Churchill: Stalin a second Hitler?

Winston Churchill’s speech in Westminster Missouri about the new metaphorical “Iron Curtain” which he says has descended of over Europe is spoken from a hard line capitalist view of the Soviet Union. This speech which is very anti-Communist, was the beginning of the Cold War, as Stalin would respond to it later in the year. After the war many people in Great Britain, and the United States felt threatened by the massive size of the Soviet military. The Soviet Union had beaten back the Germans and taken new territory alone with regaining all of the old land that had been taken during the war. Churchill advocated for trying to stop the problem of Communism, for he feared that Stalin, like Hitler, might use his great power, and the largest military force in the world at the time to continue his march across Europe.

Churchill’s speech is widely considered the beginning of the Cold War. Churchill believed that Stalin should be removed from power because he was not only a dictator, but the Communist system was anti-capitalist, and anti-Christian, which he sites in his speech, “Except in the British Commonwealth and in the United States where Communism is in its infancy, the Communist parties or fifth columns constitute a growing challenge and peril to Christian civilization”. He says that Stalin is essentially the greatest current threat to the leading Western nations of Great Britain, and America. Churchill’s speech may have also come off as very anti Communist due to his dislike of Stalin. Churchill did not agree with many provisions of the Yalta Conference, and thus he distrusted Stalin.

This speech is not specifically about the demolition of Stalin, but the threat that he posed to the free world in Churchill’s mind. Churchill was paranoid by the end of the war that Stalin’s power had grown to great and he advocated for his removal, which in turn put Stalin on the defensive. This speech basically began the modern Cold War era with distrust, and division, instead of peace.