740.00119 (Potsdam)/5–2446

No. 509
Briefing Book Paper1
top secret

European Territorial Settlements

i. germany

In general all territories seized by Germany either before or during the course of the war will automatically return to their rightful owners. Major territorial claims against Germany are treated below. On Polish claims against Germany this Government agrees that east Prussia (except for the Koenigsberg district), the former Free City of Danzig, German Upper Silesia and a portion of eastern Pomerania should be ceded to Poland. The American Government would prefer that other German territory east of the Oder should remain German. However, the British have agreed to the cession to Poland of all territory east of the Oder3 and this Government would probably not wish to stand out alone if the Russians insist on this point.4

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  1. Annex 13 to the attachment to document No. 177.
  2. For other extracts from this paper, see documents Nos. 259 and 398.
  3. See Foreign Relations, The Conferences at Malta and Yalta, 1945, p. 203. Cf. Arnold and Veronica M. Toynbee, eds., Survey of International Affairs, 1939–1946: The Realignment of Europe (London, 1955), pp. 184, 186; Edward J. Rozek, Allied Wartime Diplomacy: A Pattern in Poland (New York, 1958), pp. 275, 277, 287.
  4. Another version of this paper in the Department of State files, also dated June 29 (file No. 740.00119 Council/6–3045), has the following sentence added at this point: “It is believed that this Government should refuse to sanction, at this conference, the transfer to Poland of the territory between the Oder and the Neisse.”