1 A Soviet military mission under General F. I. Godlike arrived in London on July 8, 1941 to put Soviet-British military cooperation on a practical footing and settle matters relating to British military and technical aid to the USSR. A British military and economic mission arrived in Moscow on June 27, 1941.
2 On July 12, 1941, the Soviet and British Governments concluded an agreement on joint operations in the war against Germany, instead of issuing a joint declaration as originally planned.
3 A Norwegian port where British troops were landed in April 1940 during the German invasion. On May 2 and 3 the Germans forced the British to withdraw.
4 British troops were landed on the Greek island of Crete in November 1940, after the Italian attack on Greece. On May 20, 1941, German forces assaulted Crete and by May 31 had overrun it.
5 The Soviet Union submitted the list of raw materials it wished to buy from the United Kingdom to the British economic mission in the USSR on June 28, 1941.
6 In Placentia Bay (Newfoundland) on August 9-12, 1941, President Roosevelt and Winston Churchill held a meeting known as the Atlantic Conference. They discussed further United States and British plans in connection with the radical change in the international situation following the Soviet Union’s entry into the war against Hitler Germany. They coordinated the foreign policies of their two countries, and declared their war aims. On August 14, 1941, they adopted and made known a joint declaration (the Atlantic Charter), containing “certain common principles in the national policies of their respective countries”. On September 24, 1941, the Soviet Government announced its concurrence with the basic principles of the Atlantic Charter.
At their Atlantic Conference the two leaders discussed the question of supplying arms and materiel to the Soviet Union. The joint message by Roosevelt and Churchill given between these covers was a result of this discussion.
7 Harry Hopkins visited Moscow in July 1941 as President Roosevelt’s personal representative and was received by J. V. Stalin.
8 Under an agreement between the governments of the Soviet Union and Britain, the two countries sent troops to Iran on August 25, 1941, to safeguard it against seizure by fascist Germany and prevent an attack from Iranian territory on the Soviet Union and British possessions in the Middle East.
9 Subsequently the British Government revised its stand on the entry of British and Soviet troops into Tehran. In September 1941 it notified the Soviet Government that it had decided immediately to move troops into Tehran and had sent appropriate instructions to the British Commander in Iran. It asked the Soviet Government to issue similar instructions to the Soviet Commander in Iran. As a result of the British initiative British and Soviet troops moved into Tehran in September 1941.
10 On August 23, 1941, the Japanese Foreign Minister, Toyoda, informed the Soviet Ambassador in Tokyo that the transit of U.S. supplies, purchased by the Soviet Union, to Vladivostok, in proximity of Japanese territory placed Japan in a difficult position in view of her relations with Germany and Italy. He added that although the Japanese Government wished, in keeping with the neutrality pact, to avoid the extension of the calamity of war to East Asia, it would be “hard” for Japan, depending on how Germany and Italy reacted to the transit of those cargoes, “to maintain her present attitude for long”.
On August 26, 1941, the Soviet Ambassador gave the following reply:
“The Soviet Government sees no reason for any Japanese concern whatever about the fact that the goods purchased by the U.S.S.R. in the U.S.A., such as oil or gasoline, which you, Mr Minister, have mentioned, will be shipped to the U.S.S.R. by the usual trade routes, including the one leading to Soviet Far Eastern ports. Nor does the Soviet Government see any reason for concern about the fact that Japan imports from other countries any commodities she needs.
“The Soviet Government deems it necessary to state in this connection that it could not but regard any attempt to interfere with normal trade relations between the Soviet Union and the U.S.A. through Far Eastern ports as an unfriendly act towards the U.S.S.R.
“At the same time the Soviet Government confirms that the goods which the Soviet Union purchases in the U.S.A. are intended primarily for the increased needs in the west of the U.S.S.R. due to the defensive war imposed upon the Soviet Union, as well as for the current economic requirements of the Soviet Far East.”
11 The allusion is to the meeting between Prime Minister Churchill and President Roosevelt in the Atlantic in August 1941.
12 The writer refers to the Lease-Lend Act, adopted by the U.S. Congress on March 11, 1941. The Act empowered the U.S. Government to lease or lend to other countries various articles and materials essential to their defence, provided their defence was, according to the definition of the President, vital to U.S. defence.
13 That is, the conference between Soviet, British and U.S. representatives held in Moscow over September 29-October 1, 1941, to discuss reciprocal deliveries of war materials.
14 The treaty of alliance between the U.S.S.R., Britain and Iran was signed on January 29, 1942.
Under the treaty the Soviet Union and Britain undertook to respect the territorial integrity, sovereignty and political independence of Iran, to protect it from aggression by Germany or any other country, and to render it every possible economic aid. Iran undertook to cooperate with the Allies by all possible means at its disposal, with aid of the Iranian armed forces being confined to support of an internal order within Iranian territory. The parties undertook not to conclude any agreements incompatible with the provisions of the treaty. The treaty ensured Iran’s cooperation with member-countries of the anti-Hitler coalition.
15 Britain declared war on Finland, Hungary and Roumania on December 6, 1941.
16 The meeting between President Roosevelt and Winston Churchill on December 22, 1941-January 14, 1942 in Washington was devoted to working out Joint military plans. Following the Japanese attack on the US naval base in Pearl Harbour on December 8, 1941, and the declaration of war on the U.S.A. by Germany and Italy on December 11, 1941, the United States became a party to the Second World War.
17 In a letter to A. Y. Vyshinsky, Deputy People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the U.S.S.R. on January 5, 1942, British Ambassador Cripps stated that Churchill’s message referred to the article “Pétain Methods in the Philippines” by D. Zaslavsky. The article appeared in Pravda on December 30 – not 31, as indicated in Churchill’s message – 1941.
18 The reference is to a draft agreement on British recognition of the frontier which existed at the time of the Hitler attack upon the Soviet Union, that is, June 22, 1941, as the western frontier of the Soviet Union after the war.
19 Sir Archibald Clark Kerr.
20 The reference is to draft military and political treaties between the Soviet Union and Britain.
Negotiations to conclude the two treaties (one military – alliance and mutual assistance in war – the other political – post-war cooperation) were begun in December 1941, during Mr Eden’s visit to Moscow. After Mr Eden’s departure they were continued in London between British Government representatives and the Soviet Ambassador.
21 Apparently J. V. Stalin’s message of April 22, 1942 (see Document No. 40, p. 50).
22 Winston Churchill made this statement over the radio on May 10, 1942.
23 Prime Minister Churchill’s message, dated May 9, 1942, was received by J. V. Stalin on May 11, 1942 (see Document No. 44).
