Foreign Diplomats During War

What happened to the American Diplomats in Berlin and Tokyo at the outbreak of WWII? Were they withdrawn as soon as war broke out? And what about Japanese and German diplomats in Washington DC? Were they allowed to stay in the US or were they immediately escorted to the airport and out of the country?

And I couldn’t help but notice there are US reporters in Tripoli. Why would the Libyan government tolerate the “enemy” reporting freely with all that’s happening there?

Why would the diplomats leave in 1939 ? ( Or earlier if one dates the war from the start of the Chinese conflict, as some do — mainly Chinese ) America was not at war then.

When, though Hitler declared war upon the USA, the correct protocol would have been for the diplomatic staff in each nation to pay their respects to the foreign ministry of the host, arrange for some other neutral country’s diplomats to handle their own nation’s nationals and minor business, and leave the country peaceably with escort and full respect paid on each side. In the case of the Japanese having declared war with a sneak attack, this would have made the meeting stiff and reproachful, but again diplomats would have conducted themselves with dignity. However, although I don’t feel like looking this up, I thought the Japanese observed some protocol by informing the American Legation of the declaration of war almost simultaneously with the attack. Perhaps by slipping a note under the door of an empty office.
As for Gaddhafi it is not in his interests to bar ‘enemy’ reporters from hearing his version of the truth or what is happening in plain view, particularly not from the largest media organisations ever known to man. Both sides in a war will lie like troopers, but you can’t persuade people of anything with a strict censorship. Since otherwise they just use their imagination.

I believe they are allowed to leave the country right away, there is no reason for them to stay. In the case of Vietnam the US did not recognize them until 1995 and the first ambassador went there in 1997 - even though the country was reunified in 76

The US ambassador in Berlin packed his bags on November 16 1938, in protest for Kristallnacht. He was replaced by a Charge d’Affaires. He (actually there were two) left Berlin on December 11 1941.

Traditionally, a declaration of war entails the recall of all diplomats from the country you’re fighting with. They are allowed to leave peaceably because your own diplomats are also being recalled. Thus, when the US ambassador is leaving Germany, the German ambassador is leaving the US.

Japan had planned to hand a declaration of war to the State Department as the attack was being made (or just before). However, their ambassadors were delayed until after Pearl Harbor was under attack. Not that the last-minute declaration would have changed the perception of this being a sneak attack.

And for Japan, diplomatic relations were severed at the obvious date, but the ambassador and his staff weren’t repatriated until July 31 1942.

In late 1941, Axis diplomats were sent off to Greenbrier, the resort in rural West Virginia. The US diplomats in Europe were packed off to Scandinavia. IIRC, the two groups were moved across the Atlantic in a well-lit Spanish ship.

(In 1939, the German ambassador in London asked the Foreign Office to make arrangements for the German embassy’s dog. They did.)

(I recall some German bigwig wanted to take over the British embassy in Paris for some reason. The caretaker told him “Over my dead body, excellency.” The Germans had to leave the building alone.)

A good chunk of “Tora Tora Tora” is about how the US got so good at decoding Japanese diplomatic messages, they found out about the impending declaration before the Japanese ambassador’s staff was able to type it out themselves. They then showed how a message was sent from the decoders to the command staff, but failed to note the urgency of it and so it didn’t get delivered until after the attack.

I got the impression that the Japanese ambassador was unable to finish decoding and retyping the declaration in time because there was no one on staff with clearance to read the code that could type fast enough. They had received the code ordering them to deliver the message before the attack was actually going to happen, but ended up at least an hour behind.

Nevertheless, the message that was being sent wasn’t actually a declaration of war, but a final ultimatum. In that they were planning on executing an attack within an hour of issuing an ultimatum in a time where sending a message to recall the attackers would not be possible if the US for some reason finally relented, the Japanese clearly showed that they had no intention of doing anything but conducting a sneak attack. The official declaration of war did not come until the next day, so it would have been something of a sneak attack even if the final ultimatum had been delivered in time. If it had been, they could at least claim they gave ample time for letting the US know they would not tolerate any further the current relation status, but by the diplomatic message being as late as it was the attack was completely unjustified by traditional diplomatic practices.

I’ve noticed this before, but I have this tendency to not answer very many questions, but often have collateral information that relates to the answers people give.

Here is a site which among other things describes American internees’ experiences in Europe 1941-42:

American Internees

Some snips:

So the American internees lost their freedom for nearly six months. They were not badly mistreated,
although that may be assumed due to the reciprocal captrivity of German nationals in the US.

Not WWII, but in one of the BBC Eyewitness programmes they had an interview with the chap at the Foreign Office (UK) whose job it was in 1914 to go to the German Ambassador in London with a telegram and their passports and tell them that War had been declared, so here were their passports and if they’d kindly like to leave the country more or less nowish- certainly within 24 hours- that’d be great, thanksverymuchnohardfeelingsoldchapbuyyouadrinkwhenit’sallover etc.

It was all very civilised, apparently.

What happened to Allied diplomats in the occupied countries like France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, etc.?

Did the Iraqi diplomat have to eat lunch alone at the UN headquarters before the Iraq war?

When I was in college, I worked at the Hotel Hershey. One day, while noshing on some of the exquisite day-old desserts offered to employees in our lunch room, I read with astonishment a short item in the employee newsletter—an article was about the hotel’s role during WWII as a place of internment for the embassy staff of Vichy France.