tv Origins of the Cold War in Central Europe CSPAN December 24, 2016 10:35pm-12:01am EST
accounts. fired thousands of employees for improper behavior in cheated thousands of customers and you did not even once considered firing her ahead of her retirement? announcer: and we remember some of the political figures who passed away a including former first lady nancy reagan and chief justice william scully up. and mohammed ali, former senator and astronaut john glenn. friday night, on prime time, on c-span. >> next, we visit the national world war ii museum in new orleans from a program and titled "1946 and the origins of the cold war," the origins of the cold war will be looked up.
joseph stalin and the reasons behind soviet expansion. and a look at the leader who had been an ally during the world war. >> welcome to the session entitled "the erin curtain: defense and western response." various individuals and groups have been profiled, what we need to do and i think it is a good time to do this in our conferences to talk about the deep background. the big issues at stake. the context in which decision-makers were carrying out there activities. we have two extremely dignified speakers and colleagues of mine on the podium today. they smile because they know they are. alexandra richie, of course, to my immediate right is a professor in warsaw, poland.
she has written widely and lectured all over the world. her books are fantastic. berlin, i cannot recommend highly enough. and a book on the warsaw uprising. perhaps even better, impossible for me to believe when it came out. advisorymember of the board, dispensing good advice to the museum. we are lucky to have her. right, conrad crane, spent 26 years in active military service including nine years of hard duty as fsr of history at the united states military academy. i say it with a smile having done it as a visiting professor one year. faculty at the united states military academy put themselves on a list to open the building at 6:00 a.m., which is something
if you tried at an academic institution would start eight riot. he is currently chief of historical services for the u.s. historical services and pennsylvania. in 2016.hed two books one on american air power and strategy and one called "cassandra at odds," i told him not to publish anymore and 2016. i think he is done for now. aboutdra will speak eastern europe followed by on the western response to the soviet union. >> now for something completely different -- we have basically scrapped the structure. so -- [laughter] >> let me give you some background. alex and i have been working on
this presentation for about one year. there has been a lot of the cold war. allim to tell you how it started. we are going to do for from the structure of the program and offer you a series of alternating presentations and for sizing the actions and reactions that started the cold war so basically hassan your seat else, you are about to get -- then your seatbelts, you are about to get a lot of information. alex: they thought i would have a big fuzzy hat with a red star in the middle. i don't think i have done quite a good job of that. thatught about a story minister molotov recounted when he was sitting with stalin at dachau and one of the
waiters bumped into stalin and got cranberry sauce on his uniform and everyone was petrified. they thought because of this incident one of them might be shot in the head in the next morning. they said, dealing with stalin was like mishandling a detonator. you and only do it once in your life. there was no chance to correct it. we're looking at the beginning of the cold war and how it affected europe and the rest of the world. in order to understand what happened in central europe at the end of the war, one has to know a little bit about stalin and how he thought. he was very important in the bolshevik revolution of course, hand man.in's right
he was a murderer, basically. getting money for the early moshe vick revolution. -- bolshevik's. died, he said he did not want stalin to succeed him because he was too cold. coming from lenin, that was quite something. bumped off anyone around him who he thought might vie for power. theas determined to create soviet union into an industrial .owerhouse for example, with the ukrainians that meant around 5 million people were killed. very brutal. he dragged the soviet union into an industrial age. the great terror, between 1937- 1938, 622,080 people were executed.
stalin loved to go to the ballet. opera.d going to the when the opera was over he would go to his office. we have documents where he says, i want more people from this region or wherever it was, 1500 people were being executed every day in russia. for stalin, the end always justified the means. but what did he really want? he did turn into a very effective four-time leader. he was adored by russians and by the and of the war he was a very powerful leader and they felt very strongly about him. the key to understanding what he did in central europe is to understand that he was a lot ofr, paranoid, and a other things but above all, he was a died-in-the-wall marxist
leninist. he believed what he did was a leader was important to the inevitable victory of communism. the capitalist of was going to collapse. the capitalists would always fight one another and in the end, communism would always triumph. in a recently released documents, stalin thought there would be a third world war not between the soviet union and the west but between great britain and the united states. he also deeply believe that if given the choice right after the war, the people of central europe would actually choose communism. something that seems strange to us now but he actually believed that. goesderstand these beliefs a way towards explaining his often contradictory behavior in europe at the end of the war. army intong the red
germany where an estimated 2 million women were raped, soviets took away reparations in someone. this.populations hated on the other hand, stalin expected them to vote the communists into power. how does the cold war unfold in central europe? it was clear from the beginning that stalin meant to get what was good out of the war. not just military, but political, ideological, economic, and it was about territories. stalin always used the argument of defense. he wanted to create a buffer defending russia from future attacks. he said poland had always been the jumping off point for napoleon or himmler and he needed it for his defense. there is an element of truth to this. it did feel vulnerable, needed a texan. on the other hand, it was a land
grab and he wanted to get what he could. for example, in 1941 when the germans are still at the gates frank roberts and a small british delegation go to see him in moscow. i talked to frank roberts before he died about this meeting and he said it was uncanny that stalin, a couple months into his war was already saying, i want the baltic states and i want a big chunk of poland when the war is over. he clearly intended to use the word to expand his territory. -- the war to expand his territory. there were many hands during the war about what stalin thought about the war in the west and how he would behave to the west at the end of the war. in poland, it was a huge source of conflict for the allies during the war and as we know,
the second world war has started ofause of hitler's invasion poland on the first of september 1939. that it was also started on the 17th of september when stalin invaded poland. extremely brutal as an occupier. molotov said when stalin capitulated, poland will cease to exist. poles never forgot this. about 30,000 where executed with a bullet to the back of the net. including officers who were murdered. occasionally, quite recently, a grave was found in the woods in
poland with about 600 bodies. discovered with soviet pistol shots in the back of their next. -- their necks. four from apologizing, stalin used it as an excuse to blame the germans. incidentally, demonstrating once again that stalin was not averse to lying. he wrote immediately saying, i had nothing to do with these monstrous crimes. of course, i have seen this memo with stalin's big check mark saying, yes, he is going to officers.ese by 1944, the war had turned very much install upon favor and when the red army reentered polish territory, the polish homeowners decided to help the nazi's fight against them. the soldiers helped the soviets take these cities and the
front-line soldiers got along extremely well. a lot of drinking of vodka in dancing round and so on. then the kgb arrived and the soviets started to arrest the polish army people. there were other hints of stalin's neighbor. an american example was the treatment of americans at the airbases. there were three american airbases in ukraine. one was about 1300 men. at first had been treated very well but as the war progressed and we got into sort of june, july, august 1944, all of a sudden harassment became very intense and general william ritchie, on the base at the time started complaining about soviet behavior.
particularly, he complained about the fact that the soviets had not allowed the americans to check their own airbase and the only thing the soviets had provided was a few guns. stalinfirst of august, refused to come to the aid of uprisingh during the and did not allow the british or american's refuel planes behind american -- behind enemy lines. it was also becoming very clear well before may 1945, during the war stalin had nurtured communists from hungary, poland, central europe. these territories, he parachuted them into these respective countries to start communist governments there. i amnow, for example, and going to talk about other countries later, in poland he set up a polish puppet communist
regime and made some sort of noise to the allies that some of the government people in the polish government in exile in regime.ould join the he invited 16 of these people to come and supposedly have talks about the idea of joining the government. flew march 28, 16 of them to warsaw to have talks about the new government. stalin got them on a plane to moscow were there were arrested, imprisoned, tortured, and put -- which were executed by stalin himself. the chief of the army was given 10 years and died in soviet risen. another, deputy minister of the polish government in exile was in prison eight years after his trial and also died in prison. of wave ofe sort
arrests happened between july 1944-august 1945. people and00 rv others soviets thought might be against their regime were arrested. i am including people who were arrested, one in the raf, he went back to poland and was executed. in people like my father-in-law whose crime was what? he had been in our streets. he started and -- he had been in auschwitz and for this he was given seven years in stalinist prisons. these were tense to the west that stalin was not going to perhaps be the nice guy he was or trade as in western rep. guinta:. westernspeaking of propaganda, please put up the time slide. stalin was time's man of the
year. i will read part of the excerpt. 1939 is the year in which men turned or were forced to turn their attention exclusively to politics. joseph stalin dramatically change the power talents. the man of 1930 nine. history may not like him but history cannot forget him. his life is many examples of unprincipled grabbing of power. his photograph became the icon of the new state. 1939 image that looks kind of like a character from a bad "game of thrones" episode. the west knows what he is like. the other image, stalin is also the times man of the year in 1942. let me read you the excerpt from that. in his office within the dark-towered kremlin -- you can have the overtures -- in his office within the dark-towered
kremlin, joseph stalin worked at his desk 16-hours a day. his territories on a huge globe in front of him. this time, he again defended it mostly by willpower. there were new streaks of grand affair, new etchings of fatigue on his granite face but there is no break in his hold on russia was long-neglected recognition of his abilities outside soviet borders. is this the same guy? you know, you have the dilemma of, how do you deal with -- before world war ii, communism is much more in fashion. now all of a sudden, this country is your ally. how do you deal with it? the decision was, we're going to base this on shared value. there is a massive information campaign to turn joseph stalin into ronald reagan's.
how many people have seen the "?vie "shrek becomes an ogre, bottom line, like a villain in a movie, it is how to turn the prints back into an ogre in people's minds because between 1939-1942, we turned the ogre into a prince. turning that information around was one of the big things that mark he cold war. many understood that stalin was not the kind soul he was being depicted as an time magazine. the chief of the imperial general staff wrote in his memoirs, stalin has got unpleasantly cold, craggy dead face. i can imagine him turning people over to their doom without even turning a hair. at the same time, fdr,
roosevelt, he writes business memoirs. during this meeting and subsequent ones which we had was stalin i appreciated the fact he had a military brain of the highest caliber. never once did he make any strategic error nor did he ever fail to appreciate all indications of the situation with a quick, unerring eye. compared withhen his two colleagues. roosevelt never made any rate pretense of being a strategist. winston churchill, the other hand, was erratic. inclinedmpulsive and to favor unsuitable plans without giving them deep thought. we were reaching a dangerous point where stahlman's shrewdness, assisted by american shortsightedness might lead us anywhere. that was 1943 in tehran. part of churchill, flight ynez, fliesober 1944, churchill
to moscow, system with stalin and scribbles on a piece of paper how they should divide the world. balkans.on the romanian, 90% russian-influence, 10% the west. etc. , 90% american, -- he hands stalin this piece of paper. stalin is generally going to go by that piece of paper. when the civil war goes on, stalin does not support the great civil war, he goes away. he violated and most of central europe, as mentioned yesterday, because the americans and british arranged a separate strike through italy and solids and, if you guys are going to go back to italy because you conquered italy, i am going to go back to central europe with the countries i conquered there. so he did his own surrenders and arrangements in europe just like we did in italy. to mention some of the things the conference has provided.
