Churchill’s Iron Curtain Speech and Stalin’s Response

Main Points:
1. Churchill acknowledged that the Soviet Union did not want war, they wanted “the fruits of war and the indefinite expansion of their power and doctrines.” It is important to note that neither the west nor the Soviet Union wanted another war. It would preposterous to think that any state involved so heavily in World War II would actively seek war with a superpower less than a year after the conclusion of the war in Europe. It is very easy to see how a state would want to assert its power and influence in Europe so soon after the end of the war however, which is exactly what started the Cold War.
2. Churchill also mentioned the balance of power in his speech. He recalled how no one wanted to match or check Germany’s military buildup and fascism in the early 1930’s, and how World War II might have easily been avoided if Germany had been kept in check instead of being allowed to gain strength and momentum. Churchill said that the balance of power could easily be maintained in such a way that it would keep the Soviet Union in check if “the population of the English-speaking Commonwealth be added to that of the United States, with all that such cooperation implies in the air, on the sea, all over the globe, and in science and in industry, and in moral force, there will be no quivering, precarious balance of power to offer its temptation to ambition or adventure.”
3. In his response to Churchill, Stalin compared the west to Hitler and his racial theory, possibly confusing Churchill’s mention of the English-speaking Commonwealth with a declaration of English speakers as a dominant race. Churchill also compared the Soviet Union to Hitler’s Germany in his speech when he mentioned the balance of power. Stalin also conflated Churchill’s emphasis on freedom and democracy with a desire to take over Europe as Hitler did. Churchill clearly emphasized these principles in his speech as the ultimate goal in Europe, not domination by English speakers.

Questions:
1. How could Stalin accuse Churchill of being a collaborator with fascism, when Stalin backed the signing of the Nazi-Soviet Pact in 1939? Did that not make Stalin a collaborator with fascism?
2. How true are Churchill’s claims that he rose the alarm about Hitler’s Germany gaining power and why did no one listen to him?

Observation:
It is interesting that Stalin would point the finger at the west and compare their ideology to Hitler’s racial theory when he was guilty of killing millions of his own people and facilitating Hitler’s early success with the Nazi-Soviet Pact.

One thought on “Churchill’s Iron Curtain Speech and Stalin’s Response

  1. Stalin told the Communist Party in Germany to back off and allow Hitler to seize power. He *was* a collaborator with Nazi Germany. And then he blamed Trotsky for what Stalin himself had done — typical.

    Stalin: «Certainly the Fascists are not napping, but it is more advantageous to us for the Fascists to attack first: this will rally the whole working class around the Communists. (Germany is not Bulgaria). Besides, the Fascists in Germany, according to the data we have, are weak. In my estimation the Germans must be restrained, not spurred on.»

    Stalin’s political biography – Leon Trotsky
    http://www.marxists.org/archive/trotsky/1932/xx/stalin3.htm

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *