861.404/522: Telegram

The Chargé in the Soviet Union (Hamilton) to the Secretary of State

1628. Moscow papers for October 16 announced the award of the medal for the defense of Leningrad by the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR to the Metropolitan Alexius and other orthodox ecclesiastics in Leningrad. The announcement states that during the great patriotic war the Leningrad clergy assisted in strengthening the defense of the city, participated in collection for equipment and gifts for the Red army and collected more than 6 million rubles for a tank column. On the occasion of the awards Metropolitan Alexius thanked the Soviet Government for the great honor bestowed upon him and stated that the faithful in Leningrad were aiding the Red army with all their strength and praying for victory and speedy destruction of the Fascist occupants. He assured the Government that in the future the orthodox clergy and the faithful of Leningrad would support the defense of the country and would pray for the speedy eviction of the Hitlerites from Russian soil and for the health of Stalin.1

  1. In telegram No. 1654, October 20, 1943, the Chargé in the Soviet Union reported a message addressed to Stalin, printed in Izvestiya, from Moslem clergy and believers meeting in Tashkent pledging support in the war effort. The Chargé stated that this was the only account the Embassy had noticed in the Russian language press regarding activities of the Moslem clergy. (861.404/524)