Fact Or Myth: Did Stalin Meet With Hitler in 1939? – Part III

Dear Readers:

Continuing with this piece by Alexei Vasiliev.  Where we left off:  It was turning into a bit of a soap opera, with a mysterious former Soviet history student claiming to have found a Microfilm document in the U.S. National Archives.  Purporting to be a letter from J. Edgar Hoover to Adolf Berle, alleging (from info of a top-secret spy) that Hitler and Stalin met face-to-face in Lvov.  Said meeting taking place in October of 1939, just after the city of Lvov had passed into Soviet jurisdiction.  And Vasiliev researching, and claiming that such a Microfilm document does not actually exist, as far as he can tell!

“Marvels and Adventures”, an issue from 2012

Recall that Soviet/Russian historian Dzhangir Nadzhafov (who reappeared 25 years later under the name Vladimir Nadzhafov), published his article in 1990 in Komsomolskaya Pravda.  The saga resumed 9 years later in Issue #10 of the journal “Marvels and Adventures” (Чудеса и приключения); an author named Herman Nazarov published a piece entitled “But the Meeting Did In Fact Take Place!”  Here is a link to Nazarov’s piece.  It opens with the bold assertion:  “The archival research of this author has confirmed the rumors from 1990:  Stalin personally met with Hitler on October 17, 1939…”

Author Nazarov claimed to have seen, with his own eyes, the “top-secret” correspondence between Stalin and Werner von der Schulenburg, who was the German Ambassador to Moscow during that era, and up to the moment of the Nazi invasion.  Here are excerpts from that alleged correspondence, followed by my translation into English:

Послу Германии в СССР графу Вернеру фон дер Шуленбургу
Исх. № 960 от 3 сентября 1939 г.
Я принципиально согласен встретиться с господином Адольфом Гитлером. Неизменно буду рад этой встрече. Организацию встречи я поручил своему наркому внутренних дел тов. Берия.
С уважением И. Сталин

Послу Германии в СССР графу Вернеру фон дер Шуленбургу
Исх. № 1001 от 20 сентября 1939 г.
Сообщите рейхсканцлеру Германии Адольфу Гитлеру, что я готов буду встретиться с ним лично 17, 18 и 19 ноября 1939 г. во Львове. Полагал бы прибыть специальным поездом и провести встречу в моем вагоне.
С уважением И. Сталин

Послу Германии в СССР графу Вернеру фон дер Шуленбургу
Исх. № 1037 от 11 октября 1939 г.
Прошу Вас окончательно считать временем встречи 17, 18 и 19 октября 1939 г., а не 17-19 ноября, как это планировалось ранее. Мой поезд прибудет к месту встречи в 15 ч. 30 мин. 17 октября 1939 г. Органами НКВД предприняты все меры для безопасности планируемого мероприятия.
С уважением И. Сталин

Schulenburg: “Okay, I’m here. Where’s Hitler?”


Stalin to Schulenburg, 3 September 1939:  In principle I am agreeable to meeting with Mr. Adolph Hitler.  I will be very happy to meet with him.  I have entrusted my Narkom for Internal Affairs, Comrade Beria, with the organization of this meeting.  Respectfully yours, J. Stalin

Stalin to Schulenburg, 20 September 1939:  Communicate to German Reichskanzler Adolph Hitler, that I will be ready to meet with him in person on the 17th, 18th, and 19th of November, in Lvov.  I propose to arrive in a special train and conduct the meeting in my train car.  Respectfully yours, J. Stalin

Stalin to Schulenburg, 11 October 1939:  I ask you to consider as final our planned meeting time of the 17th, 18th and 19th of October 1939, and not 17-19 November, as was planned earlier.  My train will arrive at the meeting place at 15:30 on October 17, in Lvov.  The organs of the NKVD have been entrusted with taking all measures to ensure the safety of the planned event.  Respectfully yours, J. Stalin


What stands out most in these letters is Stalin’s extreme politeness.  And this is the man whom Lenin (in his last will and testament) had dubbed “crude and impolite”.  Only goes to show that people can change.

The other thing that stands out, as Vasiliev points out, is the complete lack of adherence to diplomatic protocol!  Such behavior went against all diplomatic norms!  For starters, Stalin would have never written directly to Schulenburg; that would have been Molotov’s job.

A Market For Forgeries

With the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia in the 1990s was plagued by a multitude of scams.  One such being the selling of purloined “Soviet documents” and archives on the black market.  Of which some miraculously proved to be authentic; but most of the others forgeries and fakes.  For example, in the year 2000 the journal “Vlast” was offered a packet of “sensational” Soviet archives for $100,000 dollars.  Among these there was also something to do with the Hitler-Stalin meeting; as well as some fakes purportedly from 1938 which “consisted” of a “conspiracy” between the Nazi Gestapo and the Soviet NKVD, in a “joint struggle” against Masons and Jews.

It is likely that Herman Nazarov got his hands on this stash.  Which he then proceeded to peddle to various publications; of which only “Marvels and Adventures” would bite the hook.

“Extry! Extry! Hitler is hiding out on the Moon!”

According to Yury Mukhin, Editor of the journal “Duel”, Nazarov had tried to peddle his wares to him as well.  The “Duel” is an ultra-right publication, so Nazarov figured the editors would be open to anti-communist material.  In this packet of fake archives were such gems as:  Lenin’s order to shoot everybody; notes of Lenin’s doctors about his hypnotic state; Lavrenty Beria’s order to shoot all the Jews; Zhukov’s report to Stalin about finding Hitler’s corpse; and the list goes on.  Mukhin told Nazarov that the documents were clearly fake.  Which set of grifters prepared them, is unknown.  Nazarov took mild offense, but soon returned with another mimeographed copy alleging to be another bloody “prikaz” from Lenin.  Mukhin took one look at it, saw that it was a forgery, and sent Nazarov packing once again.  “I told him I couldn’t care less if Lenin was one-quarter Jew, it still wasn’t right to peddle forgeries.”

Nazarov, by the way, is also known as the author of an extremely anti-Soviet book called “Myths of the Soviet Epoch”, in which he has gathered together all of his conspiracy theories in one tight read.  His basic ideology being one that is widely encountered on the Russophile blogosphere, namely that Bolsheviks and Jews plotted to destroy Holy Mother Russia, yada yada…

But still begs the question:  Did or did not Stalin get on that train and go to meet Hitler in Lvov?  And if so, why did he need a train, now that Lvov was in Soviet territory?  And the main question:  Did that train have a bar compartment?  I am guessing that it did!

[to be continued]

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