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The Presidential Library reveals unknown facts about Tehran 43

28 November 2018

“November 28, 1943, three people met for the first time in Tehran, whose names have become firmly established in history: Stalin, Roosevelt, Churchill. It’s hard to find people more dissimilar than they are. Each of the three leaders had their own views on history and on the future of humanity. Everyone had their own ideals and beliefs. But despite all this, the logic of the struggle against the common enemy brought them together in Tehran. They made important agreed decisions there”, - Valentin Berezhkov, Stalin’s translator, later said.

November 28 - December 1, 1943, the Tehran Conference, one of the major diplomatic events of World War II, took place in the Iranian capital. Joseph Stalin (USSR), Franklin Roosevelt (USA) and Winston Churchill (Great Britain) finally agreed on the opening of the second front in Europe.

The Presidential Library - the largest electronic repository of materials on the history of Russia – as part of the large collection "Memory of the Great Victory" was a separate collection dedicated to the anti-Hitler coalition and international conferences during the war.

On Senate Square, 3, as well as in any remote electronic reading room of the Presidential Library (there are about 750 in all regions of our country and 38 in 30 foreign countries), you are available the book by V. M. Berezhkov “Tehran, 1943. At the conference of the Big Three and on the sidelines" (1971). At one time, it became a bestseller and partly formed the basis of the famous film Tehran-43 (1980).

Berezhkov describes events at and around the Tehran conference, many of which he witnessed, who was the first secretary of the Soviet embassy in Berlin before the fascist Germany’s attack on the USSR and, during the war, interpreted Joseph Stalin at international conferences.

Particularly interesting in his retelling is the story of the failed attempt to kidnap the President of the United States: “There was information that Hitlerite intelligence was preparing an attempt on the part of the Tehran meeting. In 1966, the notorious thug Otto Skorzeny, whom Hitler trusted the most responsible sabotage, confirmed that he had the order to steal Roosevelt in Tehran. <...> However, information about the upcoming sabotage came from the distant Rovno forests, where a special group operated in the enemy's rear, which included the legendary reconnaissance Nikolai Kuznetsov”.

Knowing perfectly German language, Kuznetsov perfectly played the role of Wehrmacht chief lieutenant Paul Siebert. In the fascist-occupied city of Rovno, he became acquainted with SS Sturmbanführer von Ortel. The latter eventually blurted out top-secret information about the German mission in Tehran.

The book also describes Berezhkov choosing a place for the conference: “Stalin preferred to hold a conference closer to Soviet territory. Roosevelt, in turn, referred to the American Constitution, which did not allow him, as president, to be absent in Washington for a long time. <...> The Soviet government proposed to arrange a meeting in Tehran, given the fact that there were Soviet troops there, and British troops were brought into the southern part of the country. <...> The Soviet and British embassies directly adjoined each other. It was enough to block the street with the help of high shields and create a temporary passage between two estates so that the whole complex formed one whole ... "

The collection “The Soviet Union at the international conferences during the Great Patriotic War, 1941–1945” edited by A. A. Gromyko, reflects that the meeting has been prepared for almost a year. Since December 1942, the leaders of the anti-Hitler coalition exchanged views in writing on this issue.

The Tehran - Yalta - Potsdam collection (1967) available in the electronic reading rooms of the Presidential Library, showcases of the all meetings of the Tehran Conference. On their basis, you can make a number of curious observations - for example, that the first US President Franklin Roosevelt liked to take the floor. “As the youngest of the heads of government present here, I would like to allow myself to speak first”, - he said at the very first meeting of the three leaders on November 28, 1943.

Then Prime Minister William Churchill spoke out. All his speeches were invariably filled with pathos: “This is the greatest concentration of world forces that has ever been in the history of mankind. In our hands, the question of shortening the war, winning a victory, about the future fate of humanity. I pray that we deserve a wonderful opportunity given to us by God”.

Stalin, however, invariably focused on the need to move from words to deeds and rather rigidly demanded that the Allies give an exact answer on the opening date of the second front in Europe, on the choice of the commander of the corresponding operation, etc.

The Presidential Library’s portal features “Declaration of the Three Powers” ​​signed by the leaders of the anti-Hitler coalition on December 1, 1943, on the final day of the conference. “We express our determination that our countries will work together both during the war and in subsequent peacetime”, - the document says. “With regard to the war, representatives of our military headquarters participated in our round-table talks, and we agreed on our plans to destroy the German armed forces.”

A separate document covers decisions taken by the Allied military headquarters.

Photographs from the Tehran Conference are posted on the Presidential Library’s portal.

The Presidential Library from November 28, 2018 to January 11, 2019 hosted the exhibition "Eureka" and "Ostrov": Tehran-43 and Yalta-45. The history of fateful decisions”.

The meetings of the “Big Three” in Tehran in 1943 and in Yalta in 1945 determined not only the outcome of World War II, but also the post-war structure of the world. The exhibition presents the viewer the objectives, course and outcome of the two most important conferences, as well as tells about the little-known security features of the delegations of the allied countries. Organized jointly with the Franklin Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum and Bard College (USA), for the first time, the Russian audience has wide access to many documents and materials related to the activities of Roosevelt in connection with meetings of the heads of the USSR, the USA and Great Britain