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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 401

efforts in his behalf. Continue every practicable effort to secure
commutation or at least stay of sentence and communication to you of
the evidence for consideration by the Department.
862.1121 Hirsch, Helmut/54: Telegram
  The Ambassador in Germany (Dodd) to the Secretary of State
                                   BERLIN, June 3, 1937-6 p. m.
                                     [Received June 3-2: 38 p. m.]
  129. Department's 54, June 2, 7 p. m.'4 Every possible effort has
been made to prevent execution. Secretary Mackensen reported to me
at 5: 30 that von Neurath had advised the Chancellor on Tuesday
morning that Secretary Meissner had done the same this morning and
had repeated my advice against execution this afternoon. All in vain;
no attention paid to our Government's wishes. The man is to have
his head chopped off tomorrow morning at sunrise. No evidence has
as yet been given to us.
362.1121 Hirsch, Helmut/56
  -          Memorandum by the Secretary of State
                                      [WAsHINGToN,] June 3, 1937.
  The German Ambassador called upon my invitation in order that
I might make a final appeal to him and his government either for a
commutation of the death penalty imposed upon Helmut Hirsch, who
is sentenced to be executed in Berlin on tomorrow, June 4, 1937, or, to
secure a delay of the execution in order that this government might
have an opportunity to become more fully acquainted with the record
in this case. I rested my appeal on several grounds, but on two in par-
ticular,-first, the youth and inexperience and highly nervous and
emotional temperament of Hirsch, and, second, that the penalty is
unusually and unnecessarily severe. In the event of adverse action on
this appeal for clemency, the request was repeatedly emphasized for a
delay in the execution for the purpose aforesaid. I emphasized my
view at the outset that, of course, the German Government has the
fullest and unquestioned right and privilege to enact and administer
its own laws pertaining to its security and safety; that it is not my
purpose to make any unreasonable request in the instant case or a
request that would in the least interfere with the proper course of
security and justice as administered by the German Government. I
  1 Not printed.

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