tv Politics and Public Policy Today CSPAN August 29, 2016 5:00pm-7:01pm EDT
you start dumping radiation out into the field. you're also now using the entire population as your experiment subjects. this was done not only in hanford, in a handful of other places. there were nuclear explosions released to the atmosphere that impacted holy sites for the pueblo indians who live in close relationship to the land. this was done in the southwest. there was some concern and some observations that the spanish and native-americans tended to be more often down stream in the releases than the others. before i transition to how we know about this and how these experiments came to life, how
questions about the experiments? how many of you knew about these experiments before this class? word of mouth or reading about them. word of mouth. >> in another history class. >> okay. >> how do we know about this. >> if they were top secret and they were top secret. there were early reports and rumors that some americans had been injected with plutonium. a congressional report in 1986 was called america's nuclear guinea pigs. written in bland congressional language. a journalist wrote about the
story and got names and faces. i mentioned a few people here. she wrote some incredible stories and has a wonderful book out called the plutonium files. but really we started to find out a lot more about these with the book that came out of a commission. this was the rather thick book. this is from the advisory committee on human relations experiments, it was created in january of 1994. president bill clinton ordered all federal agencies and a ton
of tough was declassified. and one of the things that happened as a result of this book and this commission was that the declassified documents are now publicly available. lots of people have gone to them and written about them. now, the commission that he formed was made up of historians, philosophers, lawyers, radiologists, physicists, even a private citizen. they were deluged with inquiries of people who wondered if something had happened to them or to their loved ones, and one of the staff members here who is taping this shared with me that his father was actually at hanford in this period. people wondered what was going on. they held lots of hearings. there were lots of groups of people who felt aggrieved. veterans, convicts, mothers. people in the wrong place at the wrong time. they grapple with the tension of how do you make judgments, how do you differentiate between wrongness of actions and blameworthiness of actions.
it's one thing to say it is wrong. it is another thing to say who is to blame. they were asked to decide who should receive monetary damages. who deserves money for this that who was wronged enough that the government ought to pay. they came up with a fairly short list, and they were criticized for that. the report was released and president clinton apologized on october the 3rd, 1995. on the evening news that night, i don't think it was even mentioned because also on october 3rd, 1995, the jury came down with the verdict in the o.j. simpson trial. so it's an example of bad timing to release a report. now this is a wonderful book. really a tremendous job of historical and policymaking research. you may have noticed that some of what i'm telling you has not been as crystal clear as it might be, and that is because the nature of historical research that many of the records of what happened are incomplete. we just don't know. some are contradictory. some things we don't have protocols for. you asked about informed consent. we don't know. maybe because it was being done in war time. maybe because it was top secret maybe because nobody bothered to write it down. maybe because what we're doing
here is a little dicey and maybe we don't want to keep records and maybe we need to lose these records. we don't know. i think the committee did as good a job as they possibly could of finding out as much as they possibly could about this. a fundamental question they grappled with is how do we make retrospective judgments. how do we assess what people did in the past from our own perspective? a lot of the concepts of informed consent were not fully articulated until well after this time, so not really fair to go back and say, well, they didn't do things the way they would have done. the committee did come up with a method of making retrospective. that i think makes a lot of sense. first of all, they said there are certain basic ethical principles that stand the test of time and place.
they then of course pointed out that all of those ethical principles have exceptions. then they said there are certain policies of government departments or agencies, you ought to follow the policies of wherever you're working. the problem here is that if the policies are secret, how do you know about them? finally, they said there are the rules of professional ethics that people need to pay attention to. they did conclude and i agree that it's not okay to just use people because they are dying. some of the rationale for some of the plutonium experiments and radiation experiments and other injections was that these people are dying and we might as well get some information from them. being ill and hospitalized did not justify that.
you still have to respect them as people. so what are key lessons from the radiation experiments. i've only scratched the surface. i hope you will go and read more about them, in arlene wilson's book, jonathan moreno has a wonderful book on the history of the experiments, these human irradiation experiment books, a lot more detail. one of the lessons is the medicine and the quest for knowledge has to be looked at it the in a specific political, economic, social context. it can't be understood if you take it out of the context. these radiations experiments started in the context of a context of a cold war which turned quite hot on occasion,
which was characterized by secrecy, which was characterized by fear that these weapons could be used against us. nonetheless some of the features that came out of these experiments continue to this day. large scale research, big research, for the idea that if you want to do a big project, that you can get government funding to do huge big protocols. even smaller protocols have to do with the era that this is coming out of. people got used to the idea that they ought to be funded it do research and many institutions are built on this notion that people doing science, people doing physics, people doing medicine should get funding,
should get the funding they need to do the research. one of the casualties of these experiments is trust. even if nobody got hurt, there aren't very many people who think for example that it's a good idea to give children radioactive oatmeal without telling everybody or to release radiation from a plutonium plant to see what happens. even if at the end of the day, nobody got hurt. i think it impedes. the kind of trust that helps to bind society together in the best possible examples. what i tried to do was give you a sense of the radiation experiments, and what happened. we got just a few minutes. let me see if there are any questions or comments. okay. well, thank you all for your attention and we'll see you on monday at the medical science
building two. the instructions are going to be sent in a message with details. thank you very much. [ applause ] "american history tv" airs on c-span 3 every weekend telling the american story through events interviews and visits to historic locations. this month "american history tv" is in prime time to introduces you to programs you could see every weekend. our features include lectures in history, visits to college classrooms across the country to hear lectures by top history professors. american artifacts looks at museums and ar kentuckychivearchives. reel america, through archival films and newsreels. the civil war, are you hear about the people who shaped the civil war and reinstruction. is and the presidency focuses on u.s. presidents and first ladies to learn about their politics, policies and leg sis. all this month in prime time and every weekend on "american history tv" on c-span 3.
all this week in prime time, we'll feature programs from our lectures in history series which we take you to college classrooms. each night leads off to a new class and tonight it's the cold war. we began at 8:00 eastern with a look at america's refugee policy. at 9:15 human radiation experiments. then at 10:30 eastern it's a lecture on the origins of the cold war. before taking their summer break, the senate vote edd for a second time to block funding to combat and e prevent the zika virus. >> just last may when our democratic colleagues asked us to act and act with urgency but today we turned down the very money that they argued for last may.
they decided to gamble with the lives of children like this instead of protecting them. as i said they ignored their own calls to get this done quickly and they have refused to pass urgent measures that would protect our country from a public health crisis. so as u said when i started, mr. president, this was a test today to see whether our democratic colleagues cared more about by byes like this or special interest groups and they failed the test. it's simple as that. >> under the bill we got back and that republicans approved what happened in the house, planned parenthood an organization where hundreds and hundreds of thousands of women go for their care now do you think they are going to have a rush of business now because women in america today want to make sure that they have the ability to not get pregnant. why? because mosquitos ravage pregnant women.
under the logic of my friend they don't need to go to planned parenthood. they can go to their doctor in las vegas or chicago or lexington, kentucky. they can go to an emergency room and say, i'm sorry, i didn't get birth control. will you help me? that's not what emergency rooms are for. that's what planned parenthood is for. vast majority of women who need help. that's where they go. planned parenthood. and under the legislation we got back from the house, there's no money to be provided for that. >> this thursday a preview of four major issues congress will debate when they return from recess. zika funding, defense policy gun violence and the impeachment of the irs commissioner.
we'll have an update with senior congressional correspondent susan farichio. that's 8:00 p.m. eastern on thursday on c-span. >> each week "american history tv" sits in on a lecture with one of the country's college professors. you can watch the classes here every saturday at 8:00 p.m. and mid-night eastern and sundays at 11:00 a.m. eastern. . college of the ozarks professor david dalton teaches an american history survey course on colonization. in this lecture, he discusses the origins of the cold war following the end of world war ii. this is about an hour and 15 minutes. >> good afternoon, folks. a quick question. all right, where did i stop last time?
