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Digital Archive International History Declassified

October 23, 1962

TELEGRAM FROM POLISH EMBASSY IN WASHINGTON (DROZNIAK), 23 OCTOBER 1962

This document was made possible with support from the Leon Levy Foundation

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    In a conversation with Charles Bartlett (a journalist who had befriended President Kennedy), Drozniak learns more of the Cuban Crisis situation and of US-USSR relations, including that the steps taken to address the crisis (the quarentine of Cuba) were implemented by Kennedy in the atmosphere of great pressure from the public opinion.
    "Telegram from Polish Embassy in Washington (Drozniak), 23 October 1962," October 23, 1962, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Szyfrogramy from Waszyngton 1962, 6/77 w-86 t-1312, Polish Foreign Ministry Archive (AMSZ), Warsaw. Obtained by James G. Hershberg (George Washington University) and translated by Margaret K. Gnoinska (Troy University). https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/115757
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Ciphergram No. 15622

Dispatched from Washington, D.C., on 10.23.1962 at 22:30 and received on 10.24.1962 at 7:50

Came to the Decoding Department on 10.24.1962 at 8:05

To: [Foreign Ministry Director Eugeniusz] MILNIKIEL,1 EYES ONLY

From: [Ambassador Edward] DROŻNIAK2

[This information has been compiled based on my conversation with Charles] Bartlett (a journalist who has befriended president [John F.] Kennedy):

Bartlett thinks that Kennedy was shocked by intelligence information, which reached the Republican senators already on the 14th of this month, that is, a week before they reached him. [Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei] Gromyko and [Soviet Ambassador to the United States Anatoly] Dobrynin were to make assurances that Cuba received only surface-to-air missiles with a range of 30 miles. But, “the revolver was placed to America’s head.”

According to Bartlett, the climate of trust, which has been emerging between Kennedy and Khrushchev, was ruined just like the game played by the Japanese prior to the [attacks] on Pearl Harbor [on 7 December 1941]. The steps [to address the crisis, e.g., the “quarantine” of Cuba], which [President] Kennedy announced [on Monday, 22 October], will be implemented in the atmosphere of a great pressure [stemming] from the public opinion.

The kind of missile bases [which have been installed by the Soviets] on Cuba was a shock to the [US] administration, [especially] following the Soviet declarations which have been made repeatedly on numerous occasions. [Fidel] Castro received many more modern missiles than [the Soviet] allies in the Warsaw Pact.

[1] Eugeniusz Milnikiel (1905 -1969), former Polish ambassador to Great Britain (1953 -1956).

[2] Edward Drożniak (1902 – 1966), Poland’s ambassador to the United States (1961-1966).