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Digital Archive International History Declassified

November 04, 1945

FROM THE JOURNAL OF V.M. MOLOTOV, 'THE RECEPTION OF THE CZECHOSLOVAK AMBASSADOR HORAK, 4 NOVEMBER 1945 AT 2200'

This document was made possible with support from the Blavatnik Family Foundation, Carnegie Corporation

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    In a meeting with Soviet Minister of Foreign Affairs V. M. Molotov, Czechoslovak Ambassador to the Soviet Union Jiri Horak requests that Stalin send greetings to the International Congress of Students to be held in Prague, expresses concerns about the implications of a joint Soviet-Czechoslovak company for developing uranium, and voices his hope that the Volhynia Czechs will be permitted to resettle in Czechoslovakia.
    "From the Journal of V.M. Molotov, 'The Reception of the Czechoslovak Ambassador Horak, 4 November 1945 at 2200'," November 04, 1945, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, RGASPI, f. 558, op. 11, d. 98, ll. 0052-0055. Contributed by Sergey Radchenko and translated by Gary Goldberg. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/208883
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SECRET

[handwritten: not necessary]

FROM THE JOURNAL

OF V. M. MOLOTOV

THE RECEPTION OF CZECHOSLOVAK AMBASSADR HORAK

4 November 1945 at 2200

Horak said that he has three important questions. The first is the following. On 17 November an International Congress of Students will be held in Prague in memory of 17 November 1939, when the universities and higher educational schools of the Czech Republic and Moravia were closed after the unprecedented torture of Czechoslovak students by the Germans. Czechoslovak students have turned to the Embassy in Moscow through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to ask Molotov for his assistance in Generalissimo Stalin sending greetings to the Congress. Horak said that the organizers of the Congress are making the same request of President Truman and Prime Minister Attlee. Horak declared that receiving the greetings of Generalissimo Stalin would be the most wonderful and unforgettable for all the participants of the Congress in general and especially for the Czechoslovak students.

Molotov said that he cannot give a reply on this question right now, [but] that he will report this request to Generalissimo Stalin and pass the reply to the Ambassador.

[Translator’s note: the previous three sentences were highlighted in the left margin].

Horak said that the second question concerns the development of the Jachymov uranium deposit. Prime Minister Fierlinger has charged him, Horak, with presenting Fierlinger’s plan to Molotov. Fierlinger completely realized the importance for both sides of solving this question on the basis of a treaty of alliance. Fierlinger asked the Ambassador to also tell Molotov that the Czechoslovak government would meet all the demands of the Soviet Union halfway. Fierlinger asked that his plan concerning the form of solving this question be taken into consideration. It would psychologically difficult for the Czechoslovak government to organize a Soviet-Czechoslovak company since some days ago all mineral wealth of the country was nationalized by presidential decree. Therefore Fierlinger proposed the following: a public enterprise will be founded, that is, a state factory for the exploitation of uranium with the right of concluding a contract with an analogous Soviet enterprise, a contract in which might include all the requirements satisfying the Soviet Union. Thus, the content of this contract will satisfy the Soviet demands. Fierlinger is glad that Soviet scientists and master craftsmen will work together with Czechoslovaks and look after the maximum increase of the extraction of ore. The technical conditions of which Zorin, the Soviet Ambassador in Prague, spoke could be settled later. Horak repeated that Fierlinger would like for the following form to be adopted: the organization of a Czechoslovak state factory to exploit the uranium in accordance with the Czechoslovak constitution, which might conclude a contract with an analogous Soviet enterprise.

Molotov asked does the a Czechoslovak government have a draft of such a contract [?]

Horak said there is no such draft, that Fierlinger asked him, Horak, to ascertain the opinion of the Soviet Government about the formal question since the Czechoslovak side is essentially interested in the participation of the Soviet side, but the remaining questions could be provided within the framework of an economic contract [dogovor].

Molotov said that, thus there will be a state factory in a Czechoslovakia and there will be contract of this factory with a Soviet enterprise.

Horak confirmed and repeated that such a contract could be concluded with an analogous Soviet enterprise which exists, for example, in the Urals. The contract could include everything that the Soviet leaders consider necessary.

Molotov said that in view of such assurances given by the Czechoslovak government the Soviet Government agrees with the proposal of the Czechoslovak government.

Horak asked Molotov, could he inform Fierlinger of the agreement with the a Czechoslovak proposal that Molotov expressed [?]

Molotov replied affirmatively.

Horak said that the third question concerns the resettlement to a Czechoslovakia of the so-called Volhynia Czechs. This is about the 10,000 Czechs peasant families, or a total of about 50,000 people, living in groups in the regions of Lutsk, Rovno, Zdolbunov, Gorokhov, Dubno, and Kovel’. Horak said that for the Soviet Union this is a small number of people, but for Czechoslovakia they will have enormous importance.  Czechoslovaks want to have a reliable population in the border provinces since from the experience of 1938 they know what it means to have traitors in the border regions. Horak asked, can these peasants be resettled to Czechoslovakia, and stipulated that he wanted to be completely open, added that the question of resettling the Volhynia Czechs had already drawn great attention of public circles in Czechoslovakia and that President Benes had already declared he had already twice received agreement to this from Generalissimo Stalin. Benes declared that the question need not be agitated since a decision on it had already been rendered.

Molotov said that he hoped to quickly send a report about this after he makes an inquiry in what situation this matter is located right now. He, Molotov, thinks that this question will be decided in the near future and, of course, in accordance with the statement of Generalissimo Stalin.

Before leaving Horak left his letter addressed to Molotov about the first question he had raised today (see attachment).

The conversation lasted 15 minutes.

Recorded by S. A. Afanas’yev

Authenticated by; [Potrubach]

Sent to:

Cdes. Stalin

Beria

Malenkov, and

Mikoyan.