USSR attacked by Nazis in 1941, Molotov speech


Reading historical speeches is an interesting exercise. Often times we learn history through second or third parties, usually with their own bias involved in the retelling. Primary source documents are straight from the horses mouth, so to speak. It is important especially for students to be exposed to these firsthand accounts so that they realize how accessible history truly is.

This speech, given by Vyacheslav Molotov on June 22, 1941, was a reaction to the unexpected Nazi attack. The background to the story of course is that the Non-Aggression Pact signed between the two nations in 1939 was merely a convenient stalling tactic for Hitler to avoid a two front war and Stalin to be more readily prepared to fight. Neither nation expected to remain allies, as they both had their sights on the same territory, aside from being bitter enemies for other reasons as well.

In researching for our WWII PowerPoint, we came across a few gems which will be our theme for the next couple of days.

Please click for the speech, as well as some classroom ready questions and answers.

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. I am a High School History teacher and author in Courtice, Ontario, Canada who is happy to have discovered this blog. Thank you for the reproduction of Molotov’s speech and the question/answer section that accompanies it. It is so important for us in the West to study the Nazi-Soviet conflict since it dwarfs all of the rest of WWII in scale and scope. For example, how many North Americans are aware that over 80% of German military fatalities in the War occurred on the Eastern Front? This fact takes nothing away from the courage, heroism, and sacrifice of U.S., U.K., or Canadian servicemen and women, but simply reminds us where it was that Hitler truly lost the War. Those interested in the period might want to check out my new novel, The Fuhrer Virus. It is a fictional WWII spy/conspiracy/thriller for adolescent/adult readers and can be found at,, and


    Paul Schultz

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