Helping the Enemy
Post # 177, Bob McKnight's Florida Commentary
A recent book review in the Wall Street Journal caught my eye. The book, Faustian Bargain by Ian Ona Johnson (Oxford Press), was about arch enemies Germany and Russia after World I (where they fought each other until signing the Treaty at Versailles). Since the same two countries were back at war in World War II, the lesson of this book is a shocker.
According to the author, Germany and Russia signed a little known Treaty of Rapallo in 1922. The two countries were evil at that time--Germany was planning war and Russia was still struggling with brutal class warfare from the Bolshevik Revolution.
Russia offered Germany a secret location to develop weapons and train men planning WWII. Germany offered to help Russia modernize their Army, badly out of date after WWI. German manufacturers like Krupp contracted directly with the Soviets to assemble war-craft, tanks and poison gas in Russia, undetected in violation of the Versailles Treaty. The Germans shared the technology with the Russians.
A side blessing of the German-Russian work on weapons resulted in a reduced interest in using deadly gases, but instead the Military Industrial Complex pushed expensive conventional weapons like aircraft, tanks, ships, radio/radar technology and rockets.
The close and secret bond between Germany and Russia began to sour when Hitler became Chancellor in 1933 and talked about the "Jewish Bolshevism" in Russia. But the two countries hung together long enough for Hitler and Stalin to sign their Non Aggression Pact of 1939, and then together destroyed weak Poland.
When Hitler was losing WWII to the Allies in 1941, he bet everything on destroying then foe Russia and attacked his old partner. Ms. Johnson points out the irony that as the Germans attacked Stalingrad, they did so marching "in rubber boots made with material shipped over the Trans-Siberian Railroad. Their rations included Soviet grain, which had continued to arrive up to the very day of the invasion."
What goes around, comes around when "Helping the Enemy."