Soviet Aims and Gains in World War II and the Soviet Takeover of Eastern Europe.
This chapter contains much detailed information because the war prepared the ground
for Soviet domination over most of Eastern Europe and the Cold War. At the same time, .
Soviet domination meant the imposition of communism on Poland, Czechoslovakia,
Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria.
Yugoslavia was a special case. The communist Josip Broz Tito (1893-1980) had his
own power base in the partisan army, so he did not need Soviet aid to crush his rivals. That
is why, although he was the first East European leader to impose the Stalinist model on his
country as well as on Albania -- a satellite of Yugoslavia until 1948 -- he was also the first to
veer away from it. Finland came under preponderant Soviet influence in foreign policy, but
was not a satellite state. The USSR recognized Finnish neutrality and democratic system.
The end result of World War II was the division of Europe between East and West, with the line running through Germany. At the same time, the the Soviet Union emerged as a world power and Soviet-American rivalry began in what developed into the "Cold War."Thos rivalry dominated world affairs for 44 years, i.e., until 1989.
To understand this whole process, we must first see how the foundations of Soviet
domination over Eastern Europe were laid during the Second World War.
I. Test Case Poland.
Poland requires more detailed treatment than the other states of Eastern Europe
because of her unique status and problems. As we know, in September 1939 she was
partitioned by Germany and Soviet Russia. The latter never gave up its claims to the
territories annexed in 1939, even after the German attack of June 1941 made it an ally of
Poland. At the same time, the vast majority of Poles opposed giving up almost half of their
country to the USSR. They did so not only because of their emotional attachment to this land,
but also because they saw its surrender as the first step to renewed Russian domination.
Poland was an ally of Great Britain and, informally, of the United States. (Informally
because the U.S. did not sign alliances at that time). However, both the British and U. S.
governments pressed the Polish government to give in to Soviet demands, believing this was
necessary to keep the USSR on their side to achieve victory in the war. They pursued this
policy despite their committment to the principles of the Atlantic Charter (August 1941, see
end of point 1 below).
Poland had a special place in the domestic politics of Great Britain and the United
States. In British public opinion, it was an ally who had to be fairly treated, while the U.S. had
a large number of Polish Americans with important numbers of election votes in several
northern states. Since neither government could afford to openly abandon Poland to Soviet
domination, each sought a solution acceptable to its public opinion. They stated their belief
that Stalin would allow the Poles a free and democratic form of government. Stalin, for his
part, saw Poland as the key to Germany and to the control of Eastern Europe. But he also
needed Western help and cooperation to win the war; so he pursued his aims under various
forms of camouflage, until he achieved them in 1944-45.
1. The Polish-Soviet Agreement of July 30, 1941.
Hitler's attack on Russia on June 22, 1941, automatically put the Soviet Union on the
same aside as Great Britain. Indeed, Winston Churchill then exclaimed that if Hitler invaded
hell, he would make a kind remark about the devil in the House of Commons. The British
were enormously relieved, because now Hitler was hurling all his might against Soviet Russia.
They had feared he would make another attempt to break the Royal Air Force (RAF) and, if
successful, invade the British Isles.
As for the USSR, Britain always kept her options open. It is worth noting that the Anglo-Polish Mutual Assistance Treaty (alliance) of August 25, 1939, had committed Britain to come to Poland's aid only in case of German attack, thus leaving the door open for Anglo-Soviet cooperation. Also, Britain had not broken off relations with the USSR after the signing of the German-Soviet treaties of August-September 1939, nor after the Soviet invasion and annexation of eastern Poland.
In the spring of 1940, the wealthy, maverick Labour politician, Sir Stafford Cripps
(1889-1952), who favored close Anglo-Soviet relations, paid a visit to Moscow and then
urged his government to work for an agreement with the USSR. In June, he was sent as
Ambassador Extraordinary to Moscow to try and wean the Soviets away from Berlin. Al-ready at this time, British statesmen saw the most promising bait for Stalin in Polish
recognition of the Soviet annexation of eastern Poland. General Wladyslaw Sikorski (pron:
Vladyslav Seekorskee), the Polish Premier and Commander-in-Chief - who had moved with
his government and some armed forces to London after the fall of France - was, in fact,
willing to use British help to open talks with the Soviets on the Polish-Soviet frontier as early
as June 1940. He knew he could not agree to frontier changes during the war, but thought
he could bargain with the Russians about postwar changes. Above all, he wanted to save the
Poles deported to Russia from death in the camps and create a new Polish army out of them
there. He also thought the USSR would be weaker than the Western powers at war's end (he
expected the U.S. to come in), so he was hopeful about Poland's future. However, he had to
abandon the idea of discussing the frontier with the Soviets because of opposition within his
government and emigre Polish opinion in London. Indeed, a leak of the proposed agreement
to "discuss" the frontier caused a serious crisis within the Polish government in July 1940.
The British government, however, did not abandon the idea of using Polish territory as a
bargaining chip with the Soviets. In October 1940, they instructed Sir Stafford Cripps, to
propose "de facto" (as opposed to "de iure") British recognition of the Soviet annexations
of 1939-40, as a basis for Anglo-Soviet agreement, but Stalin showed no interest. (1)
We know that the Soviet leadership expected a war with Germany at some future time, though not in the near future. This is confirmed by various Soviet statements made to Poles in the USSR, including one related to the author of this work by a former Polish officer. He had been taken prisoner by the Soviets in September 1939 and was held in one of the three special camps established by the NKVD (security police) for Polish POW officers in the USSR. He volunteered with several others to serve in the Red Army and had an interesting conversation with a high Soviet official in November 1940. At that time, a senior Soviet security officer [probably V.N. Merkulov, who was Lavrentii P. Beria's deputy in the NKVD], told him that if Germany attacked the USSR, the Russians would retreat even up to the Ural mountains, but they would not give up. The Soviet NKVD official made this statment while interrogating the Polish officer in Lubyanka prison, Moscow, when he and his companions were being "vetted" to see if they could be used by the Soviets as officers of a Polish division in the Red Army. (2)
After Hitler attacked Russia, a preliminary Anglo-Soviet agreement was signed on
July 13, 1941, in which the British promised to send the Soviets all the help they could. Prime
Minister, Winston S. Churchill and Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden now exerted great
pressure on General Sikorski to re-establish normal diplomatic relations with Moscow. This
was a very delicate matter because of the Soviet attack on Poland in September 1939,
followed by the brutal policy of mass killings and deportations in Soviet-occupied eastern
Poland. Moreover, the Soviet government claimed that the people of eastern Poland had
voted freely for inclusion in the Soviet Ukrainian and Belorussian Republics in October 1939
(see ch. 4). Furthermore, after annexing Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania in the summer of
1940, Moscow organized similar "elections" there, and the Soviets so elected had also
"requested" inclusion in the USSR. In the case of Lithuania, the Polish population of Wilno
(Lith.Vilnius, Russ. Vilna) and the surrounding region had also come under Soviet rule. Tens
of thousands of Poles were killed or deported along with the Lithuanians.
The Soviet Ambassador in London, Ivan M. Maiskii (1884-1975, real name:
Lyakhovetskii), at first demanded that the Polish government recognize the Soviet-German
frontier of 1940, that is, as establishedas per the Ribbentrop-Molotov Treaty of September
28, 1939. However, this was totally unacceptable to Polish opinion both at home and abroad.
Also, the Soviet armies were in full retreat and many observers expected Moscow to fall to
the Germans in short order. Therefore, some members of the Polish government in London
felt this was not the time to discuss Soviet demands, but to press for Soviet recognition of
the prewar eastern frontier. General Sikorski himself never opposed the idea of negotiations
with the Soviets on the Polish-Soviet frontier. He seems to have felt that as long as the
preponderantly Polish cities of Wilno and Lwov (Ukr. L'viv, Russ. Lvov) stayed with Poland,
most Poles would accept the cession of the rest of prewar eastern Poland to the Russians. But
Sikorski also knew that he would be disowned by 99% of Poles - except Polish communists
and sympathizers who were few - if he agreed to Soviet demands then and there. Therefore,
he envisaged Polish-Soviet frontier negotiations only at the peace conference after the war
After some four weeks of talks, mediated by the British, the two sides reached a
compromise. In the Sikorski - Maiskii Agreement signed in London on July 30, 1941, the
Soviet government recognized that "the Soviet-German treaties of 1939 relative to territorial
changes in Poland had lost their validity" - but did not recognize the former Polish-Soviet
frontier as fixed by the Treaty of Riga (March 18, 1921). They also agreed to the raising of
a Polish army in the USSR. This army was to have its own Polish commander, who would
be subordinated to the Soviet Supreme Command. Furthermore, in protocols attached to the
treaty, the Soviet government stated that public and private claims would be dealt with in
further negotiations, and that it would grant an "amnesty" to all Polish citizens deprived of
their freedom, either as prisoners of war, or on other "adequate grounds." (3) This
formulation saved Moscow's face in releasing the Poles, for they had committed no crimes
requiring an amnesty. In fact, they had been the victims of Soviet crimes. Some members of
Sikorski's government resigned in protest against the lack of Soviet recognition of the
prewar Polish-Soviet frontier. A Polish-Soviet military agreement was signed in mid-August
1941, providing for the recruitment of a small Polish army in Russia. (4) But there were to
be very great difficulties in this matter, as we shall see later.
In order to preserve the support of the Polish people, Sikorski and his government
claimed the agreemen of July 30, 1941 meant that the prewar Polish-Soviet frontier was still
legally in existence. However, the Soviet government formally denied this, stating that the
frontier would be settled in future Polish-Soviet negotiations. The lack of explicit Soviet
recognition of the Riga frontier led to growing criticism of Sikorski in some Polish emigre
papers in Britain, as well as in part of the Polish-American press.
It is clear that Sikorski had good reason to accept the compromise of leaving the frontier question open. He feared that if he did not sign the agreement, many more Poles would perish in the Soviet camps, and there might also be a breakdown of the Anglo-Polish alliance. Finally, in summer 1941, it was not at all clear that Moscow would withstand the German onslaught and Sikorski believed Poland's fate would depend on the relative strength of the Western powers and the USSR at the war's end. Thus, Sikorski struck the best deal he could.
We should note that the Poles placed great hope in the Atlantic Charter worked out and signed by President Franklin D.Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill in early August 1941, at their meeting in Placentia Bay, Newfoundland (Canada). The charter was not a legally binding document, but an idealistic declaration of war aims, in which FDR wished to prepare U.S. public opinion for war against Germany, which he considered inevitable. He had already succeeded in having Congress vote the "Lend-Lease Act" in March 1941, to help Great Britain (5), but U.S. public opinion still opposed entry into the war. Churchill, for his part, needed both U.S. aid and a public declaration of war aims, which would inspire the British and their Allies.
For the Poles, as for all dispossessed peoples, the most important parts of the Atlantic
Charter were those proclaiming (a) that the two Western leaders opposed territorial changes
during the war, and all changes contrary to the wishes of the people concerned; (b) that they
respected the right of all nations to choose their own form of government; and (c) that they
wished to see the restoration of sovereign rights and self-government to those peoples who
had been forcibly deprived of them. The Russians, however, did not see it this way. When
Soviet Ambassador Maiskii signed the Charter, along with other representatives of Allied
nations in London, in September 1941, he made a reservation stating the Charter had to be
adapted to "the circumstances, needs, and historic peculiarities of particular countries." (6)
Since Stalin protested to the British that the Atlantic Charter was hostile to the Soviet Union,
it is clear that Maiskii's declaration meant the Soviets opposed its application to the Soviet
annexations of 1939-40.
2. The Sikorski-Stalin Talks in Moscow, December 3-4, 1941.
Sikorski travelled to Russia by plane, via Egypt and Tehran. He stopped first in
Kuybyshev (in the middle Volga valley, about 200 miles south of Kazan), where the Polish
embassy had been evacuated from Moscow, along with the rest of the diplomatic corps and
the Soviet Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He then flew to Moscow, talked with Stalin on
December 3rd, after which they signed a Treaty of Mutual Friendship and Assistance on
December 4. During the banquet that followed, Stalin made certain proposals on Polish
frontiers. We do not know exactly what Stalin said to Sikorski for no Soviet account has been
published so far and there are at least three different Polish versions. Thus, the official Polish
note on a conversation between Stalin and Sikorski at the Kremlin banquet on December 4th,
only hints at Stalin's proposals regarding the Polish-Soviet frontier, and notes Sikorski's
refusal to discuss the issue. Next, in a report to the Polish Council of Ministers, Sikorski
stated that Stalin had offered his assistance in the Polish-Ukrainian dispute over Lwow, and
proposed the conclusion of a Polish-Soviet frontier agreement before the peace conference
at war's end, a proposal that Sikorski declined. Finally, in a more revealing account, which
Sikorski handed to Churchill on January 31, 1942, he quoted Stalin as saying that Poland
must have East Prussia and that Poland's western frontier must be on the Oder River.He also
mentioned Stalin's offer of common Polish-Soviet action against the (allegedly) "pro-German"
At the same time, however, Sikorski also warned Churchill that Stalin would seek
British consent for his 1940 annexations of the Baltic states, Bessarabia and Bukovina (the
last two in interwar northeast Romania), and that he was dreaming of gaining Bulgaria, access
to the Dardanelles, the Persian Gulf and northern Norway. In fact, said Sikorski, Stalin was
a staunch disciple of Lenin and would try to impose communism all the way from Norway
to Greece. Churchill answered that the Atlantic Charter proclaimed self-determination, though
plebiscites would be held in territories with mixed populations. Here, he mentioned the
possible exception of East Prussia, though he did not go so far as to say it should go to
Poland. Finally, he assured Sikorski that "Great Britain and the United States would not allow
Poland to be harmed." (7)
After signing the Polish-Soviet Friendship Treaty in Moscow, Sikorski went on to visit
with the Polish army being formed in the Buzuluk-Tatischev-Totsk region (about 100 miles
southeast of Kuybyshev). Stalin sent messages inviting him back to Moscow, but Sikorski was
not anxious to go because he did not want to be overshadowed and perhaps pressured by
Eden who was on his way to Moscow. In any case, he came down with a bad case of flu, and
then flew back to Great Britain by way of North Africa - as he had come - where he visited
Polish soldiers. .
Could Sikorski have obtained better terms from Stalin, if he had accepted his
invitation and gone back to Moscow at this time? We know from the British record of
Stalin's talks with Eden, that the Soviet dictator was ready to make only token concessions
to the Poles, while insisting on keeping what he took in 1939, i.e., half of prewar Poland (see
Stalin-Eden talks below). Perhaps Stalin would have been willing to trade Wilno or Lwow
to Poland, but even if he were, Sikorski could not have agreed and remained head of the
Polish government, for Polish public opinion and the army would not have accepted the loss
of former eastern Poland along with one of the key Polish cities..
We should also note that already at this time there were problems with recruiting the
Polish army in the USSR. Soviet authorities were delaying or preventing the release of Polish
prisoners and civilians. They were also refusing to allow the recruitment of Polish citizens
who were not ethnically Polish, but who wanted to join the Polish army, i.e., Jews,
Ukrainians, and Belorussians. Food and military supplies were inadequate as were medical
supplies. There was no wood to build adequate shelters, so the soldiers spent the cold Russian
winter in canvass-covered dugouts and shared their meager rations with the starving women
and children who had managed to join them. Finally, some 15,000 Polish officers, NCOs,
policemen, and administrators, taken prisoner in 1939, were missing and no trace of them
could be found. (Army officers, mostly reserve, numbered about 8,000 out of the missing
Sikorski, along with General Wladyslaw Anders (1892-1970) , the Polish Commander in Russia, and Stanislaw Kot (1885-1975), the Polish ambassador at that time, brought up all these problems on December 3rd in an official conversation with Stalin. The Soviet leader said all the missing officers had been released and even suggested some of them might have gone to Manchuria (under Japanes rule!). However, he offered to help find them and also agreed that the Polish Army be moved further south to a warmer climate. Unfortunately, when the army moved to Soviet Central Asia, many soldiers died of typhoid fever. (8)
3. The Polish Question in the Negotiations for an Anglo-Soviet Alliance Treaty.
These negotiations began during the Stalin-Eden talks in Moscow, held on December 16-22, 1941. (Eden and his suite had travelled to Murmansk on a British battleship and then by rail to Moscow). It is important to note that Stalin demanded immediate British recognition of the Soviet western frontiers of 1940-41, i.e., the Baltic states, southeastern Finland, Bessarabia and Bukovina. As for the Polish-Soviet frontier, he said it would be negotiated separately by the Polish and Soviet governments. In one of the alternative Soviet protocols to the treaty, Stalin proposed that Poland keep either Wilno and Bialystok, or Lwow - so not both Wilno and Lwow as the Poles wanted. At the same time, he also proposed that Poland be compensated with East Prussia and other parts of Germany, possibly up to the Oder River. This was, of course, in keeping with his plans for weakening postwar Germany.
Stalin also indicated to Eden that the Soviet government would wish to "guarantee" Finnish and Romanian "independence," and to have military and naval bases in those countries. In return, he proposed that Britain have bases in France, Norway and Denmark as well as alliances with Belgium and Holland. He also made suggestions regarding the frontiers of Austria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Turkey and Bulgaria. In sum, Stalin proposed a division of postwar Europe into Soviet and British spheres of influence. (9) He did so at a time, when the Red Army had just managed to throw the Germans back from the suburbs of Moscow.
Eden told Stalin that he had no power to sign such a treaty. He mentioned the Atlantic Charter and said he would have to consult his own government and the U.S. government. In fact, U.S. Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Cordell Hull (1871-1955), had cabled London just before Eden left, warning him not to agree to any Soviet territorial demands. The British cabinet had given him similar instructions. (10) Still, though Eden could not sign an Anglo-Soviet alliance treaty then and there on the lines suggested by Stalin, he personally believed that Stalin's demand for the recognition of his conquests of 1939-40 was justified, so he pushed for British agreement. (11) Churchill at first refused, but agreed in early March 1942, when Britain's fortunes were at a low ebb (defeats in North Africa and the fall of Singapore), and he was under much pressure to accommodate the Russians. He then gave in and sought U.S. support for an Anglo-Soviet treaty granting Soviet demands.
The U.S. stand on this matter was a dual one. Publicly, the government opposed any
territorial changes in wartime, as well as making any such changes without the consent of the
population, as per the Atlantic Charter. This was the line taken by Cordell Hull, and the
State Department. However, President Roosevelt had a policy of his own. He informed
Churchill confidentially on April 1, 1942, that he would not oppose territorial clauses in the
Anglo-Soviet Treaty then being negotiated, provided it contained a clause allowing the
inhabitants of the territories involved to leave with their belongings if they so wished. (This
referred specifically to the Baltic states). (12)
What did FDR mean? After all, a few days earlier, on March 24, he had told General
Sikorski, then visiting Washington, that the U.S. government had decided not to retreat from
the principle that no territorial questions be settled during the war. He also stated his belief
that postwar German disarmament would deprive Russia of the argument that she needed the
Baltic states for her future "security" against Germany. He added, however, that plebiscites
would take place after the war. (13) Thus, he indicated, his expectation of some territorial
changes in postwar Europe.
Roosevelt's real thinking at this time is illustrated by an informal remark he made to
Undersecretary of State Adolf A. Berle and noted by the latter in his diary on April 30, 1942.
Roosevelt told Berle that ". . . he would not particularly mind about the Russians taking quite
a chunk of territory; they might have the Baltic Republics and eastern Poland, and even
perhaps Bukovina as well as Bessarabia." But he said he would not agree to any Soviet
demands in Scandinavia. (14)
The President could not, however, agree publicly to Soviet demands. As he told
Churchill's personal envoy, Lord Beaverbrook, he feared difficult and even dangerous
repercussions if he were accused of "selling Balts down the river." (15) It would have been
even more dangerous for FDR to publicly support the Soviet demand for eastern Poland,
since the Democrats believed Roosevent needed the 6-7 million Polish-American votes to win
the next elections. In fact, he was to tell Stalin as much at the Tehran Conference in early
December 1943 (see below).
Thus, despite his own favorable view of Soviet demands, Roosevelt finally decided
against their recognition in the Anglo-Soviet treaty being negotiated in London in spring
1942. This was so because he feared an explosion of anti-Soviet feelings in the U.S., not only
among Polish and Baltic-Americans, but also politicians of both parties, especially the
Republicans, and thus attacks on his administration. Therefore, he pressed the British to agree
to a "second front" in Europe in 1942, in order to relieve German pressure on the Russian
front, which is what Stalin wanted most. Thus, FDR hoped to divert Stalin's attention from
territorial gains to military aid. He also made known his objections to the inclusion of Soviet
territorial demands in the treaty to V. M. Molotov, then in London, through the U.S.
ambassador there, John Gilbert Winant.
Winant's intervention with Molotov at the most crucial stage of the Anglo-Soviet
talks, on the evening of May 24th, mostly likely was not decisive in making Stalin give up
his insistence on British recognition of Soviet territorial demands in the treaty - for Winant
spoke to Molotov after the latter had received new directives from Stalin - though Roosevelt
could have conveyed his objections through other channels. In any case, at 6.30 p.m. on May
24th, Molotov received orders from Moscow to sign the treaty as proposed by Eden, though
with some minor amendments. The first paragraph of these instructions read:
We have received the draft treaty Eden handed you. We do not consider
it an empty declaration [Molotov's description, A.C] but regard it as an
important document. It lacks the question of the secruity of frontiers,
but this is not bad perhaps, for it gives us a free hand. The question of
frontiers, or to be more exact, of guarantees for the security of our fron-
tiers at one or another section of our country, will be decided by force.
No wonder Molotov suddenly gave in and agreed to sign an Anglo-Soviet alliance without
any territorial clauses. (16)
The British were extremely relieved, since Churchill was facing a potential revolt from
a group of Conservatives in the House of Commons if the treaty openly acknowledged
Soviet claims to the Baltic states. At the same time, Cardinal Arthur Hinsley (1865-1943)
warned him of a negative backlash by Catholics in England and elsewhere over Poland. But
it was Stalin's decision that the Anglo-Soviet Alliance Treaty was signed on May 26, 1942
as a military alliance for a period of 20 years, and that there was no mention of territorial
changes. (16) Aside from his long range views, the bad Soviet military situation on the
Soviet-German front may have played a part in this decision.
To Churchill's dismay, Roosevelt went on to promise Molotov -- who flew from London to Washington -- a "second front," i.e., a landing in Western Europe in 1942. When Molotov stopped in London on his way back to the USSR, Churchill explained to him that this was impossible, since the British and U.S. armed forces were far from ready for such action. Of course, we know that FDR was only trying to keep Stalin happy, and was really thinking -- as was Churchill -- of a combined Allied landing in North Africa, plus perhaps some token landing in France. But FDR left the onus of rejecting the idea to Churchill.
