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THE FIRST WORLD WAR > TREATY OF BREST-LITOVSK (MARCH 3. 1918)

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This is the thread to discuss the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk (March 3. 1918).

Primary Documents - Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, 3 March 1918


Article I

Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, and Turkey, for the one part, and Russia, for the other part, declare that the state of war between them has ceased.

They are resolved to live henceforth in peace and amity with one another.

Article II

The contracting parties will refrain from any agitation or propaganda against the Government or the public and military institutions of the other party. In so far as this obligation devolves upon Russia, it holds good also for the territories occupied by the Powers of the Quadruple Alliance.

Article III

The territories lying to the west of the line agreed upon by the contracting parties which formerly belonged to Russia, will no longer be subject to Russian sovereignty; the line agreed upon is traced on the map submitted as an essential part of this treaty of peace. The exact fixation of the line will be established by a Russo-German commission.

No obligations whatever toward Russia shall devolve upon the territories referred to, arising from the fact that they formerly belonged to Russia.

Russia refrains from all interference in the internal relations of these territories. Germany and Austria-Hungary purpose to determine the future status of these territories in agreement with their population.

Article IV

As soon as a general peace is concluded and Russian demobilization is carried out completely Germany will evacuate the territory lying to the east of the line designated in paragraph 1 of Article III, in so far as Article IV does not determine otherwise.

Russia will do all within her power to insure the immediate evacuation of the provinces of eastern Anatolia and their lawful return to Turkey.

The districts of Erdehan, Kars, and Batum will likewise and without delay be cleared of the russian troops. Russia will not interfere in the reorganization of the national and international relations of these districts, but leave it to the population of these districts, to carry out this reorganization in agreement with the neighboring States, especially with Turkey.

Article V

Russia will, without delay, carry out the full demobilization of her army inclusive of those units recently organized by the present Government. Furthermore, Russia will either bring her warships into russian ports and there detain them until the day of the conclusion of a general peace, or disarm them forthwith. Warships of the States which continue in the state of war with the Powers of the Quadruple Alliance, in so far as they are within Russian sovereignty, will be treated as Russian warships.

The barred zone in the Arctic Ocean continues as such until the conclusion of a general peace. In the Baltic sea, and, as far as Russian power extends within the Black sea, removal of the mines will be proceeded with at once. Merchant navigation within these maritime regions is free and will be resumed at once. Mixed commissions will be organized to formulate the more detailed regulations, especially to inform merchant ships with regard to restricted lanes. The navigation lanes are always to be kept free from floating mines.

Article VI

Russia obligates herself to conclude peace at once with the Ukrainian People's Republic and to recognize the treaty of peace between that State and the Powers of the Quadruple Alliance. The Ukrainian territory will, without delay, be cleared of Russian troops and the Russian Red Guard. Russia is to put an end to all agitation or propaganda against the Government or the public institutions of the Ukrainian People's Republic.

Esthonia and Livonia will likewise, without delay, be cleared of Russian troops and the Russian Red Guard. The eastern boundary of Esthonia runs, in general along the river Narwa. The eastern boundary of Livonia crosses, in general, lakes Peipus and Pskow, to the southwestern corner of the latter, then across Lake Luban in the direction of Livenhof on the Dvina. Esthonia and Livonia will be occupied by a German police force until security is insured by proper national institutions and until public order has been established. Russia will liberate at once all arrested or deported inhabitants of Esthonia and Livonia, and insures the safe return of all deported Esthonians and Livonians.

Finland and the Aaland Islands will immediately be cleared of Russian troops and the Russian Red Guard, and the Finnish ports of the Russian fleet and of the Russian naval forces. So long as the ice prevents the transfer of warships into Russian ports, only limited forces will remain on board the warships. Russia is to put an end to all agitation or propaganda against the Government or the public institutions of Finland.

The fortresses built on the Aaland Islands are to be removed as soon as possible. As regards the permanent non- fortification of these islands as well as their further treatment in respect to military technical navigation matters, a special agreement is to be concluded between Germany, Finland, Russia, and Sweden; there exists an understanding to the effect that, upon Germany's desire, still other countries bordering upon the Baltic Sea would be consulted in this matter.

Article VII

In view of the fact that Persia and Afghanistan are free and independent States, the contracting parties obligate themselves to respect the political and economic independence and the territorial integrity of these states.

Article VIII

The prisoners of war of both parties will be released to return to their homeland. The settlement of the questions connected therewith will be effected through the special treaties provided for in Article XII.

Article IX

The contracting parties mutually renounce compensation for their war expenses, i.e., of the public expenditures for the conduct of the war, as well as compensation for war losses, i.e., such losses as were caused [by:] them and their nationals within the war zones by military measures, inclusive of all requisitions effected in enemy country.

Article X

Diplomatic and consular relations between the contracting parties will be resumed immediately upon the ratification of the treaty of peace. As regards the reciprocal admission of consuls, separate agreements are reserved.

Article XI

As regards the economic relations between the Powers of the Quadruple Alliance and Russia the regulations contained in Appendices II-V are determinative....

Article XII

The reestablishment of public and private legal relations, the exchange of war prisoners and interned citizens, the question of amnesty as well as the question anent the treatment of merchant ships which have come into the power of the opponent, will be regulated in separate treaties with Russia which form an essential part of the general treaty of peace, and, as far as possible, go into force simultaneously with the latter.

Article XIII

In the interpretation of this treaty, the German and Russian texts are authoritative for the relations between Germany and Russia; the German, the Hungarian, and Russian texts for the relations between Austria-Hungry and Russia; the Bulgarian and Russian texts for the relations between Bulgaria and Russia; and the Turkish and Russian texts for the relations between Turkey and Russia.

Article XIV

The present treaty of peace will be ratified. The documents of ratification shall, as soon as possible, be exchanged in Berlin. The Russian Government obligates itself, upon the desire of one of the powers of the Quadruple Alliance, to execute the exchange of the documents of ratification within a period of two weeks. Unless otherwise provided for in its articles, in its annexes, or in the additional treaties, the treaty of peace enters into force at the moment of its ratification.

In testimony whereof the Plenipotentiaries have signed this treaty with their own hand.

Executed in quintuplicate at Brest-Litovsk, 3 March, 1918.

http://www.firstworldwar.com/source/b...

The First World War by John Keegan by John Keegan John Keegan

The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk was a peace treaty signed on March 3, 1918, at Brest-Litovsk (now Brest, Belarus) between the Soviet Russian and the Central Powers, marking Russia's exit from World War I.

While the treaty was practically obsolete before the end of the year, it did provide some relief to Bolsheviks who were tied up in fighting the civil war and affirmed the independence of Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Ukraine, and Lithuania. In Poland, which was not mentioned in the treaty, its signing caused riots and protests, and the final withdrawal of any support for the Central Powers.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_o...


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Primary Documents - Ukraine's Plea for Inclusion in Brest-Litovsk Peace Negotiations, 10 January 1918

Reproduced below is the text of Ukrainian President Vinichenko's formal plea for inclusion in the German-Russian peace negotiations at Brest-Litovsk, on 10 January 1918.

With the disintegration of the Russian monarchy in February 1917 nationalist Ukrainian leaders (led by Vinichenko) moved swiftly to seek a form of independence within the Russian union, a desire granted by the Provisional Government in July 1917. With the success of the Bolshevik October Revolution of the same year however, the Ukrainians found themselves accused of essentially aiding and abetting anti-Bolshevik forces within Russia.

Ukrainian President Vinichenko consequently issued a proclamation of autonomy on 20 November 1917 in response to the unrest within Russia. He reiterated the Ukraine's desire to remain autonomous within a wider Russian union - to no avail. The following month, December 1917, brought the Ukraine into civil war against Bolshevik forces (click here to read Lenin's ultimatum on the subject).

Ultimately the Ukrainians sought protection from the Germans with whom they negotiated a peace treaty at Best-Litovsk in 1918. Exacting a heavy economic price for their support the Germans duly took the Ukrainians' side and obliged the Bolsheviks to accept an autonomous Ukraine. The Ukraine declared independence on 22 January 1918. (Click here to read the terms of the peace treaty agreed between the Ukraine and the Central Powers.)

