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Rusk VVV, Dean Rusk interviewed by Richard Rusk and Thomas Schoenbaum, 1985 April

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:00:06 - Palestine and the Truman administration

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Partial Transcript: This is an interview with Dean Rusk. We're talking about the Middle East, and this is April 1985. Rich Rusk and Tom Schoenbaum doing the interviewing.

Segment Synopsis: Dean Rusk discusses being the head of the Office of United Nations Affairs under the Secretary of State, George Marshall, during the Truman administration. He describes Truman's desire for there to be a Jewish state as a homeland for Jews in Palestine.

Keywords: Balfour Declaration; General Assembly; Great Britain; League of Nations; United Nations

00:04:56 - The Partition Plan

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Partial Transcript: Okay, let me--let's focus first of all on the partition stage because that is a discrete event, and then we'll move into the termination of the mandate phase.

Segment Synopsis: Dean Rusk discusses the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine, which was a resolution that suggested the creation of independent Arab and Jewish States in Palestine. He also talks about President Truman's decision to support partition as opposed to the British idea that there should be a bi-national state formed instead.

Keywords: Bartley Crumb; Clark Clifford; Committee of Inquiry; David Niles; George Marshall; King David Hotel; Loy Henderson; President Truman; State Department office of Near East and African Affairs

00:16:05 - Strategy to move the partition plan through the U.N. / Trusteeship Proposal

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Partial Transcript: Now, can you describe the strategy to get partition through the United Nations?

Segment Synopsis: Dean Rusk discusses attempting to negotiate the Partition Plan between the Arab delegates and the Zionists at the Savoy-Plaza Hotel in New York. He also talks about a point before these negotiations took place, when the U.S. changed its position and moved toward creating a temporary trusteeship for Palestine. He discusses President Truman's negative reaction to this plan.

Keywords: Chip Bohlen; Clark Clifford; George Marshall; Jewish immigration; Loy Henderson; Robert Lovett; Soviet Union; U.N. trusteeship; Warren Austin

00:28:24 - The British mandate / Reactions to the new Jewish state

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Partial Transcript: Now there's another dramatic moment in which I was personally involved, and that had to do with the actual termination of the British mandate and the declaration of the provisional government, and the immediate recognition of that government by the United States. I think the British mandate was to expire at 6:00.

Segment Synopsis: Dean Rusk discusses Truman's decision to immediately recognize the new Jewish State (Israel) in Palestine after the expiration of the British mandate. He also discusses the reactions of George Marshall and the U.N. General Assembly to this news.

Keywords: Clark Clifford; David Niles; Paris, France; U.S. Embassy

00:40:02 - Other possibilities for the Jewish State

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Partial Transcript: Pop, let me ask a sort of a general question here, and one of the "what if" questions of history.

Segment Synopsis: Dean Rusk recalls the other possibilities that were considered for the situation of the Jews in Palestine including the U.N. Trusteeship Proposal. He says that he does not think that there was a solution that would have satisfied both the Jews and the Arabs.

Keywords: Adolf Hitler; British mandate; Creech Jones; Joint Chiefs; U.S. Military

00:47:03 - Reflections on the Holocaust

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Partial Transcript: Pop, I got a--I want to back up just a minute further here, and let's talk for a minute about the Holocaust and the meaning of the Holocaust.

Segment Synopsis: Dean Rusk discusses the Holocaust and describes how it lead to the creation of the Jewish State in Palestine.

Keywords: CBI; Harry Truman; Nazis

00:50:55 - Aftermath of the recognition decision

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Partial Transcript: I wanted to come back to one more question about the recognition decision.

Segment Synopsis: Dean Rusk discusses the effects of the decision to recognize Israel and the wars that broke out between the Arabs and the Jews.

Keywords: Folke Bernadotte; Soviet Union; United Nations

00:56:58 - Role of Dean Rusk during the partition plan

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Partial Transcript: Pop, you say the Jewish pressure on this issue was phenomenal, and obviously a lot of it was focused on Harry Truman and the White House people.

Segment Synopsis: Dean Rusk discusses his role as the director of the Office of United Nations Affairs under George Marshall when the United Nations passed the Partition Plan. He also talks about the political pressure received from the Jews during this time.

Keywords: Dorothy Fosdick; Eleanor Roosevelt; Harry Truman; John Foster Dulles; John Hilldring; The Herald Tribune