Skip to main content

tv   Allied Conferences Before Yalta  CSPAN  January 6, 2021 8:00pm-9:11pm EST

8:00 pm
friedman and women, but we still have the power to better our lives. and let us resolve to face the challenges of the new year, holding that conviction -- firmly in our hearts. that after all is our greatest strength and our greatest gift as americans. so until next week, thanks for listening. happy new year. god bless you. history professor, -- which preceded the altar conference in 1945. he reports on the meetings, and
8:01 pm
the political leaders in attendance. the national world war ii museum hosted the event. >> greetings ladies and gentlemen, it's a pleasure to see you here, probably all you are familiar faces because you're so loyal to our programming. we saw most of you in november. and we hope to see most of you in november and in between and september for our memory conference. stephen had said that unfortunately that distiller had slipped on his way, but all three flights from burlington, vermont, were canceled to get him here yesterday. we are disappointed that we can get him here to present. i can tell you that we are fortunate to have one of the
8:02 pm
leaders in this field, to fill the breach, and enlighten us with the first panel of the day, gunter has been a friend since before we had eight building, not just a hotel but an actual museum. he goes back with nick mueller and stephen, all the way back to the early days as a master student of their's, and went to harvard to obtain his ph.d.. then came back home in a sort of ways, to join the faculty. real quick. hunter is joined by someone who is equally important to us, melanie, his wife, who has just returned from being a lifelong schoolteacher, and she's also very involved with our educational committee. it's great to have you melanie. as i mentioned, going way back. we have heard lots of suggestions from dr. bishop off over the years, we have listened to them, and enacted
8:03 pm
them, slowly in his mind, but a couple of things that today really points out to me is the students. hunter and his friends, have been very strong and advocating that the museum doesn't just have you wonderful folks here, but to engage with the university audience. also with younger scholars. those who are post docs or fresh out of a ph.d. program. and to look at a broader international perspective, and try to bring in not just the american experience in our public programming. lastly, he has been a long time advocate, we need to get a distinguished scholar here. thank you for everything you have done for us. gunter, -- a native of austria, he came here, as i mentioned as a
8:04 pm
exchange student, a masters degree from you and oh, he has published too many books to put in a biography, edited, more and published thousands of articles, he's easily the marshall plan since 1947. saving europe, rebuilding austria, we have had him on our presidential counselors advisory board since before we actually had a board in 2006. he is always a delight to be here. so ladies and gentlemen, let's welcome gunther to open our symposium. thank you. okay good ladies -- good morning ladies and gentlemen.
8:05 pm
let's to see you here. shout out to the colleagues and students. if you think about yalta, it's fitting that our colleague didn't make it out of vermont because it was very hard to get to yalta at the time. in february, 1945, you might know that roosevelt was already a very sickly man, and he had to travel by ship to virginia to malta in the mediterranean. ten days. then a seven-hour flight up to the northern part of the peninsula. the airfield. from there he took a car down to the palace in yalta. another four hours. this is a man who had all kinds of physical challenges. so keep that in mind. by the way, there were a number of other cities initially
8:06 pm
envisioned for a summit meeting. roosevelt for example suggested scotland, cyprus, sicily, or jerusalem if possible. sites for a summit meeting. but of course he didn't want to leave. we will talk about that. when we talk about summits, this is a relatively recent phenomenon, symmetry. winston churchill -- coined the term when there was a chase of who would clear mount everest that fired up the imagination of contemporary people and from that he took the term,,.
8:07 pm
,,, at made into household needs. so these three elements are crucial in modern summitry. let me get into the very complete outlined by dr. stoler, and murky through it. his theme is sort of various summit conferences before the yalta summit. and his preliminary remarks he was saying that the yalta conference was considered to be a peace conference, but it was not. the war was still going on.
