New York (Oct. 24)
Officials of the State Department, either through stalling or deliberate suppression of information, sabotaged U.S. offorts to save tens of thousands of Jews from German-occupied Europe, it is charged by former Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau, Jr., writing in the current issue of Colliers.
Morgenthau says that Washington knew as far back as Aug., 1942, that the Nazis were planning to exterminate all the Jews of Europe, but State Department inaction and hostility prevented anything from being done until Jan., 1944, when President Roosevelt created the War Refugee Board after the situation had been made clear to him by Morgenthau and other officials of the Treasury Department and by Dr. Stephoz S. Wise.
The former Treasury head reveals that the first word of Hitler’s plan to wipe out European Jewry roached here in Aug. 1942 in aeport sent to Dr. Wise by Gerhard Riegner, Swiss representative of the World Jewish Congress. Dr. Wise brought the report to the attention of then Under-Secretary of State Sumner Welles, who checked with the U.S. Ambassador in Berne, who secured further reports from Riegner. The public reaction to the news was so immediate and united that the State Departme in an attempt to ease the pressure on it, instructed our Ambassador in Berne not to transmit further reports, Mr. Morgenthau charges.
Mr. Morgenthau reveals how the State Department stalled for five months, despite approval by President Roosevelt, on a plan to send funds to Switzerland to be used to bribe Nazi officials to allow 70,000 Jews to leave Rumania and France. After the Department’s objections that the funds, which were to remain in Switzerland, would aid Germany, had been termed incorrect by then Secretary of State Hull, the officials finally agreed, but then allowed the British Ministry of Economic was fare to further delay the transmission of funds by repeating the already-discarded argument that the Nazis would be aided.
The article reveals that the British added bluntly that they were also unenthusiastic about the project because it would result in difficulty in finding place for the refugees – obviously thinking of Palestine. Only a direct appeal to all finally forced the Stato Department to approve the project.
Finally, in January, 1944, Mr. Morgenthau went directly to President posevclt with evidence of the State Department’s “gross procrastination” and deliberate failure to take action to save the Jews, who were being exterminated at the ##te of 6,000 a day. As a result of this visit to the President, the War Refugee ##ard was created, which succeeded in saving some Jews.
Mr. Morgenthau concludes with an appeal to the government to admit to the ##S. large numbers of displaced persons, the pitiful few survivors of the nearly ##ccessful plan to wipe out Eueopean Jewry, He also asks that Catholic and Pro##stant DP’s be offered haven here.