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

No. 9972

The Political Adviser for Germany has the honor to transmit information on the various conferences and agreements between representatives [Page 210] of Czechoslovakia and OMGUS relating to the transfer of populations (Sudetens) from Czechoslovakia to the United States Zone of Germany in accordance with Section XIII of the Potsdam Agreement1 and with the Control Council Plan of 20 November 1945 (my despatch no. 1368 of November 23, 19452). Only one formal agreement was signed, the remaining conditions being in the form of signed minutes of three conferences in 1946—January 8–9, April 9–10, and June 18–19.3 For the purposes of this despatch, these minutes have been edited to consolidate in each instance pertinent material under one heading.

It will be noted in the Agreement of November 12, 1946 (Enclosure No. 44) that provision is made for the resumption of expellee movements during April, 1947. On March 27, 1947, Czechoslovakian representatives visited General Keating, Deputy Military Governor, to convey the desire of the Czech Government to resume the transfer of expellees beginning May 1, 1947. General Keating intimated that resumption at the desired time would be unpropitious but that the final decision rested with General Clay,5 who was at that time in Moscow. General Keating agreed to consult General Clay by telegram and did so on March 28. General Clay replied on March 31 that Czechoslovakia be advised OMGUS understood transfers were completed and that no resumption of transfers could be undertaken at the moment in any case. This information was transmitted to the Czechoslovak Military Mission by General Keating by a letter dated April 7, 1947,6 and resulted in General Dastich’s7 letter of April 23, 1947 (Enclosure no. 56) and General Keating’s reply thereto of May 1, 1947 (Enclosure no. 68). These communications bring up to date the matter of the transfer of Sudetens from Czechoslovakia to the United States Zone of Germany.

[Page 211]

The United States Deputy Military Governor for Germany (Keating) to the Chief of the Czechoslovak Military Mission to the Allied Control Authority for Germany (Dastich)


Dear General Dastich: I refer to your letter of 23 April 19479 in which you request the transfer of an additional 103,000 Sudetendeutsche from Czechoslovakia to the U.S. Zone of Germany.

There were present in the U.S. Zone of Germany on 31 March 1947, 1,660,581 Sudetendeutsche, 436,429 other Volksdeutsche (60% of whom do not belong in our Zone), 797,973 expellees from areas east of the Oder–Neisse river who cannot return to their homes nor be transferred to those occupied Zones of Germany which were allotted these persons under the Control Council Plan of Transfer of Population. These three groups of persons in our Zone total 2,894,983 and their numbers exceed by 644,983, the 2,250,000 expellees anticipated to be accepted in the U.S. Zone under the Control Council Plan. It is apparent therefore, that the U.S. Zone has already accepted a very liberal overload of those ethnic minorities covered in the Control Council Plan.

Together with these persons, there were also in the U.S. Zone 468,235 German nationals displaced from other occupied Zones and Berlin and 207,351 foreigners living in the German economy outside of DP camps, or a total of 3,570,000 persons (22% of the total population of the U.S. Zone) who must find living space and employment among the native inhabitants.

The world and your Government know the economic and housing situation in totally defeated Germany. The settlement of the past influx makes it impossible to meet the Potsdam Agreement requirements—“humane and orderly conditions of transfers”—in consideration of acceptance of additional ethnic German minorities.

Should, however, the occupying powers of those Zones who normally accept the expellees from east of the Oder–Neisse under the Control Council Plan, receive into their Zones the 800,000 such persons in the U.S. Zone, then consideration could be given to the acceptance of the remaining 103,000 Sudetendeutsche in Czechoslovakia that you desire to transfer.

Consequently, I am compelled to reiterate the statement in my letter of 7 April 19479 to Lt Col J. Kosek, that the acceptance of additional Sudetendeutsche from Czechoslovakia into the U.S. Zone of Germany cannot be undertaken until conditions do permit.


Frank A. Keating

Major General U.S. Army
  1. See Foreign Relations, The Conference of Berlin (The Potsdam Conference), 1945, vol. ii, p. 1511.
  2. For the despatch under reference here, see Foreign Relations, 1945, vol. ii, p. 1310. For additional previous documentation on the interest of the United States in the transfer of German populations from Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Rumania, and Austria, see ibid., pp. 1227 ff.
  3. The records of the meetings under reference have not been printed.
  4. For the text of the agreement included as enclosure 4 to this despatch, see Foreign Relations, 1946, vol. v, p. 188.
  5. Lt. Gen. Lucius DuB. Clay, United States Military Governor for Germany.
  6. Not printed.
  7. Brig. Gen. František Dastich, Chief of the Czechoslovak Military Mission to the Allied Control Authority for Germany.
  8. Not printed.
  9. Infra.
  10. Not printed.
  11. Not printed.