March 26, 2017

1949. The Swedish Red Cross Caught in the Berlin Blockade

The Swedish Red Cross is Denied Access to Food Stores
Spectators watch as a plane flies over during the Berlin airlift, June 1948
Bill Downs

CBS Berlin

February 12, 1949

The Russian military government has taken another step in the Berlin Blockade that promises to stir up more indignation among Western sector Germans than any single event in the Berlin crisis thus far.

It was revealed this morning that the Swedish Red Cross has been refused access to stores of food in Russian-controlled East Berlin with which the Swedish relief agency has been providing supplementary meals daily for about 30,000 children living in the blockaded parts of the city. The ban was imposed on the first of this month.

The Swedish Red Cross, which concentrates its aid to children between three and six years old, has been feeding Berlin children in all four sectors of the city.

However, American authorities state today that the Russians have refused the Swedes passage across the city borders even for food for the three to six-year-olds in the American, British, and French sectors. Presumably the meals are still being distributed to the children of the Russian sector.

The American military government is making arrangements to transport the Swedish Red Cross food over the airlift. The irony of the situation is that the project entails only about one ton of food a day, which is no serious hardship to the airlift.

However effective the Soviet blockade has been against Swedish Red Cross food for small children, it most certainly is not one hundred percent effective.

I was stopped on the street the other day by two suspicious looking men who spotted me for an American.

They had two diamond rings they wanted to sell—a one carat diamond; the other weighing a carat and a half. The price was about what it would be in New York, around eight hundred dollars for the smaller one.

The smugglers said the rings were from once-wealthy families in the Russian zone of Germany now down to the last of their family jewels which they must sell in order to live.

When I refused, they said they thought they could get me a mink coat—very fine—but the price: 22,000 West marks, which breaks down to more than seven thousand dollars. No thanks.

This is Bill Downs in Berlin. Now back to CBS in New York.

March 25, 2017

1949. Ruhr Workers Defy British Orders to Dismantle Industry

German Workers Refuse to Dismantle the Bochum Plant
A crowd gathers in front of the Bochum steel plant in West Germany to celebrate Catholic Day on September 4, 1949 (source)
Bill Downs

CBS Berlin


January 7, 1949

Several hundred German workers in the Ruhr today are conducting a campaign of civil disobedience against the British military government by refusing to dismantle the giant Bochum steel plant there.

The protest movement began two days ago when the Ruhr dismantling commission ordered that the plant's drop forges section be torn down as part of German war reparations. Local workers refused to report for work, maintaining that they were dismantling themselves out of their jobs.

Yesterday, the British recruited laborers from nearby Essen. But when they started to enter the plant, the Bochum workers formed a human barrier across the gates. No one was allowed to enter.

This morning, reparations officials found that not even Essen laborers would report for work.

The British military government says that later today notices will be posted at the plant and written orders will be handed to the German contractor declaring that the Bochum steel plant is still on the reparations list, that it will be dismantled, and warning that anyone attempting to prevent this work or interfering with the workmen doing the job will be punished in British military courts.

Ruhr authorities say that German police will be used to enforce the order if necessary, but that there is no question of British military police or troops being used. This civil disobedience campaign, while today involves only a few hundred workers, is viewed as a serious portent of what might happen in the future.

There has been a growing protest of the recent decision to put the Ruhr industrial area under international control. There have been numerous other protests over the Allied reparations and restitution commission which has been attempting to destroy Germany's war industries.

With Ruhr production being incorporated into the European Recovery Plan, any disaffection among German workers there is a serious thing.

The Western Powers have a delicate problem on their hands. At the same time, the Allies must make sure that the Ruhr will never again become the core of German arms manufacturing.

It's the $64 billion question in Germany today—one that daily is becoming more complex.

This is Bill Downs in Berlin. Now back to CBS in New York.

March 24, 2017

1943. Nazi Assault on Izium is Repelled

Wehrmacht and Red Army Soldiers Face Off at the Donets
Soviet soldiers providing cover for reconnaissance troops as they cross the Donets River in Ukraine, May 30, 1943 (source)
The parentheses indicate portions that did not pass Soviet censors for military or propaganda reasons.

(For more, see the complete 1943 Moscow reports.)
Bill Downs

CBS Moscow

April 8, 1943

The Red Army has scored a defensive victory over the German forces attempting to take the river and railroad town of Izium. This victory doesn't compare with the immense achievements of the Russian winter offensive, but nevertheless it is of extreme importance as a measure of the relative strengths of the opposing forces now linked up on opposing sides of the Donets River.

The Germans began their major assaults south of Izium five days ago. This local offensive was aimed at establishing a river crossing at Izium and at the same time cutting the important railroad running northwestward from the city. The Red Army is using this railroad to supply its forces all along the left bank of the river.

Although this fighting was on a narrow sector, it was an all-out German attempt to secure local superiority and create a bridgehead which would outflank the Soviet troops holding the river to the north. The Red Army still holds a narrow strip of defenses on the right bank. (Large numbers of fighters and bombers participated. The land forces attacked night and day, supported by tanks and mobile artillery. The fighting was exceedingly bitter.)

During these battles for the Izium crossing the Germans tried everything in the book, but they couldn't overcome the stubborn Red Army resistance—the kind of resistance which was marked by one counterattack after another.

Yesterday the Germans gave up, for the time being at least. They ceased their attacks. And this morning the Russian communiqué announced that it was the Soviet troops and not the Germans who succeeded in taking advantageous positions from the enemy.

More importantly, a summary of the German losses in the past five days for the Izium crossing is significant. Over 2,500 Nazi soldiers were killed, thirty-seven tanks were knocked out, and twenty guns, including many of the self-propelling type, were smashed. Also there was a large number of machine guns, armored cars, and over a dozen planes put out of action.

In many ways this is the best fighting news we've had since the official completion of the Red Army's winter offensive at the end of March. It proves two things: first, that the Soviet forces which retreated to the Donets line during the German counteroffensive still pack a punch, which is a constant worry to the Nazi command; and second, that whatever Hitler is planning for this summer, he is going to have to consider the possibilities of a Russian summer offensive.

With the possibility of a second front on his mind, Hitler must be doing some tall thinking right now.

March 23, 2017

1929. The Nature of Dictatorships

The Future of Authoritarianism in Europe
This article is part of a series of posts on how newspapers covered the rise of Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler in Italy and Germany prior to World War II. In 1929, diplomat and academic William Rappard spoke about the postwar dictatorships and their leaders in Europe. The New York Times published an abridged version, with a preface included:
Dictators wield a great power in the Europe of today; the total of dictatorships on the Continent is now at nine. Does this mean, as many political observers have said, that the effect of the war has been the suppression of democracy and the aggrandizement of dictatorships? An eloquent answer to the question was made by William E. Rappard at the current meeting of the Institute of Politics at Williamstown. The article that follows is made up of extracts from his address.

Mr. Rappard is a Doctor of Law and professor at the University of Geneva. From 1911-13 he was Assistant Professor of Political Economy at Harvard. During 1920-24 he was Director of the Mandates Section of the League of Nations and from 1925 to 1929 a member of the League's Permanent Mandates Commission.
From The New York Times, August 18, 1929:
THE FUTURE OF EUROPE'S NINE DICTATORSHIPS

Professor Rappard Contends That While Autocratic Methods of Government May Now Be Necessary And Wholesome They Will in Time Yield to the Greater Freedom of Democratic Institutions

By WILLIAM E. RAPPARD

That there are dictatorships in contemporaneous Europe is an undoubted fact. And that democracy is undergoing a crisis in Europe as elsewhere no one will deny. But to declare that the European dictatorships are symptoms of this crisis is to assume that democracy prevailed yesterday where they triumph today, an assumption as groundless as it is fallacious.

In those parts of Europe where democracies can be said fairly to have been established, i.e., Great Britain, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Holland, and the Scandinavian countries, not only are there no dictatorships, but dictatorships would be as unlikely and as unwelcome as, say, effective prohibition in New York, or militant atheism in Tennessee.

On the other hand, if we examine the countries in which political liberties have been suspended or suppressed, we shall be led to certain definite conclusions.

Before doing so, may we be allowed to state explicitly that we are not in the least actuated by the desire to make a case for or against any given form of political organization. We shall on the contrary, rely only on the evidence of obviously undeniable facts. And we trust that in dealing with this highly delicate subject, we may avoid offending any national susceptibilities.

The countries in which more or less full-fledged dictatorships have been set up in Europe since the war, and in which they prevail today are, setting them in their geographical order from west to east: Portugal, Spain, Italy, Yugoslavia, Albania, Hungary, Poland, Lithuania and the Soviet Union.

Nine Dictatorships Here

The first conclusion to be drawn from this enumeration is a negative one. Dictatorships can clearly not be correlated either with geographical position, population, area, newness of statehood, or with any particular form of constitutional government. Of the nine States under dictatorships, some are large and some are small. Some are densely and others sparsely populated. Two dictatorships prevail in countries whose frontiers have not changed since the war; at least four in States which may be said to have retained their former political identity; five in monarchies, and four in republics.

In all nine cases, however, dictatorships can be correlated directly or indirectly with war and its social, financial and political consequences. The problems of government in post-war Europe are infinitely more varied and more difficult than they were in pre-war days, when the traditional constitutional theories and practices had been adopted and worked out. It was because in some countries these theories and practices, as applied by the available personnel, appeared ill-adapted to the solution of the problems, that dictatorships arose. This is so well known that it needs no further elaboration.

Furthermore, dictatorships are very clearly correlated also, and this has not to my knowledge ever been pointed out, with the economic structure of the countries involved.

If we arrange the States of Europe in the order of relative importance of the proportion of the gainfully employed population which is engaged in agriculture, we shall have the following table:
These figures are taken from the United States Commerce Year Book, 1928, Vol. II, Foreign Countries, and from Die Wirtschaft des Auslandes 1920-1927, Bearbeitet im Statistischen Reichsamt, Berlin, 1928.

Statisticians will be unanimous in questioning these figures as to their absolute accuracy and as to their international comparability. No one will deny, however, that they are more than sufficiently reliable in both of these respects to justify the statement that dictatorships have been established in Europe since the war only in countries still predominantly agricultural. The omission of Albania from the above table, owing to the entire absence of even approximate statistics, certainly does not weaken or limit the scope of the generalization. That interesting but backward country is probably the most strictly agricultural State in Europe.

Political Liberty Urban

How is the above table to be interpreted? Surely not to the effect that agriculture is the economic synonym for political dictatorship. Nothing would warrant, and the figures shown would disprove rather than confirm, such a simple conclusion. But they do point to a certain correlation between the two terms. The true inference is less that peasants love tyranny and favor dictators than that political liberty may, by and large, be considered to be essentially a product of urban life and of all that city dwelling implies in terms of social instability and in possibilities of individual enlightenment and collective organization.

If the chief aim of government is to maintain public order while allowing the greatest possible measure of individual freedom compatible with it, there is bound to be everywhere a certain conflict between order and freedom. Now, in this conflict of ideals it may, I believe, be held that, in Europe at least, the ideal of order is more stressed in the country and that of freedom in the city. That is shown, for instance, by the fact that rural populations are more often and more generally conservative than urban communities. On the other hand, history teaches that a large measure of political freedom is compatible with the reign of order only at a given stage of social evolution, which is rarely attained under predominantly agricultural conditions.

