Saturday, October 18, 2003[posted by jaed at 11:48 AM]
Instapundit today points out this evaluation of the occupation, given in a confidential talk by John Foster Dulles in December 1945. As with the 1946 Life article by John Dos Passos, it provides some fascinating insights into parallels and differences from Iraq at a similar chronological stage.
But apart from its general merit as a historical document, I noticed this bit (emphasis mine):
It is difficult to say what is going on, but in general the Russians are acting little better than thugs. They have wiped out all the liquid assets. No food cards are issued to Germans, who are forced to travel on foot into the Russian zone, often more dead than alive. An iron curtain has descended over the fate of these people and very likely conditions are truly terrible. The promises at Yalta to the contrary, probably 8 to 10 million people are being enslaved.The "iron curtain" phrase has generally been attributed to Churchill, in a speech the following year. Did Dulles originate it? Or was it in general circulation this early?
It's trivial next to the overall import of what the document is talking about, of course, but it caught my eye.