24 The writer alludes to a draft agreement on British recognition of the western frontiers of the U.S.S.R. (see Note 18).
25 That is, the Soviet-British treaty of alliance in the war against Hitler Germany and her associates in Europe, and of collaboration and mutual assistance after the war, signed in London on May 26 1942. The signing of the treaty was the outcome of the negotiations started during Eden’s visit to Moscow in December 1941. The original idea was to conclude two treaties – alliance and mutual assistance in war and post-war cooperation. In subsequent course of the discussions it was decided to sign one treaty comprising obligations relating to the war as well as to the post-war. The duration of the commitments relating to post-war Soviet-British cooperation was set at 20 years at the proposal of the British side. The Soviet Government agreed not to insist on including in the treaty a clause on Britain’s recognition of the Soviet Union’s western frontiers of 1941.
26 The allusion is to opening a second front in France in 1942, a decision on which was to have been taken after a discussion of the matter by V. M. Molotov and the US Government.
27 The writer has in mind the Polish émigré Government’s troops formed on Soviet territory in 1941-42, in accordance with the Soviet- Polish agreement of July 30, 1941, for joint operations with the Red Army against the German-fascist aggressor on the Soviet-German front. A part of these troops was withdrawn from the Soviet Union by the Polish émigré Government in March-August 1942.
28 The reference is to the Anglo-Soviet Communiqué on the London visit of the People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the U.S.S.R. released on June 12, 1942. The communiqué pointed out that during V. M. Molotov’s negotiations with British Prime Minister Mr Winston Churchill the two countries had reached complete agreement concerning the pressing tasks of opening a second front in Europe in 1942.
29 Code name for the landing of U.S. and British forces in North Africa, carried out in November 1942.
30 The Channel Islands were seized by the Hitlerites on June 30 and July 1, 1940.
31 Paragraph 5 of the Aide-Mémoire reads as follows:
“We are making preparations for a landing on the Continent in August or September 1942. As already explained, the main limiting factor to the size of the landing force is the availability of special landing craft. Clearly, however, it would not further either the Russian cause or that of the Allies as a whole if, for the sake of action at any price, we embarked on some operation which ended in disaster and gave the enemy an opportunity for glorification at our discomfiture. It is impossible to say in advance whether the situation will be such as to make this operation feasible when the time comes. We can therefore give no promise in the matter, but provided that it appears sound and sensible we shall not hesitate to put our plans into effect.”
32 Code name for an operation that U.S. and British forces planned to carry out in the Strait of Dover area in 1942.
33 A convoy carrying war cargoes for the Soviet Union.
34 Mr Churchill refers to the message which he sent to J. V. Stalin and which was received by the People’s Commissariat for Foreign Affairs of the U.S.S.R. on April 19, 1941, enclosed with a letter from British Ambassador Cripps to A. Y. Vyshinsky, Deputy People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the U.S.S.R. The message read:
“I have sure information from a trusted agent that when the Germans thought they had got Yugoslavia in the net, that is to say after March 20th, they began to move three out of five Panzer divisions from Roumania to Southern Poland. The moment they heard of the Serbian revolution this movement was countermanded. Your Excellency will readily appreciate the significance of these facts.”
35 On October 6 1942, representatives of the Soviet Union, the U.S.A. and Britain signed a protocol in Washington on U.S. and British deliveries of war equipment, ammunition and raw materials to the Soviet Union for a year’s term – from July 1, 1942 to June 30, 1943.
36 When Churchill informed Stalin during their Moscow meeting in August 1942 of the planned Allied invasion of French North-West Africa, Stalin expressed his doubts as to the wisdom of not involving General de Gaulle and the troops of Fighting France. It would be more useful to have General de Gaulle in the operation, he held, for this would make it politically more justifiable.
37 The reference is to German occupation of that part of France which, under the armistice agreement signed between France and Germany on June 22, 1940, was not to be occupied. In November 1942 the Germans crossed the demarcation line and overran the whole of France, except a strip running along the Franco-Italian frontier, which was occupied by the Italians.
38 That is, the French fleet concentrated at Toulon.
39 On August 10, 1941, the Soviet and British Ambassadors in Ankara informed the Turkish Government that their countries would respect the territorial inviolability of the Turkish Republic and were ready to render Turkey every aid and assistance in the event of an attack by any European power.
40 The allusion is to Franklin D. Roosevelt’s and Winston S. Churchill’s conference in Casablanca (North-West Africa) on January 14-23, 1943.
41 Rabaul, a town in New Britain, an island of the Bismarck Archipelago.
42 The conference between Prime Minister Churchill and Saracoğlu, the Turkish Premier, took place on January 30-31, 1943, at Adana, Turkey.
43 The allusion is to the Combined Anglo-American Staffs formed in Washington on February 6, 1942, to work on the problems of Anglo- American military cooperation. The staff consisted of representatives of the armed forces of the United States and Britain.
44 The documents in question were:
(1) “Notes from which the Prime Minister addressed President Ismet and the Turkish Delegation at the Adana Conference.”
In this document Mr Churchill pointed out that he and Roosevelt wanted Turkey to become strong and to be closely linked with Britain and the United States. Mr Churchill held this particularly important because “there remains . . . the German need of oil and of Drang nach Osten” and because “a state of anarchy” might arise in the Balkans “needing the Turkish Government to intervene to protect its own interests.” He also pointed out that J. V. Stalin “is most anxious to see Turkey well armed and ready to defend herself against aggression.” He wrote that Britain and the U.S.A. were prepared to help Turkey both by supplying her with considerable quantities of war materials and by sending anti-aircraft artillery and anti-tank units to Turkey. Later, Turkey would be assisted, he pointed out by sending a Polish corps along with units of the Ninth and Tenth British Armies.
(2) “Agreed Conclusions of the Anglo-Turkish Military Conference Held at Adana on the 30th and 31st January, 1943.”
The document said that Turkey would submit to Britain lists of the munitions and materiel required by the Turkish armed forces to be examined by the British. The latter were also to consider the possibility of transferring British ships to the Turks for the delivery of materials to Turkey. The document said that British staff officers were being sent to Ankara to confer with the Turkish General Staff and that Britain undertook to train a certain number of Turkish service personnel in her military schools and Army units.
(3) “Note on Post-War Security.”
In this document Mr Churchill dealt with plans for convening, even before the end of the war in the Pacific, a peace conference in Europe, with a long period of post-war rehabilitation and the founding of a world organisation for preserving peace. His plan envisaged, as an integral part of that organisation, an “instrument of European government.” A similar “instrument” was to be set up in the Far East, he wrote. “The victorious Powers,” he went on, “intend to continue fully armed, especially in the air.” He declared that Britain would do her utmost to organise a coalition of resistance to any act of aggression committed by any Power and that the United States was expected to cooperate with Great Britain and “even possibly take the lead of the world, on account of her numbers and strength.”