Ukrainian President Vinichenko's Appeal to the Brest-Litovsk Peace Conference, 10 January 1918

1. The entire democracy of the Ukrainian State is striving for the termination of the war, for peace throughout the entire world, and a general peace between all the belligerent powers must be democratic and must assure to every people, even the smallest, full and unlimited national self-determination.

2. The peace which is to be concluded between all the powers must be democratic and must assure to every people, event the smallest, full and unlimited national self-determination.

3. In order to render possible the real expression of the people's will, proper guarantees must be given.

4. Any annexation that means annexation by force or the surrender of any portion of territory without the consent of its population is therefore inadmissible.

5. Any war indemnities, without regard to the form given them, are from the standpoint of the interests of the working classes also inadmissible.

6. In conformity with regulations to be drawn up at the peace congresses, material assistance must be given to small nations and States which in consequence of the war have suffered considerable losses or devastations.

7. The Ukrainian Republic, which at present occupies the Ukrainian front on its own territory and is represented in all international affairs by its Government, whose duty is the protection of the Ukrainian people's interests and which acts independently, must, like other powers, be allowed to participate in all peace negotiations, conferences, and congresses.

8. The power of the (Petrograd) Council of Commissioners does not extend to the whole of Russia, and therefore not to the Ukrainian Republic. Any eventual peace resulting from negotiations with the powers waging war against Russia can therefore be binding for the Ukraine only if the terms of this peace are accepted and signed by the Government of the Ukraine Republic.

9. In the name of all Russia only such a Government (and it must be an exclusively Federal Government) can conclude peace as would be recognized by all the republics and regions of Russia possessing a State organism. If, however, such a Government cannot he formed in the near future, then this peace can only be concluded by the united representatives of those republics and regions.

Firmly adhering to the principle of a democratic peace, the Secretariat General is also striving for the speediest possible attainment of this general peace, and attaches great weight to all attempts which can bring its realization nearer. The Secretariat therefore considers it imperative to have its representatives at the conference, while at the same time it hopes that a final solution of the peace question will be reached at an international congress.

VINICHENKO
President of the Secretariat
Source: Source Records of the Great War, Vol. VI, ed. Charles F. Horne, National Alumni 1923

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Primary Documents - Official Russian Announcement on Peace Negotiations at Brest-Litovsk, 23 January 1918

Reproduced below is the text of the official Bolshevik announcement published on 23 January 1918 concerning the progress of peace negotiations with the Central Powers at Brest-Litovsk.

Overseeing Russian negotiations at Brest-Litovsk was Leon Trotsky; he rapidly became disillusioned with what he regarded as annexationist demands posed by representatives of the Central Powers, led by Richard von Kühlmann, who acted both as German Foreign Secretary and as Chairman of the Brest-Litovsk conference.

Ultimately frustrated in his aim of securing peace without punitive terms Trotsky pulled out of the peace negotiations on 10 February 1918. However he was obliged to return to the conference once German-led forces instigated military advances into Russian territory immediately after his withdrawal (and prodded by Lenin who feared ever worse peace terms). Russia indicated its willingness to sign the treaty on 28 February; it was duly signed on 3 March 1918.

Click here to read the reaction of German Chancellor Count Georg von Hertling to news of the settlement. Click here to read the reaction of Austro-Hungarian Foreign Minister Count Czernin.

Official Russian Announcement on Peace Negotiations at Brest-Litovsk, 23 January 1918

Leon Trotsky, the Bolshevist Foreign Minister, addressing the conference, declared that "the position of the Austro-Germans is now absolutely clear." Continuing, the Foreign Minister said:

Germany and Austria seek to cut off more than 150,000 square versts from the former Polish Kingdom of Lithuania, also the area populated by the Ukrainians and White Russians, and, further, they want to cut into territory of the Letts and separate the islands populated by the Esthonians from the same peoples on the mainland.

Within this territory Germany and Austria wish to retain their reign of military occupation, not only after the conclusion of peace with Russia, but after the conclusion of a general peace. At the same time the Central Powers refuse not only to give any explanation regarding the terms of evacuation, but also refuse to obligate themselves regarding the evacuation.

The internal life of these provinces lies, therefore, for an indefinite period in the hands of these powers. Under such conditions any indefinite guarantees regarding the expression of the will of the Poles, Letts, and Lithuanians is only of an illusory character. Practically it means that the Governments of Austria and Germany take into their own hands the destiny of these nations.

Trotsky declared that he was glad now that the Central Powers were speaking frankly, stating that General Hoffmann's conditions proved that the real aims were built on a level quite different from that of the principles recognized on December 25th, and that real or lasting peace was only possible on the actual principle of self-definition.

"It is clear," Trotsky declared, "that the decision could have been reached long ago regarding peace aims if the Central Powers had not stated their aims differently from those expressed by General Hoffmann."

Dr. Richard von Kuhlman, German Secretary for Foreign Affairs, replied to Trotsky, declaring in principle that General Hoffmann's aims were the same as those advanced at Christmas. Throughout the negotiations, he said, the Germans had kept in view the ethnological boundaries, but also the actual boundaries of the old Russian Empire.

The Central Powers intended to permit free self-definition, and he scoffed at the theory that the presence of troops would prevent this. Regarding evacuation, Dr. von Kuhlman said that it must be taken up with the newly born self-defined Governments.

"If General Hoffmann expresses the terms more strongly," said Dr. Kuhlman, "it is because a soldier always expresses stronger language than diplomats. But it must not be deduced from this that there is any dissension between us regarding the principles, which are one whole and well thought out."

Dr. Kuhlman consented to Trotsky's request for a postponement of the conference, declaring, however, that it would be much pleasanter if they could finish the negotiations at once, as the former recess brought about many misunderstandings.

Source: Source Records of the Great War, Vol. VI, ed. Charles F. Horne, National Alumni 1923

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Primary Documents - Peace Treaty Between Ukraine and Central Powers, 9 February 1918

Reproduced below is the text of the peace treaty agreed between the Ukraine and the Central Powers on 9 February 1918. Punitive in economic terms so far as the Ukraine was concerned, it nevertheless obliged Bolshevik Russia to reluctantly accept Ukrainian independence.

With the disintegration of the Russian monarchy in February 1917 nationalist Ukrainian leaders (led by Vinichenko) moved swiftly to seek a form of independence within the Russian union, a desire granted by the Provisional Government in July 1917. With the success of the Bolshevik October Revolution of the same year however, the Ukrainians found themselves accused of essentially aiding and abetting anti-Bolshevik forces within Russia.

Ukrainian President Vinichenko consequently issued a proclamation of autonomy on 20 November 1917 in response to the unrest within Russia. He reiterated the Ukraine's desire to remain autonomous within a wider Russian union - to no avail. The following month, December 1917, brought the Ukraine into civil war against Bolshevik forces (click here to read Lenin's ultimatum on the subject).

Ultimately the Ukrainians sought protection from the Germans with whom they negotiated the peace treaty below (click here to read Vinichenko's plea for a seat at the peace conference at Brest-Litovsk). Exacting a heavy economic price for their support the Germans duly took the Ukrainians' side and obliged the Bolsheviks to accept an autonomous Ukraine. The Ukraine had earlier declared independence on 22 January 1918.

Click here to read the reaction of the Chairman of the Brest-Litovsk Conference, Richard von Kühlmann, to news of the peace treaty. Click here to read the response by Alexander Severyuk - speaking for the Ukraine - to von Kühlmann's address. Click here to read the reaction of the Austro-Hungarian Emperor, Karl I.

Peace Treaty Between the Central Powers and the Ukraine, 9 February 1918 (Subsequently Accepted by Russia)

Whereas, the Ukrainian People has, in the course of the present world war, declared its independence, and has expressed the desire to establish a state of peace between the Ukrainian People's Republic and the Powers at present at war with Russia, the Governments of Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, and Turkey have resolved to conclude a Treaty of Peace with the Government of the Ukrainian People's Republic; they wish in this way to take the first step towards a lasting world peace, honourable for all parties, which shall not only put an end to the horrors of war, but shall also conduce to the restoration of friendly relations between the peoples in the political, legal, economic, and intellectual spheres.

