The Chairman of the Council of People’s Commissars of the Soviet Union (Stalin) to President Roosevelt 73
I received your message of March 474 concerning the question of prisoners of war. I, once again, consulted our local representatives who deal with these questions and have to inform you about the following.
The difficulties, which we had to meet on the first stages in the cause of speedy evacuation of American prisoners of war, when they were in the zone of active military operations, have now considerably decreased. At the present time the organization on the affairs of foreign prisoners of war, specially formed by the Soviet Government, has an appropriate number of people, transport facilities and food stuffs, and each time when new groups of American prisoners of war are found, measures are urgently taken to render help to these prisoners of war and for their evacuation to the gathering points for the subsequent repatriation. According to information which is at present at the disposal of the Soviet Government, on the territory of Poland and in other places liberated by the Red Army, there are no groups of American prisoners of war, as all of them, except the single sick persons who are in the hospitals, have been sent to the gathering point in Odessa, where 1200 American prisoners of war have already arrived and the arrival of the rest is expected in the nearest future.
In view of this under the present conditions there is no necessity to carry on flights of American planes from Poltava to the territory of Poland on the matters of American prisoners of war. You may feel assured that the appropriate measures will be urgently taken also in respect to crews of American planes having a forced landing. This, however, does not exclude the cases when the help of American planes may become necessary. In these cases Soviet military authorities will apply to the American military representatives in Moscow on the subject of sending American planes from Poltava.[Page 1074]
Having at the present moment no proposals on the question of condition of Allied prisoners of war who are in the hands of the Germans, I want to assure you that on our part we shall do everything possible for the creation of favorable conditions for them, as soon as they will be on the territory which will be taken by the Soviet troops.