“We are determined that nothing shall stop us from sharing with you all that we have . . . Generations unborn will owe a great measure of freedom to the unconquerable power of the Soviet people.” — Harry Hopkins, Advisor to FDR, “Madison Square Garden Speech,” June 22, 1942
“Stalin gives the impression of a strong mind which is composed and wise. His grown eyes are exceedingly kind and gentle. A child would like to sit on his lap and a dog would sidle up to him. . . . A wonderful and stimulating experiment is taking place in the Soviet Union… The Soviet Union is doing wonderful things . . .” — Joseph Davies, U. S. Ambassador to the Soviet Union, appointed by FDR
“Henry Wallace is a pacifist, a dreamer who wants to disband our armed forces, give Russia our atomic secrets, and trust a bunch of adventurers in the Kremlin Politburo.” — Harry Truman on Henry Wallace, Vice President 1941-1945
Franklin Delano Roosevelt died of a hemorrhagic stroke 77 years ago, two months after returning from his grueling journey to Yalta. The state of his health — dead-man-walking — was concealed from the electorate during the 1944 presidential election campaign. He was in the late stages of congestive heart failure: according to those close to him, seriously flagging in every aspect of daily life, including cognitive functions. To his dying breath his loyalty was solely to his ambition.
With sorrow and reprobation, one contemplates the famous photographs of a grey and gaunt FDR sitting between Churchill and Stalin, staring back at the camera with ghostly eyes, sunken and lost, a dark cloak wrapped around his frail body. Captured on film is a spent man, leaning on death’s door, doing exactly what? Negotiating the fate of millions of people with one of the twentieth century’s most cunning, deceitful, and brutal personalities — who, incidentally, had bugs planted in FDR’s suite of rooms. Off to the side and out of camera range, providing counsel and support for exactly whom (?) was . . . Alger Hiss.
FDR is the closest thing Americans have to a modern, secular saint. He is the man who is credited for guiding America through the Great Depression and saving the world from Adolf Hitler. Good arguments abound that his policies prolonged the Depression, and his preference for Stalin over Hitler? The triumphalist court historians like Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. don’t touch that question, as an exploration of it would impinge on his sainthood. Pursuing that question would also expose the extreme German-hatred of FDR crony and Treasury Secretary, Henry Morgenthau, Jr. His plan for post-war, defeated Germany – which was embraced for a time by FDR — was to turn it into an at-the-brink-of-starvation land of subsistence farmers.
FDR’s halo shines particularly bright for Democrats for whom there is no higher praise in the political arena than to be likened in any way to the 32nd President of the United States. Shortly after the 2008 election, Time magazine’s cover featured an eye-popping photoshopped picture of President-Elect Barack Obama accoutered in a signature FDR pose, teeth clenching the cigarette holder at a jaunty angle punctuating a broad, confident grin, head topped with the well-recognized fedora, perched casually behind the wheel of an open 1930s convertible ready, so to speak, to steer America out of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Under the picture was the caption, “The New New Deal.”
The vapors of Obama-mania have long since dissipated. “Hope and Change” morphed into “racism in our DNA,” Ferguson, Missouri looted and burned, and Black Lives Matter thugs with carte blanche to riot.
FDR’s reputation, however, is guarded by an impenetrable protective halo, the greatness and heroism of his presidency forever guaranteed. To speak disparagingly of FDR puts one on the fringe. The awe and reverence for Franklin Roosevelt remains entrenched. Behind Abraham Lincoln and George Washington, he ranks number three in the 2021 Presidential Historians Survey.
With the availability of primary source material in the form of declassified official US documents and material from the former Soviet Union’s archives, FDR’s formulation and conduct of American foreign policy up to and including the Second World War must be judged as nothing less than a monumental disaster. For starters, he lied to the American people during his 1940 presidential campaign when he promised to keep the country out of the European war.
From an October 30, 1940 campaign speech in Boston:
And while I am talking to you mothers and fathers, I give you one more assurance. I have said this before, but I shall say it again and again and again: Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars.
All the while, he was conniving with Winston Churchill to get us into the fray. His terrible judgment and decisions in dealing with Stalin and the Soviet Union condemned tens of millions of people to decades of servitude and tyranny.
The premises for making this case can be stated in two simple sentences; their truth, well documented and indisputable.
- Joseph Stalin is one of history’s most brutal, lethal dictators.
- FDR, along with Churchill, embraced Stalin and gave his teetering dictatorship massive material and moral support.
Once the god of the Communist world was finally and safely dead in March 1953, even his own protégés denounced him — after a respectable time — and evicted him from the mausoleum on Red Square. Thanks to the great pioneering work of historians like Robert Conquest, later confirmed by the opening of the Soviet archives, we all know that Stalin was one of the most prolific mass-murderers in history. Stalin’s terror-command state spawned lethal emulators like Mao, Kim Il Sung, and Pol Pot. Stalin is long dead. Stalinism is alive, transplanted and in full throttle in North America.
