740.0011 EW 1939/33540: Telegram

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

1529. From Tittmann.

80, March 7. My 73, March 3.17 Note from Vatican dated March 7 states in translation:

“On the evening of March 1 some bombs were released from an airplane in the immediate proximity of the State of the Vatican City. Four of these fell on the property of the International Augustinian College of Santa Monica and the Pontifical Urban College of Propaganda where seminarists from every part of the world are living and caused damage to buildings and injuries to some persons. The explosions likewise damaged the Oratory of Saint Peter and the Holy [See?] office building, the domicile of four Cardinals and High Prelates of the Roman Curia, both of which buildings enjoy, as do the preceding ones, the privilege of extraterritoriality. Then in the Vatican [Page 1285] City itself, whose territory—sovereign and neutral—is unfortunately flown over frequently by aircraft, many bomb fragments fell and broke some windows of the Raphael Loggias. The Holy See, therefore, finds it necessary deeply to deplore once again air raids of this nature which are made on extraterritorial buildings, obviously without military equipment or objective of any kind whatsoever and in the immediate vicinity of the Vatican City and the dwelling place of the Holy Father himself.

The Holy See once again calls the attention of the belligerent parties to these ill-advised deeds (gesti in consulti) and would like to hope that whoever it may concern will not delay in adopting all necessary provisions to the end that such painful and deplorable exploits, which history will severely condemn, shall not be repeated.”

  1. Not printed.