STANFORD HISTORY EDUCATION GROUP sheg.stanford.edu
Document A: The Iron Curtain Speech
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.
In a great number of countries, far from the Russian frontiers and throughout
the world, Communist fifth columns are established and work in complete
unity and absolute obedience to the directions they receive from the
I do not believe that Soviet Russia desires war. What they desire is the
fruits of war and the indefinite expansion of their power and doctrines.
But what we have to consider here today while time remains, is the
permanent prevention of war and the establishment of conditions of
freedom and democracy as rapidly as possible in all countries.
Excerpt from the “Iron Curtain Speech” delivered by Winston
Churchill, March 1946 in Fulton, Missouri.