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Page 195
                      NOVEMBER 26, 1940
Frames 0452-0454, serial F 5
   The Reich Foreign Minister to the German Embassy in the
                        Soviet Union
BERLIN, September 25, 1940.
RAM. 33/40 g. Rs.

No. 1746

     Strictly secret. Exclusively for the Charg‚ in person.
     The  following instruction is only to be carried out  if
on  Thursday  you  receive  from  my  Ministerial  Office  by
telephone or telegraph the word "Execution."
     Please  call on Herr Molotov on Thursday, September  26,
and  tell  him  on  my  behalf that in view  of  the  cordial
relations existing between Germany and the Soviet Union I was
desirous  of  informing him in advance, in strict confidence,
of the following:
     1)  The warmongering agitation in America, which at this
stage of the final defeat of England is seeking a last outlet
in  the  extension and prolongation of the war,  has  led  to
negotiations between the two Axis powers on the one hand  and
Japan on the other, which will result, presumably in the next
few  days, in the signing of a military alliance between  the
three powers.
     2)   This  alliance,  consistent  with  its  origin,  is
directed exclusively against American warmongers. To be sure,
this  is,  as usual, not expressly stated in the treaty,  but
can be unmistakably inferred from its terms.
     3) The treaty, of course, does not pursue any aggressive
aims  against  America. Its exclusive purpose  is  rather  to
bring the elements pressing for America's entry into the  war
to  their senses, by conclusively demonstrating to them  that
if  they  enter the present struggle, they will automatically
have to deal with the three great powers as adversaries.
Page 196
     4)  From the beginning of their negotiations, the  three
treaty  powers  have  been in complete agreement  that  their
alliance shall in no way affect the relationship each of them
has  with  the Soviet Union. In order to dispel any doubt  of
this  abroad as well, a special article was inserted  in  the
treaty  to  the effect that the existing political  relations
[Status]  between  each of the three treaty  powers  and  the
Soviet  Union  shall  not be affected  by  the  treaty.  This
proviso   means,  therefore,  that  not  only  the   treaties
concluded  by  the  three  powers  with  the  Soviet   Union,
particularly  the  German-Soviet treaties of  the  autumn  of
1939,  shall remain in full force and effect, but  that  this
applies  in  general to the entire political relationship  to
the Soviet Union.
     5)  The  pact  would probably serve as a damper  on  the
warmongers,  especially in America, would operate  against  a
further  extension of the present war, and perhaps,  in  this
sense would serve the restoration of world peace.
     6)  At  this  opportunity please also tell Herr  Molotov
that I had taken cognizance of the memorandum handed to Count
Schulenburg  on September 21 and that I intended  shortly  to
address  a  personal letter to Herr Stalin in which  I  would
reply  to  the  memorandum  in the spirit  of  German-Russian
friendship, but beyond that would frankly and confidently set
forth   the   German  conception  of  the  present  political
situation. I hoped that this letter would contribute anew  to
the  strengthening  of our friendly relations.  Besides,  the
letter  would  contain  an  invitation  to  Berlin  for  Herr
Molotov,  whose  return  visit we were  expecting  after  two
visits to Moscow and with whom on this occasion I should like
to  discuss important questions relating to the establishment
of common political aims for the future.
(Reich Foreign Minister)
Frame 112539, serial 104
                  Foreign Office Memorandum

W 4499g
     It  is  necessary to obtain a decision from  the  Fhrer
regarding the continuance of trade with the Soviet Union. The
directives  issued  during the last few weeks  by  the  Reich
Marshal  concerning  the absolute priority  of  all  armament
contracts  and  the  further  increasing  of  these  armament
contracts make it impossible for German industry
Page 197
to  execute,  in addition to these contracts,  the  scheduled
deliveries  to Russia. In this state of affairs, it  will  be
impossible  to  balance  the  considerable  deficit   already
existing  in  German deliveries. On the contrary,  a  further
great lag in German deliveries must be expected.
     The   Moscow  negotiations  on  the  balancing  of   the
deliveries were broken off on the 12th of this month  as  the
delegation  had  not sufficient authority  to  reply  to  the
Soviet  proposals.  If  satisfactory replies  are  not  given
Moscow  soon,  a  suspension  of the  Russian  deliveries  to
Germany is to be expected. This applies particularly  to  the
Russian  supplies  of grain and oil. The continuance  of  the
exchange of goods with the Soviet Union at the present  level
depends  on whether the Russian transactions have a priority,
as  before,  or  at  least  a preferential  parity  with  the
armament  contracts. This can only be decided by the  Fhrer.
The   German  economic  authorities,  especially  the   Reich
Ministry for Economic Affairs, are finding themselves unable,
because  of  the directives which have been issued,  to  deal
with    the   question   of   foreign   trade   with   Russia
     Herewith to be submitted to the Reich Foreign Minister.
     General Thomas informs me that the Reich Marshal expects
my  report  on  the Moscow negotiations soon.  I  request  an
opportunity to report in person first.

BERLIN, September 26, 1940.
Frames 0455-0457, serial F 5
 The German Charg‚ in the Soviet Union (Tippelskirch) to the
                    German Foreign Office
Moscow, September 27, 1940-5:13 a. m.
Received September 27, 1940-9:15 a. m.
No. 2041 of September 26
     Reference your telegram of the 26th, No. 1746. [96]
     For the Reich Foreign Minister in person.
     Instruction carried out with Molotov tonight at 10 p. m.
as directed.
     Molotov  listened very attentively to the communication.
At  item 6) Molotov showed evident satisfaction and said that
at the moment an
[96]  Reference  is to the Reich Foreign Minister's  telegram
No.  1746  of September 25, 1940, dispatched from  Berlin  on
September 26, ante, p. 195
Page 198
indication of his attitude was not necessary, as the reply to
the  letter that the Reich Foreign Minister intended to  send
to Stalin would provide an opportunity for it.
     Before  Molotov  went into the matter  of  the  military
alliance   with  Japan,  he  inquired-on  the  basis   of   a
telegraphic  report  from  the  Soviet  Embassy  in   Berlin-
regarding a German-Finnish agreement, which, according  to  a
Finnish communiqu‚, provided for the granting of passage  for
German  troops  through  Finland to  Norway,  and  which  was
referred  to  by Press Chief Schmidt at his press conference.
At  the  same time Molotov mentioned a report from the Berlin
Office  of  the  United Press, which was broadcast  over  the
radio,  stating that German troops had landed in the  Finnish
port of Vasa. I said that I had no further information on the
     Thereafter  Molotov stated as follows on the subject  of
the  military  alliance:  He gratefully  tool:  note  of  the
communication  from  the Reich Foreign Minister.  The  Soviet
Embassy  in Tokyo had a few days ago reported on a  plan  for
such  an  agreement. The Soviet Government, was,  of  course,
extremely interested in this question, because it involved  a
neighboring country to which the Soviet Union was  linked  by
numerous  interests.  Hence it was  understandable  that  the
Soviet Government not only had a great interest, but also the
desire to be informed in advance regarding the agreement  and
its  contents.  This  desire the Soviet Government  based  on
articles 3 and 4 of the Non-aggression Treaty. If the reverse
were the case, the Soviet Government would also inform us  in
advance and communicate to us the contents of the treaty. The
Soviet Government so construed article 4 that it was entitled
to  see  the treaty between the Axis Powers and Japan and  to
receive information of any secret protocols and agreements as
well,  for  which  confidential  treatment  was  promised  in
advance.   He  asked  to  be  informed  whether  the   German
Government concurred in his interpretation of article  4  and
reiterated  his desire to be acquainted with the contents  of
the treaty before its signing, in order to be able to express
his  views on it. If, contrary to his expectation, the German
Government  did not agree with his interpretation of  article
4,  he  asked  that the position of the German Government  be
communicated to him.
     As  particularly  significant  in  Molotov's  utterances
appear to me:
     1)  The  great  interest he showed in  the  treaty  with
     2)  The  constant  harping on article 3  and  especially
article  4  of the Non-aggression Treaty, in which connection
he quoted article 18 [sic] verbatim.
Page 199
     3)  The  insistence on seeing the text  of  the  treaty,
including the secret portions.
     After  Molotov  had  concluded  his  statements  on  the
question of the military alliance, he reverted again  to  the
German-Finnish  agreement referred to at  the  beginning  and
declared  that for the last three days the Soviet  Government
had received reports relative to the landing of German troops
at  Vasa,  Uleaborg  and Pori, without having  been  informed
thereof by Germany.
     The  Soviet Government wished to receive the text of the
agreement on the passage of troops through Finland, including
its  secret portions. This demand, too, was based on articles
3 and 4 of the Non-aggression Treaty. If we concurred in this
interpretation  of the articles mentioned,  he  asked  to  be
informed as to the object of the agreement, against  whom  it
was  directed,  and  the  purposes  that  were  being  served
thereby.  The agreement was being discussed in public,  while
the Soviet Government knew nothing about it.
     I  told  Molotov that I would communicate his statements
to my Government.
Frames 0458-0462, serial F 5
                  Foreign Office Memorandum
W 4520/40 g Rs.
     1)  In the period from August 24 to September 12 of this
year, negotiations took place in Moscow at the request of the
Russians,  for  the purpose of reviewing the  status  of  the
shipments  from  both  sides under the Commercial  Treaty  of
February  11,  1940.  The negotiations revealed  that  German
deliveries  for  the  first  half-year  fell  short  of   the
commitment  in the Treaty by roughly 73 million  Reichsmarks.
The  Russians handed in proposals for the balancing  of  this
deficit which amounted substantially to a shortening  of  the
delivery periods. Negotiations were temporarily broken off on
September  12,  in order that we might reexamine  the  Soviet
proposals in Berlin and work out German counterproposals  for
additional shipments to the Soviet Union. The Russians stated
that.  in  accordance with the Treaty provisions, they  would
temporarily   suspend  their  shipments,  if  neither   their
proposals nor our counterproposals led to the projected ratio
of deliveries.
Page 200

     2) The German commitments for the coming half-year are:
          to  February  11, 1941                     RM.  233
          to  May  11, 1941                          RM.  311
          including the undelivered balance of 73 million
          Reichsmarks mentioned above.
     This must be augmented by German shipments in return for
Bessarabian  grain and Bessarabian oil seed (RM. 40  million)
and  shipments in return for the German raw-material  imports
from  the  Baltic territories. The survey undertaken  jointly
with  the  Reich Ministry for Economic Affairs and  the  High
Command  of  the Armed Forces revealed that if  the  armament
program  ordered  by  the Fhrer is carried  out,  neither  a
balancing  of the existing deficit of 73 million  Reichsmarks
nor  the delivery on schedule of the remainder of the  German
commitment  is possible. In addition, there is the  directive
issued  by  the  Reich Marshal to avoid shipments  to  Russia
which  would  directly or indirectly strengthen Russia's  war
potential.  If these decisions are upheld, the suspension  of
Russian shipments to Germany must shortly be expected.
     3)   This  means  that  the  large  deliveries  of   raw
materials,  especially of grain, petroleum, cotton,  precious
and nonferrous metals, phosphate, will cease, at least for  a
time, and at the best will recommence later on a much smaller
scale   and   with  great  sacrifices  of  German   supplies.
Particularly  serious,  in  the opinion  of  the  Reich  Food
Ministry,  would be the effect on grain supplies. Russia  has
supplied  us to date with almost one million tons  of  grain.
Russia is the only country that has a good grain harvest  and
therefore  might  be  in a position to  continue  with  large
shipments.  The  Reich  Food Ministry  points  out  that  the
national  grain reserve will be used up in the  current  crop
year, so that we would enter the next crop year without  such
a reserve.
     4)  The  Reich Minister for Economic Affairs, the  Reich
Food  Minister,  and  the High Command of  the  Armed  Forces
requested  us  to  obtain  from the Fhrer  another  decision
regarding  the  continuation of trade with the Soviet  Union.
Raw  material  deliveries from Russia can  only  be  kept  at
approximately their present level if the German shipments  to
the U. S. S. R. are prepared at the rate indicated under item
2   (RM.   233  million,  RM.  311  million  and  40  million
Reichsmarks  of Bessarabian grain, etc.), and,  as  formerly,
receive  a priority or at least a preferred parity rating  as
against  the armament contracts. Since supplies of machinery,
of rolling mill products and
Page 201
coal  are principally involved, such an arrangement can  only
be made at the expense of the armament contracts.
     5)  The  Russians, presumably reacting  to  the  changed
German  attitude, have cancelled all long-range  projects  in
the  Commercial Treaty of February 11, 1940. This means  that
they   do  not  wish  to  receive  long-term  deliveries   of
processes,  installations, and capital  goods,  but  restrict
themselves  to  goods  which  will  benefit  their   economy,
especially their military rearmament, within the next 8 to 10
months. Hence the impact on our own military requirements  in
the  resulting narrower sphere of machinery and rolling  mill
products is much more severe than formerly.
     6) The supplies from the Russians have heretofore been a
very  substantial prop to the Germany war economy. Since  the
new commercial treaties went into effect, Russia has supplied
over  300 million Reichsmarks worth of raw materials, roughly
100  million Reichsmarks of which was grain. Russia has  thus
far  received  compensation only in the amount of  about  150
million   Reichsmarks.  The  striking  disproportion  between
German  and Russian deliveries is evident from the fact  that
in  August,  as  against  65 million Reichsmarks  of  Russian
deliveries, there were only 20 million Reichsmarks of  German
deliveries.   Our   sole  economic  connection   with   Iran,
Afghanistan,  Manchukuo, Japan and, beyond that,  with  South
America, is the route across Russia, which is being  used  to
an  increasing  extent for German raw material imports  (soy-
beans from Manchukuo).
BERLIN, September 28, 1940.
     Submitted to the Reich Foreign Minister as directed.
BERLIN, September 28, 1940.

[97]  An  appended  handwritten note reads as  follows:  "The
contents  of  the Memorandum were read to the Reich  Marshal,
who agreed with the views of Minister Schnurre. Sch [?]30/9"
Frames 112554-112558, serial 104
   The Reich Foreign Minister to the German Embassy in the
                        Soviet Union

BERLIN, October 2, 1940.

No. 1787
     Reference your telegram No. 1041 [2041]. [98]
[98] Ante, p 197.

Page 202
     Please  call on Herr Molotov again and, in reply to  his
statement, tell him as follows:
     The  German-Finnish  agreement he mentioned  involved  a
purely  technical  matter of military communications  without
political  implications. Just as we reached an  understanding
with Sweden about similar transport through Swedish territory
to  the areas of Oslo Trondheim, and Narvik, an understanding
was  reached  with  Finland about  transit  to  the  area  of
Kirkenes.  The  area  of  Kirkenes,  which  needed   military
protection against England because of the mines there, can be
reached  by  us  by land only through Finnish territory.  The
transport went by way of Uleaborg and Vasa, but not by way of
Pori.  In view of the purely technical communications  aspect
of  the matter we naturally saw no reason expressly to notify
the  Soviet Government of it. The understanding with  Finland
was  reached by an exchange of notes, which contains verbatim
the following four points:
     "1.   The  Finnish  Government'  upon  request  of   the
Government  of  the  Reich, grants the  through-transport  of
mat‚riel with escort personnel from the northern ports of the
Baltic Sea by way of Rovaniemi and the northern Arctic  Ocean
Road to Kirkenes in Northern Norway.
     "2.  The  Government  of  the German  Reich  shall  duly
indicate  to  the Finnish Government the ports of debarkation
selected, the number of the transport vessels, the  dates  of
sailing  and arrival, and the scheduled daily stages  of  the
transports in Northern Finland.
     "3.  The Government of the German Reich shall notify the
Finnish Government at least one day in advance of the arrival
of the transport vessels .
     "4.  Ordnance shall be shipped apart from the troops  in
separate  freight  cars.  A special agreement  will  be  made
regarding  the  number  of officers and  men  for  the  guard
details on the freight cars carrying ordnance."
     Should  Herr  Molotov  expressly ask  for  it,  you  are
authorized to hand him the text of the foregoing four  points
in the form of a memorandum.
     In  respect  to  the Three Power Pact  between  Germany,
Italy and Japan, Herr Molotov will surely have seen from  the
contents of the Pact, which have meanwhile been published, as
well  as  from  the  official statement made  by  the  German
Government in connection with it, that the question raised by
him  in regard to articles 3 and 4 of the German-Soviet  Non-
aggression Pact was pointless. The three partners
Page 203
were  from  the  beginning in complete agreement  that  their
accord  should  in no way affect the Soviet Union.  Therefore
the  most  comprehensive formula imaginable was  selected  in
article 5 of the Pact, which made it clear that not only  the
treaties concluded with the Soviet Union, but also the entire
political relationship to the Soviet Union was left  entirely
unchanged by the Pact. Therefore there can be no question  of
a  coalition  of  powers  which was  directly  or  indirectly
aligned against the Soviet Union in the sense of article 4 of
the  German-Soviet Non-aggression Pact. On the  contrary,  it
was   clearly  stated  in  the  declaration  of  the   German
Government  that  the parties to the Three  Power  Pact  were
looking   toward  further  favorable  developments   in   the
relations already existing with the Soviet Union.
     Since  the  whole  relationship  of  Germany,  and   the
relationship of Italy and Japan to the Soviet Union as  well,
was  left out of the picture by an express stipulation in the
Three  Power Pact, it therefore did not affect common German-
Soviet  interests and thus did not come under  the  provision
for  consultations  III article 3 of the  German-Soviet  Non-
aggression  Pact.  Nevertheless, I considered  it  proper  to
inform  Herr Molotov as soon as there was a definite prospect
that  the  Pact would be signed. Actually, the last decisions
in this connection were not made in Tokyo until September 27.
     Moreover,  you are explicitly authorized by me  to  tell
Herr Molotov most emphatically that no agreements of any sort
have  been made with Japan other than the published  text  of
the  Treaty.  There were no secret protocols  nor  any  other
secret agreements.
     In  a  few days I expect to dispatch to Herr Stalin  the
letter which I promised.
(Reich Foreign Minister)

Frames 112559-112560, serial 104

 The German Charg‚ in the Soviet Union (Tippelskirch) to the
                    German Foreign Office


Moscow, October 4, 1940-10:40 p. m.
Received October 5, 1940-6:30 a. m.

