I am reading "Toward Freedom, The Case against Race Reductionism" by Toure Reed. In his section about Black Progressives, he writes about how the influence of the Communist Party on the NNC led to the organization of increased antifascist rallies against Nazism in Europe. However, Toure Reed also mentions shortly afterwards how the Communist Party closed ranks after the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Soviet-German alliance.

I do not recall learning much about the Molotov-Ribbentrop Soviet-German alliance, and I am curious if someone can help me find excellent sources with more context about how the Soviets (under Stalin) and Nazis ended up forming an alliance when anti-fascist politics were embraced by international worker-based communist movements around the world at that time. More concretely, I'm curious about:

  1. How did Soviet people feel about this alliance between the Soviets and Nazis?
  2. What justification did the Soviet Union give to anti-fascist Communist Party members?
  3. How did leaders around the world feel about this? What about communist-friendly citizenry? It appears, at least, based on Toure Reed's work and some Google searches, that the Communist citizenry in the United States had many communists resign or cynically support isolationist politics.

Edit: I'm interested in these attitudes during the time frame between the Molotov-Ribbentrop Treaty and the Nazis invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941.

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    Churchill insisted in his memoir that international communist propaganda immediately went into pro-German anti-Anglo/French mode, and stayed there right up until the day the USSR was invaded. I'm not sure he's the most reliable source on that though.
    – T.E.D.
    Jun 9, 2022 at 2:28
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    @T.E.D.: In this case, Churchill's description is completely correct. Jun 9, 2022 at 5:28
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    Scope’s too large: membership and fraternal working class communities are too diverse for a world level summary. (“Not good,” is the general summary; but, the split depends on how cynical the working class community was about its use of communist parties. Intellectuals split even faster lacking a class war basis for conditional support.) Jun 9, 2022 at 6:52
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    You are asking 3 different (albeit related) questions in one post (and the title of the post asks one more). As written, your post will require many pages to answer. Jun 9, 2022 at 7:08
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    Could you revise the title to clarify your question? I'm not sure what you're asking. Recommend closure until it is clear that there is a question.
    – MCW
    Jun 9, 2022 at 10:31

1 Answer 1

  1. What justification did the Soviet Union give to anti-fascist Communist Party members?

The Communist International (Comintern) would be the best representative of the official policy that party members were expected to follow:

At the start of World War II, the Comintern supported a policy of non-intervention, arguing that the war was an imperialist war between various national ruling classes, much like World War I had been, but when the Soviet Union itself was invaded on 22 June 1941, the Comintern changed its position to one of active support for the Allies.

Looking into background of the exiled persons, who were Comintern party functionaries, living in the Hotel Lux might give you some further insight. Until Leon Trotsky death in August 1940, however, they pretty much did as they were told.


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