Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum

Harriman, W. Averell (William Averell), 1891-1986; Stalin, Joseph, 1879-1953; Molotov, Vyacheslav Mikhaylovich, 1890-; Hopkins, Harry L. (Harry Lloyd), 1890-1946; Lenin, Vladimir Il\'ich, 1870-1924
Potsdam Conference, 1945; Ambassadors; United States-Soviet relations

Longhand Note of Former President Harry S. Truman, June 2, 1954. President's Secretary's Files - Longhand Notes.

June 2, 1954

Reading over the minutes of Potsdam: the agreement over the Black Sea Straits and the recognition of Rumania and Bulgaria took two whole sessions. Stalin was anxious to have the de facto governments of the two Balkan countries recognized. I refused because our representatives were not allowed freedom of movement by the puppet governments set up by the Soviets.

Molotov did a lot of talking at Potsdam. He and Stalin along with Trotsky and Lenin were among the old Bolsheviks of the 1917 Revolution.

Molotov would take the bit in his teeth and talk as if he were the Russian State until Stalin would smile and say a few words in Russian and Molly would change his tune.

When Molotov came to the United States he acted like a balky mule and the only way I could build a fire under him was to send Harry Hopkins to Moscow to tell Stalin what was happening. When Stalin was approached directly by Harriman, Hopkins, or myself we usually obtained what we wanted.

We all thought that Molly never gave Stalin all the facts unless he was forced to do it. I always felt that Molotov was a complete demonstration of a perfect mutton head.


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