800.4016 DP/4–345

The Polish Embassy to the Department of State

General Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Commander, Allied Expeditionary Forces, has given the order that all Poles found in the theatre of operations should be concentrated East of the Rhine.

This measure is undoubtedly taken in view of the future repatriation of these Polish nationals directly to Poland. In normal circumstances it would be fully justified and welcome. However, the following considerations should be taken into account:

In accordance with the plans of SHAEF16 the foreseen repatriation of the Polish civilian population is to take place after the repatriation of the French, Belgian and other populations. This plan is dictated by existing conditions and raises no objections.
Post-war conditions of transport in Germany will necessarily prevent repatriation of people from Germany eastwards, at least for several months.
Consequently, the Polish population would have to remain inactive in camps in Germany over an indefinite period of time, which cannot fail adversely to affect its morale, especially after all that this population has gone through during its forced stay in Germany. It will likewise place an additional burden on the Allied Military Command as regards supplies.
All the Polish people deported by the Germans from Poland should have the right to declare whether or not they want to be repatriated at once. In the existing conditions in Poland it is probable that a considerable percentage of Poles at present in Germany will not wish to be repatriated at once and therefore will not fit into the plan of SHAEF for the repatriation of Polish people.

The above considerations point to the necessity of asking General Eisenhower to modify his decision so as to allow a considerable number of Poles to go West of the Rhine, in order to take up work in various branches of production also in Western Allied countries.

At this stage of the war the enormous problem of German war prisoners and that of civilian populations deported by the Germans from their countries to Germany, makes it all the more necessary to take all possible measures in order to assist the Allied Military Command in handling these problems of unprecedented magnitude. Owing to the considerable number of Poles in Germany and to their specific situation, the problem of this Polish population requires special handling. Placing the Polish population in camps together with Soviet citizens may lead to regrettable incidents and disorder. On the other hand, it is characteristic of the Polish population that it is clamoring to be allowed to work for the common Allied cause. It would undoubtedly serve the Allied cause to take full advantage of this tendency. It may be of considerable importance in contributing [Page 1155] to the production of food and other supplies and substantially facilitate the task of the United States, Great Britain and France. The moral aspect of the problem is likewise of considerable importance and cannot be overlooked.

The Polish Government has placed its most competent officers at the disposal of SHAEF in order to facilitate the solution of these problems.

It would be most desirable that all measures contemplated relating to the Poles at present in Germany be discussed with the Polish Government authorities. It would be very helpful for all concerned if Colonel Jan Kaczmarek, appointed head liaison officer to SHAEF and generally recognized as the most competent expert in these matters, should now be called to SHAEF without delay.

  1. Supreme Headquarters, Allied Expeditionary Force.