European dictatorships have as a rule been established in rural countries which, having borrowed political and parliamentary institutions from their more advanced industrial neighbors, found them ill-adapted to their post-war needs. As it was obviously impossible, nor perhaps deemed desirable, to hasten the course of social evolution so as to adapt the state of the people to the exigencies of liberal institutions, national interest demanded that the institutions be adapted to the state of the people. This involved the necessity of a political reaction which is hardly conceivable except under dictatorial conditions.

Such is, as I see it, the general explanation of the rise of all the new European dictatorships, except one. Whether established by former Socialists as in Italy and Poland, by military men as in Spain and Portugal, or by leading rulers and statesmen as in Hungary, Yugoslavia, Albania and Lithuania, in spite of all the considerable local differences, these dictatorships have much in common. Their professed aim is always the protection of national interests and the promotion of national ambitions, declared to be threatened by internal disorder, license, incompetence, political dishonesty, as well as by external hostility. And their methods, the substitution of executive decision for parliamentary discussion, are always more or less frankly and drastically illiberal and undemocratic.

The general tendency of all these dictatorships is reactionary, in that they tend to suppress or limit the rights and liberties of the people, which it has been the boast of the last 150 years to proclaim and establish. But they may also lay claim to being progressive, and they may even justify that claim in so far as they succeed in actually enhancing the efficiency of government and thereby improving at least the material conditions of life in their respective countries.

May Be a Blessing

Although the Russian dictatorship presents in its spirit and methods many curious analogies with those established in other parts of Europe, it is in essence in a class by itself. Its program is social, not national; its tendencies revolutionary, not reactionary; its aims, not the maintenance and establishment of political order, but the creation of a new social order. Therefore, in contrast to the other dictatorships, it is supported by the towns and not by the country. However, as all dictatorships, that of the proletariat would be difficult to conceive in an advanced urban community. There the number, culture and influence of those would be too great who, valuing individual freedom above all other civic good, were prepared and able to defend their rights against even the most masterful, the most ruthless or the most patriotic autocrat.

Political cynics have often pointed, not without satisfaction, to the fact that one of the most important results of a war professedly waged to make the world safe for democracy has been to suppress democracy and to favor the establishment of dictatorships. At the risk of differing with political cynics and of spoiling their self-complacency—always a doubly perilous undertaking—I must, as already indicated above, point out that this is a fallacy. What the war has destroyed is not democracy, neither its spirit and its ideals, which have on the contrary been strengthened, nor its institutions, where they really functioned.

What the war has done away with in several countries, whose economic and social structure was not yet such that the people could be ripe for the responsibilities of democracy, is a superficial appearance and a popular delusion. And the present dictatorships may well be a blessing in disguise for democracy itself, both in dispelling from within the confusion which the nineteenth century undoubtedly created between true democracy and pseudo-democratic institutions, and in challenging the former from without. It is only if democracy failed to meet this challenge that its doom would be sealed.

This the future only can decide, but can be relied on to decide conclusively. It is obvious that in this competitive world the law of the survival of the fittest applies as well to political forms as to biological species. Although it may seem idle, it is always tempting and sometimes suggestive to speculate about the future. For my part, I cannot but look upon the present European dictatorships as most interesting, as perhaps wholesome and necessary, but always as essentially temporary phenomena. My main reasons for this view are twofold:

In the first place, permanent dictatorship implies either an immortal dictator or an infallible method of choosing his successor. Now dictators, although usually young on assuming power, are not immortal. They are, in fact, for obvious reasons, rather less so than ordinary mortals.

On the other hand, the problem of succession has never been satisfactorily solved, even by the most brilliant dictators of history. The hereditary principle could perpetuate a dictatorship only if it could be relied upon to bestow upon the sons of dictators both the very exceptional personal gifts and the very extraordinary political circumstances, thanks to the combination of which their fathers were able to create their own position. Such an achievement could not be expected except by the intervention of Providence. And it is not at a time when Europe, as we have seen, unanimously dismissed all its former kings by divine right, that it is likely to bow to the authority of dictators by divine right.

The choice of successors by their predecessors, or by bodies set up by the latter, is not more promising. It is a noticeable fact that even the strongest dictators, in fact especially the strongest, seldom tolerate strong personalities about them. This being so, and as admittedly it takes an uncommonly strong personality to be a successful dictator, it is difficult to conceive how he is by dictatorial choice to be selected.

If, finally, the people are to select their own dictator—a method to which none of the present incumbents owe their position—the result would in fact be a democratic republic and certainly not anything resembling the regime we are discussing. Nations may at certain crises in their development need dictators. They hardly ever desire them. That is why even those autocrats who most insistently claim that they faithfully represent their people's real preference are careful never to expose their authority to the test of a free and sincere popular election.

Besides this internal and technical reason which leads me to doubt of the possibilities of permanent dictatorships in the modern world, there is another historic reason which, as I see it, is of a more general and more decisive nature still.

It is surely not an accident that, as we have noted, the dictatorships of Europe should all have been established in predominantly rural and agricultural countries. Now the world in general and Europe in particular are from generation to generation, and almost from year to year, becoming less rural and less agricultural. With the growth of urban civilization and all that it brings with it in the way of progressive public instruction, developed critical faculties, enhanced love of freedom and intolerance of intolerance, the areas on which dictatorships can flourish seem destined to become narrower and narrower. Except during temporary crises, such as wars and revolutions or threats of war and revolution, when even the most enlightened and most independent recognize and submit to the necessity of authoritarian leadership and of political restrictions, democracy in Europe will, I believe, definitely and generally triumph over dictatorship.
Revolution in Society

This view implies neither satisfaction with democratic government as at present constituted nor blindness to the dangers to which it is exposed and to which it may give rise. These dangers I see far less in the assaults of dictatorships from without than in the internal difficulties of legislation and administration. The complications of government, both domestic and international, are, with the progress of wealth, of economic technique and of non-political organization, increasing at a rate that is truly alarming. In the race between the art of statesmanship on the one hand and the social forces which the State is called upon to control on the other, the latter often seem to outstrip the former.

While voters, parties, Parliaments and governments are debating such matters as the budget, the tariff, national defense and State insurance, society is being revolutionized by factors much more important and quite beyond the control of voters, parties, Parliaments and governments. New technical discoveries and inventions are being made; new tastes and fashions are springing up; new secret and often international agreements are being concluded between politically irresponsible financiers and industrialists, which, by changing the course of trade and modifying the price level, by creating unemployment here and by accumulating wealth there, affect the well-being of the individual and the future of the race much more vitally than any decisions governments may make.

That, as I see it, is the real reason for what is often alluded to as the crisis of democracy even in the most advanced countries and those least threatened by dictatorships. Doubtless the State has never been and can never be entirely supreme. Attempts brutally to subject all manifestations of social activity to its rule, such as the world has witnessed in the Soviet Union since 1918, must either fail of their purpose or result in general ruin. But as the power of man over nature is increasing on a constantly shrinking, ever more densely populated globe, social control is becoming more necessary, and social control through the State more difficult.

The problems thus arising are not peculiar to one continent alone. But they are particularly acute in Europe, on account of the density of its population—a density roughly twice as great as that of Asia and ten times as great as that of America—and on account of the multiplicity of its so-called sovereign and independent States. That is also why, in Europe, international cooperation, which is but one form of political control of social forces, is exceptionally important for the well-being of its people and for the peace of the world.

In no period of the known history of this Continent have there been so many conferences, agreements, conventions, and treaties intended to regulate the international relations of its constituent parts as there have been in the brief space of the last ten years. This change has been so striking that, even if we knew nothing of the other causes to which it is to be attributed, we could not explain it merely by the constitution of seven or eight new States.

The fact is that the World War directly and indirectly created many new wants and needs which cannot be satisfied except by international cooperation. Some of them, such as the adjustments required by new frontiers, are doubtless of a temporary character. Most of them, however, being the result of a more keenly felt solidarity, are more likely to prove permanent. The fear of a renewal of war and the desire to combat its possible causes by pacific agreement have raised to the international plane many problems which were formerly considered to be of purely domestic concern.

Policies of Autocrats

Thus the multiplication of sovereign States has intensified and widened the scope of the internationalization of Europe. The rise of republicanism and the emergence of dictatorships have contributed to modify its methods.

The autocrat, especially if he must rely for his authority on his popularity with the most active, restless and articulate of his followers, is apt to appeal constantly, insistently and passionately to national pride. His foreign policy is therefore apt to be nationalistic and dynamic in spirit.

Whether he will it or not, it is also always a danger of becoming bellicose, because nothing so violently stirs up the sentiment of nationality and so effectively silences the murmurings and criticism of internal opposition as the prospect of war, unless it be the reality of war.

As for his methods, the autocrat will naturally prefer to deal with foreign powers one by one rather than to meet them collectively, and he will prefer secret negotiations to "open covenants openly arrived at." Why? Because an autocrat naturally desires and often needs sudden and spectacular triumphs, and naturally loathes and often fears long-drawn-out public discussions necessarily ending in compromise and mutual concession. Secret negotiations with individual powers, especially if they be weaker, may give rise to real diplomatic victories.

When truly successful, such negotiations may with impunity be heralded abroad as masterpieces of Machiavellian skill, if no time is lost over final signatures and ratifications. And powerful autocrats may both practice themselves and impose on their partners great expedition in these matters. When only partly successful, such negotiations may be presented as minor triumphs and, when unsuccessful, entirely hushed up.
None of these possibilities exist when a considerable number of national delegations meet around a table to settle important matters of general interest. Multilateral negotiations, never secret and proverbially slow, cannot give rise to dramatic national victories. If in the course of the debate one of the negotiating parties is so fortunate as to secure more than its due share of concessions, it must be very discreet about its successes for fear of preventing ratification by the other parties and thereby depriving itself of the fruits of its diplomatic victory.

The constituency of a democratic leader is the people as a whole. It is not, as that of past monarchs, the army and the bureaucracy, nor as that of most modern dictators, a group of particularly restless and noisy patriots. What the people as a whole, that is those who respond to the roll-call of universal suffrage, and their representatives demand of their chiefs in the conduct of foreign affairs is not so much national prestige and glory as international security and welfare.

In every Parliament the extreme Right, where dictators usually find their most ardent if not always their earliest supporters, is confronted with and usually outnumbered by moderate, progressive and radical parties, which are almost everywhere less nationalistically inclined.

Democracy More Open

Furthermore, the democratic leader is apt to be much less his own master than is an autocrat, in point of historic fact as well as by definition. Being dependent on the support of many others, and often of a great variety of others, he is both less tempted and less able to resort to secrecy, and more attracted by methods which permit a continuous appeal to public opinion. He is, of course, not systematically averse to discreet negotiations and to bilateral agreements, nor always reluctant to indulge in intrigue and bluff. On the whole, however, he often finds the methods of the new, that is of open, public and multilateral diplomacy, better suited to his own political tastes and interests than the autocrat.

Whatever the truth or error of these somewhat abstract considerations, whose only purpose is to explain the correlation between internal and external policies, one thing is certain: such a correlation is undeniable in the recent experience of Europe. The statesmen who have most persistently and most successfully practiced the new diplomacy, whether it be within or without the framework of the League of Nations, without a single exception, have been representatives of democratic States. Such names as the following prove it more convincingly than the thoroughest scientific demonstration: Léon Bourgeois, Herriot, Briand, MacDonald, Balfour, Chamberlain, Stresemann, Vandervelde, Beneš, Branting, Nansen and Motta.

