740.00116 EW/9–1145: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Winant)

7841. You are requested to bring the following views of the Dept concerning delivery of former members of Slovak state to Zecho authorities to attention of FonOff:

Zecho note June 18 requested surrender of Josef Tiso; Béla Tuka; Štefan Tiso; Mikuláš Pružinský; Gésa Medrický; Aladár Kočiš, and Tomáš Kubala. These individuals now held by US military authorities are under indictment for treasonable and criminal offenses against Zecho state. Instructions were sent to USPolAd, Hoechst, July 2 Deptel 5255 to request US military authorities to release individuals named in Zecho note June 18 to appropriate Zecho officials under terms of JCS Directive 1349 “Renegades and Quislings”.56 At same time Dept requested Brit concurrence since Brit directive on quislings presented to EAC was similar to JCS 1349. On Aug 31 Zecho representative on United Nations War Crimes Commission further requested surrender of Alexander Mach; Karol Murin; Ivan Murin; [Page 528]Tido Gašpar; Pavel Opletal, Antonin Neumann, Pavel Kubiš and Florian Hurinský.57

FonOff replied through Embassy Sep 8 that it did not realize when policy was formulated on quislings that certain governments would take advantage of situation and attempt to obtain release of alleged quislings without presenting prima facie case. Brit FonOff proposes to make reservations in policy as regards Zecho and Yugo and has asked Dept to agree that both countries be placed in same category as regards delivery of alleged quislings. FonOff requests that above mentioned Slovaks not be released to Zecho authorities until presentation of prima facie case acceptable to US and UK.

Dept does not agree that Zecho should be given exceptional treatment or that Zecho request for delivery of Slovaks is comparable to Yugo request for wholesale delivery of former members of puppet state. Dept agrees with Brit view on Yugo quislings but cannot under present circumstances agree to its extension to Zecho.58

Unless FonOff has urgent reasons for opposing delivery of Slovaks listed in paragraph 1 Dept shortly will request US military authorities to release them to authorized Zecho officials. Dept does not contemplate agreement to Zecho note of June 18 that any members of former Slovak state apprehended in future be turned over automatically to Zecho authorities but sees no objection to the release of Slovaks specifically requested by Zecho Govt.

Sent to London as 7841; repeated to Praha as 216; repeated to USPolAd, Berlin as 448.

Acheson
  1. Not printed.
  2. The paper under reference was approved by the State-War-Navy Coordinating Committee in the form of an enclosure to document SWNCC 42/1 of May 23, 1945; for text, see vol. iii, p. 515.
  3. Mach was Minister of Interior in the Slovak state, Karol Murin was principal secretary to President Tiso, Ivan Murin was a professor of theology, Gaspar was Chief of the Propaganda Department in Slovakia, and Neumann had been Chief of President Tiso’s Chancellery. The request for surrender of these individuals was also made in note 6774/45, August 30 from Ambassador Hurban to the Secretary of State (not printed); in Hurban’s note, however, the name Pavel Opletal is omitted and is replaced by the name of Karol Oplustil, Vice President of the Parliament in the former Slovak State (860F.OO/8–3045).
  4. Telegram 301, September 3, from Prague, reported that it would be difficult to explain any considerable further delay in delivery of the requested Slovaks, and commented upon the British position in linking the Czechoslovak and Yugoslav requests by asserting that the matter of the surrender of war criminals would be lost in a maze of international politics unless each delivery was dealt with independently on its merits (860F.00/9–345).