To this end the Plenipotentiaries of the above-mentioned Governments have met together at Brest-Litovsk for the inception of peace negotiations, and have agreed upon the following points:

ARTICLE I

Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, and Turkey of the one part, and the Ukrainian People's Republic of the other part, declare that the state of war between them is at an end. The contracting parties are resolved henceforth to live in peace and amity with one another.

ARTICLE II

(1) As between Austria-Hungary of the one part, and the Ukrainian People's Republic of the other part, in so far as these two Powers border upon one another, the frontiers which existed between the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy and Russia prior to the outbreak of the present war will be preserved.

(2) Further north, the frontier of the Ukrainian People's Republic, starting at Tarnograd, will in general follow the line Bilgoray, Szczebrzeszyn, Krasnostav, Pugashov, Radzin, Miedzyzheche, Sarnaki, Melnik, Vysokie-Litovsk, Kameniec-Litovsk, Prujany, and Vygonovsk Lake. This frontier will be delimited in detail by a mixed commission, according to the ethnographical conditions and after taking the wishes of the inhabitants into consideration.

(3) In the event of the Ukrainian People's Republic having boundaries coterminous with those of another of the Powers of the Quadruple Alliance, special agreements may be come to thereupon at a later date.

ARTICLE III

The evacuation of the occupied territories shall begin immediately after the ratification of the present Treaty of Peace.

The manner of carrying out the evacuation and the transfer of the evacuated territories shall be determined by the Plenipotentiaries of the interested parties.

ARTICLE IV

Diplomatic and consular relations between the contracting parties shall commence immediately after the ratification of the Treaty of Peace.

Provision for the admission of consuls on the widest scale possible on both sides is held over for special agreements.

ARTICLE V

The contracting parties mutually renounce repayment of their war costs, that is to say, their State expenditure for the prosecution of the war, as well as payment for war damages, that is to say, damages sustained by them and their nationals in the war areas through military measures, including all requisitions made in enemy territory.

ARTICLE VI

Prisoners of war of both parties shall he permitted to return home, in so far as they do not desire, with the approval of the State in whose territory they shall be, to remain within its territories or to proceed to another country. Questions connected with this will be dealt with in the separate treaties provided for in Article VIII.

ARTICLE VII

It has been agreed as follows with regard to economic relations between the contracting parties, viz.:

The contracting parties mutually undertake to enter into economic relations without delay and to organize the exchange of goods on the basis of the following stipulations [here follow details which by a supplementary commercial treaty placed the Ukraine under German control:]:

ARTICLE VIII

The establishing of public and private legal relations, the exchange of prisoners of war and interned civilians, the amnesty question, as well as the question of the treatment of merchant shipping in the enemy's hands, shall be settled by means of separate Treaties with the Ukrainian People's Republic, which shall form an essential part of the present Treaty of Peace, and, as far as practicable, come into force simultaneously therewith.

ARTICLE IX

The agreements come to in this Treaty of Peace shall form an indivisible whole.

ARTICLE X

For the interpretation of this Treaty, the German and Ukrainian text shall be authoritative for relations between Germany and the Ukraine; the German, Hungarian, and Ukrainian text for relations between Austria-Hungary and the Ukraine; the Bulgarian and Ukrainian text for relations between Bulgaria and the Ukraine; and the Turkish and Ukrainian text for relations between Turkey and the Ukraine.

FINAL PROVISION

The present Treaty of Peace shall be ratified. The ratifications shall be exchanged in Vienna at the earliest possible moment.

The Treaty of Peace shall come into force on its ratification, in so far as no stipulation to the contrary is contained therein.

In witness whereof the Plenipotentiaries have set their hands and seals to the present Treaty.

Executed in quintuplicate at Brest-Litovsk on the 9th day of February, 1918. [Here follow signatures.:]

Source: Source Records of the Great War, Vol. VI, ed. Charles F. Horne, National Alumni 1923

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Primary Documents - Richard von Kühlmann on the Ukraine Brest-Litovsk Peace Settlement, 9 February 1918

Reproduced below is the text of the address given by the Chairman of the Brest-Litovsk Conference, Richard von Kühlmann (also German Foreign Secretary), acclaiming news of the peace settlement.

Click here to read the response by Alexander Severyuk - speaking for the Ukraine - to von Kühlmann's address. Click here to read the reaction of the Austro-Hungarian Emperor, Karl I. Click here to read the terms of the peace treaty agreed between the Ukraine and the Central Powers.

Richard von Kühlmann (Chairman of the Brest-Litovsk Conference) on the Peace Settlement, 9 February 1918

Gentlemen, none of you will be able to close his eyes to the historical significance of this hour at which the representatives of the four allied powers are met with the representatives of the Ukrainian People's Republic to sign the first peace attained in this world war.

This peace, signed with your young State, which has emerged from the storms of the Great War, gives special satisfaction to the representatives of the allied delegation.

May this peace be the first of a series of blessed conclusions; peace blessed both for the allied powers and for the Ukrainian People's Republic, for the future of which we all cherish the best wishes.

Source: Source Records of the Great War, Vol. VI, ed. Charles F. Horne, National Alumni 1923

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Primary Documents - Alexander Severyuk on the Ukraine Brest-Litovsk Peace Settlement, 9 February 1918

Reproduced below is the text of the response given by Alexander Severyuk - on behalf of the Ukraine government - to an address given by the Chairman of the Brest-Litovsk Conference, Richard von Kühlmann (also German Foreign Secretary), acclaiming news of the peace settlement.

Click here to read the reaction of the Austro-Hungarian Emperor, Karl I. Click here to read the terms of the peace treaty agreed between the Ukraine and the Central Powers.

Alexander Severyuk on the Brest-Litovsk Peace Treaty, 9 February 1918

We state with joy that from this day peace begins between the Quadruple Alliance and Ukrainia.

We came here in the hope that we should be able to achieve a general peace and make an end of this fratricidal war. The political position, however, is such that not all of the powers are met here to sign a general peace treaty.

Inspired with the most ardent love for our people, and recognizing that this long war has exhausted the cultural national powers of our people, we must now divert all our strength to do our part to bring about a new era and a new birth.

We are firmly persuaded that we conclude this peace in the interests of great democratic masses, and that this peace will contribute to the general termination of the Great War.

Source: Source Records of the Great War, Vol. VI, ed. Charles F. Horne, National Alumni 1923

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Primary Documents - Official Russian Announcement of Withdrawal from Brest-Litovsk Peace Talks, 10 February 1918

Reproduced below is the text of the official Bolshevik announcement published on 10 February 1918 declaring Russia's withdrawal from the Brest-Litovsk peace negotiations (click here to read the Bolsheviks' earlier protest at the progress of peace talks).

At the same time as its withdrawal from the peace talks - on accounts of the annexationist demands of the representatives of the Central Powers - Leon Trotsky simultaneously announced that Russia had also unilaterally pulled out of the war: fighting was to cease immediately.

Trotsky was however obliged to return to the peace conference once German-led forces instigated military advances into Russian territory immediately after his announcement (and prodded by Lenin who feared ever worse peace terms). Russia indicated its willingness to sign the treaty on 28 February; it was duly signed on 3 March 1918.

Click here to read the reaction of German Chancellor Count Georg von Hertling to news of the settlement. Click here to read the reaction of Austro-Hungarian Foreign Minister Count Czernin.

Leon Trotsky's Announcement of Russian Withdrawal from Brest-Litovsk Peace Negotiations, 10 February 1918

The peace negotiations are at an end. The German capitalists, bankers, and landlords, supported by the silent cooperation of the English and French bourgeoisie, submitted to our comrades, members of the peace delegations at Brest-Litovsk, conditions such as could not be subscribed to by the Russian revolution.

The Governments of Germany and Austria possess countries and peoples vanquished by force of arms. To this authority the Russian people, workmen and peasants, could not give its acquiescence. We could not sign a peace which would bring with it sadness, oppression, and suffering to millions of workmen and peasants.

