Selected Documents Referred to in "The United States and Eastern Europe in 1945: A Reassessment"


Most of the material cited in this article is available online. Specific passages from books, for example, are often available through Google Books. Most scholarly journals are also available electronically nowadays through various subscription services like JSTOR. To get the links, just use your regular university search engine. Most of the documents cited here are from the U.S. State Department's Foreign Relations of the United States series [or FRUS]. That collection is now also available online at A number of documents cited here are harder to get, so I've scanned the originals and am posting them online. They are listed by the number of the footnote in which they were cited or referred to.


Note 51: Melbourne to Byrnes, August 9, 1945, reproduced from the copy available on microfilm in Records of the U.S. Department of State Relating to the Internal Affairs of Romania, 1945-1949 (Wilmington: Scholarly Resources, 1987), reel 2. The original can be found at 871.00/8-945 in the State Department Central Files in Record Group 59 at the National Archives in College Park, Maryland.


Note 59:   In his article “‘Another Such Victory’: President Truman, American Foreign Policy, and the Cold War” [Diplomatic History 23, no. 2 (April 1999), 136], Arnold Offner writes that “Truman backed Byrnes’s ‘bomb in his pocket’ diplomacy at the London CFM, which deadlocked over Russian control in Eastern Europe and American control in Japan.  Truman told Byrnes to ‘stick to his guns’ and tell the Russians to ‘go to hell.’”  What Truman actually told Byrnes in that second message was to “do everything you can to continue but in the final analysis do whatever you think is right and tell them to go to hell if you have to.”  The president, in other words, was essentially giving Byrnes a free hand to conduct the negotiations as he saw fit.  These documents—brief messages that Truman sent Byrnes probably on September 22 and September 25—are in the President’s Secretary’s Files, box 138, at the Truman Library, Independence, Missouri. 


Note 70: Donovan Memorandum for the President, September 5, 1945, Truman Papers, Rose A. Conway Files, Box 10, Harry S Truman Library, Independence, MO.


Note 78: I'm including here copies of some of the material cited by Eduard Mark to support his theory that Byrnes's aim in late 1945 was to get peace treaties signed "in order to end the Soviet occupation of Eastern Europe as soon as possible." The calculation, according to Dr. Mark, was that "the withdrawal of Soviet forces would allow [the Communists'] opponents either to gain or retain power." This, his argument runs, is why Byrnes opted for the recognition of the Communist-dominated regimes in the Balkans: the idea was that if peace treaties were to be concluded, the United States would first have to recognize those governments. Those arguments were made in both of Mark's writings cited in n. 76; the quotations I just gave are from p. 330 in his 1981 Journal of American History article cited in that footnote.  Dr. Mark originally cited two pieces of evidence to back up the claim that Byrnes was thinking in those terms: a passage from Byrnes's memoirs, published in 1958, and an extract from his Senate testimony in 1947. The first of those two sources is readily available, but the second is sometimes a little harder to find, so I've scanned the passage in question and am making it available here:

Eightieth Congress, First Session, U.S. Senate, Hearings Before the Committee on Foreign Relations, Treaties of Peace with Italy, Rumania, Bulgaria and Hungary (Washington: GPO, 1947), pp. 28-29

Dr. Mark returned to the issue in his H-Diplo Post of September 16, 2007 (posted September 18, 2007). "The use of the peace treaties," he wrote, "to create a stable situation in Eastern Europe through the creation of an open Soviet sphere of influence was discussed and approved by the State-War-Navy-Coordinating Committee on which Byrnes sat. Byrnes later explained his purposes to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee." That statement was supported by the same extract from the 1947 hearings, and he also cited three documents from the SWNCC files in the National Archives. Those documents were also pdf'd and are posted here:

State-Navy-War Coordinating Committee, SWNCC 244, 5 January 1946, subj: “Treaties of Peace with Rumania, Bulgaria and Hungary”

JCS Memorandum 1595/1, Joint Secretariat to distribution, 25 January 1946, subj: “Military, Naval and Air Clauses of the Treaties of Peace with Rumania, Bulgaria and Hungary”

State-Navy-War Coordinating Committee, SWNCC 244, 12 February 1946 (as revised 5 March 1946), subj: “Treaties of Peace with Rumania, Bulgaria and Hungary”

All three of these documents are in Record Group 165, ABC Files, Box 248, 336 Rumania (26 September 1943), Section 1-B, at the National Archives in College Park, Maryland.


Note 114: Extract from the minutes of the meeting of State-War-Navy Coordinating Committee, October 22, 1945, Minutes of Meetings of the State-War-Navy Coordinating Committee, 1944-1947, U.S. National Archives microfilm publication T-1194 (Washington: National Archives, 1945) (single reel), pp. 4-8.


Note 128: Catledge to Krock, February 26, 1945, Krock Papers, box 1, Mudd Library, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ.