740.00116 European War 1939/10: Telegram

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

1004. My 997, September 1, 7 p.m.18 I am in receipt of a note signed by the Minister for Foreign Affairs quoting a message from the Chancellor, of which the following is a translation, with the request that it be transmitted immediately to the President:

“Berlin, September 1, 1939.

Dear Mr. Chargé d’Affaires: With reference to your note of today, in which you communicated to me a message from the President of the United States concerning the bombing of non-military objectives, I have the honor to convey to you below the reply of the Reich Chancellor to this message:

‘The view expressed in the message of President Roosevelt that it is a humanitarian principle to refrain from the bombing of non-military objectives under all circumstances in connection with military operations, corresponds completely with my own point of view and has been advocated by me before. I, therefore, unconditionally endorse the proposal that the governments taking part in the hostilities now in progress make public a declaration in this sense.

For my own part, I already gave notice in my Reichstag speech of today that the German air force had received the order to restrict its operations to military [Page 544] objectives. It is a self-understood prerequisite for the maintenance of this order that opposing air forces adhere to the same rule. Adolf Hitler.’

I should be very grateful to you if you would communicate the above answer immediately to President Roosevelt.

I avail myself, etc., etc. Ribbentrop.”

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