No. 2095 of October 4
     Reference your telegram of the 2d, No. 1787.
     For the Reich Minister personally.
Page 204
     Molotov  received me today at 6 p. m., after he  had  at
first asked me to call at 5; when I drove into the Kremlin  I
met  the  English  Ambassador in his car. Molotov  apologized
upon  greeting me, for having had to change the time  of  the
visit because of pressure of business.
     To   the  communications  I  made  in  accordance   with
instructions, Molotov made the following remarks.
     I. German-Finnish Agreements.
     Under  the German-Russian accord, Finland, as  we  knew,
belonged to the sphere of influence of the Soviet Union.  The
interest  of the Soviet Union in the agreement was  therefore
understandable and for this reason the Soviet Union wanted to
be  duly  informed.  The Soviet Government  was  anxious,  if
possible,  to be given additional, more detailed  information
about the German-Finnish agreement, especially regarding  the
number  of  German troops involved and the  duration  of  the
agreement (whether meant for a single action or for a  longer
period?),  and  also whether all the German troops  would  go
only to Kirkenes.
     To  my query as to whether the Soviet Government had not
also been informed by the Finnish Government, Molotov replied
in  the  negative and added that the Finnish  Government  had
informed  him  "at about the time of the publication  of  the
report",  but  it  kind  not  yet replied  to  the  questions
addressed to it.
     I told Herr Molotov that I would communicate his wish to
Berlin  and remarked that, as far as I knew, it was  not  our
intention  to  retain  German troops  in  Finland  and  that,
moreover,  the agreement was conditional upon the  threat  to
Kirkenes by England.
     Upon  his request, I left with Herr Molotov the text  of
the four points.
     II. Three Power Pact.
     Herr  Molotov:  The  Soviet  Government  would  have  to
examine  the matter closely since my communications contained
views   of   the  German  Government  with  regard   to   the
interpretation of articles 3 and 4 of the German-Soviet  Non-
aggression pact. He could, therefore, say nothing further  on
this at the moment.
Page 205
Frames 112565-112566, serial 104
               Foreign Office Memorandum [99]
W 4646/40g
OCTOBER 8, [1940]-7:30 p. m.
     To the Office of the Reich Foreign Minister.
     Please send the following by teletype to Fuschl:
     In  the  matter  of the granting of the  Petsamo  nickel
concession  the  Finnish Government finds itself  exposed  to
daily  increasing  pressure from the Soviet  Government.  The
Finns  are  afraid  that bad intentions lie concealed  behind
Molotov's  persistence. If the Finnish Government  yields  to
Russian   pressure  and  by  national  emergency  legislation
cancels  the present Canadian nickel concession and gives  it
to  the  Soviet  Government,  an unpleasant  and  unfavorable
situation would arise for us: Our own nickel interests, which
had  been  established in the negotiations with  the  Finnish
Government, would be completely wiped out, as Russia will not
respect  the German-Finnish agreements. With the transfer  of
the  nickel  concession Soviet Russia will acquire  exclusive
territorial influence in this area as well and thereby border
directly on the area of Kirkenes, which is protected  by  our
troops.  The  military, and the Reich Marshal in  particular,
have  voiced  the  hope that we shall not lose  Petsamo.  The
deputy  of  the Reich Marshal, Lt. Col. Veltjens, has,  among
other  things, obtained an option for the nickel  concession,
as compensation for the German supplies of arms.
     Up  to now the Foreign Office has been telling the Finns
that Germany will confine herself to carrying out the German-
Finnish  nickel contracts and will not on her own  initiative
take up the question of the concession with the Russians.  It
will now be necessary to go beyond that and to strengthen the
Finnish will to resist. They should be told we were in  favor
of  their  holding the question of the concession in abeyance
and  not definitely concluding the matter by the transfer  to
Russia.  It is not necessary to comply with the wish  of  the
Finns that we support their attitude in Moscow.
     Minister  Schnurre  requests an  opportunity  to  report
personally on this situation and on the present status of the
delivery  of  arms  to Finland. The matter is  urgent,  since
otherwise it must be expected that the Finns will give in.
[99]  A  notation reads "By teletype to Fuschl, No.  34."  At
Fuschl,  near  Salzburg was a residence of the Reich  Foreign
Page 206

Frame 112568, serial 104
   The Reich Foreign Minister to the German Embassy in the
                        Soviet Union


BERLIN, October 9, 1940.

No. 1832

     Please  call  on  Herr Molotov tomorrow,  Thursday,  and
communicate to him the following. I request you, however, not
to  let this communication appear as the real reason for your
call,  but  rather  to use some other reason  and  merely  to
introduce  the  following as incidental to the discussion  of
the other subject.
     Lately  there have appeared in the English press various
reports  concerning  the  dispatch  of  fairly  large  German
military   units  to  Rumania.  These  reports  are  entirely
tendentious. The truth of the matter is this: On the basis of
the  guarantee  given  it by the Axis  Powers,  the  Rumanian
Government  some  time  ago made a  request  of  us  to  make
available  to  it, for the training of the Rumanian  army,  a
German  military mission with certain instruction units  from
the German army. In view of our interest in seeing that quiet
and  order  are maintained in the Balkans, and  in  order  to
protect  our oil and grain interests against any  attempt  on
the  part  of England to disturb them, we declared  ourselves
willing  to  accede to the Rumanian request.  As  the  Soviet
Union  is  well  aware,  we have a vital  interest  in  these
territories, which we cannot leave exposed to the  menace  of
the  English, whose press continually plays with such  ideas.
In  view  of the friendly relations existing with the  Soviet
Government, we wished to inform her of this.
     I  have  already informed Ambassador Shkvartsev  in  the
same sense today.
Frames 112577-112578, serial 104
 The German Charg‚ in the Soviet Union (Tippelskirch) to the
                    German Foreign Office
Moscow, October 10, 1940-11:20 p. m.
Received October 11, 1940-3:25 a. m.

No. 2142 of October 10
     Reference your telegram No. 1832 of October 9.
     I  called on Molotov today at 6:30 p. m. I used  as  the
occasion  of  my visit the message that Hilger had  given  to
People's Commissar
Page 207
Mikoyan three days ago regarding the impending arrival  of  a
German  delegation  for  the  purpose  of  resuming  economic
negotiations.  I  stressed  the fact  that  in  view  of  the
importance of the question I was very anxious to inform  him-
Molotov-too,  that  the delegation led by Schnurre  would  be
strengthened by influential personalities who were authorized
to  make  independent decisions and that as a result  of  the
preliminary work done in Berlin we had the impression that  a
basis for an understanding had been created.
     Molotov  appeared interested, inquired about  the  exact
date  of  Schnurre's arrival and stated that we  now  had  to
await the results of the negotiations.
     After  that I brought the conversation around informally
to  the  real  purpose  of  my visit  and  gave  Molotov  the
prescribed  information, to which he listened with  interest.
After  I had finished Molotov stated that if it were  only  a
question of "instruction units" the numerical strength of the
German  troop  units in Rumania could not be very  large.  To
Molotov's question as to whether I knew the number of  German
troops sent to Rumania I replied in the negative, but I again
stressed  the  vital  German interest in  those  territories,
which  had  to  be  protected against  any  danger  from  the
English. Molotov did not wish to admit the existence of  such
danger,  remarking with a smile that England  now  had  other
worries and ought to be glad to save her own life.
     In    conclusion,   Molotov   inquired   regarding   the
information  which he had recently requested in  the  Finnish
matter,  to  which  I  replied that  this  information  would
presumably  be  brought  back by the  Ambassador,  who  would
return in a few days.

Frames 0433-0451, serial F 5
      Letter From the Reich Foreign Minister to Stalin
BERLIN, October 13, 1940.
     MY  DEAR  HERR  STALIN: Over a year  ago,  through  your
decision and the Fhrer's, the relations between Germany  and
Soviet  Russia  were reexamined and put on a  completely  new
basis.  I believe that the decision to reach an understanding
between our two countries-which resulted from the realization
that  the  Lebensrame of our peoples adjoin each  other  but
need not necessarily overlap, and which led to a delimitation
of  mutual  spheres  of  influence and to  the  German-Soviet
Russian Non-aggression and Friendship Treaties-has proved ad-
Page 208
vantageous  to both sides. I am convinced that the consistent
continuance  of  this  policy of good  neighborliness  and  a
further   strengthening   of  the  political   and   economic
collaboration will redound to the greater and greater benefit
of the two great peoples in the future. Germany, at any rate,
is prepared and determined to work to this end.
     With  such  a  goal, it seems to me,  a  direct  contact
between  the  responsible  personalities  of  both  countries
becomes  particularly  important.  I  believe  that  such   a
personal  contact through other than the customary diplomatic
channels  is indispensable from time to time in authoritarian
regimes  such  as  ours. Today I would,  therefore,  like  to
review  briefly  the events since my last  visit  to  Moscow.
Because of the historical importance of these events  and  in
continuation of our exchange of ideas of last year,  I  would
like  to  review for you the policy which Germany has pursued
during this period.
     After  the  conclusion of the Polish Campaign we  became
aware-and  this  was  confirmed by many  reports  which  were
received  during  the winter-that England,  faithful  to  her
traditional  policy, was building her whole war  strategy  on
the  hope  of an extension of the war. The attempts  made  in
1939  to  win  over the Soviet Union to a military  coalition
against  Germany had already pointed in this direction.  They
were frustrated by the German-Soviet Russian Agreement. Later
on, the attitude of England and France in the Soviet Russian-
Finnish conflict was similar.
     In the spring of 194O, these concealed intentions became
quite  evident.  With  this began the  active  phase  of  the
English  policy  of extending this war to  other  peoples  of
Europe.  After  the  end of the Soviet  Russian-Finnish  War,
Norway was selected as the first target. By the occupation of
Narvik and other Norwegian bases, Germany's iron ore supplies
were   to  be  cut  off  and  a  new  front  established   in
Scandinavia.  It  was only due to the timely intervention  of
the German leadership in Berlin and to the quick blows of our
troops-who  chased the English and the French out of  Norway-
that all of Scandinavia did not become a theater of war.
     Several  weeks later this Anglo-French game  was  to  be
repeated  in Holland and Belgium. And here, too, Germany  was
able  at the eleventh hour to prevent the contemplated thrust
of  the Anglo-French armies against the Ruhr Region (of which
we  had been informed some time before) by decisive victories
of  our armies. Today, even in France, "England's continental
sword,"  it has become apparent to most Frenchmen that  their
country  in  the last analysis had to bleed  to  death  as  a
victim of this traditional "humanitarian" policy of Eng-
Page 209
land.  As to the present English rulers, who declared war  on
Germany  and  who  thereby plunged the  British  people  into
misfortune, even they themselves were finally no longer  able
to   conceal  their  traditional  British  policy  and  their
contempt  for  their own allies. On the contrary,  when  fate
turned  against  them,  all their hypocritical  protestations
ceased.  With  true English cynicism, they have treacherously
forsaken  their friends. In fact, in order to save themselves
they slandered their erstwhile allies, and later on they even
openly  opposed  them by force. Andalsnes,  Dunkerque,  Oran,
Dakar,  are  names which-it appears to me-could  sufficiently
enlighten  the  world  on the value of England's  friendship.
However, on this occasion we Germans, too, learned a  lesson:
that  the English are not only unscrupulous politicians,  but
also  bad soldiers. Our troops have routed them wherever they
accepted  battle.  The German soldier was  superior  to  them
     The  Balkans were the next aim of the English policy  of
extending  the war. According to reports which  have  reached
us,  all  sorts of plans were repeatedly drawn up there  this
year,  and  in  one  instance  their  execution  was  already
ordered. That those plans were not duly carried out was-as we
know   today-due  exclusively  to  the  almost   unbelievable
dilettantism and the astonishing discord among the  political
as well as the military leaders of England and France.
     Germany's foes have endeavored to conceal from the world
their  measures  for extending the war, and they  have  tried
before the whole world to brand our exposure of these English
methods  of  extending  the  war  as  n  maneuver  of  German
propaganda.  In  the  meanwhile,  fate  would  have  it  that
documents  of inestimable importance fell into the  hands  of
the  German  armies  advancing with lightning  speed  in  the
various  theaters of war. As is well known, we  succeeded  in
capturing  the  secret political files of the French  General
Staff,  which were already prepared for shipment, and thereby
obtained  incontrovertible proof of the  correctness  of  our
reports  regarding  the intentions of our adversary  and  the
conclusions  we  had  drawn from  them.  A  number  of  these
documents, as you will remember, have already been  published
in  the  press, and an enormous amount of material  is  still
being  translated  and  examined. If  needed,  it  is  to  be
published in a White Book. With truly striking conclusiveness
the  background  of the English war policy is here  revealed.
You  will understand that we are gratified at being  able  to
open  the eyes of the world to the unprecedented incompetence
as well as to the almost criminal recklessness with which the
present English rulers, by their declaration of war on

Page 210
Germany,  plunged into misfortune not only their  own  people
but  also other peoples of Europe. But even beyond that,  the
documents at our disposal prove that the gentlemen  from  the
Thames  would  not  have  shrunk  from  attacking  completely
disinterested  nations, merely because they  continued  their
natural  trade  with Germany despite British  representations
and even threats. Undoubtedly, the Soviet-Russian oil centers
of  Baku and the oil port of Batum would even this year  have
become  the  victim of British attacks, if  the  collapse  of
France and the expulsion of the British Army from Europe  had
not broken the British spirit of aggression and put an abrupt
end to these activities.
     Nevertheless,  recognizing  the  complete  absurdity  of
continuing  this  war,  on July 19 the Fhrer  again  offered
peace to England. After the refusal of this last oder Germany
is  now  determined to prosecute the war against England  and
her  Empire until the final defeat of Britain. This fight  to
the  finish is now in progress and will only end when the foe
is  annihilated  militarily or when a real  understanding  is
assured through elimination of the forces responsible for the
war. It does not matter when this takes place.
     For  one thing is sure: the war as such has been won  by
us  anyway.  It  is only a question of how long  it  will  be
before England, under the impact of our operations, admits to
complete collapse.
     In  this  final phase of the war, to guard  against  any
moves   which  England  might  yet  make  in  her   desperate
situation, the Axis, as an obvious precaution, was forced  to
secure its military and strategic position in Europe as  well
as  its  political and diplomatic position in the  world.  In
addition,   it   had   to  safeguard  the  requirements   for
maintaining our economic life. Immediately after the  end  of
the campaign in the West, Germany and Italy started with this
task, and now they have carried it out in its broad outlines.
In  this  connection  there  may also  be  mentioned  the-for
Germany-unprecedented task of securing her Norwegian  coastal
positions all the way from the Skagerrak to Kirkenes. Germany
has   therefore   entered  into  certain   purely   technical
agreements  with Sweden and Finland, of which I have  already
fully  informed  you  through the German  Embassy.  They  are
exclusively  for the purpose of facilitating  supply  of  the
coastal  cities in the North (Narvik and Kirkenes)-which  are
difficult  for us to reach by land-by shipping  supplies  via
the territory of these countries.
     The  policy  which  we  have  recently  pursued  in  the
Rumanian-Hungarian  controversy is  similarly  oriented.  Our
guarantee  to Rumania is due exclusively to the necessity  of
protecting this Balkan
Page 211
region-which  is especially important from the standpoint  of
the  German supplies of oil and grain-against any disturbance
by war, sabotage, etc., in the interior of this area, as well
as  against  invasion attempts from the  outside.  The  anti-
German press tried at that time to place on the guarantee  of
the Axis Powers to Rumania constructions the purpose of which
was  all too apparent. The truth of the matter is that toward
the  end  of August-as we know-the situation between  Rumania
and  Hungary,  fomented by English agents  as  the  notorious
agitators in the Balkans, had reached such a point  that  the
outbreak of war was imminent and, in fact, air skirmishes had
already  occurred.  It was obvious that the  peace  could  be
saved  in  the Balkans only through the most rapid diplomatic
intervention.  There  was  no time for  any  negotiations  or
consultations.  Matters  had already  gone  too  far  from  a
military   standpoint.  This  accounts  for  the   completely
improvised meeting in Vienna and the award within  21  hours.
It  is, therefore, probably superfluous to emphasize that the
tendency  shown  in  the anti-German press  at  that  time-to
construe  these German-Italian actions as aimed  against  the
Soviet  Union-was entirely unfounded and dictated  solely  by
the  intention to disrupt relations between the Axis and  the
Soviet Union.
     The German Military Mission, too, sent a few days ago at
the  request  of  the Rumanians, together with  the  attached
instruction units of the German Armed Forces, which again was
taken  as  an occasion for flimsy speculations by  our  foes,
serves  both  to  train the Rumanian Army  and  to  safeguard
German   interests,  because  the  German  economy  and   the
economies of these territories are closely interdependent. If
England, as some reports seem to indicate, really intended to
undertake  some action against the oil fields of Rumania  for
instance, we have indeed already taken measures to  give  the
appropriate  answer to such British attempts at  intervention
from  abroad  or  of sabotage from within.  In  view  of  the
completely  misleading and tendentious press  reports,  which
have  been increasing in number during the last few  days,  I
informed your Ambassador, Herr Shkvarzev, a few days  ago  as
to  the  true  motives  for our action and  of  the  measures
actually taken.
     In connection with the sabotage attempts by the British,
the   question   raised   by   your   Government   concerning
reorganization  of  the  regime on  the  Danube  is  of  some
importance.  I  may  inform you that, in agreement  with  the
Italian  Government, we shall make proposals in the next  few
days which will take into account your wishes in the matter.

