860F.01/1–2945: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Chargé to the Czechoslovak Government in Exile in London ( Schoenfeld )

Zecho12 3. A copy of your Zecho 5 of January 29, 9 p.m.13 is being transmitted by the Department to Ambassador Steinhardt.14 Please [Page 426] repeat messages on the transfer of the Mission or important political developments to Ankara for his personal attention. There is no change in his plans as reported in our Zecho 2 of January 24, 7 p.m.15

The War Department has been informed of your recommendation to include Lieut. Col. Woldike16 in the initial group proceeding to Czechoslovakia.

We agree (paragraphs 5 and 6 of your Zecho 5) that the Mission should proceed by the most direct route to the future seat of the Czechoslovak government and not accompany Czechoslovak officials to Moscow.

When the Czechoslovak Government transfers the seat of government to some part of Czechoslovakia it is possible that the temporary capital will have ceased to be a theater of operations and will have returned to the administration of the Czechoslovak government under the Czech-Soviet Civil Affairs Agreement. In any event it is felt that when the Czechoslovak Government transfers itself to Czechoslovak territory, our mission should be prepared to send key personnel to take up their functions at the capital as soon as possible.17 There-: fore, as soon as the Government’s transfer has been effected, we should advise the Soviet Government that a key group is proceeding immediately to Czechoslovakia via the route chosen and request the Soviet Government to advise its military authorities operating in that area of the date and route of the flight in order that they may render any assistance which might be necessary in connection therewith.

Action is being taken on the other points in your telegram.

Sent to London, repeated to Ankara for the information of Ambassador Steinhardt as Department’s number 181.


[For text of statement by the Secretary of State, March 15, on the sixth anniversary of the Nazi invasion of Czechoslovakia, see Department of State Bulletin, March 18, 1945, page 438.]

  1. Czechoslovak Series telegram.
  2. Not printed; it reported that the Czechoslovak Government was quite vague as to when it would be able to move from London to Czechoslovakia, and that it might not be able to do so until some time in March. Despite the Soviet Government’s suggestions, the Czechoslovak authorities preferred not to go to Košice if a more western town were liberated shortly. President Eduard Beneš proposed first to go to Moscow to discuss problems with the Soviet Government and to make an effort to work out the personnel of the new government with Czechoslovak Communist leaders in Moscow and with representatives of the Slovak National Council. (860F.01/1–2945)
  3. Laurence A. Steinhardt, Ambassador in Turkey, who was appointed Ambassador to Czechoslovakia, December 20, 1944.
  4. Not printed; it reported that Ambassador Steinhardt expected to leave Ankara at or after the end of February and proceed to Washington for consultation before proceeding to his new mission (123 Bruins, John H.). Later, there was a change in these plans, and Ambassador Steinhardt did not leave Turkey and return to Washington until April 1945.
  5. Lt. Col. Aage Woldike, Assistant Military Attaché in London near the Governments in Exile of Czechoslovakia, the Netherlands, Norway, and Poland.
  6. Mr. Schoenfeld reported in his telegram Zecho 10, February 17, from London, that President Beneš hoped “the diplomats will come to Czechoslovakia as early as practicable, especially those of the United States, Great Britain, USSR, and France, since he attaches great value, among other considerations, to the moral effect of their presence.” (701.0060F/2–1745)