Version classiqueVersion mobile
OpenEdition Books

From Communism to Anti-Communism

 | 
Andre Liebich
, 
Svetlana Yakimovich

Anti-communism in the Cold War

U.R.S.S. pays neutre

Andre Liebich

Texte intégral

U.R.S.S. pays neutre [“The USSR is a neutral country”]. The person in the center says: “L’URSS est un pays neutre!” – [“The USSR is a neutral country”]. The person on the right says: “Neutralité bienveillante, sans doute!” – [“Benevolent neutrality, no doubt”]. Black and white leaflet, printed by Paix et Liberté [s.d.]; 5 x 19.5 cm.

1Historians continue to dispute the role of Stalin in the outbreak and conduct of the Korean War that began on 25 June 1950 and only ended with an armistice on 27 July 1953, after the death of Stalin. Many historians claim that Stalin actively discouraged Kim Il Sung from launching an attack on his southern neighbor but eventually acceded to the North Korean leader’s insistence. The role of the Soviet Union in prompting Chinese intervention in Korea is also debated as is its decision to boycott the United Nations Security Council, a decision that allowed the United States to muster UN support for its resistance to North Korean and Chinese advance.

2The authors of this image have no doubts about Soviet meddling in the Korean War. For ‘Paix et Liberté’ the Communist movement was a monolithic bloc (notwithstanding the recent Yugoslav defection) and it was inconceivable that any action would be taken within the Soviet bloc that was not only authorized but initiated by the Kremlin. Although it remained officially neutral throughout the Korean War, the Soviet Union did provide material support to its North Korean and Chinese allies. It is this role that the cartoon lays bare, showing Stalin passing a tank under the table to his North Korean ally or vassal. That Stalin appears worried and reticent, with the famous dove of peace on his shoulder, while his North Korean counterpart is bursting with righteous fury corresponds to later accounts of the relationship between the two men. Here, however, Stalin’s sphinx-like countenance suggests the total hypocrisy alluded to in the comment by the anonymous onlooker who has raised the tablecloth: “benevolent neutrality” was a contradiction in terms in an era that lived according to Andrei Zhdanov’s theory of “two camps” and the impossibility of remaining truly neutral.

Bibliographie

Sergei N. Goncharov, John Wilson Lewis and Xue Litai, Uncertain Partner, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1993.

William Stueck, Rethinking the Korean War: A New Diplomatic and Strategic History, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1954.

Kathryn Weathersby, ‘Soviet Aims in Korea and the Origins of the Korean War, 1945-1950: New Evidence from the Russian Archives’, Cold War International History Project, Working Paper No. 8, 1993.

Table des illustrations

Légende U.R.S.S. pays neutre [“The USSR is a neutral country”]. The person in the center says: “L’URSS est un pays neutre!” – [“The USSR is a neutral country”]. The person on the right says: “Neutralité bienveillante, sans doute!” – [“Benevolent neutrality, no doubt”]. Black and white leaflet, printed by Paix et Liberté [s.d.]; 5 x 19.5 cm.
URL http://books.openedition.org/iheid/docannexe/image/6659/img-1.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 235k

Auteur

Acheter

Volume papier

Chargement

Unavailable