Skip to content

April 9, 1946

Translation of Notes Kept by the Hungarian Foreign Minister Rergarding Conversations with Soviet Representatives







April 9, 1945 - April 18, 1946, Inclusive


April 9, 1946.


Molotov received us at 6:30 p.m. He was with Dekanozov, Deputy Foreign Minister, Pushkin and his secretary Pavlov, Hungarians: myself, Minister Szekfu and Secretary Niszkacs as interpreter.

Upon Molotov's request I outlined to him my ideas about territorial questions connected with the preparation of peace. Hungary has territorial problems with only two countries: Czechoslovakia and Romania. As regards Czechoslovakia, the question was not raised by us. It was forced on us as a consequence of the first Prague discussion, when they insisted on transferring from Slovakia a large amount of Hungarians to Hungary. To show our friendliness we accepted the principle of exchange of population. According to Masaryk's estimate the number of Slovaks accepting voluntary transfer to Slovakia was about 2-300,000. On the basis of present information, their number does not exceed 50-60,000, so that after the exchange of population about 600,000 Hungarians would remain in Slovakia. The Czechs plan to grant Czechoslovak citizenship to about 200,000/ either because they speak the language or because they have Slovak relatives or ancestors/. In view of the bad conditions in which the Hungarians live in Slovakia it is possible that many will take Slovakian citizenship. The balance of 400,000 would be divided as follows: about half would be distributed in Czechoslovakia and the other half transferred to Hungary. This would be too heavy a load on Hungary and we therefore ask for assistance in trying to obtain that the Hungarians remain in Czechoslovakia without being disturbed and with equal civil rights.

If, however, the Czechs should insist on the transfer of Hungarians, the territorial question becomes acute.

Molotov listened with attention. He expressed his approval on our having made an agreement on exchange of population and his hope that the Czechoslovaks will grant equal rights to Hungarians in Slovakia.

I then submitted the Transylvanian question and the two proposals which we have worked out to settle the Romanian Border. The first proposal includes annexation to Hungary of 11,800 square km with 967,000 inhabitants, of which 442,000 are Hungarian and 421,000 Romanian, while 104,000 of other nationality/German and Slovak/. This would be the ethnical rearrangement of the boundary, which has the disadvantage of leaving the larger part of Hungarians in Romania, while many Romanians would remain on Hungarian territory. The sound public opinion is not so much worried by the territorial question as by the destiny of Hungarians which will be left on Romanian territory. We know that Groza's policy has been friendly to the Hungarians, but we also know that his policy is sabotaged by his officials and by the reactionaries.

Molotov asked which were the mam complaints on the part of Hungarians in Romania.

I replied that the complaints are particularly of an economic character. Every effort is made to destroy Hungarians economically. This does not affect only middle class and the wealthier class, which is easier to understand, but also the small farmer and poor people, workers, small traders, etc. Not even fanatics believe in Hungary that it is possible to obtain the territory where the Szekely population lives. Our plan is therefore to have as many Romanians on Hungarian territory as Hungarians on Romanian territory. This is the basis of the second plan which applies to a territory of 22,000 km². This is not more than one fifth of Transylvania. This territory includes 900,000 Romanians so that there still would be 180,000 Hungarians in excess on Romanian territory, i.e. 1,080,000. But generally speaking it would result in an approximate equilibrium, which is the best guarantee for the two countries treating their minorities humanly. If however this treatment could not be secured, the second plan offers the advantage of making possible an exchange of population and all Hungarians or Romanians could be settled down on this territory of 22,000 km². This territory also has a certain economic basis and a geographic justification. It includes forests which are important to Hungary, a considerable production of sulphur/for fertilizers/a small production of metals. The loss would not affect Romania sensibly.

Molotov listened with attention and said that in the Armistice agreement the Allies had promised to assist Romania in the reannexation of Transylvania or of the larger part of Transylvania.

I replied that our plan was not in contradiction to this as our maximum demand is 22,000 km² i.e. 1/5 of the whole Transylvanian territory.

Molotov thanked me and without giving me a hint as to the Soviet intentions, the conversation was terminated.

April 11


Stalin received us at the Kremlin at 9:30 p.m. Hungarians: myself, Nagy Ferenc, Szakasits, Geroe and Szekfue. Russians: Stalin, Molotov, Dekanozov, Pushkin and Grigoriev, as interpreter.

