US Ambassador Joseph E. Davies on Stalin

From:  Mission to Moscow (1943)

“He gives the impression of a strong mind which is composed and wise. His brown eye is exceedingly kindly-and gentle. A child would like to sit in his lap and a dog would sidle -up to him. It is difficult to associate his personality and this impression of kindness and gentle simplicity with what has occurred here in connection with these purges and shootings of the Red Army generals, and so forth. His friends say, and Ambassador Troyanovsky assures me, that it had to be done to protect themselves against Germany-and that someday the outside world will know their side.

“Throughout we joked and laughed at times. He has a sly humor. He has a very great mentality. It is sharp, shrewd and, above all else, wise, at least so it would appear to me. If you can picture a personality that is exactly opposite to what the most rabid anti-Stalinist anywhere would conceive, then you might picture this man.”


Ambassador Davies with Stalin.