The Churchill-Stalin pact was drawn up in secret during Churchill’s 1944 visit to Moscow, and has now for the first time been displayed to the public in a new exhibition by the UK’s National Archives, titled “Protect and Survive: Britain’s Cold War Revealed.”
The handwritten document, apparently from Churchill’s hand, also contains a tick mark made by Stalin, showing the latter’s agreement with the distribution of Eastern Europe to the Soviet Union.
Previously, Churchill had mentioned the document in his World War II memoirs, but only in passing and omitting all detail.
According to a report in the Telegraph newspaper, Churchill himself described the pact as “naughty document” and said that it would “come over as ‘callous.”
Furthermore, Churchill said, his American allies would be “’shocked if they saw how crudely he had put it.”
The exhibition’s chief curator Mark Dunton told the Daily Telegraph that this “was the result of late night discussions between Churchill and Stalin, they both had a fair bit of whiskey.
“I think it’s important that this document is going on display because there’s so much significance in that little square of paper.
“It’s potentially incredibly significant—the fate of millions being decided with the stroke of a pen as a result of a casual meeting.”
The note begins by saying that it was written by Churchill during a meeting with Stalin at the Kremlin.
Russia – 90 per cent
The others – 10 per cent
Great Britain, in accord with USA – 90 per cent
Russia – 10 per cent
50/50 per cent
50/50 per cent
Russia – 75 per cent
The others – 25 per cent
As events transpired, the Soviet Union seized even more territory than this, taking 10 percent of all the countries listed (except for Greece, which remained free of Soviet occupation) and included Poland, Czechoslovakia, eastern Germany, and the three Baltic states.
Millions of people were displaced, killed and tortured under the Soviet rule during the next four and half decades in Eastern Europe. At least three major uprisings against communist rule followed: In 1953 in East Germany, in 1956 in Hungary, and in 1968 in Czechoslovakia. All three were suppressed with force by the Soviet army.