The Greek Minister (Diamantopoulos) to the Under Secretary of State (Welles)

My Dear Mr. Secretary: Monday last2 I had the opportunity of submitting to the State Department a cabled message of Prime Minister Tsouderos of Greece to President Roosevelt describing the awful situation of the Greek people from the viewpoint of foodstuffs.

In this letter I shall limit myself to the statement, based on reliable sources, that the number of deaths from starvation in Athens and Piraeus alone, run from 600 to 1000 daily, most of whom are children. Moreover, there is information given by a German newspaper to the effect that the Medical Society of Athens has requested permission of the Oecumenical Patriarch, religious head of all Orthodox people, to cremate the dead, due to lack of time to bury them as required by the established Orthodox ritual.

In the face of such tragic conditions, I venture to suggest to Your Excellency, who has always been kindly interested in all matters affecting Greece, that the American Government take advantage of the presence in the United States of The Right Honorable Winston Churchill3 to further investigate the possibility of giving immediate relief to the suffering Greek people.

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May I be permitted to believe that Greece, having waged its heroic struggle against the Axis Powers in the pursuit of the common victory, shall be deemed worthy, today when the entire Greek race is vitally threatened, to receive a token of special consideration on the part of the two great nations, who alone are in a position to give her practical relief in her present plight.

Hoping that Your Excellency will concur in the timeliness of my suggestion, I remain

Yours sincerely,

C. P. Diamantopoulos
  1. December 22, 1941.
  2. The British Prime Minister was in Washington to confer with President Roosevelt.