we dropped two atomic bombs on japan, correct? august 6th, august 9th. all right, today what we're going to do is to talk about the post-war world. roughly defined 1945 to 1960, we're going to try to get through the 50s today if we can. focus today is primarily on what's known as the cold war. that's sort of an odd term. cold war. but of chronologically we're talking about roughly 1945 up through about 1989 or so. when were you guys born? >> '92. >> you have no concept of the cold war. but this is a term that's applied to post world war ii period to talk about the conflicts between the united states and the soviet union. we are going to emerge from world war ii as the two great global superpowers and this
post-war world is literally a struggle between the u.s. and the ussr for global supremacy. it is a cold war simply because we, the united states, could not come into direct military conflict with the soviet union. we're going to be battling them all around the world for global supremacy. but never directly. this is -- this is the most important foreign policy issue of the last half of the 20th century, the cold war. it encompasses what's going on in europe after world war ii. it encompasses the fall of china, the communism, korea, vietnam, all kinds of topics that we'll talk about over the next couple of weeks. so, it not only has a foreign component. we're also going to talk today what's going on, the effects of
the cold war here at home. and we'll talk about presidential elections. about a domestic issue known as the red scare, sort of the second red scare. and how the united states is sort of going to be gripped with suspicions and paranoia about all things communist. so a lot of ground to cover today in terms of foreign policy and domestic policy. all right, so we're going to start with the origins of the cold war. where do we start? well, let's go back really to 1941. last class period when we discussed the war itself, one of the mistakes that i mentioned that hitler made was when he invaded russia in the summer of 1941. he tried to have sort of a second kind of blitzkrieg to get in, get out and knock the russia, the soviet union out of
this war. it didn't happen. an early winter, he gets bogged down and then eventually in december of '41, the russian red army gets up and begins to counterattack. hitler gets bogged down in the soviet union. one of the things about the invasion led me to this interesting quote. take a look at this for a second and without the author, tell me who you think. this can be attributed to. >> churchill. >> winston churchill. prime minister of great britain. interesting quote. we're going to have strange bedfellows here in world war ii. winston churchill, prime minister of great britain, franklin roosevelt, president of the united states and our ally
in our war against hitler is going to be joseph stalin. interesting quote. if hitler invaded hell, i'd at least make a favorable reference to the devil in the house of commons. war makes strange bedfellows. and in this case, we have the united states, great britain, long ties, long sympathies, long-time connection history and culture, and yet we also now have the soviet union as our ally to defeat the common foe of adolph hitler. so the leader of the soviet union, joseph stalin. what do we know about stalin early in the war? not much. what we know now is an awful lot. the greatest murderer of the 20th century. imprisoned more of his people into camps, murdered more of his own people than hitler killed jews. he is a ruthless brutal, paranoid dictator for the soviet union. now, when i say paranoid, i mean sort of schizophrenic kind of paranoid. he is paranoid about the safety and security of his country. two times now they've been invaded from the west by germany, world war i and world war ii. there's no natural boundary that
separates, there's no division on his western front that would be an obstacle that would prevent other nations from invading. and so twice now, his country has been invaded and his people have suffered the consequences. he's very paranoid about the safety and security of his western front. he's also paranoid again about his own position of power. we have on the one hand democracy, capitalism, free enterprise in the west and we have this sort of totalitarian dictatorship in the east. he's very paranoid about the attempts to solidify his power or attempts that he would be thrown out of power. one of the things that he is going to make or make known early in the war is that he has some demands. one obviously is going to be a western front. hitler's army is bogged down in russia.
the russian people are suffering. the russian red army is suffering the consequences of this. he wants or really is going to demand that the allies, meaning primarily great britain and the united states will open up a second front in europe to help his army in the east. that would draw some of hitler's forces from the eastern front and allow his army to gain some momentum. try to drive them out of their country. he wants a western front. another demand that he has, or a consequence of this first demand is that when we actually do attack in europe, it's not actually in europe. that's not until 1944. american forces first go into battle in north africa. he doesn't like that at all. he wants a western european front. in his paranoid ways, he is thinking that we do this intentionally. we don't attack in western
europe to help him in the east. we actually are attacking in north africa, which is very little of concern or help to him. he thinks we're doing this almost intentionally so that the nazi forces in russia could continue to wear down the russian forces in the east. he's -- that's not the case. we talked about this last time. where we're trying to stretch hitler's forces thin. we're trying to make him stretch his resources until something snaps, fighting a three-front war instead of a two-front war. but in stalin's mind, our third front in north africa was intentional to punish his people. we don't like communists so this is a way that we are trying to destroy them. and the other thing that he's going to make known to the west to churchill, to roosevelt, is that he wants protection. when this war is over and we are victorious, meaning we meaning the allies are victorious, he wants a buffer zone of protection. but he wasn't very specific.
that is, he wants to be able to protect his country from any further invasions. does he want 50 miles? does he want 500 miles? does he want part of a country, all of a country, more than one country? he's not very specific on what he wants in terms of this buffer zone of protection. he'll get specific later. but the here early in the war, we're sort of uneasy allies to defeat common foe in hitler. we know a little bit about stalin. we know some of his demands, some of his philosophies. but we'll learn much more about him as time goes on. so what's roosevelt's response? president roosevelt guiding us through the great depression, now into war. roosevelt believes that the best way to the win this war senior -- is to cooperate with stalin. if there is one term that i could give you that is synonymous with roosevelt's foreign policy in dealing with the soviet union, it is simply cooperation. don't antagonize stalin. yeah, our systems may be different. democracy, capitalism on the one hand, communism, socialism on the other. we may be very different in terms of our political and economic systems and institutions. but we have to cooperate with each other to defeat adolph hitler. and that is going to be the driving force in roosevelt's
foreign policy in dealing with stalin. we're going to go along, get along as far as we can and as far as that will take us. well, the first time that roosevelt, churchill and stalin meet is in 1943 in tehran. they've communicated with each other with telegrams and the like, but never face to face. they probably already developed some predisposed notions of what the other guy is, what he looks like, what he likes to do, that sort of thing. but the first face to face meeting of the "big three" stalin, roosevelt, churchill, is in 1943 in tehran. they are going to be talking about several items. foremost on their list is, the progress of the war and by 1943, the war's going well. if you'll remember from last time by 1943, we have already driven the german forces out of north africa, an invasion of sicily and an invasion of italy by now. the russian red army is beginning to push the nazis out of their country. we are also in the planning stages of operation overlord, d-day. all of this is happening by the time these guys meet in 1943. and so it's a pretty friendly meeting. it's a cordial meeting. they're getting to know each other. they're exchanging, you know,
pleasantries, telling jokes. it's sort of a very cordial atmosphere. roosevelt even commented that you know, this guy stalin, he's not so bad after all. thinking that i can cooperate with him. we'll be able to get along. and so the progress of the war really dictates that this is a fairly pleasant meeting. they're also going to be planning for the post-war world when this war is over, we need to be able to cooperate with each other to figure out what peace will look like. one of the things that comes out
of tehran is stalin is just insisting this operation overlord, this invasion of normandy, this western front that i've been asking for, it's going to happen, right? yes, we're in the final stages of this planning. it is going to happen. in exchange for that, stalin informs roosevelt that once hitler is defeated, once hitler is defeated, his nation will declare war on japan. that hadn't happened yet. we're fighting japan in the pacific. soviet union has not declared war on japan. here in tehran, stalin tells roosevelt, you guys go ahead with the d-day. we defeat hitler and with three months, within three months of hitler's defeat, the soviet union will declare war on japan. and help you, the americans, defeat this nation. so it's a very friendly kind of cordial meeting.
the next time they get together, it's a little bit different. in february of 1945, the big three meet for a second time. it's known as the yalta conference. this is on the black sea. this time, things have changed because if you'll remember everywhere last class period, by the early part of 1945, the red army is driving deep into germany by now. they've already pushed the nazis out of their country all the way through poland and into germany
and they are knocking on the door of berlin. the western allies, the americans, the british, well, we got slowed down a little bit along that way. what was that? >> battle of the bulge. >> battle bulge. that's going to slow us down in our race to get to berlin. they get there first. we talked about that last time. so what i'm getting at is, when these guys meet again at yalta, the situation favors the soviet union. they are closer to berlin. they are going to get there first and so stalin uses that as a little bit of leverage. he's no longer sort of going to cooperate with the americans and the british. he's going to start making demands. this is what i want in the post-war world. he begins to get more specific with his demands. one of which is poland. his buffer zone of protection is not 50 miles. he wants all of poland. i want a few other eastern european countries. not all of them, he said. i will allow for free elections to be held in some of them. but he is starting to define what he wants in terms of spheres of influence. there's no negotiation on this. here's the big three again.
