History & Culture

German-Russian Dealmaking is Back and History Shows That’s Not Necessarily Good

AMAC Exclusive by Herald Boas

Germany Russia Flags While the world is fixated on events in Afghanistan, the Biden administration’s apparent incompetence has led to another setback, the consequences of which have hardly yet been felt—but if history is any guide, it might add up to major problems for America and NATO.

Earlier this year, President Biden came under fire from both sides of the political aisle for waiving sanctions on Nord Stream 2, a gas pipeline that will run from Russia to Germany. The project is unpopular in the U.S for political reasons having to do with Germany, a NATO ally, becoming unnecessarily vulnerable to economic blackmail by Russia. It’s also unpopular in Central Europe and Ukraine (which the pipeline will bypass) for geoeconomics reasons. Former President Trump famously opposed the project, and just this week, Senate Republicans put up an ad attacking Biden on his decision to withdraw Trump’s policy blocking it.

Many Americans may be puzzled why Germany would wish to make itself energy dependent on Russia. But history reminds us this is not the first time Russia and Germany have made a controversial agreement that shocked their allies and served their own interests to the detriment of everybody else. In fact, they have done it repeatedly.

This Monday, August 23rd, will mark the 82nd anniversary of one of the most disreputable deals ever entered into between two nations.  Just days before the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939, the two murderous dictators of Europe, Adolf Hitler of Nazi Germany and Joseph Stalin of the Soviet Union, signed a nonaggression agreement, known as the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. The world was stunned that these two countries, implacable enemies, would make common cause.  But the episode was only the latest in a series of troublesome German-Russian deals that threatened the peace and security of the world.

The trend began near the end of the First World War. The German Kaiser and his military high command had sent the Marxist leader Vladimir Lenin to Russia from Switzerland on a secret train to lead a revolution against Czar Nicholas II, whose Russian army had tied up Germany and its allies on the eastern front of the war. The gambit worked, and months later, Leon Trotsky, representing the new Soviet regime, signed the famed Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, taking Russia out of the war. But the strategy came too late for Germany, which had run out of resources, and the war ended with its defeat.

But soon after Germany’s defeat in World War I, only 15 years before the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, and before Hitler and Stalin were in power, the two nations had made another alliance which enabled them to restore their military and economic capabilities after being devastated by World War I. This forgotten agreement in many ways set the stage for the conflict to come.

Germany and Russia were the biggest outcasts following the Armistice in 1918 — Germany because many blamed it for starting the war, and Russia because it was a communist state. The Treaty of Versailles in 1919 made it difficult for the new Weimar Republic of Germany, weighed down by heavy reparations, to obtain needed food and other supplies. Russia was left isolated because it posed an ideological threat to the Western democracies and lacked technological and manufacturing resources.

In 1922, with the Bolshevik victory in Russia completed and Lenin in power, the Marxist leader sent his able foreign minister Georgi Chicherin to Genoa, Italy where the victorious war allies were meeting. Secretly, Chicherin negotiated a treaty of economic and diplomatic cooperation at nearby Rapallo, Italy with German Foreign Minister Walther Rathenau. When the treaty was publicly announced, it deeply upset the allied leaders meeting in Genoa. Those leaders would have been even more disturbed if they had known about the Russo-German military part of the deal that was kept secret.

In effect, the 1922 Treaty of Rapallo enabled Russian food and needed supplies to be sent to Germany where they were badly needed. In return, Germany sent military technology and equipment to Russia. Russia also provided the German army, limited in size and capability by the Versailles Treaty, with secret venues at which it could train its soldiers and test its military equipment — a direct violation of the peace agreement.

The Russian-German treaty was expanded and reaffirmed in 1923 and 1926, and continued in effect until 1933, when Hitler, virulently anti-Soviet, came to power in Germany. By that time, Stalin had solidified his own power in Russia and was preoccupied with purging his domestic enemies, real and imagined. Both dictators despised each other and the opposing regime, but only six years later, eager to carve up Poland, they found it diabolically advantageous to sign the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact that led directly to World War II.

But even the memory of bitter fighting during World War II and the resentment between Russia and Germany during the Cold War was not enough to separate these two nations forever, as their Nord Stream 2 cooperation shows. Once again, the world is wary of the potential fallout from the partnership.

It is a curious phenomenon that Germany and Russia — two nations that historically have so often been opposed ideologically, militarily, and strategically —  have nevertheless found it to their mutual advantage to make deals over the last century with such far reaching economic, military, and diplomatic implications.  Many of these Russian-German agreements have altered the course of European and world history, shocking neighbors and allies alike. Anyone who is surprised or puzzled today by the Germans’ desire to make a pipeline deal with their supposed Russian adversaries should not be.

