3.7.41

Stalin’s broadcast speech is a direct return to the Popular Front, defence of democracy line, and in effect a complete contradiction of all that he and his followers have been saying for the past two years. It was nevertheless a magnificent fighting speech, just the right counterpart to Churchill’s, and made it clear that no compromise is intended, at any rate at this moment. Passages in it seemed to imply that a big retreat is contemplated, however. Britain and the U.S.A. referred to in friendly terms and more or less as allies, [1] though apparently no formal alliance exists as yet. Ribbentrop and Co. spoken of as “cannibals”, which Pravda has also been calling them. Apparently one reason for the queer phraseology that translated Russian speeches often have is that Russian contains so large a vocabulary of abusive words that English equivalents do not exist.

One could not have a better example of the moral and emotional shallowness of our time, than the fact that we are now all more or less proStalin.° This disgusting murderer is temporarily on our side, and so the purges, etc., are suddenly forgotten. So also with Franco, Mussolini, etc., should they ultimately come over to us. The most one can truly say for Stalin is that probably he is individually sincere, as his followers cannot be, for his endless changes of front are at any rate his own decision. It is a case of “when father turns we all turn”, [2] and Father presumably turns because the spirit moves him.

[1] The direct avoidance of the word ‘allies’ at this stage was significant. On 12 July, an Anglo-Russian agreement was signed in Moscow by Sir Stafford Cripps and Vyacheslav Molotov. This declared that each party would support the other ‘in the present war against Hitlerite Germany’ and would not sign a separate armistice or peace agreement. The distinction between being an ally and being a ‘co-belligerent’ was pointedly made in commentaries. Thus, Vernon Bartlett, News Chronicle political correspondent, wrote, on 14 July (the day the agreement was announced), under the heading ‘Moscow Not and Ally But a “Co-Belligerent”’: ‘People were asking yesterday whenever the Soviet Union is now to be looked upon as an allied or an associate Power. Such questions are…foolish.’ As to the phrase ‘Hitlerite Germany,’ he said it suggested that ‘the Russians still hope to split public opinion inside Germany.’

[2] Perhaps more commonly known as ‘There were ten in the bed and the little one said, “Roll over”’ (from a popular song). Peter Davison

This entry was posted in Political, War-time and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to 3.7.41

  1. George~~
    This sentence is a masterpiece of British humor.

    “Apparently one reason for the queer phraseology that translated Russian speeches often have is that Russian contains so large a vocabulary of abusive words that English equivalents do not exist.”

    Thank you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s