Literally the Only Time the US and the USSR Didn’t Hate Each Other

Seemingly from the inception of the Soviet Union all the way to present day, the Soviet Union and every version of it that followed has been at odds with the United States. Communism and capitalism are functionally antithetical, and since the USSR and the United States respectively embody each system, it makes sense that there would be natural animosity. It seems that the only time they weren’t blatantly antagonistic towards each other was during World War Two.

Starting with the Twenty Year Mutual Assistance Agreement and the Lend Lease Agreement, in which the US agreed to supply the Soviet Union with supplies and other aid if they agreed to defend the US against foreign aggression, the two countries entered a period of tentative camaraderie. Movies were made in which Americans and Russians worked together and rallies were organized in an effort to reconcile each to the other.

stalin3a.jpg

The height of the American-Soviet cooperation was probably when Stalin, Roosevelt, and Churchill met at the Yalta Conference to discuss what would become of Europe and of international relations once the war had ended. Obviously cooperation between the parties would not last long once the war ended, but for a time, the two future superpowers were actually allies.

“Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin at Yalta.” Seventeen Moments in Soviet History, soviethistory.msu.edu/1943-2/the-strange-alliance/the-strange-alliance-images/#bwg116/688.

Kukyrnisky. “This Evil Enemy Won’t Get out of the Knot We’ve Got Him In.” Seventeen Moments in Soviet History, soviethistory.msu.edu/1943-2/the-strange-alliance/the-strange-alliance-images/#bwg116/1432.

“Lend-Lease Agreement.” Seventeen Moments in Soviet History, 1 Oct. 2015, soviethistory.msu.edu/1943-2/the-strange-alliance/the-strange-alliance-texts/lend-lease-agreement/.

“The Strange Alliance.” Seventeen Moments in Soviet History, 18 June 2017, soviethistory.msu.edu/1943-2/the-strange-alliance/.

“Twenty-Year Mutual Assistance Agreement.” Seventeen Moments in Soviet History, 31 Aug. 2015, soviethistory.msu.edu/1943-2/the-strange-alliance/the-strange-alliance-texts/twenty-year-mutual-assistance-agreement/.

“Yalta Agreement.” Seventeen Moments in Soviet History, 1 Oct. 2015, soviethistory.msu.edu/1943-2/the-strange-alliance/the-strange-alliance-texts/yalta-agreement/.

 

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7 thoughts on “Literally the Only Time the US and the USSR Didn’t Hate Each Other

  1. It is interesting to see these countries getting along, considering the Cold War that follows and the relations we see today with Russia! Why do you think that they were able to work together during WWII, especially considering this long, antagonistic history. What was special about WWII that allowed this?

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  2. It is funny to think that countries that are such opposites of each other would be allies but I guess the statement “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” hold true in most situations, at least until that enemy is no longer around. I would have loved to be there at the Yalta conference and see these three super power leaders interacting in person and discussing their likely very different ideas on what to do post war.

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  3. In our text (Freeze), it mentions towards the end of chapter 12 how the Soviet Union or more specifically, Stalin slowly began to see the United States as a threat to all he had worked for (communist state). He also believed that after the war the United States would leave when in reality they stayed for quite some time for reconstruction. I think relations between the Soviet Union and the United State really began to deteriorate when talk about East Berlin/Germany came up. The Soviet Union in their minds owned this land and would input its political views while the United States and other democratic states thought differently.

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    1. You bring up an important point here. Neither side trusted the other, and the distrust was perhaps even deeper on Churchill’s part than on Stalin’s. For all of his suspicions of Western motivations (which were largely right, as it turned out), Stalin wanted the Grand Alliance to succeed.

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  4. You’re title integers me to read your post because I have always thought that the US and USSR got along during WWII. I thought they simply tolerated each other to defeat a common enemy. It was great reading a different perspective.

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  5. Looking at the US and Russia today, it’s unbelievable to think how much they cooperated. It showed how much a threat to the global stage unites countries. Good point!

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  6. I know that soon after the war that both culturally with the Red Scare and foreign-policy wise the United States was obsessed with preventing communism from spreading, but I wonder what we thought of communism and the Soviets before and during the war. As you point out in your post it seems that at least during the war any reservations we might have had about them were trumped by the need to stop the Nazis from taking over Europe.

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