740.62114/8–745: Telegram

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

3228. ReDeptels 92, Feb. 3, 7 p.m., and 279, March 31, 6 p.m.25 Military authorities have received petition signed by 118 Russians captured with German Armed Forces addressed to General Marshall and another to International Red Cross requesting that they be given political refuge and not be sent back to Russia, but be allowed to go to some other area where they would be protected. They claim they are “political refugees”, were not enemies of US and UK and fought with Germans in hope of “renaissance of a new Russia.” Requests made in “name of humanity” and claiming articles of Geneva: Convention covering [“]political emigrants”.

On basis of JCS (Joint Chiefs of Staff) paper No. 1266–5 dated June 8, 1945,26 which provided for the return of [to] Russia of Soviet citizens captured wearing German uniforms, military authorities plan to deliver them to Soviet authorities without forwarding petitions. In submitting matter to us for comment we stated that on basis of JCS paper there seemed to be no other alternative but requested that action be withheld pending report to Dept and receipt of its views. Present schedule calls for move of these Russians about Aug 10 to 15.

We would appreciate receiving urgently from Dept statement of policy in the light of JCS paper with special reference to sub-paragraph (c) (policy) of tel 279. What is policy concerning Soviet civilians who will not admit to Soviet citizenship but yet cannot claim other nationality. Are they to be treated as “stateless” and placed in category of displaced persons, or are they to be screened by Soviets and returned if demand is made?

  1. Neither printed. Telegram 92, February 3, transmitted the text of the note of February 1 from the Acting Secretary of State to the Soviet Chargé p. 1067. Regarding telegram 279, March 31, see last sentence of footnote 82, p. 1077.
  2. The operative part of J.C.S. 1266/5, June 8, 1945, consisted of the following military communication from the War Department to the Headquarters, European Theater of Operations: “118 Soviet citizens who had claimed status as German prisoners of war are being returned to Europe for repatriation to the Soviet Union. Pursuant to governmental decision, transfer to Soviet authorities is to take place in United States zone in Germany. Similar action will be taken as to any other German prisoners held in United States custody in this category who are claimed to be Soviet citizens.” (Lot 52 M 64 Box G 603)