May 17, 1944
Record of the Conversation of Comrade I.V. Stalin and Comrade V.M. Molotov with the Polish Professor Lange
Record of the Conversation of Comrade I.V. Stalin and Comrade V.M. Molotov
with the Polish Professor Lange
May 17, 1944
Lange thanks Comrade Stalin for receiving him and for the fact that he, Lange, has been able to familiarize himself with the Polish army in the USSR and the activities of the Union of Polish Patriots. He, Lange, now has a concrete idea of what constitutes the Polish army and Union of Polish Patriots. He, Lange, spoke with the soldiers, and now knows this is of the people, as well as what they are thinking.
Comrade Stalin asks whether or not Lange saw Berling.
Lange answers that Berling accompanied him on his trip to see the Polish army units.
Comrade Stalin notes that in America they have begun to slander Orlemanski. Orlemanski has been hurt by the fact that he is a very effusive and militant (boyevoy) man. But he is a honest man and loves Poland. That is our impression. Now Orlemanski is reassuring us, declaring that this is only the beginning of the struggle.
Lange says that he, Lange, is afraid that Orlemanski has not broken with the church.
Comrade Stalin remarks “What of the crocodiles? Why are they attacking Orlemanski?”
Lange says that this is mainly the Irish, the more reactionary group of the Catholics. The bishop O’dir [O’Dwyer?], to whom Orlemanski is subordinate, is also Irish.
Comrade Stalin asks whether or not the Poles are the majority in Orlemanski’s parish.
Lange answers in the affirmative.
Comrade Molotov says that there are reports that they have remitted Orlemanski’s punishment.
Comrade Stalin remarks “What a lot of crocodiles! There’s democracy for you! They didn’t even call Orlemanski in for an explanation and they imposed a punishment on him.”
Lange answers that the Polish army in the USSR has made a good impression on him.
Comrade Stalin answers that the Poles are good military material. History has proven this. We will give the Poles better weaponry [lit. “technology”].
Lange says that the Polish army is a major political force. It will grow.
Comrade Stalin answers that the Polish army might grow to one million men.
Lange agrees with this and says that he held conversations with the soldiers in order to get an idea of their political outlook. All of them desire the creation of a new democratic Poland. No one wants to return to the pre-war Poland. They want agrarian reform, but with [lit. “under conditions of”] the retention of individual property, and not on the basis of collectivization.
Comrade Stalin remarks that there is no initiative for collectivization in Poland.
Lange answers that the soldiers are talking about cooperative associations in Poland.
Comrade Stalin answers that this is a good thought.
Lange declares that the Polish soldiers would like it if there were stations organized in Poland from which agricultural machinery and equipment could be purchased. In general, he must say that the Polish soldiers go further on some questions than the Union of Polish Patriots. The Polish soldiers speak of the desirability of nationalizing large-scale industry and banks in Poland. In this respect there is almost complete unanimity.
Comrade Stalin remarks that this is not bad.
Lange says that when the Polish army arrives in Poland its attitude will be even more radical.
Comrade Stalin says that if the London government arrives in Poland, the mood in Poland will be more radical. If another government, a democratic government, arrives in Poland, radical over-indulgence will diminish [lit. “drop off”].
Lange says that at present kulaks and [illegible] are prevalent in the Polish army in the USSR. But they will meet the industrial proletariat in Poland and will dissolve into the wider strata of the Polish population.
Comrade Stalin answers that the German yoke has placed the kulaks and the impoverished together [lit. “in the same row”]. There will be no conflict between these strata [of the population]. There will be conflict with the large landowners.
Lange remarks that among certain members of the Union of Polish Patriots and especially among Communists, there is an underestimation of the possibility of more radical development of events in Poland.
Comrade Stalin answers that this is possible. We are holding them back from radicalism.
Lange says that all of the soldiers in the Polish army are asking about the situation of their families in the USSR. They are very anxious about this matter.
Comrade Stalin answers that now we can improve the situation of the families of Polish military personnel, we can help them. It would be nice if we had as much material as we had families. Maybe it would be worth while for them to move closer to the Dnepr, so that the Polish soldiers can see their relatives.
