Skip to comments.Bush Apologizes for FDR’s Sellout at Yalta
Posted on 05/13/2005 8:13:39 AM PDT by Alex Marko
Thank you, President Bush, for correcting history and making a long overdue apology for one of President Franklin D. Roosevelts tragic mistakes. Speaking in Latvia on May 7, Bush repudiated the agreement at Yalta by which powerful governments negotiated away the freedom of small nations.
Bush accurately blamed Yalta for the captivity of millions in Central and Eastern Europe and said it will be remembered as one of the greatest wrongs of history. This admission has been 50 years coming, and Bushs words assure that the legacy of Yalta was finally buried, once and for all.
It was at Yalta, a filthy Russian port on the Black Sea, where our dying President in February 1945 made a secret agreement with Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin to surrender millions of people to Communist oppression behind what Churchill a year later labeled the Iron Curtain. No treaty was submitted to the U.S. Senate. Indeed, the record of what went on at Yalta was not released until 10 years later.
The Soviets demanded, and Roosevelt acquiesced, that the conference be held on Soviet soil (where they could plant listening devices). Churchill said, If we had spent 10 years on research we could not have found a worse place in the world than Yalta....It is good for typhus and deadly lice which thrive in those parts.
Roosevelt came home from Yalta and made a false report to Congress. Calling it a personal report to you and to the people of the country, he asserted, This conference concerned itself only with the European war and with the political problems of Europe, and not with the Pacific war.
Here is a list of the European and Asian concessions he made to Stalin, which were confirmed by the Yalta documents released on March 16, 1955:
Poland was turned over to the Soviet Union. The United States and Britain agreed to recognize Communist stooges as the new Polish government and to withdraw recognition from the legitimate anti-Communist government of Mikolajczyk.
Germany was to be dismembered, its national wealth removed within two years, and several million Germans were to be sent to the Soviet Union to work as slave laborers. The record quotes Roosevelt as saying, I hope Marshal Stalin would again propose a toast to the execution of 50,000 officers of the German army.
All Russian citizens who had fled to Germany from communism were to be forcibly returned to the Soviet Union (i.e., the gulag).
The Soviet Union was allowed to keep control of Outer Mongolia, which the Soviets had seized from China. The southern part of Sakhalin and all the adjacent islands were given outright to the Soviets.
The Kurile Islands were given outright to the Soviets, and Port Arthur was given to the Soviets for use as a naval base. The Soviets were given effective control of the commercial port of Dairen, the Chinese-Eastern Railroad and the South-Manchurian Railroad, using the subterfuge of assuring that the Soviet Unions preeminent interests would be safeguarded.
The Soviet Union was given three votes in the United Nations, while all other nations got only one.
Roosevelts defenders have tried to claim that his concessions were necessary to bribe Stalin to enter the war against Japan. The Yalta papers prove that was false: Three-and-a-half months before the Yalta meeting, Ambassador Averell Harriman had relayed to Roosevelt a full agreement from Stalin not only to participate in the Pacific war, but to enter the war with full effort.
Russia wasnt needed in the Pacific war, and letting Russia in simply opened the way for a Communist empire in China and North Korea. This set the stage for the Korean War in the 1950s and for the son of the original North Korean Communist dictator to threaten us with nuclear weapons today.
While Republicans and honest writers such as David Lawrence and John T. Flynn denounced the Yalta betrayal, the pro-Roosevelt media praised it. But truth finally overtakes lies and cover-ups. Bush set the record straight when he repudiated Yalta as part of the unjust tradition of Munich and the Hitler-Stalin pact that carved up Europe and left millions in oppression.
Gasp! Bush is criticizing Saint FDR, what will the Dems do now? Hate him even more?
FDR loved the commies. I can't decide who was worse, him or Carter.
That is not everything that the great liberal icon FDR sold us out on.
When the Germans surrendered, the Japanese army was virtually untouched, fresh, and formidable. In conventional terms we were looking at a horrendous and maybe even unwinable battle with the Japanese. In that context I think it is understandable that Roosevelt chose not to start a whole new war with the Russians.
Morris Sutter appologized yesterday to Nicky DelCorpo for beating the crap out of him when we were in high school.
