LITHUANIAN QUARTERLY JOURNAL OF ARTS AND SCIENCES
Volume 14, No.3 - Fall 1968
Editor of this issue: Anatole C. Matulis
Copyright © 1968 LITUANUS Foundation, Inc.
THE BALTIC STATES IN
From Truman to Johnson
RICHARD A. SCHNORF, CMDR, US Navy
This article is a third and final part of a survey of American disposition toward the Baltic States since their annexation by the Soviet Union in 1940, an act still unrecognized by the U. S. The first part, [ "The Baltic States in US - Soviet Relations, 1939-1942"], was published in the Spring 1966 issue of Lituanus , the second-part, ["Baltic States in US-Soviet Relations: The Years of Doubt 1943-1946"], appeared in the Winter 1966 issue of Lituanus.
Throughout the war, the United States consistently maintained that territorial settlements should not be discussed until after the war. The U.S. hoped that political considerations would be subjugated to military ones until military aims had been realized. This policy permitted the Soviet Union to start communization of eastern Europe prior to the meeting of a peace conference.
Paris Peace Conference
By the time that the Paris Peace Conference convened on July 29, 1946, it was apparent that the victorious allies were no longer the Grand Alliance of Churchill's prose. The split between communism and democracy, the Soviet Union and the Western states, had begun to widen.
The United States successfully thwarted a Soviet move to have the three Baltic Soviet Republics attend the meeting. In a renewal of the international numbers game which had originated in earlier discussions concerning membership in the United Nations, Secretary of State Byrnes dueled with Molotov and Stalin in Moscow in December of 1945.
Although it was ridiculous to concede that any of the individual Soviet Republics had even an infinitesimal degree of sovereignty or any prospects for it, the Soviets equated their status with that of the British dominions. The prospects of a six-vote British bloc disturbed the Soviets who insisted that if India were to come, the Latvian, Estonian and Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republics should also be invited. Byrnes mollified Molotov by saying: "The Soviet Union and the United States are strong enough to stand alone, and I am sure Mr. Molotov can adequately protect the interest of the three Soviet republics at the conference..."1 In making reference to Soviet protection of the three Baltic Soviet Republics, Byrnes walked on dangerous ground. However, he did not mention Soviet protection of the people but only of the republics. Thus, he avoided association of the Baltic peoples with the puppet Soviet Governments, unrecognized by the United States.
The Peace Conference itself did not consider the matter of Soviet aggression against the Baltic States or the national future of the three. Foundations for a divided Europe were reinforced in Paris, and the Baltic countries were situated well behind the frontiers of Soviet influence. The Peace Conference did not settle all grievances produced by World War II. The United States did not recognize Soviet gains in eastern Europe, but no American effort was made to restore Baltic independence. Although the United States did not intend to perpetuate the injustice which had been inflicted upon the Baltic peoples, it failed to take positive action to restore justice. Hopes that the wartime alliance would form a firm foundation for world peace discouraged a strong stand with respect to eastern Europe. In spite of Soviet intransigence, meny Americans continued to anticipate a softer Soviet policy.
Among them was Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt who expressed her views of the Soviet position in the Baltic States late in 1946. Although she was then a member of the United States delegation to the United Nations, she specified in her letter to P. J. Zuris of the American Friends of Lithuania that the following represented her personal view:
It is my opinion that the Soviet Union's primary purpose in maintaining control of these countries is to provide an arsenal for the protection of her own boundaries. As the people in these Baltic countries win Soviet confidence, as the Soviet Union is convinced that they or their allies represent no threat to Soviet security, she will adopt a more friendly attitude toward them.2
One might wonder how the Soviet Union could gain confidence in the Baltic peoples short of the population's utter submission. The unfortunate Baltic people, who to some extent had learned that negotiated surrender could be more sanguinary than defeat in battle, were doing everything but winning Soviet confidence. Resistance was rampant throughought the Baltic area as the Soviets sat with Americans at a peace conference. Outnumbered, the Baltic patriots allegedly gave more than they took. Yet, eight thousand Lithuanians fell in battle between 1944 and 1946.3
The Baltic peoples found no solace in the Paris Peace Conference. Although the United Stated stiffened its position toward the Soviet Union, it still sought to establish a world order which would eliminate armed camps.
The Cold War
As American resistance to Soviet intransigence increased, an international atmosphere of tension developed, a condition which was to be called the Cold War.
