Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of Eastern European Affairs (Bohlen)18

I discussed with Ambassador Harriman19 last night the Kravchenko case. While he thoroughly agrees that the best solution of this matter would be to persuade the Soviet Government to withdraw its request for Kravchenko’s deportation, he does not believe that the President should take up the question directly with Stalin.20 He thinks that at least the first attempt should be made by the Secretary to Gromyko here or in a personal message to Molotov.21 If it is decided to ask the Soviet Government to withdraw its request, I believe, and Mr. Harriman concurs, that we should at the same time make it clear to Kravchenko that if he is permitted to remain in this country, he cannot engage in any writings or public speeches concerning the Soviet Union, and that if he does so, he will be regarded as having abused the right of asylum which he claims and therefore subject to deportation.22

Charles E. Bohlen
  1. Addressed to the Secretary of State and to the Director of the Office of European Affairs (Dunn).
  2. W. Averell Harriman, Ambassador to the Soviet Union, temporarily in Washington.
  3. This method of proceeding to obtain the withdrawal of the Soviet request had been expressed in a memorandum of May 17, 1944, from Mr. Bohlen to Mr. Dunn, because “Any attempt to deport Kravchenko will probably be contested by his lawyers on the grounds of the right of political asylum and would undoubtedly provoke strong controversy & criticism of the action of this Government. On the other hand since the Soviet Government officially claims that he is a deserter from their Armed Forces, failure to deport him will undoubtedly be resented as an unfriendly act.” (861.01B11/156)
  4. Vyachealav Mikhailovich Molotov, People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the Soviet Union.
  5. Reports had reached the Department to the effect that Kravchenko was planning to publish some articles. It was believed to be a good idea that he should in some way be advised unofficially and informally to engage in no polemics against the Soviet Government. His first book. I Chose Freedom: The Personal and Political Life of a Soviet Officer, was published in 1946.