Progressive Politics Research and Commentary by Janette Rainwater
 
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Origins of the Cold War, Part One,1917-1945

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

September 8, 1943

General Eisenhower announces the unconditional surrender of Italy. [Nazi troops quickly occupied the northern part of the country and freed Mussolini from the Partisans who had captured him. The Americans and the British excluded the Soviets from participating in the negotiations for surrender. Churchill: "We cannot be put in a position where our two armies are doing all the fighting but Russians have a veto and must be consulted on any minor violation of the armistice terms." This set a precedent, and the Soviets did not consult with the other Allies about armistice terms for Rumania, Hungary and Bulgaria when they liberated these countries in 1944. The American Joint Chiefs of Staff acknowledged that this was "only natural and to be expected" since it was the Red Army that had achieved their surrender. The Italian armistice had been secretly signed by Prime Minister Pietro Badoglio on the 3rd, the day of the first Allied landings from Sicily. (24)]

November 5, 1943

Ambassador Harriman discusses a postwar loan from US to USSR with the Soviet commissar for foreign trade, disclosing: "It would be in the self-interest of the United States to be able to afford full employment during the period of transition from wartime to peacetime economy." [Secretary of State Hull had earlier told the Russians that the United States wanted "to cooperate fully in the rehabilitation of war damage in the USSR." Prominent in the motivations of economic advisors promoting the idea of a loan had been the fear of another Great Depression once the impetus to the economy of war production was removed. But if America's commodities and surplus industrial equipment could be sold to the Russians in exchange for raw materials, then full employment could be maintained. The United States government continued with the expectation of such a loan through 1944. (25)]

November 28-30, 1943

Teheran Conference: Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin in their first face-to-face meeting agree on the timing for an American-British landing in northern France to create the long-awaited second front. Future Poland will include German lands west to the Oder; the "Curzon" line of 1919 will be the Eastern border. Stalin informally agrees that FDR need not make a public declaration of these agreements until after the 1944 elections; the Polish-American vote must not be jeopardized! There is a tentative agreement that Germany will be partitioned after the war. They reaffirm the territorial integrity of Iran (where British and Soviet troops have been since 1942 to protect the oil fields from seizure by the Nazis). (26)

January 11, 1944

Several days after the Red Army enters Poland, the Soviet government issues a public statement that Ukrainian and White Russian territories that had been part of Poland now belong to the USSR and that Poland may expect compensation through the return of "ancient Polish lands" in the West taken centuries before by the Germans. (This conforms to the Big Three agreement in Teheran.) Because of the unfriendly relations demonstrated by the Polish government-in-exile, the USSR may be forced to sponsor a different government in Warsaw more sympathetic to Moscow. A public opinion survey indicates that only 42 per cent of Americans believe that Russia can be trusted to cooperate with the United States after the war--- a decline of 12 points in two months. (27).

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© Janette Rainwater 1997-2001

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