In the early part of World War II American diplomats and other diplomats from countries not at war with Germany had very limited ability to observe what took place in territories conquered by Germany.1 One neutral observer, however, had a unique vantage point for judging Nazi efforts against Jews. The despatches of the Chilean consul in Prague demonstrate what someone with good connections and in the right place could learn about the onset of the Holocaust by late November 1941.
These reports are also relevant to the longstanding debate about how much the West learned of the Holocaust at the time, because the British secretly managed to obtain these Chilean despatches and shared them with American intelligence officials.
On November 25, 1941, Nazi Germany completed the legal process of denaturalizing Jews who had left Germany. According to the Eleventh Decree under the Reich Citizenship Law announced and published that day, Jews living abroad could no longer be German subjects (they had lost citizenship in 1935), and all remaining assets of German Jews residing abroad automatically and immediately became forfeit to the Reich. Expropriation, more than denaturalization, was the goal of this measure.2
A day before the Eleventh Decree was published, on November 24, 1941, the Chilean consul in Prague translated a portion of it for the benefit of his government. “The Jew [residing abroad] loses German nationality immediately… The fortune which the Reich obtains in this manner will serve to solve the questions in connection with Jews…” The consul then quoted a portion of another recent order in the Reich Protectorate of Bohemia-Moravia, barring unauthorized transfer or sale of property by Jews after October 10.3
These two specific regulations moved the Chilean diplomat to reflect in the same despatch and to report Nazi policy generally:
The Jewish problem is being partially solved in the Protectorate, as it has been decided to eradicate all the Jews and send some to Poland and others to the town of Terezin, whilst looking for a more remote place.
The German triumph [in the war] will leave Europe freed of Semites. Those [Jews] who escape with their lives from this trial will certainly be deported to Siberia, where they will not have much opportunity to make use of their financial capabilities.
In proportion to the U. S. A. increasing its attacks on the Reich, Germany will expedite the destruction of Semitism, as she accuses international Judaism of all the calamities which have befallen the world.
The exodus of the Jews from the Reich has not had the results prophesied by the enemies of Germany: on the contrary: they have been replaced by Aryans with obvious advantage to everything and in everything, except in the usury line in which they are past masters.
Although lacking details of most of the logistics of the Final Solution, in his last paragraphs this Chilean diplomat managed to capture the gist of Nazi goals on the Jewish question. Two months before the Wannsee Conference, he was able to forecast the destruction of “Semitism,” the clearing of Jews from Europe. Broad Nazi objectives were not perceived as vague rhetoric or metaphors – a conclusion reinforced by his reference to Jews who escaped with their lives to Siberia. Nazi Germany was pursuing a policy of genocide.
This report of Nazi objectives was so plain that the comment about Nazi reactions to American criticism seems a little askew. Nazi Germany would hardly adopt a policy of extermination as a result of American hostility toward Germany. On the other hand, it might blame the United States for its need to resort to the harshest measures, and it might possibly accelerate the timing of killing measures intended in any case.
The Chilean diplomat’s statement that Terezin (Theresienstadt) would serve as a temporary collection site for Czech Jews showed knowledge of specific plans first discussed among high Reich Security Main Office (RSHA) officials in Prague on October 10.4 Prague was a good spot in October 1941 for someone to try to get a sense of RSHA efforts on Jewish policy for other reasons too. While Hitler was secluded at his East Prussian headquarters during much of the summer and fall of 1941, and Himmler was either at his own headquarters nearby or touring sites near the front where his SS and police were in action,5 Reinhard Heydrich went to Prague. Hitler appointed him as Reich Protector of Bohemia-Moravia on September 27. From that point on, Heydrich operated not only as Himmler’s key subordinate on Jewish matters, but also as an independent authority in the Protectorate. He reported some matters directly to Martin Bormann to inform Hitler, and he had at least one private meeting with Hitler (October 25), at which he apparently gave a presentation.6
During this time period Hitler continually ranted and raved about removing the “Jewish menace” – in the Protectorate and elsewhere. 7 Himmler also explained to Slovakian government officials that he wished to help them solve the Jewish problem. Heydrich was well versed in what was expected, and he was in control of operations in at least one key region.
