Lot 1240

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GEORGE F. KENNAN (1904 - 2005) American diplomat and historian. He was best known as an advocate of a policy of containment of Soviet expansion during the Cold War. Kennan joined the U.S. Embassy in Moscow as Chargé d'Affaires in July 1945. Although he was highly critical of the Soviet system, the State Department still sought friendship with the Soviets, our allies during World War II. Offered here is a fantastic analysis of Stalin and the Russian government, culture, and mentality, as set forth by Kennan: 'RUSSIA - SEVEN YEARS LATER', 26pp. typed document, Moscow, September, 1944, the first page boldly stamped 'TOP SECRET'. The paper is a brilliant piece, masterfully written, reading in only the smallest part: '...With Hitler's rise to power, the Kremlin—having cried 'wolf' largely out of ulterior motives for a number of years—suddenly found a real wolf at the door...there was no real evidence that Moscow had any serious intention of undertaking major military activities on anyone else's behalf...the men in the Kremlin have never abandoned their faith in that program of territorial and political expansion...intended to prevent the formation in central and eastern Europe of any power or coalition of powers capable of challenging Russian security...These prominent Soviet leaders know little of the outside world. They have no personal knowledge of foreign statesmen...There is evidence that they are as often as not the victims of their own slogans, the slaves of their own propaganda...right and wrong, reality and unreality, are determined in Russia not by any God, not by any innate nature of things, but simply by men themselves. Here men determine what is true and what is false...' First few pages are wrinkled, else very good. A few months later, Kennan would transmit his famous 'Long Telegram' which would lead to the decades-long American policy of 'containment' of 'Soviet aggression'. From the papers of prominent diplomat and career State Department official JOHN G. ERHARDT (1889-1951). Erhardt served as Consul in Hamburg and would later serve in London under Ambassador Joseph Kennedy. During the war, he was in a high-level State Department position in Washington, where he was involved in the planning of the surrender of Germany and occupation of Germany and Austria. After the war, he served as de facto Ambassador to Austria while Gen. Mark Clark led American occupation military forces. He would later be appointed Ambassador to South Africa.

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October 29, 2020 10:00 AM EDT
Elkton, MD, US

Alexander Historical Auctions LLC

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