711.62115 AR/11–1745: Telegram

The Ambassador in Nicaragua (Warren) to the Secretary of State

714. Final paragraph of memorandum of conversation dated November 736 between Cochran CCA and Nicaraguan Chargé Sevilla37 refers to question of German internees in US sent from Nicaragua and other American Republics.

Embassy appreciates idea of justice behind setting up of new unit in Department specifically to review cases of German internees. It most respectfully points out, however, that the net result of this action will be to do (a) injustice to Nicaraguan and American officials who during the war conscientiously endeavored to find out who were our German enemies (b) injustice to hemispheric solidarity and defense in the Americas (c) injustice to Nicaraguan-American relations and especially (d) injustice to the Nicaraguan and American peoples.

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These Germans were picked up and deported on insistence from Washington. Deportation was made with approval and active assistance of Nicaraguan Government (our officers acting at that time were thinking of imminent peril to us). They took no one whom Nicaraguan public opinion did not brand as Nazi. Nazi activities were such that Nazi nationals were short in documentation and long on precaution. Certainly every German move was based on the Nazi scheme of subversion. When Department in 1945 instructs Foreign Service in the sense of its instruction 110, November 2,38 it is being as unrealistic as we were before Pearl Harbor. It does not make sense to call on our Foreign Service in November 1945 to document German cases arising in 1941 and 1942. A document is a piece of paper that has value because it conveys information about human activities or interests. Sixty million Germans have written the pages of World War II’s history. German internees from Nicaragua made clear to their neighbors that they stood square with that history as the Fatherland wrote it. That is the document and it bears the authentication of the civilized world.

If Department insists upon additional documentation, it may as well give up attempt to prevent resurgence of Pan-Germanism in American Republics. All cases have been reviewed repeatedly. It is not just or proper to review them again solely in light of paper evidence obtainable in 1945. Had we wanted formal documentation we should have requested it in 1941 and 1942. Had we done so it would not even then have been generally available. Had we insisted on its being obtained, we would probably have lost the war.

Referring specifically to Nicaragua, Government here has been trying to stand pat on deportation of persons who are generally conceived to be pro-Nazi. I am afraid that we shall shilly-shally until sufficient pressure can be brought on Nicaragua to force officials to ask for the return here of these internees. This return will mean reestablishment of preponderant German influence in Nicaragua. In other words, we are asking Nicaragua, the other American Republics and the people of US to run again the risk of the resurgence of German peril in order to pay transitory obeisance to formal documentation. We can be sure that not justice but injustice is about to be done.

  1. Not found in Department files.
  2. Alberto Sevilla Sacasa.
  3. The same, mutatis mutandis as instruction 123, November 2, to Lima, p. 287.