Nagy Ferenc: He thanked Stalin for liberation and for the democratic development which the country could obtain through Russian assistance. He talked about land reform, nationalization of mines, and supervision of banks. He said that he thought it necessary to report on the results of one year of Hungarian democracy. Stalin interrupted him and said that Hungary is a free and independent country and therefore her Prime Minister is not obliged to make reports so that he considers Nagy's expose as the communication of a friendly country. Nagy then spoke about the fight against reaction. Stalin then spoke about the difficult economic situation of Hungary, particularly about inflation. The Prime Minister outlined the recent economic program of the Hungarian Government. He requested Stalin to send one or two Soviet economic experts to Hungary to help the Hungarian Government with their advice by examining the economic situation and finding a solution of difficulties.

Stalin asked about the behavior of the Red Army in Hungary. The Prime Minister said that there has been some trouble in the past, as it always happens in the case of occupation, but that complaints were now reduced to a minimum. Stalin then said that the occupying troops would be soon withdrawn from Hungary and only small detachments would remain.

Then, the matter of reparations was discussed. The Prime Minister said that reparations represent a great difficulty to Hungary, under present economic conditions. The Government intends to do his best to comply with obligations, but they do not know whether this will be possible. He asked for extension of the reparation period. Stalin said he agrees and details will have to be discussed.

Nagy then mentioned Red Army claims for payment of railroad expenses. Stalin was much amused by Gero's expose. The Red Army asked for payment of 14 million dollars for work which was largely done by Hungarian workers. When Gero said that claims include repairs done on lines which are located in Austria and Czechoslovakia, Stalin burst out laughing. He told Gero not to pay.

Gero then said that the Red Army has painted Russian trophies on MAV cars, which are then leased to the Hungarian Railways at very high international rates. Stalin said that in his opinion the cars which were owned by Hungary and which are required for transportation by the Hungarian railways should be returned to the Hungarian railways.

Nagy asked for the assistance of the Soviet Union and of the Generalissimo in the question of Hungarian displaced property in the Western European territory. Stalin said that Hungary will have these assets returned, at least the gold.

Nagy then mentioned peace preparation. He said that we have no claims towards Yugoslavia. He then mentioned Czechoslovakia on the same lines as outlined by me to Molotov on April 9. Stalin said it would be necessary for the two countries to make an agreement including an exchange of population. Nagy then said that there are many more Hungarians in Slovakia then vice versa. Stalin said this is not the substance of the problem. The Soviets have transferred l million Poles and obtained only 100,000 Ukrainians and in spite of this the Soviets have realized the exchange of population. However, not all Governments are able to take such courageous measures.

Then I commented on the subject in the same manner as in the case of Molotov.

Stalin replied that the Czechs would be willing to discuss territorial questions, but they are afraid of the Slovaks. Stalin said that in his opinion the obtaining of equal rights for Hungarians in Slovakia is absolutely justified.

Nagy then spoke about the Transylvanian question and that the Foreign Minister had certain plans on this subject. Pushkin interrupted and said that the Foreign Minister has maps. Thereupon I showed the maps to Stalin who rose from his seat and looked at the map with great interest. I outlined my plans as already done to Molotov. During the whole time, Stalin listened attentively and looked several times at the map. He asked twice whether any exchange of population was involved in the plan, whereupon I said that it was not included in the plan but that it was possible under the plan. Stalin joked and said that if the Soviets accept the plan, the King of Romania will abdicate. Nagy said that Romania would then at least become a Republic like Hungary. Stalin then asked Molotov about the terms of the Romanian Armistice Agreement. Molotov told him that the Allies will support the Romanian claims for all or at least the greater part of Transylvania. Stalin thought a while and then said that he would think the matter and that we will meet again.

The interview lasted two hours.

The whole conversation had the character of a friendly talk under the influence of Stalin's personality, which though giving the impression of his historic individuality, also showed his human and encouraging side. The delegation was at first somewhat embarrassed, because at the beginning Stalin looked rather stern. But then we saw that his severity was due more to the interest he was taking in the matter and to concentration of his attention. He showed sparks of the Stalin humor and this encouraged the members of the delegation, who felt that it stood in front of the greatest son of a great country and of the perhaps greatest popular personality of history whose monumentality did not however lack a certain community of spirit with us.