Mr Churchill maintained that “the highest security for Turkey in the post-war world will be formed by her in taking her place as a victorious belligerent ally at the side of Great Britain, the United States and Russia”. He went on to say that Turkey must definitely side with the United Nations and become a full belligerent.
45 Code name for the Allied landing in Sicily, effected in July 1943.
46 That is, the “Aid to Russia” fund, set up by the British Red Cross in October 1941 under the presidency of Mrs Churchill, the Prime Minister’s wife.
47 The agreement between the Soviet Government and the Polish émigré Government on renewing diplomatic relations and fighting jointly against Hitler Germany was signed in London on July 30, 1941.
48 Mission 30 is the code name of the wartime British military mission in the USSR.
49 The writer has in mind the following message sent to him by the British Government on August 7, 1943:
“The successful development of Anglo-American action against Italy has made it necessary for His Majesty’s Government and the United States Government to resume, as had been agreed between them in May, the recent Washington discussions for the purpose of reaching agreement on further operations in the Mediterranean theatre accompanied by the pressing forward of our preparations for “Overlord” (the code name for the large-scale cross-Channel operations in 1944) and of determining the relations of all of them to the war in the Pacific and Indian Oceans.
“2. Beside this the whole long-term plan of the Anglo-American war against Japan after the defeat of Hitler in Europe has been for several months under continual study by a joint Anglo-American Staff. The work of this joint body has now reached a stage where it must be reviewed by the Combined Staffs, and by the President and by the Prime Minister. The task is one of enormous magnitude and it is essential that everything should be planned as far as possible to accomplish it. The Prime Minister accompanied by the Chiefs of Staff is, therefore, hoping to meet President Roosevelt and his advisers again in the course of the next few days. The Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics will be kept informed of what passes and of all the conclusions affecting the European theatre in which our supreme and unchanging object is to engage the enemy as soon and as closely as possible on the largest scale.
“3. The Prime Minister still hopes that a meeting between the three heads of the Governments may be possible before long. He understood that Marshal Stalin was unable to leave Russia for a meeting a deux with the President, which the President proposed and which the Prime Minister would have welcomed. His own suggestion for a tripartite meeting also could not be realised. The Prime Minister still thinks that Scapa Flow is the best for all parties, but he repeats his willingness to go to any rendezvous which is convenient for the Marshal and the President. In spite of the fact that it has not been possible yet to arrange any tripartite meeting, the war affairs of the United Nations have prospered on all fronts. Nevertheless very great advantages might be gained by a discussion between the three principals, and he still hopes that this desirable end may be achieved.”
50 Code name for the crossing of the Channel and the invasion of France, carried out by Allied forces in June 1944.
51 The Italian General Castellano who, on instructions from Badoglio, signed the “short terms” for the surrender of Italy on September 3, 1943.
52 Code name for the Allied invasion of Italy in the Naples area, carried out in September 1943.
53 The text of the message from F. D. Roosevelt and W. S. Churchill to J. V. Stalin, dated August 19, 1943, was received in the People’s Commissariat for Foreign Affairs of the U.S.S.R. with the following remark by British Ambassador Kerr: “The armistice terms referred to in paragraph 1 (a) above are those of which I informed you in my letter of the 3rd August. The terms to be communicated later will follow the political, economic and financial terms which were communicated by Mr Eden to Monsieur Sobolev on the 30th July.”
In a letter of August 3, 1943, Mr Kerr communicated the “short terms” for the surrender of Italy. The document setting forth the “comprehensive terms” for the Italian surrender was transmitted to the Soviet Government on July 30, 1943, through the Soviet Embassy in London (it was handed by Mr Eden to A. A. Sobolev, the Soviet Chargé d’Affaires in Britain). On July 31, 1943, the People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the U.S.S.R. informed the British Ambassador that the Soviet Government did not object to the terms and that it had instructed the Soviet Chargé d’Affaires in Britain to notify Mr Eden accordingly.
54 The reference should apparently have been made to paragraph 1 (c).
55 Code name for the meeting between President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill, which took place in Washington in May 1943.
56 Code name for the Azores.
57 That is, at Quebec.
58 The reference is to a joint message from President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill, dated August 19, 1943 (see Document No. 172, pp. 148-151). It was sent to the People’s Commissariat for Foreign Affairs of the U.S.S.R. by British Ambassador Kerr on August 20 1943, with some omissions. The supplements and corrections to the text came in on August 22. The full text of the message appears under No. 172.
59 That is, at the conference which Prime Minister Churchill and President Roosevelt were holding in Quebec at the time.
60 The allusion is to the “short” and “comprehensive” or (“long”) terms for the surrender of Italy. The “short terms” consisted of eleven articles bearing chiefly on military issues. On August 3, 1943 British Ambassador Kerr communicated the text of the “short terms” to the Soviet Government, advising it that they had already been sent to General Eisenhower against the eventuality of the Italian Government directly approaching him with a request for an armistice.
On August 26, 1943, the British and U.S. Ambassadors handed to the People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the U.S.S.R. the full text of the “comprehensive terms” for the Italian surrender, consisting of forty-four articles which contained not only military provisions but also political, economic and financial stipulations bound up with the surrender. On August 27, 1943, the People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the U.S.S.R. notified the British and U.S. Ambassadors that the Soviet Government agreed to the “comprehensive terms” for the surrender of Italy and empowered General Eisenhower to sign those terms on behalf of the Soviet Government.
On September 1, 1943, the British Ambassador to the U.S.S.R. informed the People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the U.S.S.R. that the “short terms” – with the addition of Article 12, which read: “Other conditions of a political, economic and financial nature, with which Italy would be bound to comply, will be transmitted at a later date” – had been communicated to the Italian Government. The Ambassador pointed out that the Italian Government could send a representative authorised to sign only the “short terms”. He asked to be advised whether the Soviet Government’s agreement to the signing of the “comprehensive terms” for the surrender of Italy applied to the “short terms” as well. On September 2, 1943, the Soviet Government answered in the affirmative. On September 3, 1943, the “short terms” were signed in Sicily by General Castellano on behalf of Italy and General Bedell Smith acting on behalf of the United Nations. The “comprehensive terms” were signed on Malta on September 29, 1943, by Marshal Badoglio and General Eisenhower on behalf of Italy and the United Nations respectively.