8:08 pm
and military matters had a high place on the agenda. he says it appears only in retrospect as there is a peace conference. he says this is probably due to the fact that there was no world war ii peace conference, the way that versailles at the paris conferences in 1919 ended world war one. he wants to make that important point. not a peace conference. he also makes the, point and that's what his atlanta's, about that many political issues on the agenda, like poland, like the un, like germany, had already previously been discussed in many senate meetings. he says it improves -- had been discussed by the big three themselves in the tehran conference which was a november, 1943. so only about a bit more than a year before yalta. of course, there were many
8:09 pm
other conferences by lower level diplomats, and i would add, to his outline you know many of the issues that were discussed by the big three, or the foreign ministers were worked out by various planning committees. great britain it was the foreign office research department in the foreign office which came out of chatham houses press surfaces which was at oxford. so the, british i've looked at many of the documents with regards to post war planning for austria. they are very complete. i think in the british case you can see that churchill took more of the suggestions of his planners, than in the american case. and connecticut states, the foreign relations in new york began postwar planning even before the country was in the war. when the u.s. finally joined the war in late 1941, the
8:10 pm
planning effort from the council of foreign relations was brought into the state department. many of the council experts were part of it. but it was in the state department, where much of the planning was done in 1943 and 80 44, but quite often the suggestions made by the experts were not necessarily picked up by roosevelt and carried out. in other words, there was huge planning efforts going on in the angela merkel world. also france, once it had a government again, also in the soviet union, there is planning going on. so think about planning during world war ii. it's something that quietly goes forward while the armies fight in the field in trying to defeat the nazis from the battlefield. now let's go into the outline
8:11 pm
here. excuse me. so dr. stoler has to put together one of the most important conferences. and you see on the highest level with most felt in charge, it begins and august of 1940, won the famous conference with the atlantic charter was agreed on by roosevelt and churchill. so again, the united states wasn't in the were yet and already they were doing diplomatic planning for the future of the world. then there were a couple of meetings in washington d.c.. you see that in 1942. then a moscow meeting where churchillbíçj+ and stalin met in august. and harriman was also present. harriman if you don't know, he was roosevelts ambassador to
8:12 pm
european union, -- rose felt and churchill met and casablanca in january of 1943 and again stolen didn't come to that even though he was invited because it was out of the country, as he put it. and casablanca the important decision was made. namely, the unconditional surrender, that was the germans and the japanese couldn't/sld surrender this time. it was a lesson of world war i conditionally, but they had to surrender unconditionally at the end of the war. so a crucial decision. another washington meeting. quebec meeting. the first one. then the moscow for an counselors meeting. that was the floor and counselors. so the united states was represented by hall. this thing is not working,
8:13 pm
jeremy. there we go. then there was a meeting in washington or umbrellas being founded in 1943. that's very important for the post war world. the united nations relief and rehabilitation administration fed to hungry people after world war ii in 1946. so if you think about the fact that in germany and austria maybe people only had 1000 calories a day. it would be unrwa that guarantee their survival. so a very important meeting there. after tehran, there was a meeting in carole with his check for post war planning. and of course the important tehran meeting, i will talk about that in a few minutes. that was in november of 1943. then meetings that were very important for the post war
8:14 pm
world. the brett woods meeting in new hampshire we are all important decisions were made for the financial world order. you see the creation of the world bank and the imf was also planned out of there, after this meeting the dollar became the strongest dollar in the world, another currency is -- so use important for the financial order of the new world. that was a meeting that was a long meeting and mainly dealt with united nations matters. quebec and canada again when the mercantile plan was apparently decided. we will talk about that in a minute. moscow, the churchill slew, -- churchill flew extensively to get to the meetings. on pressurized, and heated, so the trouble wasn't very comfortable yet at the time. when you think of the many
8:15 pm
meetings and churchill attended them. going to moscow in the fall of 1944. moscow, 1940, for a sort of important decision was made about how the balkans would be divided between the east in the west. the so-called percentage agreement. then will also talk about that. the meetings continue on later as well. there is a san francisco meeting where the united nations was founded. there is also a big meeting in germany right at the end of the war where important decisions are made about postwar germany, including reparations decisions. so you see it's a very long list of meetings that we are talking about. in all these meetings, important decisions were made about the post war order. for example, when they got to
8:16 pm
moscow and october of 1943, the foreign minister is talked about whether the soviet union would come to the war in the far east, that something that continued at the ultra, and i'm sure he's going to talk about that. for example, the moscow meeting something that mark stoler didn't know. but i tell you was important for declaration on postwar austria. it founded the postwar austria estate which had been gobbled up by the nazis in 1938. but important decisions had been made about nazi germany, already, at tehran, it was important for a combined military strategy, and finally, the so-called second front was being decided upon because
8:17 pm
stolen insisted on it. if you think about it, the united states have already landed with the british and africa and that italy, making their way up the boot in 1940. the soviets had already defeated the germans before moscow, and then -- a 1943. so while this vital progress is being made on the field, here they finally decided they're going to open up the second front six months after the end of, six months after the tehran conference. so in that sense, the second front had been a sore issue between the western powers installing for two years. it was in 1942, finally stolen insisted that it came about because he want to relieve his armies in the east, and upon stalin's insistence, it finally
8:18 pm
was promised that there would be a landing in france, operation overlord, and of course another landing in the south of france, operation anvil. and this would force learn to eat two front war meaning he would have to fight in the west as well. of course, in fact there was already a three or four front war because he was fighting in italy, he was fighting in the balkans, he was fighting and scandinavia. he had armies all over. the big three then met in tehran, impression, in november of 1943. not only did the big three meat, but the combined chief of staff mick there as well, meaning the military leaders of the british and americans. so you sort of see that the military matters more important as diplomatic matters for the post war order.
