Teheran Conference of the Three Powers. 1943
"The first place I headed for, of course, was the American Legation, but there I was told Father was in residence at the Soviet Embassy. There were, I learned, good reasons for this. At first Father had declined the invitation – which had been extended by Marshall Stalin himself – on the grounds that he would be more independent if he were no one's guest, and that he had also declined a prior British invitation and hesitated to run the possibility of offending them by then accepting the Russian offer. But convenience and, even more important, security, dictated ultimate acceptance. <...>
Certainly the Russians did everything possible to make Father's stay in their Embassy pleasant: Stalin himself retired to one of the smaller houses within the compound, leaving Father the main building."
Elliott Roosevelt, As He Saw It, New York, 1946, pp. 172–173.
Map symbols: 51 – British Embassy; 61 – Embassy of the Soviet Union; 62 – Consulate of the Soviet Union; 64 – Consulate of the United States.
"What things were ready for was a formal presentation ceremony: Churchill was to give Stalin, on behalf of his King and the British people, a mighty two-handed sword, tribute to the heroes and heroines of indomitable Stalingrad, where the back of the Nazi offensive had been forever broken, and the myth of Nazi invincibility forever dissolved. <...>
The blade of the sword bears the inscription: 'To the steel-hearted citizens of Stalingrad, a gift from King George VI as a token of the homage of the British people'.
A British junior officer had handed Churchill the great sword. He took it, swung around, and passed it over to the Marshal. Behind him, the Red Army guard stood. <...>
There was a pause, and then the Marshal gravely walked around the corner of the table to where Father was sitting, and offered the sword for inspection. The P.M. held the scabbard, while Father pulled out the fifty inches of tempered steel. <...>
'Truly they had hearts of steel,' murmured Father."
Compressed charcoal heightened with white on paper.
41.0 х 56.5 cm
Oil on canvas. 308х403 cm