US Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson was not the only high-ranking American official to acknowledge, at least in private, that the claim of unique Allied righteousness was mere pretense. In a letter to the President, written while he was serving as the chief US prosecutor at the great Nuremberg trial of 1945-1946, Jackson acknowledged that the Allies “have done or are doing some of the very things we are prosecuting the Germans for. The French are so violating the Geneva Convention in the treatment of [German] prisoners of war that our command is taking back prisoners sent to them [for forced labor in France ]. We are prosecuting plunder and our Allies are practicing it. We say aggressive war is a crime and one of our allies asserts sovereignty over the Baltic States based on no title except conquest.” / 16
At the conclusion of the Nuremberg trial of 1945-1946, the respected British weekly The Economist cited Soviet crimes, and then added, “Nor should the Western world console itself that the Russians alone stand condemned at the bar of the Allies' own justice.” The Economist editorial went on:
“… Among crimes against humanity stands the offence of the indiscriminate bombing of civilian populations. Can the Americans who dropped the atom bomb and the British who destroyed the cities of western Germany plead ‘not guilty’ on this count? Crimes against humanity also include the mass expulsion of populations. Can the Anglo-Saxon leaders who at Potsdam condoned the expulsion of millions of Germans from their homes hold themselves completely innocent?... The nations sitting in judgment [at Nuremberg ] have so clearly proclaimed themselves exempt from the law which they have administered.” / 17
Another popular American assumption is that this country’s enemies in World War II were all non-democratic dictatorships. In fact, on each side there were regimes that were repressive or dictatorial, as well as governments that had broad public support. Many of the countries allied with the US were headed by governments that were oppressive, dictatorial, or otherwise non-democratic. / 18 Finland , a democratic republic, was an important wartime partner of Hitler’s Germany .
In crass violation of their own solemnly proclaimed principles, the US , British and Soviet statesmen disposed of tens of millions of people with no regard for their wishes. The deceit and cynicism of the Allied leaders was perhaps most blatant in the infamous British-Soviet “percentages agreement” to divide up South Eastern Europe . At a meeting with Stalin in 1944, Churchill proposed that in Romania the Soviets should have 90 percent influence or authority, and 75 percent in Bulgaria , and that Britain should have 90 percent influence or control in Greece . In Hungary and Yugoslavia , the British leader suggested, each should have 50 percent. Churchill wrote all this out on a piece of paper, which he pushed across to Stalin, who made a check mark on it and passed it back. Churchill then said, “Might it not be thought rather cynical if it seemed we had disposed of these issues, so fateful to millions of people, in such an off-hand manner? Let us burn the paper.” “No, you keep it,” replied Stalin. / 19