The Swedish Minister ( Ekengren ) to the Secretary of State

No. 5652

Excellency: I have the honor to request Your Excellency to kindly convey the following communication, which I have received today through my Government, to the President of the United States:3

“To the President of the United States of North America,

Mr. Wilson:

“In your last message4 to the peoples freed from the old Austrian State and the previously ruling dynasty, you drew the line of conduct in obtaining and securing the liberties of the Nations of Austria upon the principle that the several nations must refrain from violent invasion of the rights of other nations. You have repeatedly and solemnly made it known that the right of self-determination of all nations was the underlying principle of the North American people’s participation in the work of liberation of the peoples. In the name of two and one-half million Germans in Bohemia who appealing to that right of self-determination consider themselves a constituent part of the free German Republic, we enter the most earnest protest against the oppression to which our territory is subjected through the armed forces [Page 378] of the Czech States. It is plain that the Czech State wants to lead by force and exaction the German population to relinquish its right of self-determination and to create a situation which forestalls a free agreement of the peoples on the peace conference. We turn to the whole civilized world, when we call upon you, Mr. President, to witness those acts of violence and imperialistic encroachments of the Czech States loudly claiming the right solemnly proclaimed by you of self-determination for the nations, and we lay before you our claim that you stand by us in the fight forced upon us and do not permit that we be barred of our right of self-determination by the use of force. Let no doubt stand that the claims of the Czech nation must come to a halt and not have preference over the indisputable rights of German Bohemia no matter what the situation be which the Czech Government has in the meanwhile created by resort to force.

“In the name and by the direction of the National Representation of German Bohemia:
Dr. Lodgmann, Seliger, Maixner.”

Accept [etc.]

W. A. F. Ekengren
  1. The following is a translation of the German text quoted by the Minister; the file translation has been revised. A translation was sent to Colonel House in Department’s telegram No. 100, Nov. 30, 1918, 3 p.m.
  2. See telegram No. 3275, Nov. 5, 1918, 4 p.m., to the Minister in Switzerland, Foreign Relations, 1918, supp. 1, vol. i, p. 470.