German Propaganda Archive Calvin University


Background: This is an outline of arguments for East German agitators on how to explain Soviet nuclear weapons. It was intended to provide them with material to use in discussing political issues with their workmates or neighbors.

The source: Notizbuch des Agitators (Agitator’s Notebook), published by the Socialist Unity Party’s Agitation Department, November 1951.

Arguments for the Agitator

Why does the Soviet Union have atomic weapons?

MAGAZINE COVERComrade J. W. Stalin’s answer to a Pravda correspondent’s question about nuclear weapons has earned the enthusiastic support of all peace-loving people. However, there are a few people who have doubts about the Soviet Union’s peaceful policies. They ask how the Soviet Union’s possession of nuclear weapons can be reconciled with its constant talk of peace. Others say: “First we demand the banning of atomic weapons, and now Russia says it will use them itself if it is attacked,” or “Why have we signed the Stockholm appeal when today even the Soviet Union speaks of using atomic weapons?” or ‘Why doesn’t the Soviet Union set a good example by abolishing its own nuclear weapons in the interest of a lasting peace?”

We must answer these questions, for to leave them unanswered means playing into the hands of American imperialists and their allies who are preparing a new war in every possible way, including ideologically.

Are Soviet nuclear weapons consistent with its peaceful policies?

No one expects that an apartment-dweller threatened by a club-wielding burglar will not himself reach for a club in order to chase the burglar from his apartment. It is no different when the Soviet Union, threatened by American imperialism’s atomic weapons, replies with the same weapon. Can the Soviet Union ignore the frenzied armaments build up by the imperialist world? It can no more do that than it could ignore the war cries of German Fascism before the Second World War. What would have happened to the world if the Soviet Union had failed to take the proper preparations before the Second World War to meet the Fascist beast with the appropriate weapons and put an end to it in Berlin? We owe the defeat of German Fascism’s plans to the fact that the USSR was prepared to defend itself against Fascist aggression.

The Soviet Union has no intention of attacking the USA or any other land, Comrade Stalin said in his interview. Only because of the constant threats from US imperialists was the first socialist state forced to produce atomic weapons as a means of defense against an aggressive attack on its territory. The USSR would have much preferred to use the energy put into the atomic bomb for peaceful constructive purposes, such as has already been shown by the transformation of nature in the USSR and the great communist building projects.

Just as the Soviet Union has no intention of attacking any country, it has no intention of ceasing its demands for the banning of atomic weapons and the cessation the production of atomic weapons. It puts its full weight behind the demands of the Stockholm Conference of the World Peace Council, signed by millions and millions of people around the world, including many in the USSR. The Soviet Union is ready at any time to agree to international supervision of a ban on nuclear weapons and the cessation of their production. It firmly rejects, however, the American plan, which as the English newspaper the Daily Worker recently noted would not ban nuclear weapons, but rather place them under the control of an American-dominated body that would control all materials and production facilities worldwide. That is only proper — as Stalin said — since US imperialism is more and more turning the UN into an instrument of war preparation and war itself.

After the many bad experiences that the Soviet Union, and with it all peace-loving peoples, have had with US imperialism’s international bodies, the Soviet Union should set a ’good example’ by abolishing its atomic bombs. What do people mean by asking it to set a “good example?”

To ask that the Soviet Union should demonstrate its “good will” by abolishing its atomic weapons means to ask that the USSR should abolish its nuclear weapons while the imperialist nations continue to produce them. The Soviet Union should set a “good example” by fighting for peace with empty hands while the aggression-mad imperialists of the USA and their European accomplices should increase their weapons to unbelievable levels. That would only encourage the warmongers and their war plans.

The only way to put the question is like this: As long as the peoples of the imperialist-dominated nations have not taken the preservation of peace into their own hands, and as long as the imperialists still have the possibility of lying to people and leading them into a new war, peace-loving people can only be happy that the Soviet Union, the bulwark of peace and international understanding, has torn the main weapon of exploiting and threatening peace-loving peoples from the hands of the imperialists. In so doing, it has taken the most critical step in hindering a new world catastrophe. It has hindered a new world war and stopped imperialist aggressors, building the necessary foundation for the activities of the organized world peace front.

[Page copyright © 1998 by Randall Bytwerk. No unauthorized reproduction. My e-mail address is available on the FAQ page.]

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