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Henry Morgenthau, Jr., Secretary of the Treasury to Assistant Secretary of
War, Jan 28, 1944, asking that Theater Commanders be advised to cooperate with
WRB rescue operations.
THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY
January 28, 1944
TO: Assistant Secretary McCloy
FROM: Secretary Morgenthau
In accordance with your timely suggestion it would be very helpful if
instructions along the following lines were sent to the appropriate Theater
"The President has instructed the Secretaries of State, Treasury and War to
take action for the immediate rescue and relief of the Jews of Europe and other
victims of enemy persecution. In an Executive Order issued January 22, 1944,
the President declared 'it is the policy of this Government to take all
measures within its power to rescue the victims of enemy oppression who are in
imminent danger of death and otherwise to afford such victims all possible
relief and assistance consistent with the successful prosecution of the war.'
The order establishes special governmental machinery for executing this policy.
It creates a War Refugee Board consisting of the Secretaries of State, Treasury
and War. The Board is charged with direct responsibility to the President in
seeing that the announced policy is carried out. The President indicated that
while he would look directly to the Board for the execution of this policy, the
Board would cooperate with the Intergovernmental Committee, UNRRA, and other
interested international organizations. The President stated that he expected
the cooperation of all members of the United Nations and other governments in
carrying out this difficult but important task. He stated that the existing
facilities of the State, Treasury and War Departments would be employed to
furnish aid to Axis victims to the fullest extent possible. He stressed that
it was urgent that action be taken to forestall the plot of the Nazis to
exterminate the Jews and other persecuted minorities in Europe.
You should do everything possible, consistent with the successful prosecution
of the war in your theater, to effectuate this policy of this Government. You
should cooperate as closely as possible with all public and established private
agencies who are active in your theater in this field in this matter.
Consistent with your needs and military security considerations, you should
make communications facilities available to these private agencies for
appropriate messages for carrying out the policy of this Government herein
stated, keeping the War Refugee Board advised through the Department. You
should report to the Department any recommendations which you may have as to
what you feel this Department can do to effectuate with all possible speed the
rescue and relief of the victims of enemy oppression.
Foreign representatives of the Department of State and of other Government
Departments are being similarly instructed and you should give them any
I would appreciate your bringing this to the attention of Secretary Stimson.
Henry Morgenthau, Jr.
Jan. 28 1944
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