Moscow Embassy Files: Telegram

Mr. Harry L. Hopkins, Special Assistant to President Truman, to the President


. . . . . . .

We6 reminded Stalin some days ago that he had made a speech7 in which he said that he did not favor the dismemberment of Germany. [Page 318] This appeared to be contrary to the position he took both at Tehran8 and Yalta. His explanation of this action on his part was that his recommendation had been turned down at Yalta and more specifically that Eden and Strang on behalf of the British had stated that dismemberment was to be accomplished only as a last resort and that Winant, who was present at the Conference at which this discussion took place in London, interposed no objection, hence Stalin states that it was his understanding that both Great Britain and the “United States were opposed to dismemberment. I undertook to tell him that this was not the case; that while you had made no final decision in regard to this, the United States considered this an open question and that you would surely want to thrash it out at your next meeting. I told him that he must not assume that the United States is opposed to dismemberment because he may learn from you that just the opposite was the case. He then said that dismemberment was a matter which the three Allies must settle among themselves and that he would keep an open mind in regard to it.

. . . . . . .

Although he promised that he was going to appoint Zhukov as his member of the Control Council for Germany, it has not yet been done. We shall at tonight’s meeting again urge him to announce at once Zhukov’s appointment.9

  1. Mr. Hopkins and Ambassador Harriman. For the record of the conversation between Mr. Hopkins, Ambassador Harriman, Marshal Stalin and Foreign Commissar Molotov held at the Kremlin, May 28, at 6 p.m., see the memorandum by Mr. Charles E. Bohlen, dated May 28, 1945, Conference of Berlin (Potsdam), vol. i, p. 41.
  2. In his telegram 1527, May 10, the Charge in the Soviet Union transmitted the text of Marshal Stalin’s message to the Soviet people of May 8 which had been published on the front page of the Moscow press for May 10. The message, which commemorated the victory over Germany, contained the following sentence regarding dismemberment: “The Soviet Union is celebrating victory, although it does not intend either to dismember or to destroy Germany.” (740.00119 E.W./5–1045) For text of the Stalin message, see Pravda, No. 111, May 10, 1945, p. 1.
  3. For documentation regarding conference between President Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Churchill, and Marshal Stalin at Tehran, November 28–December 1, 1943, see Foreign Relations, The Conferences at Cairo and Tehran, 1943.
  4. During the fourth conversation at the Kremlin between Mr. Hopkins and Marshal Stalin on May 30, Marshal Stalin said he would publicly announce the appointment of Marshal Zhukov as Soviet representative on the following day; see the memorandum by Mr. Charles E. Bohlen of the conversation at the Kremlin, May 30, 6 p.m., Conference of Berlin (Potsdam), vol. i, p. 53. See also footnote 93, ante, p. 309.