851.00/2438: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Chile (Bowers)

447. Your 576, November 4, 9 p.m. and 577, November 5, 9 a.m. If you perceive no objection, please address the following note to the Foreign Minister: [Page 42]

Excellency: I have the honor to refer to Your Excellency’s note of November 4, 1941 with which Your Excellency advised me that on October 24 the Government of Chile requested the Government of Germany to refrain from applying the death penalty to numerous French hostages threatened with execution in reprisal for the assassination of two officials of the German Army of occupation.

The Government and people of the United States of America have suffered the deepest revulsion to the unhuman practice of executing innocent persons. The brutality inherent in the Nazi system is revealed again in the orgy of frightfulness that has been let loose by the uncontrolled passions of desperate men in an effort to break the spirit of freedom-loving people.

The Government and people of the United States of America sympathize deeply with the high principles of humanity and justice which have animated Your Excellency’s Government in its courageous and Christian effort to alleviate the tragic situation of those unfortunate persons who, though innocent of crime, are held in bondage by the Government of Germany as a means of terrorizing into submission the governments and peoples of occupied countries.

The President of the United States on October 25, the day following the representations of the Ambassador of Your Excellency’s Government at Berlin, expressed our horror, emphasizing that civilized peoples long ago adopted the basic principle that no man should be punished for the deed of another. A copy of the President’s statement is enclosed.”11

  1. Department of State Bulletin, October 25, 1941, p. 317.