Department of History 

JURGITA VILKAITYTE: Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact of 23 August, 1939 from the point of view of Lithuanian authors

Pro Gradu Dissertation, 84 p.
General History
June 2004

In this thesis I analyse the process of the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and its secret protocols of 23 August and 28 September, 1939. I approach the issue through looking into the point of view of mostly Lithuanian historians. I analyze the secondary sources, namely, the documents that show negotiation of Nazi and Soviet, the text of Nonaggression treaty and the secret protocols.

The purpose of this study is to discuss the insidious international behaviour of Germany and Russia during the period between two World Wars. The behaviour that permitted Nazi and Soviet to play with the small independent countries and to decide their future. The countries of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia were victims of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact; I will discuss tragic fate of these countries, as well as the position of Poland before the World War II.

I will use the State theory and present the interpretation of the new historical material combining it with the secondary sources. The study is focused on the most important events of the interwar period that open the background of the Nazi-Soviet co-operation and lead to the signing of the Pact. At the same time I shortly overview the international arena of the period, introducing the activities of foreign policies of the other Great power of Europe - Great Britain and France.

In the conclusion I will present the main points of the work emphasizing that the secret contacts between Soviet representatives and German diplomatic figures were a kind of diplomatic reconnaissance that came to the end by signing the Pact. The latter was ruinous for the independent Baltic countries and gave Hitler a permission to start the war.

Keywords: treaty, pact, the Baltic States, negotiation, foreign policy, Nazi, Soviet, history, secret.