But we also cannot, will not, and must not continue a war begun by Tsars and capitalists in alliance with Tsars and capitalists. We will not and we must not continue to be at war with the Germans and Austrians - workmen and peasants like ourselves.

We are not signing a peace of landlords and capitalists. Let the German and Austrian soldiers know who are placing them in the field of battle and let them know for what they are struggling. Let them know also that we refuse to fight against them.

Our delegation, fully conscious of its responsibility before the Russian people and the oppressed workers and peasants of other countries, declared on February 10th, in the name of the Council of the People's Commissaries of the Government of the Federal Russian Republic to the Governments of the peoples involved in the war with us and of the neutral countries, that it refused to sign an annexationist treaty.

Russia, for its part, declares the present war with Germany and Austria-Hungary, Turkey, and Bulgaria at an end.

Simultaneously, the Russian troops have received the following order for complete demobilization on all fronts.

Text of Military Order

No military operations must again take place.

The beginning of a general demobilization on all fronts is decreed. I order the issue of instructions on the front for the withdrawal of the troops from the first lines and for their concentration in the rear, and, further, for their dispatch to the interior of Russia, in accordance with the general plan for demobilization.

For the defence of the frontier some detachments of younger soldiers must be left.

I beg our soldier comrades to remain calm and await with patience the moment of the return of each detachment to its home in its turn. I beg that no effort be spared to bring into the stores all artillery and other military equipment which cost milliards of the people's money.

Remember that only systematic demobilization can be carried out in the shortest time, and that systematic demobilization alone can prevent interference with the sending of food supplies to those detachments which remain for a certain period on the front.

Source: Source Records of the Great War, Vol. VI, ed. Charles F. Horne, National Alumni 1923

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Primary Documents - Emperor Karl I on the Ukraine Brest-Litovsk Peace Settlement, 14 February 1918

Reproduced below is the text of an address given by Austro-Hungarian Karl I to news of the peace treaty agreed at Brest-Litovsk between Ukraine and the Central Powers.

Click here to read the reaction of the Chairman of the Brest-Litovsk Conference, Richard von Kühlmann, to news of the peace treaty. Click here to read the response by Alexander Severyuk - speaking for the Ukraine - to von Kühlmann's address. Click here to read the terms of the peace treaty.

Emperor Karl I on the Brest-Litovsk Peace Treaty, 14 February 1918

To My Peoples:

Thanks to God's gracious aid, we have concluded peace with Ukrainia. Our victorious arms and the sincere peace policy which we pursued with indefatigable perseverance have shown the first fruit of a defensive war waged for our preservation.

In common with my hard-tried peoples, I trust that after the first conclusion of peace, which is so gratifying an event for us, a general peace will soon be granted suffering humanity.

Under the impression of this peace with Ukrainia, our glance turns with full sympathy to that aspiring young people in whose heart first among our opponents the feeling of neighbourly love has become operative, and which, after bravery exhibited in numerous battles, also possessed sufficient resoluteness to give expression by deed before the whole world to its better conviction.

It thus has been the first to leave the camp of our enemies in order, in the interest of the speediest possible attainment of a new and great common aim, to unite its efforts with our strength.

Having from the first moment I mounted the throne of my exalted forefathers felt myself one with my peoples in the rocklike resolve to fight out the struggle forced upon us until an honourable peace was reached, I feel myself so much the more one with them in this hour in which the first step has now been taken for the realization of this aim.

With admiration for and affectionate recognition of the almost superhuman endurance and incomparable self-sacrifice of my heroic troops, as well as of those at home who daily show no less self-sacrifice, I look forward with full confidence to the near and happier future.

May the Almighty bless us further with strength and endurance, that, not only for ourselves and our faithful allies, but also for entire humanity, we may attain a final peace!

Source: Source Records of the Great War, Vol. VI, ed. Charles F. Horne, National Alumni 1923

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Primary Documents - Lenin on the Need to Accept Brest-Litovsk Peace Terms, 23 February 1918

Reproduced below is the text of Lenin's appeal of 23 February 1918 calling for Russian acceptance of peace terms dictated by representatives of the Central Powers at Brest-Litovsk.

Lenin was concerned at moves by his associates to first protest at and then unilaterally withdraw from the peace conference. In his address he explained that his worst fears were becoming evident, i.e. that as the Russian Army failed to respond to orders so the peace terms on offer became ever more punitive and annexationist.

He therefore recommended that the peace terms currently on offer be accepted (albeit reluctantly) and that Russians should remain confident that revolution would similarly sweep over other European nations (including Germany).

Consequently Russia indicated its willingness to sign the treaty on 28 February; it was duly signed on 3 March 1918.

Click here to read the reaction of German Chancellor Count Georg von Hertling to news of the settlement. Click here to read the reaction of Austro-Hungarian Foreign Minister Count Czernin.

Lenin's Address Urging Acceptance of the Brest-Litovsk Peace Treaty, 23 February 1918

The German reply offers peace terms still more severe than those of Brest-Litovsk. Nevertheless, I am absolutely convinced that to refuse to sign these terms is only possible to those who are intoxicated by revolutionary phrases.

Up till now I have tried to impress on the members of the party the necessity of clearing their minds of revolutionary cant. Now I must do this openly, for unfortunately my worst forebodings have been justified.

Party workers in January declared war on revolutionary phrases, and said that a policy of refusal to sign a peace would perhaps satisfy the craving for effectiveness - and brilliance - but would leave out of account the objective correlation of class forces and material factors in the present initial moment of the Socialist revolution.

They further said that if we refused to sign the peace then proposed more crushing defeats would compel Russia to conclude a still more disadvantageous separate peace.

The event proved even worse than I anticipated, for our retreating army seems demoralized and absolutely refuses to fight. Only unrestrained phrasemaking can impel Russia at this moment and in these conditions to continue the war, and I personally would not remain a minute longer either in the Government or in the Central Committee of our party if the policy of phrasemaking were to prevail.

This new bitter truth has revealed itself with such terrible distinctness that it is impossible not to see it. All the bourgeoisie in Russia is jubilant at the approach of the Germans.

Only a blind man or men infatuated by phrases can fail to see that the policy of a revolutionary war without an army is water in the bourgeois mill. In the bourgeois papers there is already exaltation in view of the impending overthrow of the Soviet Government by the Germans.

We are compelled to submit to a distressing peace. It will not stop revolution in Germany and Europe. We shall now begin to prepare a revolutionary army, not by phrases and exclamations, as did those who after January 10th did nothing even to attempt to stop our fleeing troops, but by organized work, by the creation of a serious national, mighty army.

Their knees are on our chest, and our position is hopeless. This peace must be accepted as a respite enabling us to prepare a decisive resistance to the bourgeoisie and imperialists.

The proletariat of the whole world will come to our aid. Then we shall renew the fight.

Source: Source Records of the Great War, Vol. VI, ed. Charles F. Horne, National Alumni 1923

http://www.firstworldwar.com/source/b...


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Primary Documents - Count Georg von Hertling on the Brest-Litovsk Peace Treaty, 19 March 1918

Reproduced below is the text of German Chancellor Count Georg von Hertling's address to the German Reichstag on 19 March 1918. Count Hertling's speech concerned the signing of the Brest-Litovsk peace treaty with Russia some 16 days earlier - a settlement highly advantageous to Germany and only agreed by Russia once it became clear to the country's Bolshevik leaders that the Russian Army was incapable of further fighting.

The treaty had been earlier openly opposed by Trotsky; so frustrated was he at what he regarded the Central Powers' annexationist stance that he walked out of the peace conference on 10 February 1918, vowing that peace could be effected without a treaty. Ultimately however - and in the face of renewed German-led military incursions into Russia - Russia reluctantly signed the Brest-Litovsk treaty on 3 March 1918.

Count Hertling's speech to the Reichstag (below) was, in the circumstances, recognisably victorious in tone.

Click here to read the reaction of Austro-Hungarian Foreign Minister Count Czernin to news of the settlement.

Count Georg von Hertling's Address to the Reichstag on the Brest-Litovsk Peace Treaty, 19 March 2004

Hypocrisy has become second nature to the enemy, whose untruthfulness is made worse by its brutality.

