861.415/2–2445: Telegram

The Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Harriman) to the Secretary of State

543. Moscow press for February 24 published prominently in quotation most of Morgenthau’s Red Army day speech,13 omitting, however, [Page 816] his reference to British heroism at Dunkirk and Britain’s role in Lend-Lease. Coverage also omitted Morgenthau’s statement regarding use of American vehicles in Red Army operations, but quoted in full his paragraph regarding new understanding between American and Russian peoples.14

  1. For report on the speech of Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau, Jr., on February 22 before the American-Soviet Friendship Council, see the New York Times, February 23, 1945, p. 9, col. 1. For the greetings sent by President Roosevelt to Marshal Stalin on the occasion of Red Army Day, see Department of State Bulletin, February 25, 1945, p. 304. They were acknowledged by Stalin on February 27. For documentation for the previous year, see Foreign Relations, 1944, vol. iv, pp. 833834.
  2. In telegram 394, February 23, 1945, to Moscow, transmitting the text of Morgenthau’s speech, this paragraph read: “Both Russians and Americans, I am certain, will emerge from the war with a new understanding and appreciation of one another. The achievements of the Red Army and the heroic devotion of all Soviet citizens have commanded the admiration of the entire world. Misconceptions about Russian life and character are being cleared away. In the same manner, I am sure, there is growing among the Russian people a new esteem for the greatness of America. They have seen us throw off our lethargy, flex our muscles and devote ourselves and all that we possess to the defense of human freedom. They have seen the valor of their own soldiers matched by that of Englishmen and Americans who stormed the beaches of Normandy, and then swept the Nazi Armies back to their own borders.” (861.415/2–2345)