740.00115 EW/5–1745

The Acting Secretary of State to the Diplomatic Representatives in the American Republics

Sirs: The following letter is being sent to the Attorney General:

“The American Ambassador at Rio de Janeiro12 and the American Embassy at Habana have requested this Department to provide them with a statement respecting the policy of the United States Government in carrying out the release or repatriation of interned German nationals. There are indications from our Missions in the other American republics that the announcement by this Government of its policy toward German internees is awaited with considerable curiosity and will be followed as a guide by the other American republics in dealing with the obnoxious Germans residing in their territory.

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“From the point of view of our post-war relations with the other American republics and our long-range economic and political interests in Allied and neutral countries throughout the world, it is considered most desirable that the Germans who form the core of Pan-German economic and political penetration of other countries should be compelled to return to Germany. You will recall that this point of view was partially set forth in my letter to the Secretary of War of May 8, 1945 a copy of which was provided you for your information and comment. It is increasingly being brought to the attention of this Department that effective cooperation of other governments in achieving the objective referred to above can be obtained only if the United States Government takes a lead in this matter.

“Informal inquiries have been received from the British Embassy regarding the policy of this Government toward the repatriation of undesirable Germans and suggesting the possibility of a joint Anglo-American effort to effect the world-wide repatriation of undesirable Germans.

“In order to enable me to answer inquiries from our Embassies abroad and to discuss possible plans for concerted action with the British Embassy at Washington, I should greatly appreciate receiving at your earliest convenience an expression of your views upon this most important subject.”

You will be informed of the response to the above letter.

The Department desires that you proceed promptly to compile a list of German nationals in the country to which you are accredited who should be sent to Germany if it becomes practicable to carry out the program foreshadowed in the second paragraph of the above letter. You should use as the bases of your list (1) the lists of dangerous German nationals approved for internment in the United States by representatives of the Alien Enemy Control Unit, Department of Justice, to the extent that such lists exist in your Embassy and (2) the records of your Proclaimed List Section. Please consult and collaborate with your British colleagues.

The lists, when completed, should include all known agents of Germany, all propagandists for Nazism or Pan-Germanism, all research experts and students, all scientifically skilled persons and all persons qualified to hold superior executive posts in commerce or government. As self-declared political nonassimilables, they should include all other categories of persons who sought repatriation to Germany during the period of hostilities.

Aliens included on lists under (1) above may still be sent to the United States for internment pending onward transportation to Germany. They may be accompanied or followed by their immediate families who are also Germans. Transportation to Germany will be provided as soon as military authorities are able to accept Germans from abroad.

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Other Germans cannot be accepted in the United States at present. Transportation facilities available at the time when SHAEF13 agrees to receive them will determine whether they will proceed direct or through this country.

Please report in the near future your estimate of the extent to which this program, if activated, may be successful in the country to which you are accredited. When the lists are compiled report the number of the individuals concerned, the number of dependents who might accompany them and the proportion whose expulsion may be expected if the country to which you are accredited cooperates (a) effectively, (b) moderately, (c) superficially.14

Very truly yours,

For the Acting Secretary of State:
J. C. Holmes

[On July 14, 1945, President Truman issued a proclamation which authorized the Attorney General to order the removal from the United States of alien enemies designated in certain previous proclamations whom he deemed to be dangerous to the public peace and security of the United States through adherence to enemy governments or the principles of those governments. For text of proclamation, see Department of State Bulletin, July 22, 1945, page 107, or 59 Stat, (pt. 2) 870.]

  1. Adolf A. Berle, Jr.
  2. Supreme Headquarters, Allied Expeditionary Force.
  3. Transportation problems and other factors delayed action, through the close of 1945, on this plan for repatriation to Germany of dangerous German nationals interned in the American Republics.