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Men of InfluenceStalin's Diplomats in Europe, 1930-1939$
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Sabine Dullin and Editions Payot

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780748622191

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748622191.001.0001

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Sidelined by the Soviet motherland

Sidelined by the Soviet motherland

(p.248) 6 Sidelined by the Soviet motherland
Men of Influence

Sabine Dullin

Edinburgh University Press

The Soviet Union had begun a programme of rearmament at the end of 1931. It was not, however, ready for war, and this was all the more true, since the purges had paradoxically decimated the ranks of the general staff. The proposals for collective security put forward by Soviet diplomats in previous years seemed rather absurd given the ever-growing reticence of the Western democracies and the ever-growing power of Germany. This chapter tells the story of the demoralisation that affected Litvinov and those around him. When Litvinov was dismissed in May 1939, a further bridge was crossed in the rejection of the Western powers, which explosively came to a head with the signing of the Nazi–Soviet pact on 23 August.

Keywords:   Soviet Union, rearmament, Germany, Litvinov, collective security, Western democracy, Nazi–Soviet pact

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