Yalta Conference: How UK and US sold half of Europe to Stalin and betrayed their ally Poland.
Updated: Feb 10, 2021
On Febuary 11, 1945, Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin, the "big three", concluded the Yalta conference. Stalin and FDR, with Churchill relegated to a minor role, agreed upon the new configuration of a post-war Europe, and sealed its fate and that of the world for the next 46 years. FDR, who was extremely eager to please his murderous Soviet friend in order to win his cooperation in the war against Japan, agreed to almost anything that Stalin put forward. Stalin's demands were simple, he wanted central and eastern Europe to become part of his Soviet empire. Thanks to FDR and Churchill, Stalin, who helped Hitler start WW2, would see his wildest dreams and territorial aspirations fullfilled .
Stalin and FDR.
Stalin and the USSR would now occupy and control Bulgaria, Romania, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Czechoslovakia, Ukraine, Belarus, Eastern Germany, Moldova, Hungary and Poland. The countries of Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Romania and Bulgaria who were all independent and sovereign countries before WW2 would now become part of the USSR or Soviet satellite states. Czechoslovakia, which had been a thriving and prosperous democratic country before it was betrayed by its western allies and western Europe to Hitler and Nazi Germany in the 1938 Munich agreements, would also become a Soviet satellite. So while people in western Europe, including Western Germany, would come to enjoy living in a prosperous, democratic countries which were built up by the US after WW2 ended, the people living in the east and central Europe would continue living under a totalitarian occupation of their countries.
Post WW2 Europe.
But one of the biggest and most controversial issues that were agreed upon in this conference was the fate of post war Poland. Churchill and FDR had agreed in principle to sell out and backstab their most loyal and staunchest ally in the war against Nazi Germany, Poland, to the worst mass murderer in recorded history. During the war Poland was an ally that was the most loyal to the cause of defeating Hitler and Nazi Germany. An ally which never cooperated in any way with the Nazi regime despite being under brutal occupation. An ally that had hundreds of thousands of soldiers fighting for the allied cause. An ally that had 6 million of its citizens murdered by Nazi Germany and its whole country looted and destroyed. And most importantly, an ally that had signed treaties with the western powers guaranteeing its sovereignty and independence at the end of WW2.
Pre war Poland.
Poland's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity were the reason why UK and France declared war on Germany and started WW2 in the first place. But now that the war was all but over, all of those treaties, alliances, pledges and promises were thrown to the dustbin of history, along with Poland. In fact, most of the matters concerning Poland and its post WW2 fate were already agreed upon in 1943 in the Tehran conference, in secret, and without the knowledge of the Polish government in exile. Hundreds of thousands of Poles who fought on the allied side and helped it defeat Nazi Germany, including the Polish pilots that helped save the UK from a German invasion during the "Battle for Britian", would never be allowed to return back to their homes, and were condemned to a life in exile in the UK and Western Europe.
Polish RAF pilots members of the famous 303 squadron. Polish pilots shot down hunderds of German planes and accounted for over 10% of all downed German aircrafts during the "Battle of Britain".
The Yalta conference was in effect a criminal and monstrous cold blooded betrayal of not just half of the people living in Europe, but also one of the key allies in the war against Hitler, a betrayel that was made even worse by the fact that the Polish government had no idea about what was going on at the time, and only found out about it later, when it was too late to do anything about it. Poland was now repaid for its loyalty, bravery, sacrifices and heroic stance against Hitler and Nazi Germany with a new murderous Russian occupation that would go on for almost 45 years.
The Soviet occupation in central and eastern Europe was responsible for the torture, ethnic cleansing, deporting to gulags, and murder of millions of innocent people throughout Eastern and central Europe. This occupation lasted until the dissolution of the USSR in 1991, and it was an occupation that many people in Poland and across Eastern and central Europe judged worse than the German one.
Bibliography : Norman Davies, "No simple victory." Laurence Rees, "World War II Behind Closed Doors: Stalin, the Nazis and the West." Kenneth K. Koskodan, "No Greater Ally."