8:19 pm
so the polish issue was beginning to be discussed again. -- we'll talk about it again at yalta, because it was one of the chief issues. so poland's government, this was a issue that deeply divided the powers of east and west. when this conference was over, they went to cairo in egypt, and met chiang kai-shek, but this conference dismiss continued into 1944, for example a important decision was made in tehran that the so-called european advisory commission would be established. the european commission would become a important diplomatic body, where essentially the sown are boundaries for austria
8:20 pm
are being established. important diplomats like -- represented the united states in the eac, as a important physician coming out of tehran. at the québec conference, the first one, the prime minister churchill and roosevelt also discussed nuclear weapons. the atomic bomb. and they would say that this scientific efforts, the achievements of course, which came to fruition at the end of the war would remain and england american monopoly, and would not be shared by the soviets. that would be a sore point after the war that the information had not been shared with the soviets. so if you think about these many diplomatic meetings prior to yalta, they were trying to decide on important issues like a new international
8:21 pm
organization to replace the league of nations, which had not been a particularly successful collective security organization. as i had said at the important oaks, many of the issues had been worked out. on the united nations issue, such as eight future general assembly where the for policeman as roosevelt called them. govern the united nations means that the premier powers in the world. the united states, great britain, the soviet union and china would dominate. there would be a general soundly were all nations of the world will be represented. but one of the sore points with the soviet union came up at he'll touch as well, but it was discussed earlier that soviet union insisted that they want to have all of that they are 60 republics represented in the general assembly, meaning georgia, ukraine, whatever,
8:22 pm
would be representing as individual states would be represented there as well, and churchill and roosevelt were not very excited about that. i'm not going to talk more about that because i am sure that we will pick up that issue. the future of germany of course was a very important discussion, part in all of these conferences, namely that decision that germany would be occupied militarily by the big three after the war. there was a interesting incident in tehran where in fact they were talking about the denazification of germany, and stalin said, the best way to did not suffice germany is if we kill 50,000 officers. churchill was aghast at this sort of suggestion. we don't know if he said in jest. it doesn't sound like it. roosevelt choked back will 49,000 is enough. of course, nothing came of.
8:23 pm
this but of course they had to talk about the future order of post war germany in the sense of what they are going to do with all of the nazis. denazification in that sense was a very important subject matter. as i, said the european advisory committee was established. let me mention one more thing that was very important, that the quebec conference, late 1944 the american secretary of the treasury, henry howell had insisted on the severe treatment of germany, namely that germany would be pasteurized, would be the industrialized so it could be a threat to the future of the world again. and this so called morgantown plan was accepted by churchill in the conference, however when the state department heard about it they were aghast at the idea of a pasteurized and industrialized germany because they knew very well that germany was at the center of
8:24 pm
the continental european economy, and germany the industrializing would hurt everyone around them. so with a strange thing, the morganthal plan was rejected by roosevelt, and didn't come into fruition. we still don't know exactly how it came about, but one idea that has been discussed more recently was that this is actually a soviet idea. and that the high official, harry texture dwight was a soviet spy. it could have comem5hzvia howard whites idea. one final thing before the meeting was when churchill came to moscow in 1943, of course he couldn't come because he was in the middle of his fourth campaign for being reelected. --
8:25 pm
the percentage agreement said, this is something dx;vñtñthat apparently churchill had written down on a napkin. stalin checked off the various percentages that they agreed upon. it's really this fear of european traditional diplomacy. this agreement said that in the case of romania, the soviet union should have 90% influence, in the case of greece 90% influence for the british. 10% for the soviets. yugoslavia and britain would be split 50/50 in terms of influence. simple gary at the soviets would have 55% influence. and the west, 25%. so note that poland isn't part of the agreement, check as a lackey is not part of it, austria's not part of it, but certainly in terms of the future influence taken in eastern europe it's very
8:26 pm
important what was agreed upon by these two leaders in moscow. but did roosevelt know about it? yes he did, because harriman was reported on the numbers, and he reported back to washington, -- stolen was led to believe that it was sort of a agreement between the big three. so ladies and gentlemen, i think i'm going to stop here. this is doctor dr. stoler outline of the war conference that took place that a lot of the events that would figure -- on the united nations were already, if not agreed upon, they were discussed. so it was a process that was going on during the whole war, and yalta continue the discussion. so thank you for your attention. if there are questions, and i
8:27 pm
