Polish Armed Forces
The Armed Forces of the Republic of Poland are the national armed forces of the Republic of Poland. The name has been used since the early 19th century, but can be applied to earlier periods; the Armed Forces of the Republic of Poland are the Wojska Lądowe, Marynarka Wojenna, Siły Powietrzne, Wojska Specjalne and Wojska Obrony Terytorialnej which are under the command of the Ministerstwo Obrony Narodowej Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej. From 2002 until 2014, Polish military forces were part of the Coalition Forces that participated in the ISAF mission in Afghanistan led by NATO. Poland's contribution to ISAF was the country's largest, since its entrance into NATO. Polish forces took part in the Iraq War. From 2003 to 2008, Polish military forces commanded the Multinational Division located in the South-Central Occupation Zone of Iraq; the division totaled as many as 8,500 soldiers. Pursuant to the national security strategy of Poland, the supreme strategic goal of Poland's military forces is to ensure favourable and secure conditions for the realization of national interests by eliminating external and internal threats, reducing risks, rightly assessing undertaken challenges, ably using existing opportunities.
The Republic of Poland's main strategic goals in the area of defence include: ensuring the independence and sovereignty of the Republic of Poland, as well as its integrality and the inviolability of its borders. The List of Polish wars chronicles Polish military involvements since the year 972; the present armed forces trace their roots to the early 20th century, yet the history of Polish armed forces in their broadest sense stretches back much further. After the partitions of Poland, during the period from 1795 until 1918, Polish military was recreated several times during national insurrections that included the November Uprising of 1830, the January Uprising in 1863, the Napoleonic Wars that saw the formation of the Polish Legions in Italy; the Kingdom of Poland, being part of the Russian Empire with a certain degree of autonomy, had a separate Polish army in the years 1815–1830, disbanded after the unsuccessful November Uprising. Large numbers of Poles served in the armies of the partitioning powers, Russian Empire, Austria-Hungary and Germany.
However, these powers took care to spread Polish soldiers all over their armies and as a rule did not form predominantly Polish units. During World War I, the Polish Legions were set up in Galicia, the southern part of Poland under Austrian occupation, they were both disbanded after the Central Powers failed to provide guarantees of Polish independence after the war. General Józef Haller, the commander of the Second Brigade of the Polish Legion, switched sides in late 1917, via Murmansk took part of his troops to France, where he created the Blue Army, it was joined by several thousand Polish volunteers from the United States. It fought on the French front in 1917 and 1918; the Polish Army was recreated in 1918 from elements of the three separate Russian, Austro-Hungarian, Prussian armies, armed with equipment left following World War I. The force expanded during the Polish–Soviet War of 1919–1922 to nearly 800,000 men, but was reduced when peace was reestablished. At the onset of World War II, on 1 September 1939 Nazi Germany invaded Poland.
Polish forces were overwhelmed by the German attack in September 1939, followed on 17 September 1939 by an invasion by the Soviet Union. Some Polish forces escaped from their occupied, divided country, joined Allied forces fighting in other theatres while those that remained in Poland splintered into guerilla units of the Armia Krajowa and other partisan groups which fought in clandestine ways against the foreign occupiers of Poland, thus there were three threads to Polish armed forces from 1939. The Polish Armed Forces in the West comprised army and air force units, were loyal to the Polish government-in-exile. Army formations and units included the Polish Army in France, the Polish I Corps in the West, the Polish II Corps, the rump Command in the Middle East, designated the III Corps. Amongst their most notable operations were the actions of the 1st Armoured Division at Mont Ormel, during the Normandy campaign, the Battle of Monte Cassino scaling of the mountain by elements of II Polish Corps, actions during the Battle of Arnhem by
Expulsion of Poles by Nazi Germany
The Expulsion of Poles by Nazi Germany during World War II was a massive Nazi German operation consisting of the forced resettlement of over 1.7 million Poles from all territories of occupied Poland with the aim of their geopolitical Germanization between 1939–1944. The expulsions were justified by Nazi racial doctrine, which depicted Poles and other Slavs as racially inferior Untermenschen. Adolf Hitler had plans for the extensive colonisation of Polish territories directly opposite the pre-war borders of the Third Reich, making them part of his newly created Reichsgau Wartheland, his plans grew bigger to include the General Government in the process of ethnic cleansing and genocide. The region was to become a "purely German area" within 15–20 years, as explained by Hitler in March 1941. By that time the General Government was to be cleared of 15 million Polish nationals, resettled by 4–5 million ethnic Germans. During the occupation of Poland following the German invasion of the country, Nazi expansionist policies were enacted upon its Polish population on an unprecedented scale.
