860F.00/645: Telegram

The Chargé in Germany (Geist) to the Secretary of State

172. I saw Dr. Woermann of the Foreign Office this morning and informed him that I had noted in the press the Chancellor’s proclamation and the agreement between the authorities of Czechoslovakia and the Reich and the newspaper reports of other events now taking place in Czechoslovakia and requested whatever information he could give concerning these matters. Dr. Woermann stated that he was not in a position to give any definite information with regard to the status of Czechoslovakia beyond what had appeared in the press and that he thought decisions would be rapidly made and the status clarified in several days. He informed me that instructions had been given to allow diplomatic missions and consulates in Praha to continue to communicate with their governments; that Herr Ritter had been appointed diplomatic liaison officer whose headquarters would be at the German Legation in Praha.

I brought up the question of the protection of American citizens, their property and their interests in Czechoslovakia, and Dr. Woermann said that he considered the commanders of the German forces in Moravia and in Bohemia would be responsible in those districts; he was unable to make any statement with regard to the responsible authorities in Slovakia or Ruthenia with respect to the protection of properties of foreigners. He believed that any questions arising could be discussed with Herr Ritter in Praha until the status of all the territory concerned became clear.