811.42700 (R)/3–1549: Telegram

The Ambassador in Poland (Gallman) to the Secretary of State


382. ReDeptel 143 March 11.1

We have examined Morrow’s cable sent from here and find nothing in it that had not been reported earlier by us in greater detail. Embtels 156, February 2 and 251, February 172 develop available evidence that preliminary basis rapprochement between East Germany and Polish Communists has been achieved, largely because of SED capitulation to PZPR terms that Oder-Neisse border be considered final and that Irredentist elements be purged (Embdesp 904 November 243), and note accent placed by Polish delegate Ochab on possibilities of increased trade in speech made by him at SED Congress (Embdesp 117 February 153) Polish officials acknowledge that one result western counter-blockade on Soviet zone has been to orient it eastward economically (Embtel 123 January 273) and to increase Polish-Soviet zone trade (Embdesp 153 March 33). Even press admitted in September that trade volume had been increased by $30,000,000, bringing total planned goods exchanges for 1948 to $48,000,000 on each side (airgram 1436 September 303). We feel that Soviet response to counter-blockade and economic conditions in Soviet zone must be one of accelerating closer integration economics of Polish, [Page 509]Soviet zone and Czechoslovakia (airgram 288 March 114) and of promoting Polish-Czechoslovakian cooperation in underwriting part of zone’s trade deficit now borne by Soviet Union (Berlin’s despatch 135 January 314).

Although we have no tangible proof that Polish-Czechoslovakian industrial plans embrace Soviet zone, we believe such may reasonably be inferred from (a) fact that increased Polish steel production planned from Soviet Union deliveries under Polish-Soviet capital goods agreement is earmarked for progressing [processing] in Saxony (Embdesp 142 February 264), (b) recent Soviet move to return German workmen to Czechoslovakian industry, (c) Berlin’s conclusion that East Germany equipped to be “processing and finishing plant” for immediate satellite area (Berlin’s despatch cited), and (d) exigencies of situation and obvious desirability under present circumstances. Furthermore in addition to preoccupation with economic problems Soviet zone, we think Polish-German border presents troublesome political issue to Kremlin, and that with Polish-Czechoslovakian economic collaboration in mind (airgram 123 January 284), Soviets will sponsor Polish-Soviet zone economic rapprochement as best available device with which to obtain maximum economic benefits with minimum political repercussions (airgram 288 March 114).

We have no definite evidence of meat shipments to Soviet zone but rumors so prevalent as to suggest them in large quantities. Reliable American source has ascertained Poland sold 1,869 tons meat to Soviet Union in Autumn 1948; some or all of this may have been reexported to Soviet zone.

Polish Union Fighters for Independence and Democracy versus Fascism and Hitlerite invasion (airgram 1421 September 294) believed to be organ to which Vienna Times Despatch refers. We have no knowledge of its having lifted ban re admission German members but, in view its close relations with FIAPP,5 pointing toward merger, and FIAPP’s known German affiliates, we would not be surprised at such development. Since preparation airgram cited, organization has not figured prominently in press or public eye.

Sent Department 382, pouched Berlin, Moscow, Praha, London, Paris.

  1. Not printed; it asked for details on a report in the Chicago Sun Times, March 6, concerning a Polish Government and press campaign of friendship with Eastern Germany, and on a report in the New York Times, March 5, concerning the lifting of the ban on admission of Germans to the “Association of Fighters for Freedom”. (811.42700 (R)/3–1149)
  2. Neither printed, but regarding telegram 156, see footnote 10 to telegram 170, February 3, supra.
  3. Not printed.
  4. Not printed.
  5. Not printed.
  6. Not printed.
  7. Not printed.
  8. Not printed.
  9. Not printed.
  10. Not printed.
  11. Not printed.
  12. Not printed.
  13. Not printed.
  14. Presumably a reference to the Polish branch of the Union of Former Political Prisoners.