As for Stalin, he may have wanted an assurance of a second front in 1942 for political
reasons, for allegedly he did not believe such a front was possible at the time. This allegation
may, however, have been made to save Stalin's face after Churchill had it made it clear that
a second front was impossible in 1942. The disastrous commando raid on Dieppe on August
19, 1942, certainly confirmed this view.
4. Polish-Soviet Relations and the Polish Communists:January 1942-April 1943..
(a) Stalin and the Polish Communists.
The Polish Communist Party had been dissolved by the Comintern (i.e., Stalin)
sometime in the summer or early fall of 1938 on charges of being "infiltrated" by Polish police
agents, but this was not the real reason. In fact, by that time, most of the party leaders - some
of whom had protested the exile of Trotsky, and who were then in the Soviet Union - had
been killed off in the Stalin purges. Thus, Stalin's real motive for dissolving the PCP was his
distrust of its leadership.
However, in early 1939, an Initiative Group was formed in Paris, made up of a handful
of Polish communists selected by Soviet agents from those who had fought in the
International Brigades in Spain. These men were led by Boleslaw Molojec. The group was
formed and controlled by a Bulgarian communist Ivanov (pseudonyms: Bogdanov, Jean) who,
of course, acted on orders from Moscow.
The Initiative Group first called for the union of all Polish opposition parties to defend
Poland against Germany. However, in April 1939, i.e., after Poland had accepted the British
guarantee, the I.G. called for such a union to overthrow the existing Polish government.
Perhaps Stalin toyed with the idea of creating a communist-dominated government in Poland?
If that was his idea, he soon gave it up. As we know, in July, secret German-Soviet talks
progressed from discussing a trade treaty to outlining the basis of a political agreement on
spheres of influence in Eastern Europe, and the Ribbentrop-Molotov Nonaggression Pact was
signed on the night of August 23-24, 1939. In September, Soviet forces occupied eastern
Poland, which was formally annexed to the USSR in November (see ch. 4). In this situation,
the I.G was shelved. The third and last number of its Bulletin appeared in April 1939. Its
members left Paris in 1940, and travelled via the Balkans to the USSR.
In the meanwhile, after the Soviet invasion and annexation of eastern Poland in 1939,
a group of Polish communists and left-wing sympathizers surfaced there, particularly in the
city of Lvov. As mentioned earlier, they were led by a prominent prewar Polish left-wing
writer and activist, Wanda Wasilewska (1905-1964). We now know that Wasilewska
(daughter of a prominent Polish socialist and follower of Jozef Pilsudski [Leon Wasilewski],
became a Soviet citizen in 1940, and married the Ukrainian writer Alexander Korneychuk.
(He was her third husband and later became a Deputy Foreign Minister of the USSR). She
also became a member of the Communist Party of the Soviet Ukraine and, after election to
the Soviet of the Ukraine, was elected as a Ukrainian deputy to the Supreme Soviet of the
USSR in Moscow. She later served as a Soviet war correspondent, with the rank of Colonel
in the Red Army. She was to resume her political activities in spring 1943 (see below).It
seems that Stalin treated the "Lwow group" as a possible counter to the Polish government
in London, which enjoyed the support of the vast majority of Poles.
Hitler's attack on Soviet Russia, followed by the Sikorski-Maiskii agreement of July 30, 1941, apparently made Stalin shelve his plan to create a Polish "National Committee" in the USSR. However, we know that in the summer and fall of 1941, Stalin proceeded secretly to create a new Polish Communist Party, though under a new name that he himself suggested, i.e., "The Polish Workers' Party" (in Polish: Polska Partia Robotnicza, Polish acronym: PPR).
The first leaders of the PPR selected by Stalin in the summer and fall of 1941 were:
Marceli Nowotko (1893-1942), a minor prewar activist; Pawel Finder (1904-1944), an
activist and former assistant to Professor Frederic Joliot-Curie (husband of Eve Curie,
daughter of Pierre Curie and Marie Curie-Skladowska [1867-1934], who discovered radium);
and finally Boleslaw Molojec, leader of the former Paris Initiative Group. Nowotko was
chosen to lead the new party, with Finder as his deputy, while Molojec was to organize and
lead its military organization, "The People's Guard." These leaders were trained in the
Comintern school in Pushkino, near Moscow, later evacuated to the region of Ufa. They drew
up the party program under the guidance of the Bulgarian Communist, Georgii M. Dimitrov,
the Secretary General of the Comintern, who acted on instructions from Stalin.
The new party's task was to organize a "National Front" in German-occupied Poland. Therefore, the party program was formulated so as to attract maximum support. Of course, the PPRs real aim was to split the Polish Socialist and Polish Peasant Parties, which, along with all other underground parties, recognized the Polish Government in London.
Here we should note that the Polish underground state had come into existence in late
1939, along with its military units. These forces had united under one leadership by late 1940.
The underground movement organized sabotage of German-controlled war production in
occupied Poland, and, after the beginning of the German-Soviet war, sabotage of German
supply lines to the Soviet front. (The armed units of various political parties, except the PPR,
were united in 1942 in the Home Army (Armia Krajowa = A.K). At the same time, an
underground state was set up with various departments, including education since the
Germans forbade education for Poles above the elementary level, and even this was scarce.
There was also a prolific underground press, representing all shades of political opinion.
The Polish underground administration was headed by the delegate of the Polish Government in London. He chaired a Council made up of the representatives of the Polish Socialist, Peasant, Labor, Christian Democratic and, intermittently, the National Democratic Parties. (17) This administration recognized the Polish government in Paris, then London. In the meanwhile, the communists were absent, because their patron, the Soviet Union, was an ally of Hitler and, as everyone knew, carried out brutal killings and deportations in eastern Poland.
Thus, the PPR had a tall order to fill if it was to weaken the major parties, which recognized the Polish Government in London. To accomplish this task, the party had to convince public opinion that they were patriots fighting for Polish independence. Therefore, the PPR program -- drawn up in Moscow -- called for postwar land reform, free education, full employment and free medical care. This program was in fact, a combination of the well known programs of the Polish Socialist and Peasant Parties. Indeed, the PPR program was closest to the Polish Socialist Party's prewar program, which, however, included something omitted by the PRR, i.e., the nationalization of heavy industry. Thus, the PPR disguised its true mission by espousing goals popular with the vast majority of Poles, i.e., the recovery of independence plus economic-social reforms. PPR members sincerely supported these goals, but they planned to realize them in a communist Poland, a goal alien to the vast majority of Poles.
The first group of PPR leaders was parachuted onto the outskirts of Warsaw from a
Soviet plane at the end of December 1941. They brought along two radio transmitters --
which they lost in the snow -- and a microfilm of their political program, which they published
in early January 1942. However, most Poles saw the party as an instrument of Moscow.
Indeed, the Polish acronym "PPR" was read as "Polskie Pacholki Rosji," i.e., "Polish Flunkeys
of Russia." The PPR was insignificant until the summer of 1944, when the Red Army entered
what the Soviet government recognized as Polish territory, i.e., the land west of the Curzon
Turning now to official Polish-Soviet relations, we should note that they began to sour in early 1942. In January of that year, the Soviet government officially forbade recruitment into the Polish Army of former Polish citizens who were not ethnic Poles, i.e., Belorussians, Ukrainians and Jews. At the same time, the Soviet government referred to towns in former eastern Poland as "Soviet" towns. The Soviet authorities limited supplies for the army to the figure of 40,000 men, pleading lack of material but also insisting that Polish divisions be sent to the front when ready. The Polish government, for its part, wanted the army to fight as a whole, and not piecemeal .
It seems that the primary aim of Soviet harassment was to bring Sikorski to the
"negotiating table" with Stalin, i.e., to recognize Soviet claims to eastern Poland.
Furthermore, in July 1942, the Soviet authorities arrested most of the Polish delegates sent
out by the Polish embassy all over Russia to locate Polish citizens, feed them, and help the
able-bodied join the Polish Army. Although the Soviets charged these delegates with
"espionage," most were released after Anglo-American interventions, but they were not
allowed to continue their work.
In spring 1942, Stalin agreed to the withdrawal of the Polish Army to Iran, where the
British undertook to clothe and feed them. Sikorski opposed a total withdrawal, but General
Anders, who believed the army would not survive in the USSR, was on the spot and decided
the matter. The original idea was for the army to rest and re-equip in Iran, and then return to
fight in Russia. Thus, in May-August 1942, some 125,000 soldiers, women and children were
evacuated by ship across the Caspian Sea to the British zone of occupation in Iran. .
Despite Soviet opposition, the Poles managed to evacuate quite a few Polish citizens of Ukrainian, Belorussian and Jewish origin including Menachem Begin (1913-1992), the future Prime Minister of Israel. Though many civilians died of exhaustion and malnutrition in Iran, most of the soldiers survived. They went on to Palestine, where most of the Jews left the ranks to fight the British for an independent Jewish state. (Later, these soldiers formed the first cadres of the Israeli Army). The Polish Army then went on to fight the Germans in Italy as the Polish Second Corps, led by General Anders, but under overall British command in the British Eighth Army. They were to take Monte Cassino in May 1943, opening the way to Rome. (19)
In early February 1943, the Soviets won their great victory at Stalingrad (now
Volgagrad) on the lower Volga. This is rightly seen as the turning point of the war, for it was
the first shattering German defeat. Meanwhile, the Allies had landed in North Africa on
November 8, 1942. They defeated General Erwin Rommel's Afrika Korps. However, this
took far longer than expected, so the Allies did not land in Europe (Italy) until they invaded
Sicily in July 1943.
We know that at the time of the Stalingrad victory, Stalin began to implement his plans for Poland. In early January 1943, Wanda Wasilewska and the Polish communist ideologue, Alfred Lampe (1900-1943), had written a letter to Foreign Commissar Vyacheslav Molotov, suggesting it was perhaps time to create not only a new "progressive" Polish center in the USSR, but also to recruit Polish citizens for a new Polish army, though. it seems that at first they envisaged Polish units in the Red Army. At the same time, Colonel Zygmunt Berling (1896-1980), wanted to raise a new Polish Army. He had originally volunteered to serve in the Red Army when in the POW officer Camp in Starobielski 1940. In June 1941, he joined the Anders Army, but stayed in the USSR when the latter left for Iran in 1942.
The Wasilewska-Lampe letter to Molotov may have been "inspired" by Stalin.
Whatever the case may be, Wasilewska stated later in her taped memoirs that Stalin suddenly
called her to Moscow in early Feburary 1943, just as she was travelling to Stalingrad to cover
the victory there. Stalin told her he expected Soviet relations with the Polish Government in
London to break down soon. Therefore, he thought it was time to establish a new Polish
center and a new Polish army in the USSR. Stalin and Wasilewska "agreed" that the first step
was the establishment of a new Polish newspaper called Wolna Polska (Free Poland), whose
first number would appear on March 1, 1943. Stalin also proposed to name the new Polish
Center -- "The Union of Polish Patriots in the USSR" (in Polish: Zwiazek Patriotow Polskich
w ZSRR, Polish acronym: ZPP).
At about the same time, the PPR in German-occupied Poland called on the leadership
of the Polish underground to undertake "active resistance" against the Germans, i.e., major
military action. (The AK leadership and the Polish military leaders in London opposed this
as premature). The PPR also wanted the Polish underground leaders to condemn the "anti-Soviet" policy of prewar Poland, and to discuss the establishment of a new postwar Polish
government. Talks took place, but soon broke down when it became clear that what the PPR
really wanted was to infiltrate the Home Army Command and achieve at least a partial
disavowal by the latter of the Polish government in London.
Significantly, when the first number of Free Poland came out in Moscow on March
l, 1943, it attacked the Polish government in London for being "passive" toward the Germans
and for being "anti-Soviet. At the same time, however, while the Polish communist media in
the Soviet Union was speaking of an "ethnic" Polish-Soviet frontier, etc., the PPR press in
Poland did not discuss the future Polish-Soviet frontier. Instead, it propagated a Polish-Soviet
alliance and an "agreement" on the Polish-Soviet frontier. Indeed, the PPR clearly told the
Soviet leadership that it did not wish to present the future annexation of German territories
to Poland as "compensation" for losses in the east, but as Poland's just reward and "return"
to territories which had been Polish in the distant past, i.e., Silesia and East Prussia. Thus, the
PPR leaders in Poland did not openly advocate the new Polish-Soviet frontier as demanded
by Stalin, for fear of alienating their sympathizers. (20)
It is against the background of attacks on the Polish Government in London in the
Polish communist press, both in the USSR and in Poland, that we should see Stalin's decision
to break off relations with the London Poles, allegedly because of their reaction to the
German discovery of the mass graves of Polish officers in Katyn forest in mid-April 1943.
(b) The Katyn Massacre and the Break in Polish-Soviet Relations.
As mentioned earlier, when General Anders was forming the Polish Army in the USSR
in 1941-42, he could not find l5,000 Polish officers, NCOs, policemen, administrators, etc.
(Regular Army officers numbered some 8,000 of the missing 15,000; the others were
reservists with civilian professions: doctors, lawyers, professors, etc). These men and one
woman, a pilot, were taken prisoner by the Soviets in September 1939. After the re-establishment of Polish-Soviet relations in July 1914, many inquiries were made by the Polish
embassay, gen. Anders, and others, but no trace of the missing prisoners had been found. As
mentioned earlier, Stalin told Sikorski in early December 1941 that all the prisoners of war
had been released, and that some might have gone to Manchuria - which was under Japanese
The Polish authorities learned from survivors who had joined the Anders army, that
these prisoners had been held in three large camps: Ostashkov and Kozelsk, respectively north
and south of Smolensk in Belorussia, and Starobelsk, near Kharkov in eastern Ukraine. These
prisoners had corresponded with their families in German-occupied Poland, until contact
suddenly broke off in the spring of 1940, after which there was no sign of life..
On April 13, 1943, the Germans announced that they had discovered mass graves
containing the bodies of Polish officers in Katyn Forest, near Smolensk. Knowing that some
15,000 Polish officers were missing, the Germans claimed they had discovered l4,000 bodies,
though in fact only about 4,300 were actually found. The case of the missing officers was
widely known in the Polish Army. Also, thousands of relatives in German-occupied Poland
waited for news of their loved ones. Thus, the Polish Government had to react. It did not
blame the Soviets, but asked for an investigation by the International Red Cross. As it
happened, the German Government made the same proposal on its own. Stalin claimed that
the Polish Government was in cahoots with the Germans, and he broke off Polish-Soviet
relations in late April 1943.
Since the International Red Cross could not carry out an investigation without the
consent of the Soviet Government, and this consent was not forthcoming, the Germans
carried out their own investigation. They invited Allied officers -- prisoners of war -- German
and other forensic specialists, also members of the Polish Red Cross from German-occupied
Poland, to come to Katyn and examine the bodies.The records of this investigation - later
presented to the U.S. Congressional Commission of Inquiry into Katyn in 1951-52 - showed
that the victims buried at Katyn came from the Kozelsk camp. They had been killed between
March and May 1940, i.e., when the territory was in Soviet hands. The date of the crime was
established on the basis of: (a) letters, postcards and newspapers found on the bodies; (b) the
winter clothes of the some of the victims (spring is still cold in Belorussia); and (c) the fact
that the trees covering the graves had been transplanted there in spring 1940. It is true that
the bullets used to shoot the victims in the back of the head were German-made, but it was
known that they were exported to Russia before 1933. In any case, the rope with which the
victims's hands were tied behind their backs (when not tied with wire), was made in Russia.
The Germans also found other mass graves, notably at Vinnitsa, in S.W. Ukraine (Podilia region), dating back to the 1930s, with remains of Ukrainians and other Soviet citizens. They had all been killed in the same way, by a bullet in the back of the head. This was the standard NKVD method of liquidating "enemies of the people" and is still the method of execution in Russian prisons today. However, the victims found in Vinnitsa were Soviet citizens murdered by their own government, while the Poles were prisoners of war. Furthermore, they were not killed in the heat of battle, but several months after their capture.
In April 1943, the Soviet government stated that the Katyn graves were on an
"archaeological site" - but also claimed that the Germans had committed the crime. It
carried out its own investigation when the front reached Katyn in early 1944. The Soviet
Burdenko commission claimed the victims had been killed in summer 1941 by the Germans
and even produced a few postcards dating from the summer of 1941. ( We now know these
came from later groups Polish prisoners held in Kozelsk in 1941, before the German
invasion). However, when the Soviet prosecutor at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials tried
to pin the crime on certain German officers, he failed to prove his case. The matter was not
pursued by the British and American prosecutors for fear of straining relations with the
Soviets. Therefore, evidence provided by the former Polish Government in London was not
admitted at the trials.
Nevertheless, a great deal was known as early as 1943 about the background of the
massacres. This knowledge came from the testimony of Polish officers who were in the
Kozelsk and Starobelsk camps, but were selected for survival (around 400) - either because
they volunteered for the Red Army, or because the NKVD judged for some reason that they
would be useful to Moscow. Most joined the Anders Army and left for Iran in 1942. In one
case, a survivor (Professor Swianiewicz) was taken off the train at Katyn station, because he
had been earmarked for a separate trial.
It was known that NKVD officers had spent some time in the three camps in the
period October 1939-spring 1940, passing out questionnaires, interrogating the prisoners, and
compiling detailed dossiers on each prisoner. The Polish officers were asked to state whether
they had relatives in the West, to which most had answered "yes." (They did not know that
Soviet authorities saw this as tantamount to treason). They were also asked whether they
would serve in the Red Army, or preferred to join the Polish army in France, or their
families in German-occupied Poland. Again, most answered no to the Red Army and "yes"
to the other alternatives, since they could not see themselves serving in the army of Hitler's
Ally. They did not know that such statements would brand them as spies, "counter-revolutionaries," and in general, enemies of the Soviet people.
It is possible that if Hitler had invaded France a little earlier, there might not have been
a massacre. Indeed, in mid- June 1940, when France was collapsing and the Soviets marched
into the Baltic states, they found some 1,000 Polish officers interned in Lithuania. These
officers were not killed but sent to to a transit camp in Russia to join the 400 survivors of
Kozelsk and Starobelsk. (Ostashkov held mainly frontier guards, police and administrators.
There was only one known survivor, who passed himself off as a private from western
Poland. He was transferred to the Germans in late 1939. Some soldiers in Kozielsk and
Starobielsk, who came from western Poland, were exchanged in fall 1939 for Ukrainian and
Belorussian soldiers in the Polish army taken prisoner in September 1939 The Germans put
the Poles in military concentration camp.The fate of the Ukrainians and Belorussians is
unknown to this author, but coming from service in the Polish army they wre most likely
treated as suspect and either sent to labor camps or put in "stroibataliony," special Red Army
battalions which built trenches etc. under enemy fire).
The swift fall of France surprised and shocked Stalin, and he most likely decided that Polish officers would come in useful at some future date. It is curious, that on June 18, 1940, a Polish journalist in London, who was also a Soviet agent (but this was unknown at the time), proposed to General Sikorski the raising of a new Polish Army in Russia in return for his recognition of a new Polish-Soviet frontier and other concessions. He even drafted a memorandum on these lines for General Sikorski to present to Prime Minister Winston Churchill, but on the Polish ambassador's advice the General decided it was unacceptable and did not use it. Still, he did express readiness to "discuss" eventual frontier changes with the Soviets. However, as mentioned earlier, nothing came of this idea at the time and there was a crisis in the Polish government. (21)
The Soviet Union was never officially indicted or condemned for the Katyn massacre. The nearest step to it was the U.S. Congressional Inquiry of 1951-52, which, after hearing many witnesses and examining the available evidence, concluded that the Soviets had committed the crime. In 1956-57, it was rumoured in Poland that Nikita Khrushchev had proposed to First Secretary of the Polish Party Wladyslaw Gomulka (1905-1985) that the blame for the massacre be placed on Lavrenty P. Beria, head of the NKVD in 1938-53. (Beria was executed by the new Soviet leadership in September 1953). Gomulka allegedly refused, saying the Polish party had stuck for so long with the official Soviet version, i.e., that the Germans were to blame, that it would lose face. However, no documents have as yet come to light to confirm this story.
Finally, when Mikhail S. Gorbachev's policy of "glasnost," (openness) got under way in the USSR in 1987, and Stalin's crimes were openly discussed and condemned, the Polish government pressed Moscow to investigate the matter. In the spring of that year, an agreement was reached between Gorbachev and General Wojciech Jaruzelski, then head of the Polish Party, to fill in some of the "blank spots" in the history of Polish-Soviet relations.
In late August 1987, Jaruzelski himself, who was then an enthusiastic supporter of
Gorbachev, said the Soviet invasion of Poland in September 1939 was an action contrary to
Poland's right to independence.
A Polish-Soviet historical commission, made up of party historians, was set up in
1987 to study the "blank spots" in Polish-Soviet relations. However, the head of the Soviet
contingent refused to admit Soviet guilt, saying that documentary evidence was missing.
Therefore, the final report disappointed Polish public opinion. In the meanwhile, the Polish
government's spokesman, Jerzy Urban, admitted publicly in March 1989, that all available
evidence pointed to Soviet guilt. Then a Soviet historian reported finding traces of the crime
in Soviet archives and relatives of the dead officers were permitted to travel to Katyn in
1987.The Cardinal Primate of Poland, Jozef Glemp, visited the site in late summer 1988.
Articles in the Soviet press cited NKVD documents proving the Poles had been killed
not by the Germans but by the NKVD.The official Soviet admission of guilt came on April
13, 1990, exactly forty-seven years after the German announcement on finding the Katyn
graves, Gorbachev gave General Jaruzelski, then visiting Moscow, copies of NKVD lists of
the names of Polish officers, NCOs, border guards and others massacred in spring 1940. The
total number of names given to Jaruzelski was 14,793, of which 4,420 were from Kozelsk,
6,342 from Ostashkov, and 4,031 from Starobelsk. Jaruzelski then paid his first visit to the
grave site at Katyn. A Polish priest said a mass for the dead, and a Polish honor guard fired
salvos in honor of the victims.
However, Polish opinion demanded to know where the victims of Ostashkov and
Starobelsk were buried. On June 19, 1990, Soviet authorities revealed that the Ostashkov
victims were buried at Mednoye, near Kalinin -- now again called Tver -- about 120 miles
north of Moscow. They also stated that the Starobelsk victims had been shot in the cellars
of the NKVD prison in Kharkov and were buried in a wood outside that city. In July, it was
agreed that Polish representatives would be present at the exhumation of these victims and
at their official burial. Exhumations began and memorials were built.
One more question remained: did Stalin order the massacres? If so, was there a
document to prove this? This question was finally answered in October 1992, when the head
of Soviet Archives, Dr. Rudolf Pikhoia, on the orders of President Boris Yeltsin, presented
the Polish government with copies of the incriminating document, plus many others detailing
the Soviet cover-up over the years. The originals had been kept in sealed packets in the
Kremlin Presidential Archive. Yeltsin claimed Gorbachev had willfully concealed the
documents, while Gorbachev claimed he had first seen them when he was resigning and
transferring the archive to Yeltsin in December 1991.