61 Article 10 of the “short terms” for the surrender of Italy read: “The Commander-in-Chief of the Allied forces reserves to himself the right to take any measures which, in his opinion, may be necessary for the protection of the interests of the Allied forces or for the prosecution of the war, and the Italian Government bind themselves to take such administrative or other actions as the Commander-in- Chief may require, and in particular the Commander-in-Chief will establish an Allied Military Government over such parts of Italian territory, as he may deem necessary in the military interests of the Allied nations.”
62 That is, Washington.
63 The writer means the Aide-Mémoire which the People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the U.S.S.R. handed to the British Ambassador to the U.S.S.R. on September 20, 1943. In it the Soviet Government insisted on resumption of the convoys to northern harbours of the Soviet Union, suspended by the British and U.S. Governments in March 1943.
64 The reference is to the Note which the People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the U.S.S.R. sent through the Soviet Ambassador in London to the British Foreign Office on June 15, 1943. It raised for the second time in 1943 the question of establishing, by mutual agreement between the Soviet and British Governments, an equal maximum for the numerical composition of the Soviet Military Mission in Britain and the British Military Mission in the U.S.S.R., a maximum within which entrance visas might be issued. The proposal was supported with the fact that numerically the Soviet Military Mission and Soviet Trade Delegation in Britain, who performed about the same amount of work as the British Military Mission in the Soviet Union made up slightly more than one-third of the British Military Mission in the Soviet Union.
65 In Reply to Prime Minister Churchill’s message, received on October 13, 1943, A. Y. Vyshinsky, Deputy People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the U.S.S.R., on October 25 handed British Ambassador Kerr and U.S. Ambassador Harriman the following Aide-Mémoire:
“The Soviet Government agrees to the draft Declaration of the Governments of Great Britain, the United States of America and the Soviet Union, proposed by the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill, in his message to Premier J. V. Stalin, dated October 13, with the following amendments:
“1. Insert at the end of the first paragraph: ‘This is now attested most clearly by the monstrous crimes perpetrated on Soviet soil now being liberated from the Hitlerites and on French and Italian soil.’
“2. In the third paragraph, substitute ‘The Soviet Union’ for the ‘Russia.’
“3. In the fourth paragraph, omit the words ‘regardless of expenditure.’
“4. At the end of the last paragraph, insert: ‘and who will be punished by joint decision of the Allied Governments.’ ”
66 The conference of the Foreign Ministers of the Soviet Union, the U.S.A. and Britain, held in Moscow between October 19 and 30, 1943.
67 On December 23, 1943, the British Chargé d’Affaires in the U.S.S.R. Mr Balfour, wrote to the People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the U.S.S.R. that the Greek Prime Minister, Mr Tsouderos was about to call on the Greek guerrillas over the radio to cease civil strife and join forces in order to fight the Germans. In that appeal he wanted to say that his call had the approval of the British, Soviet and U.S. Governments. Saying that the British Government was ready to approve an appeal of this nature, Mr Balfour asked whether the Soviet Government could empower Mr Tsouderos to make it on behalf of the Soviet Government as well. On January 3, 1944, the Soviet Ambassador to Britain, F. T. Gusev, acting on instructions from the Soviet Government, replied to the British Government’s proposal in the affirmative.
68 The Soviet military mission arrived at the headquarters of the Yugoslav partisan movement on February 23, 1944.
69 Code name for the landing on the south coast of France, carried out by the Allies on August 15, 1944.
70 The reference is to a Cairo report by Pravda’s Own Correspondent published on January 17, 1944. The report said that, according to reliable information, a secret meeting had taken place between Ribbentrop and British leaders with the aim of ascertaining the terms for a separate peace with Germany.
71 The war-time title of the magazine New Times.
72 The Curzon Line – the conventional name for the line recommended by the Supreme Council of the Allied Powers on December 8, 1919, as Poland’s eastern frontier. The Curzon Line derived from the decision of the delegations of the principal Allied Powers, who considered it necessary to include only ethnographically Polish regions in the territory of Poland. On July 12, 1920, the British Foreign Secretary, Curzon, sent a Note to the Soviet Government proposing a line approved by the Supreme Council of the Allied Powers in 1919 as the eastern frontier of Poland. In the Note it said: “This line runs approximately as follows: Grodno-Jalovka-Nemirov-Brest-Litovsk-Dorohusk-Ustilug, east of Grobeshov, Krilov and thence west of Rava-Ruska, east of Pryemysl to Carpathians.” On August 16, 1945 a treaty signed in Moscow defined the Soviet-Polish frontier; according to its terms the frontier as a whole was established along the Curzon Line, with certain departures in favour of Poland.
73 The allusion is to the statement of the Soviet Government on Soviet- Polish relations, published on January 11, 1944. It said: “Poland’s eastern frontiers may be worked out with the Soviet Union. The Soviet Government does not regard the 1939 frontiers as immutable. Corrections may be introduced in Poland’s favour in the sense that districts where Poles are in the majority should go to Poland. The Soviet-Polish frontier could run approximately along the so-called Curzon Line adopted in 1919 by the Supreme Council of Allied Powers, with the Western Ukraine and Western Byelorussia going to the Soviet Union. Poland’s western frontiers must be extended to include the old Polish lands formerly seized by Germany, for without this the Polish people will not be united in their own state. Furthermore, the Polish state will then get a much needed outlet to the Baltic Sea. The Polish people’s just desire to be fully united in a strong and independent state must be recognised and supported.”
74 The Soviet-Polish peace treaty was signed in Riga on March 18, 1921. Under it the Western Ukraine and Western Byelorussia were ceded to Poland.
75 The allusion is to the anti-Soviet slander campaign which the Hitlerites launched in 1943 over the Polish officers whom they themselves had massacred at Katyn near Smolensk. See J. V. Stalin’s message to Prime Minister Churchill of April 21, 1943 (Document No. 150, pp. 125- 126)
76 That is, the protocol on reciprocal deliveries, signed by the United States, Britain, Canada and the Soviet Union on October 19, 1943, for one year – from July 1, 1943, to June 30, 1944.
77 That is, the Soviet-Polish frontier line, established on March 18, 1921, under the Riga Treaty between the Soviet Union and Poland.
78 The reference is to a letter of February 23, 1944, in which the British Ambassador to the U.S.S.R. communicated that Prime Minister Churchill was prepared to lend eight old British destroyers and four British submarines to the Soviet Union until such time as they could be replaced by Italian ships.
