851.4016/9: Telegram

The Chargé in France (Matthews) to the Secretary of State

1078. From Paris. The Paris press of October 2 carried an ordinance signed by “the Head of the Military Administration in France for the Commander-in-Chief of the (German) Army” dated September 27, which contains the following provisions:

Persons with more than two Jewish grandparents are considered to be Jews. Grandparents having professed the Jewish faith are considered Jews.
Jews “who have fled from the occupied zone” are forbidden to return.
Every Jew must report before October 20 to the sub-prefecture of the district of his usual domicile or residence for registration.
Every business owned or operated by a Jew shall display by October 31 a poster in German and French reading “Jewish enterprise”.

[Page 566]

As the measure is a military ordinance issued in occupied territory, I am of the opinion that there is only one reply that the Embassy can make to American citizens of Jewish extraction who inquire whether they must comply with these provisions, namely, that as the inquirers have voluntarily placed themselves under the jurisdiction of the laws and regulations applicable to the territory there is no way under existing circumstances that the American authorities may protect them from laws and regulations that are not discriminatory no matter how much we may deplore those measures.

If this does not meet with the Department’s views please instruct. Barnes.32

  1. Maynard B. Barnes, First Secretary of Embassy in France.