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Q: Glorifying Stalin ( No Answer,   7 Comments )
Subject: Glorifying Stalin
Category: Relationships and Society > Government
Asked by: probonopublico-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 25 Feb 2006 01:27 PST
Expires: 06 Mar 2006 05:57 PST
Question ID: 700749
I read somewhere (don't ask me where) that one of the biggest problems
that faced US propagandists during WWII was trying to convince
Americans generally and believers in particular that Stalin and his
atheist cronies were a worthy ally.

I understand that Stalin was once portrayed as a lovable, friendly bear.

Can anyone elaborate and describe the propaganda efforts?

Many thanks.


Request for Question Clarification by sublime1-ga on 25 Feb 2006 01:53 PST

This article on is one of few which contains
the terms you've included in your question:

"Again and again since the Russian Revolution of 1917 the West
 has been assured by Communist leaders that the Russian Bear
 had passed away, and that a kinder, gentler Bear had taken
 its place. Between 1917 and 1991, under the regimes of Lenin
 (the "New Economic Plan"), Stalin, Krushchev ("peaceful
 coexistence") and Brezhnev (detente), the West was enticed
 no fewer than five times to drop its guard and send massive
 financial aid to the Soviet empire, based on deceptive
 promises of liberalization and the advent of democracy and
 free-market economies. Each time, after billions of dollars
 in Western aid had been swept into Soviet coffers by the
 paws of the "friendly" Bear, the Bear stood up on its hind
 legs and roared even more loudly than before, reminding us
 of Rudyard Kipling's poem, The Bear that Walks Like a Man"

Search on Google:

stalin "friendly bear" propaganda

Let me know what you think...


Clarification of Question by probonopublico-ga on 25 Feb 2006 02:01 PST
Hi Subby

A great start. Many thanks!

However, I am really interested in the official campaign mounted
during WWII by the US to convince its own people that, deep down,
Stalin really was a nice guy.

All the Best


Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 25 Feb 2006 07:04 PST

This might be of interest, at least as a bit of a starting point:
?The World Was at Stake?: Three ?Friendly? HUAC Hollywood Witnesses
Assess Pro-Soviet Wartime Films

I'll let you know if anything else turns up.


Clarification of Question by probonopublico-ga on 25 Feb 2006 07:09 PST

Paf ... Great stuff!

Many thanks.


Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 25 Feb 2006 07:39 PST
See if you can find a copy of this book, which I can only excerpt briefly here:

Roosevelt's Road to Russia
George N. Crocker
H. Regnery Co., 1959 

...We know from the writings of General Deane, General Mark Clark,
General Wedemeyer, Admiral Leahy, Admiral Zacharias, and others and
from the information which has been permitted to leak out concerning
General Patton's show of recalcitrance that there was grave
apprehension in Army and Navy circles concerning the Russians at the
very times that Roosevelt was pretending to the world that relations
were excellent. Such fears were not allowed to be publicized.

...There is no doubt that Roosevelt was, throughout the war,
determined that the truth about our relations with Soviet Russia
should not come out.

...Looking back over the public effusions of the Roosevelt official
family, it is hard now to suppress a smile at such flights of oratory
as that of Edward R. Stettinius, then Under Secretary of State, who
said in a radio broadcast in January of 1944 that the end of the war
would find Soviet Russia to be America's biggest, strongest, and
warmest friend. It has been widely said that Stettinius was well
meaning but a man of considerable naiveté, but there is nothing to
justify the belief that he was so naive that he believed that
prediction. The Soviets had shown their real hand long before that in
innumerable ways, as Stettinius well knew

...No, when Stettinius spoke in January, 1944, to his radio audience,
he was merely parroting the theme which at that time, an election
year, was of the gravest concern to the political fortunes of the
Roosevelt clique. The President and Harry Hopkins and the others had
crawled too far out on the Russian limb to allow the limb to be sawed
off. Stettinius was rewarded for this and similar public professions
by being promoted to Secretary of State. In that post, one of his
closest advisors was Alger Hiss, the revelation of whose sub rosa
activities was to shock the country a few years later

...The Russophilism of the Harry Hopkins coterie of White House
favorites was of almost pathological intensity.