can answer them, i would be happy to answer them. >> doctor bischof, thank you very much for starting us off here. ladies and gentlemen, i'll be walking around with a microphone, i would ask that you stand before you ask your question. >> stalin's refusal to leave russia at the yacht that conference and other times, was that legitimate, or was that some kind of maneuver otherwise? >> so from what i could tell, and the doctor might come back to this, it was a maneuver. roosevelt and churchill could have just as legitimately said we can't leave our country because we have to be close to iran military decision-making. that was stolen's principal reason. now one reason why he probably only came to a meeting say eight yalta or tehran which was under soviet control at the time, we think that it gave him
8:28 pm
a opportunity to thoroughly bogged the meeting rooms, and the places where churchill and roosevelt would meet. so we think that the meeting rooms were bogged. whenever churchill and roosevelt talked privately stolen would have the transcripts. in that sense he was very careful in knowing what's the other players would come up with. and the intelligence advantage seem to have been very important to him. but i can see a reason why he couldn't talk. he couldn't travel to northern scotland for a summit meeting. it certainly would have been a lot easier for roosevelt to get to. keep in mind, yalta had recently been liberated. the peninsula had been greatly destroyed by the germans when they withdrew. when roosevelt drove down
8:29 pm
through the crimea he saw destruction all-round, him it was a tough place to get to still because there were german minds around. so it's not not dangerous. it was somewhat dangerous to get their. >> doctor bischof, to your right please. >> i think one of the things that influences yalta is how much the soviets figured they were doing the heavy lifting, and we in the west we're doing the lightweight, can you comment on the two sides coming to you all to please? >> the relative contributions, diplomatically you mean? >> military contributions. >> that's a big question. but generally speaking, you know, let me actually, he has
8:30 pm
an app here. this might explain it better. after the normandy landings, okay? as you know, the western armies very quickly moved up through the low countries up to the german border, even though there were some setbacks. the battle of the bulge, operation market garden, they were already going to break into germany proper. when we often forget, but our international conferences more recently have pointed out very vigorously, is of course part of the agreements in to run were that the soviets would also attack in the east. that was an operation which happened a few weeks after the normandy invasion. you see that pushed the soviet red army into the baltic states into eastern poland. they were already outside of
8:31 pm
warsaw, actually, fairly close to berlin by the time that yalta occurred. i think they were 60 miles outside of berlin. so both sides had made enormous advances. in terms of who contributed more, that's an old discussion where i am on the side that probably the red army contributed more simply because the germans throughout the war had many more divisions fighting in the east than the west. keep in mind there was not much happening in the west until the normandy landing. of course, they had been preparing for such a landing in the summer in france. they had armies in normandy and france on the coast, pans are armies that could be shipped around if need be depending on where they landed. but in terms of german divisions, it was like 180 out of 220 german divisions which
8:32 pm
were tied down in the east. of course, with the big victories at stolen grade and kursk, the germans became much weaker and had fewer troops in the east. but i think in terms of the overall weight of the contribution to the final victory, you would have to say, given that the soviets were fighting since june 1941, that they probably made a larger contribution to the eventual defeat of the german armies. >> doctor bischof, we have a question online. it is a personal opinion question. all of the conferences and summits prior to yalta, which one in your mind is the most influential or had the most influential decision. >> i think it definitely would have been the tehran conference. it was a big three meeting where they all met and the joint chiefs of staff met, that indicates important military decisions were made. i think that would be others view as well from what i can read from his notes.
8:33 pm
in tehran, the important second front decision was made. the unconditional surrender of casablanca was reaffirmed by the soviets as whale -- as well. i would definitely think that tehran was the most important meeting by the sheer fact that all three of the met. >> i will get to the question to your left near the middle. >> three quick questions. one -- firstly, thank you for your wonderful presentation. how did roosevelt and truman travel? secondly, in the post world configuration of germany, how did france get involved when they were in the top three? and finally, in the percentage arrangement, for example hungary was 50%. how did it finally work out
8:34 pm
that the soviets funny took over? how did that work? >> those are three big questions. with regard to how did hall and truman travel, i told you how roosevelt got to yalta. it was very difficult to get there. how i think -- halter can airplane i think. truman still took a ship. if you think about symmetry, it was also being made possible by more comfortable traveling arrangements that they can make. in the post world war ii world, they would certainly fly. churchill flew during the war. roosevelt, because i think of his heart condition, could not really a lie. the weight he flew from malta was the plane had to be very
8:35 pm
low, i think 10,000 feet, which of course was a dangerous. they had to be very careful over what territory they flew. he could not fly 30,000 feet above the ground. with regards to france, i left that out because that is one thing that we will talk about because the decision to involve the french in the german occupation was finally decided at yalta because churchill insisted on it. churchill was afraid that the united states would withdraw after the war. there was plenty of indications that roosevelt made during the war that might happen. he felt he would be left alone with the soviets on the continent and definitely wanted the french to be on his side. that is what he insisted to give the french a zones of occupation in germany, and eventually in austria. but that made the french a great power again, and if you will victorious power. in terms of the fighting, of