The key document is an official typewritten letter from NKVD chief Lavrentii Beria
to the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and addressed to
Stalin. It is dated March 5, 1940. A translation of key parts of the text is given below:
The NKVD camps for prisoners of war and the prisons of the western
regions of Ukraine and Belorussia now hold large numbers of former Polish
army officers, former members of the Polish police and intelligence service,
members of Polish nationalist, c-r (counter-revolutionary) parties, members
of uncovered c-r insurgent organizations, etc. All are determined enemies of
Soviet power, full of hate for the Soviet system of government.
The prisoners of war and policemen in the camps are trying to
continue their c-r activities and carry on anti-Soviet agitation. Each of them
is only waiting for liberation in order to have the opportunity of actively
participating in a war against Soviet power.
The NKVD organs in western Ukraine and Belorussia disovered a series of c-r insurgent organizations. In all these c-r organizations, the lead role was played by former Polish army officers, and police officers.
(According to Beria, 11, 000 such people were held in NKVD prisons).
After this, Beria gave the numbers and ranks of officers, officials, etc., and proposed
Taking into account that all of them are hardened enemies of Soviet power,
and do not show any promise of improvement, the NKVD of the USSR
considers it absolutely necessary that the NKVD be instructed to . . . review
all these cases in a special procedure [ie. without even presenting charges] and
to apply to them the highest punishment. [death by shooting] . . . .
This document bears the signatures -- written across the text -- of Stalin, Voroshilov,
Molotov and Mikoyan; there is also a note in the margin: Kalinin -- for (the motion),
Kaganovich -- for. (22)Therefore, the document was approved by the Politburo, not by the
much larger Central Committee..
With the publication of this document, the murder of the Poles held in the Kozelsk, Ostashkov and Starobelsk camps was finally admitted and the criminals were identified. However, some nationalistic Russian journalists still claim today that the documents handed by Pikhoia to the Polish government are fakes, and that the truth was published by the Burdenko commission in 1944, which blamed the Germans. (22a) Also, many thousands of other Poles deported from Poland to the USSR in 1940-41 and in 1944-50 from Poland, Ukraine and the Baltic states, are still unaccounted for.
5. The Polish Question, April 1943 - August 1, 1944.
On July 4, 1943, General Sikorski was killed in a plane crash just off Gibraltar, as he was returning to Britain from a tour of the Polish Second Army Corps in the Middle East.
His daughter and all his travel companions perished. Only the Czech pilot, who had flown Sikorski on many trips, survived because he was able to open his cockpit, put on a mayvest and jump into the sea. (The bodies of Sikorski and most of his companions were found, but not that of his daughter).
It has never been established whether this was an accident, due to some mechanical malfunction, or the result of sabotage. There was a Polish Commission of Inquiry, and also a British one. The latter declared that there was no evidence of sabotage, but could not establish the cause of the crash. However, the Czech pilot, who was the only one to survive, always claimed that the elevator controls of his Liberator jammed and caused the catastrophe.
The Soviet government had the strongest motive to kill General Sikorski because
he refused to agree to the new Polish-Soviet frontier as demanded by Stalin. His refusal was
a great obstacle to the Soviet dictator because he was recognized and respected as Poland's
leader not only by the vast majority of Poles, but also by Churchill and Roosevelt. At the
same time, he was the object of vicious attacks by the Polish communist press in the USSR
and in German-occupied Poland. After his death, however, the communist press touted him
as a wise statesman who wanted good relations with the USSR, but was "misled" by his
advisers. Of course, dead heroes are very convenient for they cannot speak.
It is worth noting that when Sikorski was at Gibraltar, the British governor, General
Mason McFarlane, was hosting the Soviet ambassador to Britain, Ivan Maiskii, and his suite,
who were on their way to Russia. (McFarlane managed to keep the two groups apart). More
importantly perhaps, Kim Philby, a high official in British Military Intelligence, (M.I .5), was
also at Gibraltar. Many years later, he was unmasked as a Soviet spy and fled to the Soviet
Union in 1963. (He died in Moscow in 1988). Finally, Sikorski's plane may have been badly
guarded; indeed, by at least one account the guards were asleep on the night of July 3-4th.
Thus, sabotage was possible. For example, someone might have put sand or sugar on the gear
lines, or in the gas. If that was the case, either one would have dissolved in the water leaving
no trace. In 1993, Polish computer experts conducted a computerized investigation,
concluding that the crash could not have been an accident. (23)
The new Polish Prime Minister was Stanislaw Mikolajczyk (pronounced: Stanislav
Meekolaychyk, 1901-1966). He was the emigre head of the largest political party in prewar
Poland, the Peasant Party, and had been Deputy Prime Minister under Sikorski. Mikolajczyk
was very anxious to re-establish good relations with Stalin, just as Sikorski had been. But just
like Sikorski, he could not afford to simply accept Soviet frontier demands. Neither Polish
opinion, nor the Polish Army would accept such a solution, especially the soldiers and officers
of Anders' Second Corps, most of whom came from eastern Poland, and had survived Soviet
prisons and labor camps.
Meanwhile, Stalin was implementing his own plans for Poland. On July 12-13, 1943,
the first unit of the new Polish Army in Russia came into existence. This was the Kosciuszko
Division, recruited like the Anders Army, from the masses of Poles deported to the USSR.
The division was led by former Colonel, now General Zygmunt Berling - a man of great
ambition - but controlled by the Union of Polish Patriots (ZPP). It had its baptism of fire
at the Battle of Lenino, in Belorussia, on October 12-13, 1943. The division fought bravely,
but lost around one-third of its manpower when ordered by a Soviet general to attack
strongly fortified German positions - and then failed to give sufficient artillery support.
Nevertheless, recruitment proceeded quickly, the losses were soon made up and new
divisions were formed. At this time, the future General Jaruzelski, then twenty years old,
joined this army. (As noted earlier, he and his family had been deported to the USSR. His
father died after release from a labor camp, but he, his mother and sister survived. As the
general told this author in 1994 - they had been helped by Russians as poor and needy as
themselves. The general recalled this help with gratitude and affection for those Russians).
Since Polish officers were scarce, most of the ones in the new army were Russians.
Many had Polish names and had been selected for this reason. (They were the Russified
descendants of Polish exiles, deported to Russia in the 19th century). The soldiers were
subjected to intensive "political re-education" by Polish communists, who served as political
officers. They told the men that prewar Poland had been "feudal," reactionary and "anti-Soviet," and that Poland's future lay in close alliance with her real friend, Soviet Russia. At
the same time, the men were given Polish uniforms and had Polish chaplains. General
Berling's goal was to make this army - and thus himself - the decisive force in postwar Poland.
This brought him into conflict with the political leaders of the Union of Polish Patriots, who
conducted a purge of his supporters. However, Berling himself was not shelved until late
1944. Now let us turn to the Great Powers and their policy decisions concerning postwar
Great Powers' Policy on Postwar Poland.
The first Big Three Conference, i.e. between Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin, was held
at Tehran, Iran, on November 28-December 1, 1943. The three leaders discussed war strategy
and devoted much time to discussing the future of Poland. Many historians see the conference
as decisive for the future of Poland and Eastern Europe. They are right in so far as Churchill
and Roosevelt told Stalin they supported his demands for eastern Poland, the Baltic states,
etc. But we should note that the two statesmen had made up their minds on these issues as
far back as the spring of 1942, when the British were negotiating an alliance with Molotov
in London. Although Churchill and Roosevelt did not recognize Soviet claims at that time
for fear of public outrage, they nonetheless believed them justified. Soviet victories at
Stalingad and Kursk confirmed this belief.
To understand the decisions made at Tehran, we must also look at the immediate
background of the conference. Roosevelt and Churchill had decided in August 1943, at the
First Quebec Conference (Canada) that everything must be done to keep Russia friendly. The
dominant U.S. thinking was boldly set out in a paper drawn up by Major General James
Burns, head of President Roosevelt's Soviet Protocol Committee and sent to Roosevelt's
closest adviser, Harry Hopkins, who took it with him to Quebec.. Here we read:
Russia's post-war position in Europe will be a dominant one. With Germany
crushed, there is no power in Europe to oppose her tremendous military
forces. It is true that Great Britain is building up a position in the
Mediterranean vis-a-vis Russia which she might find useful in balancing power
in Europe. However, even here she may not be able to oppose Russia unless
she is otherwise supported.
The conclusions from the foregoing are obvious. Since Russia is the decisive factor in the war, she must be given every assistance and every effort must be made to obtain her friendship. Likewise, since without question she will dominate Europe on the defeat of the Axis, it is even more essential to develop and maintain the most friendly relations with Russia.
Finally, the most important factor the U.S. has to consider in relation to Russia
is the prosecution of the war in the Pacific. With Russia as an ally in the war
against Japan, the war can be terminated in less time and at less expense in life
and resources than if the reverse were the case. Should war in the Pacific have to
be carried on with an unfriendly or a negative attitude on the part of Russia,
the difficulties would be immeasurably increased and operations might
The American Joint Chiefs of Staff did not go so far, but they recommended the
Western allies concentrate their military action in Western Europe, and use their position
there to bargain with the Soviets for a compromise peace settlement and for U.S. participation
in the occupation of Germany. (24) At the same time, Eastern Europe was recognized as a
Soviet war theater.
Roosevelt,'s views seem to have been expressed in the Burns paper. Indeed, the
President elaborated them in a conversation with Francis Spellman, archbishop of Boston
(later cardinal) on September 3, 1943. (He was Roosevelt's point man with the Catholic
Bishops of the U.S.). According to Spellman's notes - cited in a biography published in 1962 -
Roosevelt said that Stalin would certainly get Finland, the Baltic states, eastern Poland, and
Bessarabia. The President also said "There is no point to oppose the desires of Stalin, because
he has the power to get them anyhow. So better give in gracefully." He claimed that the
population of eastern Poland "wants to become Russified." (He must have meant that the
Belorussians and Ukrainians of former eastern Poland wanted to belong to the USSR, but this
was not the case, A.C.). He also thought Austria, Hungary and Croatia (all of which sided
with Germany in the war), would have communist regimes. Communism, said the President,
might also expand to other states, but what could the U.S. do about it? Here Cardinal
Spellman recorded Roosevelt's opinion as follows:
It is natural that the European countries will have to undergo
tremendous changes in order to adapt to Russia, but he hopes that in ten or
twenty years the European influences would bring the Russians to become
Furthermore, Roosevelt said that the "Big Four," i.e. U.S., Great Britain, Russia and China, would reach an agreement to divide the world into spheres of influence: China would get the Far East; the U.S. would get the Pacific; Britain and Russia would get Europe and Africa, but Russia would probably predominate in Europe. (25) Thus, in September 1943, Roosevelt was contemplating Russian domination of postwar Eastern and Central Europe, and even perhaps most of Europe - if this was the price to pay for Soviet help in defeating Germany and Japan.
Spellman's notes have been ignored by historians, presumably because no other record of this conversation has been found, also because his papers are still closed. However, it is supported by information available from other sources. The Burns paper for Hopkins and the American Joint Chiefs of Staff views at the Quebec Conference of August 1943, confirm the general tenor of Roosevelt's statements as noted by Spellman , i.e. that the President was determined not to cross Stalin, even if this meant acquiescing to Soviet domination over Eastern and Central Europe, and perhaps Western Europe as well. (26).
This was in early September 1943, and the Red Army did not move into Eastern Europe until July-September 1944. (It did,however, cross the prewar Polish-Soviet frontier in January 1944),
In October 1943, a Foreign Ministers' Conference was held in Moscow. U.S.
Secretary of State Cordell Hull met there with British Foreign Secretary, Anthony Eden and
Soviet Foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov. The U.S. ambassador in Moscow, W. Averell
Harriman, also participated. The Russians were told they would get a zone of occupation
in East Germany. Stalin agreed to Hull's "Four Power Declaration on Postwar Europe," and
promised to help defeat Japan after Germany was crushed. Eden tried hard to get some Soviet
assurances for an independent Poland after the establishment of the new Polish-Soviet frontier
according to Stalin's demands, but he received no help from Hull. The U.S. now took the
position that Polish-Soviet relations were the exclusive concern of the two parties involved.
Stalin knew that things were moving his way. No wonder he was very pleased when Hull told
him the Soviets would occupy East Germany. He took Hull's hand in both of his own and
Hull - a southern gentleman - was so impressed with Stalin's reasonableness and
affability that he wrote in his memoirs: "I thought to myself that any American having Stalin's
personality and approach might well reach high public office in my own country." On his
return to Washington, Hull told Polish Ambassador Jan Ciechanowski that the USSR was
strategically in a very advantageous position while the Allies still had no armed forces in
Central Europe, and thus no means of supporting their arguments. (27) Perhaps he did not
know that Roosevelt and the American Joint Chiefs of Staffs adamantly opposed commiting
allied forces to a front in the Balkans, with the possibiity of later reaching Central and Eastern
Europe. But if he did know, he did not tell Ciechanowski.
At this time, Stalin finally agreed to meet with Roosevelt and Churchill in Tehran, the
capital of Iran. Churchill went to the Tehran Conference determined to solve the "Polish
Question." His goal was to obtain Stalin's agreement to compensate the Poles with former
German territories in return for Soviet annexation of eastern Poland. Of course, he knew that
Stalin had proposed this as far back as December 1941 (Eden-Stalin talks). But Churchill also
wanted Stalin's recognition of Polish independence. This was extremely important for
Churchill, since Britain had gone to war in defense of Poland's independence. He knew
British opinion would be very critical of any agreement that threatened Polish independence.
On November 28th, at Theran, Churchill secretly proposed to Stalin that Poland should "move westward like soldiers taking two steps 'left close,'" i.e. that she be shifted bodily to the west. Stalin, of course, agreed and said that Poland's western frontier would be on the Oder Rriver. Churchill said he was sure he could "hammer out" something along these lines with the London Poles. He hoped this would lead to the resumption of relations between Moscow and the Polish government in London.
Roosevelt talked secretly to Stalin on December 1st. FDR told the Soviet dictator
that U.S. presidential elections were due in late 1944, and that he might have to run again.
There were, he told Stalin, some 6 to 7 million Americans of Polish extraction and "as a
practical man, he did not wish to lose their vote." Therefore, although he agreed with Stalin's
position on Poland's boundaries, he could not participate in any decisions; nor could he
"publicly" take part in any "arrangement" before the end of 1944, i.e, until after the elections.
Stalin said he understood. Roosevelt assured Stalin that he did not intend to go to war with
the Soviet Union over Poland or other territories. However, he thought American opinion
would favor a "referendum" sometime after the Russians had "liberated" the area. He said he
believed the people would vote to join the Soviet Union anyway. Stalin replied he
"understood" the President's position, but if any referendum did take place, no international
control would be allowed.
The Tehran Conference confirmed Churchill's proposal on Poland, to which Roosevelt
gave his tacit assent. It was agreed that eastern Poland would go to the USSR, while Poland
would get East Prussia and a western frontier on the Oder River. (This was then understood
to mean the whole of Upper Silesia, but not the territory stretching north of it to the Baltic
Sea at Stettin, Polish: Szczecin). At the same time, it was understood that Russia would get
the Baltic states, Bukovina, and Bessarabia (the last two from Romania). Also, it was agreed
that the Soviet occupation zone in Germany would extend to the Elbe River. The Western
powers committed themselves to land their armies in France in May 1944, and Stalin
promised to help by launching an offensive at the same time on the Eastern Front. He also
confirmed his promise of aid against Japan, once Germany had been defeated in Europe.
In return, he demanded the restoration of Russian territories taken by Japan in 1905, i.e.,
southern Sakhalin Island and the Kurile Islands. (The first was lost to Japan in 1905, while
the second had been Russian from the 18th century to 1875, then Japanese). Finally, Churchill
failed to get Stalin's agreement to an Allied landing in the northern Balkans from Italy, to
proceed thence to Vienna. Churchill, who wished to keep the Russians out of Central Europe,
received no support from Roosevelt for this proposal. (28)
The Tehran agreements, and the Red Army's rapid approach to the prewar Polish-Soviet frontier led the Polish PPR (communist) leadership in German-occupied Poland to
abandon its attempts to build a broad "national front coalition -- which seemed unrealistic
anyway -- and establish the embryo of a bogus nationa legislature. On the night of December
3l, 1943-January 1, 1944, the PPR leaders and a handful of radical socialists created the
Home National Council (Krajowa Rada Narodowa, acronym: KRN). The non-communists
replied soon thereafter with the establishment of the Council of National Unity (Rada
Jednosci Narodowej, acronym: RJN), which was a succesor to previous such bodies and, like
them, loyal to the Polish government in London. The communist-led KRN claimed to
represent the Polish people. In fact, it was made up of communists and a few radical socialists
willing to cast in their lot with the PPR.
The Soviet leadership did not seem to know about the creation of the KRN -though
some Polish historians think Soviet agents in Warsaw sent the news. Whatever the case may
be, a few days earlier a "Polish National Committee" was created in Moscow (December 24,
1943). Thismight have been due to a breakdown in direct radio communication between
Moscow and the PPR leadership in Poland after the Gestapo arrest in November of its key
leader P. Finder, along with Bierut's common law Malgorza Fornalska. Each had half of the
PPR-Moscow radio code.. Or Stalin may have preferred a Polish body of this kind under his
direct control, since he did not trust the new leader of the PPR, Wladyslaw Gomulka (1905-1982) - whom he had not nominated for the post. (Gomulka told t his author in June 1980
that this was the reason why Stalin had always distrusted him). Also, a "Central Bureau of
Polish Communists" was established in Moscow, ostensibly to coordinate the activities of the
PPR in Poland, with those of the Union of Polish Patriots and its army in the USSR. Thus,
Stalin was preparing his own Polish government and army to rival the ones in the West.
The news of the PPR-led KRN, was first suppressed in the Soviet press, until Stalin
had vetted it and the new PPR leader through a group of armed agents sent to Poland for that
purpose. He then decided to scrap the Polish National Committee. However, he might have
had another reason to do this - for he received an indirect warning from the U.S. (28a)
Whatever the case may be, he scrapped the Polish National Committee in Moscow and began
to support the KRN. As we will see, a KRN delegation arrived in Moscow in May. (It was
joined by more members a little later). In late June 1944, the bogus Home National Council
(KRN) was recognized by the Soviet government and the Union of Polish Patriots as the "true
representative" of the Polish people.
Returning now to Western-Soviet dealings over Poland, we should note that Churchill woked very hard to find a compromise between the Polish and Soviet governments. In fact, he at first supported Mikolajczyk's view that the Curzon line of 1920 (see ch. 2, section on the Polish-Soviet War) should be recognized not as the final Polish-Soviet frontier, but as a temporary "demarcation line" between Soviet and Polish administrations pending negotiations and a final decision at the postwar peace conference.
Stalin, however, rejected these proposals and insisted that the Polish government immediately
recognize his proposed Soviet-Polish frontier. He also insisted that the Polish government in
London be "reorganized" by dropping allegedly "pro-Fascist imperialists," i.e. exclude those
who opposed Soviet demands.
Mikolajczyk knew that his government could not accept these terms without being
repudiated by the vast majority of Poles at home and abroad. At the same time, he and a few
close supporters secretly continued to tell Churchill they would accept the establishment of
a demarcation line between the Soviet and Polish administrations. It was to run between the
Treaty of Riga frontier of 1921 and the Ribbentrop-Molotov line of September 28, 1939.
However, the cities of Wilno and Lwow were to be left on the Polish side of the line. In
effect, Mikolajczyk and his supporters in the Polish government were willing to give up all of
eastern Poland except those two cities. They would accept a demarcation line between Polish
and Soviet administrations, but insisted on the postponement of final negotiations until the
peace conference. This was not enough for Stalin, however; it seems that he wanted to split
the Polish government by getting Mikolajczyk and his Peasant Party to accept his demands
and join the Home National Council (KRN). If this did not happen, Stalin could develop this
council into a Polish government of his own.
When Stalin rejected Churchill's proposal along the lines proposed by Mikolajczyk,
the Polish Premier told Churchill that he and his key supporters would personally accept the
Curzon line as the future Polish-Soviet frontier -- though leaving Wilno and Lwow in Poland
-- even though the rest of the Polish Cabinet oppposed it, as did the non-communist Council
of National Unity (RJN) in German-occupied Poland. Churchill could transmit Mikolajczyk's
proposals to Stalin, and say that Mikolajczyk would not disavow his positive attitude later.
But this was confidential and no public statement was possible until negotiations took place
at the end of the war.
Having sent these proposals to Stalin, Churchill made an important statement in the House of Commons on February 22, 1944. He said that Soviet demands on Poland did not go "beyond the limits of what was reasonable and just." He recalled the British proposal of July 1920, i.e. the Curzon line, and also said Britain had never approved of the Polish occupation of Wilno (by General Zeligowski in October 1920). In return for territorial concessions to the USSR, Poland was to be compensated at Germany's expense. After this speech - in which Churchill signalled that Britian would not insiste on Wilno remaining in Poland - Stalin wrote Churchill refusing Mikolajczyk's proposal as transmitted by the British Prime Minister, and again insisted the Polish government must recognize the Curzon line as the eastern frontier, as well as "reorganize" itself as he had demanded.
Meanwhile, President Roosevelt was following his own policy on Poland, which
undercut Churchill's efforts. Thus, FDR took up Molotov's hint to Ambassador Averill
Harriman in January 1944, that a new Polish government might include three Polish-Americans: The first was Professor Oskar Lange, a well known left-wing economist and
radical Polish Socialist (who became a U.S. citizen in 1943) teaching at the University of
Chicago, who supported Polish cooperation with the Soviet Union. The second was Father
Stanislas Orlemanski, a Polish-American parish priest in Massachusetts, who had organized
the "Kosciuszko League" in support of the Kosciuszko Division in the USSR; and the third
was Leo Krzycki, President of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America, who was
Roosevelt, who was most anxious to settle the Polish problem before the U.S.
Presidential elections in November, seems to have given indirect support to Lange from
January 1944 onward. He then acceded to Stalin request and allowed Lange and Orlemanski
to travel to Russia as "private persons" to explore the possibility of a new Polish government
with Stalin and the Union of Polish Patriots. (Leo Krzycki did not go). In May, Lange and
Orlemanski flew separately to Moscow via Alaska, then continued on Soviet military planes,
and stayed a few weeks. As it happened, they also met with the delegates of the PPR-led
Home National Council (KRN), the first of whom made their way to Moscow through the
German-Soviet front, and arrived in the Soviet capital in late May. The two Polish-Americans
and the members of the KRN delegation also met with the British and American ambassadors
When the Lange-Orlemanski trip was reported in the U.S. press, there was a
tremendous outcry from the Polish-American community, whose leaders established The
Polish-American Congress. When it first met in late May 1944, it condemned Lange and
Orlemanski and expressed its support for the Polish government in London. Since the
Congress would have a great influence on most Polish-American voters, Roosevelt decided
to receive Mikolajczyk in Washington and thus make a show of support for the Polish
government so as to appease the Polish-Americans. He also wanted to persuade the Polish
statesman to travel to Moscow and negotiation with Stalin. Finally, Mikolajczyk had been
asking to see the President since January 1944..
