The difficult summer of 1941: how the "obscene peace" did not take place

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The difficult summer of 1941: how the "obscene peace" did not take place
The difficult summer of 1941: how the "obscene peace" did not take place

Video: The difficult summer of 1941: how the "obscene peace" did not take place

Video: The difficult summer of 1941: how the "obscene peace" did not take place
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Churchill invented it all

On June 22, 1941, a few hours after the invasion of Germany and its satellites in the USSR, at 21:00 GMT, British Prime Minister W. Churchill spoke on BBC radio.

“… At 4 o'clock this morning, Hitler attacked Russia. All of his usual formalities of treachery are met with scrupulous precision. Suddenly, without a declaration of war, even without an ultimatum, German bombs fell from the sky on Russian cities, German troops violated Russian borders, and an hour later the German ambassador, who literally the day before had lavished his assurances of friendship and almost alliance with the Russians, paid a visit to the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs and said that Russia and Germany are at war.

… I see Russian soldiers, how they stand on the border of their native land and guard the fields that their fathers plowed from time immemorial. I see them guarding their homes; their mothers and wives pray - because at such a time everyone is praying for the preservation of their loved ones, for the return of the breadwinner, patron, and their defenders.

… This is not a class war, but a war in which the Nazis dragged the entire British Empire and the Commonwealth of Nations, regardless of race, creed or party.

… We must provide Russia and the Russian people with all the assistance we can, and we will provide it. We must call upon all our friends and allies to adhere to a similar course and pursue it as steadfastly and unswervingly as we will, to the very end.

… We have already offered the government of Soviet Russia any technical or economic assistance that we are able to provide and that will be useful to it."

Undoubtedly, the main thing in the statement of the "military" prime minister was that henceforth Great Britain and its dominions are allies of the USSR. The Soviet leadership could understand that the British would not go to peace with the Nazis, and the Soviet Union would not be left alone in the struggle with almost the entire continental Europe, which was under Hitler's heel.

However, in Moscow that day, and for the next two weeks, there was a frightening silence "at the highest level." Unless, of course, we do not take into account the announcement of the announcer Yuri Levitan about the beginning of the Nazi invasion, as well as the statement of the People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs V. Molotov about the outbreak of the war, made only at noon on June 22. Incidentally, a statement completely free of any emotion.

As you know, the tragic events on the Soviet-German front in the summer and even in the fall of 1941 in the USSR were invariably officially explained by "treacherous", "sudden" aggression and similar clichés. But the silence of the top Soviet leadership until July 3, 1941 must have been due to something. And this, most likely, was not at all confusion and not even a search for some alternative options or a consequence of tough contradictions in the ranks of the Soviet elite.

Oriental vector

Not the most original, but unexpected assessment of the "Kremlin silence" was put forward at one time by the head of Vichy France, who is not called anything other than a "hero and traitor", Marshal F. Petain. His point of view was not replicated by researchers either in the USSR, or even more so in France, where they limited themselves to a simple publication of his memoirs with very caustic comments.

It was Pétain who was the first to connect the pause, taken, most likely, by the leader of the peoples personally, with complete unclearness of how the events on the front with the German coalition would unfold in the coming days. Also, Stalin at that moment had almost no idea about the positions of Iran and Turkey, which were unclear during the first two years of the world war.

It is known that for a long time Moscow did not receive information about them from the United States and Great Britain at all, but when it became clear that such potential adversaries were not too difficult to neutralize, this was done very quickly. Especially with regard to Iran, overcrowded with German agents, where the USSR and England had sent troops at the end of the summer of 1941. (Tehran-41: Unclassified Operation Consent). It was decided to simply keep Turkey on a short diplomatic leash.


In Moscow, not without reason, they feared an invasion from both states, given their very close relations with Germany and Italy. However, the Soviet leadership before the war, most likely, overestimated the military assistance from the Fuhrer and the Duce to Iran and Turkey and the potential power of their armies. But the established ties with Churchill and Roosevelt, at first through intermediaries, quickly opened the eyes of Stalin and his entourage.

However, one cannot but recall in this connection that Germany and Turkey, just four days before the Germans began implementing the Barbarossa plan, signed a treaty of friendship and non-aggression in Ankara. And by July 14, the concentration of Iranian troops had already been completed on the border with the USSR: by that time, their number near the Soviet border, as well as on the southern coast of the Caspian Sea, had increased by one and a half times.

New shipments of weapons and ammunition arrived there. All this was confirmed by the data of the Soviet embassy in Iran and numerous messages from the border Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic, which were sent to the People's Commissariats of Defense and Foreign Affairs of the USSR.

The difficult situation that had developed in the first hours of the war was also aggravated by the fact that Hungary, Romania and Finland officially declared the war on the USSR in the period from 23 to 27 June. They were joined by the puppet regimes that the Germans established in the territories of what is now Slovakia, Slovenia and Croatia.

Obviously, in the current situation, someone could not help but have, let's say, the "ghost" of the second Brest-Litovsk Treaty of 1918. This, albeit not directly, but quite convincingly confirms one of the sources, which is very widely used by researchers, but is used very selectively.

This refers to the memoirs and documents of the outstanding Soviet intelligence officer, Lieutenant General of the USSR Ministry of Internal Affairs Pavel Sudoplatov. As you know, he was repressed just four months after Stalin's death - until August 1968. A lot of things about the June 1941 foreign policy were explicitly indicated, for example, in Sudoplatov's explanatory note dated August 7, 1953 to the USSR Council of Ministers.

