862.414/4–1745: Telegram

The Ambassador in France ( Caffery ) to the Secretary of State

2694. From Murphy. The books of the Foreign Office political archives, located at Meisdorf, Degenershausen, Falkenstein and Stolberg, Germany, have been evacuated to Marburg and are secured there.58 The German FO officials in charge of the documents, together with their families, were moved with the documents. At present they are not allowed unsupervised access to the documents. The documents are in charge of the American CIOS representative Carpenter59 and British FO representative Thomson. Thomson says British FO hopes by examination of these documents to prove [Page 1105] that Germany has been planning for this war for the past 20 years. The documents comprise practically all political records from 1870 to date, excepting the most current ones. Do not believe that Thomson’s optimism in finding what he wants is especially justified, since the most interesting information is probably not on record. There are, however, four small packages with the documents containing notes on conversations between Hitler and Mussolini which should be of considerable interest. The documents were transported in as good order and sequence as was possible under the circumstances but it will still take considerable time before they can really be properly arranged and indexed. The most secret documents were packed separately from the others and the investigation thereof will not be unduly delayed. [Murphy.]

  1. On April 17, 1945, Ambassador John G. Winant, the American Representative on the European Advisory Commission, circulated Draft Directive No. 19 in the Commission. This Directive specified, among other things, that all records and archives of the German Foreign Office were to be seized wherever found and secured, and that all records were to be examined by the Control Council “for the purpose, among others, of obtaining information regarding the war aims of Germany and associated governments, their methods of operation, and their responsibility for aggression, ruthlessness, war crimes and other violations of international law.” For text of Draft Directive No. 19, see p. 474.
  2. Gardner C. Carpenter, a member of the Department of State CIOS team.