Vyacheslav Molotov

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Vyacheslav Molotov

Vyacheslav Molotov (in Russian Вячесла́в Миха́йлович Мо́лотов), Vjačeslav Mihajlovič Molotov, (9 March 1890 [February 25 old Russian calendar] – 8 November 1986), Soviet politician and diplomat, was a leading figure in the Soviet government from the 1920s, when he rose to power as a protégé of Joseph Stalin, to the 1950s, when he was dismissed from office by Nikita Khrushchev. He was the principal Soviet signatory of the Nazi-Soviet non-aggression pact of 1939 (also known as the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact).

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  • Events arising out of the Polish-German War have revealed the internal insolvency and obvious impotence of the Polish state. Polish ruling circles have suffered bankruptcy… Warsaw as the capital of the Polish state no longer exists. No one knows the whereabouts of the Polish Government. The population of Poland have been abandoned by their ill-starred leaders to their fate. The Polish State and its Government have virtually ceased to exist. In view of this state of affairs, treaties concluded between the Soviet Union and Poland have ceased to operate. A situation has arisen in Poland which demands of the Soviet Government especial concern for the security of its State. Poland has become a fertile field for any accidental and unexpected contingency that may create a menace for the Soviet Union...Nor can it be demanded of the Soviet Government that it remain indifferent to the fate of its Blood Brothers, the Ukrainians and White Russians inhabiting Poland, who even formerly were nations without rights and who now have been utterly abandoned to their fate. The Soviet Government deems it its sacred duty to extend the hand of assistance to its brother Ukrainians and White Russians inhabiting Poland.
    • Extracts from Molotov’s broadcast speech on the Soviet invasion of Poland, 17 September 1939. Mirovoe Khoziaistvo, 1939, 9, p.13. In Soviet Documents on Foreign Policy. Volume I: 1917-1941. Jane Tabrisky Degras (ed.) 1953, Oxford University Press. Pages 374-5.
  • Someone helped us a lot with the atomic bomb. The intelligence (service) played a huge role. These Rosenbergs suffered in America. It is not excluded that they helped us. But we shouldn't really speak about it, because we might receive this kind of help in the future.
    • About Julius and Ethel Rosenberg being undercover Soviet agents. Quoted in "The FBI-KGB War: A Special Agent's Story" - Page 306 - by Robert J. Lamphere, Tom Shachtman - History - 1995
  • One blow from the German army and another from the Soviet army put an end to this ugly product of Versailles.
    • Quoted in "Legitimacy and Force" - Page 49 - by Jeane J. Kirkpatrick - United States - 1988
  • We cannot lose Poland. If this line is crossed, they will grab us, too.
    • December 4, 1981. Quoted in "Surviving the Millennium" - Page 236 - by Hall Gardner - Political Science - 1994
  • As long as we live in a system of states, and as long as the roots of fascism and imperialist aggression have not finally been extirpated, our vigilance in regard to possible new violators of peace should not slacken, and concern for the strengthening of cooperation between the peace-loving powers will continue to be our most important duty.
    • Quoted in "Strategy and Tactics of Soviet Foreign Policy" - Page 4 - by John Malcolm Mackintosh - Soviet Union - 1963
  • Who can think that this eviction of Germans was undertaken only as a temporary experiment? Those who adopted the decision on the eviction of the Germans from these territories, and who understood that Poles from other Polish districts would at once move into these territories, cannot suggest after a while to carry out reverse measures. The very idea of involving millions of people in such experiments is unbelievable, quite apart from the cruelty of it, both towards the Poles and the Germans themselves.
    • Quoted in "The German-Polish Frontier" - Page 71 - by Walter M. Drzewieniecki - History - 1959
  • The old world must make way for the new.
    • January 10, 1930. Quoted in "Soviet Union, 1936" - Page 107 - by Joseph Stalin, A. Fineberg - Soviet Union - 1936
  • Only a fool would attack us.
    • June 1941. Quoted in "Hitler and Stalin: Parallel Lives" - Page 715 - by Alan Bullock - 1993
  • Germany, which has lately united 80 million Germans, has submitted certain neighboring countries to her supremacy and gained military strength in many aspects, and thus has become, as clearly can be seen, a dangerous rival to principal imperialistic powers in Europe - England and France. That is why they declared war on Germany on a pretext of fulfilling the obligations given to Poland. It is now clearer than ever, how remote the real aims of the cabinets in these countries were from the interests of defending the now disintegrated Poland or Czechoslovakia.
    • After the Polish defeat. Molotov's report on March 29, 1940. Quoted in Weekly Soviet newspaper "Moscow News", published by Mezhdunarodnaya Kniga, Moscow, April 1, 1940.

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  • Our scientists all the more occupy advanced positions in the development of world science. By the example of their successes in the field of atomic energy, our scientists and technicians have vividly shown how much the increased might of the Soviet state and the further growth of its international authority depends on their efforts and practical successes.
  • The fact that atomic war may break out, isn't that class struggle? There is no alternative to class struggle. This is a very serious question. The be-all and end-all is not peaceful coexistence. After all, we have been holding on for some time, and under Stalin we held on to the point where the imperialists felt able to demand point-blank: either surrender such and such positions, or it means war. So far the imperialists haven't renounced that.
    • 1976.

About Molotov

  • Molotov has a fine forehead, and looks and acts like a French professor of medicine - orderly, precise, pedantic. He is... a man of first-rate intelligence and influence. Molotov is a vegetarian and a teetotaler. Stalin gives him much of the dirty work to do.
    • John Gunther, 1938.
  • In the conduct of foreign affairs, Mazarin; Talleyrand, Metternich, would welcome him to their company, if there be another world to which Bolsheviks allow themselves to go.
    • Winston Churchill

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