740.0011 European War 1939/34447: Airgram

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

A–294. Believing Anglo-Americans, not to speak of Russians, intend either deport or massacre them, German masses in despair, can only gather more around detested Nazi leaders. Consequently it behooves Anglo-Americans take lead among United Nations and publish clearcut terms for surrender German armies and cessation of war, to broadcast terms to German troops and people and to communicate them to Pope through religious organizations and neutral governments. German leaders should be confronted with two alternatives, either accept last chance surrender or bear responsibility before own people and world opinion for horrible carnage which would follow invasion and massive air bombardments of continent. To promote chances acceptance their ultimatum, Anglo-Americans must envisage several-day suspension of hostilities. Wehrmacht should be specially urged save Germany by overthrowing Nazis and preserving order in country. Popular will to prolong war would be greatly weakened were Stalin to proclaim immunity German people as a whole from maltreatment in the event of German collapse. Avoidance by Allies of utterances which stifle hopes German people for future self-administration and which persuade German soldiery they will as group be [Page 517]held equally guilty with Nazi and SS, would much shorten war and spare hundreds of thousands soldier lives both sides. Finally, by ending war this year German-occupied Europe would be saved from anarchy.

Paralleling this pioneer peace work, propagandists from Germany carried on another campaign to spread conviction.

1.
German will to fight is unbroken.
2.
Each war industry has two idle plants elsewhere Germany in reserve which in the event of substantial air-raid damage to principal plant receive its workers and start production.
3.
German material and men under arms are still adequate prolong war more or less indefinitely. And
4.
To invade continent would cost paralyzing losses in invader lives and if successful would only encounter masses of massacred civilians and wasted areas in former German-occupied countries.
Harrison