Economically strangled by an international boycott headed up in New York, and outlawed politically even to the extent of being denied a conference, the Germans in the late 1930‘s faced the alternatives of mass unemployment from loss of world trade or working in government-sponsored projects. They accepted the latter. The workers who lost their jobs in export businesses were at once employed in Hitler‘s armament industries (see the special edition of the Illustrirte Zeitung for November 25, 1936), which were already more than ample for the size and resources of the country, and soon became colossal.
Thus by desperate measures, advertised to the world in the phrase guns instead of butter, Hitler prepared to cope with what he considered to be the British-French-American-Soviet encirclement. Stung by what he considered President Roosevelt‘s insulting language and maddened by the contemptuous rejection of his diplomatic approaches to the United States, he made a deal (August, 1939) against Poland with the Soviet Union, a power he had taught the German people to fear and hate! With the inevitability of a Sophoclean tragedy, this betrayal of his own conscience brought him to ruin—and Germany with him.
Such is the danger which lurks for a people when they confide their destiny to the whims of a dictator!
The war which resulted from Franklin D. Roosevelt‘s policy is well remembered, especially by those American families whose sons lie beneath white crosses–at home or afar. Its pre-shooting phase, with all the weavings back and forth, is analyzed in Professor Beard‘s volume, already referred to. Its causes are the subject of Frederick R. Sanborn‘s Design for War (Devin-Adair, New York, 1951). Its progress is surveyed in William Henry Chamberlin‘s America‘s Second Crusade (Henry Regnery Company, Chicago, 1950). Details cannot be here presented.
This much, however, is evident. With some secret facts now revealed and with the foul picture now nearing completion, we can no longer wonder at a clean trustful young soldier or an honorable general being unable to give a satisfactory reason for our part in promoting and participating in World War II.
As the unnecessary war progressed, we adopted an increasingly horrible policy. Our government‘s fawning embrace of the Communist dictator of Russia, and his brutal philosophy which we called democratic, was the most unnecessary act of our whole national history, and could have been motivated only by the most reprehensible political considerations such, for instance, as holding the 100 percent Communist support at a price proposed by Mr. Browder. Among those who learned the truth and remained silent, with terrible consequences to himself and his country, was James V. Forrestal. In an article, The Forrestal Diaries, Life reveals (October 15, 1951) that in 1944 Forrestal wrote thus to a friend about the liberals.
I find that whenever any American suggests that we act in accordance with the needs of our own security he is apt to be called a [profane adjective deleted] fascist or imperialist, while if Uncle Joe suggests that he needs the Baltic Provinces, half of Poland, all of Bessasrabia and access to the Mediterranean, all hands agree that he is a fine, frank, candid and generally delightful fellow who is very easy to deal with because he is so explicit in what he wants.
Among those who saw our madness, and spoke out, were Senator Robert A. Taft of Ohil and Winston Churchill. Senator Taft‘s radio address of June 29, 1941, a few days after Hitler invaded Russia, included the following passage:
How can anyone swallow the idea that Russia is battling for democratic principles? Yet the President on Monday announced that the character and quantity of the aid to await only a disclosure of Russian needs. To spread the four freedoms throughout the world we will ship airplanes and tanks and guns to Communist Russia. But no country was more responsible for the present war and Germany‟s aggression than Russia itself. Except for the Russian pact with Germany there would have been no invasion of Poland. Then Russia proved to be as much if an aggressor as Germany. In the name of democracy we are to make a Communist alliance with the most ruthless dictator in the world. But the victory of Communism in the world would be far more dangerous to the United States than the victory of Fascism. There has never been the slightest danger that the people of this country would ever embrace Bundism or Nazism. But Communism masquerades, often successfully, under the guise of democracy (Human Events, March 28, 1951).
The Prime Minister of Britain, the Right Honorable Winston Churchill, was alarmed at President Roosevelt‘s silly infatuation for Stalin and the accompanying mania for serving the interests of world Communism. ―It would be a measureless disaster if Russian barbarism overlaid the culture and independence of the ancient states of Europe, he wrote on Oct. 21, 1942, to the British Foreign Secretary, Anthony Eden.
Churchill also wanted an invasion of the Balkans, which Roosevelt and Marshall opposed apparently to please Stalin (Elliott Roosevelt, As He Saw It, Duell, Sloan and Pearce, New York, 1946, passim). This is no place and the author assumes no competence for analyzing the strategy of individual campaigns; but according to Helen Lombard‘s While They Fought (Charles Scribner‘s Sons, p. 148) General Marshall stated to a Congressional Committee that the purpose of the Italian campaign was to draw German forces away from the Russian front, and according to the same source General Mark Clark when questioned about American political aims found himself obliged to state that his country was seeking nothing except ground in which to bury her dead. Such being true, one may wonder why except for the furtherance of Stalin‘s aims the forces devoted to strategically unimportant Italy, the winning of which left the Alps between our armies and Germany, were not landed, for instance, in the Salonika area for the historic Vardar Valley invasion route which leads without major obstacles to the heart of Europe and would have helped Stalin defeat Hitler without giving the Red dictator all of Christian Eastern Europe as a recompense.
