Berlin spokesman terms U.S. relations graver (9-14-41)

The Pittsburgh Press (September 14, 1941)

By Frederick C. Oechsner, United Press staff writer

Berlin, Sept. 13 –
A Nazi spokesman tonight admitted that German-American relations have changed for the worse and official agencies laid great emphasis upon a huge toll of British shipping losses in which German submarines, planes and speedboats were said to have sent 292,000 tons to the bottom in the last seven years.

The High Command reported total sinkings in the North Atlantic convoy attack, first revealed yesterday, have now risen to 28 merchant ships, totaling 164,000 tons, and three escort ships of unannounced tonnage.

Partial answer

The total, said the High Command, was boosted by the sinking of four more freighters in addition to the 24 claimed yesterday. These four merchant ships totaled 19,000 tons, the High Command said.

The reports of British shipping losses in the North Atlantic were regarded as at least a partial German answer to the new announced American policy of “shooting first” in defense or shipping in what are regarded as U.S. defense zones.

The official DNB news agency placed total British losses for the period Sept. 6-13 at 292,000 tons of which it claimed submarines and speedboats accounted for 199,000 tons and the air force for 93,000 tons.

Commenting anew upon Mr. Roosevelt’s address, a Nazi spokesman admitted relations between the two countries have been affected adversely.

He said that:

As far as formal diplomatic relations are concerned, there is nothing to indicate they are affected. But if one is speaking of intimate diplomatic relations or “diplomatic relations of sentiment,” we can only agree that they have been affected.

Attacks are bitter

This spokesman then launched a bitter attack upon President Roosevelt, charging that his actions:

…have but one purpose and one objective – to precipitate the United States into a Jewish war and to preserve the position of international Jewry.

The spokesman declined to intimate whether any new instructions have been issued to the German Navy as a result of Mr. Roosevelt’s orders to the U.S. fleet.

Both the Nazi press and radio were engaged in a continuous attack on Mr. Roosevelt.

The Nachtausgabe said:

Roosevelt is the most cowardly dictator who ever lived. Otherwise, he would at least appear before Congress and obtain the right to snatch and grab his policy from the plenipotentiary representatives of the American people.

Some observers, studying the possibility pf a German declaration of war against the United States as a result of Mr. Roosevelt’s naval policy, felt that such action was most unlikely.

Official spokesmen have emphasized that no “aggressive” action is contemplated against the United States and that, rather, Germany will seek to avoid extension of the war, particularly with the campaign still in progress in Russia.

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