In accordance with Nazi ideology the Poles were considered Untermenschen, deemed for slavery and their further elimination, in order to make room for the Germans re-settled from across Europe. Furthermore, Hitler intended to extensively colonize all territories lying to the east of the Third Reich; these were worked out by the RSHA department of the SS in Generalplan Ost, which foresaw the deportation of 45 million "non-Germanizable" people from Central & Eastern Europe to West Siberia. Poland itself would have been cleared of all Polish people as 20 million or so were going to be expelled further east; the remaining 3 to 4 million Polish peasants believed to be the Polonized "descendants" of German colonists and migrants – and therefore considered "racially valuable" – would be Germanized and dispersed among the ethnic German population living on Polish soil. The Nazi leadership hoped that through expulsions to Siberia, mass executions and slave labour, the Polish nation would be destroyed.
Experiments in mass sterilization in concentration camps may have been intended for use on the populations. The World War II expulsions took place within two specific political entities established by the Nazis, divided from each other by a closed border: one area outright annexed to the Reich in 1939–1941, another called the General Government, a precursor to the further expansion of the German administrative settlement area; as Adolf Hitler explained in March 1941, the General Government would be cleared of all Poles and the region turned into a "purely German area" within 15–20 years, in place of 15 million Poles, 4–5 million Germans would live there. The area was to become "as German as the Rhineland". By 1945 one million German Volksdeutsche from several Eastern European countries and regions such as the Soviet Union, Bessarabia and the Baltic States had been resettled into Poland during the action called "Heim ins Reich"; the deportation orders required that enough Poles be removed to provide for every settler—that, for instance, if twenty German "master bakers" were sent, twenty Polish bakeries had to have their owners removed.
The expulsions of Poles were conducted by two German organisations: the Hauptamt Volksdeutsche Mittelstelle and the Resettlement Department of the "Reich Commissioner for the Consolidation of Germandom", a title held by Heinrich Himmler. The new Germans were put in villages and towns cleared of their native Polish inhabitants under the banner of Lebensraum. Germanization began with the classification of which people were "racially suitable", as defined by the Nazi Volksliste. About 1.7 million Poles were deemed Germanizable, including between one and two hundred thousand Polish children who were taken away from their parents. For the remainder expulsion was carried out in cattle cars in freezing weather, causing the deaths of many children, they were carried out on short notice at night, the people were allowed only a few belongings. Ethnic Germans being resettled there were given Polish homes with half-eaten meals on tables, unmade beds, where small children had been sleeping at the time of their evictions.
Members of the Hitler Youth and the League of German Girls were assigned the task of overseeing the evictions to ensure that the Poles left behind most of their belongings for the use of the settlers. This could mean the separation of entire families, with able-bodied adults being sent to work in Germany while the rest were sent to the General Government. Together with so-called "wild expulsions", in four years of Nazi occupation 923,000 Poles were ethnically cleansed from the territories annexed by Germany into the Reich. According to research conducted by Czesław Łuczak, the Germans expelled the following numbers of Poles from areas annexed into the Reich as well as all others in the period of 1939–1944: Between 1939 and 1940, Nazi expulsions from German-occupied Greater Poland affected 680,000 Poles. From the city of Poznań in Reichsgau Wartheland alone, the Germans expelled 70,000 Poles to the General Government; the deportations conducted under the leadership of SS-Obergruppenführer Wilhelm Koppe, were supervised by SS-Standartenführer Ernst Damzog, in charge of the daily operation of the Chełmno extermination camp.
