Memorandum by Mr. Albert F. Bender, Jr., of the united States Mission to the United Nations to Mr. Richard J. Kerry, Administrative Attorney, Division of International Administration
Subject: Picketing in Front of Offices of Soviet Delegation to UN on August 2, 1951.
Enclosed herewith is a copy1 of the official report of the New York City Police Authorities concerning an incident which occurred on August 2, 1951 in the course of picketing by the American-Hungarian Federation in front of the offices of the Delegation of USSR to UN at 680 Park Avenue. This is the incident referred to in the communication of August 6 from Nikolai Shvernik, President of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, to President Truman. I understand that the Department has also received from the Soviet Embassy a note protesting this incident.2
The enclosed report was furnished by the New York City Police Department in response to a request by the Mission for an investigation and a report concerning the incident. You will note that the report states that members of the police force present at the time of the incident failed to observe any evidence of assault or breach of the peace. With specific reference to a woman, Vilma P. Soos who was held temporarily by the police after the occurrence of the incident, the report states that “She had not, however, been observed by any witnesses or members of the department committing any violation of law.” This portion of the report is in conflict with the account carried in the New York Herald Tribune of August 3 which states that “one of the Russians was hit on the back by an unidentified woman who apparently swung at him with a closed fist.”
I have been advised by a UN Protocol Officer (Rodzianko) that, on August 7, Mr. Abram S. Shakhnazarov, Counselor of the USSR Delegation, described the incident to him. According to Shakhnazarov, the Soviet First Secretary, Polianski, was hit on the head with a “board”, and was bleeding when he re-entered the Delegation building after the occurrence of the incident. Further, according to Shakhnazarov, in the course of the picketing, the persons acting as pickets directed obscene epithets in the Russian language at members of the Soviet [Page 61] Delegation who appeared outside the Delegation building. According to Shakhnazarov, the Delegation was extremely upset at the picketing and he stated that nothing similar ever occurred in the vicinity of Embassies and Legations in Moscow. He conceded that the members of the Soviet Delegation used strong language with respect to Americans in the course of UN meetings, but said that that was all part of the game and bore no relationship to the treatment to which Soviet Delegation members were subjected in the course of the picketing.