...Meanwhile, the public was treated in the spring of 1943 to such
balderdash as Joseph E. Davies' Mission to Moscow,22 which would have
been on the level of the moronic if it had not been conceived as sheer
propaganda. This book was filmed in Hollywood with great fanfare and
did much to condition the American people for the vast benefits to be
conferred upon our Soviet "allies." Stalin was pictured as a sort of
combination of Pavel Milyukov, Harry Emerson Fosdick, Bernard Baruch,
and Jane Addams. People who called themselves "liberals" were
deserting reason in droves, as though struck by what Aldous Huxley
calls "herd-poisoning." But not all were struck. Norman Thomas went to
see the movie Mission to Moscow and came home disgusted. It was
dishonest, and he was a man of intellectual integrity. The next day,
he organized a protest petition and found fifty-two fellow
anti-Communist Leftists to sign it. The statement asserted that the
film "falsifies and glorifies dictatorship . . . creates the
impression that the methods of Stalin are not incompatible with
genuine democracy." But Norman Thomas, in spite of his prominence, met
difficulty in getting his protest to many newspapers or on the air.
Mission to Moscow went its dizzy way through the theaters of America,
and so cleverly had its Hollywood contrivers and their "special
advisers" from Washington done their work that millions of Americans
could not separate the 90 per cent of fiction from the 10 per cent of

...Sparked by the President and his indefatigable wife, whose
political shrewdness was of such a subtle character that it escaped
the perception of most of her admirers, by the fanaticism of Harry
Hopkins and the covey of strange birds which he gathered in the
government, and by the Communist agents in this country operating
either openly or surreptitiously, all of the modern techniques of
propaganda were put to work to sell the American people what may best
be described colloquially as "a bill of goods." A preposterous
delusion was foisted upon the electorate of the United States.


And this article is also noteworthy...

Roosevelt's Failure at Yalta
Arnold Beichman
Humanitas, Vol. 16, 2003 

...For some time now I have been researching a political biography of
former Vice President Henry A. Wallace and trying to understand why
during his incumbency from 1940 on he adhered so closely to Soviet
foreign policy ambitions. In seeking answers to this question, I felt
that it would be valuable to make a study of the politico-cultural
climate of the Wallace period. I was amazed at the extraordinary
pro-Soviet atmosphere in the United States from the White House on
down during the years of World War II.

...The murderous Moscow trials were overlooked, and Stalin's
dictatorship was redefined as a new form of democracy. Life Magazine
described the FBI as roughly analogous to the Soviet secret police,
the NKVD, and described Lenin as "perhaps the greatest man of modern
times." It devoted an entire issue, March 29, 1943, to glorifying
Russia including these words: "If the Soviet leaders tell us that the
control of information was necessary to get this job done, we can
afford to take their word for it." Hollywood produced pro-Soviet films
like Mission to Moscow, Song of Russia, North Star, and Counterattack.
James Reston of the New York Times asserted that "anti-Russian remarks
[were] a shabby un-American game." The New York Times itself gushed
that "Marxian thinking in Soviet Russia is out ... the capitalist
system, better described as the competitive system, is back." (1)

...Collier's Magazine in 1943 suggested that the Soviet Union was
moving "toward something resembling our own and Great Britain's
democracy." The Saturday Evening Post published 24 articles between
1943 and 1945 by its correspondent Edgar Snow, all of them pro-Soviet.
George Kennan summed up the situation well: "Those who criticized the
Soviets during the crucial years of 1942-1943 were sometimes accused
of near treasonous behavior." (2) As Evelyn Waugh put it: "During the
German War it was thought convenient to attribute heroic virtues to
any who shared our quarrel and to suppress all mention of their

Hope that helps,


Clarification of Question by probonopublico-ga on 25 Feb 2006 08:44 PST
Hi Paf

THAT is fantastic!

