800.4016 DP/6–2645: Telegram

The United States Political Adviser for Germany (Murphy) to the Secretary of State

56. Reference Dept’s 2791, June 16, 4 p.m. SHAEF states that its policy with respect to the repatriation of United Nations displaced persons is that they will be repatriated, returned to their districts of former residence or moved to a country of their choice subject only to their own wish and their acceptance by the country for which they opt. All SHAEF instructions have followed this policy and have been carefully worded to make it clear that the individual’s choice is to be consulted in all cases except Soviet citizens, who are covered by the Yalta Agreement.63

Provision was made in the Halle Agreement of May 22, 194564 for the reception by AEF authorities of “all former prisoners of war and citizens of Allied nations liberated by the Red Army” on the one hand and on the other hand the reception by Red Army authorities of “all former prisoners of war and citizens of the USSR liberated by the Allied forces”. Accordingly there is no way except by [garbled group] under which SHAEF can effect the repatriation of Poles unless local Red Army commanders are willing to accept them at the reception points established under the Halle Agreement. In order to regularize this situation SHAEF is now asking the Soviet authorities whether they will agree to accept Poles and other east bound Europeans to their countries.

Department will be informed of developments.

Repeated to Moscow as No. 5.

  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, signed at the Crimea, February 11, 1945, Conferences at Malta and Yalta, p. 985.
  2. The Halle or Leipzig Agreement of May 22, 1945, between the Chief Representative of SHAEF, Maj. Gen. R. W. Barker, and the Soviet Group headed by Lt. Gen. K. D. Golubev, Assistant Commissar for Repatriation, was entitled “Plan for the Delivery through the Army Line of former Prisoners of War and Civilians Liberated by the Red Army and Allied Forces”; see American Military Occupation of Germany, 1945–1953 (Hdqts., U.S. Army Europe, 1953), p. 76.