Animosity between World Leaders

Winston Churchill is one of the most famous British politicians of all time. He was born into an upper class family, and served in the British military when he was young. He rose through the ranks of British government after returning from the military and became Prime Minister of Britain following Neville Chamberlain’s resignation in 1940. As an active political member, Churchill warned against the rising powers of Nazi Germany and argued against appeasement. In his “Iron Curtain Speech” he says that “Last time I saw it all coming and I cried aloud to my own fellow countrymen and to the world, but no one paid any attention”1. He is strongly anti-communist and uses the comparison of communism to Nazi Germany to convey his message about the iron curtain being cast down upon Eastern Europe.

However, he uses his speech to call upon the English-speaking world to enforce the United Nations agreement and prevent the Soviet Union from expanding their sphere. Stalin critiques this in his Reply to Churchill, where he accuses Churchill of following the same lines as Hitler and creating a system of racial determination to establish who should rule the world2. Both Churchill and Stalin compare the other to Hitler, indicating a huge amount of animosity between them even though they were on the same side of World War II. What do you think sparked this animosity so quickly after the end of the war? Would there have been a way to avoid this, or was communism just the next enemy to take on after fascism was defeated?

  1. Churchill, Winston. “Iron Curtain Speech”. 5 March 1946. []
  2. Stalin, Joseph. Reply to Churchill. 1946. []

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