Council of Foreign Ministers Files: Lot M–88: CFM London Documents
Memorandum by the Soviet Delegation to the Council of Foreign Ministers
Acceleration of the Repatriation of Soviet Nationals
The Soviet Government deem it necessary to point out that the Repatriation Agreements concluded between the Government of the Soviet Union and the Governments of the United Kingdom, the United States of America and the Provisional Government of the French Republic have played a positive role in the matter of repatriation.84 [Page 152] The Soviet Government feel bound also to mention the great help and assistance received from the Allied Military Authorities in repatriating to the Soviet Union a large number of former Soviet prisoners of war and persons forcibly deported by the Germans from the Soviet Union. At the same time the Soviet Government cannot but point out that, according to reports from the Soviet repatriation authorities, cases are occurring of breaches of these Agreements which are giving rise to numerous complaints from Soviet nationals due for repatriation (see Annex). The Soviet Government consider they should once more draw the attention of the Governments of the United Kingdom and United States of America and also of the Provisional Government of France to this situation and to the need for urgent action to accelerate the repatriation of Soviet nationals.
Furthermore, the Soviet Government consider it necessary to draw attention to the following. There are under the control of the British and American authorities a considerable number of Soviet nationals from the Latvian, Lithuanian and Estonian Soviet Socialist Republics and also from the Western provinces of the Ukraine and Byelorussia. The repatriation of these Soviet nationals has been hampered by a number of difficulties, primarily by the obstacles encountered by the Soviet repatriation delegates in visiting these camps.
The Soviet Government would point out that the persons kept in these camps are Soviet nationals to whom the Anglo-Soviet and American-Soviet Repatriation Agreements of 11th February are fully applicable. Quite apart from this, however, the Soviet Government insist on the right of Soviet repatriation delegates to be given unhindered access to these camps in order to clear up with the above-mentioned persons the various points connected with their repatriation.
In order to put an end to the breaches which have occurred in the execution of the Repatriation Agreements and to accelerate the repatriation of Soviet nationals, the Soviet Government suggest the adoption of the following resolution:—
“Having considered the question raised by the Soviet Government of accelerating the repatriation of Soviet nationals, the Council of Foreign Ministers agree that:—
- Delay in supplying Soviet repatriation delegates with information about camps in which Soviet nationals are held should be avoided.
- Soviet repatriation delegates should be afforded unimpeded access to the above camps.
- Soviet nationals should not be kept together with German prisoners of war or under guard of German officers and soldiers.
- The anti-Soviet activities conducted in certain camps by White emigres and other persons who have collaborated with the Nazis during the war should be stopped. In particular no toleration should be given to the activities in some camps or groups of Fascists aimed at forcing Soviet nationals to refuse to return home by intimidation and threats of the punishments alleged to be awaiting them on their return to the Soviet Union.”
- On February 11, 1945, at Yalta, representatives of the United States and the Soviet Union concluded an Agreement Relating to Prisoners of War and Civilians Liberated by Forces Operating Under Soviet Command and Forces Operating Under United States Command; for text, see Foreign Relations, The Conferences at Malta and Yalta, 1945, p. 985. Similar agreements were concluded between the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union on February 11, 1945, and between France and the Soviet Union on June 29, 1945. For additional documentation regarding the treatment and reciprocal repatriation of American and Soviet prisoners of war and interned civilians liberated by Allied forces, see vol. v, pp. 1067 ff.↩