362.1113/12: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Germany (Dodd)

126. Your 162, October 12, 10 a.m. I did not feel it wise to follow out in full your suggestion of a warning statement; nor can I authorize you to be too specific as to our future course of action. I did, however, have a long and earnest talk with Luther this morning on the questions arising from the recent assaults on American citizens in Germany. I pointed out the difficulty of understanding the inaction and seeming indifference of [Page 393] the German Government in a matter of this seriousness. There have now been twelve or more instances of assault in which so far as we have been informed there have been no convictions either of the assailants or of the police who had been derelict in their duties. I explained that whereas I had every desire to avoid the necessity of issuing a public statement to the effect that in going to Germany American citizens undertook certain risks, nevertheless if this attitude of passive acquiescence toward such assaults on the part of German officials continued, it would be difficult to avoid taking some affirmative measure.

In your representations to Neurath tomorrow, I feel that you should emphasize particularly: (a) the necessity of adequate disciplinary measures, and (b) wide publicity of the action taken with a view both to being a deterrent and to bringing home to the German public the complications that these incidents are producing in Germany’s relations with a friendly country.