EXCERPT ONLY: For the complete text of “Churchill and the Baltic” with endnotes, please go to this page on the Hillsdale College Churchill Project.
“No doubt where the right lay”: 1940-95
Soviet Ambassador Ivan Maisky was a “Bollinger Bolshevik” who mixed support for Communism with a love of Western luxury. Friendly to Churchill, he knew the Englishman hoped to separate Hitler and Stalin, even after World War II had started.
But Maisky tended to see what he wished to see. In December he recorded: “The British Government announces its readiness to recognize ‘de facto’ the changes in the Baltics so as to settle ‘de jure’ the whole issue later, probably after the war.” There…
Walter Russell Mead in The American Interest Online finely describes the Museum of the KGB, established in the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius to document the victims of Soviet occupation of the Baltic States from 1940 through 1991:
Yet those poor Lithuanian partisans who fought a hopeless guerrilla campaign against the Soviet occupation after 1945 kept waiting for us to show up,” Mead cointinues. “Apparently they made the mistake of believing all those fine words that Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill wrote in The Atlantic Charter.
I have no doubt that Roosevelt and Truman were right to avoid war with the Soviet Union after World War Two…But war over eastern Europe in 1945 was unthinkable; containment was the best we could do.…