864.404/12–3148: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Legation in Hungary


1231. Prom Hickerson.1 Concur your evaluation motivation arrest Mindszenty (urtel 1993 Dec 302) and implications case in regard to effect peoples curtain area and elsewhere. You will have seen statement made press conference Dec 29.3

At same time, impossible disregard realities Cardinal’s situation and consequent minimum likelihood effective intervention his behalf. Mobilization spiritual condemnation seems well advanced.

General line our thinking set forth separate tel to London rptd [Page 454] Budapest4 Believe maximum initiative on part Vatican desirable tending center focus religious aspect which particularly distinctive feature this further manifestation general Communist denial fundamental rights. [Hickerson.]

  1. John D. Hickerson, Director, Office of European Affairs, Department of State.
  2. Supra.
  3. Regarding Acting Secretary Lovett’s press statement of December 29, see editorial note, p. 451.
  4. Telegram 4838, December 31, to London, repeated to Budapest as 1230 and to Vatican City as 32, not printed, explained that the United States was taking the line that the arrest of Cardinal Mindszenty was the culmination of Communist attacks aimed at the destruction of religious freedom in Hungary and a phase in the systematic campaign to deny the exercise by the Hungarian people of the fundamental human rights and liberties. The arrest and other repressive measures taken in Hungary were, in turn, the typical general situation throughout the Soviet orbit and formed part of a general pattern of the extinction of all freedom and opposition, whether religious or political (864.404/12–3148).