Entries dated June 28 and July 4, 1937
“[T]he best judgment seems to believe that in all probability there was a definite conspiracy in the making looking to a coup d’état by the army — not necessarily anti-Stalin, but antipolitical and antiparty, and that Stalin struck with characteristic speed, boldness and strength.’”
“Had a fine talk with Litvinov. I told him quite frankly the reactions in U.S. and Western Europe to the purges; and to the executions of the Red Army generals; that it definitely was bad…
Litvinov was very frank. He stated that they had to ‘make sure’ through these purges that there was no treason left which could co-operate with Berlin or Tokyo; that someday the world would understand that what they had done was to protect the government from ‘menacing treason.’ In fact, he said they were doing the whole world a service in protecting themselves against the menace of Hitler and Nazi world domination, and thereby preserving the Soviet Union strong as a bulwark against the Nazi threat. That the world would appreciate what a very great man Stalin was.”
– U.S. Ambassador Joseph E. Davies, Mission in Moscow, pages 99 and 103.