840.48 Refugees/5329a: Telegram

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

770. Department has in mind the fact that through various channels you have had approaches from one or more of the Governments of [Page 1002] Rumania, Hungary, and Bulgaria, and that you have channels through which messages can be conveyed to one or more of these Governments.

Through such channels, you are instructed to convey to the Governments of Rumania, Hungary, and Bulgaria, or any of them to which you may have such access, the following:

The United States Government is currently aware that these Governments are engaged in programs of persecuting their Jewish minorities and refugees of other nationalities who have escaped into their territories. Among other forms this persecution consists in sending such refugees beyond the borders of their own countries into Poland there to undergo various forms of cruelty and even death, dictated by Nazi degeneracy. Another form of persecution consists in the prevention of the escape of refugees to neutral countries where their lives might be preserved.

The United States Government is determined to do everything in its power to rescue such unfortunates who are in danger of death and to find havens of refuge for them. This Government views with great seriousness and will keep in mind in the future any continuation on the part of these Governments of the execution of these policies of Hitlerite persecutions. The position of the United States Government in this matter has recently been restated unequivocally by the President in establishing the War Refugee Board. (Department’s cable to Bern, no. 201 [251], January 2542). In the view of the United States Government these Governments, as well as their subordinates and functionaries, are fully responsible for the actions of persecution committed on their territories and should desist therefrom immediately in the interests of humanity. Further, they should be informed that they will be well advised in their own interest to take advantage of such opportunities as may be available to them in the future to permit refugees to depart across their borders into territories of any neutral countries which may be prepared to receive them.

Kindly endeavor to ascertain through appropriate channels that the substance of this message has been sent to the Governments in question, and the results, if any, of the representations.

Sent to Bern, Stockholm, Lisbon, Ankara, and Cairo for MacVeagh.43

  1. See footnote 22, p. 987.
  2. Lincoln MacVeagh, Ambassador to the Greek Government in Exile at Cairo.