864.01/467: Telegram

The Minister in Portugal (Norweb) to the Secretary of State

901. Following is translation of circular telegram sent by Hungarian Minister Lisbon to his colleagues at Stockholm, Bern and Madrid17 and to Consul General Istanbul.18

“Am glad that our views regarding attitude we should take coincide. Have no intention to resign and am negotiating with Portuguese Government, supported by influential quarters, with view to my continued recognition by it as representative of legal government. For Switzerland only: Urge you under no condition to resign. As for Stójay19 Government I simply ignore it, make no reports, do not obey instructions, do not reply to wires. Am in contact here with Otto’s brother Archduke Karl Ludwig; Bela Radvanszhy who is Bethlen’s spokesman; and was able to inform Eckhardt through American channels. Re public declaration of our position I believe that leaving Budapest momentarily in uncertainty re my intentions has tactical advantages greater than possible propaganda value of a premature public declaration. I informed at once American authorities of my position and I assume this was brought to knowledge of British.

In my view it would be most important that until a Committee of Liberation or some similar body could be formed our Legations in neutral countries and our Consul General in Istanbul should concert their actions and should not initiate any major steps without consulting each other. Until our status with governments to which we are severally accredited is settled neither of us should try to form any committees or initiate or join to any free movements.

Eckhardt appears to me most suitable person to organize Hungarian resistance movement. Reason why I believe Otto would not be a proper choice for this role is that by calling on him cause of Hungary would be immediately tied to cause of legitimism and thereby all opposition to Hapsburgs would automatically operate against Hungary.

From here I have possibility of safe and speedy communication with Otto and Eckhardt. Since we four envoys are now sole legal representatives of Hungarian sovereignty I request your authorization to send in our name a message in above sense to Eckhardt and to request him to assume, in collaboration with Pelenyi20 and with support of Otto, in protection of Hungary’s interest not only in the United States but everywhere until liberated Hungarian people can freely choose their spokesmen. I also ask authorization to declare that inasmuch as the United States Government grants us necessary technical facilities we are prepared to place ourselves under his and [Page 854] his associates’ leadership. As Barcza21 is senior Hungarian diplomatic officer abroad and free of German control it seems to me that they ought to be asked whether he is in a position to coordinate our activities until Eckhardt’s position is clarified with competent United Nations’ authorities.

Signed Wodianer”

This circular was not sent to Hungarian Minister at Ankara22 because he is considered to be entirely pro-Nazi.

  1. Antal Ullein-Reviczky, György Baron Bakách-Bessenyey, and Ferenc Ambró, respectively.
  2. Dezsö Ujváry.
  3. Döme Sztójay, Hungarian Prime Minister, March–August 1944.
  4. John (János) Pelenyi, Hungarian Minister in the United States until November 1940; professor at Dartmouth College.
  5. György Barcza, Hungarian Minister in the United Kingdom, until April 1944; in Switzerland in 1944 on a secret, semi-official mission to make contact with American-British representatives.
  6. János Vörnle.