American Presidents

Harry S. Truman

Harry S Truman

Writing from Berlin in 1945, Truman's letter to his wife mixes both personal and political concerns.

Berlin, July 29, 45

Dear Bess:

I like Stalin. He is straightfor- ward, knows what he wants and will compromise when he can't get it. His Foreign Minister isn't so forthright.
It made me terribly home sick when I talked with you yesterday morning. It seemed as if you were just around the corner, if 6,000 miles can be just around the corner. I spent the day after the call trying to think up reasons why I should bust up the Conference and go home.

Byrnes and I conferred all day on this and that and the other thing and finally got things down to the point of final agreement on Lend-Lease with the British, French and South American countries, and for the Big Three, Reparations and the Western Boundary of Poland. If we can get a reasonably sound approach to those two things we can wind this brawl up by Tuesday and we'll head for home immediately. Stalin and Molotov are coming to see me at 11 o'clock this morning and I am going to try to straighten it out.

I like Stalin. He is straightforward, knows what he wants and will compromise when he can't get it. His Foreign Minister isn't so forthright.

The British returned last night. They came and called on me at 9:30. Attlee is an Oxford man and talks like the much overrated Mr. Eden and Beven is an English John L. Lewis. Can you imagine John L. being my Secretary of State? Well, we shall see what we shall see. I believe after reading all the minutes, we have obtained all we came for and that there will be a good report to the country. Just the two things to settle, but they are the hardest, of course.

The Senate vote was great and will have a very fine effect over here. Pray for me and keep your fingers crossed too. If I come out of this one whole, there'll be nothing to worry over until the end of the Jap War. Kiss Margie. Lots of love to you.


Remember me to your mother and all the family. There were two grand letters in the last bag from you and one from Margie.

[The above letter is reproduced exactly as written and was obtained through the Truman Library.]

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