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Joseph Stalin


Stalin, Joseph -- At five feet, five inches in height, Joseph Stalin was the small, unassuming-looking dictator of the Soviet Union. Yet he was the absolute ruler of some 180 million people, whose empire spanned across Europe and Asia from Poland to the Pacific Ocean. After suffering humiliating defeats by Adolph Hitler on the Russian front in 1941 - 1942, Stalin's Red Army systematically vanquished the Nazis in Eastern Europe as far west as Berlin. At the Potsdam Conference in July 1945, when an American mentioned this achievement, Stalin replied matter-of-factly that Czar Alexander had gotten to Paris. Inevitably, Stalin's allies were left to decipher his postwar intentions. Soviet expansionism lurked behind them all and was the political motive that prevented the Russians from engaging in meaningful peace agreements.

In Moscow in 1947, Secretary of State George Marshall found Stalin to be "completely evasive" about substantive issues, while maintaining a calm and gracious exterior. "Stalin's greatness as a dissimulator was an integral part of his greatness as a statesman," wrote Russian expert George Kennan. "An unforewarned visitor would never have guessed what depths of calculation, ambition, love of power, jealousy, cruelty, and sly vindictiveness lurked behind this unpretentious facade." Text and photo Courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery

Rare War Dated Typed Letter Signed provided by the Collection

Stalin Letter Scan 1

Stalin Letter Scan 2

Certified Translation Letter Scan 1

Certified Translation Letter Scan 2


In June 1942, the Germans launched a new drive directed against Stalingrad (now called Volgograd) and the Caucasus petroleum fields. In the midst of this counteroffensive Stalin took the time to answer three pointed questions about US-Soviet relations just before the turning point of World War II.

 Less than three months after this letter was written Stalingrad held out, and on Feb. 2, 1943 the surrender of 330,000 Axis troops there marked a turning point in the war.

 This exceptional war dated Stalin letter comes with a certified translation by N. Palgunov, the Chief Press Department, of the People’s Commissariat of Foreign Affairs. 


Stalin, Joseph - A Joseph Stalin Typed Letter Signed  with a Nikolai Grigoriyevich Palgunov War date translation of a November 13, 1942 letter by Stalin to Howard Cassidy of the Associated Press, a T.L.S. "N. Palgunov", Head of press department of People's Commissariat of Foreign Affairs of the USSR from 1940-44, 2pp. 4to. [n.p., n.d.] which was the official translation of Stalin's response letter to the Moscow correspondent for the Associated Press, a letter in which he asked for an answer, either verbally or in writing, to three questions of interest to the American public concerning the ongoing conflict. The Palgunov's translation reads: "1. 'What is the Soviet view of the allied campaign in Africa?' Answer. The Soviet view of this campaign is that it represents an outstanding fact of major importance demonstrating the growing might of the armed forces of the Allies and opening the prospective of disintegration of the Italo-German coalition in the nearest future. The campaign in Africa refutes once more the skeptics who affirm that the Anglo-American leaders are not capable of organizing a serious war campaign ... 2. 'How effective has this campaign been in relieving pressure on the Soviet Union, and what future raid does the Soviet Union await?' Answer. It is yet too soon to say to what an extent this campaign has been effective in relieving immediate pressure on the Soviet Union... the campaign changes radically the political and war situation in Europe in favor of the Anglo-Soviet-American coalition ... 3 'What possibility is there of Soviet offensive power in the East joining the Allies in the West to hasten final victory?' Answer. There need be no doubt that the Red Army will fulfill its task with honor as it has been fulfilling it throughout the war." 


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