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Origins of the Cold War, Part One,1917-1945

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 11 12 13 14 15 16                          p.10

January 3, 1945

The Soviet Union asks the US for a loan of $6 billion at 2.25% interest for the purchase of capital equipment in the United States to be repaid by the exports of gold and other raw materials. [Morgenthau suggested to FDR that the US make it for $10 billion at 2% over 35 years. On January 27th the State Department indicated to the Russian government that "necessary legislation" would have to be passed, but that "longterm credits constitute an important element in the postwar relations between our two countries." Meanwhile lend-lease materials continued to flow to Russia, including much goods that could be used for postwar reconstruction. In March Rep. John Vorys (R-OH) succeeded in placing an amendment onto the lend-lease extension bill that would prohibit the use of lend-lease for postwar relief,rehabilitation, or reconstruction. The question of a postwar loan was not discussed at the Big Three meeting in Yalta, and no loan was ever given to the Soviet Union.] (38)

January 12, 1945

Five Russian army groups break through the German lines and begin their advance toward the Oder River and Berlin.

January 28-31, 1945

The American and British chiefs of staff meeting in Malta are in bitter conflict about the strategy of the endgame in Europe. The British want to make costly spearheads to occupy Berlin, Vienna and Prague before the Red Army can get there. The Americans refuse to incur such major casualties for political reasons. General Marshall declares he would ask to be relieved of his command should the British plan be adopted. (39)

February 4-11, 1945

Yalta Conference: Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin agree:

Germany will be partitioned into occupation zones, there will be reparations in kind limited to ten years, territory ceded, and factories dismantled.
"Free and unfettered elections" will be held in Poland and the Balkans. (There are seven million Polish-Americans of voting age, so this is an area of tremendous political sensitivity.) (40)
The Soviet Union will declare war on Japan within three months of the end of the war with Germany (41);
the five permanent members of the Security Council of the UN (US, UK, USSR, France, China) will have the right to veto.
Almost half of Poland's prewar territory will be given to the Soviet Union--- less than a quarter of the 1931 population of this area had been Polish, most were Ukrainians, "an unhappy and rebellious minority before the war" plus some "equally dissatisfied" Belorussians. (42) Poland's western boundary will be moved west to the Neisse River, a territory containing approximately nine million Germans.
The southern part of Sakhalin Island (lost to Japan in 1905) shall be returned to USSR; Japan will also give the USSR the Kurile Islands.


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