361.1121 Hrinkevich, Frank/7: Telegram
The Ambassador in the Soviet Union ( Davies ) to the Secretary of State
[Received 11:45 a.m.]
293. My telegram No. 291, November 11, 9 p.m. Durbrow and Page interviewed Hrinkevich at Minsk and took his application for passport renewal which is being submitted by mail. He states that he desires to retain his American citizenship and would have returned also to the United States had he been able to obtain permission for his Soviet wife and their 2 year old Soviet American son to depart from the Soviet Union. While he has no desire to remain in the Soviet Union he prefers to remain here even under the threat of a trial for criminal action rather than abandon his wife and child. Durbrow and Page were cautioned by the Soviet authorities before being permitted to see Hrinkevich that the interview could be in the Russian language only and that it could not touch upon his arrest, incarceration, [Page 496] and examination. They were refused access to the dossier in the case. However, in an aside in English, Hrinkevich succeeded in stating that he had been held incommunicado for the first 65 days of his incarceration. When he stated in Russian during the course of the interview that he was unaware for the first 60 days of his confinement of the reason for his arrest the Soviet official present at the interview stated to him “you know now that you are under arrest for having made remarks against the Soviet regime”. The authorities at Minsk, including the Minsk representative of the People’s Commissariat for Foreign Affairs, although admitting knowledge of the Roosevelt–Litvinov letters of November 16th, 1933, disclaimed all knowledge of the reasons for the failure of the Soviet Government to notify the Embassy promptly of Hrinkevich’s arrest.