360c.1121 Zarzycki, Stephen/2: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Chargé in Poland ( Nielsen )

37. Please check immediately the facts in the Zarzycki and Pulmanowski cases3 as reported in despatches Nos. 423 and 437 of June [Page 403] 24 and 25 from the Consulate General,4 and seek an early interview with a responsible official of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with a view to protesting against the harsh treatment accorded these American citizens and, if they are still imprisoned, bringing about their immediate release.

You should state that your Government is seriously disturbed at the imprisonment in Poland of these American citizens on account of alleged violations of Polish exchange regulations based solely upon the failure to declare documents such as American savings bank books and American postal saving certificates which constitute merely evidence of their ownership of funds in the United States. In protesting against the treatment of American citizens as in these cases you should insist that immediate action be taken by the Polish authorities to effect their release if still held and the return of the documents in question pointing out that no Polish interest could apparently be injured by the legitimate possession of such purely American documents by American travelers and that this Government will have to consider issuing an appropriate public warning to American citizens contemplating visiting Poland unless assurance is received that such harsh treatment in connection with the enforcement of the Polish foreign exchange regulations will be immediately and permanently discontinued by local Polish authorities.

Please instruct Consulate General to render immediate and effective assistance to innocent American travelers encountering harsh treatment at Polish border points. Such cases should not be handled in a routine fashion.

  1. Stephen Zarzycki had been arrested by Polish customs officials at Gdynia on June 2, 1936, and Feliks Pulmanowski had been arrested at Zbaszyn on June 13. Both persons had been held in jail for many days awaiting trials, which were finally called on June 30, and July 29, respectively. Subsequently, these persons were released and permitted to return to the United States.
  2. Neither printed.