and if you notice anything different about it, it's franklin roosevelt. this is the impact of war. as well as his health. he doesn't look well. some historians have said roosevelt really wasn't well at yalta, he wasn't at his best. but roosevelt's going to agree to some of stalin's demands, poland, for example. part of it is simply he's maintaining that philosophy of wanting to try to cooperate with this guy. i'm not going to antagonize you. i want to cooperate with you. part of it might be he wasn't -- in fact, some historians claim part of the reason, you know, roosevelt gave in a little bit at yalta was he's simply not at
his best. the fact is, he's not. six weeks later, a little over six weeks later, roosevelt is dead. we talked about this on tuesday. cerebral hemorrhage, april of '45. roosevelt is dead. the president who carried us through the depression, the new deal on the road to war and now almost, almost all the way through the war is gone. that brings a change. missouri's own harry truman now becomes president of the united states. very interesting circumstances, obviously. we are just about to wrap up the war in europe. we are i land hopping our way into japan. i mean, it looks promising and yet, there are all kinds of pot holes along the way.
we still have to finish the defeat of germany. we still have to finish off japan. how we do that, when we do that, and what are the consequences of what we're doing, that's the rest of the story. truman is going to meet with stalin and churchill in potsdam, germany, after hitler is defeated. i mean, it's a new big three now with harry truman being the president now instead of roosevelt. truman's attitude is going to be very different from that of roosevelt. and some indication of that change of u.s. policy comes right away. remember i mentioned to you that even vice president harry truman
had not been kept informed of the manhattan project. there are probably a few things you need to know, one of them is we have been working on a bomb. you know what, it is the biggest, baddest bomb around. here in potsdam, truman gets the word that it works. we have successfully detonated an atomic bomb. it works. and so he goes over to stalin and says to him, yeah, hitler's been defeated. we want to cooperate with you, but i need to let you in on a
little secret. the secret is, we're going to end this war with japan because we have an atomic weapon, the likes of which, again, the world has never seen. that was supposed to be news to stalin. it wasn't. he already knew. really ironic, our own vice president harry truman was sort of kept in the dark about the whole development. yet, stalin already knew. we already have soviet spies in the united states who had passed information along to stalin that we were working on it, we were close to it. he already knew we were very close having a successful nuclear weapon. well, what truman is going to do then is to give the japanese an opportunity to surrender. when they don't, we talked about this, we drop two. first on hiroshima august 6th when there was still no
surrender, we dropped the second on nagasaki on august 9th and then eventually, the japanese surrender. i mentioned to you the last time, the primary reason why truman dropped it, to save american lives. the estimates of americans -- what was the casualty if we were going to invade mainland japan, as high as perhaps a million american casualties. exactly. that was the primary reason why truman drops the bomb. today i will give you a secondary reason. it's possible that harry truman also decided to drop the bomb not just to save american lives but to signal a shift in foreign policy, to send joseph stalin a completely different message about the role of the united states and its relationship with the soviet union. we're going to drop this bomb to send you a signal that there's a new sheriff in town. roosevelt is dead and cooperation is dead. harry truman will have a completely different foreign policy objective. he's going to rely on this guy. this is george kennan, our
so-called expert on all things soviet, all things stalin. george kennan probably knew more about the history of soviet union, its current status, than anybody else. he came to truman with a couple of themes, if you will. he said first, there can never be permanent or lasting peace. between the united states and the soviet union. we are simply two different countries. so don't even try. roosevelt tried to cooperate with them, and he's saying we're simply too different. the second thing that he told truman is that joseph stalin is determined to undermine and overthrow free and democratic countries around the world. if you thought hitler was determined to take over the world, joseph stalin probably is. he will use every opportunity he can to spread communist around the world.
therefore, what truman was hearing was a change in foreign policy. kennan is going to recommend that the united states not cooperate with the soviet union anymore but we need to contain the soviet union. this is a dramatic shift in u.s. foreign policy. containment. if stalin is trying to infiltrate this area or this country, we must be there, stop them, thwart them, hold them back, contain their expansion. this is what kennan is advising. and so the days of cooperation are gone. the days of containment are here. this is going to mean that the
united states is going to have a dramatic shift in foreign policy that largely lasts up to this day, where we are going to become sort of the big brother to the world. we are going to be involved in other countries around the world. the days of isolationism are gone now. how does containment play itself out? well, 1947 is a big year for the cold war. harry truman is now going to start to describe for the american people and for the world what containment actually means. there is trouble in greece and turkey. after world war ii, both greece and turkey are struggling financially, politically. there is rebellions. there is insurrections in these two countries. truman is going to develop what is known as the truman doctrine in which the united states is going to send over $400 million in economic assistance to greece and turkey. now, brief explanation. this is exactly what kennan was talking about. there is insurrection and people rioting in the street.
there is a problem. is it possible that the soviet union is infiltrated in greece and turkey trying to overthrow countries in the mediterranean? this is exactly what we have been warned about. stalin is not just content with controlling eastern europe, now he's spreading his influence down into the mediterranean. now, that's not the case. we know that today. but in 1947, it fit perfectly with our suspicions of stalin and the soviet union. so we're going to get involved. we're going to send $400 million worth of aid to prop them up to defend themselves against this insurgency. second element of containment, the marshall plan, named after george marshall.
$13 billion in economic assistance to rebuild western europe. world war ii has devastated france, belgium. the netherlands, britain. they are in a weakened state. as long as they are in weakened state, they are susceptible to influence, foreign influence, communist influence. when people are at the bottom rung, they are willing to listen to anyone who offers them a different message of hope or whatever. the best way to hold back communist expansion is to with a healthy rebuilt europe, $13 billion to rebuild western europe, to hold back the soviet expansion. congress passes the national security act in 1947. this is an amazing piece of legislation and has lots of facets to it and creates a national security agency. we're going to revamp our military, coordinate our various branches of the military. but what i want to talk about specifically today is it created
the cia. what does that stand for? >> central intelligence agency. >> if josef stalin is bent upon undermining free and democratic countries around the world, we ought to know that. how are we going to know that unless we have people in countries already the world? we will send out folks who are going out to gather intelligence. i'm not talking about james bond. we are going to be sending out individuals working for the government, eyes and ears. what's going on in this country? are they susceptible to influence? of course, if we think that the soviet union will undermine and overthrow free and democratic countries, maybe those guys might have the opportunity to undermine a weak and vacillating communist state as well. so we're not only going to go out there and gather intelligence, we might spark a little rebellion on our own behalf if we see stalin sort of asleep at the wheel. and then finally, in 1947, we sign the rio pact. it sounds like a song, but it's a military alliance between most of the countries of central and
south america and the united states. it's a defensive alliance. where an attack upon one is an attack upon all. of course, big brother, the united states, will come to their aid and rescue. we have always been the protector of the western hemisphere, from the days back in the monroe doctrine, the 1800s. now we codified that and say we will militarily come to the aid and assistance of countries in central and south america. this is a lot of stuff in just one year. this is containment. stop for a second and put yourself in joseph stalin's shoes. the united states has gotten involved in greece and turkey. the mediterranean.
the united states has gotten involved in rebuilding western europe. the united states is sending out guys all around the world, and now we have signed on to a military alliance in central and south america. if you are joseph stalin, who is the great threat to the peace safety, and security of the world? who is trying to take over the world? >> us. >> yes, the united states. if you paranoid and suspicious, it's the united states. so if you are joseph stalin, you have to respond. the cold war is like a tennis match. it goes from one court to the other. we do something, the soviet union does something. we respond, they respond.
