The Ambassador to the Yugoslav Government in Exile (Biddle) to the Secretary of State

No. 71

Sir: Supplementing my despatch Yugoslav Series No. 69, June 8, 1943,56 I have the honor herein to report that Dr. Krek (Slovene), Vice Premier, states that he has made repeated efforts to unite the Partisans with the other organized forces and underground movements in his country in one common fight against the occupying forces.

The following, he said, was the answer he had received:

“The fight of our partisans is not directed against the occupying forces, but is a communist revolution provoked by the Communists with the aid of Italian Communists and blinded Slovenes. Their national watchwords are propaganda to deceive the people. They want to take over powers and are against the Yugoslav Government. Almost the whole district is against them, and also in Ljubljana they are already in a minority.”

Dr. Krek went on to say that the leadership of the Partisans was against King Peter, the Yugoslav Government, General Mihailović and Yugoslavia. Their program was a Soviet regime, their flag was red, and their emblem the sickle and hammer. He and his friends could not visualise a cooperation with these persons, but they would do their utmost. The Partisans work everywhere together with the Italian communists. They themselves announced in the Littoral that an Italian communist was a member of the leading committee of the Partisans. He thereupon quoted the two following additional messages from “home”:

“The communists who are an insignificant minority amongst Slovenes, are so much linked up with the Italian and German communists, that a common organisation with them would be rather damaging. They do not fight against the occupier. We ask you not to hurt the feelings of our people by the B.B.C.57 emissions. If you cannot tell our partisans they are murderers, then at least, do not call their victims murderers. This causes depression and distrust towards London.”

“At the conference with all the parties represented in the Zavesa, the following decision has been agreed: the Communists besides accepting the principle of a unified Slovenia in a Federated Yugoslavia must also stop killing Slovenes, burning down houses and looting. They must exclude from their ranks all murderers. Only then can discussions on a unified collaboration against the occupier be possible. From our experience we doubt whether they will do this without explicit instructions from Moscow.”

Respectfully yours,

A. J. Drexel Biddle, Jr.
  1. Not printed.
  2. British Broadcasting Company.