79 The reference is to the statement which the British Ambassador to the U.S.S.R. made on March 19, 1944, insisting, on instructions from Prime Minister Churchill, that the Soviet Government should reach agreement with the Polish émigré Government along the lines proposed by Mr Churchill that is, by postponing settlement of the Soviet- Polish frontier till the armistice conference. The Ambassador contended that if the Soviet Government’s point of view, stated in the course of the Anglo-Soviet discussions on the Polish question, namely, that the Polish-Soviet frontier should follow the Curzon Line, became known to public opinion there would be general disillusionment both in Britain and in the United States. Soviet rejection of the Churchill proposal, he said, might give rise to difficulties in Anglo-Soviet relations, cast a shadow on the carrying out of the military operations agreed at Tehran and complicate the prosecution of the war by the United Nations as a whole.
80 On April 10, 1944, General Deane, head of the U.S. Military Mission, and General Burrows, head of the British Military Mission, notified Marshal Vasilevsky, Chief of the General Staff of the Red Army, that the British and U.S. High Commands planned to launch a cross- Channel operation on May 31, 1944, it being understood that the date might be shifted two or three days one way or the other depending on weather and tide.
81 On May 20, 1944, the British Ambassador sent to the People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the U.S.S.R. the copy of a telegram from Churchill to Tito. The telegram informed Tito of the changes that had taken place in the Yugoslav émigré Government in London and in connection with them asked Tito not to take any action, at least not until Churchill and Tito had exchanged views on the matter; besides, it said that Maclean, a British officer, would arrive in Yugoslavia and would inform Tito in detail of the British Government’s point of view.
82 Code name for the date of the Allied invasion of Europe across the Channel. “D+30” stands for the date thirty days after the invasion.
83 The allusion is to the resignation of Marshal Badoglio, the Italian Prime Minister, which occurred on June 9, 1944, after a futile attempt to form a new Cabinet.
84 This refers to the “Text of the Instructions to the British Representative on the Advisory Council for Italy”, enclosed with a letter from, the British Ambassador to the People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the U.S.S.R. of June 14, 1944. It said in the “Instructions” that in discussing the question of a new Italian Government the British representative should point out that, in the opinion of the British government, two conditions for the acceptance of any such administration – that is, the Bonomi Cabinet – would be (1) the new Italian Government should formally express its readiness in writing to accept all obligations towards the Allies entered into by the former Italian Governments since the conclusion of the armistice, including the “long” armistice terms, and that each member of the administration should be personally acquainted with the terms of all such obligations, and (2) the new Government must undertake not to reopen the Constitutional question without the prior consent of the Allied Governments. The British Government requested the Soviet Government’s support for the above statement of the British representative. On June 15, 1944, the People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the U.S.S.R. advised the British Ambassador that the Soviet Government had directed its representative on the Advisory Council for Italy to support the proposals of the British representative in discussing the question of a new Italian Government.
85 The allusion is to the resolution on Italy adopted by the Advisory Council on June 16, 1944. The resolution demanded that the new Italian Government (Bonomi) should reaffirm in writing all obligations towards the Allies entered into by the former Italian Governments since the signing of the armistice on September 3, 1943, and that it should take no steps to discuss the Constitutional question until Italy was liberated and the Italian people enabled freely to express their views.
86 Harry Hopkins’ visit to the Soviet Union in July 1941.
87 Winston Churchill met Tito and Šubašić in Naples on August 12-13 1944. Thereupon Tito and Šubašić continued their talks on the island of Vis.
88 The allusion is to an international organisation for the maintenance of peace and security (United Nations Organisation), discussed by representatives of the Soviet Union, the United States and Britain in Dumbarton Oaks, Washington, in August-September 1944.
89 Enclosed with Prime Minister Churchill’s letter were two cables from Washington describing a manifestation held by Americans of Polish descent in New York on October 8, 1944.
90 On November 7, 1944, a group of U.S. military aircraft attacked a Soviet column between the towns of Niš and Aleksinac (Yugoslavia) and engaged the Soviet fighters sent to cover it. The attack resulted in casualties among the Soviet troops, and each side lost several planes. In reply to a Soviet representation the head of the U.S. Military Mission in the U.S.S.R. stated on November 20, 1944, that, as established by investigation, the attack had been launched by mistake.
91 The writer refers to the plan for establishing under international control a zone comprising the Ruhr, Westphalia and the Saar. The plan was put forward by Mr Churchill and Mr Eden during discussions with J. V. Stalin in Moscow in October 1944.
92 Enclosed with Prime Minister Churchill’s message was the following telegram of November 27, 1944, sent by General Wilson to the Anglo- American Combined Staffs, as well as to the British Chiefs of Staff in London and to General Deane in Moscow:
“1. Germans are escaping from Yugoslavia, and it is vital to us and to the Russians that they be attacked. A strict interpretation of the present temporary bomb line imposed upon our forces by an unrecognisable straight line drawn on a map from Sarajevo to Prilep would virtually stop all Allied air effort against disorganised and retreating Germans. This temporary bomb line would, in effect, take out of our action and reach the most lucrative targets along remaining escape routes left open to the Germans getting out of Southern Yugoslavia.
“2. For example, there has been much movement the last few days on the main escape route, Novi Pazar-Prijepolje-Višegrad. Also during this time, six major concentrations of parked vehicles were revealed by reconnaissance between Rogatica and Novi Pazar. These concentrations were reported to be from three to eight miles in length. Under a strict application of the temporary bomb line now laid down, these lucrative targets would be denied the weight of our air effort. The Sarajevo area is known to be of increasing importance to the German in his concentration of troops and supplies, yet with the current bomb line that area would be free from Allied air attack.
“3. In the general area Scutari-Podgorica are also two German Divisions. The probable escape route of these divisions would be Podgorica-Mateševo, thence via Kolašin or Berane-Prijepolje-Sarajevo. The initial part of this route under present conditions is open to us for attack. However, the greater majority of the route would enjoy the protection of the temporary bomb line, which would preclude our forces from taking action against these concentrations.
“4. Instead of a straight bomb line from Sarajevo to Prilep, we propose the following bomb line which follows certain recognisable features, such as enemy’s communications lines and roads which constitute his escape routes, and to include these on our side of the bomb line. The following is the way in which we propose to delineate this temporary bomb line: Reference is *11 over 500,000* Europe (Air), all places inclusive to our forces: The roads Sarajevo-Mokro-Sokolac-Rogačica-Pešuici-Dobrun-Uvac-Prijepolje-Zenića-thence (exclusive to our forces) Šuivdo-Krstaca-Desnica River-Vioca-thence (inclusive to our forces) road Berane-Podgorica-Scutari. Within these areas, known partisan-held areas would be exempted from attack.
