Some interesting points Kurt and some key words and citations to search on in order to broaden my knowledge for which I thank you.
Hoover did state that and although he had a fair bit of experience with the German economy that statement was an opinion with some slanting, Hoover (Republican) did lose his presidency to FDR (Democrat) and also did preside over the initiation of the great depression (questions about economic policy prowess and predictive accuracy). Stating FDR as being pro-communist and Hoover as uberHero I think treads closely on the avoidance of political talk and that of factual accuracy.
The initial Morgenthau Plan had been modified with the influence of Winston Churchill who was against it and was considered 'The real Morgenthau Plan". Still nasty and stupid in my humble opinion but not as…. It can be found here: http://digicoll.library.wisc.edu/cgi-bin/FRUS/FRUS-idx?id=FRUS.FRUS1944
After FDR died, the Morgenthau Plan died, granted, aspects did influence allied planning. Stating Germans were starving due to allied planning is indeed correct and a travisty. Stating it was done under the “Morgenthau Plan” is factucally inaccurate. The intimation in the form of the socractic path from FDR to Morgenthau Plan to Genocide ergo one political spectrum being better than the other I hope is merely a phantom of my paranoid mind. But just because I am paranoid does not mean they are not out to get me…
I think we’re in agreement on most points. There are a few things I’d like to address, however. First is my assertion that FDR was pro-communist. That assertion is based on a number of facts. Consider, for example, the information contained in the following text:
Davies even contrived to make a brief for bugging. In one scene, set in the American Embassy in Moscow, the Ambassador’s assistants warn him of listening devices, but he rebukes them severely:
I say nothing outside the Kremlin that I wouldn’t say to Stalin’s face. Do you? . . . We’re here in a sense as guests of the Soviet government, and I’m going to believe they trust the United States as a friend until they prove otherwise. Is that clear?
When the assistant persists that still, after all, there may be microphones, Davies, played with aplomb by FDR’s favorite actor, Walter Huston, cuts him off: “Then let ’em hear! We’ll be friends that much faster!”4
This cinematic scene was based on an actual incident. In 1937, when a bug was discovered directly over the Ambassador’s desk at the US Embassy in Moscow, the real Davies laughed it off. If the Soviets wanted to listen in, he told his incredulous staff—which included George Kennan, Charles Bohlen, and other skilled State Department diplomats—they would only obtain proof of America’s sincere desire to cooperate with them.5
FDR strongly approved of the film. In his assessment of Soviet politics, he was much closer to Davies, his second Ambassador, than to his first, William C. Bullitt.
The propaganda film Mission to Moscow was openly and unabashedly pro-Soviet, and was specifically approved by FDR himself. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mission_to_Moscow . The film’s producer described it as “an expedient lie for political purposes, glossily covering up important facts with full or partial knowledge of their false presentation.” This film was the first in a series of movies FDR had arranged to be distributed to the American people as part of his wartime pro-Soviet propaganda effort. The nature of that overall effort is summed up fairly well by the below propaganda poster:
The aforementioned CIA article hinted at the overall theme of FDR’s foreign policy in the following paragraph:
When [future U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union] Davies arrived in Moscow, Amb. Standley, not informed of the mission in advance, resigned in disgust. Davies met Stalin in the Kremlin and read him the letter. He emphasized the US government’s disapproval of British imperialism and broadly hinted that the USA and the USSR, without the British, could rule the world together. Having betrayed British allies and destroyed the incumbent Ambassador, Davies then retired with Stalin to the Kremlin screening room to watch Mission to Moscow, where his cinematic glorification of the dictator, to his disappointment, did not win a rave review, but only a grunt or two. However, Davies got what he came for: Stalin agreed to meet FDR in Alaska. Davies’ biographer, Elizabeth Kimball MacLean, calls it “the coup of his diplomatic career.”10
The twin pillars of FDR’s foreign policy were the destruction of Nazi Germany, and a Soviet-American alliance that would largely control the postwar world. FDR believed that his New Deal and Soviet communism were two sides to the same coin; and that whatever differences existed between the two systems were differences of degree, not differences of kind. That view of the subject is far closer to being correct than many realize; as indicated by the following link:
Below is a quote from the Mackinac Institute:
The man Roosevelt picked to direct the NRA [National Recovery Administration] effort was General Hugh “Iron Pants” Johnson, a profane, red-faced bully and professed admirer of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini. Thundered Johnson, “May Almighty God have mercy on anyone who attempts to interfere with the Blue Eagle” (the official symbol of the NRA, which one senator derisively referred to as the “Soviet duck”). Those who refused to comply with the NRA Johnson personally threatened with public boycotts and “a punch in the nose.” . . .
A New Jersey tailor named Jack Magid was arrested and sent to jail for the “crime” of pressing a suit of clothes for 35 cents rather than the NRA-inspired “Tailor’s Code” of 40 cents.
In “The Roosevelt Myth,” historian John T. Flynn described how the NRA’s partisans sometimes conducted “business”:
The NRA was discovering it could not enforce its rules. Black markets grew up. Only the most violent police methods could procure enforcement. In Sidney Hillman’s garment industry the code authority employed enforcement police. They roamed through the garment district like storm troopers. They could enter a man’s factory, send him out, line up his employees, subject them to minute interrogation, take over his books on the instant. Night work was forbidden. Flying squadrons of these private coat-and-suit police went through the district at night, battering down doors with axes looking for men who were committing the crime of sewing together a pair of pants at night. But without these harsh methods many code authorities said there could be no compliance because the public was not back of it.
