Getting teased by FDR and Stalin

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The scene is the Tehran Conference, the first time Churchill, FDR, and Stalin all met.

Sir Archibald Clark Kerr, the UK’s ambassador to the Soviet Union, is telling Lord Moran, who was Churchill’s doctor, how one of the meetings went:

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(Imagine joking around with Stalin about how many people were going to be shot.)


Was googling Kerr (not to be confused with the great Clark Kerr of the UC system) – that same year, 1943, he wrote a letter to Lord Pembroke, apparently a well-known bit of hilarious correspondence in UK diplomatic history circles:

“My Dear Reggie,

In these dark days man tends to look for little shafts of light that spill from Heaven. My days are probably darker than yours, and I need, my God I do, all the light I can get. But I am a decent fellow, and I do not want to be mean and selfish about what little brightness is shed upon me from time to time. So I propose to share with you a tiny flash that has illuminated my sombre life and tell you that God has given me a new Turkish colleague whose card tells me that he is called Mustapha Kunt.

We all feel like that, Reggie, now and then, especially when Spring is upon us, but few of us would care to put it on our cards. It takes a Turk to do that.

Sir Archibald Clerk Kerr, H.M. Ambassador”

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