The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: orgs/german/foreign-office/soviet-relations-documents.007


Archive/File: orgs/german/foreign-office/soviet-relations-documents.007
Last-Modified: 1997/10/19

Page 261

VII. SOVIET RESISTANCE TO THE GERMAN ADVANCE IN THE BALKANS,
              DECEMBER 18, 1940-MARCH 13, 1941

                            *****
                              
                   Fhrer's Directive [7]

THE FšHRER AND COMMANDER IN-CHIEF OF THE GERMAN ARMED FORCES

OKW/WFSt/Abt. L (I) Nr. 33 408/40 g K CHEFS.
MILITARY SECRET [Geheime Kommandosache]
TOP SECRET [Chef Sache]
BY OFFICER ONLY

FšHRER's HEADQUARTERS,
December 18, 1940

                      DIRECTIVE No. 21
                    OPERATION BARBAROSSA

     The German Armed Forces must be prepared to crush Soviet
Russia in a quick campaign (Operation Barbarossa) even before
the conclusion of the war against England.
     For  this  purpose  the Army will  have  to  employ  all
available  units,  with  the reservation  that  the  occupied
territories must be secured against surprise attacks.
     For  the Air Force it will be a matter of releasing such
strong forces for the eastern campaign in support of the Army
that  a  quick  completion of the ground  operations  may  be
expected and that damage to Eastern German territory by enemy
air attacks will be as slight as possible. This concentration
of  the main effort in the East is limited by the requirement
that the entire combat and armament area dominated by us must
remain  adequately protected against enemy  air  attacks  and
that  the  offensive operations against England, particularly
her supply lines, must not be permitted to break down.
     The  main  effort of the Navy will remain  unequivocally
directed against England even during an eastern campaign.
     I  shall  order the concentration against Soviet  Russia
possibly  eight  weeks  before  the  intended  beginning   of
operations.
     
[7]  This document is from the German Wehrmacht archives.  It
is the only document in this collection derived from a source
other than the German Foreign Office archives.

Page 261

     Preparations  requiring more time to  start  are  to  be
started  now-if  this has not yet been  done-and  are  to  be
completed by May 15, 1941.
     It  is to be considered of decisive importance, however,
that the intention to attack is not discovered.
     The preparations of the High Commands are to be made  on
the following basis:
     I. General Purpose:
     The mass of the Russian Army in Western Russia is to  be
destroyed  in  daring  operations, by  driving  forward  deep
armored  wedges, and the retreat of units capable  of  combat
into the vastness of Russian territory is to be prevented.
     In quick pursuit a line is then to be reached from which
the Russian Air Force will no longer be able to attack German
Reich  territory. The ultimate objective of the operation  is
to  establish  a defense line against Asiatic Russia  from  a
line running approximately from the Volga River to Archangel.
Then, in case of necessity, the last industrial area left  to
Russia in the Urals can be eliminated by the Luftwaffe.
     In the course of these operations the Russian Baltic Sea
Fleet will quickly lose its bases and thus will no longer  be
able to fight.
     Effective intervention by the Russian Air Force is to be
prevented  by  powerful blows at the very  beginning  of  the
operation.
     II. Probable Allies and their Tasks:
     1.  On  the flanks of our operation we can count on  the
active  participation  of Rumania  and  Finland  in  the  war
against Soviet Russia.
     The  High Command will in due time concert and determine
in  what  form the armed forces of the two countries will  be
placed   under   German  command  at  the   time   of   their
intervention.
     2.  It  will be the task of Rumania, together  with  the
forces concentrating there, to pin down the enemy facing  her
and,  in  addition, to render auxiliary services in the  rear
area.
     3.   Finland  will  cover  the  concentration   of   the
redeployed German North Group (parts of the XXI Group) coming
from  Norway  and  will  operate jointly  with  it.  Besides,
Finland will be assigned the task of eliminating Hang”.
     4.  It  may  be  expected  that  Swedish  railroads  and
highways  will  be  available for the  concentration  of  the
German  North  Group,  from the start of  operations  at  the
latest.
     
Page 262
     
     III. Direction of Operations:
     A. Army (hereby approving the plans presented to me):
     In  the zone of operations divided by the Pripet Marshes
into a southern and northern sector, the main effort will  be
made  north  of this area. Two Army Groups will  be  provided
here.
     The  southern group of these two Army Groups-the  center
of  the  entire front-will be given the task of  annihilating
the forces of the enemy in White Russia by advancing from the
region  around  and  north of Warsaw with  especially  strong
armored  and  motorized units. The possibility  of  switching
strong  mobile units to the North must thereby be created  in
order,  in cooperation with the Northern Army Group operating
from  East Prussia in the general direction of Leningrad,  to
annihilate  the  enemy forces fighting in  the  Baltic.  Only
after  having  accomplished this most important  task,  which
must   be  followed  by  the  occupation  of  Leningrad   and
Kronstadt,  are  the  offensive  operations  aimed   at   the
occupation  of the important traffic and armament  center  of
Moscow to be pursued.
     Only  a surprisingly fast collapse of Russian resistance
could justify aiming at both objectives simultaneously.
     The  most  important assignment of the XXI  Group,  even
during  the  eastern operations, will still be the protection
of Norway. The additional forces available are to be employed
in  the  north (mountain corps), first to secure the  Petsamo
Region  and its ore mines as well as the Arctic Ocean  route,
and  then to advance jointly with Finnish forces against  the
Murmansk railroad and stop the supply of the Murmansk  region
by land.
     Whether  such  an  operation with rather  strong  German
forces  (two  or three divisions) can be conducted  from  the
area   of  and  south  of  Rovaniemi  depends  upon  Sweden's
willingness  to  make  the railroads  available  for  such  a
concentration.
     The  main body of the Finnish Army will be assigned  the
task, in coordination with the advance of the German northern
flank,  of  pinning down strong Russian forces  by  attacking
west of or on both sides of Lake Ladoga and of seizing Hang”.
     The  Army Group employed south of the Pripet Marshes  is
to  make  its  main  effort in the area from  Lublin  in  the
general direction of Kiev, in order to penetrate quickly with
strong  armored  units into the deep flank and  rear  of  the
Russian  forces  and then to roll them up along  the  Dnieper
River
     
Page 263
     
     The  German-Rumanian  groups  on  the  right  flank  are
assigned the task of:
     
     (a)   protecting  Rumanian  territory  and  thereby  the
southern flank of the entire operation.
     (b)  pinning down the opposing enemy forces  while  Army
Group South is attacking on its northern flank and, according
to  the  progressive  development of  the  situation  and  in
conjunction  with  the  Air Force, preventing  their  orderly
retreat across the Dniester during the pursuit,
     [and,] in the North, of reaching Moscow quickly.
     
     The  capture  of  this  city means  a  decisive  success
politically   and   economically  and,   beyond   that,   the
elimination of the most important railway center.
     B. Air Force:
     Its task wild be to paralyze and to eliminate as far  as
possible the intervention of the Russian Air Force as well as
to   support   the  Army  at  its  main  points  of   effort,
particularly  those of Army Group Center and, on  the  flank,
those  of  Army  Group South. The Russian railroads,  in  the
order of their importance for the operations, will be cut  or
the  most  important  near-by  objectives  (river  crossings)
seized  by  the  bold  employment of parachute  and  airborne
troops.
     In order to concentrate all forces against the enemy Air
Force  and to give immediate support to the Army the armament
industry  will  not be attacked during the  main  operations.
Only  after the completion of the mobile operations may  such
attacks be considered-primarily against the Ural Region.
     C. Navy:
     The   Navy's  role  against  Soviet  Russia  is,   while
safeguarding  our own coast, to prevent an  escape  of  enemy
naval  units from the Baltic Sea. As the Russian  Baltic  Sea
Fleet,  once  we have reached Leningrad, will be deprived  of
its  last base and will then be in a hopeless situation,  any
larger naval operations are to be avoided before that time.
     After the elimination of the Russian Fleet it will be  a
question  of  protecting all the traffic in the  Baltic  Sea,
including the supply by sea of the northern flank of the Army
(mine clearance!).
     IV.  All  orders to be issued by the commanders-in-chief
on  the  basis  of this directive must clearly indicate  that
they  are  precautionary measures for  the  possibility  that
Russia  should  change her present attitude  toward  us.  The
number of officers to be assigned to the preparatory work  at
an early date is to be kept as small as possible;
     
Page 264

additional  personnel should be briefed as late  as  possible
and  only  to  the extent required for the activity  of  each
individual.   Otherwise,  through  the   discovery   of   our
preparations-the date of their execution has  not  even  been
fixed-there  is  danger  that  most  serious  political   and
military disadvantages may arise.
     V.   I   expect  reports  from  the  commanders-in-chief
concerning their further plans based on this directive.
     The  contemplated preparations of all  branches  of  the
Armed Forces, including their progress, are to be reported to
me through the High Command [OKW].
     
ADOLF HITLER [8]

[8] The document also bears four sets of initials, apparently
those of Keitel, Jodl, Warlimont, and one unidentified.

     
                            *****
                              
Frame 112785, serial 104
                              
   Memorandum by the State Secretary in the German Foreign
                     Office (Weizs„cker)

St. S. Nr. 925
DECEMBER 31, 1940.
     
     The  Finnish Minister, whom I saw today on the  occasion
of the signing of a treaty, in connection with his New Year's
wishes expressed hope for his country. He stated that in  his
homeland people were now reassured because they thought  they
knew  that  in a future conflict with Russia they  would  not
stand alone.
     In  my  reply  I  used  the  formula  that  the  Russian
Government certainly realized that Germany did not desire any
new unrest in the North.

WEIZSŽCKER

                            *****
                              
Frames 112944-112945, serial 104

The Reich  Foreign Minister to the German Ambassador  in  the
     Soviet  Union  (Schulenburg), the German  Ambassador  in
     Turkey   (Papen),  the  German  Minister  in  Yugoslavia
     (Heeren),  and  the German Minister in  Greece  (Erbach-
     Sch”nberg)

                          Telegrams
                              
STATE SECRET
BERLIN, January 7, 1941.

