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Harry Truman

Datum narození: 8. květen 1884
Datum úmrtí: 26. prosinec 1972
Další jména: Harry Spencer Truman

Harry S. Truman byl 34. viceprezidentem a 33. prezidentem Spojených států amerických v letech 1945–1953. Do úřadu nastoupil v dubnu 1945 po smrti Franklina D. Roosevelta.

V době, kdy zastával prezidentský úřad, došlo k množství zásadních událostí. Těsně po jeho nástupu v srpnu 1945 dopadla na Hirošimu první atomová bomba, v letech 1945–1947 začala studená válka a byl to on, kdo Trumanovou doktrínou vytyčil základní postoj USA vůči rozpínání komunismu. USA se aktivně podílely na hospodářské obnově Evropy Marshallovým plánem a zároveň z Evropy stahovaly americké jednotky. V roce 1945 vznikla Organizace spojených národů, Spojené státy prošly v letech 1947–1955 obdobím panického strachu z komunismu, období tzv. red scare .

Pocházel ze střední vrstvy a v mládí prošel na rozdíl od F. D. Roosevelta strázněmi běžného Američana. Po celou kariéru si uchoval lidovou image a přes počáteční nedůvěru v jeho schopnosti si dokázal získat respekt a pověst silného a rozhodného státníka. Byla pro něj ať již na postu soudce nebo prezidenta typická také velká píle a zodpovědnost, kterou vůči své práci pociťoval.

„Když ti vadí horko, nemotej se v kuchyni.“

—  Harry Truman

Z roku 1950
Zdroj: King, Stephen: Running Man

„It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit“

—  Harry Truman

This is attributed to Truman in some sources, but a similar saying is recorded as early as 1909 https://books.google.com/books?id=bidJAAAAIAAJ&dq=how%20much%20%22care%20who%20gets%20the%20credit%22&pg=PA26#v=onepage&q=how%20much%20%22care%20who%20gets%20the%20credit%22&f=false.
Misattributed

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„We know now that the basic proposition of the worth and dignity of man is not a sentimental aspiration or a vain hope or a piece of rhetoric. It is the strongest, most creative force now present in this world.“

—  Harry Truman

Report on the Potsdam Conference (1945)
Kontext: We know now that the basic proposition of the worth and dignity of man is not a sentimental aspiration or a vain hope or a piece of rhetoric. It is the strongest, most creative force now present in this world.
Now let us use that force and all our resources and all our skills in the great cause of a just and lasting peace!
The Three Great Powers are now more closely than ever bound together in determination to achieve that kind of peace. From Teheran, and the Crimea, from San Francisco and Berlin — we shall continue to march together to a lasting peace and a happy world!

„When a High Explosive shell bursts in fifteen feet and does you no damage, you can bet your sweet life you bear a charmed life and no mistake.“

—  Harry Truman

Letter to Bess Wallace (8 September 1918) https://www.trumanlibrary.org/whistlestop/study_collections/ww1/documents/fulltext.php?documentid=1-15
Kontext: Now days battles are just sort of a "You shoot up my town and I'll shoot up yours." They say that Americans don't play fair. They shoot 'em up all the time. I hope so because I want to finish this job as soon as possible and begin making an honest living again... Have fired 500 rounds at the Germans, at my command, been shelled, didn't run away thank the Lord and never lost a man. Probably shouldn't have told you but you'll not worry any more if you know I'm in it than if you think I am. Have had the most strenuous work of my life, am very tired but otherwise absolutely in good condition physically mentally and morally... When a High Explosive shell bursts in fifteen feet and does you no damage, you can bet your sweet life you bear a charmed life and no mistake. I didn't have sense enough to know what was going on until the next day and then I was pretty scared. The men think I am not much afraid of shells but they don't know. I was too scared to run and that is pretty scared.

„The world will note that the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, a military base.“

—  Harry Truman

Report on the Potsdam Conference (1945)
Kontext: The world will note that the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, a military base. That was because we wished in this first attack to avoid, insofar as possible, the killing of civilians. But that attack is only a warning of things to come. If Japan does not surrender, bombs will have to be dropped on her war industries and, unfortunately, thousands of civilian lives will be lost. I urge Japanese civilians to leave industrial cities immediately, and save themselves from destruction.

„If they do not now accept our terms they may expect a rain of ruin from the air, the like of which has never been seen on this earth.“

—  Harry Truman

Announcing the Bombing of Hiroshima (1945)
Kontext: We are now prepared to obliterate more rapidly and completely every productive enterprise the Japanese have above ground in any city. We shall destroy their docks, their factories, and their communications. Let there be no mistake; we shall completely destroy Japan's power to make war.
It was to spare the Japanese people from utter destruction that the ultimatum of July 26 was issued at Potsdam. Their leaders promptly rejected that ultimatum. If they do not now accept our terms they may expect a rain of ruin from the air, the like of which has never been seen on this earth.