Page 212
     After  these measures to safeguard the position  of  the
Axis   in  Europe,  the  principal  interest  of  the   Reich
Government and of the Italian Government during recent  weeks
was  aimed at preventing the spread of the war beyond  Europe
into  a world conflagration. For, as the hopes of the English
of  finding  allies  in Europe faded, the English  Government
intensified its efforts to support particularly those circles
which in the democracies overseas aimed at an entry into  the
war against Germany and Italy and on the side of England.  In
contrast to this was the interest of those peoples which were
animated in the same degree by the desire for a New Order  in
the  world  as against the congealed plutocratic  democracies
and which saw, just as we did, these interests threatened  by
a  further  extension  of  the  European  War  into  a  world
conflagration. This condition applied particularly to  Japan.
Some time ago, therefore, upon orders from the Fhrer, I sent
an  emissary  to Tokyo to ascertain unofficially whether  the
common  interests could be expressed in the form  of  a  pact
directed  against the further extension of the war  to  other
peoples.  The  exchange  of ideas which  followed  very  soon
resulted in a complete and general consensus between  Berlin,
Rome,  and  Tokyo, on the fact that, in the  interest  of  an
early  restoration of peace, any further spread of war should
be  prevented  and  that  the  best  way  to  counteract  the
warmongering  of  an  international  clique  would  be  by  a
military alliance of the Three Powers. Thus, despite all  the
British  intrigues,  the  Berlin Treaty  was  concluded  with
surprising  rapidity-as I was able to advise you through  the
Embassy  as  soon as the final agreement had been reached  on
the day before the signing. I believe that the conclusion  of
this  Treaty will hasten the downfall of the present  English
rulers,  who  are alone in opposing the final restoration  of
peace,  and that it will thereby serve the interests  of  all
     As  to  the  question of the attitude toward the  Soviet
Union  of the three partners to this Alliance, I should  like
to  state  in  advance that from the very  beginning  of  the
exchange  of  views  all Three Powers  held  equally  to  the
opinion  that this Pact was not aimed in any way against  the
Soviet  Union; that, on the contrary, the friendly  relations
between  the Three Powers and their treaties with the  Soviet
Union  should remain completely unaffected by this agreement.
This attitude has, indeed, found its formal expression in the
text  of the Berlin Treaty. As to Germany, the conclusion  of
this  Pact  is the logical result of a conception of  foreign
policy-long adhered to by the Reich Government-in which  both
friendly  German-Soviet  cooperation  and  friendly   German-
Japanese cooperation have a place side by side and
Page 213
undisturbed. Beyond that, however, friendly relations between
Germany  and  Soviet  Russia as well  as  friendly  relations
between Soviet Russia and Japan, together with the friendship
between the Axis Powers and Japan, are logical elements of  a
natural  political coalition which, if intelligently managed,
will  work  out  to  the best advantage  of  all  the  powers
concerned.  You will remember that at the time  of  my  first
visit  to  Moscow I discussed similar ideas  with  you  quite
frankly  and  that  I  offered  our  good  offices  for   the
adjustment of differences still existing at the time  between
the Soviet Russians and the Japanese. I have endeavored since
then  to work in this direction, and I would welcome  it,  if
the  trend  toward reaching an understanding with the  Soviet
Union-which  is  becoming more and more clearly  manifest  in
Japan, too-could lead to its logical goal.
     In  summing  up,  I should like to state  that,  in  the
opinion  of the Fhrer, also, it appears to be the historical
mission  of  the Four Powers-the Soviet Union. Italy,  Japan,
and  Germany-to adopt a long-range policy and to  direct  the
future  development of their peoples into the right  channels
by delimitation of their interests on a worldwide scale.
     In  order  further  to clarify issues of  such  decisive
importance  for  the future of our peoples and  in  order  to
discuss  them in concrete form, we would welcome it  if  Herr
Molotov would pay us a visit in Berlin soon. I should like to
extend  a most cordial invitation to him in the name  of  the
Reich Government. After my two visits to Moscow, it would now
be  a  particular  pleasure for me  personally  to  see  Herr
Molotov  in Berlin. His visit would then give the Fhrer  the
opportunity to explain to Herr Molotov personally  his  views
regarding  the  future molding of relations between  our  two
countries.  Upon  his return, Herr Molotov will  be  able  to
report to you at length concerning the aims and intentions of
the Fhrer. If then-as I believe I may expect-the opportunity
should  arise for further elaboration of a common  policy  in
accordance with my foregoing statements, I should be happy to
come  to  Moscow  again personally in  order  to  resume  the
exchange  of  ideas  with you, my dear Herr  Stalin,  and  to
discuss-possibly together with representatives of  Japan  and
Italy-the  bases of a policy which could only be of practical
advantage to all of us.
     With best regards I remain
     Respectfully yours,
Page 214
Frame 0430, serial F 5

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


Moscow, October 18, 1940-12:08 a. m.
Received October 18, 1940-1:50 a. m.

No. 2200 of October 17

     For the Reich Foreign Minister.
     Today I handed Herr Molotov the letter intended for Herr
Stalin  and  strongly urged him to accept the  invitation  to
Berlin  as  soon as possible. Molotov stated  again  that  he
could  not deny that he owed a visit to Berlin, but  that  he
would  have to reserve his answer until after he had  studied
the letter.
     I  then  touched upon the complaints of the resettlement
commissions  in  the  Balkan  countries  and  in  Bessarabia.
Molotov, of course, attempted to dispute the justice  of  the
complaints, but in the end he promised to reexamine them.

Frame 0429, serial F 5

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


SONNENBURG, October 18, 1940.
Received Berlin October 18, 1940-3:30 p. m.
Transmitted to Moscow, 5:15 p. m.

No. 1878
     For the Ambassador personally.
     I  request  immediate information by wire as to  why  my
letter  to  Stalin  was not delivered to the  Soviet  Russian
Government  until  October 17, and why, in keeping  with  the
importance of its contents and the entire matter, the  letter
addressed  to  Stalin  was not-as I had  taken  for  granted-
delivered by you to Herr Stalin at a personal audience.
Page 215
Frames 0427-0428, serial F 5
 The German, Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Schulenburg) to
                  the German Foreign Office
Moscow, October 19, 1940-3:20 p. m.
Received October 19, 1940-6 p. m.

No. 2209 of October 19
     Reference your telegram of the 18th, No. 1878.
     For the Reich Foreign Minister.
     I  handed  Molotov the letter intended for Stalin  after
careful  examination  of the factual and  personal  situation
here.  After  I  had  informed Molotov,  in  accordance  with
instructions of some time ago, of your intention to address a
letter to Stalin and of its probable contents, a proposal  on
my  part  to  hand the letter directly to Stalin  would  have
caused  serious annoyance to Herr Molotov. It  seemed  to  me
imperative to avoid this, in view of the fact that Molotov is
the closest confidant of Stalin and that we will have to deal
with him on all great political issues in the future.
     In  addition, Stalin has recently shown a strong reserve
in  public, and I was therefore justified in assuming that he
would  avoid  a personal meeting with me on some  pretext  or
other. In this connection, I may recall the statement in  the
Soviet  press of September 7, according to which  Stalin  had
not  seen  me  for  more  than 6 months.  Insistence  upon  a
reception by Stalin might easily have been construed  on  the
Soviet side as a reaction to this published statement.
     That  the letter was not delivered until October  17  is
explained  by the fact that I did not arrive in Moscow  until
the evening of October 15, because the plane was late. Before
the letter was handed over, we first had to translate it into
Russian, since we know from experience that translations made
by  the Soviets are bad and full of inaccuracies. Considering
the extraordinary political significance of the letter it was
extremely important to transmit to Stalin a translation  that
was flawless as to form and content lest the letter convey an
inaccurate  impression. Because of the length and  importance
of the letter it was not possible, despite the most strenuous
efforts, to translate it into Russian and to prepare a  final
copy in Russian in a shorter space of time.
Page 216
Frames 0431-0432, serial F 5

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


Moscow, October 22, 1940-5:02 a. m.
Received October 22, 1940-7:35 a. m.

No. 2236 of October 21
     Reference your telegram of October 20, No. 1890. [1]
     For the Reich Foreign Minister personally.
     Tonight   Molotov  handed  me  Stalin's  sealed   answer
together with a copy. The form and style of the letter  leave
no doubt that the letter was composed by Stalin personally.
     Literally translated, the letter reads as follows:
     "MY  DEAR  HERR  VON  RIBBENTROP: I have  received  your
letter. I thank you sincerely for your confidence, as well as
for  the  instructive  analysis of  recent  events  which  is
contained in your letter.
     I  agree  with  you  that a further improvement  in  the
relations between our countries is entirely possible  on  the
permanent  basis  of  a  long-range  delimitation  of  mutual
     Herr  Molotov admits that he is under obligation to  pay
you  a  return  visit  in  Berlin.  He  hereby  accepts  your
     It  remains  for us to agree on the date of  arrival  in
Berlin.  The  time from the 10th to the 12th of  November  is
most convenient for Herr Molotov. If it is also agreeable  to
the  German  Government, the question may  be  considered  as
     I  welcome the desire expressed by you to come to Moscow
again  in  order to resume the exchange of ideas  begun  last
year  on questions of interest to both our countries.  and  I
hope  that  this  wish will be realized after Herr  Molotov's
trip to Berlin.
     As  to  joint deliberation on some issues with  Japanese
and Italian participation, I am of the opinion (without being
opposed  to this idea in principle) that this question  would
have to be submitted to a previous examination.
     Most respectfully yours"
     Molotov added orally that he planned to arrive in Berlin
on  the  10th, 11th or 12th of November. No decision has  yet
been  reached concerning the duration of his stay. It was  to
be made dependent upon the exigencies of the situation.
     Hilger  will  arrive  in Berlin Thursday  morning,  will
bring  along  Stalin's original letter  and  discuss  further
details of the visit there.
[1] Not printed.
Page 217
     Molotov  requested that the whole affair be  treated  in
strict confidence for the time being.
Frame 112626, serial 104
 The German Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Schulenburg) to
                  the German Foreign Office
Moscow, November 2, 1940-2:30 a. m.
Received November 2, 1940-7:50 a. m.

No. 2313 of November 1
     Reference my telegram No. 2310. [2]
     For the State Secretary.
     In  today's  discussion  between Schnurre  and  Mikoyan,
Mikoyan  complained in a tone of obvious  annoyance  that  we
were  not  willing to undertake the delivery of war  materiel
desired by the Soviet Government, yet we were delivering  war
materiel to Finland and other countries.
     This  is  the first time that our deliveries of arms  to
Finland have been mentioned by the Soviets.

[2] Not printed.

Frames 46290-46313, serial 66
Memorandum  of  the  Conversation Between the  Reich  Foreign
     Minister  and  the Chairman of the Council  of  People's
     Commissars  of  the U.S.S.R. and People's Commissar  for
     Foreign Affairs, V. M. Molotov, in the Presence  of  the
     Deputy   People's   Commissar   for   Foreign   Affairs,
     Dekanosov,  as Well as Counselor of Embassy  Hilger  and
     Herr  Pavlov, Who Acted as Interpreters; Held in  Berlin
     on November 12, 1940
RM 41/40
     After some introductory words the Reich Foreign Minister
stated  that since the two visits which he had made to Moscow
last year much had happened. Referring to the talks which  he
had   had   in   Moscow  with  the  Russian  statesmen,   and
supplementing what he had recently written in the  letter  to
Stalin, he now wanted to make a few more statements regarding
the  German view of the general situation and on Russo-German
relations, without thereby anticipating the Fhrer,
Page 218
who  would  talk in detail with Herr Molotov in the afternoon
and  would  give  him  his considered opinion  regarding  the
political  situation. After this discussion with the  Fhrer,
there would be further opportunities for talks with the Reich
Foreign  Minister, and it might he assumed that this  German-
Russian exchange of views would have a favorable effect  upon
the relations between the two countries.
     Molotov  replied  that the contents  of  the  letter  to
Stalin,  which already contained a general review  of  events
since  last  fall, were known to him, and he hoped  that  the
analysis  given in the letter would be supplemented  by  oral
statements  of  the  Fhrer  with  regard  to  the   over-all
situation and German-Russian relations.
     The Reich Foreign Minister replied that in the letter to
Stalin  he  had  already  expressed the  firm  conviction  of
Germany,  which  he wished to stress again on this  occasion,
that  no  power  on  earth  could alter  the  fact  that  the
beginning of the end had now arrived for the British  Empire.
England  was beaten, and it was only a question of time  when
she would finally admit her defeat. It was possible that this
would  happen  soon,  because in England  the  situation  was
deteriorating  daily. Germany would, of  course,  welcome  an
early  conclusion  of the conflict, since she  did  not  wish
under    any   circumstances   to   sacrifice   human   lives
unnecessarily. If, however, the British did not make up their
minds  in  the  immediate future to admit their defeat,  they
would  definitely  ask  for peace  during  the  coming  year.
Germany was continuing her bombing attacks on England day and
night. Her submarines would gradually be employed to the full
extent  and would inflict terrible losses on England. Germany
was  of  the opinion that England could perhaps be forced  by
these  attacks to give up the struggle. A certain  uneasiness
was  already  apparent  in  Great Britain,  which  seemed  to
indicate  such  a  solution. If, however,  England  were  not
forced  to  her knees by the present mode of attack,  Germany
would,  as  soon as weather conditions permitted,  resolutely
proceed to a large-scale attack and thereby definitely  crush
England.  This large-scale attack had thus far been prevented
only by abnormal weather conditions.
     On the other hand, England hoped for aid from the United
States,  whose  support, however, was extremely questionable.
Regarding possible military operations by land, the entry  of
the  United States into the war was of no consequence at  all
for  Germany.  Germany and Italy would never again  allow  an
Anglo-Saxon to land on the European Continent. The aid  which
England  could  get  from the American fleet  was  also  very
uncertain. Thus, America would confine herself to
Page 219
sending  war materiel, primarily planes, to the British.  How
much  of this materiel would really arrive in England it  was
difficult  to say. It might be assumed, however,  that  as  a
result  of  the measures taken by the German Navy,  shipments
from  America  would arrive in England only  in  very  meagre
quantities,  so  that in this respect, too, American  support
was  more  than  doubtful.  Under  these  circumstances,  the
question of whether America would enter the war or not was  a
matter of complete indifference to Germany.
     As   to  the  political  situation,  the  Reich  Foreign
Minister  remarked  that now, after  the  conclusion  of  the
French  campaign,  Germany  was extraordinarily  strong.  The
Fhrer  would probably give Herr Molotov further  information
on  this  point.  The course of the war had  brought  neither
losses of personnel-as regrettable as the sacrifices might be
for  the  families directly afflicted-nor material losses  of
any  importance. Germany, therefore, had at her  disposal  an
extraordinarily large number of divisions, and her air  force
was  constantly  growing stronger. The submarines  and  other
naval  units  were continually being augmented.  Under  those
circumstances,  any  attempt at  a  landing  or  at  military
operations on the European Continent by England or by England
backed  by  America  was doomed to complete  failure  at  the
start.  This was no military problem at all. This the English
had  not  yet understood, because apparently there  was  some
degree  of confusion in Great Britain and because the country
was led by a political and military dilettante by the name of
Churchill,  who throughout his previous career had completely
failed at all decisive moments and who would fail again  this
     Furthermore, the Axis completely dominated its  part  of
Europe  militarily  and politically. Even France,  which  had
lost  the  war  and had to pay for it (of which  the  French,
incidentally,  were quite aware) had accepted  the  principle
that  France in the future would never again support  England
and  de Gaulle, the quixotic conqueror of Africa. Because  of
the extraordinary strength of their position, the Axis Powers
were  not, therefore, considering how they might win the war,
but  rather  how  rapidly they could end the  war  which  was
already won.
     As  a  result  of  this whole development,  i.  e.,  the
natural desire of Germany and Italy to end the war as rapidly
as possible, both countries had looked around for friends who
pursued  the  same  interest, that is, who were  against  any
extension of the war and aimed at a speedy conclusion of  the
war. The Tripartite Pact between Germany,
Page 220
Italy,  and  Japan had been the result of these efforts.  The
Reich  Foreign  Minister could state  confidentially  that  a
number  of other countries had also declared their solidarity
with the ideas of the Three Power Pact.
     In this connection the Reich Foreign Minister emphasized
that  during  the talks on the Three Power Pact,  which  were
concluded  very  rapidly, as he had  already  stated  in  the
letter to Stalin, one idea had been paramount in the minds of
all  three participants, namely, that the Pact should not  in
any  way  disturb  the relationship of the  Three  Powers  to
Russia.  This  idea  had been advanced by the  Reich  Foreign
Minister and had been at once spontaneously approved by Italy
and Japan. Japan, in particular-whose friendship for Germany,
in  view  of the warmongering agitation in the United States,
was  of  special importance in the interest of  preventing  a
spread  of  the war-had given it her backing. Relations  with
Russia were clarified in article 5 of the Tripartite Pact  of
Berlin and had actually been the first subject settled.
     The  Reich  Foreign Minister pointed out that  from  the
very  first moment of his Moscow visit he had made clear  his
view  that  in  the basic foreign policy of the New  Germany,
friendship  with Japan (as expressed in the Tripartite  Pact)
and   friendship   with  Russia  were  not  only   absolutely
consistent with each other but could be of positive value  in
the  realization of this foreign policy so far as the  desire
for  a speedy end to the war is concerned-a desire which  was
surely shared by Soviet Russia. Molotov would recall that the
Reich  Foreign  Minister had stated in  Moscow  that  Germany
would  very much welcome an improvement in relations  between
Russia  and Japan. He (the Reich Foreign Minister) had  taken
with him to Germany Stalin's concurrence in the idea that  it
would  also be in the Russian interest if Germany would exert
her   influence   in  Tokyo  in  favor  of  a  Russo-Japanese
rapprochement. The Reich Foreign Minister pointed out that he
had  consistently  exerted this influence in  Tokyo,  and  he
believed  that his work had to a certain degree already  been
effective. Not only since his Moscow visit, but even seven to
eight   years  ago,  he  (the  Reich  Foreign  Minister)   in
conversations  with the Japanese had always advocated  Russo-
Japanese  accord. He took the position that just  as  it  had
been  possible  to  delimit the mutual  spheres  of  interest
between   Soviet  Russia  and  Germany,  a  delimitation   of
interests  could also be achieved between Japan  and  Russia.
With  regard to her Lebensraum policy, Japan now was oriented
not  toward the East and North, but toward the South, and the
Reich Foreign Minister
Page 221
believed  that by his influence he had contributed  something
to  this  development. Another reason why Germany had striven
for  an  understanding  with Japan was the  realization  that
England  would  some  day  go  to  war  against  the   Reich.
Therefore,  in good season Germany had adopted an appropriate
policy toward Japan.
     The  Fhrer  now  was of the opinion that  it  would  be
advantageous  in  any  case  if  the  attempt  were  made  to
establish  the spheres of influence between Russia,  Germany,
Italy,  and  Japan  along very broad lines.  The  Fhrer  had
considered  this  question long and thoroughly,  and  he  had
reached  the following conclusion: By reason of the  position
which  the four nations occupied in the world, a wise  policy
would  normally  direct  the  momentum  of  their  Lebensraum
expansion entirely southward. Japan had already turned toward
the  South, and she would have to work for centuries in order
to  consolidate  her territorial gains in the South.  Germany
had  defined her spheres of influence with Russia, and  after
the  establishment of a new order in Western Europe she would
also  find  her  Lebensraum  expansion to be in  a  southerly
direction,  i.  e., in Central Africa in the  region  of  the
former  German colonies. Similarly Italian expansion  was  to
the south in the African portion of the Mediterranean. i.  e.
North  and  East  Africa. He, the Foreign Minister,  wondered
whether  Russia in the long run would not also  turn  to  the
South  for  the natural outlet to the open sea  that  was  so
important for Russia. These were, the Reich Foreign  Minister
stated  in conclusion, the great concerns which during recent
months  had frequently been discussed between the Fhrer  and
himself and which were also to be presented to Molotov on the
occasion of the Berlin visit.
     To  a  question  by Molotov as to which  sea  the  Reich
Foreign Minister had meant when he had just spoken of  access
to  the  sea,  the  latter replied that according  to  German
opinion  great  changes would take place all over  the  world
after  the war. He recalled the fact that he had declared  to
Stalin  in  Moscow that England no longer had  the  right  to
dominate  the  world. England was pursuing an insane  policy,
for  which  she would some day have to pay the cost.  Germany
believed,  therefore, that great changes would occur  in  the
status  of  British  imperial  possessions.  Thus  far,  both
partners had benefited from the German-Russian Pact,  Germany
as  well  as Russia, which was able to carry out her rightful
revisions in the West. The victory of Germany over Poland and
France   had   contributed  considerably  to  the  successful
achievement of these revisions. Both partners of the  German-
Russian Pact had together done some good business.

