860C.00/11–645: Telegram

The Ambassador in Poland (Lane) to the Secretary of State

527. Mytel 238, September 11. Embassy is now informed by members of the clergy that Bishop Kocylowski of Przemysl has himself been arrested and deported to Russia. Increasingly graphic reports of disorders in Galicia continue to reach the Embassy and a number of Ukrainian claimants to American citizenship59 report that they only succeeded in reaching Warsaw by escaping from railway stations where they were concentrated prior to being deported to the USSR.

Resurgence of antagonism between Poles and Ukrainians has apparently resulted in many open clashes. Vice Wojewod of Krakow60 has informed officer of Embassy that Ukrainians are receiving arms from USSR. Some Polish officials place blame on Ukrainians themselves but appeals reaching this Embassy from Ukrainian population suggest that Polish authorities and Soviet Commission charged with supervising exchange of population between Poland and USSR have been unduly harsh in handling situation.

According to Archbishop Sapieha the Uniat Church is suffering persecution at the hands of the Russians in former Polish Galicia. He states that some two to three thousand priests have already been imprisoned.

[Page 400]

I have instructed the Military Attaché62 to proceed to the southeastern area of Poland to make an investigation of the situation.63

  1. In his telegram 578, November 17, 1945, 2 p.m., Ambassador Lane reported having received a copy of a letter from the Polish Foreign Office requesting the Polish Ministry of Public Administration to inform authorities executing the Polish-Soviet exchange of population agreement that Ukrainians, Byelo-Russians and others who had grounds for considering themselves American citizens were to be regarded as American citizens and were not subject to eviction (3600.1121/11–1745).
  2. Zygmunt Robel.
  3. Col. Walter R. Pashley.
  4. Telegram 557, November 14, 11 a.m., from Warsaw, reported on the Military Attachés observations during a trip from Krakow to Przemysl. Colonel Pashley found the area completely dominated by the Soviet military, but did not personally see any cases of forcible deportation. The same telegram reported that a Polish Foreign Office official had admitted that under the agreement with the Soviet Union, the latter had the right to deport Ukrainians on the grounds that they were Soviet citizens. (860C.00/11–1445)