[Marxism] The Hitler-Stalin Pact of 1939 : Book Review

Sukla Sen suklasenp at yahoo.co.uk
Fri Sep 1 20:51:24 MDT 2006

 Betrayal: The Hitler-Stalin Pact of 1939 (Hardcover)

by Wolfgang Leonhard, Richard D. Bosley (Translator)

Hardcover: 215 pages

Publisher: St Martins Pr; 1st ed. edition (July 1989)

Language: English

ISBN: 0312028687

>From Publishers Weekly

Although the Soviets maintain that the Hitler-Stalin
nonaggression agree
ment of 1939 was aimed at gaining time to prepare for
war against the
Germans, Leonhard argues the consensus view of Western
historians that the
acquisition of Poland, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania and
part of Rumania was
the overriding factor. In this short, instructive
study, the author scans
the bewildered, horrified and furious reactions of
Communists and fellow
travelers around the world to the news that the Soviet
Union, regarded as
the standard-bearer of anti-Fascism, had be trayed the
faithful. Leonhard
places special emphasis on the reaction of German
Communists, whose
underground opposition to Fascism had been conducted
under exceptionally
harsh conditions. He also traces the delayed
disillusionment with Soviet
Communism experienced by well-known figures of the day
for whom the Pact was
the ultimate personal political crisis: Louis Fischer,
Granville Hicks,
Arthur Koestler among them. Leonhard, a German
Communist who lived in Russia
until his defection to the West in 1949, taught at
Yale until his recent

Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

>From Library Journal

Leonhard's Betrayal represents an admirable attempt to
document both the
reactions and fate of international Communists to the
infamous pact between
the dictators. The views of such noted functionaries
as Erich Honecker,
Josip Tito, and Milovan Djilas are recounted, along
with a long list of
lesser known figures of the Comintern. Leonhard (a
member of the Council on
Foreign Relations and a former professor at Yale)
rejects the idea that the
pact allowed Russia to better prepare for war, arguing
that, if anything, it
weakened the country for the struggle which the treaty
ensured would soon
commence. He also makes an impassioned call to the
Soviets to admit to the
secret protocols of the treaty which effectively
divide Eastern Europe
between Hitler and Stalin. Suitable for libraries with
large Eastern
European collections.

- Joseph W. Constance Jr., Boston Coll. Lib.

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