Repatriation of Cossacks After World War II - Western Allied Motivations

Western Allied Motivations

Technically, the Allies were not legally obliged to return all Cossacks, specifically those who did not qualify as Soviet citizens. The Yalta Agreement, moreover, did not authorize the use of force during repatriation operations. To this day, the question remains why the Allies conceded to Stalin's will for illicit, unconditionally forced repatriation. Speculations as to why include the Allies' desire to preserve the ethereal peace following World War II and to set stable grounds for future cooperation between the West and the USSR. Contributing to the pro-repatriation issue was the cause of "expediency." During the war, Germany had allocated Allied POWs on the Eastern half, and Soviet POWs on the Western in order to frustrate escape attempts. Given the reciprocality, the enduring presumption was that the more quickly the Allies repatriated all Cossacks according to Stalin's instructions, the more quickly Allied prisoners would be returned to their mother countries from the Soviet hands. Of greater pressure on the Allied administration was the USSR's notorious volatility that could spontaneously kill all Allied POWs in its temporary possession. Therefore, the Allied decision to force rapid Soviet POW repatriation was not blatantly selfish, as they did realize the sacrifice of involved—either save one's compatriots from potential slaughter and mistreatment, or save foreigners from a virtually guaranteed massacre.

Contrary to the long-held assumption that the Allies knew nothing of the fate of the repatriated Soviet POWs, governmental archives declassified during the period 1972-1978 reveal that the Allies were indeed knowledgeable that they were thrusting prisoners to their deaths. As British Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden remarked in September 1944, "the probability that if we do what the Soviet Government want and return all these prisoners to the Soviet Union, whether they are willing to return or no, we shall be sending some of them to their deaths." In the face of a fatal dilemma, the fact that the Allies chose forcible repatriation suggests their greater hope for global peace and future peace as the Cold War slowly unfolded.

Some British people may have taken the view that the Russians were entitled to execute any of their people caught wearing German uniform, since Britain had executed one of its people caught wearing German uniform, John Amery.

Read more about this topic:  Repatriation Of Cossacks After World War II

Famous quotes containing the words motivations, western and/or allied:

    The wider the range of possibilities we offer children, the more intense will be their motivations and the richer their experiences. We must widen the range of topics and goals, the types of situations we offer and their degree of structure, the kinds and combinations of resources and materials, and the possible interactions with things, peers, and adults.
    Loris Malaguzzi (1920–1994)

    The corporate grip on opinion in the United States is one of the wonders of the Western World. No First World country has ever managed to eliminate so entirely from its media all objectivity—much less dissent.
    Gore Vidal (b. 1925)

    Can love be in aught allied to dissipation? Let us love by refusing, not accepting one another. Love and lust are far asunder. The one is good, the other bad.
    Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)