Every attempt at calm explanation and every real deliberation must fail, when the enemy, at the very moment he is laying a heavy hand on a neutral country, dares to speak of a policy guided by complete unselfishness.

The treaty with Russia contains no conditions disgraceful to Russia, if the provinces breaking away from Russia say it is in accordance with their own wish and the wish is accepted by Russia.

Courland and Lithuania have long been united to Germany politically, economically, and militarily. Livonia and Esthonia are the eastern frontier fixed by the treaty, but we hope that they also will have close and friendly relations with Germany; not, however, to the exclusion of their friendly relations with Russia.

Poland is not mentioned in the treaty, and we shall endeavour to see if it is possible to live in stable and good-neighbourly relations with the new State.

If the Reichstag adopts the treaty, peace on the whole eastern front will be restored, as I announced February 24th; but among the Entente Powers there is not the least inclination to finish this terrible war. The responsibility for bloodshed will be upon the heads of those who wish continuation of the bloodshed.

Russia proposed that all the belligerents enter into peace negotiations. We and our allies accepted the proposals and sent delegates to Brest-Litovsk. The powers until then allied with Russia remained aloof.

The course of the negotiations is known to you. You remember the endless speeches, which were intended not so much for the delegates there assembled as for the public at large, and which caused the desired goal of an understanding to recede into the distance.

You remember the repeated interruptions, the rupture and the resumption of the negotiations. The point had been reached where "yes" or "no" had to be said, and on March 3rd peace was concluded at Brest-Litovsk. On March 16th it was ratified by a competent assembly at Moscow.

If in the telegram from Washington it was thought fit to express to the Congress assembled at Moscow the sympathy of the United States at a moment when, as it says, the German power obtruded itself, in order to bring success to the battle for freedom, then I put that calmly aside with the rest.

We have not for a moment contemplated, and do not contemplate, opposing the justified wishes and endeavour of Russia to be liberated. As I said on November 29th, we desire for that sorely tried land a speedy return to a peaceful and orderly state of affairs, and we deeply deplore the terrible conditions which have made their appearance in many places.

The Russian treaty contains no conditions whatever which dishonour Russia, no mention of oppressive war indemnities, no forcible appropriations of Russian territory.

A number of the border States have severed their connection with the Russian State in accordance with their own will, which was recognized by Russia.

In regard to these States we adopt the standpoint formerly expressed by me, that under the mighty protection of the German Empire they can give themselves political form corresponding with their situation and the tendency of their kultur, while at the same time, of course, we are safeguarding our own interests.

Source: Source Records of the Great War, Vol. VI, ed. Charles F. Horne, National Alumni 1923


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Primary Documents - Count Czernin on the Brest-Litovsk Peace Treaty, 2 April 1918

Reproduced below is the text of Austro-Hungarian Foreign Minister Count Czernin's reaction to news of the peace settlements at Brest-Litovsk with (primarily) Russia, Romania and the Ukraine.

Count Czernin strove to illustrate the advantages accrued to Austria-Hungary by each of the three peace settlements, while noting that each were themselves "moderate" and "honourable" in their treatment of the defeated nations.

Count Czernin also noted that civil forces within the Austro-Hungarian Empire - which either agitated for peace or conversely for annexationist policies - were providing moral succour to the enemy powers and therefore extending the war's duration. Nevertheless, he argued, Austria-Hungary and its allies would yet prevail over "weakening" opposition.

Click here to read the reaction of German Chancellor Count Georg von Hertling to news of the settlement.

Count Czernin on the Brest-Litovsk Peace Treaty, 2 April 2004

With the signing of peace with Rumania the war in the east is ended. Three treaties of peace have been signed - with Petrograd, Ukraine, and Rumania.

One principal section of the war is thus ended.

Before discussing the separate peaces which have been signed, and before going into details, I wish to return to the statements of the President of the United States wherein he replied to the speech I made before the delegations on January 24th.

In many parts of the world Mr. Wilson's speech was regarded as an attempt to drive a wedge between Vienna and Berlin. I do not believe that, because I have much too high an opinion of Mr. Wilson's statesmanship to suspect him of such a train of thought.

According to my impressions, Mr. Wilson does not want to separate Vienna from Berlin. He does not desire that, and knows that it is impossible.

He perhaps thinks, however, that Vienna presents more favourable soil for sowing the seeds of a general peace. He has perhaps said to himself that the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy has the good fortune to have a monarch who genuinely and honourably desires a general peace, but that this monarch will never be guilty of a breach of faith; that he will never make a shameful peace, and that behind this monarch stand 55,000,000 souls.

I imagine that Mr. Wilson says to himself that this closely knit mass of people represents a force which is not to be disregarded and that this honourable and firm will to peace with which the monarch is imbued and which binds him to the peoples of both States is capable of carrying a great idea in the service of which Mr. Wilson has also placed himself.

President Wilson's four points are a suitable basis upon which to begin negotiating about a general peace. The question is whether or not Mr. Wilson will succeed in uniting his allies upon this basis.

God is my witness that we have tried everything possible to avoid a new offensive. The Entente would not have it. A short time before the beginning of the offensive in the west M. Clemenceau inquired of me whether and upon what basis I was prepared to negotiate.

I immediately replied, in agreement with Berlin, that I was ready to negotiate, and that as regards France I saw no other obstacle for peace than France's desire for Alsace-Lorraine.

The reply from Paris was that France was willing to negotiate only on that basis. There was then no choice left.

The gigantic struggle in the west has already begun. Austro-Hungarian and German troops are fighting shoulder to shoulder as they did in Russia, Serbia, Rumania, and Italy. We are fighting united for the defence of Austria-Hungary and Germany.

Our armies will show the Entente that French and Italian aspirations to portions of our territory are Utopias which will be terribly avenged.

The explanation of this attitude of the Entente Powers, which verges on lunacy, is to a great extent to be sought in certain domestic events here, to which I shall return later. Whatever may happen, we shall not sacrifice German interests any more than Germany will desert us. Loyalty on the Danube is not less than German loyalty.

We are not fighting for imperialist or annexationist ends, either for ourselves or for Germany, but we shall act together to the end for our defence, for our political existence and for our future.

The first breach in the determination of our enemies to war has been driven by the peace negotiations with Russia. That was a breakthrough by the idea of peace.

It is a symptom of childish dilettantism to overlook the close relationship of the various peace signatures with each other. The constellation of enemy powers in the east was like a net. When one mesh was cut through the remaining meshes loosened of their own accord.

We first gave international recognition to the separation of Ukraine from Russia, which had to be accomplished as an internal affair of Russia. Profiting from resultant circumstances which were favourable to our aims, we concluded with the Ukraine the peace sought by that country.

This gave the lead to peace with Petrograd, whereby Rumania was left standing alone, so that she also had to conclude peace. So one peace brought another, and the desired success, namely, the end of the war in the east, was achieved.

The peace concluded with Rumania, it is calculated, will be the starting point of friendly relations. The slight frontier rectifications which we receive are not annexations. Wholly uninhabited regions, they serve solely for military protection.

To those who insist that these rectifications fall under the category of annexations and accuse me of inconsistency, I reply that I have publicly protested against holding out a license to our enemies which would assure them against the dangers of further adventures.

From Russia I did not demand a single metre, but Rumania neglected the favourable moment. The protection of mercantile shipping in the lower Danube and the guarding of the Iron Gate are guaranteed by the extension of the frontier to the heights of Turnu-Severin, by leasing for thirty years a valuable wharf near this town, together with a strip along the river bank at an annual rental of 1,000 lei, and, finally, by obtaining the leasing rights to the islands of Ostrovo, Marecorbu, and Simearu, and the transfer of the frontier several kilometres southward in the region of the Petroseny coal mine, which better safeguards our possessions in the Szurdok Pass coal basin.

Nagy-Szeben and Fogaras will receive a new security frontier of an average width of from 15 to 18 kilometres at all passes of importance, as, for instance, Predeal, Bodz, Gyimes, Bekas, and Tolgyes. The new frontier has been so far removed to Rumanian ground as military reasons require.