By 1945, half a million German Volksdeutsche from Eastern Europe, including
The Serbs are a nation and South Slavic ethnic group that formed in the Balkans. The majority of Serbs inhabit the nation state of Serbia, as well as the disputed territory of Kosovo, the neighboring countries of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro, they form significant minorities in North Slovenia. There is a large Serb diaspora in Western Europe, outside Europe there are significant communities in North America and Australia; the Serbs share many cultural traits with the rest of the peoples of Southeast Europe. They are predominantly Eastern Orthodox Christians by religion; the Serbian language is official in Serbia, co-official in Kosovo and Bosnia and Herzegovina, is spoken by the plurality in Montenegro. The modern identity of Serbs is rooted in traditions. In the 19th century, the Serbian national identity was manifested, with awareness of history and tradition, medieval heritage, cultural unity, despite living under different empires. Three elements, together with the legacy of the Nemanjić dynasty, were crucial in forging identity and preservation during foreign domination: the Serbian Orthodox Church, the Serbian language, Kosovo Myth.
When the Principality of Serbia gained independence from the Ottoman Empire, Orthodoxy became crucial in defining the national identity, instead of language, shared by other South Slavs. The tradition of slava, the family saint feast day, is an important ethnic marker of Serb identity, is regarded their most significant and most solemn feast day; the origin of the ethnonym is unclear. Genetic studies on Serbs show that they have close affinity with the rest of the Balkan peoples, those within former Yugoslavia. Serbia's people are among the tallest in the world, after Montenegro and the Netherlands, with an average male height of 1.82 metres. Slavs settled the Balkans in the 6th and 7th centuries. Up until the late 560s their activity was raiding, crossing from the Danube, though with limited Slavic settlement through Byzantine foederati colonies; the Danube and Sava frontier was overwhelmed by large-scale Slavic settlement in the late 6th and early 7th century. What is today central Serbia was an important geo-strategical province, through which the Via Militaris crossed.
This area was intruded by barbarians in the 5th and 6th centuries. The numerous Slavs assimilated the descendants of the indigenous population; the history of the early medieval Serbian Principality is recorded in the 10th-century work De Administrando Imperio, which describes the Serbs as a people living in Roman Dalmatia, subordinate to the Byzantine Empire. Numerous small Serbian states were created, chiefly under Vlastimorović and Vojislavjević dynasties, located in modern Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia. With the decline of the Serbian state of Duklja in the late 11th century, "Raška" separated from it and replaced it as the most powerful Serbian state. Prince Stefan Nemanja conquered the neighbouring territories of Kosovo and Zachlumia; the Nemanjić dynasty ruled over Serbia until the 14th century. Nemanja's older son, Stefan Nemanjić, became Serbia's first recognized king, while his younger son, founded the Serbian Orthodox Church in the year 1219, became known as Saint Sava after his death.
Over the next 140 years, Serbia expanded its borders, from numerous minor principalities, reaching to a unified Serbian Empire. Its cultural model remained Byzantine, despite political ambitions directed against the empire; the medieval power and influence of Serbia culminated in the reign of Stefan Dušan, who ruled the state from 1331 until his death in 1355. Ruling as Emperor from 1346, his territory included Macedonia, northern Greece and all of modern Albania; when Dušan died, his son Stephen Uroš V became Emperor. With Turkish invaders beginning their conquest of the Balkans in the 1350s, a major conflict ensued between them and the Serbs, the first major battle was the Battle of Maritsa, in which the Serbs were defeated. With the death of two important Serb leaders in the battle, with the death of Stephen Uroš that same year, the Serbian Empire broke up into several small Serbian domains; these states were ruled by feudal lords, with Zeta controlled by the Balšić family, Raška, Kosovo and northern Macedonia held by the Branković family and Lazar Hrebeljanović holding today's Central Serbia and a portion of Kosovo.