The relationship of the Baltic States with the United States was not integral to the development and maintenance of a cold war, but the status of the Baltic States began to respond to the temperatures generated by Soviet-American tensions.
Whereas to call for justice for Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania in 1943 could have been judged an impediment to a common war effort, the same call in the late 1940's and early 1950's would be received sympathetically.
American aid to Baltic displaced persons is a matter of record. Neither the Latvians nor the Estonians had more than a handful of people in the United States before the war opened American doors. Relief of individuals who had fled from the Communists was not fundamentally a factor in the relationship between the United States and the Baltic States as represented by their missions except insofar as the immigration was a direct refutation of the Soviet's claims to the refugees. In denying the Soviet Union the right to seize Baltic refugees within the American occupation zones of Europe, the United States gave concrete evidence of non-recognition of Soviet annexation of the Baltic States. It thereby reaffirmed its high moral standards.
The policy of containment discouraged many who saw in it an abandonment of the nations under Soviet control and tacit approval of the tyranny which prevailed. However, this policy did not prevent the U. S. from offering solace to the victims of Soviet aggression or from denouncing the international behavior of the Soviets.
Liberation is a more attractive term than containment to the captive nations, and hopes were raised when the Eisenhower-Dulles policy of liberation replaced the Kennan concept of containment. Regardless of what the Republicans intended, to those who were captive liberation meant freedom. Years later, Claiborne Pell called this a "cruel deception".4
However, under Eisenhower, the policy of non-recognition was renewed. In 1953, the Lithuanian American Council apparently made strong impressions on the President and on Congress. The Select Committee on Communist Aggression, the fruit of the Council's efforts, was formed to investigate the forced incorporation of the Baltic Stated into the Soviet Union.
Select Committee on Communist Aggression5
Under the chairmanship of Charles J. Kersten of Wisconsin, this committee made a hurried but thorough investigation of the incorporation of the Baltic States by the Soviet Union. Leading Estonians, Latvians, and Lithuanians appeared before the group to testify concerning events in the Baltic States. The Committee, which was formed on July 27, 1953, was severely limited by time and never submitted a final report, substituting merely a summary.
In spite of this, it amassed a substantial amount of material. Its special reports were prepared by Georgetown University, but the most impressive document associated with the Committee was its Third Interim Report, prepared by the Legislative Reference Service under Ernest S. Griffith.6 This lengthy report is a valuable reference for a student of eastern European history.
The Committee made strong recommendations for action to the Government:
(1) That the Secretary of State take such steps as are necessary to cause this threat to world peace to be brought to the urgent attention of the current session of the General Assembly of the United Nations,
(2) That the United States delegation to the United Nations take the initiative in removing this threat to world peace by sponsoring a resolution in the General Assembly calling for the full and rapid withdrawal of all the military, political and administrative personnel of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics from the territories of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. . .7
The recommendations never were translated into policy. Never has the United States or any other state placed the occupation of the Baltic States on the agenda of the United Nations.
However, the Committee was not valueless. The data accumulated by the Kersten Committee constitute an excellent documentary source on recent Baltic history.8 And, though.it is impossible to determine, the captive Baltic peoples may have drawn encouragement from the scathing denouncement of Soviet duplicity.
Still a friend of the Baltic States, Charles Kersten commented:
Of all the Captive Nations with regard to the Baltic States, we have taken the most correct position, namely, we have refused to recognize their incorporation into the Soviet Union and we continue to recognize the old representatives of these nations before they were absorbed by the USSR.9
John Foster Dulles, who delivered a strong statement in support of the Baltic States before the Kersten Committee, was to carry on, in spirit if not in fact, his determination to liberate these people. Though it did not affect America's position with respect to the Baltic States, the Geneva Conference of 1955, which Dulles attended, was preceded by Baltic fears that Khrushchev might obtain some American concession on the Baltic front.
Geneva Summit Conference
Stasys Lozoraitis, Chief of the Diplomatic Corps of Lithuania, hurried to Geneva to observe at first hand the progress of the Eisenhower - Khrushchev meeting. He was there to represent Lithuania should he be required.
