Russia and the Weimar Republic

Russia and the Weimar Republic

Russia and the Weimar Republic

Russia and the Weimar Republic

Excerpt

In the main this book speaks for itself. It is an attempt to trace the varying relationship between Soviet Russia and the Germany of 1919-1934, that is, roughly the period of the Weimar Republic. The relationship itself was compounded of three elements -- diplomatic, political (i.e. the connection between the Comintern and the German Communist Party), and military. There was some inter-action between all three, but not to such an extent that they cannot be separated for the purposes of study. All three were in existence during the fourteen or fifteen years covered by the book; similarly all three ceased to pursue their joint existence after 1934.

Owing to the relative lack of attention given to the period, some of the detailed narrative will no doubt be unfamiliar to the reader. It seems, therefore, that the most apt form an introductory note may take is a short conspectus of the principal conclusions reached.

Briefly, then, the beginning of the period is characterised by the Russian belief in an imminent revolution in Germany, a country that Lenin in 1918 compared to a rotting tree. The Soviet leaders had little or no conception that in Germany, of all countries, they might be confronted with a capitalist and not a communist régime. This optimistic view predominated, although with declining vigour, until 1923, when the abortive German Revolution in November of that year finally ended the prospect of a communist Germany within any measurable or reasonable period of time.

Thenceforward, the emphasis changed in favour of normal diplomatic contact, with revolutionary hopes at a discount. The one side of the medal was represented by the doctrine of socialism in one country, first enunciated by Stalin in the autumn of 1924. The obverse was represented by the strengthening of the Russo- German Treaty of Rapallo which, although signed early in 1922, did not take on its full importance until two years later.

What was this importance? It varied in each case. To Russia, Rapallo denoted primarily an assurance that the capitalist world was disunited. Germany was often referred to by Soviet spokesmen and publicists as a point d'appui, a foothold in the enemy's . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.