840.4016/1–246: Telegram

The United States Representative in Hungary (Schoenfeld)2 to the Secretary of State

us urgent

1. I handed Foreign Minister3 today note verbale4 in sense of first paragraph Deptel 879, Dec 275 and in reply to Foreign Office note Dec 15 reported in mytel 1120, Dec 17.7

I inquired whether Hungarian Govt’s position as stated on Dec 15 had changed in view of announcement today that Govt has issued decree relating to expulsion of Germans from Hungary. Under this decree substantially all Hungarian Nationals who at last census declared their mother tongue to be German are subject to deportation with certain authority to make exceptions vested in a commission to be appointed by Ministry of Interior. Gyöngyösi said decision of [Page 129] Govt to increase number of Germans to be deported beyond objectionable categories previously specified was not in accordance with his own ideas but he had been overruled by Cabinet.

He said January 1941 census showed about 477,000 who had declared German to be their mother tongue. This figure compares with semiofficial estimate in local press that about 430,000 Germans would be subject to deportation under latest decree which is to be implemented by supplementary regulations not yet issued.

Gyöngyösi expressed fear Govt’s action in this matter would be bad precedent in dealing with Hungarian minority in Czechoslovakia8 apart from economic effect of loss of all Germans here and humanitarian aspects.

Sent Dept, repeated to Berlin as No. 1, to London as No. 1 and to Moscow as No. 1.

  1. H. F. Arthur Schoenfeld headed the U.S. Mission to Hungary. On January 26, 1946, upon presentation of his credentials as Minister, the office at Budapest was changed from a Mission to a Legation.
  2. János Gyöngyösi.
  3. Not printed.
  4. Foreign Relations, 1945, vol. ii p. 1326. The telegram stated the Department’s preference that Hungary not deport all Germans from its territory.
  5. Ibid., p. 1325. The telegram reported that it was the intention of the Hungarian Government to deport only certain objectionable categories of Germans. For text of Foreign Office Note Verbale No. 139/Res/Be/1945 (transmitted to the Department as an enclosure to Despatch 775, January 2, 1946, not printed), see Stephen D. Kertesz, Diplomacy in a Whirlpool: Hungary Between Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia (Notre Dame, Indiana, University of Notre Dame Press, 1953), Document No. 11.
  6. For documentation on concern of the United States over the dispute between Hungary and Czechoslovakia regarding the exchange of populations and revision of frontiers, see vol. vi, pp. 361 ff.