Republican Institutions

And on the other hand, the aloofness from the public councils of the world of the new European dictators, and often their undisguised hostility to the new spirit and to the new methods of international intercourse, may well serve as a counter-proof. It is surely not a mere coincidence, to quote but one example, that the only two European States who, while members of the Council of the League of Nations, have never been represented thereon by their Prime or Foreign Ministers, are Italy and Spain.

We have seen above that perhaps the most significant incident in the recent political history of Europe has been the unprecedented spread of republican institutions. Although all the new republics are constitutionally based on the principle of popular sovereignty as expressed by universal, free and secret suffrage, they are not at all, in fact, democracies. It is certain, however, that, taken as a whole, they are far more liberal than the autocratic empires from which they sprang. And it is at least probable that even where subjected to dictatorships, whose rule we cannot look upon as permanent, they offer far more scope for the future development of democracy.

We may conclude, therefore, that in so far as the trend of international cooperation in Europe is influenced by internal political developments, it tends toward greater and more active intimacy between an increased number of sovereign States, and toward more openness, publicity and universality in an atmosphere of wider republican freedom.

March 22, 2017

1949. The Blockade Nears an End as Germany's Division Solidifies

Changing Political Fates
A crowd listens to speakers in front of the Reichstag in Berlin, 1949 (source)
Bill Downs

CBS Berlin

April 24, 1949

It was just about four years ago today that the Russian army entered Berlin. At that time, the capture of the Nazi capital was a symbol of German collapse.

The political fates have been fickle, and today Berlin stands as the symbol of German resistance against the country that brought about its downfall.

Somehow one gets the feeling here that in a few centuries from now historians will write: "The civilization of 1949 was a most confused and foolish one."

Tomorrow may be the day we know for sure when and if Europe will see the formation of a new democratic nation. West German politicians are scheduled to meet with the American, French, and British military governors to find if an agreement has been reached on a constitution for the West German state.

The next few days also should tell whether or not there is anything to the rumors that the Russian plan to lift their blockade of the city as a measure to frustrate the establishment of a new government in West Germany.

There have been a lot of second thoughts about what would happen if the blockade were lifted here. Outside of opening up the road and rail supply routes, the face of Berlin would not be much changed.

There would still be two city governments—the Communist-dominated administration of East Berlin, and the popularly elected government of the Western sectors. There would still be two currencies: the East mark and the West mark.

And the airlift would continue to operate on a reduced scale, for until the East-West dispute over Germany is settled, any blockade that the Soviet Union might lift as a policy expedient can be clamped back on again without warning.

The Russian zone newspaper Neues Deutschland this morning comments on the war in China. "The crossing of the Yangtze," the Communist-dominated paper says, "not only means the end of the Kuomintang regime, it also is the end of the power of the dollar in China." The paper concludes: "The United States will never win in Western Europe what they lost in China."

This is Bill Downs in Berlin. Now back to CBS in New York.

March 21, 2017

1940. Churchill Becomes Prime Minister, Reports Edward R. Murrow

Neville Chamberlain Resigns

Edward R. Murrow

CBS London

May 10, 1940

This is London.

History has been made too fast over here today. First, in the early hours this morning came the news of the British unopposed landing in Iceland. Then the news of Hitler's triple invasion came rolling into London, climaxed by the German air bombing of five nations. British mechanized troops lassoed across the frontier into Belgium.

Then, at nine o'clock tonight, a tired old man spoke to the nation from Number 10 Downing Street. He sat behind a big oval table in a Cabinet room where so many fateful decisions have been taken during the three years that he has directed the policy of His Majesty's government.

Neville Chamberlain announced his resignation. Mr. Chamberlain's announcement of his resignation was entirely impersonal. Many people consider that it was the best speech he has ever made.

Winston Churchill, who has held more political offices than any living man, is now Prime Minister. He's a man without a party. For the last seven years he has sat in the House of Commons a rather lonesome and often bellicose figure, voicing unheeded warnings of the rising tide of German military strength. Now, at the age of sixty-five, Winston Churchill—plump, bald, with massive round shoulders—is for the first time in his varied career of journalist, historian, and politician the Prime Minister of Great Britain.

Mr. Churchill now takes over the supreme direction of Britain's war effort at a time when the war is rapidly moving toward Britain's doorstep.

Mr. Churchill's critics have said that he is inclined to be impulsive and at times vindictive. But in the tradition of British politics he will be given his chance. He will probably take chances, but if he brings victory his place in history is assured. The historians will have to devote more than a footnote to this remarkable man no matter what happens.

He enters office with the tremendous advantage of being the man who was right. He also has the advantage of being the best broadcaster in this country. Mr. Churchill can inspire confidence, and he can preach a doctrine of hate that is acceptable to the majority of this country. That may be useful during these next few months.

Winston Churchill has never been known for his caution, and when he has completed the formation of a new government you may expect this country to live dangerously.

Hitler has said that the action begun yesterday will settle the future of Germany for a thousand years. Mr. Churchill doesn't deal in such periods of time. But the decisions reached by this new Prime Minister, with his boyish grin and his puckish sense of humor, may well determine the outcome of this war.

I return you now to Columbia in New York.

March 20, 2017

World War III: "Moscow Olympics" by Red Smith

Moscow Olympics
"Held in Russia's capital, first in 12 years, drew athletes of 78 nations, signaled world brotherhood and good will." Art by Fred Banbery in Collier's magazine, October 27, 1951, p. 41
In 1951, Collier's magazine published a special issue, entitled "Preview of the War We Do Not Want," which speculated about a hypothetical World War III and what it might look like.

The war begins in 1952 and ends in 1955 with the collapse of the Soviet Union, followed by a UN occupation of Russia. Writer Robert E. Sherwood provided an extensive history of the war, writing "The most unnecessary, most senseless and deadliest war in history—the third World War—reached the shooting stage at exactly 1:58 p. m. G.M.T., Saturday, May 10, 1952."

A number of other notable figures contributed fictional reports and stories about the war and its history, including Edward R. Murrow, Hal Boyle, Walter Reuther, Marguerite Higgins, Walter Winchell, Kathryn Morgan-Ryan, Allan Nevins, Hanson W. Baldwin, Oksana Kasenkina, Lowell Thomas, Harry Schwartz, Margaret Chase Smith, Erwin Canham, John Savage, and Arthur Koestler.

Here, sportswriter Red Smith writes about the 1960 Moscow Olympics, the first games held since 1948.

From Collier's magazine, October 27, 1951, pp. 41, 123:
Moscow Olympics

By RED SMITH

Red Smith, one of America's greatest sports writers, has arrived in Russia to report the 1960 Moscow Olympic games for Collier's. Here is his first dispatch, radioed just prior to the start of the games

Moscow, 1960

Three weeks hence, the world will demonstrate that real peace has arrived. It will be heralded by 90,000 voices cheering in concert in Moscow's monstrous Dynamo Stadium, by strident sounds of bickering in the council room of the International Olympic Committee, by shouts of triumph and cries of disappointment and the angry gnashing of coachly teeth throughout this fortunate capital.

In an Olympic year, these are the noises of international comity, world brotherhood and universal good will.

On July 22d, seventh anniversary of the atomic bombing of the Kremlin, the muscular delegates of 78 nations will open the thirteenth quadrennial carnival of the modern series of Olympic games. Quadrennial? That's what the book says, but the calendar tells another story.

Back in the autumn of 1951, the Scandinavian Airlines ferried a consignment of American sports writers to Helsinki to show what preparations that optimistic city was making to conduct the Olympics of 1952. Fifteen years of planning and hundreds of millions of Finnish marks already had been expended on the project; Helsinki's great Olympic stadium had stood empty for a dozen years, a monument of discouragement.

For as early as 1936, when Hitler's Berlin was host to the games, Finland had sought the privilege of staging the 1940 show. Instead, Tokyo got the assignment, only to sink hip-deep in a war in China and relinquish its claims, so that Helsinki was elected after all. But scarcely had the Finns completed their 70,000-seat stadium, when World War II rendered international track meets unpopular.

London got the games when they were finally resumed in 1948, and at that time Helsinki was tapped to be host in 1952. Once again Finland got ready, and once again the world was plunged into war when, two months before the entertainment was scheduled to start, Petrovic and Borlic, the Kremlin's assassins, pitched their high hard ones at Tito's head in Belgrade and our long-smoldering planet burst into flames.

This summer's games, therefore, are the first in the Olympic series since 1948. There is more than that to distinguish them, however. Never before in world history has this sweaty extravaganza represented what it stands for this summer. Never before, not even in the fondest imaginings of Baron Pierre de Coubertin, father of the modern games, has the carnival symbolized so vividly the hope of mankind.

When World War I was over and the 1920 Olympics went to Antwerp, Belgium and her allies specifically barred their late enemies, Germany and Austria, from participation. In 1948 the sores of World War II still festered; neither Germany nor Japan was invited. This time the world has done better than merely accept a defeated aggressor on terms of absolute equality with all other competitors. This time the Russian people, five years after the Soviets were overthrown, are in fact the host to whom all the rest of us make our manners.

There have been no payments of reparations, no trials of war criminals. This time the nations are trying to live together and play together.

Pending final word from a few outlying precincts, it is expected that about 7,000 athletes, perhaps 2,000 more than any such gathering has hitherto seen, will take part in the opening ceremonies in the stadium. There will be much that is familiar, much that is novel, about these ceremonies.

As always, the Grecian delegation will lead the march into the stadium and down the track past the box occupied by members of the Provisional Russian Government. As the original Olympic nation, Greece always has first place. It has been the custom for nations to follow in alphabetical order, from Afghanistan to Yugoslavia. The custom has been revised. This time second place has been accorded to Finland, in recognition of that nation's gracious gesture in permitting this carnival to come to Moscow instead of Helsinki.

Next comes gallant Yugoslavia, whose heroic resistance against the Reds' initial assault ultimately led to the destruction of the Iron Curtain. Thereafter, the alphabetical rule will be observed—except that Russia will parade last, as the host always does.

When these games were being arranged, there was agitation in favor of erasing all national lines. It was urged that the athletes be grouped according to their events, without regard to nationality—that the sprinters, swimmers, distance runners, weight lifters and so on of all countries march by groups under the massed flags of all competing nations.

General Omar Bradley, who retired from his defense post in 1956, and who is now president of the International Olympic Committee, knocked that proposal on the head. "In our enthusiasm for internationalism," he said, reporting the committee's decision, "we must not make love of country a shameful thing."

So the athletes will be marshaled on the field under their own flags—although one innovation is a standardized Olympic uniform bearing the five-ringed symbol and the name of the nation the athlete represents. And when their ranks are formed, the Olympic torch will arrive. A week ago an olive-wood brand was lighted by the rays of the sun in the Temple of Zeus at Olympia in Greece. Relays of Boy Scouts are lugging the sacred fire across the Continent as this is written.

When the holy fire arrived in London in 1948, it was borne into Wembley Stadium by one John Mark, a Cambridge blue, chosen for the role because he was tall and blond and handsome, the superb English version of a Greek god. The guy picked to haul the torch into Dynamo Stadium is a small, swart, wiry, tough, young man of eighteen, named Nikolai Sayanov.

•   •   •

Nikolai is an alumnus of the Bezprizorniye, the horde of lawless youngsters who ran wild in postwar Russia until the United Nations was able to effect rehabilitation by shipping them abroad. Young Sayanov was sent to Australia, learned much about sheep ranching there, and has come back home to help produce wool for Russia.

He was selected as the Olympic torch-bearer not because of any athletic prowess, but because he epitomizes the new Russia—tough of spirit and hard of sinew, small stature but great in promise. Introduced to the press yesterday, he sat on a desk in the headquarters of the Russian Organizing Committee and gabbed away breezily in the splendid Cockney speech which some Australians manage so much better than any Limehouse spiv. The informality of the interview delighted newsmen who remembered the 1948 Olympics, when they had to have an appointment to meet the press agent for the games.

If Nikolai Sayanov is a symbol of the new order, so is the man who will take the historic Olympic oath after Nikolai has circled the track and climbed to the peristyle and flung his torch into the big concrete birdbath where the Olympic flame is to burn throughout the games.

Customarily, the oath has been taken by some over-age athlete who represented the host nation in an earlier Olympic competition. Russia, however, has no athletes with Olympic experience, for the Communists never were willing to play with other nations and run the risk of defeat. So Russia has asked Yugoslavia to send the father of Maria Serdic—the eight-year-old child who, standing near Tito, became the first victim of World War III—to take the oath.

This is pure symbolism, meant to dramatize Russia's break with the past and her determination to let bygones be bygones.

That's about all there'll be to the first day's ceremonies. The Russians aren't going in for the fancy trimmings that have attended other openings. They will not, for instance, commandeer half the pigeons in the country and turn 'em loose over the stadium, as London did in 1948. After the postwar years of famine, Russia has a better use for squab.

Food has been a matter of concern to Organizing Committee since the plan first was broached to bring the games here. Like many English in 1948, many Russians felt it was foolish for a nation that had been hungry so long to take on the responsibility of feeding 7,000 athletes and 100,000 tourists from abroad. To the Russian people as a whole, however, this opportunity to play host to the world means that Russia has at long last taken her rightful place in the world community. If it also has meant making sacrifices, they have made them cheerfully.

To the visitor, living conditions here seem surprisingly good. True, he eats fish instead of sirloin, takes herring instead of eggs at breakfast and does not ask for cream in his coffee because Russia's milk supply belongs to Russia's children. Prices are high, as they are everywhere, but there is no evidence of an active black market. A few posh restaurants and dining clubs, serving a limited clientele because their supplies are limited, manage on occasion to produce such special items as kavkazki shashlyk, morsels of broiled lamb packed on spits. Bread is plentiful and so is vodka.

For the visiting athletes, Moscow will not be able to produce the exotic dishes of their native lands. There will be substantial vittles for all, though. Probably the United States representatives will fare best. Charley Ornstein, the old Olympic miler on the American committee, has done the same great job he did in 1948, when he shipped our team in London supplies of American meats, fruits and frozen vegetables.

Berlin built two Olympic villages in 1936 to house the men and women athletes. Helsinki was doing the same in 1940. London in 1948 lacked time for new construction and had to quarter competitors over a wide area, from Wimbledon to Henley and the military academy at Sandhurst. With the prefabricated materials flown in by UNIHOPE, Moscow has erected model villages for all the performers.

Nonathletic tourists are, of course, on their own. Those who cannot find or do not wish to pay for limited hotel accommodations will discover unlimited invitations to lodge in private homes at modest prices. Already the advance guard of visitors is in town. They walk the streets and gawk at the leveled places—now neatly cleared—where buildings stood before the A-bomb fell.

Russians stare at the visitors with the same frank curiosity the visitors show. These people never really saw tourists before this summer. The Iron Curtain kept strangers out before the war. Since then, foreigners have been numerous, but always uniformed.

Moscow has been wearing party dress for weeks. Everywhere the eye turns are the flags of all nations, topped by the Russian tricolor of white, blue and red which has replaced the hammer and sickle, and by the five-ringed Olympic banner.

•   •   •

The papers concede that the big team from the United States probably will carry off a major share of honors, as usual. American supremacy is acknowledged in her home-grown game of basketball, in the flat races from 100 to 800 meters, in the hurdles and pole vault, and in women's swimming competition.

There has been wide speculation concerning the chances of George Robinson, young cousin of the Brooklyn Dodgers' veteran manager, Jackie Robinson, becoming the first American to sweep the sprints and broad jump since Jesse Owens won the 100-meter, the 200-meter and the jump in Berlin. Young Robinson, although he has yet to set foot on Russian soil, already is considered almost a demigod here.

Russians are confident that they will have their first Olympic champions in good proportion. They were going to compete for the first time in Helsinki and they expected to win some events; indeed, Stalin had given direct orders to his representatives—to win, or else. Some of the men who might have won in 1952 are dead, as are so many of our finest. But Russia has a formidable array of weight throwers, wrestlers and weight lifters, and the world's most famous soccer team.

Also, the brawny Russian girls are considered the class of the ladies' track-and-field detachment. Not since Holland's strapping Hausfrau, Mrs. Fanny Blankers-Koen, won three medals in London has there been a woman champion to compare with Maroosya Klyachko, Kiev machinist.

Russia expects to score heavily in the equestrian events and it is considered a foregone conclusion that the walking competition at 10,000 and 50,000 meters will go to Moscow's Pyotr Gromyko. He would be the first heel-and-toe specialist to score a double since Ugo Frigerio, of Italy, won at 3,000 meters and 10,000 meters in 1920.

Japanese swimmers, Scandinavian distance runners, Czech gymnasts, British, German and American oarsmen are rated tops.

Only by incantation and sorcery could one predict what records will be broken. Some surely must go in this greatest sports production of world history. It seems impossible that Earle Meadows' twenty-four-year-old pole-vault mark of 14 feet 3% inches could survive. Last time Olympians gathered, only one man in the world had cleared 15 feet. A dozen or more have done it since.

In 1948, the four-minute mile was a dream. In the last three years, the magic figure has been surpassed three times, by a Finn, by a Swede, by a Belgian. The Olympic record of 3 minutes 47 8/10 seconds for the 1,500 (the metric mile) is almost certainly a dead duck.

Inevitably, there will be disputes and debates, wrangling and bickering, protests and disqualifications. It wouldn't be the Olympics without such. But maybe that sort of furor is a healthy thing. It is the voice of a friendly world at play. And it has been so long since there was time for play. — THE END

March 19, 2017

1948. Secretary Forrestal Visits Berlin to Review the Airlift

The Airlift as an "Investment in Peace"
"Heidelberg, Germany, November 15, 1948: Secretary of Defense James V. Forrestal, wrapping up a three-day European Command inspection tour, asks a member of the 7777th Honor Guard about his uniform decorations during a review" (source)
Bill Downs

CBS Berlin

November 14, 1948

It is a dull, dreary, rainy, foggy, nasty Sunday in Berlin—the kind that the Russians talk about when they say that the Anglo-American airlift will fail this winter.

No planes have landed at the Tempelhof airdrome for the past thirteen hours, and only a dribble of supplies have come through to Gatow in this time. The weather is supposed to lift this afternoon, but thus far there have been no signs of it. Bad weather has closed most of the zonal airports as well.

I was out at Tempelhof this morning. The ramps are covered with idle planes. Tired and unshaven airmen, caught all night away from their bases, are sitting around sweating out the weather, bored with it and, one gathers, pretty much bored with the airlift itself. The glamor is gone from the airlift. It is now just a tough job.

Secretary of Defense Forrestal was scheduled to leave at 10:30 this morning after a series of conferences with General Clay and Ambassador Bedell Smith.

But Forrestal got a little more of the airlift than he bargained for. He was stuck at Tempelhof an extra two hours and finally took off in the soupiest weather we have had so so far this winter.

All the secretary would say about his trip to Berlin is that "it is a long-delayed look at the job the airlift is doing." He said he conferred with Clay and our Moscow ambassador on broad and general matters. He praised the airlift and said that it is costing the American about $100 million a year.

This is an interesting statement. When the airlift began, officials used to speak of it as costing so much a day. Then it became so much a week, and now a member of the Cabinet reckons the cost by years.

Secretary Forrestal defined this airlift expenditure as "a good investment in peace."

When a reporter asked how he felt about "peace or war" in the present international crisis, Forrestal answered: "The whole world wants peace."

But out at Tempelhof this morning the feeling was that those weary airlift fliers wanted good weather almost as much.

This is Bill Downs. Now back to CBS in New York.

March 18, 2017

1943. The Soviets Capture Vyazma

The Soviet Command's Unrelenting Offensive
Red Army soldiers on the march to Vyazma, March 4, 1943 (source)
The parentheses indicate portions that did not pass Soviet censors for military or propaganda reasons.

(For more, see the complete 1943 Moscow reports.)
Bill Downs

CBS Moscow

March 9, 1943

On the front west of Moscow, Soviet commanders have worked out a "Notre Dame system" of substituting their combat teams, which has enabled the Red Army to keep up a steady twenty-four hour day and night attack.

This system was used in the capture of Sychyovka, the important highway and railroad town forty-five miles north of Vyazma. It also is being employed west of Gzhatsk, where the Soviet troops are advancing on Vyazma at the rate of five miles a day.

This morning's communiqué revealed that the Soviet forces had captured the small town of Sergo-Ivanovskaya, only twenty miles northwest of Vyazma (where the railroad bends sharply southward toward the city. A further twenty inhabited points were captured in the vicinity of Sergo-Ivanovskaya in last night's fighting.)

Here's the way the Russian military version of the "Notre Dame system" works. In their drive down the railroad north of Vyazma, infantry battalions supported by tanks will keep the Germans busy throughout the day. At nightfall, fresh Russian troops, who have been sleeping and resting all day, will take over the offensive and keep the Germans up all night. Then at dawn the day shift will take over again.

(It was this type of substitution offensive which kept the Germans busy for two days at Sychyovka, resulting in the capture of the town.)
__________________________

Bill Downs

CBS Moscow

March 12, 1943

Russian forces have broken the last German bastion on the Moscow front, capturing Vyazma, the only remaining key point in the Nazi line before the Soviet capital.

More importantly, the Red Army has cleared the last main railroad junction on the railroad line leading from Smolensk to Moscow. The Germans this morning claimed that the Nazi forces had withdrawn from Vyazma, but it was a pretty costly evacuation. Nine German soldiers were killed in this fighting.

This evening at eight o'clock I returned from a trip to this front west of Moscow. I didn't get down to Vyazma, but I visited Rzhev, seventy-five miles north of the town. For twelve hours today I traveled by bus through the plains west of Moscow—plains that are exactly like those in the Vyazma district. As you know, the Red Army captured Rzhev nine days ago. Both here and at Vyazma the Germans had almost a year and a half to build their defense—and they were terrific.

March 17, 2017

1949. A New Phase of American Foreign Policy for Germany

Secretary of State Dean Acheson Visits West Germany
"Secretary of State Dean Acheson signs the Atlantic defense treaty for the United States, in Washington on April 4, 1949" (source)
Bill Downs

CBS Berlin

November 8, 1949

German public opinion is optimistic today on the eve of the important foreign ministers meeting in Paris, for the West German Republic expects that the Western Powers will loosen their bonds of occupation and allow the new nation to take its first independent step along the road to national sovereignty.

