740.00116 European War 1939/61: Telegram

The Minister in Rumania ( Gunther ) to the Secretary of State

200. Following from Biddle.

Z–5. September 15, 9 a.m. For the President.

With reference to (a) your telegram to President Moscicki at outbreak of hostilities regarding limitation of aerial bombardments to military objectives and (b) Moscicki’s reply thereto. While latter is personally cabling you his observations upon incontestable facts concerning Germany’s failure to adhere to the aforementioned principle, Beck advises me to cable you his own conviction (based upon tragedies he personally witnessed at various points) that from the outset Poland [Page 555] has been the “victim of methodical bombing of open towns which, unfortunately in too many cases, have been defenseless and of absolutely no military interest to adversary.”
In view of what the members of my staff and my family and I have experienced and witnessed I find it difficult in many cases to ascribe the barbaric aerial bombardment by German planes to anything short of deliberate intention to terrorize the civilian population and to reduce the number of child bearing Poles irrespective of category.
Our Military Attaché and his companions witnessed on their recent tour of Siedlce–Brest Litovsk region three distinct instances wherein unjustified bombarding took place.
Reference my telegram of September 12. My further investigation of outcome of bombardment of Krzemieniec reveals that the low flying planes which dropped bombs close to and directly in front of our Embassy also (a) dropped incendiaries in center of town; and (b) machine-gunned the open market place killing, to my knowledge, a woman and child and wounding several others; (c) dropped diminutive parachutes wherefrom were suspended glass bulbs and other small containers which being suspected of containing bacteria are now under official laboratory inspection. [Biddle.]