However, there was no need for him to have been a-larmed. The United States neither surrendered nor forced a surrender on the issue of the captive nations. According to Dulles, however, the United States must have impressed the Soviet Union with its sincerity regarding the oppressed peoples of eastern Europe. Referring to the meeting, Dulles later stated: "But we made it perfectly clear — President Eisenhower made it clear — that freedom of these captive nations was in our opinion essential both from the standpoint of better relations between our two countries and from the standpoint of peace."10
The record shows no Soviet - American agreement on this matter. The press crowed about the spirit of Geneva and its implications. Whatever was meant by the spirit of Geneva, it was not a spirit which helped or hindered the Baltic States. However, the final years of this study were years which saw many such spirits come and go, and the status of the free Baltic States appeared to ebb and flow inversely with the rise and fall of the spirits.
The Last Decade
After Geneva, and especially after the heroic, futile rebellion in Hungary, the Baltic people must have known that freedom was far off. The United States made it apparent even to the most hopeful of eastern Europeans that it would not risk World War III by intervening with military aid. After 1956, the accent shifted from liberation.11 However, the ethnic groups continued to publicize the moral wrong which the Soviets were perpetrating in the Baltic countries.
In 1956, a prominent group of Americans formed the American Friends of the Captive Nations in New York City. With Christopher Emmet as its Chairman, the AFCN includes such distinguished Americans as Senators Douglas and Dodd, the Hon. Angier Biddle Duke, Eugene Lyons, Edgar Ansel Mowrer, Harry Overstreet, Rev. Daniel A. Poling, Mrs. Kermit Roosevelt, and General Maxwell D. Taylor.
One of the aims of the organization has been to persuade others that liberation does not mean war. The group has since its inception addressed telegrams and letters to the President of the United States, the Secretary of State, and the U.S. Ambassador to the U. N., making its views a matter of record.
Furthermore, in the 1960 elections, the AFCN sent an eleven-question survey to all Senatorial candidates and some House candidates. The results apparently were disappointing. Stating that the majority did not reply, Chairman Emmet offered a succinct observation concerning the habits of most American Senators and Representatives and provided an excellent insight into his own organization when he added this comment: "Congressmen and Senators never like to be pinned down to specifics, and this is precisely what our Committee was organized to do."12
The AFCN has preached its doctrine of liberation short of war without achieving major success, but it has been able to generate considerable support from Congress, for example in its drive to protest Ambassador Stevenson's offer to drop the discussion of Hungary from the agenda of the United Nations. It also has assisted in conducting observances during the annual Captive Nations Week.
Though it is difficult to measure the effect of these proclamations and the observances which have stemmed from them, the reaction of the Soviet Union affords one source of evaluation. Protests from the press of the Soviet Union have been vehement. In addition, the Soviet skill in manipulation has produced strong reactions throughout its satellites and the captive Baltic provinces.
In measuring the effect, a comparison in popular reaction in the United States between the 1959 and 1960 Weeks is an aid.
There was considerable difference between them. Accusations of poor planning and bad taste accompanied the 1959 proclamation issued in the glow of expectation of Chairman Khrushchev's visit. Senator J. William Ful-bright disclosed during the 1960 campaign that he had been reliably informed that Richard Nixon had offered his regrets to Khrushchev over the timing of the proclamation.
In 1960, there were no cries of protest. The resolution in that year appeared when the U-2 incident and the failure of the Paris Summit had exacerbated tensions of long standing.
The ethnic goups and organizations like the National Captive Nations Committee under Dr. Lev Dobriansky worked vigorously to influence President Kennedy to continue the precedent set by President Eisenhower. Discussions with representative ethnic groups disclosed serious doubts that Kennedy would proclaim a third Captive Nations Week in 1962, but he has continued the practice, as did his successor President Johnson.
Although the suppression of religious, social, economic, and political liberties in the Baltic States was largely forgotten in terms of political issues, the memory of the Baltic States has remained alive on the American scene.
The Secretary of State of the United States annually re-pledges U.S. condemnation of the annexations. For example, in a letter of February 8, 1968, to Joseph Kajec-kas, Charge d'Affaires ad interim of the Legation of Lithuania in Washington, Secretary Rusk extended best wishes to the Lithuanian diplomat on the occassion of the fiftieth anniversary of Lithuania's independence and went on to say:
its long and
proud history, the Lithuanian nation has endured with fortitude many
periods of trial and alien rule. Unhappily, in our own time,
Lithuania's re-establishment as an independent state was followed only
twenty-two years later by its forcible incorporation into the Soviet
Union. The Lithuanian people have responded to this situation through
the years with unyielding courage and unfaltering hope for freedom and
national independence. The firm purpose with which the Lithuanians both
at home and abroad have struggled to preserve their national heritage
is the best assurance of their survival as a nation.
