Necessity of Renouncing Their Inalienable Right Andrei Vyshinsky

Andrei Vyshinsky was a major figure in Stalin's Soviet Empire at the conclusion of the second world war. As the two major super powers left, or as could be argued the only two super powers ever two exist, both raced to create and solidify their influence over Europe. The U.S. plan, which we now know as the Marshall Plan, sought to guarantee U.S. influence in Europe through large (much needed) emergency funding options throughout decimated western Europe.

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With that said, the following quote was uttered by Andrei Vyshinsky about the Marshall Plan and the US influence. Regarding the time and date of its utterance, the quote comes from his speech at the UN at a time it was becoming increasingly clear that the U.S. was taking steps to guarantee European influence over their Russian counterparts. This quote was made in his speech to the UN General Assembly and offered a Russian interpretation of what the Marshall Plan was doing (to Russia and Europe). It’s important because it gives a new lens from the one mostly given from the American educational system. Finally, this quote was taken from the speech which was made in September 1947. Another relevant date to note before getting to the statement is December 11th, 1946. The date the UN explicitly stated that foreign aid offers would “at no time be used as a political weapon.”

In bringing forward this plan, the United States Government apparently counted on the cooperation of the Governments of the United Kingdom and France to confront the European countries in need of relief with the necessity of renouncing their inalienable right to dispose of their economic resources and to plan their national economy in their own way.

Andrei Vyshinsky

Vyshinsky Said It. What’s the Story?

One thing about the Cold War that is unique to some of the events we’ve read up until now is the proliferation of reliable first-hand accounts straight from the leaders and representatives of the time. I’ve spoken quite a bit already about the Marshall plan which sought to guarantee US influence in Europe by sending aid in accordance with countries lessening regulations and sanctions. The statement of response to the Marshall Plan from Andrei Vyshinsky, Soviet spokesman at the United Nations, shows how each side would take the most uncharitable view possible of the other’s position. Andrei writes:

“In bringing forward this plan, the United States Government apparently counted on the cooperation of the Governments of the United Kingdom and France to confront the European countries in need of relief with the necessity of renouncing their inalienable right to dispose of their economic resources and to plan their national economy in their own way.”

Essentially saying that the US is providing aid at the expense of the foreign government’s ability to control themselves which is a violation of the rights of the people. But he’s not done, he goes on to say:

“The United States also counted on making all these countries directly dependent on the interests of American monopolies, which are striving to avert the approaching depression by an accelerated export of commodities and capital to Europe.”

After this statement, the USSR announced they would not accept any aide, nor would any aide from the Marshall plan be allowed (to enter what we now call the Soviet Bloc).

The Berlin Wall is a perfect example of the metaphor and reality of what was going on. The wall divided East and West Berlin with the Soviet Union controlling the former and the US controlling the latter. The wall was not just an attempt to keep culture and way of life separate but also to keep US aid from infiltrating the east. As a response, the US launched the largest airlift of humanitarian aid that had ever been seen at the time. This resulted in embarrassment and escalations of the tensions from each side.

Vyshinsky stated, as we close out this particular quote and encourage readers to grapple with its significance, the following haunting words: I need only recall these facts to show the utter incompatibility of this policy of United States, and of the British and French governments which support it, with the fundamental principles of the United Nations.

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