462.11 EW/International Telephone and Telegraph Corp./8–1345: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Harriman)

1871. Following message61 has been received from the AmEmbassy, Prague:

“Among International Telephone and Telegraph Corps properties now in Czechoslovakia are two factories of that corporation moved in from their German plants during the war years and listed as war booty by the Russian and Czech Governments,62 as follows:

  • “(A) Field telephone set manufacturing plant at Bruntal, Moravia of Ferdinand Snaphardt which I.T.T. local representatives state is 100% owned by I.T.T. New York. This plant is guarded at present by Russian soldiers, is being operated by Russian soldiers, who are daily shipping out material. I.T.T. representatives have been denied access despite certificate by Embassy of American ownership and representation of Col. Kokrda of Czechoslovak Army, liaison with Russian Army on war booty matters.
  • “(B) Vacuum tube manufacturing plant at Vrchlabi (Sudeteg) formerly Hohenelbe of C. Lorenz A. G. latter being wholly owned by I.T.T. as stated in your telegram 62 July 18, 8 p.m.63 nothing removed to date, being operated by Czechoslovak national administrator but is guarded by Russian Army who refuses access to I.T.T. and Embassy representatives. However Embassy unofficially informed today that as result of Embassy’s representations this Plant has been removed from war booty list in Moscow.

“Latest information is that 60 Russians are now in factory taking inventory preparatory to moving matériel and machines to Russia notwithstanding removal from war booty list.”

Above cable suggests there may have been removals or that removals are contemplated. You are instructed to inform Russian authorities that any such action would be a matter of concern to American Government, and to request urgently:

that said plants be removed from war booty list,
that no removals of machinery and materials should take place and steps be taken to ensure return of such machinery and material as may have been removed,
that representatives of Embassy and I.T.T. be given immediate access to the properties and subsequently that I.T.T. be allowed to assume full control.

  1. Telegram 168, August 7, 1945, 8 p.m. from Prague.
  2. The Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia signed an agreement in Moscow on March 31, 1945, regarding the manner of utilizing war trophies on Czechoslovak territory. According to telegram 161, August 6, 1945 from Prague, which reviewed the agreement and reported that a Czechoslovak mission was in Moscow seeking to reduce the number of properties covered by the agreement, war trophy enterprises were considered those which were constructed for war purposes by Germany during the occupation (740.00119 EW/8–645).
  3. Not printed; it stated that the International Telephone and Telegraph Corporation had requested that all possible steps be taken to protect the Lorenz Valve Factory at Hohenelbe, in which it owned 100 percent interest (360F.115 International Telephone and Telegraph Corporation/7–1845).