894.48B/22: Telegram

The Consul at Kobe (Dickover) to the Secretary of State

Replying to Department’s telegram 3d.24 Yokohama completely destroyed by earthquake and fire, no business houses nor homes remaining standing. Consulate general collapsed and burned killing Kirjassoff and wife, Vice Consul Jenks, Kuribara,24a and Russian clerk. Kirjassoff’s two children, Vice Consuls Sturgeon, Nason, and Wardell and Miss Martin safe. Naval Hospital destroyed, Commander Webb badly injured, pharmacist Zembsch and wife killed, and two enlisted men reported killed. Owing to complete destruction of city, lack of food and water, and danger from hunger-driven and uncontrolled Japanese, all foreign residents are proceeding to Kobe. Four refugee vessels have arrived already. Miss Martin with Kirjassoff children has arrived, and Nason, Sturgeon, and Wardell expected today. Ambassador Woods and entire staff of Embassy Tokyo reported safe and well. Approximately half Tokyo destroyed by fire, and some foreign residents proceeding to Kobe. Kobe residents have raised funds and are working day and night to assist refugees but funds insufficient for lengthy period and aid desired. Tokyo and Yokohama banks not functioning and funds should be sent to me through International Banking Corporation. Suggest send $50,000 for relief destitute foreigners. No estimate can be made of aid required by Japanese in Yokohama and Tokyo as communications still out but shall communicate with Tokyo as soon as possible regarding most necessary requirements. Shipping Board steamships being used for relief of foreigners, and I have offered two vessels to Japanese authorities. President Jefferson will leave today with about 300 destitute Americans and aliens who will need assistance [Page 469] at Seattle. America[n] dead so far as now known, in addition to those before mentioned, are Elizabeth Dodson of Kingston, North Carolina, and Bess and Richard Mandell of Cleveland, Ohio, but several others believed killed. Further lists later. Owing complete disorganization Tokyo district, necessary use Kobe as center consular activities in Japan for some time to come.

  1. See footnote 23, p. 467.
  2. Kuribara was injured, not killed.