The Initiation of the Negotiations Leading to the Nazi-Soviet Pact: A Historical Problem

  • D. C. Watt


In no problem are historians as apt to befuddle themselves with ambiguity and excessive zeal than in their search for the ‘origins’ of a particular set of causal processes from which a key event or set of events appears to have eventuated. Normally, professional historians are most careful not to isolate separate sets of developments from the general background of time and space in which they occur. One is reminded over and over again that events do not occur nor are decisions taken in vacuo. Those who take decisions or initiate events do not wear blinkers or separate their mental processes into individual compartments entirely isolated from one another. Historical events can only be understood in the total context of time and space within which they occur.


Foreign Policy Collective Security International Military Tribunal Soviet Authority German Side 
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© D. C. Watt 1974

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  • D. C. Watt

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