p Maxim Gorky once said that it is useful to climb up the hills of the past in order to see further into 186 the future. To successfully fight the aggressive schemes of imperialists today we must study the lessons of history.
p Nearly forty years have passed since the peoples’ victory over German fascism. The great achievement of the Soviet people, who courageously defended their country and set the future development of society along the path of socialism, will never be forgotten. Leonid Brezhnev stated: "The defeat of Nazi Germany signified the victory of progress over reaction, humanity over barbarism and the victory of socialism over imperialist obscurantism. This victory opened the road for advancing the revolutionary struggle of the working class, a national liberation movement on an unprecedented scale and the destruction of the shameful colonial system." [186•1
p The grim experience endured by freedom- loving peoples in the struggle against Nazi aggression and the historical lessons of the Second World War have made it possible to better understand the present and foresee the future, to acquire insight into the workings of imperialist circles, into their subversive activities directed against the peace and security of nations.
p The victory of the USSR in the Great Patriotic War was not just the victory of the Soviet Army over the armies of fascist Germany, its satellites and the other Axis Powers, but the victory of Soviet diplomacy. Just like the soldiers of the armed forces, the fighters on the diplomatic front honourably fulfilled their difficult missions.
p In war years, questions of foreign policy were 187 inextricably linked with the battles being fought on the Soviet-German Front. And it was the determination and courage of the Soviet soldiers, their success in crushing the Nazi military machine that more than anything else determined the solution to these questions. At the same time, it was the good, efficient Soviet diplomacy that, to a large extent, allowed the enemy to be defeated more quickly.
p Another factor which led to the final victory over German fascism was the development by the Communist Party and the Soviet government of the Leninist principle concerning the peaceful co-existence of states with different social systems. This principle was put into practice when the powerful anti-Nazi coalition of states was created.
p The anti-Nazi coalition was an important factor leading to the defeat of German fascism. It also proved Lenin’s premise that governments with different socio-economic systems could cooperate, that the peoples of the Soviet Union, the United States, Great Britain, France and other countries could live in peace, cooperating in political, economic and other spheres for their mutual benefit.
p But there were also certain groups who viewed the anti-Nazi coalition with suspicion and even hostility. Today these reactionary circles of imperialism cannot reckon with the outcome of the Second World War and seek to hinder the development of equal and mutually beneficial cooperation among countries with different social-economic systems.
p Certain reactionary political and military figures even developed a “theory” which suggested that the anti-Nazi coalition was an unnatural, chance phenomenon. This “theory” was developed in the works of American historians Thomas Bailey, Louis Sny- 188 der, Edgar Furniss and the former head of the United States Military Mission to the USSR, John Deane. Deane even titled his book, The Strange Alliance. The Story of Our Efforts at Wartime Cooperation with Russia.
p A number of historians in the Soviet Union and other socialist countries have shown this “theory” to be untenable. Its proponents seek to distort the events of the past and hinder the development of peace today.
p There were, however, difficulties in preserving the anti-Nazi coalition. Sharp disagreements sometimes took shape among the coalition members representing different social systems. Conflicts arose over the opening of a second front in Europe for the purpose of hastening the defeat of the common enemy and concerning the democratic principles for the post-war world.
p But disagreements among the countries belonging to the anti-Nazi coalition could not always be attributed to the fact that the member nations represented different social systems. Conflicts often arose as a result of the activity of influential antiSoviet circles in the United States and Great Britain which feared a victory by the freedom-loving peoples of the world and nurtured plans for preserving reactionary regimes in Europe. These regimes would not be fascist but would be controlled by the reactionaries’ own governments. Harry Hopkins acknowledged: "There are plenty of people in America who would have been perfectly willing to see our armies go right through Germany and fight with Russia after Germany was defeated,” and to "take advantage of every rift between ourselves and Russia to make trouble between our two countries".189
p The unwillingness of reactionaries in the West to face reality undermined the effectiveness of the anti-Nazi coalition and prolonged the war, thus raising the toll of human life.
p Nevertheless, the member nations of the coalition were able to overcome their differences. Their cooperation in military, political and economic spheres allowed them to defeat Nazi Germany and lay the grounds for a firm and lasting peace. Overall, during 1941–1945 the US and Great Britain pursued a realistic foreign policy.
