Report on the Russians

Report on the Russians REPORT ON THE RUSSIANS REPORT ON THE RUSSIANS INTRODUCTION THIS book is basically the story of a six weeks trip to Russia which I took during the summer of in company with Eric Johnston Presiden

  • Title: Report on the Russians
  • Author: W. L. White
  • ISBN: 9781406749304
  • Page: 246
  • Format: Paperback
  • REPORT ON THE RUSSIANS REPORT ON THE RUSSIANS INTRODUCTION THIS book is basically the story of a six weeks trip to Russia which I took during the summer of 1944 in company with Eric Johnston, President of the United States Chamber of Commerce, and Joyce OHara, his assistant They lived at the American Embassy during our stay in Moscow, while I moved down to the Hotel MetroREPORT ON THE RUSSIANS REPORT ON THE RUSSIANS INTRODUCTION THIS book is basically the story of a six weeks trip to Russia which I took during the summer of 1944 in company with Eric Johnston, President of the United States Chamber of Commerce, and Joyce OHara, his assistant They lived at the American Embassy during our stay in Moscow, while I moved down to the Hotel Metropole to be nearer the correspondents, most of whom lived there Although we travelled together, in fairness to them I wish to make it clear that the opinions expressed in this book are entirely my own Also a word about the Russian people I liked them very much in many ways they are like Americans Actually, since we are all descended from Adam there is no such thing as a young nation but they have a fresh and unspoiled outlook which is close to our own They entertained us lavishly, but there was nothing sinister in this and I never felt it was intended to influence anything we wrote or said after we got back Finally I wish to thank the Readers Digest for publishing an ex cellent condensation of this book There are probably errors I have corrected several since the Digest appeared Some of these mistakes were favourable to the Russians some were unfavourable, and these last of course I regret w L WHITE January i, 1945 ONE THE Soviet vice consul spoke creaky, schoolbook English, but he was an agreeable young man He was helping me fill out my visa application His office was pleasant and airy, but I was uneasy Maybe because the office of the consul, upstairs, had double doors Not the kind you find in free countries The kind with which, when you open one door, you are left staring at still another closed door, about six inches in front of your nose If the knob of the first door is on your right, the knob of the second is on the left So no one could possibly listen through both keyholes at once Fumbling through them, and after carefully closing both, you feel dazed, like a rat emerging from a Yale University maze I was uneasy not because I had something to conceal, but some thing to proclaim Because I had been with the Finnish army in the winter war of 1939 40, which was bad news in connection with a Soviet visa Now, of course, they knew I had been in Finland, but I wanted them to know I knew they knew it So when I was told the Soviet consul would be pleased to see me, and after I had negotiated the consuls two whisper proof doors, I began trying to work in my Finnish trip The consul was an urbane, stocky little diplomat It soon became clear that he was on a fishing trip for information There is nothing sinister about this, for it is the avowed business of all diplomats, including our own, to report to their home governments on the state of the nation to which they are accredited I had undergone, in 1940, a somewhat similar seance with the equally suave German consul in Copenhagen, when I was applying for a re entry visa to Germany Before it was refused me, the consul pumped me of all kinds of information on the state of affairs iri Finland, from which I had just come I knew he was doing it, and yet, because he was a pleasant diplomat and because he wielded the stomach pump with a skilful hand, I submitted gracefully to the operation, yielding to him freely all information about the Finnish situation which I was sure he already knew, and pretending an inscrutable ignorance on anymatter which his government might pass on to their allies the Russians The Russo German pact was then only a few months old, and the totalitarian alliance in its honeymoon phase There was no need, however, in 1944, to withhold anything from this consul, as his questions did not concern military matters but were all in the sphere of politics For instance, how was Mr REPORT ON THE RUSSIANS Roosevelts health There had been some dark stories that it was failing

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