Take the example of Harry Hopkins, seen in the photo above relaxing in Stalin's train after the conclusion of the Yalta Conference in February 1945 (oh, that's normal...).
See below for more on Hopkins' Soviet sleepover, a little nugget I first reported on in 2018.
First, this biographical insight into the strategic mind of Harry Hopkins from American Betrayal.
Hopkins himself sometimes lamented the backstairs stealth of his career. In the August 1943 New Yorker profile, the magazine noted that Hopkins was “sometimes depressed by the thought that some of the history of this period will probably never be known to the public.” No one will ever know how smart I was? This makes for an intriguing flicker of personal regret coming from someone whom official biographer Sherwood would document as a highly secretive person from childhood. “I can’t ever make Harry out,” his mother said. “He never tells me what he’s really thinking.” This isn’t necessarily exceptional human behavior, but it would fit Hopkins’s lifelong pattern. In meetings, he was notorious for arguing all sides of an argument without letting on which one he favored, a technique dependent on a high degree of sangfroid.
Sherwood also relates a particularly apt story from Hopkins’s college days at Grinnell, where, by the way, this son of an Iowa harness maker was known as “Dirty Harry” for lowdown moves on the basketball court. “As a senior at Grinnell [Hopkins] was approached by Sophomore leaders for advice on strategy and tactics in the annual Sophomore-Freshmen Class Battle. He gave it, freely. Then hewas approached, quite independently, by Freshmen leaders for advice. He gave that, freely, too— telling the Freshmen how to counter ‘possible’ Sophomore strategy (which he had suggested). Neither side knew that Hopkins had master-minded both sides.”21
Given Hopkins’s White House role in influencing and also shaping “Sophomore” (U.S.) strategy on behalf of the “Freshmen” (USSR), and also deviously sharing that “Sophomore” (U.S.) strategy with the “Freshmen” (USSR), something we know from Venona, the parallels are uncanny, his early penchant for double- agenting chilling. We know this also from another Soviet source, the Mitrokhin archive, which tells us that “earlier in the year he [Hopkins] had privately warned the Soviet embassy in Washington that the FBI had bugged a secret meeting at which Zarubin (apparently identifi ed by Hopkins only as a member of the embassy) had passed money to Steve Nelson, a leading member of the U.S. Communist underground.”
Now, for Hopkins' Soviet sleepover, an item that does not seem to appear in any of the millions of words written about World War II! (I posted it here in 2018, and I gather Sean McMeekin later picked it up.) While poring over some of Hopkins' papers at Georgetown University some years ago, I came across the following entry in Harry Hopkins' 1945 datebook.
It tells us that at 3 pm, on February 11, 1945, the final day of the Crimean or Yalta Conference, FDR's very closest aide, the all-powerful Harry Hopkins, left the quarters of the American delegation and traveled by car 32 miles to Simferopol. There, Hopkins boarded the Soviet train, where he spent the night.
Think about that. With all that has been written and said about Yalta, about Roosevelt, about Stalin, about the "betrayal at Yalta," the fact that the president's top advisor embarked on a solo trip to the Soviet train immediately after the conclusion of the climactic wartime conference appears simply to have escaped all notice.
Here is the datebook entry in detail. I don't know who wrote it.
3:00 - HLH went by car to Simferopol where boarded the Russian train & spent night.
This presents us with a new historical mystery. Why, after seven days of intense "summit" meetings, did Harry Hopkins decide to join the Soviets for one final and completely exclusive session? For Auld Lang Syneski?
This bedside snapshot (above) from the train further documents Hopkins' Soviet sleepover. I was rather surprised to come across it at the website of Hopkins' alma mater, Grinnell, sitting there, just as if there was nothing in the slightest bit eyebrow-raising about the top US official after the President partaking of a strange Soviet interlude. Was the pic taken before or after his intelligence debrief? I jest, of course. No doubt Hopkins joined the Soviet train after the Yalta conference conclusion because he wanted to get a good night's sleep.
It seems doubtful that the truth of Hopkins' post-Yalta discussions with the Soviet delegation, very possibly including Stalin, will ever become known to us; but it is obvious that there are dedicated propagandists whose life mission it is to make sure Americans never figure out who and how and what the communists really did do to us.