Written: 14 September 1939.
Source: Socialist Appeal, Vol. III No. 72, 20 September 1939, p. 1.
Transcription/HTML Markup: Einde O’Callaghan for the Trotsky Internet Archive.
Copyleft: Leon Trotsky Internet Archive (www.marxists.org) 2016. Permission is granted to copy and/or distribute this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0.
1. On the thirteenth of September there were communications from Paris announcing that all Soviet ships sailing to England were given orders from Moscow to return to Soviet harbors. What does it mean? Factual severance of commercial relations with England? Moscow could apply this measure only upon Berlin’s demand. What could this demand be based upon? Evidently upon secret articles in the German-Soviet pact. We cannot find any other explanation. Perhaps the international friends of Stalin and Hitler (friends of our friends are our friends) can furnish us another one?
2. On the thirteenth of September the official Soviet press agency, TASS, openly and bluntly accused Poland of violating the Soviet border with her military planes. Even the friends of Stalin and Hitler could scarcely maintain that Poland prepares to conquer the USSR at this time. The matter evidently concerns those cases when Polish planes in order to save themselves from the Germans approach the Soviet border. What interest does the Kremlin have in raising an international uproar about these incidents? An attempt to prove its loyalty to Hitler? Undoubtedly. But possibly something more. It is possible that the Kremlin, at Hitler’s request, has begun to seek and publish pretexts for a closer and more open cooperation with Hitler.
One thing is clear beforehand: if the Kremlin, developing the present policy, shows itself driven into hostile actions against Poland, the international friends of the Kremlin (and by the same fact the enemies of the peoples of the USSR) would discover in it Stalin’s new service to peace and democracy.
P.S. These lines were already written when the evening papers announced that Pravda of September 14th accuses Poland of oppressing the Ukrainians, White Russians, and Jews. The accusations by themselves are true. But isn’t it astounding that Pravda remembered them precisely now when Poland is drenched with blood under the blows of the German army! To what end are the accusations of Pravda striving? Toward two ends at the same time: 1) to justify Hitler’s attack on Poland; and 2) to prepare a more active cooperation of the Kremlin on Hitler’s side.
Last updated on: 17 March 2016