740.62114/8–2745: Telegram

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

363. From Matthews. Reurtel 383, August 27, 7 p.m. Full text agreement signed Yalta being forwarded by airmail. Briefly agreement provides all Soviet citizens liberated by US forces be separated from enemy POW’s and maintained separately until handed over to Soviet authorities. Military authorities each contracting party required without delay to inform competent authorities other party regarding citizens found by them and at same time to take necessary measures to implement all provisions of agreement.

While agreement makes no mention of Soviet citizens captured in German uniforms nor of the use of force, Soviets have consistently claimed it covers all their citizens and Department has interpreted it as covering POW’s of Soviet nationality prior to 1939 and in concurrence with War Department ordered return to Europe and turned over to Soviet authorities a number of POW’s brought to this country and later ascertained after thorough screening to be Soviet citizens. Incidents involving resistance requiring use of force by our military authorities occurred in connection with this group.

For your confidential information, Department has been anxious in handling these cases to avoid giving Soviet authorities any pretext for delaying return of American POW’s of Japanese now in Soviet occupied zone, particularly in Manchuria. [Matthews.]