FDR’s government, considerably influenced by the scurrilous, lying New York Times journalist Walter Duranty, gave diplomatic recognition to the Soviet Union in 1933. This was at the time when Stalin’s cadres were forcibly extracting grain en masse from the farmers in Ukraine. Stalin needed hard currency in order to capitalize Soviet industries through grain sales on the international markets. The result was mass starvation — a terror-famine, as Conquest called it, which killed millions of Ukrainians, including women and children. Driven to insanity by their savage hunger, the Ukrainians began eating grass, bark, dirt, and finally each other. Country roadsides were littered with wasted corpses while the Communist-guarded granaries were filled and readied for export.
At that time there were a few outsider witnesses to the Holodomor, the Ukrainian word for the Stalin-made holocaust. Truth-tellers like Gareth Jones and Malcolm Muggeridge observed the starvation first-hand and tried to tell the world, but the “blind eye” was FDR’s preferred modus vivendi for the Soviet Union with the assist of organs like the New York Times. Even worse were his close personal advisors who assiduously enabled the President’s view of Stalin as a tough but trustworthy sort of guy who only wanted the best for his own people.
In 1943 William Bullitt, the first US Ambassador to the Soviet Union (1933-1936), a man who had had extensive first-hand experience with Soviet diplomacy and all of its duplicity and treachery, tried to disabuse FDR of his benign view of Stalin. According to Bullitt’s memoirs, FDR’s response was:
Bill, I don’t dispute the logic of your reasoning. I have a hunch that Stalin is not that kind of a man. Harry says he’s not and that he doesn’t want anything in the world but security for his country, and I think if I give him everything I possibly can and ask nothing from him in return, noblesse oblige, he won’t try to annex anything and will work with me for a world of democracy and peace.
One could not imagine a more stunning and jaw-dropping revelation of an utterly willful, delusional mind infected with utopian grandiosity. “Democracy and peace” for the whole world, no less. Well, we can see how that worked out. A “hunch” that trumped more than a decade of evidence of systematic tyranny and perfidy on an unprecedented scale. The “Harry” in this retort was, of course, ex-social worker Harry Hopkins, who was FDR’s White House live-in chief foreign policy advisor during the Second World War, and was very close to the fellow-traveling First Lady, Eleanor. It is difficult to know with complete certainty if Hopkins was a Soviet agent or merely a dupe. In her book American Betrayal, Diana West makes a strong and compelling case for the former.
In any case, Hopkins’ approach to Stalin, which also became FDR’s, was open-ended, obliging, obsequious, and even admiring. Hopkins encouraged FDR to open wide the spigots of Lend Lease, and . . . to ask in return? Not much. At least this is how the President seemed inclined to be. In return, so the astonishing “reasoning” went, Stalin would like him.
Fixing your alliances with the Rogers & Hammerstein approach:
Getting to know you, getting know all about you.
Getting to like you, getting to hope you like me.
Whether or not Stalin liked anyone, we know for a fact that close proximity to him was frequently lethal, as his second wife Nadezhda Alliluyeva, Nikolai Bukharin, and many of his old Bolshevik colleagues discovered.
The Studebaker trucks, heavy machinery, and materials that FDR sent to the Soviets to help them fight the Germans were also deployed in Stalin’s Gulag system, to transport and maintain the slave labor.
The ambassador who replaced William Bullitt in Moscow was none other than the lightweight Joseph Davies who, shortly after his arrival, observed the first of three major Stalin-choreographed show trials. To the amazement of his own staff, including George Kennan, he put his imprimatur on the farce. Much was made in the international press coverage of the high American diplomatic presence at the trial, a legitimizing touch greatly appreciated by Stalin. Davies spent the three years of his ambassadorial assignment fawning over and patronizing Stalin, who was at the same time conducting a reign of terror that decimated the leadership of his own party and killed hundreds of thousands of people he simply didn’t like. Davies’ wife, heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post, years after her return to the US reported hearing the screams of the victims being carried off late at night by the NKVD from the windows of her Moscow apartment.
The Merriweather Post-Hillwood Museum in northwest Washington, DC today holds a treasure trove of Russian artwork that Ambassador Davies and his wife, cozying up to the Soviets, were able to acquire during their stay, taking advantage of the discounts offered them.
Post’s interest in Russian art began as soon as she arrived in Moscow with her third husband, Joseph E. Davies, then ambassador to the Soviet Union, and she began collecting the art of Russia’s powerful imperial rulers . . . She was in Moscow at just the right time, when Stalin and his government were selling objects for hard currency to build up armaments . . .
At this same time, a heartbeat away from the Presidency was another Stalin-o-phile, Vice President Henry Wallace. Wallace’s contribution to US-Soviet foreign policy and to FDR’s fantasy view of Stalin was to trek through the Gulag and render high praise for healthy, hardy “pioneers” mining the gold and cutting the timber in Siberia. “There are no more similar countries in the world than the Soviet Union and the United States of America,” enthused Wallace (a statement which, if uttered in 2022, would be painfully true). “Free people, born on free expanses, can never live in slavery.”
