740.00119 European War 1939/2644: Airgram

The Minister in Switzerland (Harrison) to the Secretary of State

A–293. Vague symptoms of desire certain German elements sound out possibilities early peace with Anglo-Americans, if not general peace, have been observed in confidential reports received from mid-April [Page 516]onward. Incoming emissaries seemingly charged with recommending procedure whereby United Nations might hasten end of war included Scapini,13 blind Vichy official, who sojourns much in Germany, and several German businessmen, one of whom from Stuttgart openly called twice at our Zurich Consulate General and another of whom used intermediary seek contact with British Consul General, Basel.14 Although varied in presentation, all recommendations had common substance which obviously was intended suggest that they originated in conservative German circles. Their general theme is summarized in my A–294 today.15

This mild incitement to peace by unimportant individuals who risks nobody’s prestige is probably Wilhelmstrasse activity to help extricate Germany from desperate position (cf. my 2259, April 1116). As German difficulties grow and become more insoluble, additional indirect peace probing can be expected.

Harrison
  1. Georges Scapini, delegate of the French Government for prisoners of war.
  2. Joseph Pyke.
  3. Infra.
  4. Not printed.