“Obviously this delineation must be changed almost daily in accord with information furnished to us as to the Soviet forward elements.
“It is desired to point out that although some of these places are included on our side of the bomb line, this in no way precludes the Russian Air Forces from attacking any of these localities where targets may be offered. In effect it offers the opportunity for our forces as well as the Russian forces, to attack them.
“The forward Soviet and partisan lines, as known to us this date are as follows: Boljevci-Obrenovac-Lajkovac-Valjevo-Kraljevo-Mitrovica- Priština-Prizren-Lesh.
“Request your authorisation of this amended bomb line and that you immediately advise Russians to this effect.
“Further request you press the immediate acceptance of field liaison and that no future commitments concerning bomb lines in this area be made without prior reference to this theatre.”
93 In the telegram W. Churchill called Tito’s attention to a number of cases in which Yugoslav officers had refused to cooperate with British. That, he wrote, “can scarcely fail to hinder the attainment of our common object”. Elsewhere in the telegram he wrote: “Since our meeting I have always entertained high hopes which I have felt sure you shared that close and friendly relations should exist between your forces and ours. Indeed, only thus can our joint resources be put to their best use. I would, therefore, most earnestly request you to issue orders to your officers in this sense and to ensure that our forces are offered every facility for cooperating with yours so as to allow the Allied war effort its full scope.” Mr Churchill also informed Tito that he had examined the draft agreement between Tito and Šubašić (see Note 95) and held that the agreement “should provide a basis for an understanding”. He notified Tito that he would send J. V. Stalin a copy of the telegram.
94 The European Advisory Commission (E.A.C.) was constituted by the Governments of the U.S.S.R., U.S.A. and Britain under a decision of the Moscow Foreign Ministers’ Conference (October 19-30, 1943), it consisted of representatives of the three powers. The purpose of the E.A.C. was to study European problems designated by the three governments relating to the termination of hostilities, and to give the three governments joint advice on these problems. On November 11, 1944 the Governments of the U.S.S.R., U.S.A. and Britain invited the Provisional Government of the French Republic to participate in the work of the European Advisory Commission with headquarters in London as its fourth permanent member. The E.A.C. was dissolved in August 1945.
95 The Šubašić-Tito agreement, concluded on November 1, 1944, provided for the establishment of a Regency Council in Yugoslavia and the formation of a United Yugoslav Government from representatives of the National Committee of Liberation and the Royal Government.
96 The decision to convert the Polish Committee of National Liberation into the Provisional Government of the Polish Republic was taken at the 6th session of the Krajowa Rada Narodowa on December 31, 1944-January 3,1945. The Government was made up of representatives of Polish democratic parties.
97 Stettinius’ statement said in part: “It has been the consistently held policy of the United States Government that questions relating to boundaries should be left in abeyance until the termination of hostilities. As Secretary Hull stated in his address of April 9, 1944, ‘This does not mean that certain questions may not and should not in the meantime be settled by friendly conference and agreement.’ In the case of the future frontiers of Poland, if a mutual agreement is reached by the United Nations directly concerned, this Government would have no objection to such an agreement which could make an essential contribution to the prosecution of the war against the common enemy.”
98 Code name for the conference of the leaders of the three Allied Powers – the Soviet Union, the U.S.A. and Britain – held in the Crimea in February 1945.
99 The writer has in mind the Communiqué issued by the Chancellery of the Yugoslav King on January 11, 1945. The Communiqué said that the King had raised objections to the Tito-Šubašić agreement “as it stands now”.
100 Prime Minister Churchill enclosed with his message undated copies of a letter from Franco to the Spanish Ambassador in Britain, the Duke of Alba, and Churchill’s reply to Franco. Franco instructed the Ambassador to convey the contents of his letter “to our good friend, the British Prime Minister”. Franco’s letter, which attacked the Soviet Union, said that he desired a rapprochement between Spain and Britain, it being obvious from the letter that the rapprochement should, as Franco saw it , be aimed above all at combating the U.S.S.R., as well as the U.S.A. “With a Germany annihilated and a Russia that has consolidated her ascendancy in Europe and Asia, and the United States similarly dominant in the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans as the mightiest nation of the world,” the letter said, “the European countries surviving in a devastated continent will be facing the most serious and dangerous crisis in their history.” Franco complained of “the activities of the British Secret Service” and of the “petty intrigue” carried on by the British against Spain.
In his reply Mr Churchill took exception to Franco’s statement about the activities of British agents in Spain. He pointed out the difficulties which Spain had raised during the war to the Allied military effort, the aid which she had extended to the Allies’ enemies, and Franco’s disparaging comments on Britain. “I had indeed been happy,” he wrote, “to observe the favourable changes in Spanish policy towards this country, which began during the tenure of office of the late General Jordana, and I publicly took note of these developments in the speech which I made in the House of Commons on May 24th. Unfortunately, as Your Excellency recognises in your letter to the Duke of Alba, these developments have not yet gone far enough to remove all barriers between our two countries. While such barriers remain, the development of really close relations of friendship and cooperation with Spain, which His Majesty’s Government desire, must meet with difficulties. . . .”
In his message to J. V. Stalin Mr Churchill recalled the mention of British-Soviet friendship in his reply to Franco. The relevant passage in Mr Churchill’s letter reads: “I should be seriously misleading you if I did not at once remove any misconception that His Majesty’s Government are prepared to consider any grouping of Powers in Western Europe or elsewhere on a basis of hostility towards, or of the alleged necessity of defence against, our Russian allies. The policy of His Majesty’s Government remains firmly based upon the Anglo-Soviet Treaty of 1942 and they regard the continuance of Anglo-Russian collaboration, within the framework of the future world organisation, as essential, not only to their own interests, but also to the future peace and prosperity of Europe as a whole.”
101 The communication enclosed with Prime Minister Churchill’s letter ran as follows:
“London, 6 p.m., 9.2.45.
“Field Marshal Montgomery’s new offensive south-east of Nijmegen is keeping up its momentum on the upper end of the Siegfried Line. British and Canadian troops have advanced 4 1/2 miles and are well into the first of the three Siegfried Lines.
“7 towns and villages have been captured, 1,800 prisoners taken and German losses are reported as heavy. Our losses are comparatively light.
“German resistance on the West Rhine south of Strasbourg has ended.”
102 The memorandum enclosed with Churchill’s letter read:
“After the restoration of order in Athens by British and Greek troops, a truce was arranged with the E.L.A.S. forces under which the latter withdrew from the main towns to certain specified districts. Negotiations were then opened by the Regent and by the Greek Government of General Plastiras with the main E.L.A.S. leaders, as the result of which a Conference was convened in Athens at the beginning of February, at which E.L.A.S. were represented by three delegates.