Lange announces that this makes them uneasy. The Polish soldiers spoke about this in the presence of Berling. There is another matter. When the Polish soldiers move into Poland, they will influence the opinion of the Polish population concerning the USSR.
Comrade Stalin answers that Kot and his group provoked the Soviet Government on certain steps concerning the Poles in the USSR. We constrained them. But let them tell the whole truth in Poland.
Lange says that war overshadows these attitudes. After returning to America he will think of how to organize aid to the Polish population after the Red Army frees Polish territory. The affair is complicated by the fact that the London Polish government is represented in the __NMRA [illegible].
Comrade Stalin says that it is necessary to have a provisional government or committee that will be recognized by the Americans and the English.
Lange answers that this would be possible if the London government could overcome the schism. He thinks that the English government either cannot or does not want to overcome the split.
Comrade Molotov remarks that the English are rallying the Poles in London.
Comrade Stalin says that some circles in England are doing everything so that the conflict between the Russians and the Poles will not be eliminated. They desire a fight between the Poles and the Russians. They desire a weakening of Poland and Russia.
Lange says that this is not the attitude of the American government.
Comrade Stalin says that the American government is not of that disposition.
Lange asks if Comrade Stalin thinks that it would be possible to turn to Mikolajczyk as a private individual.
Comrade Stalin answers that he is not against that, but that one must know what Mikolajczyk is. Apparently, he is a weak-willed man. Sosnkowski plays the main role. He has spies and his own agents in Polish embassies and in Poland. Sosnkowski is a man with character. But he has the wrong orientation (No on ne tuda smotrit). Mikolajczyk is in his hands. The members of the Polish government in London are compromised in Poland.
Lange says that he nevertheless believes that [Mikolajczyk] has influence in Poland.
Comrade Stalin declares that Soviet power has existed here for 26 years, yet he still cannot say that 90 percent of the population is behind Soviet power. How do the London Poles know that all of the population of Poland is behind them? It is very difficult know this, considering that the German vampires are surrounding Poland. (Page 5) Sikorski was stronger than Mikolajczyk, and more experienced and authoritative. It was better doing business with him.
Lange says that it is too bad that now there aren’t authoritative people among the Poles.
Comrade Stalin says that they will appear again. Sosnkowski and others - they are people of the past. They don’t believe in the alliance of Russia and Poland. They think that modern Russia, like Tsarist Russia, will try to eat up Poland, for example, by way of sovietization. They don’t understand the changes that have taken place. Everything that they think of sovietization is stupidity. Lenin prepared the soviets for 14 years and didn’t resolve to implement them even during the period of the Provisional Government. The whole time he sought out comprise[s]. As regards collectivization, we began [it] only in 1930. Before then, we continually checked up on what the peasantry thought of it. The foundation for collectivization was the joint tilling of land (supryaga), which existed earlier among the Slavs. Collective farms must grow on their own.
Lange, agreeing with this, declares that in Poland there is a possibility of creating cooperative associations like those that exist in Denmark.
Comrade Stalin remarks that it would be good to transfer certain sectors of industry to the state. If the state doesn’t have industry, then, as the present war has shown, it will become the object of intrigue [lit. “games”] for the internal capitalist forces.
Lange says that nationalization of large-scale industry in Poland is also necessary from the point of view of international relations.
Comrade Stalin says that this is correct. But he, Comrade Stalin, is interested in the internal problem. If the state wishes to be strong, then it must have must have at its disposal a land fund so that it can sell land to the peasants. The state must also have certain major enterprises in its hands. If a part of the enterprises in Poland are transferred to the state, for example, those that went to serve the Germans, and if the state has at its disposal a land fund, then it can be powerful. It would also be good if the state held part of the railroads as its property.
Lange says that in Poland there never were private railroads, with exception of small branch [lines].
Comrade Stalin says that the Poles in the USSR want to create a State Committee. Once they even passed a resolution concerning this. But we withheld this resolution, in consideration of Lange’s telegram. Now among the Polish military there are conversations to the effect that there is a [Polish] government in London, but not in the USSR. It is necessary to try to form a unified government of Poles living in England, America, and Russia. Such a government would be recognized by England and America. We and the Poles are interested in there being a strong Poland. It is difficult for us to take on the weight of the aggressor all by ourselves. We can take on this burden once, but cannot withstand it a second time. Therefore we are interested in creating a strong Poland with an army. This is not a game. This is our purpose (ustanovka). Somehow Kerr talks about how Mikolajczyk can stand at the head of the new Polish government. But this will not work out. We and the Americans do not want this.
