Question for Commenters

I am not scheduled to blog for today, but I had a question that came to me in my reading that maybe some commentators could debate. The speeches by Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin are in direct correspondence with one another. In Churchill’s speech, he hinted at the possibility of continuing friendships and maintaining good terms with the USSR, especially highlighting sympathy. Stalin on the other hand, completely rebuffed Churchill and attacked him, comparing him to the new Hitler.


Do you think that Churchill was sincere in his remarks? Or was he just playing the political system? Because he tried to give a little bit of respect to Stalin, do you think it made him look weak?

Before the Cold War

After World War 2, the world is still on its head from a much longer war than expected. Along with the change, there is a change in boarders. The ”Iron Curtain” as Winston Churchill called it fell over part of Europe as the Soviet Union claimed more land and created a new boarder. This new force of the Sovient Union and communism put the world on edge, and not only the United States and Britian were worried.

Churchill and Truman were trying to rally democracy ruled countries together with their speeches. Churchill told the United States how much power they had now that the war was over and how they needed to watch the Soviet Union, unlike they had with Germany. Truman’s doctorine was explaining why the United Nations needed to help Greece and Turkey. They were trying to build up resistance to the Soviet Union so it couldn’t expand beyond what it already had.

As for Stalin and Brezhnev, they explained the importance of communism. Stalin compared Churchill’s view on English speaking countries to that of Hitler’s view on German speaking nations. He wanted to inspire the people of his nation, make them believe the Soviet Union would be able to take out Britian and the United States just as they did with Germany in World War 2. Brezhnev’s Doctrine explained how important it was for communist countries to support each other. With internal problems, communism wouldn’t be able to spread.

These documents show the two sides of the Cold War starting. Both feel like they need to help the smaller countries under their control and preach to them that they are the strongest nation in the world. Both know they the power of the other after World War 2, making them hesitant to take action during the Cold War

Stalin Against Capitalism and Churchill

Throughout Stalin’s speech, given at a meeting of voters of the Stalin electoral district, Stalin continually mentions the superiority of the Soviet system and its greatness. This is also evident in his response to Winston S. Churchill’s speech on the “Iron Curtain”, given in 1946. In both of these speeches Stalin makes frequent comments on the inefficiencies of capitalism. This further proves that Stalin was not a fan of capitalism and its capitalistic ideas. In his speech to the voters of the Stalin electoral district, Stalin blamed the Second World War on the development of world economic and political forces on the basis of present-day monopolistic capitalism, mentioned that the capitalistic system contains some aspects of a general crisis and military conflicts and almost never proceeds smoothly. He glorified the Soviet Union’s victories over their enemies and the war and determines the nation’s victory through the “victorious” Soviet social system, in which he says “passed the test of fire and war and prove to be fully viable”.
Stalin continues further to exaggerate the Soviet Union’s greatness by direct attacking Winston Churchill in his response to the “Iron Curtain” speech. Stalin directly states that Churchill only thought of English speaking nations as the only valuable nations that were actually worth something and should rule over the rest of the world. This is a very strong statement to be said especially to such large public, it proves that Stalin only had one intention in these two speeches, to increase his popularity within the people of his nation and to encourage his nomination as a supreme Supreme Soviet. I would say that these two speeches were mainly used as a way to increase his popularity within the public he appealed to.

Indirect Correspondence between Stalin and Churchill

Winston Churchill speaks extremely highly of the Ally powers in his speech discussing the Iron Curtain and his desire to unite the English speaking commonwealth with the United States.  Although his main goal appears to be a peaceful settlement with the Soviet Union and elimination of their “expansionist” policies, he focuses much more on global security and the strength of the United States and England.  For instance, he opens his speech with the phrase “The United States stands at this time at the pinnacle of world power.”  Churchill does so not as a warning or criticism, but rather offers praise and strategic help.  “You must feel not only a sense of duty done, but also you must feel anxiety lest you fall below the level of achievement.”  Churchill is not berating the United States for laying the foundation of the title of “World Police”, he is instead offering support.

