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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 399

Simpson 7 had been lecturing in the United States in a fashion derog-
atory to the German Government. Simpson's action may prevent an
exercise of clemency of which in our opinion there was otherwise a
fair chance. It would be helpful for us to learn that Simpson had
abandoned any such activities.
  Both the Consulate General and ourselves doubt the desirability
of suggesting an examination of Simpson [Hirsch?] to determine
whether he is in a normal state of mind. Geist,8 who saw the prisoner,
felt there was no foundation for such action. Both he and ourselves
also believe that it would not be wise as we feel that the general
humanitarian plea is the only one which could have a chance of suc-
cess. Furthermore, the Department may observe in our note to the
Foreign 'Office (Embassy's telegram 85, April 26), that we did not
mention'Simps'on's- [Hirsch's?] own plea for clemency. This was done
purposely on what we consider the best advice, the idea being that
the American Government should take action entirely on its own.
862.1121 Hirsch, Helmut/46: Telegram
  The Amtbassador in Germanny (Dodd) to the Secretary of State
                                      BERLIN, June 1, 1937-noon.
                                    [Received June 1-9: 10 a. m.]
  123. Referring to my telegram No. 120, May 29, G p. m. and 21
[121 ], May 31, 11 a. m.9 An interview yesterday with von Neurath 10
revealed the fixed purpose of Hitler to execute Hirsch in a day or
two and to publish evidence afterwards. I reminded him that Hirsch
was an American citizen and that public opinion would be affronted
by an execution of one who had not been caught actually endeavoring
to commit the crime charged; and I emphasized the wisdom of pub-
lished evidence before conviction and of moderate treatment of a
20 year old fellow who had not performed the act that was charged.
I stressed the fact that our State Department had kept the press
quiet for a month and that the press people here had also reported
none of the conflicting stories which had come to them from Praha.
Neurath said there was no hope even though it involved German-
American relations but he promised to report my conversation to
the Chancellor to whom I had made appeal on April 30th. There
is a possibility of a few days delay.
  MFor correspondence on the Simpson case, see Foreign Relations, 1936, voL
n, pp. 291 ff.
'Raymond Geist, Consul at Berlin.
'Neither printed.
'0 Konstantin von Neurath, German Minister for Foreign Affairs.

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