740.00112A EW/11–444: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Winant)

9237. Reurdes 18248, September 27.96 The Interdepartmental Proclaimed List Committee has reason to believe on the basis of available information that German authorities may be planting German technicians and specialists in key positions in firms in neutral countries with the purpose of providing a base for perpetuating Nazi influence. The Committee believes that in line with the September 26 statements97 the Proclaimed and Statutory Lists represent appropriate means of combatting this move by the Nazis and should be used until more effective measures are formulated. Listing should, of course, be directed to the more significant cases and to persons suspected of being vehicles of Nazi ideology or subject to German governmental control or direction and not to those whose activities are purely commercial and have no political implications (although admittedly in view of the control of all German industry by the German Government some difficulty would be encountered in making such a distinction.)

It is suggested that the mission in each neutral country be asked whether it has any evidence that German specialists and technicians are being placed in firms in the country to which it is accredited with the possible effect of preserving or promoting Nazi influence. The missions should be requested to report with some particularity the present extent of any such activity and any indication of the scope and direction that such activity may take in the future. The missions should also be asked to supply the names of any persons whom they would recommend for inclusion in the Proclaimed List on this basis together with a short statement of the facts upon which they base such recommendations. It is suggested that you refer to Department’s circular airgram of August 2397a which suggested enemy [Page 196] technicians as an item for study in connection with the Safehaven project.98

If any action is taken with respect to this matter it may be desirable to consider issuing appropriate publicity in order to warn neutral employers against employing persons in this category.

For the reasons herein stated, the Department agrees with the recommendation of the British and American Embassies in Madrid that Alberto Knipping and Dr. Erich Schuessler be included in the Proclaimed and Statutory Lists.

Please keep the Department currently advised of all developments with respect to this matter particularly the reaction of the British authorities to the views expressed herein.

  1. Not printed; it dealt, in general, with the possible listing campaign against enemy technicians infiltrating into neutral countries where they might build up Germany’s post-war economic potential; in particular, with the cases of Alberto Knipping and Dr. Erich Schuessler, German technicians in Madrid, both of whom were recommended for the Statutory and Proclaimed Lists by the British and American Missions in Madrid, a recommendation approved on September 15 by the Black List Committee in London (740.0012 (Black List)/9–2744).
  2. See circular telegram of September 21, p. 188.
  3. Post, p. 220.
  4. For documentation concerning inception of the Safehaven program, see pp. 213 ff.