Coming out of war, the future of Europe was obscure. There was no one to ‘speak for Europe’ or who could put forward a ‘continental perspective’. The British and the Russians might both, perhaps, be judged to be Europeans, but they were rather peculiar ones. Europe was not going to ‘arise’ in any spontaneous sense. It was going to be ‘liberated’ from both west and east. Military reality in the present therefore shaped the future. In October 1944, in Moscow, Churchill and Stalin openly discussed ‘spheres of influence’. In Poland, Romania and Bulgaria and also Hungary, the Soviet influence was to predominate. Italy and Greece would go the other way. It looked like, and in large measure was, an ‘old-fashioned’ carve-up of the continent. Such arrangements were difficult to square with the language about liberty and democracy to be found in the ‘Declaration on Liberated Europe’ made when Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin subsequently met at Yalta in the Crimea in February 1945. What was precisely entailed by ‘predominance’ was soon a matter of disagreement. Both the behaviour of the British in Greece, in backing the royal government against Communists, and of the Soviet Union in Poland, in rounding up Home Army fighters, evoked criticism from the ‘other side’.
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