, they5, at the congress decided the germans would be split into four separate zones. the nazi war criminals would be tracked down. reparations. germany might be divided into six nations, that would be figured out later. roosevelt got the big thing he , stalin committed to join the united nations. stand conference in july and august 1945, they made all kinds of agreements that shift germany's eastern border orderlywas called the expulsions of the german populations remaining. :, checks the pocket, hungry. alexandra will talk about the impact of that on europe. , portions of the economy transferred to the
soviet union and massive reparations. it effectively ended recognition exilee polish government and in many ways: does sold down pottdver at pot stamp -- sdam. i was given the opportunity to interview a general. we figured a way around that, when up to general bradley and said, general bradley when did you realize we were about to enter a cold war with the soviet union? he sat back in his wheelchair with his wife to him and his much-abused aid on the other side and he's at, you know, new we were in trouble when my soviet counterpart wanted to trade his mule for my jeep. the congress, of it would've been a shock to churchill and roosevelt to
competed with one another for the favors of stalin if they realized a much he actually despised and hated both of them. despite the uncle joe's stuff, particularly after the opening of the archives in 1991, we've seen notches from the soviet archives but also visitors like yugoslav, poland, visitors to stalin, they document about stalin talking about the wartime leaders and some of it is vile. he had actually know respect for them. calling them week, pathetic, nothing more than capitalist bandits. he said of roosevelt, he only believes in dollars, nothing else. his hatred of the west with partly rooted in history, the fact that the americans and british had an churchill's words, tried to strangle the bolshevik baby at
birth. stalin saw the wartime conferences a kind of competition which he wanted to win. he prepared carefully. when he was going to meet roosevelt in tehran, he practiced in front of a mirror as if he were an actor. he was worried about how he looked. he major his boots were polished. he kept checking his appearance. he decided he was not going to a decisiono he made to sit there with a cheshire cat grin on his face. it put churchill off, a jovial person. he carefully manipulated the conversation in a kind of my army is bigger than your army kind of thing. he deliberately talked about how the fighting was going on the eastern front. he clearly said he had 330 divisions against the enemy's 260 and turn to churchill and
said, tell me, how many divisions are going to be involved? churchill said 16 british divisions and 19 u.s. divisions and stalin sat back and said, i have 330 on the front. he also for example had was about pot is private, stationed by didn't tehran. he insisted the results stay. it shows a lack of respect. he would spend many hours of the day reading through the transcripts of private conversations. he told a group of visiting yugoslav communists visiting in 1944, don't people by my cordial relationship with churchill or roosevelt, they are just capitalist pickpockets. he told another group of visitors, our alliance with the capitalist came about only because they also had a stake in preventing hendler' nation but in the future we will be against this first faction of
capitalists, too. in short, his ideology had not change much from the 1930's. stalin did not understand the west at all. peaceably did not understand things like the atlantic charter. that the west went to war to try to bring democratic values and united nations, a different vision of the post world war. he did not believe it at all. he had a totally different vision of the post-war world. yeltsin gives an do this. for security and clinical ideological and, he felt he needed to acquire space and he maintain absolute control and no country, especially not germany, whatever ever be able to the kind of turnaround in the future. so he began with his inroads into central europe. each country followed a similar but not identical pattern because stalin was trying to
keep up appearances of coalition governments and so on. he did not want to provoke the west into reacting. but as i mentioned earlier, he had hand-picked communist leaders who had worked in moscow during the war. those who survived were dropped into their respective countries. in poland, i mentioned the 1944.ment was set up in in keeping with this idea that free elections would be successful for the communists, he held eight referendum in 1946 and thing seemed to go well. a referendum about whether or not the polish border should be changed and what people thought and so on.reform the communists got very good results in the 1980's but after the archives were opened, it was discovered this was a complete lie in that 72% of the vote had gone against the referendum.
so another words, stalin quite quickly started to realize he was not going to get the popular vote after also he did not make this mistake in the actual polish election of 1947. as that of allowing free elections he arrested members of the opposition. he used the security apparatus to intimidate people at the polls, and of course the polish communists won. people who had brought in from the government were taken away in the boot of the american ambassador process car because he was in such fear for his life. the people's party took control. stolen statues popped up everywhere. stalin statues popped up everywhere. all garriott, by 1946 had become a people's party republic.