It deserves posting as an answer.

Go for it & Many Thanks

All the Best


Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 25 Feb 2006 13:05 PST

Thanks, but I'll leave this one open, either for another researcher to
add to, or simply as a freebie...!

Just my way of saying that it's nice having customers like you around.


Clarification of Question by probonopublico-ga on 25 Feb 2006 21:38 PST
Wow, Paf, Many thanks!

It's great having great guys like you around, too!

All the Best


Clarification of Question by probonopublico-ga on 06 Mar 2006 05:57 PST
Book arrived and seems just the job.

My thanks to one and all.

All the Best

There is no answer at this time.

Subject: Re: Glorifying Stalin
From: answerfinder-ga on 25 Feb 2006 03:38 PST

I?ll leave this for perhaps some US researchers who may have better
background knowledge of the facts and government archives (they can
use the below as part of their answer). You may be interested in the
film Mission to Moscow (1943) which was a blatant piece of propaganda
for Stalin and was approved by FDR.

Mission to Moscow (1943) 
?Mission to Moscow was made at the behest of F.D.R. in order to garner
more support for the Soviet Union during WWII. It was from the book by
Joseph E. Davies, former U.S. Ambassador To Russia. The movie covers
the political machinations in Moscow just before the start of the war
and presents Stalin's Russia in a very favorable light. So much so,
that the movie was cited years later by the House Un-American
Activities Commission and was largely responsible for the
screenwriter, Howard Koch being Blacklisted.?

Detailed review of the film and its reception in the US.

This CIA article mentions FDR?s approval of the film.

Subject: Re: Glorifying Stalin
From: probonopublico-ga on 25 Feb 2006 04:27 PST

Brilliant, as usual. Many thanks!

If nothing else appears, that will do.

All the Best

Subject: Re: Glorifying Stalin
From: omnivorous-ga on 25 Feb 2006 05:46 PST
Bryan --

Plus, Lenin hangs out in the Seattle neighborhood of Freemont these days:

Best regards,

Subject: Re: Glorifying Stalin
From: probonopublico-ga on 25 Feb 2006 07:14 PST
Wow, Omni, a Statue of Lenin near Seattle. What next?

I thought that all the Lenin stats had been toppled but evidently not.

Many thanks

Subject: Re: Glorifying Stalin
From: omnivorous-ga on 25 Feb 2006 09:38 PST
Bryan --

There's actually quite a story behind the Lenin statue in Fremont. 
They've set up an "independent republic" for the artistic district and
it is known for several pieces of public art:

It was in Poprad until a local named Lewis Carpenter mortgaged his
house to bring it to the "center of the universe":

Needless to say, some locals aren't amused:

Best regards,

Subject: Re: Glorifying Stalin
From: politicalguru-ga on 25 Feb 2006 11:05 PST

You should visit Berlin. In the Soviet Memorial in Treptower Park
you'd find something rarer than a Lenin statute: quotes by Stalin. I
bet that even in the USSR they didn't have that after Khrushchev.
Subject: Re: Glorifying Stalin
From: probonopublico-ga on 25 Feb 2006 11:37 PST
Hi Again Omni, Hi Polly, Hi Paf, Hi All

I've been to Seattle but never to Berlin.

I was only waiting for an invite but I bet it's against orders to
Rendezvous avec Vous xxx CORRECTION xxx Tu. N'est ce pas?

I'd better brush up my German. Whenever I try to speak German these
days Dutch words come tumbling out, a penalty for having lived in the
Netherlands for 5 years.

Ah well, I can dream.

And, Paf, I have ordered a copy of the recommended opus. No probs -
there were over 100 copies available on ABE.

Tot ziens!


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