740.00116 European War 1939/74: Telegram

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

223. Following from Biddle.

14. September 19, 10 a.m.

1.
Subsequent aerial bombardment and aerial machine-gunning of Krzemieniec on September 12, Papal Nuncio called meeting of the mission chiefs for the purpose of obtaining their consent to address to His Holiness the Pope a collective protest. During meeting which was called in part expressly to be close to dugout, we were forced twice to seek refuge therein due to flights of low flying German planes which on these occasions terrorized but refrained from bombing or machine-gunning community. It was the consensus of opinion that these pilots were reconnoitering to ascertain exact damage of bombing or photographing for future attacks.
2.
It was sense of meeting (a) that instead of making collective protest as first proposed by the Nuncio each mission chief would inform his respective Government of the facts in regard to agnostic bombardment and (b) that the Nuncio make a record of our agreement to do so. The collective protest failed because the Italian Ambassador and the Spanish and Bulgarian Ministers refused, that they could not do so without instructions from their respective Governments.
3.
Accordingly verification of this bombardment could be secured through the Vatican and Governments of neutral countries represented at this meeting should they be willing to disclose the substance of their representatives’ reports.
4.
Dutch Minister accredited to Poland understands that his Government made [apparent omission] in Berlin based upon his report of September 12, aerial bombardment of Krzemieniec.

In confirmation and support of reports already submitted regarding the bombardments other than military objectives I am giving herewith individual statements of the officers of my staff as in scrap [escape?] by stages from Warsaw to the Polish-Russian frontier we [Page 557] proceed along the southwardly route separately or in small groups for safety and in order to avoid attracting attention.

[Here follow individual statements of staff, which have been omitted.]

[Biddle]
Gunther