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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

Ethiopia,   pp. 679-717 PDF (13.5 MB)

Page 683

pointed when he was attacked. He also had identification paper
issued by the Italian authorities to all Legation servants. However,
soldiers paid no attention to either and shot three other natives in his
  3. Italian authorities finally sent one white soldier and one Askari
to guard front gate of the Legation at 8 o'clock last night. They
would of course have been entirely useless in a serious emergency but
they informed me that orders have been issued to the Black Shirts not
to burn any more houses. None were in fact burnt in our immediate
neighborhood but further away several big blazes were clearly visible
and the shooting continued for several hours during the first half of
the night.
  4. Chief interpreter of the British Legation, an Ethiopian subject,
was arrested and has so far not been released. Likewise some 50
British subjects mostly Arabs and Indians.
  5. Thirty-eight native servants of the French Legation who had
been forcibly removed from its compound on Friday have not yet
  6. It is conservatively estimated that at least 3,000 harmless natives
have been killed in and near Addis Ababa during the last 3 days and
that 2,000 houses have been destroyed. Moreover thousands of trees
which this treeless region could ill afford to lose have perished in the
765.84/5188: Telegram
The Minister Re8ident in Ethiopia (Engert) to the Secretary of State
                          ADDIs ABABA, February 22, 1937-3 p. m.
                               [Received February 24-9: 50 a. m.]
  53. My 51. I just happened to be the eye witness of a revolting
scene: I was driving in my car when one in front of me suddenly
stopped obliging me to stop too. An Italian colonel jumped out and
for no apparent reason rushed at an elderly native and two women
[apparent omission] had overtaken a moment before. With oaths
and shouts of "I'll make you beasts crawl in the dust before me"
began belaboring the man's face with his horse whip until he was
covered with blood and prostrated himself before him and with out-
stretched arms begged for mercy. The colonel then turned on the
women who were already kneeling and was beginning to strike them
with his whip when I blew the horn of my car (as if wishing to pass
his) so loudly that he stopped and noticing the two American flags on
my car he looked embarrassed and drove off. In his blind fury he had
evidently not seen my car and realized too late that I must have wit-
nessed the entire performance.

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