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War and Peace in the Nuclear Age; Dawn; Interview with Valentin Berezhkov, 1986 [2]

Part of War and Peace in the Nuclear Age.


Valentin Berezhkov was Stalin's interpreter at conferences with Roosevelt and Churchill during World War II. In this brief second interview, he summaries some of his own and the Soviet leader's reactions to key moments during the war – including Germany's declaration of intent to confront the USSR; the Tehran, Yalta and Potsdam conferences; Churchill's October 1944 meetings with Stalin; and Stalin's discussion with other Soviet officials immediately following Truman's revelation of the existence of a new, powerful weapon. He also recalls the atmosphere on Victory Day in Moscow.

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War and Peace in the Nuclear Age
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Interview with Valentin Berezhkov, 1986 [2]

Series Description

The first atomic explosion in the New Mexico desert on July 16, 1945, changed the world forever. This series chronicles these changes and the history of a new era. It traces the development of nuclear weapons, the evolution of nuclear strategy, and the politics of a world with the power to destroy itself.

In thirteen one-hour programs that combine historic footage and recent interviews with key American, Soviet, and European participants, the nuclear age unfolds: the origin and evolution of nuclear weapons; the people of the past who have shaped the events of the present; the ideas and issues that political leaders, scientists, and the public at large must confront, and the prospects for the future. Nuclear Age highlights the profound changes in contemporary thinking imposed by the advent of nuclear weapons. Series release date: 1/1989

Program Description

Amid the violence, fear and desperation of World War II, nuclear weapons are created and used for the first time.

“Dawn” traces the development of the first atomic bomb, from 1932 with the ominous rumblings that led to World War II and the ground-breaking scientific experiments that led to the bomb. Atomic physicist Victor Weisskopf explains, “we did not think at all that this business would have any direct connection with politics, or with humanity.” The frantic rush by American scientists who feared the Nazis were ahead of them and the first nuclear explosion in the New Mexico desert on July 16, 1945 are described by eyewitnesses. Physicist Philip Morrison was ten miles away from the blast and will never forget the heat on his face. “Dawn” concludes with the failure of the first attempts to reach agreement on international control of atomic weapons after the war.



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Roosevelt, Franklin D. (Franklin Delano), 1882-1945
Yalta Conference (1945)
Kurchatov, I. V. (Igor¿ Vasil¿evich), 1903-1960
Potsdam Conference (1945 : Potsdam, Germany)
Zhukov, Georgii Konstantinovich, 1896-1974
Stimson, Henry L. (Henry Lewis), 1867-1950
Hitler, Adolf, 1889-1945
Truman, Harry S., 1884-1972
Great Britain
World War II
Nuclear weapons
Stalin, Joseph, 1879-1953
Teheran Conference (1943)
Molotov, Vyacheslav Mikhaylovich, 1890-1986
United States
Soviet Union
International relations
Attlee, C. R. (Clement Richard), 1883-1967
War and Conflict
Global Affairs
Berezhkov, V. M. (Valentin Mikhailovich), 1916 (Interviewee)
Publication Information
WGBH Educational Foundation
Chicago: “War and Peace in the Nuclear Age; Dawn; Interview with Valentin Berezhkov, 1986 [2],” 03/27/1986, WGBH Media Library & Archives, accessed March 26, 2019, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_2C2329221B2E450A96A8B781A3811B47.
MLA: “War and Peace in the Nuclear Age; Dawn; Interview with Valentin Berezhkov, 1986 [2].” 03/27/1986. WGBH Media Library & Archives. Web. March 26, 2019. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_2C2329221B2E450A96A8B781A3811B47>.
APA: War and Peace in the Nuclear Age; Dawn; Interview with Valentin Berezhkov, 1986 [2]. Boston, MA: WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_2C2329221B2E450A96A8B781A3811B47
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