Lange says that the people in the London government represent nothing. These are people of the past; these are weak people. They have historical connections with pre-war Poland, and this makes an impression on England and America. If certain ones of these people are invited into the new Polish government, then this will make it easier to resolve the entire Polish question. He, Lange, doesn’t know if it is possible to do this. Perhaps it would be possible if the English government talked about this with Mikolajczyk. But he, Lange, has doubts if the English government will agree to do it.
Comrade Molotov remarks that as of yet there are no indications of this.
Comrade Stalin says that in this case, if the Soviet, English, and American governments begin to dictate to the Poles, then it would create an unpleasant [lit. “not entirely pleasant”] situation. The best [scenario] would be the creation of a provisional government like a National Committee in the region of Poland, which would force England and America to recognize it.
Lange says that he has exactly the same idea. He also thinks that in its first manifesto the National Committee must declare that it is a provisional organ of power and that in order to be a fully representative organ it is inviting other Poles to participate in it.
Comrade Stalin says that, at present, the conditions do not exist for the creation of a Polish government. When people who work in Poland enter [the government], then it can invite other Poles who live outside the borders of Poland.
As regards the Premier of the Polish government, [they] point to Mikolajczyk. But he cannot be Premier. He represents the Polish peasantry, and has ties with them. Such a man could, of course, be useful to in the government. Moreover, [people] point out Stanczyk. Who else can Lange name?
Lange answers that they spoke about Banaczyk. However, this Banaczyk is another version of Mikolajczyk. He does not know what kind of an impression Romer makes.
Comrade Stalin answers that that Romer did not make a bad impression on him.
Lange answers that there is also General Zeligowski.
Comrade Stalin says that at present Zeligowski leads the struggle in the National Council.
Lange says that Zeligowski has a name. No one says that he is Moscow’s man [lit. “from Moscow”]. Of course, he is already an old man.
Comrade Stalin answers that, against the Germans, even an old man could prove useful to a democratic Poland.
Lange says that he hopes that someone among the Poles who presently live in Poland enters the Polish government. For example, Witos lives there. Although his stance [on the issues] is unknown.
Comrade Stalin says that apparently Witos has been arrested by the Germans.
Lange says that the Germans could kill him.
Comrade Stalin declares that it would be necessary to free Witos. The partisans could do this.
Comrade Stalin says that the other day it was said that Sosnkowski has two partisan divisions in Poland, the leaders of which are trying to establish contact with Soviet troops. In fact, our troops met a one of Sosnowski’s partisan divisions on one of the sections of our front. The fighters of this division go about in full dress German uniforms and, because of this, our troops, taking them for Germans, fired at them. The Poles let us know that they weren’t Germans. A meeting took place between the leader of Sosnkowski's division and the command of the Red Army. The Poles declared that they were under Sosnkowski and asked what would be done with them. Our command answered that in war one cannot have two bosses and, promising them weapons, proposed that the Poles participate in operations together with the Red Army. After the conversation, these partisans, arriving from Bug, left for there. Apparently, they did not agree with the conditions of the Soviet command. Lately the divisions of Sosnkowski have started to fall apart and people have gone over to the Soviet side in the tens. A part of these deserters are now in the army of Berling. This is the type of underground organization that Sosnkowski has. There were two divisions, and now there isn’t even one. As regards the relations of the Polish population with the Red Army, they are meeting the Red Army and the Ukrainian partisans well. The Poles are asking when the Russians will come and free them from the Germans. Mikolajczyk is mistaken when asserts that 90 percent of the Polish population is behind the Polish government in London.
Lange says that Mikolajczyk is misleading [people].
Comrade Stalin says that therefore we need a National Committee from a purely military point of view. We will not act in Poland the same way as AMGOT in Italy. Some sort of organ of power must exist in Poland. The Union of Polish Patriots is a cultural-educational and military organization, which cannot fulfill administrative functions in Poland. We also cannot burden the Polish army with the duties of civil government. There must be an organ of power that would have a dialog with the Polish peasantry, intelligentsia, and workers.