part of the soviets very of influence. there followed very vicious purges. nobody was safe. artists, writers were arrested on trumped up charges. post-1980 nine figures show that as many as 180,000 people were executed after 1945. a similar pattern in romania. a left-wing coalition was elected but of course communists held all of the key ministerial posts and other parties were quickly eliminated, for example the national peasants party was eliminated because they don't have talks with some american representatives. .how trials were held rigged election elections were held in 1946 and the communists won 70% of the vote. evidence emerged that soviet labor camps and other terrible places and prisons
which specialized in physical and psychological torture into the secret police developed and they were only really part of the fall of -- in 1939. stalin decided to go more slowly in hungary. he brought in someone who is one of the central figures in moscow. again, he told them they could go more slowly and hungary. he said they didn't want to alarm the western allies because --was already getting because what he was doing and poland. one 57% of the vote and the communists only 17%. the cozy was put in power anyway and resorted to what he called salami tactics which was slowly
slicing off the opposition and getting rid of them slowly but surely so at the end the communist dominated. secret police was put into place asarrest anybody who looked if they might challenge the status quo. the same thing happened in albania. yugoslavia was different. one other thing stalin did, particularly in the run-up to t thesem, was to push government's german minority out as quickly and brutally as possible. had just a few hours to pack up and go and the reason this is important was because all of these people were added to the destitute masses of germany and other countries and europe. the economies were in dire straits. desperate people all over the
place. this was causing a huge crisis in central and western europe. for example on his way to po todam, truman was supposed meet with solomon stalin was late so truman decided to visit elsewhere and he said it was dirty, smelly, old man, old women, young women pulling carts. he called it a world tragedy. stalin did not care about these people but truman and marshall and other people started to care very much. signs as soonwere as the war ended that the soviets would be a problem. at the dilemma for harry truman was how to get the american public to recognize that. as soon as the war ended, soviets put a lot of pressure on iran and turkey. in iran they wanted oil, and turkey day wanted access to be
able to get to the black sea and the mediterranean. a lot of pressure on those averments. diplomaticgreat messages, what happens is the u.s. sends a sharp protest they want to do something else. to thekish ambassador united states died said the united states offered we would send the body of the ambassador back to turkey and the casket shows up on the deck of the battleship missouri. very subtle diplomatic message there. and, again, we have the bomb, they do not. the soviets withdraw the pressure on iran and turkey. in february 1946 the messages sent to do an evaluation of sends aehavior and he very famous document, what is called the long telegram.
and a thousand word telegram. word telegram. in summary, we have a political force believing with the u.s., there could be no further modus operandi that the internal society be disrupted. traditional life destroyed. if soviet power is to be secure, the political force has complete power of disposition of her energies of the world's greatest people. the resources of the world's richest territory. one along by deep currents of russian nationalism. an elaborate influence over other veggies. apparatus of amazing versatility managed by people whose experience and skill and underground methods are presumably without parallel in history. finally, it is inaccessible to portions of reality and reaction. ofcloses with a number
recommendations. he says, you have to contain expansionist tendency and he's as much develops and depends on the vigor of our own. this feeds only on diseased tissue. this telegram is going to influence u.s. policy considerably and ensuing years and becomes a foundation for our containment policy. it is a tough topic to sell. in march 19 46, winston churchill made his famous space in missouri. i do not have his tones, i cannot do a churchill but i will read the key excerpt. curtain has descended across the continent. behind the line lie all of the capitals in central and eastern europe. .elgrade, bucharest
all of these famous cities and the populations around them why in the soviet sphere and are subject in one form or another not only to save it influence but to a high increasing measure of control from moscow. everybody talks about how great that speech was, how famous, but no one mentions it was a massive disaster at the time. churchill wrapped in there a lot of pleas for a special american-british relationship. it was met with protests. winny.e a ninny, accused nationalists the british leader of being unable to free his thinking from the flags of empire. so he makes this iron curtain speech which truman helps craft as a child -- trial balloon. after that, they said we have to
back off from this. the american public is not ready for these approaches yet. in february, 1940's, i came to comscore says we can no longer maintain our mediterranean commitments to people like greece and turkey. we do not have the money. so then truman will feel he has to march into the gap with the truman doctrine. supporting free peoples resisting attempt by armed minorities are outside pressure. a bold statement. again, the public is not quite ready to get behind this. it is going to require the creation of a red scare. restore the image of the ogre. .he soviet bugaboo you talk about joseph mccarthy and the espionage seminar. one of the reasons we play up is these russian spy trials
to prove to the american people about the soviet threat. joseph mccollum -- joseph mccarthy is the creation of harry truman. the result of the red scare created to get the american public to support the truman doctrine and in june 1947, the marshall plan. remember about this diseased tissue? with do save europe, one of the greatest actions. not completely ultra stick, we have our reasons as well but in 1947 we submit the marshall plan. for fourrican gnp years to europe. think of the immense investment. our total foreign aid right now is less than 1% of gnp. towe give 4% of our gnp europe for reconstruction. it fears about france and italy also. in november 47, the first aid is sent to france and italy because we are afraid their governments
will fall prey to come in is massive strikes. coming as parties have great strength. we basically commit ourselves to a massive aid to france and italy to try to save their governments from collapse. i remember i gave a -- i was involved in -- in developing the army land to reconstruct iraq in 2002-2003, the one that was fully endorsed by secretary rumsfeld and other people. i gave a briefing on history of occupation to general garner and his staff who were going over to iraq. with the organization for reconstruction and humanitarian affairs interact. the first group to try to reconstruct it. i mentioned the fact that the 4% of our gnpwas for four years and i can see all of general garner's staff had to sit back with their eyes rolled back in their heads because they are basically getting nothing.
