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Treacherous Ally: The Soviets in WWII

“If Hitler invaded hell I would make at least a favorable reference to the devil in the House of Commons.” Winston Churchill

During World War II the United States and England joined forces with the Soviet Union to fight National Socialist Germany. While the US and Britain were fighting the Germans, and subsidizing the Soviet government with billions of dollars worth of weapons and other supplies, Soviet leader Joseph Stalin was actively working against the interests of his allies.

All through the war years Stalin’s Communist government operated a network spies and subversives within the governments of England and the US. His agents stole the secrets of the atom bomb, undermined the pro-American forces of Chiang Kai-shek in China and Draja Mihailovich in Yugoslavia, interfered with communications between US President Franklin Roosevelt and English Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and generally tried to weaken Britain and the US in every way possible. But don’t expect to hear that in a typical US History class. Because most of America’s modern-day history professors and textbook writers lean very far to the left politically, they are reluctant to discuss the sins of the Soviet Union.

Forgetting Soviet Aggression

The whitewashing of Soviet behavior  in WWII starts even before the entry of Britain and the US into the war. In his freshman history textbook Give Me Liberty, Professor Eric Foner describes the German acts of aggression that helped start WWII in the late 1930’s, but withholds any mention of simultaneous Soviet aggression against Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and eastern Poland. He mentions the ironically-named “non-aggression pact” that Hitler and Stalin made with each other in August of 1939, but does not describe it for what it was: a plan for coordinated attacks by Germany and the Soviet Union against their neighbors; a division of the map of Europe into Soviet and German conquest zones.

Here is how Dr. Foner’s book describes the pact and its immediate aftermath:

In 1939, the Soviet Union proposed an international agreement to oppose further German demands for territory. Britain and France, who distrusted Stalin and saw Germany as a bulwark against the spread of communist influence in Europe, refused. Stalin then astonished the world by signing a nonaggression pact with Hitler, his former sworn enemy. On September 1, immediately after signing the Nazi-Soviet pact, Germany invaded Poland…Within a year, the Nazi blitzkrieg (lightning war) had overrun Poland, much of Scandinavia, Belgium, and the Netherlands. On June 14, 1940, German troops occupied Paris.”

Dr. Foner’s book does not say a word about the Soviet attacks against Finland and the three Baltic states, nor does he mention that the Soviets were attacking the eastern part of Poland while the Germans sacked the western part, as agreed to in the “non-aggression” pact. The next time the Soviets are mentioned, it is in the context of Hitler’s 1941 invasion of Soviet-held territory, which summarily ended the “non-aggression” pact and aligned the Soviets with Britain in a war against Germany.

The five authors of the textbook Making a Nation1 are similarly reluctant to mention Soviet aggression at the start of the war, outside of one brief mention of the division of Poland.

The textbook Nation of Nations2 actually does briefly mention that the 1939 non-aggression pact allowed for Soviet designs on neighboring countries; albeit in rather bland and misleading language. According to the book, the pact allowed Stalin to “extend his western borders by bringing eastern Poland, the Baltic states (Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania), and parts of Romania and Finland into the Soviet sphere.” Words like “invasion” are only used in describing Nazi actions, not Soviet actions.

Making Spies Invisible

The historians who write these textbooks are even more reticent about Soviet espionage than they are about Soviet aggression. None of the three textbooks cited above mention a word about the WWII era espionage campaigns conducted in Britain and the US by Communist parties controlled by the Soviet Union through the Communist International (Comintern). Neither does the textbook America’s Promise3 Nor do any of the four books mention that Comintern agents in the American government actively influenced government policy to the benefit of the Soviet regime, and the detriment of America and her other allies.

Nor, for that matter, do any of these textbooks even mention the words “Communist International.” Only Nation of Nations uses the contraction “Comintern,” one time, and only to say that WWII villains Germany and Japan formed a pact against it.

The Other Side of the Story

The half of history the history books don’t tell is that Communist agents were very active in the US and Britain before, during and after the “alliance” that Stalin formed with the US and Britain after Germany invaded Russia.

