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The “Polish question” in Soviet-German relations in the second half of the 1920s (based on the materials of the USSR consulate in Königsberg)

"Польский вопрос" в советско-германских отношениях во второй половине 1920-х годов (по материалам консульства СССР в Кёнигсберге)
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Kostyashov, Yuri

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Abstract On the basis of earlier unknown documents of the Soviet consulate in Königsberg retrieved from the Archive of the Foreign Policy of the Russian Federation, the author analyses relations between the USSR and Germany in 1925—1930. The author focuses on the role of the “Polish question”, which largely affected the nature of bilateral relations. The consulate documents indicate that Soviet diplomacy aspired to exploit the differences between Poland and Germany over a wide range of issues (the geopolitical situation of East Prussia, the position of national minorities, the problem of transit through the Polish corridor, the status of the Free city of Danzig, etc.). Soviet consuls carefully observed political life in Königsberg and the province. On the one hand, they paid attention to an increase in the nationalist and fascist attitudes. On the other hand, they emphasized the aspirations of the local political and business elite to develop economic cooperation with the Soviet Union. The People's Commissariat for Foreign Affairs tried to transform East Prussia into a Soviet lobby in the German government. These plans were not implemented at that time, but the 1920s ideas of cooperation between the two states on the anti-Polish basis were put into practice on the eve of World War II.
Keywords USSR; international relations; bilateral relations; Poland; diplomacy; Weimar Republic (Germany, 1918-33); East Prussia; nationalism; conflict of interest; pressure-group politics; political negotiation; German Reich; economic cooperation; minority; ethnic group; geopolitics; world politics
Classification General History; International Relations, International Politics, Foreign Affairs, Development Policy
Document language English
Publication Year 2013
Page/Pages p. 98-106
Journal Baltic Region (2013) 3
ISSN 2079-8555
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Free Digital Peer Publishing Licence