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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 403

862.1121 Hirsch, Helmut/55: Telegram
The Conmsul General at Berlin (Jenkine) to the Secretary of State
                                    BERLmN, June 4, 1937-10 a. m.
                                       [Received June 4-7 a. m.]
  Helmuth Hirsch was executed, beheaded, at 6 o'clock -this morning
in the Ploetzense prison. Yesterday afternoon I requested authorities
to permit me and Geist to see Hirsch immediately after he had been
informed of forthcoming execution and chief prosecuting attorney
arranged to meet us last evening -at prison at 7: 15. However, when
he arrived he informed me Ministry of Justice could only permit me
to see Hirsch if Hirsch expressed a desire to see me. I said, neverthe-
less, I maintained my request as I desired to know if Hirsch had any
message for family. Geist and I then remained at prison awaiting
possible request from Hirsch but none came. Nearly 2 hours later
the prosecuting attorney came out and informed us that Hirsch had
not expressed a desire to see me, that he had asked for a cup of coffee
and permission to write to parents and several others which requests
were granted. Prosecuting attorney also said that Hirsch was calm
and that a Jewish Rabbi was with Hirsch and would remain through-
out night. Consulate General has informed Hirsch's parents in
Prague and is arranging cremation of body.-
                                    -    -             ~~~~JENKINS
362.1121 Hirsch, Helmut/57: Telegram
  The Ambaseador in Germrany (Dodd) to the Secretary of State
                                    BERLIN, June 4, 1937-3 p. m.
                                    [Received June 4-12: 35 p. m.]
  131. Embassy's 129, June 3, 6 p. m., Consulate General's telegram
of June 4, 10 a. in. Neurath and Mackensen -in Foreign Office, and
Meissner in the Chancellor's office gave every indication of wanting
to be helpful and of being desirous of commutation of Hirsch's sen-
tence. In fact Meissner saw Hitler twice on the matter yesterday in
connection with your telegram asking for -postponement and an op-
portunity to examine the evidence. I have nothing to complain of on
that score.
  On the other hand I do feel that we were not shown a proper con-
sideration with regard to seeing the evidence in the case when I offi-
cially requested it on the Department's instruction. In brief an Amer-
ican citizen has been executed for treason in the face of repeated re-
quests for clemency by our Government and without an opportunity
for the American Government to see a line of documentary evidence.
  The Consul General informs me that according to German law in
cases of this character the evidence must be kept secret in order to

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