8:36 pm
course, they were not and that is why stalin was very reluctant to let the french come in. but there was a lot of fighting already in the early meetings. we talk a bit about it in the outline, over how the zones in germany should be divided up. there was all kinds of so-called dismemberment plans. somebody said we would like to have many germany's like we had in the 19th century rather than one powerful germany being consolidated in central europe. many small germany's like bavaria and saxony being independent states again rather than one strong germany. but that did not really come about. then there was consideration of maybe a division along religious lines. south catholic, the north protestant, a division along those lines. there was also a lot of talk by the british about the nubian
8:37 pm
configuration to rebuild some kind of have spurred state as a confederation in eastern europe. that would be part of the larger sort of dismemberment issue to weaken)>[6)z germany. but stolen wanted to have nothing of the confederation because he felt that would be a new sort of force established against him. in the end, the united states had a zone in the south,«,wzy southeast if you will, bavaria. the french got the zone in the southwest. the british got the zone in the north of wet later on would become the federal republic of germany. the soviets got the zone in the northeast. in that sense, out of the occupation came a sort of dismemberment, meaning to germany's rather than one. but that had of course to do with the ideological conflict
8:38 pm
of the cold war. but the french were given a zone on british insistence. roosevelt was not happy. stolen was not happy. many of the agreements on the separation of germany were made by the european advisory committee and then accepted by the big three. keep in mind at this time, does this thing work here? yes, it does. they are already pretty coast -- close to budapest. there would be a big battle over budapest, but the nazis the grossly defended the city against incoming red army from january to march of 1945. much of budapest was destroyed during that final battle for budapest. finally, the red army in april of 1945 would take over vienna. the weight hungry developed was
8:39 pm
that there would be a free election. a small conservative agriculture party was strongest and ruled. but in 1947, through so-called tactics, the communist party took over in hungry. supported of course by the soviet occupation element. there was also british and american occupation elements in budapest, but they had very little to say, just like in the occupational arrangements of bulgaria and remain. but the soviets dominated those places because they liberated them and set up communists that had been in the soviet union during the civil war like polish communists. that even threatened to happen in austria because after was liberated in april of 1945, a
8:40 pm
so called provisional government was established in austria. an old socialist leader who had already been head of state after world war i was brought back into power. but there was one third socialist and one third communist representation on that provisional government. stalin and roosevelt did not like that one bit because they it was supposed to be a joint government established by all three powers. from the west, it looked like the same thing would happen in vienna that was happening in budapest and elsewhere in eastern europe, that the soviets were trying to set up communists for ruling in postwar austria as well. interestingly enough, we think of churchill's iron curtain metaphor as being coined in a speech in march of 1946 held in truman's home state of missouri, at a small college, westminster
8:41 pm
college. that is when churchill first spoke to the world about the iron curtain having rattled down from the northern sea to the adriatic. but he was already using that metaphor after the austrian events in 1945. he was afraid an iron curtain was coming down, but only in inside documents. you could say the cold war already broke out over issues such as -- that is why i mentioned austria as well, austria and hungary in 1945, when the soviets try to sort of force governments upon these people. >> doctor bischof, to your right please. >> doctor bischof, would you comment on a statement by dr. gerhardt feinberg during the entirety of world war ii for six years all over the globe, led 85 to 90% of that war was fought on the eastern front. >> well, good to see you old
8:42 pm
friend. your heart weinberger is the imminent historian of world war ii. one would hardly want to contradict him in public. and he is a member of the counselors to and we see him every year. i would not want to contradict him. but in a way, he's putting numbers to what i was talking about before, that much of the fighting and dying in world war ii actually happened in the eastern front. when you talk to any german today, he associates the eastern front with world war ii, not the west and normandy and the battle and -- of the bulge and so forth as americans do. i think that is a figure that gerhard weinberg probably considered very thoroughly. 85%. i would not dare to contradict
8:43 pm
him. it might have been only 75%, but i think the trend line is clear there, that given many of the german divisions in the east, that is where the war was decided in a way. i'm not trying to diminish the allied effort in normandy and beyond that, but we need to put it into proportion at the same time. >> doctor bischof, a question online. could you please comment on the negotiation between churchill and stalin regarding the percentage of influence that occurred prior to the conference? was this negation necessary to get the soviets on board? in your opinion, did the benefit of the soviet and british side agreement continued cooperation of the soviets, undermined the overall outcome of the conference in the post war order? this may actually be a better question for doctor plucky or the panel. but if you would like ... >> yeah, we can pick that up later in the panel as well.
