The Keys ep32 The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact
On the eve of World War II, 23 August 1939, Hitler and Stalin signed a treaty of non-aggression between Germany and the USSR, more popularly known as the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. The treaty included a secret protocol, which defined the borders for the spheres of interest in Bessarabia, the Baltic states and Poland. After a week, Poland was invaded by Germany and shortly after by the USSR as well.
Within a month, the state of Poland was no more. Dreading the same fate, Latvia signed a treaty of mutual assistance with the USSR. Even though the treaty promised to respect Latvia’s sovereignty, its true purpose was to set the stage for establishing Soviet military bases in Kurzeme.
When the USSR deployed its forces in 1940, Latvia had already lost all possibilities of fighting back – the country was surrounded from all sides. Was surrender the only viable path for the Baltic states? Or did our leaders make a dire mistake?