SWNCC 46 Series: Telegram

The Joint Chiefs of Staff to the Commanding General, United States Forces, European Theater ( McNarney )


WARX 90606. To McNarney for action, Clark for information from the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The following, received from the State, War and Navy Departments, is transmitted in reply to your S–2114 and S–2716 dated 19 and 27 April 1946, respectively:

“Since the political system in force in the Soviet Union is basically different from that applying in the United States, and the questions of what rights a Soviet citizen has are matters which concern the Soviet Government solely, the question does not arise in interpreting the directive regarding repatriation of Soviet citizens whether an individual should be considered as having lost his Soviet citizenship because he was deprived of certain rights which under American law would cause him to lose his American citizenship. American rules of citizenship do not apply to Soviet citizens and it is not a proper function of American officials to attempt to determine whether Soviet citizenship has been lost in individual cases through denial of civil rights. Question of citizenship of Kulaks, White Russians who opposed the 1917 revolution but continued to reside in the Soviet Union, and dissenters (categories A, B and C in telegram S–2716 April 27) who are otherwise subject to forcible repatriation under the terms of the basic directive is one for determination of Soviet authorities only.

The only criteria to be applied in interpreting the directive are the following:

That the individual was a Soviet citizen under Soviet interpretation of Soviet law and was domiciled in the USSR on 1 September 1939;
That in cases of doubt the Soviet authorities declare that they continue to consider such person to be a Soviet citizen today, and specifically request his repatriation.”