America's High Commissioner John McCloy left Frankfurt for Paris this morning and should be in the French capital now. He takes with him a proposal by the Bonn government wherein the Germans themselves worked out a program of industrial security which at the same time would stop the dismantling of German industries. The dismantling program is the most disputed subject, politically and economically, in the country and the major source of disagreement between the Occupation Powers.

The German proposal is designed to put down the fears of industrial rearmament in Germany and at the same time bring about an end to the dismantling.

Some German political commentators also are speculating that the American, British, and French foreign ministers may decide to declare an official end to the war with Germany, a move which would demonstrate the West's confidence in the West German state and counter the surface sovereignty granted to the East German puppet nation by Russia.

But whatever the decisions arrived at in Paris, it is plain that a new chapter in the history of the infant West German Republic is in the making.

The appointment of Russia's Marshal Rokossovsky as the Defense Minister of Poland has resulted in another wave of rumors from Eastern Europe. One is that Rokossovsky's former job as commander of Russia's western defense forces will be taken by Marshal Timoshenko, who has been out of the news since his failure in 1943 to defend the city of Kharkov. The report says that Timoshenko has been in the Far East training the Chinese Communist troops and that his success there has been rewarded by the new command in the West.

One West Berlin newspaper, commenting on the events in Poland, points out that Foreign Minister Vyshinsky was born in the former Polish city of Lemberg, but that it is unnecessary to announce Vyshinsky as a member of the Polish Cabinet since their Foreign Office is already Moscow-controlled.

This is Bill Downs in Berlin. Now back to CBS in New York.
__________________________

Bill Downs

CBS Berlin

November 10, 1949

Secretary of State Dean Acheson's projected visit to Germany following the Paris conference is causing a lot of excitement here today.

The American foreign secretary will be the highest foreign official to visit Bonn since the creation of the West German government, and political observers predict that Mr. Acheson is coming to Germany for purposes more than just to shake hands with President Theodor Heuss and Chancellor Konrad Adenauer. Plans are being made to receive him in Berlin if Acheson decides to fly here.

High Commissioner John McCloy and Acheson are scheduled to meet German governmental leaders in Bonn on Saturday or Sunday. German sources say the Secretary of State will make a speech at the University of Bonn, a speech which they predict will match in importance the address that Secretary of State James Byrnes made in Stuttgart in 1946. At that time, Byrnes set down American policy in Germany, committing the United States to long-term occupation of the country and the reconstruction of a prosperous and peaceful democratic nation.

Secretary Acheson, whether he makes an address or not, is expected to reveal a new projection of American foreign policy based on the decisions of the Paris conference.

German politicians are happy about the whole thing. They figure that West Germany can't lose; that the mere fact that the foreign ministers are discussing dismantling of German industries means that a change is being contemplated. The best guess here is that the foreign ministers will emerge with a new formula for integrating Germany into the economic unity of Western Europe. This formula would contain further safeguards against reconstruction of any war industry here, but at the same time curtail dismantling so that steel, rubber, and oil plants earmarked for destruction could produce for European recovery.

Whether or not the American, British, and French foreign ministers will agree to declare an official end of the war with Germany is unknown here, but hopes are high that the Western Powers will take this step. It would be an important move in seizing the political initiative away from Russia in the East-West struggle for Germany.

This is Bill Downs in Berlin. Now back to CBS in New York.
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Bill Downs

CBS Frankfurt

November 11, 1949

Leaders of the West German Federal Republic this morning are pleased and perplexed at the results of the Paris conference of the Western foreign ministers.

The ambiguous communiqué from the conference clearly has set the West German state on a new course of European cooperation with the West. For this, the Bonn politicians are pleased. But just how much and in what manner this economic and political integration is to be achieved has the Germans puzzled.

We may find out more of what the foreign ministers decided when Secretary of State Dean Acheson arrives in Frankfurt this afternoon. Acheson will go to Bonn on Sunday to meet President Theodor Heuss and Chancellor Konrad Adenauer. On Monday he flies to Berlin to meet officials there and then will return to Washington.

But in the final analysis, the foreign ministers have agreed that democratic Germany must play an increasingly important part in Western European recovery through her industrial production and her growing market for imports.

The other important point is that, despite Europe's need for Germany's productivity, the victorious nations of the West are going to insist on their right to call the signals.

In this sense, the foreign ministers have put Germany on probation, for, as the communiqué says, it is to be expected that the West German state will give "further evidence of its pacific intentions and of its sincere desire to associate itself with those nations devoted to the cause of democracy, justice under the law, and peace."

So now begins a new series of negotiations between the three high commissioners and the German Federal Republic. The negotiations will center on the necessity of dismantling German industry and the question of broadening the Allied Occupation Statute to allow the Bonn government to have economic and consular representation abroad.

In other words, the Western Allies hope they can change the German slogan from "Deutschland über alles" to "Deustchland in cooperation with the Allies."

There appears to be a good chance that this might be achieved.

This is Bill Downs in Frankfurt. Now back to CBS in New York.
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Bill Downs

CBS Frankfurt

November 12, 1949

Secretary of State Dean Acheson is in the old university town of Heidelberg today for conferences with General Thomas Handy and other high American military officials who command US troops in Germany.

This meeting is officially described as a courtesy call and part of the program which Acheson set down for himself to "listen and absorb" while in this country. But the conferences in Heidelberg serve to underline the close connection between European recovery and European defense in the postwar struggle for peace.

When he arrived at the Rhein-Main airfield last evening, Secretary Acheson said that the Paris decisions regarding the West German government would reveal themselves in "the weeks and months to come." In other words, that the Paris decisions were not hard and fast demands or agreements, but more in the nature of "plans of action" for the future.

But American foreign policy is altering, and from here it is becoming increasingly clear that the position of defeated Germany today is gradually changing from that of a vanquished nation to be one of the keystones of the European Recovery Program. The United States is more ready to accept this situation than is France or Britain.

But proof that Germany is once again emerging as a European power—however weak—comes in the mere fact that the American, British, and French high commissioners are not committed to negotiate with the West German political leaders on matters of industrial dismantling; on the question of broadening our Occupation Statute to allow German representation abroad; and to persuade the German republic to give satisfactory guarantees that the nation will not prepare for war if we allow her to produce for European recovery.

Tomorrow Secretary Acheson and High Commissioner McCloy go to the Rhineland capital of Bonn to confer with the heads of the Federal Republic. The right-wing parties which make up Chancellor Konrad Adenauer's government are generally expressing satisfaction with the Paris conference. But the powerful opposition Socialists are crying that Adenauer is selling out to the Allies.

First reaction to the Paris meeting from the Communists comes today in the Red Army newspaper Tägliche Rundschau, published in Berlin.

The foreign ministers conference, according to the newspaper, is another attempt to split Germany and marshal her into the Western camp as a partner in arms against the peaceful Soviet Union.

This is Bill Downs in Frankfurt. Now back to CBS in New York.
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Bill Downs

CBS Bonn

November 13, 1949

The stars and stripes is flying alongside the red, black, and gold banner of the West German Federal Republic in Bonn today, symbolic of the visit of Secretary of State Dean Acheson to this capital and of the new phase of United States foreign policy which again welcomes a postwar Germany to work with the West for world peace.

Secretary Acheson brought greetings from President Truman to Professor Theodor Heuss, president of the new republic, who returned the formality.

In his only public statement, Acheson congratulated the German president on the progress of his government and expressed the hope of the United States that Germany once again can become a member of the European community of nations.

It was all very stiff, very formal, and very important.

Heuss told the American foreign secretary that he was gratified to hear that Acheson was going to visit Berlin, where he goes tomorrow. The German president said that the Berlin problem is a serious one which the republic cannot solve alone; only with the help of the Western world. He added that his government is grateful for the aid America has been sending, particularly in the aid to refugees pouring westward from the Soviet zone. Many of these people would have starved without it, Heuss said.

There was no mention of last week's foreign ministers conference in Paris, but the American and German officials arranged that the three Western high commissioners would come to Bonn on Tuesday. They will start negotiations on dismantling and other questions which eventually will reveal the extent which the West wants Germany to participate in European affairs and the new limit of power which the victorious West feels is safe to grant her all-too-recent enemy.

Acheson arrived here by train shortly before noon, accompanied by High Commissioner John McCloy and other American officials. The party was met by Chancellor Konrad Adenauer.

Protocol and dignity were hip-deep on the Bonn station platform. Chancellor Adenauer was dressed in a cutaway, striped trousers, and a derby hat brand new for the occasion. Acheson was more at ease in standard diplomat's uniform and the inevitable homburg hat.

However, eager German photographers and newsmen, recognizing big game when they see it, almost ruined the dignity of the greeting with a galloping charge and scramble that sometimes threatened to knock the dignitaries off their feet.

At this moment, the Secretary of State is holding an hour-long private conference with the German chancellor in which he is expected to summarize the findings of the Paris conference. Later this afternoon there will be a reception to which German governmental leaders and the British and French high commissioners have been invited.

This is Bill Downs in Bonn. Now back to CBS in New York.

March 16, 2017

1943. Chairman Kalinin Places Russian Railroad Lines Under Martial Law

Kalinin's Decree
"Soviet soldiers lead house-to-house fighting in the outskirts of Königsberg, East Prussia, Germany, in April of 1945" (source)
The parentheses indicate portions that did not pass Soviet censors for military or propaganda reasons.

(For more, see the complete 1943 Moscow reports.)
Bill Downs

CBS Moscow

April 16, 1943

(The Red Army is moving again in the Kuban. Last night's and this morning's communiqués have that old ring of victory which we became so familiar with during the winter offensive. Last night the Soviet forces in the Kuban captured one German point of support. Strong Axis forces attempted to restore their position but only succeeded in losing a couple of tanks, some guns, and a lot of men. The heavy spring rains and thaws are just about over in the Northern Caucasus, and the more the sun shines, the heavier the air fighting will become in the Kuban sack.)

Red Army airmen reporting back from Wednesday night's long-range bombing mission to Danzig and Königsberg say that they put a blizzard of high explosives and incendiaries square on their targets in these two important Nazi industrial and supply centers.

A special observer from the Soviet air command traveled with the planes that flew to Danzig. This officer said (the ack-ack here was particularly intense and spread in a wide circle around the city. However, all of the Russian planes got through, and fires and explosions were seen in several districts of the city.) Bombs hit a military target between the two canals that run through the center of the city. The district around the city hall also was hit, and bombs plastered the port area where there are large concentrations of oil.

The Königsberg attack, the third the city has had in the past six days, again smashed the city's power station and at the big Königsberg railroad junctions. Bombs also were dropped in the harbor district.

President Kalinin has signed a decree of the Supreme Soviet putting all railroad workers in Russia under martial law.

The decree said the move was taken to "eliminate the lack of discipline" among a small minority of railroad workers. The overwhelming majority, it said, are honestly and conscientiously fulfilling their duties. Then the decree added: "But it is impossible to admit that an undisciplined minority should frustrate the uninterrupted supply of the front."

This decree is the most far-reaching yet taken in Soviet industry since the war began. It puts all railroad lines under martial law for the duration. Stoppages, carelessness, persistent tardiness, and laziness—which are considered crimes in the Soviet Union during wartime—will in the future be subject for court-martial (by Red Army officials.)