p This realistic policy can be attributed, firstly, to the fact that the leaders of these countries realised that they could not defeat the military might of Germany and Japan without the help of the Soviet Union. Secondly, the victories of the Soviet Armed Forces over the Nazis destroyed the hopes of reactionary circles in the West that the Soviet Union would be weakened by the war. Soviet diplomacy also contributed to the triumph of realistic American and British foreign policies. Russian diplomats consistently practised the restraint and flexibility necessary for reaching compromises while at the same time staunchly defending the interests of the USSR.
p When, after much diplomatic effort, an agreement was signed with the other Allies, the Soviet Union resolutely tried to abide by it. The Soviet Union believed that successful cooperation among the members of the anti-Nazi coalition depended on each country’s fulfilling its obligations. Addressing Parliament on February 27, 1945, Churchill admitted: "... The Soviet leaders wish to live in honourable friendship and equality with the Western democracies. I feel also that their word is their bond. I know of no Government which stands to its obli- 190 gations, even in its own despite, more solidly than the Russian Soviet Government."
p As the Second World War was drawing to a close, Soviet diplomacy was faced with a difficult task. The international political situation was becoming increasingly complicated as anti-Soviet elements in the West stepped up their activity. Frightened by the increased military strength of the Soviet Union and the growth of the democratic liberation struggle of the peoples of the world, reactionary circles in the US and Great Britain began to pressure their governments not to completely destroy fascist Germany and to make a separate pact with the Nazis.
p German diplomacy was also working towards this goal. This book has presented facts which show that while the Nazis were suffering crushing defeats on the Soviet-German Front, the German ruling circles, generals, influential bankers and military industrialists continued to try to cause a rift in the anti-Nazi coalition. They hoped to establish contacts with anti-Soviet circles in the West in order to conclude a separate peace and thus preserve Germany’s economic and political base so that the country could again attempt to redistribute the world in its favour.
p Soviet diplomats were determined in their efforts to prevent these two reactionary groups in the imperialist camp from uniting. At the same time the victories of the Soviet Army were radically changing the military-political situation and the balance of power in the world. This served to strengthen the position of sober-minded people in the West, who were now certain that underestimating the USSR and disregarding its legal interests would ultimately hurt the Western Powers. Public opinion also played a factor here. The American 191 and British people would have strongly opposed any separate deal with Nazi Germany. For these reasons many people in the West believed that international problems could be solved only if the Third Reich were completely destroyed and the member nations of the anti-Nazi coalition continued to cooperate after the war.
p The US government’s position on this matter was also determined by the fact that it wanted the Soviet Union to enter the war against Japan. If Washington failed to exact Germany’s unconditional surrender, the Soviet Union might not live up to its obligations.
p The Soviet Union never ceased in its efforts to bring about Germany’s total defeat. Consistent efforts of Soviet diplomacy directed towards strengthening the anti-Nazi coalition increased its international influence and further isolated Nazi Germany. During the war years the USSR established diplomatic relations with 23 countries and reestablished relations with ten countries. On the other hand, by the time of its unconditional surrender on May 9, 1945, Germany had lost all its allies in Europe and 55 countries had declared war against the country. The Nazis’ diplomatic isolation hastened their military defeat.
p History has proven that in the interest of preserving peace and security for all nations, the leaders of Western countries must not become involved with anti-Soviet intrigues, but rather develop relations with the Soviet Union and other socialist countries based on mutual respect of interests, equal security and fulfillment of agreements and obligations.
p The last few months of the Second World War serve as a reminder that we must remain wary of 192 the reactionary schemes of modern capitalism. Much of the deceit and treachery employed by the Nazis in their diplomacy is now characteristic of reactionaries in the West who wish to deprive the people of the fruits of their victory against fascism. These are the same people who are encouraging militarist circles in West Germany to develop nuclear weapons and urging them to take aggressive action against the socialist government of German workers and peasants—the German Democratic Republic.