here is stalin's response. he is going to tighten up control over countries in eastern europe. hungary and czechoslovakia i mentioned here specifically because those were two countries that were supposed to have free elections after world war ii is over. well, the free elections go out the window by 1948. the communists have a purge of leadership and the two countries will be puppet regimes of the soviet union and then berlin. it gets complicated now. just keep in mind that during world war ii at the very end you've got the russian, the soviet army is driving deep into germany. they're going to get to berlin before we do. they're going to occupy much of eastern germany with their army, with their forces. berlin is a very important city in german history and culture and government and politics. it is going to be a divided city
here in the cold war era. we are going have the eastern part of berlin controlled by the soviet union and the western part of berlin will be divided into different sectors. the french, the british, the american sectors. it's a divided city in a divided country. i know this is a foreign concept to you guys. my generation, it makes perfect sense. i grew up understanding there was always an east germany and a west germany and an east berlin and a west berlin up until about 1989, 1990. you guys were not even born then. this is difficult for to you comprehend. back in the end of the world war
ii, the soviet red army moved into and controlled much of east germany and surrounded berlin. the americans, the british, and the french are going to have a presence there because we have to wind up the war and we have to have negotiations and have to have a demilitarization and have a presence in berlin. as a response to containment and as a response to everything truman was doing, what joseph stalin did was to try to drive us out of berlin in the summer of 1948. what he is going to do is cut off all ground access into and out of west berlin. up until this point, you could freely and easily move from one sector to the other without much of a problem or much of an issue. you show proper identification, you can cross from the american
sector to the soviet sector or back and forth into different sectors. in june of '48, stalin puts a stop to that. we are not building a wall yet. the berlin wall comes later. what stalin is going to do is put up a perimeter that separates east from west and around the exterior of west berlin. he is basically holding west berliners prisoners. nothing is coming in or going out. he is trying to basically starve west berlin, meaning the americans, the british, and the french, to get our countries out of west berlin so that he has complete control over the city. it's a blockade, if you will, of west berlin. what does truman do? is he going to allow our interest and allies' interests in west berlin to be eliminated simply because stalin has this ability to close us off by land? truman is going to respond with almost an entire year of an airlift of goods and supplies. food, fuel, anything that the people of west berlin needed will now be flown in to that part of the city. i love the map simply because it
shows you that in each of the three sectors, each of the three sectors has an airport. so we can fly in cargo planes into each sector, loaded with food, medicine, supplies, wal-mart gift cards and aa batteries. whatever they need, they will have access to. truman knows they won't shoot down those planes. if you stop and think about your geography here, these planes are going to have to fly from -- take off maybe from a base in great britain, fly across the channel, across friendly air space in western europe, and then they have to fly over eastern germany before they can get into west berlin. they have to fly into soviet controlled airspace. truman said they won't be shot down. nothing stalin can do about us airlifting all these goods and supplies into west berlin. he won't shoot down the planes. why not? [ inaudible ] >> and if the war starts --
we have the bomb and they don't. truman has a very tough stance against stalin. he's talking tough. we've got the bomb and you don't. our experts had told truman it would probably be at least five if not ten or maybe even more than that years down the road before the soviet union would ever have the ability to successfully detonate an atomic bomb. we can fly all the planes in and resupply and help the people of west berlin, fly over soviet-controlled airspace, and they won't be shut down. we have the bomb and they don't. eventually the airlift is over in may of 1949. stalin was trying to drag it out and see if our resolve would weaken. it didn't. we have planes taking off and landing 24/7. it's a battle of wills and we won out. when it's said and done, berlin
is going to be a divided city. we are going to string up barbed wire, have checkpoints along the way, and eventually, a wall is going to be built. that's another lecture for another day. >> is it like 24-hours? >> yeah, basically he's going to have forces along the interior separating east and west berlin, as well as simply move them in -- since west berlin is technically in east germany, they're going to be forces that they can quickly move in and blockade the roads and the waterways to make sure nothing gets in or out. at the very bottom of that slide, truman's response at the attempt to blockade. what does nato stand for? what's the "o" stand for? organization. good.
north atlantic treaty organization. this is sort of the byproduct of the rio pact. if we are going to have a military alliance with latin america, nato is sort of a military alliance with western an attack upon a country of nato is going to bring the united states' involvement. you don't want that, joseph stalin. you don't want that at all. why? because we have the bomb and you don't. the cold war is back and forth and back and forth. we do something, they do something. well, here's the soviet response to the creation of nato and the airlift. remember, experts informed truman it would be five years, ten years, maybe more down the road before the soviet union would ever have the atomic bomb. no.
in early september, an american spy plane picks up evidence of a successful nuclear blast. it's not us. the blast actually occurred at the very end of august. truman is informed in early september. folks, this changes everything. truman's foreign policy, his containment, has been predicated on this very tough stance against the soviet union because when push comes to shove, we have the bomb and they don't. well, now, that changes because the soviet union has successfully detonated an atomic bomb. by the end of 1949, we basically have a stalemate in europe. the united states is propping up western europe economically and militarily. the soviet union is propping up
eastern europe economically, militarily. both countries are mutually suspicious of each other, and both countries now have an atomic bomb. we are an awful lot alike and we know that we simply don't want to push that envelope much further with both countries possessing nuclear weapons. so what happens then when we have this stalemate in europe, it simply means the cold war is going to spread into a different area. and we are headed into asia now. who is this fellow? >> chairman mao. >> chairman mao. may tse-tung. >> i lived down the street from street in cambodia. and i live a block away from it. >> wow. >> isn't that cool? >> how many years ago was that?
>> mao tse-tung? when you lived there. >> december. a year ago. >> really? recent. all right. here's the situation in china. after the war is over, there is a civil war that engulfs china. between the forces of chang kai-shek and may tse-tung. the nationalists and the communists, a civil war. long story short is, by the end of 1949, mao and the communists drive the nationalists out over to the island of formosa, taiwan, and china falls to communism. this is not a good couple of months for harry truman. if you stop and think about it, he is informed that the soviet union has successfully detonated an atomic bomb, and then a couple months later, he finds
out the most populous state in the world has fallen to communism. it's not a good fall/early winter for harry truman. the largest territorial state in the world has an atomic bomb. the most populace state in the world has now fallen to communism. in our minds, they are linked. and, in fact, in early 1950, the chinese and the soviets, they sign a treaty of mutual assistance which just solidifies the fact that a communist is a communist is a communist. again, what we know today is that chinese communism and soviet communism, there are some real differences. but back in 1949, 1950, this is panic starting to envelope in the united states. we have stopped the spread of communism in europe, but look what's happened in other parts of the world. so we have to respond, some way, somehow. this is containment. instead of containing communist expansion in europe, we have to
contain it in another part of the world. what do we do? one is that we simply refuse to recognize the legitimacy of mao. for over 30 years the united states is not going to have any sort of diplomatic relationship with communist china. we will continue to recognize the chinese government in taiwan as the legitimate government of china. we simply aren't going to have anything to do with mao and the communists in china. all right. that doesn't hurt them much. but we have to find a way to stop or contain communism in this part of the world and need a new best friend. one of the strange ironies of the cold war is the nation that we just nuked back into the flintstone era a few years earlier is now our new best friend. by 1950, we're going to start rebuilding japan so that they can help us stop the spread of chinese communism in this part of the world.
then finally, there is a document that is known as nsc-68. this is a national security council report simply listed as nsc-68. it will outline what the united states should do as we turn into the 1950s in dealing with communism. three things. first it said we shouldn't try to contain it anymore. we need to go to war and have victory over communism, not just try to contain it, but be victorious over it. second, in order to do that, we will have to have a huge increase in our defense budget. i just threw some numbers up there for you. i haven't done the math yet. somebody has to help me out. our defense budget goes from $13 billion in 1950 up to $50 billion just three years later.
i don't know what percent of increase that is, but it's big. we are building up not only the conventional weapons, but more planes and more ships and tanks and artillery, but we're also going to build up a new bomb. the development of the thermonuclear bomb or it's simply called the hydrogen bomb. we have to do this because the soviet union has the atomic bomb. if they have the atomic bomb, we need a new bigger, badder bomb. we are going to be developing the hydrogen bomb. in other words, we're starting an arms race with the soviet union. >> that's why the japan was willing to join us so easily as an ally because they were intimidated? >> fair question. i think they are looking for who will offer them economic assistance and help them rebuild? they are always wary of the chinese, certainly wary of the
soviet union, and the united states is reaching out, offering something of an olive branch as well as a lot of financial assistance. we'll take it. an arms race is now a byproduct of the cold war. you have this weapon and we have to have another weapon. all of which brings me to dr. seuss. you all read dr. seuss growing up, right? anybody read "the butter battle" book? it's about the cold war. i'm not talking about "the foot book" and the "abc" book and all those classics. dr. seuss wrote a book about the cold war. "the butter battle book." i don't have time to read it to you. the library has a copy and i have got it in my office. classic. it's about two groups. the zooks and the yooks. they don't like each other. why?
because one group butters their bread butter side up and the other is butter side down. now there is a reason to go to war. how you butter your bread. but it's a children's story about the cold war and the escalation of it. i said i wasn't going to read to you, but i'm just going to read the end of it, the very end, because it's about developing weapons and one side getting something and the other side responding with a bigger weapon. but at the very end, they have developed the big boy boomeroo. okay? and right here at the very end, the yooks and the zooks are clashing. they are coming to the wall that separates them and both have the big boy boomeroo. here's how dr. seuss ends the book. grandpa, i shouted, be careful. oh gee, who's going to drop it? will you or will he?
be patient, said grandpa. we'll see, we'll see. it's a cliff hanger. dr. seuss, right there. who is going to drop the big boy boomeroo? it's the cold war. we have atomic weapons and the soviet union has atomic weapons. we have an atomic bomb. they get one. we have to have a hydrogen bomb that takes an atomic bomb to detonate it, to set it off. dr. seuss. anyway. it's an arms race now. what is the soviets' response? here we go. it's not enough. they want to have the largest standing army in the world. they are going to develop one that encompasses nearly 3 million men. that's a lot of folks.
they are going to escalate their atomic weapons program, if we're working on a hydrogen bomb, then they're going to work on it as well, or something else. the most interesting thing in terms of the soviet response is this. support for their satellites. i use that term in quotes because i mean not only their countries. they're going to ensure that their control of eastern europe is solid, solidified. no threat of being overthrown. but satellites in terms of technology. the soviet union is going to pour a lot of money into their weapons development program, as well as their space technology program. and they will put into space rockets and satellites, and in 1957, they are going to do something that absolutely
terrified us. what is launched in 1957? >> sputnik. >> sputnik, this little thing, ball-looking device that is orbiting the earth, beeping as it's going across the horizon. it absolutely terrified us. we don't have that. we have not yet successfully put a satellite into space, and yet they have. the shock, the realization is they are ahead of us in this space race. so we've got to catch up. sputnik is a drop kick to nasa. we are going to push and put a lot of money into rocket technology, space technology, and eventually we will win this race and put a man on the moon before they do, but that's another lecture for another day. you need to understand there are suspicions and paranoias on both sides.
when we do something, the soviet union responds. when they do something, it affects us, and the cold war is not done yet. it's not just the fall of china and it's not just the united states cozying up to japan, but it's going to explode the cold war is going to heat up, if you will, in korea. now remember the last lecture of world war ii. we talked about korea being occupied by japan. once the war is over, the united states and the soviet union decide to divide korea with the united states being in control of the southern part of korea and the soviet union is going to be administering the northern part of korea. eventually, both u.s. and ussr agree we will withdraw and allow the koreans to have some degree of self-determination. we're going to pull out, the soviet union is going to pull out.
the koreans will be able to determine their future and their fate. and we both did. the difference is, when we pulled out, we took everything with us. when the soviet union pulled out, they left behind a stockpile of weapons. the most modern military technology that they had at the time. that's a temptation that was going to be used. the following summer, 1950, north korea with the use of soviet military armaments, they will invade south korea and try to take possession of the entire country. this is exactly what kennan had warned us about, truman says. soviet union is not content. they're going to expand now, you know, into other areas. this is a classic example of expansion and trying to take over the southern part of korea. we must respond.
but he doesn't go to congress to ask for a declaration of war. he thought it might set a bad precedent. whenever i need to send troops someplace, i don't want to have to go to congress and ask them every time. so what he does is he goes to the united nations. the u.n. and asked for a force to be sent to prop up and support and defend the people of south korea. now, the united states is going to do all the heavy lifting here. we will have more men and more equipment, we'll spend more money than any other country in the world defending south korea. that's what's going to happen. since it is technically speaking korea is a police action, as the united nations called it, it's not an officially declared war because only congress can do that and of course truman didn't go to congress. what's going to happen is most of the fighting in 1950 is a back and forth.
the red arrow shows you the penetration of the north koreans deep into south korea and then general mcarthur, general douglas mcarthur is going to land over here on this eastern coast. he's going to land there and cut off the north korean forces in the southern part of the country. be very successful with that and then ac-arthur decides not to be satisfied with just simply driving the north koreans out of south korea. he decides to invade, move northward into the northern part of the country. if you follow that blue arrow, he's headed north. what's the country on the other side of the dotted line right there? that's china. you are mao. it's the summer of 1950 and you have been in power less than a year. you know the policy of the united states that is to contain communist expansion and all of a
sudden here at your backdoor you've got a well-decorated united states general leading united nations forces and they are getting closer and closer and closer. if you are mao, you are as paranoid as stalin has always been. if you're mao, you're probably thinking this is all a means to an end. the war in korea is a means to an end. that is to drive mao and the communists from power in china. we're using the korean conflict as an excuse to invade china. and so his response is to send flood after flood of chinese troops across the border to support the north koreans to stop the americans. by 1950, we get bogged down. the united states is not only fighting north korean communists but now we're fighting chinese communists, and this war is going to go on until 1953.
but the most significant military action occurs here in the first year. and by the summer of '53, we agree to end this conflict with a permanent division of the country at the 38th parallel. south of the 38th parallel, south korea will be a free democratic and capitalistic state. north of the 38th parallel, north korea will be a totalitarian communist state, and it's still that way today. it's a divided country today and one of the great flash points, i mean, you have this lunatic in north korea who every now and again threatens nuclear warfare against somebody waiting for countries around the world to pay him off. well, it's a flashpoint today. its origins are here in the middle of the cold war. and one other area to move into.
it's not just korea, it's not just in china. outlined in red, what is that country? >> vietnam. >> that's vietnam. this is an area that we talked about called french indochina. back in the world war ii lecture we talked about how the japanese invaded french indochina and there was nothing france could do about it because france had already been knocked out of the war and the japanese had moved in and took over. well, now that the war is over, the vietnamese would like to have their own right to derpnaire -- determine their nation and their status. this guy wants to do that. that is ho chi minh. he wants to lead an independence movement in vietnam in 1945 and in fact declared vietnam, drafts a vietnamese declaration of independence in 1945 that is modeled after our own united states declaration of independence.
if you put the two documents side by side, they are eerily similar. you would think that the united states would support a nation who wants to be free and independent, self-determination. we don't. why not? we are not really going to support france in this. it's more of ho chi minh's political tendency. he is a communist. as much as we would like to support the independence of a nation, we are not going to support the independence of vietnam under communist control. we're going to contain it, as best we can. that's next week's lecture for another day. vietnam gets a whole day. there is an awful lot going on in terms of the cold war abroad. the mediterranean, western europe, western hemisphere,
china, korea, vietnam. all of these things are a part of the cold war. shift gears now. while all of that is going on overseas what effect does that have at home? the cold war on the home front. well, one of the things we are suspicious of are communists. if you want to get anything done, you give it to congress to do. so we are going to flush them out with a congressional committee called hoaac. the house on americans activity committee, huac. one of the interesting things is, we are going to investigate hollywood. hollywood turns out all kinds of movies about world war ii, movies in which the enemy are the japanese, the enemy are the germans. why is it that hollywood is not producing movies in which the enemy are the russians or the communists?
is it possible that the communists have infiltrated our film industry and that's the reason why we're not producing these kinds of movies? we are going to investigate. so we're going to have all kind of subpoenas. we're going to have movie stars come to washington, d.c., raise your right hand, i am not now nor have i ever been a member of the communist party. you deflect attention from yourself and profess your undying loyalty and devotion to all things american, mom, apple pie, hot dogs, whatever the slogan is. chevys? what is that? yeah, anyway. ronald reagan. not president yet. gary cooper, iconic actor. they called all kinds of folks to come and talk about whether or not communism has infiltrated the movie industry. if you decided, i'm not going to
play this game, i'm an american, i have rights. we don't do this sort of thing in this country. suspicion, innuendo. well, we do. but there were ten folks who said, i will invoke my fifth amendment rights. self-incrimination. i'm not going to answer your questions. well, you know what that means, don't you? you're a communist. exactly. if you're going to invoke your fifth amendment rights, well, that must mean you're a communist. so we draw up this blacklist. you don't hire these people. they didn't stand up and profess loyalty to this country, therefore, they must be a communist. don't hire them. because if you do, you know what that means, you're a communist. and then it goes and it goes and it goes. and then it goes and goes. it's like that ripple effect. remember the soviet union has an atomic bomb, 1949? we need to figure out how that happened.
it couldn't have been that they developed a technology themselves. they had to have help. where did the help come from? it had to come from within the united states. one of the classic examples of searching through and figuring out who was involved in espionage activities focuses on the husband and wife team ethyl ethyland julius rosenberg. >> i have a question. >> yes. >> why is the woman's name first? >> i decided to put it first, alphabetically. they will be charged separately and both convicted of espionage, passing along atomic secrets to the soviet union in 1951 and
executed for espionage in 1953. this is serious business now. the united states has been infiltrated by soviet spies. nothing more serious than the atomic weapons program and the rosenbergs paid the price. what we have then in the united states is a full-fledged red scare. we talked about this after world war i, in the 1920s. this is really a second red scare. we are afraid that the united states, here on our own shores, had been infiltrated. every aspect of american life. we are suspicious of everyone and everything. your next door neighbor might be a spy. it's your american responsibility, your duty to report suspicious activity. the band leader synonymous with the red scare and flushing out the communists, wherever they might be, is this fellow.