Page 222
     This  was  the  most favorable basis for any  pact.  The
question  now  was, whether they could not  continue  in  the
future  also to do good business together and whether  Soviet
Russia could not derive corresponding advantages from the new
order of things in the British Empire, i. e., whether in  the
long  run the most advantageous access to the sea for  Russia
could  not be found in the direction of the Persian Gulf  and
the  Arabian Sea, and whether at the same time certain  other
aspirations  of Russia in this part of Asia-in which  Germany
was completely disinterested-could not also be realized.
     The  Reich  Foreign  Minister  further  brought  up  the
subject of Turkey. Thus far that country had outwardly had an
alliance  with France and England. France had been eliminated
by  her  defeat, and England's value as an ally would  become
more and more questionable. Therefore, Turkey had been clever
enough in recent months to reduce her ties with England to  a
level  that  amounted really to nothing more than the  former
neutrality. The question arose as to what interest Russia had
in  Turkey. In view of the imminent end of the war, which was
in  the  interest  of  all countries,  including  Russia,  he
believed  that Turkey should be induced to free herself  more
and  more  from  the tie with England. He (the Reich  Foreign
Minister) did not want to pass final judgment on details, but
he  believed  that with the adoption of a common platform  by
Russia,  Germany, Italy, and Japan Turkey ought gradually  to
be  steered  toward these countries. Thus  far,  he  had  not
discussed  these matters with the Turks in any concrete  way.
He  had  only stated in a confidential talk with the  Turkish
Ambassador  that  Germany  would welcome  it  if  Turkey,  by
pursuing  in  intensified degree her present political  line,
would  arrive at absolute neutrality, and he had  added  that
Germany  did  not  make  any  claims  whatsoever  to  Turkish
     The Reich Foreign Minister further declared that in this
connection  he understood completely Russia's dissatisfaction
with  the  Straits Convention of Montreux. Germany  was  even
more  dissatisfied, for she had not been included  in  it  at
all.  Personally he (the Reich Foreign Minister) was  of  the
opinion  that  the  Montreux  Convention,  like  the   Danube
Commissions, must be scrapped and replaced by something  new.
This  new  agreement must be concluded between  those  powers
that  were  particularly interested in the  issue,  primarily
Russia, Turkey, Italy, and Germany. It was clear that  Soviet
Russia  could  not  be satisfied with the present  situation.
Germany  found  the idea acceptable that  in  the  Black  Sea
Soviet Russia and the adjacent countries should enjoy certain
privileges over other countries of the
Page 223
world.  It  was absurd that countries that were thousands  of
miles  away from the Black Sea should claim to have the  same
rights  as  the  Black Sea powers. The new Straits  agreement
with  Turkey would, moreover, have to secure certain  special
privileges  to Russia, on the details of which he  could  not
yet  comment at the moment, but which would have to grant  to
the  warships  and  merchant fleet of  the  Soviet  Union  in
principle  freer access to the Mediterranean than heretofore.
Russia  was entitled to that. He (the Reich Foreign Minister)
had  already  discussed these matters with the Italians,  and
the  arguments which he had just indicated had received  most
sympathetic consideration in Italy. It appeared advisable  to
him  that  Russia, Germany, and Italy should pursue a  common
policy  toward Turkey in order to induce that country without
loss  of  face  to free herself from her ties  with  England,
which could hardly be pleasing to the three countries. Turkey
would  thereby not only become a factor in the  coalition  of
powers   against  the  spread  of  war  and  for   an   early
establishment  of peace, but she would also  be  prepared  to
scrap the Montreux Convention voluntarily and, in conjunction
with   these  three  countries,  to  create  a  new   Straits
convention  which would satisfy the just demands of  all  and
give  Russia certain special privileges. In this matter  they
might  consider jointly whether it would not be  possible  to
recognize the territorial integrity of Turkey.
     The  Reich  Foreign Minister summed  up  the  matter  by
stating that the following issues were involved-
     1.   To  consider  jointly  how  the  countries  of  the
Tripartite  Pact could reach an agreement of some  kind  with
the  Soviet  Union, expressing the Soviet Union's  solidarity
with the aim of the Tripartite Pact, namely the prevention of
the spread of war and the early establishment of world peace.
     Moreover,  other  common issues could be  designated  on
which  the  countries  wished to  collaborate  and,  finally,
mutual  respect for one another's interests might  be  agreed
upon.  These were approximately the guide lines  for  such  a
contemplated  agreement.  The  details  would  have   to   be
discussed further. If these arguments appeared acceptable  to
the  Soviet  Government, a joint declaration  by  the  Soviet
Government and the powers of the Tripartite Pact pledging the
early restoration of peace would in effect result.
     2.  Joint  examinations as to whether in  some  way  the
interests  of the four countries could be clarified  for  the
future on a very long-range scale.

Page 224
     3.  The  issue  of Turkey and the Straits question  were
also involved.
     On  all these points, it was to be kept in mind that the
Reich  Foreign Minister did not yet wish to make any concrete
proposals; he had only presented a summary of the ideas which
the  Fhrer and he had in mind when the letter to Stalin  was
sent.  If,  however,  these ideas appeared  feasible  to  the
Soviet Government, the Reich Foreign Minister would be  quite
ready  to  come  to  Moscow himself and discuss  the  matters
personally  with Stalin. He wondered whether the simultaneous
presence of his Italian and Japanese colleagues, who, as  far
as he knew, were also prepared to come to Moscow, could be of
advantage  in  the  matter. Of course,  the  relationship  of
Russia  to the Axis, as well as relations between Russia  and
Japan,  would  first have to be clarified through  diplomatic
     At  the  end  the Reich Foreign Minister  added  another
remark  regarding  his recent conversation with  the  Chinese
Ambassador.  He had not been prompted from any  direction  to
hold  this conversation, but he had had indications that  the
Japanese  would not have any objections to it. In  line  with
the  efforts to bring about a speedy end to the war,  he  had
asked  himself  whether  there was  not  the  possibility  of
reconciling  the  differences  between  Chiang  Kai-shek  and
Japan. He had not, by any means, offered Germany's mediation,
but,  in  view  of  the long and friendly relations  existing
between Germany and China, had merely informed Marshal Chiang
Kai-shek of the German view. Japan was about to recognize the
Nanking  Government; on the other hand, reports were  current
to  the effect that Japan as well as China desired to seek  a
compromise.  Whether these reports were based on  fact  could
not  be definitely ascertained. It would undoubtedly be well,
however,  if a compromise between the two countries could  be
found.  For  this reason he (the Reich Foreign Minister)  had
summoned  the  Chinese Ambassador in order to communicate  to
him  the  German position on this question, since he did  not
consider  it  impossible that something was  being  initiated
between  Japan and China of which he wished to inform Molotov
during this exchange of ideas.
     Molotov agreed with the remark concerning the advantages
of  a  Sino-Japanese accord and replied to the statements  of
the  Reich Foreign Minister by saying that they had  been  of
great interest to him and that an exchange of ideas regarding
the  great  problems concerning not only Germany  and  Soviet
Russia  but  also  other  states as well  might,  indeed,  be
useful.  He had well understood the statements of  the  Reich
Foreign Minister regarding the great importance of the
Page 225
     Tripartite  Pact.  As  the  representative  of  a   non-
belligerent country, however, he had to ask for a  number  of
explanations in order to ascertain more clearly  the  meaning
of  the  Pact. When the New Order in Europe and  the  Greater
East  Asian Sphere were discussed in the Treaty, the  concept
of  a  "Greater East Asian Sphere" was quite vague, at  least
for  a person who had not participated in the preparation  of
the  Pact. Therefore, it would be important for him to obtain
a  more  accurate definition of this concept.  Moreover,  the
participation of the Soviet Union in the actions envisaged by
the  Reich Foreign Minister must be discussed in detail,  and
that not only in Berlin, but also in Moscow.
     The  Reich Foreign Minister replied that the concept  of
the  Greater East Asian Sphere had been new to him, too,  and
that  it  had  not been defined to him in detail either.  The
formulation  had been suggested in the last few days  of  the
negotiations, which, as already mentioned, had proceeded very
rapidly.  He  could state, however, that  the  concept  of  a
"Greater East Asian Sphere" had nothing to do with the  vital
Russian  spheres of influence. During the pact  negotiations,
as  already  mentioned, the first matter discussed  was  that
nothing aimed directly or indirectly against Russia might  be
included in the Pact.
     Molotov  replied  that  precision  was  necessary  in  a
delimitation  of  spheres of influence  over  a  rather  long
period of time. Therefore, he had asked to be informed of the
opinion  of  the  authors of the Pact or, at  least,  of  the
opinion  of  the  Reich Government on this point.  Particular
vigilance  was needed in the delimitation of the  spheres  of
influence  between Germany and Russia. The  establishment  of
these  spheres  of  influence in the past  year  was  only  a
partial  solution,  which  had  been  rendered  obsolete  and
meaningless  by  recent circumstances and  events,  with  the
exception of the Finnish question, which he would discuss  in
detail  later. It would necessarily take some time to make  a
permanent settlement. In this connection, in the first place,
Russia  wanted to come to an understanding with Germany,  and
only  then  with  Japan and Italy, after she  had  previously
obtained precise information regarding the significance,  the
nature, and the aim of the Tripartite Pact.
     At  this point the conversation was interrupted in order
to  give the Russian delegates time for breakfast in a  small
circle before the conversation with the Fhrer began.
BERLIN, November 13, 1940.
Page 226
Frames 0281-0259 [sic], serial F 3
Memorandum  of  the Conversation Between the Fhrer  and  the
     Chairman  of  the  Council  of People's  Commissars  and
     People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs, Molotov, in  the
     Presence  of  the  Reich Foreign  Minister,  the  Deputy
     People's  Commissar, Dekanosov, as Well as of  Counselor
     of   Embassy  Hilger  and  Herr  Pavlov,  Who  Acted  as
     Interpreters, on November 12, 1940
Fh. 32/40 g. Rs.
     After some words of welcome, the Fhrer stated that  the
idea that was uppermost in his mind in the conversations  now
taking  place was this: In the life of peoples it was  indeed
difficult  to lay down a course for development over  a  long
period in the future and the outbreak of conflicts was  often
strongly   influenced  by  personal  factors;  he   believed,
nevertheless,  that  an attempt had to be  made  to  fix  the
development of nations, even for a long period of time, in so
far  as  that was possible, so that friction would be avoided
and  the  elements of conflict precluded as  far  as  humanly
possible.  This  was particularly in order when  two  nations
such as the German and Russian nations had at their helm  men
who  possessed sufficient authority to commit their countries
to  a  development in a definite direction. In  the  case  of
Russia  and  Germany, moreover, two very great  nations  were
involved  which  need  not by nature  have  any  conflict  of
interests, if each nation understood that the other  required
certain vital necessities without the guarantee of which  its
existence  was  impossible. Besides this, both countries  had
systems of government which did not wage war for the sake  of
war,  but which needed peace more than war in order to  carry
out  their  domestic tasks. With due regard for vital  needs,
particularly  in  the  economic field, it  should  really  be
possible  to  achieve a settlement between them, which  would
lead  to  peaceful  collaboration between the  two  countries
beyond the life span of the present leaders.
     After  Molotov  had expressed his entire agreement  with
these arguments, the Fhrer continued that it was obviously a
difficult  task  to  chart developments between  peoples  and
countries over a long period. He believed, however,  that  it
would  be possible to elaborate clearly and precisely certain
general  points  of  views  quite independently  of  personal
motives and to orient the political and economic interests of
peoples  in  such  a  manner as to give some  guarantee  that
conflicts would be avoided even for rather long periods.  The
situation in which

Page 227
the  conversation of today was taking place was characterized
by  the fact that Germany was at war, while Soviet Russia was
not.   Many  of  the  measures  taken  by  Germany  had  been
influenced by the fact of her belligerency. Many of the steps
that  were  necessary in the course of the war had  developed
from  the  conduct of the war itself and could not have  been
anticipated  at the outbreak of war. By and large,  not  only
Germany  but  also  Russia had gained  great  advantages.  On
further consideration, the political collaboration during the
one  year of its existence had been of considerable value  to
both countries.
     Molotov stated that this was quite correct.
     The Fhrer declared further that probably neither of the
two peoples had realized its wishes 100 percent. In political
life,  however, even a 20-25 percent realization  of  demands
was  would a good deal. He believed that not every wish would
be  fulfilled in the future either, but that the two greatest
peoples of Europe, if they went along together, would, in any
case  gain  more than if they worked against each  other.  If
they  stood together, some advantage would always  accrue  to
both  countries. If they worked against each other,  however,
third countries would be the sole gainers.
     Molotov  replied  that the argument of  the  Fhrer  was
entirely correct and would be confirmed by history;  that  it
was   particularly  applicable  to  the  present   situation,
     The  Fhrer  then  went on to say that  proceeding  from
these  ideas he had again quite soberly pondered the question
of  German-Russian collaboration, at a time when the military
operations were in effect concluded.
     The  war had, moreover, led to complications which  were
not  intended  by Germany, but which had compelled  her  from
time  to  time  to  react militarily to certain  events.  The
Fhrer  then  outlined  to Molotov  the  course  of  military
operations up to the present, which had led to the fact  that
England  no longer had an ally on the continent. He described
in  detail  the  military operations now  being  carried  out
against England, and he stressed the influence of atmospheric
conditions  on  these  operations.  The  English  retaliatory
measures  were  ridiculous, and the Russian  gentlemen  could
convince  themselves at first hand of the fiction of  alleged
destruction  in  Berlin.  As soon as  atmospheric  conditions
improved,  Germany would be poised for the  great  and  final
blow against England. At the moment, then, it was her aim  to
try  not  only to make military preparations for  this  final
struggle,  but  also  to clarify the political  issues  which
would be of

