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290 VALENTINA S. PARSADANOVA POLITICS AND ITS CONSEQUENCES THE GERMAN INVASION of the Soviet Union radically realigned the forces in the international arena. On 22 June 1941, Great Britain and the United States declared their support for the Soviet Union in its fight against Germany. This move influenced the position of the prime minister of Poland , Władysław Sikorski, who then followed suit on 23 June by making a statement of a possible renewal of relations with the Soviet Union. He preconditioned such a renewal on a formal recognition of the Polish-Soviet border as of 1 September 1939. The Soviet party, represented by its ambassador in London, Ivan M. Maisky, showed its willingness to restore relations between the two countries and to sign an agreement of cooperation in the fight against Germany. However , he used a thesis of the consolidation of all Polish people within the “borders of ethnic Poland,” or the determination of an interstate demarcation on an ethnic basis. In the course of bilateral negotiations mediated by British foreign secretary Anthony Eden, it was revealed that the parties were willing to compromise on current issues related to military cooperation in the war against Germany; however, they were not ready to solve the issue of a postwar Soviet-Polish border. In this sense, the agreement on renewal of relations and cooperation in the war, signed on 30 July, contained a compromise. The essence of this compromise was that the resolution of the border issue would be postponed for better days. This was evidenced by the first clause of the agreement, in which the Soviet Union’s government invalidated the Soviet-German treaties of 1939 in so far as they related to “territorial changes in Poland.” As the future showed, each of the parties interpreted the text of this clause in its own way and to its own advantage. Stalin did not construe the clause as recognizing the border that existed on 1 September 1939. Indeed, there was no such recognition in this clause. Sikorski quite logically interpreted the phrase “the agreements . . . cease to be effective” as 291 POLITICS AND ITS CONSEQUENCES the abandonment by Moscow of its territorial acquisitions made in autumn 1939, although there were no verbal “hooks” for such an interpretation in the clause. However, the wording contained in the agreement was, undoubtedly, satisfactory for both parties at that time. Moscow, understanding the dependence of the prewar Soviet-Polish border on the outcome of the war, evaded its earlier recognition without any risk for itself. In fact, it facilitated relations with the “Great Powers,” who were the direct allies of Poland. In the event there was mutual desire on both sides, clause number 1 could not prevent bilateral cooperation, which was of particular importance for the Polish government , the representatives of which were admitted to the Soviet territory and received the ability to contact and provide assistance to their compatriots in that territory. According to Soviet statistical data, the number of Polish people deep in the Soviet region was about four hundred thousand. The most significant provision of the agreement of 30 June 1941, which was subsequently developed and finalized by joint documents of the Military Convention of 16 August 1941 and a declaration of 4 December 1941, concerned the obligation of the parties to create a Polish army on the Soviet Union’s territory. Both the Soviet and the Polish governments were interested in the existence of such an army, although for rather different reasons. Sikorski considered the creation of a large Polish army in the Soviet Union as the acquisition by the government of both military and political strength, which would give weight to Poland in the international arena and make it more significant in its relations with the Allies in the developing anti-Hitler coalition. Undoubtedly, it was also taken into account that the presence of such an army in the country at the final stage of the war would guarantee the return of the government to Poland from London. In the initial stage of positive changes in relations with its western neighbor , the Soviet party viewed the creation of this army as a fulfillment of its obligations to its new ally. There was a political aspect to this issue. But there was also a need, especially urgent in 1941 and the beginning of 1942, for additional troops to be available for battles at the Soviet-German front. The agreement specifically stated, “Polish Army troops will be sent to the front upon...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9780822980957
Related ISBN
9780822944409
MARC Record
OCLC
914230098
Pages
704
Launched on MUSE
2015-08-17
Language
English
Open Access
No
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