761.62/854: Telegram

The Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Steinhardt) to the Secretary of State

104. Pravda this morning publishes a brief Tass22 item from Berlin quoting the German DNB23 agency as stating that in connection with the conclusion of the Soviet-German agreement of January 10, 1941, regarding the resettlement of German nationals from the Baltic States (see my 51, January 11) 45,000 Germans living in Lithuania and 12,000 Germans who remained in Estonia and Latvia after the resettlement effected during the autumn of 1939 must now return to Germany.24 Special delegates are stated to have been appointed to organize the repatriation from Latvia and Estonia and will leave Berlin on January 16. It is proposed that immigrants coming from Lithuania shall proceed by rail and highway and those from Estonia and Latvia by steamship.

  1. Telegraph Agency of the Soviet Union, official communication agency of the Soviet Government.
  2. Deutsches Nachrichtenbüro, German News Agency.
  3. The Chargé in Germany explained in despatch No. 4229, January 14, 1941, that these agreements completed “the final step in the exchange of populations between Germany and the Soviet Union” apparently made at the latter’s request “in order to prevent the creation in the territory acquired by the Soviet Union in the partition of Poland and by the annexation of the Baltic States of a German minority problem which might be manipulated at some later date by Berlin in the same manner that the minority question was used in bringing about the dismemberment of Czechoslovakia and Rumania, and the partition of Poland.” (761.62/862)