“The Greek Government on February 3 put forward very conciliatory proposals aiming at the formation of a new National Army the purging of the gendarmerie and the police, the restoration of rights of free speech and assembly and Trades Union association to be followed by early election. The Greek Government insisted upon general disarmament prior to the formation of a new National Army. The Greek Government were also prepared to offer an amnesty to all concerned in the recent fighting, but insisted that those guilty of crimes not arising out of the conditions created by civil war should be punished. The Government’s proposals were calculated to guarantee impartial justice through a carefully conceived system of trials and appeals and leaders of the recent revolt would be immune from attack.
“The E.L.A.S. delegates from the outset welcomed the Government proposals in general terms, but at first pressed for a general amnesty without any qualification. But on February 6 they also agreed in writing to the Government’s amnesty proposal.
“On the same day the E.L.A.S. delegates however pressed for the immediate raising of martial law. To this the Greek Government are not prepared to agree, since they consider that martial law can only be raised after disarmament has been effected. The Conference was adjourned and did not meet on February 7.
“The economic situation in Greece, already difficult, has been further prejudiced by the recent fighting, but order having now been restored in the main ports, including Piraeus, Salonika and Patras, H.M.G. are resuming the provision of food and other supplies to Greece. H.M.G. propose to assist the Government with equipment, etc. for the new National Army, the formation of which should enable British troops to be progressively withdrawn from the country for use on the main war front against the common enemy.”
103 In the letter of February 11, 1945, Mr Eden asked for information on the number of British prisoners of war liberated by the Soviet Army and for entry visas to British officers being sent by the British Government to German prisoner of war camps in the areas liberated by Soviet troops. He also inquired how British subjects could be sent to Britain from the Soviet Union.
104 On February 11, 1945, as a result of discussions held at the Crimea Conference, analogous agreements were concluded between the Soviet Union and Britain, and between the Soviet Union and the U.S.A., providing for measures to protect, maintain and repatriate Allied prisoners of war and civilians – Soviet or U.S. citizens or British subjects – liberated by Allied troops.
105 At the Crimea Conference the leaders of the three Allied Powers – the Soviet Union, the United States and Britain – reached a decision on Poland which, among other things, said that the People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the U.S.S.R. and the U.S. and British Ambassadors “are authorised as a commission to consult in the first instance in Moscow with members of the present Provisional Government and with other Polish democratic leaders from within Poland and from abroad, with a view to the reorganisation of the present Government. . . .” In accordance with this decision the People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the U.S.S.R. and the U.S. and British Ambassadors to the Soviet Union held discussions in Moscow for reorganising the Polish Provisional Government to include representatives of both Polish emigres and Poles from the home country.
106 The San Francisco Conference was held between April 25 and June 26, 1945, to elaborate the charter of the future international organisation for the maintenance of peace and security.
107 Copy of Alexander’s telegram was sent to the People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the U.S.S.R. by the British Ambassador to the U.S.S.R. on March 12, 1945. The telegram said that the Hitler General Wolff had arrived in Switzerland to discuss the capitulation of the German forces in North Italy and that the Office of Strategic Services of the Anglo-American forces in the Mediterranean theatre was holding “further discussions” with Wolff.
On the same day the People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the U.S.S.R. advised the British Ambassador that the Soviet Government would like officers representing the Soviet Command to take part in the discussions.
In a letter dated March 15,1945, the British Ambassador replied that Alexander’s representatives had already arrived secretly in Berne. It was evident from the letter that the British Government was denying representatives of the Soviet Command the right to attend the Berne discussions.
On March 16 the People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the U.S.S.R. sent to the British Ambassador a letter pointing out that the British Government’s refusal to admit Soviet representatives to the Berne negotiations had come as a complete surprise to the Soviet Government and could not be explained in terms of the relations of alliance existing between the Soviet Union and Britain. “In view of this,” the letter went on, “the Soviet Government finds it impossible to assent to discussions in Berne between representatives of Britain and the United States, on the one hand, and of the German Commander, on the other, and insists on the discussions already begun in Berne being discontinued.
“The Soviet Government insists, furthermore, that henceforward separate negotiations by one or two of the Allied Powers with German representatives without the participation of the third Allied Power be precluded.”
108 In a letter dated March 21, 1945, the British Ambassador, in contradiction to Alexander’s telegram, protested that it had not been intended that “any terms of surrender should be discussed at Berne” and that what had taken place was merely a “preliminary meeting” for the purpose of ascertaining whether or not the German representatives had the necessary authority to negotiate.
The reply of the People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the U.S.S.R., dated March 22,1945, was as follows:
“Acknowledging receipt of your letter of March 21, 1945, regarding the Berne negotiations between the German General Wolff and Field Marshal Alexander’s staff officers, I hereby inform you that the Soviet Government sees this matter, not as a misunderstanding, but as something worse.
“It appears from your letter of March 12, as well as from the enclosed telegram of March 11, sent by Field Marshal Alexander to the Combined Staffs, that the German General Wolff and those accompanying him came to Berne to negotiate with representatives of the Anglo-American Command the capitulation of the German forces in North Italy. The Soviet Government’s proposal that representatives of the Soviet Military Command should take part in the negotiations was rejected.
“The result is that negotiations have been going on for two weeks in Berne, behind the back of the Soviet Union which is bearing the brunt of the war against Germany, between representatives of the German Military Command, on the one hand, and those of the British and U.S. Commanders, on the other. The Soviet Government considers this absolutely impermissible and insists on its statements, set forth in my letter of March 16 last.”
109 Code name for the Berne negotiations.
110 The reference is to the following message from Prime Minister Churchill to President Roosevelt, a copy of which was sent to the People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the U.S.S.R. by the British Ambassador to the U.S.S.R. on March 24, 1945:
“I have seen your recent exchange of messages with Marshal Stalin on prisoner of war matters. As regards the general question of Allied prisoners in German hands I entirely agree with you that we ought to arrange matters now so that we are in a position to do something quickly at the right time.
“We have long foreseen danger to these prisoners arising either in consequence of chaotic conditions resulting from a German collapse or alternatively out of a deliberate threat by Hitler and his associates to murder some or all of the prisoners. The object of this manoeuvre might be either to avoid unconditional surrender or to save the lives of the more important Nazi gangsters and war criminals, using this threat as a bargaining counter or to cause dissension among the Allies in the final stages of the war. With this in mind we put to the United States and Soviet Governments last October through our diplomatic representatives in Moscow and Washington a proposal for an Anglo-American-Russian warning to the Germans but we have so far received no reply.
