Foreign Relations of the United States, 1946, vol. VI: Eastern Europe, The Soviet Union. Department of State Publication 8470, (Washington, DC : Gov't Printing Office, 1969), pp. 694-696.
NOTE: As with most telegrams, superfluous
words were omitted. This creates grammatical errors which are not
part of the transcribing, but rather an inherent part of the telegram itself.
At other times it appears words were mistakenly omitted from the original
transmission. The parts enclosed in brackets [ ] were inserted by
the State Dept. Text in red indicates
a quote of Soviet government sources.
861.00/2-1246 : Telegram
The Chargé in the Soviet Union (Kennan) to the Secretary of State
In Stalin's speech,39 which was of course most authoritative of all, following main points stand out.
1. Straight Marxist interpretation of World Wars one and
two as products of crises inherent in monopoly capitalism. This was coupled,
however, with statement that World War two bore anti-Fascist liberating
character from very outset - an interesting deviation from recently revived
1939-41 line that war was purely "imperialist" in pre-Soviet phase.
Although more militant and oratorical in tone, speeches
of other politburo members follow along lines of Stalin's speech in substance.
All argue that war proved far-seeing wisdom of party's pre-war policies,
expatitate on superior democracy of Soviet system and its freedom from
capitalist crises and unemployment, and advance present party program of
"consolidating victory" through restoration
and increase of economic might of USSR. Necessity of maintaining and improving
Armed Forces unanimously emphasized on ground that forces of "Fascism
and reaction" are still alive in world, in "bourgeois
democracies" and elsewhere.
39 This speech, delivered in Moscow on February 9, called forth much comment within the Department of State. Among the memorands written was one by H. Freeman Matthews, Director of the Office of European Affairs, dated February 11, which read in part: "Stalin's speech of February 9 constitutes the most important and authoritative guide to post-war Soviet policy .... It should be given great weight in any plans which may be under consideration for extending credits or other forms of economic assistance to the Soviet Union." (761.00/2-1146) In his memorandum of February 12, Elbridge Durbrow, Chief of the Division of Eastern European Affairs, remarked that Stalin firmly denounced capitalism and concluded: "It is felt that in view of the clear indication of the new Soviet line we should be most diligent to counteract Soviet propaganda and political moves which in all probability will be directed primarily at dividing the British and ourselves in order to give the Soviets a freer hand to attain their own aims." (861.00/2-1246)
42 Lazar Moiseyevich Kaganovich, member of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Communist Party and Deputy Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars (after March 15, Council of Ministers).
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