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Digital Archive International History Declassified

September 23, 1944

PRISONERS OF WAR IN THE BALKANS

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    Harriman and Stalin discuss the Red Army's help evacuating American prisoners of war from Romania and their treatment by the Bulgarians.
    "Prisoners of War in the Balkans," September 23, 1944, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Container 174, W. Averell Harriman Papers, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/220019
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          THE AMBASSADOR

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Conversation.   September 23, 1944.

Present: The American Ambassador, Mr. Harriman

Mr. Edward Page, Second Secretary of Embassy

The British Ambassador, Sir Archibald Clark Kerr

Major A. H. Birse, Second Secretary of Embassy

Marshal I. V. Stalin

Mr. V. M. Molotov, People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs

Mr. Pavlov, Soviet interpreter

Subject: Prisoners of War in the Balkans.

At the conclusion of our conversation with Marshal Stalin I thanked him for the cooperation which the Red Army had extended in regard to the evacuation of our prisoners of war from Rumania. I remarked that the Bulgarians had seriously abused our prisoners. Because of this we would expect full investigation and apprehensions of those who had been responsible. Marshal Stalin readily concurred. He said that the Bulgarians were brutal people and that many of them had come under the influence of the Nazis. On the other hand the Rumanians, who were a “more simple people”, had behaved much better.

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