Prague, however, was no longer a capital of a country, and most foreign diplomats had long since departed, willingly or not. How did a Chilean consul come to remain in Prague? The standard work on Chilean diplomacy during World War II mentions that during 1940 Germany requested closure of Chilean consulates in Paris, Brussels, The Hague, Copenhagen, and Prague. The Chilean consul general in Hamburg, Eugenio Palacios Bate, took charge of the work of the closed consulates, but in 1941 he was able to reopen the consulate in Prague. It appears that Nazi attitudes toward Chile were more than correct – they were characterized as friendly – and the former Chilean consul in Prague, Gonzalo Montt Rivas, was able to resume his post. 9
Montt was a 48-year old career diplomat who had previously served in Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Britain, and the U. S. He also fought in the Paraguayan army during the Chaco War and was awarded a decoration. He went on to have a very successful career after the war, serving as the Chilean delegate to the United Nations and ambassador to Egypt.10 But his activities during the Nazi era have never been studied.
Montt’s reports from Prague reveal considerable access to the thinking of Nazi officials, mingled with some enthusiasm for Nazi policies. In June 1941, he quoted passages of a lecture given by Karl Hermann Frank, the number two Nazi official in the Protectorate: “The Reich has once again manifested its firm intention… of Germanizing all territories within its ‘living space.’ And experience has shown that the only practical means of achieving this object is to eliminate the native inhabitants, replacing them with its own co-nationals.”11 In September he reported the establishment of the Warsaw ghetto and forecast a similar solution for Jews in the Protectorate. After tracing the host of new restrictions forced upon Czech Jews, he characterized them as returning to their status several centuries earlier. He found it unsurprising that Germany had taken such steps: the Jewish element in Britain, the United States, and Russia had launched the war against Germany, hoping to destroy the Christian world, annihilate gentiles, and achieve world domination.12 One could hardly distinguish this perception from the Nazi world view.
In early October 1941, Montt forecast the fall of Leningrad and Moscow to German forces and thought Germany would obtain its most important objective in capturing the petroleum resources of Baku.13 In mid-November, he reported various executions of Czechs accused of subversive activities: Reich authorities were “determined to drown in blood every attempt, every plot, and every act or word, which threatens the security of the Great[er] Germany… [Germany is determined to Germanize the Protectorate. Unfortunately for the Czechs, they fall within Germany’s political orbit.] The history of the whole of Europe is made up of struggles of this kind. Some races disappear, being absorbed or destroyed by others more numerous, stronger, more intelligent, or possibly more fortunate.”14 Montt seemed to have little sympathy for the people and the country to which he was originally accredited.
In late November 1941, Montt sent word to the Foreign Ministry about local German press coverage of a recent agreement among Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, Brazil, and Bolivia not to accept illegal Jewish immigrants. If Jews had not received proper exit visas from their country of origin, they would not be allowed in. Montt added a warning about recent Jewish efforts to obtain Chilean visas from the consulate in Prague. Some of these Jews had claimed that their relatives or acquaintances in Santiago had succeeded in getting the Foreign Ministry to authorize visas for them. As far as he was concerned, however, even a “baptized” Jew remained a Jew: “baptismal water can cleanse original sin, but not the filth accumulated during centuries in ghettos everywhere.”15
These sentiments help to explain why German officials in Prague or in the Protectorate might have considered Montt a friendly observer, perhaps even a good drinking companion. They do not quite explain how he was able to get such good intelligence about Nazi intentions on the Jewish question.
There is, however, a good clue in the postwar testimony of Walter Schellenberg, head of the foreign intelligence branch of the RSHA, that his intelligence service had a number of South American diplomats “stationed in Berlin“ on its payroll. The procedure used with them was to invite them out and to encourage them to live beyond their means. Once they were in financial difficulty, they tended to talk readily to obtain assistance. When they left Berlin for another post, they became useful informants. Schellenberg specifically mentioned a Chilean diplomat named “Monte” as a paid collaborator.16
It turns out that there was no Chilean diplomat named Monte–Montt is the closest name to it.17 Another element of Schellenberg’s recollection was inaccurate too. Schellenberg thought that Monte had served in Germany, then gone to Lisbon, but Montt went from Prague to Switzerland–another neutral country. The basic principle, however, seems to be that Germany recruited some foreign diplomats, who then became particularly useful when they were assigned to other countries. It is likely then that Montt enjoyed excellent access to RSHA officials in Prague because he was considered one of them. Someone working for Schellenberg’s Foreign Intelligence branch (Amt VI of the RSHA) could be trusted with Gestapo secrets.
The information Montt picked up in Prague and sent to the Chilean Foreign Ministry leaked during the war. A set of his reports were found among recently declassified records of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), but most of them predated the establishment of OSS: they fell into the period of its predecessor, the Coordinator of Information (COI). Many of these reports contain a standard introduction, designed to conceal precisely how the information came into the hands of COI: “It has been learned from a most secret source.”
Today this line reveals more than it conceals – “most secret” was a British designation, not an American one. That British intelligence officials shared Chilean reports with their American counterparts was unsurprising, given the level of intelligence cooperation between the two countries. But how did the British obtain the Chilean reports?
The most likely channel–British interception (and decoding) of Chilean radio messages – turns out to be improbable. First, there is no evidence that Montt sent his reports by radio. Second, there is a substantial lag between the date of the various reports from Prague and the date COI received the British version. It is possible that translation took some time or that British intelligence simply turned them over to COI after some delay, but it is more likely that it took some time for the British to get access to get these reports. More often than not, the decoders at Bletchley Park succeeded quickly.
The most important clue turns out to be Montt’s name–or rather, the various mistaken British versions of it. Although at least one of Montt’s despatches has his name typed at the bottom,18 most have only a signature–really a barely legible scrawl. If one knows that Gonzalo Montt was the consul in Prague, one can make the signature out – with difficulty. It is invariably G. Montt, with the G resembling an E and the last “t” appearing uncrossed.
Many of the British intelligence reports given to COI simply do not name the Chilean diplomat, but there are some exceptions. A British report of September 13, 1941, passing along the Chilean despatch of June 24, 1941, gave the Chilean the name E. Morin.19 A British report of February 4, 1942, summarizing the Chilean despatch of November 15, 1941, listed him as E.C. Conti.20 The signature actually looks more like EC Conti than like Montt, but no one with the name Conti ever served as a Chilean diplomat.21 The man in Prague was always the same, that is, Montt.
The errors in reading the signature indicate that someone with links to the British got access to the actual paper despatches. Radio messages would have given the name – in code, to be sure – but even garbled British decoding would have produced a more consistent version of Montt’s name. It appears that British intelligence figured out a means to get access to the Chilean diplomatic pouch sent from Prague – and from other European cities.
Was there a British spy in the Chilean Foreign Ministry? Or perhaps a spy on the ship or plane carrying diplomatic pouches to the Western hemisphere? Did the censorship operation in Bermuda for private correspondence across the Atlantic expand into an espionage operation taking in diplomatic traffic? There are no clear answers at this point. But OSS records also contain British intelligence reports about other Chilean diplomats’ messages.22 With all of them, there is a substantial time lag between the date of the original Chilean report and the date of the intelligence report.
One later Chilean despatch from Italy also supplies an important addition to the historical record of the Holocaust–western if the report is accurate. On October 31, 1942, the Chilean ambassador to Italy, Ramon Briones Luco, informed his government that Heinrich Himmler, head of the SS and German police, had just visited Rome and spoken with Mussolini. According to Briones’s sources, Himmler had requested Mussolini to amalgamate the German and Italian police forces and to transfer to Germany all Polish, Czech, and Yugoslav Jews in Italy. Mussolini allegedly consulted his own police chief and declined to go along.23 Again the information about the Chilean message is described as having been learned from a most secret source.