Before Mikolajczyk left Britain, he had some seemingly promising talks with Victor
Lebedev, the Soviet ambassador to all the exiled governments in London, including the Poles.
In these secret talks, attended also by Stanislaw Grabski, the head of the Polish National
Council (surrogate parliament in London), Lebedev encouraged Mikolajczyk to believe that
Stalin was willing to conclude an agreement on the lines proposed by the Polish Premier -
which he had previously rejected. Grabski continued these talks when Mikolajczyk flew to
the United States with the goal of securing Roosevelt's support for his proposals.
However, Roosevelt tried to persuade Mikolajczyk, whom he received in the White
House on June 6, 1944 (D-Day for Allied landings in northern France), to travel to Moscow
and accept the Soviet demands, i.e. to give up eastern Poland and "reorganize" the Polish
government. In return, the President promised to try to persuade Stalin to leave Lwow and
the adjoining Drohobycz and Borysow oil fields in Poland. At the same time, Mikolajczyk was
pressured by the American authorities to see Oskar Lange, who had just returned from
Russia. When they met, Lange told him that Stalin was ready to give Poland East Prussia,
except for Koenigsberg, later Kaliningrad, as well as German lands up to the Oder river,
including Stettin (now Szczecin) but excluding Breslau (now Wroclaw).
Mikolajczyk returned to London, hopeful that Poland would have U.S. support at
least to keep Lwow. When he met again with with Soviet Ambassador Lebedev, he proposed
full Polish-Soviet cooperation, also a division between Polish and Soviet administrations
along the Curzon line, though leaving Wilno, Lwow, and the oil fields on the Polish side, and
postponing frontier changes for negotiations after the war. However, three days later, on June
23rd, Lebedev made the same Soviet demands as before, this time on a "take it or leave it"
basis. Mikolajczyk could not accept them. It is possible that Stalin ordered Lebedev to take
this stand because he knew that FDR would not support Mikolajczyk? In fact, Roosevelt had
informed Stalin on June 17th, that no proposal affecting Polish-Soviet relations had been
drawn up in his talks with Mikolajczyk and that he, Roosevelt, stood by the Tehran agreement
on the Polish-Soviet frontier. (This agreement left all of former eastern Poland to the USSR,
while Poland was to be compensated with German territory. Mikolajczyk was not officially
informed). In his message to Stalin, he President also hinted that Mikolajczyk wanted to talk
with the Soviet leader in Moscow - which was what Roosevelt wanted him to do.
In this connection, it is significant that even the PPR in occupied Poland resisted
Moscow's pressure to publicly recognize the Curzon line as Poland's eastern frontier. Also,
Oskar Lange - who fully supported Polish-Soviet cooperation and acted as go between on
Polish affairs between Roosevelt and Stalin - tried to persuade the Soviet dictator to leave
Lwow on the Polish side of the frontier. Thus, like Mikolajczyk, the Polish communists and
their sympathizers realized that most Poles would reluctantly accept the loss of eastern
Poland, but only if Poland kept Lwow and Wilno, or at least Lwow.
Stalin refused to consider this. He now ordered the Union of Polish Patriots to
recognize the communist-controlled Home National Council (KRN) -- whose delegates were
in Moscow -- as the "true representative" of the Polish people. It was likely no coincidence
that this recognition was announced on the very same day on which Mikolajczyk had rejected
Stalin's demands as transmitted by Lebedev to Moscow from London, i.e, on June 23, 1944.
As mentioned above, Roosevelt had assured Stalin after Mikolajczyk's departure that nothing
had changed in U.S. policy since Tehran. (29) It is possible, therefore, that FDR's assurance
helped Stalin decide this was the time to end the Lebedev-Mikolajczyk talks in London and
have the Union of Polish Patriots recognize the bogus KRN as the only representative of the
Polish people. This was a definite step toward creating a new Polish administration.
On July 22, 1944, the Red Army crossed the Bug River and began moving into what
Stalin recognized as Polish territory. On that day, the Polish Committee of National
Liberation (Polski Komitet Wyzwolenia Narodowego, Polish acronym: PKWN), proclaimed
its existence in the city of Chelm and issued a "manifesto" to the Polish people. The manifesto
(sometimes called the "Lublin Manifesto," because the PKWN immediately moved to that
city), was very carefully worded so as to attract maximum support in Poland. It promised land
reform and new Polish frontiers in the west. As for the Polish-Soviet frontier, the manifesto
stated it was to be settled on the basis of "self-determination.."This gave the false impression
that it might be decided by a plebiscite, thus leaving the predominantly Polish areas,
especially Lwow and Wilno, in Poland.
Many years later, it came to light that the Polish Committee of National Liberation (PKWN) was formed not in Chelm, but in Moscow, and that its manifesto was worked out there by the delegates of the Home National Council (KRN) and the executive committee of the Union of Polish Patriots (ZPP) under the close supervision of Stalin and Molotov. It was also at this time, i.e. on July 24-26th, that Poland's frontiers were actually negotiated by the members of the PKWN delegation and Stalin. The PKWN members then flew to Lublin on July 27th.
Meanwhile, Mikolajczyk decided to go to Moscow for talks. He was on his way there
by plane, via Tehran, when he learned of the Manifesto of the Polish Committee for National
Liberation. Nonetheless, he decided to go on. He arrived in Moscow at the end of July and
was in the Soviet capital when an uprising broke out against the Germans in Warsaw.
6. The Tragedy of the Warsaw Rising. August 1 - October 2, 1944.
Before discussing this tragedy and its role in Soviet and Polish policies, we should
note that the Polish Home Army had orders from the Polish government in London to
cooperate with the Red Army. Therefore, as the Red Army advanced westward, Home Army
units came out into the open, helping the Soviets fight the Germans on the territories of
former eastern Poland. Thus, Home Army actions manifestated the Polish claim to these
lands. (For example, the eastern units of the Home Army had a significant input into liberating
Wilno). On each occasion, the Red Army accepted cooperation, but then arrested the officers
and men, ordering them to join the Polish Army commanded by Berling. The officers who
refused were either shot or deported to Russia, while the rank and file were forcibly
conscripted into the Berling army. In fact, "Smersh" (death to traitors) NKVD units had
orders to do this. No wonder that Home Army units resisted and retreated westward.
Just before Mikolajczyk left London on his trip to Moscow, the Polish government
decided to leave the timing of an uprising against the Germans in Warsaw to the Commander-in-Chief of the Home Army, General Tadeusz Bor-Komorowski. The original plan was for
the Home Army to rise up consecutively in different parts of the country, just as the
Germans were pulling out . Warsaw and other big cities were not to rise so as to avoid
civilian losses. In summer 1944, however, there was a new situation which had both military
and political aspects.
From the military point of view, both the Polish government and the Home Army
Command now assumed the Russians would soon enter Warsaw. The city was, after all, the
key road and rail center between Moscow and Berlin and the Russians were expected to drive
full speed for the German capital so as to get there before their Western Allies. From the
political point of view, Polish leaders in both London and Warsaw assumed that if the Home
Army helped the Russians free Warsaw, the Russians would have to recognize the Home
Army and the underground Council of National Unity (RJN), which was loyal to the
government in London. In this way,they hoped that the non-communist Poles. - who were
the vast majority of the population - would have a voice in deciding the future of their
country. Therefore, the Polish government in London authorized the Home Army commander
in Warsaw to choose the moment for the uprising. Finally, the political and military leaders
in Warsaw expected an agreement on military cooperation to ensue from the forthcoming
Stalin-Mikolajczyk talks in Moscow.
However, the Home Army Command did not exclude a worst case scenario, i.e. that
after accepting the Home Army's help in liberating Warsaw, the Russians would try to destroy
the Polish political and military leadership. In that case, the Home Army would defend itself
to the end.. They assumed, however, that if the Russians did take such action, they would
have to do so not in secret as they did in the eastern terrtories, but in full view of the world.
Thus they would reveal to the Western powers their true intentions regarding both Poland and
the rest of Eastern Europe. The Western powers were then expected to oppose the Soviet
domination of this whole area because this would be a threat to Western Europe as well.
After all, the Polish Home Army leaders reasoned, Britain went to war with Germany when
it invaded Poland in September 1939, so she would not now abandon Poland to the USSR.
When Mikolajczyk saw Stalin, he told him that Warsaw would rise against the Germans. Stalin was sceptical, but said he expected the Red Army to enter the city soon. It is not clear whether Mikolajczykt knew that Polish language broadcasts from Soviet radio stations were calling on the people of Warsaw to help the Red Army. But if he did know, this was all the more reason to secure Soviet help for the insurgents. When the rising did break out on August 1, Stalin said vaguely that he would help as much as possible.
In Warsaw, General Bor-Komorowski and his staff decided on the afternoon of July
31st that the rising would begin the next day. The Germans, who seemed to be in full retreat
a few days earlier, had recovered somewhat and demanded that 100,000 people report for
work on fortifications on August 1st. The Home Army could not allow this without losing
its soldiers. At the same time, Russian guns could be heard east of the Vistula and sightings
of Russian tanks were reported. Finally, as mentioned above, Soviet radio stations were
calling on the people to help the Red Army, specifically prevent the Germans from blowing
up the bridges across the Vistula in Warsaw.
When the rising broke out in Warsaw in the late afternoon of August 1, the Germans
there numbered 10,000 regular troops, plus about 2,500 SS. troops and over 3,000 military
police. On the second day, the Commander of the German 9th Army sent to Warsaw a
Cossack regiment (Vlasov Army), two police battalions from Poznan, the SS. Dirlewanger
Brigade, made up of about 1,000 criminals, and the Ukrainian Kaminsky Brigade. (The
soldiers of this infamous unit perpetrated such atrocities against civilians that the German
Commander in Warsaw, SS. General Erich von den Bach-Zalewski, refused responsibility and
had its leader shot). Against these troops, supported by tanks, armored cars, heavy artillery
and planes, the Home Army had about 40,000 poorly armed soldiers. Their goal was to seize
the main roads and bridges and the center of the city. The fighting was expected to last a few
days, after which the Russians would come in.
Four German armored divisions led by Field Marshal Walther Model now appeared northeast of Warsaw and attacked the vanguard of Marshal Konstanty K. Rokossovsky's First Belorussian Front (army group). Although this attack was crushed by August 8th, the Russians did not continue their advance on Warsaw. Stalin not only gave the Home Army no help, but also refused permission for Allied planes to land behind Soviet lines after flying from Italy and dropping supplies to the Home Army in Warsaw. What were his motives?
It seems that Stalin might have been willing to help the Warsaw insurgents if Mikolajczyk had
accepted his territorial demands and joined the Polish Committee of National Liberation
(PKWN), which would then have become the new Polish Government. However,
Mikolajczyk didd not have powers to accept either territorial changes, or the offer of the post
of deputy premier along with a miserably small number of ministerial posts (5) for his Peasant
Party, which was, after all, the largest party in Poland. He left Moscow saying he would
transmit Stalin's proposals and the PKWN offer of a few seats to his Cabinet in London.
As soon as Mikolajczyk departed on August 9, the Soviet press and radio, which had
kept silent on the Warsaw rising, condemned it as a "political racket" and blamed the Polish
Government in London. As mentioned above, Stalin refused permission for Allied planes to
land behind Soviet lines. He finally allowed one landing by American flying fortresses which
flew from London and dropped supplies over Warsaw in mid-September. These supplies were
dropped from a great height at a time when the insurgents held only a small part of the city,
so most of the material fell into German hands.
Rokossovsky's troops took east bank Warsaw (Praga) in mid-September. At this
time, Soviet planes made some supply drops to the insurgents, but without parachutes, so
that most of the supplies were destroyed. It was also at this time that the Soviets put out
feelers again to Mikolajczyk in London, suggesting he join the Polish Committee of National
Liberation (PKWN). The only attempt from the Soviet side to give direct help to the Home
Army was the landing of a battalion of infantry from Berling's Polish Army in west bank
Warsaw. However, they did not get adequate Soviet artillery support and had to retreat back
across the Vistula with great losses. Although Berling was for a long time credited with this
action, which was thought to have caused his dismissal shortly thereafter, it in unlikely that
he could have moved without Moscow's consent.Thus, this military action was likely meant
to show that the Soviet leader did try to help the Warsaw insurgents, but that this was
impossible.. (Berling was dismissed from command a little later when he criticised the Polish
communist leadership in a letter to Stalin).
The Home Army Command finally surrendered to the Germans on October 2, 1944,
after 63 days of fighting. By that time, the insurgents held only small parts of the city; they
had no ammunition; the people had no food, water, and no electricity. Large parts of Warsaw
had been reduced to rubble. After the surrender, Hitler ordered the evacuation of thet
remaining civilians to special camps - whence many were taken for forced labor in Germany -
while the soldiers were sent to German POW camps. He also ordered the the destruction of
what remained of the city, so German soldiers methodically burned and dynamited buildings
(in west bank Warsaw). In this way, the heart of the city and many other districts were
destroyed, along with old palaces, libraries, museums and churches. Some observers
compared the destruction they saw in Warsaw at war's end to that of Dresden and Hiroshima.
Finally, the loss of life was very high. It is estimated at some 250,000 lives out of a total
population of 1,500,000. Of the quarter million dead, only some 10,000 were Home Army
soldiers. Most of the victims were civilians, who were either killed while actively helping the
Home Army in the fighting, or were massacred by SS and Ukrainian units, or died in the
cellars where they had taken refuge as the houses collapsed over them. When Warsaw was
being rebuilt, workers kept on finding the remains of people killed in the rising of summer
Soviet and Polish communist historians always claimed that Rokossovsky's Army
group could not have taken west bank Warsaw in the period August 1 -October 2, 1944,
because it was too exhausted by its summer offensive and its supply lines were too long. At
the same time, the Home Army Command and the London Government were blamed for
"political racketeering," while the people of Warsaw were called heroes - and the Polish
communist government allowed the anniversary of the rising to be an unofficial holiday.
Warsaw people always went to the military cemetary that day to lay wreaths and light candles
on the graves of Warsaw insurgents. In August 1987, the Polish authorities officially
honored the Allied airmen who had dropped supplies over Warsaw in the summer of 1944.
(They flew, along with Polish pilots, from Bari in southern Italy and back without landing,
so many were shot down and killed). Finally, a monument was built to honor the Warsaw
What is the truth about the lack of Soviet help to Warsaw? It seems likely that if Mikolajczyk had accepted Soviet territorial and political demands in early August and had then joined the PKWN, Stalin would have ordered Rokossovsky to take Warsaw. From the purely military point of view, we know that Stalin's directive of July 27th ordered the Red Army to force the Vistula and Narev rivers, and to outflank the German forces in the Polish capital. We also know that Rokossovsky's War Council cabled Stalin on August 8, that their army group could attack the Germans in Warsaw beginning on August 25, provided they were jointed by some units from the First Ukrainian Front (army group) to the south of them. However, the attack on Warsaw did not take place, allegedly because the Soviet High Command had already decided to push southeast into Romania. Thus, the units which Rokossovsky needed to take Warsaw were employed elsewhere. (30)
Both explanations: i.e. that the Red Army was too exhausted to take Warsaw, or that
it did not do so because part of it went into the Balkans, are unsatisfactory. On August 8th,
Mikolajczyk was still in Moscow and Stalin must have asked Rokossovsky for the earliest
date on which his army group could attack Warsaw. At that time, this Russian army group
was mopping up the four German armored divisions led by General Model. Also at this time,
the Soviet media were maintaining absolute silence about the Warsaw rising, while Soviet
military superiority over the Germans on this sector of the front was overwhelming,
particularly in the air. However, instead of advancing, Rokossovsky's army group first sat on
the eastern bank of the Vistula, and then occupied east bank Warsaw (Praga) in mid-September. Also, the Red Army and its satellite Polish Army failed to force the Vistula
elsewhere as they were supposed to. Indeeed, Rokossovsky did not "liberate" what was left
of the city (west bank Warsaw) until January 17, 1945.
Was this long wait really due to an effective German defense of the Vistula line, or
did the Red Army have other priorities? The latter seems more likely, for in the meanwhile,
the Red Army had entered and taken Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary, and was driving into
northern Yugoslavia and Austria. It was also fighting the Germans in East Prussia. On
January 24, 1945, its main forces stood on the Oder River, preparing to advance on Berlin.
Thus, it seems that Stalin's attitude toward Warsaw was dictated not by military, but by
political considerations. He probably allowed the Germans to destroy both the Home Army
and the Polish capital because Mikolajczyk had refused to accept his terms, thus frustrating
the Soviet dictator's plans to include him and his Peasant Party in a new communist-dominated Polish government at this time.
Churchill and Mikolajczyk made one more effort to re-establish Polish-Soviet relations
when they and their staffs went to Moscow in early October 1944. While Churchill and Eden
talked with Stalin and Molotov, they were joined occasionally by Mikolajczyk and his foreign
minister, Tadeusz Romer. The Polish Premier also talked with some key members of the
Polish Committee of National Liberation (PKWN), who came to Moscow for that purpose.
However, Mikolajczyk could not officially accept the Polish-Soviet frontier along the Curzon
Line, especially since Lwow and the adjoining oilfields (Borysov and Drohobych) were to
be left on the Soviet side. He also learned officially for the first time that Churchill and
Roosevelt had agreed on this frontier at Tehran, in late 1943.. On his return to London,
Mikolajczyk tried but failed to get his Cabinet's agreement to Stalin's demands. He resigned
on November 22, 1944, and was succeeded by Tomasz Arciszewski, an old Polish socialist.
As a footnote to the Polish tragedy, we should bear in mind that just before the
presidential elections of November 1944, Roosevelt assured Polish-American leaders that he
would work for a strong and independent Poland. He even received a delegation of the
Polish-American Congress in the White House and posed with them in front of a large map
of prewar Poland, thus clearly hinting that he supported the re-establishment of the prewar
Polish-Soviet frontier. Furthermore, he assured the Polish Americans that he would uphold
the principles of the Atlantic Charter with regard to Poland. He made this pledge one week
before the elections in a personal conversation in Chicago in October 28th with Charles
Rozmarek, the President of the Polish National Alliance, the largest and strongest Polish-American organization, also head of the Polish-American Congress which he had helped
create in May 1944. In return, Rozmarek gave FDR his personal endorsement, so Roosevelt
won 90% of the Polish-American vote in the states of New York, Illinois, Michigan, New
Jersey, Massachusetts and Connecticut. ( As it turned, out, he would have won without them
anyway, but with a smaller margin). No wonder Polish-Americans felt betrayed by FDR when
they saw the old country shifted bodily west and handed over to a government clearly under
7. The Polish Question at the Yalta Conference, February 1945.
By the time the three Allied leaders and their staffs met at Yalta in the Crimea, on February 4, 1945, Soviet armies were within striking distance of Berlin. Also, a month earlier, despite Churchill's and Roosevelt's pleas that he not do so, Stalin had recognized the Polish Committee of National Liberation as the Provisional Government of Poland (established December 31, 1944).
Although the Big Three reached important agreements on Poland at Yalta, these followed logically from previous political and military decisions. It is true that Stalin's armies had flooded Poland and most of Eastern Europe, while the Allies had not yet crossed the Rhine. But it is also true that Roosevelt and Churchill had assumed, at least since 1942, that the Soviet Union would regain its western frontiers of 1939-41. Also, as mentioned above, as early as September 1943, Roosevelt envisaged Eastern and Central Europe -- and perhaps Western Europe too -- as falling under Soviet domination. Finally, in late May 1944, he told ambassador Averell Harriman that he would not mind if Eastern Europe became communist. (31a)
We should also keep in mind that the Western Allies had designated Eastern Europe as a Soviet war theater. Indeed, not only Stalin, but also Roosevelt and the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staffs opposed Churchill's idea for a landing at the head of the Adriatic, to be followed by an Allied thrust to Vienna. The British and American leaders had also dismissed Turkish hints that they transfer alied troops from North Africa to Turkey and then invade the Balkans (this will be discussed later). It is true that the Western Allies could not exert any real influence in Eastern and Central Europe once they had been "liberated" by Soviet troops - but the die had been cast at least three years earlier, in 1943.
However, since British and U.S. public opinion supported the principles of the
Atlantic Charter, and since Poland was viewed as a test case of Soviet-Western relations, both
Churchill and Roosevelt had to find a solution acceptable to their peoples. Despite their great
admiration for the Russians, the British public felt honor bound to support an independent
Poland and would be outraged by a plain sell-out. Furthermore, Churchill wanted to retain
some British influence in Poland. Roosevelt, for his part, thought he needed Polish-American
votes for re-election; later, he did not want to alienate them from the Democratic Party. He
also feared a Republican onslaught if there was clear Soviet domination over Poland. Most
importantly, however, the President was most anxious to avoid any friction with Stalin
because he counted on Soviet help against Japan. He also believed that without a friendly
Soviet Union the United Nations would be ineffective in the postwar world. Finally, he
believed that if there were no effective United.Nations, the American people would reject
any active involvement in world affairs and retreat again into isolationism.
It is in this broad political-military-moral context that we should view the Yalta
decisions on Poland. These decisions, which pertained both to Poland's territory and to her
government, can be summarized as follows:
(1) There was no difficulty in reaching Big Three agreement that the Polish-Soviet
frontier must follow the Curzon line (1920), with only a few small bits of territory returning
to Poland. Roosevelt made only a token attempt to persuade Stalin to leave Lwow in Poland,
while Churchill did not even go that far.
(2) There was, however, much discussion over the western frontier of Poland. Stalin
proposed what he had already agreed on with the Polish Committee of National Liberation
(PKWN) in late July 1944, i.e. that East Prussia - except for Koenigsberg (later Kaliningrad),
which he wanted for the USSR - would go to Poland, which would also obtain other German
territory. Thus Poland's western frontier would be the Oder River, including Stettin (Polish:
Szczecin) in the north, and Upper Silesia in the south. Therefore, the southwestern part of the
new Polish-German frontier would lie on the Western Neisse River.
Both the British and the Americans opposed this last proposal, especially Churchill. They suggested that this part of the frontier run along the Eastern Neisse, thus leaving part of Upper Silesia in Germany. This opposition stemmed partly from fear that the Germans would fight all the more desperately if they knew what they stood to lose, and partly from the belief that U.S. and British opinion would oppose giving so much German territory to Poland. This was not because of any tender feelings for the Germans, but from reluctance to create another great minority problem in Europe. Also, Roosevelt was constitutionally unable to sanction any frontiers without the consent of Congress.
In the end, a bland statement was issued specifying that the eastern frontier of Poland
would be based on the Curzon line, but leaving the northern and western frontiers undefined.
