740.00119 Potsdam/5–2446

Memorandum Prepared in the Department of State 25


boundary changes

The United States favors the restoration of the frontiers of Czechoslovakia as they existed in 1937 and does not recognize any territorial change made in the Munich Agreement and Vienna Award of 1938,26 or changes made as the result of the German annexation of Bohemia and Moravia in 1939.27 Any changes in frontiers made, other than the return of these territories to Czechoslovakia, or minor adjustments in the frontiers with Germany and Hungary proposed by the Czechoslovak Government on the basis of ethnic considerations, should be part of the larger European question of territorial change and frontier rectifications.

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The specific territorial questions are as follows:

Sudetenland. The Munich Agreement of 1938 incorporating Sudeten territories into Germany was not recognized by the United States. These areas should be returned to Czechoslovakia and incorporated immediately into the Czechoslovak State.
Teschen. The United States favors a direct settlement of the Teschen question by Poland and Czechoslovakia. If the two states do not reach an agreement, this Government favors the resumption of Czechoslovak administration in the Teschen area since it does not recognize the transfer of this territory to Poland in 1939.28
Ruthenia. The United States favors a direct settlement of the question of Ruthenia by Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union. It is hoped that the Ruthenian question is settled as a whole and that the final settlement is based on the desires of the Ruthenian people as ascertained in a free and fair plebiscite.
Glatz. The Czechoslovak Government has announced its intention to occupy Glatz (Kladsko) in the Silesian salient without prejudicing the final settlement of the question at the Peace Conference. This area is now reported to be under Polish administration. The United States assumes that, if the Allied Control Council in Germany29 agrees to this proposal, the Czechoslovak Government will agree that the territory in question remain subject to the authority of the Allied Control Council until a final decision is made concerning the disposition of territories lying within the 1937 frontiers of Germany.

  1. One of a group of documents prepared by the Department of State as background information for President Truman and his advisers for the meeting of Heads of Government at Berlin (Potsdam), July 17–August 2, 1945. For documentation regarding this meeting, see Foreign Relations, The Conference of Berlin (The Potsdam Conference), 1945, 2 vols. For other background reports of the group of which this memorandum was a part, see ibid., vol. i, pp. 249280.
  2. The arbitral award by the Italian-German Commission regarding the cession of certain territories by Czechoslovakia to Hungary, made at Vienna, November 2, 1938; for text, see Documents on German Foreign Policy, 1918–1945, series D, vol. iv, p. 125.
  3. For documentation regarding the occupation of Czechoslovakia by Germany, March 15, 1939, and the refusal of the United States to recognize the extinction of the Czechoslovak Republic, see Foreign Relations, 1939, vol. i, pp. 34 ff.
  4. On October 1, 1938, the Czechoslovak Government yielded to an ultimatum by the Polish Government for the immediate cession of Teschen to Poland. For text of the Polish ultimatum and Czechoslovak response, see Documents on British Foreign Policy, 1919–1939, 3d ser., vol. iii, p. 68. For text of the Polish decree regarding the transfer of Teschen to Poland, October 11, 1938, see British and Foreign State Papers, vol. cxlii, p. 765. See also Foreign Relations, 1938, vol. i, pp. 708718, passim.
  5. For documentation concerning negotiations in the European Advisory Commission regarding the instrument of surrender, the zones of occupation, and the control machinery for Germany, see vol. iii, pp. 160 ff.