841.857 Athenia/46: Telegram

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

1982. My 1948, November 4, 2 p.m.91

1. In reply to an inquiry which the Naval Attaché to the Embassy had the opportunity to make informally yesterday an official of the German Ministry of the Navy said that the Navy’s investigation of the Athenia case had consisted in inquiring of each U–boat commander upon his return to port whether his submarine had sunk this vessel. As stated in my 1275, September 16, 3 p.m.,91 Grand Admiral Raeder informed the Naval Attaché that all commanders had reported in the negative and the German official stated that once it had thus been definitely established that no German U–boat had torpedoed the Athenia the investigation was considered closed as far as the Navy was concerned and the Navy now has only an academic interest in how the ship was sunk.

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