April 1 2


At 6:30 a two hours interview at the Foreign Office with Dekanozov and Grigorjev, the latter acting as interpreter.

The first question raised by me was the problem of war prisoners. I asked for permission of correspondence to be granted to PWs. D. agreed and said that details should be discussed. I suggested that correspondence should be made possible on cards printed in Russian (difficulties are mainly due to the fact that the Russians have not a sufficient number of censors speaking Hungarian). In addition of securing by this method news to the families, it would also give us an idea of how many prisoners there still are. I asked D. to authorize Szekfue to discuss details with the Soviet Foreign Office.

D. agreed to my request. I also asked for authorization to have the Soviet Foreign Office forward the 200 letters sent by PW family members to the Hungarian Legation in Moscow. D. Agreed. I also asked him to make it possible for PWs, who have special political merits to return home exceptionally. D. Agreed to this also.

I then mentioned the 1 million Ruble loan to be given to our Legation. Pushkin had told me in Budapest that the matter would be arranged as soon as the Legation was established. Up to now only 100,000 rubles were received. This causes difficulties. D. told me he knew about the matter. His financial advisers told him that it was necessary first to make an agreement. He advised me to discuss the matter with Mr. Csucsulin at the Vnyestorg bank. I also told him that the National Bank had transferred money and that the Legation had not received any notice. D. said he did not know this matter.

I then outlined our peace plans. The matter is not only important but also very urgent, due to the meeting of the Foreign Ministers on April 25. In this situation it was my aim to try and find out what the Soviet intentions are in respect to South Eastern Europe. I do not want the Soviets to inform me of their views as I suppose that this is not possible. My intention is to ascertain whether our plans are not in opposition to Soviet political interests. My policy was from the beginning friendly to the Soviets and I do not want to make plans which would be contrary to Soviet political interests. D. agreed to what I said and I then spoke about Czechoslovakia and told him how glad and thankful we were that Stalin had approved of our contention as regards equal rights to Hungarians in Slovakia. Stalin's assistance in this matter is of great value to us and fills us with hope. I then outlined the Romanian program in the same manner as to Molotov. I understand – I said – that Soviet Union is friendly both to Romania and to Hungary and does not wish to affect the interests of either of these countries. Therefore I do not insist on having a decided support. But I would like to know if the smaller plan is not in contrast with Soviet plans.

D. said he understands our difficulties and also personally my difficulties in trying to satisfy the demands of my party. What claims will be made at the Peace conference is a matter to be decided by the Hungarian Government, particularly by Nagy Ferenc, as Prime Minister and leader of the majority party. In his opinion, the Prime Minister should discuss the matter with Groza, attempting to reach an agreement with him.

I then asked D. whether the Soviet Union would give active support for such an agreement to be reached.

D. then said they cannot do it for political reasons. This is the task of the two Prime Ministers.

I then said that if the Soviets do not participate intensively in such agreement to be reached, I do not see any possibility of concluding an agreement. I had suggested an exchange of views with Groza to Pushkin in writing, but have received no answer. Anyhow it is too late now, as we have only two weeks before the beginning of the Peace Conference.

D. agreed that the time was too short.

I added that in any case I did not see any possibility to reach an agreement. If Groza renounces one square kilometer of territory before elections, he would cause himself great damage politically. The Hungarian Government would be accused of having lost a possibility of obtaining a much better result, if it had not yielded in the discussions with Groza. Responsibility is so large that neither of the two Governments can undertake it. Already in the case of the Czechoslovak negotiations we agreed with Clementis that regardless of the goodwill of both of us in the cardinal questions, the political problems involved are such that they can be solved only by an international decision.

I told D. that my idea was to submit to the Peace Conference our maximum demand, as Groza will evidently also submit his maximum demand of the whole Transylvanian territories. Both Tatarescu and Groza have declared publicly that they consider the present boundaries as definitive. In my opinion Groza would suffer no harm if we submit the maximum proposal. If we submitted a proposition which would be accepted immediately by the Allies, it might mean a defeat for Groza, but if we come with a proposition and in this connection Groza obtains a certain success this position is even better. If we see that the maximum demand does not meet the understanding of the Allies, we have still the smaller plan as a reserve.

D. only said that the Romanian Armistice Agreement applies to the annexation to Romania of Transylvania or of a large part of Transylvania. I then said that our maximum demand did not represent more than one fifth of Transylvania. D. did not make any comment to this.

In the long and lively interview I was unable to ascertain the Soviet opinion on the matter. D. then asked whether the Hungarian Delegation at the Peace Conference was already appointed. I told him that there was a plan under which the delegation would be composed of the Foreign Minister, the representatives of the parties and the experts but that this plan had not yet been finally discussed.






Budapest, Hungary, April 23, 1 946.


Dear Jimmie:


Supplementing my letter of yesterday, I now enclose translation of Notes by the Hungarian Foreign Minister, Dr. Gyongyosi, of a conversation on April 15, 1946 at Moscow between members of the Hungarian Delegation and Foreign Minister Molotov.

I also enclose translation of excerpts from the toast delivered by Stalin at a dinner for the Hungarian Delegation on April 16, 1946.

I enclose two extra copies of these two papers and would ask you to be so kind as to tum them over to Mr. Reber for the Department's files. I sent him duplicate copies of my letter of April 22, 1946 to you before I knew he would be with you in Paris, as I gather from today's radio bulletin.

With best regards, I am,


Very sincerely yours,



H. F. Arthur Schoenfeld

American Minister

Enclosures: (2) (In triplicate)

1. Translation of Notes by Hungarian Foreign Minister dated April 15, 1946.

2. Translation of excerpts from toast delivered by Stalin on April 16, 1946.


The Honorable

James C. Dunn,

American Deputy to the

Council of Foreign Ministers,

Paris, France.



*Box l00, RG-43, N.A.









April 15, 1946.


April 15.


Prime Minister, Foreign Minister, Molotov, Pushkin, Kemeny Secretary of Legation,

Grigorjev Secr. of Legation

Molotov, replying to the questions raised in Moscow by the Hungarian delegation, first spoke about the Czechoslovak and Romanian problems. In his opinion these questions should be settled by negotiations directly with the countries concerned. In connection with Romania he emphasized the fact that it would not be advisable to submit the question to the Peace Conference, without having it first discussed with Romania.

Gyongyosi said – after the Prime Minister stated that Hungary agrees with Molotov's suggestion and will attempt to realize it – that the plan involves difficulties. He indicated that both C SR and Romania will have elections soon and their governments would have difficulties with public opinion if they agreed prior to elections with any proposal which might be unpopular. This circumstance also affected the Prague negotiations, as although the negotiators could have agreed on many points, they were handicapped by politics. This is indicated also by the protocol of the Prague negotiations by the sentence that any problems which cannot be solved through negotiations will be submitted internationally. Hungary has already had elections but the public opinion represented by the majority party is just as difficult to handle as in Romania. If direct negotiations do not lead to a positive result, the Government will be accused of having made an error and that it would have been better to submit the question to the Peace Conference. Therefore, Hungary is able to negotiate the matter directly only if the Soviet Union is ready to initiate these discussions.

The Prime Minister interrupted and said that he believes it is desirable to have a mutual agreement between the two interested countries and in his opinion, if the countries do not agree, they must be made to agree.

Gyongyosi then asked in connection with Romania which of the two countries should propose to start negotiations. Molotov said that it was only natural that the proposition should come from the country which has more interest in the matter, in this case Hungary. Gyongyosi then asked whether the Soviet Union would approve of such an initiative. Molotov gave an affirmative answer. The Prime Minister then said that all South Eastern democracies have troubles and that Hungary understands the difficult position of the Groza government and that it is in Hungary's interest to have Groza remain on his post. However, it is natural that Hungary is most interested in her own troubles. Molotov smiled in a manner which looked understanding.

Gyongyosi said that according to press news, the Romanian delegation had already been invited to the conference and it has arrived in Paris, accompanied by a substantial documentation. Molotov said this was just a sensational report on the part of correspondents and that Hungary will be also invited and that Romania will not be in a more favorable situation than Romania at the Peace Conference (sic). Prime Minister said he heard that the Romanians had taken to Paris two carloads of documents. Molotov said smiling that it is not the quantity of documents which will influence decisions in Paris. Prime Minister said that at the Peace Conference they will not even read 2 kilos of documents and that if decisions could be affected by the weight of underlying documents, Hungary would have difficulties due to her shortage in transportation.