Churchill’s speech is seen in a very poor light by Josef Stalin.  Stalin asserts that the British are only mimicking the same racial theory that Hitler brought to Germany.  Stalin claims that Churchill’s assumption of their desire to ensure the security of their future as a means of forceful expansion is inaccurate. Stalin is sure to mention the faith that he has in the people has no limitations and that they are much smarter than Churchill proclaims them to be. The two leaders have extremely different views on how each side of the Iron Curtain operated, and both believed the other to be incorrect. Stalin proclaims power to the people while Churchill broadcasted a message of national cooperative power regardless of the people’s wants.

Stalin, Fascists and Freedom

The texts assigned for Friday’s class portray the changing views, which the Soviet Union held towards Germany and other Western nations. While the Hitler-Stalin Pact suggests a mutual understanding between the two leaders (and, by extension, their nations), the later documents paint a far different view of a ‘fascist’ Germany.

In Stalin’s speech in February 1946, he seems to align the Soviet Union with the Western world in a coalition against fascism, and describes the USSR (and other countries involved in the coalition) as freedom-loving. To most Westerners, this would appear contradictory: freedom is only seen in a capitalistic, democratic context, indicating that socialism and communism are inherently freedom-less.

Stalin’s response to Churchill’s “Iron Curtain” speech shows a shift in Stalin’s thinking, as Stalin compares Churchill to Hitler and accuses Churchill of creating an English racial theory, somewhat similar to Hitler’s racial theory. This was a drastic shift, occurring in only a little over a month (Stalin’s response was published in Pravda in March 1946).

In general, these shifts in allies and the definition of ‘good’, ‘evil’, ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ don’t seem uncommon for the Soviet Union. The massive arrests during the time period, in addition to the Great Purges within the Communist Party, seem indicative of this trend.

Stalin’s Reply to Churchill

3 Observations

1. Churchill had a similar view to Hitler, believing that one racial group should control all the power.  Instead of believing the Aryans had all the power Churchill believed that English-speaking nations should rule over the world.

2. The world must notice that the Soviet Union has lost more men in German invasions then both the United States and the United Kingdom.

3. The common people are being controlled by Churchill and his party and need to think for themselves.

2 Questions

1. What was the international response to comparing Churchill and Hitler?

2. What was the reaction in England to Stalin’s comments about the “common people”?

1 Thought:

It is interesting to see Stalin alienate both sides of the war.  He goes after Hitler, briefly calling him out for the Nazi racial theory and attacks Churchill.  He has basically left himself with no one to lean on in war.  However Stalin does not come across as worried.  He says that the Soviet Union has lost the most men in the war and yet does not say they will give up.  He gives strength to the Soviet Union in his speech while also taking away both possible allies.


Churchill’s Iron Curtain Speech

Three Points

1) Churchill identifies the US as being at the pinnacle of its world power. With this power comes a sense of duty and responsibility for the future of the world.

2) Churchill sees Russia as posing a threat to the relative peace of the world that follows World War II. He believes that Russia doesn’t necessarily want a war, but they desire expansion of their power and the “fruits of war”. He sees Russia as having the potential to repeat events similar to those that Germany sought in World War II.

3) Furthermore, Churchill thinks that European nations must unite. Also, the English-speaking world has the ability to ensure a sense of worldwide security and peace.

Two Questions:

1) Is this the speech that started the Cold War?

2) Is Churchill correct in thinking that the US was at the height of its power? Has the US ever been stronger than it was at this time?


The passive-aggressive approach which Churchill takes may have not been the best choice. As we can see from Stalin’s response, Russia took great offense. Stalin lashed back by comparing Churchill to Hitler, making the case that Churchill believed that English speaking races were superior. The manner in which Churchill addressed the US only served as to aggravate tensions that were present before, during, and after World War II.