Pol I 1650 gRs
No. 36 to Moscow
No. 12 to Ankara
No. 11 to Belgrade
No. 81 to Athens

Page 265
     
     I.  For  confidential information of the  Chief  of  the
Mission and the Military, Naval, and Air Attaches only.
     Since  early  in January the movement of  strong  German
troop  formations to Rumania has been going on  via  Hungary.
The  movement  of troops is being carried on  with  the  full
concurrence  of  the Hungarian and Rumanian Governments.  For
the  time being the troops will be quartered in the south  of
Rumania.
     The  troop  movements  result from  the  fact  that  the
necessity  must  be seriously contemplated  of  ejecting  the
English  completely  from all of Greece. German  troops  have
been provided in such strength that they can easily cope with
any  military  task  in  the Danubian  Region  and  with  any
eventualities  from  any  side. The military  measures  being
carried  out  by  us  are aimed exclusively  against  British
forces  getting  a foothold in Greece, and  not  against  any
Balkan country, including Turkey.
     II. As for instructions for conversations, in general, a
reserved  attitude is to be taken. In case of urgent official
inquiries,   it   is   to  be  pointed  out,   depending   on
circumstances, that such inquiries are to be made in  Berlin.
In  so  far as conversation cannot be avoided, an opinion  in
general  terms  is  to  be given. In  so  doing,  our  having
reliable  reports regarding larger and larger  reinforcements
of  English troops of all kinds in Greece may be given  as  a
plausible  reason,  and the Salonika operation  of  the  last
World  War  may be recalled. Concerning the strength  of  the
German  troops,  maintenance  of  the  present  vagueness  is
desired  for the time being. Later on we shall presumably  be
interested  in making known the full strength of  the  troops
and,  beyond that, in stimulating exaggeration. The  cue  for
that will be given at the proper time.
     This  instruction  also applies, by agreement  with  the
High  Command,  to  the Military, Naval,  and  Air  Attaches.
Strict  reserve in answering inquiries is to be imposed  upon
the other members of the mission.
     III.  Should  occasion  arise,  please  report  by  wire
concerning the attitude of the Government, the public and the
press,  any  inquiries  by  the  Government  there,  and  any
d‚marches of foreign missions with the Government there.

Reich Foreign Minister

Page 266

                            *****
                              
Frame 112945, serial 104
                              
The Reich Foreign Minister to the German Ambassador in Japan
                            (Ott)

                          Telegram
                              
Pol. I 1650 g Rs
BERLIN, January 7, 1941.

     No. 19. I request that the Japanese Foreign Minister  be
personally and confidentially informed that at present rather
strong  German  troop  contingents are being  transferred  to
Rumania.   The  movements  are  carried  on  with  the   full
concurrence  of  the Hungarian and the Rumanian  Governments.
These  troop  shipments are being carried out as  a  security
measure  for  an  intervention that may become  necessary  in
Greece  if  English  military  forces  gain  a  foothold  and
necessitate such intervention there.
     
Reich Foreign Minister

                            *****
                              
Frame 112942, serial 104

 The German Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Schulenburg) to
                  the German Foreign Office

                          Telegram
                              
STRICTLY SECRET
Moscow, January 8, 1941-4:45 p. m.
Received January 8, 1941-6 p. m.

No. 46 of January 8
     
     Reference your telegram of the 7th No. 36.
     
     Numerous  rumors are already circulating here concerning
the sending of German troops to Rumania; the number of men in
the  movement  is  even  estimated at  200,000  (two  hundred
thousand). Government circles here, the radio, and the Soviet
press  have  not  yet taken up the matter. Nothing  is  known
concerning  d‚marches  by foreign missions  with  the  Soviet
Government.
     The  Soviet Government will take the strongest  interest
in  these troop movements and will wish to know what purposes
these  troop  concentrations serve and particularly  to  what
degree  Bulgaria  and  Turkey  (Straits)  might  possibly  be
affected by them.
     Please  give  me  appropriate  instructions  or  perhaps
inform Herr Dekanosov there.
     
SCHULENBURG

Page  267

                            *****
                              
Frame 112966, serial 104

 The Reich Foreign Minister to the German Ambassador in the
                 Soviet Union (Schulenburg)

                          Telegram
                              
Teletype from Fuschl No. 12 of January 10, 11:45 p. m.

No. 1832
     
     Reference your telegram No. 50 of January 8. [9]
     
     I  request  you not to broach the question of  increased
German troop shipments to Rumania with the Soviet Government.
Should you be approached regarding the matter by Herr Molotov
or  some  other influential person in the Soviet  Government,
please say that according to your information the sending  of
German  troops  was  exclusively a  matter  of  precautionary
military  measures against England. The English  already  had
military  contingents on Greek soil and it was to be expected
that  they  would further increase those contingents  in  the
immediate  future. Germany would not under any  circumstances
tolerate  England's gaining a foothold on Greek soil.  Please
do not go into greater detail until further notice.
     