recognize him? joseph mccarthy, senator from wisconsin. the united states senator from wisconsin. what he is going to do is gain a lot of attention in 1950 and he's going to go to wheeling, west virginia, and he's going to deliver a speech. in part of that speech, he is going to hold up a piece of paper and he says, i hold here in my hand a list of 205 names of known communists working in the state department. you see i have a piece of paper in my hand? see this writing on it? see the names, things on here? i'm joseph mccarthy. i'm a united states senator, i'm waving a piece of paper in my hand and i'm saying i have a list of 205 known communists working in the state department. don't you think that got a little bit of attention? we are not in the news cycle 24/7 like we are today, but it
is still going to get a lot of attention in 1950. all of a sudden the questions. who's on that list? how did he get the list? are there other communists other than in the state department? all of a sudden a junior senator from wisconsin is going to be the darling of the news media. who is he and how did he get the information? a clue that maybe some of his claims and charges were not necessarily on the up and up is that when he would repeat the claim that he knew of communists in the state department, the numbers kept changing. they go from 205 to 56 and the numbers just kept changing. nonetheless, he is going to conduct hearings in washington, d.c., where individuals would be subpoenad, come to testify as to
what they know about communism infiltrating the federal government. this is the day and age of television. television is brand-new into the 1950s. what the radio was to the 1920s, the television is to the 1950s. there is no better show on tv in the 1950s than the mccarthy hearings. people are glued to the set. i want to see who the communist is. when it's all said and done, he didn't get a single conviction. yet his legacy still lives on to this day. when there are charges and accusations that are filed that a certain group doesn't necessarily like, they'll say, oh, that's just mccarthyism. well, it's a part of the cold war, and it's a part of the times in the early '50s in which we are paranoid and suspicious of all kinds of things. and generally we look to the
president in those days of leadership. >> would that be considered the same thing as yellow journalism that we saw before? >> i'm not sure we're trying to sell newspapers so much in this regard. it's -- i'd say you're in the general area but with a slight difference of intent. less -- more political, less economic. all right. while all of this red scare is going on, we generally look to the president for leadership. harry truman, who'd taken this very tough stand against the soviet union, he's got a very difficult time by the early '50s. we're bogged down in korea. we are at a stalemate in terms of the soviet union, and the slide said his hands are tied by politics. and by that i mean harry truman
is a democrat, and yet members of his own party are pulling away from him by the early '50s because he is starting to push for civil rights. that's another lecture for another day. southern democrats, conservative southern democrats, are going to push back against truman, who wants to push forward a civil rights agenda. so he loses support from his own democratic party, and the republicans aren't going to help truman anyway. they're just playing politics. truman's popularity plummets. and by the early '50s, there's sort of a change in the political atmosphere. remember i talked about a 30-year cycle. the 1920s, conservative and republican. 1930s, liberal and democratic. the 1940s, a transition, if you will, because of the war. we're back to our 30-year cycle.
the 1950s are going to be more conservative and republican and dominated by these two guys, dwight d. eisenhower and richard nixon, elected in 1952 and '56. republicans regain the white house. >> republican and what? >> republican and much more conservative. >> who better to lead a cold war than a general? dwight d. eisenhower. one of the most decorated generals in world war ii. he wasn't really a politician, yet, and in fact no one really knew if he was a republican or a democrat, not even interested in politics, but he decided to get involved. the republicans got him, and everybody seemed to like ike, as he was known. he was just a very personable gentleman. well, the popularity of
eisenhower is not just because of his military record of world war ii. it also has to do with the economy of the day. when you take a look at how the united states emerged from world war ii, we're going to have this dramatic boon. and when things are good, when people have jobs and they're having more income than they've ever had before, they tend to like the party. the republicans are going to be the benefactors of that in the 1950s. i'll give you three things here that are part of this postwar prosperity. simply because of world war ii, the united states is going to have a tremendous trade surplus, not a trade deficit but a trade surplus. we're going to be sending a lot of american-made goods overseas, to europe, to other parts of the world that have been devastated because of the war. that is going to fire up american factories. remember, when we were talking about the great depression and i said the new deal did an awful
lot of good, it put a lot of people back to work, but it didn't completely pull us out of the depression, only world war ii does, this is what i'm talking about now. we are -- americans are back to work as never before, and that continues into this postwar period. another part of the prosperity is simply the cold war itself. just the dramatic increase in the defense budget. we're building a lot of new weapons and armaments for war. if you are in a defense-related industry, you've got a job, literally a gravy train to keep that job. and then finally, the prosperity is due to something called the baby boom. sounds ridiculous, i know. if you were born between 1946 and 1964, let me see a show of hands. anybody? anybody? yeah. i'm a proud member of the baby
boom generation. soldiers come back, get married, start families. there is this tremendous demographic called the baby boom. what does that have to do with economic prosperity? well you know what? when you start having kids, you start having to buy all kinds of things that you don't usually use as an adult. okay? i mean, all of a sudden the size of your family has increased so you've got to buy baby clothes. you've got to buy a bigger car. you've got to have a bigger house. you've got to have this and that. it's going to drive the american economy. the american consumer drives the american economy. these are very prosperous times for us as a people and us as a nation. and the prosperity benefits the republican party. my favorite word? and you knew it was coming.
not everybody in america is happy. not everybody's content. you see, not everybody in america is white. and the civil rights movement, the most important domestic movement of the second half of the 20th century, that's the topic for the next lecture. and the baby boomers of the 1950s, those folks grow up to be the flower children of the 1960s. [ inaudible ] >> yes, i'll share some stories. not everybody's happy, and not everybody's content in the 1950s. but those are all lectures for another day. questions that you have?
>> who were some of the names on the hollywood blacklist? >> you know, probably one of the most famous names of writers that would be on that list would be ring lardner, but there's a list of -- it's not just screenwriters, but it was directors and producers. you know, all of this was sort of hush-hush. these folks sort of went underground and wrote. to keep their jobs, they wrote with assumed names because no one would hire them. it's a great story about survival. yes, ma'am. >> didn't the soviets use women in their standing army? >> they did. in order to try to acquire that many personnel, they are forcing, would probably be the best way to put it, not only men into service, but women into
military service as well. you don't really have any options. >> could you go over why the united states ignored ho chi minh even though he was trying to beat them up, you know. >> yeah, we're going to get to ho chi minh. i've got an entire lecture on vietnam. i just needed to introduce him today to put it into context of the cold war. you need to understand that vietnam is a part of the cold war, and i just wanted to bring him to attention, your attention today, and two lectures from now we're going to talk about the u.s. involvement in vietnam. so hang on to that, and i'll get to it later. >> do we still use atomic bombs and stuff like that today? >> i hope not. no, actually what we're doing now is destroying them. >> why? >> we really don't need the thousands that we have. i mean --
>> how do you destroy a bomb? >> yeah, that's a great question. >> in the ocean? >> that's above my pay grade. i would think the answer is very carefully. all right. i hope you have a wonderful break, and i will see you again afterwards. we'll talk about civil rights movement and vietnam when we return. >> quiz? will there be an announced quiz next week? >> you know what? i think we will have a quiz next time we gather together. how's that? all right. see you.
