The Chief of the Division of American Republics Analysis and Liaison ( Dreier ) to the Director of the Office of American Republic Affairs ( Warren )

The study of the German problem in the other American republics which was initiated by Mr. Lockwood27 and Mr. Bosworth has not been completed because Mr. Bosworth was forced to return to the OIAA28 and to Bogotá. Consequently we do not have an overall picture of this problem, which would be highly desirable in connection with immediate problems on the internees. However, there are some points which I believe should be recognized in regard to this problem on the basis of such information as we do have.

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You will recall we recommended that we approach the problem of repatriating Germans on a multilateral basis by asking the Committee for Political Defense29 to draw up recommended criteria for determining which Germans should be allowed to remain in this hemisphere and which should be repatriated and prohibited from returning. This would have required our resumption of active participation in the Committee for Political Defense, which has not, however, proved possible for reasons with which you are fully familiar.
Proceeding bilaterally on this matter, we have encountered the very difficulties we feared, with increasing pressure from other countries to return Germans, regardless of their dangerous character, who have friends or relatives in other American republics. The issue is a straight political one, particularly since the other countries do not challenge the basis of classification of the Germans, but merely request they be allowed to return. If we are going to refuse these requests, which have strong political backing, we have to do so on the grounds that the evidence against these individuals is strong enough to outweigh purely political considerations of the kind advanced. Moreover, we must be satisfied that the aliens are being treated in a manner consistent with the treatment being accorded by this Government to aliens interned domestically.
On the score of the strength of our evidence, I believe there would prove to be, on detailed examination, at least some cases where the evidence would prove insufficient to overcome strong political pressure. Moreover, in regard to the methods employed in weighing such evidence, there is considerable divergence from the methods being employed by the Department of Justice, part of this divergence arising inevitably from the nature of the cases and part of it being due to different administrative practices such as the absence of an officially constituted board to act upon each case and, if necessary, to hold hearings.
There is also a need to consider the long-range objectives and consequences of our immediate action. In the long run the activity and attitude of Germans in the other American republics will depend upon developments in Germany and the line of thought which would be exported from Germany to German groups abroad when communications are restored. Moreover, in the long run there will probably be renewed emigration from Germany to the other American republics. It is therefore idle to think that we will solve the problems of Germans in the other American republics by sending back to Germany the Germans we now have in our hands, unless a continuing program of [Page 285] future controls is established. The indications are that this Government is not able to take such a course (as evidenced by our abandoning controls over commercial dealings with former Proclaimed List firms). Nor can we expect the other republics in peacetime to do even as much as the United States, particularly if we antagonize and embarrass the governments of those countries in regard to the immediate problem of repatriating internees.
My general conclusion, therefore, is that we should concentrate our efforts in this repatriation project upon a more carefully selected group of Germans whose records show them to be symbols or genuine leaders of Nazi activity and against whom we have strong evidence. On these cases, we should put up a strong opposition to political appeals for their return, and, inform other governments that we would give wide publicity to their appeals for the release of these Germans which would clearly contradict Resolution VII of Mexico City. The remaining Germans, including small fry and persons on whom we have weak evidence, should not be made the subject of a strong insistence on our part to their repatriation.
John C. Dreier
  1. John E. Lockwood, Deputy Director of the Office of American Republic Affairs.
  2. Office of Inter-American Affairs.
  3. Emergency Advisory Committee for Political Defense, with headquarters in Montevideo.