the degree of commitment in 1947 was in europe. then i will kind of force out some things alexander will talk more about. rebuilde also plans to europe. restored germany. reunify thegin to french-british, and areas. the first thing you do is try to unify currency. in june 1948 the decision is made to extend the reform to berlin. alex: it is definitely true that before the marshall plan, stalin needed toe asn misery collapse, from which the soviets would benefit. he put puppet governments in place across eastern and central europe and he also sent communists to italy and france. as for the churchill speech, stalin called it the declaration of war, the missouri speech.
when the truman doctrine was published, stalin immediately accuse the united states of aiding fascist" fascist in turkey." fascist in but the marshall plan, when it was first announced, stalin did not know how to react. the speech at harvard was slightly ambiguous. it did not outline policy quite yet. stalin to molotov was cautiously optimistic, underlining the sentence, our policy is not against any country or doctrine but against poverty, hunger, and chaos. he thought at that point may be the soviets could turn this into their advantage and for habs even get some reconstruction credits from the soviet union desperately needed. so of course britain and the french foreign secretaries meet
in paris on the 27th of june 1946 to discuss this and then fight -- they invite the soviet union to come. stalin sent a delegation of people under molotov and the specific instructions were to find out how much the united states was prepared to give and find out if the americans were going to plan any interference as stalin put it, in the internal affairs of the recipients. by the second day of the conference, molotov had heard enough and walked out. he accused the americans of wanting to split europe into two parts. thein firmly believe that west wanted to use the plan to newly-onee his central european states into the capitalist economic system of the west with all of the political ramifications that implied. for the west, the marshall plan was seen as a defensive plan to
stave off economic ruin and western europe and for stalin and became nothing less than a blatant attempt to divert soviet interest in the region. the soviet ambassador called it an attempt to roll back soviet influence in europe and should be regarded as the first stage of a coordinated plan to create and anti-seven alliance and europe. this attitude would have profound repercussions for countries who wanted to join the land. poland was one and czechoslovakia was another. i have not mentioned juggles rocky yet because it was an unusual case. the one government stalin had allowed to return in total from .oviet in london back to prague the communists popularity in czechoslovakia was writing high-end. they never quite for gave the west for allowing hitler's to
czechoslovakia. for the three elections, the communists got 38% of the vote and build eight polish and government. czechoslovakia wanted to join the marshall plan badly. they sent word to the united states that they were interested but this was absolutely too much for stalin. he ordered them to fly to moscow, where they got an extreme dressing down. if you go to paris, stalin said, it will shows you want to atperate in action aimed isolating the soviet union. it will be a break the end powers.for the western so the czechoslovakian's had no choice but to return home. one said he had gone is an independent foreign minister for
chuckles macchia and returned home as a mere lackey of the soviet union. forour czechoslovakia -- czechoslovakia and returned home as a mere lackey of the soviet union. he was convinced the united states wanted to create a hostile environment -- stalin not take partdid in talks anymore because he thought it might lead the soviet americann to exploitation and he decided to switch track and consolidate his power and eastern central europe instead and he began with the creation of a new coordinating center for the european communist party called the communist forum. this was done to resist the marshall plan and consolidate soviet control in his fear of influence. so on september 20 2, 90 47,
representatives of nine communist countries met in poland to create this organization. the secretary of the central that thanksclared to the united states, europe has been to the -- divided. ottsd conference, the americans have shownam there in ability. the imperialist used the marshall plan to him or western european alliance dominating right washington which will serve as a jumping off point for attacking the soviet union. the marshall plan proves the western powers are aggressive and hostile to the ussr and allies, hence negotiations with the united states are futile. this was the beginning of the cold war proper.
a massive political clamp in eastern europe. gone were the nice coalition governments and attempts at reelections. stamped out. a foreign minister mysteriously fell out of his window, we now have evidence he was murdered and many others were arrested and killed as well. terror swept over central europe between 1948 and 1956. in czechoslovakia alone, people were arrested, imprisoned, tortured, electrocuted. concentration camps were opened up in czechoslovakia and around 12,000 people were sent a year to work in the uranium mines. stalin stopped any pretense of holding elections and the countries were firmly behind the where they would remain until the collapse of communism. the allies had to decide what they were going to do with germany. given stalin's behavior, they
now started to turn away any thought of compromise that thought was going out the window at this point in time. -- thecided to create london conference held between the british, french, and americans to discuss the future of germany and the soviet union was excluded from the conference. in january 1948, stalin banned all western literature from being passed around in the soviet zone. 19 48, already stalin tried his first attempt at -- he did not bar but he tried to harass people moving in and out of the western zone. people had to go through soviet territory to get to part of the western territory. newwest decided to create a currency which the next day
leads to stalin blog -- stalin'a complete block. conrad: on another case of stalin were acting truman responded to the blockade without consulting anybody. he spent orders. he was lucky the commander of favoritewas one of my people of all time, general curtis lemay. remember last time we talked about curtis lemay he was dropping firebombs on japanese children. today he is dropping chocolate candy on german children. turns into a machine to in a lot of airmen from out europe. they are flying supplies into berlin, airlift. and fights -- flights
eventually they exceed the supply level by air going by rail to berlin. it was, you know, the operation has gone down in history. thehe airmen, it was called lemay: in feed company. typical of his workaround tendencies, it was a typical resources,gathering consolidating agencies and working around the sovereignty and rules of belgium and france. that is just the way he operated. it was a massive success will stop some other things happened, too. in the middle of the airflow, airlift, truman deployed atomic bombs. the first deployment outside the united states of american atomic
at tax. this helps inspire in april 1949 the creation of the north american treaty organization. norway,iceland, portugal, france, the netherlands. everybody understands the core of nato has got to be a re-armed germany. you're going to re-armed germany, there are some hard choices to make. they are going to be the core of the anti-communist coalition in europe. you have got to have a strong germany. commitment from the germans. getting the war prisoners out of jail. remember, pieper becomes a poor salesman. but they do make deals to get the germans on board to rearm against the soviet threat. you have also, i mean, it is not just in germany make deals. you know, who is going to be most afraid of a rearmed
germany? obviously, france. how to get france on board? we have to agree to give them massive support and indochina. so the reason we get involved in vietnam is because we want germany to be rearmed to fight against the soviets. so there are worldwide rebels of this shift now from -- you know, now everybody recognizes who the ogre is. everybody recognizes that is the major threat. so we end up, you know, we are going to make the best of a series of bad choices of what it will take to deal with that threat. initially in europe, it eventually in asia. formalncludes our remarks. hopefully you are not to overwhelm. everybody is still a way, that is good. we will now open up for questions from the audience about this tumultuous time. >> we will do the first question in the center.
