None of the incidents or dialogue in The Great Conspiracy has been invented by the authors. The material has been drawn from various documentary sources which are indicated in the text or listed in the Bibliographical Notes.
IN a struggle for existence, people learn to know their friends and to recognize their enemies. In the course of the Second World War, many illusions and lies were stripped bare.
The war presented the world with many surprises. The world was stunned at first when the Fifth Columns emerged out of the underworld of Europe and Asia to seize power with the aid of the Nazis and the Japanese armies in many countries. The speed with which the early victories of the Axis were won astonished all those who had not known of the long years of secret Axis preparations, intrigue, terror and conspiracy.
But the greatest of all surprises of the Second World War was Soviet Russia. Overnight, it seemed, a thick false fog was torn apart, and through it emerged the true stature and meaning of the Soviet nation, its leaders, its economy, its army, its people and, in Cordell Hull's words, "the epic quality of their patriotic fervor."
The first great realization which came out of the Second World War was that the Red Army, under Marshal Stalin, was the most competent and powerful fighting force on the side of world progress and democracy.
On February 23, 1942, General Douglas MacArthur of the United States Army informed his fellow countrymen concerning the Red Army:
The world situation at the present time indicates that the hopes of civilization rest on the worthy banners of the courageous Russian Army. During my lifetime I have participated in a number of wars and have witnessed others, as well as studying in great detail the campaigns of outstanding leaders of the past.
In none have I observed such effective resistance to the heaviest blows of a hitherto undefeated enemy, followed by a smashing counterattack which is driving the enemy back to his own land.
The scale and grandeur of the effort mark it as the greatest military achievement in all history.
The second great realization was that the economic system of the Soviet Union was amazingly efficient and capable of sustaining mass production under unprecedentedly adverse conditions.
On his return from an official mission to Moscow in 1942, the Vice-Chairman of the United States War Production Board, William Batt, reported:
I went with a somewhat uncertain feeling about the Russians' ability to stand up to an all-out war; I became convinced very quickly, however, that the entire population was in the fight to the last woman and child.
I went rather doubtful of the Russians' technical skill; I found them extraordinarily hard-headed and skillful at running their factories and turning out the machines of war.
I went very much perplexed and troubled by accounts circulated here of disunity and arbitrariness in the Russian Government; I found that Government strong, competent and supported by immensely popular enthusiasm.
In a word, I went with a question to be answered: is Russia a dependable, a competent ally?... And my question was answered for me in a ringing affirmative.
The third great realization was that the multinational peoples of the Soviet Union were united behind their government with a patriotic fervor unique in history.
At Quebec, on August 31, 1943, Prime Minister Winston Churchill declared concerning the Soviet Government and its leadership:
No government ever formed among men has been capable of surviving injuries so grave and cruel as those inflicted by Hitler on Russia... Russia has not only survived and recovered from those frightful injuries but has inflicted, as no other force in the world could have inflicted, mortal damage on the German army machine.
The fourth great realization was that the alliance of the Western democracies with Soviet Russia opened up the realistic promise of a new international order of peace and security among all peoples. On February 11, 1943, the New York Herald Tribune stated in an editorial:
There are but two choices before the democracies now. One is to cooperate with Russia in rebuilding the world - as there is an excellent chance of doing, if we believe in the strength of our own principles and prove it by applying them. The other is to get involved in intrigues with all the reactionary and anti-democratic forces in Europe, the only result of which will be to alienate the Kremlin.
In New York City on November 8, 1943, the Chairman of the United States War Production Board, Donald Nelson, reported on his visit to Soviet Russia:
I have come back from my journey with a high faith in the future of Russia, and in the benefit which that future will bring to the entire world, including ourselves. So far as I can see, once our victory is won and we have put this war behind us, we shall have nothing to fear except suspicion of each other. Once we are working in collaboration with the other United Nations to produce for peace and to raise the living standards of peoples everywhere, we shall be on our way toward new levels and prosperity and greater human satisfactions than we have ever known.
