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Additional info for The Soviet Union and the Struggle for Collective Security in Europe, 1933–39

Sample text

Although not entirely unexpected,64 the coup appeared the answer to a dream in Moscow. Far from seeing it as the final confirmation of Hitler's supremacy,65 the Russians viewed it as the "explosion" of the tensions within this amorphous regime. Although the massacre enveloped only the upper echelons of the Nazi Party, Radek nonetheless hailed it as "a crisis of Fascism" and claimed that it represented a decisive step in "the transformation of Germany's Fascist Government into a Government of Germany monopoly capital and landed gentry, relying primarily upon the Reichswehr which, at present, are the true masters of the situation".

92 And, as events were shortly to reveal, the Kremlin's suspicions of Laval were amply justified. This did not, however, altogether ruin Litvinov's argument for a pact excluding Germany; at least this might forestall a Franco-German agreement. It was also apparent that Berlin was playing fast and loose with both the Russians and the French, in an attempt to halt progress towards a Moscow-Paris axis; 93 faced once again with the spectre of a Franco-German rapprochement, the Soviet leadership had good reason to allow Litvinov to continue along his path.

On the 2 April the Soviet military newspaper Krasnaya Zve;:,da appeared with an editorial arguing against revision of the Versailles treaty- apparently favoured by Britain - and attacking British foreign policy under Ramsay MacDonald. " 67 This was a refrain which found constant resonance in a country isolated in a hostile world and only too vulnerable to attack from without; in this atmosphere the most that could be permitted was a policy of exploiting the contradictions within the capitalist camp which stopped short at any commitment to the defence of one country against another.

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