240.1122/8–350: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in the Soviet Union 1


99. Re Dept’s cir instr Feb 1 on Field case,2 we are still unable obtain any satis reply from Czech or Pol Govs concerning three Fields in spite repeated notes and oral representations. Our search for info otherwise has failed produce clues which wld assist establishing their whereabouts. Since Czech and Pol auths may be acting as Moscow desires in dealing with matter, we wish Emb raise question of Fields with FonOff by transmission note along fol lines unless you see objection.

Begin text. I have the honor to request assistance in fol matter which, with passing of time, is causing US Gov deep concern.

Approx one year ago three Amer citizens, Noel and Hermann Field and Noel’s wife Herta, disappeared somewhere in Eastern Europe. Whereabouts and welfare of Amer citizens is always matter serious importance to Gov and people US.

Noel Field was last seen at Praha Czecho about May 12, Hermann at Warsaw airport on Aug 22 as he was about board Czech Airlines plane for Praha, and Herta at Praha about Aug 23. In response to representations to Czech Gov with reference all three Fields, Czech MinFonAff has replied Noel presumably left Czecho prior May 15, Herta left Sep 6 and Hermann did not return to Czecho after Aug 15. Pol Gov has provided no definite info concerning disappearance Hermann Field, repeatedly stating an investigation of matter was not yet completed, it was continuing and when it was finished report wld be supplied.

Inquiries have been made in neighboring states in effort ascertain whether Fields might have gone those areas. Amer Leg at Budapest has been assured by Hung FonOff none Fields has been in Hung since date prior their disappearance.3 No trace Fields has been found in Austria or in Ger Fed Rep.

In view circumstances it is believed desirable, before holding Czech and Pol finally responsible for what has happened these Amer citizens, inquire Sov Gov whether any of Fields entered any area Eastern Europe under Sov jurisdiction and whether Sov Gov possesses any [Page 40] info which might aid in establishing whereabouts these Amer citizens. US Gov wld appreciate whatever assistance Sov Gov might be able render in this connection. End Text.4

  1. The source text was personally signed by Secretary of State Acheson. Regarding the arguments raised in favor of the transmission of this telegram, see the memorandum from Assistant Secretary of State Perkins to Secretary of State Acheson, July 28, supra.
  2. The circular instruction under reference here, sent to 9 missions in Europe, transmitted a 17-page memorandum summarizing detailed information on the biographies of Noel Field, Herta Field, and Hermann Field; the circumstances of their disappearances; and the representations made to Czechoslovakia and Poland regarding their welfare and whereabouts (240.1122/2–150).
  3. Telegram 34, January 17, from Budapest, not printed, reported that a Hungarian Foreign Ministry note of December 7, 1949, stated that none of the three Fields had been in Hungary since May 1, 1949. The Legation suggested that entry into Hungary could have been effected surreptitiously with the connivance of the security police and the information withheld from the Foreign Ministry (240.1122/1–1750).
  4. Telegram 303, August 4, from Moscow, not printed, reported that a note had been sent to the Soviet Foreign Ministry in accordance with the instructions contained in the telegram printed here (240.1122/8–450). Telegram 688, September 12, from Moscow, not printed, reported that Soviet Foreign Minister Andrey Yanuaryevich Vyshinsky had replied to the note by stating that his government had no information regarding the whereabouts of the Fields (240.1122/9–1250).