Bohlen, Charles Eustis
Charles Eustis “Chip” Bohlen (August 30, 1904 – January 1, 1974) was a United States diplomat from 1929 to 1969 and Soviet expert, serving in Moscow before and during World War II, succeeding George F. Kennan as United States Ambassador to the Soviet Union (1953–1957), then ambassador to the Philippines (1957–1959), and to France (1962–1968). He became an exemplar of the nonpartisan foreign policy advisors known as "The Wise Men." Autograph Letter Signed 03/20/1953 - 7 x 9 on Offical "Department Of State" Stationary with the seal embossed of the United States of America in upper left corner. Signed in Blue ink pen with one-fold overall, very fine condtion.
"Charles Eustis "Chip" Bohlen (August 30, 1904 - January 1, 1974) was a United States diplomat from 1929 to 1969 and Soviet expert, serving in Moscow before and during World War II, succeeding George F. Kennan as United States Ambassador to the Soviet Union (1953-1957), then ambassador to the Philippines (1957-1959), and to France (1962-1968). He became an exemplar of the nonpartisan foreign policy advisors known as "The Wise Men."
After Bohlen took his B.A. at Harvard in 1927, he went on a world tour on a tramp ship. Although he had not intended to become a diplomat, his extensive world travels with his family as a child and his course work at Harvard caused him to enter the Foreign Service in Washington in 1929. He was assigned as vice-consul at Prague until 1931, when he became vice-consul at Paris. Here he began serious study of the Russian language. He attended Russian church services and perfected his language skills with Russian emigrees in street cafes. Assigned to study Russian language by the State Department (which anticipated recognition of the Bolshevik government), Bohlen spent one summer with a Russian family in Estonia.
When the United States resumed diplomatic relations with the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in 1933, Bohlen was named vice-consul under Ambassador William C. Bullitt. Later he served as third secretary at the American Embassy, during which time he travelled extensively throughout Russia. Bohlen returned to Washington in 1935 to join the Division of Eastern European Affairs. Although Bohlen treasured his experiences in Russia, he conceded that he always felt a breath of refreshing air when he crossed the border. Returning in 1938, he found Russia was in convulsion because of the political purge trials which he personally observed. He scored somewhat of a diplomatic coup when in 1939 he learned details of the Russo-German pact which led to the Nazi attack on Poland, starting World War II.
Controversy surrounded Bohlen's appointment to Moscow as ambassador by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1953. Opposed by Wisconsin's Joseph R. McCarthy, who attacked Bohlen for his role at the Yalta Conference, he eventually won Senate confirmation by a vote of 74 to 13. McCarthy's performance so outraged Senate leaders Robert A. Taft and William Knowland that it marked the beginning of McCarthy's demise.
Political turmoil highlighted Bohlen's five years in Moscow as ambassador, a period which saw the rise and fall of Georgi M. Malenkov, the execution of Lavrenti P. Beria, the emergence of Nikita S. Khruschev, de-Stalinization, the revolt in Hungary, and the Suez crisis. Although his tenure was characterized by highly charged exchanges with Soviet diplomats, the Russians were disappointed when he was moved to the Philippine Embassy, a transfer that resulted from long-standing differences with Secretary of State John Foster Dulles. Later he became special adviser on Soviet affairs for Secretary of State Christian Herter. He finished his diplomatic career with five years of service at the difficult Paris Embassy for President John F. Kennedy and one year as deputy under secretary of state for political affairs, concluding over 40 years of service with the State Department. At age 69, Bohlen died of cancer in Washington, D.C., on December 31, 1973.