Jerry P. Shinley Archive:
George Mantello, State Department Cable - 1944



Subject: George Mantello, State Department Cable - 1944
Date: 26 Aug 2000 00:00:00 GMT
Message-ID: <8o8gn6$gcn$>

Records of the War Refugee Board at the Roosevelt Library

Projects and Documents File

Box 46. Programs with Respect to Relief and Rescue of Refugees:
                         Other Means of Effecting Rescues

                         Recognition of Latin American Passports, Vol. 3





             Distribution of true
             reading only by special
             arrangement ([redacted] W)

                                                       Dated December 4, 1944
                                                       Rec'd 6:38 p.m.

       Secretary of State,


       7929, December 4, 4 p.m.

       Documents mentioned out 7602, November 17 reference which are photstat translations of nationality certificates were subject of Swiss informal communication dated November 20. This stated it would not be possible on basis these photostats to have Swiss Legation Budapest inform Hungarian Government that persons concerned possess Salvadoran citizenship. Swiss expressed willingness to give appropriate instructions to Budapest regarding protesting provided the original documents or notorized [sic] copies specifically stating that originals of the documents are in custody of a Swiss authority are received. Subsequently Legation was furnished photostat copies of above mentioned nationality certificates bearing nortarization [sic] merely stating that attesting notary had seen originals of the documents. These notarized papers were informally presented to Swiss Foreign Office November 29 together with similarly notarized

       -2-#7929. December 4, 4 p.m., from Bern

notarized photostats of 100 additional nationality certificates all issued by Mantello in Geneva.

       In view of volume of these documents all issued by Mantello Swiss have examined their previously expressed position and have now decided thay can cooperate in this matter only if originals of the documents are supplied them upon receipt of which they will make photostats at Foreign Office and send these photostats to Budapest with appropriate notarization. However, this action is conditioned on either (one) that Salvadoran Government confirms citizenship of individual persons in whose names documents are issued or (two) that said Government makes blanket statement that it considers valid all documents issued by Mantello specifically naming him.

       Because of situation mentioned final paragraph Department's 3648 October 26 Legation made no statement concerning possibility of complying with either of two above mentioned Swiss conditions the lot of Salvadoran documents have been returned to Mantello at his request.

       His further action in connection therewith is unknown to Legation.

       On inquiry Swiss have expressed view that it would be inadvisable for them to accept and transmit to Swiss Legation Budapest lists of persons on whose behalf

       -3-#7929. December 4, 4 p.m., from Bern

Mantello has issued documents since such action would direct attention of German and Hungarian authorities to persons not physically in possession of Latin American documentation and might place their lives in jeopardy.

       Instructions from Department and WRB are requested.



[end of cable]

       The staff of the Roosevelt library was able to locate via their indices two documents relating to Mantello among the records of the War Refugee Board. Obviously, they don't tell the whole story but I thought they might be of interest. At this point, I'll wait for David Kranzler's forthcoming book on George Mantello.

Jerry Shinley

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