Page 228
importance during and after this showdown. He had, therefore,
reexamined  the relations with Russia, and not in a  negative
spirit, but with the intention of organizing them positively-
if  possible, for a long period of time. In so doing  he  had
reached several conclusions:
     1.  Germany was not seeking to obtain military aid  from
     2.  Because  of  the tremendous extension  of  the  war,
Germany  had  been  forced, in order to  oppose  England,  to
penetrate  into territories remote from her and in which  she
was not basically interested politically or economically;
     3.  There  were  nevertheless certain requirements,  the
full importance of which had become apparent only during  the
war,  but which were absolutely vital to Germany. Among  them
were  certain sources of raw materials which were  considered
by  Germany  as  most  vital  and  absolutely  indispensable.
Possibly Herr Molotov was of the opinion that in one case  or
another  they had departed from the conception of the spheres
of  influence  which had been agreed upon by Stalin  and  the
Reich  Foreign Minister. Such departures had already occurred
in  some  cases  in the course of Russian operations  against
Poland.  In a number of cases, on calm consideration  of  the
German  and Russian interests, he (the Fhrer) had  not  been
ready  to made concessions' but he had realized that  it  was
desirable  to  meet  the needs of Russia  half-way,  as,  for
instance, in the case of Lithuania. From an economic point of
view, Lithuania had, it is true, had a certain importance for
us, but from a political point of view, we had understood the
necessity  of straightening out the situation in  this  whole
field in order thereby to prevent in the future the spiritual
revival  of  tendencies that were capable of causing  tension
between  the two countries of Germany and Russia. In  another
case,  namely, that of the South Tyrol, Germany had  taken  a
similar  position. However, in the course of the war, factors
had  arisen for Germany which could not have been anticipated
at  the  outbreak of the war, but which had to be  considered
absolutely vital from the standpoint of military operations.
     He  (the  Fhrer)  now had pondered  the  question  how,
beyond all petty momentary considerations, further to clarify
in  bold outline the collaboration between Germany and Russia
and  what direction future German-Russian developments should
take.  In  this  matter  the  following  viewpoints  were  of
importance for Germany:
     1. Need for Lebensraum [Raumnot]. During the war Germany
had  acquired  such  large areas that she would  require  one
hundred years to utilize them fully.
     2.   Some  colonial  expansion  in  Central  Africa  was
Page 229
     3.  Germany needed certain raw materials, the supply  of
which  she  would have to safeguard under all  circumstances.
     4.  She  could not permit the establishment  by  hostile
powers of air or naval bases in certain areas.
     In  no event, however, would the interests of Russia  be
selected.  The  Russian empire could develop without  in  the
least  prejudicing German interests. (Molotov said  this  was
quite  correct.) If both countries came to realize this fact,
they  could collaborate to their mutual advantage  and  could
spare themselves difficulties, friction, and nervous tension.
It  was perfectly obvious that Germany and Russia would never
become  one world. Both countries would always exist separate
from  each other as two powerful elements of the world.  Each
of them could shape its future as it liked, if in so doing it
considered the interests of the other. Germany herself had no
interests  in Asia other than general economic and commercial
interests.  In  particular,  she had  no  colonial  interests
there.  She  knew,  furthermore, that the  possible  colonial
territories in Asia would probably fall to Japan. If  by  any
chance  China,  too, should be drawn into the  orbit  of  the
awakening  [erwachenden]  nations, any  colonial  aspirations
would  be doomed to disappointment from the start in view  of
the masses of people living there.
     There  were  in  Europe a number of  points  of  contact
[Berhrungsmomenten] between Germany, Russia, and Italy. Each
one of these three countries had an understandable desire for
an  outlet to the open sea. Germany wanted to get out of  the
North  Sea,  Italy wanted to remove the barrier of Gibraltar,
and  Russia was also striving toward the ocean. The  question
now  was  how much chance there was for these great countries
really  to  obtain free access to the ocean without  in  turn
coming  into  conflict with each other over the matter.  This
was  also  the  viewpoint  from  which  he  looked  upon  the
organization of European relations after the war. The leading
statesmen  of Europe must prevent this war from becoming  the
father of a new war. The issues to be settled had, therefore,
to  be  settled  in  such  a manner that,  at  least  in  the
foreseeable future, no new conflict could arise.
     In  this  spirit,  he (the Fhrer) had talked  with  the
French  statesmen and believed that he had found  among  them
some  sympathy for a settlement which would lead to tolerable
conditions  for a rather long period and which  would  be  of
advantage to all concerned, if only to the extent that a  new
war did not again have to be feared immediately. Referring to
the  preamble  of the Armistice Treaty with  France,  he  had
pointed out to P‚tain and Laval that, as long as the

Page 230
war  with England lasted, no step might be taken which  would
in  any  way  be incompatible with the conditions for  ending
this war against Great Britain.
     Elsewhere,  too, there were problems such as these,  but
ones which arose only for the duration of the war. Thus,  for
instance,  Germany had no political interests  whatsoever  in
the Balkans and was active there at present exclusively under
the compulsion of securing for herself certain raw materials.
It   was   a   matter  of  purely  military  interests,   the
safeguarding  of  which was not a pleasant task,  since,  for
instance,  a  German military force had to be  maintained  in
Rumania, hundreds of kilometers away from the supply centers.
     For  similar reasons the idea was intolerable to Germany
that  England  might  get a foothold in Greece  in  order  to
establish  air and naval bases there. The Reich was compelled
to prevent this under any circumstances.
     The continuation of the war under such circumstances was
of  course not desirable. And that is why Germany had  wanted
to  end  the war after the conclusion of the Polish campaign.
At  that time England and France could have had peace without
personal sacrifices; they had, however, preferred to continue
the  war.  Of course, blood also creates rights, and  it  was
inadmissible that certain countries should have declared  and
waged  war without afterward paying the cost. He (the Fhrer)
had  made  this clear to the French. At the present stage  of
developments,  however,  the  question  was  which   of   the
countries  responsible for the war had to pay  more.  At  any
rate,  Germany would have preferred to end the war last  year
and  to  have  demobilized her army in order  to  resume  her
peacetime work, since from an economic point of view any  war
was  bad business. Even the victor had to incur such expenses
before,  during, and after the war that he could have reached
his goal much more cheaply in a peaceful development.
     Molotov concurred in this idea, stating that in any case
it  was  vastly more expensive to attain a goal  by  military
measures  than  by  peaceful means. The  Fhrer  pointed  out
further that under the present circumstances Germany had been
forced  by wartime developments to become active in areas  in
which  she  was  politically disinterested but  had  at  most
economic  interests.  Self-preservation, however,  absolutely
dictated this course. Nevertheless, this activity of Germany-
forced  upon  her  in  the  areas in question-represented  no
obstacle  to any pacification of the world which would  later
be  undertaken, and which would bring to the nations  working
toward the same end that for which they hoped.
Page 231
     In  addition,  there  was the problem  of  America.  The
United  States now pursuing an imperialistic policy.  It  was
not  fighting for England, but only trying to get the British
Empire into its grasp. They were helping England, at best, in
order  to further their own rearmament and to reinforce their
military  power by acquiring bases. In the distant future  it
would  be a question of establishing a great solidarity among
those  countries  which  might be  involved  in  case  of  an
extension  of  the  sphere of influence of  this  Anglo-Saxon
power,  which  had  a  more solid foundation,  by  far,  than
England. In this case, it was not a question of the immediate
future;  not  in 1945, but in 1970 or 1980, at the  earliest,
would the freedom of other nations be seriously endangered by
this  Anglo-Saxon power. At any rate, the Continent of Europe
had  to adjust itself now to this development and had to  act
jointly  against the Anglo-Saxons and against  any  of  their
attempts  to  acquire  dangerous  bases.  Therefore,  he  had
undertaken  an  exchange  of ideas with  France,  Italy,  and
Spain,  in order with these countries to set up in the  whole
of  Europe  and  Africa some kind of Monroe Doctrine  and  to
adopt a new joint colonial policy by which each of the powers
concerned  would  claim  for itself  only  as  much  colonial
territory as it could really utilize. In other regions, where
Russia  was the power in the foremost position, the interests
of  the  latter  would, of course, have to come  first.  This
would result in a great coalition of powers which, guided  by
sober  appraisal of realities, would have to establish  their
respective  spheres of interest and would  assert  themselves
against the rest of the world correspondingly. It was  surely
a  difficult task to organize such a coalition of  countries;
and  yet, to conceive it was not as difficult as to carry  it
     The  Fhrer then reverted to the German-Russian efforts.
He  understood thoroughly Russia's attempts to  get  ice-free
ports  with absolutely secure access to the open sea. Germany
had enormously expanded her Lebensraum in her present eastern
provinces.  At  least  half of this area,  however,  must  be
regarded  as an economic liability. Probably both Russia  and
Germany had not achieved everything they had set out  to  do.
In  any  case, however, the successes had been great on  both
sides.  If a liberal view were taken of the remaining  issues
and  due regard were taken of the fact that Germany was still
at  war  and had to concern herself with areas which, in  and
for  themselves,  were of no importance to  her  politically,
substantial gains for both partners could be achieved in  the
future,  too. In this connection the Fhrer again  turned  to
the Balkans and repeated that Germany
Page 232
would  at  once  oppose  by military action  any  attempt  by
England  to  get  a foothold in Salonika. She still  retained
unpleasant  memories from the last war of the  then  Salonika
     To   a   question  of  Molotov's  as  to  how   Salonika
constituted a danger, the Fhrer referred to the proximity of
the  Rumanian  petroleum  fields,  which  Germany  wished  to
protect  under all circumstances. As soon as peace prevailed,
however,  the  German troops would immediately leave  Rumania
     In  the  further course of the conversation, the  Fhrer
asked  Molotov how Russia planned to safeguard her  interests
in  the  Black Sea and in the Straits. Germany would also  be
prepared at any time to help effect an improvement for Russia
in the regime of the Straits.
     Molotov  replied that the statements of the  Fhrer  had
been  of a general nature and that in general he could  agree
with  his reasoning. He was also of the opinion that it would
be in the interest of Germany and the Soviet Union if the two
countries  would collaborate and not fight each  other.  Upon
his  departure  from  Moscow,  Stalin  had  given  him  exact
instructions,  and everything that he was about  to  say  was
identical  with  the  views of Stalin. He  concurred  in  the
opinion   of  the  Fhrer  that  both  partners  had  derived
substantial  benefits  from  the  German-Russian   agreement.
Germany  had  received  a  secure  hinterland  that,  as  was
generally known, had been of great importance for the further
course  of  events during the year of war.  In  Poland,  too,
Germany had gained considerable economic advantages.  By  the
exchange  of  Lithuania for the Voivodeship  of  Lublin,  all
possible  friction  between  Russia  and  Germany  had   been
avoided.  The  German-Russian agreement of  last  year  could
therefore  be  regarded as fulfilled, except for  one  point,
namely, Finland. The Finnish question was still unsolved, and
he  asked  the  Fhrer to tell him whether the German-Russian
agreement,  as  far  as it concerned Finland,  was  still  in
force.  In  the opinion of the Soviet Government, no  changes
had  occurred  here.  Also,  in the  opinion  of  the  Soviet
Government   the  German-Russian  agreement  of   last   year
represented only a partial solution. In the meanwhile,  other
issues had arisen that also had to be solved.
     Molotov then turned to the matter of the significance of
the Tripartite Pact. What was the meaning of the New Order in
Europe and in Asia, and what role would the U.S.S.R. be given
in  it?  These  issues must be discussed  during  the  Berlin
conversations and during the contemplated visit of the  Reich
Foreign  Minister  to  Moscow, on  which  the  Russians  were
definitely counting. Moreover, there were issues
Page 233
to  be  clarified  regarding Russia's Balkan  and  Black  Sea
interests  with respect to Bulgaria, Rumania, and Turkey.  It
would  be  easier for the Russian Government to give specific
replies  to the questions raised by the Fhrer, if  it  could
obtain   the  explanations  just  requested.  It   would   be
interested  in  the New Order in Europe, and particularly  in
the  tempo and the form of this New Order. It would also like
to  have  an idea of the boundaries of the so-called  Greater
East Asian Sphere.
     The Fhrer replied that the Tripartite Pact was intended
to  regulate conditions in Europe as to the natural interests
of  the European countries and, consequently, Germany was now
approaching the Soviet Union in order that she might  express
herself  regarding the areas of interest to her. In  no  case
was   a   settlement  to  be  made  without  Soviet   Russian
cooperation.  This applied not only to Europe,  but  also  to
Asia, where Russia herself was to cooperate in the definition
of  the  Greater  East  Asian Sphere and  where  she  was  to
designate her claims there. Germany's task in this  case  was
that  of  a mediator. Russia by no means was to be confronted
with a fait accompli.
     When the Fhrer undertook to try to establish the above-
mentioned  coalition of powers, it was not the German-Russian
relationship  which appeared to him to be the most  difficult
point,  but  the question of whether a collaboration  between
Germany,  France, and Italy was possible. Only  now  that  he
believed this problem could be solved, and after a settlement
in  broad  outlines had in effect been accepted by the  three
countries,  had  he  thought it possible  to  contact  Soviet
Russia for the purpose of settling the questions of the Black
Sea, the Balkans, and Turkey.
     In  conclusion, the Fhrer summed up by stating that the
discussion,  to  a  certain  extent,  represented  the  first
concrete step toward a comprehensive collaboration, with  due
consideration for the problems of Western Europe, which  were
to  be settled between Germany, Italy, and France, as well as
for  the  issues  of  the East, which  were  essentially  the
concern of Russia and Japan, but in which Germany offered her
good  offices  as mediator. It was a matter of  opposing  any
attempt on the part of America to "make money on Europe." The
United States had no business either in Europe, in Africa, or
in Asia.
     Molotov  expressed his agreement with the statements  of
the  Fhrer  regarding the role of America and  England.  The
participation  of Russia in the Tripartite Pact  appeared  to
him  entirely acceptable in principle, provided  that  Russia
was to cooperate as a partner and not be merely an object. In
that case he saw no difficulties in the matter
Page 234
of  participation of the Soviet Union in the  common  effort.
But  the  aim and the significance of the Pact must first  be
more   closely   defined,   particularly   because   of   the
delimitation of the Greater East Asian Sphere.
     In view of a possible air raid alarm the talk was broken
off  at this point and postponed until the following day, the
Fhrer  promising Molotov that he would discuss with  him  in
detail  the  various  issues which had  come  up  during  the
BERLIN, November 16, 1940.
Frames 154-190, serial F 18
Memorandum  of  the Conversation Between the Fhrer  and  the
     Chairman  of the Council of People's Commissars  Molotov
     in  the  Presence of the Reich Foreign Minister and  the
     Deputy   People's   Commissar   for   Foreign   Affairs,
     Dekanosov, as Well as of Counselor of Embassy Hilger and
     Herr  Pavlov,  Who Acted as Interpreters, in  Berlin  on
     November 13, 1940
Fh. 33/40
     The  Fhrer  referred to the remark  of  Molotov  during
yesterday's  conversation, according  to  which  the  German-
Russian  agreement was fulfilled "with the exception  of  one
point: namely, of Finland."
     Molotov explained that this remark referred not only  to
the German-Russian agreement itself, but in particular to the
Secret Protocols too.
     The  Fhrer replied that, in the Secret Protocol,  zones
of  influence and spheres of interest had been designated and
distributed between Germany and Russia. In so far as  it  had
been  a  question of actually taking possession, Germany  had
lived  up to the agreements, which was not quite the case  on
the  Russian side. At any rate, Germany had not occupied  any
territory that was within the Russian sphere of influence.
     Lithuania  had  already been mentioned yesterday.  There
could  be  no  doubt that in this case the changes  from  the
original  German-Russian agreement were  essentially  due  to
Russian  initiative. Whether the difficulties-to avoid  which
the Russians had offered their suggestion-would actually have
resulted from the partition of Poland, could be left  out  of
the discussion. In any case, the Voivodeship of Lublin was no
compensation, economically, for Lithuania. However,

