Documents and Readings in the History of Europe Since 1918

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279.

The German Declaration of War on the United States, December 11, 1941

35

The Government of the United States having violated in the most flagrant manner and in ever-increasing measure all rules of neutrality in favor of the adversaries of Germany and having continually been guilty of the most severe provocations toward Germany ever since the outbreak of the European war, provoked by the British declaration of war against Germany on September 3, 1939, has finally resorted to open military acts of aggression.

On September 11, 1941, the President of the United States publicly declared that he had ordered the American Navy and Air Force to shoot on sight at any German war vessel. In his speech of October 27, 1941, he once more expressly affirmed that this order was in force. Acting under this order, vessels of the American Navy, since early September 1941, have systematically attacked German naval forces. Thus, American destroyers, as for instance the Greer, the Kearny and the Reuben James, have opened fire on German submarines according to plan. The Secretary of the American Navy, Mr. Knox, himself confirmed that American destroyers attacked German submarines.

Furthermore, the naval forces of the United States, under order of their Government and contrary to international law have treated and seized German merchant vessels on the high seas as enemy ships.

The German Government therefore establishes the following facts:

Although Germany on her part has strictly adhered to the rules of international law in her relations with the United States during every period of the present war, the Government of the United States from initial violations of neutrality has finally proceded to open acts of war against Germany. The Government of the United States has thereby virtually created a state of war.

The German Government, consequently, discontinues diplomatic relations with the United States of America and declares that under these circumstances brought about by President Roosevelt Germany too, as from today, considers herself as being in a state of war with the United States of America.

Accept, Mr. Chargé d’Affaires, the expression of my high consideration.

35 United States, Department of State Bulletin, Government Printing Office, Washington, 1941, vol. V, pp. 481–482.

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Chicago: "The German Declaration of War on the United States, December 11, 1941," Documents and Readings in the History of Europe Since 1918 in Documents and Readings in the History of Europe Since 1918, ed. Walter Consuelo Langsam and James Michael Egan (Chicage: Lippincott, 1951), 926–927. Original Sources, accessed September 24, 2021, http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=JTJPYFQEIIK55PN.

MLA: . "The German Declaration of War on the United States, December 11, 1941." Documents and Readings in the History of Europe Since 1918, in Documents and Readings in the History of Europe Since 1918, edited by Walter Consuelo Langsam and James Michael Egan, Chicage, Lippincott, 1951, pp. 926–927. Original Sources. 24 Sep. 2021. originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=JTJPYFQEIIK55PN.

Harvard: , 'The German Declaration of War on the United States, December 11, 1941' in Documents and Readings in the History of Europe Since 1918. cited in 1951, Documents and Readings in the History of Europe Since 1918, ed. , Lippincott, Chicage, pp.926–927. Original Sources, retrieved 24 September 2021, from http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=JTJPYFQEIIK55PN.