On December 1, 1943, at the historic Conference of Teheran, the answer was given to the anti-democratic and anti-Soviet conspiracy which for twenty-five years had kept the world in an incessant turmoil of secret diplomacy, counterrevolutionary intrigue, terror, fear and hatred, and which had culminated inevitably in the Axis war to enslave humanity.
The leaders of the three most powerful nations on earth, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt of the United States of America, Prime Minister Winston Churchill of Great Britain, and Marshal Joseph Stalin of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, met together for the first time, and after a series of military and diplomatic conferences issued the Declaration of the Three Powers.
The Declaration of Teheran guaranteed that Nazism would be wiped out by the united action of the three great allies. More than that, the Declaration opened up to the war-torn world a perspective of enduring peace and a new era of amity among the nations. The Declaration read:
We, the President of the United States of America, the Prime Minister of Great Britain, and the Premier of the Soviet Union, have met in these four days past in this the capital of our ally, Teheran, and have shaped and confirmed our common policy.
We express our determination that our nations shall work together in the war and in the peace that will follow.
As to the war, our military staffs have joined in our round-table discussions and we have concerted our plans for the destruction of the German forces. We have reached complete agreement as to the scope and timing of operations which will be undertaken from the east, west and south. The common understanding which we have here reached guarantees that victory will be ours.
And as to the peace, we are sure that our concord will make it an enduring peace. We recognize fully the supreme responsibility resting upon us and all the nations to make a peace which will command good will from the overwhelming masses of the peoples of the world and banish the scourge and terror of war for many generations.
With our diplomatic advisors we have surveyed the problems of the future. We shall seek the cooperation and active participation of all nations, large and small, whose peoples in heart and in mind are dedicated, as are our own peoples, to the elimination of tyranny and slavery, oppression and intolerance. We will welcome them as they may choose to come into the world family of democratic nations.
No power on earth can prevent our destroying the German armies by land, their U-boats by sea, and their war plants from the air. Our attacks will be relentless and increasing.
Emerging from these friendly conferences we look with confidence to the day when all the peoples of the world may live free lives untouched by tyranny and according to their varying desires and their own consciences.
We came here with hope and determination. We leave here friends in fact, in spirit, and in purpose. Signed at Teheran, Dec. 1, 1943.
ROOSEVELT, STALIN, CHURCHILL.
The historic Teheran Accord was followed by the decisive Crimea Decisions of February 1945. Once again the three statesmen, Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin, came together, this time at Yalta in the Crimea, where they agreed upon their joint policies for the final defeat of Nazi Germany and the complete elimination of the German General Staff. The Yalta discussions looked forward to the period of peace that was to come, and laid the groundwork for the epoch-making United Nations Conference at San Francisco at which the Charter of a world security organization, rooted in the alliance of the three greatest powers, was to be promulgated in April.
On the eve of the San Francisco Conference, on April 12, 1945, Soviet Russia lost a great friend and the whole world lost a great democratic leader: President Franklin Delano Roosevelt died. But the work he had initiated went on. President Harry S. Truman, immediately on taking office, pledged himself to carry on the war against Axis aggression to a victorious conclusion in alliance with the other members of the United Nations, and to fulfill Roosevelt's postwar program for lasting peace in firm accord with Great Britain and Soviet Russia.
On May 8, 1945, the representatives of the German High Command, in the presence of the chief American, British and Soviet generals, signed in ruined Berlin the final act of unconditional surrender of the forces of the Nazi Wehrmacht. The war in Europe was concluded. Winston Churchill, in a message to Marshal Stalin, said: "Future generations will acknowledge their debt to the Red Army as unreservedly as do we who have lived to witness these proud achievements."
No war in history had been fought so fiercely as the war between Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia. For one thousand four hundred and eighteen days, forty-seven months, four years, battles of unprecedented scope and violence raged on the gigantic battlefields of the Eastern Front. The end came on May 2, 1945, when armored troops of the Red Army stormed and captured the heart of the Nazi citadel - Berlin. An anonymous Red Army man hoisted the Red Flag over the Reichstag.
