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Digital Archive International History Declassified

October 26, 1945

TASS DIGEST DISTRIBUTED TO CDE. I.V. STALIN AND CDE. C.M. MOLOTOV, 'LONDON REPORT ABOUT NORWEGIAN NEWSPAPERS; ETC.'

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    TASS reports on rumors that Stalin is ill and blames the American press for fueling these rumors.
    "TASS Digest Distributed to Cde. I.V. Stalin and Cde. C.M. Molotov, 'London Report About Norwegian Newspapers; Etc.'," October 26, 1945, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, RGASPI, f. 558, op. 11, d. 97, ll.127-128. Contributed by Sergey Radchenko and translated by Gary Goldberg. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/134717
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[handwritten: return[[ed]] 29 October]

[stamp: Secret Department of TASS]

Top Secret

LONDON REPORT ABOUT NORWEGIAN NEWSPAPERS

OSLO, 24 October, (TASS). All the newspapers are printing a report from London, “Stalin’s health is excellent”, etc. in big headlines, and the Soviet Embassy has denied all the rumors about an illness of Stalin.

COMMENTARY OF AN ANALYST OF THE “EVENING STAR”

NEW YORK, 24 October (TASS). Commenting on “recent rumors about an illness and death of Stalin” Brown, an analyst of the newspaper Evening Star, asserted that the arrival of Marshal Zhukov in the United States had been postponed at Stalin’s order since Zhukov will be Stalin’s successor. Brown points out that informed circles of the United States in Berlin have denied a report that Zhukov did not come to the United States in connection with the position the US took at the London conference of ministers of foreign affairs. At the same time the report that Zhukov received instructions from Stalin to stay near the borders of the Soviet Union is the only definite and reliable information available in Washington at the present time. Thus, Washington circles interpret Stalin’s instruction as evidence that Zhukov will be his successor. In conclusion, Brown asserts in his usual provocative spirit that many analysts think that Stalin prefers to have a successor from military circles, and not from political [circles], in connection with the requirements of the current international situation.

SWEDISH AND DANISH NEWSPAPERS ABOUT THE STATE OF HEALTH OF COMRADE STALIN

STOCKHOLM, 24 October (TASS). The newspaper “Expressen” has published an editorial in connection with the numerous rumors about the state of health of Cde. Stalin, which says: “Since a report came out of Moscow that Stalin was going on vacation rumors have appeared from the most diverse sources according to which Stalin was seriously ill, and that he has chosen Zhdanov as his successor, or possibly Zhukov, that they are transferring Stalin’s responsibilities to the members of the Council of Five, that Stalin is dead, that the Soviet leaders have already begun to fight among themselves for who should get supreme power in the Soviet Union, and so forth.

It is impossible to avoid the feeling that such discussions have an “American” touch, in the worst sense which this word sometimes has.

The fact that a government leader is going on vacation is not in itself something special. But even if Stalin were sick and needed treatment, then it all the same needs to be remembered that the Russian press would hardly untactfully discuss a report that the state of health of President Roosevelt had worsened during the Crimean Conference. But the American press has always prided itself on that freedom which it enjoys, unlike the Russian [press], and that ‘excellent’ manner in which it preserves its treasure of theirs”.

COPENHAGEN, 24 October (TASS). All the Danish newspapers are reprinting rumors being spread by the Associated Press and Reuter agencies about an illness of Generalissimo Stalin and indicate that Marshal Zhukov will be his successor.

The newspaper “Social Demokraten” writes, “Molotov is receiving more authority as a consequence of Stalin’s illness, but this circumstance causes concern in the US because they think that Stalin understands American interests better and is more friendly toward the US than Molotov”. The newspaper Berlingske Tidende adds that rumors about differences among the leaders in the government are hardly correct.

Today the newspaper “Politiken” and other morning newspapers are reprinting a report from London that the Soviet Embassy in Britain is vigorously denying rumors about an illness of Cde. Stalin.

Three copies printed

1st copy – to Cde. I. V. Stalin

2nd copy – to Cde. V. M. Molotov

3rd copy – to file.

Outgoing Nº 515ss 26 October 1945

Nº 430 [handwritten: PR]

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