740.0011 EW/7–2045: Telegram

The Chargé in Yugoslavia (Shantz) to the Secretary of State

295. Note number 1907, July 18 from Foreign Office begins as follows:

“The Yugoslav Government deem necessary to inform the Government of the United States of America of numerous and reckless violations of the principles of international law laid down in the Atlantic Charter41 in connection with the Declaration of the United Nations42 and in the Charter of the United Nations43 regarding the respect of the fundamental respects [rights?] of man, particularly the freedom from fear,—violations committed by the Greek Government, themselves a signatory to the Declaration of the United Nations as well [Page 324] as to the Charter of the United Nations, to the detriment of Macedonians, our conationals, inhabitants of the Aegean Macedonia (the Greek portion of Macedonia).

The violations of these principles are committed not only by the Greek Government refraining from doing anything to stop the terrorism of unofficial organized gangs of Fascists, earlier collaborators of the [conqueror], but also by support given by official authorities to these gangs and by the part taken in the persecutions by Greek regular forces, the latter also joined by many ancient collaborators of the German conqueror, such as members of the dissolved National Defense (Tagmata Asfalias), an organization of Tsolakoglu’s.44

The way in which terrorism is being performed and the purpose of the same will most clearly be seen from a few short excerpts from statements of officially interrogated refugees from the above mentioned country.”

Note continues with three pages of details concerning alleged looting, torture, arrests and killing of Macedonians in Greece by soldiers and “other terrorists”.

Note concludes:

“Statements of refugees from various districts all over Aegean Macedonia have been quoted above. The striking likeness of the proceedings described in the statements of witness from various districts, the fact that all others, officially interrogated and thousands of officially not yet interrogated, but informatively questioned refugees state conformly, as to ascertain contents, with the above statement, further the fact that up to date about 20,000 Macedonian peasants had to escape from Aegean Macedonia on account of terrorism, mostly women and children—for the men often arrested, interned, earlier mobilized, hiding in the forests or surroundings, or even killed—and that is still persisting the fleeing of these men who often arrive in our midst robbed of their last shirt, allows no doubt whatever that in Aegean Macedonia an organized, systematic terrorism of Fascist pattern is going on by means of threats, prohibition of using the native language, arrests, deportation to unknown places, beating, killing, violation of women, against our Macedonian conationals with the purpose of compelling them to emigrate from Aegean Macedonia, or, if they were to oppose, to extirpate them.

In transmitting the above communication the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have the honor of informing the Embassy, that at the same time notes of similar content are transmitted to the British and Soviet Embassies, and that instructions have been given to the Yugoslav representative at Athens to draw the attention of the Greek Government to the necessity of elimination this situation which is not in accordance with the principles of international law.”

Copy of note follows by airgram.45

  1. Joint statement by President Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Churchill, August 14, 1941, Foreign Relations, 1941, vol. i, p. 367.
  2. Signed at Washington, January 1, 1942, ibid., 1942, vol. i, p. 25.
  3. Signed at San Francisco, June 26, 1945; for text, see Department of State Treaty Series No. 993, or 59 Stat. (pt. 2) 1031.
  4. Gen. George Tsolakoglu, puppet premier of German-occupied Greece, April 1941 to December 1942.
  5. Airgram A–89, July 21, not printed.