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Location: The Heritage Foundation's Allison Auditorium
One of the most cynical treaties in modern history was signed on
August 23, 1939, by Nazi Foreign Minister Ribbentrop and Soviet
Foreign Minister Molotov. The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact was termed a
non-aggression pact but was in fact an aggression pact against free
and independent neighboring countries. A secret protocol divided
Central and Eastern Europe into spheres of influence between the
two totalitarian countries. A week later Nazi Germany invaded
Poland, starting World War II, and shortly thereafter the Soviet
Union absorbed Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania into its empire for
more than 50 years.
Since regaining their independence after the collapse of Soviet
communism, the Baltic states and all of Eastern and Central Europe
have spent considerable time and money on security arrangements
that would minimize the effect of any similar "great power" treaty.
The "end of history" optimism that followed the fall of the Berlin
Wall 20 years ago has been replaced in large part by realpolitik
The Heritage Foundation has assembled a panel of experts to
discuss the infamous Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and to examine key
questions such as: Should "great powers" be permitted to make
decisions without regard for their impact on smaller sovereign
nations? What role should NATO, the EU and the UN play in
minimizing the impact of great power pacts?
More About the Speakers
Featuring Keynote Remarks:
The Honorable Sven Mikser
Chairman, Foreign Affairs Committee,
Parliament, Republic of Estonia
Followed by a Panel Discussion:
Dr. Michael Szporer
Professor of Communications,
Arts and Humanities,
University of Maryland, University College
Senior Policy Advisor for U.S. Senator Jim DeMint,
Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Europe
Lee Edwards, Ph.D.
Distinguished Fellow in Conservative Thought, B. Kenneth Simon Center for Principles and Politics