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TEXT OF STALIN'S SPEECH AT A MEETING OF THE POLITBURO CENTRAL COMMITTEE, ON THE 19TH OF AUGUST, 1939

"It has become critical for us to face the question of war or peace. If we conclude this mutual assistance pact with France and Great Britain, Germany will use this to justify it's "Modus Vivendi" and expand eastwards. War is unavoidable, but if not put off will certainly be dangerous for the USSR. If we confirm this pact with Germany, she will attack Poland, and France and England will certainly interfere. Western Europe will certainly suffer from this disorder. In this case, we will have a better chance to stand to the side of this conflict, and we may have the opportunity to choose our own time to get involved in this war.

As experience of the last 20 years shows, in peaceful times it is not possible to have Communist action, strong to such an extent that the Bolshevik party can seize power. The success of this party becomes possible only as a result of a large war. We make our choice, and it becomes clearer. We must accept the German offer and turn away the Anglo-French mission. The first advantage which we will derive will be the destruction of Poland and Warsaw itself, to include Ukrainian Galicia.

Germany has granted us full freedom of action in the Pribaltic countries, and has recognized our occupation of the Bessarabian SSR. She is prepared to acknowledge our interests in the area of Romania, Bulgaria, and Hungary. Yugoslavia is still an open question... At the same time, we must look ahead to the situation which may come out of this, and out of Germany's victory. In this situation we must abandon the Sovietization of Germany and the establishment of a Communist government. We must not forget, that the Sovietization of Germany can only bring with it great danger, if this Sovietization leads to a shortened war. England and France are still strong enough to seize Berlin and destroy a Soviet Germany. And we would be unable to assist our Bolshevik comrades in Germany.

In this way, our mandate recognizes that Germany be able to carry out future wars, with the goal of the future inablity of England and France to threaten a Sovietized Germany. While maintaining a neutral position and waiting for our own time, the USSR will be supplying the current Germany with raw materials and finished goods. For ourselves, we must not send so much as to cut into our economy or weaken the power of our own army. At the same time, we must carry out active Communist propaganda, mainly in the Anglo-French block, and especially in France. We must be ready for the time when, in that country, the party's war must turn from legal means and go underground. We know that this work will demand great sacrifices, but our French comrades will not be untrustworthy. Upon their orders the first wave will decompose and demoralize the army and the police. If this preparatory work is fulfilled in the proper way, then the danger to Soviet Germany will recede, and this will assist in the Sovietization of France.

For the realization of these plans, it is necessary that the war be prolonged, and that this be verified by all forces with which we have contact in Western Europe and the Balkans.

Now we look at the second proposition, the victory of Germany. Some have put forth the opinion that this may be a serious danger to us. There is some truth to this, however, it would be a mistake to think that this danger is so close or so great as they present it. If Germany is victorious, she will leave the war too weakened to start an armed conflict with the USSR for a minimum of ten years. Their main needs will be to supervise the occupation of France and England and to oversee their restoration. On the other hand, a victorious Germany will be occupied by the exploitation and "establishment" of German order in their lands. Obviously, this Germany will be too busy in other places to turn against us. There is one other thing which helps our security. In a conquered France the FKP (French Communist Party) will always be very strong. Communist revolution will happen there, and we will be able to use this to make her our partner. Later all peoples, under the "shield" of conquering Germany, will become our partners. We will have a wide range of action for the initiation of world revolution.

Comrades! It is in the interests of the USSR, the workers' homeland, that war come between the Reich and the capitalist Anglo-French block. It is necessary that everything is done to lengthen it, with the goal of the reduction of both sides. In support of this reasoning we must agree to the conclusion of this pact, presented by Germany, and work within it, so that this war, however declared, takes the greatest amount of time. We need to strengthen propaganda work in the fighting countries, in order to be prepared for that time when the war ends..."



Sources:
This example was discovered in the Center for the Preservation of Historical Documents Collection, formerly a secret section of the main archives of the USSR, in document F.7, On.1, A.1223.
Translation:
Chris Keeling

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