The above text is from the essay “Great Myths of the Great Depression.” Unfortunately, you have to give them your email address before you can see the text.
FDR’s domestic agenda was one of several ways in which his government’s behavior was like a milder version of the Soviets’. In his foreign relations, he became a direct participant in Soviet atrocities. The provisions FDR agreed to at Yalta included the following
German [postwar] reparations were partly to be in the form of forced labor. . . .
The Polish eastern border would follow the Curzon Line, and Poland would receive territorial compensation in the West from Germany. . . .
Citizens of the Soviet Union and of Yugoslavia were to be handed over to their respective countries, regardless of their consent.
The first of the three above-mentioned provisions was a polite way of stating that Germans would be converted into slave laborers.
[General Patton] commented in his diary, “I’m also opposed to sending PW’s to work as slaves in foreign lands (in particular, to France) where many will be starved to death.” He also noted “It is amusing to recall that we fought the revolution in defence of the rights of man and the civil war to abolish slavery and have now gone back on both principles.”
The second-noted provision regarding the westward movement of the Polish and German borders effectively meant the ethnic cleansing of millions of Poles from lands being transferred from Poland to the Soviet Union. It also meant the ethnic cleansing of 13 million Germans from lands being transferred from Germany to Poland. The democratic government of West Germany estimated that 1.8 million people died as a result of the latter ethnic cleansing effort.
The third-listed provision is in many ways the most sinister single thing to which FDR had agreed. In 1940, the Soviet Union had annexed Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. When Germany invaded in 1941, many people from those three nations rose up against Soviet rule. For the most part, these were ordinary people who wanted to liberate their homelands, and protect their families, from the brutality of Soviet occupation. As the Soviet Army pressed westward, large numbers of people from the Baltic States fled into Germany for protection. Those people were to be turned over to Soviet authorities.
During WWII, about 1 million citizens of the Soviet Union had fought against it. Those people were generally motivated by anti-communism; and many were also motivated by nationalism, the desire to defend Christianity against Soviet mass murder, or other motives. Whichever of those people fell into British or American hands were to be turned over to the Soviet government. More generally, anyone who had taken refuge from the cruelty and barbarism of the Soviet Union by fleeing westward into Germany would now be placed at the mercy of Stalin. FDR’s agreement to that provision represented direct American participation in Soviet mass murder; and demonstrated exactly how far FDR was willing to go to help the Soviet government punish those who had opposed communism.
Another provision of the Yalta Conference, not mentioned in the above article, was that surrendered German servicemen would be turned over to whichever Allied nation against which they had done most of their fighting. In practice, this meant that 80% or more of captured German servicemen were to be turned over to the Soviet Union. See the first sentence of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erich_Hartmann#Imprisonment . The section describes how the highest scoring fighter ace in history (with 352 victories) was turned over to the Soviets for torture as part of a more general program.
To address your point about Herbert Hoover: Truman appointed him to ascertain the situation in postwar Germany. (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herbert_Hoover#Post-World_War_II .) I doubt Truman would have done this if he had expected Hoover to exaggerate the severity of the situation for political gain. I’ll grant that what Truman expected Hoover to do, and what Hoover actually did, are not necessarily identical concepts. However, the conclusions reached by the Hoover Report (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_President’s_Economic_Mission_to_Germany_and_Austria ) appear neutral; were shared by General Clay, and have been echoed by historians. On page 675 of The Wages of Destruction Tooze noted that
By the early summer of 1946 rations in many parts of urban Germany were below 1,000 calories per day. . . . The evidence of serious malnutrition was unmistakable. Mortality increased as did the incidence of hunger-related diseases. Infection rates for diptheria, typhoid, and tuberculosis in the British and American zones doubled. The birth rate for babies fell drastically. . . . Germany’s former enemies thought it better to forget the sense of rage that clearly motivated much of Allied policy in the immediate aftermath of the war.
On page 675, Tooze wrote,
As early as the autumn of 1943, after the Battle of Kursk, the United States had realized that the dominant power in Europe for the foreseeable future would be the Soviet Union, not Britain, let alone France. At first Roosevelt’s administration had hoped to adjust to this new reality in cooperation with the Soviets. Together the two superpowers would rule both Europe and the world, under which circumstances it might have been possible to ‘do without Germany’.
The last phrase refers to doing without Germany as a national power, and does not refer to any effort on FDR’s part to employ genocide against the Germans themselves. Nevertheless, genocide against the Germans was clearly a major part of FDR’s policy, both during and after the war. The terror raids against German cities, and the “shoot anything that moves” air missions conducted in the German countryside, were clearly intended to eliminate large numbers of Germans. The genocide of Germans that took place during the war was to be followed up by the Morgenthau Plan. Even though the brutal provisions of that plan were only partially implemented, it nonetheless caused widespread starvation among the German people. As for the Anglo-American food blockade that had been imposed during the war–it is not immediately clear (at least, not to me) whether FDR and Churchill had hoped Hitler would allocate the resulting starvation to the Germans (thus helping to destroy the German people) or whether they hoped for him to allocate the starvation to the Jews and Slavs (thus handing the Allies an enormous propaganda weapon). Given Hitler’s statements in Mein Kampf and elsewhere, the Allied leaders had to know that Hitler was far more likely to choose the latter option than the former.