864.01/7–2744: Telegram

The Chargé in Spain (Butterworth) to the Secretary of State

2593. In accordance with sense of Department’s 904, March 31,78 Embassy has informally encouraged trusted members of former staff of Hungarian Legation in Madrid in their effort to establish contact with potential resistance groups inside German occupied Hungary. [Page 879] These persons have now informed the Embassy that they have established such a contact and have just received the following message which paraphrased reads as follows:

“To resist German invasion and Nazism all Hungarian parties from the Extreme Left to the Christian Socialists have now reached a complete understanding on the policy to be followed and have signed an agreement and this group includes the Hungarian Clergy, Working Class Leaders, Social Democrats, Peasant League, Small Land Owners Party and other social organizations. It represents a collaboration of a scale unparalleled in pre-war Hungary. This group has a printing press at its disposal which will enable it to edit a paper which can be distributed secretly. The organization looks to the United Nations for moral support and its work would be greatly advanced by radio programs giving the Hungarian people the hope of future good will in the event of their collaboration with the anti-Nazi elements in Hungary. The organization expects a message or instructions as to when and in what manner to start full activity and also when to start distributing its propaganda paper. Such a message or instructions can be forwarded by the same means that this message is delivered.”

The Embassy informants, which include Count Gabor Bethlen, former First Secretary of the Hungarian Legation and son of ex-Premier of Hungary, have confirmed that they can communicate with this group and it has been suggested to them that they endeavor to ascertain in more detail the nature of its proposed activities. It is their stated opinion that the information which they have received represents possible inception of well-grounded resistance movement with potentialities of broad popular support.79

Repeated to Naples for Murphy,80 repeated by courier to Lisbon.

  1. See footnote 34, p. 859.
  2. In telegram 2230, August 11, 1944, 2 p.m., the Department expressed its interest in the contents of this telegram and said that the Office of Strategic Services would instruct its representative at Madrid to work out a mutually satisfactory plan with the Embassy to take advantage of the opportunity (864.01/8–944).
  3. Robert D. Murphy, U.S. Political Adviser, Staff of the Supreme Allied Commander, Mediterranean Theater (SACMED), December 1942–August 1944.