The pact's publicly stated intentions were a guarantee of non-belligerence by each party towards the other and a commitment that neither party would ally itself to or aid an enemy of the other party. In addition to stipulations of non-aggression, the treaty included a secret protocol that divided territories of Romania, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and Finland into German and Soviet "spheres of influence", anticipating potential "territorial and political rearrangements" of these countries. Thereafter, Germany invaded Poland on 1 September 1939. After the Soviet–Japanese ceasefire agreement took effect on 16 September, Stalin ordered his own invasion of Poland on 17 September. Part of southeastern (Karelia) and Salla region in Finland were annexed by the Soviet Union after the Winter War. This was followed by Soviet annexations of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and parts of Romania (Bessarabia, Northern Bukovina, and the Hertza region). It was only in 1989 that the Soviet authorities admitted the existence of the secret protocol of the Nazi–Soviet Pact. A concern about ethnic Ukrainians and Belarusians had been proffered as the reason for the Soviet invasion of Poland, rather than Soviet expansionism.
The pact remained in force until the German government broke it by invading the Soviet Union on 22 June 1941.
Treaty of Non-aggression between Germany and the USSR In Joe SteeleEdit
In 1939, Adolf Hitler was screaming about the Polish Corridor. Britain and France, having been deceived over the Sudetenland the previous year, did not accept his claims and threatened to go to war if Germany attempted to seize it. In addition, they sent delegations to the Soviet Union to try to convince Leon Trotsky to support them.
Trotsky listened to what they had to say and then to Germany. In the last week of August, Maxim Litvinov flew to Berlin and signed a non-aggression treaty and trade package with Joachim von Ribbentrop, the Litvinov-Ribbentrop Pact. A week later, Germany invaded Poland. Britain and France declared war but aside from a few minor skirmishes on the western frontier, did not invade. With Poland nearly defeated, Trotsky then attacked from the east, nominally to restore order but in reality to split the country with Germany. The two armies meet at the new, pre-arranged frontier with Nazi and Red officers shaking hands.