Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of Eastern European Affairs (Durbrow) to the Assistant Secretary of State (Dunn)

At your suggestion I called Mr. Herbert Wechsler, Assistant Attorney General, to ask him if any new developments had taken place in regard to the Kravchenko case.

Mr. Wechsler said that he did not know exactly what was being done in regard to this case but stated that he was sure that the State Department understood the Department of Justice’s point of view on that question; namely, that as far as Justice is concerned, while Mr. Kravchenko may, under Soviet law, be considered as having been in the United States in a military status, under United States law, he was in this country as a civilian having received a visa as a civilian and having worked for the Soviet Purchasing Commission here in that status. Therefore, Mr. Wechsler stated that, in view of our longstanding policy and traditions regarding asylum, he would not be subject to return to the Soviet Union.

[Page 1138]

I asked Mr. Wechsler whether he knew if the Department of Justice had discussed the case with the Army on the basis of information received from the Soviet Embassy relative to Kravchenko’s alleged military status. He stated he was not certain exactly what had been done in this regard but promised to look into the matter and let me know in the next day or so. He indicated that in any event, the Department of Justice would reply to the Department’s last communication dated January 18, 1945.27

  1. Not printed, but see footnote 24, p. 1135. The Attorney General did send a reply dated February 7, to the Secretary of State, which was consonant with the statements in this memorandum. The pertinent paragraph of this letter is quoted in the Department’s aide-mémoire of April 12, 1945, to the Embassy of the Soviet Union, infra.