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To George G. Sadowski
December 9, 1944 [Washington, D.C.]
My dear Mr. Sadowski:
After my return to the War Department following our telephone conversation yesterday I went into the matter of an appointment for General Sosnkowski which you requested.1
I do not think it advisable that I should see him for the reason that the discussion must necessarily be political, at least by implication, and I must studiously avoid any action which might be interpreted as injecting me into problems of purely political considerations. That business is done on a higher level. My only concern with it is when called upon to express a view as to the military implications of proposed action.2
I am sorry not to be more accommodating, especially so in declining to meet a man of General Sosnkowski’s distinction. But I feel certain you will understand.
Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Pentagon Office Collection, General Materials, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Typed letter.
1. A four-term Democrat representing part of Detroit, Sadowski had told Marshall that that city’s Polish Daily News was pressing him to secure an appointment with Marshall for General Kazimierz Sosnkowski. The United States and Great Britain were involved in the protracted and difficult negotiations between the Polish government-in-exile in London and the Soviet government (representing the Polish Committee of National Liberation) regarding the creation of a new Polish government of national unity. The Soviet government had insisted that if serious negotiations were to take place, the government-in-exile had to remove several of its leaders from office; one of these was Army Chief of Staff Sosnkowski, who was replaced at the end of September 1944. (On this aspect of the Polish question, see Foreign Relations, 1944, 3: 1216-53.)
2. Regarding the proposed meeting with Sosnkowski, Marshall asked the head of the Civil Affairs Division, Major General John H. Hilldring: “Is it important that I do see him or that I do not see him?” Hilldring was opposed to the meeting: “It is safe to assume that Mr. Sosnkowski wishes to speak to you either about civil affairs operations of the Soviet Army in Poland, or Soviet political policy with regard to Poland. In neither of these matters has the U.S. Army any participation or responsibility. The relationship between the Polish Government-in-Exile . . . and the Soviet Government is presently most tense. . . The State Department, after informal discussion, prefers that you not grant the appointment.” (Marshall Memorandum for General Hilldring, December 8, 1944, and Hilldring Memorandum for General Marshall, December 9, 1944, GCMRL/G. C. Marshall Papers [Pentagon Office, General].)
Recommended Citation: ThePapers of George Catlett Marshall, ed.Larry I. Bland and Sharon Ritenour Stevens(Lexington, Va.: The George C. Marshall Foundation, 1981- ). Electronic version based on The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, vol. 4, “Aggressive and Determined Leadership,” June 1, 1943-December 31, 1944 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996), p. 687.