8:44 pm
but it is clear that percentages came from churchill, actually. stalin just checked them off and agreed with them. in that sense, whether churchill, i would have to read the memoirs because the percentages are noted down in the memoirs. that's how the world sort of heard about them first i think. i suspect that churchill wanted to make a concession to stalin to humor him and keep the soviets in the war. to sort of see that the west was prepared to make concessions to them. from the american perspective, it looked bad because roosevelt did not want to see traditional european fears of influence in diplomacy to beacon tenured after the year. in a sense, roosevelt not being there and shooting it down, as
8:45 pm
i said, eventually the americans were thought to have signed on to it since they did not vigorously protest this kind of traditional division of influence agreements. so i would say let's leave it at that for, now we can come back to it later. >> before we get to dr. mullet here with the question, we have another one on light that is fairly lengthy so i will paraphrase it. in all of the previous conferences, summits, meetings between specifically the western allies, how fearful was stolen of what was being discussed? how forthcoming were the western allies with moscow? telling him what would be discussed. what would be on the agenda. so on and so forth. how is the trust level, or were the holding something's back? >> of course when we talk of stall and we have to keep in mind that as historians we don't have any access to any
8:46 pm
documents. i think that the doctor can confirm that because he's probably the only person in the room here who has because of his guilt to work worked with documents. stolen is very hard to prove one way or another having worked on this or that because he didn't really talk much during the war. so we don't really know, of all the big three, we know the least about stalin's mind and how it worked. now we know that he didn't like the initial and surrender condition made a casablanca because he thought that this was sort of indicating a degree of western kind of cooperation that would try to exclude the soviets from future big decisions. in other words he would like to be part of that decision, and he was, not on the other hand, we know at the time there were all kinds of secret peace feelers already come out of
8:47 pm
moscow, to see if there were any conditions that could be arranged. given the severity of the battles on the eastern front. that would sort of indicate, we know that stolen was a very mistrustful kind of man, and a decision like that casablanca, non-conditional surrender decision that came out fairly clearly. but beyond that, and i hope that the doctor tucks a little bit about how to assess stolen world war ii. i would say it's very difficult to assess him. >> to your right, with doctor mueller at. >> i would like to have a clarification. with his body count. if you only count -- history serves pretty good.
8:48 pm
we are pretty certain that the russians accounted for two thirds of all german military deaths in the second world war. in this case he overlooks the fact that the allies destroy the u-boat force. the russians conveniently forget that the air campaign, whatever it's results, to the best of the federal force back into the defense of germany, where at the r.a.f. and the you as a f destroyed it. so there was an indirect influence on the eastern front which in fact favored the russians, gerhardt has done great footnotes. you have to check those out.
8:49 pm
>> that is my colleague. -- again, nobody would want to dispute him. i would add to the air war over germany, indeed, sometimes it's interpreted as the second front that hadn't opened earlier on the ground. and i think a good argument can be made for that, that so much, not only of man power, but american wealth and british wealth went into that air campaign, that[ off kilter if you will for a long time to come. of eventually put the arms production underground, removed from the factories, wherever they were. in frankfurt, so forth, puts them in the mountains. for example you think of the building of the the weapons.
8:50 pm
the german rockets. initially, they were tested on set on the north sea. and when the british bumped -- bomb that say they had to relocate their entire effort underground. the engines actually were put and tested and a sub camp in austria. today so if you look at individual production capabilities of the germans, you see how much the bombings will hurt them and that sense i agree with a doctor that the bombing were needs to be part of the over all accounting. but of course even though a lot of american pilots and crew to perished and effort, or became -- at the germans. in terms of numbers it's a lot
8:51 pm
less than what's happening on the eastern front. in terms of overall numbers you have to triple or quadruple the numbers in order to say this is how long the person has served. but we don't want to do that. >> doctor bischof, i was impressed with the length of the list of conferences. as you know, recently there has been discussion of the prospect of bombing the death camps that were responsible for the holocaust. at, which if any of the conferences, was the subject of the holocaust discussed? was there any discussion of what could be done about it? any strategic decisions made in that regard. >> keep in mind, by the time of yalta, auschwitz had been liberated. and of january, 1945, but in my
8:52 pm
mind none of the -- in my mind, the way that issue comes up is with it churchill and roosevelt know about the holocaust. we are quite sure that they knew early on because german and soviet traffic could be listened to meeting the codes were broken and through the broken codes, they had a lot of the reporting going on in the eastern front about the killing of jews. so i think that puts them in the know as early as 1941. you know, when the holocaust was beginning to unfold. with the group in the east killing, in cold blood, a lot of the jews that the ramped up in ukrainian and white russian, and so forth cities. so they knew about it but they didn't discuss it. of course, in terms of coming auschwitz, i have nothing more to add to. that i remember this was
8:53 pm
heavily discussed in the 1994, the 50th anniversary conference on the normandy invasion, and i don't think that he has much advanced beyond what was said at the time, mainly we need to defeat the germans. and the sooner that we defeat them the better it will be for the jews as well. so we don't want to squander our military resources in bombing, when it is more important to defeat the nazis on the battlefield. and as soon as they are defeated, the killing of the jews will end. but of course, on the other hand, the nazis killed jews until the very end of the war. if you follow the gruesome story up the walked out of the concentration camps, auschwitz death march's, there were
8:54 pm