Lange says that this organ of power must not carry out agrarian reform immediately. As regards the nationalization of large scale industry, it can be postponed until the creation of a constitutional government.
Comrade Stalin says that the Polish government must have a material base. If the state had certain trade organizations under its purview, then this would be highly beneficial. For example, if we have a state fulfilling trade functions, it can regulate prices. And raising them, for example, by the kopeck, we can obtain greater funds [lit. “means”] than any state could obtain with taxes. The opening of commercial food shops at the present time influenced prices in the collective farm markets and forced the collective farmers put goods of a higher quality on the market. Now we have even fewer goods [on the market]. But in time we will lower prices. There is another example of how our state influences market prices. When the Red Army entered Lithuania in 1940, bread prices in Lithuania were very high. We imported grain into Lithuania and prices dropped by 30 percent. It would be good if the state in Poland controlled certain industrial and trade enterprises.
Comrade Stalin asks if Lange has been in London.
Lange answers that he wasn’t in London. But he would like to ask what goal he might have for a trip to London.
Comrade Stalin says that Lange is a private [non-governmental] figure who might be able to talk with Mikolajczyk and other Poles in London and tell them what he saw in the Soviet Union. It would be beneficial to do this if Lange has a suitable opportunity.
Lange says that, evidently, this would require making some changes in his passport.
Comrade Stalin asks if it wouldn’t be a feigned maneuver if Lange goes from here to the USA, and then to London.
Lange says that it would be easier in the USA to get a visa for a trip to London. In any case, he will ask the American government about this.
Comrade Stalin says that in London Lange could tell the Poles that we are not entirely against beginning negotiations with the London government.
Lange asks if he must say that he had a discussion with I.V. Stalin.
Comrade Stalin says that Lange can declare to the Poles in London that he, Comrade Stalin, told him that a new Polish government must be created that includes people from the Polish emigres in America, Russia, and England. Until now, when the Soviet government wanted to find out something or other from the Polish government, either Churchill or Eden appeared as a mediator. It would be good to negotiate directly with someone or other from among the Poles. He, Comrade Stalin, does not discount the possibility Sosnkowski will change [lit. “does not entirely consider that Sosnkowski cannot change”]. He, Comrade Stalin, with certain reservations, considers Sosnkowski and other Poles in London to be Polish patriots. Lange could tell the Poles in London that we do not have a pre-conceived opinion that it is impossible to converse with them. But we want to talk with live Poles and not with Churchill or Eden. Lange can explain to them that we do not desire a conflict with them. We, under certain conditions, are prepared to agree with them that they were not with Hitler against us.
Lange remarks that the Poles in London seem to [lit. “must”] have the same policy as Benesh.
Comrade Stalin remarks that Benesh is more flexible than the London Poles.
Comrade Molotov declares that, in Benesh’s opinion, the Polish aristocracy is always looking backward. However, one can find people among them who are moving to the side of the Russians. The Germans taught them a good lesson.
Comrade Stalin asks where Kozlowski is, adding that Kozlowski, like Sikorski, deceived the Soviet government.
Lange answers that he only knows that Kozlowski is in Germany.
He, Lange, would like to ask if I.V. Stalin wouldn’t think it more appropriate if someone from the Union of Polish Patriots went, let’s say, to Sweden for negotiations with the Poles.
Comrade Stalin answers that Lange is in a better position to negotiate with the Poles, since he stands outside the fray.
Lange answers that he will ask the American government. He doesn’t believe [lit. “see”] that the American government will impede his journey to London.
Comrade Stalin says that Lange might still find Stanczyk in America.
He, Comrade Stalin, also thinks that the American government will not hold up Lange’s trip to London. The English government will hardly hinder this journey.
Lange answers that he could ask Kerr about this now.
Comrade Stalin declares that he does not advise this at present. He thinks that it would be good for Lange to go to America first and discuss [the matter] with Stanczyk, who might be able to invite him to London. On his arrival in London, Lange might be able to set up a discussion and say that in Russia they don’t consider the London Poles to be enemies of Poland.
Lange says that the London Poles have an incorrect perception [of affairs]. They don’t understand the present alignment of forces.
