740.62114/8–2745: Telegram

The United States Political Adviser for Germany (Murphy) to the Secretary of State

383. For Matthews.27 There has been discussion at United States Forces European Theater and United States Group Control Council regarding the forcible repatriation of Russians taken as German prisoners of war who refuse to return to Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. In applying the policy of forcible repatriation there has been a number of unpleasant incidents involving violence such as the forcible seizure by our troops of 100 Russians at a church service resulting in serious injuries on both sides. A considerable number of suicides by Russians in this category apparently are also taking place.

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Please clarify my understanding of our policy. Did we at Yalta assume the specific obligation to return these Russians by force if necessary? In the protocol which I have seen informally I find no reference to this subject but understand the Chiefs of Staff made an agreement on this subject.

Gray28 has suggested that where force is necessary we might wish to permit Russian troops to enter our zone for the purpose of removing these individuals. G–529 estimates there are from twenty to thirty thousand of them.

  1. H. Freeman Matthews, Director of the Office of European Affairs.
  2. Cecil W. Gray, Counselor of Mission, Office of United States Political Adviser for Austrian Affairs.
  3. Civil Affairs Division.