In: Jahrbuch für Historische Kommunismusforschung 2014. Berlin: Metropol Verlag, pp. 171–189.
Stalin’s decision to enable Hitler to take the road by joining him in the division of Poland was rooted in his belief, which had been developed since the early 1920s, that division between the capitalist states would both provide security for Soviet Russia and precipitate revolution abroad. From the outset, Stalin had attributed a central role to Germany, only reluctantly siding with the Western powers when Hitler left him no alternative. When Britain and France failed to resist Germany during the Sudeten Crisis of 1938, Hitler’s aggression was viewed by Stalin as precisely what he should depend on. For this reason, when Hitler offered him a Pact, Stalin immediately accepted.