145. Letter From Marshal Zhukov to President Eisenhower1

Dear Mr. President: I have received a letter from Berlin from the Soviet officer L.I. Lysikov and his wife T.V. Lysikovaya2 with the request to render assistance in the misfortune which has befallen them. As is apparent from this letter, the text of which I send you herewith, their minor son Valery being depressed by the bad marks he received in school did not return home. Having entered the American sector of Berlin he was detained there and at the present time is in hands of American military authorities.3

As you yourself can see the letter of the parents of Lysikov needs no explanation. You will understand therefrom that the “political” motives which have been attributed to the minor schoolboy Valery Lysikov cannot be taken seriously.

Recalling our old acquaintanceship and those days when we fought together against a common enemy and also our friendly joint work in Berlin, I ask you to settle this matter and to return the schoolboy Valery to his parents. I hope that you fully understand the suffering of the parents of Lysikov. We are both also fathers and can consider this incident from the human point of view putting aside all irrelevant considerations.

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I wish to believe, Mr. President, that you will not be indifferent to the facts set forth in the letter of the parents of Valery and to my present request.

With respect

G.K. Zhukov
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 761.00/4–655. Secret; Niact; Limit Distribution. Transmitted to the Department of State in telegram 1730 from Moscow, April 6, which is the source text. The original Russian language text was transmitted as an enclosure to despatch 389 from Moscow, April 7. (Ibid., 761.00/4–755)
  2. A translation of this letter was transmitted to the Department of State in telegram 1732 from Moscow, April 6. (Ibid., 761.00/4–655) A certified copy of the Russian original was also attached to despatch 389.
  3. On March 18, Valery Lysikov entered the Western sectors of Berlin and sought asylum. Following exchanges between U.S. and Soviet authorities in Berlin and Moscow, and a meeting with his parents in Berlin, Lysikov initially reiterated his desire to stay in the West. On April 5, after spending several days in Frankfurt, he changed his mind and asked to be returned to his parents. His return was effected on April 9. Documentation on this incident is ibid., 761.00.
  4. Telegram 1730 bears this typed signature.