Page 235
the Germans had seen that in the course of events a situation
had  resulted  which necessitated revision  of  the  original
     The  same applied to Bucovina. Strictly speaking, in the
original agreement Germany had declared herself disinterested
only  in Bessarabia. Nevertheless, she had realized, in  this
case  too,  that  revision of the agreement  was  in  certain
respects advantageous for the other partner.
     The  situation  regarding  Finland  was  quite  similar.
Germany  had no political interest there. This was  known  to
the  Russian Government. During the Russo-Finnish War Germany
had  meticulously fulfilled all her obligations in regard  to
absolutely benevolent neutrality.
     Molotov interposed here that the Russian Government  had
had  no  cause for criticism with regard to the  attitude  of
Germany during that conflict.
     In this connection the Fhrer mentioned also that he had
even  detained  ships in Bergen which were transporting  arms
and ammunition to Finland, for which Germany had actually had
no  authority. Germany had incurred the serious opposition of
the  rest of the world, and of Sweden in particular,  by  her
attitude  during the Russo-Finnish War. As a  result,  during
the   subsequent   Norwegian   campaign,   itself   involving
considerable  risks,  she had to employ  a  large  number  of
divisions for protection against Sweden, which she would  not
have needed otherwise.
     The  real  situation was as follows: In accordance  with
the   German-Russian  agreements.  Germany  recognized  that,
politically,  Finland was of primary interest to  Russia  and
was  in  her  zone  of  influence. However,  Germany  had  to
consider the following two points:
     1.  For  the  duration of the war she was  very  greatly
interested  in  the  deliveries of  nickel  and  lumber  from
Finland, and
     2. She did not desire any new conflict in the Baltic Sea
which would further curtail her freedom of movement in one of
the  few  merchant shipping regions which still  remained  to
her.  It was completely incorrect to assert that Finland  was
occupied  by  German troops. To be sure,  troops  were  being
transported to Kirkenes via Finland, of which fact Russia had
been officially informed by Germany. Because of the length of
the  route,  the  trains had to stop two or  three  times  in
Finnish  territory. However, as soon as the  transit  of  the
troop  contingents to be transported had been  completed,  no
additional  troops  would be sent through  Finland.  He  (the
Fhrer) pointed out that
Page 236
both Germany and Russia would naturally be interested in  not
allowing the Baltic Sea to become a combat zone again.  Since
the   Russo-Finnish  War,  the  possibilities  for   military
operations  had shifted, because England had available  long-
range  bombers and long-range destroyers. The English thereby
had a chance to get a foothold on Finnish airports.
     In  addition,  there  was a purely psychological  factor
which   was   extremely  onerous.  The  Finns  had   defended
themselves bravely, and they had gained the sympathies of the
world-particularly of Scandinavia. In Germany too during  the
Russo-Finnish  War, the people were somewhat annoyed  at  the
position  which, as a result of the agreements  with  Russia,
Germany  had to take and actually did take. Germany  did  not
wish  any  new  Finnish  War because  of  the  aforementioned
considerations. However, the legitimate claims of Russia were
not affected by that. Germany had proved this again and again
by  her attitude on various issues, among others the issue of
the fortification of the Aaland Islands. For the duration  of
the war, however, her economic interests in Finland were just
as important as in Rumania. Germany expected consideration of
these  interests  all the more, since she  herself  had  also
shown  understanding of the Russian wishes in the  issues  of
Lithuania and Bucovina at the time. At any rate, she  had  no
political  interest  of any kind in Finland,  and  she  fully
accepted  the fact that that country belonged to the  Russian
zone of influence.
     In  his reply Molotov pointed out that the agreement  of
1939 had referred to a certain stage of the development which
had  been  concluded by the end of the Polish War, while  the
second  stage was brought to an end by the defeat of  France,
and that they were really in the third stage now. He recalled
that by the original agreement, with its Secret Protocol, the
common  German-Russian  boundary had been  fixed  and  issues
concerning   the  adjacent  Baltic  countries  and   Rumania,
Finland, and Poland had been settled For the rest, he  agreed
with  the  remarks  of  the Fhrer  on  the  revisions  made.
However, if he drew up a balance sheet of the situation  that
resulted  after the defeat of France, he would have to  state
that  the  German-Russian  agreement  had  not  been  without
influence upon the great German victories.
     As  to  the  question of the revision  of  the  original
agreement  with  regard to Lithuania and the  Voivodeship  of
Lublin,  Molotov pointed out that the Soviet Union would  not
have insisted on that revision if Germany had not wanted  it.
But  he  believed  that  the new solution  had  been  in  the
interest of both parties.
Page 237
     At  this  point  the Reich Foreign Minister  interjected
that,  to  be  sure,  Russia had not made  this  revision  an
absolute  condition,  but  at any  rate  had  urged  it  very
     Molotov  insisted that the Soviet Government  would  not
have  refused  to leave matters as provided in  the  original
agreement.  At any rate, however, Germany, for its concession
in Lithuania, had received compensation in Polish territory.
     The  Fhrer  interjected here that in this exchange  one
could  not,  from  the point of view of economics,  speak  of
adequate compensation.
     Molotov  then  mentioned the question of  the  strip  of
Lithuanian   territory  and  emphasized   that   the   Soviet
Government had not received any clear answer yet from Germany
on this question. However, it awaited a decision.
     Regarding  Bucovina, he admitted that this  involved  an
additional  territory,  one  not  mentioned  in  the   Secret
Protocol.  Russia  had  at  first  confined  her  demands  to
Northern  Bucovina. Under the present circumstances, however,
Germany  must  understand the Russian  interest  in  Southern
Bucovina.  But  Russia  had not received  an  answer  to  her
question regarding this subject either. Instead, Germany  had
guaranteed  the  entire territory of Rumania  and  completely
disregarded Russia's wishes with regard to Southern Bucovina.
     The  Fhrer  replied that it would mean  a  considerable
concession  on the part of Germany, if even part of  Bucovina
were   to  be  occupied  by  Russia.  According  to  an  oral
agreement,  the  former  Austrian territories  were  to  fall
within   the   German  sphere  of  influence.  Besides,   the
territories belonging to the Russian zone had been  mentioned
by  name: Bessarabia, for example. There was, however, not  a
word regarding Bucovina in the agreements. Finally, the exact
meaning  of  the  expression "sphere of  influence"  was  not
further  defined. At any rate, Germany had not  violated  the
agreement  in  the least in this matter. To the objection  of
Molotov  that  the  revisions with regard  to  the  strip  of
Lithuanian  territory and of Bucovina were not of very  great
importance in comparison with the revision which Germany  had
under  taken elsewhere by military force, the Fhrer  replied
that  so-called "revision by force of arms" had not been  the
subject of the agreement at all.
     Molotov,  however,  persisted in the opinion  previously
stated:   that   the  revisions  desired   by   Russia   were
     The  Fhrer replied that if German-Russian collaboration
was  to  show  positive  results in the  future,  the  Soviet
Government would have to understand that Germany was  engaged
in a life and death struggle,

Page 238
which,  at  all  events, she wanted to conclude successfully.
For  that, a number of prerequisites depending upon  economic
and  military factors were required, which Germany wanted  to
secure for herself by all means. If the Soviet Union were  in
a similar position, Germany on her part would, and would have
to,  demonstrate a similar understanding for  Russian  needs.
The  conditions  which  Germany  wanted  to  assure  did  not
conflict with the agreements with Russia. The German wish  to
avoid a war with unforeseeable consequences in the Baltic Sea
did  not  mean any violation of the German-Russian agreements
according to which Finland belonged in the Russian sphere  of
influence.  The guarantee given upon the wish and request  of
the  Rumanian  Government was no violation of the  agreements
concerning  Bessarabia. The Soviet Union had to realize  that
in  the  framework of any broader collaboration  of  the  two
countries  advantages of quite different  scope  were  to  be
reached than the insignificant revisions which were now being
discussed.  Much  greater successes could then  be  achieved,
provided   that  Russia  did  not  now  seek   successes   in
territories in which Germany was interested for the  duration
of  the  war. The future successes would be the greater,  the
more  Germany and Russia succeeded in fighting back  to  back
against the outside world, and would become the smaller,  the
more the two countries faced each other breast to breast.  In
the first case there was no power on earth which could oppose
the two countries.
     In  his reply Molotov voiced his agreement with the last
conclusions of the Fhrer. In this connection he stressed the
viewpoint of the Soviet leaders, and of Stalin in particular,
that  it  would  be possible and expedient to strengthen  and
activate the relations between the two countries. However, in
order to give those relations a permanent basis, issues would
also have to be clarified which were of secondary importance,
but which spoiled the atmosphere of German-Russian relations.
Finland  belonged among these issues. If Russia  and  Germany
had  a good understanding, this issue could be solved without
war,  but there must be neither German troops in Finland  nor
political demonstrations in that country against the  Soviet-
Russian Government.
     The Fhrer replied that the second point could not be  a
matter for debate, since Germany had nothing whatsoever to do
with  these things. Incidentally, demonstrations could easily
be  staged,  and it was very difficult to find out  afterward
who  had  been  the real instigator. However,  regarding  the
German troops, he could give the
Page 239
assurance that, if a general settlement were made, no  German
troops would appear in Finland any longer.
     Molotov   replied   that  by  demonstrations   he   also
understood the dispatch of Finnish delegations to Germany  or
receptions  of  prominent  Finns in  Germany.  Moreover,  the
circumstance of the presence of German troops had led  to  an
ambiguous  attitude  on  the  part  of  Finland.  Thus,   for
instance,  slogans were brought out that "nobody was  a  Finn
who approved of the last Russo-Finnish Peace Treaty", and the
     The  Fhrer replied that Germany had always exerted only
a  moderating influence and that she had advised Finland  and
also Rumania, in particular, to accept the Russian demands.
     Molotov replied that the Soviet Government considered it
as  its  duty definitively to settle and clarify the  Finnish
question.  No  new agreements were needed for that.  The  old
German-Russian  agreement assigned  Finland  to  the  Russian
sphere of influence.
     In  conclusion  the  Fhrer stated on  this  point  that
Germany did not desire any war in the Baltic Sea and that she
urgently  needed Finland as a supplier of nickel and  lumber.
Politically,  she  was not interested  and,  in  contrast  to
Russia, had occupied no Finnish territory. Incidentally,  the
transit  of German troops would be finished within  the  next
few  days.  No further troop trains would then be  sent.  The
decisive  question  for Germany was whether  Russia  had  the
intention of going to war against Finland.
     Molotov  answered this question somewhat evasively  with
the  statement  that everything would be  all  right  if  the
Finnish  Government  would  give up  its  ambiguous  attitude
toward  the  U.S.S.R.,  and if the agitation  against  Russia
among  the  population (bringing out of slogans such  as  the
ones previously mentioned) would cease.
     To  the  Fhrer's objection that he feared  that  Sweden
might intervene in a Russo-Finnish War the next time, Molotov
replied that he could not say anything about Sweden,  but  he
had  to stress that Germany, as well as the Soviet Union, was
interested  in  the  neutrality of Sweden.  Of  course,  both
countries  were also interested in peace in the  Baltic.  but
the  Soviet Union was entirely able to assure peace  in  that
     The Fhrer replied that they would perhaps experience in
a  different  part  of  Europe how  even  the  best  military
intentions  were greatly restricted by geographical  factors.
He  could,  therefore, imagine that in  the  case  of  a  new
conflict a sort of resistance cell would be formed