I must admit I never looked at the Yalta agreement in the way Bush has portrayed it. Of course, I always looked at like ending the great war and bringing our heros home, bringing freedom, etc....but I see now that it really didn't bring freedom to all. We sacrificed some for peace. I don't blame FDR and Churchill, at the time, I am sure they thought it was the best thing to do. 20/20 and all that. Anyway, I am glad Pres. Bush has made me think of it in a new way. That is one of the things I love about Pres. Bush, he makes me think about some things in a different manner.
Thanks for posting the article.
Now how about an apology for all the other horrendous things FDR did?
I think the Russians were vulnerable after the fall of Berlin. We had the bomb. Patton could have pushed them back or even the threat to do so would have succeeded.
We're paying the price for the Yalta sell out and Jimmy Carter's sell out of the Shah.
Thank you....my error.
Have a great day!
LOL...now if only we can get George Lucas to apologize for them damned Ewoks, all will be well.
WOW! I never heard that before. I have only heard good things about FDR. Please know I attended a public school :)...but also, my great-grandparents had only good things to say about him...the last Democrat they voted for. However, I must say that I cannot disagree with you...I just never heard someone come right out and say it! But maybe it is time.... Have a great day and thanks for giving me something to think about!
We had the bomb
FDR. Reagan fixed all of Carters phuckups. We're still to this day trying to fix all of FDR's!
What would have happened if Henry Wallace[lover of Communist Russia] had still been vice-president when FDR died in 1945?
Yet liberal historians continue to defend it. Witness Arthur Schlesigner, Jr. on huffingpost.com
The Yalta conference in February 1945 produced, according to President Bush, "one of the greatest wrongs of history." The Yalta agreements "followed in the unjust tradition of Munich and the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact. Once again, when powerful governments negotiated, the freedom of small nations was somehow expendable."
The American president is under the delusion that tougher diplomacy might have preserved the freedom of small East European nations. He forgets the presence of the Red Army. No conceivable diplomacy could have saved Eastern Europe from Soviet occupation. And military action against the Soviet Union was inconceivable so long as the Pacific War was still going on. Our military planners, in order to reduce American casualties, counted on the Red Army to enter the war against Japan . At Yalta Stalin promised a firm date in August. And in February the atom bomb seemed a fantasy dreamed up by nuclear physicists.
As for Eastern Europe, Stalin "held all the cards" in the words of Charles E. Bohlen, the Russian expert. But FDR managed to extract an astonishing document the Declaration on Liberated Europe, an eloquent affirmation of "the right of all people to choose the form of government under which they will live." Molotov warned Stalin against signing it, but he signed it anyway. It was a grave diplomatic blunder. In order to consolidate Soviet control, Stalin had to break the Yalta agreements which therefore could not have been in his favor.
The Declaration stands as the refutation of the myth, given new currency by the president of the United States , that Yalta caused or ratified the division of Europe . It was the deployment of armies, not negotiating concessions, that caused the division of Europe.
Posted at 10:55 AM | permalink
Very, very good question...gives me even more to ponder. I guess I would hate to imagine what would have happened. The world would probably look alot different today.
20/20 agreed. Bush is right, Stalin got away with murder, but in 1945 the Russians had **five hundred divisions** and a head of steam. Even with atomic weapons it wouldn't have looked easy.
In 1996, shortly after Hiss's death, a collection of Venona decrypts was declassified. One of the messages, dated March 30, 1945, refers to an American with the code name Ales. According to the message, Ales was a Soviet agent working in the State Department, who accompanied President Roosevelt to the 1945 Yalta Conference and then flew to Moscow, both of which Hiss did. The message goes on to indicate that Ales met with Andrei Vyshinsky, the Commissar for Foreign Affairs, and was commended for his aid to the Soviets. Analysts at the National Security Agency have gone on record asserting that Ales could only have been Alger Hiss
ITA, Carter would've probably done as much harm if he'd been in office longer....FDR had Americans so dazzled with the "freebies" we couldn't see the harm down the road.
"When the Germans surrendered, the Japanese army was virtually untouched, fresh, and formidable."