„In this shrinking world, it is futile to seek safety behind geographical barriers. Real security will be found only in law and in justice.“

—  Harry Truman

Address to Congress (1945)
Kontext: In this shrinking world, it is futile to seek safety behind geographical barriers. Real security will be found only in law and in justice.
Here in America, we have labored long and hard to achieve a social order worthy of our great heritage. In our time, tremendous progress has been made toward a really democratic way of life. Let me assure the forward-looking people of America that there will be no relaxation in our efforts to improve the lot of the common people.

„We must help to the limits of our strength. And we will.“

—  Harry Truman

Report on the Potsdam Conference (1945)
Kontext: Any man who sees Europe now must realize that victory in a great war is not something you win once and for all, like victory in a ball game. Victory in a great war is something that must be won and kept won. It can be lost after you have won it — if you are careless or negligent or indifferent.
Europe today is hungry. I am not talking about Germans. I am talking about the people of the countries which were overrun and devastated by the Germans, and particularly about the people of Western Europe. Many of them lack clothes and fuel and tools and shelter and raw materials. They lack the means to restore their cities and their factories.
As the winter comes on, the distress will increase. Unless we do what we can to help, we may lose next winter what we won at such terrible cost last spring. Desperate men are liable to destroy the structure of their society to find in the wreckage some substitute for hope. If we let Europe go cold and hungry, we may lose some of the foundations of order on which the hope for worldwide peace must rest.
We must help to the limits of our strength. And we will.

„All these things we knew before.“

—  Harry Truman

Report on the Potsdam Conference (1945)
Kontext: Our victory in Europe was more than a victory of arms.
It was a victory of one way of life over another. It was a victory of an ideal founded on the rights of the common man, on the dignity of the human being, on the conception of the State as the servant — and not the master — of its people.
A free people showed that it was able to defeat professional soldiers whose only moral arms were obedience and the worship of force.
We tell ourselves that we have emerged from this war the most powerful nation in the world — the most powerful nation, perhaps, in all history. That is true, but not in the sense some of us believe it to be true.
The war has shown us that we have tremendous resources to make all the materials for war. It has shown us that we have skillful workers and managers and able generals, and a brave people capable of bearing arms.
All these things we knew before.
The new thing — the thing which we had not known — the thing we have learned now and should never forget, is this: that a society of self-governing men is more powerful, more enduring, more creative than any other kind of society, however disciplined, however centralized.

„We must be prepared to pay the price for peace, or assuredly we shall pay the price of war.“

—  Harry Truman

Special Message to the Congress on the Threat to the Freedom of Europe (1948)
Kontext: The recommendations I have made represent the most urgent steps toward securing the peace and preventing war. We must be ready to take every wise and necessary step to carry out this great purpose. This will require assistance to other nations. It will require an adequate and balanced military strength. We must be prepared to pay the price for peace, or assuredly we shall pay the price of war. We in the United States remain determined to seek peace by every possible means, a just and honorable basis for the settlement of international issues.

„It's an old political trick: "If you can't convince 'em, confuse 'em." But this time it won't work.“

—  Harry Truman

Address at the National Plowing Match (18 September 1948); as quoted in Miracle of '48: Harry Truman's Major Campaign Speeches and Selected Whistle-stops (2003); edited by Steve Neal. Truman's mention of an "old political trick" is often quoted alone as if it were a strategy he was advising rather than one he was criticizing.
Kontext: On the one hand, the Republicans are telling industrial workers that the high cost of food in the cities is due to this government's farm policy. On the other hand, the Republicans are telling the farmers that the high cost of manufactured goods on the farm is due to this government's labor policy.
That's plain hokum. It's an old political trick: "If you can't convince 'em, confuse 'em." But this time it won't work.

„I realize the tragic significance of the atomic bomb. Its production and its use were not lightly undertaken by this Government.“

—  Harry Truman

Report on the Potsdam Conference (1945)
Kontext: I realize the tragic significance of the atomic bomb. Its production and its use were not lightly undertaken by this Government. But we knew that our enemies were on the search for it. We know now how close they were to finding it. And we knew the disaster which would come to this Nation, and to all peace-loving nations, to all civilization, if they had found it first. That is why we felt compelled to undertake the long and uncertain and costly labor of discovery and production. We won the race of discovery against the Germans.
Having found the bomb we have used it. We have used it against those who attacked us without warning at Pearl Harbor, against those who have starved and beaten and executed American prisoners of war, against those who have abandoned all pretense of obeying international laws of warfare. We have used it in order to shorten the agony of war, in order to save the lives of thousands and thousands of young Americans. We shall continue to use it until we completely destroy Japan's power to make war. Only a Japanese surrender will stop us.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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