Stalin's Seasons Greetings

At this time of the year it is expected that we all join in the spirit of goodwill to all men and yuletide cheer!  It is noted, however, that there are certain aspects of this holiday season that are mixtures of good and bad, those who have had to rummage through the remnants of the Christmas tin of 'Quality Street' will attest to the truth in that. So for those among you who let the insufferable Christmas cheer get to you and go around saying 'baa-humbug', I would just like to point out how even men like Stalin could get into the festive mood at this time of year, as evidenced here in his 'touching' seasonal greeting to the people of Japan.

Text of telegram from Joseph Stalin to Kiishi Iwamoto, Editor-in-Chief, Kyodo News Agency, December 31, 1951. Source: Soviet News.

Dear Mr. K. Iwamoto: I have received your request to send a New Year's message to the Japanese people. It is not a tradition with Soviet leaders that the Premier of a foreign State should address his wishes to the people of another State. However, the profound sympathy of the peoples of the Soviet Union for the Japanese people who are in straits owing to foreign occupation, impels me to make an exception to the rule and to meet your request. Please convey to the Japanese people that I wish them freedom and happiness, that I wish them full success in their gallant struggle for the independence of their homeland. In the past the peoples of the Soviet Union themselves experienced the horrors of foreign occupation in which the Japanese imperialists also took part. Therefore they fully understand the sufferings of the Japanese people, deeply sympathize with them and believe that they will achieve the regeneration and independence of their homeland as the peoples of the Soviet Union achieved it in the past.

I wish the Japanese workers deliverance from unemployment and low wages, elimination of high prices of consumer goods and success in the struggle for the preservation of peace. I wish the Japanese peasants deliverance from landlessness and land shortage, elimination of high taxes and success in the struggle for the preservation of peace. I wish the entire Japanese people and their intelligentsia full victory of the democratic forces of Japan, revival and advance of the country's economic life, the flowering of national culture, science and art and success in the struggle for the preservation of peace.

With respect,

 J. Stalin