No. 726

264.1111–Vogeler, Robert A./2–2151: Telegram

The Minister in Austria (Donnelly) to the Secretary of State 1


1814. Re Deptel 1642, February 20.2 I met today with General Sviridov.3 He pretended he had never heard of Vogeler case. I described situation of Vogeler family in Vienna and said I was appealing to him on humanitarian grounds to see what could be done for release of Vogeler and for safe return to his family in Vienna.

Sviridov was very uncomfortable during meeting, especially when I described plight of Vogeler’s wife and two children. He said it was very difficult and embarrassing for him because it involved another country and he could not interfere “directly” in the affairs of that country. I expressed opinion that as commanding general of Soviet troops in Hungary and in view of high prestige with which he is held in that country his cooperation would prove most effective in obtaining early release of Vogeler. Sviridov said “I know nothing about the case and I will have to consult my legal advisers”. He added “maybe we can find some way to do something about it”.

  1. Repeated to Budapest and Moscow.
  2. In telegram 1792 from Vienna, February 19, Donnelly reported that contacts with Soviet officials in Vienna left the impression that they were going out of their way to demonstrate courteous and correct relations with the other occupying powers. Donnelly recommended taking advantage of the new Soviet attitude to ask General Sviridov whether on humanitarian grounds he felt there was anything that could be done to expedite the release from prison of Robert Vogeler. (963.61/2–1951) Telegram 1642 to Vienna, February 20, indicated that the Department of State had no objection to such an oral query. (264.1111–Vogeler, Robert A./2–2051)
  3. Donnelly and Sviridov met following the February 21 meeting of the Allied Council for Austria. A memorandum of conversation on the meeting was transmitted to the Department as an enclosure to despatch 861, from Vienna, February 20. (264.1111–Vogeler, Robert A./2–2051)