360c.1121 Atkinson, Dorothy/13: Telegram

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

51. Your 76, August 21, [25] 3 p.m.13

Ascertain from Mrs. Atkinson and other available sources all details of what occurred in her case.14 Obtain and forward same information in all other cases involving Americans that have arisen under exchange regulations. You should submit by next pouch despatch dealing separately and as fully as possible at this time with each case, giving nature of alleged violations and amounts involved, places and dates, action taken by our officials and present status of persons and property.15 If you believe that in some particular case or cases we should have immediate information, submit details by cable.
Personally and as soon as possible inform Minister of Foreign Affairs16 that in view of assurance heretofore given (your 70, July 29, 4 p.m. and 71, July 30, 5 p.m.) this Government is greatly shocked and disappointed by summary and drastic treatment of American citizens and that if policy now in effect is to be continued it will feel [Page 407] obliged to publicly notify our people of the risk they will encounter in visiting and travelling in Poland. At the same time you should take up with him the cases of all American citizens who are still detained or said to be detained, including several at Sniatyn-Zalucie, and request prompt and satisfactory settlement of all cases including that of Mrs. Mina Galewska whose case is the subject of a separate telegram to you of this date.17 You should call the Minister’s attention to potential personal and property claims of American citizens growing out of the treatment they have experienced and ask for prompt return of any property now held. You should supplement your oral statement to the Minister by an aide-mémoire, unless there is valid reason for not doing so.
[sic] You will say to the Minister that in order that this Government may have a definite understanding of the policy of the Polish Government you will be glad to receive from him a copy of the exchange regulations and a statement in writing as to the manner in which that Government proposes to further enforce the regulations in respect to American citizens.
Report by cable on your conversation with Minister for Foreign Affairs.
I feel strongly that commissioned officer should have been sent to Ostrow, as directed in last sentence of my 42, July 28, 6 p.m.18 Inform Consul General.
  1. Not printed.
  2. Dorothy B. (Mrs. Frederick G.) Atkinson, of Minneapolis, Minnesota, travelling by automobile with her son and daughter to the International Conference of University Women at Cracow (August 24–31) was arrested on August 24 at Schlaupe, and removed to jail in Ostrow, Poland, for alleged irregularities in declaration of foreign currency (360c.1121 Atkinson, Dorothy/22).
  3. In despatch No. 1264, August 31, from the Chargé in Warsaw, there were included 18 memoranda which covered all of the known facts in cases involving Americans which had so far arisen in connection with the Polish exchange regulations (360c.1121/13).
  4. Col. Jozef Beck.
  5. Not printed.
  6. As no commissioned officer was available who spoke Polish, Clerk Thaddeus H. Chylinski, who did speak Polish, had been sent to Ostrow, where he effected the release of Mrs. Atkinson on August 25 (360c.1121 Atkinson, Dorothy/22).