(See the Potsdam Conference, below). Nevertheless, the leaders of the three powers stated
that Poland was to receive substantial accessions of territory in the north and west; these were
to be determined in consultations with the Polish government.
Roosevelt and Churchill had agreed before coming to Yalta that they would work for
the establishment of a new Polish government broadly representative of the Polish people.
However, in the course of the Yalta Conference they accepted what Stalin wanted, i.e. just
a few additions to the existing communist-dominated Polish Committee of National Liberation
- which had proclaimed itself the "Provisional Government of National Unity" on December
31, 1994, and which Stalin had recognized on January 4, 1945.
The Big Three issued a final statement to the effect that the existing Polish Provisional Government would be modified by the addition of "democratic leaders" from Poland and abroad. The composition of the new government was to be worked out in Moscow in consultations between Soviet Foreign Minister V. M. Molotov, U.S. Ambassador W. Averell Harriman, and British Ambassador Sir Archibald Clark-Kerr, on the one hand, and members of the Polish Provisional Government of National Unity and Polish leaders from Poland and abroad, on the other.
The reorganized government was to pledge itself to hold free and unfettered elections,
based on universal suffrage and the secret ballot, as soon as possible. All "democratic and
anti-Nazi parties" could take part. In the meanwhile, this government would be recognized
by the Allied powers. Roosevelt and Churchill also gave up their original demand that their
ambassadors in Poland supervise the elections. They were satisfied with Stalin's agreement
that they could set up their embassies in Warsaw . Finally, a special "commission" made up
of V.M. Molotov, the U.S. and the British ambassadors inMoscow were to interview and
select candidates for a provisonal Polish government which would hold free elections that
were, in turn, to produce a final Polish government.
These weak and vague agreements on the Polish government should be seen in light
of what Roosevelt set out to achieve at Yalta, i.e. to secure Soviet support in the war against
Japan and to establish the United Nations including the USSR. At the same time, it was very
important for both Roosevelt and Churchill that the settlement of the Polish Question be
acceptable to public opinion in their countries. This they were able to achieve with the final
statement on Poland - though its ambiguities were to surface very soon. In fact, Stalin had
achieved what he wanted so that he could interpret terms such as "democratic and anti-Nazi
parties" and "free and unfettered elections" to mean pro-Soviet parties and rigged elections.
Yalta and the Other East European States.
Most of the other East European countries were also left to Stalin's tender mercies,
but this did not appear so at the time. On the contrary, the Declaration on Liberated Europe,
signed by Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin at Yalta reaffirmed the principles of the Atlantic
Charter, i.e. "the right of all peoples to choose the form of government under which they will
live," and "the restoration of sovereign rights and self-government to those peoples who have
been forcibly deprived of them by the aggressor nations." Furthermore, the "Big Three"
pledged to help the liberated peoples, where they judged the requisite conditions existed, "to
form interim governmental authorities broadly representative of all democratic elements of
the population and pledged to the earliest possible establishment, through free elections, of
governments responsive to the will of the people," and "to facilitate, where necessary, the
holding of such elections." This sounded just fine. However, Stalin told Molotov to accept
the American draft because: "We can deal with it our own way. The point is the correlation
of forces." (31a) Obviously, Stalin assumed he could do what he liked because his forces
dominated most of Eastern Europe.
Furthermore, no instrument was created to implement these democratic goals.
Indeed, on the eve of the Yalta Conference, FDR and his immediate advisers rejected a
proposal made by the State Department research staff to establish an Emergency High
Commission for Liberated Europe. This Commission was to be the agency of the four powers:
Great Britain, U.S., USSR, and France. Acting together, their representatives were to assist
in establishing popular governments; they were also to facilitate the solution of urgent
economic problems in the former occupied and satellite states of Europe. This proposal was
accompanied by the draft Declaration on Liberated Europe, which was clearly meant to be
implemented by the Commission.
Several reasons are listed for Roosevelt's rejection of the proposed Commission. For
one thing, he was dissatisfied with the working of the existing European Advisory
Commission (EAC); for another, he may have feared that the proposed Emergency
Commission could risk Stalin's rejection of the proposed United Nations Organization.
However, the main reason for rejecting the proposed Commission seems to have been
Roosevelt's conviction that the U.S. should not accept responsiblity for postwar Europe.
Indeed, as FDR told Secretary of State Edward Stettinius in February 1944, he did not want
the U.S. to have the burden of reconstructing France, Italy, and the Balkans. Also, in keeping
with FDR's views, in the summer of 1944, the Operations Division of the U.S. Army had
stated that the U.S. political role in Europe should be limited to measures strictly necessary
for the defeat of Germany. Thus, no U.S occupation forces were foreseen in the enemy
countries of Austria, Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania, nor was the U.S. to have any
responsibility for civil affairs and rehabilitation. Later, however, the U.S. did undertake such
responsibilities in Austria. (Austria was occupied by the four powers until 1955, when the
USSR withdrew on reaching agreement that it was to be a neutral state).
Nevertheless, a watered down version of the rejected proposal for the Emergency
Commission, drawn up in October 1944, stated that pending the end of hostilities with
Germany, Allied Control Commissions would be set up in Romania and Bulgaria, and that an
Allied Control Council would be established in Hungary. It was agreed that in Romania and
Bulgaria, the Commissions would be under the "general supervision" of the Soviet High
Command, with British and American representatives as "observers." This arrangement was
based on the precedent of the Allied Control Commission in Italy, in which the Soviets had
no representatives. However, they were represented in the Allied Advisory Commission,
which had no executive authority. As it turned out later, in Hungary, too, the decisions were
made by the Soviet Chairman, Marshal Kliment Y. Voroshilov (1881-1969).
These arrangements gave the Soviet authorities decisive power in Bulgaria and
Romania - a power they were to use to quickly establish communist-dominated governments.
They could have done so just as fast in Hungary, but for tactical reasons Stalin decided to
delay the process in that country. (see ch. 6).
Did Churchill and Roosevelt Believe Stalin Would Carry out the Agreements reached at
There has been much debate among historians on whether Rooseevelt and Churchill really believed Stalin would live up to the agreements reached at Yalta or whether they viewed them as a "fig leaf" to cover up their recognition of Soviet domination over most of Eastern Europe.
It seems that Churchill, who had been a passionate anti-Bolshevik in 1918-21, did not
believe in Stalin's democratic intentions and preferred an agreement on spheres of influence.
In October 1944, he made a preliminary "deal" with Stalin in Moscow to place Greece under
predominant British influence while leaving Romania and Bulgaria under predominant Soviet
influence.Stalin also agreed to a 50-50 divisiom of influence with the Soviets in Hungary
and Yugoslavia, - but this did not occur. The Churchill-Stalin deal was known as the
"percentage agreement." Roosevelt accepted it informally as a provisional arrangement.
Churchill has been much criticized for this "percentage deal." However, it can be
argued thatit was not so much a cynical move as an effort to save at least part of Eastern
Europe (Greece, Hungary and Yugoslavia) from total Soviet domination. Of course,
Churchill's main objective was to safeguard British interests in the eastern Mediterranean, but
he also distrusted Stalin and wanted to maintain some British influence in Eastern Europe..
He knew that he could not count on American support here.
Churchill pinned his hopes on the inclusion of Mikolajczyk in the new Polish
government. It is difficult to say whether Churchill really believed that Mikolajczyk and his
strong Peasant Party could, in fact, win the elections and secure Polish independence from
Russia, but this was the British line. Soviet intentions were pretty clear when Molotov
opposed all candidates proposed by the British and U.S. ambassadors. Furthermore, the
NKVD kindnapped Polish underground leaders some of whom were mentioned as candidates
for a new Polish government. There was a stalemate unitl Mikolajczyk joined the existing
provisional government in June 1945. ( see below).
Roosevelt himself had no doubts, even before departing for Yalta, that Europe would
be divided into spheres of influence. According to a leading historian of U.S. foreign policy,
He indicated as much to a group of seven Senators from both parties
in January (1945) . . . FDR candidly said that spheres of influence were a
reality which America lacked the power to abolish. . . He stated that the
Russians had the power in Eastern Europe, that it was obviously impossible
to have a break with them and that,therefore, the only practicable course was
to use what influence we had to ameliorate the situation.
In the long run, FDR hoped this could be done through the United Nations, the
establishment of which he saw as the essential condition for continued American participation
in world affairs. Thus, Roosevelt went to Yalta determined to make concesssions to Stalin
in return for gaining his key objectives: Soviet support against Japan and Soviet participation
in the U.N. Therefore, he was willing to accept Soviet domination over Eastern Europe.
However, he could not admit this to U.S. public opinion, whose support he needed for his
major postwar goal: continued American involvement in world affairs through the U. N.,
which was yet to be established. It is in this light that we should view the "Declaration on the
Liberation of Europe," and FDR's statement to Congress on March 1 1945, that the
conference "ought to spell the end of the system of unilateral action, the exclusive alliances,
the balance of power, and all the other expedients that have been tried for centuries -- and
have always failed." In this way, FDR hid the truth from the American public, which opposed
great power deals and spheres of influence in international relations. (33)
The consequences of the Yalta agreement for Poland were not long in coming. In the
spring of 1945, the Soviets lured 16 undergound leaders to a meeting with a Soviet general.
They were promptly arrested and taken to Moscow. In June 1945, Mikolajczyk -- who had
resigned as Premier of the London government in November 1944 -- travelled to Moscow
and became a Deputy Premier in the reorganized Polish government. At the same time as he
was negotiations this agreement, the Soviets staged a "rigged" trial of the 16 underground
leaders - including members of Mikolajczyk's Peasant Party - charging them with ordering
attacks on Soviet forces in Poland and with having radio communication with London.. (In
fact,the last head of the Home Army, General Leopold Okulicki - one of the kindapped
leaders - had dissolved it, so the scattered attacks that did take place were made by Home
Army units beyond his control). Due to the intervention of President Roosevelt's former close
advisor, Harry Hopkins, whom President Harry Truman sent to Moscow in June-July 1945,
three of the accused were set free, while the rest were sentenced to various gaol terms.Most
survived, but Okulicki and the govermment delegate Jankowski, who received the longest
sentences, soon died in prison..
On July 5, 1945, the Allies recognized the new Polish government, which now
included Mikolajczyk. . At the same time, the Polish security police and armed forces -- led
and advised by Soviets, also supported by the Red Army and NKVD -- were hounding former
Home Army members and arresting them. (34) Many were shot, and many were deported to
Finally in, Poland, which had been home to the largest Jewish community in the world,
almost all of the 3 million Jews - 10% of the prewar population - were killed by the Germans.
Of the Polish Jews who survived in the USSR (many died in labor camps, and 10% of the
Polish officers shot in 1940 were Jews), most passed through Poland either going West,
mostly to the U.S., or to Palestine, later Israel.
8. The Potsdam Conference, July 15 - August 1, 1945.
At this time, the "Big Three" -- President Harry S. Truman, Joseph V. Stalin and
Winston S. Churchill (soon replaced by Clement Attlee, head of the Labour Party, which won
the July elections in Britain) -- met at Potsdam, a relatively undamaged suburb of Berlin. In
the course of the conference, they negotiated with representatives of the new Polish
Government on Poland's western frontier and free elections. Finally, it was agreed that Poland
would get East Prussia, the Baltic coast to Stettin, and that the Polish western frontier would
follow the Oder and Western Neisse Rivers and that the remaining German population, i.e.
those who had not fled ahead of the Red Army, would be deported to German territories.
Mikolajczyk, who was a member of the Polish delegation, supported this frontier. In return,
the Polish communist leaders agreed to hold free elections as soon as possible. However,
they did not intend to honor this pledge.
At the same time as they agreed to the new Polish western frontier, the Western
powers made a reservation: they stated that the new Polish territories would be under
"provisional Polish administration," until a final peace conference took place, including a
united Germany. The Potsdam Conference also confirmed the occupation zones of Germany,
leaving East Germany to the Soviets, but there was to be a four power occupation of Berlin,
which lay in the Soviet zone. Finally, the Soviets agreed to evacuate a part of Austria (Styria)
and to a four power occupation of that country, including Vienna. (35)
II. The Other East European States during World War II.
A. Allied States.
There was no resistance movement in the Czech lands. SS. General Reinhard
Heydrich, "Protector of Bohemia-Moravia" in 1941-42 was assassinated by Czech soldiers
parachuted in from England. They were betrayed by one of their own. In reprisal, the
Germans burned the village of Lidice and executed the male population.  (They did the
same with one French village, Oradour; in Poland they burned down 300 villages for
supporting the Home Army; they also burned down many Belorussian villages for supporting
President Edward Benes (1884-1948) and his Czechoslovak Committee in London
were recognized as a government by the Soviets, the Western powers and their Allies in 1942.
Benes saw his country as a "bridge between East and West." He believed that Stalin
would protect a friendly Czechoslovakia against any future German aggression and would not
interfere in its internal affairs. Therefore, when Moscow made it clear that it opposed any
Polish-Czechoslovak confederation unless the Poles gave in to Stalin's territorial demands,
Benes broke off negotiations on this matter with the Polish Government in London (35a).
In December 1943, Benes travelled to Moscow and signed a Mutual Friendship and
Assistance Treaty with Stalin. At that time, as a good will gesture that he did not expect to
be accepted, he offered to cede Subcarpathian Ruthenia, with its predominantly Ukrainian
population, to the USSR. As expected, Stalin declined (but was to take it later). Benes also
agreed to include Czechoslovak communists in his postwar government. (The records of these
conversations show Benes condemning the Polish government in London - except for
Mikolajczyk, who he said, was anxious to come to terms with Stalin).
The Red Army entered eastern Czechoslovakia in late 1944. They did not help the
Slovak Rising against the Germans -- probably for the same reasons as they refused to help
the Warsaw rising, i.e. they did not trust the Slovak insurgents, even those who were
communists.. Also, the Soviets annexed Subcarpathian Ruthenia, which Stalin had declined
in December 1943. Like prewar eastern Poland and Romanian Bukovina, this area had a
prepoderantly Ukrainian-speaking population, though the language differed somewhat from
standard Ukrainian. But Bessarabia (now Moldova) had predominantly Romanian-speaking
people in the west and predominantly Ukrainian-speaking people in the east.
The Soviet annexation of all these territories indicates Stalin's determination to leave
no large Ukrainian-speaking areas outside the USSR. This was most likely connected with
his fear of the Ukrainian national movement, such as had existed in prewar southeast Poland
(former East Galicia, where it was anti-Soviet)) and, to some extent, in Subcarpathian
Ruthenia, where some people voted for the Communist Party in interwar elections and were
friendly to the USSR, when SCR was part of prewar Czechoslovakia. Indeed, Stalin had some
grounds to fear a Ukrainian national movement. Nationalist Ukrainian leaders in former
Poland had aimed at establishing a large independent Ukraine, made up of all the Ukrainian
territories, including the Soviet Ukraine. Also, some Ukrainians had fought on the German
side, particularly in the SS Division "Galizien" (Galicia). There was an attempt to establish
an independdent Sucarpathian Ruthenian state in spring 1939, but Hitler gave it to Hungary.
Benes returned with his government to Czechoslovakia via Moscow after the Red
Army had driven out the Germans. Although General George S. Patton (1885-1945) and his
3rd Army were very near Prague, in Pilsen (Czech: Plzen), the commander-in-chief of all
western armies, General Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969) refused Churchill's pleas and
forbade Patton to advance westward to liberate the Czech capital. By a twist of irony, while
the Red Army was dashing to the city, it was the anti-communist Russians in the German
Army, headed by General Andrei A. Vlasov (1900-1946), who turned against the Germans
in Prague and helped the Czechs to liberate it before the Red Army arrived.The anti-Communist Russians then retreated to the American lines, but the Western Allies delivered
Vlasov - along with some 2 million captured Soviets who had served in the German army as
well as Soviet civilian refugees - to Stalin. These people were either executed or died in the
labor camps. (36a)
As we shall see later, though the Czechoslovak communists held key posts in the
government, Stalin allowed a semi-democratic system in the country until February 1948,
when the communists seized power (see ch. 6).
King Peter and his Government found refuge in Great Britain after the German invasion of April 1941. Croatia became a fascist, vassal state of Germany; Italy annexed Dalmatia; and a collaborationist Serbian government cooperated with the Germans in Serbia. Montnegro was another satellite state. Bulgaria and Hungary each annexed some Yugoslav territory. (See: Richard and Ben Crampton, Atlas of Eastern Europe in the Twentieth Century, pp. 136-37, or Robert Magocsi, Historical Atlas of East Central Europe, map 45, facing p. 152).
The first resistance to the Germans began in Serbia. It was waged by a royalist
General Drazha Mihailovic (1893-1946), and his Chetniks. (The name comes from Cheta =
band, the name given traditional Serbian mountaineer-bandits who had fought the Turks
when Serbia was under Ottoman rule). After the German attack on the USSR on June 22,
1941, a communist-led resistance movement also sprang up. Its leader was the prewar head
of the Yugoslav Comnunist Party, Josip Broz Tito (1893-1980). His second in command was
Milovan Djilas (1911-1995), who belonged to Tito's inner circle. (Later, he would become
the most prominent dissident in Yugoslavia). While the leadership of Tito's resistance
movement was communist, the vast majority of his men had not heard of Karl Marx and could
not care less about him. Most faced the choice of being massacred or joining Tito's
movement. Others were patriots fighting to free their country from a brutal occupation.
In November 1942, Tito established "The Anti-Fascist National Council of Liberation of Yugoslavia" (Serbo-Croatian acronym: AVNOJ). One year later, the AVNOJ declared itself the legal government of Yugoslavia and forbade the return of King Peter until the people could decide their own form of government after liberation. This move did not have Stalin's approval. Indeed, he told Djilas in Moscow on the night of June 5-6 1944, that the Yugoslav communists must not refuse to talk to Ivan Subasic (1892-1995), a leader of the Croat Peasant Party and former governor of Croatia (1939-41), who fled to the U.S. and was appointed Premier in King Peter's government in exile in 1944.. Stalin urged Tito to hold talks with Subasic to reach a transition agreement pending full allied recognition. At this time, Stalin did not want to tangle with the Allies over Yugoslavia.
On this occasion, Djilas also wrote down Stalin's remarks about the Western leaders.
He noted Stalin as saying:
They find nothing sweeter than to trick their allies. And Churchill?
Churchill is the kind who, if you don't watch him, will slip a kopeck out of
your pocket . . . And Roosevelt? Roosevelt is not like this. He dips in his hand
only for bigger coins. (36b)
Thus, did Stalin see his fellow allied leaders in 1944..
There was a fateful change in Western policy toward Yugoslavia.In 1943, the British
switched their support from Mihailovic to Tito, whose movement was much larger and was
thought to be tying down more German and Italian forces than Mihailovich. Therefore, British
military missions and supplies were denied to the Chetniks and sent to Tito. This change of
policy may well have been due to, or at least have been furthered by communists in the
British SOE (Special Operations Executive) in Cairo. Whatever their influence on Western
policy might have been, it is clear they deliberately suppressed news of Mihailovic's actions,
and even ascribed them to Tito. They also accused Mihailovich of collaborating with the
Germans. These reports allegedly convinced Churchill to throw his support to Tito in 1943.
(Churchill sent his son Randolph on a mission to Tito).
(Note: In considering the wartime resistance to the German and Italian occupation of
Yugoslavia, we should bear in mind that of the 2 million killed (out of a 1940 population of
about 14,700,000), most died in the fighting between Serbs and Croats. The Croats, who are
Roman Catholic, use the Roman alphabet, had never been under Turkish rule, and resented
Serb domination over them in prewar Yugoslavia. The Serbs belong to the Greek Orthodox
Church, use the Cyrillic alphabet, and believed they should dominate the whole country.
In the spring of 1941, the Germans established Croatia as an "independent" state
under their protection. This state included Bosnia-Herzegovina, which had a mixed Catholic
Croat, Orthodox Serb and a Moslem population ( 40%) who spoke Serb or Croat). The pro-Nazi Croat government and their fascist movement, "Ustashe" were led by Ante Pavelic
(1889-1959). The Ustashe massacred the Serbs in both Croatia proper and in Bosnia-Herzegovin - where the Moslems generally supported the Croats. The Serbs retaliated in kind
when they could, but mostly at the end of the war. In June 1990, mass graves were
discovered in caves at Kocevski Rog, near Zagreb, Croatia. They contained the bones of
men, women and children. According to witnesses, who came forward at this time, the victims
were Croats shot by Tito's partisans in 1945. Most were Croat soldiers captured by the British
in Italy and forcibly repatriated to Yugoslavia. (37) These war memories, suppressed under
Tito, were to erupt violently in the Serb-Croat war which began in 1991, and the Serb
onslaught -- joined later by the Croats -- against the Moslems of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1992-95. The Croat Ustashe also massacred most of the Jews in Croatia and
In late 1944, combined Western and Soviet pressure made Tito agree to establish a
government representing both communists and royalists. Tito and Subasic signed an
agreement to this effect on November l, 1944, but it was so formulated that the communists
would have preponderance in the legislature. Also, out of 28 government posts established,
only 5 were held by non-Tito men. Finally, King Peter was not allowed to return to
Yugoslavia. (He settled in the U.S. and died in 1970)..
In April 1945, the non-communist deputy premier, Milan Grol, asked the U.S. government whether it planned to implement the Yalta agreements in Yugoslavia, i.e. the holding of free elections, and whether he could count on U.S support if he remained in office. Apparently, he received an unsatisfactory answer, for he resigned on August 18th, as did Premier Subasic. The U.S Ambassador in Yugoslavia, Richard C. Patterson Jr., urged his government to protest Tito's repressive methods. However, only a mild protest came from Washington, though the British protested more vigorously. The elections of November 11th, 1945 were held in an atmosphere of terror. As Patterson reported, the communists stayed in power through the use of force -- wielded by the secret police -- against the wishes of the majority of the people. Nevertheless, the U.S. government recognized the newly created Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia as did Great Britain and other Western states. The republic was, of course, recognized by the USSR and its satellites.
(c) Albania, which was attacked by Mussolini and annexed to Italy in spring 1939, is mentioned here because both its communist party and armed resistance movement against the Italians were organized by Yugoslav communist leaders. On Comintern instructions, Yugoslav envoys helped establish the Albanian Communist Party on November 8th, 1941. Furthermore, Tito's emissaries, Miladin Popovic and Dusan Mugosa, plus a few others, were the architects of the plan that led to the communist seizure of power in Albania in November 1944; that is, they helped organize the Albanian National Liberation Army. By that time, the Yugoslav communists had almost complete control of the Albanian party. In fact, Tito planned to make Albania a member of the Yugoslav federation, but this was prevented by the break in Soviet-Yugoslav relations in 1948.
Greece had fiercely resisted the Italian and German attack in 1941. It was then
subjected to a brutal occupation. The Germans killed or deported not only the Greek Jews,
but also many Greeks, and many who stayed in the country died of hunger.