(And upon conviction of a crime on the railroads, the worker is subject to dismissal from his job, after which he will be sent to the front to join special penalty brigades. In addition, executives of the railroad lines have the right to put a worker under "administrative arrests" for minor infractions for up to a period of twenty days.)

(This is a very severe and important law. However, you will notice it carries a "for the duration" provision and presumably will be repealed when the war ends. It's the way Russia has been fighting this war, and the government's severity on important questions is one of the reasons why she is winning.)

March 15, 2017

World War III: "Trouble at Tuaviti" by John Savage

Trouble at Tuaviti
"The Soviet officer looked annoyed for a minute, then put on an unconvincing smile. 'We come to ask for hospitality,' he said abruptly." Art from Collier's magazine, October 27, 1951, p. 45
In 1951, Collier's magazine published a special issue entitled "Preview of the War We Do Not Want" speculating about a hypothetical World War III and what it might look like. The war begins in 1952 and ends in 1955 with the collapse of the Soviet Union, followed by a UN occupation of Russia. Writer Robert E. Sherwood provided an extensive history of the war.

A number of other notable figures contributed fictional reports about the war and its history, including Edward R. Murrow, Hal Boyle, Walter Reuther, Marguerite Higgins, Walter Winchell, Kathryn Morgan-Ryan, Allan Nevins, Hanson W. Baldwin, Oksana Kasenkina, Lowell Thomas, Harry Schwartz, Margaret Chase Smith, Erwin Canham, and Arthur Koestler.

In this short story by John Savage, a Soviet submarine crew attempts a covert takeover of the fictional, British-controlled island of Tuaviti in the South Pacific.

From Collier's magazine, October 27, 1951, pp. 44, 124-129:
TROUBLE at TUAVITI

Far out in the South Pacific, one private islander, who knew how to distinguish strength from bluster, robbed the enemy of a base that might have been used in the destruction of the United States

By JOHN SAVAGE

A million men in swivel chairs have dreamed of Tuaviti, without even knowing its name. They've seen the white lace of foam that lies on the water over the reef. They've seen the pale-green lagoon, the lavender sand, the beautiful people, the coconut fronds stirring in the Trades. And they've said it was too good to be true. "Those South Sea Island paradises used to exist, sure, but then came Captain Cook, and then came the whalers, then civilized diseases, and then the second and third World Wars. It's all ruined now."

As a matter of fact, it's not. Not ruined—but not quite the fulfillment of the escapists' dream, either; not quite the perfect hiding place.

During the second World War, the atoll of Tuaviti was lucky. Its strategic importance was zero. Its harbor was worthless. It didn't have half enough level land for an airstrip.

But, in a sense, the third World War began at Tuaviti. In a sense, the Soviets lost the war at that pinpoint on the Pacific map, three days before the attempted assassination of Tito—the Soviets' greatest miscalculation, which touched off the terrible global conflict.

After the second World War, except for the attentions of a certain young American missionary, Tuaviti and its forty-odd people lived on undisturbed until the spring of 1952. Then something happened. It happened because strategic importance changes with changing weapons. It happened because good luck can't last forever.

The day of the Soviet intrusion began as peacefully as any other day. At six thirty, the Reverend Matthew Lincoln woke up, dressed himself in sneakers, shorts and a T-shirt, and—noting that his wife was still asleep—stepped quietly out onto the veranda. He squatted there in the cool sunshine and yawned contentedly. Being a sensible young man and a great believer in never racing his motor, he made no further move for several minutes.

Matthew Lincoln was a bronzed and bony American of thirty-one. His reddish-blond hair was cut very short (although he had never succeeded in getting his wife to cut it short enough to suit him), and his eyebrows were tufts of coppery red. The eyebrows made his face look craggy and faintly boyish at the same time. Usually he was smiling, but this morning he was not wide enough awake to look anything but amiably blank. He allowed five minutes for his blood to start moving. Then he stepped down from the veranda and started walking briskly along the curving beach.

A hundred yards from home he met the Kanaka whose name was John-Enoch. The tall brown man had already finished his morning's fishing and was draping his palm-fiber net over sticks thrust into the sand.

"Good morning, John-Enoch," Matthew said.

John-Enoch smiled and stood up. "Good morning. Shepherd," he said. Matthew was used to this title. He had thought it best to teach the islanders the English word "shepherd" instead of the Latin word "pastor."

The reef fish John-Enoch had caught were lying on a taro leaf on the sand. Matthew looked down at them and made the mistake of saying, "Nice fish."

The fish were beautiful, all right. They made a glistening bouquet of red, black, silver and blue. But Matthew realized he should have known better than to admire them aloud.

John-Enoch slipped both hands under the leaf, raised it, and offered it to him. "You take. I give," he said.

The silent explosion in Matthew's head was his version of what would have been profanity in a less godly young man. He had to accept the confounded fish now, and John-Enoch's family would have none. Unless he could pull a fast one . . .

Suddenly Matthew smiled. He accepted the fish, bowed slightly, took three steps away, and then came back. "Now you take, my brother. I give."

It wasn't exactly fair, and it was too much for John-Enoch. With a confused look, he took the fish and put them back on the sand. Then he nodded slowly, grinned, and seemed to dismiss the matter. "I wish you a happy walking, Shepherd," he said, and Matthew left him.

The pastor walked another two hundred yards along the beach and then took the trail that led up to the top of Tuaviti's only mountain. He reached the summit twenty minutes later and sat down on the worn stone that was his place of morning prayer. Beside him, in a wild orange tree, two myna birds were lazily scolding each other. It was a restful sound.

Matthew prayed aloud, in a low voice, asking for continued blessings on the forty-three inhabitants of the island. He asked also, as he often did, for perfect humility in himself. "After all, Heavenly Father, when a man walks around with people calling him 'Shepherd' all day, he runs a certain risk. Please help me keep it clear in their minds and my own that the only Shepherd who really counts is You. Amen."

He got up off the rock and looked around him. The little mountaintop afforded a perfect view of the rest of the island. Matthew was standing on one end of a green crescent half a mile long and three hundred yards wide at its widest point. The crescent was really part of a complete circle, but the rest of the circle was under water, even at low tide. Among the coconut trees below him, he could see the palm-thatched beehive roofs of the houses, each with a square of white canvas beside it to catch the rain water. He looked out along the reef and saw that there were three or four natives in their outrigger boats, still casting their nets.

Then he let his eyes move off idly toward the horizon. In all directions the sea was glassy smooth, deep blue, and friendly. The trade wind from southeast to northwest was only a delicate breeze at this hour of the morning, and nothing ruffled the indigo serenity of the water. His gaze moved carelessly back to the natives who were fishing.

And then he saw something.

At first he thought it was a white sea bird, skimming low over the water. A second later he realized that the thing itself was black; what had caught his eye was the white triangle of wake that followed it. He guessed he must be looking at the protruding fin of some very large fish. It was at least a mile away, and he couldn't see it clearly, but it seemed to be tall and slender—almost too tall for a fin. Could hardly be anything else, though.

He watched it as it moved silently along and began, in a slow curve, to circle the island. He could ask the fishermen about it when they came in, but probably they wouldn't have seen it, being so low in their boats and so busy with fishing.

Matthew shrugged, turned, and went down the path again. On the beach at the foot of the mountain, he stripped off all his clothes except sneakers and shorts and walked out into the water. Sneakers were unhandy for swimming, but if you didn't wear them the coral would cut your feet to pieces, unless you had superior feet, like the natives.

Matthew thought of the islanders as he swam, and particularly of John-Enoch. He chuckled, remembering his own victory in the matter of the fish.

After his swim, he trotted up and down the beach for a minute or two, to dry off, and then got dressed again and walked back to the house.

On the floor of the veranda, beside the front door, lay a fresh taro leaf with John-Enoch's fish on it. All of them.

Matthew sighed, picked up the leaf with both hands, and walked into the house. Janet was awake now, sitting on the edge of the bed, looking tousled and beautiful.

She smiled when she saw what he was carrying. "Hooked you again, I see,'' she said.

"Yeah."

"You should have been a high-steeple preacher." She yawned. "In Seattle you wouldn't have had such problems."

Matthew grinned and kissed her good morning. "You know how I feel about this island." He stepped into the kitchen and put his fish in the screened cooler, with the three that were left from last time. No, sir, Tuaviti was where he belonged. Back home, Janet had had war jitters; she liked it here, in their own private, inviolable world. His whole duty lay here. If he had disturbing little doubts about that, once in a while, he'd better just forget them, in the interests of everybody.

"We have eggs for breakfast again?" he called.

"No. Hot cakes."

"Good." Matthew paused, listening. Somebody was playing the little pump organ in the chapel beside the house. Must be Tia. But the music was something he'd never heard before.

"Tia's getting good," Janet said. "I've taught her more music in three years than I could have taught anyone else in ten."

"What's that piece she's playing?" Matthew asked. The music had a sweet peacefulness to it that seemed exactly to fit Tuaviti.

"Schafe Können Sicher Weiden. It's from a Bach cantata. In English it's called Sheep May Safely Graze."

"Oh," Matthew said. "Well, I like it." He strolled over to his desk and glanced absently at his notes for tomorrow's sermon, but he was still listening to Sheep May Safely Graze. It seemed just about the most serene and noble melody he'd ever heard—even mixed up as it was with the wheeze of the organ's bellows. He was surprised that anybody could have composed such a piece of music without ever having seen Tuaviti and its gentle people. "I'll ask her to play it in church," he said, as he sat down to his hot cakes.

•   •   •

After breakfast, he and Janet strolled outside, past the row of plantains and croton bushes, to the beach. They could still hear Tia's music. She was repeating the Bach thing. Matthew noticed now that there was a little phrase in the treble that sounded like part of Yankee Doodle, of all things. For Matthew, as he gazed out over the lagoon and the sea, the whole piece had a most touching poignancy, even the Yankee Doodle part. Perhaps especially the Yankee Doodle part. Matthew was a long way from his own country.

Suddenly he gasped and shouted, "Look!"

The moving fin he had seen earlier in the morning had appeared again, just beyond the reef, but it was rising now. A gleaming cylinder pushed up under it out of the sea, and an immense knife of steel broke water thirty yards beyond. Swiftly the submarine brought her whole length to the surface, streaming water from her sides, and then lay silent and motionless in the deep blue water beyond the reef.

Janet grasped Matthew's arm. Somewhere down the beach a native shouted. Soon the islanders were running toward Matthew from all directions, pressing close to him, staring at the magical craft.

For a moment the submarine lay dead. Then Matthew saw a hatch open on the deck, and three men stepped out. They threw something shapeless and gray into the sea. It inflated and became a rubber boat. They stepped into the boat, and one of them began rowing it toward shore. Behind them, other men issued from the hatch and walked out along the wet deck of the submarine, stretching their legs, waving their arms, and punching one another playfully. Their voices carried clearly enough over the water, but Matthew couldn't understand the words. They seemed to be in a foreign language.

"I think you'd all better go inside your houses," he said to the islanders. "Take children. Go home. I'll talk to them."

The rubber boat was making directly for where he stood, and he could see now that one of the uniformed men in it held a pistol in his hand. By the time the boat hit the beach, Matthew and Janet stood alone to meet it. A large man stepped out and saluted them, then gave Janet a brief glance and removed his naval officer's cap. "Est-ce que vous parlez français, Monsieur?" His French was fast but guttural.

