Soviet instigation of revolution in Germany in 1923 and the block of peace of the Baltic countries and Poland

Mokslo publikacijos / Scientific publications
Document Type:
Straipsnis / Article
Anglų kalba / English
Soviet instigation of revolution in Germany in 1923 and the block of peace of the Baltic countries and Poland
In the Journal:
Europa orientalis. 2019, no. 10, p. 85-128
20 amžius.
Summary / Abstract:

ENFollowing the 1919 invasion of the Baltic countries and the 1920 war against Poland, the Bolsheviks’ most flagrant attempt at the export of revolution was their venture to inspire a communist coup in Germany, with the redeployment of the 100,000-strong Red Army that had been concentrated at the western borders of the USSR with the hope that the Baltic countries and Poland would permit its transit to Germany without objection. The inspiration was of a grandiose scale. The Bolsheviks’ assistance was not limited to just financial support to German communists and revolutionary literature sent to them: military revolutionary units, “the hundreds”, were organised, military and party specialists were dispatched to Germany, and even a terrorist group for killing “inconvenient” individuals was formed on the example of the Soviet Extraordinary Commission. Had the coup in Germany succeeded, the country would have been connected with the USSR and after that the revolution would have spread globally. However, the Bolshevik leaders were facing a question of immense importance: how to redeploy their army to Germany and how to overcome the “barrier” of the new countries that had emerged after the war. The initial plan was to push through Romania and Czechoslovakia, but when Joseph Stalin rejected it, the decision was made to direct the main offensive through the so-called Vilnius corridor and to reach East Prussia along the Lithuanian-Polish border. To ensure that the Red Army reached Germany in time not battered, without losses, full of energy, and without causing an international conflict it was resolved to negotiate the transit of the Red Army with Poland and the Baltic countries.For this purpose, a diplomatic mission of the influential Bolshevik Viktor Kopp was dispatched to Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland, which masked the request for transit under a defence tale: purportedly, the Triple Entente might attempt suppression of the possible revolution in Germany, in which case the Soviets would have to render “moral and material assistance” to the German proletariat. Viktor Kopp proposed that all three countries he was visiting should sign pacts of guarantees that foresaw unhindered transit of the Soviets to Germany in case of “possible events” in that country. Although the governments of Zigfrīds Anna Meierovics and Ernestas Galvanauskas and the Polish authorities occupied different positions towards Moscow, they unambiguously rejected Kopp’s proposals and did not yield either to his threats or tempting concessions. Estonia assumed an identical position and communicated its negative response through traditional diplomatic channels. The Baltic countries and Poland arrived at this decision independently, without England or other Western countries promising them direct assistance or even refusing demarches to protest Moscow’s actions. In this way they made a weighty contribution to averting Soviet military intervention, to the disruption of the schemes of global revolution that were threatening Germany and the whole of Europe. The larger part of the German public did not succumb to the inspirations of the coup and thus the Soviet grand inspiration of a revolution did not materialise. The danger of the export of revolution, the threat of the intervention of the Red Army in the Baltic countries and Poland did not bring much unity to these countries. Only Estonia and Latvia responded to the threat in a more adequate manner when, having overcome territorial and other disputes, they concluded a defence union on 1 November 1923 and undertook the commitment to lend political, diplomatic, and military assistance to each other.However, none of their northern or eastern neighbours joined this union before the Soviet occupation of these countries in 1940. [From the publication]

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2022-01-18 08:52:06
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