RIBBENTROP

[9] Not printed

                            *****
                              
Frames 333-334, serial F 15

                       Secret Protocol
     
     The   German  Ambassador,  Count  von  der  Schulenburg,
Plenipotentiary of the Government of the German Reich, on the
one  hand,  and  the  Chairman of  the  Council  of  People's
Commissars of the U.S.S.R., V. M. Molotov, Plenipotentiary of
the  Government  of  the U.S.S.R., on the  other  hand,  have
agreed upon the following:
     1.  The  Government  of the German Reich  renounces  its
claim to the strip of Lithuanian territory which is mentioned
in  the  Secret Supplementary Protocol of September 28,  1939
[10]  and which has been marked on the map attached  to  this
Protocol;
     2.  The  Government  of the Union  of  Soviet  Socialist
Republics  is  prepared to compensate the Government  of  the
German  Reich for the territory mentioned in Point 1 of  this
Protocol  by  paying  7,500,000 gold  dollars  or  31,500,000
Reichsmarks to Germany.
     The  amount of 31.5 million Reichsmarks will be paid  by
the  Government of the U.S.S.R. in the following manner: one-
eighth, that is, 3,937,500 Reichsmarks, in non-ferrous  metal
deliveries  within  three months after the  signing  of  this
Protocol, the remaining seven-eighths,
     
[10] Ante, p, 107.
     
Page 268
     
or  27,562,500  Reichsmarks, in gold by  deduction  from  the
German gold payments which Germany is to make by February 11,
1941  in accordance with the correspondence exchanged between
the Chairman of the German Economic Delegation, Dr. Schnurre,
and the People's Commissar for Foreign Trade of the U.S.S.R.,
Herr  A.  I.  Mikoyan, in connection with the  "Agreement  of
January  10,  1941  concerning reciprocal deliveries  in  the
second  treaty period on the basis of the Economic  Agreement
between  the  German Reich and the Union of Soviet  Socialist
Republics of February 11 1940."
     3.  This Protocol has been executed in two originals  in
the German language and two originals in the Russian language
and shall become effective immediately upon signature.
     
Moscow, January 10, 1941.

For the Government of the German Reich:
SCHULENBURG
(SEAL)

By authority of the Government of the U.S.S.R.:
V. MOLOTOV
(SEAL)

                            *****
                              
Frames 112984-112986, serial 104

The State Secretary in the German Foreign Office (Weizs„cker)
                           to the
                   Reich Foreign Minister

SECRET
BERLIN; January 17, 1941.
St. S. Nr. 52
     
     By  Wire  by fastest means to the Reich Foreign Minister
(teletype or telephone).
     
     The  Russian Ambassador called on me this afternoon.  On
the  basis  of a memorandum which he handed me later  on,  he
stated the following:
     "According  to  all  reports,  German  troops  in  great
numbers  are  in Rumania and are now prepared to  march  into
Bulgaria,  having as their goal the occupation  of  Bulgaria,
Greece  and  the Straits. There can be no doubt that  England
will  try  to forestall the operations of German  troops,  to
occupy  the  Straits,  to start military  operations  against
Bulgaria  in alliance with Turkey, and turn Bulgaria  into  a
theater  of  operations.  The Soviet  Government  has  stated
repeatedly  to  the German Government that it  considers  the
territory of Bulgaria and of the Straits as the security zone
of  the  U.S.S.R. and that it cannot be indifferent to events
which threaten the security interests of the U.S.S.R. In view
of all this the Soviet Government regards
     
Page 269

it  as  its  duty to give warning that it will  consider  the
appearance  of any foreign armed forces on the  territory  of
Bulgaria  and  of the Straits as a violation of the  security
interests of the U.S.S.R."
     End of the remarks of the Ambassador.
     
     Without  taking  this  statement  too  seriously  before
Dekanosov, I replied that I should not like to answer him  of
my  own accord at once, but would prefer first to inform  the
Reich Foreign Minister of his communication.
     I  then  added  that  I  should like  to  ask  two  more
questions  in  order  to  understand  the  contents  of   his
communication correctly, namely-
     (a)  From  whom had the Soviet Government  received  the
report that German troops concentrated in Rumania were aiming
at  the  occupation  of Bulgaria, Greece,  and  the  Straits?
Dekanosov  replied  that his Government's  sources  were  not
known  to  him.  He  referred  to  the  fact  that-as  stated
previously-all reports are to this effect, to which I replied-
without intending to anticipate a later German statement-that
it  was  correct that under no circumstances would  we  allow
England  to  gain  a  foothold in Greece  and  that  we  were
observing  this matter closely. Besides, this  was  certainly
nothing  new  for  the Soviet Government,  because  this  had
already been stated to Herr Molotov some time ago.
     (b)  Why  did the Soviet Government take it for  granted
that  England,  forestalling the  operations  of  the  German
troops,  would attempt to occupy the Straits? In this matter,
too,  Dekanosov  referred only to his original communication.
His  Government did not know that anything of the sort  would
occur;  however,  it  had  no  doubt  regarding  commensurate
English  measures  if  the condition mentioned,  namely,  the
advance  of  German  troops  on  Bulgaria,  Greece,  and  the
Straits, should materialize.
     In  conclusion, I again reserved the right to a reply to
the d‚marche.
     After  I  had made a few more remarks concerning  German
air successes against the British fleet in the Mediterranean,
the Ambassador took his leave, hoping for an early reply.
     
WEIZSŽCKER

Page 270

                            *****

Frames 112981-112982, serial 104

 The German Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Schulenburg) to
                  the German Foreign Office

                          Telegram
                              
VERY URGENT
Moscow, January 17, 1941-8:46 p. m.
Received January 17, 1941-11:40 p. m.
STRICTLY SECRET

No. 122 of January 17
     
     For the Reich Foreign Minister.
     
     1.  Molotov  asked me to call on him this afternoon  and
stated the following:
     Since  the  most  important economic  questions  in  the
relations  between  Germany and the  Soviet  Union  had  been
settled by the recently concluded treaties, it would  now  be
in order to turn to purely political issues again. The Soviet
Government  was surprised that it had not yet  received  from
Germany  any answer to its statement of position of  November
25  (cf.  telegraphic report No. 2562 [2362] of November  25)
concerning  the issues raised during the Berlin  discussions,
and  he would appreciate it if I would bring that fact to the
attention  of  the Government of the German  Reich  with  the
remark  that the Soviet Government was counting on  an  early
German reply.
     I  replied  to  Herr  Molotov that  there  was  not  the
slightest cause for any surprise, since this was a matter  of
issues  which must first be thoroughly discussed  with  Italy
and  Japan. As soon as these deliberations had been concluded
the  Soviet  Government would certainly be  informed  of  our
position with regard to their reply.
     2.  Molotov  then touched upon the Balkans and  in  that
connection stated word for word as follows:
     According  to all reports available here, German  troops
in  great  numbers were concentrated in Rumania and ready  to
march  into  Bulgaria  with the aim  of  occupying  Bulgaria,
Greece,  and  the  Straits. There was no doubt  that  England
would  try to forestall the operations of the German  troops,
to  occupy  the Straits, to open military operations  against
Bulgaria  in alliance with Turkey, and turn Bulgaria  into  a
theater  of war. The Soviet Government had repeatedly  called
the  attention of the Government of the German Reich  to  the
fact  that  it considered the territory of Bulgaria  and  the
Straits as a security zone of the U.S.S.R. and that it  could
therefore not remain indifferent in the face of events  which
menaced  the  security interests of the U.S.S.R. Consequently
the Soviet Government regarded it
     
Page 271

as  its  duty  to call attention to the fact  that  it  would
consider  the appearance of any foreign armed forces  on  the
territory  of  Bulgaria and of the Straits as a violation  of
the security interests of the U.S.S.R.
     Molotov  added that he had instructed Dekanosov to  make
an  identical  d‚marche in Berlin. In  my  reply  I  confined
myself   to   the   statements  prescribed   by   telegraphic
instructions No. 36 of January 7 and No. 57 of January 10.
     
SCHULENBURG

                            *****
                              
Frames 112994-112997, serial 104

  The Reich Foreign Minister to the State Secretary in the
             German Foreign Office (Weizs„cker)

                          Telegram
                              
No. 38
FUSCHL, January 21, 1941-11:30 p. m.

     Teletype  through  Office of Reich Foreign  Minister  to
State Secretary von Weizs„cker, No. 31.
     1. I request that you ask the Russian Ambassador to call
on  you Wednesday evening and that you give him in oral  form
the  following reply to the statement made to you on  January
17. Thereupon the text of the reply is to be handed to him in
the form of a memorandum.
     Text of the reply:
     
     1.  The  Reich Government has not received  any  reports
that England contemplates occupying the Straits. Nor does the
Reich  Government  believe that Turkey  will  permit  English
military  forces to enter her territory. However,  the  Reich
Government is informed that England intends and is  about  to
gain a foothold on Greek territory.
     2. The Fhrer pointed out repeatedly to Chairman Molotov
during  his  visit to Berlin in November that  Germany  would
prevent by all military means any attempt by England to  gain
a foothold on Greek soil.
     It  is the inalterable intention of the Reich Government
not under any circumstances to permit English military forces
to  establish themselves on Greek territory, which would mean
a  threat to vital interests of Germany in the Balkans. It is
therefore  carrying out certain troop concentrations  in  the
Balkans,  which  have  the  sole purpose  of  preventing  the
British from gaining any foothold on Greek soil.
     3.  Germany  does not intend to occupy the Straits.  She
will  respect the territory under Turkish sovereignty  unless
Turkey  on  her  part  commits a hostile act  against  German
troops.  On  the  other hand, however, the German  Army  will
march through Bulgarian territory
     
Page 272

should any military operations be carried out against Greece.
The  Reich  Government  has,  of  course,  no  intention   of
violating  any  Soviet Russian security interests  nor  would
this  by any means be the case if German troops march through
Bulgaria.
     4.  For  the  action  which may have  to  be  undertaken
against  England in Greece, Germany is carrying  on  a  troop
concentration  in the Balkans on such a scale  that  it  will
enable her to checkmate any English attempt at building up  a
front in those regions.
     The  Reich  Government believes that in so doing  it  is
also  serving  Soviet interests, which would  be  opposed  to
England's gaining a foothold in these regions.
     5.  The Reich Government-as it indicated on the occasion
of  the Berlin visit of Chairman Molotov-has an understanding
of  the  Soviet  interest  in the  Straits  question  and  is
prepared to endorse a revision of the Montreux Convention  at
the  proper  time.  Germany on her part  is  politically  not
interested  in  the  Straits question and will  withdraw  her
troops from there after having carried out her operations  in
the Balkans.
     6.  As  to  the  stand  requested  by  Chairman  Molotov
concerning   the   question  of  continuing   the   political
discussion  begun some time ago in Berlin, the following  may
be stated:
     The   Reich  Government  still  adheres  to  the   ideas
explained to Chairman Molotov during his presence in  Berlin.
The   Soviet  Government  on  the  other  hand  made  certain
counterproposals at the end of November. At the present  time
the  Reich Government is in touch with the Governments of its
allies, Italy and Japan, concerning all those issues, and  it
hopes  that after having further clarified the whole  problem
it  will be able to resume the political discussion with  the
Soviet Government in the near future.
     End of the reply.
     
     2. Ambassador Schulenburg is receiving instructions from
here  to  take  corresponding action  with  Herr  Molotov  on
Wednesday evening or Thursday morning. [11]
     3.  Furthermore, I request that, after the call  of  the
Russian Ambassador, you hand Ambassador Alfieri a copy of the
statement  given to you by Herr Dekanosov on January  17,  as
well as a copy of our reply, for the confidential information
of  the  Italian  Government. The Duce and Count  Ciano  have
already been informed by me here.
     
RIBBENTROP

[11]  By  telegram No. 129 of January 22, 1941, not  printed,
Ambassador  Schulenburg was instructed to give  an  identical
reply to Molotov.

Page 273

                            *****
                              
Frames 112998-112999, serial 101

  Memorandum, by the State Secretary in the German Foreign
                     Office (Weizs„cker)

St. S. Nr. 59
BERLIN, January 22, 1941.

     I  received  the  Soviet Russian  Ambassador  late  this
afternoon  and informed him orally of the reply decided  upon
in  answer to his statement of January 17. I then handed  him
the text of the reply in the form of a memorandum.
     I  also told Dekanosov that Count Schulenburg would hand
a  corresponding  communication to Herr Molotov  either  this
evening or tomorrow morning.
     Dekanosov then inquired-for his own information, he said-
about  the purport of certain expressions in the reply  given
to him. He wanted to find out how soon German troops might be
expected   to   march  through  Bulgaria  against   Greece-as
mentioned therein-as well as whether this decision was to  be
considered as definite.
     I referred the Ambassador in this connection to the text
of paragraphs 1 and 3 of the memorandum.
     Thereupon the Ambassador repeated from his communication
of the 17th instant that the Soviet Government considered the
appearance  of  any  foreign  military  forces  on  Bulgarian
territory  as  a  violation of its  security  interests.  Our
statement at the end of paragraph 3 of the memorandum was not
in agreement with that view.
     I  replied  that our view was made clear in paragraph  3
and paragraph 4 of the memorandum. we believed that our plans
would  actually serve Soviet interests, which are opposed  to
England's  gaining a foothold in these regions.  Moreover,  I
asked  the  Ambassador to go over the memorandum  again  very
carefully  at home. He would then surely reach the conclusion
that our answer removed his anxiety.
     Submitted herewith to the
     Reich Foreign Minister (by teletype).
     
WEIZSŽCKER

Page 274

                            *****
                              
Frame 113003, serial 104

 The German Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Schulenburg) to
                  the German Foreign Office

                          Telegram

VERY URGENT
Moscow, January 23, 1941-9:21 p. m.
Received January 23 [24], 1941-12:25 a. m.
SECRET

No. 161 of January 23
     
     Reference your telegram No. 129 of the 22nd. [12]
     Instruction carried out today.
     Molotov stated that Soviet Government would examine  and
consider  our  communication, after which  he  would  take  a
stand,  if necessary. He understood the communication of  the
Government  of the German Reich to mean that the  transit  of
German  troops through Bulgaria was in itself a  matter  that
was definitely decided on, but only in the event that England
should  expand her military operations on Greek  soil  beyond
their present scope.
     For  the  rest,  Molotov stated the well-known  argument
according to which the Soviet Government considered  Bulgaria
and  the  Straits as a security zone of the Soviet Union  and
that it was opposed to any spread of the war, particularly in
the  Black Sea, wherein it believed itself in agreement  with
the Government of the German Reich.
     
SCHULENBURG

[12] Not printed. For contents see footnote 11, ante, p 272.

                            *****
                              
Frame 218062, serial 426

  The German Foreign Office to the German Ambassador in the
                 Soviet Union (Schulenburg)

                          Telegram

No. 353 of February 21
BERLIN, February 22, 1941-6:25 a. m.
Received Moscow, February 22, 1941-11 a. m.

     Confidential  material.  For chief  of  mission  or  his
representative  personally.  State  secret.  To  be   decoded
personally.  Extremely secret. Reply  by  courier  or  secret
code.
     In  Telegraphic  Instruction No. 36  of  January  7  the
statement  was made that, for the time being, vagueness  with
regard to the strength of the German forces was desirable and
that  at a given time word would be given for publication  of
the full strength of the troops. That time has now come.
     
