Hitler's biggest mistake

Newsweek Polska

Stalin and Hitler were victims of their own megalomaniac. As if they were competing in the competition for "the most blinded dictator in the world," says Andrew Nagorski, author of 1941. The year Germany lost the war.

Newsweek: As late as the spring of 1941, huge shipments of oil, grain and other raw materials were flowing from the Soviet Union to the Third Reich. Stalin was hitting on Hitler. Why did the German attack him?

Andrew Nagorski: Hitler assumed the conquest of the East when he wrote "Mein Kampf" in 1924 - enslaving supposedly inferior racially nations and using the resources of the region. He dreamed of a "living space" - Lebensraum - for the Germans. He believed that they needed new territories. Ironically, he would be in a much better position to maintain the alliance with Stalin, which was initiated by the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. This guaranteed him access to important raw materials without incurring great costs of warfare.