840.48 Refugees/3799: Telegram

The Minister in Sweden (Johnson) to the Secretary of State

1610. British Minister69 has sent me a memorandum in which he says he discussed with Adler-Rudel before latter left and with Boheman subsequently question of asylum in Sweden for about 20,000 Jewish children from German-occupied countries (see Legation’s 1235, April 17, 2 p.m.;70 1281, April 20, midnight, and references mentioned). Boheman stated it would greatly assist Swedish Government in proceeding with this problem if it could have assurances from [Page 305] British and American Governments that arrangements would be made to remove children from Sweden as soon as possible after war. Adler-Rudel told Mallet it would be of assistance if British and American Governments could permit additional foodstuffs to enter Sweden through Goteborg to help support these children. Adler-Rudel also referred to fact that Swedish Government was not prepared to bear whole financial responsibility. Mallet mentions decisions of Bermuda Conference which recommend, in principle, that British and American and other Allied Governments should give a joint undertaking to neutral governments that maintenance and eventual removal of refugees would be guaranteed.71 It was pointed out to him, however, that Allied Governments could hardly bind themselves to give any assurance to removal of these children to places outside Europe since to do so would amount to acquiescence in German Government’s Juden Reich [Judenrein?] policy.72

Mallet is accordingly instructed to inform Boheman confidentially that decision of Swedish Government to approach German Government concerning asylum for 20,000 Jewish children is considered a human gesture highly appreciated by British Government; that British Government will give sympathetic consideration to question of allowing additional foodstuffs through Goteborg to support children, but with respect to request that assurances be given concerning their removal after war British Minister can only say that this will no doubt be part of international problem at that time, and that British Government cannot now bind itself to a particular ultimate destination for them inside or outside Europe.

British Minister states that he wishes me to be fully conversant with situation before making confidential memorandum to Boheman along above lines. He adds that when he makes this communication he will take opportunity to find out why Swedish Government which has shown generous attitude to refugees in past now seems concerned with financial responsibility in this particular plan. Mallet’s memorandum also referred to decision at Bermuda Conference.

  1. V. A. L. Mallet.
  2. Missing from Department files.
  3. See telegram No. 2631, April 26, 3 p.m., to the Ambassador in the United Kingdom, p. 165.
  4. See Foreign Relations, 1939, vol. ii, pp. 574 ff.