Comrade Stalin says that already three times Poland has served as a corridor through which an aggressor passed to attack Russia. The Poles must be sick of being a transit corridor. They must understand that in alliance with Russia, England, and America they can defend themselves. Zeligowski is correct when he says that the Germans are trying to cause a quarrel between Poland and Russia.
Lange says that he has yet another question. He would like to know whether I.V. Stalin considers that the pretension of the members of the Union of Polish Patriots to include Silesia and German territory up to the Oder into Poland is too great. (Page 12) He also [would like to know] if this pretension can be realized, since it is linked with the resolution of the problem of Germany, and with its inclusion into the European system.
Comrade Stalin says that this question was discussed in Tehran. A formal resolution was not adopted. He, Comrade Stalin, noted that Stettin and Breslau could be included into Poland. Churchill said that it would be better for the Polish state and asked if the Soviet Union would help create such a Poland. He, Comrade Stalin, answered that the Soviet Union would help Poland obtain these territories. This topic was discussed as part of the general question of weakening Germany.
Lange asks wouldn’t the reduction of German territory complicate the internal problems of Germany. At present, American public opinion is uneasy over whether reduction of German territory will lead to the development of German nationalism.
Comrade Stalin answers that Roosevelt presented a plan to break Germany up into five states, proposing to simultaneously occupy outlets to the sea - Hamburg and other ports - and eliminate Germany as a unified state. Churchill wavered [on this question]. He, Comrade Stalin, agreed with the opinion of Roosevelt.
Lange says that the breakup of Germany is possible in the event that there is no conflict between the United States, England, and Russia.
Comrade Stalin says that with regard to Germany it was necessary to conclude [lit. “enter into”] a half-hearted peace in the form of the Versailles Treaty. Versailles became a half-hearted peace when they began to give privileges to Germany. Such a peace not only stimulated [lit. “promoted the conception of”] the idea of revenge, but also made this revenge possible. It would be possible to conclude a different peace, leaving Germany with its territories, Sudetenland to Czechoslovakia, and Alsace-Lorraine to the French. But this is a very dangerous combination. A third combination is to weaken Germany - take away its industry, disarm its army and thus weaken Germany by 50 years. He, Comrade Stalin, believes that [it is] exactly this combination [that] must be adopted.
In 1871, Germany attacked France. Other states of Europe were neutral then. Forty years later, in 1914, Germany attacked again. After the last World War, Germany restored its strength and began to wage war in 1939. Germany possesses an immense regenerative capability. Therefore he, Comrade Stalin, thinks that if a half-hearted decision is made regarding Germany, we will have a new war in 15 years.
Lange says that if Germany is broken up, German nationalism will develop, but that German nationalists will be denied the possibilities to engage in any sort of action. The latter, however, is possible only under condition of agreement among England, America, and Russia.
Comrade Stalin answers that we observe our agreements. Our partners, however, hold to another opinion in this regard. We, probably, were immature and gullible [lit. “did not live up to this” - ne dorosli do etogo]. However he, Comrade Stalin, hardly thinks that England will violate its agreements. America is interested in destroying the industry of Germany and Japan. Germany and Japan have cheap labor. It is difficult to compete with Japan. Japan quickly copies the technical achievements [of others] and has a force of cheap labor. The only way to eliminate Germany and Japan as competitors is to destroy their industry. This is beneficial even to us. Only when we break the Hitlerite government and state, will we, that is the United States, England, and Russia, be in the same camp. He, Comrade Stalin, considers that this is in our general interests. This is his Bolshevik view of this question.
Lange says that under these circumstances [the matter of] Poland is entirely clear. He, Lange, would like to ask the opinion of I.V. Stalin on what to do with the Germans in Poland. The Polish soldiers say that it is necessary to resettle the Germans outside of Poland.
Comrade Stalin says that we will hire part of the Germans as workers. Part of the Germans can be dispatched to South America. Let the Germans make room [for others]. After all, they compelled the entire world to make room [for them].
Lange asks whether Stalin considers that the influence of Marxism has entirely disappeared in Germany.
Comrade Stalin answers that there were 180,000 to 200,000 Marxist cadres in Germany, but these people were beaten down (perebiti) and the masses that followed them came undone, since the were fair weather socialists [lit. - “lived by their moods”].