question: i would enjoy discussing these things with you for the rest of the day but i will have to limit myself to one question with kind of related parts. we have heard a lot of things in this conference and one of the things was this idea of retooling public opinion from joe,tolen, known as papa uncle joe, to the enemy. why is munich associated in our mind with appeasement? and how long did it take the u.s. press to convince the country that germans were no longer the enemy? alex: and terms of the
appeasement question, the situation was quite different. and, i mean, this right all of theproblems we know of, situation that was facing czechoslovakia when faced with the attacks by himmler was on a different scale. the trouble was we had this sort of positive feeling about uncle joe. doing the union was heavy lifting when it came to winning the war. the trouble was the western allies and britain in particular did not have any other options to churchill's deal with the devil. they had to take stalin on board otherwise they would not be able to defeat the worst of the enemies which was hitler's. the red army had already swept through half of these territories. the soviets had horrific losses
and it was not the time to say sort of we are not going to do any deals anymore, let's change course. that was not possible at that point. not being the enemy, that does change surprisingly rapidly because of the cold war. all of a sudden you have the main enemy not hitler's. stalin and the cold war becomes the focus of everybody's 1949, 1950, it is clear the germans have to be on our side to have a stable europe. you have to involve germany and some way or another. the public opinion switches along with germany's new role in this scheme of things. an element ofis appeasement.
for argument does persist decades in some schools. it is interesting, part of the reason there's a shift is because we do such a good job of emasculating their military. we do a good job advertising that. it is about a 10-year process to add germany back into the fault. the germans do a great pr job, a kinder, gentler germany, that sort of thing. it is interesting we almost do too good of a job. i had a conversation with a young captain who served in the northern part of afghanistan. they were not overly capable. he said, you know there's german guys are so incompetent.
why can't i get some of those ss guys they talked about? i had a long talk with him about some of the baggage. we would have been more successful with demilitarize been more we have successful with the militarizing them than we thought we would ever be. question: what extent do you feel this is all inevitable communism int that particularly joe stalin had a single-minded purpose that longed from the beginning before world war ii. to what extent was there even any choice even the forces we were working with? alex: am one of those people was believes the cold war
inevitable simply because of the juneau,e believed in in as i said, during the war it was expedient to be an hour i have stalin into the red army but once the postwar order was being set up it was obvious that stalin stood for totally different things and there was no room for compromise in his worldview. he stood for things we could not find acceptable. nobody was going to go to war to get back poland or a czechoslovakia or hungry, as we saw a later on in the 50's and someone but there was a sense of revulsion that stalin was doing the things he was doing and central europe and i really do believe if you look at stalin's way he believed in the beginning, his outlook was that communism was going to come to dominate the world and this is a system that would dominate
sooner or later even though stalin did not think it would happen in his lifetime. hitler's without he had to conquer in his lifetime because he thought he was the only person capable. stalin believed in forces even if he was not they won a place this would inevitably be the system we would live under it eventually. so with that worldview, i do not inc. it would have been possible to compromise. question: i understand harry truman and franklin roosevelt did not talk much during the of roosevelt's life and my question is, how do you assess the leadership truman provided in the postwar era assuming he was confronted with somebody difficult issues? conrad: one of the best ways to
look at fdr versus truman was wrinkly delano roosevelt -- was delanor franklin roosevelt, the existential threat he faced, he was willing to cut a certain amount of deals with the soviet union because they are not on the top of his priority list. harry truman comes in, he does not know about the atomic bomb, he has to be informed about that. he was not a big player in roseville press decision making. he was doing a lot of traveling. roosevelt's decision making. he was doing a lot of traveling. for harry truman, who comes in as the, you know, a month before the germans surrender and for him, even though it he carries pottsdam agreements to
germans out of the war, for him it is going to be different. you know, here's hard-nosed. you have to understand his background and how he looks at life. you will, mean, and you know, you know, you will see what he does in korea and other places he is -- he is willing to confront -- he is not afraid of the soviets. it helps if we have the bomb and they don't. you know, it really helps if we have the bomb and he does not. we are looking at defense policies as of the bomb and some are maybe realistic but to understand truman you have to understand his perspective is different than fdr's. alex: a brief comment, i have always been amazed by how quickly truman picks up and runs
