Churchill’s Iron Curtain speech

While in Fulton, Missouri (USA) in March 1946, Churchill delivered his 'Iron Curtain' speech.

Churchill believed that the USSR and its "Communist international organisation" aimed to spread communism and set up a quasi-communist party in their area of occupation in Germany.

However, he did acknowledge the 'Russian need' of securing and defending their border by removing German threats of aggression.

Churchill said that the countries behind the 'Iron Curtain' are being controlled by Russia and that there are many communist governments which are trying to create a totalitarian state.

Furthermore, he stated that Turkey and Persia are under threat as the Russian Government are trying to claim them as their own.

Churchill foresaw that there would be difficulties between the democratic, capitalist zones of Germany and the Soviet Union's communist area, believing that peace would not last as the USSR would try to take control.

What was the Iron Curtain?

The iron curtain represents the separation of Europe from the area of soviet influence.

Furthermore, it represents that they are separated into communist Eastern Europe and the democratic, free Western Europe.

In response to Churchill's speech, Stalin argued that:

  • Churchill's views were similar to Hitler's. He was a racist and believed the Soviets were inferior to English Speaking Nations.

  • Churchill did not appreciate that the USSR had significantly more casualties than the USA and the UK, so their desire for security was appropriate.

  • Many people actually supported communism, especially the countries the USSR was taking over.

Comintern: a soviet organisation set up to support attempts to spread communism to other countries