The communist EAM, or National Liberation Front, with its army ELAS, or the Greek
Popular Liberation Army, was the strongest resistance force in Greece. The only other
important force was EDES, or the National Democratic Greek Army, led by Napoleon
Zervas, which was anti-Communist.. However, this force was located in the Epirus, i.e., in
The communists looked forward to seizing power when the Germans and Italians
retreated from Greece. Therefore, they worked to eliminate other rival groups and organized
a military revolt against the Greek Government of National Unity, then located in the Middle
East. The EAM could have seized power in fall 1944. However, in August 1944, it was
ordered by a Soviet emissary, Colonel Grigorii Popov, to cooperate with the Greek
government of National Unity. EAM complied. However, on December 3rd, 1944, it staged
a large demonstration in Athens, which was the signal for a communist uprising all over the
country. The British government reacted to this by sending in troops.
On December 25, 1944, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden arrived in Athens to work out a settlement. A regency government was formed, headed by Archbishop Damaskinos, who was appointed by King George II of Greece. Churchill met with the Greek communist leaders and told them, in the presence of the Soviet Emissary, Colonel Popov, that British troops were in Greece with the approval of President Roosevelt and Marshal Stalin, a statement confirmed by Popov. Thus, Stalin was carrying out his part of the bargain struck with Churchill in October 1944. Presumably, the Soviet leader wished to avoid provoking the British to challenge his domination over the other states of Eastern Europe.
The Greek communist rebellion, which seems to have broken out against Stalin's
wishes, was crushed by British troops. The political (Varkiza) agreement recognized the
Greek Communist Party, but its army, ELAS, was disarmed. (39). However, as we shall see
later, the communists would start a civil war in 1946 (see ch. 6).
B. The Ex-Enemy States: Romania, Hungary, and Bulgaria.
(1) Hungary took some Yugoslav territory in 1941 (Backa), as well as a part of Romanian
Transylvania, which Germany allowed her to have.
Although Hungary was traditionally anti-Russian and then anti-Soviet, it was not an
enthusiastic ally of Hitler. The Hungarian government headed by the Regent, Nicholas de
Nagabanya Horthy (1868-1957, ruled 1920-44), refused to help Hitler against Poland in
September 1939. Hungary welcomed thousands of Polish soldiers and civilians and helped
them to proceed to France via Yugoslavia and Italy.. (The author of this work, her mother
and sister were helped to do so in January 1940, A.C.). Hungarian troops were, however,
sent to fight alongside the Germans on the Russian front. They did so most reluctantly. In
1944, some Hungarian units in Poland sometimes helped the Home Army against the
Horthy refused to persecute Hungarian Jews (800.00 out of a population of about
10,000,000), and sheltered many refugee Polish Jews who managed to escape toHungary.
Finally, in October 1944, when the Red Army was entering the country, Horthy tried to
negotiate a separate peace with the Russians. However, he was arrested and deported by the
Germans, who set up a brutal fascist government under Ferenc Szilasi, head of the Hungarian
fascist party, "The Arrow Cross." It was this government which cooperated with Adolf
Eichmann - SS officer in charge - in deporting Hungarian Jews to the major death camp in
German-occupied Poland, Auschwitz (Polish: Oswiecim). 
As we shall see later, for a brief period after the war, Stalin had tactical reasons to
allow a quasi-democratic political system in Hungary. (see ch. 6).
[Note on Raul Wallenberg and the Jews in Hungary, 1944-45.
The Swedish representative of the International Red Cross in Hungary, Raul Wallenberg (1912- ?), saved many Jews by giving them Swedish passports. He could have saved many more if the Allies had accepted Eichmann's proposal to exchange Jews for trucks, but they refused on the grounds that this would help the German war effort.
Wallenberg was arrested by the Soviets in early 1945 and taken to Russia where he
disappeared. The Swedish government did not try hard to have him released, while the Soviet
Government always said he died in prison of heart disease in 1947. However, some Soviet
Jews, allowed to leave the USSR for the West many years later, reported seeing him alive.
One claimed to have seen him in the early 1970s.
It seems that Wallenberg was arrested by the NKVD on suspicion of being a Western
spy, after which successive Soviet governments did not want to contradict themselves, and
thus lose face, by releasing him].
(2) Romania (The old spelling: Rumania, is still used by some authors today)..
Romania had been a willing ally of Germany; it had also sent troops to the Russian
front. Like Hungary, it had also been traditionally anti-Russian, then anti-Soviet.
It seems that Stalin planned to take over Romania with the "Tudor Vladimirescu
Brigade," a unit formed out of "rehabilitated" Romanian prisoners of war. (It was named after
the Romanian leader of an anti-Turk rebellion in 1821). Stalin also seems to have planned to
liquidate the Romanian communists imprisoned by the Romanian government, whom he did
not trust. Above all, it seems he wanted to prevent the establishment of any coalition
government before the arrival of the Red Army and the "Moscow" communists, led by Anna
Pauker, Vasile Luca, and others.
However, this plan was frustrated by the young King Michael, who overthrew the pro-Nazi government of Marshal Ion Antonescu (1882-1946) on August 23, 1944. Therefore,
the Soviets had to recognize a coalition government which included the "native" communist,
Lucretiu Patrascanu, distrusted by Stalin. A Soviet-Romanian armistice was signed on
September 12, 1944. (41)
Although Bulgaria was aligned with Nazi Germany during the war, it never declared
war on the Russians, whom the Bulgarian people viewed as their friends. (In the late 19th
century, Bulgaria had gained its independence from the Ottoman Turks with Russian
support). During the war, Bulgaria annexed Southern Dobrudja from Romania - which had
taken it after World War I - and controlled Yugoslav Macedonia. A Soviet embassay
functioned throughout the war in Sofia.
The Bulgarian government desperately sought a separate peace with the western
Allies. But its efforts, like those of Romania and Hungary, were unsuccessful. ( This was due
to the Roosevelt-Churchill declaration on unconditional surrender in Casablanca, Jan. 1943,
and their recognition of E. Europe as a Soviet war theater). Despite a belated Bulgarian
declaration of war on Germany, the Soviets declared war on Bulgaria on September 5th.
Bulgaria asked for an armistice three days later, and capitulated formally on October 23,
1944. The new Bulgarian government, established on September 9th, contained only a few
communists, but they held key positions. The elections held on November 18, showed
overwhelming support for the communist-controlled "Fatherland Front." (42) Meanwhile,
Communist "Soviets" (councils) took over local power and there were mass executions of
officers, officials, and teachers. Here, as in Romania, there would be rapid progress toward
total communist control (see ch. 6).
It is generally assumed that the United States and Great Britain could not prevent the
Soviet domination of most of Eastern Europe. However, we can hypothesize that Roosevelt
and Churchill could have limited the extent of Soviet domination if:
(a) They had landed troops in the Balkans. In 1943, Churchill did push for an Allied
landing at the head of the Adriatic, to be followed by a drive to Vienna. However, Stalin
rejected this idea at Tehran. Also, the U.S. military leaders opposed any military operations
in the Balkans (except for the U.S. bombing of the Ploesti oil refineries in Romania, since
their production was vital to Germany). U.S. military leaders believed that the fastest way to
end the war was to defeat Germany in the west, i.e., to invade France and proceed to
Germany. Still, in order to start military action in the European war theater, Roosevelt agreed
to Churchill's concept of attacking Germany through "the soft underbelly," i.e. North Africa,
in November 1942. However, the Allied campaign there lasted longer than expected.
Although the German forces in Italy did not surrender until May 1945, an Allied landing might have been possible in northern Yugoslavia in late 1943, if the landing craft had not been sent back to Britain in preparation for the invasion of France. It is true that Tito vowed to fight the Allies if they landed, but it is unlikely that he would have been able to do so in the fall of 1943, when he did not control this part of the country. The allies would have met with some resistance from German and Italin occupation troops and from the Ustashe, but it is unlikely this would have stopped a large, well armed, allied force with air cover.
Alternatively, the Western Allies could have invaded the Balkans, if after the end of
the North African campaign in the late spring of 1943 (May 8-12th), they had moved not into
Sicily and then Italy, but into Turkey. It seems that in early 1943, the Turkish government at
least hinted that Turkey would come into the war on the allied side if the Allies made their
base there for an invasion of the Balkans. The Turks admitted they were afraid to come into
the war without an Allied presence in their country to guard against a German - or a Soviet
invasion. However, the Turkish variant was never considered seriously by U.S. and British
Furthermore, the Western Allies ignored secret approaches from Bulgaria, Hungary
and Romania, whose agents, working in neutral Portugal, declared they would come over to
the Allied side as soon as Allied troops appeared on their borders. Indeed, Joseph Goebbels,
noted in his diary in 1943, that he was very much afraid of such a development, for it would
lead to to the abandonment of Germany by her Balkan allies. (44) However, his fears were
groundless, for the Western powers maintained their policy of demanding unconditional
surrender from both Germany and her allies. Finally, as mentioned above, Churchill's
proposals for operations in the Balkans were rejected..
(b) The Western Allies might have taken over most of Germany, and perhaps part of
East Central Europe, if they had invaded France in summer 1943, when most of Hitler's forces
were still engaged in Russia. Historians still debate whether this possibility was ruled out by
the campaign in North Africa, which ended in early May 1943, but it was certainly ruled out
by the decision to invade Sicily and then Italy (July-August 1943).
Here it should be noted that both General George C. Marshall (1880-1959), Chief
of U.S. Combined Staffs, and General Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969), the Supreme
Allied Commander in Europe, December 1943-May 1945, had strongly opposed the diversion
of men and equipment away from the invasion of France to North Africa in 1942. They
believed the best way to win the war was by a direct attack on Germany through France.
However, they were overuled by FDR, who wanted to see American troops in action in or
near Europe as soon as possible, so as to counter naval-military pressure exerted on him to
focus on the war with Japan. This thinking led FDR to accept Churchill's proposal to start the
attack on Germany in North Africa. (45) Marshall and Eisenhower also opposed any allied
landing in the Balkans.
Of course, theoretical possibilities can only become real options if the decision-makers
consider them as furthering the vital interests of their countries. This was not the case with
U.S. views on Eastern Europe. The bottom line was Roosevelt's priority objective of
defeating Germany, and then switching American forces to the war against Japan. Therefore,
he avoided anything that might cause friction with Stalin, thus delaying the end of the war
in Europe and/or depriving the U.S. of Soviet help against Japan.
Also, FDR believed that the United Nations could not succeed in keeping the peace
without the participation of Soviet Russia. Here, Roosevelt's major concern was to maintain
active U.S. involvement in world affairs through the United Nations. Therefore, he directed
his efforts to avoid a situation at war's end, when Soviet domination of Eastern Europe
would be so blatant as to turn U.S. public opinion against participation in the U.N. alongside
the USSR. Therefore, he obtained Stalin's signature to the "Declaration on Liberated Europe"
at Yalta, and did all he could to present the Yalta agreements to the American people as a
great achievement. It was only in the last two months of his life - in view of Soviet actions
in E. Europe and Soviet accusations that the U.S. was trying to conclude a separate peace
with Germany - that he began to doubt whether cooperation with Stalin was possible.
Churchill, for his part, had to bow to Roosevelt'swishes, for the U.S. was the senior
partner on the Western side. Aside from this factor, Churchill always feared a German-Soviet
peace. He never forgot the German-Soviet Peace of Brest-Litovsk (March 1918, see ch. 2),
after which the Germans transferred half a million men to France and came near to winning
the war. In fact, secret, low level, German-Soviet talks did take place in Stockholm,
Sweden, in summer 1943, but nothing came of them. The Western Allies learned of these
talks in the fall of 1943.
As mentioned above, Churchill's key interest in southeastern Europe was to keep
Greece and, if possible, Yugoslavia, out of Soviet hands. In Central Europe, his goal was
Stalin's agreement to an independent Poland. He assumed that Stalin would agree if the
Poles accepted his territorial demands, which were also seen as justified by British public
opinion. Furthermore, he seemed to believe that the inclusion of Mikolajczyk in the new
Polish government formed in Moscow in June 1945, would ensure Polish independence,
because his Peasant Party was the largest political party in Poland.
When considering Soviet domination of most of E.Europe, we should recall that
Churchill and Roosevelt decided as far back as 1942, that Stalin's territorial demands in this
region were justified. However, as mentioned above, Churchill wanted an allied landing in
northern Yugoslavia to prevent or check Soviet domination of all of Central and Southeast
Europe.( It seems he wanted not only to safeguard British interests in the Mediterranean, but
also to start building a balance of power in Europe between Gt. Britain and the USRR,
assuming that the U.S. would withdraw its forces from Europe). But, as we know, the idea
of the Balkan landing was opposed not only by Stalin, but also by Roosevelt and the U.S.
military chiefs. Also, in fall 1943, Western military leaders recognized Eastern Europe as a
Soviet war theater (First Quebec Conference). In fact, Roosevelt seems to have envisaged
Soviet domination over Europe for about twenty years. (See his statements toArchbishop
Francis Spellman in early September 1943, cited earlier in this chapter).
U.S. and British leaders could not agree publicly to Soviet demands during the war. It is true that British and American public opinion had a great admiration for Soviet Russia, but it also firmly believed that peace must be based on the principles of the Atlantic Charter. Therefore, when Soviet domination over most of Eastern Europe became obvious soon after war's end, British and American opinion reacted very sharply. This reaction became a mixture of fear and hostility at the time of the Berlin Blockade, in 1948-49, which in turn led to establishment of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and of the West German state in 1949. Thus, the Cold War began (see ch. 6).
1. For Churchill's private remark on acknowledging help from the devil, see entry by Ian
Colville in Winston S. Churchill,The Second World War, vol. 3, The Grand Alliance, Boston,
1950, p. 37 (1977 reprint, ditto). For a short summary of Anglo-Soviet relations in 1939-40,
see Sir Llewellyn Woodward, British Foreign Policy in the Second World War, vol. I,
London, 1970, ch. XV; also Martin Kitchen, British Policy Towards the Soviet Union During
the Second World War, New York, 1986, ch. 2. For a detailed study of Stafford Cripps in
Russia, see Gabriel Gorodetsky, Stafford Cripps' Mission to Moscow, 1940-42, Cambridge
and New York, 1984. For alleged Soviet proposals to Sikorski in 1939 and for the indirect
Soviet proposal made to Sikorski in June 1940, see Anna M. Cienciala,"The Question of the
Polish-Soviet Frontier in 1939-40: The Litauer Memorandum and Sikorski's Proposals for Re-establishing Polish-Soviet Relations," Polish Review, v. XXXIII, no. 3, New York, 1988, pp.
2. The Polish officer cited here was Colonel Kazimierz Rosen- Zawadzki; this account of his
conversation with a high NKVD official in Lubyanka prison, fall 1940 (when R-Z was a
captain), comes from Anna M. Cienciala's notes of an interview with him, Warsaw, spring
1980. For the Sikorski-Maiskii agreement, see text of ch. 4 and note 3 below; for a map
showing the location of Polish POW and political prisoners in the USSR, see Wladyslaw
Anders, An Army in Exile. The Story of the Polish Second Corps, London 1949, 1st US
edition, Nashville, Tennessee, 1981, facing p. 57.
3. On the Sikorski-Maiskii agreement, see Documents on Polish-Soviet Relations, 1939-1945, v. I, London, 1961, no. 106, also documents in Antony Polonsky, ed., The Great
Powers and the Polish Question, 1941-1945, London, 1976, nos. 17-19. A good, short
account of the negotiations based on British and Polish documents is to be found in Sarah
Meiklejohn Terry, Poland's Place in Europe. General Sikorski and The Oder-Neisse Line,
1939-1943, Princeton, New Jersey, 1983, pp. 56-65; see also John Coutovidis & Jaime
Reynolds, Poland 1939-1947, New York, 1986, ch. 3. For a Polish point of view, see Jan
Karski, The Great Powers and Poland, 1919-1945. From Versailles to Yalta, Lanham, New
York and London, 1985, Part II, ch. XXIV. For a recent study based on Polish and British
archival documents, see Anna M. Cienciala, "General Sikorski and the Conclusion of the
Polish-Soviet Agreement of July 30, 1941: A Reassessment," the Polish Review, 1996, vol.
41, no. 4., pp.401-434. .
4. For the text of the Soviet-Polish military agreement of August 14, 1941, see Documents
on Polish-Soviet Relations, vol. I, no. 112, pp. 147-148.
5. For a short summary on the making of the Atlantic Charter, see Robert Dallek, Franklin
D.Roosevelt and American Foreign Policy, 1932-1945, New York, 1979, pp. 281-285; for
a detailed study, see Theodore A.Wilson, The First Summit: Roosevelt and Churchill at
Placentia Bay, 1941, Boston, 1969, revised edition, 1991; for Lend Lease aid to Soviet
Russia, see George C. Herring, Jr., Aid to Russia, 1941-1946. Strategy, Diplomacy, and the
Origins of the Cold War, London and New York, 1973.
6. For Maiskii's reservation, see "Address of the Ambassador of the Soviet Union to the
Inter-Allied Meeting, London, September 24, 1941," Documents on American Foreign
Relations, Leland M. Goodrich, ed., v. IV, 1941-41, Boston, 1942, pp. 214-16.
7. For the text of the Stalin-Sikorski Treaty, see Documents on Polish-Soviet Relations, vol.
I, no. 161; also Polonsky, The Great Powers, no. 29; for the Polish note on the Sikorski-Stalin conversation at the banquet, see Ibid, no. 160; for Sikorski's report to the Polish
Council of Ministers and his conversation with Churchill, see, Ibid., nos. 171, 179; for
Sikorski's official conversation with Stalin on Dec. 3rd, see Ibid., no. 158; for a short
summary of the talks, see Karski, The Great Powers and Poland, pp. 422-23; see also Gen.
Anders' account of Sikorski's visit and conversations in An Army in Exile, ch. VIII-IX, also
Stanislaw Kot, Conversations with the Kremlin and Dispatches from Russia, London, 1963.
(Kot was the Polish Ambassador in the USSR from 1941-42).
8. For Polish army problems and talks, see Documents on Polish-Soviet Relations, v. I, doc.
no. 159, also Stanislaw Kot's book cited above and his Letters from Russia to General
Sikorski, London, 1956, also Anders, An Army in Exile, ch. IX.
9. For a summary of the Eden-Stalin conversations, see Llewellyn Woodward, British
Foreign Policy in the Second World War, 2nd ed., v. II, London, 1971, pp. 222 ff; see also
M. Kitchen, British Policy Towards the Soviet Union, pp. 111-114. An English version of
the Russian documents, translated by T. Sorkokina, is in: Oleg A. Rzheshevsky, ed., War and
Diplomacy. The Making of the Grand Alliance. Documents from Stalin's Archives,
Amsterdam, 1996, Part I. Stalin's proposal on Belostok and Vilna to USSR, and Lvov
(Russia spelling as used in Russian document) to Poland, or vice versa, is in point 10 of one
version of an additional protocol drawn up in Moscow at this time, see ibid.,doc. 5, p. 23
10. On Cordell Hull's instructions regarding Eden's visit to Russia, see Foreign Relations of
the United States, 1941, vol. I, Washington, D.C., pp. 194-95; see also, Elizabeth Barker,
Churchill and Eden at War, London, 1978, pp. 134-35.
11. On Eden's support of Soviet territorial claims, see Kitchen, British Policy Towards the
Soviet Union, pp. 114-15; also John Harvey, ed., The War Diaries of Oliver Harvey, 1941-1945, London, 1978, note for December 18, 1941, pp. 75-77 (Oliver Harvey was Eden's
private secretary and accompanied him to Russia).
12. On Roosevelt's attitude to Soviet demands, see Undersecretary of State Sumner Welles
to British Ambassador Lord Halifax, April 1, 1942, Foreign Relations of the United States,
1942, v. III, pp. 538-39.
13. On the Roosevelt-Sikorski talks in March 1942, see Documents on Polish-Soviet
Relations, v. I, no. 194, pp. 310-11; for a brief summary of Sikorski's talks and U.S. officials'
opinion, see Richard C. Lukas, The Strange Alliance. The United States and Poland, 1941-1945, Knoxville, Tennessee, 1978, pp. 28-29; for more detail, see Sarah Meiklejohn Terry,
Poland's Place in Europe, pp. 284-295; see also the reliable memoirs of the Polish
Ambassador in Washington, Jan Ciechanowski, Defeat in Victory, New York, 1947, pp. 98-100.
14. On Roosevelt's support of Soviet territorial demands in April 1942, see Navigating the
Rapids, 1918-1971, from the papers of Adolf A. Berle, edited by Beatrice Bishop Berle and
Travis Beal Jacobs, New York, 1973, p. 401.
15. For Roosevelt to Beaverbrook on "Balts," see Elizabeth Barker,Churchill and Eden at
War, London, 1978, p. 239.
16. For the U.S. intervention with Molotov in London, see Winant's report of May 24, 1942,
in Foreign Relations of the United States, 1942, v. III, pp. 558-64; on Churchill's fear of a
conservative revolt, and on Cardinal Hinsley, see E. Barker, Churchill and Eden at War, p.
240; for the text of the Anglo-Soviet treaty, see Command Papers, House of Commons, no.
6368, 1942. For Russian documents on Molotov's negotiations with Churchill and Eden, May
22-27, 1942, see: Rzheshevsky, ed., War and Diplomacy, Part II; for Stalin's cable to
Molotov to accept the proposed British draft treaty, see doc. 38, pp. 122-23; for Molotov's
account his later converstion with Winant, see doc. 47, pp. 138-39.
17. On the Polish underground, see Stefan Korbonski, The Polish Underground State,
1939-1945, New York, 1978; revised ed. Marta Erdman trans., New York, 1981.
18. On the Polish communists, see Jan B. de Weydenthal, The Communists of Poland. An
Historical Outline, Stanford, California, Hoover Institution Press, 1978; revised edition, 1987;
on the Polish communists and Stalin's policy toward Poland in World War II, see Anna M.
Cienciala,"The Activities of Polish Communists as a Source for Stalin's Policy Towards
Poland in the Second World War," The International History Review, (Canada), vol. VII, no.
l, February 1985, pp. 129-145.(This was written before the author had access to Russian
archives, Moscow, summer 1994, but this research did not affect the main outlines of the
19. On Polish army problems in Russia and the exodus to Iran, see Anders, An Army in
Exile, chaps. X-XI, Kot, Letters from Russia, also Keith Sword, Exile and Deportation.
Poles in the Soviet Union, 1939-48, New York, 1994, ch. 2-4. For Russian documents with
Polish translation, see: Z archiwow sowieckich, tom II, Armia Polska w ZSSR 1941-1942,
(From the Soviet Archives, vol. II. The Polish Army in the USSR, 1941-1942), translated.
and edited by Dr. Wojciech Materski, Warsaw, 1992.
