Mikołajczyk Papers

No. 1388
Memorandum by the Polish Deputy Prime Minister (Mikołajczyk)

[Translation]

Memorandum on Marshal Stalin’s Reception of July 27, 1945

Present: Generalissimo Stalin, Molotov, Beriya, Vyshinsky, Marshal Rokossovsky, Konev, Chief of Staff Antonov, the Navy Chief,1 and Zhukov.

On the Polish side: Bierut, Osóbka-Morawski, Grabski, Gomułka, Rzymowski, Modzelewski, Mikołajczyk, and [Rola-]Żymierski.

Molotov proposed a toast to President Bierut, then to Osóbka-Morawski, and then to Mikołajczyk. In his lengthy speech he repeated and clarified the argumentation contained in his speech [Page 1530]before the Committee of Three2 in Berlin on July 24, 1945. Replies were made in the following order: Bierut toasted Marshal Stalin; Morawski toasted Molotov; Mikołajczyk stated that his speech before the Committee of Three3 was based on his deep conviction that the Germans must be deprived of the economic base for their armaments industry and of the possibility of making profits on the work of other nations. The industrial complexes of Silesia must no longer be the base for German armaments, and the waterways system of the Oder, which allowed the Germans to reap profits from the transit trade and which is not necessary for the economy of Germany, must remain in the hands of a free, independent, and sovereign Poland. This waterways system must not be blocked either by the German ownership of Stettin or by German control of the navigation system of the Lausitzer Neisse, which regulates the navigability and the water level of the Oder. This waterways system of the Oder in Polish hands will also be used for transportation by other Slavic nations and Soviet Russia, in an atmosphere of peaceful coexistence between Poland and Soviet Russia. He then toasted the peaceful collaboration of the two nations, thanking Molotov for his support of the Polish position in the Committee of Three, and then he also toasted Marshal Stalin.

Following this, Molotov toasted Grabski in a lengthy speech. Grabski replied and spoke of the Slavic nations, which will cooperate no longer on the basis of the old Czarist pan-Slavism, but as free, independent, and sovereign nations under Stalin’s leadership. Marshal Stalin in his answer used particularly warm words regarding Mikołajczyk and stated that he agreed with Professor Grabski on one point—Slavs cannot accept any leadership from above and therefore their cooperation must be based on full sovereignty and independence. That is why cooperation can be only among equals, and he personally is not qualified to be a leader of the Slavic nations.

After more toasts and speeches, Marshal Stalin rose and left the room; a moment later a Chopin mazurka was heard from a record to which Stalin listens very often. After supper, with black coffee, there was more music by two male and two female Soviet artists, again beginning with Chopin melodies. Late at night, before the end of the reception and after a considerable amount of champagne, Marshal Stalin turned to Mikołajczyk and said: “I know that you [Page 1531]still have doubts and do not believe that we sincerely want to see the Polish people strong, free, independent, and truly sovereign. You will see, after we have worked longer together; you will become convinced as to our intentions.” “They are sincere,” answered Mikołajczyk, “because doubtless all the Poles are also guided by their feelings but perhaps less so than others, as they depend more on realism and political sense, and therefore they have no doubt that one of the foundations of future peace and the existence of the Polish state must be cooperation between Poland and Soviet Russia. This opinion is one which they will always express regardless of the conditions under which they will be working, whether they be on top or in a position with little influence. This the more so since the situation is made more difficult in many cases by the actions of some Soviet people in subordinate positions. I do not doubt, Mr. Marshal, that you will do everything necessary to eliminate such difficulties.” Then, in the presence of Bierut, Morawski, and Gomułka, he spoke of the necessity of cooperation within the framework of the coalition. Osóbka spoke of the need for closer coordination in cooperation; this was interrupted by The Marshal, who said that the point is to keep up the coalition, but that differences of opinion within the coalition are unavoidable—they will recur and must keep recurring, because each political party will attempt to broaden its influence, which is something which they all are entitled to do.…

The election returns in England were also discussed. Mikołajczyk expressed the opinion that the Labor Party did not expect its victory nor did the Conservatives expect their defeat. He is of the opinion that the main lines of foreign policy will not change, although the attitude toward Germany might become somewhat more lenient in accordance with the principle expressed by the Labor Party that the German nation, and in particular German workers, cannot be held responsible for the actions of Hitlerism. Marshal Stalin evaluated the result of the elections as follows: The English people took a clear position for peace. The Japanese war is a burden for them, and, as they did not trust the Conservatives to carry out the social reforms which have been promised, they gave their votes to Labor. In so far as policies are concerned, he agrees that there might be a more lenient attitude toward the Germans under British occupation. Churchill did not trust us and in consequence we could not fully trust him either.

The reception ended late at night.

  1. The reference is probably to Admiral Kucherov, Chief of Staff of the Soviet Navy.
  2. See ante, pp. 331 332, 1524.
  3. See ante, pp. 334 335, 1522 1523.