740.00116 EW/8–1644: Telegram

The Chargé at Algiers (Chapin) to the Secretary of State

2693. I have received communication dated August 14 from Massigli of which following is summary.

Reference is made to Massigli’s note of June 6 regarding crimes committed by Germans in occupied territory (my despatch 351, June 16)27 and to suggestion contained therein that United Nations issue warning to Germany.

Since then situation has worsened as indicated by massacres in France.

Being sure of reflecting expectation of endangered populations “I venture to insist that the position already taken on this subject by the Allied governments be confirmed as quickly as possible in the form of a common declaration and reinforced by an appropriate propaganda activity.”

Request is made for information as to action United States Government considers it possible to take and to facilitate carrying out French suggestion there is enclosed proposed text of statement to be issued.

Following is summary of draft statement enclosed with note.

Governments of Allied Nations are determined to manifest their intentions of giving most rigorous effect to statement published at Moscow November 1, 1943. In face of particularly revolting crimes which have again been perpetrated on innocent populations and defenceless prisoners Allied Nations recalling statements made by President of United States of America March 24, British Foreign Secretary March 30, confirm their determination to seek, apprehend and punish all enemy nationals who on occasion or under pretext of war ordered, planned, authorized, committed, assisted or tolerated commission of such crimes.

Besides crimes openly committed more under-handed crimes such as systematic under-nourishment of civilian populations, prisoners or deportees would meet with pitiless punishment. Governments of Allied Nations give German authorities solemn warning. They are determined in every case to impose punishment which will be exemplary [Page 1243] and proportional to acts committed. (Sent to Ampolad 41 London 281.)

Finally they invite Germans who do not wish to be associated in responsibilities implied in such crimes to do everything in their power to disassociate themselves from real criminals and to ensure their punishment.

Full texts by airmail.28

Duff Cooper has received similar communication contents of which he has cabled to Foreign Office.

  1. Not printed; for a summary of the note of June 6, see airgram A–178, June 16, 11 a.m., from Algiers, p. 1232.
  2. Despatch No. 483, August 19, not printed.