american history tv airs on c-span3 every weekend, telling the american story through events, interviews, and visits to historic locations. this month, "american history tv" is in primetime to introduce you to programs you could see every weekend on c-span3. our features include lectures in history, visits to college classrooms across the country to hear lectures by top history professors. "american artifacts" takes a look at the treasures at u.s. historic sights, museums and archives. reel america, revealing the 20th century through archival films and news reels. the civil war where you hear about the people who shape the civil war and reconstruction and
the u.s. presidency focuses on u.s. presidents and first ladies to learn about their politics, policies and legacies. all this month in primetime and every weekend on "american history tv" on c-span3. all this week in "american history tv" prime time will feature programs from our lectures in history series in which we take you into college classrooms across the country. tonight, it's the cold war. begin at 8:00 eastern with a look at america's cold war refugee policy. at at 1030 eastern, a lecture on the origins of the cold war. on lectures in history, duke university professor gun ter peck teaches a class on america's immigration policy toward refugees during the cold war. he describes how people fleeing communist countries such as cuba were given easier access to the u.s. city also talks about how race
played a role in creating, "taz such as limiting immigrants from asian countries. his class is about an hour and 10 minutes. >> so welcome to class, folks. we have some visitors. welcome to duke university. my name is gunther peck. i teach immigration in the department of history. this is a cross listed course called "immigrant dreams american realities." and we are wrestling with the wonderful complexity of visions of america that immigrants bring to our national story. so you're welcome to participate in discussions if we get there. just raise your hand and i'll pull you in. i know you've done the readings. so no worries. okay. okay. so today's lecture is called linking nation and humanity u.s. refugee policy 19459 to
199019 0. and we're going to focus in on this important subset of immigration law, immigration policy history today that we have touched on but we haven't really focused yet squarely in the class. so i want you to fit it into where we were at the end of last class, which was the lecture on the passage of immigration reform in 1965 and that key idea is that the cold war was shaping domestic policy history and very clearly apparent in the ways in which the immigration reform act was passed. as a kind you have part of a broader campaign in fighting a cold war. that is especially true with u.s. refugee policy which is a perfect intersection of u.s. foreign policy and immigration policy. so before we begin though what we have here are a couple of images of the present. i want to just have a brief
discussion before we dive into the past about u.s. refugees and their significance to the contemporary moment we live in. and they are frequently invoked and maybe we could just describe i'm curious as to how you would describe why refugees matter today. and what we have here this is an image of the refugees that are being led into detention of under age minors who were picked up at the u.s. mexican border last summer when the refugee was burning quite vividly in the nation's newspapers. here is another image of refugees under age unaccompanied minors also heading north. this is on not public transportation but on a especially chartered train that
most of the people here had paid traffickers to get across the border. and that is what we're looking at. i'm just curious if we could summarize or give a few ideas why refugees matter in the contemporary. it's a simple question. but actually it does have a lot at stake. so why do politicians talk about refugees right now? what are the stakes of refugees today? kate. >> americans at the gate we kind of talked about how the refugees and the issue of whether to allow them in or not kind of changed the human rights question in the '70s. i think it's remained that since then probably. so it's really a question of how the u.s. embodies our democracy
by thinking and enacting into policy the belief that all people deserve to be free fromfrom -- >> great comment. so that there's a humanitarian set of stakes that the refugee is someone who deserves by virtue of their suffering acceptance into the nation. you alluded to the stakes though. so why should the united states care about those particular refugees? that's obviously one set of stakes. that's not the only way refugees are being discussed today. so what else -- what are some other ways? we're going to come to this question. why do they matter for the nation? yeah haley. >> a selfish reason. but the image of the nation as a whole.
[ inaudible question ] and that matters. >> yeah by comparison to germany right now, the united states quite unkind uncharitable. germany has taken in 1.1 million syrian refugees last year alone. we're debating whether to take zero or 10,000. there's the debate. emma. >> i think overall politicians [ inaudible question ] >> yes. >> right. >> so it's become a security issue. refugees equal an anxiety about national security clearly. mara. >> also refugee law and policy sits at the intersection between domestic policy and foreign policy. so you're saying something both to the american people about what it means to be american that we are accepting of people in difficult situations around the world and you're also saying something at the international
stage about what america is willing to do in order to help the people around the world and which causes they're willing to and which issues they view as issues that would constitute refugee status. >> right. nicely put. you summarized the complex domestic and international stakes in individual refugees. right, exactly. elizabeth. >> again, i don't necessary agree with this point but i think in political rhetoric now, refugees are kind of seen as dependents that will be coming into this country as dependents. it also becomes an economic issue that is being mentioned on both sides of the spectrum worrying about if we take x amount of refugees how will that impact our economy and what will we have to do as u.s. citizens to support them. >> right. good. anxiety about their public dependence or a security threat. >> to kind of build on mara's point about international relations, in the future you can go back and say, well, we
accepted so many refugees from this region and use it as almost political capital for future negotiations. >> great term. political capital. yeah. so yeah diane. >> this isn't an opinion that i personally hold. but i've always seen the u.s.' role in accepting refugees as a form of justice for what happened in the middle east specifically. so a lot of iraqis being displaced because of the war, you know who should be most responsible for accepting the refugees. it should be the countries that were directly involved in that war and that caused that war. and iraq obviously now does not take back their own citizens because it's almost a failed state. >> so this is an argument. i love how your comments are actually arguments. and that's great because you're highlighting the stakes of why refugees matter. and one of the arguments you're making is that refugees matter
because we have humanitarian obligations to the nations that we have been part of u.s. foreign policy. so iraqis clearly if they're suffering after the u.s. invasion the belief is has as buildings to help them out. so there's no consensus what the stakes are with refugees. i think you've covered most of the key sense of stakes. i would frame it there's a kind of set of stakes that are the debate works today there's a convergence on the left and the right here which is that on the one hand the national stakes in refugees might be humanitarian but that -- we have interests in human rights that really transcend the stake. the refugees' interests, we in effect owe them that if it's an iraqi refugee, lets say. and then those who are critical of refugee policy view them as being threats to the nation either economically or political
threats that they are somehow literal security threats as terrorists or potential terrorists or as people who threaten our standard of living, way of life what have. the argument has been polarized between humanitarian interests on the one side and national security interests on the other. that is the contemporary framing of the refugee issue and why they matter. so what i think is interesting about that story is that those are not new but it is also true that the history of u.s. refugee policy is a story in which i would say that framing of national interests on the one hand and humanitarian on the other are merged. or rather they overlap in some really extraordinary ways. so the only way to explain, i'm going to suggest this as an argument in the lecture, the only way to explain why is it that the united states after
the -- from 1945 to the near past is the most generous refugee nation in human history it accepts over half of the world's refugees. the reason for that is not necessarily because the united states is the most humanitarian of nations. but it's because of the important national stakes in refugees. and that's important to understand why that's the case why refugees had national significance and why the whole policy debate was around trying to define understand why they mattered to the nation. not so much to a notion of human rights that are universal but to specific national interests. i will come back to the debate that we could have on the basis of your insights at the end of the class but i wanted to frame that as a point of departure. so national interests in short have really shaped the whole
formation of u.s. refugee policy because it is foreign policy but also because the nation understood that its. >> military strategic interests were being advanced by refugees and the way you described it as foreign policy symbols. i should say as an side that the interests of refugees themselves as historic agents, we left out. they're largely symbolic in the way we've described them. they are two voices. why those voices matter are important and we'll come back to them at the end of the lecture. what we're going to do today is go through some of the case studies about nation and humanity. in a weird way, it's a nice way of encapsulateing a history of u.s. nationalism changing ideas of what an american is as well as a very specific policy story and we can see here yeah this is the overall -- it gives us the overview of what i'm going to cover today in slightly more
condensed version than the outlines have you in front of you. today's goal is also an explicit about what i would call as a profound history deficit in the contemporary discussion. you described the significance, as well. but it is if you read the newspapers it's as if there is no history to u.s. refugee policy as if this is the first generation right now to be worried that refugees could be threatening our american security. or that they are going to weaken our standard of living or conversely that our very best most ideaistic identity is at stake with refugees. that conversation is not new. it's been going on for a long time. that's reassuring on the one hand but we haven't really paid attention to that conversation either. so today's lecture is seeking to kind of redress that and i'd like to have time to discuss what we can use this history for. if we were to make an
intervention in the contemporary discussion beyond this classroom. okay. who is a refugee? we're going to go through these. the question we're asking how have national interests shaped the history of u.s. refugee policy. i'm going to begin back in time a little before '65 to the jewish refugee question and also to consider the definitions of refugees so that the book nicely points out for you americans at the gate by carl bon tempo. i hope you have bought this book. it's a really good book to read. we have a fascinating story that the category of refugee itself changes quite a lot over time. the 1980 law, we don't have a refugee law until 1980. even though the united states has accepted a great number of refugees before that moment in time. and in fact the law is catching up to the interesting set of political practices by the state
department and other actors. the refugee law in 1980 defines it as follows -- a refugee is a person fearful of being persecuted for reasons of race religion, flagsity membership of a particular social group or political opinion. they are existing outside the country of his or her nationality and unavailable to avail himself or herself of the protection of that country. in effect refugees are stateless actors who are absent the protection of a government and they're being persecuted by their home state for the following reasons. it's a very broad definition. in 1980 when the united states adopts this we'll come back to this at the end of the lecture, they are really adopting for the first time in 1980 an international united nations definition of who a refugee is for the first time. this is what's interesting about this sorry is that in some respects the story of u.s.