Hrebeljanović was subsequently accepted as the titular leader of the Serbs because he was married to a member of the Nemanjić dynasty. In 1389, the Serbs faced the Ottomans at the Battle of Kosovo on the plain of Kosovo Polje, near the town of Pristina. Both Lazar and Sultan Murad; the battle most ended in a stalemate, afterwards Serbia enjoyed a short period of prosperity under despot Stefan Lazarević and resisted failing to the Turks until 1459. The Serbs had taken an active part in the wars fought in the Balkans against the Ottoman Empire, organized uprisings. After allied Christian forces had captured Buda from the Ottoman Empire in 1686 during the Great Turkish War, Serbs from Pannonian Plain joined the troops of the Habsburg Monarchy as separate units known as Serbian Militia. Serbs, as volunteers, massively joined
Nazi Germany is the common English name for Germany between 1933 and 1945, when Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party controlled the country through a dictatorship. Under Hitler's rule, Germany was transformed into a totalitarian state that controlled nearly all aspects of life via the Gleichschaltung legal process; the official name of the state was Deutsches Reich until 1943 and Großdeutsches Reich from 1943 to 1945. Nazi Germany is known as the Third Reich, meaning "Third Realm" or "Third Empire", the first two being the Holy Roman Empire and the German Empire; the Nazi regime ended. Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany by the President of the Weimar Republic, Paul von Hindenburg, on 30 January 1933; the NSDAP began to eliminate all political opposition and consolidate its power. Hindenburg died on 2 August 1934 and Hitler became dictator of Germany by merging the offices and powers of the Chancellery and Presidency. A national referendum held 19 August 1934 confirmed Hitler as sole Führer of Germany.
All power was centralised in Hitler's person and his word became the highest law. The government was not a coordinated, co-operating body, but a collection of factions struggling for power and Hitler's favour. In the midst of the Great Depression, the Nazis restored economic stability and ended mass unemployment using heavy military spending and a mixed economy. Extensive public works were undertaken, including the construction of Autobahnen; the return to economic stability boosted the regime's popularity. Racism antisemitism, was a central feature of the regime; the Germanic peoples were considered by the Nazis to be the master race, the purest branch of the Aryan race. Discrimination and persecution against Jews and Romani people began in earnest after the seizure of power; the first concentration camps were established in March 1933. Jews and others deemed undesirable were imprisoned, liberals and communists were killed, imprisoned, or exiled. Christian churches and citizens that opposed Hitler's rule were oppressed, many leaders imprisoned.
Education focused on racial biology, population policy, fitness for military service. Career and educational opportunities for women were curtailed. Recreation and tourism were organised via the Strength Through Joy program, the 1936 Summer Olympics showcased Germany on the international stage. Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels made effective use of film, mass rallies, Hitler's hypnotic oratory to influence public opinion; the government controlled artistic expression, promoting specific art forms and banning or discouraging others. The Nazi regime dominated neighbours through military threats in the years leading up to war. Nazi Germany made aggressive territorial demands, threatening war if these were not met, it seized Austria and Czechoslovakia in 1938 and 1939. Germany signed a non-aggression pact with the USSR, invaded Poland on 1 September 1939, launching World War II in Europe. By early 1941, Germany controlled much of Europe. Reichskommissariats took control of conquered areas and a German administration was established in the remainder of Poland.
Germany exploited labour of both its occupied territories and its allies. In the Holocaust, millions of Jews and other peoples deemed undesirable by the state were imprisoned, murdered in Nazi concentration camps and extermination camps, or shot. While the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941 was successful, the Soviet resurgence and entry of the US into the war meant the Wehrmacht lost the initiative on the Eastern Front in 1943 and by late 1944 had been pushed back to the pre-1939 border. Large-scale aerial bombing of Germany escalated in 1944 and the Axis powers were driven back in Eastern and Southern Europe. After the Allied invasion of France, Germany was conquered by the Soviet Union from the east and the other Allies from the west, capitulated in May 1945. Hitler's refusal to admit defeat led to massive destruction of German infrastructure and additional war-related deaths in the closing months of the war; the victorious Allies initiated a policy of denazification and put many of the surviving Nazi leadership on trial for war crimes at the Nuremberg trials.
