740.00116 European War/1241: Telegram

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

216. American interests, Germany. Legation’s 92 (34 to London) January 5. Swiss report Mr. Hencke, Under Secretary of State of German Foreign Office, states Government following with interest decisions Tehran Conference5 and is examining them with view determining whether they will provoke introduction new laws of war.

Communiqué given press conference December 22 in substance as follows: German military tribunals are consequently soon to consider cases of those American and British POWs accused of having committed war crimes without having been until now arraigned in court.

Swiss Legation Berlin states in latest telegram that Under Secretary of State and Chief of Legal Section of German Foreign Office6 unaware whether decision already taken to introduce procedure against “criminals of war” as announced.

Repeated to London.

Swiss representative duly informed Mr. Hencke that American Government plans strict observance, as heretofore, provisions Geneva Convention7 with respect treatment German POWs under its control.

  1. For documentation on the Tehran Conference, see Foreign Relations, The Conferences at Cairo and Tehran, 1943, pp. 459 ff.
  2. Erich Albrecht.
  3. Prisoners of War Convention, signed at Geneva, July 27, 1929, Foreign Relations, 1929, vol. i, p. 336.