Activity: Talk or presentation types › Public lecture/debate/seminar
Having consolidated his power in the late 1920s, Joseph Stalin long focused on internal affairs: the Five Year Plans, collectivization of agriculture, rapid industrialization and the modernization of the Red Army. In lieu of exporting the revolution, the Kremlin focused on building “socialism in one country.” Indeed, once party chief, Stalin rarely left the USSR: Tehran in 1943 and Potsdam in 1945, then never again. Despite his penchant for domestic policy, from the summer of 1936 Stalin’s Soviet Union was increasing drawn into foreign affairs. This talk explores Stalin’s foreign policy on the eve of the Second World War. The Soviet Union’s multiple failures in forging an anti-fascist alliance with Britain and France, most notably in the Spanish Civil War, will be explored as the prelude to Stalin’s eventual decision, in August 1939, to authorize the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, and thus begin the war as Hitler’s ally.