Americans look with understanding and sympathy upon the just aspiration of the Lithuanian people to determine freely their own destiny. The United States Government, by its continued non-recognition of the forcible incorporation of Lithuaia, affirms its belief in Lithuania's right of self-determination.
The Baltic States have appeared again and again as factors in negotiations between the United States and the Soviet Union. A recent incident occured in negotiations of the cultural exchange program. These discussions took place between October, 1960, and February, 1961.
A band from the University of Michigan was scheduled to make a tour of the Soviet Union as part of the program. The Soviets offered to allow the band to appear in Moscow, Kiev, and Leningrad, the usual three sites in which visiting American groups were allowed to appear.
However, the United States, desiring the widest coverage which negotiations might obtain, insisted that the band be permitted to make appearances in others cities, claiming that the U.S. wanted to obtain for its group privileges comparable to those which the U.S.S.R. was granted in the United States.
The Soviets cleverly agreed with the Americans and enlarged the itinerary to ten cities among which were Riga, Tallinn, and Vilnius. This clearly was an injection of political considerations into a cultural field and was a shrewd maneuver by the Soviets.
If the United Staes had allowed the University of Michigan band to appear in the Baltic capitals, it might have been interpreted to have been a form of recognition that the three were a part of the Soviet Union.
Not to be outdone in sagacity, the American negotiators, caught in a dilemma, presented the Soviets with an American-made dilemma: unless the Baltic cities were removed from the tour, the Moiseyev dancers would not be permitted to tour the United States.
Probably aware of the magnificent reception that I-gor Moiseyev's troupe would receive in the United States, the Soviet negotiators borrowed the plot from Aesop's "The Fox and the Grapes" and announced across the conference table that the Communist leaders of the three Baltic S.S.R.'s had considered the situation and had informed the Soviet team that they did not want the band from the University of Michigan to appear in their lands.
The Moiseyev dancers came to the United States, and the University of Michigan band went on an extended tour of the Soviet Union, but not to Riga, Tallinn, and Vilnius.
American action was based primarily on the U.S. policy of nonrecognition of the Soviet absorption of the Baltic States.
In most cases without publicity, the Baltic ethnic groups and the diplomats have succeeded in maintaining in the minds of key Americans an awareness of the injustice occuring in the Baltic countries. Although a column by Pierre J. Huss could state that "the cruel enchainment by Moscow of these once virile nations is forgotten," 13 the American Ambassador to the United Nations, Adlai Stevenson, used the Baltic States as an example of Soviet colonialism.
Even the exhibition of children's art from the Soviet Union produced a clash between the United States and the Soviet Union regarding the Baltic States. The exhibition, held in Washington, D.C. in April of 1962, identified the Baltic countries as part of the Soviet Union. After the State Department failed to convince the Soviets to remove the objectionable materials, U.S.I.A. Director, Edward R. Murrow, withdrew from the opening ceremony, and the U.S. Information Agency stated in part: "Since they (objectionable materials) continue to be emphasized in the exhibition, Mr. Murrow feels that he cannot participate in the opening ceremony."14
It would be hasty to dismiss such actions as being politically insignificant. Acts such as Murrow's are positive examples of U.S. policy being carried out. Baltic hopes for the future are integrally intertwined with the slim thread of American non-recognition of the annexations.
In 1965, after some effort, the Congress passed a concurrent resolution, calling on the President
to direct the attention of world opinion at the United Nations and at
other appropriate international forums, and by such means as he deams
appropriate, to the denial of the rights of self-determination for the
peoples of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, and
(b) to bring the force of world opinion to bear on behalf of the restoration of these rights to the Baltic peoples.15
The significance of even such mild proposals and the Captive Nations Week proclamations is underscored by the vehement reaction of the Soviet leaders.16 Such resolutions not only reenforce favorable American opinion for the cause of the Baltic peoples, but also the hope of the captive peoples as well.
Unless there is a drastic turn in
relations, it appears that the United States will continue to support
the cause of Baltic independence, short of liberating the countries by
force. The staunch policy of July 23, 1940, has withstood many
onslaughts in two decades. It has clearly demonstrated America's
determination not to recognize territorial changes produced through
force or the threat of force.