The rectification east of Czernowitz has protected that city against future attacks.

At the moment when we are successfully endeavouring to renew friendly and neighbourly relations with Rumania, it is unlikely that we would open old wounds, but every one knows the history of Rumania's entrance into the war and will admit that it was my duty to protect the monarchy against future surprises of a similar kind.

I consider the safest guarantee for the future, international agreements to prevent war. In such agreements, if they are framed in binding form, I should see much stronger guaranties against surprise attacks by neighbours than in frontier rectifications, but thus far, except in the case of President Wilson, I have been unable to discover among any of our enemies serious inclination to accept this idea.

However, despite the small degree of approval this idea receives, I consider that it will be realized.

Calculating the burdens with which the States of the world will emerge from the war, I vainly ask myself how they will cover military expenditures if competition in armaments remains unrestricted. I do not believe that it will be possible for the States after this war adequately to meet the increased requirements due to the war.

I think, rather, that financial conditions will compel the States to enter into a compromise regarding the limitation of armaments.

This calculation of mine is neither idealistic nor fantastic, but is based upon reality in politics in the most literal sense of the word. I, for my part, would consider it a great disaster if in the end there should be failure to achieve general agreements regarding the diminution of armaments.

It is obvious that in the peace with Rumania we shall take precautions to have our interests in the questions of grain, food supply, and petroleum fully protected. We shall further take precautions that the Catholic Church and our schools receive the state of protection they need, and we shall solve the Jewish question.

The Jew shall henceforth be a citizen with equal rights in Rumania.

The Irredentist propaganda, which has produced so much evil in Hungary, will be restrained and, finally, precautions will be taken to obtain indemnification for the injustice innocently suffered by many of our countrymen owing to the war.

We shall strive by means of a new commercial treaty and appropriate settlement of the railway and shipping questions to protect our economic interests in Rumania.

Rumania's future lies in the east. Large portions of Bessarabia are inhabited by Rumanians, and there are many indications that the Rumanian population there desires close union with Rumania.

If Rumania will adopt a frank, cordial, friendly attitude toward us we will have no objections to meeting those tendencies in Bessarabia. Rumania can gain much more in Bessarabia than she lost in the war.

In concluding peace with Rumania and Ukraine, it has been my first thought to furnish the monarchy with food-stuffs and raw materials. Russia did not come into consideration in this connection owing to the disorganization there.

We agreed with Ukraine that the quantity of grain to be delivered to the Central Powers should be at least 1,000,000 tons. Thirty cars of grain and peas are now en route, 6oo cars are ready to be transported, and these transports will be continued until the imports are organized and can begin regularly.

Larger transports are rendered possible by the peace with Rumania, which enables goods to be sent from Odessa to Danube ports.

We hope during May to undertake the first large transport from Ukraine. While I admit that the imports from Ukraine are still small and must be increased, nevertheless our food situation would have been considerably worse had this agreement not been concluded.

From Rumania we will obtain a considerable surplus of last year's harvest. Moreover, about 400,000 tons of grain, peas, beans, and fodder must be transported via the Danube.

Rumania must also immediately provide us with 800,000 sheep and pigs, which will improve our meat supply slightly.

It is clear from this that everything will be done to obtain from the exploitation of the regions which peace has opened for us in the east whatever is obtainable. The difficulties of obtaining these supplies from Ukraine are still considerable, as no state of order exists there. But with the goodwill of the Ukrainian Government and our organization we will succeed in overcoming the difficulties.


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Cont'd.

An immediate general peace would not give us further advantages, as all Europe today is suffering from lack of foodstuffs. While the lack of cargo space prevents other nations from supplying themselves, the granaries of Ukraine and Rumania remain open to the Central Powers.

The forcible annexation of foreign peoples would place difficulties in the way of a general peace, and such an extension of territories would not strengthen the empire. On the contrary, considering the grouping of the monarchy, they would weaken us. What we require are not territorial annexations, but economic safeguards for the future.

We wish to do everything to create in the Balkans a situation of lasting calm. Not until the collapse of Russia did there cease to exist the factor which hitherto made it impossible for us to bring about a definite state of internal peace in the Balkans.

We know that the desire for peace is very great in Serbia, but Serbia has been prevented by the Entente Powers from concluding it. Bulgaria must receive from Serbia certain districts inhabited by Bulgarians. We, however, have no desire to destroy Serbia. We will enable Serbia to develop, and we would welcome closer economic relations with her.

We do not desire to influence the future relations between the monarchy and Serbia and Montenegro by motives conflicting with friendly, neighbourly relations. The best state of egoism is to come to terms with a beaten neighbour, which leads to this: My egoism regarding Austria-Hungary is that after being conquered militarily our enemies must be conquered morally. Only then is victory complete, and in this respect diplomacy must finish the work of the armies.

Since I came into office I have striven only after one aim, namely, to secure an honourable peace for the monarchy and to create a situation which will secure to Austria-Hungary future free development, and, moreover, to do everything possible to insure that this terrible war shall be the last one for time out of mind.

I have never spoken differently. I do not intend to go begging for peace, or to obtain it by entreaties or lamentations, but to enforce it by our moral right and physical strength. Any other tactics, I consider, would contribute to the prolongation of the war.

I must say, to my regret, that during the last few weeks and months much has been spoken and done in Austria that prolongs the war. Those who are prolonging the war are divided into various groups, according to their motives and tactics.

There are, first, those who continuously beg for peace. They are despicable and foolish. To endeavour to conclude peace at any price is despicable, for it is unmanly, and it is foolish because it continuously feeds the already dying aggressive spirit of the enemy.

The desire for peace of the great masses is natural as well as comprehensible, but the leaders of the people must consider that certain utterances produce abroad just the opposite effect from what they desire.

Firmly relying on our strength and the justice of our cause, I have already concluded three moderate but honourable peace treaties. The rest of our enemies also begin to understand that we have no other desire than to secure the future of the monarchy and of our allies, and that we intend to enforce this and can and will enforce it.

I shall unswervingly prosecute this course and join issue with any one who opposes me.

The second group of war prolongers are the annexationists. It is a distortion of fact to assert that Germany has made conquests in the east. Lenin's anarchy drove the border people into the arms of Germany. Is Germany to refuse this involuntary choice of foreign border States?

The German Government has as little desire for oppressions as we, and I am perfectly convinced that neither annexationists nor weaklings can prevent forever a moderate and honourable peace. They delay it, but they cannot prevent it.

The hopes of our enemies of final victory are not merely based on military expectations and the blockade. They are based to a great extent on our interior political conditions and on certain political leaders, not forgetting the Czechs.

Recently we were almost on the point of entering into negotiations with the Western Powers, when the wind suddenly veered round and, as we know with certainty, the Entente decided it had better wait, as parliamentary and political events in our country justified the hope that the monarchy would soon be defenceless.

Czech troops are now criminally fighting against their own country, and we must unite against this high treason. The government is quite ready to proceed to the revision of the Constitution, but this will not be helped by those who hope through the victory of the Entente to gain their ends.

If we expel this poison, a general honourable peace is nearer than the public imagines, but no one has the right to remain aside in this last decisive struggle.

Source: Source Records of the Great War, Vol. VI, ed. Charles F. Horne, National Alumni 1923


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What is the importance of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk?
In: World War 1(ANSWER.COM)


Treaty of Brest-Litovsk

The war was going poorly for the Allies in 1917. Germany and Austria knocked Russia out of the war. A liberal democratic government was established in Russia, deposed the Czar but it proved too weak to keep the Russian army from mutiny and group of revolutionary Bolshevicks, led by Vladmir Lenin, seized power and established a communist government in Russia.

The communists pulled Russia out of the war and reluctantly signed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, which Germany forced upon Russia.

The Treaty convinced the Allies that Russia had not been the power they thought it was and it convinced many Americans that entry into the war was correct and necessary in order to stop the German conquest of Europe.

However, the treaty also freed the German army to throw more troops into France.


