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

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

August 14, 1941

FDR and Prime Minister Winston Churchill, meeting on a warship off Canada, announce their "Atlantic Charter" for the world:

open trade
economic cooperation
freedom of the seas
abandonment of the use of force
self-determination for the people in the countries then occupied by the Axis powers.
[Nothing was said about self-determination for people in the colonies of France and Great Britain! And, more fatefully, nothing was decided about Stalin's determination to retain the territories of eastern Poland and southern Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Roumanian Bessarabia which had been absorbed into the USSR since September, 1939 and had been part of Russia's empire under the Tsars. Stalin considered control of these areas to be vital to the Soviet Union's security.]

December 8, 1941

FDR asks Congress to declare war against Japan: "Yesterday, December 7, 1941-- a day which will live in infamy-- the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan." In less than an hour the Senate votes approval 82-0 and the House 388-1.

December 11, 1941

Germany and Italy declare war on the United States; Congress responds with a declaration of war on them. [This was foolish on Hitler's part; there was so much American anger at the Japanese over the Pearl Harbor attack that public opinion would not have permitted a declaration of war against Germany and especially not the concentration of war effort in Europe rather than Asia.]

December 17, 1941

Aviation hero Charles Lindbergh speaks to an America First group: "There is only one danger in the world-- that is the yellow danger. China and Japan are really bound together against the white race. There could only have been one efficient weapon against this alliance . . . Germany . . . the ideal setup would have been to have had Germany take over Poland and Russia, in collaboration with the British, as a bloc against the yellow people and Bolshevism. But instead, the British and the fools in Washington had to interfere." (17)

Notes and Sources

July 12, 1942

Soviet General Andrei Andreyevitch Vlasov defects to the Germans. [Vlasov, who had been personally decorated by Stalin the year before for his successful defense of Moscow, forms a "Russian Army of Liberation" made up of Russian POWs. He and his army later betrayed the Germans, went to the assistance of Czech partisans, and then surrendered to the Americans. The US, as was legally required, turned Vlasov over to the Soviets who tried him for treason and executed him in 1946. In the early years of the Cold War, veterans of the Vlasov Army were recruited by the US for guerilla actions and espionage against the Soviet Union despite knowledge of their Nazi allegiance, virulent anti-Semitism, and the crimes they had committed within the camps for displaced persons. (18)]

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© Janette Rainwater 1997-2001

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