Lessons of the Past

Author: D. TOMASHEVSKY

Lessons of the Past

Stefan Boratynski, Diplomacy During the Second World War, International Conferences 1941-1945, State Science Publishing House, Warsaw, 1957, pp. 404.6

THE ATTENTION of experts and the public generally has been focused on international relations during the Second World War. A mass of memoirs, scientific and pseudo-scientific papers has already appeared in the West. Scholars in the Socialist countries have also devoted much attention to the subject. Their papers are designed to restore the historical truth and expose the bourgeois falsifiers.

One such book was issued last year by the Polish scholar Stefan Boratynski. "The purpose of my work," says the author in his preface, "is first and foremost to discover just how the decisions of international conferences during the Second World War served to prepare and ensure the peace settlement.. . to what extent they provided for the elimination of the aftermath of the war and what they augured in the way of organization for future peaceful international relations" (p. 5).

The author traces the course of events which led up to the various decisions to show that favourable results in preparing the peace were achieved gradually and that the final decisions were preceded by painstaking preliminary work in co-ordinating the different points of view and resolving controversial issues.

His main thesis, which is based on an analysis of the problems of the post-war settlement worked out in the course of the war, is that international co-operation is possible and expedient and that the method of negotiation and co-ordinated decision is both useful and effective.

The need for an anti-Hitler coalition with the participation of the U.S.S.R. became evident in the initial stages of the war. The author shows that from the time the coalition took shape cooperation between the U.S.S.R., Britain and the United States was not confined to military matters but involved the problems of the future organization ...

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