740.00114 EW/8–745: Telegram

The Secretary of State to Mr. Alexander C. Kirk, Political Adviser, Allied Force Headquarters, at Caserta

729. Reurtel 3228, Aug. 7. In conformity with commitments taken at Yalta US Govt is obligated to return to the Soviet Union all Soviet citizens. In carrying out this agreement, the policy has been adopted of turning over to Soviet jurisdiction all Soviet citizens who were domiciled in the Soviet Union within the 1939 Soviet frontiers.

In recent screening at Fort Dix of group of 153 Soviet citizens captured in German uniforms, prisoners were questioned to ascertain whether any of them were Poles, citizens of the Baltic States or other countries, or were “stateless” persons (such as Russians who have lived abroad for a number of years before the outbreak of the present war). Persons found to fall in these categories will not be turned over to Soviet jurisdiction unless they so desire.

On the other hand persons who claimed that they were “stateless” but who on the basis of careful questioning were clearly Soviet citizens at the time of outbreak of war between Germany and the Soviet Union are considered by us still to be Soviet citizens within the meaning of the Yalta Agreement regarding prisoners of war and displaced persons.

Therefore before turning over any of the group referred to in your message, they should be carefully screened to ascertain whether in fact they are Soviet citizens.