On reparations, Molotov said that the Soviet Union agrees to extend the term of 6 years to 8 years. The term for the wool and cotton processing shall also be extended until the middle of next year. He is willing to permit returning home of sick PWs and correspondence with their families will also be permitted. Details will have to be discussed separately.

As regards railroad transportation problems, these shall be discussed by the competent ministries of the two countries.

Thanking for the concessions made by the Soviet Union as regards the question of PWs, the Prime Minister said that he would like to raise a concrete question in this connection. Molotov interrupted and said that the delegation would have another opportunity to see Stalin and on this occasion they may mention any further question which has not been discussed heretofore. The Prime Minister thanked him and said that the Red Army has made prisoners many people, who were not members of fighting units and who were not even soldiers. This is not a large percentage of the Hungarian PWs, they do not exceed 10,000, but as many are farmers and they are required for cultivation in Spring, the Hungarian Government would like them to be released exceptionally.

Molotov said he had not heard of this before and he wants to obtain information but in principle is in favor of the proposed solution, which must however first be discussed.

Pushkin interrupted and said that this matter had been mentioned in Budapest, he had asked for lists but the Legation has never received these lists.

Gyongyosi said that these lists were progressively forwarded to the Legation. Molotov interrupted and said that he would do his best to obtain a favorable solution of the matter.

Then Molotov said that the communique should be worded in common and that it should contain only generalities although satisfying Hungarian and Soviet public opinion. Then, technical details regarding the communique were discussed, especially as regards inclusion of the concession on the reparation term.

The Prime Minister thanked Molotov for Hungary having been able to obtain an important success on all matters dependent on the decision of the Soviet Union.








At present it seems that many medium and small countries are afraid of the Soviets. This fear is unjustified. Lenin stated that all nations, large or small, have their particular value and importance from the point of view of humanity. This principle still rules in Soviet policy. More than half of the Soviet population is non Russian, and consists of many nationalities. These nationalities enjoy complete autonomy and freedom.

The Soviets have always had sympathy for Hungary and always wanted to be on friendly terms with her. This was true even when the Hungarian regime was not democratic. Stalin then spoke about the Hungarian flags of 1849 which had been returned to Hungary by the Soviets in 1941. At that time, declarations made by Hungarians induced the Soviet to believe that Hungary was a real friend. In their simplicity the Soviet leaders did not know that this was only a fake. A few months after the flags had been returned, Hungary declared war on Russia. The fight was long and bloody. Horthy later was prepared to make an Armistice, but he had no character and energy. Szalasi continued the fight. Under such circumstances the Red Army could do nothing else than to fight too.

The Russian people have a debt towards Hungary. The Armies of the Czar helped the Austrians in 1849 to defeat the revolutionary Hungarian army. However, the Soviet Union, who executed the last Czar, Nicholas II, is not responsible for the sins of the Czarist regime.

He is now glad to know that the leaders of the Hungarian Nation are democrats and that they have come to Moscow. He emphasizes the fact that the Soviet Union always wanted friendship with Hungary, regardless of the latter's Government.

He then emptied his glass to the health of the friendly relations between Russia and Hungary.





April 25, 5 pm 1946


April 27, 4 am


From reliable source it is learned that at Foreign Affairs Committee of Assembly yesterday Gyongyosi stated Soviets had approved return of part of Transylvania to Hungary. At meeting with British MPs today Gyongyosi asked them to support this Hungarian claim. In reply they inquired what Great Britain could expect in return to which Gyongyosi could not provide satisfactory answer....





* Box 96, RG-43, N.A.

Schoenfeld's notes on a series of conversations held between the Hungarian delegation to Moscow and various Soviet officials. Conversations focused on primarily Hungarian populations abroad.

Document Information


Box 100, RG-43, N.A. Box 96, RG-43, N.A.


The History and Public Policy Program welcomes reuse of Digital Archive materials for research and educational purposes. Some documents may be subject to copyright, which is retained by the rights holders in accordance with US and international copyright laws. When possible, rights holders have been contacted for permission to reproduce their materials.

To enquire about this document's rights status or request permission for commercial use, please contact the History and Public Policy Program at [email protected].

Original Uploaded Date





Record ID


Original Classification