J. V. Stalin
Source : Correspondence between the Chairman
of the Council of Ministers of the USSR and the Presidents of the USA
and the Prime Ministers of Great Britain during the Great Patriotic War
of 1941 - 1945
Publisher : Progress Publishers, Moscow, USSR
Transcription/HTML Markup : Salil Sen for MIA, 2010
Public Domain : Marxists Internet Archive (2010). You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit "Marxists Internet Archive" as your source.
This second two-volume edition of the Correspondence Between the Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the USSR and the Presidents of the USA and the Prime Ministers of Great Britain During the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945 has come off the press thirty years after the victory of the powers of the anti-Hitler coalition and the freedom-loving nations over German fascism and Japanese militarism.
This historic victory made a profound impact on all subsequent world developments and has been a decisive factor in the destinies of many peoples, in the struggle for a revolutionary renovation of human society, and for lasting world peace.
The greatness of this event has now been brought into even bolder relief by the profound changes it has produced in the world.
Thirty years ago, the Soviet people, in alliance with other peoples, won the battle against fascism, mankind’s most vicious enemy-a battle stupendous in scale and unprecedented in the exertion of effort it entailed and the number of casualties. The rout of world imperialism’s strike force as personified by German fascism and aggressive Japanese militarism, the Soviet Union’s decisive contribution to their defeat and to the final victory, brought about cardinal changes in the correlation and alignment of forces on the international scene, and led to tremendous social and political change throughout the world.
The Soviet Union’s victory in the war was not only a triumph of its Armed Forces over the armies of Hitler Germany, militarist Japan and their satellites, but also a triumph of the Soviet foreign policy of peace.
In the postwar period the Soviet Union’s principled and flexible foreign policy based on Lenin’s behests contributed to the political consolidation of the military successes scored by its Armed Forces on the battlefield.
Soviet diplomacy exerted great effort to ensure durable international peace and security after the war, and to lay democratic foundations in Europe and Asia.
As a result of its intensive and consistent struggle on the diplomatic front, the Soviet Union has scored important successes in determining the main directions of the world’s postwar organisation and cooperation among states.
The victory over Hitler Germany and militarist Japan has led to a considerable change in the relation of forces between capitalism and socialism, in favour of the latter.
The Soviet Union, which the capitalist world was not always willing to reckon with before the war, has become the most significant and determining factor in the postwar world. It is now quite impossible to resolve international problems without the USSR, let alone regardless of it.
The Soviet Union’s decisive victory over fascism and militarism has enabled a number of European and Asian countries to embark on the road of revolutionary transformations and has created favourable external conditions for national-democratic revolutions.
The Soviet Army, in combat cooperation with the People’s Liberation Army of Yugoslavia, the armies and units formed in Soviet territory by patriots of Poland, Czechoslovakia and Romania, and with the active assistance of the Resistance forces and troops of Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary and Albania, cleared the countries of Central and Southeast Europe of the nazi invaders and helped restore their freedom and independence, while Soviet foreign policy consistently laid the foundation of peace and friendship with these countries. Setting out to liberate Poland, the Soviet Government declared that it regarded the Soviet Army’s military operations in its territory as operations in the territory of a sovereign, friendly and allied state.
After the entry of Soviet forces into Polish territory, the relations between the Soviet Supreme Command and the Polish Administration became the object of a special agreement between the Government of the USSR and the Polish Committee of National Liberation.
A similar agreement was concluded with the Czechoslovak Government. The Soviet Government and the National Committee for the Liberation of Yugoslavia reached agreement on the temporary entry of Soviet troops into Yugoslav territory to conduct military operations against the nazi troops.
All this contributed to the establishment between the USSR and its allies-Poland, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia-of relations of equality and friendship, based on respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, and on non-interference in their internal affairs.
At the end of the war, a new political situation arose in Europe. To restore historical justice the Soviet Union handed over to the Polish people lands on the Oder, the Neisse and the Baltic coast once forcibly taken from them by German invaders. Simultaneously, at international conferences Soviet diplomats vigorously promoted Poland’s right to these lands and its recognition by the other powers of the anti-Hitler coalition.
By so doing the Soviet Union upheld the Polish people’s vital state interests and security. All this is reflected in the pages of the present publication.
The rout of German fascism and the weakening of the reactionary forces in the countries of Eastern Europe created favourable conditions for the rapid maturing of a revolutionary situation. The Soviet Union rendered these countries inestimable assistance by preventing foreign interference in their internal affairs, forestalling export of counter-revolution, and safeguarding the road of genuinely democratic development chosen by their peoples.
In the course of an intense diplomatic struggle, the Soviet Union succeeded in repelling the dogged attempts by Britain and the United States to impose the old order on the Polish people; to return to Poland the government-in-exile alien to the Polish people, which had abandoned the country in its hour of need and tided over the war years in London; to bring back to Yugoslavia monarchist reactionaries concerned only with preserving their class privileges, and to reinstal in Czechoslovakia the rule of the men of Munich. The treaties of friendship and mutual assistance concluded by the Soviet Union with Poland, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia in 1943-1945 were a dependable support for the democratic forces of the countries.
Guided by the peaceful and democratic principles of its foreign policy, the Soviet Union was a magnanimous victor towards the Hitler Germany’s former allies, countries whose armies had taken part in the war against the USSR. At the cost of great sacrifice, the Soviet Army freed these countries from their imposed “alliance” with Hitlerism and expelled the fascist troops from their territories. Since the big bourgeoisie and the landowners of these countries had collaborated with the fascist invaders, the rout of German fascism also meant the defeat of reaction at home.
In an intensive struggle against Western negotiators, Soviet diplomats upheld the right of these countries to sovereignty and independent development, and protected them against encroachment by the imperialist circles of the West, which sought to prevent any weakening of the foundations of capitalism in Europe, and therefore resisted the progressive social reforms in Romania, Hungary and Bulgaria. The Soviet Union’s firm stand frustrated the attempts of the United States and Britain to impose decisions that would enable the imperialist powers to interfere in the internal affairs of these countries and restore the capitalist order there.
An important part in ensuring favourable external conditions for the development of the people’s democratic revolutions in these countries was played by the equitable and democratic armistice agreements drawn up with the active participation of the USSR.
The Soviet Union’s far-sighted and humane policy toward Hitler Germany’s former satellites soon yielded fruit. Relations of equality based on trust were established between the USSR and these states, later formalised in treaties of friendship, cooperation and mutual assistance.
Questions connected with the fate of countries liberated from fascism hold an important place in the correspondence between the heads of government of the USSR, the USA and Britain.
The documents conclusively show the Soviet Union’s consistent policy of safeguarding their freedom, independence and security.
Special importance attaches to the liberation from fascism of the German people themselves. Of historic significance was the proclamation, in 1949, of the German Democratic Republic, which has become a major and stable factor strengthening socialism, peace and security in Europe.
The countries of Central and Southeast Europe are now members of a powerful socialist community, which exercises a determining influence on world politics, and acts decisively to defend the interests of universal peace and security, and protect the independence of nations.
The Soviet Union also consistently upheld the right to free and democratic development of the West European countries liberated by the Allied forces from the Hitler tyranny. Soviet diplomacy devoted considerable effort to preventing Anglo-US dictate from being imposed on France and Italy. Although imperialism, with the help of the Anglo-US armies and the use of its economic power and political pressure, was able to suppress the revolutionary movement which could have led to the establishment of the people’s power in the West European countries, it proved incapable of preventing a powerful upswing of the communist and working-class movement. The CPSU Central Committee’s Decision “On the 30th Anniversary of the Victory of the Soviet People in the Great Patriotic War of 1941- 1945" said in part: “The victory over fascism created favourable conditions for the further development of the workingclass movement in the capitalist countries, for the growth and consolidation of the communist and workers’ parties, which are the most active champions of the cause of the working class and all working people. The international communist movement has become the most influential political force of today.”
Before our eyes there is taking place a radical restructuring- on the principles of peaceful coexistence-of the entire system of international relations, many elements of which had begun to take shape when the battle against German fascism and Japanese militarism was still in progress.
In the course of the Second World War a broad democratic coalition of countries and peoples was set up, headed by the USSR, the USA and Great Britain. The creation and consolidation of the anti-Hitler coalition was an objective necessity dictated by life itself. The coalition was an effective military political alliance, whose formation testified to the correctness and far-sightedness of Soviet foreign policy on the eve of the Second World War, a policy directed to giving a collective rebuff to the aggressors, and to collective guarantees of security.
Even before the outbreak of the war, the Soviet Union had deemed it possible and necessary for the freedom-loving nations to join effort to avert war. Therefore, after the war had broken out, and Britain and the United States expressed their readiness to join forces with the Soviet Union, the anti-Hitler coalition was formed fairly quickly, although not without difficulties.
This was graphic confirmation of the validity of the Leninist principles of Soviet foreign policy, which provides for cooperation with any state that so wishes, regardless of its social system, on the basis of mutual respect for independence and in the interests of peace.
Many important aspects of the Soviet Union’s relations with its Western partners in the anti-Hitler coalition are dealt with in the present publication. An enumeration of only a few of the questions touched upon in the documents published shows how extensive was the sphere of war-time cooperation between the USSR, the USA and Great Britain: the partners in the coalition found common ground for joint action against Hitler Germany and later against militarist Japan; they agreed on the principles on which the Soviet Union was to receive some quantity of the means of war from the United States and Britain, worked out a common policy in relation to Italy’s withdrawal from the war, agreed on the attitude to the national liberation struggle of the peoples in the nazi-occupied European states, on the main principles of the United Nations, the principles of the postwar peace settlement, and on a number of other complex questions of common interest to the USSR, USA and Great Britain. These documents graphically testify to the existence of close contacts and businesslike cooperation between the three Great Powers on a number of major military and political problems.
