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Infamous Encounter? The Merekalov-Weizsäcker Meeting of 17 April 1939

Geoffrey Roberts
The Historical Journal
Vol. 35, No. 4 (Dec., 1992), pp. 921-926
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2639445
Page Count: 6
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Infamous Encounter? The Merekalov-Weizsäcker Meeting of 17 April 1939
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Abstract

This article uses recently released documents from the Soviet diplomatic archives to examine the Merekalov-Weizsäcker meeting of April 1939. It argues that these documents show that western historians have been mistaken in assuming that this meeting was the occasion for Soviet signals of a desire for detente with Nazi Germany. The significance attached to the meeting in this respect is part of the cold war myth that the USSR's negotiations for a triple alliance with Great Britain and France in the spring and summer of 1939 were paralleled by secret Soviet-German discussions which eventually lead to the Nazi-Soviet pact of August 1939. The article seeks to demolish those elements of the myth that concern the Merekalov-Weizsäcker encounter and to present an alternative interpretation of the provenance and meaning of the so-called political overture by the Soviet ambassador at the meeting.

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