The official name of the state was Deutsches Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Großdeutsches Reich from 1943 to 1945, while common English terms are "Nazi Germany" and "Third Reich". The latter, adopted by Nazi propaganda as Drittes Reich, was first used in Das Dritte Reich, a 1923 book by Arthur Moeller van den Bruck; the book counted the Holy Roman Empire as the German Empire as the second. Germany was known as the Weimar Republic during the years 1919 to 1933, it was a republic with a semi-presidential system. The Weimar Republic faced numerous problems, including hyperinflation, political extremism, contentious relationships with the Allied victors of World War I, a series of failed attempts at coalition government by divided political parties. Severe setbacks to the German economy began after World War I ended because of reparations payments required under the 1919 Treaty of Versailles; the government printed money to make the payments and to repay the country's war debt, but the resulting hyperinflation led to inflated prices for consumer goods, economic chaos, food riots.
When the government defaulted on their reparations payments in January 1923, French troops occupied German industrial areas along the Ruhr and widespread civil unrest followed. The National Socialist German Workers' Party (National
Voivode, Vojvoda or Wojewoda is a Slavic term for a military commander in Central and Southern Europe during the Early Middle Ages, or a governor of a territorial voivodeship. The different permutations of the term all share two roots, voi related to warring and secondly, vod meaning leading in Old Slavic, together denoting a "war-leader" or "warlord". In early Slavic vojevoda meant the bellidux the military leader in battle. During the Byzantine Empire it referred to military commanders of Slavic populations in the Balkans, the Bulgarian Empire being the first permanently established Slavic state in the region; the title voevodas occurs in the work of the 10th-century Byzantine emperor Constantine VII in his De Administrando Imperio in reference to Hungarian military leaders. The title was used in medieval Bohemia, Bulgaria, Greece, Macedonia, Poland, Rügen, Russian Empire, Serbia and Wallachia In the Late Middle Ages the voivode, Latin translation is comes palatinus for the principal commander of a military force, deputising for the monarch became the title of territorial Voivodeship governors of senatorial rank in Poland and the Czech lands and in the Balkans.
In the Kingdom of Serbia the highest military rank was Army General. After the Second World War, the newly formed Yugoslav People's Army stopped using the royal ranking system, making the name obsolete; the transition of the voivode from military leader to a high ranking civic role in territorial administration occurred in most Slavic countries and in the Balkans in the Late Middle Ages. They included Bulgaria, the Czech lands, Moldavia and Russia. Moreover in the Czech lands it was an aristocratic title corresponding to Duke or Knyaz. In the 16th-century Commonwealth of Two Nations the Wojewoda was a civic role of senatorial rank and neither heritable nor a title of nobility, his powers and duties depended on his location. The least onerous role was in Ruthenia; the role began in the crown lands as that of an administrative overseer, but his powers were ceremonial. Over time he became a representative in the Sejm, his military functions were reduced to supervising a Mass mobilization and in practice he ended up as little more than overseer of weights and measures.
Appointments to the role were made until 1775 by the King. The exceptions were the voivodes of Polock and Vitebsk who were elected by a local poll of male electors for confirmation by the monarch. In 1791 it was decided to adopt the procedure throughout the country but the Partitions of Poland put a stop to it.. Polish voivodes were subject to the Law of Incompatibility which prevented them from holding ministerial or other civic offices in their area; the role was revived during the Second Polish Republic after Poland regained her independence in 1918. Voivodes continue to have a role in local government in Poland today, as overseers of self-governing local councils, answerable not to the local electorate but as representatives/emissaries of the central government's Council of Ministers, they are appointed by the Chairman of the Council of Ministers and among their main tasks are budgetary control and supervision of the administrative code. Bjelajac, Mile. Generali i admirali Kraljevine Jugoslavije 1918—1941.