Page 240
in  Sweden  and  Finland, which would furnish  air  bases  to
England  or  even  America.  This  would  force  Germany   to
intervene.  He  (the  Fhrer) would, however,  do  this  only
reluctantly.  He  had already mentioned  yesterday  that  the
necessity  for  intervention  would  perhaps  also  arise  in
Salonika,  and  the case of Salonika was entirely  sufficient
for  him. He had no interest in being forced to become active
in the North too. He repeated that entirely different results
could  be  achieved in future collaboration between  the  two
countries  and that Russia would after all, on the  basis  of
the  peace,  receive everything that in her opinion  was  due
her.  It  would perhaps be only a matter of six months  or  a
year's delay. Besides, the Finnish Government had just sent a
note   in  which  it  gave  assurance  of  the  closest   and
friendliest cooperation with Russia.
     Molotov replied that the deeds did not always correspond
with the words, and he persisted in the opinion which he  had
previously  expressed: that peace in the  Baltic  Sea  region
could  be  absolutely insured, if perfect understanding  were
attained  between Germany and Russia in the  Finnish  matter.
Under  those circumstances he did not understand  why  Russia
should  postpone the realization of her wishes for six months
or  a year. After all, the German-Russian agreement contained
no  time  limits, and the hands of none of the partners  were
tied in their spheres of influence.
     With a reference to the changes made in the agreement at
Russia's  request, the Fhrer stated that there must  not  be
any  war  in the Baltic. A Baltic conflict would be  a  heavy
strain   on   German-Russian  relations  and  on  the   great
collaboration of the future. In his opinion, however,  future
collaboration  was  more  important than  the  settlement  of
secondary issues at this very moment.
     Molotov replied that it was not a matter of war  in  the
Baltic,  but  of  the question of Finland and its  settlement
within the framework of the agreement of last year. In  reply
to a question of the Fhrer he declared that he imagined this
settlement  on  the same scale as in Bessarabia  and  in  the
adjacent  countries, and he requested the Fhrer to give  his
opinion on that.
     When  the Fhrer replied that he could only repeat  that
there  must  be no war with Finland, because such a  conflict
might have far-reaching repercussions, Molotov stated that  a
new  factor had been introduced into the discussion  by  this
position, which was not expressed in the treaty of last year.
     The  Fhrer  replied that during the Russo-Finnish  War,
despite  the  danger that in connection with it Allied  bases
might be established
Page 241
in Scandinavia, Germany had meticulously kept her obligations
toward Russia and had always advised Finland to give in.
     In  this  connection the Reich Foreign Minister  pointed
out  that  Germany had even gone so far as  to  deny  to  the
Finnish  President  the use of a German  cable  for  a  radio
address to America.
     Then  the Fhrer went on to explain that just as  Russia
at  the time had pointed out that a partition of Poland might
lead to a strain on German-Russian relations, he now declared
with the same frankness that a war in Finland would represent
such  a strain on German-Russian relations, and he asked  the
Russians  to  show  exactly the same  understanding  in  this
instance  as he had shown a year ago in the issue of  Poland.
Considering the genius of Russian diplomacy, ways  and  means
could certainly be found to avoid such a war.
     Molotov replied that he could not understand the  German
fear  that  a war might break out in the Baltic.  Last  year,
when  the international situation was worse for Germany  than
now, Germany had not raised this issue. Quite apart from  the
fact that Germany had occupied Denmark. Norway, Holland,  and
Belgium, she had completely defeated France and even believed
that she had already conquered England. He (Molotov) did  not
see  where under those circumstances the danger of war in the
Baltic  Sea  should come from. He would have to request  that
Germany  take  the same stand as last year. If she  did  that
unconditionally, there would certainly be no complications in
connection  with  the  Finnish issue. However,  if  she  made
reservations,  a new situation would arise which  would  then
have to be discussed.
     In  reply  to  the statements of Molotov  regarding  the
absence  of  military  danger in the  Finnish  question,  the
Fhrer  stressed  that  he  too  had  some  understanding  of
military matters, and he considered it entirely possible that
the  United  States would get a foothold in those regions  in
case  of  participation by Sweden in a possible war. He  (the
Fhrer)  wanted to end the European War, and  he  could  only
repeat that in view of the uncertain attitude of Sweden a new
war  in  the  Baltic  would mean a strain  on  German-Russian
relations  with  unforeseeable  consequences.  Would   Russia
declare  war on the United States, in case the latter  should
intervene in connection with the Finnish conflict?
     When  Molotov  replied that this  question  was  not  of
present  interest, the Fhrer replied that it  would  be  too
late  for  a  decision when it became so. When  Molotov  then
declared  that he did not see any indication of the  outbreak
of war in the Baltic, the Fhrer replied that in that
Page 242
case  everything  would  be in order  anyway  and  the  whole
discussion was really of a purely theoretical nature.
     Summarizing, the Reich Foreign Minister pointed out that
     (1) the Fhrer had declared that Finland remained in the
sphere  of  influence of Russia and that  Germany  would  not
maintain any troops there;
     (2)  Germany  had  nothing to do with demonstrations  of
Finland against Russia, but was exerting her influence in the
opposite direction, and
     (3)  the  collaboration  of the two  countries  was  the
decisive problem of long-range importance, which in the  past
had  already  resulted in great advantages  for  Russia,  but
which in the future would show advantages compared with which
the  matters  that  had  just  been  discussed  would  appear
entirely insignificant. There was actually no reason  at  all
for making an issue of the Finnish question. Perhaps it was a
misunderstanding only. Strategically, all of Russia's  wishes
had   been  satisfied  by  her  peace  treaty  with  Finland.
Demonstrations  in  a  conquered  country  were  not  at  all
unnatural,  and if perhaps the transit of German  troops  had
caused certain reactions in the Finnish population they would
disappear with the end of those troop transits. Hence, if one
considered  matters realistically, there were no  differences
between Germany and Russia.
     The  Fhrer  pointed  out  that  both  sides  agreed  in
principle  that  Finland belonged to the  Russian  sphere  of
influence.  Instead,  therefore,  of  continuing   a   purely
theoretical  discussion,  they should  rather  turn  to  more
important problems.
     After  the conquest of England the British Empire  would
be  apportioned as a gigantic world-wide estate in bankruptcy
of  40  million  square kilometers. In this  bankrupt  estate
there  would be for Russia access to the ice-free and  really
open ocean. Thus far, a minority of 40 million Englishmen had
ruled  600 million inhabitants of the British Empire. He  was
about  to  crush  this minority. Even the United  States  was
actually  doing  nothing but picking  out  of  this  bankrupt
estate  a  few  items  particularly suitable  to  the  United
States.  Germany, of course, would like to avoid any conflict
which would divert her from her struggle against the heart of
the  Empire,  the  British Isles. For that  reason,  he  (the
Fhrer)  did  not  like  Italy's war against  Greece,  as  it
diverted  forces  to the periphery instead  of  concentrating
them  against  England  at one point. The  same  would  occur
during  a  Baltic  war. The conflict with  England  would  be
fought to the last ditch, and he had no doubt that the defeat
of the British Isles would
Page 243
lead  to  the dissolution of the Empire. It was a chimera  to
believe  that  the Empire could possibly be  ruled  and  held
together  from Canada. Under those circumstances there  arose
world-wide perspectives. During the next few weeks they would
have  to  be  settled in joint diplomatic  negotiations  with
Russia,  and Russia's participation in the solution of  these
problems  would have to be arranged. All the countries  which
could  possibly  be interested in the bankrupt  estate  would
have  to  stop all controversies among themselves and concern
themselves  exclusively  with the partition  of  the  British
Empire.  This applied to Germany, France, Italy, Russia,  and
     Molotov  replied that he had followed the  arguments  of
with  interest  and that he was in agreement with  everything
that  he  had  understood. However, he could comment  thereon
less  than  the  Fhrer, since the latter had surely  thought
more  about these problems and formed more concrete  opinions
regarding  them. The main thing was first to  make  up  their
minds  regarding German-Russian collaboration, in which Italy
and  Japan  could  be included later on. In  this  connection
nothing should be changed that had been started rather,  they
should  only  contemplate a continuation  of  what  had  been
     The  Fhrer  mentioned here that the further efforts  in
the  sense of the opening up of great prospects would not  be
easy  and emphasized in this connection that Germany did  not
want  to annex France as the Russians appeared to assume.  He
wanted to create a world coalition of interested powers which
would  consist  of  Spain,  France,  Italy,  Germany,  Soviet
Russia,  and Japan and would to a certain degree represent  a
coalition-extending from North Africa to Eastern Asia-of  all
those  who wanted to be satisfied out of the British bankrupt
estate.  To  this end all internal controversies between  the
members  of  this  coalition must  be  removed  or  at  least
neutralized.  For  this  purpose the settlement  of  a  whole
series of questions was necessary. In the West, i. e. between
Spain,  France, Italy, and Germany, he believed  he  had  now
found  a formula which satisfied everybody alike. It had  not
been  easy  to  reconcile the views of Spain and  France  for
instance, in regard to North Africa; however, recognizing the
greater  future  possibilities, both  countries  finally  had
given  in.  After the West was thus settled, an agreement  in
the  East  must now be reached. In this case  it  was  not  a
matter  of  relations between Soviet Russia and Turkey  only,
but  also  of the Greater Asian Sphere. The latter  consisted
not  only  of the Greater East Asian Sphere, but  also  of  a
purely  Asiatic area oriented toward the south, that  Germany
even now recognized as Russia's sphere of influence. It was a
matter of
Page 244
determining  in bold outlines the boundaries for  the  future
activity  of peoples and of assigning to nations large  areas
where they could find an ample field of activity for fifty to
a hundred years.
     Molotov  replied that the Fhrer had raised a number  of
questions  which concerned not only Europe but, beyond  that,
other  territories too. He wanted to discuss first a  problem
closer  to Europe, that of Turkey. As a Black Sea power,  the
Soviet Union was tied up with a number of countries. In  this
connection  there  was still an unsettled question  that  was
just  now being discussed by the Danube Commission. Moreover,
the Soviet Union had expressed its dissatisfaction to Rumania
that  the  latter had accepted the guarantee of  Germany  and
Italy without consultation with Russia. The Soviet Government
had  already explained its position twice, and it was of  the
opinion that the guarantee was aimed against the interests of
Soviet  Russia,  "if one might express oneself  so  bluntly."
Therefore,   the  question  had  arisen  of   revoking   this
guarantee. To this the Fhrer had declared that for a certain
time  it  was necessary and its removal therefore impossible.
This  affected the interests of the Soviet Union as  a  Black
Sea power.
     Molotov  then  came  to  speak of  the  Straits,  which,
referring to the Crimean War and the events of the years 1918-
19,  he  called England's historic gateway for attack on  the
Soviet  Union.  The situation was all the  more  menacing  to
Russia,  as the British had now gained a foothold in  Greece.
For  reasons of security the relations between Soviet  Russia
and  other Black Sea powers were of great importance. In this
connection Molotov asked the Fhrer what Germany would say if
Russia  gave  Bulgaria,  that  is,  the  independent  country
located closest to the Straits, a guarantee under exactly the
same  conditions  as  Germany and  Italy  had  given  one  to
Rumania.  Russia,  however, intended to agree  beforehand  on
this matter with Germany and, if possible, with Italy too.
     To  a  question by Molotov regarding the German position
on  the question of the Straits, the Fhrer replied that  the
Reich Foreign Minister had already considered this point  and
that  he  had envisaged a revision of the Montreux Convention
in favor of the Soviet Union.
     The  Reich  Foreign Minister confirmed this  and  stated
that  the  Italians also took a benevolent  attitude  on  the
question of this revision.
     Molotov  again brought up the guarantee to Bulgaria  and
gave  the  assurance that the Soviet Union did not intend  to
interfere  in  the  internal order of the country  under  any
circumstances. "Not a hairs-breadth" would they deviate  from
Page 245
     Regarding  Germany's and Italy's guarantee  to  Rumania,
the  Fhrer  stated  that this guarantee had  been  the  only
possibility of inducing Rumania to cede Bessarabia to  Russia
without  a fight. Besides, because of her oil wells,  Rumania
represented an absolute German-Italian interest, and, lastly,
the  Rumanian Government itself had asked that Germany assume
the air and ground protection of the oil region, since it did
not  feel  entirely  secure  from  attacks  by  the  English.
Referring to a threat of invasion by the English at Salonika,
the Fhrer repeated in this connection that Germany would not
tolerate  such a landing, but he gave the assurance  that  at
the  end  of  the war all German soldiers would be  withdrawn
from Rumania.
     In  reply  to  Molotov's  question  regarding  Germany's
opinion  on  a  Russian  guarantee to  Bulgaria,  the  Fhrer
replied that if this guarantee was to be given under the same
conditions  as the German-Italian guarantee to  Rumania,  the
question would first arise whether Bulgaria herself had asked
for  a guarantee. He (the Fhrer) did not know of any request
by  Bulgaria. Besides, he would, of course, have  to  inquire
about the position of Italy before he himself could make  any
     However, the decisive question was whether Russia saw  a
chance  to  gain  sufficient  security  for  her  Black   Sea
interests  through a revision of the Montreux Convention.  He
did not expect an immediate answer to this question, since he
knew  that Molotov would first have to discuss these  matters
with Stalin.
     Molotov  replied that Russia had only one  aim  in  this
respect. She wanted to be secure from an attack by way of the
Straits and would like to settle this question with Turkey; a
guarantee given to Bulgaria would alleviate the situation. As
a  Black  Sea power Russia was entitled to such security  and
believed  that  she would be able to come to an understanding
with Turkey in regard thereto.
     The Fhrer replied that this would conform approximately
with   Germany's  views,  according  to  which  only  Russian
warships might pass freely through the Dardanelles, while the
Straits would be closed to all other warships.
     Molotov  added that Russia wanted to obtain a  guarantee
against  an attack on the Black Sea via the Straits not  only
on  paper but "in reality" and believed that she could  reach
an   agreement  with  Turkey  in  regard  thereto.  In   this
connection he came back again to the question of the  Russian
guarantee  to Bulgaria and repeated that the internal  regime
of the country would remain unaffected, whereas on the
Page 246
other  hand  Russia  was  prepared to guarantee  Bulgaria  an
outlet  to  the  Aegean Sea. He was again addressing  to  the
Fhrer-as  the  one  who was to decide on the  entire  German
policy-the  question as to what position Germany  would  take
with regard to this Russian guarantee.
     The Fhrer replied with a counter-question as to whether
the  Bulgarians  had actually asked for a guarantee,  and  he
again  stated  that he would have to ask  the  Duce  for  his
     Molotov stressed that he was not asking the Fhrer for a
final decision, but that he was asking only for a provisional
expression of opinion.
     The   Fhrer  replied  that  he  could  not  under   any
circumstances take a position before he had talked  with  the
Duce,  since  Germany  was  interested  in  the  matter  only
secondarily.  As a great Danubian power, she  was  interested
only  in  the Danube River, but not in the passage  into  the
Black  Sea. For if she were perchance looking for sources  of
friction  with  Russia, she would not need  the  Straits  for
     The  talk  then  turned again to  the  great  plans  for
collaboration  between the powers interested in  the  British
Empire's bankrupt estate. The Fhrer pointed out that he  was
not, of course, absolutely sure whether these plans could  be
carried  out. In case it was not possible, a great historical
opportunity would be missed, at any rate. All these questions
would  perhaps  have to be examined again in  Moscow  by  the
Foreign Ministers of Germany, Italy, and Japan together  with
Herr  Molotov,  after  they had been  appropriately  prepared
through diplomatic channels.
     At  this  point  in the conversation the  Fhrer  called
attention  to the late hour and stated that in  view  of  the
possibility  of  English air attacks it would  be  better  to
break  off  the talk now, since the main issues had  probably
been sufficiently discussed.
     Summarizing,    he   stated   that   subsequently    the
possibilities of safeguarding Russia's interests as  a  Black
Sea  power  would  have to be examined further  and  that  in
general  Russia's further wishes with regard  to  her  future
position in the world would have to be considered.
     In  a  closing remark Molotov stated that  a  number  of
important  and  new  questions had  been  raised  for  Soviet
Russia.  The Soviet Union, as a powerful country,  could  not
keep aloof from the great issues in Europe and Asia.
     Finally  he  came to speak of Russo-Japanese  relations,
which   had  recently  improved.  He  anticipated  that   the
improvement would con-
Page 247
tinue at a still faster pace and thanked the Reich Government
for its efforts in this direction.
     Concerning Sino-Japanese relations, it was certainly the
task of Russia and Germany to attend to their settlement. But
an honorable solution would have to be assured for China, all
the   more  since  Japan  now  stood  a  chance  of   getting


BERLIN, November 15, 1940.
Frames 136-153, serial F 18

Memorandum  of  the Final Conversation Between Reich  Foreign
     Minister von Ribbentrop and the Chairman of the  council
     of  People's  Commissars of the  U.S.S.R.  and  People's
     Commissar for Foreign Affairs, Herr Molotov, on November
     13, 1940

RM 42/40
     Duration of conversation: 9:46 p. m. until 12 midnight.
     Because  of  the air raid alert that had  been  ordered,
Reich  Minister for Foreign Affairs von Ribbentrop  and  Herr
Molotov  went  into  the Reich Foreign  Minister's  air  raid
shelter  after the supper at the Embassy of the  U.S.S.R.  at
9:40  p.  m.  on November 13, 1940, in order to  conduct  the
final conversation.
     The  Reich Foreign Minister opened the conversation with
the  statement  that  he wanted to take  the  opportunity  to
supplement  and  give more specific form  to  what  had  been
discussed thus far. He wanted to explain to Herr Molotov  his
conception of the possibility of establishing a joint  policy
of collaboration between Germany and the Soviet Union for the
future  and to enumerate the points which he had in  mind  in
this  connection. He had to stress explicitly  however,  that
this  was  merely a matter of ideas which were  still  rather
rough,  but which might perhaps be realized at some  time  in
the future. By and large, it was a matter of achieving future
collaboration  between the countries of the Tripartite  Pact-
Germany,  Italy,  and  Japan-and the  Soviet  Union,  and  he
believed  that  first a way must be found to define  in  bold
outlines the spheres of influence of these four countries and
to  reach an understanding on the problem of Turkey. From the
very  beginning  it  was clear in this  connection  that  the
problem  of  the  delimitation of the  spheres  of  influence
concerned all

Page 248
four countries, whereas only the Soviet Union, Turkey, Italy,
and  Germany were interested in the settlement of the Straits
question.  He conceived the future developments  as  follows:
Herr Molotov would discuss with Herr Stalin the issues raised
in  Berlin;  then,  by  means  of further  conversations,  an
agreement  could  be  reached between the  Soviet  Union  and
Germany;  thereupon the Reich Foreign Minister would approach
Italy and Japan in order to find out how their interests with
respect to the delimitation of spheres of influence could  be
reduced to a common formula. He had already approached  Italy
as to Turkey. The further modus procedendi between Italy, the
Soviet  Union,  and Germany would be to exert influence  upon
Turkey in the spirit of the wishes of the three countries. If
they   succeeded  in  reducing  the  interests  of  the  four
countries concerned to a common denominator-which, given good
will, was entirely possible-it would undoubtedly work to  the
advantage  of all concerned. The next step would  consist  in
attempting  to  record  both sets of issues  in  confidential
documents.  If  the Soviet Union entertained a similar  view,
that is, would be willing to work against the extension,  and
for  the  early  termination of the war  (the  Reich  Foreign
Minister  believed  that  Herr  Molotov  had  indicated   his
willingness in the previous discussions), he had in  mind  as
the ultimate objective an agreement for collaboration between
the countries of the Tripartite Pact and the Soviet Union. He
had  drafted  the contents of this agreement in outline  form
and  he  would  like to inform Herr Molotov  of  them  today,
stressing  in advance that he had not discussed these  issues
so  concretely either with Japan or with Italy. He considered
it  necessary  that Germany and the Soviet Union  settle  the
issues  first. This was not by any means a matter of a German
proposal, but-as already mentioned-one of still rather  rough
ideas, which would have to be deliberated by both parties and
discussed  between Molotov and Stalin. It would be  advisable
to  pursue  the  matter further, particularly  in  diplomatic
negotiations  with Italy and Japan, only if the question  had
been settled as between Germany and the Soviet Union.
     Then the Reich Foreign Minister informed Herr Molotov of
the  contents  of  the  agreement  outlined  by  him  in  the
following words:
     The  Governments of the states of the Three  Power  Pact
Germany, Italy, and Japan on the one side, and the Government
of the U. S. S. R. on the other side, motivated by the desire
to establish in their natural boundaries an order serving the
welfare  of  all peoples concerned and to create a  firm  and
enduring foundation for their common labors toward this goal,
have agreed upon the following:
Page 249
                          Article 1
      In the Three Power Pact of September 27, 1940, Germany,
Italy,  and Japan agreed to oppose the extension of  the  war
into  a  world  conflict  with  all  possible  means  and  to
collaborate toward an early restoration of world peace.  They
expressed their willingness to extend their collaboration  to
nations  in  other parts of the world which are  inclined  to
direct  their  efforts along the same course as  theirs.  The
Soviet Union declares that it concurs in these aims and is on
its  part determined to cooperate politically in this  course
with the Three Powers.
                          ARTICLE 2
     Germany, Italy, Japan, and the Soviet Union undertake to
respect each other's natural spheres of influence. In so  far
as  these  spheres of influence come into contact  with  each
other, they will constantly consult each other in an amicable
way with regard to the problems arising therefrom.
                          ARTICLE 3
     Germany, Italy, Japan, and the Soviet Union undertake to
join  no  combination of powers and to support no combination
of powers which is directed against one of the Four Powers.
     The  Four  Powers  will assist each  other  in  economic
matters  in  every  way and will supplement  and  extend  the
agreements existing among themselves.
     The Reich Foreign Minister added that this agreement was
intended  for a period of ten years, with the provision  that
the Governments of the Four Powers, before the expiration  of
this term were to reach an understanding regarding the matter
of an extension of the agreement.
     The  agreement itself would be announced to the  public.
Beyond that, with reference to the above-mentioned agreement,
a  confidential  (secret) agreement could be  concluded-in  a
form still to be determined-establishing the focal points  in
the territorial aspirations of the Four Countries.
     As  to Germany, apart from the territorial revisions  to
be  made  in  Europe  at the conclusion  of  the  peace,  her
territorial  aspirations  centered  in  the  Central  African
     The  territorial aspirations of Italy,  apart  from  the
European  territorial revisions to be made at the  conclusion
of the peace, centered in North and Northeast Africa.
     The  aspirations  of  Japan  would  still  have  to   be
clarified   through   diplomatic  channels.   Here   too,   a
delimitation could easily be found, possibly by fixing a line
which  would  run  south  of the Japanese  home  islands  and
Page 250
     The  focal points in the territorial aspirations of  the
Soviet  Union  would  presumably be  centered  south  of  the
territory of the Soviet Union in the direction of the  Indian
     Such  a confidential agreement could be supplemented  by
the  statement that the Four Powers concerned, except for the
settlement  of individual issues, would respect each  other's
territorial   aspirations  and   would   not   oppose   their
     The above-mentioned agreements could be supplemented  by
a  second  secret protocol, to be concluded between  Germany,
Italy,  and  the  Soviet Union. This second  secret  protocol
could perhaps read that Germany, Italy, and the Soviet Union,
on  the  occasion  of  the signing of the  agreement  between
Germany, Italy, Japan, and the Soviet Union, were agreed that
it  was  in their common interest to release Turkey from  her
previous  ties  and  win  her progressively  to  a  political
collaboration with them.
     They  declare that they would pursue this aim  in  close
contact with each other, in accordance with a procedure to be
     Germany, Italy, and the Soviet Union would jointly exert
their  influence  to the end that the Straits  Convention  of
Montreux,  presently in force, would be replaced  by  another
convention  which  would  accord  to  the  Soviet  Union  the
unrestricted  right of passage through the  Straits  for  her
warships  at  any time, whereas all other powers  except  the
other  Black Sea countries, but including Germany and  Italy,
would renounce in principle the right of passage through  the
Straits  for their warships. Transit through the Straits  for
merchant  ships  would, of course, have  to  remain  free  in
     In this connection, the Reich Foreign Minister stated as
     The  German  Government would welcome it if  the  Soviet
Union were prepared for such collaboration with Italy, Japan,
and  Germany.  This matter was to be clarified  in  the  near
future  by  the  German Ambassador in Moscow, Count  von  der
Schulenburg,  and  the  Soviet  Ambassador  in   Berlin.   In
conformity  with  the statement contained  in  Herr  Stalin's
letter,  that he was not adverse to a fundamental examination
of  the  question, which had been confirmed by  Herr  Molotov
during  his  stay  in  Berlin, a conference  of  the  Foreign
Ministers  of  Germany, Italy, and Japan for the  purpose  of
signing  such an agreement might be envisaged as the ultimate
goal.  He,  the Reich Foreign Minister, was of  course  aware
that such questions required careful examination; he did not,
therefore, expect any answer from Herr Molotov today, but  he
was  happy to have had the opportunity to inform Herr Molotov
in this slightly
Page 251

