Memorandum by the Combined Chiefs of Staff to the Secretary of State and the British Embassy
The Combined Chiefs of Staff have been informed that the following text of a proposed warning to the Germans has been agreed by the heads of the American, British, and Soviet Governments:
“The Governments of the United Kingdom, United States of America and U.S.S.R., on behalf of all the United Nations at war with [Page 707] Germany, hereby issue a solemn warning to all commandants and guards in charge of Allied prisoners of war in Germany and German occupied territory and to members of the Gestapo and all other persons of whatsoever service or rank in whose charge Allied prisoners of war have been placed, whether in battle zones, on lines of communication or in rear areas. They declare that they will hold all such persons, no less than the German High Command and competent German military, naval and air authorities, individually responsible for the safety and welfare of all Allied prisoners of war in their charge.
“Any person guilty of maltreating or allowing any Allied prisoners of war to be maltreated, whether in battle zone, on lines of communication, in a camp, hospital, prison or elsewhere, will be ruthlessly pursued and brought to punishment.
“They give notice that they will regard this responsibility as binding in all circumstances and one which cannot be transferred to any other authorities or individuals whatsoever.”
The Combined Chiefs of Staff believe that in view of the existing situation in Germany this warning should be issued immediately.
Brigadier General, U.S.A.,Combined Secretariat