Broader Significance of the Treaty

The key provision of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk was the removal of the following territories from the Russian Empire:

Russian Poland
The Baltic Republics
Finland
The Ukraine and the Crimea
Parts of Belarus
Some areas in the Caucasus were handed over to the Ottoman Empire

In a supplementary treaty, signed five months later, Russia agreed to pay US$6 billion in reparations to Germany.

The aim was that these territories should become German (or Austrian) satellite countries.

Of course, with the defeat of Germany and Austria-Hungary, the treaty became irrelevant, but for many German nationalists it seemed that they had been cruelly awoken from a dream - that of boundless expansion in Eastern Europe. This notion was, for example, absolutely central to Hitler's thinking on German expansion.

Source: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_the...


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From How Stuff Works:

Treaty of Brest-Litovsk

Brest-Litovsk, Treaty of, in World War I, the peace treaty that Germany and its allies forced Russia to sign on March 3, 1918.

After the Russian Revolution of 1917 the Bolsheviks agreed to an armistice.

Peace negotiations were opened at Brest-Litovsk (now Brest, Belarus), but Russia refused to accept the German terms.

Germany then recognized the independence of Ukraine and made a peace treaty with it. The German armies reopened the war, and soon Russia had to accept demands even worse than the earlier terms.

Russia recognized the independence of Ukraine; surrendered Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and Finland; and ceded Kars, Ardahan, and Batum to Turkey. But the treaty was short-lived. After the Armistice of November 11, 1918, the Allies forced Germany to renounce the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk.


Source:

http://history.howstuffworks.com/worl...


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Lenin, Trotsky, Germany and the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk: The Collapse of the World Revolution, November 1917-November 1918

Lenin, Trotsky, Germany and the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk The Collapse of the World Revolution, November 1917-November 1918 by Yuri Felshtinsky by Yuri Felshtinsky

Synopsis:

The Treaty that Ended the World Revolution. For decades, historians have been trying to understand why the "world communist revolution" that broke out in Europe in 1917-1919 in the wake of the horror of the First World War ended in defeat. The overthrow of the Russian monarchy in March 1917 and the Bolshevik coup eight months later was followed by the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, a separate peace between Russia and the Central Powers, with unprecedented annexations and reparations. Vladimir Lenin called for the conclusion of a separate peace with Germany. Nikolai Bukharin called for immediate revolutionary war. Lev Trotsky adhered to a middle position, which has entered history under the slogan "neither peace nor war." What is clear is that by forming a separate peace with Germany and her allies in order to stabilize Soviet rule in Russia, Lenin's government delivered a stab in the back to the German socialist revolution. As a result, by 1919, the Soviet government, headed by Lenin, had survived in Russia, and it became the global center of the Communist International movement. Join scholar and noted Russian historian Yuri Felshtinsky as he examines existing and newly discovered source material for a fresh look at this pivotal turning point in world history.


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Thank you Jerome


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Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) There is no synopsis on this book but it has gotten good reviews. Sir John Wheeler-Bennett was a historian of the period, so I am assuming that it may be worth looking for.

Brest-Litovsk: The Forgotten Peace, March 1918

Brest-Litovsk The Forgotten Peace March 1918 by John Wheeler-Bennett by John Wheeler-Bennett (no photo)


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Thank you Jill


message 19: by Jill (last edited Apr 29, 2015 07:44PM) (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) Participants in the signing of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk.



The treaties of Brest-Litovsk, peace treaties signed at Brest-Litovsk (now in Belarus) by the Central Powers with the Ukrainian Republic (Feb. 9, 1918) and with Soviet Russia (March 3, 1918), which concluded hostilities between those countries during World War I. Peace negotiations, which the Soviet government had requested on Nov. 8, 1917, began on December 22. They were divided into several sessions, during which the Soviet delegation tried to prolong the proceedings and took full advantage of its opportunity to issue propaganda statements, while the Germans grew increasingly impatient.

When no substantial progress had been made by January 18, the German general Max Hoffmann firmly presented the German demands, which included the establishment of independent states in the Polish and Baltic territories formerly belonging to the Russian Empire and in Ukraine. Leon Trotsky, head of the Soviet delegation since January 9, called for a recess (January 18–30). He returned to Petrograd where he persuaded the reluctant Bolsheviks (including Lenin) to adopt a policy under which Russia would leave the war but sign no peace treaty (“neither war nor peace”).

When negotiations resumed, the Soviet delegation again tried to stall; but after the Central Powers concluded a separate peace with the nationalist Ukrainian delegation (February 9), Trotsky announced the new Soviet policy. Negotiations came to a halt on February 10. But when the Germans renewed their military offensive (February 18), the Russians immediately requested that talks be resumed. On February 23, the Germans responded with an ultimatum allowing the Russians two days to open talks and three more to conclude them. Lenin, realizing that the new Soviet state was too weak to survive a continuation of the war, threatened to resign if the German terms were not met.

On March 3 the Soviet government accepted a treaty by which Russia lost Ukraine, its Polish and Baltic territories, and Finland. (Ukraine was recovered in 1919, during the Russian Civil War.) The treaty was ratified by the Congress of Soviets on March 15. Both the Ukrainian and Russian treaties were annulled by the Armistice on Nov. 11, 1918, which marked the Allied defeat of Germany. (Source: Brittanica)


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Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) The majority of this book is dedicated to the attempts to reach a peace through the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk.

Elusive Dove: The Search for Peace During World War I

Elusive Dove The Search for Peace During World War I by Neil Hollander by Neil Hollander(no photo)

Synopsis:

Most histories of World War I revolve around gruesome battles, ribboned generals and feats of military heroism. Even in the heat of battle individuals of courage stepped forward and attempted to bring humanity out of darkness and to revive the phoenix of peace. They are the real heroes of the war. This book is their story


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Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) How WWI and the Treaty of Brest-Litvosk changed the original planning of Leon Trotsky.

From October to Brest-Litovsk

From October to Brest-Litovsk by Leon Trotsky by Leon Trotsky Leon Trotsky

Synopsis:

Leon Trotsky was a Marxist revolutionary and theorist, Soviet politician, and the founding leader of the Red Army. Had the revolution developed more normally -- that is, under peaceful circumstances, as it had in 1912 -- the proletariat would always have held a dominant position, while the peasant masses would gradually have been taken in tow by the proletariat and drawn into the whirlpool of the revolution. But the war produced an altogether different succession of events. . . .


message 22: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) Lenin, Trotsky, Germany and the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk: The Collapse of the World Revolution

Lenin, Trotsky, Germany and the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk The Collapse of the World Revolution, November 1917-November 1918 by Yuri Felshtinsky by Yuri Felshtinsky (no photo)

Synopsis

The Treaty that Ended the World Revolution. For decades, historians have been trying to understand why the "world communist revolution" that broke out in Europe in 1917-1919 in the wake of the horror of the First World War ended in defeat. The overthrow of the Russian monarchy in March 1917 and the Bolshevik coup eight months later was followed by the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, a separate peace between Russia and the Central Powers, with unprecedented annexations and reparations. Vladimir Lenin called for the conclusion of a separate peace with Germany. Nikolai Bukharin called for immediate revolutionary war. Lev Trotsky adhered to a middle position, which has entered history under the slogan "neither peace nor war." What is clear is that by forming a separate peace with Germany and her allies in order to stabilize Soviet rule in Russia, Lenin's government delivered a stab in the back to the German socialist revolution. As a result, by 1919, the Soviet government, headed by Lenin, had survived in Russia, and it became the global center of the Communist International movement. Join scholar and noted Russian historian Yuri Felshtinsky as he examines existing and newly discovered source material for a fresh look at this pivotal turning point in world history.


message 23: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) This treaty signaled the beginning of Soviet Russia as a world power. Interesting information in the text below.

The Treaty of Brest Litovsk

The signing of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk on March 3, 1918 officially ended Russia’s involvement in World War I. The treaty was signed in time for the Germans to devote all of their resources to a spring offensive on the Western Front. It provided the infant Soviet Republic a short “breathing space” to regroup before the coming civil war.

