740.0011 European War 1939/3766: Telegram

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

1836. The American Minister at Bern81 telephoned the Embassy at 2:15 p.m. this afternoon that he had received the following telephone message from Ambassador Bullitt at 11:30 a.m. Swiss time with the request to transmit it to this Embassy for immediate communication to the German Government:

“Paris has been declared an open city. General Hering, Military Commander of the Paris District is withdrawing his army which has been defending Paris. All possible measures are being taken to assure a security of life and property in the city. The gendarmerie and police are remaining and the firemen are also remaining to prevent fire. General Dentz is remaining as Commander of the Paris area but without troops simply with the gendarmerie and the police.

“Ambassador Bullitt is remaining in Paris with the gendarmerie, Military and Naval Attachés, the Counselor of Embassy and six Secretaries of Embassy as the representative of the Diplomatic Corps. Mr. Bullitt hopes to be of any assistance possible in seeing to it that the transfer of the government of the city takes place without loss of human lives. This entire communication is made at the personal request of General Dentz.”

The sense of the message was communicated by telephone to Secretary of State, Weizsaecker, who asked that it be communicated personally and in writing to him at 4:15 this afternoon.

In addition to a note communicating the foregoing, I am sending a separate communication to the Foreign Office repeating the information concerning plans of the Ambassador and a portion of his staff to remain in Paris.

Since dictating the foregoing, I have received another telephone call from the American Legation in Bern which stated that Mr. Bullitt had said that he was without radio or cable communication with the United States.

  1. Leland Harrison.