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United States Department of State / Foreign relations of the United States diplomatic papers, 1944. General

Application of the principle of unconditional surrender to Bulgaria, Hungary, and Rumania,   pp. 580-613 PDF (12.3 MB)

Page 582

  The impression that Bill and I have got from the two conversations
with Molotov is that the Soviets want us to take the initiative in con-
nection with Bulgaria but that we can count on their cooperation and
assistance if a definite proposal is presented to them.
  As a result, Bill has prepared specific recommendations to the Joint
Chiefs-of-Staff which he is forwarding to them with copy to you for
your information. I concur in these recommendations.
740.0011 European War/32572: Telegram
The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in the Soviet Union
                           WASHINGTON, January 25, 1944-2 p. m.
  144. Personal for the Ambassador. Your 43, January 6, 4 p. m.
I took up with the President the question of the desirability of defin-
ing the term "unconditional surrender" 13 which Molotov raised
you on December 31. In his memorandum in reply 14 the President
stated that he does not favor the idea of any discussions for the pur-
pose of defining the term "unconditional surrender" since he feels
any definition which might be agreed upon now would probably have
to be modified or changed the first time one of our enemies indicated a
desire to surrender. He believes that since the Soviet Union, Great
Britain, and the United States have agreed not to make any peace ex-
cept after mutual consultation, the case of each individual enemy coun-
try should be considered on its merits on that basis. The President
further suggests that for the propaganda effect on the German people
utilization should be made of that portion of his Christmas Eve
speech'15 which referred to future treatment of the German people (I
am informed you have the text of the President's Christmas Eve
speech). In the President's opinion the best definition of the meaning
of the term "unconditional surrender" is to be found in the account
Lee's surrender to Grant with which you are familiar.
  When a suitable occasion presents itself you might inform Molotov
that this Government does not consider it wise to attempt at this time
to make any general public definition of the term "unconditional sur-
render" but rather to deal with the case of each individual enemy
country as it arises.'6
  Repeated to London.'7
  13 See memorandum by the Secretary of State, January 14, p. 493.
  14January 17, ibid.
  15Address by President Roosevelt in a radio broadcast from Hyde Park, N.Y.;
for text, see Department of State Bulletin, January 1, 1944, p. 3.
  "I In his telegram 273, January 27, noon, Ambassador Harriman stated
he would
carry out the instructions (740.0011 European War/32897).
  "As telegram 606.

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