refugee generosity is one that occurs without this universalized def anything. it occurs largely for national for more specific national reasons. so before 1980 before the u.s. adopts this international standard there are several definitions that emerge in the book and i just want to cover them quickly. that are very specific and they're very political. they're not universalized. the league of nations in 1926 didn't define a refugee but they described refugees in had the following fashion as a person of russian origin or armenian or gin who had lost the protection of the government. they were responding to a specific political calamity in the 1920s in the wake of armenian genocide and different factors involved in that. there wasn't a universalized definition of refugee in the league of nations or really before world war ii. in the wake of world war ii and
the wake of the holocaust, we begin to see a more universalized language of human rights emerging that begins to shape a definition that the united nations advocates. but for the united states it's still not -- they don't sign on to that definition of the kind of universal definition of a refugee. the closest they get in 1948 is to describe displaced person who's were victims of nazi or fascist regimes deported because of forced labor racial religious or political reasons. we begin to get some of the human rights language here but it's a specific narrative and a specific political story that defines who a refugee is. throughout most of the post-war period most of the cold war, the definition of a refugee is a speak specific political one in the united states and it's a story about the cold war. who is a refugee? it is an anti-communist who cannot return to his or her
homeland. that's who a refugee is pragmatically speaking. now, these may seem like inadequate definitions and in many respects they are. they don't hold they're filled with certain contradictions what's interesting for us right now is they're very specific historical narratives that are about u.s. foreign policy and also other national interests that were shaping the understanding of what a refugee why, a person became a refugee. so the history of u.s. refugee policy then takes this into account and is a story that is filled with ironies. i'll go through some of these moving forward. let's back up in time to 1939 when the word refugee begins to percolate quite specifically around the history of the emerging story that's unfoldinging about adolph hitter in germany and persecution that jews are experiencing.
and refugees are carefully and closely connected to narratives about jewish people. so if you do a key word search you'll find that consistently emerging. this is the boat the ss st. louis, that carried over 900 jewish refugees that managed to get out of europe in 1939. and were sailing for a safe harbor in the new world. they came initially to work were turned away from new york and then tried to find a harbor in havana in cuba. and ultimately were denied there. they came back to new york again hoping once again for a kind of political wheel room that that would allow them to come in. prior to this fdr had been seeking to get more jewish refugees to come to the united states by filling up the german quota that was in the national origins act. and a good many jewish refugee do come into the united states through that as germans, not as jews.
unfortunately, this is exceeded the quota. these good folks exceeded the quota and fdr at this point decided not or did not imagine the president, he could find a way of bringing them into the nation. here are some images of these folks. lots of women and children. they had means. they were better off than many refugees who could not get out. one of my teachers in graduate school managed to get out a few weeks before this from vienna and sailed into the united states and had to lie about her identity. her name was gerta lerner, founder of women's history at the university of wisconsin, an amazing story that she really had to sort of ironically lied to authorities to get in, said that she was already married, that she was an unaccompanied woman. never would have gotten in. they would have thought that she was a white slave, and she knew that.
so, but she managed to get in. these good folks did not, and the united states turned them away. they sailed back to europe in 1939 as war was breaking out. and of the 940 or so on board, well over half met their death in death camps. and the story of this at the time would become a kind of wound to the united states. this was perceived at the moment as a calamity, as a mistake by many. and yet, there was a tremendous amount of resistance to accepting jewish people into the united states, something that often gets forgotten after the holocaust. and the story of the holocaust as it unfolded over time will be one that will shape u.s. refugee policy in some really important ways. for now, what i'd like you to do
is just highlight that fdr at the time may have felt ambivalent about this but saw himself as bound by the law of the national origins act and did not take any execute action that he might have. and we'll come back to what role the president or the congress or judicial actors had in shaping refugee policy. so, as american soldiers uncovered the atrocities of the holocaust in april 1945, they are key actors in shaping the knowledge of refugees and are actually important sort of public opinion shapers. it is u.s. members of the 5th infantry who come to this sort of kingpin of germany's work camps, where most people worked, and then they worked nearly to death and then sent them off to auschwitz and other places to be executed. and they find thousands of
bodies that have just recently perished. and the stories that u.s. troops tell are really powerful. it affected u.s. soldiers and shaped their perspectives. and that sort of slowly percolated back and shape a desire to make the united states a nation that would, could have prevented these wrongs from occurring. that said -- and here's the difficult part of the story -- most americans, a good number of them remained deeply anti-semitic well after the post war period, well into the post war period, into the '40s, into the '50s. so that there is a kind of resistance to learning a different lesson from the holocaust. it doesn't change hearts and minds right away. and we'll come back to that. so, i would say that some of these case studies pivot the nation's interests against that of humanity.
there's clearly a sense that there was a mistake made, humanity here, and jewish people lost. but the national interest was seen to be more important in 1939, and that persistence is really quite powerful through the immediate postwar period. let me turn to the late 1940s. as the cold war is beginning to shape up between the united states and the soviet union, as conflicts are emerging, as the extraordinary challenge of reconstructing europe -- and there are millions of refugees in europe. several million germans have been displaced as well as other peoples, and so the refugee crisis in europe is profound in a way that we need to remember. and there is an anxiety that western europe will become communist as by the mid to late 1940s, an the united states is
actively pursuing ways of preventing an expansion of the soviet union's bloc, if you will, in eastern europe into the western areas. and so, it's in that context in which refugees become extremely important. they are viewed as potential vectors of communism, also as agents who would be unstable in europe. and so, it's in this context in 1948 that truman pushes for a displaced persons act. dp, displaced persons. not refugees exactly, but that's what he calls them. and they are offered visas to the united states, some 200,000 people. and it is initially sort of put forward by a group of more liberal inclusionists that our reading describes, but they are afforded in some profound ways
by the actors who administer this program. so one of the interesting themes that's emerging in u.s. refugee policy history is who is the state? who is actually implementing the law, not simply what the law is on the face of it, but who gets to decide how people come in. and this is an interesting story in 1948. so, it's designed really to aid victims of nazism and fascism. that's the stated purpose of the displaced persons act, one would think jewish people of those who survived. and yet of the 200,000, only about 20%, or 40,000 people, who are admitted are jewish, which is a fairly small percentage. and quite extraordinary are the number of people who are actually ex-nazis who come into the country under the displaced persons act. not only ex-nazis, nazi sympathizers coming along next to those same jewish victims of the world war ii. and this outrages some of the efficacy advocates in the nalts.
how did that occur? well, it occurred in part because of foreign policy considerations here, nation versus humanity. some of the people administering the law saw in these ex-nazis potential assets for u.s. foreign policy. and the author bon tempo describes this. he writes, "this was not coincidental. the admission of nazis, ex-nazis or the fault of lax screening procedures but rather the work of american intelligence agencies who looked to turn them into agents fit for work behind the emerging iron curtain." oso, the interests of fighting a cold war meant there was a approach with ex-nazis. they can speak the native language. they would be useful in fighting communism. so, this may seem like a corruption of the true humanitarian intent behind the
refugee, this refugee act, of what displaced persons, who they were. but keep in mind, it's the foreign policy context. this act was passed as part of the u.s. marshall plan, seeking to rebuild europe from war and also to prevent the expansion of communism. and without that framing, the act wouldn't have occurred in the first place. another reason that there was very few jewish people who got in or fewer than we might have expected was because of who was implementing the law. and i'll bring in an important character, senator pat mccarron, who is one of the ardent restrictionists in u.s. political history, and he played a key role in shaping the displaced persons act. he was in dialogue with a lot of people who believed that this potential inclusion of refugees would be a way of getting around
the national origins act and were skeptical of the fact that it could in effect bust or open up the united states to lots of people from southern and eastern europe who had been excluded. here senator william revercum, democrat of west virginia in 1948 -- we could solve this whole displaced persons problem. he stated, "all right, if we could simply work out a way and a bill that would keep out those jews." swear to god. this is the desire to maintain a refugee policy that excludes jews that excludes eastern and southern europeans was at the forefront of public discussion. so, pat mccarron, he uses the displaced persons law to create
a very elaborate set of screening procedures. among them asking your political history, you know, who do you support, what work have you done, what work could you do for the united states intelligence agencies. and they're actually looking to recruit people in the process. and a good number of germans and ex-nazis come in, in large measure because of the influence of the restrictionists. so, the idea that the u.s. nation would be a refugee nation is not really gaining a lot of traction at this point. it is still -- refugees are deemed to be of strategic value, of foreign policy considerations, but not necessarily ones that would open the borders. we can see the restrictionist energy really clearly in the mccarron/walter act. i mentioned it in the last lecture, but i'll briefly touch on it. this was passed at the peak of the cold war. mccarron believed in the anxiety of the communist expansion was generating, believed that we had to recommend stronger, less porous border and if they were taking loyalty oaths, so should refugees and immigrants and how does that apply to the quota of