20. On the Stalin-Wasilewska agreement, PPR, etc., see Cienciala article listed in note 18
21. See ch. 5 and Cienciala article cited in note 1 above.
22. See Gen. Jaruzelski's article in the Soviet party periodical: Kommunist,, September 1987
and the Washington Post, September 1, 1987, A-16, also Nowy Dziennik, New York,
September 9, 1987, editorial by B.W. [Boleslaw Wierzbianski] p. 5; for April 13, 1990, see
Moscow News, nos. 18, 20, May-June 1990; for admission of the burial sites in Mednoye
and near Kharkov, see New York Time, June 20, 1990, A-6.
For a short summary of the massacres, see: Michael Parrish, The Lesser Terror.
Soviet State Security, 1939-1953, Westport, CT., & London, 1996, ch. 2, Mass Killings of
Polish POW Officers, pp. 53-67. The best English language account of the Katyn massacre
based on Polish oral accounts and documents, but lacking Soviet documents, is J. K.
Zawodny, Death in the Forest. The Story of the Katyn Massacre, Notre Dame, Indiana, 1962,
and later reprints. For a good study which includes information from relatives, see: Allen Paul,
KATYN. Stalin's Massacre and the Seeds of Polish Resurrection, Annapolish, Md., 1996
(earlier ed. 1991). For articles based on NKVD documentation showing Soviet guilt, see
Natalia S. Lebedeva, "The Katyn Tragedy," International Affairs,(Moscow), 1990, no. 6, pp.
98-114 and notes, also Natalia S. Lebedeva, "Documents: Stalin, Sikorski, Anders et al.,"
Ibid., January 1991, no. 1, pp. 116-120; see also her article on the dissolution of the special
camps in: Katynskaia Drama, Moscow, 1991, pp. 129-159, and on the whole question, see
her book, Katyn. Prestuplenie protiv chelovechestva, (Katyn A Crime Against Humanity),.
Moscow, 1994. . See also Vera Toltz, "The Katyn Documents and the CPSU Hearings,"
RFE/RFL Research Report, vol. I, no. 44, November 6, 1992, pp. 27-33, and Louisa Vinton,
"The Katyn Documents: Politics and History, Ibid., vol. 2, no. 4, January 1993, pp. 19-31.
This article includes an English translation of part of the document of March 5, 1940, and a
xerox of p. l of the Russian text with the signatures of Stalin, Voroshilov, Molotov and
Mikoyan written across it For the full Russian texts of this and other relevant documents
with English translation, see: W.Materski, ed., with preface by Janusz Zawodny, KATYN.
Documents of Genocide,Documents and materials from the Soviet archives turned over to
Poland on October 14, 1992,.Warsaw, 1993. The publication of a cooperative Polish and
Russian multi volume series is in progess. As of this writing (Sept. 1996) vol. I of the Polish
language publications has appeared: KATYN. Dokumenty Zbrodni. Tom I. Jency
niewypowiedzianej wojny, sierpien 1939 - marzec 1940 (Katyn. Documents of the Crime.
Vol. I. The prisoners of an undeclared war, August 1939 - March 1940), Wojciech Materski
and Rudolf Pikhoia, eds., Warsaw, 1995, and vol. II should appear in late 1997. The
Russian edition of vol. I., KATYN , was published in Moscow in spring 1997.
For British and U.S. reactions to Katyn during the war, see P. M. H. Bell,
"Censorship, Propaganda and Public Opinion: The Case of the Katyn Graves," Transactions
of the Royal Historical Society, 5th ser., vol. 39, 1989, pp. 63-83; also Crister S. and
Stephen A. Garrett, "Death and Politics: The Katyn Forest Massacre and American Policy,"
East European Quarterly, vol. XX, no. 4, January 1987, pp. 429-446.
22a. For a Russian pamphlet claiming that the Russian documents handed over to Poland in
October 1992 are fakes, that the Burdenko commission of 1944 "proved" the crime had
been committed by the Germans, and that in any case, the Polish officers deserved their fate
because they surrendered and so were cowards, see: Iuri I. Mukhin, Katynskii Detektiv,
Moscow, 1995. (The cover photo of a German execution platoon and the backs of their
falling victims was taken, without acknowledgement, from a photo of a German exeecution
of civilians in Poland. Mukhin is a journalist working for the nationalist paper Zavtra
23. The most detailed English language study of the crash of Sikorski's plane at Gibraltar is to be found in David Irving, Accident. The Death of General Sikorski, London, 1967.
24. For an account of American military planners' views at the First QuebecConference, see:
Mark Stoler, The Politics of the Second Front. American Military Planning and Diplomacy
in Coalition Warfare, 1941-1943, Westport CT. & London, 1977, ch. 8. See also, Robert E.
Sherwood, Roosevelt and Hopkins. An Intimate History, New York, 1948, pp. 748-49; for
full text of document by Burns: "Russia's Position," August 2, 1943, see: Foreign Relations
of the United States. Conferences at Washington and Quebec, p. 625.
25. For the Roosevelt - Spellman conversation, see Robert I. Gannon, S.J., The Cardinal
Spellman Story, New York, 1962; on spheres of influence, p. 222; on Eastern Europe, p. 223.
26. On FDR's attitude toward Eastern and Central Europe, see Robert F. Dallek, Franklin
D. Roosevelt and American Foreign Policy, p. 411, 414, 418.
27. For a short summary of the Foreign Ministers' Conference, Moscow, October 1943, see
Karski, The Great Powers and Poland, pp. 463-65; for a longer account, see Herbert Feis,
Churchill Roosevelt Stalin. The War They Waged and the Peace They Sought, Princeton,
New Jersey, 1957, chaps. 21-24 (an older work, but still useful); for Churchill and British
policy at this time, see Kitchen, British Policy Towards the Soviet Union During World War
II, pp. 163-69; see also The Memoirs of Cordell Hull, vol. II, London, 1948, chaps. 92-94,
quotation on Stalin p. 1311, and Dallek, Franklin D. Roosevelt and American Foreign Policy,
pp. 418 ff; on Hull to Ciechanowski, see the latter's Defeat in Victory, p. 235.
28. On the Tehran Conference, see Karski,The Great Powers and Poland, ch. XXIX, "The
Tehran Conference," pp. 473-8,1 also, Feis, Roosevelt Churchill Stalin, chaps. 25-28; for a
major study of the conference, see Keith Eubank, Summit at Teheran. The Untold Story, New
York, 1985; the U.S. records of the conference are in Foreign Relations of the United States.
The Conferences at Cairo and Tehran, 1943, Washington, D.C. 1961.
29. For a summary of developments on the Polish question in late 1943 - June 1944, see
Cienciala, "The Activities of Polish Communists," (note 18 above) pp. 138-41; for the Lange-Orlemanski trip, Polish-American reactions, and the Mikolajczyk-Roosevelt talks see Lukas,
The Strange Allies, pp. 52-59. For a detailed of Lange's activities in 1944, see a study based
predominantly on the Lange correspondence and documents in the Russian Foreign Ministry
Archives, Moscow: Anna M. Cienciala, "New Light on Oskar Lange as an Intermediary
between Roosevelt and Stalin in Attempts to Create a New Polish Government (January-November 1944)," Acta Poloniae Historica vol. 73, Warsaw, 1996, pp. 89-134.
29b. The instruction to Bulganin is cited in: Albina Noskova, ed., NKVD i pol'skoe podpol'e
1944-1945. (Po "osbym papkam" Stalina) [The NKVD and the Polish Underground 1944-1945. On the Basis of Stalin's "personal files"], Moscow, 1994, p. 12. (See Cienciala review
of this book in the: Slavic Review, vol.55, no. 3, summer 1996, pp. 470-72, and Erratum,
Slavic Review, vol. 55, no. 4, winter 1996, (p.958, after Letters to the Editor).
30. For the August 8, 1944 cable from Rokossovsky's War Council to Stalin, see:
Wlodzimierz Woloszyn, Na warszawskim kierunku operacyjnym, (On the Warsaw
Operational Direction), Warsaw, 1964, p.78, cited by Vojtech Mastny, Russia's Road to the
Cold War. Diplomacy, Warfare and the Politics of Communism, 1944-1945, New York,
1979, pp. 185, and see notes ,ch. 6, note 30, p. 369.
31. Until the collapse of communism in Poland in 1989, Polish historians writing in Poland
under the rigors of censorship, followed the party -- and Moscow -- line on the Warsaw
rising, i.e., they condemned the Polish Government in London and the Home Army Command
for bringing about great loss of life and the destruction of the city. They also condemned the
Mikolajczyk government for not acceding to Stalin's demands, claiming this would have
averted the tragedy. Most Polish emigre writers and historians did not share these views, see
Stefan Korbonski, The Polish Underground State, ch. XIII; Jozef Garlinski, Poland in the
Second World War, ch. XXII; Jan Karski, The Great Powers and Poland, ch. XXXIII, and
the book length study by J. K. Zawodny, Nothing But Honor: The Story of the Uprising in
Warsaw, Stanford, California, Hoover Institution Press, 1978; see also the memoirs of Gen.
Tadeusz Bor-Komorowski, The Secret Army, New York, 1951. See also; Anna M. Cienciala,
"The Diplomatic Background of the Warsaw Uprising of 1944: the Players and the Stakes,"
Polish Review, vol. 39, no. 4, 1994, pp. 393-414, and Andrzej Chmielarz, "Warsaw Fought
Alone: Reflections on Aid to and the Fall of the 1944 Uprsing," ibid., pp. 415-434. The only
emigre historian who wrote that the Polish government should have agreed to Soviet
demands, that the Warsaw rising should never have occurred, and blamed the Polish
Government and Home Army Command for the tragedy is Jan Ciechanowski, The Warsaw
Rising of 1944, Cambridge, 1974. (The author, who resides in London, is not to be confused
with his relative, Jan Ciechanowski, the wartime Polish Ambassador in Washington). For the
Polish communists' attitude toward the rising and for their activities in Poland see: Krystyna
Kersten, The Establishment of Communist Rule in Poland, 1943-1948, Berkeley, CA., 1991,
ch. 2, 3. For documents, see: The Beginnings of Communist Rule in Poland. December 1943 -
June 1945, edited by Antony Polonsky and Boleslaw Drukier, London, 1980 [with a long
introduction and documents].
For a summary of the Moscow talks of October 1944, see Karski, The Great Powers
and Poland, pp. 542-551; documents in Documents on Polish-Soviet Relations, vol. II, nos.
237-246, and notes; also, Beginnings of Communist Rule in Poland, no. 56, pp. 355-356, and
A. Polonsky, The Great Powers and the Polish Question, no. 112, pp. 220-225.
31 a. For Roosevelt to Harriman on his not caring if E.Europe were communized, see:
William Larsh, "Yalta nd the American Approach to Free Elections in Poland," Polish
Review, vol. XL, 1993, no. 3, p. 280, note 35 (for another Larsh article refrred to in this
note, see note 7 in same article).
32. For a summary of Yalta discussions on Poland, see: Karski, The Great Powers and
Poland, ch. XXXVII, pp. 581-602; see also, Feis, Roosevelt Churchill Stalin, chaps. 51-47;
for documents see Documents on Polish-Soviet Relations, vol. II, nos. 304-309, and
Polonsky, The Great Powers and Poland, nos. 120-132; for the U.S. record of the Yalta
Conference, see Foreign Relations of the United States. The Conferences at Malta and Yalta,
1945, Washington, D.C., 1955; for Churchill's account, see The Second World War, vol. 6,
Triumph and Tragedy, Boston, 1953, and reprints, Book Two, chaps. 1-4; for a historical
account, see Martin Gilbert, Winston S. Churchill, vol. VII, The Road to Victory, 1941-1945,
Boston, 1986, chaps. 61-62; see also Richard C. Lukas, The Strange Allies, chaps. VII, VII;
for the retrospective views of Allied diplomats and of East Europeans, see Michael Charlton,
The Eagle and the Small Birds. Crisis in the Soviet Empire: From Yalta to Solidarity, ch. 1,
"The Spectre of Yalta," Chicago, 1984. The major U.S. study of Yalta is by Diane Shaver
Clements, Yalta, New York, 1970; the author claims that Roosvelt and Churchill gained more
at Yalta than Stalin (?). On Stalin to Molotov on the U.S. draft Declaration on the Liberation
of Europe, see: Molotov Remebers. Inside Kremlin Politics. Conversations with Felix Chuev,
edited with an Introducton by Albert Resis, Chicago, 1993, p. 51 [8-15-75].(Chuev, a
journalist and admirer of Stalin gained Molotov's confidence and noted his answers to
questions over the years). For a recent study of the Polish Queston at this time, see Anna M.
Cienciala, "Great Britain and Poland Before and After Yalta," Polish Review, vol. XL, no.
3, 1995, pp. 281-314.
33. On the rejection of the proposed Emergency Commission for liberated Europe; on
Roosevelt to Stettinius in February 1944; on the Operations Division of the U.S. Army and
the agreement on Allied Control Commissions in Bulgaria and Romania, see Cyril E. Black,
in Thomas T. Hammond, ed., Witnesses to the Origins of the Cold War, Seattle, Washington
and London, 1982, pp. 63 ff. (documentary sources listed in footnotes).
On the Churchill-Stalin percentage agreement, see Vojtech Mastny, Russia's Road to
the Cold War, pp. 208-12; more detail in Albert Resis, "The Churchill-Stalin Percentage
Agreement," Ameri-can Historical Review, vol. 83, no.2, April 1978, pp. 368-87.
For Roosevelt's statements to Senators in January 1945 and for excerpts from his
address to Congress of March 1, 1945, see Robert Dallek, Franklin D. Roosevelt and
American Foreign Policy, pp. 507-08, and 520; on the Yalta Conference, see Ibid., pp. 508-20.
34. For an account of the NKVD manhunt in Poland, see Coutovidis & Reynolds, Poland
1939-1947, Part Two, chaps. 6-7, also, Noskova, NKVD, passim. For the Polish translation
of the Russian NKVD records of the interrogations and the rigged trial of the 16 Polish
leaders see: Proces Szesnastu. Dokumenty NKWD, Selection by Waldemar Strzalkowski,
edited by Andrzej Chmielarz et al., Warsaw, 1995.
35. For a study of the Potsdam Conference, see Herbert Feis, Between War and Peace. The
Potsdam Conference, Princeton, New Jersey, 1960, and Charles L. Mee, Jr., Meeting at
Potsdam, New York, 1975; for the U.S. record, see Foreign Relations of the United States.
The Conference of Berlin, 1945, Washington, D.C., 1960.
35 a. On the project and talks about a Polish-Czechoslovak confederation see an oder study
by: Piotr S. Wandycz, Czechoslovak-Polish Confederation and the Great Powers, 1940-1943,
Bloomington, Ind., 1956. This must now be supplemented by a valuable collection of
documents: Czechoslovak-Polish Negotiations of the Establishme of Confederation and
Alliance 1939-1944. Czechoslovak Diplomatic Documents, Ivan Stovicek and Jaroslav
Valenta, eds., Prague, 1995 ( most documents are in Czech, with some in Polish and English.
There are two prefaces,one by Valenta and the other by Stovicek; they are presented in a
somewhat awkward English translation).
36. For Czechoslovakia in World War II, see Victor S. Mamatey and Radomir Luza,
eds., A History of the Czechoslovak Republic, 1918-1948, Princeton, N. J.,1973, "Part Two.
Occupation, War, and Liberation"; also Callum MacDonald, THE KILLING OF S S
OBERGRUPPENFUHERER REINHARD HEYDRICH, New York, 1989; Vojtech Mastny,
THE CZECHS UNDER NAZI RULE. The Failure of National Resistance, 1939-1942 New
York, London, 1971. For a good, short surevey, see: Joseph Korbel, 20th Century
Czechoslovakia, New York, 1980, chapters dealing with World War II; on Edward Benes,
his wartime views and policies, see Edward Taborsky,President Edvard Benes. Between East
and West, 1938-1948, Stanford, Ca.,1981. (Taborsky was Benes's private secretary).
36a. On the Western Allies' surrender of anti-communist Soviet soldiers and civilians to
Stalin, see Nicholas Bethell, The Last Secret. The Delivery to Stalin of over Two Million
Russians by Britain and the United States, New York, 1974. See also Catherine Andreyev,
Vlasov and the Russian Liberation Movement. Soviet Reality and Emigre Theories,
Cambridge, New York, 1987 The British and American governments feared that unless they
complied withStalin's demands to deliver these Soviet citizens to Soviet authorities, the latter
would not release British and American prisoners from camps in the Soviet zone of
36b. For Stalin to Djilas on Churchill and Roosevelt, see Milovan Djilas, Conversations with
Stalin, New York, 1962; see also his reminiscences of Stalin in: Michael Charlton, THE
EAGLE AND THE SMALL BIRDS. Crisis in the Soviet Empire: From Yalta to Solidarity,
Chicago, 1984, pp.92-93. See also Djilas memoirs, note 37 below.
37. For Yugoslavia during the war, see S. Clissold, ed., Cambridge Short History of Yugoslavia from Early Times to 1966, Cambridge, 1968, and later reprints, chapters on World War II; Fred Singleton, Twentieth Century Yugoslavia, New York, 1976 and later reprints, ch. 6; for more detail, Singleton, A Short History of the Yugoslav Peoples, Cambridge, England, 1985, ch. 9; on Drazha Mihailovich and his movement, see Patriot or Traitor. The Case of General Mihailovich. Proceedings and Report of the Commission of Inquiry of the Committee for a Fair Trial for Draja Mihailovich, introductory essay by David Martin, foreword by Frank J. Lausche, Stanford, California, Hoover Institution Press, 1978, [documents]; also Matteo J. Milazzo, The Chetnik Movement & The Yugoslav Resistance, Baltimore, Maryland and London, 1975.
On Tito's partisans and relations with Moscow, the most interesting book are the
memoirs of Milovan Djilas Wartime, New York and London, 1977; for Stalin's advice to
Djilas and his opinion of Roosevelt and Churchill in June 1944, see Ibid., pp. 338-89; on
Tito's agreement with Subasic, elections, terror, and Patterson reports, see the Michael B.
Petrovich account in Thomas T. Hammond, ed., Eye-witnesses to the Cold War, pp. 49-55;
for a short study of the Yugoslav revolution, see Paul Shoup, in Thomas T. Hammond, ed.,
The Anatomy of Communist Takeovers, New Haven, Connecticut and London, 1975, pp.
For British policy, see Phyllis Auty and Richard Clogg, eds., British Policy towards
Wartime Resistance in Yugoslavia and Greece, London and New York, 1975; Elizabeth
Barker, British Policy in South-East Europe in the Second World War, London, 1976; see
also Michael Lees, The Rape of Serbia: The British Role in Tito's Grab for Power, San Diego,
California, 1991, and David Martin, The Webb of Disinformation: Churchill's Yugoslav
Blunder, San Diego, California, 1990; both authors accuse Churchill of believing false
information supplied by communists.
For Allied policy toward Yugoslavia, see Walter R. Roberts, Tito, Mihailovic and the
Allies, 1941-1945, New Brunswick, New Jersey, 1973; for a critical evaluation of same, see
Nora Beloff, Tito's Flawed Legacy. Yugoslavia & the West since 1939, Boulder, Colorado,
1985 (unfortunately, the footnotes omit page references); for the discovery of mass graves
in Croatia, see New York Times, July 9, 1990, p. A-4.
38. On the communist movement in Albania, 1941-44, see Stephen Peters, in The Anatomy
of Communist Takeovers, pp. 273-292; more detail in Stavro Skendi, The Political Evolution
of Albania, 1912-1944, New York, 1954, and Nicholas C. Pano, The People's Republic of
Albania, Baltimore, M., 1968.
39. On the Greek communists and the civil war, see D. George Kousoulas, in Thomas T.
Hammond, The Anatomy of Communist Takeovers, pp. 293-309; for more detail, see
Kousoulas, Revolution and Defeat: The Story of the Greek Communist Party, London,
1956 (see also bibliography after end of notes ).
40. For Hungary during the war, see relevant chapters in Paul Ignotus, Hungary, London,
1972; for more detail, see Stephen D. Kertesz, Diplomacy in a Whirlpool. Hungary between
Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia, Notre Dame, Indiana, 1953, also C.A. Macartney, October
Fifteenth. A History of Modern Hungary, 1929-1945, 2nd edition, vol. II, Edinburgh, 1961.
41. For Romania at the end of the war, and for the communist takeover, see Stephen Fisher-Galati, in Hammond, The Anatomy of Communist Takeovers, pp. 310-320; for more detail, see Ghita Ionescu, Communism in Rumania, 1944-1962, London and New York, 1964, Introduction and Part I, chaps. 2-5. For a more recent treatment, see: Keith Hitchins, RUMANIA 1866-1947, Oxford, 1994, ch. 12.
42. A very brief account of Bulgaria in the period 1941-46 is to be found in J. F. Brown,
Bulgaria under Communist Rule, New York, 1970, pp. 3-11.
For an overall wartime survey of the countries that came under Soviet domination,
as well as those in peripheral areas, see Stephen D. Kertesz, ed., The Fate of East Central
Europe. Hopes and Failures of American Foreign Policy, Notre Dame, Indiana, 1956.
43. For Turkish hints in 1943, see Edward Weisband, Turkish Foreign Policy 1943-1945,
Princeton, New Jersey, 1972, chaps. V-VI; see also Harry N. Howard, Turkey, the Straits
and U.S.Policy, Baltimore, Maryland and London, 1974, ch. VI.
44. On Goebbels's fears of Western armies landing in the Balkans, see Joseph Goebbels, The
Goebbels Diaries, [1942-43] London, New York, 1948 (notes for summer 1943).
45. For arguments that a second front in Europe was possible in 1943, see Walter Scott
Dunn, Second Front NOW - 1943, Alabama, 1980; see also John Grigg, 1943. The Victory
that Never Was, New York, 1980, also Mark A. Stoler, The Politics of the Second Front.
American Military Planning and Diplomacy in Coalition Warfare, Westport, Connecticut and
London, Contributions to Military History Number 12, 1977.
1. Poland and the Polish Question in World War II.
Wladyslaw Anders, An Army in Exile. The Story of the Polish Second Corps, London, 1949;
lst U.S. edition, Nashville, Tennessee, 1981.
Jan Ciechanowski, Defeat in Victory, New York, 1947 (reliable memoirs of the Polish
wartime ambassador in Washington, D.C.).
Jan Ciechanowski, The Warsaw Rising 1944, Cambridge, England, 1974. ( by nephew of P.
amb. above; contrast with J.K. Zawodny book on same topic).
Anna M. Cienciala, "The Activities of Polish Communists as a Source for Stalin's Policy
Towards Poland in the Second World War," The International History Review,
(Canada), vol. VII, no.1., February 1985, pp. 129-145.
Same, "The Question of the Polish-Soviet Frontier in 1939-1940: The Litauer Memorandum
and Sikorski's Proposals for Re-Establishing Polish-Soviet Relations," Polish Review,
vol. XXXIII, no. 3., 1988, pp. 295-323.