"I speak English," Matthew said.

The big officer looked annoyed for a moment, then ran his hand over big heavy jowls and put on an unconvincing smile. "It is good," he announced. "Let us speak English. I am Commander Ilya Trubetskoy." He stopped.

"Matthew Lincoln," the missionary said. "My wife."

The commander bowed. "We come to ask for hospitality," he said abruptly. He was careful to smile again.

•   •   •

Matthew glanced uneasily at the two men in the boat. Each of them was playing with a heavy automatic, as if examining something that had been offered for sale. "Tuaviti is British," Matthew said to Trubetskoy. "I'm afraid I can't deal with your request one way or the other. Perhaps if you applied to the authorities at Suva or at Ocean Island—"

"You are very kind, but it is impossible for us to do as you suggest. We have had a mechanical failure. We must remain."

"How long will your repairs take?"

The Russian gave Matthew a bland look. "It will not be possible to make repairs."

"You won't be permitted to stay," Matthew said stiffly, "The British—"

Trubetskoy held up his hand. "It will not be known that we are here."

Matthew was about to explain that the monthly mail boat was due in two days, but he caught himself in time. That little surprise might come in handy later on.

Trubetskoy turned to the men in the rubber boat and fired off a volley of orders in Russian. The two sailors pulled the boat up on the dry sand, left it, and crossed the beach to Matthew's house. Trubetskoy smiled at Matthew. "My men will search most politely. If they find no radio transmitter, they will disturb nothing."

Matthew watched the two strangers enter his house, and—although he was a slow man to anger—he could feel the blood rising to his cheeks. "What's your real business here?" he said.

"This is a case of mechanical breakdown," the Russian said imperturbably. "It is quite without other meanings. We will live with you in harmony for an indefinite time. That is all."

"I see." Matthew was pretty sure he knew how much of a "shipwreck" it was. But why were they doing it? What use could the Soviets have for this little lopsided ring of coral in the middle of nowhere? And how could they expect to hold it? Tuaviti was thousands of miles from any Red sphere of influence. The Great Powers had been on the edge of open conflict for months, but Matthew and Janet had heard a news broadcast on their own little battery-powered radio last night; the world was still at an uneasy peace. The Reds would have to keep their tiny conquest a secret, if they were to keep it at all.

That fact gave Matthew hope. He held one ace: he hadn't told them about the mail boat.

"Today," Trubetskoy said, "we will set up a tent on the top of your mountain, if you do not mind."

Fat lot of good it would do if I did mind, thought Matthew. He watched the two sailors return from their search and relaunch the rubber boat. All three Russians climbed in, but before they rowed away toward the submarine, the commander gently trumped Matthew's ace. "I will speak to you tomorrow, Mr. Lincoln," he called, "about what to do on Monday, when the mail boat comes."

By the middle of the afternoon, the rubber boat had made several trips from the submarine to the shore, bringing wooden packing cases of peculiar shapes and various sizes. Sailors carried all the boxes up the mountain to a tent they had set up on the summit. Matthew, feeling angry and helpless, watched the work from the veranda of his house. After all the crates had been landed, the boat made another trip, bringing two passengers who were not in uniform.

There were several odd things about these two. They were both middle-aged, and both wore glasses. One of them had on a very baggy and cheap-looking tweed suit. The other was in shiny blue serge. As the two men started up the beach toward the mountain, Matthew heard them talking, and got a surprise. The language they spoke was not Russian but German.

Matthew's curiosity about the whole thing grew as the afternoon passed. Apparently the Soviets needed a Pacific island, but why had they chosen Tuaviti? Was it because Tuaviti was surrounded by an immense area of empty, unpatrolled ocean? So were plenty of other islands. Why hadn't the Reds avoided trouble by choosing one that was uninhabited?

Matthew scratched his chin. Maybe they had purposely selected an island with people on it, so that things wouldn't go so badly if they got caught. The presence of unharmed witnesses would prove that the Russians had meant nothing wrong. It would make their excuse of mechanical trouble more plausible.

But still, why Tuaviti? There were plenty of other spots, far from shipping lanes and land. What did Tuaviti have that most small atolls didn't?

A mountain?

Matthew raised his eyes to the place where he had prayed a few hours ago. A mountain. Was that what they needed?

Early in the evening, he made a decision and started up the beach toward the mountain. He intended to climb to the top and find out what was going on. At the foot of the trail, he was stopped by a sailor armed with a carbine. The sentry apparently could speak no English, but his gestures with the carbine were eloquent enough. Matthew scowled at him and then turned around and went home.

"What did you find out?" Janet asked, looking worried.

"Nothing." He wished he could tell her more. He loved Janet so much that her anxiety was like a knife in his chest.

"What do you suppose they're here for?"

"I don't know. I—" Abruptly Matthew held up his hand and said, "Listen!" A land crab was clattering across the coral under their window, but the sound Matthew had heard was something else. Somewhere in the distance a gasoline engine had started, coughed, died, then started again and settled down to a steady drone.

"Airplane?" Janet asked uncertainly.

"No. It's something on the mountain. Might be a generator."

"What would that mean?"

"Maybe nothing." Matthew fought down his misgivings. "Maybe they just want electric lights to eat their supper by."

Janet stepped to the window and looked up at the mountaintop. "I don't see any lights," she said.

Matthew slept little that night. He kept wondering about those two Germans in civilian clothes. Hadn't he read somewhere that some of the Reds' work on rockets and guided missiles was being done by captured German scientists?

Matthew lay quietly and tried to decide what to do. Surely his first responsibility was for the safety of his own flock. But was the safety of Tuaviti all he ought to think about? Didn't he have some responsibility for the rest of the world? That question brought back the secret doubt that had been chewing at him ever since he came here. Had he been right to refuse the Seattle job and devote all his energy to this little handful of islanders? After all, these people were a small group, and so simple and isolated that they were scarcely a part of the great world at all.

Even before breakfast, Janet noticed his eyes. “Matt, you haven't slept!"

He smiled and said, "Not much, I guess. It doesn't matter."

•   •   •

After breakfast he felt much better. It was Sunday morning, the only time he ever got a chance to see all the islanders under one roof, and he always enjoyed it.

Tia was already in the chapel, seated at the midget organ, when he got there. She was a slim, golden-skinned girl of eighteen, in a lava-lava of red cotton. Matthew said, "When the others start coming in, I wish you'd play Sheep May Safely Graze."

"You like it too, then?" asked Tia.

"I like it very much," said Matthew. "And you play it like an angel."

Tia giggled. Giggling was an unfortunate habit of the islanders, and something you had to get used to, church or no church. Matthew believed it was a sign of a clear conscience and a whole heart, and therefore should not be discouraged, especially in God's house.

The people of the island began filing in. They sat down on the benches, their Sunday dignity interrupted by awed whispering about the intruders. A few of the men wore trousers and shirts, and a few of the women wore cotton dresses, but most of the members of both sexes were in native dress. Even the children wore something, because it was Sunday.

The tension among the people relaxed when Tia began to play. Matthew listened, marveling at how intensely the island girl brought out the meaning of the music. By the time she had finished playing, the chapel was full. After several hymns—sung badly, but lustily by everyone—Matthew told the story of Cain and Abel. The line, "Am I my brother's keeper?" was what particularly interested him this morning, because he'd thought so much the night before about his own responsibilities.

He was approaching the end of his sermon when he saw someone standing in the chapel doorway, behind the backs of the congregation. Trubetskoy. The Russian waited in silence until the sermon ended; then he walked up the aisle.

"I will say a few words, if you don't mind." Without waiting for permission, Trubetskoy turned toward the islanders.

"For your own good, I must tell you something," he said, shouting like a man who is unused to public speaking. "My people and I are guests of you. But this must not be known. You know it, but you must not tell it. Not when the mail boat comes. Not when other strangers come, if they should come. You must not tell it. You must live exactly as before." He paused. Then he said deliberately, "If one of you tells it, all will be killed."

Trubetskoy stopped. Matthew was thunderstruck at the baldness of the threat, or bluff, or whatever it was. He saw that the islanders were looking at him now, waiting for his words—all the islanders except one. The thoughtful eyes of John-Enoch had not left the Russian.

Matthew considered for a moment and then said, "That's right. Do not tell." . . .

When he got home, he found Janet feeling nervous and trying to hide the fact. "Do you think they mean to do anything to us?" she asked casually.

"That depends on who you mean by 'us.'" Matthew frowned, because he was nearing the core of his problem. "If 'us' means you and me and the people of this island, then the answer is no. The commander and his comrades want us to go right on as usual."

"Then maybe everything will be all right." Janet started setting the table for lunch.

Matthew nodded. "Maybe it will. But if 'us' includes your mother in Seattle and somebody's Uncle Oscar in Charleston—then I'm not so sure about how safe we are." He stepped to the window and looked up at the mountaintop. He could make out the figures of two men, working on a platform that was lashed to the crown of the highest coconut tree. They seemed to be setting up some kind of antenna—an odd rig that looked like a couple of shiny bicycle wheels, standing on edge, one above the other. "I'm not so sure," he said again.

He and Janet listened to their radio as they ate. The news of the world was as unsettling as ever. "And I thought we'd got away from all that," said Janet, wistfully, as the grim recital ended.

While they were having their coffee, they heard the Russians' generator start up again. Soon after that, something suddenly ruined their radio reception. A pulsating, crackling static was all they could hear. Then, gradually, the static died away. Matthew thought of the generator on the mountaintop. Something ominous was beginning, and he didn't like it.

Half an hour after lunch, there was a knock on the door. The visitor was Trubetskoy, and he was alone. He came in and stood opposite Janet and Matthew, his finger tips on the table. "You will wish to send letters on the mail boat," he said.

"Naturally," said Matthew.

"Very well. But I am afraid that I must be permitted to read them first."

Matthew swallowed his anger and tried to think clearly. If he was going to rebel, tomorrow would be the day for it—not today. "All right," he said. "We can have our letters ready for you by ten o'clock tomorrow morning. The mail boat usually gets here around noon."

"It happens to be about two hours behind schedule this time," Trubetskoy said with a smile. Then he answered Matthew's unspoken question. "The radio transmitter on the mail boat is quite talkative. The submarine listens."

Matthew said, "All right. Then twelve o'clock should be soon enough for you to see our letters."

"Very good," said Trubetskoy.

•   •   •

After the commander had gone, Matthew spent two hours writing letters. Harmless ones. When he had finished, he took a stroll outside. He walked alone, since Janet was busy in John-Enoch's house, teaching her class in English.

Thinking hard, Matthew wandered past the chapel and down the beach, away from the mountain. What a simple thing it would be, tomorrow, to tell Jim McBride the whole story! Jim was captain of the mail boat, and Matthew often paddled a proa out beyond the reef to talk to him for a few minutes while the mail boat stood outside Tuaviti's lagoon. It would be the easiest thing in the world to paddle out there tomorrow and tell Jim.

If one of you tells it, all will be killed. Trubetskoy had almost certainly been bluffing when he said those words. The murder of the islanders wouldn't help the Russians any, once the secret was out. And it would ruin their fiction about a mechanical breakdown.

Still, he couldn't be sure. If he told the secret, he'd be risking the lives of forty-three people who loved and trusted him. Not to mention risking his wife's life, and his own. The Reds might only be using Tuaviti as a radio outpost anyway.