While often disregarded as a historical footnote because it would be abrogated after the German collapse in November 1918, the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk actually signaled the emergence of the Soviet Union in the international community. Soviet thinking, attitudes, and conduct toward disengaging from World War I were rooted in their October 1917 “Decree on Peace” which had proclaimed Russia’s desire to make peace with all of the world’s belligerents. Despite the oratorical skills of the Soviets’ lead negotiator and Commissar of Foreign Affairs, Leon Trotsky, this approach fell flat owing to the Germans’ pressing geo-political concerns in the conduct of the War. While the Bolsheviks were propagandizing the notion that it was in the interest of all parties to end the War without annexation and indemnities, the Germans sought to secure all possible resources from the Soviets’ western borderlands in order to continue prosecuting World War I on their western front.

The contrast between the two peace delegations at Brest Litovsk revealed the broad gap that was emerging between the Soviet Union and the rest of the world as a result of the 1917 revolution. The leader of the German delegation sent to Brest Litovsk in November 1917, General Max Hoffman, sought the quickest possible solution to his country’s Eastern conflict. Together with a group of fourteen representatives from the Central Power nations (five German officers, four from Austria-Hungary, three from Turkey, and two from Bulgaria) Hoffman’s well-groomed delegation represented the spit and polish of imperial armies—the splendor and glory of the ancient regime. By contrast, the Bolshevik delegation represented the exact opposite. The Russian peace delegation, assembled by Trotsky, consisted of twenty-eight members including workers, soldiers, sailors, women, and (at the last minute) a peasant. These individuals were supposed to represent the masses who had been responsible for the Bolsheviks coming to power. Simply put, the Germans and their allies had never seen such a spectacle at a formal diplomatic meeting. They had little idea how to manage the situation.

Trotsky sought to control the agenda from the start with his pronouncements on peace. The facts for the infant Soviet regime, however, were harsh. In December 1917, Germany’s Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Baron Rikhard von Kuhlman, demanded the Soviet delegation present their peace conditions. Using A.A. Ioffe as their spokesman, the Bolsheviks maintained that they intended to quit the war. They expected the Germans to leave Russia without any tangible gains for their years of wartime sacrifice. Although German diplomats responded by acknowledging that both sides had reached a point of departure for their negotiations, the German military would have nothing to do with Soviet rhetoric. As 1917 faded into 1918, the Bolsheviks had to digest that they had done an excellent job in destroying Russia’s military power. Now they were forced to come to terms with Germany’s demands for territory and resources. Without an effective military to counter the Germans, the Soviet position deteriorated on a daily basis.

Negotiations reached a breaking point in February 1918 when, after persistent Soviet stalling, the Germans lost patience. They launched an offensive which culminated with the delivery of new, non-negotiable peace terms arriving in Petrograd on February 23rd. Aware that the Bolsheviks possessed no financial resources to pay indemnities, the German government decided to extract its pound of flesh in the form of territorial annexations. The Germans demanded that the Soviets to cede the following territories: Finland, Russian Poland, Estonia, Livonia, Courland, Lithuania, Ukraine, and Bessarabia. In addition, the Bolsheviks were expected to the provinces of Ardaham, Kars, and Batumi to the Ottoman Empire.

While opposition within the Communist Party of the Soviet Union to these terms was strong, V.I. Lenin, forever the pragmatic politician, understood the consequences of refusing the Germans. In the end, it came down to Lenin insisting firmly, yet calmly, to the Party’s Central Committee that there was no time for theoretical meanderings; that the terms of the treaty, no matter how harsh, had to be accepted to preserve the future of the revolution. Absent armed forces to counter the Germans, the Soviets chose to accept the provisions of the draconian peace settlement.

What the Germans effectively accomplished at Brest-Litovsk was a short term solution to their pressing material needs. In the long term, however, their harsh and unrelenting demands from the Bolsheviks established the precedent that the allies would, in turn, impose on them with the Treaty of Versailles.

(Source: Russia's Great War


message 24: by Jerome, Assisting Moderator - Upcoming Books and Releases (last edited Feb 23, 2017 10:14AM) (new)

Jerome | 4354 comments Mod
An upcoming book:
Release date: July 14, 2017

Twilight of Empire: The Brest-Litovsk Conference and the Remaking of East-Central Europe, 1917–1918

Twilight of Empire The Brest-Litovsk Conference and the Remaking of East-Central Europe, 1917–1918 by Borislav Chernev by Borislav Chernev (no photo)

Synopsis:

Twilight of Empire is the first book in English to examine the Brest-Litovsk Peace Conference during the later stages of World War I with the use of extensive archival sources. Two separate peace treaties were signed at Brest-Litovsk the first between the Central Powers and Ukraine and the second between the Central Powers and Bolshevik Russia.

Borislav Chernev, through an insightful and in-depth analysis of primary sources and archival material, argues that although its duration was short lived, the Brest-Litovsk settlement significantly affected the post-Imperial transformation of East Central Europe. The conference became a focal point for the interrelated processes of peacemaking, revolution, imperial collapse, and nation-state creation in the multi-ethnic, entangled spaces of East Central Europe. Chernev's analysis expands beyond the traditional focus on the German-Russian relationship, paying special attention to the policies of Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, and Ukraine. The transformations initiated by the Brest-Litovsk conferences ushered in the twilight of empire as the Habsburg, Hohenzollern, and Ottoman Empires all shared the fate of their Romanov counterpart at the end of World War I.


message 25: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Apr 13, 2018 08:33AM) (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
A Perfidious Distortion of History: the Versailles Peace Treaty and the success of the Nazis

A Perfidious Distortion of History The Versailles Peace Treaty and the Success of the Nazis by Jürgen Tampke by Jürgen Tampke (no photo)

Synopsis:

A controversial and important work of revisionist history that rebuts the accepted version of the role of the Versailles Peace Treaty in the rise of Nazism and the unleashing of World War II.

The Versailles Peace Treaty, the pact that ended World War I between the German empire and the Allies, has not enjoyed a positive reputation since its signing in June 1919. Conventional wisdom has it that the treaty's requirements for massive reparation payments crippled the economy of the Weimar Republic and destabilised its political life. Ultimately, it is argued, the treaty prevented the seeds of democracy sown in the aftermath of the Great War from flourishing, and drove the German people into the arms of Adolph Hitler.

In this authoritative book, Jurgen Tampke disputes this commonplace view. He argues that Germany got away with its responsibility for World War I and its behaviour during it; that the treaty was nowhere near as punitive as has been long felt; that the German hyper-inflation of the 1920s was at least partly a deliberate policy to minimise the cost of paying reparations; and that World War II was a continuation of Germany's longstanding war aims.

Reviews:

‘An intriguing and persuasive account by an experienced historian of the much-maligned Treaty of Versailles. This new book provides a fresh and often provocative account of a tangled story. It should help put to rest the persisting myth about the 1919 peace with Germany.’ (Emeritus Professor, David Walker FASSA, FAHA Board Member, Foundation of Australian Studies, China)

‘This is a fascinating and provocative re-assessment of one of the great conventional wisdoms of recent history, made all the more compelling by the Australian-based author's forceful and often witty delivery.’ - (Eamon Delaney Irish Independent)

‘In this highly readable account Jurgen Tampke tackles the much-debated and perennially fascinating question of whether the Treaty of Versailles caused the Second World War. He comes down firmly on the No side and produces a wealth of evidence and careful analysis to back his arguments. Anyone who is interested in what remains one of modern history’s most important debates will want to read this.’-- (Margaret MacMillan, author of Paris: 1919)


‘Gamely confronts the now-prevailing orthodoxy … deserves to be read. (Roger Moorhouse - The Times)

‘A fascinating and well-crafted account of how the peace-treaty of 1919 led to the Second World War ― and the reasons may not be the ones you expect.’ - (Chris Vening)

About the Author:

Jürgen Tampke was born 1944 in Brandenburg, Germany, and migrated to Australia in 1964. He graduated with first-class honours from Macquarie University in 1971 and with a PhD from the Australian National University in 1975. Jürgen occupied the position of associate professor at the School of History, University of New South Wales, before his retirement. He is the author or editor of numerous books, including Weimar and Nazi Germany and Czech–German Relations and the Politics of Eastern Europe.


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