5 January 1945
U.S.S.R. Recognizes Communist Government in Poland
Soon after the German conquest of Poland in 1939, refugees established a Polish government-in-exile in London. But while Great Britain and the United States recognized this as the legitimate government of Poland, Stalin was determined that after the war Poland would be pro-Soviet. Moreover, he was adamant that the Soviet Union would keep the eastern part of that country, which Soviet troops had occupied in 1939 under the German-Soviet Nonaggression Pact. Since the so-called “London Poles” would guarantee him neither, Stalin encouraged the formation of an alternative Polish government, one made up of Polish communists living in the Soviet Union. In 1943 he severed relations with the London Poles, and on January 5, 1945, as the Red Army rolled into Poland, he formally recognized the communists as the legitimate government of that country.