740.00116 EW/10–1944: Telegram

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

3984. One of the principal themes of Soviet press since beginning of process of liberation of European countries occupied by Germans has been necessity of speedy punishment of war criminals and collaborators with Axis. Press publishes very frequently news items regarding progress of purging of such elements. The term purge (chistka) is often used in these accounts.

[A list of reports of war crimes and of the arrests of certain war criminals in France, Holland, Bulgaria, and Rumania, with indications of future trials being planned for some of them, is omitted.]

These items are typical of reports appearing almost daily in Soviet press from liberated countries. Publicity is very often given to dissatisfaction of resistance movements with slowness of purges especially in western Europe. Apparently one of major concerns of Soviets is complete annihilation of all types of collaborationists. These elements are sometimes identified with anti-Soviet forces.

Sent Department, repeated London as 224.