The flags of freedom flew everywhere in Europe.(1)
As this book went to press, the authors interviewed the man with whose story this book begins: Colonel Raymond Robins. A few years ago, Colonel Robins retired from public affairs to live quietly on his 2000-acre estate at Chinesgut Hill, Florida, which he has deeded to the United States Government as a wildlife refuge and agricultural experimental station. Colonel Robins has retained his "outdoor mind," his passionate concern for the welfare of the common man, his impatience with prejudice and greed, and his keen interest in the nation whose birth amid the turmoil of revolution he personally witnessed.
Here is what Colonel Robins said:
"The greatest hour I shall ever know was to see the light of hope for freedom from age-long tyrannies and oppressions in the eyes of the workers and peasants of Russia as they responded to the appeals o f Lenin and other leaders o f the Soviet Revolution.
"Soviet Russia has always wanted international peace. Lenin knew that his great domestic program would be deflected if not destroyed by war. The Russian people have always wanted peace. Education, production, exploitation o f a vast and rich territory engage all their thoughts and energies and hopes. The greatest Minister o f Foreign Affairs in our generation, Commissar Maxim Litvinov, worked ably and steadily for collective security until the Anglo-French appeasement policies towards Mussolini and Hitler made collective security impossible.
"Soviet Russia exploits no colonies, seeks to exploit none. Soviet Russia operates no foreign trade cartels, seeks none to exploit. Stalin's policies have wiped out racial, religious, national and class antagonisms within the Soviet territories. This unity and harmony o f the Soviet peoples point the path to international peace."
1. The Anglo-American war in the Far East, against the third partner of the Axis, Imperial Japan, continued. Here, too, Soviet Russia showed its strength and its identity of interest with the democratic cause.
Japan was one of the first powers to intervene against the young Soviet Republic in 1919. The Tanaka Memorial of 1927 called for Japanese conquest of the Soviet Far East as a preliminary to domination of the entire Pacific region. Japan's rulers repeatedly conspired against the Soviet regime. In July 1938, Japanese armed forces actually invaded Soviet territory, only to be hurled back by Soviet troops. "Incidents," often involving considerable forces of men, tanks and planes, were frequent along the Soviet-Manchurian border throughout 1938; but in 1939 the rout of the Japanese Army in what amounted to a major engagement of armored divisions caused the Japanese war lords to reconsider their plans for an immediate full-scale attack on Soviet Russia from the east. An armistice was signed in September 1939, on terms unfavorable to Japan, which formed the basis for the neutrality pact of April 1941. The Soviet Government never concealed its opposition to the feudal-fascist clique which ruled in Tokyo, and it was clear that a day of reckoning would come between Soviet Russia and Imperial Japan.
Throughout the period when the Red Army was battling the Nazi Wehrmacht in the West, the Far Eastern Red Army continuously immobilized a massive Japanese army, reportedly composed of more than 500,000 of the best mechanized troops at Tokyo's command, on the Manchurian border. On April 6, 1945, following the Yalta Conference, the Soviet Government denounced its neutrality pact with Japan on the following grounds, as stated in the Soviet Note of that date: "Germany attacked the USSR and Japan - Germany's ally - helped the latter in her war against the USSR. In addition, Japan is fighting against the USA and Great Britain, which are allies of the Soviet Union. In such a situation the pact of neutrality between Japan and the USSR has lost its meaning, and the continuance of this pact has become impossible."
On August 9, 1945, the Soviet Union formally entered the war against Japan, thus fulfilling a pledge made at the Yalta Conference in January 1945 to enter the Far Eastern war within ninety days after the defeat of Nazi Germany. Following the Soviet war declaration, and the American atomic bombing of two Japanese industrial centers, the Japanese Government capitulated and sued for peace. On September 2, Japan acknowledged her defeat and signed the act of unconditional surrender. East and West, the Second World War was over.