264.1111 Vogeler, Robert A./2–1050: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Legation in Hungary 1


56. Ur 82 Feb 10 rptd Vienna 27 London 18.2 Fol provides info re developments here and instrs re immed steps to be taken by Leg in view announcement Vogeler trial.


Morris L. Ernst3 has been retained by Mrs. Vogeler, other members family, and friends to represent Vogeler’s and their interests connection case. On afternoon Feb 12 Ernst will issue brief public statement re his retention according above formula and his intention apply for Hung visa. On Feb 13 Ernst will personally make application Hung Leg here for visa enter Hung. He will then cable direct notification Justice Min Ries re these matters and request sufficient postponement enable him arrive Budapest in due time prior trial.

Leg is accordingly requested immed notify Hung FonOff in writing that (1) US Govt is informed that Ernst has been retained by wife, other members family, and friends to represent Vogeler’s and their interests connection case; (2) US has in circumstances validated [Page 989] Ernst’s passport for travel to Hung; and (3) US Govt is informed that Ernst is applying immed Hung Leg Wash for visa enter Hung. Ur notification shld be confined statement above-mentioned facts.

Re foregoing, it is our view, in which IT&T and Ernst concur, that it is preferable Ernst take these steps on own initiative. At same time we wld, by Leg notification to FonOff along lines above, take cognizance Ernst’s status, indicate we approve his travel to Hung, and insure that Hung auths Budapest are promptly aware his visa request. For ur info, shld Ernst be admitted Hung, he wld make every effort negotiate personally arrangements with Hung auths to interview Vogeler and achieve maximum protection Vogeler’s interests before, during, and after trial.

Subsequently, if, as is probable, Ernest is refused visa or is not given reply within two days, we contemplate despatch further note to FonOff, as follow-up ur note Feb 1, in which we wld (1) strongly affirm right and justice of Vogeler’s wife, family, and friends retaining and sending into Hung lawyer to represent Vogeler’s and their interests; (2) urge Hung Govt reconsider its rejection (or failure respond promptly) Ernst’s visa request; and (3) ask Hung Govt agree Ernst’s entry Hung for such purposes as may be appropriate to representation of interests Vogeler and Ernst’s clients, including access Hung Ministry Justice and other Govt officials. If Hung Govt rejects, or refuses to reply to, US intercession in suport Ernst, we wld then proceed release full texts correspondence on subj, including Feb 1 note and Hung reply thereto in interest further public enlightenment re Hung Govt’s conduct case.4


Re entry Amer correspondents (Vienna’s 152 Jan 30 rptd Budapest 9 London 205) Leg shld promptly address note FonOff, if it has not already done so (ur 82 and ur 86 Feb 10 rptd Vienna 29 London 196), containing list correspondents who wish attend trial and say it is assumed, in light Rakosi’s assurances and those contained in recent Hung note (ur 717), that issuance visas will be facilitated on urgent basis in order permit correspondents be present start of trial and report entire proceedings. We have confirmed that all correspondents listed Vienna’s 152, except Bill Boyle, have been assigned cover trial. UP may later make assignment. In addition, we are informed that Allyn [Page 990] Baum, photographer for Internatl News Photos, now at Paris, will apply for entry.


Concur in ur contemplated request re attendance Leg personnel trial and suggest it be made, or if already made orally confirmed, in writing. You shld also renew demand for immed access to Vogeler by Amer consular officers. If granted, assume you will desire include in attendance at trial Leg officers who understand Hung and those who are best qualified report proceedings.8

Texts all further Leg communications to Hung FonOff in compliance foregoing instrs shld be cabled Dept fol delivery in order that they may be released to press here on short notice.

  1. Repeated to Vienna as 245 and London as 663.
  2. Not printed. It reported the publication of a communiqué that day by the Hungarian Ministry of Justice announcing the issuance of an indictment by the State Prosecutor of Budapest against Robert Vogeler, Edgar Sanders, and four Hungarian citizens in connection with alleged acts of espionage and other crimes. The trial in Budapest Criminal Court was to begin on February 17 (264.1111 Vogeler, Robert A.) For the text of the indictment, published later, see R. Vogeler, E. Sanders and Their Accomplices Before the Criminal Court (Budapest: Hungarian State Publishing House, 1950), pp. 5–20.
  3. Well-known American attorney; member of the New York law firm of Green-baum, Wolff, & Ernst.
  4. Following receipt of a negative reply from the Hungarian Government regarding a visa for Ernst, the Department of State, in telegram 61, February 15, to Budapest, not printed, instructed the Legation to address a further note to the Hungarian Foreign Ministry along the lines indicated in this paragraph (264.1111 Vogeler, Robert A./2–1550).
  5. Not printed.
  6. Neither printed; regarding telegram 82 from Budapest, see footnote 2, above.
  7. Telegram 71, February 6, from Budapest, not printed, transmitted the text of the Hungarian Foreign Ministry note described in footnote 5, p. 987.
  8. The Hungarian Foreign Ministry subsequently gave the Legation two tickets of admission to the public gallery at the Vogeler–Sanders trial.