860h.01/5–1045: Telegram

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

2045. Urtel 2519, May 10.75 On April 29 Minister Sutej informed Embassy Belgrade76 of Partisan plan to shoot Machek, then reportedly held at his Zagreb home. In view of bitter Partisan attacks and accusations against Machek over considerable period of time, we have no reason to doubt information in question.

On basis of available evidence we believe Machek should be regarded as a political refugee and under no circumstances be delivered to Yugoslav Provisional Government (Tito). On the grounds (1) that he represents a very considerable democratic element of the Yugoslav population; and (2) that this element has been completely isolated from the Allies except for the pretensions of somewhat [Page 1228] dubious spokesmen, it would doubtless be useful for Allied political authorities to accede to his request for an interview.

It may later be important to have a clear account of the circumstances of his incarceration in Zagreb and removal therefrom; whether he was imprisoned by Germans or Pavelic or both; his political attitude and actions during the conflict; his negotiations if any with Mihailovic, Tito, Pavelic, Italians or Germans; and the reason and manner of his removal to place where he was taken into custody.

It would be preferable if his statement could be obtained before the considerable publicity and controversy which may be expected when it becomes known that he is in Allied hands.

  1. Not printed; it reported that the U.S. Seventh Army had custody of Dr. Vladko Machek, the titular head of the Croatian Peasant Party, who had asked to contact Allied political leaders (860h.01/5–1045).
  2. Information transmitted to Department in telegram 60, April 30, 1945, from Belgrade, not printed.