Page 275
     
     In   Rumania  there  are  680,000  (six  hundred  eighty
thousand)  German  troops in readiness.  Among  these  troops
there  is  an  unusually high percentage of technical  troops
with  the  most  up-to-date  military  equipment,  especially
armored  units.  Behind these troops there are  inexhaustible
reserves  in Germany, including the permanent units stationed
at the German-Yugoslav border.
     I  request  the members of the mission and any available
trusted persons [Vertrauensleute] to start, in suitable ways,
to  let  this  strength  be known in  an  impressive  manner-
indicating  that  it  is  more than sufficient  to  meet  any
eventuality in the Balkans from any side whatsoever-and to do
so  not  only  in Government circles there but  also  in  the
foreign missions concerned. I leave it to your discretion not
always  to  mention  the exact figure  given  above.  On  the
contrary,  innuendo and circumlocution may also be used,  as,
for example, "almost 700,000," and the like.
     
RITTER

                            *****
                              
Frame 218061, serial 426

The State Secretary in the German Foreign Office (Weizs„cker)
 to the German Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Schulenburg)

                          Telegram

Multex No. 98 of February 22
BERLIN, February 23, 1941-3:10 a. m.
Received Moscow, February 23, 1941-9:50 a. m.
     
     Confidential  material. State Secret. Extremely  secret.
To  be  decoded  only by official in charge of  state  secret
documents. To be decoded personally. Extremely secret.  Reply
by courier or secret code.
     Recently  there  have  been frequent  Greek  assurances,
intended  for  German  ears, that, except  for  a  number  of
British  planes, there are no British forces  in  Greece  and
that  the  Greek  Government has  rejected  and  will  reject
British offers to send strong British forces to Greece. These
assurances are apparently being made according to plan at the
direction  of  the  Greek Government directly  through  Greek
diplomats  and  military  attaches  and  indirectly   through
foreign governments and military attaches.
     Please  do not accept such assurances without rejoinder.
The answer should be that the Government of the Reich had its
own  information  regarding  the numerical  strength  of  the
British troops in Greece and regarding the further intentions
of the British. British Prime
     
Page 276

Minister  Churchill himself revealed the  intentions  of  the
British  when  he  declared in the House of Commons,  in  the
course  of  statements on the British military  situation  in
North  Africa  on  December 19, 1940: "Marshal  Sir  Longmore
experienced the most critical moment in his preparations when
he  saw  how big a portion of his military forces  was  being
withdrawn  in  order  to  be  sent  to  Greece."  The   Reich
Government  attaches  more  importance  to  these  and  other
statements  of  Churchill than to the assurances  of  Greece,
whose purpose it is easy to see through.
     Confirm receipt.
     
WEIZSŽCKER

                            *****
                              
Frames 113086-113087, serial 104

 The Reich Foreign Minister to the German Ambassador in the
                 Soviet Union (Schulenburg)

                          Telegram

VERY URGENT
Fuschl, February 27, 1941-9:50 p. m.
Received Berlin, February 27, 1941-10:30 p. m.

No. 144 of February 27

Transmitted to Moscow as No. 403, February 27-10:58 p. m.
     
     For the Ambassador personally.
     Please  go  to see Herr Molotov on Friday, February  28,
toward evening and communicate to him verbally the following:
     1. As the Soviet Government knows, negotiations have for
some  time  been  in progress between the Government  of  the
Reich  and  the Italian Government on the one  hand  and  the
Bulgarian Government on the other, regarding the accession of
Bulgaria to the Three Power Pact. These negotiations have now
been  concluded,  and it has been agreed that  Bulgaria  will
accede  to  the Three Power Pact, and the Protocol  regarding
this  accession will be signed on March 1. The Government  of
the  Reich is anxious to inform the Soviet Government of this
in advance.
     2.  I  would ask you to go to see Herr Molotov again  on
March 1, toward evening, and to tell him the following:
     Reports  in our possession concerning British intentions
in  Greece  have forced the Government of the Reich  to  take
further  security  measures forthwith, making  necessary  the
shifting of German troops to Bulgarian soil. Referring to the
statement  made  to  the Soviet Government  on  January  23d,
please add that this is a precautionary
     
Page 277

measure  taken  to prevent the British from  gaining  a  firm
foothold  in Greece. Should Herr Molotov go into the  subject
in  any further detail, we remind you-for your guidance-that,
in  the  first  place,  these  security  measures  are  taken
exclusively   to  prevent  British  entrenchment   on   Greek
territory;  secondly, that the measures are not  directed  at
Turkey, and that we shall respect Turkish sovereignty  unless
Turkey commits a hostile act against us; that, thirdly, these
German  troop concentrations are war measures, and  that  the
elimination   of   the   British  danger   in   Greece   will
automatically result in the withdrawal of the German troops.
     Please inform me by wire how Herr Molotov receives  your
communications.
     For  your personal information, you are further informed
that  the Bulgarian Minister in Moscow will also make similar
communications from his Government on February  28th  and  on
March 1.
     
