In 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union signed a non-aggression pact that paved the way for WWII. Some of the provisions in the pact included a ban on aggression or violence between the two countries, information dealing with the interests of both countries was to be exchanged, and disputes were to be settled through “friendly exchange …or through the establishment of arbitration commissions.” This pact had benefits for both parties. Stalin recognized that his army was not strong enough to stand up against the German military, and his country was not in the economic position to go to war. Germany was very much prepared for war, and this pact gave Germany clear access to Poland. In addition to the main provisions, possibilities of how to divide land after the war were discussed between both parties. However, this pact was broken on June 22, 1941, when Germany invaded the Soviet Union.
While Germany went back on the non-aggression pact, the Soviet Union had enough time to build up industrialization, productivity, and properly arm the Red Army. In Stalin’s speech, WWII is presented as an obstacle that was overcome by Soviet Organization and planning. Stalin points out earlier shortcomings, such as the ill-equipped nature of the Red Army during WWI. However, industrialization increased rapidly, and to give an example, five and a half times more coal was produced in 1940 than was produced in 1913. In the speech, Stalin stressed how Soviet organization was able to overcome the challenges of war, and stated capitalism is the root of catastrophic wars. While this speech was given to members of his electorate district, the speech has far ranging messages. Soviet greatness allowed the USSR to overcome the horrors of war, industrialize rapidly, and avoid the capitalism which created the terrible world wars. While the non-aggression treaty was broken in 1941, it allowed for enough time to build up the Soviet economy and army.