p The efforts of the bellicose, imperialist Nazis and their allies to turn back the march of history, to stop the peoples’ struggle for peace and social progress resulted in the military defeat of German fascism. This was a remarkable manifestation of the constant process that has come to be characteristic of the world today—a change in the balance of power in the world favouring peace, democracy and socialism.
p Today the foreign policy of the CPSU and the Soviet government continues to work towards these goals. With the support of other socialist countries and the peace-loving peoples of the world, the Soviet Union’s policy for peace, detente, disarmament, the realisation of the Peace Programme, put forward by the CPSU, has made significant progress in putting an end to the tragic recurrence of war. Everyone who struggles for peace, detente and the peaceful co-existence of governments with different social systems can be proud of this accomplishment.
p Imperialists in the West today try to ignore the strengthening position of socialism, the success of the national liberation movement and the growth of democratic forces. They oppose these processes with a policy which is non-conducive to peace. 193 NATO members, especially the United States, are trying to upset the established balance of military power in the world in their favour and to the detriment of socialist countries, detente and security of nations.
p At the 26th Congress of the CPSU it was noted that the aggressive actions of Western reactionaries are an indication of the weakness of the imperialist system. During the 1970s the balance of power between socialism and capitalism swung even further in favour of socialism. Speaking at the 26th Congress, Brezhnev noted: "It is absolutely obvious that today the Soviet Union and its allies are more than ever the chief buttress of world peace." [193•1 More countries have freed themselves from the yoke of imperialism, and the union between world socialism and the national liberation movement has strengthened. Communist parties are more numerous and influential with the masses and there has been a deepening of the general crisis in capitalism. Conflicts between imperialist nations as they fight for markets and sources of raw materials and energy are increasing.
p The difficulties which the capitalist system is experiencing today markedly influence its foreign policy.
p Faced with a powerful surge in the peoples’ liberation movement and the weakening of their own positions, the most aggressive imperialist circles are willing to gamble with the vital interests of humanity in search of their own self-interests. They are trying to accomplish the impossible—to 194 block the road of progressive change in the world and reassert themselves as the rulers of destinies. It is this position which has contributed to a significant increase in international tension with all its dangerous consequences. "To safeguard peace—no task is more important now on the international plane for our Party, for our people and, for that matter, for all the peoples of the world." [194•1
p The Soviet Union views the world situation realistically and considers that there are objective possibilities and socio-political forces which today are capable of preventing the enemies of peace from implementing their schemes and dragging the world into another cold war. It is possible to preserve detente and avert the threat of nuclear war. "The military and strategic equilibrium prevailing between the USSR and the USA, between the Warsaw Treaty and NATO, objectively serves to safeguard world peace. We have not sought, and do not now seek, military superiority over the other side. That is not our policy. But neither will we permit the building up of any such superiority over us. Attempts of that kind and talking to us from a position of strength are absolutely futile." [194•2 The 26th Congress of the CPSU emphasised that Lenin’s concept of peaceful coexistence between two systems of government was not an unrealistic Utopia but a proven basis for further development in the field of practical peaceful cooperation among countries.
p The Soviet Union opposes the aggressive forces of imperialism which seek to destroy detente, ac- 195 celerate the arms race and interfere in the internal affairs of other states with its own policy directed towards curbing a military build-up, strengthening peace and detente and defending the sovereign rights and freedom of nations.
p The Peace Programme proposed by the 24th and 25th Congresses of the CPSU remains a reliable compass. The 26th Congress has pointed out that the world situation today requires new, additional efforts to eliminate the threat of war and strengthen international security. The new concrete measures for improving the international situation and preventing war are a continuation and further development of the Peace Programme aimed at solving the vital issues in the world today.
p In striving to ensure world peace, Soviet diplomacy steadfastly adheres to Leninist policy, reveals and undermines the schemes of the instigators of war and decisively rebuffs imperialist claims.
[186•1] L. I. Brezhnev, Following Lenin’s Course, Politizdat, Moscow, 1973, p. 120, Vol. 1 (in Russian).
[193•1] Documents and Resolutions. The 26th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Novosti Press Agency Publishing House, Moscow, 1981, p. 7.
[194•1] Documents and Resolutions. The 26th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, p. 40.
[194•2] Ibid., p. 30.
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