Treaty of Brest-Litovsk

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In March 1918, representatives of Russian Communist party signed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, ending the war that began between the German and Russian Empires in 1914. The German negotiator was General Max Hoffman, General Paul von Hindenburg's Chief of Staff. Leon Trotsky was appointed by Communist Party General Secretary Vladimir Lenin to represent the Soviet delegation. The Treaty was written in German and Russian; the French language, regarded as the "language of diplomacy", was not used. This was representative of the hegemonic struggle Germany regarded itself in with France at the time of World War I.

Based upon Germany's Machtstellung, or "position of power", the delegation that regarded itself as successors of Tsarist Imperialism gave up all legitimate claims to territory which included much of what is now Poland, Finland, Lithuania, Ukraine, Estonia and Latvia.

Polish-Ukraine Question

See also: History of Poland#Polish-Ukrainian war

During World War I (1914−1918), the Central Powers, especially Germany, stubbornly supported Ukrainian national identity, nationalism, and national goals – all of them directed against Russian interests. On February 9, 1918 the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk was signed between the Central Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, and the Ottoman Empire) and the Ukrainian People’s Republic (UPR).[1] The peace treaty ended the war in East Galicia and recognized the sovereignty of the UPR. One of the most important points of this peace treaty was that the victorious Central Powers promised Ukraine some territories which included the Kholm region populated by the Polish-speaking majority. It was also a secret initiative to transform both provinces of Bukovina and East Galicia into a crownland of Austria-Hungary (Austrian part), but the plan soon became problematic issue due to Polish opposition, insisting that the whole of Galicia in which Poles would have dominance. The Poles perceived the pro-Ukrainian policy of the Central Powers during World War I, and especially in 1918, not only as anti-Russian but even more anti-Polish.


  • Sir John Wheeler- Bennett, Brest-Litovsk: The Forgotten Peace, March, 1918 (London, 1938).


  1. Brotfrieden in German (“Bread Peace”)