“On March 2nd last the British Minister in Berne was informed by the head of the Swiss Political Department that he had received reports from Berlin which he could not confirm that the Germans intended to liquidate, i.e., massacre such prisoners of war as were held in camps in danger of being overrun by advancing Allied forces rather than try to remove prisoners or allow them to fall into Allied hands. In addition we have in recent months received various indications that the Nazis might in the last resort either murder Allied prisoners in their hands or hold them as hostages.
“Various proposals of a practical nature for bringing immediate military aid and protection to prisoners of war camps in Germany have been under consideration by British and United States military authorities. I believe the issue at the appropriate moment of a joint warning on the lines we have proposed would be powerful aid to such practical measures as it may be possible to take. An S.S. General is now in charge of prisoner of war matters in the German Ministry of Defence and S.S. and Gestapo are believed to be taking over control of camps. On such people a warning will have only limited effect though at the worst it can do no harm. On the other hand it is by no means certain that the S.S. have completely taken over from regular army officers and on the latter the warning might have real effect. We should surely miss no opportunity of exploiting any duality of control.
“I would therefore earnestly invite you and Marshal Stalin to whom I am repeating this message to give this proposal your personal attention and I very much hope you will agree to go forward with us in issuing it at the appropriate moment.
“The Governments of the United Kingdom, the United States and the U.S.S.R., on behalf of all the United Nations at war with Germany, hereby issue a solemn warning to all commandants and guards in charge of Allied prisoners of war in Germany and German-occupied territory and to members of the Gestapo and all other persons of whatsoever service or rank in whose charge Allied prisoners of war have been placed, whether in battle zones, on lines of communication or in rear areas. They declare that they will hold all such persons, no less than the German High Command and competent German military, naval and air authorities, individually responsible for the safety and welfare of all Allied prisoners of war in their charge.
“Any person guilty of maltreating or allowing any Allied prisoner of war to be maltreated whether in battle zone, on lines of communication, in a camp, hospital, prison or elsewhere, will be ruthlessly pursued and brought to punishment.
“They give notice that they will regard this responsibility as binding in all circumstances and one which cannot be transferred to any other authorities or individuals whatsoever.”
111 In April 1945 V. M. Molotov was in Washington, having arrived in the United States for the San Francisco Conference on the elaboration of the United Nations Organisation Charter.
112 See paragraph 5 of J. V. Stalin’s message to F. D. Roosevelt, dated April 7, 1945 (Document No. 418, pp. 314-317).
113 The demarcation of the occupation zones in Germany was established by the terms of the protocol attached to the Agreement between the Governments of the Soviet Union, the U.S.A. and the United Kingdom, signed in the European Advisory Commission on September 12 1944. Subsequently – on November 14, 1944, and July 26, 1945 – the protocol was amended, and the French Government signed it.
114 The allusion is to the sending of representatives of the British, U.S. and French Commands to Vienna, talks on which were in progress at the time between the Soviet, British and United States Governments.
115 The writer is referring to the armed intervention by the British Government and the bloody suppression of the democratic forces in Greece by British troops.
116 A preliminary protocol of the surrender of Germany was signed in Rheims on May 7, 1945. On May 8 in Berlin the representatives of the German Command signed the final instrument of Germany’s surrender.
117 The reference is to a letter from the U.S. Chargé d’Affaires in the U.S.S.R. to the People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the U.S.S.R., dated May 15, 1945, conveying the text of the instructions which the U.S. Government had given to its Ambassador in Belgrade. The latter was instructed to inform the Yugoslav Government that the United States Government expected it to agree immediately to the Allied Supreme Commander in the Mediterranean establishing control over the area which was to include Trieste, Gorizia Monfalcone and Pola, the lines of communication running through Gorizia and Monfalcone to Austria, as well as the area extending east of that line far enough to make possible the exercise of proper administrative control, and also to issue appropriate instructions to the Yugoslav forces in that area to cooperate with the Allied Commanders in establishing military administration in that area under the Allied Commander.
118 Code name for the Berlin Conference of the leaders of the three Powers – the Soviet Union, the United States and Britain – held in July-August 1945.
119 The reference is to the following message which J. V. Stalin received from President Truman on June 15, 1945:
“I propose, now that Germany’s unconditional defeat has been announced and the Control Council for Germany has had its first meeting, that we should issue at once definite instructions which will get the forces into their respective zones and will initiate orderly administration of the defeated territory. As to Germany, I am ready to have instructions issued to all American troops to begin withdrawal into their own zone on June 21 in accordance with arrangements between the respective commanders, including in these arrangements simultaneous movement of the national garrisons into Greater Berlin and provision of free access for United States forces by air, road and rail to Berlin from Frankfurt and Bremen.
“The settlement of the Austrian problem I consider of equal urgency to the German matter. The redistribution of forces into occupation zones which has been agreed in principle by the European Advisory Commission, the movement of the national garrisons into Vienna and the establishment of the Allied Commission for Austria should take place simultaneously with these developments in Germany I attach, therefore, utmost importance to settling the outstanding Austrian problems in order that the whole arrangement of German and Austrian affairs can be put into operation simultaneously. The recent visit of American, British and French missions to Vienna will, I hope, result in the European Advisory Commission being able without delay to take the necessary remaining decisions to this end.
“I propose, if you agree with the foregoing, that our respective commanders be issued appropriate instructions at once.”
120 In the course of military operations the armed forces of the U.S.A. and Britain crossed the boundaries of the Soviet occupation zone agreed between the Soviet, U.S. and British Governments, and occupied part of that zone, including the Leipzig, Erfurt, Plauen, Magdeburg and some other areas. The point in the message was the withdrawal of the troops into their own zones.
121 In keeping with an agreement between the Soviet, United States, British and French Governments, Berlin was to be occupied jointly by the armed forces of the four Powers. The U.S., British and French troops were about to move into Berlin under the agreement.
122 Enclosed with the message was a letter from Ribbentrop, Hitler Germany’s Foreign Minister, claiming that he and Hitler had always sought rapprochement with Britain. Ribbentrop declared that he had “always considered England as his second home”. He tried to disclaim responsibility for the Hitler atrocities. He ended by appealing to Churchill and Eden: “I lay my fate in your hands.”
123 The reference is to the first session of the Foreign Ministers’ Council of the U.S.S.R., U.S.A., Britain, France and China held in London on September 11-October 2, 1945. The Council was formed by decision of the Berlin (Potsdam) Conference of the U.S.S.R., U.S.A. and Britain (July 17-August 2, 1945).Click here to return to Stalin Archive