RIBBENTROP
     
                            *****
                              
Frame 113094, serial 104

 The German Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Schulenburg) to
                  the German Foreign Office

                          Telegram
                              
VERY URGENT
MOSCOW, March 1, 1941-12:25 a. m.
Received March 1, 1941-2:10 a. m.

No. 444 of February 28
     
     In reference to your telegram of the 27th, No. 403.
     I  called  on Herr Molotov this evening and carried  out
instruction (1).
     Molotov  received my communication with obvious  concern
and stated that the German Reich Government had been informed
of  the  viewpoint of the Soviet Government on  November  25,
1940  (see  telegraphic  report  of  November  25,  No.  2562
[2362]). The position of the Soviet Government in the  matter
was still determined by the communication of that date. Then,
the  future  position of Bulgaria was considered  within  the
framework  of  certain  particular  circumstances.   In   the
meantime, events had taken a different turn. The view of  the
Soviet  Government,  on the other hand,  that  Bulgaria  came
within  the  security  zone  of the  Soviet  Union,  remained
unchanged.
     Despite my objections that the accession of Bulgaria was
in  no  way prejudicial to the interests of the Soviet Union,
Molotov  held  to  his view, stating that  the  accession  of
Bulgaria was taking place
     
Page 278

under   circumstances   quite   different   than   had   been
anticipated, and that it was unfortunately not evident to him
that events were unfolding within the framework of the Soviet
Government's d‚marche of November 25.

SCHULENBURG

NOTE: Transmitted under No. 744, to special train.
Telegram Control Office March 1, 1941, 2:55 A. M.

                            *****
                              
Frames 113100-113101, serial 104

 The German Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Schulenburg) to
                  the German Foreign Office

                          Telegram

VERY URGENT
Moscow, March 1, 1941-10:15 p. m.
Received March 2, 1941-2:20 a. m.
SECRET

No. 453 of March 1
     
     Reference your telegram of the 27th, No. 403.
     
     Instruction under (2) carried out at 6:30 p. m.,  Moscow
time, today.
     Molotov,  who  received  my  communication  with   great
gravity,  stated first of all that he was informed  regarding
the  German decision, since the Bulgarian Minister had  today
already  apprised Herr Vishinsky. Molotov thereupon expressed
his  deep concern that the German Government had, in a matter
of  such  importance to the Soviet Government, made decisions
contrary  to  the  Soviet  Government's  conception  of   the
security interests of the Soviet Union. The Soviet Government
had  repeatedly stressed its special interest in Bulgaria  to
the German Government, both during the Berlin conferences and
later.  Consequently it could not remain indifferent  in  the
face of Germany's last measures in Bulgaria and would have to
define  its attitude with regard thereto. It hoped  that  the
German  Reich Government would attach the proper significance
to  this attitude. Molotov in my presence drafted in his  own
hand  a  rough memorandum setting forth the position  of  the
Soviet  Government, had it copied, and handed it to  me.  The
text of the note is as follows:
     
     "1.  It  is  to  be regretted that despite  the  caution
contained in the d‚marche of November 25, 1940, on  the  part
of  the  Soviet  Government, the German Reich Government  has
deemed  it possible to take a course that involves injury  to
the  security  interests of the U.S.S.R. and has  decided  to
effect the military occupation of Bulgaria.
     
Page 279
     
     "2.  In  view  of  the fact that the  Soviet  Government
maintains  the  same  basic position as in  its  d‚marche  of
November  25, the German Government must understand  that  it
cannot  count on support from the U.S.S.R. for  its  acts  in
Bulgaria."
     
     In my reply, I confined myself to your instructions, and
stressed  that there could be no question of an impairment of
Soviet security interests.
     
SCHULENBURG

NOTE: Transmitted to special train under No. 771.
Telegram Control Office March 2, 1941.

                            *****
                              
Frame 24471, serial 34
                              
                  Foreign Office Memorandum

STATE SECRET
Pol I M 653 g RS
     
     General Warlimont and Naval Captain Brkner bring up the
point  that for certain reasons a speedy termination  of  the
activities  of  the various Russian Commissions  at  work  on
German  territory  in the east and their  immediate  despatch
home  is  necessary.  Such commissions are  still  on  German
territory   in  connection  with  the  return  of  Lithuanian
emigrants  from  Germany  to  Lithuania.  The  German-Russian
boundary commission is also active, as well as several  local
sub-commissions. Of these sub-commissions some are located on
Russian territory and others on German territory (and in fact
south of Suwalki?). The work of these sub-commissions was  to
be  completed by March 10th. For some reason, they  have  not
yet  begun  their work. The OKW requests that  everything  be
done to prevent this work from being begun.
     The  presence  of Russians in this part of  Germany  can
only  be  permitted  up to March 25. In the  northern  sector
strong elements of German troops are already being assembled.
From  the 20th of March on an even heavier massing will  take
place.
     The  question is raised in this connection as to whether
the Russian consulate in K”nigsberg is occupied.
     
RITTER
BERLIN, March 13, 1941


Home ·  Site Map ·  What's New? ·  Search Nizkor

© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012

This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and to combat hatred. Any statements or excerpts found on this site are for educational purposes only.

As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.