740.00116 European War 1939/1214: Telegram

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

9. Your 2337, December 27.26 The War Department views with grave concern the publicity given to the Kharkov atrocity trials since it fears that such action during the course of the war may lead to reprisals against American prisoners of war. Furthermore, although the Soviet Government has not seen its way clear to adhere to the Geneva Convention,27 the War Department considers it most important that efforts should at all times be made to preserve the humanitarian concepts so arduously built up under this Convention.

In view of the importance attached to matters of this kind please report full details of any similar trials.

  1. Ibid., p. 853.
  2. International Convention relative to the treatment of Prisoners of War, signed at Geneva July 27, 1929, Foreign Relations, 1929, vol. i, p. 336. Earlier correspondence on the efforts of the United States to persuade the Soviet Union to adhere to this convention is printed in Foreign Relations, 1941, vol. i, pp. 1005 ff.