Belgrade: Institut za novu istoriju Srbije. ISBN 86-7005-039-0. Franz Ritter von Miklosich. Etymologisches Wörterbuch der slavischen Sprachen. W. Braumüller. P. 393. Konstantin Jireček. Staat und gesellschaft im mittelalterlichen Serbien: studien zur kulturgeschichte des 13.-15. Jahrhunderts. In Kommission bei Alfred Hölder
Willy Schmidt-Gentner was one of the most successful German composers of film music in the history of German-language cinema. He moved to Vienna in 1933. At his most productive, he scored up to 10 films a year, including numerous classics and masterpieces of the German and Austrian cinema. Schmidt-Gentner was born in Neustadt am Rennsteig in Germany. During his childhood he took lessons in composition from Max Reger. After World War I Schmidt-Gentner worked as a civil servant checking that cinema owners were paying their full taxes. Through one of his clients he got a position as a band leader at film theatre performances; this raised his interest in films and as early as 1922 he produced his first composition to accompany a silent film. He performed many of his new pieces himself on the piano during films, he was already responsible at this period for the sound tracks of a number of German classic films, for example Alraune, Die weisse Hölle vom Piz Palü and Hokuspokus With the arrival of sound films he became one of the most sought-after filmscore composers in Germany, so that for a time he was scoring up to 10 films a year.
He had a preference for light comedies and cheerful musical romances, but he took on more heavyweight productions with political overtones, for example the National Socialist propaganda film Wien 1910 or the historical film Spionage about the k. u. k. spy Colonel Redl. In 1933 he moved to Vienna, where he directed his only two films, Die Pompadour and Prater, for the company Mondial-Film. For Sascha-Film he composed the music for some of the greatest specimens of the Wiener Film genre, among others Maskerade and Hohe Schule. After the Anschluss he became the "house composer" for the National Socialist-owned Wien-Film, which had developed out of the former Sascha-Film. For them he scored not only their many escapist romantic comedies, but some of their few overt propaganda films such as Heimkehr, Wien 1910 or Das Herz muß schweigen, he was repeatedly commissioned by the top directors of wartime Vienna, Willi Forst and Gustav Ucicky, whom he knew from previous work, to write scores for their productions, such as Der Postmeister, Wiener Blut and Wiener Mädeln.
After the end of the war Schmidt-Gentner remained loyal to Vienna and continued his composing career for many more films, predominantly musicals set in Austria, until he retired in 1955. Altogether he composed the music for about 200 films, he died in Vienna on 12 February 1964. A selection of films scored by Willy Schmidt-Gentner, with names of directors: Nathan the Wise Between Evening and Morning I. N. R. I; the New Land By Order of Pompadour Carlos and Elisabeth The Voice of the Heart The Power of Darkness The Wife of Forty Years Living Buddhas If Only It Weren't Love The Adventures of Sybil Brent If You Have an Aunt Comedians The Blue Danube Madame Wants No Children The Student of Prague The Red Mouse (Germany 1926, Rudolf Meinert The Mill at Sanssouci The Three Mannequins My Friend the Chauffeur The Violet Eater Derby Circus Romanelli State Attorney Jordan Fadette Children of No Importance Ghost Train Mata Hari The Master of Nuremberg The Queen of Spades The Indiscreet Woman The Tragedy of a Lost Soul Nameless Woman The Woman Who Couldn't Say No Dancing Vienna The White Spider Attorney for the Heart The Weavers The Trousers Linden Lady on the Rhine Orient Express Prinz Louis Ferdinand Alraune Secrets of the Orient Charlotte Somewhat Crazy Prince or Clown Hurrah!
I Live! Hungarian Rhapsody Who Invented Divorce? Casanova's Legacy The Model from Montparnasse Woman in the Moon Die weiße Hölle vom Piz Palü The Smuggler's Bride of Mallorca Napoleon at Saint Helena The Burning Heart Hocuspocus The White Devil Darling of the Gods Dolly Gets Ahead The Flute Concert of Sanssouci Love's Carnival Cyanide Wibbel the Tailor Everyone Asks for Erika Ash Wednesday That's All That Matters Marshal Forwards Companion Wanted Two in a Car The Song of Night A City Upside Down Frasquita Tales from the Vienna Woods Gently My Songs Entreat Maskerade Tales from the Vienna Woods Hohe Schule Episode... nur ein Komödiant Asew Blood Brothers The World's in Love The Cossack and the Nightingale The Divine Spark Thank You, Madame His Daughter is Called Peter Premiere Hotel Sacher Uproar in Damascus A Mother's Love Der Postmeister Beloved Augustin Operetta (Germany/Austria 1940
The Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact known as the Treaty of Non-aggression between Germany and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, was a neutrality pact between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union signed in Moscow on 23 August 1939 by foreign ministers Joachim von Ribbentrop and Vyacheslav Molotov, respectively. The clauses of the Nazi–Soviet Pact provided a written guarantee of non-belligerence by each party towards the other, a declared commitment that neither government would ally itself to, or aid an enemy of the other party. In addition to stipulations of non-aggression, the treaty included a secret protocol that defined the borders of Soviet and German "spheres of influence" in the event of possible rearrangement of the territories belonging to Poland, Latvia and Finland; the secret protocol recognized the interest of Lithuania in the Vilno region. The Secret Protocol was just a rumor. Thereafter, Germany invaded Poland on 1 September 1939. Soviet leader Joseph Stalin ordered the Soviet invasion of Poland on 17 September, one day after a Soviet–Japanese ceasefire at the Khalkhin Gol came into effect.
After the invasion, the new border between the two powers was confirmed by the supplementary protocol of the German–Soviet Frontier Treaty. In March 1940, parts of the Karelia and Salla regions in Finland were annexed by the Soviet Union after the Winter War; this was followed by Soviet annexations of Estonia, Latvia and parts of Romania. Advertised concern about ethnic Ukrainians and Belarusians had been proffered as justification for the Soviet invasion of Poland. Stalin's invasion of Bukovina in 1940 violated the pact, as it went beyond the Soviet sphere of influence agreed with the Axis; the territories of Poland annexed by the Soviet Union after the 1939 Soviet invasion of Poland remained in the USSR at the end of World War II, are the parts of Ukraine and Belarus. The former Polish Vilno region is a part of Lithuania, the city of Vilnius is its capital. Only the region around Białystok and a small part of Galicia east of the San river around Przemyśl were returned to the Polish state. Of all other territories annexed by the USSR in 1939–40, the ones detached from Finland and Latvia remain part of the Russian Federation, the successor state of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic upon the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991.
The territories annexed from Romania had been integrated into the Soviet Union. The Pact was terminated on 22 June 1941, when the Wehrmacht launched Operation Barbarossa and invaded the Soviet Union. After the war, von Ribbentrop was executed. Molotov died aged 96 five years before the USSR's dissolution. Soon after World War II, the German copy of the secret protocol was found in Nazi archives and published in the West, but the Soviet government denied its existence until 1989, when it was acknowledged and denounced. Vladimir Putin while condemning the pact as'immoral' has defended the pact as a "necessary evil", a U-turn following his earlier condemnation; the outcome of World War I was disastrous for both the German Reich and the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. During the war, the Bolsheviks struggled for survival, Vladimir Lenin recognised the independence of Finland, Latvia and Poland. Moreover, facing a German military advance and Trotsky were forced to enter into the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, which ceded massive western Russian territories to the German Empire.
After Germany's collapse, a multinational Allied-led army intervened in the Russian Civil War. On 16 April 1922, Germany and the Soviet Union entered the Treaty of Rapallo, pursuant to which they renounced territorial and financial claims against each other; each party further pledged neutrality in the event of an attack against the other with the 1926 Treaty of Berlin. While trade between the two countries fell after World War I, trade agreements signed in the mid-1920s helped to increase trade to 433 million Reichsmarks per year by 1927. At the beginning of the 1930s, the Nazi Party's rise to power increased tensions between Germany and the Soviet Union along with other countries with ethnic Slavs, who were considered "Untermenschen" according to Nazi racial ideology. Moreover, the anti-Semitic Nazis associated ethnic Jews with both communism and financial capitalism, both of which they opposed. Nazi theory held. In 1934, Hitler himself had spoken of an inescapable battle against both Pan-Slavism and Neo-Slavism, the victory in which would lead to "permanent mastery of the world", though he stated that they would "walk part of the road with the Russians, if that will help us."
The resulting manifestation of German anti-Bolshevism and an increase in Soviet foreign debts caused German–Soviet trade to decline. Imports of Soviet goods to Germany fell to 223 million Reichsmarks in 1934 as the more isolationist Stalinist regime asserted power and the abandonment of post–World War I Treaty of Versailles military controls decreased Germany's reliance on Soviet imports. In 1936, Germany and Fas