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

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

Without consultation with Chiang Kai-shek, the Western Allies agree that USSR will jointly operate the Chinese Eastern Railway in Manchuria with China and that USSR will have a predominant interest in Dairen, Manchuria's chief port.
Stalin is given permission to use the labor of German prisoners of war as part of the reparations due the USSR.
[FDR has been bitterly criticized by the Republicans ever since for "giving away" Eastern Europe and the Far East to Stalin. The fact is that the Red Army had already occupied all of what would be called the "Eastern bloc" with the exception of Czechoslovakia and the Allies had not yet reached the Rhine in the west. FDR made concessions to Stalin in the Far East to achieve a promise to enter the war against Japan. This was at a time when the Americans were experiencing heavy casualties in the Pacific, each island being won at great cost and the atom bomb was five months away from being tested. Chiang Kai-shek later approved of the deal FDR had made, and the Sino-Soviet treaty signed in August formalized the agreement of the two governments. American public opinion was quite favorable to the results of the Yalta Conference; only 9% of Americans felt the agreements reached at Yalta would be unfavorable to the United States.] (43)

Notes and Sources

February 25, 1945

Allen Dulles, the head of the OSS in Bern, Switzerland, is contacted by an Italian businessman and a Swiss schoolmaster about the possibility of opening a channel for the unconditional surrender of the German troops in the Southern front. [The Germans were losing the war, a fact obvious to everyone but Hitler. Various peace feelers had been made since November, many of them from Himmler offering a joint war against the Soviet Union. The approach made to Dulles began a series of meetings and negotiations code-named Operation Sunrise that culminated two months later in the surrender of the German and Italian fascist forces signed on April 29th. (Dulles would become director of the CIA 1953-1961.) (44) ]

February 28, 1945

Andrei Vishinsky, Soviet deputy commissar for foreign affairs, meets with the King of Rumania, gives him two hours to dismiss the current fascist government of General Radescu and to form one more to the liking of the USSR. [King Michael was forced to accept the Popular Front government of Peter Groza. There was little or no disagreement from the West. The government had been one of the most repressive in Europe, and their peasants some of the most poverty-stricken. And, according to Fleming, "the Soviets were doing in Rumania what Churchill had already done in Greece, with more justification and with little bloodshed."] (45)

March 12, 1945

Soviet Foreign Minister Molotov, having been informed of the prospective meeting in Switzerland of an American and a British general with German military as part of the Operation Sunrise maneuvers, tells Ambassador Harriman that the Soviet government has no objection to the talks but wishes to have three Soviet officers at the meetings. [This request is refused on the grounds that the talks are only exploratory and Soviet participation would delay the proceedings. And since the proposal was for a surrender on the Anglo-American front, the Americans and British should be the ones responsible for the negotiations just as the Soviets were in charge of German surrenders on the Russian front. An angry exchange of notes followed in which Molotov accused the Americans and British of negotiating "behind the back of the Soviet government which is bearing the brunt of the war against Germany" and threatened to boycott the United Nations organizational meeting in San Francisco. On April 3rd Stalin sent a long letter to FDR accusing the Americans and British of having promised "to ease the Armistice terms for the Germans" in exchange for their opening up the front and allowing the Allies to "move to the east". He semi-apologized after receiving an indignant reply from FDR who told him: "I cannot avoid a feeling of bitter resentment toward your informers, whoever they are, for such vile misrepresentations of my actions or those of my trusted subordinates."] (46)

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