Lange asks whether a socialist or non-socialist system is possible in Germany.
Comrade Stalin remarks that socialism will not come quickly in Germany.
Lange asks if Stalin considers that a change is possible in the Curzon Line.
Comrade Stalin says that he considers a change is possible within the limits of three to four kilometers in either direction.
Lange declares that the Polish soldiers say that the further the western boundary of Poland is extended, the better. They are unanimous in this opinion. When the topic of discussion is the eastern border of Poland, the soldiers give various answers. Some say that first of all it is necessary to defeat Germany. Others say that they trust the USSR and hope that the USSR will not harm Poland. Other declare that it is necessary to come to an agreement with the Byelorussians and the Ukrainians. But many soldiers speak for the old borders of Poland. Certain ones agree with the Curzon Line under the conditions that Vilnius and Lwow remain in Poland. One soldier said that the Poles must own Galician oil. But not all of this is said seriously. At the same time, he had to say that at while Vilnius did not provoke especial interest, the question of Lwow was greatly emphasized.
Comrade Stalin answers that the Ukrainians had become horrible nationalists. They are very suspicious. We had to fight with the Ukrainians because of Lwow.
Lange declares that Professor Zawacki, who lives in the United States, considers that it is impossible to resolve the question of Lwow without simultaneously insulting the Ukrainians and Poles. But he believes that the loss of Lwow will be greater for the Poles than the Ukrainians. On the other hand, according to his very approximate statistical research, it turns out that between 600,000 and 700,000 Ukrainians remain west of the Curzon Line. (Page 15) Finally, he sets forth a third consideration, that excluding Lwow from Poland might complicate the internal political affairs of the Polish government. Zawacki is afraid that this could serve as a source of anti-Soviet intrigue in Poland.
Comrade Stalin answers that this is a very complicated problem, and that it must be studied. The point is that one million Ukrainians are fighting very well in our army.
Lange says that the Poles are suspicious about the western border of Poland.
Comrade Stalin answers that there was no disagreement between Roosevelt, Churchill, and Comrade Stalin concerning the western border of Poland.
Lange answers that they don’t know about this in America.
Lange asks if Stalin thinks that the government of Beck cooperated with the Germans in order to wage war with them against Russia.
Comrade Stalin answers that we do not have information [lit. “materials”] proving that Beck cooperated with the Germans in the matter of a joint attack on the Soviet Union. But the Beck government incited the Germans against the Soviet Union. The Poles had a plan to expand Poland to the Dnepr [River]. Evidently, they were counting upon accomplishing this under circumstances of an English and American fight with Russia. But this was an illusion. They do not understand that it is no accident that England and American are united with Russia. They do not understand that this alliance was not caused by opportunism, but is long-term.
Lange asks whether Stalin considers that France will quickly become a great power.
Comrade Stalin answers that this will not happen quickly. (Page 16) In France economic and military cadres are corrupted. There is little patriotism there. Several years ago the French novelist [transliterated as Sel’e - Celine?] wrote a novel in which he sang the praises of a hero who declared that it is all the same to the French if a German or _alats’e [illegible] stands at the head of the French government. In the opinion of the hero, it would be better if a German headed the government. It was necessary to banish the author to New Caledonia. However, this novel was purchased extensively in France. If you take the English intelligentsia, they are patriotic. The French [intelligentsia], on the contrary is unpatriotic.
Petain submitted to the Germans. If Hitler did not presently have France, things would be entirely bad for him. He presently obtains livestock and labor from France, and forms his divisions there. It will take decades for France to be able to revive itself as great power. Presently De Gaulle is in France. But he is surrounded by Vichy deserters. He, Comrade Stalin, doesn’t know if these deserters are reliable or not. Now De Gaulle is setting up courts for traitors of France, but he, Comrade Stalin, doesn’t know if this will help De Gaulle.
Lange answers that, under these circumstances, England, the United States, and Russia will remain as the great powers.
