Mikołajczyk Papers

No. 1394
Memorandum by the Polish Deputy Prime Minister (Mikołajczyk)1


Notes of a Discussion With President Truman on August 1, 1945, in Babelsberg

Present on the American side: Truman, Byrnes, Bohlen, and Harriman. On the Polish side: Bierut, Mikołajczyk, Grabski, Modzelewski, and interpreter Żebrowski.

President Truman opens the session. He states that on behalf of the three Great Powers he wishes to inform us of the following:

The territorial boundaries have been established2 in accordance with the Polish proposal,3 and the Polish Government is responsible for the administration within these boundaries. The Russians have agreed to withdraw their armies from these territories, and will retain [Page 1541] only two lines of communication for transit across Poland. (In answer to my question, Bohlen stated that one of these lines is the Kraków–Lwów line; the other one is in the north.)

We have acknowledged the fact that representative Poles from Poland and from abroad had agreed to the formation of a Provisional Government of National Unity. We had recognized that Government and therefore we were able now to hear its views. After hearing its views, we were able to make a unanimous decision which we are now communicating to you. As a result, the Arciszewski Government has ceased to exist and the two states—Great Britain and the United States—undertake to do everything in their power in order to protect Polish property abroad, to make it impossible to transfer or sell such property, and to help recover it.

All of the Three Powers promise every assistance to help Poles and the Polish Army in returning to Poland from abroad. In this connection they express their conviction that all Poles who return will be treated on the same terms as apply to all other Polish citizens.

Having heard the statement of the President and of the Government concerning obligations under the resolutions of the Crimean Conference to hold elections as soon as possible, as well as the statement that the foreign press shall have free access to Poland, we were able to make unanimous decisions.

Mr. Bierut thanks the President for both the decisions and the assistance.

President Truman stresses the fact that he speaks on behalf of the three Great Powers and can accept thanks only in that capacity.

In parting I approached Truman and told him that only now was I free to thank him as the President of the United States.

President Truman answered, “Thank you; we did it out of friendship toward Poland”, and said that he himself was greatly interested in Poland … and that he hoped that Poland would be free and happy.

Then there was a brief conversation with Harriman, who stressed once more the necessity of keeping secret the decision announced by President Truman until the Communiqué4 had been published. He then pointed out that as a result of the statements made by Mr. Bierut and of discussions between Mr. Mikołajczyk and himself, Dunn, Bohlen, and Matthews, the American Delegation had been able to propose the final text, which had been approved unanimously by the Three Powers, and the decision is now that of the three Great Powers.

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Since Harriman expressed a desire to see me again, I suggested that he could pay me a farewell visit, which was arranged for 12:30.5

A typed notation at the end of this memorandum indicates that it was accompanied by two enclosures in English and two in Polish. The two papers which follow the memorandum in the Mikołajczyk Papers are copies, in English, of documents Nos. 1152 and 1131. (The copy of document No. 1131 in the Mikołajczyk Papers has the correct wording, “Allied press”, in the final sentence.)

  1. Cf. ante, p. 543.
  2. Mikołajczyk uses the word ustalone at this point. The actual agreement between the three Heads of Government, however, was that the final delimitation of the western frontier of Poland should await the peace settlement and that, pending the final determination of that frontier, Stettin and the areas east of the Oder–Neisse Line should be under the administration of the Polish State. For the final text of the tripartite agreement on Poland, see document No. 1383, section ix (viii). Preliminary texts of that agreement (i.e., copies of documents Nos. 1152 and 1131) were apparently communicated to the Polish Delegation in writing at this meeting. See footnote 5, post.
  3. See ante, pp. 332336 and document No. 1385.
  4. Document No. 1384.
  5. See ante, p. 565.