800.4016 DP/5–345: Telegram

The Ambassador in France (Caffery) to the Secretary of State

2327. From Murphy. Reurtel 1729 of April 27, 7 p.m.22 Basic current policy governing treatment of displaced persons in Germany is contained in SHAEF administrative memorandum No. 39, revised April 16, 1945, sent to Department in Mission’s restricted despatch No. 290 of April 25.22 Pertinent sections relative to Italian nationals are summarized or quoted below.

  • Paragraph 32 provides that enemy and ex-enemy nationals persecuted because of race, religion, or activities in favor of the United Nations will be accorded the same assistance granted to United Nations nationals after security screening. Non-German nationals in this category will be repatriated in the same manner as United Nations [Page 1159] displaced persons and non-repatriables will be assimilated in status to stateless persons.
  • Paragraph 34 states that non-German nationals who have served or collaborated with the enemy will, prior to defeat or surrender, but [be] treated as displaced persons provided they are not held as prisoners of war or civilian detainees. After defeat or surrender, those discharged or released by the demobilizing authorities will be dealt with as displaced persons while stragglers, deserters, self-demobilized personnel, and those informally discharged from enemy military or para-military organizations will be detained and reported and later transferred to the appropriate Allied demobilization authority.
  • Paragraph 35 provides that “Nationals of Italy, Finland, Rumania, Bulgaria, and Hungary fall into four categories and will be dealt with as follows: (a) those captured by the Allies while fighting under Axis command or collaborating with the enemy—are a responsibility of G–1;23 (b) those captured by the enemy while fighting under Allied command, and uncovered by Allied military forces—are a responsibility of G–1; (c) displaced persons—are a responsibility of DPX24 and will be treated as ex-enemy displaced persons except as in paragraph 32 above; (d) military internees, i.e. members of ex-enemy armed forces, disarmed and interned by the enemy when their Governments surrendered to the Allies—when found in organized camps, will initially be a responsibility of G–1 until their status as military internees has been determined. They will then be handed over to DPX and dealt with as ex-enemy displaced persons, except as in paragraph 32 above.”

Responsibility of military commanders and of German authorities towards enemy and ex-enemy displaced persons and refugees as outlined in paragraph 37. Military commanders will supervise and direct German authorities in these matters and will (1) segregate enemy and ex-enemy displaced persons and refugees from United Nations displaced persons, (2) screen for security control, interning or otherwise curtailing those whose freedom of movement would be dangerous, (3) supervise German authorities in controlling these persons, making minimum provision to prevent unrest and the spread of disease, and in registration, and (4) arrange through DPX channels for repatriation when it is in the interest of military government. German authorities will provide as necessary for people in this category, providing and paying for all goods, facilities, and services required for them, set up assembly and reception centers as directed, disseminate standfast orders as instructed, and take all other necessary measures as directed by military commanders.

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SHAEF has been advised of assimilation of Italian nationals to status of United Nations nationals in pending EAC directive dealing with displaced persons, but states policy outlined above will perforce prevail until British concurrence in this proposed status is forthcoming. The above administrative memorandum was cleared with the British political officer25 and myself but prior to receipt of information in Department’s telegram under reference. [Murphy.]

  1. Not printed.
  2. Not printed.
  3. G–1 (Personnel) SHAEF.
  4. Displaced Persons Executive.
  5. Alfred Duff Cooper, British Ambassador in France.