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Teaching With Documents:
The Zimmermann Telegram

Decoded Message Text

FROM 2nd from London # 5747.

"We intend to begin on the first of February unrestricted submarine warfare. We shall endeavor in spite of this to keep the United States of America neutral. In the event of this not succeeding, we make Mexico a proposal or alliance on the following basis: make war together, make peace together, generous financial support and an understanding on our part that Mexico is to reconquer the lost territory in Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. The settlement in detail is left to you. You will inform the President of the above most secretly as soon as the outbreak of war with the United States of America is certain and add the suggestion that he should, on his own initiative, invite Japan to immediate adherence and at the same time mediate between Japan and ourselves. Please call the President's attention to the fact that the ruthless employment of our submarines now offers the prospect of compelling England in a few months to make peace." Signed, ZIMMERMANN.

Zimmermann Telegram as Received by the German Ambassador to Mexico, 01/19/1917

Record Group 59: General Records of the Department of State, 1756 - 1979
National Archives and Records Administration

National Archives Identifier 302025

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Zimmermann Telegram - Decoded Message

Record Group 59: General Records of the Department of State, 1756 - 1979
National Archives and Records Administration

National Archives Identifier 302022

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[You can display JPEG images of the coded or decoded versions of the original document.

The coded telegram is signed "Bernstorff" because it was transmitted through the United States and Bernstorff was the German ambassador in Washington.]

Zimmermann Telegram Main Page

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