740.00119 Control (Germany)/7–1046: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Harriman)


5317. For Warren from Winslow.78 The following telegram no. 1690, dated July 10, 1946, has been received from Berlin:

OMGUS has approved directive submitted by USFET which establishes forcible repatriation of Hungarian, Rumanian and Bulgarian nationals in DP Assembly centers US zone accepted by accredited repatriation representatives respective governments. Only exceptions non-Jewish persecutees and Jews. Under directive subject nationals not in Assembly centers remain German responsibility with Military Govt supervision.

DP Division OMGUS estimates approximately 20,000 persons affected. Forcible DP repatriation US zone applied to date only certain categories Soviet nationals and war criminals—Quisling class. Directive not submitted this mission for concurrence. It appears, however, inconsistent with position taken by US Govt in UN DP discussions. Furthermore, it is believed directive which presumably derives from military insistence upon reduction population US zone overlooks broader political aspects. Legitimate political refugees not falling in war criminal, Quisling, or collaborator class undoubtedly are among subject nationals. Even though they are enemy nationals, question of principle raised when similar political dissidents among Poles and Yugoslavs are not forcibly repatriated. Similar treatment accorded Italian and Austrian nationals.

USFET policy re enemy DPs expressed in Title 20, Sections 200.2 and 201, Military Govt Regulations OMG (US zone) which state subject persons may be repatriated without regard personal wishes. From informal discussion obvious policy is outgrowth of note to Paragraph 30 SHAEF Administration Memo 35 Revised (my despatch 290, April 25, 194579) which requires repatriation of enemy DPs without respect to personal wishes. So far as this Mission knows, SHAEF memo never submitted to War for approval.

In view of US Govt position re forcible repatriation as we understand it, of uncertain political situation in subject countries which makes many nationals thereof reluctant to return and of potential political repercussions, we have raised informally objections until policy is clarified and we understand directive temporarily withheld. OMGUS staff study being prepared recommending to War that forcible repatriation be abandoned except under existing agreements. Dept’s views on our position urgently requested as our concurrence in staff study will be asked.”

No information here to indicate US has taken a position at UN DP meetings which would preclude a policy of forcible repatriation under [Page 172] conditions mentioned in quoted telegram. Please furnish facts or references, if any, on this point in your statements or discussions in UN” sessions. [Winslow.]

  1. Richard S. Winslow, Assistant Adviser in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of State for Occupied Areas (Hilldring).
  2. Not printed.