Existing historical accounts of the private meeting between Himmler and Mussolini, which took place on October 11, 1942, are usually drawn from Himmler’s own detailed summary of the meeting.24 After covering various topics, Himmler gave Mussolini a version of Germany’s policy toward the Jews that was more invented than sanitized. Because Jews were the source of sabotage, espionage, and resistance–even women and children--they were being removed from Germany, the General Government of Poland, and other occupied territories. Mussolini supposedly agreed with Himmler that this was the only possible solution. Himmler then spoke of sending some Jews into concentration camps and using others for construction of roads in the East. The mortality was high, because these Jews had never worked before, Himmler said. The oldest Jews were quartered in old age homes as well as in a special ghetto at Theresienstadt, where they could live according to their taste. Another portion of the Jews had been pushed through the lines to the East, where the Russians had shot them. Himmler did not record Mussolini’s response to this misattribution of responsibility for mass murder.
It would not have been out of character for Himmler to follow up these comments with a request for Italy to turn over foreign Jews. And it certainly would have been like Himmler to have deleted any mention of his request in his own memo for the files, if Mussolini had declined to go along. If Mussolini had acceded, Himmler would have noted his triumph.25
A recent study of the Holocaust in Italy indicates that during their meeting on October 11, 1942, Himmler tried to get Mussolini to enforce his previous view that Italy could turn over to Germany the Jews in Italian-occupied Croatia. 26 In January 1943 Himmler tried to get the German Foreign Ministry to extract Italian Jews and foreign Jews from the Italian-occupied zone of France. 27 The Chilean report of late October 1942 seems at least plausible in this context.
By October 1942, the West had received partial information about the Holocaust from a multitude of sources, but Montt’s November 24, 1941, despatch came to the West in early 1942 – to the U. S. on March 20, 1942 – very early in the flow of information. Does it change what we know about Western governments’ knowledge of mass killings of Jews? There is some reason to be skeptical: why would any British or American official pay particular attention to the views of an unknown Chilean diplomat in Prague? In any case, both governments were so concerned about their formidable military problems that this item might have made no impression.
Even today it is impossible to track British government reaction (or lack of reaction) to Montt’s report of November 24, 1941, because this document has not been declassified in the United Kingdom.28 It is, however, possible to show that some British officials had other information leading to the same conclusions about Nazi policy, and that the Chilean document might have strengthened an emerging conclusion that the Nazis were carrying out genocide.
On January 22, 1942, the British Postal and Telegraph Censorship Office issued its third report in a special wartime series on Jewry. 29 Describing the situation of Jews on the continent, an unidentified official commented: “Policy of Extermination. The Germans clearly pursue a policy of extermination against the Jews. From an official German document the statement is quoted: ‘The only things Jewish that will remain in Poland will be Jewish cemeteries.’” Professor Wesley Wark of the University of Toronto, a specialist on British intelligence during this period, has stated that the likely author was an MI-5 official detached to work with the overseas mail censorship authorities. 30 Had MI-5 seen the Chilean report and perhaps others like it?
Even at that time British cryptanalysts possessed some other unimpeachable evidence of SS and police activities, from which they drew conclusions about Nazi policy. In September 1939 British intelligence began to ‘read’ the radio messages of the German Order Police, the large branch of the German police headed by Kurt Daluege. At least two battalions of Order Police carried out mass killings of Poles and Jews during the military campaign in Poland. British analysts learned of some of these murders through Order Police radio messages which they quickly deciphered, partly in a cooperative effort with French intelligence. The Order Police used obsolete World War I-era coding systems (hand ciphers, as opposed to the more sophisticated Enigma machine codes), which made their codes easier to break than those of Reinhard Heydrich’s special mobile police units, the Einsatzgruppen.
