Nazi secret police Gestapo obtained in 1936 the right to apply death penalty and establish concentration camps. One of the first victims were Germans from political opposition to Hitler and the NSDAP party. Judeo-Soviet NKVD obtained similar powers in December 1934, and in 1937 also a right to accelerated trials. Both regimes propagandized that they were acting on behalf of the working class and for its good.
Since 19th century Germany and Russia cooperated economically. Germany lacks natural resources, including strategic raw materials for the economy and the military, so for the third century in a row the country is relying on imports from naturally rich Russia. Before WWI Germany imported raw materials and other goods worth 1.5 billion reichmarks per year. Soviet imports fell drastically after WWI, bottoming in the early 1930s for Stalin’s isolationist policy and a decrease in German demand for raw materials to comply with Versailles Treaty disarmament requirements.
It is not surprising then that the NKVD’s close cooperation with Gestapo was born. It was not a sensation in the relations of both powers. Earlier, when the Versailles Treaty forbade Germany to organize an army, the Soviet apparatus trained German military specialists. Cooperation NKVD-Gestapo was born in these traditions. One of the documents confirming it in the interwar years was NKVD agreement with Gestapo of 11.11.1938.
This date is significant because it follows October 1938, when it was only the Third Reich that initiated the warming of mutual economic relations with the USSR, a prelude to the secret Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. It is quite interesting, perhaps Putin’s “colleagues” will dig out archive documents on why the NKVD-Gestapo agreement was implemented before the economic agreement followed by the shameful pact.
Putin spins history that it was only the Western powers that appeased Hitler after the Versailles Treaty, thereby helping to evoke WWII. Without the assistance to train military specialists and secret police in the traditions of Soviet Jewish terror, the Zion-Nazi Third Reich could not have attacked Poland together with the USSR so readily.
Even before the Red Army invaded Poland in 1939, NKVD had ready lists of convicts and immediately commenced deportations. NKVD entered Lithuania in 1940 during the first Soviet occupation. In Belarus NKVD also used sadistic, cruel tortures that did not differ from those in the Gestapo repertoire. Stalin gave the NKVD special permission for torture in 1937. Car gas chambers were invented by the NKVD to save ammunition in executions. The system of exhaustive slave labour in extermination camps was copied from the Soviet Kolyma, the “white crematorium” in the Gulag Archipelago, named for high mortality in the terrible conditions of forced labor for political convicts in the far and cold north-eastern Siberia.
While the Third Reich’s Nazi repressions affected up to 1% of the population, the figure was more than 10 – 15% in the USSR, even twice as much in some Soviet regions. Before execution or deportation, NKWD and Gestapo robbed the persons property, then auctioned it to local people or service members and their families.
Soviet-German cooperation peaked after the joint invasion of Poland by both aggressors in September 1939. In March 1940, NKVD and Gestapo commanders met in Zakopane and Cracow. While knowing what their fate would be, it was probably then decided that Germany would hand over Polish officers to the Soviets. This course of action was preordained by the Polish-bolshevik war and the defeat of the USSR in the Battle of Warsaw, when Stalin headed the military council of the Western Front. On 6.3.1940, the Soviet political bureau decided to destroy the Polish Army by executions in NKVD hands. Even the Nazis in occupied Poland did not murder officers. It was a revenge on innocent people who had nothing to do with the Soviet defeat in 1920.
Retired officers constituted two-thirds of those arrested in occupied Poland. KGB files refer to shot and interned officers. In total, the NKVD shot dead almost 22,000 officers in Katyń, Starobielsk and Ostashkov, and over 7,000 in the prisons of what the Soviets called West Ukraine and West Belarus in Eastern Poland. In Zakopane or Cracow, the parties also agreed to hand over citizens at Germany’s request: the Soviets would hand over antifascists who fled Germany for the USSR. Six thousand antifascists were arrested and sent to the Third Reich.
Translation by Piotr Bein, 25.6.2020, from NKWD współpracowało z Gestapo od lat międzywojennych