Same, "Great Britain and Poland Before and After Yalta," Polish Review, vol. XL, no. 3,
1995, pp. 281-314.
Same, "New Light on Oskar Lange as Intermediary Between Roosevelt and Stalin in
Attempts to Create a New Polish Government (January-November 1944), Acta Poloniae
Historica, vol. 73, Warsaw, 1996, pp. 89-134.
Same,"General Sikorski and the Conclusion of the Polish-Soviet Agreement of July 30, 1941:
A Reassessment," the Polish Review, vol. 41, no. 4, 1996, pp. 401-434.
John Coutovidis and Jaime Reynolds, Poland 1939-1947, Leicester, England and New York,
1986 (critical of the Polish government in London).
Jozef Garlinski, Poland in the Second World War, London, 1985 (best Eng. lang. survey by
a veteran of the war)..
John L. Harper and Andrew Parlin, The Polish Question During World War II, Washington,
D.C., Foreign Policy Institute, The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International
Studies, FPI Case Studies Number 15, The Johns Hopkins University, 1990 (This has
good, brief, summaries of the discussions on Poland at Tehran and Yalta; however,
the background information on Poland contains numerous errors).
David Irving, Accident. The Death of General Sikorski, London, 1967.(has all information
Jan Karski, The Great Powers and Poland 1919-1945. From Versailles to Yalta, Lanham,
New York and London, 1985. (based mostly on published sources; partisan view of
prewar P. for. policy; much better on wartime).
Krystyna Kersten, The Establishment of Communist Rule in Poland, 1943-1948,
(Berkeley, CA., 1991 (excellent study based mostly on PPR archives).
Stefan Korbonski, The Polish Underground State, 1939-1945, New York, 1978 (excellent
study by last head of civil resistance)..
Stanislaw Kot, Letters from Russia to General Sikorski, London, 1956. (Kot was Polish
ambassador toUSSR 1914-42).
Stanislaw Kot, Conversations with the Kremlin and Despatches from Russia, London, 1963.
Nataliya S. Lebedeva, "The Katyn Tragedy," International Affairs, Moscow, 1990, no. 6, pp.
98-113 and notes. ( author is Russian authority on topic;On KATYN, see bibl. in note
Richard C. Lukas, The Strange Alliance. The United States and Poland, 1942-1945,
Knoxville, Tenn., 1978. (V.good survey, based on archival and published sources).
Sarah Meiklejohn Terry, Poland's Place in Europe. General Sikorski and the Oder-Neisse
Line, 1939-1945, Princeton, N.J,1983 (excellent diplomatic history based on archival
Stanislaw Mikolajczyk, The Rape of Poland. Pattern of Soviet Aggression, New York and
Toronto, 1948 ( by the Polish Premier in London, July 1943-November 1944,
Deputy Premier in Poland, June 1945-October 1947).
Jan Nowak, Courier from Warsaw, Detroit, Mich., 1982 (fascinating memoirs of a Polish
underground courier, later head of the Polish Desk, Radio Free Europe, Munich).
Allen Paul, KATYN. Stalin's Massacres and the Seeds of Polish Resurrections, Annapolis,
Md., 1996 (lst ed. 1991; good, with accounts by relatives of the dead).
Anita Prazmowska, Britain and Poland 1939-1943. The Betrayed Ally, Cambridge, England,
1995. (Good on British policy, but totally negative on Polish government . Author hints it
should have allied itself with the USSR in 1943. This was psychologically impossbile, but
even it were possible, such an alliance could not have secured Polish independence for Stalin's
designs on Poland are known; see Cienciala evaluation on in Journal of Military History, no.
1, 1997, and Polish Review, 1997, no. 4).
Edward Raczynski, In Allied London, London, 1960. (Brief but reliable memoirs of the Polish
ambassador in London).
Keith Sword, Deportation and Exile. Poles in the Soviet Union, 1939-48, New York, 1994.
Jan B. de Weydenthal, The Communists of Poland. An Historical Outline, Stanford, Ca.,
1978; rev. ed. 1987.
J. K. Zawodny, Death in the Forest. The Story of the Katyn Forest Massacre, Notre Dame,
1962, and reprints (this should now be supplemented by the Lebedeva article).
J. K. Zawodny, Nothing but Honor: The Story of the Uprising of Warsaw, Stanford,
California, Hoover Institution Press, 1978 (The author fought in the Warsaw Rising;
included are interesting conversations with various statesmen. Contrast with Jan
Ciechanowski book on the rising).
Documents on Polish-Soviet Relations, 1939-1945, 2 vols., London, 1961, 1967.
Foreign Relations of the United States, (vols. for the years 1941-45).
W. Materski ed., with Introduction by Janusz K. Zawodny, KATYN. Documents of
Genocide. Documents and Materials from the Soviet archives turned over to Poland on
October 14, 1992.,
Anthony Polonsky, ed., The Great Powers and the Polish Question, 1941-1945, London,
Anthony Polonsky and Boleslaw Drukier, eds.,The Beginnings of Communist Rule in Poland.
December 1943 - June 1945, London, 1980.
Thomas T. Hammond, ed., The Anatomy of Communist Takeovers, New Haven, Connecticut
and London, 1975 (includes Poland).
Thomas T. Hammond, ed., Witnesses to the Origins of the Cold War, Seattle, Washington
and London, 1982 (includes Poland).
Stephen D. Kertesz, ed., The Fate of East Central Europe. Hopes and Failures of American
Foreign Policy, Notre Dame, 1956.
Geir Lundestad, The American Non-Policy towards Eastern Europe, 1943-1947, Norway,
1978 (includes Poland).
Vojtech Mastny, Russia's Road to the Cold War. Warfare and the Politics of Communism,
1941-1945, New York, 1979 (excellent, detailed study; includes Poland; needs
updating in view of new Russian and Polish documents).
S. Skendi, The Political Evolution of Albania, 1912-1944, New York, 1954.
Nicholas C. Pano, The People's Republic of Albania, Baltimore, Maryland, 1968.
J. F. Brown, Bulgaria under Communist Rule, New York, 1970.
Michael M. Boll, ed., The American Military Mission in the Allied Control Commission in
Bulgaria, 1944-1947. History and Transcripts, East European Monographs, no.186,
Boulder, Co., and New York, 1985.
R. J. Crampton, A Short History of Modern Bulgaria, Cambridge, England and New York,
Marshall Lee Miller, Bulgaria during the Second World War, Stanford, California, 1975.
Charles A. Moser, Dimitrov of Bulgaria: A Political Biography of Dr. Georgi M. Dimitrov,
Ottawa, Illinois, 1979 (on the leader of the Radical Agrarian Party, not to be confused
with the communist leader of same name, who was head of the Comintern and later
in the communist leadership of Bulgaria).
Nissan Oren, Bulgarian Communism: The Road to Power 1934-1944, New York, 1971.
Joseph Korbel, 20th Century Czechoslovakia, New York, 1982 (excellent).
Callum MacDonald, THE KILLING OF SS OBERBRUPPENFUHRER REINHARD
HEYDRICH, New York, 1989.
Victor S. Mamatey and Radomir Luza, eds., A History of the Czechoslovak Republic, 1918-1948, Princeton, New Jersey, 1973.
Vojtech Mastny, The Czechs under Nazi Rule. The Failure of National Resitance, 1939-1942,
New York, London, 1971.
Hubert Ripka, Czechoslovakia Enslaved, London, 1950 (by an anti-communist Czech
Edward Taborsky, President Edvard Benes. Between East and West, 1938-1948, Stanford,
California, Hoover Institution, 1981 (by the wartime private secretary of Benes).
Paul E. Zinner, Communist Strategy and Tactics in Czechoslovakia, 1918-1948, London,
G. M. Alexander, The Prelude to the Truman Doctrine: British Policy in Greece, 1944-1947,
D. George Kousoulas, Revolution and Defeat: The Story of the Greek Communist Party,
Lawrence S. Wittner, American Intervention in Greece, 1943-1947, New York, 1982.
Paul Ignotus, Hungary, London, 1972 (excellent).
Stephen D. Kertesz, Diplomacy in a Whirlpool. Hungary Between Nazi Germany and Soviet
Russia, Notre Dame, 1953 (diplomatic history based on sources available at the time).
C. A. Macartney, October Fifteenth. A History of Modern Hungary, 1929-1945, 2nd ed.,
vol. 2, Edinburgh, 1961.(detailed account by an author sympathetic to Hungary).
Stephen Fischer-Galati, 20th Century Rumania, New York, 1970 (by an American historian
of Romanian origin).
Keith Hitchins, Rumania 1866-1947, Oxford, 1994 (excelent)..
Andrei Otetea, The History of the Romanian People, New York, 1970 (translation of work
by an official Romanian historian).
Edward Weisband, Turkish Foreign Policy 1943-1945, Princeton, New Jersey, 1972.
Harry N. Howard, Turkey, the Straits and U.S. Policy, Baltimore, Maryland and London,
Phyllis Auty and Richard Clogg, eds., British Policy towards Wartime Resistance in
Yugoslavia and Greece, London and New York, 1975.
Nora Beloff, Tito's Flawed Legacy. Yugoslavia & the West since 1939, Boulder, Colorado,
S. Clissold, ed., Cambridge Short History of Yugoslavia from Early Times to 1966,
Cambridge, England, 1968.
Milovan Djilas, Wartime, New York and London, 1977 (memoirs of a communist leader,
Michael Lees, The Rape of Serbia; The British Role in Tito's Grab for Power, 1943-1944,
San Diego, California, 1991.
David Martin, The Webb of Disinformation; Churchill's Yugoslav Blunder, San Diego,
Matteo J. Milazzo, The Chetnik Movement & the Yugoslav Resistance, Baltimore, Maryland
and London, 1975.
The Case of General Mihailovich, Stanford, California, Hoover Institution Press, 1978
Walter R. Roberts, Tito, Mihailovic and the Allies, 1941-1945, New Brunswick, New Jersey,
3. The Great Powers.
The United States, Gt.Britain and the USSR.
ALLIES AT WAR. The Soviet, American, and British Experience, 1939-1945, edited by
David Reynolds, Warren F. Kimball, and A.O. Chubarian, New York, 1994 (Essays by
Soviet, U.S. and British historians on Strategy, Economy, Home Front, and Foreign Policy.
Should be read with a good knowledge of the subject).
Michael Charlton, THE EAGLE AND THE SMALL BIRDS. Crisis in the Soviet Empire:
From Yalta to Solidarity, Chicago, 1984 (ch. 1. The Spectre of Yalta, valuable for interviews
with British and East European statesmen and others active in WW II, including Edward
Raczynski, Polish amb. London, and Milovan Djilas, Yugoslav communist in leadership of
Tito's partisan movement. Contrast with Gardner book below).
Lloyd C. Gardener, SPHERES OF INFLUENCE. The Great Powers Partition Europe, from
Munich to Yalta, Chicago, 1993. (Gardner argues that partition was a natural and beneficial
arrangement, which is hardly the view of East Europeans, see Charlton above).
G. M. Alexander, The Prelude to the Truman Doctrine: British Policy in Greece, 1944-1947,
Phyllis Auty and Richard Clogg, eds., British Policy towards Wartime Resistance in
Yugoslavia and Greece, London and New York, 1975.
Elizabeth Barker, Churchill and Eden at War, London, 1978.
Same, British Policy in South-East Europe in the Second World War, London, 1976.
P.M.H. Bell, John Bull & the Bear. British Public Opinion, Foreign Policy and the Soviet
Union, 1941-1945, London, New York, 1990.(Excellent study).
A. H. Birse, Memoirs of an Interpreter, London, 1967. (Churchill's interpreter from Russian
Winston S. Churchill, The Second World War, 6 vols., Boston, 1948 and reprints.
David Dilks, ed., The Diaries of Sir Alexander Cadogan, 1938-1945, London, 1971.
(A.Cadogan, 1884-1968, was Head of the Foreign Office at this time; his brief notes
shed much light on British policy and views of allies).
Earl of Avon (Anthony Eden), Memoirs. The Reckoning, Boston, 1965. ( Anthony Eden , lst
Earl of Avon, 1897-1977, Churchill's son-in-law, was Foreign Secretary 1940-45, 1951-55,
Prime Minister 1955-57).
Gabriel Gorodetsky, Stafford Cripps' Mission to Moscow, 1940-42, London and New York,
1984. (good account).
Bill Jones, The Russia Complex. The British Labour Party and the Soviet Union, Manchester,
Martin M. Kitchen, British Policy towards the Soviet Union During the Second World War,
New York, 1986.
Harold Macmillan, The Blast of War, 1939-1945, London, 1967. (Harold Macmillan, 1894-1996, was Br. minister at Allied H.Q. Africa in WW II, later Prime Minister 1957-63).
Llewellyn Woodward, British Foreign Policy in the Second World War, rev. ed., 5 vols.,
London, 1970-1975. (documented survey).
(see also Beloff, Lees and Martin above).
The Soviet Union.
V. Berezhkov, History in the Making: Memoirs of World War II Diplomacy, Moscow, 1983
(author was an interpreter for Stalin).
Seweryn Bialer, ed., Stalin and his Generals. Soviet Military Memoirs of World War II, New
Gen. Vasili I. Chuikov, The End of the Third Reich, London, 1967.
John Erickson, Stalin's War With Germany, vol. 1, The Road to Stalingrad, London, 1976;
vol. 2, The Road to Berlin, London, 1983 (detailed military history).
Ivan M. Maisky, Memoirs of a Soviet Ambassador: the War, 1939-1943, London, 1967.
(reflects Soviet views).
William O. McCagg. Jr., Stalin Embattled. 1943-1948, Detroit, Michigan, 1978
(controversial study claiming Stalin's policy was dictated by domestic concerns).
Vojtech Mastny, Russia's Road to the Cold War. Diplomacy, Warfare and the Politics of
Communism, New York, 1979 (best English language study so far but needs
same, The Cold War and Soviet Insecurity. The Stalin Years, (Oxford, 1996, (ch. 1 on war
years; book based on broad archival research, including Russian archives made accessible to
Molotov Remembers. Inside Kremlin Politics. Conversations with Felix Chuev , edited with
Introducton and Notes by Albert Resis, Chicago, 1993 (Revealing in places, but M. always
denied the existence of a secret protocol to the German-Soviet treaty of Aug. 23, 1939).
Albert Seaton, The Russo-German War, 1941-1945, London, 1971 ( good survey).
Albert Seaton, Stalin as Military Commander, London, 1976.
V. Ia. Sipols, The Road to Great Victory; Soviet Diplomacy, 1941-1945, Moscow, 1985 (old-style propagandistic study).
Peter J. Stavrakis, Moscow and Greek Communism, 1944-1949, Ithaca, New York and
London, 1989 (probably the best study so far).
William Taubman, Stalin's American Policy, New York, 1982 (good study, but Soviet
documents were then unavailable)..
Bernd Wegner, ed., From Peace to War. Germany-Soviet Russia and the World, 1939-1941, Providence, R.I. Oxford, 1997 (essays on various aspects of German-Soviet collaboration, also lst phase of G-Sov. war, Ger. and Sov. occupation of Poland,,
German and Sov.-Finnish War, Stalin as War Leader, and many other topics)
Marshal Georgy K. Zhukov, Reminiscences and Reflections, 2 vols., Moscow, 1985 (more
extensive than The Memoirs of Marshal Zhukov, London, 1971).
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the USSR, Correspondence between the Chairman of the
Council of Ministers of the USSR and the President of the U.S.A. and the Prime
Ministers of Great Britain during the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945, 2 vols.,
Moscow, 1957. (Texts issued by Soviet Government).
Oleg A. Rzheshevsky, ed., WAR AND DIPLOMACY. The Making of the Grand Alliance.
From Stalin's Archives, Amsterdam, 1996 (on Eden-Molotov negotiations, Moscow, Dec.15-22, 1941, and Molotov's negotiations with Churchill and Eden in London, May 22-27, 1942).
The United States.
Dean Acheson, Present at the Creation. My Years in the State Department, New York, 1969.
Edward M. Bennett, FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT and the Search for Victory, American-Soviet Relations 1939-1945, Wilmington, De., 1984, 1991 (May need some updatng in light of new Russian documents).
Adolf A. Berle, Navigating the Rapids, 1918-1971, New York, 1973. (By an Under Secretary
of State; revealing on FDR views of concessions to Soviet Union, 1942).
Charles E. Bohlen, Witness to History, 1929-1969, New York, 1973. (Am. diplomat,
specialist on USSR).
Orville H. Bullitt, ed.,For the President: Personal and Secret Correspondence between
Franklin D. Roosevelt and William C. Bullitt, Boston, Massachusetts, 1972. (Bullitt
was lst U.S. ambassador to Moscow, where he became anti-Soviet, 1933-35, then
FDR's trusted ambassador in Paris, 1936-40. During the war, FDR turned a deaf ear
to B's warnings on Soviet imperialist designs).
Thomas M. Campbell and George C. Herring, eds., The Diaries of Edward R. Stettinius, Jr.,
1943-1946, New York, 1975. ( E.R.Stettinius, 1900-1944, was Undersecretary of
State, then Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, 1943-45).
Robert Dallek, Franklin D. Roosevelt and American Foreign Policy, 1932-1945, New York,
1979 (best survey).
John L. Gaddis, The United States and the Origins of the Cold War, 1941-1947, New York,
1972 (chapter 5 deals with Eastern Europe).
same, We Now Know. Rethinking Cold War History, Oxford, 1997.(ch. One. Dividing the
World; a restrospective view by an expert).
John Lamberton Harper, American Visions of Europe. Franklin D. Roosevelt, George F.
Kennan, and Dean Acheson, Cambridge, England, 1994 (Novel interpreation of Roosevelt's
European policy as being Jeffersonian in its aim not to entangle U.S. in European affairs after
W. Averrell Harriman and Elie Abel, Special Envoy to Churchill and Stalin, 1941-1946, New
York, 1973. (W.A. Harriman, 1891-1986, was FDR's point man with Churchill and Stalin,
1940-42, ambassador in Moscow 1943-46, with long career later. See Larsh article for
criticism of H).
George C. Herring, Aid to Russia, 1941-1946, New York, 1973. (excellent study).
Cordell Hull, The Memoirs of Cordell Hull, 2 vols., London and New York, 1948 (interesting
for how Hull viewed Soviet policy).
George F. Kennan, Memoirs, 1925-1950, Boston, 1967 (Kennan, b. around 1900, served in
U.S. legation Riga, Latvia, 1930's then U.S. Embassy, Moscow; formulated U.S. containment
policy of USSR, 1947; historian). .
Warrenn F. Kimball, The Juggler. Franklin Roosevelt as Wartime Statesman, Princeton, N.J.,
1991 (essays by a specialist and an admirer of FDR).
William Larsh, "W. Averell Harriman and the Polish Question: December 1943-August
1944," East European Politics and Societies, vol. 7, Fall 1993. (Revelations from H. archives
by a Ph.d. student, Yale).
Ralph B. Levering, American Opinion and the Russian Alliance, 1939-1945, Chapel Hill,
North Carolina, 1976. (excellent survey).
Geir Lundestad, The American Non-Policy towards Eastern Europe, 1943-1947, Norway,
1978. (exchaustive study by a Norwegian historian).
Robert E. Sherwood, Roosevelt and Hopkins. An Intimate History, New York, 1948.
(excellent sketch of a special relationship by an American historian).
William H. Standley and Arthur A. Ageton, Admiral Ambassador to Russia, Chicago, Illinois,
1955. (Standley was U.S. ambassador, Moscow, 1942-43).
Harry S. Truman, Memoirs, 2 vols., New York, 1955. (Harry S. Truman, 1884-1972, U.S.
President, 1945-53. Truman wrote these memoirs with the help of Dr. Francis E. Heller of
the University of Kansas).
Theodore A. Wilson, The First Summit: Roosevelt and Churchill at Placentia Bay, 1941,
Boston, Massachusetts, 1969, 2d ed., Lawrence, Ks., 1991. (Prof. Wilson, a well
known diplomatic-military historian, is a member of the History Dept. University of
Laurence S. Wittner, American Intervention in Greece, 1943-1949, New York, 1982.
A. Russell Buchanan, ed., The United States and World War II. Military and Diplomatic
Documents, New York, 1972.
Foreign Relations of the United States, 1939-1945.
Warren F. Kimball, ed., Churchill and Roosevelt. The Complete Correspondence, 3 vols.,
Princeton, New Jersey, 1984.
4. Military History.
M. K. Dziewanowski, War at any Price. Word War II in Europe, 1939-1945, Englewood
Cliffs, New Jersey, 3d ed. 1991 (good survey, 4th ed. due 1997).
John Keegan, THE BATTLE FOR HISTORY.Re-Fighting World War II, New York, 1996
(excellent short discussions by prominent British military historian of histories, biographies,
campains, brains and sinews of war, occupation and resistance, but rather general on
Walter Scott Dunn, Jr., Second Front NOW - 1943, Alabama, 1980. (Argues 2d front was
possible in 1943).
Dwight David Eisenhower, Crusade in Europe, New York, 1952.
Grand Strategy (British work in several vols.).
John Grigg, 1943. The Victory that Never Was, New York, 1980 (criticism of Western
strategic decisions by a former British official).
Maurice Matloff and Edwin M. Snell, The War Department: Strategic Planning for Coalition
Warfare, 1941-1942, Washington, D.C., 1953.
Samuel E. Morrison, The History of United States Naval Operations in World War II, vols.
Forrest C. Pogue, George C. Marshall: Ordeal and Hope, vol. 2, New York, 1967.
Forrest C. Pogue, George C. Marshall: Organizer of Victory, vol. 3, New York, 1973.
Mark A. Stoler, The Politics of the Second Front. American Military Planning and Diplomacy
in Coalition Warfare, 1941-1943, Westport, Connecticut, 1977.
(For USSR, see section 3 above).
5. Wartime Conferences.
Russell D. Buhite, DECISIONS AT YALTA. An Appraisal of Summit Diplomacy,
Wilmington, De., 1986. (Critical of FDR).
Diane Shaver Clements, Yalta, New York, 1970 (positive appraisal).
Keith Eubank, Summit at Teheran. The Untold Story, New York, 1985.
Herbert Feis, Roosevelt Churchill Stalin. The War They Waged and the Peace They Sought,
Princeton, New Jersey, 1957 (chapters on wartime conferences).
Herbert Feis, Between War and Peace. The Potsdam Conference, Princeton, New Jersey,
Charles L. Mee, Jr. Meeting at Potsdam, New York, 1975.
Keith Sainsbury, THE TURNING POINT. Roosevelt, Stalin, Churchill and Chiang Kai-Shek,
1943. The Moscow, Cairo, and Teheran Conferences, New York, Oxford, 1985 (good survey
by a British historian).
John W. Wheeler-Bennett, The Semblance of Peace. The Political Settlement after the Second
World War, London, 1972, New York, 1974.