Shortly after Germany attacked the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941, British codebreakers at Bletchley Park deciphered some messages to and from the Higher SS and Police authorities in the Soviet territories sent through the Order Police communications network. The analysts recognized that Nazi mass murders of civilians had not only resumed, but were expanding. Between late July and mid-September 1941, the Higher SS and Police Leaders in the Soviet territories reported many details of the killing actions carried out by Order Police battalions and other Nazi forces under their command. (Recently released documents in the United States National Archives and the Public Record Office indicate that the Order Police were a larger and more important part of the first phase of the Holocaust than historians have previously recognized.)
British intelligence was apparently unable to decipher the radio messages of the Einsatzgruppen, execution units even more lethal than the Order Police battalions. Another obstacle was a Nazi concealment device. Following Heinrich Himmler’s alleged order to him to maintain maximum secrecy about Nazi Jewish policy, Higher SS and Police Leader Erich von dem Bach-Zelewski avoided mentioning in his radio reports that the overwhelming majority of those executed were Jews: he instead wrote of Jewish ‘plunderers,’ Jewish Bolsheviks, partisans, and insurgents. These various euphemisms at first deterred British analysts from realizing that the Nazis were concentrating on slaughtering as many Jews as possible.
Probably for this reason, in Prime Minister Churchill’s speech of August 24, 1941, in which he denounced scores of thousands of executions by German police troops, he did not indicate that Nazi police forces were executing Jews in the Soviet territories. He did identify the executioners (and give the Germans a good clue about British codebreaking). By late August 1941, however, British analysts were intercepting the messages and breaking the codes of Higher SS and Police Leader Friedrich Jeckeln in the southern sector, who was indiscreet and whose body counts of Jews were staggering.
On September 12, 1941, the MI-6 staff declared in a note: “The fact that the Police are killing all Jews that fall into their hands should by now be sufficiently well appreciated. It is not therefore proposed to continue reporting these butcheries specially [to the Prime Minister], unless so requested.”31 This initial conclusion applied only to Nazi policy in the Soviet territories, not Nazi policy across the continent. The analyst for the Postal and Telegraph Censorship Report of January 22, 1942, must have had access to these German Order Police decodes from the Soviet territories or the same information, since the Report on Jewry of January 22, 1942, mentioned some of Jeckeln’s mass killings and contained matching statistics.
British codebreakers also understood at least some of the early radio reports about deportations of German Jews into the eastern territories, where Soviet Jews had already been slaughtered and some German Jews killed upon arrival. Precisely what early information they obtained about German plans to destroy Jews in the General Government of Poland remains obscure: if there is a German document stating that ‘the only thing Jewish that will remain in Poland is Jewish cemeteries,’ it has not yet been released. (Many other potentially relevant British intelligence documents also remain unavailable to scholars.) But the Secret Intelligence Service had access to substantial and completely reliable information about early Nazi efforts against Soviet, Polish, and German Jews before other major sources of information about the Final Solution leaked to the West. And the Chilean diplomat’s report fits into that flow of information very neatly.
The West’s treatment of secret information about the Holocaust mattered. Nazi efforts to clear the continent of Jews depended upon the cooperation of Germany’s allies and satellites, asked to turn their Jews over and given a convenient pretext that Jews were being resettled and used for labor in the East. SS and police officials tried to deceive Jews themselves from the moment of assembly or roundup, through the train transports, and until they actually entered the gas chambers at the extermination camps. The more Jews went into hiding or engaged in resistance, the more difficult it was for the Nazi bureaucracy of death to complete the job efficiently. Finally, given exact knowledge of what fate lay ahead for the Jews, more non-Jews might have helped them hide or escape. Neutral countries might have allowed groups of Jewish refugees to enter, rather than turn them away.
American government officials did not receive as much reliable information about massive Nazi killings of Jews as early as the British. In the summer of 1942 a Jewish labor organization (the Bund) got word to London that 700,000 Polish Jews had already died, and the BBC took the story seriously. The State Department, however, doubted the August 1942 report that Nazi Germany had a policy of resolving the Jewish question with the murder of up to four million Jews by means of poison gas. That information was sent by anti-Nazi German industrialist Eduard Schulte through intermediaries to Gerhart Riegner of the World Jewish Congress in Switzerland, and from there to London and Washington. Even in the fall of 1942 there was considerable resistance in Washington to the conclusion that the Nazis were singling Jews out for “extermination.” So there is not much reason to assume that the few American intelligence officials who saw the Chilean report in March 1942 would have given it much credibility.