Matthew had been walking slowly, approaching the western tip of the island. When the noise began, he stopped walking instantly, stopped thinking, stopped breathing. He stopped everything and listened to the screaming in the sky.

Something like an immense bullet had passed over him, high in the air, and was now disappearing toward the south, moving so fast he could scarcely get his eyes on it. It had made no sound as it approached, but now—although it was miles away—the air was heavy with its whistling shriek.

As he watched, it went into a long, sweeping turn. Within seconds, although its noise was dying out, the thing itself began growing larger again, coming toward him at fantastic speed. It flashed past the tip of the island at a distance that might have been a mile or two, and Matthew saw that it had wings, of a sort. They were small, almost like fins, and they were swept back sharply. As it passed him it began turning again, and only then did the terrible sound of its passing strike his ears.

A half-formed suspicion made him turn his head and look at the top of Tuaviti's mountain. The shiny loops of the antenna were turning! The screaming bullet was flying in a great curve around the island now, and the antenna turned lazily, constantly presenting the same side to the missile, carefully following its flight.

No, not following! Guiding!

The gleaming missile circled the island four times and then straightened out, going north, gaining altitude rapidly. It was still climbing when it disappeared in the distance. Its course was straight now, and the antenna on the mountaintop stood still.

Matthew made for John-Enoch's house. He hated the thought of what he had to do.

John-Enoch was at home, although the English class was over and everyone else had left. He was sitting in his doorway. He stood up as Matthew approached.

Matthew said, "I must tell you something very bad, John-Enoch."

"Speak, Shepherd." The fear of the strange flying missile he had just seen was still in the Kanaka's eyes.

"Sit down, John-Enoch, and I'll sit down too. I have a lot to say."

•   •   •

They sat facing each other, just inside Kanaka's doorway, and Matthew talked. He told of his own country and how he loved it, and how for some years now it had been in the shadow of a great war. He told of coming to Tuaviti with Janet, and of the house and chapel he had built. He told of the nursing and teaching Janet had done. He described, as well as he could, his love for the island and its people. He did his best to make John-Enoch see how he felt. Then he said, "I have come to say to you that tomorrow I must tell Jim McBride about the Reds."

The expression of the Kanaka's face showed that he hadn't forgotten Trubetskoy's threat. "We will then be killed. Truth?" he asked.

"I doubt it. But we must put our trust in God. My radio says my country is not at war with their country. Not yet."

"Let it be as you say. Shepherd. But what was the flying thing?"

Matthew explained what little he knew about the weapon they had just seen. He admitted that this flight had probably been only a test, and that the missile might never be used for killing, so long as there was no new war. But he told John-Enoch about the thousands of lives it would destroy, if it were used. "We can't permit Tuaviti to be the home of such things, even if we die. Do you see that?"

"I see it," John-Enoch said. "Let tomorrow be as you say."

Matthew went home. He hated to tell Janet his decision, but she had to know.

She listened very calmly, controlling her fear so well that he was filled with admiration. "That Red Navy commander is a bag of wind, and I know it," she said, "But I'm very proud of you, Matt."

Tia was playing the organ again in the chapel beside the house. Matthew smiled ruefully. Sheep May Safely Graze.

•   •   •

He got an ironic enjoyment, the next morning, out of seeing how much trouble the Soviets went to, in preparation for the coming of the mail boat. They removed their control antenna and its platform, and they even dismantled their tent, because the top of it would be visible from the sea. By eleven o'clock the mountaintop looked just as it always had, although all the equipment was still there, hidden among the trees. The submarine, lying off the reef, ready to submerge, was the only visible sign that Tuaviti was in Russian hands.

At twelve thirty, the Soviet commander presented himself at Matthew's house. "Are the letters ready for inspection?" he asked.

Matthew handed Trubetskoy the sheaf of unsealed mail—his own and Janet's.

The commander sat at the table and read carefully for almost an hour. When he had finished, he said, "Very well," and leaned back in his chair. It was at that moment that things began going wrong.

Matthew waited impatiently for the man to say good-by and go aboard the submarine, but Trubetskoy made no move to go. Instead he asked, "Which is the best of the natives?"

"Their leader is a man named John-Enoch," Matthew said, sealing the last of his envelopes.

"Will you call him, please?"

Matthew stepped out on the veranda, saw John-Enoch sitting in his doorway, and called to him.

As soon as the Kanaka got inside Matthew's house, Trubetskoy stood up and picked up the stack of mail. "You will remain here," he said to Matthew and Janet. Then he said, "Come," to John-Enoch and led him out to the beach.

A moment later, Matthew and Janet could hear the Russian's voice, shouting a long and menacing harangue at the Kanaka. After a few minutes, Trubetskoy returned, still red in the face from his oratory, but looking pleased. He sat down again. The time was one forty-five.

Janet stared at him. "Aren't—aren't you going to the submarine?"

"But of course not." Trubetskoy smiled, took his automatic from its holster, and put it on the table. "I shall wait here until the mail boat has gone. I must be certain that you make no communication with it."

Matthew looked out the window. The submarine had disappeared. He felt as if the ground had dropped away under his feet. "Then John-Enoch will be the one to meet the mail boat?" he asked.

"Yes." Trubetskoy smiled. "He is sufficiently frightened. I have described to him what I would do if he betrayed us."

Matthew sat down and put his head in his hands. How he despised the use of fear to rule men! And how ashamed he was at having been tricked by such a man!

Five minutes later, when the mail boat finally wallowed into view around the end of the island, sounding her siren, Matthew was watching from the window. He saw John-Enoch waiting in his proa. He saw Jim McBride throttle down, take the packet of letters from the Kanaka and hand him a packet in return. There was a space of a minute or so when the two men might have been talking. Then the mail boat moved on.

"Very good," said Trubetskoy, when the mail boat was half a mile away. He put his automatic in its holster and left the house. Janet put her hand on Matthew's shoulder. "I'm sorry, Matt," she said. "You did all you could."

Matthew shrugged. "Maybe it's better this way. At least they've lost their reason to kill anybody." He tried to smile, and made a dismal failure of it.

He and Janet walked out on the veranda. The submarine had surfaced and launched her rubber boat. Trubetskoy was waiting for it at the water's edge.

John-Enoch, looking very sober and full of dignity, came up from the beach and delivered the packet of letters without a word. He and Matthew and Janet watched as the two German civilians came ashore and walked up the mountain with the commander. The antenna was being hoisted back into place when John-Enoch spoke at last. "I told it," he said.

"You what?"

"I told it. To Jim McBride."

"No!"

John-Enoch nodded. "Truth."

Matthew glanced at the submarine and saw that someone was standing on her deck, wigwagging frantically at the mountaintop. The submarine's radio must already have picked up Jim McBride's message to the authorities at Suva.

Matthew turned to John-Enoch. "You’d better go home. You may be safer there." Then he put his head on the Kanaka's shoulder. "You've done well, my brother—whatever happens."

For just one moment, brief and solemn, Matthew forgot all about the Reds and what they might do. The question that had been gnawing at him for three years had suddenly found its answer. As he watched John-Enoch turn and start for home, he knew beyond a doubt that these island people were a part of the great world, as much as anybody. Tuaviti was where Matt Lincoln belonged, and he could be proud of it—if he lived.

The Soviet commander came hurrying down the mountain to the beach. He was met there by an excited radioman from the submarine. Matthew, watching the two Russians yell at each other, felt a curious mixture of fear and exultation. Judging by the radioman's excitement, Jim McBride must have managed to couch his radio message very effectively. Perhaps he had hinted that the nearest warships were nearer than they really were.

As soon as Trubetskoy understood the situation, he shouted a long string of oaths, orders, or both, and then directed a long look at the missionary's house. Even at that distance Matthew could see the vengeful fury in his face. But apparently the Russian had no time to deal with Matthew and the islanders at the moment. He turned and hurried back up the mountain.

The Soviet sailors set to work feverishly. They carried all the equipment down from the mountaintop, without even bothering to crate it, and ferried it out to the submarine in three rubber boats.

As he was watching this frantic activity, Matthew heard Janet ask, "What will happen when Trubetskoy gets around to us?"

"I've been thinking about that." Matthew did his best to sound reassuring. "And I think there's a fair chance he won't do a thing. He knows there'll be British and American warships here before long. Unless the U.S.S.R. is ready for war, those hips had better find everybody in good health."

Janet was silent a moment. Then she said, "He looked awfully angry, a while ago—maybe too angry to care how much trouble he starts in the world."

"Maybe so," Matthew admitted. "But look at the trouble he'd be starting for himself. He already has plenty of music to face, back in the Soviet Union. Tuaviti can't be the place where the war starts." He paused. "Trubetskoy will have to tell the high command that he let himself get caught after only two days, just because he came up against a Kanaka he couldn't scare. He's probably been worried about something like that all along. I can't believe he'll stick his neck out any farther by ordering a massacre."

"You think he was bluffing when he made the threat?"

"I just don't know," Matthew said honestly. "But there's a chance."

•   •   •

Janet was silent for a long time. She and Matthew watched the Soviet sailors on the beach, loading a rubber boat. The load was very light this time; it must be the last one. Slowly and thoughtfully, Janet said, "Maybe John-Enoch knows."

Matthew looked at her in astonishment, and then he realized what she meant: not that John-Enoch would know anything about a Soviet officer's relation with the high command, but simply that he might have seen something that betrayed the bluff. It could be true. John-Enoch's mind was something like Tia's. It got at the essence of a problem, just as Tia's playing got at the essence of Bach.

Matthew said, "You may be right. I'm going over to talk to John-Enoch." But at that moment he saw Trubetskoy approaching from the beach. The Soviet commander strode angrily up the path to the house and stepped onto the veranda, his teeth clenched and his face red. He was obviously in a towering rage, and that was at least half the reason why the speech he proceeded to make was so extraordinary.

"Mr. Lincoln," he said, biting off the words furiously, one by one, "I am pleased to inform you that the mechanical difficulty with our submarine has now been repaired. I wish to thank you for your hospitality. I trust you will report no inconvenience from our involuntary visit. I assure you that I, personally, am to blame for any bad thing which may have been done. Good-by." He saluted, walked to the rubber boat, and climbed in. Two sailors rowed him toward the submarine.

"Good evening. Shepherd." It was John-Enoch again. "Are the Russians going away?"

"I think so," Matthew said. He wasn't quite sure yet; two sailors were standing by the submarine's deck gun. The gun, however, still had its waterproof jacket on.

Janet said, "We want to ask you a question, John-Enoch."

"Yes," said Matthew. "Why didn't you obey the Soviet commander when he told you to keep his secret? He went to a lot of trouble to scare you into it."

John-Enoch smiled and spoke, using gestures that were like a solemn dance. "He asked me fiercely, and I thought I would obey. He asked me fiercely, and I thought I would not obey. He asked me fiercely"—the brown man shrugged—"and I saw his heart in my hand."

The two sailors were leaving the deck gun now and following their commander in through the hatch. Matthew grinned, and put his arm around Janet's waist. "You saw his heart in your hand," he said, feeling much better, but still puzzled. "What does that mean, John-Enoch?"

The submarine had begun to move and to submerge. The Kanaka watched it until the only thing that showed above the water was what looked like the protruding fin of a very large fish, disappearing toward the north.

"I saw that he was afraid," said John-Enoch. — THE END