An Overview of U.S. Policy Toward the Baltic States Since 1939
In a perspective of almost thirty years there appears an American consensus that Soviet actions in the Baltic area in 1940 were predatory. Soviet claims that the Baltic peoples were freed through sovietization have never received consideration in the United States. On July 23, 1940, Sumner Welles, speaking for the United States Government, claimed that the political independence and territorial integrity of the Baltic States deliberately had been annihilated by the Soviet Union through devious processes. This position has been maintained in the face of substantial pressures.
When it stood virtually alone against the Axis, Great Britain grasped at straws to draw the Soviets into a more cordial relationship. Although the British did not recognize the Soviet fait accompli in the Baltic States and had frozen the credits of the Baltic States in Britain to prevent them from falling into Soviet hands, His Majesty's Government in the fall of 1940 seriously contemplated releasing the Baltic assets to the Soviet Union as an inducement to the Soviets to come into the Allied camp. At that time, and again early in 1942, the British sought American blessing. In neither case was it given. Yet, the keen moral badge of the American policy of July, 194G, began to be dulled under the pressures of those who advocated realism at the expense of idealism.
By the time of the Yalta Conference, the American Baltic policy was an insignificant issue. In 1940 and 1941, it had been a major factor in Russo-American relations. In the face of a common war effort, it was almost subverted. Regular assurances were given to the Baltic diplomats that their status continued unchanged and that the United States supported the principles of the Atlantic Charter. The policy of non-recognition of the absorption enabled thousands of Baltic peoples to escape to the West, but it did not prevent re-establishment of Soviet regimes in the Baltic area as German forces retreated. It did not affect the political order which emerged from World War II. Eastern Europe was solidly under Soviet domination.
Rising American determination to halt Soviet expansion marked the end of an uneasy alliance and the start of the Cold War. Baltic organizations which had been muted during the war were permitted to publicize their cases to the American people. The Congress of the United States assisted with resolutions asking that the issue of Baltic self-determination be placed on the agenda of the United Nations. Presidents Approved Captive Nations Weeks during which Baltic-Americans joined with other ethnic groups to stimulate American thoughts and emotions regarding nations communized involuntary.
America's Baltic policy has withstood almost three decadades of pressures. Yet, the policy is not inviolate. Those who have selfish interest in Baltic self-determi-nation and those who hold that morality has a place in international relations have not passively allowed the policy to disintegrate into meaningless terms. They actively have endeavored to preserve that basic policy, a policy which forms the basis of modern civilization.
Before the Peace of Westphalia established the concept of modern statehood, there were Estonians, Latvians, and Lithuanians on the eastern shore of the Baltic Sea. Each of these peoples was distinctly different from the Russians to the East, Germans to the West, and Poles to the South. In spite of centuries of domination by foreign invaders — both benevolent and tyrannical — a sense of nationalism prevailed. Enlightened liberalism did not produce Baltic independence. If the Russian Tsar had not toppled when he did, Baltic independence would not have occured when it did. If the Rassian state had not been in turmoil, both internally and externally, the Baltic peoples could not have achieved independence. It must be conceded that Russian weakness provided the opportunity for Baltic nationalism to prosper. However, this does not degrade the Baltic effort or make it unacceptable to normal standards of international law. Baltic independence was intrinsically the product of self-determination.
The United States was slow to accept the successful moves of the Baltic peoples. White Russians fought Bolsheviks, and multifarious armies were on Russian territory from Vladivostok to Archangel as the Baltic patriots struggled for independence. Plainly, the United States mistrusted the intentions of the interventionists and did not intend to be a part of a forcible dismemberment of the Russian state. However, American reluctance did not destroy legitimate national movements. Independence was established and persisted for two decades before Soviet intransigence restored Russian occupation of the Baltic area. In the interim the Baltic peoples had fulfilled their obligations toward the international community of states and had provided more individual freedom than Russian rule had ever permitted. In spite of its imperfections, government of the Baltic peoples by the Baltic peoples gave the Estonian, Latvian, and Lithuanian masses a greater degree of freedom than they could have known under foreign domination.
Their surrender of national sovereignty can be both understood and regretted. With no expectation of assistance, they were powerless to withstand Soviet aggression. Yet, in retrospect, it is clear that the cause of independence would have been served better in the eyes of the world through resistance. Finland's stout but futile resistance evoked widespread admiration. No one could have expected the Baltic States to defeat the Soviet Union but even token opposition would have been remembered in a more favorable light than was the almost docile submission. When the Baltic peoples finally fought, it was too late. They were crushed by the Russians.