After his NKVD-managed 25-day tour of the vast Gulag slave colony, Wallace sent an open letter addressed to Comrade J. V. Stalin to convey his “deep gratitude for the splendid cordial hospitality shown to me.” Stalin was nothing if not cordial and hospitable, especially to gullible, hear-no-evil, see-no-evil American politicians who would wildly rave about their Potemkin excursions and tell everyone back home how swell things were for the lunch-pail gang in the Socialist Workers’ Paradise.
The Hollywood movie studios, by the way, pitched in with pro-Soviet cinema fare.
We now remember Stalin for his masterminding and executing of three monumental works of mass murder and slavery. He launched the terror-famine that claimed millions of victims. His terror-purge of 1936-38 killed hundreds of thousands of innocent people. The Gulag was Stalin’s slave-empire, a hellish, murderous prison system purposely designed and operated so as to subject his own people by the millions to maximum suffering and degradation, and to forcibly extract as much labor from them as possible while simultaneously turning them into corpses.
But we should also remember that in these efforts, Stalin had the support and assistance of a triumvirate of stooges: Hopkins, Davies and Wallace, men who looked the other way, men who worked to provide American aid and assistance to Stalin far beyond what he needed to fight off his former partner in depredation, Hitler. Wallace journeyed though the Gulag and managed to remain tenaciously oblivious to its reality. Davies sat in a front-row seat in the Hall of Mirrors observing the Show Trials, yet somehow, like Wallace trooping through Kolyma, missed its obvious features and purpose. Hopkins shuttled back and forth between Stalin and FDR, working tirelessly to give Stalin everything he wanted, eyes tightly closed to the many scenes and ample evidence of some of the worst atrocities in modern times.
It is long past time to take FDR down from the pedestal and drop the reverence, and time to look long and hard at the fools and Quislings he installed in high places and trusted. Let’s find a group of “Presidential Historians” of a non-Pravda mentality who will assign FDR his rightful place in American history: a conniving, despotically-inclined politician who became one of Stalin’s most reliable stooges in the Western world and who sold out millions of people to decades of servitude.
It is also time to write history that speaks forthrightly to his determined, invincible ignorance with regard to the despotism of the man he so desperately sought to please. In the face of overwhelming evidence of Soviet fingerprints on the 1940 Katyn massacre of 22,000 Polish officers in Smolensk, FDR preferred to echo Stalin’s version. “[T]his is entirely German propaganda and a German plot. I am absolutely convinced that the Russians did not do this.”
FDR claimed to be “absolutely convinced” of many things that turned out to be the opposite of the way they actually were, which means that either his judgment was deeply flawed or that he was lying.
FDR and Winston Churchill aligned themselves with Stalin and saved his dictatorship from destruction by Hitler. They allegedly did this to advance the cause of freedom and democracy. And, how did that work out for the millions of souls in Eastern and Central Europe?
More than 70 years later, our treacherous ruling class is still at it. It’s selling out its own people to the same old tune of bringing “freedom and democracy” to people in faraway places to save them from yet another Hitler.
Hitler is back in 2022. He shaved his mustache, speaks Russian as well as German, and he’s attacking his neighbor, Ukraine, this time, not Poland. For the ruling class, Bill Murray-like, locked into “Groundhog Day” 1939, that means that Hitler must be stopped at the cost of billions of American taxpayer dollars, and at the risk of starting World War III. The Gretas and Jurgens will be freezing this winter. America is headed for depression. But who cares? We’re talking about Hitler.
It’s a safe wager that no matter which way the war in Ukraine goes, its people will experience neither freedom nor democracy — not unlike the fate of the Poles after 1945. It is also too obvious that with the Third World pouring unimpeded across our own border, and our ruling class waging a domestic war against its white citizens, “freedom and democracy” is the punchline of a cruel joke repeated in a continuous loop to distract the American people from the daily depredations of the people in charge.
Woodrow Wilson gave us a war to make the “world safe for democracy.” FDR pitched the Second World War as a war to guarantee his “Four Freedoms.” I’d settle now for just “freedom from fear.” Now Joe Biden is pushing a war for “freedom and democracy in Ukraine.” Wilson, FDR, Biden, 100 years, and the reality of “democracy” as it looks wherever and whenever they are finished.
What happens now? As they say in the birthplace of modern democracy: “Sauve qui peut” — It’s every man for himself.
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 Quoted from Tim Tzouliadis, The Forsaken: An America Tragedy in Stalin’s Russia, Penguin, 2008, 284.
 Ibid., 142.
 Ibid., 279.
 Robert Conquest, Harvest of Sorrow: Soviet Collectivization and the Terror-Famine, Oxford, 1986.
 Quoted from Diana West, American Betrayal, the Secret Assault on our Nation’s Character, St. Martins, 2013, 199, 212.
 Tim Tzouliadis, The Forsaken: An American Tragedy in Stalin’s Russia, Penguin, 2008.
 Diana West, American Betrayal.
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