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Al Wunsch
1 month ago

Ignoring the history, it would seem logical for Germany to look toward Russia for needed oil. However, it was surprising to me from the standpoint of; what makes Germany think that Putin won’t shut off oil when it suits him to get German cooperation or to push Germany to impede NATO operation/policies? Definitely not good for NATO. (of course, Biden might have damaged NATO at this point as well with his handling of Afghanistan)

gin
1 month ago

They are linked together in the bible for the battle of Armageddon. That was predicted more than two thousand years ago.

George
1 month ago

Please do not confuse the left with history. They cannot understand it. It is not “woke” or “politically correct” or stating the interests of the LGQPT (or whatever) community.. Therefore, it is not relevant.

Karen
1 month ago

Never did trust the Germans. They are extremely jealous of the US.
They are probably clapping their hands to see what that that a-hole (Biden) is gonna do next.

Thunderbird River
1 month ago
Reply to  Karen

The Germans are the ones who have saved you from Communism once and they will do it again!

Mandy
1 month ago

Remember it was Obama and Merkel who allowed the flood of Muslim men into Europe. Now we have the Biden/Obama regime in charge again due to a stolen election and the first thing Biden does is cancel the US Keystone Pipeline, putting thousands of Americans out of work and certainly not making us independent on the ME oil.

This is like living through Obama’s 3rd term and remember he bought a house 2 miles from the WH while all other past presidents couldn’t wait to move away from DC ASAP.

Communist China didn’t give Commie Joe $17 million for nothing. While the Democrats, using the Mueller investigation to accuse President Trump of Russia collusion, it is actually the Democrats, many who have Communist connection, are the ones that are buddies with Russia and China.

Max
1 month ago
Reply to  Mandy

The flood of Muslims into Europe started way before Obama and company. I was stationed at SHAPE (NATO) HQ, Belgium in the late 1990’s for 4 years and saw the influx change of population as Muslims came into the country. The two countries that could become Islamic states in Europe are Belgium and the Netherlands in the near future.

Gunny Joe
1 month ago
Reply to  Max

Can you say The peanut President was the beginning of the Muslim invasion of all Christian Nations, followed by Slick Willie, and crew!

Max
1 month ago
Reply to  Gunny Joe

I agree about the peanut President starting the invasion.

Peter Young
1 month ago

I’m just curious what Russia has on Biden? Did Hunter’s other laptop that disappeared have compromising pictures or emails of some of the nefarious deals that Joe was involved in? Did the Russians tell him to ok the pipeline or else they’d reveal the info? Why else would he cancel the one in the U.S. (for supposedly global warming) while agreeing to their pipeline. Did Russia also tell him to get out of Afganistan immediately or else? It’s funny they haven’t evacuated their embassy while also loading up militarily on the border. What does Russia have on Joe?

Steve
1 month ago

Trump told us loud and clear 4 years ago about the Merkel deal to get petro from the Russians.
Did we not listen ? No, as usual. We are tone-deaf

Steve
1 month ago

The Germans are, by nature, evil people and will encourage any new world order process.
We should not surprised at anything this evil nation will do to change the status quo.
They have always thought of themselves as the superior “race” although they are not a
unique race at all. They are just common, ordinary “white folk” with no history of superiority
in any area. They will forgive the Russian purge of their eastern half after WWII in order to
gain any edge. Who was the greatest victim of WWII ? Not the Jews or the Russians but the
east Germans. As it should have been.

Sharon Ormsby
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

Hey, I have German ancestry. I have black friends from Germany, don’t speak for all of us!

Thomas S
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

Up until recently Germans have been the largest ethnic group in the United States. So much so that when the vote was taken to choose the official language that English was chosen over German by only one or two votes. During the first world war if the truth had come out, such as the munitions on the Lusitania, the United States may well have entered that war on Germany’s side. Your own hatred for them is no different from any other form of racism, and just as inexcusable.

Thunderbird River
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

Wow Steve. That’s a lot of German hatred coming from you. You must be another confused brainwashed neo-liberal Nazi who doesn’t understand the difference between a real Nazi and a German.

Steve
1 month ago

xxx

PaulE
2 months ago

So once again the dreaded AMAC censor opts to censor yet another post for no reason. Heaven forbid that free speech be allowed to be exercised here.

gin
1 month ago
Reply to  PaulE

I’ve learned to spell numbers and use lower case in some cases among other things to keep the amac algorythem or whatever is used from deleting items.

PaulE
2 months ago

I guess this article serves some purpose for those that are unfamiliar with European or Russian history. So from that perspective, it is good to educate people. However, as far as enlightening readers to all the politics that went into the Germany agreeing to and then pushing for Nord 2, it kind of missed certain important aspects that explain why Germany was gung-ho to move forward with this project, while the rest of Europe and the EU largely opposed it.