In one respect it is fortunate that the Soviet Union did not invade the Baltic States later than it did. When they invaded, the Soviets were chancing little. Western attention was monopolized by German activities, and any aggresssion by the Soviet Union was bound to take a secondary position to one by Nazi Germany. There were no friends to buttress the Baltic peoples trapped in the northeast corner of Europe. If the Soviet Union had invaded the Baltic States after it had been invaded by Germany, its argument that the occupation was a defensive move might have been accepted by the Western world. If the Soviet Union had forced anti-German treaties on the Baltic States, with the right of free passage of troops, the situation could have been tolerated in the democratic states in spite of the infringement of Baltic sovereignty. Yet, as it happened, the Soviet Union did not infringe on Baltic sovereignty; it destroyed it.
The United States recognized this when it cited devious processes as having destroyed the independence of the Baltic States. The American position was morally sound and showed respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. Certainly, political expedience did not militate against the American decision. In fact, it was politically sound policy. It is unthinkable that the United States would have chosen any other course at that time.
However, American determination to exploit the basic policy of non-recogniton of territorial gains through aggression was eventually watered down by political expediency. Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union made the Russians qusi-allies of the United States. America's position vis-a-vis the Baltic State situation became a passive one. The decision to aid the Soviet Union apparently was made without any official effort to press the beleaguered Soviets for political guarantees regarding eastern Europe. Even with the admission that retrospective policy formulation is immeasurably more simple than that which must be made in the stress of current events, America's failure to obtain gains from Lend Lease to Russia is astonishing.
Those who have argued that it was vital to keep the Soviet Union in the war against Germany ignore the fact that it was more vital to the Soviet Union than any other state. It was a stark matter of self-preservation. The Russian tradition of fierce self-defense was buried by the fear that the Soviet Union would make a separate peace with Germany.
On the other hand, it may be argued that concessions obtained from the Soviet Union under duress would have been worthless when the Soviet regime felt secure enough to abrogate them. This is indisputable. However, guarantees of integrity for eastern Europe would have enabled the United States to propose sending official Allied observers into eastern European states well before the Baltic diplomats made the suggestion. If the Soviet Union had demurred, its refusal would have provided the United States with an early indication of Soviet intentions; and American self-interest, as well as international morality, could then better have influenced American conduct at ensuing conferences with the Soviets.
In spite of its failure to take advantage of Soviet weakness, the United States justifiably may not be accused of abandoning either the Baltic States or its standards of international relations. In the face of repeated Soviet demands, it did not retreat from the firm position of July 23, 1940. Although the policy was tarnished, it was not irreparably corroded. The Baltic legations were not turned over to the Soviets; the frozen assets were not released to the Soviet Union; and the Baltic diplomats and ethnic organizations were given some latitude to operate on behalf of the cause of independence for the Baltic States. As the Cold War progressed, the Baltic representatives were given increased licence.
The plight of the Baltic States no
alone but is a part of the misforturne of those states referred to as
Captive Nations. Although technically Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania
are more captive than the so-called satellite states, they have in
principle benefited from American attention to Soviet-dominated states
in the past few years. Their inherent right to self-determination has
been accented by association with states which have been dominated by
the Soviet Union rather than incorporated.
After more than twenty five years of Soviet occupation, it is clear that the United States does not comtem-plate abandoning the concept of Baltic independence. It is equally clear that the United States will not wage a war of liberation on behalf of the Baltic States.
However, the most sifnificant aspect of the United Staes position regarding the captive Baltic peoples is that American policy has not directly perpetuated the amora-lity of Soviet actions in the Baltic States. America's failure to be more positive when it had the opportunity is regrettable but does not substantially discredit its standards of morality and ideals. Indeed, the futile efforts of the so-called realists who encouraged appeasement of the Soviet Union have added stature to the case of the idealists. The modern history of Baltic subjugation lends proof to the thought that idealism is not necessarily unreality.
In view of the emergence of nation
into the community of states since World War II, the realism of
America's Baltic policy is underscored. There are states today which do
not represent nations and which do not have effective control of
countries and which, nonetheless, are accepted in the international
community as equals. It is a tragedy that the defunct Baltic States
were better examples of legitimate and popular government than many
states which now occupy seats in the United Nations Organization.