A set of Chilean reports from Prague went from British intelligence to David Bruce, who had just become head of the new Secret Intelligence branch of the Coordinator of Information.32 Bruce apparently directed copies to those responsible or those who might be interested in the contents. A handwritten note on the British/Chilean despatch of November 24 indicates that William Kimbel, an administrative assistant to William J. Donovan, received a copy. No information has been found to suggest how Kimbel reacted–or whether he did anything else with this document. Nor is there anything to demonstrate that Donovan himself saw this information.
Some of the Chilean despatches about economic conditions in Bohemia-Moravia and the availability of food and raw materials were sent by Bruce to Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau, Jr. Morgenthau was perhaps the most prominent Jew in the Roosevelt administration and the one high government official who might have reacted vigorously and quickly to the report about Nazi policy toward the Jews. Ironically, he did not receive a copy of Montt’s despatch about Nazi policy toward the Jews.
Montt’s report of November 24, 1941, probably did not resonate deeply with Western intelligence officials who had other primary concerns. In Britain the Chilean report fit into a pattern of other completely reliable intelligence information about Nazi genocidal policy, and it may have strengthened British intelligence conclusions about Nazi policy toward Jews across the continent. In the United States, where there was less in the way of relevant and trustworthy intelligence information, there is no sign that this Chilean report had an impact.
There is something discomfiting about the conclusion that a document today considered an important source about Nazi policy had limited impact upon Western governments at the time. It prompted no Western action to warn potential Jewish victims. But for many Americans and Britons inside and outside of government the central, overriding concern during 1939-1945 was the war itself–not the atrocities that accompanied it. We have to recognize that the passage of time has clarified the central moral and political significance of the Holocaust and in that sense added another justification for the sacrifices made to defeat the Axis powers.
Richard Breitman is a Professor of History at American University and Director of Historical Research of the Interagency Working Group.
1. For discussions of diplomatic reporting on Nazi Jewish policies, see Walter Laqueur, The Terrible Secret: Suppression of the Truth About Hitler’s ‘Final Solution’ (Boston, 1981), chapter 4: Richard Breitman, “American Diplomatic Records Regarding German Public Opinion during the Nazi Regime,” in Probing the Depths of German Antisemitism: German Society and the Persecution of the Jews, 1933-1941, ed. David Bankier (Jerusalem, 2000), 501-10.
2. This decree is published by H. G. Adler, Der Verwaltete Mensch: Studien zur Deportation der Juden aus Deutschland (Tuebingen, 1974), 500-04.
3. See the British translation in National Archives (NA), Record Group 226, Entry 210, Box 386, Folder 6, document #1356. The diplomat’s name is not given in the British version. The Spanish original may be found in the Chilean National Archives.
4. See Notizen aus der Besprechung am 10.10.41 ueber die Loesung von Judenfragen, copy in United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM), Record Group 48.005, Roll 3.
5. Ian Kershaw, Hitler: 1936-1945, Nemesis (New York, 2000), 420; Richard Breitman, The Architect of Genocide: Himmler and the Final Solution (New York, 1991), 170-214.
6. Heydrich Fernschreiben for Lammers, for Bormann, 9 Oct. 1941, NA RG 242, Microfilm T-120, R 1026/ F 406029-034. Hitler’s appointment schedule, NA RG 242, T-84. R 387/ F 516. Himmler had discussed with Heydrich on Oct. 21, his “Vortrag b. Fuehrer.” See Der Dienstkalendar Heinrich Himmlers, ed. Peter Witte, Michael Wildt, Martina Voigt, Dieter Pohl, Christian Gerlach, Christoph Dieckmann, and Andrej Angrick (Hamburg, 1999), 242.
