On hearing of the Russian revolution, Lenin at once asked a Swiss socialist to ask the German Minister at Berne to secure him a passage to Germany. This was sanctioned at the highest level and Lenin left Switzerland accompanied by a number of Mensheviks, so that he and his fellow Bolsheviks would not be compromised as German agents. p.3
(At Rapallo) Lloyd George (planned) to encourage the Germans not to trade with the Bolsheviks until they agreed to pay their war debts (and) to persuade them to ask for reparations from Germany. The plan misfired.
Under (the Rapallo) agreement ‘impoverished’ Germany waived all national compensation claims against the Soviets, and also all private claims by German citizens, provided that the Russians treated other (Allied) claimants the same.
One outcome of Rapallo was that the Russians gave permission for Germany to establish officer-training courses in Soviet Russia.
Krupp and Stinnes were … interested in investing in Russia but they wanted to be paid in hard currency. … So on 1 April Krupp took a lease on 50,000 hectares of prime agricultural land in what was then known as the North Caucasian area’. p.90-91
Shortly before the (Allied) Military Control Commission was wound up, the Manchester Guardian had published an article on clandestine German arms manufacture outside Germany. … The firm of Junkers … had been commissioned to produce warplanes … for the German and Russian armies. Nevertheless the enterprise was plagued with problems, and in 1927 the concession was liquidated.
Cooperation between the German and Russian armed forces, on the other hand, flourished. In March 1926 an agreement was concluded to build an aviation school in Lipetsk to complement the existing military school and to start a tank school at Kazan. The setting up of these military training schools, plus the allocation of an area to test poison gas, had been a quid pro quo for the 50 million gold marks that the Germans had given the Soviets in 1923. p.128-9
Russia’s economy was ailing and its army dangerously poorly equipped. … At last the Germans made Stalin an offer he could not refuse. The German armaments makers put no cash on the table but offered to help him create giant farms …. so that he would no longer need his peasants’ co-operation if he wanted to export wheat (to pay for their goods). (However the negotiations were not over) p.139-142 and p.192
It quickly became apparent that the negotiations were going to be tough. … They (the armaments makers) were happy to contemplate selling to Russia but there were strings attached. … Meanwhile, despite the dumping of oil on world markets, the Soviet Union’s economy was going bankrupt. …’
Krupp’s terms were a bitter pill for Stalin but eventually he capitulated. …
On 1 September 1928, at the Sixth Annual Congress of the Comintern, the Soviets used the cloak of universality to denounce the German Social Democratic party, refusing to allow the German Communist party (KPD) to vote with it any more.… p.138-141
The economic agreement with what the Soviets called ‘The Union of Industrialists in Germany’ was completed and signed in December. … From now on the German Communists would be under orders to vote with the Far Right in Germany and to regard the Social Democrats as their bitterest enemies. This was to prove the death knell of German democracy. p.138-141
On 22 April 1929 Valerian Kuibyshev, Chairman of Stalin’s Supreme Council, reported … an agreement with the German firm of Rheinmetall for the production of a wide range of weaponry, including anti-aircraft guns, howitzers, anti-tank guns and machine guns.
Perhaps inevitably, the most significant contract was concluded with Krupp on 17 June details p.169-170
The Economist reported wryly on 17 January 1931: ‘The unexpectedly large shipments (of wheat) …. offered for sale by the (Russian) Government without much regard to market conditions … has attracted attention in the United States and Canada somewhat forcibly to the problem which increased production may present in view of the existing world glut of wheat’. p.196
In the summer (as a result of Germany’s agreement with the Soviet Union) … Hugenberg’s DNVP (German Nationalist party), Hitler’s NSDAP and the Stahlhelm were joined in ‘an unnatural alliance’ to bring down the Prussian government. p.200
Germany’s exports accounted for nearly 50% of the Soviet Union’s imports in 1932. details p.170
The Communists invariably voted against the Social Democrats in the Reichstag. p.201 & 211
‘At Moscow’s order, the German Communist party pronounced the Social Democrats ‘enemy No l, drove a significant portion of the workers into the Nazi’s arms and contributed to Hitler’s success at the polls. p.205
Although initially made Minister of Economics and Agriculture in Hitler’s first cabinet, he (Hugenberg) produced a remarkable memorandum on 16 June calling for the restoration of German colonies and for Russian land to be used for German settlement. p.221
(this marked the end of the Soviet/German friendship – for the time being!)