None so Deaf as Will Not Hear

TASS, ‘None so Deaf as Will Not Hear’. June 14, 1941


From the summer of 1940 to 22 June 1941 the NKVD received a mass of information about Germany’s preparations for the invasion of the USSR. German reconnaissance planes flew deep over Soviet territory over 200 times, always over military and defence objects, and one of these planes when forced to land was found to be carrying aerial photographic equipment (Izvestiya TsK KPSS, no. 4, 1990, pp. 216-18). Despite warnings from General G. Zhukov, the Soviet spy Richard Sorge in the German embassy in Tokyo, Winston Churchill and others about the concentration of German forces on the Soviet border, the Soviet information agency TASS issued the following disclaimer.

Original Source: Pravda, 14 June 1941.

1. Germany has made no demands on the USSR and is not proposing any new, closer, agreement and thus negotiations on this subject could not have taken place.

2. According to Soviet information, Germany is undeviatingly fulfilling the conditions of the Soviet-German non-aggression pact, as is the Soviet Union; in view of this, in Soviet opinion, rumors that Germany plans to tear up the pact and attack the USSR lack any substance, and the recent transfer of German forces, freed from operations in the Balkans, to eastern and north-eastern regions of Germany is linked, one must suppose, with motives having nothing to do with Soviet-German relations.

3. Arising out of its peaceful policy, the USSR has observed and will observe the conditions of the Soviet-German non-aggression pact, thus rumors that the USSR is preparing for war with Germany are lies and provocations.

Source: Richard Sakwa, ed., The Rise and Fall of the Soviet Union, 1917-1991 (London: Routledge, 1999), p. 252.


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