with all of these in enormous tasks he is all of a sudden facing. i was baffled that he was given so little information before he took office. i mean, fdr was sick. darks really kept in the in terms of foreign-policy issue so i have always been amazed by how quickly he stepped up to the plate. question: one of the earlier takeions, how long did it the american media to shift from to aembrace of the soviets more lucid understanding about how evil he was and how aggressive. i can recall that when it appeared that greece and turkey the going to go communist,
then-chairman of the foreign senate relations committee was a republican. and when there was some consternation about truman's overtures to get help to prevent turkey andevent the grease from going communist, that vandenberg made the statement "we're trying to avoid partisanship." he said partisanship should end at the water's edge meaning there should be bipartisan support for the initiative. i think it was successful. so my question is how long did it take for that to be dissipated? because i can tell you that 25, 30 years later, there was tremendous partisanship in
opposition to some grave efforts to strengthen the free world coalition against the soviets. of the, when you try to study the development, one of the basic things is the persistence of containment. keyreally have 47 as a year. the threats from greece and turkey, the truman doctrine, the revelations of the big spy reading in canada, the rosenbergs, there is more and more awareness about the threat of the soviet so you have really got -- you -- you -- there is a containment. focus on europe, focus on asia. the national security council of is incorporated
after korea, about 1951 that will dominate our policy. even in the reagan era there is still a consensus about containing the soviet union. it is on the methodology. also, there are signs of dissolution of the soviet union. it kind of reduces some of the impetus. arguably, you know, the antainment grand strategy is fromtisan policy arguably about the late 1940's until the walls go down. bipartisan approach to foreign policy which is pretty amazing considering the state we find each other in today. that would be my take on it.
alex: a slightly, slightly different point but interesting to see the popular responses in europe over those decades and perceptions of the soviet union. in thee parts of europe 1980's a reassessment of the cold war, the americans were put into the light of being much more the aggressors that if stalin hadn't been so bad, you talk there is a lot of about disarmament and how the united states handled it. so that very sort of the important reaction against reagan as well when he was trying to kind of ring in some of the policies to the soviet union so it was not just a question of the united states but the way the war was perceived in europe was very different and in fact you know there was a lot of opposition to
europe inpolicy and those 1970's, 1980's times. conrad: there is a backlash after vietnam and a lot of it is a generational split. someone said, the problem is the atomic bomb and for the world war ii generation, the atomic bomb ends world war ii. the upcoming young generation, the atomic bomb started the cold war. aspart of it is perspective the world war ii generation fades the commitment to the cold war lessons as well. so i can understand the motivation for the less thing and the united states was for this commitment to some of the cold war policies. question: given stalin's desire to have the baltic states in part of his time, why do you suppose he did not extend that
a finland because they fought war with finland and finland was able to turn the baltic war into the soviet like before. how is it they stayed that time and did not include finland? the: there is one answer, war. inns were an incredible. it was a little-known conflict but the finns inflicted heavy, heavy damage. one of the reasons that lurk thought it would be easy -- one of the reasons that adolf hitler thought it would be easy was this kind of, if you
will, this sent a very strong signal to stalin that finland was different. the baltic states were very weak. small, easy to take. stalin made all sorts of historical reasons as to why the baltic states had to be soviet. which were spurious, not true. he could not get away with that argument. like a little finland. plucky little finland, it is a little-known fact about that during the war. question: this was the first the suggestionrd that our involvement in the far east, particularly in vietnam, arose out of the effort to maintain france.
in so, would you say a little more about that? fascinating. conrad: no, again, the french were very reluctant to rearm germany and so we had to offer them all kinds of incentives. ancourse, de gaulle interesting relationship, you know? the french said, we're kind of with you but we are not. militarydraw the commissions for nato. they are in and out. it is a rough relationship. in order to get them to sign up for germany we have to commit to more support for them. we sent massive logistics to indochina. a lot of support. another great story if we had more time to talk about how we in 1954.avoid going in we sent a delegation in washington and the chairman of joint chiefs is ready to send the air force and there is a
that getsreasons stopped. a lot of logistics are coming from us and again, it is a sense of worldwide communism. when the north koreans attacked in junehe 38th parallel 1950, when president truman hoses meeting, the first thing they talk about is how do we take out all of the soviet airbases in the far east? where did they send their first reinforcements gretchen meyer to europe. they see this is a diversion because the role attack is coming in europe. there is this monolithic view of things that we somehow have to maintain everywhere but there is a curious relationship between us and the french. they play us like a fine instrument to get the aid but that is one of the things we have them in order to allow the rearmament of germany.