The one key factor not mentioned in this article is that Merkel grew up in what was East Germany under the control of the Soviets. Lots of writers either gloss over or omit this important fact in understanding why she has always been eager to do economic deals with Russia. Not all former East Germans hated the Soviet imposed system of communist rule that was imposed on them after WW2. A few grew up in that socialist system and embraced it to one extent or another. I would dare to say that Merkel is one such individual, based on how often she has gone out of her way to engage with Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union and how she has governed in general.

By championing Nord 2 over the objections of the EU, Merkel threw a financial lifeline to Russia (and Putin) by locking Germany and other European countries into a very lucrative financial deal for Putin to supply natural gas. The deal is worth tens of billions to Russia, which will use a large part of the money gained from this deal to build up its military forces. Military forces that NATO and the the United States are supposed to guard Europe against. See the problem here?

Even though the United States had offered to supply natural gas at lower costs, Merkel was intent to cement the Nord 2 deal with Putin. With Merkel’s political career nearing it end, this was her last chance to throw Russia a big financial win as a way of her saying thank you to the country (Russia) and type of government (socialism / communism) that she clearly still loves.

As for Biden and his administration, that is far easier to analyze. Whatever President Trump was against, for any reason, they are automatically for it. That’s it. No great thought went into this decision on the part of the Biden regime. So it wasn’t a surprise that Biden dropped all opposition to a very bad deal for both Germany and the EU in general.

Mandy
1 month ago
Reply to  PaulE

You give no acknowledgment to the Communist leadership within the DNC, including Obama, Clintons and most likely Biden. Why did China give Biden $17 million? How has Obama purchased 3 large homes as I don’t believe that is money made from book sales. Now we have Hunter going to sell his artwork which is just another way to launder money to the Biden family, just like book sales.

PaulE
1 month ago
Reply to  Mandy

The article was about Merkel, so I limited my comments to Merkel and why she acted as she did. If I were to go into the long and sordid history of the DNC and their socialist and communist connections, that would take up dozens of paragraphs. None of which most people on this site would bother to read. As it is, I get constant complaints from people that my comments, while all being factually correct, are too long and detailed for many here. So I try to keep it to just the major points I want to cover in detail to educate people.

I am well aware of the various deals the Biden family and the Obama’s made over the years to achieve their current net worth. Again, no one on this site will spend the time to read what amounts to a small book on each of the Clinton, Obama and Biden families.

Last edited 1 month ago by PaulE
Gunny Joe
1 month ago
Reply to  PaulE

PaulE,
I look forward to your comments and wisdom. I believe you should be writing for AMAC!

Dede
2 months ago

Biden doesn’t even know where he is and gets lost all the time . Just look at his face he’s totally not there ! This administration has all the ear marks of Obama who I believe is the one running the circus! He hates America and wants to finish ruining us !

Frank Bort
2 months ago
Reply to  Dede

Well said!!!

AjB
2 months ago

Why are people so surprised by the incompetence of Joe O’Biden and his administration? You’ve got a dementia ridden potato as POTUS and uniquely unqualified people serving in positions as incompetent or even more than Joe and the cackling chameleon serving as VP….

Max
2 months ago

Oh boy. Will Germany and Russian continue their false proviso, they shook hands but had the other hand behind the back with crossed fingers. This will put a bind on NATO and any responses that may be required (where will the US leadership be?), especially if Russia decides to invade the Ukraine in the near future.

JT
2 months ago
Reply to  Max

Good point.

PaulE
2 months ago
Reply to  Max

Hi Max,

To answer your last sentence, the Biden administration will offer blankets to the Ukrainian government just like Obama did when Russia last re-claimed parts of the Ukraine for Russia. Same Obama era State Department personnel and same feckless response will be provided.

Max
2 months ago
Reply to  PaulE

Hi PaulE,
I worked 5 years for NATO (1 at SACLANT, 4 at SHAPE HQ Belgium). NATO was expanding to the east gaining the nations that were once in the Warsaw Pact. Although I did enjoy my tours of duty, I could also see the end of this organization. The USA puts in quite a bit of the finances while the rest put in a little. Now that Europe has united as one large state per say, it is probably the time for the USA to pull out. It doesn’t help that Germany and Russia have made a deal with Germany being in the heart of Europe. Germany is now in a position that could thwart any plans/reactions that NATO has should Russia become aggressive. Of course, if has not changed since I have been there, the Russians have had a military staff at NATO HQ for over 20 years, so they have a pretty good idea what is going on in NATO.

Susan Cascio
2 months ago

Excellent article!! Thank you!

Joseph
2 months ago
Reply to  Susan Cascio

It’s unfortunate that not many read or are willing to learn history. How did we get to this point? Then again this happens when people vote with their feet or when the elections are stolen. The evidence is in Washington.

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