Needless to say, the discussion and solution of questions which arose during the war did not proceed without difficulties.
The documents show that there were differences between the USSR, USA and Britain. At times, they were of a highly acute nature. The policy of the Western powers was burdened by old concepts aimed at infringing on the interests of the USSR, profiting from a mutual weakening of Germany and the USSR in the war, a desire to shift the main burden of the war effort onto the Soviet Union, and so on. But it is a fact that the desire to cooperate for victory and the establishment of a stable peace after the war proved stronger than all obstacles and led to solutions of the most complex questions of the war and the postwar settlement to the satisfaction of all the parties concerned. The documents published are a reminder and this accounts for their major importance-that any difficulties and obstacles along the road to a lasting peace can and must be overcome when mankind’s destiny is at stake, and a great goal has to be achieved.
The cooperation between the member states of the anti- Hitler coalition was an example of active implementation of the basic principles of the policy of peaceful coexistence. In a speech on February 14, 1975, on the occasion of British Prime Minister Harold Wilson’s visit to Moscow, Leonid Brezhnev, General Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee, very accurately defined the essence of that coalition, saying that “it was not only an alliance of governments but a combat alliance of our armies and our peoples, a historic example of successful cooperation regardless of the difference in social systems.”
The Soviet Union regarded the broad and fruitful wartime cooperation with the capitalist member countries of the anti- Hitler coalition as a promising long-term arrangement. Tested in the crucible of war, it assumed ever greater importance in peace time. The basis for such cooperation was to have been provided by a joint programme of the future organisation of the world and guaranteed international security.
As Leonid Brezhnev said in his speech at the meeting commemorating the 30th anniversary of the Soviet people’s victory in the Great Patriotic War, “The experience of the war period showed that different social systems are no bar to the pooling of efforts in fighting aggression and working for peace and international security. In the war years we cooperated with each other, and did so fairly well, in order to end the war in the shortest time possible. We are now tackling another, equally important and perhaps more complicated task, that of developing cooperation in order to prevent another worldwide disaster.”
The agreements and accords reached during the war have served-and are still serving today-as the foundation of a postwar peace settlement in Europe. To put them into effect means recognising the inviolability of the existing European boundaries and the political realities resulting from the Second World War and postwar development, and producing dependable guarantees of security in the European continent.
The inviolability of European borders has now been recognised by all European states, as well as by the United States and Canada, who, in Helsinki on August 1, 1975, signed the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe. This agreement is of historic importance and constitutes a great contribution of the cause of peace.
The success of the European Conference-an unprecedented event in the history of the continent which was the main theatre of two world wars-has opened a new stage in Europe’s history; it signifies a victory for the peace forces and cannot but have a beneficial effect on the development of international relations throughout the world.
For three decades mankind has been spared a world war.
This is a great achievement of the peace forces. Europe, and the world as a whole, have drawn nearer to the attainment of the great goal the peoples of the anti-Hitler coalition aspired to, and for which scores of millions of lives were sacrificed- to secure a stable, just and democratic peace. The principles of equality, sovereignty, renunciation of the use of force, settlement of disputes by negotiation, regular consultations, longterm economic cooperation, and exchange of scientific and cultural achievements are gradually taking root in relations between states.
Never has so much been done for the cause of peace as in recent years, when the efforts of Soviet foreign policy and diplomacy were directed to implementing the impressive Peace Programme advanced by the 24th Congress of the CPSU. Addressing the 25th CPSU Congress, Leonid Brezhnev said: “Its main purpose was to achieve a turn in international relations with reliance on the might, unity and dynamism of world socialism, on its closer alliance with all progressive and peaceloving forces-a turn from cold war to peaceful coexistence of states with different social systems, a turn from-explosive tensions to detente and normal, mutually beneficial cooperation.”
The achievements in this most important field during the five years between the 24th and 25th Congresses of the CPSU are truly tremendous. The situation on the international scene has changed substantially thanks to the consistent peace policy of the socialist states, the vigorous efforts of the democratic and peace forces in all countries, and the more sober-minded attitude of the governments of many capitalist states, which have realised the danger of continuing the cold war and tensions.
The treaties and agreements signed in recent years, with the Soviet Union participating, have formalised the fruits of the victory over fascism and created more reliable requisites for developing fruitful and peaceful cooperation between European states, as well as with the United States. Leonid Brezhnev stated at the 25th CPSU Congress: “The most important results of the liberation struggle of the European peoples during and after the Second World War have been formalised. Conditions have been created for stable peace and goodneighbour cooperation in Europe and beyond it.”
The 25th Congress of the CPSU charted a programme of further action directed toward solving the key problems of modern international life, on whose settlement mankind’s peaceful future depends.