The Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (Hoover) to the Assistant Secretary of State (Berle)

Dear Mr. Berle: The official English translation of a statement released on the morning of April 7, 1944, by Fedor T. Orekhov, First Secretary and Press Representative of the Soviet Embassy, regarding Viktor Andreevich Kravchenko is as follows:

“The Press Division of the Soviet Union in Washington considers it necessary to give the following explanation in regards to the hostile towards the Soviet Union statements published on April 4 in the New York Times5 and some other newspapers.

“Kravchenko lies stating that he was in charge in the Division of Metals in the Soviet Purchasing Commission. In reality, Kravchenko was neither a member of the Soviet Purchasing Commission nor was he in charge of the Metals Division of the Commission.

“Being in Military Service, sent for temporary work at the disposal of the Purchasing Commission in the United States in the capacity of one of the inspectors of pipes, Kravchenko had to return to the Soviet Union to continue his military service. Two weeks before the date of his forthcoming departure to the USSR to serve in the Red Army Kravchenko betrayed his military duties and became a deserter, having refused to return to his motherland for military service. To cover his diversion, he made slanderous statements about the USSR on the pages of certain New York newspapers. The statements of Kravchenko do not require any denial in view of their evidently false character.

Signed, Press Division of the USSR
April the 7th.”

I thought that in view of the representations made by the Soviet Embassy you would be interested in knowing that Viktor Andreevich Kravchenko had informed representatives of this Bureau prior to the release of the foregoing statement that he had served in the Red Army as Captain of an Engineering Battalion from August, 1941 until the Spring of 1942 when he was hospitalized for frozen legs and was discharged [Page 1226] under a Soviet Government order because of his engineering experience. He was thereupon, according to his statement, appointed Chief Engineer for thirteen factories in the Moscow district and prior to his assignment to the United States he became Chief of the Section of Engineer Armament for the Council of Peoples’ Commissars in Moscow. His duties in the United States were those of an Engineer Inspector of Materials in the Metals Division of the Soviet Government Purchasing Commission.

[Here follow two paragraphs which concern the proposed promotion and transfer of Kravchenko to the Bureau of Prices within the Government Purchasing Commission of the USSR in the United States.]

I thought you would also be interested to know that Mr. Kravchenko has expressed his intention of writing a personal letter to the Honorable Cordell Hull, Secretary of State, informing him of his resignation from the Soviet Government Purchasing Commission and his now Stateless status. This letter, according to Kravchenko, will express his loyalty to the United States and his desire to be of any possible assistance to the United States Government.

Sincerely yours,

J. Edgar Hoover
  1. In this article headed “Soviet Official Here Resigns”, Kravchenko set forth the motivations for his resignation, and placed himself “under the protection of American public opinion”. His attorney, Louis Waldman, of 302 Broadway, New York City, requested in a letter of April 17, 1944, to the Secretary of State that, “in view of the circumstances surrounding his presence here, that he be permitted to remain in the United States and become a resident thereof.” (861.01B11/154)