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United States Department of State / Foreign relations of the United States diplomatic papers, 1937. The British Commonwealth, Europe, Near East and Africa

Germany,   pp. 319-405 PDF (32.6 MB)

Page 376

             Memorandum by the Secretary of State
                                    [WASHINGTON,] August 5, 1937.
  The Ambassador called by request before sailing for Germany for
a vacation. He said he desired first to express his appreciation of the
courtesies and kindnesses which he had uniformly received from
everybody, and especially the officials of the Government, during his
stay here; that he desired to say that German visitors to this country
for one purpose or another have all expressed their same experience as
to the kindliness and courtesy and friendliness of the American people
with whom they came in contact.
  I replied that for some generations large numbers of German people
came to this country and made a splendid contribution to the task of
building the nation,-materially, politically and in all other respects;
that they made a uniformly favorable impression, especially on the
Anglo-Saxons and similar groups who were such outstanding factors
in founding and building the nation. I then remarked that as to the
present period, there are, of course, certain things taking place in
Germany, especially as they relate to the religious strife, which do
not meet with the approval by any means of everybody in this country
or of any considerable number of people (in fact of people in the same
country, who very radically disagree at times); that also, while more
or less regional, the repercussions from the racial strife are noticeable.
I added that, of course, I was not referring to the merits of any of
these occurrences. I said that the more intelligent and thinking peo-
ple of this country look upon these racial and religious occurrences
more as a matter of temporary abnormality or the outcroppings of
highly wrought-up emotions, especially in view of the past history
of the German people and of our experience of old in this country; that
the people here still prefer to think of his people as the German people
of the days of Schiller and Goethe and of the other famous philoso-
phers and teachers and leaders of the past, rather than in terms of
what they conceive to be the temporary abnormal situation of the
present day; that people here are, therefore, still hoping and believing
that the old German type will reassert himself in Germany; and that,
in the circumstances, I was expressing in a spirit of frankness my un-
qualified personal opinion as to the public mind of this country in
the foregoing respects.
  The Ambassador expressed his gratification for my statement and
showed no disposition to take issue,-in fact, one could well have
suspected that he appraised the situation in the same manner, although
I am not so intimating.
  The Ambassador, in commenting, said he realized that we have
freedom of the press, but that he had had considerable difficulty in

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