740.00119 Control (Germany)/1–1216

The Acting Secretary of State to the Acting Secretary of War (Royall)

My Dear Mr. Royall: I attach a series, in copy or paraphrase, of telegrams and other reports from representatives of this Department in Europe relating to the repatriation of German officials, German agents and obnoxious Germans as called for by the Resolution of the Allied Control Council at Berlin which was addressed to neutral countries on September 10, 1945 and was subsequently transmitted to the United Nations by a note of the Control Council, forwarded through channels of this Government.

According to the reports from the United States Political Adviser for Germany, the American military authorities in Germany, after a prolonged discussion, came to the conclusion that they should not facilitate the repatriation of Germans in accordance with the Control Council Resolution unless, first, quadripartite responsibility was acknowledged and, second, a scheme was developed for the equitable financing of that repatriation on a quadripartite basis. The first condition has apparently been met but the Political Adviser doubts the feasibility of arriving at an arrangement for equitable financing. [Page 803]Both he and this Department’s other representatives clearly believe that the military decision referred to imperils the chances of success for the entire program. I am inclined to share their views.

For example, despatch no. 1249 of December 5, 1945 from the American Embassy at Madrid,38 reports that the Spanish Government, after months of negotiation, has finally brought itself to agree to the repatriation of obnoxious Germans. The Embassy at Madrid, having achieved this agreement, is in urgent need of providing facilities for the repatriation of such Germans in the immediate future if it is not to lose the results of these negotiations and if Allied prestige in Spain is not to be irreparably damaged.

The paraphrase of a report from the American Embassy at Lisbon shows that the American Embassy there feels that the military authorities in Germany are unwilling to cooperate in the repatriation of Germans, that Allied prestige at Lisbon is imperiled thereby and that there is no use in continuing efforts for the repatriation of Germans until the attitude of the military authorities in Germany is changed.

The report of the American Embassy at London under date of December 2138 indicates the belief of specialists in the subject that Allied success in obtaining control of German external assets for reparations purposes is imperiled if key German nationals are not promptly repatriated. Numerous other reports from military, naval and diplomatic sources abroad, which are understood to be available to the Military Intelligence Service, clearly indicate that there is extreme danger of a renascence of Nazi activities in such places as the Iberian Peninsula, Argentina and China with ensuing political, economic and military danger unless effective repatriation measures can be carried out in the near future. According to War Department correspondence that has been made available to this Department, General Wedemeyer39 has ruled that the removal of dangerous Germans from China is a matter of military necessity.

So far as concerns funds to defray the cost of repatriating Germans, there are now available to the Allied diplomatic missions in the neutral countries in Europe liquid German assets more than sufficient to finance the transportation to Germany of the German nationals falling within the scope of the Control Council Resolution if only the means of transportation can be made available. The ruling of General Wedemeyer that the removal of the Germans from China constitutes a military necessity is understood to establish military responsibility [Page 804]for the cost of repatriation of these Germans. On the grounds that such removal is necessitated by international commitments of this Government and by considerations of its political, military and economic security, the Department of State is willing to approach Congress or take any other necessary steps to find funds for the removal from the Western Hemisphere of obnoxious Germans whose repatriation can be effected through the cooperation of the other American republics. The British Government, as is evidenced in the report dated December 22 from the American Embassy at London,41 is willing to bear its part in the program. The Department concurs in the opinion of the British Foreign Office cited in that report that in terms of facilities and expenses the British Government has already contributed more than any other government to the repatriation of obnoxious Germans.

In view of the important objectives which are at stake I hope you will agree with me that no step which can effectively be taken, by this Government or by any other government irrespective of the distribution of expenses, to repatriate any Germans or category of Germans falling within the scope of the Control Council Resolution should be deferred. If you are in agreement I should appreciate being informed of any steps which you may find it feasible to take to facilitate the provision of facilities for transportation to Germany and reception in Germany of obnoxious Germans whose repatriation the representatives of both our Departments stationed outside Germany may be able to arrange under the program of the Allied Control Council.

Sincerely yours,

Dean Acheson
  1. Not printed.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Gen. Albert C. Wedemeyer, Commanding General, United States Forces in the China Theater.
  4. Not printed.