Winston Churchill

Iron Curtain Speech

Winston Churchill Iron Curtain Speech was also known as the Sinews of Peace, made on the 5 March 1946 at Westminster College, where he used the term “Iron Curtain” to describe a Soviet dominated Eastern Europe.

Background of Winston Churchill Iron Curtain Speech

The iron curtain was an ideological conflict and physical line that divided into two areas. The term symbolized Russia’s intention to block itself and its allies off from the influence of the West and the non-communist areas.

In this speech, Winston Churchill sought to convince his listeners of the dangers of communism and its evils of reducing human freedom, ultimately calling for unity about his people and the Western world.

Many mistakenly thought that he was the first to coin the term ‘Iron Curtain’, but according to history, the term has been in use predating the time of Churchill.

Winston Churchill Iron Curtain Speech

A shadow has fallen upon the scenes so lately lighted by the Allied victory. Nobody knows what Soviet Russia and its communist international organization intends to do in the immediate future, or what are the limits, if any, to their expansive and proselytizing tendencies. I have a strong admiration and regard for the valiant Russian people and for my wartime comrade, Marshall Stalin.

There is deep sympathy and goodwill in Britain – and I doubt not here also – towards the peoples of all the Russias and a resolve to persevere through many differences and rebuffs in establishing lasting friendships. We understand the Russian need to be secure on her western frontiers by the removal of all possibility of German aggression. We welcome Russia to her rightful place among the leading nations of the world. We welcome her flag upon the seas.

Above all, we welcome, or should welcome, constant, frequent and growing contacts between the Russian people and our own people on both sides of the Atlantic. It is my duty however, for I am sure you would wish me to state the facts as I see them to you. It is my duty however to place before you certain facts about the present position in Europe.

From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic an iron curtain has descended across the continent. Behind that line lie all the capitals of the ancient states of Central and Eastern Europe. Warsaw, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade, Bucharest and Sofia, all these famous cities and the populations around them lie in what I must call the Soviet sphere, and all are subject in one form or another not only to Soviet influence but to a very high and, in some cases, increasing measure of control from Moscow.

Athens alone – Greece with its immortal glories – is free to decide its future at an election under British, American and French observation. The Russian-dominated Polish government has been encouraged to make enormous and wrongful inroads upon Germany, and mass expulsions of millions of Germans on a scale grievous and undreamed-of are now taking place. The communist parties, which were very small in all these Eastern States of Europe, have been raised to pre-eminence and power far beyond their numbers and are seeking everywhere to obtain totalitarian control.

The safety of the world requires a new unity in Europe, from which no nation should be permanently outcast. Surely we should work with conscious purpose for a grand pacification of Europe, within the structure of the United Nations and in accordance with our Charter.

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