The Reagan Speech Preservation Society

Nikita Khrushchev

Modified: Tuesday, 07 October 2014 18:52 by admin - Uncategorized
Nikita Khrushchev was the leader of the Soviet Union and its Communist Party during part of the Cold War. He directly followed Stalin as First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union starting in 1953, but did not become Premier of the Soviet Union until 1958.


Speech Relevance

Khrushchev is mentioned in both speeches, 'A Time For Choosing' and 'Encroaching Control'.

In 'A Time For Choosing':
If we continue to accommodate, continue to back and retreat, eventually we have to face the final demand—the ultimatum. And what then? When Nikita Khrushchev has told his people he knows what our answer will be? He has told them that we are retreating under the pressure of the Cold War, and someday when the time comes to deliver the ultimatum, our surrender will be voluntary because by that time we will have weakened from within spiritually, morally, and economically. He believes this because from our side he has heard voices pleading for "peace at any price" or "better Red than dead," or as one commentator put it, he would rather "live on his knees than die on his feet."
Without a specific quote (in A Time For Choosing), it is very difficult to track down Khrushchev's actual words and if he said them. It does sound similar in sentiment to the 1962 statement, that the United States would begin to fly the red flag by the choice of the Americans in a voluntary surrender.

From 'Encroaching Control':
Three and a half months before his last visit to this country, Nikita Khrushchev said, "We can't expect the American people to jump from capitalism to communism but we can assist their elected leaders in giving them small doses of socialism until one day they will awaken to find they have communism." Well this isn't exactly a new thought.
This is sketchy at best, if not bogus. No evidence of the quote has ever been found in print and only an unconfirmed verbal exchange has been reported. Ezra Taft Benson, Secretary of the Department of Agriculture under President Eisenhower claimed the following in a speech:
I have personally witnessed the heart-rending results of the loss of freedom. I have talked face-to-face with the godless Communist leaders. It may surprise you to learn that I was host to Mr. Khrushchev for a half-day when he visited the United States. Not that I'm proud of it. I opposed his coming then, and I still feel it was a mistake to welcome this atheistic murderer as a state visitor.

As we talked face-to-face, he indicated that my grandchildren would live under Communism. After assuring him that I expected to do all in my power to assure that his, and all other grandchildren, will live under freedom, he arrogantly declared, in substance:

"You Americans are so gullible. No, you won't accept communism outright. But we'll keep feeding you small doses of socialism until you finally wake up and find you already have communism. We won't have to fight you; we'll so weaken your economy until you fall like overripe fruit into our hands."

Benson claimed to have been told this in 1959, but mentioned it in a book in 1962 and in this above speech in 1966.


Source Links

Nikita Krushchev (Wikipedia)

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