It is widely realized now that Churchill had to put up with much indignity and had to agree to many strategically unsound policies to prevent the clique around Roosevelt from prompting him to injure even more decisively Britain‘s world position vis-a-vis with the Soviet Union. Sufficient documentation is afforded by General Elliott Roosevelt‘s frank and useful As He Saw It, referred to above. Determined apparently to present the truth irrespective of its bearing on reputations, the general (p. 116) quotes his father‘s antiBritish attitude as expressed at Casablanca: I will work with all my might and main to see to it that the United States is not wheedled into the position of accepting any plan … that will aid or abet the British
Empire in its imperial ambitions. This was the day before Roosevelt‘s Unconditional Surrender proclamation (Saturday, January 23, 1943). The next day Roosevelt again broached the subject to his son, telling him the British must never get the idea that we‘re in it just to help them hang on to the archaic, medieval Empire ideas.
This attitude toward Britain, along with a probably pathological delight in making Churchill squirm, explains the superficial reason for Roosevelt‘s siding with the Stalinites on the choice of a strategically insignificant area for the Mediterranean front. As implied above, the deeper reason, beyond question, was that in his frail and fading condition he was a parrot for the ideas which the clique about him whispered into his ears, with the same type of flattery that Mr. Untermeyer had used so successfully in initiating the Jewish boycott. No reason more valid can be found for the feeble President‘s interest in weakening the British Empire while strengthening the Soviet Empire either in the gross or in such specific instances as the
Roosevelt and implemented by Eisenhower, was well summarized in a speech, it is Just Common Sense to Ask Why We Arrived at Our Present Position, by Congressman B. Carroll Reece of Tennessee in the House of Representatives on March 19, 1951 (Congressional Record, pp. A 1564 to A 1568):
We could have easily gotten to Berlin first. But our troops were first halted at the Elbe. They were then withdrawn from that river in a wide circle far enough westward to make Stalin a present of the great Zeiss optical and precision instrument works at Jena, the most important V-1 and V-2 rocket laboratory and production plant in Nordhausen, and the vital underground jet plant in Kahla. Everywhere we surrendered to the Soviets intact thousands of German planes, including great masses of jet fighters ready for assembly, as well as research centers, rocket developments, scientific personnel, and other military treasures.
When it was all over, a large part of the formidable Russian militarism of today was clearly marked Made in America or donated by America from Germany. But where Roosevelt left off President Truman resumed.
At Potsdam, Truman maintaining intact Roosevelt‘s iron curtain of secret diplomacy, played fast and loose with American honor and security. He agreed to an enlargement of the boundaries of a Poland already delivered by Roosevelt and Churchill to Russian control through addition of areas that had for centuries been occupied by Germans or people of German origin. Some 14,000,000 persons were brutally expelled from their homes with the confiscation of virtually all their property. Only 10,000,000 finally reached the American, French, and British zones of Germany. Four million mysteriously disappeared, though the finger points toward Russian atrocities, Thus Truman approved one of the greatest mass deportations in history, which for sheer cruelty is a dark page in the annals of history.
At Potsdam, Truman also sanctioned Russian acquisition of Eastern Germany, the food bin of that nation before the war. It then became impossible for the remaining German economy in British, French, and American hands to feed its people. Germany, like Japan, also went on our bounty rolls.
Like Roosevelt, Truman did not neglect to build up Russian military strength when his opportunity came at Potsdam. He provided her with more factories, machines, and military equipment though at the time he attended Potsdam Truman knew that through lend-lease we had already dangerously expanded Russia‘s military might and that, in addition, we had given the Soviets some 15,000 planes many of them our latest type and 7,000 tanks.
But at Potsdam Truman gave to Russia the entire zone embracing the Elbe and Oder Rivers. excepting Hamburg, which lies within the British zone. Naval experts had known from the early days of World War II that it was along these rivers and their tributaries that the Germans had set up their submarine production line. The menace which the Nazi underwater fleet constituted during World War II is still remembered by residents along the Atlantic coast who saw oil tankers, merchant ships, and even a troop transport sunk within sight of our shores. Convoy losses during the early years of the war were tremendous.
And special defensive methods had to be devised by our Navy to get our supplies across the Atlantic.
But in spite of this, the President agreed at Potsdam to deliver to Russia the parts [of Germany containing] plants sufficient for her to fabricate hundreds of submarines. In addition to this, he agreed to give to Russia 10 of the latest snorkel-tube long-range German submarines for experimental purposes.
Why did Churchill consent to the initiation of such a program? Why did he allow Roosevelt to give an ideogically hostile power a foothold as far West as the Elbe River, which flows into the North Sea?
Since Churchill was characteristically no weak-kneed yes-man (witness his ―blood and tears speech which rallied his people in one of their darkest hours), Roosevelt and his clique must have confronted him with terrible alternatives to secure his consent to the unnatural U.S. decisions in the last months of the war. Wrote George Sokolsky in his syndicated column of March 22, 1951, The pressure on him (Churchill) from Roosevelt, who was appeasing Stalin, must have been enormous. . . But why was Roosevelt so anxious to appease Stalin? And also at Potsdam why was Truman so ready to adopt the same vicious policy which, as a former field grade officer of the army, he must have known to be wrong?
A study of our Presidential policies from 1933, and especially from 1937, on down to Potsdam, leads to a horrible answer.
To one who knows something of the facts of the world and knows also the main details of the American surrender of security and principles at Tehran, Yalta, and Potsdam, and other conferences, three ghastly purposes come into clear focus: (1) As early as 1937, our government determined upon war against Germany for no formulated purpose beyond pleasing the dominant Eastern European element and allied elements in the National Democratic Party, and holding those votes, as Roosevelt II put it (Chapter III, above).