Arthur Bliss Lane

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For other people named Arthur Lane, see Arthur Lane (disambiguation).
Arthur Bliss Lane
AB Lane.jpg
United States Ambassador
to Poland
In office
4 August 1945 – 24 February 1947
President Franklin D. Roosevelt
Preceded by Anthony J. Drexel Biddle, Jr.
Succeeded by Stanton Griffis
Personal details
Born (1894-06-16)June 16, 1894
Brooklyn, New York
Died August 12, 1956(1956-08-12) (aged 62)
Nationality American

Arthur Bliss Lane (16 June 1894–12 August 1956) was a career diplomat for the United States, serving in Latin America and Europe. Lane's career included dealing with the aftermath of World War I in Europe, the rise of a dictator in Nicaragua, World War II in Europe and the rise of communism in Poland.

Biography[edit]

Lane was born in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, New York on June 16, 1894. He attended Yale University. After graduating in 1916, he became private secretary to the U.S. Ambassador to Italy in Rome. In 1919-1920 he was 2nd secretary in the U.S. embassy to Poland. In 1921-1922, he was 2nd secretary in London, UK. During this time he was secretary to the U.S. delegation to the Conference of Ambassadors in Paris in 1921. He then went to Berne, Switzerland in 1922. From 1923 to 1925 he worked at the U.S. State Department in Washington, D.C. Lane then worked in the embassy in Mexico from 1925-1933.

He was appointed U.S. Minister to Nicaragua (1933–1936). While working here he met with General Somoza while the President of Nicaragua Sacasa held discussions with rebel leader Augusto César Sandino. Sandino called for the National Guard run by Somoza to be disbanded as it had been set up by the U.S. as they withdrew Marine forces from Nicaragua. Sandino was murdered by Guardsmen after the meetings; the U.S. claims that Lane had counseled Somoza to be patient but Somoza and later, the Sandinistas, claimed that Lane gave Somoza permission for his actions. Lane spent the next two years trying to reconcile Somoza and Sacasa, leaving the country before the next election as the U.S. adopted more non-interventionist policy.[1]

He was next U.S. minister to Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania (1936–1937); Kingdom of Yugoslavia, (1937–1941) (until the German invasion); and Costa Rica (1941–1942). He was then appointed United States Ambassador to Colombia (1942–1944), and subsequently to Poland (1944–1947), first to the Polish government in exile in London, later in Warsaw after the war ended.

Lane in Warsaw after World War II

While in Poland, Lane was so disappointed by the election of the Communist government that he resigned his post (on February 24, 1947)[2] and wrote the book which detailed what he considered to be the failure of the United States and Britain to keep their promise that the Poles would have a free election after the war. In that book he described what he considered betrayal of Poland by the Western Allies, hence the title, I Saw Poland Betrayed. The book was translated into Polish and published in this version in the United States, and later by an underground publishing house in Poland in the 1980s.

According to Lane, the U.S. and Britain at the Tehran Conference agreed to dismemberment of the eastern part of Poland. He considered it a breach of the United States Constitution, since Roosevelt never reported his decision to the Senate. The Yalta Conference was the death blow to Poland's hopes for independence and for a democratic form of government, said Lane.

Following his career at the State Department, Lane was active in investigating the Katyn Massacre and in several anti-Communist organizations (National Committee for a Free Europe). He also campaigned for Dwight D. Eisenhower and the Republican Party.

After his death, Lane's papers were kept in Yale University's Sterling Memorial Library.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Presidents, Diplomats, and Other Mortals: Essays Honoring Robert H. Ferrell, edited J. Garry Clifford and Theodore A. Wilson, University of Missouri Press, 2007, p 75-76
  2. ^ "Poland" (List of Ambassadors to Poland). United States Department of State. 2004. Retrieved 2007-08-24. 
  3. ^ Guide to the Arthur Bliss Lane Papers MS 5, Yale University Library

External links[edit]

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Matthew E. Hanna
United States Minister to Nicaragua
December 7, 1933–March 14, 1936
Succeeded by
Boaz Long
Preceded by
William H. Hornibrook
United States Minister to Costa Rica
October 27, 1941–March 17, 1942
Succeeded by
Robert M. Scotten
Preceded by
Spruille Braden
United States Ambassador to Colombia
30 April 1942–18 October 1944
Succeeded by
John C. Wiley
Preceded by
Anthony J. Drexel Biddle, Jr.
United States Ambassador to Poland
4 August 1945–24 February 1947
Succeeded by
Stanton Griffis