INCOMING TELEGRAM – DEPARTMENT OF STATE
From: HUDDLE, Bern, Switzerland
Dated: January 20, 1945, 3 p.m.
For: WRB from McCLELLAND.
Read: January 20, 11 p.m.
As reported in Legation’s 6818 October 12 Germans issued press denial of any intention to exterminate inmates of Oswiecim and Birkenau following contrary report brought out by Polish circles in London that time. I have never been able to receive reliable confirmation of reports circulated that orders have gone out to SS controlling Jewish camps to kill all internees who cannot be evacuated in front of Allied advance. (8 more paragraphs talk about Birkenau September and October, 1944 evacuations)
From: STETTINIUS acting for Department of State and War Refugee Board, Washington, D.C.
Dated: January 22, 1945, 10 p.m.
For: HUDDLE and McCLELLAND, Bern, Switzerland
Read: January 22
Reference Department’s 192 of January 13,
Irish Department of External Affairs, confirms that it inquired of German authorities concerning the rumor that Germans intended to liquidate the inmates at camps Oswiecim,Hoss, and Birkenau, and that the Germans replied that the rumor that it is their intention to exterminate the Jews in these camps is pure invention devoid of all foundation and that if the camps were to be abandoned their inmates would be evacuated. Please request Swiss Political Department to inform German Government that the above reply of German authorities to Ireland has been noted by the Government of the United States, and that this Government accordingly expects that Jewish and other survivors of these and other concentration, detention, and labor camps in Germany and German-controlled territory will be kept alive by German authorities. In view of the nearness of Oswiecim and Birkenau to the front, it is urgent that the above communication reach German authorities with the greatest possible speed.
STETTINIUS WRB: 1/22/45