Between August of 1939 and June of 1941, when Hitler and Stalin were coordinating their attacks on their neighbors under the “non-aggression pact,” Communist agents in Britain and the US were under orders from Moscow to help Hitler. In England, Communist papers like the London Daily Worker published anti-war propaganda during this period.4When the German air force was conducting bombing raids against British cities, Communist agents like J.B.S. Haldane and Ivor Montagu sent their Soviet handlers reports on British air defenses, and damage reports about areas the Germans had attacked, presumably so that the info could be passed on to the Nazis.5

During this period Soviet agents in the US were similarly publishing “anti-war” propaganda aimed at reducing American support for England, in general; and especially at keeping the US from joining the British in their war against Hitler. Earl Browder, the head of the Communist Party USA, published a book called The Second Imperialist War condemning the British war effort.6   Communists including Frederick Field organized a group called the American Peace Mobilization, which published “anti-war” propaganda, and even picketed the White House to oppose President Roosevelt’s plan to send aid to the British. But when Hitler invaded Russia on June 22 of 1941 the leaders of the American Peace Mobilization immediately forgot everything they had been saying about “peace,” re-named their organization the American People’s Mobilization, and started lobbying for the US to enter the war against the Nazis.7

Wartime Priorities

After Hitler invaded Russia, Soviet agents in Britain and the US supported the anti-Nazi war effort, albeit with conditions.

After Germany subordinated the government of Yugoslavia in early April of 1941, a group of soldiers and officers under the command of Draja Mihailovich, calling themselves the “Chetniks,” fought a guerilla war against the Nazis. Communist leaders in Yugoslavia had no interest in fighting the Nazi’s until after Hitler invaded Russian-held territory, but once Hitler and Stalin stopped working together they took up arms against both the Nazi’s and the Chetniks. The Communist leader, who gave himself the name “Tito,” was a protégé of Stalin, and thus the darling of Communist agents in the British and American governments.8

The way Communist agents in the Roosevelt administration represented the Yugoslavia situation to President Roosevelt was very different from what has now been documented as the actual truth. The picture he was getting from trusted aides induced Roosevelt to terminate American support for Mihailovich and start sending money and arms to Tito. By undermining British and American support for Mihailovich’s Chetniks, Stalin’s agents in the US government  impaired the war effort to some extent; but the Soviet Union’s agenda was served by having strong Communist influences in all the areas the Soviets hoped to conquer (and actually would conquer) in the later stages of the war.

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In China, the bloodthirsty Communist Mao Zedong enjoyed the same advantage Tito had in Yugoslavia. He spent little effort fighting the Japanese, and sometimes even found ways to peacefully co-exist with the Japanese invaders.9His real fight was with the pro-American forces of Chiang Kai-shek. Meanwhile Chiang Kai-shek, with American financial support, was carrying the fight to the Japanese. But Soviet agents in the US government undermined Chiang at every turn. As they had in the Yugoslavia situation, Communist agents in the American government put Soviet interests ahead of the actual war effort.

Yugoslavia and China were not the only places where American allies were cut off at the knees by Communists in the American government. The same thing happened in Poland in 1944. As the Soviet Army was fighting to retake Poland from the Germans, Poles organized an armed rebellion against their German conquerors. One would think that the Russians would appreciate the help in fighting the Germans, but Stalin ordered his army to hold back, to allow the Nazis to crush the Polish resistance. Stalin was planning on enslaving Poland, something he had been trying to do before Germany turned against him in 1941. Letting patriotic Poles gain a military victory in their own country was not in his game plan.10

While the Polish resistance was still fighting for survival, and the Soviet army was holding back to let the Poles be slaughtered, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and US President Roosevelt made some effort to send weapons and other materiel to the beleaguered Poles. Presidential adviser Harry Hopkins, a Communist agent, boasted to an American general that he was willing and able to withhold any telegrams on the subject that Churchill might send to Roosevelt, in order to delay aid to the Poles until they were beyond help.11

When WWII was over, Soviet imperialism quickly gave rise to an anti-Soviet backlash in the US, which history professors and other leftists disparage as “McCarthyism.” But the American people were wise to distrust Stalin and his agents. The Soviet Union relentlessly pursued an agenda of subversion, aggression, and conquest; from its foundation in 1917 to its ignominious death in 1991.

1Boydston, Cullather, Lewis, McGerr, & Oakes; Making a Nation
2Davidson, Gienapp, Heyrman, Lytle, & Stoff; Nation of Nations
3Rorabaugh, Critchlow, & Baker; America’s Promise
4Romerstein and Breindel, The Venona Secrets, p. 23
5ibid., pp. 24, 25
6ibid., p. 513
7M. Stanton Evans, Blacklisted by History
, pp. 58, 59, 406
8ibid., pp. 93-97
9ibid., p. 107
104Romerstein and Breindel, The Venona Secrets
p. 216
11ibid., pp. 217, 218