people killed to the very end of the war, so in that sense i think one could discuss whether one could have done more. but keep in mind, the holocaust was a very decentralized kind of affair, there were many killing centers, many death camps in the east, and increasingly, many death camps, they increasingly became death camps due to the severe treatment of the inmates, which was p.o.w.,'s russian p.o.w., all kinds of people, not only jews, people all over europe. enemies of the nazis that were brought there. so i think among some since 7000 people, 2000 perished, to me that sounds like a death march as well. >> a quick follow-up to that
8:55 pm
was when unrwa, the united nations relief and rehabilitation, when that was discussed at previous conferences with this pertaining to the jewish populations or was this for all of europe and all displaced populations? >> it was for all of europe and all displaced peoples. keep in mind, the united states had experience with this in the sense that herbert hoover launched the effort to feed the hungry people of europe. a lot of attention has been paid to that hoover effort, it's sometimes compared with the postwar martial plan. it's not as big but it's as important as saving people. so on raw wasn't specifically designed for jews, but for all the hungry people of the world. so let's say if you take the german an austrian populations i would say that their survival
8:56 pm
couldn't be -- u.s. army put a lot of eight out there as well. but keep in mind, unrwa worked until 1947, and then the united states said we are paying 79% of the unrwa expenses and we have no control over what unrwa is doing, with the united nations is doing, so we want to start our own effort. in that sense, the marshall plan came out of the united states bowing out of supporting unrwa. unrelenting down very quickly after that as the marshall plan came about in 1948, henry had already closed its doors. but unrest went to eastern europe like hoover aide went to hungry and eastern europe, places like that. >> thank you. the next question is ahead for you. doctor bischof, looking at the map of europe, it is easy to understand why a lot of those eastern european countries came
8:57 pm
under soviet domination, because the red army was there. but czechoslovakia is in great measure as far west as austria, yes prague is west of vienna, that's what they said after the war. >> when you travel from vienna to prague, you go west. i'm under the impression that -- was prepared to enter czechoslovakia and could have occupied prague before the soviets got there and they were called back. in any event my question to you is why did a different result happen in czechoslovakia, then in austria, did they not divide czechoslovakia into two states the way it exists now with czechoslovakia, and -- on the eastern side, with different reference.
8:58 pm
>> that is a long question but a good one. so czechoslovakia also had a free election after the were like hungry. but the interesting thing is that in that election of i believe spring, 1946, the communist came out as the strongest party, 40%. why was that so you would ask yourself rightly? usually the answer to that question is the checks were still sparring via the west did to the munich agreement. they felt they were sold out to the nazis, in many respects they, were in that sense they had never forgiven the british for being involved in that agreement. so the czech leader in exile already visited the region in 1943, and the preliminary agreements because they felt that they needed to deal with the service directly. the soviets hadn't been --
8:59 pm
they couldn't blame the soviets, i think that explains to a good part there election result in 1946, but you are right, patent and the u.s. army, where one of the u.s. soldiers had already been across the border, they were stopped to go to, prague even though they could've liberated prague. but that is the same kind of decision. remember the river in germany had to do with the fact that there were wartime agreements that the military leadership, eisenhower, marshall didn't want to break with the soviets. the soviets had already liberated slovakia by the beginning of may, 1940, five it wasn't far for them to get prague. prague is interesting city in the sense that it had suffered very little destruction during world war ii. fiona and bit of past were
9:00 pm
destroyed very heavily and of course churchill early on had wanted to liberate those cities himself, by the west. remember he had as so called strategy. the gap is down here. it's the capital of slovenia. slovenia is well known in the united states and now, it's the home country of the first lady. so the strategy is a strategy that churchill had to push on the americans in 1944 in 1945. he says there is a gap here in the mountains, let's go up here to austria, czechoslovakia and hungry because we cannot allow the soviets to liberate the ancient capitals of europe. but eisenhower said, that is going to be, that is a strategy
9:01 pm
where we are going to lose to many people. we need to get through the mountains. he did not want to see any resources diverted to the ljubljana gap. his strategy was to fight in the west in normandy and down here in southern france. of course, there was not enough landing boats around either to land troops there. but churchill sort of had, to answer your question, had seen it coming. that if the red army liberates those places, they are also going to impose their regime on it. that is pretty much what stalin had told yugoslavia during the war. wherever an army of the bright's, it will impose its order on that place. that is what it did over all of eastern europe. xégto answer your question, what happened in czechoslovakia, why did it come under communist control? the reason for that is that in february of 1948, there was a coup in czechoslovakia where the governmcr
9:02 pm
conservative party's resigned. the communists then seized their opportunity not to start a new government, but simply put themselves into place. and from february 1948 onwards, you have the communists who control in prague and czechoslovakia as well. so you could say a year after hungry, after budapest, czechoslovakia is being turned into a communist country as well. when it came time to who would participate in the marshall plan, the checks would have loved to participate. they said so in 1947. stolen had called the leadership of czechoslovakia, no, you cannot participate. that might have been a preliminary step for czechoslovakia to go down on the communist side as well because, in a way, the marshall plan firmed up the iron
9:03 pm
curtain. the countries in western europe that participated, they started to participate in 1948, they landed on the prosperous side of europe. the country of -- the countries of eastern europe who could not participate in the marshall plan landed on the side that would slowly go down the drain economically and become poorer. so it was a moment of great decision for czechoslovakia, but moscow would not allow them to participate. that is why the coup in 1948 should not surprise us because around that time, the foreign minister probably was stumped out the window on the mountain in prague and killed. czechoslovakia went communist. for the west, it was a big warning signal. they feared this would be the new model of communist takeovers in eastern europe.
