Thursday, March 10, 2011

German Cartoon on the German-Soviet Pact of 1939

When Germany and the Soviet Union signed a non-aggression pact on 23 August 1939, World War II essentially began.  Hitler now felt free of the threat of a two-front war.  A little over a week later he turned his armies loose on Poland.

The agreement was a tremendous relief to Germans — it seemed another of Hitler’s diplomatic master strokes. This cartoon from the 25 August 1939 issue of the Freiburger Zeitung expressed the sense of relief. In the first frame, England and France are discussing how  to “encircle” Germany while Stalin listens quietly. In the second frame, France announces it will attack from the West. In the third frame, England announces it will attack by sea. In the final frame, against the backdrop “Non-Aggression Pact with Germany,” Stalin leaves saying “...and we won’t come at all!”

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