740.00119 Control (Austria)/5–1545: Telegram

Mr. Alexander C. Kirk, Political Adviser, Allied Force Headquarters, to the Secretary of State

2184. Following is summary of situation report by AMG80 staff with British Eighth Army Austria:

Situation Klagenfurt and SE Karnten [southeast Carinthia] confused and difficult owing presence Yugo forces. Many Yugo troops have been withdrawn but many Partisans and administrative troops remain. Yugos in control of town Volkermarkt, their proclamations posted and no British AMG functioning. At Ferlach situation particularly delicate owing large groups White Slovene civilians retreating into Austria in front of Tito forces.

Italian refugees flowing over frontier at Kufing. Estimated 20,000 other nationalities about half Slav in British occupied territory. Some 30,000 Slavs on borders Yugoslavia crossing into British territory as protective forces of White Yugos pushed back by Tito forces, British making temporary arrangements their welfare but request directive as to whether they are to be returned to Tito if called for. Refugees would be unwilling to return and force would be necessary.

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Flour supply will be exhausted by end of month. Sugar stocks exhausted, meat adequate 3 months, milk adequate.

Local police in Villach, and W Karnten [Western Carinthia] functioning and gaining confidence. Yugos have disarmed and arrested police put on duty by AMG N [North of] Klagenfurt and SE Karnten.

No adequate personnel available for frontier control. Italians being allowed to cross from Austria to Italy but not to return.

Attitude of people is docile to British element, terrified by Yugoslavs. British receive frequent deputations and appeals for protection from Yugos. Austrian, Slav displaced persons and Slav residents in SE Karnten and Klagenfurt equally terrified. Morale of Austrians adversely affected by lack of British action in territory over which British claim military government.

Politically, little pro-Austria or Partisan movement apparent. Complete Gau81 administration found in Klagenfurt on pre-Anschluss basis but includes two Communists, who claim they were self appointed and have no communication with Austrian Provisional Government. Administration consists of Landeshauptmann,82 head, executive head and committee of approximately eight persons whose antecedents being investigated. Search also being made for other suitable candidates whom AMG will prefer to install rather than confirm existing administration. Burgomeister appointed in all Kreise83 of Gau before British arrival by Gau administration. Candidate was always last holder of office before Anschluss if available.

Health situation general satisfactory.

Labor Office with records in possession of Yugos, and labor generally short. Yugos appear to be leaving Tarvisio area.

  1. Allied Military Government.
  2. Regional administrative district of Austria, 1938–45.
  3. Governor of an Austrian province.
  4. Political subdivision of a Gau.