Agreement Between the United States and the Soviet Union Concerning Liberated Prisoners of War and Civilians 1
Agreement Relating to Prisoners of War and Civilians Liberated by Forces Operating Under Soviet Command and Forces Operating Under United States of America Command
The Government of the United States of America on the one hand and the Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on the other hand, wishing to make arrangements for the care and repatriation of United States citizens freed by forces operating under Soviet command and for Soviet citizens freed by forces operating under United States command, have agreed as follows:—
All Soviet citizens liberated by the forces operating under United States command and all United States citizens liberated by the forces operating under Soviet command will, without delay after their liberation, be separated from enemy prisoners of war and will be maintained separately from them in camps or points of concentration until they have been handed over to the Soviet or United States authorities, as the case may be, at places agreed upon between those authorities.
United States and Soviet military authorities will respectively take the necessary measures for protection of camps, and points of concentration from enemy bombing, artillery fire, etc.
The contracting parties shall ensure that their military authorities shall without delay inform the competent authorities of the other party regarding citizens of the other contracting party found by them, and will at the same time take the necessary steps to implement the provisions of this agreement. Soviet and United States repatriation representatives will have the right of immediate access into the camps and points of concentration where their citizens are located and they will have the right to appoint the internal administration and set up the internal discipline and management in accordance with the military procedure and laws of their country.
Facilities will be given for the despatch or transfer of officers of their own nationality to camps or points of concentration where liberated members of the respective forces are located and there are insufficient officers. The outside protection of and access to and from [Page 986]the camps or points of concentration will be established in accordance with the instructions of the military commander in whose zone they are located, and the military commander shall also appoint a commandant, who shall have the final responsibility for the overall administration and discipline of the camp or point concerned.
The removal of camps as well as the transfer from one camp to another of liberated citizens will be effected by agreement with the competent Soviet or United States authorities. The removal of camps and transfer of liberated citizens may, in exceptional circumstances, also be effected without preliminary agreement provided the competent authorities are immediately notified of such removal or transfer with a statement of the reasons. Hostile propaganda directed against the contracting parties or against any of the United Nations will not be permitted.
The competent United States and Soviet authorities will supply liberated citizens with adequate food, clothing, housing and medical attention both in camps or at points of concentration and en route, and with transport until they are handed over to the Soviet or United States authorities at places agreed upon between those authorities. The standards of such food, clothing, housing and medical attention shall, subject to the provisions of Article 8, be fixed on a basis for privates, non-commissioned officers and officers. The basis fixed for civilians shall as far as possible be the same as that fixed for privates.
The contracting parties will not demand compensation for these or other similar services which their authorities may supply respectively to liberated citizens of the other contracting party.
Each of the contracting parties shall be at liberty to use in agreement with the other party such of its own means of transport as may be available for the repatriation of its citizens held by the other contracting party. Similarly each of the contracting parties shall be at liberty to use in agreement with the other party its own facilities for the delivery of supplies to its citizens held by the other contracting party.
Soviet and United States military authorities shall make such advances on behalf of their respective governments to liberated citizens of the other contracting party as the competent Soviet and United States authorities shall agree upon beforehand.
Advances made in currency of any enemy territory or in currency of their occupation authorities shall not be liable to compensation.[Page 987]
In the case of advances made in currency of liberated non-enemy territory, the Soviet and United States Governments will effect, each for advances made to their citizens necessary settlements with the Governments of the territory concerned, who will be informed of the amount of their currency paid out for this purpose.
Ex-prisoners of war and civilians of each of the contracting parties may, until their repatriation, be employed in the management, maintenance and administration of the camps or billets in which they are situated. They may also be employed on a voluntary basis on other work in the vicinity of their camps in furtherance of the common war effort in accordance with agreements to be reached between the competent Soviet and United States authorities. The question of payment and conditions of labour shall be determined by agreement between these authorities. It is understood that liberated members of the respective forces will be employed in accordance with military standards and procedure and under the supervision of their own officers.
The contracting parties shall, wherever necessary, use all practicable means to ensure the evacuation to the rear of these liberated citizens. They also undertake to use all practicable means to transport liberated citizens to places to be agreed upon where they can be handed over to the Soviet or United States authorities respectively. The handing over of these liberated citizens shall in no way be delayed or impeded by the requirements of their temporary employment.
The contracting parties will give the fullest possible effect to the foregoing provisions of this Agreement, subject only to the limitations in detail and from time to time of operational, supply and transport conditions in the several theatres.
This Agreement shall come into force on signature.
Done at the Crimea in duplicate and in the English and Russian languages, both being equally authentic, this eleventh day of February, 1945.