9:04 pm
what happened in czechoslovakia, namely subversion from inside rather than a direct attack by the red army. increasingly, the west feared such subvert of action. and indeed, they feared austria might be next on the list. >> i think we have time for one last question and i will give the floor here. i've got a pretty good one from the online audience as well. we will do to. a recommended reading list from the question on the floor. we cannot do a bibliography of 20 books. the question was, what would you recommend to read for the other summits. for yalta, plokhii's book. i found the best book, i wonder whether my colleagues would agree on this, but the best book on post war planning was by a british historian. he wrote a book that covers the
9:05 pm
negotiations from moscow 43 to toronto 1943. those few weeks. it is very detailed and very good, mainly worked out from british records, but that would be a good one. mark stone and has written about it too. i don't really know of a book that has covered all of the conferences. there tend to be books on individual conferences. there is considerable literature on yalta. but not too long ago, two years ago at the international conference, we heard our big friend and colleague nigel knit or talk about pot stem. much more could be written about potsdam, but we don't have a book that covers it all. an excellent introduction about
9:06 pm
yalta isn't david reynolds summit book. he has a chapter and that is very good. >> for the audience watching at home that does not have the program in front of them, two of the best books that i've heard and read are both dr. stolen books, allies and adversaries as well as allies in war, britain and america against the axis powers. you will notice both of those are heavily on the western alliance, but they are top-notch. you had mentioned reynolds. we had professor reynolds here last month and he gave a talk on the kremlin letters, which is a new book on the wartime correspondence with stalin, both from winston and from franklin. so that is a relatively new and that is also something that sort of opened my eyes. >> that is also elizabeth borg was book on the conference between churchill and roosevelt in 1941 and the atlantic
9:07 pm
charter. >> last question here from joe. >> thanks again for the presentation, doctor bischof. going back to the travel aspect of all the conferences, was yalta more of a strategic place for stolen in the sense that he could show off the destruction of the east? and then, is it more safe for him, but not just as dangerous for churchill and fdr to travel to these conferences in the soviet union? >> i think yes on both of those. questions. for stalin, he set in a train in moscow and went down to yalta. it was safer. to show off the destruction and to remind his allies that this might have figured in future
9:08 pm
debates. we've mentored in important issue discussed at yalta and subsequently at potsdam, german reparations. to remind the western powers that the level of destruction of the soviet union is so immense, 17,000 villages being destroyed is often the number you hear, that if they see it with their own eyes they will be more forthcoming on german reparations. in other words, but the germans repay for reconstruction. but i think you are right, stalin did not care about the difficulty for churchill and roosevelt to get to yalta. he just cared that, number one, he would get there safely. and number two, it would be a site that he could thoroughly bug. >> i don't think we should forget about the intelligence aspect. >> ladies and gentlemen, a round of applause for dr. günter bischof. [applause] >> i thank you.
9:09 pm
9:10 pm
harvard ukrainian history professor serhii plokhii outlines the major issues and decisions of the 1945 yalta conference, which took place at a crimean resort in ukraine. this documentary is part of a national world war ii symposium marking the history between the talks -- of the talks between franklin roosevelt, winston churchill and joseph stolen. >> welcome back, ladies and gentlemen for our next event. it's more or less the keynote of the day because it is the top on the yalta conference, the all of the programs, all of the sessions will be wonderful. we have doctor serhii plokhi


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on