7. Kershaw, Hitler: 1936-1945, 488.
8. Dienstkalendar Heinrich Himmlers, 241n61, referring to a discussion among Himmler, Tiso, Tuka, and Mach on October 20, 1941.
9. Mario Barros van Buren, La Diplomacia Chilena en la Segunda Guerra Mundial, (Santiago, 1998) 83, 118-120. Montt’s name is listed in Jahrbuch fuer Auswaertige Politik 1940. My thanks to Gerhard Weinberg for this reference.
10. Diccionario Biografico de Chile, Eighth Edition, 1950-52, and Twelth Edition, 1962-64. I am grateful to Pascale Bonnefoy for the references.
11. [British] Summary, 13 Sept. 1941, of Chilean desptach, 24 June 1941, copy in NA RG 226, Entry 16, document #7346.
12. Montt to Foreign Minister, 6 Sept. 1941, Chilean National Archives, Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores de Chile, vol. 149 (1941), File E 3-10-1-1.
13. Montt to Foreign Minister, 6 Oct. 1941, Chilean National Archives, File E 11-6-0.
14. [British] Intelligence report, 4 Feb. 1942, regarding Chilean despatch from Prague, 15 Nov. 1941, copy in NA RG 226, Entry 16, document #11280. The consul is incorrectly identified as E. C. Conti. For explanation of the mistake, see below.
15. Montt to Foreign Ministry, 27 Nov. 1941, Chilean National Archives, File E 3-10-2-2.
16. Report on Interrogation of Walter Schellenberg, 27 June-12 July 1945, p. 209 of copy of FBI File on Walter Schellenberg, File No. 100-103567, given to Richard Breitman under a FOIA request.
17. Information from Chilean Foreign Ministry Records, courtesy of Pascale Bonnefoy.
18. Montt to Foreign Ministry, 18 Oct. 1940, vol. 148 (1940), Chilean National Archives.
19. NA RG 226, Entry 16, document #7346.
20. NA RG 226, Entry 16, document # 11280.
21. I am grateful to Pascale Bonnefoy for this information.
22. For example, the report of November 15, 1941 from the Chilean Consul General in Hamburg, in NA RG 226, Entry 16, document # 10809.
23. Copy in NA, RG 226, Entry 92, Box 198, Folder 7, document # 14350.
24. Niederschrift ueber meinen Empfang beim Duce, 11 Oct. 1942, copy in NA RG 242, Microfilm T-175/R 69/ F 2585529. The standard account, Meir Michaelis, Mussolini and the Jews: German Italian Relations and the Jewish Question in Italy 1922-1945 (Oxford, 1978), 334, presents a portion of Himmler’s account, then notes that Mussolini had additional information about what the Nazis were really doing, but was unwilling to antagonize his guest.
25. On Himmler generally, see Breitman, Architect of Genocide.
26. Susan Zuccotti, Under His Very Windows: The Vatican and the Holocaust in Italy (New Haven, 2000), 117.
27. Michaelis, Mussolini and the Jews, 335.
28. I am grateful to Stephen Tyas for his unsuccessful effort to find a copy of this document at the Public Record Office.
29. Unless specifically noted, the following material about British information on the Holocaust is drawn from Richard Breitman, Official Secrets: What the Nazis Planned, What the British and Americans Knew (New York, 1998). The Postal and Telegraph Censorship’s January 22, 1942 report on Jewry is discussed on 101.
30. Conversation with me in December 1998.
31. David Cesarani, “Secret Churchill Papers Released,” Journal of Holocaust Education 4, no. 2 (1995): 225-26.
32. Nelson D. Lankford, The Last American Aristocrat: The Biography of David K. E. Bruce, 1898-1977 (Boston, 1996), 125-28.
33. See Montt’s despatches of November 18 and 20, 1941, received by COI on March 20 and 23, 1942, RG 226, Entry 210, Box 386, Folder 6, document # 1354, 1365, and 1366.
Source: National Archives.