I think George Orwell said it best:
“Those who control the present, control the past and those who control the past control the future.”
― George Orwell, 1984
The Truth about V-E Day
In 2012, the AP apologized for firing war correspondent Edward Kennedy for reporting the end of WWII on May 7, 1945 in defiance of military censors accommodating Stalin’s wishes to announce the German surrender on May 8.
Notice the media huzzas for the 69th anniversary of the end of WWII in Europe? Too bad the date is wrong. We celebrate V-E Day on May 8 due strictly to Stalin’s wishes and Truman and Churchill’s fear of “offending the Russians” — the frequent driver, sometimes fueled by bona fide agents of Stalin’s influence, of much US and British policy and strategy.
The war in Europe ended on May 7, 1945.
The story, from Chapter 12 of American Betrayal:
An even cruder, emptier example of this manipulation was the embargo placed at the behest of the Allied leaders, Stalin, Truman, and Churchill (dragging his heels), on the news of the surrender of Nazi Germany in France on May 7, 1945, until the Russians could rig up their own surrender ceremony in Berlin on May 8, 1945. This stupendous act of appeasement, blanked out of national memory, was thankfully circumvented by a wise and bold AP reporter named Edward Kennedy, who believed the news of Germany’s surrender “belonged to the Allied peoples,” as he later wrote, and not to the Soviet propaganda department. Kennedy created a giant controversy for refusing to go along with this blatant political censorship. On learning that Allied military headquarters (SHAEF) had already authorized German radio to broadcast the news of the May 7 surrender, Kennedy filed his story regardless of the embargo, regardless of the Soviet plan. As Kennedy explained his decision (which cost him his job with the AP) in an Atlantic Monthly essay in 1948, “Truman and Churchill—the latter reluctantly and only on pressure from Washington—agreed to hold up the news, which belonged to the Allied peoples, until the time of the Berlin meeting . . . The Russian action was quite in line with the Soviet conception of the press for propaganda, and nothing to get excited about; the fault was ours for falling for it” (emphasis added).
Of course, according to this new way of looking at our history, we fell for it because we were pushed, both from the outside and, more important, from the inside. As a result, Americans at large were left to try to make half-sense of the partial truths doled out by our leaders. Later, Cooper notes, a smaller, book-reading audience would sort through the many war memoirs written by military and political figures, Churchill’s most famous among them, containing “laments” over their authors’ having been “pushed around by the insatiable Russians.” Cooper—the man who coined the phrase “the right to know”— comments acerbically: