840.48 Refugees/7–1044: Telegram

The Chargé in Spain (Butterworth) to the Secretary of State

2389. Department’s 1889, July 4, 3 p.m.13 Embassy has been informed by Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs that subsequent to receipt of our note 2410 of May 11 Ministry instructed Spanish Embassies in Berlin and Vichy to endeavor to obtain return to Vittel persons reported to have been transferred to unknown German prison but no positive results have as yet been reported.

High official of Ministry has also stated that all Spanish diplomatic and consular representatives in areas under German occupation or control including Hungary have been instructed to render all possible assistance to Jews and other persons in imminent danger of death or persecution regardless of nationality and that their efforts have been responsible for the saving of an unknown number of lives.

Spanish Government has already been instrumental in saving from imminent deportation to Poland approximately 500 Sephardic Jews [Page 1092] who have been allowed to leave German concentration camps and proceed to Spain on strength of documentation provided by Spanish diplomatic and consular representatives. Majority of these persons have been transferred to Fedhala center and Spanish Government is now negotiating with German Government for similar release of additional 160 Sephardites together with group consisting of approximately 50 Jewish Rabbis and their families. It is also cooperating with representatives of Jewish organizations in Tangier in effort to bring 500 Jewish children out of Hungary to temporary haven in Spanish Morocco.

Embassy has throughout endeavored to keep Spanish Government fully informed as to attitude of United States Government in these matters as set forth in numerous telegrams from Department and War Refugee Board and can report that Spanish Government itself appears to be seriously concerned over inhuman persecution of innocent persons and disposed to cooperate in their rescue.

Repeated to Lisbon by courier.

  1. See message quoted in telegram 5269, July 4, 9 p.m., to London, p. 1087.