Germany’s Formal Declaration of War Against the United States
The government of the United States of America, 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, brought on 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 of America publicly declared that he had ordered the American Navy and Air Force to shoot on sight 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, American naval vessels have systematically attacked German naval forces since early September 1941. Thus, American destroyers, as for instance, the Greer, the Kearny and the Reuben James, have opened fire on German submarines according to plan. The American Secretary of the Navy, Mr. Knox, himself confirmed that the American destroyers attacked German submarines.
Furthermore, the naval forces of the United States of America, under order of their government and contrary to international law, have treated and seized German merchant ships 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 of America during every period of the present war, the government of the United States of America from initial violations of neutrality has finally proceeded to open acts of war against Germany. It has thereby virtually created a state of war.
The government of the Reich consequently breaks off 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.