740.0011 European War 1939/9661: Telegram
The Minister in Greece (MacVeagh) to the Secretary of State
[Received 8:15 p.m.]
185. The German Minister98a telephoned the Premier98b shortly after 5 o’clock this morning and was received about a quarter to 6 when he read a brief statement to the following effect: Germany considers that Greece has taken an unneutral course ever since the outbreak of the war and especially since allowing the debarkation on her soil of British troops in considerable numbers. For this reason Germany is not [now] obliged to brush aside the Greek forces on the frontier and enter the country. This entry does not mean that Germany is hostile to Greece or the Greek people but only that she intends attacking the British.
The German Minister has been instructed to demand his passports and to hand over German interests to the Swedish Chargé98c from whom I have received the above information. The Chargé d’Affaires thinks hostilities began about 5 o’clock.
Popular demonstrations like those which marked the commencement of the war with Italy are already beginning here.