question: if fdr was very big when he defended the conference, overlood pressure was 280 160 which is twice the normal. he was having a small stroke. congestive heart failure. and my question is this. a condition to understand what was taking place? alex: yes. he was very ill but he did not serious dementia or memory loss or failure. tired.very ill, very
it is difficult to know what effect that condition would have on the decisions made. i don't know if any decision he ine in mielke would be -- mialta would be very different. i don't know if outcome would be any different. conrad: everybody understood fdr, he had very confident staff advisors. alexandra, that was not really the political strategic conversation favoring stalin. as alan brooks said, he was a master strategist and that showed at the last couple conferences. question: along with that issue,
i had read that one of the capitulate had to stalin's request, a loose term there, was because we still had not tested the atomic weapon and we might need them to help defeat japan. could you speak to that? fdr once the soviet notn to be in the u.n., wanting to scare them away. the fivehe idea that policemen are going to police the world, keep order. he knows the soviet union has to be part of that order so he is poland in sacrifice order to get the soviet union and the u.n. and that is one of
the reason why churchill's iron curtain speech is so decried because he seems to be going against the u.n. which is a major effort. if there was a bomb, even if we new mexico work that does not mean we will have another work. the bomb is much overplayed. we do not know what is going to bring the japanese to surrender. you need all of those different blows. at the same time we are testing the bomb we still want to get on japan.the war about this hammer used against the soviet union, fdr especially still expects the soviet union to be our ally in the future. stalin tries to get 19 seats in the u.n.. sovieta seat for every republic. eventually he gets three of them. that is part of the compromise.
but fdr has long-term goals for this role we talked about yesterday. question -- alexandra: if we're talking about yeltsin, and the fdr agreement for the fight against japan and the bomb really pottsdam, issue at but not quite yet at me all to malta.at >> we will extend the session by 45 minutes a week and have an expiration. [laughter] was a respected
senator, but again, he was not part of the inner circle. he was brought in for certain political advantages and he had a lot of friction with fdr staff because he was not part of that inner circle. basically, i am not as overly expert on the machinations of the democratic in 1944 but i know there are political considerations in the ticket in fdr. question: given that vladimir putin can be viewed almost as and the pride and the kind of the soviet union, my question is how a stalin viewed by soviet citizens and presidents today? alex: at another 45 minute extension please. conrad: that will be covered in this afternoon's session, how it
is remembered. if you do not mind, please ask that if it's not addressed later. i would like to get to another final question so we can spread it around. question: first and foremost, i think the decision was not made remember henry wallace was the vice president and a lot hisoutherners did not like position and were fearful of his pro-soviet viewpoint. from what i read, fdr basically told the convention, jews are you want, i am not going to get involved. it had to do with domestic politics. whoever you want. i am not going to get involved.
it had to do a domestic politics. my question is, when did stalin become trotsky? when stalin basically put an ice pick in the back of trotsky's head, how much of stalin's so-called global vision perhaps?lown i mean, even chairman mao in the chinese found him a little too much about russia and less about the world? so please answer the question for me about when stalin became? greathe believed in these forces that and evidently this would happen. there is a very interesting moment in the 1920 war when lenin tried to bring the bolshevik revolution to germany by going to poland and bringing the revolution and the red army was stopped at the gates of war saw in the so car -- so-called
miracle. after this defeat, lenin goes back and says they are going to in onedate bolshevism country. stalin was deeply humiliated. by letting them to kind of mount an attack which he did not do in the right time or place and lenin dressed him down enormously for this though your hand stalin never forgot this. never this, and stalin forgot this. how much to this defeat in poland and the dressing down by lenin affect that part of the world? so when lenin decides we're going to go back and deal with the soviet union, that point stalin did whatever lenin told him to do but there is no doubt that stalin still believed in and harbored and wanted worldwide revolution but he was pragmatic enough, he was a
tactician, he was very clever and smart enough to realize if things were not going his way to was not going to, you know, deliberately started to world war ii try and push it. he thought and inevitably the course of the world would be such that capitalism would crumble and communism would win. as i said before, did not necessarily have to be in his lifetime. >> thank you all very much. [applause] announcer: you're watching american history tv, 48 hours of programming on american history tv every weekend on c-span3. follow us on twitter. get information on our schedule and keep up with the latest history news. weekend, a roundtable discussion with three caretakers of america's treasures.
smithsonian, library of the architect of the united states david faro. here is a preview. i date have question because i know you love all your children equally but the single most amazing thing in your collection. i know it is tough. >> i know i am going to be in from theut we moved walkie to los angeles about 18 months after the dodgers moved from brooklyn to los angeles and my was the greatest thing so we watcho go to chavez and sandy koufax pitch. , we'rewould say, come on going to go watch a left-hander strikeout a lot of guys. so it brought tears to my eyes to see sandy affects's mitt and i said, can i -- to see sandy koufax's met so i said, can i
hold it? can i put my hand in it? and they said no. that meant a lot to me to see that. m&a wonderful position that i have not found it yet. not so far. the contents of abraham lincoln's pockets. >> that collection is pretty impressive, it isn't it? reince the fact that they were found in a safe and the librarians office. i am still looking around for some present like that. >> told the story. >> the librarian at the time discovered it in the ceremonial office now in this building. there was the librarian's office, a safe. he opened it. the story goes that no one knew the combination so they extricated a gentleman from
prison who was known to be very handy at that type of thing and had him come and he opened it up and when they opened the safe there was only one thing in these safe and it was a small, battered rocks that had been given to the library of congress by abraham lincoln's , his spectacles, a few articles that were critical of him that he had clipped and those things resonated with me because abraham lincoln was very -- buried of course and sprinkle, illinois, in the very same cemetery where all of my relatives are buried. there is only one cemetery in there is only one cemetery in springfield. but i will find something else, i am sure. >> everyday day a discovery just knocks my socks