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Background reading and viewing about Hitler-Stalin mutual support pact in 1939

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The first is a review of a recent book by Richard Overy, who is a recognized historical expert about Hitler and Stalin. And here is an excerpt from that review:

Poland is central to Overy’s analysis, which suggests he may not be offering anything very new. His preface outlines the role of Danzig after the Treaty of Versailles, the vital supply channel for Polish trade that ultimately provoked Hitler’s disquieting request for lebensraum. Danzig remains the fault-line for the declaration of war, although clearly there are other causes: pride and obstinacy, failed brinkmanship and both sides’ belief that they were the last true upholders of western values. Overy suggests that the sheer exhaustion of the antagonists, particularly Neville Chamberlain, also played a part. A week after the war began, the prime minister wrote to his sister that his days “of stress and strain” had made him lose all sense of time: “Life is just one long nightmare.”

Then there is this video of an interview with Overy about that very subject.

My own personal connection with this very sad part of WW2 history is that I was living in Paris with my birth family since my father had, since April 1939, taken up his posting with RBofC as manager of their 10, rue Scribe branch in Paris. By then I had lived in three countries, born in Barcelona in Oct 1935, in Montmagny QC with my mother and siblings in Aug 1936 till Oct 1937 and then Vernets-l-bains in the French Pyrenees. We had been unwillingly chased from Barcelona in mid-July 1936 by the outbreak of

The Eiffel Tower and La Défense business distr...
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the Spanish Civil War, which happened with violent clashes in and around Barcelona, which was the industrial heartland of Spain then.

My mother and I were forced to leave Paris after the German Wehrmacht invaded Western Europe so successfully on May 10, 1940. After lots of scrambling we made our way with my father and all siblings, Helen, Jean-Paul and Annette the latest arrival (May 16, 1940) back to Canada via the south of France, Portsmouth UK, and convoy out of Greenock, Scotland to Halifax, where we finally landed on July 13, 1940.

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