countries. Soviet trade with Germany in the pre-invasion period ended up providing the Germans with many of the resources they needed for their invasion of the Soviet Union.
When Lenin and the Bolsheviks took over Russia in 1918, they faced enormous odds against the German Empire, and then the against multiple enemies in a bitter civil war.. At first, it was treated as an unrecognized Pariah state because of its repudiating the tsarist debts and threats to destroy capitalism at home and around the world. By 1922, Moscow had repudiated the goal of world revolution, and sought diplomatic recognition and friendly trade relations with the world, starting with Britain and Germany. Trade and technical help from Germany and the United States arrived in the late 1920s. Under dictator Joseph Stalin, the country was transformed in the 1930s into an industrial and military power. A totally unexpected treaty with Germany in 1939 allowed the Nazis to launch World War II with attacks first on Poland and in 1940 Western Europe without worrying about a two-front war. Germany in 1941 turned east in a massive invasion that reached the outskirts of Leningrad and Moscow. However, the Soviet Union proved strong enough to defeat Nazi Germany, with help from its key allies the United States and Great Britain.
This timeline of events preceding World War II covers the events of the interwar period (1918–1939) after World War I that affected or led to World War II.
The military alliance between the United Kingdom and Poland was formalised by the Anglo-Polish Agreement in 1939 and subsequent addenda of 1940 and 1944, for mutual assistance in case of military invasion from Germany, as specified in a secret protocol.
The Tientsin incident (天津事件) was an international incident created by a blockade by the Imperial Japanese Army's Japanese Northern China Area Army of the British settlements in the north China treaty port of Tientsin in June 1939. Originating as a minor administrative dispute, it escalated into a major diplomatic incident.
The 1940 German-Soviet Commercial Agreement was an economic arrangement between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany signed on February 11, 1940 by which the Soviet Union agreed in period from February 11, 1940 to February 11, 1941, in addition to the deliveries under German–Soviet Commercial Agreement, signed on August 19, 1939 deliver the commodities to the value of 420 to 430 million Reichsmarks.
The German–Soviet Border and Commercial Agreement, signed on January 10, 1941, was a broad agreement settling border disputes and continuing raw materials and war machine trade between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany. The agreement continued the countries' relationship that started in 1939 with the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact containing secret protocols dividing Eastern Europe between the Soviet Union and Germany, and the subsequent invasions by Germany and the Soviet Union of that territory. The German–Soviet Border and Commercial Agreement contained additional secret protocols settling a dispute regarding land in Lithuania previously split between the countries. The agreement continued Nazi–Soviet economic relations that had been expanded by the 1939 German–Soviet Commercial Agreement and the larger 1940 German–Soviet Commercial Agreement.
The Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact was an August 23, 1939, agreement between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany colloquially named after Soviet foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov and German foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop. The treaty renounced warfare between the two countries. In addition to stipulations of non-aggression, the treaty included a secret protocol dividing several eastern European countries between the parties.
Falsifiers of History was a book published by the Soviet Information Bureau, edited and partially re-written by Joseph Stalin, in response to documents made public in January 1948 regarding German–Soviet relations before and after the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact.
In October and November 1940, German–Soviet Axis talks occurred concerning the Soviet Union's potential entry as a fourth Axis Power in World War II. The negotiations, which occurred during the era of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, included a two-day Berlin conference between Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov, Adolf Hitler and German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop, followed by both countries trading written proposed agreements. After two days of negotiations from 12 to 14 November 1940, Germany presented the Soviets with a draft written Axis pact agreement defining the world spheres of influence of the four proposed Axis powers. Hitler, Ribbentrop and Molotov tried to set German and Soviet spheres of influence; Hitler encouraged Molotov to look south to Iran and eventually India while preserving German access to Finland's resources, and to remove Soviet influence in the Balkans. Molotov remained firm, seeking to remove German troops from Finland and gain a warm water port in the Balkans. Soviet foreign policy calculations were predicated by the idea that the war would be a long-term struggle and therefore German claims that Britain would be defeated swiftly were treated with scepticism. In addition, Stalin sought to remain influential in Bulgaria and Yugoslavia. These factors resulted in Molotov taking a firm line. According to a Columbia University academical source, on 25 November 1940, the Soviets presented a Stalin-drafted written counterproposal where they would accept the four power pact, but it included Soviet rights to Bulgaria and a world sphere of influence centered on the area around Iraq and Iran. Germany did not respond, leaving the negotiations unresolved. Regarding the counterproposal, Hitler remarked to his top military chiefs that Stalin "demands more and more", "he's a cold-blooded blackmailer" and that "a German victory has become unbearable for Russia" so that "she must be brought to her knees as soon as possible." Germany broke the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact in June 1941 by invading the Soviet Union.
The timeline of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact is a chronology of events, including Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact negotiations, leading up to, culminating in, and resulting from the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact. The Treaty of Non-aggression between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union was signed in the early hours of August 24, 1939, but was dated August 23.
A pact, from Latin pactum, is a formal agreement. In international relations, pacts are usually between two or more sovereign states. In domestic politics, pacts are usually between two or more political parties or other organizations.
The Pact of Friendship, Neutrality, and Nonaggression between Italy and the Soviet Union, also known as the Italo-Soviet Pact, was a diplomatic agreement between the Soviet Union and Italy. Signed on 2 September 1933, the agreement was in place until 22 June 1941 when Italy declared war on the Soviet Union during the Second World War. The pact built on earlier economic relations, seeking to ensure security in the Balkans and for a time mutual suspicion of German intentions.