THE LAST SECRET: The Delivery to Stalin of Over Two Million Russians by Britain and the United States by Nicholas Bethell

THE LAST SECRET: The Delivery to Stalin of Over Two Million Russians by Britain and the United States

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KIRKUS REVIEW

At Yalta it was agreed that the Allies would repatriate any Soviet citizen who had been captured by the Germans. Bethell, a journalist, bases this account on official archives released in 1972. Undoubtedly it was cruel to forcibly return innocent POW's to Stalin's xenophobic persecution of everyone who had been beyond the Motherland in any capacity but that of active Soviet combatant. The British soldiers obeyed orders but ""for many it was the most disagreeable episode of the whole war."" Bordered with indignation over the Allies' ""appeasement"" of Stalin, the book fails to fulfill Trevor-Roper's introductory promise that it will provide greater fairness and sophistication than Solzhenitsyn's polemic against Allied betrayal; Bethell never deeply probes the Anglo. American motives for hesitating to ruffle Stalin at this point during the competition for occupation of Europe. He prefers to combine legalistic dilemmas with horror stories. And the book's treatment of the pro-Nazis among the two million total of repatriates -- Cossack fighters, Ustashi, many of Vlasov's men, and so forth, is problematic. A reference that will have a certain demand.

Pub Date: Nov. 15th, 1974
Publisher: Basic Books