Manuscripts/Mixed Material Interview with George L. West
WEST: That's right. The Germans had gone in. All the legations were Axis countries, so to speak, except for two neutrals, Sweden and Switzerland, and then the U.S. and Brazil. There was the black sheep of a prominent family (sent about as far away as they could get him from Brazil) who was the Brazilian Charg�.
Along about Easter, '43, we got instructions, because we were surrounded by Germans. Everybody who came in the legation was photographed right across the street. We weren't allowed out of the city. We could go downtown.
We did go to the consular luncheons, which were something, because all the Consuls were Finnish citizens, and this was their opportunity to really put it on, foodwise, liquorwise.
The Germans were... Mannerheim would never meet with Hitler.
Q: Mannerheim was the Marshal who was also [President of the Republic] the head of [?]
WEST: A great man. He told us our codes had been compromised. We'd known that. I think they were compromised in Yugoslavia, actually. He was very standoffish, but the Germans were very much in occupation. You can't blame the Finns after the Winter War. Any enemy of the Soviet Union was their enemy. But things were pretty rough for the people there.
Then came Easter of '43, and the department instructed us to break relations with the Finns. That Easter weekend I was over in Stockholm, with my former colleagues out on my old boat on the M�laren sailing.
McClintock was authorized to break relations within 48 hours. He was to convert money, Finnmarks, into dollars. He got his wife out. She was pregnant and came over to Stockholm.
I was in constant communication with him during this period. Then a message came through to Sweden. The message was: If you have not already done so, do not, repeat, not break relations.
The responsibility for the Katyn massacres finally had been recognized as the Soviets'. And they did not want that to be associated with our breaking relations with the Finns.
Q: The Katyn massacres were the massacre of Polish prisoners of war by the secret police of the Soviets.