Comrade Stalin answers that for the time being it will be like this. He, Comrade Stalin, would thank his lucky stars if France rises earlier than he anticipates. However, he thinks that France will need 12 years for this. It is necessary that a new generation grow up in France. Previously France considered that the French had to be allied with their enemy in the past World War, the Germans. In France, they expected to win from this. In fact, Petain was made out to be a fool. Nevertheless, the French still dream about a German victory. Such was the attitude of older cadres in France. It is impossible to teach these old cadres again. It is necessary that a new generation grow up.
Lange answers that in the Soviet Union they did this very well.
Comrade Stalin answers that we unleashed the strength of the people. (Page 17) He, Comrade Stalin, thinks that nowhere else do scientists [lit. “people of science”] enjoy such attention as in the Soviet Union. In France, whoever is rich is honored. If they find a clever person, they hire him. There is no honor in society for a clever person. Among us, on the other hand, we foster [lit. “create”] respect for scientists within society. Such is our policy. Every state must pay attention to scientists. The tragedy of France consists of the fact that there people have been debauched by an alliance with the Germans. The Germans are masters of breaking people down. Their policy consist of awakening inhuman feelings in people and destroying all that is human. The Germans do not believe in human feelings. These masters of the degradation of humans have already ruled in France for three years.
Lange declares that there are elements of revival in the French underground.
Comrade Stalin answers that De Gaulle is playing his role, but he has few cadres and cannot do anything quickly. The Americans and English are [also] hindering him a little.
Lange says that now he would like to pose a technical question to Comrade Stalin. Should he, Lange, announce to foreign correspondents, who he will receive before his departure from Moscow, that he, Lange, met with I.V. Stalin?
Comrade Stalin says that there is nothing to hide, and it will become known all the same. Lange can tell the correspondents that he, Lange, spoke with him, Comrade Stalin, concerning the Polish army; that the Soviet government wants to increase [the ranks of] the Polish army; that he, Lange spoke about the Poles at the home front in Russia; that the Soviet government will improve the conditions for these Poles as much as possible, and that this would have [already] been done if it were not for the war. Lange can speak about his impressions concerning whether the Soviet government desires good or ill for the Poles. He can also talk about the “sovietization” of Poland.
Lange says that he will speak about this. He will begin with the fact that the Soviet leaders made a declaration concerning Poland. He, Lange, wanted to convince himself whether or not to believe this declaration. Concerning sovietization, he will say that if the Soviet government was intending to sovietize Poland, then this would be impossible with the Polish army that is presently in the Soviet Union. (Page 18) This would require a different Polish army. In his, Lange’s, opinion, this will serve as the best proof of the sincere intentions of the Soviet government, and as proof that the creation of a Polish army in the Soviet Union is not any sort of maneuver. He, Lange, could also say that in his opinion the Soviet leaders of Poland must play an important role in the post-war world.
Comrade Stalin remarks that Poland must play an important role not only after the war, but also during the war.
Lange answers that intends to take a flight [from Russia] on approximately the 30th of May, and that he doesn’t need a special plane.
Comrade Molotov answers that at this time, of course, there will be planes [available].
Comrade Stalin asks if Lange will see Orlemanski.
Lange says that there has been information that Orlemanski must go to a monastery.
Comrade Molotov says that there have been reports that this decision has been abrogated.
Comrade Stalin says that apparently in America some circles are offended that Orlemanski, and not a more senior [lit. “higher up”] individual, proposed to begin improved relations. “There’s [a bunch of] crocodiles for you!” remarks Comrade Stalin.
Comrade Stalin asks Lange to extend his greetings to Orlemanski.
Lange thanks him for the discussion.
The discussion lasted two hours and 15 minutes.
Source: Foreign Policy Archive. Repository 6, Register 6, File 546, Folder 42, Pages 53-70 (f.6, op. 6, p. 42, d. 546, l. 53-70).
Lange says that at present kulaks and [illegible] are prevalent in the Polish army in the....
Lange says that war overshadows these attitudes...the London Polish government is represented in the __NMRA [illegible].
Comrade Stalin ......In France economic and military cadres are corrupted. There is little patriotism there. Several years ago the French novelist [transliterated as Sel’e - Celine?] wrote a novel in which he sang the praises of a hero who declared that it is all the same to the French if a German or _alats’e [illegible] stands at the head of the French government.
Professor Oskar Lange, Stalin, and Molotov discuss the recent visit of Father Orlemanski and Polish Political affairs.
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