Huh? The 20,000+ dead Japs at Iwo Jima beg to differ, as do the thousands of dead Japs in China, Burma, the Phillippines, etc, the crews of the sunken carrier fleet at the bottom of the Pacific off Midway and in the Coral Sea, the thousands of dead Jap pilots at Guadalcanal, the Marianas Turkey Shoot, and elsewhere, the sunken Jap fleets at Leyte Gulf and elsewhere, etc. The only hurdle left in the Pacific at VE day was Okinawa. The Japanese had long resorted to the panic-button tactic of the kamikaze, due to an extreme shortage of skilled pilots, which itself was due to skilled Americans shooting them out of the skies all over the Pacific. During all this, the Jap citizenry got to experience the horrors of nightly incindiary (sp?) bombing raids by the American Army Air command, which killed more people than the combined death toll of the atomic weapons. In short, the Japanese military and citizenry were close to capitulation by the time VE day arrived. Only their arrogance and ignorance prolonged the war.
" In conventional terms we were looking at a horrendous and maybe even unwinable battle with the Japanese."
Horrendous? Absolutely. Unwinnable? No. It was only a matter of time and bodies before the inevitable occurred.
I do agree with your point that it's probably not fair to criticize FDR 60 years later.
What's next - will some future President start apologizing for us having to drop 2 atomic bombs on them? Apologize for slavery? Apologize to Southerners for Sherman's March to the Sea? Bad precedent being set here, IMO.
You're watching too much History propaganda Channel.
Thank you for that heads-up....that is definitely something I will put on my reading list.
The only hurdle left in the Pacific at VE day was Okinawa.
That is not the view of a lot of historians OR the military planners who were tasked with figuring out how to take the main islands. The citizens were terrorized by propaganda about how horrible the Americans were and the military was in no way prepared to surrender.
In short, the Japanese military and citizenry were close to capitulation by the time VE day arrived. Only their arrogance and ignorance prolonged the war.
Churchill is being unfairly slammed here. By the time Yalta occured, FDR was in the driver's seat and drifting away from Churchill. While Churchill wouldn't be considered politically correct by today's standards, it seems that FDR was more complicit in this agreement with Stalin. Read Newsweek Reporter John Meachum's account in Franklin & Winston.
This is most fascinating. Will we ever know the truth, or just bits and pieces to contemplate?
Thanks for that insight. I know everyone has their opinions....it is easy to play Monday-morning quarterback. Not that there is really anything wrong in debating the past, expressing your opinion, etc...but I always try to remember that hindsight is 20/20.
Plus, I, personally, try to be very careful in what I say so I don't in anyway appear to be trashing The Greatest Generation (not that anyone here has or would), but you know what I mean.
Have a great day!
I got to this part and stopped reading. Obviously the author has never been in the Crimea, which is the Ukraine's riviera, and Yalta is it's pearl.
Why believe anything else he has to say?
Just wanted to add that when it was brought to FDR's attention that A. Hiss was possibly a Soviet Spy, FDR told the informant to go F--- himself. I think the informant may have been McCarthy, but I'm not 100% sure.
That incident says a lot about about FDR's attitude toward the commies.
True...but Yalta was wrong.
What do you feel about Presidents apologizing for the decision of predecessors?
The practice made me queasy when Clinton did it and assuming Bush was actually APOLOGIZING here, it makes me queasy now.
"I said, well since FDR was a socialist himself, giving us social security, federal income taxes, and basically lying and I believe, allowing us to be attacked at Pearl Harbor to get the US into WWII, then he deserved picking on."
And don't forget, as did another 'great' Democratic president, FDR was getting a little on the side.
Berle was at the White House the following day to convey this information to FDR. The president coldly told Berle to perform an anatomically impossible act, and both Hiss and White remained at their posts..."
You can't decide who was worse, FDR or Carter?
Please -- we had a massive military build-up under FDR. We became the world's military superpower and industrial giant under FDR. We not only became the world's weathiest nation but had the fewest casualties as a result of WWII, due in large part to FDR's Lend-Lease.
On the other hand, Carter gutted the military, gave away the Panama Canal, etc., etc.
Yalta was a big mistake by FDR, but I believe if someone like Carter had been President during WWII, we'd be speaking German today.