Many consider Joseph Stalin to be a tyrant. But would such a tyrant allow free elections? Well, he did promise and pledge to allow free elections in Poland after World War II. Doesn’t sound so “tyranty,” right? Well, he must have known about the phrase, “It’s the thought that counts,” because he never followed through on that promise. No, he did not allow free elections. Instead he did more of a school yard bully move by making Poland communist to serve his purposes. (Ahhh, now that’s the tyrant we know.)
What was Promised
After World War II was over and the dust was settling, United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt, United Kingdom Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and Soviet Union Premier Joseph Stalin met at what was called the Yalta Conference to lay out terms for re-establishing European nations. It was at this conference that Joseph Stalin promised to allow Poland to hold free elections because “the Soviet government was trying to atone” for sins from the Russians against Poland.
What was Delivered
Now, under free elections, not only can the people decide who they want in power, they can also decide what form of government they’d like to have for their country. Skip ahead a little bit to where Stalin “encouraged” (pronounced “bullied”) Poland to be a communist nation (Oh, thank you, Uncle Stalin!). Not just Poland, he did the same with Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, and more. You can imagine Poland felt a lot like it had ordered free elections from Wish and was just a tad disappointed at what was delivered. It was actions like these that sparked the United States into allying with some countries in Eastern Europe in an attempt to contain the spread of communism during the Cold War.