The Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact

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In 1939, Adolf Hitler was preparing for war. Though he was hoping to acquire Poland without force (as he had annexed Austria the year before), Hitler was planning against the possibility of fighting a war on 2 fronts. Since fighting a two front war in World War I had split Germany's forces and it had weakened and undermined their offensive, it played a large role in Germany losing the First World War. Hitler was determined not to repeat the same mistakes. So, he planned ahead and made a pact with the Russians - the Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact. The Two Sides Met on August 14, 1939, German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop contacted the Soviets to arrange a deal. Ribbentrop met with the Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov in Moscow and together they arranged two pacts - the economic agreement and the Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact. The first pact was an economic agreement, which Ribbentrop and Molotov signed on August 19, 1939. The economic agreement committed the Soviet Union to provide food products as well as raw materials to Germany in exchange for furnished products such as machinery from Germany. During the first years of the war, this economic agreement helped Germany bypass the British blockade. On August 23, 1939, four days after the economic agreement was signed and a little over a week before the beginning of World War II, Ribbentrop and Molotov signed the Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact. (The pact is also referred to as the German-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact and the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact.) Publicly, this agreement stated that the two countries - Germany and the Soviet Union - would not attack each other. If there were ever a problem between the two countries, it was to be handled amicably. The pact was supposed to last for ten years; it lasted for less than two. It meant that if Germany attacked Poland, then the Soviet Union

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