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The Red Hotel: the Untold Story of Stalin’s Disinformation War

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Sunday 8th October 13:00 - 14:00 | Ballroom

Using recently opened M15 archives Alan Philps brings to life an intriguing and previously unexplored episode of Second World War history. Former Daily Telegraph Foreign Editor and Russian expert Philps will set out the way Stalin created his own reality by constraining and silencing the British and American reporters covering the Eastern front during WWII and forcing them to reproduce Kremlin propaganda. War correspondents were both bullied and pampered in a gilded cage of the Metropol Hotel. They enjoyed lavish supplies of caviar and had their choice of young women employed as translators and to share their beds.

While some of these translators turned journalists into robotic conveyors of Kremlin propaganda, others were brave secret dissenters who whispered to reporters the reality of Soviet life and were punished with sentences in the Gulag. Using British archives and Russian sources, the story of the role of the women of the Metropol Hotel and the foreign reporters they worked with is told for the first time.

Philps revelatory story will finally lift the lid on Stalin’s operation to muzzle and control what western allies’ writers and foreign correspondents knew of his regime’s policies to prosecute the war against Hitler’s rampaging armies from June 1941 onwards.

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