The difficult summer of 1941: how the "obscene peace" did not take place
The difficult summer of 1941: how the "obscene peace" did not take place

“A few days after the treacherous attack of Nazi Germany on the USSR, I was summoned to the office of the then USSR People's Commissar of Internal Affairs Beria. He told me that there was a decision of the Soviet government: to find out unofficially under what conditions Germany would agree to end the war against the USSR.

This is necessary in order to gain time and give a proper rebuff to the aggressor. Beria ordered me to meet with the Bulgarian ambassador to the USSR I. Stamenov, who had connections with the Germans and was well known to them."

Bulgarian trace

Since gaining independence, Bulgaria has skillfully maneuvered between Russia and Germany, and its mediation seemed quite logical. Ivan Stamenov (1893-1976), mentioned in Sudoplatov's note, was the Bulgarian ambassador to the USSR from July 11, 1940 to September 8, 1944. However, he performed his functions in Moscow until October 1944, after which, for obvious reasons, remained under house arrest until the end of his life.

We read from Sudoplatov:

“Beria ordered me to put four questions in my conversation with Stamenov: 1. Why did Germany, violating the non-aggression pact, start a war against the USSR; 2. On what conditions does Germany agree to end the war; 3. Will the transfer of the Baltic states, Ukraine, Bessarabia, Bukovina, the Karelian Isthmus suit to Germany and its allies; 4. If not, what territories Germany additionally claims (see RGASPI. F. 17. Op. 171. D. 466).

What Beria himself confirmed during interrogation on August 11, 1953: "Stalin summoned me on June 24 and asked:" Is Stamenov still in Moscow? " Having learned that he was in Moscow, Stalin wanted to find out through his connections in Berlin: "What is Hitler seeking, what does he want?"


Two days later, Beria was again interrogated about this. Beria said that "he was carrying out Stalin's direct assignment, but it was not about the whole of Ukraine and the Baltic states, but only about their part, and nothing was said about Belarus, Bukovina and the Karelian Isthmus." But Sudoplatov claimed that all the above-mentioned regions of the USSR were in that register. At the same time, he stated that "if I had not been sure that this was a task from the Soviet government, I would not have been fulfilling it." The conversation between Sudoplatov and Stamenov took place in the famous Moscow restaurant "Aragvi" on June 28 (see RGASPI. F. 17. Op. 171. D. 466-467).

But the competent authorities preferred, for obvious reasons, not to risk the confrontation between Beria and Sudoplatov …

Do not spare life itself

As for Stamenov, at the request of I. Pegov, secretary of the USSR PVS, who arrived in Sofia, he sent a letter to the USSR Embassy in Sofia on August 2, 1953, confirming the meeting with Sudoplatov and "discussion of four questions-proposals of the Soviet government about a possible peace." But in Berlin they were so delighted with their first military victories in the USSR that, although they received those proposals, they refused to negotiate (see RGASPI. Fund 17. Inventory 171. Case 465).

According to Ivan Bashev, Bulgaria's foreign minister during the Khrushchev and Brezhnev times, Stamenov could well have been treated cruelly. But most likely, he was "saved" for the final discrediting of Stalin, planned by Khrushchev for the next, XXIII Congress of the CPSU (in 1966). Khrushchev's resignation canceled these plans, but Stamenov, who was associated with Soviet intelligence in the 1940s, continued to diligently patronize the Bulgarian KGB to prevent his removal by Soviet colleagues.


Bashev noted that the Brezhnev leadership abolished Khrushchev's anti-Stalinist policy and its projects, but actually saved Stamenov's life. However, he had to undertake obligations to the KGB of Bulgaria not to write memoirs and not get involved with Western, including emigrant media. And Stamenov kept his word.

Confirmation of the assessments of Ivan Bashev and those plans of Khrushchev is also the fact that, firstly, it was in the early 60s that Stalin's closest associates were excluded from the CPSU by Khrushchev's decision from among the first "ruling" figures of his era: Molotov, Kaganovich, Malenkov …

Secondly, the “original” proposal made by dear Nikita Sergeevich to the Polish leader Vladislav Gomulka can be considered not as direct evidence. Nothing less, but publicly accuse Stalin of the Katyn massacre. Moreover, Khrushchev admitted that he simply did not have any documents really confirming this. We will not repeat once again what all those “documents” that appeared later are worth, but Gomulka, one cannot but give him his due, had the intelligence and honor to refuse.

Finally, thirdly, what is the now quite widely known statement of Khrushchev, "anticipating" the final discrediting of Stalin, at a reception in honor of the head of the Hungarian Socialist Workers' Party Janos Kadar on July 19, 1964: "The efforts of those who are trying to defend Stalin (leadership of the People's Republic of China, Albania, the DPRK, a number of foreign communist parties. - Author's note). You cannot wash a black dog white."

Is it worth it, after all that has been written, to prove that the second Brest Peace could hardly have taken place at all? It did not take place, thanks primarily to the heroic resistance of the Soviet troops. Despite a series of heavy defeats, they not only stopped the enemy at the gates of Moscow, but also launched a counteroffensive in the very first campaign of the war.


The USSR brought unparalleled sacrifices to the altar of common victory, but the Soviet leadership, and with it the entire people, gained confidence in the inevitable defeat of the aggressor in the summer of 1941. It was this confidence that sounded quite clearly in Stalin's speech on the radio on July 3, 1941.