The Ambassador in Paraguay (Frost) to the Secretary of State
[Received March 30.]
Sir: I have the honor to request that the Department advise the Embassy whether or not Colegio Alemán, Asunción, Paraguay should be recommended for inclusion in the Proclaimed List of Certain Blocked Nationals.
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Control of the German schools in Paraguay was exercised by Unión Germánica through the German School Association prior to the closing of the German Legation. The Association received funds and supplies from the German Legation. It is evident that the Society was nothing more than an instrument of the Nazi party operating under Unión Germánica, the major instrument of the party in Paraguay. It is known, too, that the German School Association controlled Sociedad Escolar Alemán which in conformity with Paraguayan law operated Colegio Alemán. Seven of the ten members of the board of directors of the German School Association were Nazi party members.
When the German Legation was closed in 1942 the Asociación Alemán de Ayuda Social was formed. It is known that this is a Nazi organization and that Colegio Alemán receives substantial financial aid from it.
The school’s board of directors is composed of fifteen persons, twelve of whom are German. The administration is entirely in the hands of German personnel: the Director, the Secretary and four of the teachers in the most important positions are members of the Nazi party. It is evident from what has been said above that from 1933 until the closing of the German Legation in 1942 the school was under control of the Nazi party. That it is still under that control is apparent from [Page 1490]the fact that it continues to receive aid from the Nazi organization, Asociación Alemán de Ayuda Social; from the fact that some Nazi teachers are still in the staff of the school; because its administration and internal control has not changed since the closing of the German Legation at the end of 1942 and the dissolution of Union Germánica in late 1943. As a final proof of Nazi control, a letter was written within the last several months from the school to its president, at that time vacationing in Argentina. The president of the school board replied and advised the vice-president that the school board should hold its annual meeting without his being present but directed that before any action be taken, Reimer Behrens, the leader of the Nazi party in Paraguay, should be consulted. There is no doubt that the Nazi party has complete control of Colegio Alemán.
This information has been established by investigations conducted by the Office of the Legal Attaché of this Embassy.
Colegio Alemán is recognized as one of the best schools in Paraguay and many Paraguayans who occupy important economic and political positions in the country were educated there. It is highly probable that these individuals, as well as the parents of children now attending the school, would resent any action taken against it. There is also the fact that the school operates under a substantial deficit and that this deficit is met from private sources rather than by the government. If this private support (from a Nazi organization) were to be withdrawn either the Government would have to assume an additional financial burden which it can ill afford, or the school’s activities or curriculum would have to be curtailed. There is even the possibility that the school might close and it must be admitted that its loss would seriously reduce the available educational facilities. It should be mentioned too that despite what has been said above about the school it is being conducted today in a conservative manner and there are no known indications of Nazism. It no longer displays the German swastika and Hitler’s pictures have been removed from the classrooms. Parents of the numerous Paraguayan children who attend the Colegio would in view of this, and in view of the fact that the Colegio is not a commercial organism, would feel “blacklisting” to be inappropriate; so that a substantial number of Paraguayan enemies might be created.
On the other hand, Colegio Alemán has been since approximately 1933, and is still, under Nazi control. It still receives substantial financial assistance from a Nazi organization and still has Nazi personnel in key positions. It remains as a nucleus for revivifying Nazi activities if ever the opportunity arises. It is doubtful that listing the [Page 1491]school would cause it to close down or materially reduce its enrollment but there is an opinion in the Embassy that it should be placed on the Proclaimed List as a matter of principle despite the fact that listing will not materially harm it.
I shall greatly appreciate it if the Department will inform the Embassy as soon as possible of its opinion in the case.