WASHINGTON, March 22, 1933 (UP) - American diplomats in Germany today were working on the biggest reportorial assignment ever given them - a "complete report" on the mistreatment of Jews by Chancellor Adolf Hitler's brown-shirted "Nazis."
Secretary of State Hull ordered the report after three Jewish leaders pleaded with the American government to look into the plight of their race under Germany's new dictator.
The inquiry will cover the treatment of all Jews under the Hitler regime, German nationals as well as Americans.
State Department officials were uncertain, however, as to what action the United States might take if the report showed widespread persecution of Jews in Germany.
The government can - and has - protested mistreatment of American Jews in Germany. Ambassador Frederick M. Sackett recently was assured by the German foreign offices that Americans would not be molested.
For the United States to protest mistreatment of German Jews would be a different matter. Under ordinary international usage, no government is supposed to be concerned about the treatment another government accords its own citizens.
However, there have been exceptions to this principle. The United States some years ago protested to Turkey the mistreatment of minority groups. Hence it was considered possible that a broad protest might be made to Germany on humanitarian grounds.
Representative Celler, Democrat, New York, introduced a resolution asking the State Department to take such action. Proposals also were discussed for relaxation of United States immigration quotas to permit persecuted Germans to find a safe haven in this country.
The Cellar resolution charged that the outbreaks were a "denial of the fundamental rights of every human being" and "hark back to an age of barbarism."
The three Jewish leaders, including Rabbi Stephen S. Wise of New York City, well-known humanitarian, paint a tragic picture of the suffering of Jewry in Germany. They say some of Germany's intellectual leaders were in hiding to escape the wrath of the Nazis.
Hardly and Rabbi Wise and his companions - Bernard S. Deutsch of New York, president of the American Jewish Congress, and Max Rhoades, Washington attorney - left the State Department last night before the order to investigate was filed to the Berlin embassy and American consuls throughout Germany.
Rabbi Wise said he hoped the report would not be confined to official information obtained from the German foreign office, which he feared would be biased. He wanted the American envoys to seek unofficial, impartial information.
Details of the alleged persecution and torture of Jews are told by refugees in Paris.
One American Jewish resident of Berlin gave the following picture of conditions:
"Thousands had already left the country and others were following. Telephone calls, letters and telegrams were being tapped. The scene was covered with a blanket of espionage.
"People in cafes, restaurants, subways, buses and on the street, or even in their homes, were silent or talked in whispers.
"Moderate Socialists, Communists, Pacifists, over-modern artists or writers or those suspected of leaning towards the Left were arrested, jailed or disappeared.
"The Nazis established what they call 'Brown Storys' groups of rooms in buildings, windows boarded, where they corralled their prisoners, beat them with fists, whips, truncheons and steel wires until they were sufficiently mangled; occasionally varying this by making them drink large quantities of castor oil or putting them against the wall and leveling cocked revolvers at them, sometimes shooting alongside. Nobody knows how many have been killed during these escapades."