more  concrete  form of the thoughts that had  recently  been
motivating  Germany.  Furthermore, he  wished  to  tell  Herr
Molotov the following:
     As  Herr  Molotov knew, he (the Reich Foreign  Minister)
had  always  shown  a particular interest  in  the  relations
between Japan and the Soviet Union. He would appreciate it if
Herr Molotov could say what the state of these relations  was
at  the  present  time. As far as the German  Government  was
informed,  Japan  was  anxious to conclude  a  non-aggression
treaty.  It  was  not his intention to interfere  in  matters
which  did not directly concern him, but he believed that  it
would  be useful if this question were also discussed between
him  and  Molotov. If a mediating influence on  the  part  of
Germany  were  desired, he would be glad  to  undertake  this
office.  To be sure, he still clearly recalled Herr  Stalin's
remark,  when  Herr  Stalin said that he  knew  the  Asiatics
better  than Herr von Ribbentrop did. Nevertheless, he wished
to mention that the willingness of the Japanese Government to
come to a broad understanding with the Soviet Union was known
to him. He also had the impression that if the non-aggression
pact  materialized the Japanese would be prepared  to  settle
all  other  issues in a generous manner. He wished to  stress
explicitly that Japan had not asked the German Government  to
mediate.  He,  the  Reich  Foreign  Minister,  was,  however,
informed of the state of affairs, and he knew that,  in  case
of  the  conclusion of a non-aggression pact, Japan would  be
willing  to  recognize the Russian spheres  of  influence  in
Outer  Mongolia and Sinkiang, provided an understanding  with
China  were  reached. An agreement could also be  reached  on
possible  Soviet  aspirations in  the  direction  of  British
India,  if  an understanding were reached between the  Soviet
Union  and  the Tripartite Pact. The Japanese Government  was
disposed to meet the Soviet wishes half-way in regard to  the
oil  and  coal concessions on Sakhalin Island, but  it  would
first  have  to  overcome resistance at home. This  would  be
easier  for the Japanese Government if a non-aggression  pact
were  first concluded with the Soviet Union. Thereafter,  the
possibility  would undoubtedly arise for an understanding  on
all other points also.
     The  Reich Foreign Minister concluded by requesting Herr
Molotov to inform him of his views on the issues presented by
     Herr Molotov replied that, concerning Japan, he had  the
hope and conviction that they would now make more progress on
the  road to understanding than had previously been the case.
Relations   with   Japan  had  always   been   fraught   with
difficulties and reverses. Never-
Page 252

theless,   there   now   seemed  to  be   prospects   of   an
understanding.  The  Japanese Government  had  suggested  the
conclusion   of  a  non-aggression  treaty  to   the   Soviet
Government-in  fact, even before the change of government  in
Japan-in  which connection the Soviet Government  had  put  a
number  of questions to the Japanese Government. At  present,
the answer to these questions had not yet been received. Only
when   it   arrived  could  negotiations  be  entered   into-
negotiations which could not be separated from the  remaining
complex  of  questions. The solution  of  the  problem  would
therefore require some time.
     As  for Turkey, the Soviet Union assumed that they would
have  to  reach an understanding with Turkey on  the  Straits
question  first  of  all. Germany and the Soviet  Union  were
agreed that the Convention of Montreux was worthless. For the
Soviet Union, as the most important Black Sea power, it was a
matter of obtaining effective guarantees of her security.  In
the course of her history, Russia had often been attacked  by
way  of the Straits. Consequently paper agreements would  not
suffice  for  the  Soviet Union; rather, she  would  have  to
insist  on  effective guarantees of her security.  Therefore,
this   question  had  to  be  examined  and  discussed   more
concretely.  The questions which interested the Soviet  Union
in  the  Near East, concerned not only Turkey, but  Bulgaria,
for  instance, about which he, Molotov, had spoken in  detail
in his previous conversation with the Fhrer. But the fate of
Rumania and Hungary was also of interest to the Soviet  Union
and  could  not be immaterial to her under any circumstances.
It would further interest the Soviet Government to learn what
the  Axis contemplated with regard to Yugoslavia and  Greece,
and,  likewise, what Germany intended with regard to  Poland.
He  recalled  the  fact that, regarding the  future  form  of
Poland,  a  Protocol  existed between the  Soviet  Union  and
Germany  for  the  implementation of  which  an  exchange  of
opinion was necessary. He asked whether from the German view-
point this Protocol was still in force. The Soviet Government
was  also  interested in the question of Swedish  neutrality,
and  he  wanted  to know whether the German Government  still
took  the  stand that the preservation of Swedish  neutrality
was in the interest of the Soviet Union and Germany. Besides,
there  existed the question of the passages out of the Baltic
Sea  (Store Belt, Lille Belt, Oeresund, Kattegat, Skagerrak).
The  Soviet Government believed that discussions must be held
regarding  this question similar to those now being conducted
concerning   the  Danube  Commissions.  As  to  the   Finnish
question, it was sufficiently clarified
Page 253

during  his previous conversations with the Fhrer. He  would
appreciate it if the Reich Foreign Minister would comment  on
the  foregoing  questions, because this would facilitate  the
clarification   of  all  other  questions  which   Herr   von
Ribbentrop had previously raised.
     In  his answer the Reich Foreign Minister stated that he
had  no comment to make on the Bulgarian question, other than
what  the Fhrer had already told Herr Molotov; that,  first,
it  would  have to be determined whether Bulgaria  desired  a
guarantee  at all from the Soviet Union, and that,  moreover,
the German Government could not take a stand on this question
without  previously consulting Italy. On all other  questions
he  felt he had been "queried too closely" ["berfragt"],  by
Herr  Molotov. As to the preservation of Sweden's neutrality,
we were just as much interested in it as the Soviet Union. As
to  the passages out of the Baltic Sea, the Baltic Sea was at
present  an  inland  sea,  where we were  interested  in  the
maintenance of the free movement of shipping. Outside of  the
Baltic Sea, however, there was war. The time was not yet ripe
for  discussing the new order of things in Poland. The Balkan
issue   had  already  been  discussed  extensively   in   the
conversations.  In  the  Balkans we had  solely  an  economic
interest,  and we did not want England to disturb  us  there.
The   granting  of  the  German  guarantee  to  Rumania   had
apparently been misconstrued by Moscow. He wanted  to  repeat
again,  therefore,  that at that time  it  was  a  matter  of
averting  a  clash between Hungary and Rumania through  quick
action. If he, the Reich Foreign Minister, had not intervened
at  that time, Hungary would have marched against Rumania. On
the  other hand, Rumania could not have been induced to  cede
so  much  territory, if the Rumanian Government had not  been
strengthened  by  the  territorial  guarantee.  In  all   its
decisions,  the German Government was guided  solely  by  the
endeavor  to  preserve peace in the Balkans  and  to  prevent
England  from  gaining a foothold there and from  interfering
with supplies to Germany. Thus our action in the Balkans  was
motivated exclusively by the circumstances of our war against
England. As soon as England conceded her defeat and asked for
peace,  German  interests in the Balkans  would  be  confined
exclusively to the economic field, and German troops would be
withdrawn  from  Rumania.  Germany  had-as  the  Fhrer   had
repeatedly declared-no territorial interests in the  Balkans.
He  could  only  repeat  again and again  that  the  decisive
question was whether the Soviet Union was prepared and  in  a
position to cooperate with us in the great liquidation of the
British Empire. On
Page 254

all other questions we would easily reach an understanding if
we  could  succeed in extending our relations and in defining
the  spheres of influence. Where the spheres of influence lay
had  been  stated repeatedly. It was therefore-as the  Fhrer
had so clearly put it-a matter of the interests of the Soviet
Union  and  Germany  requiring that the  partners  stand  not
breast  to breast but back to back, in order to support  each
other  in  the  achievement of their  aspirations.  He  would
appreciate  it if Herr Molotov would comment on this  matter.
Compared   to  the  great  basic  issues,  all  others   were
completely  insignificant and would be settled  automatically
as   soon  as  an  over-all  understanding  was  reached.  In
conclusion, he wished to remind Herr Molotov that the  latter
owed  him  an  answer to the question of whether  the  Soviet
Union  was  in principle sympathetic to the idea of obtaining
an outlet to the Indian Ocean.
     In  his  reply  Molotov  stated that  the  Germans  were
assuming  that  the war against England had already  actually
been  won.  If,  therefore,  as  had  been  said  in  another
connection,  Germany  was waging a life  and  death  struggle
against England, he could only construe this as meaning  that
Germany  was fighting "for life" and England "for death."  As
to  the  question of collaboration, he quite approved of  it,
but   he   added  that  they  had  to  come  to  a   thorough
understanding. This idea had also been expressed in  Stalin's
letter. A delimitation of the spheres of influence must  also
be  sought.  On this point, however, he (Molotov)  could  not
take  a definitive stand at this time. since he did not  know
the  opinion of Stalin and of his other friends in Moscow  in
the  matter.  However, he had to state that all  these  great
issues of tomorrow could not be separated from the issues  of
today  and the fulfillment of existing agreements. The things
that  were  started  must  first  be  completed  before  they
proceeded  to new tasks. The conversations which  he-Molotov-
had  had in Berlin had undoubtedly been very useful,  and  he
considered  it  appropriate that the questions raised  should
now  be further dealt with through diplomatic channels by way
of the ambassadors on either side.
     Thereupon  Herr Molotov cordially bade farewell  to  the
Reich Foreign Minister, stressing that he did not regret  the
air  raid  alarm,  because he owed to it such  an  exhaustive
conversation with the Reich Foreign Minister.
     Moscow, November 18, 1940.
Page 255

Frames 177500-177501, serial 273

The State Secretary in the German Foreign Office (Weizs„cker)
 to All German Diplomatic Missions and the Offices in Paris
                        and Brussels

                     [Circular telegram]

Multex 425
BERLIN, November 15, 1940.

     The  conversations between the German  and  the  Soviet-
Russian  Governments  on  the occasion  of  the  presence  of
Molotov in Berlin were conducted on the basis of the treaties
concluded  last  year  and  resulted  in  complete  agreement
regarding  the  firm  determination  of  both  countries   to
continue  in  the  future  the policy  inaugurated  by  these
treaties.   Beyond   that,  they  served   the   purpose   of
coordinating the policy of the Soviet Union with  the  policy
of  the  Tripartite Pact. As already expressed in  the  final
communiqu‚  regarding the visit of Molotov, this exchange  of
views  took  place in an atmosphere of mutual confidence  and
resulted   in  agreement  by  both  sides  on  all  important
questions  of interest to Germany and the Soviet Union.  This
result  clearly proves that all conjectures regarding alleged
German-Russian conflicts are in the realm of fantasy and that
all speculations of the foe as to a disturbance in the German-
Russian  relationship of trust and friendship  are  based  on
     This  is particularly stressed by the friendly visit  of
Molotov  in  Berlin.  [This sentence  added  in  Ribbentrop's
     Same text to all missions.
     Please acknowledge receipt.
Frames 183883-183889, serial 292

                          Draft [3]

     The  Governments of the states of the Three Power  Pact,
Germany, Italy and Japan, on the one side,
     the  Government  of the U. S. S. R. on the  other  side,
motivated by the desire to establish in their natural spheres
of influ-
[3]  This  draft was found in the secret files of the  German
Embassy in Moscow. It bears no date, apparently it formed the
basis for Schulenburg's conversation with Molotov reported on
November 26, 1940.
Page 256
ence  in  Europe,  Asia, and Africa a new order  serving  the
welfare  of  all peoples concerned and to create a  firm  and
enduring foundation for their common labors toward this goal,
have agreed upon the following:
                          ARTICLE I
     In  the  Three  Power Pact of Berlin, of  September  27,
1940,  Germany,  Italy,  and  Japan  agreed  to  oppose   the
extension of the war into a world conflict with all  possible
means and to collaborate toward an early restoration of world
peace.  They  expressed  their willingness  to  extend  their
collaboration  to nations in other parts of the  world  which
are inclined to direct their efforts along the same course as
theirs.  The Soviet Union declares that it concurs  in  these
aims of the Three Power Pact and is on its part determined to
cooperate politically in this course with the Three Powers.

                         ARTICLE II
     Germany, Italy, Japan, and the Soviet Union undertake to
respect each other's natural spheres of influence. In so  far
as  these  spheres  of interest come into contact  with  each
other, they will constantly consult each other in an amicable
way with regard to the problems arising therefrom.
     Germany,  Italy,  and Japan declare on their  part  that
they  recognize the present extent of the possessions of  the
Soviet Union and will respect it.
                         ARTICLE III
     Germany, Italy, Japan, and the Soviet Union undertake to
join  no  combination of powers and to support no combination
of powers which is directed against one of the Four Powers.
     The  Four  Powers  will assist each  other  in  economic
matters  in  every  way and will supplement  and  extend  the
agreements existing among themselves.
                         ARTICLE IV
     This  agreement  shall take effect  upon  signature  and
shall continue for a period of ten years. The Governments  of
the  Four Powers shall consult each other in due time, before
the expiration of that period, regarding the extension of the
     Done   in   four  originals,  in  the  German,  Italian,
Japanese, and Russian languages.
     Moscow, 1940.
Page 257

                    SECRET PROTOCOL No. 1
     Upon  the signing today of the Agreement concluded among
them,  the Representatives of Germany, Italy, Japan  and  the
Soviet Union declare as follows:
     1)  Germany  declares that, apart from  the  territorial
revisions  in  Europe to be carried out at the conclusion  of
peace,  her territorial aspirations center in the territories
of Central Africa.
     2)  Italy  declares  that, apart  from  the  territorial
revisions  in  Europe to be carried out at the conclusion  of
peace,  her territorial aspirations center in the territories
of Northern and Northeastern Africa.
     3)  Japan  declares  that  her  territorial  aspirations
center in the area of Eastern Asia to the south of the Island
Empire of Japan.
     4)  The  Soviet  Union  declares  that  its  territorial
aspirations  center south of the national  territory  of  the
Soviet Union in the direction of the Indian Ocean.
     The  Four  Powers declare that, reserving the settlement
of  specific  questions,  they will  mutually  respect  these
territorial   aspirations   and   will   not   oppose   their
     Moscow, on ....
                    AND THE SOVIET UNION
     On  the  occasion of the signing today of the  Agreement
among  Germany,  Italy,  Japan, and  the  Soviet  Union,  the
Representatives  of  Germany,  Italy  and  the  Soviet  Union
declare as follows:
     1)  Germany,  Italy, and the Soviet Union agree  in  the
view  that  it  is in their common interest to detach  Turkey
from her existing international commitments and progressively
to  win  her over to political collaboration with themselves.
They  declare  that  they  will  pursue  this  aim  in  close
consultation,  in  accordance with a common  line  of  action
which is still to be determined.
     2)  Germany,  Italy, and the Soviet Union declare  their
agreement  to  conclude, at a given time, a  joint  agreement
with  Turkey,  wherein the Three Powers would  recognize  the
extent of Turkey's possessions.
     3)  Germany,  Italy, and the Soviet Union will  work  in
common   toward  the  replacement  of  the  Montreux  Straits
Convention now in
Page 258

force  by  another convention. By this convention the  Soviet
Union  would be granted the right of unrestricted passage  of
its  navy through the Straits at any time, whereas all  other
Powers  except  the other Black Sea countries, but  including
Germany  and Italy, would in principle renounce the right  of
passage  through  the Straits for their  naval  vessels.  The
passage  of commercial vessels through the Straits would,  of
course, have to remain free in principle.
Moscow, 1940.
Frames 112669-112670, serial 104

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

Moscow, November 26, 1940-5:34 a. m.
Received November 26, 1940-8:50 a. m.

No. 2362 of November 20
     For the Reich Minister in person.
     Molotov asked me to call on him this evening and in  the
presence of Dekanosov stated the following:
     The  Soviet Government has studied the contents  of  the
statements  of  the Reich Foreign Minister in the  concluding
conversation on November 13 and takes the following stand:
     "The  Soviet Government is prepared to accept the  draft
of  the  Four  Power  Pact which the Reich  Foreign  Minister
outlined  in  the  conversation  of  November  13,  regarding
political collaboration and reciprocal economic [support [4]]
subject to the following conditions:
     1) Provided  that  the  German  troops  are  immediately
          withdrawn from Finland. which, under the compact of
          1939,  belongs  to  the Soviet  Union's  sphere  of
          influence.  At  the  same  time  the  Soviet  Union
          undertakes   to  ensure  peaceful  relations   with
          Finland and to protect German economic interests in
          Finland (export of lumber and nickel).
     "2) Provided  that  within  the  next  few  months   the
          security  of  the Soviet Union in  the  Straits  is
          assured  by  the conclusion of a mutual  assistance
          pact  between the Soviet Union and Bulgaria,  which
          geographically is situated inside the security zone
          of  the  Black Sea boundaries of the Soviet  Union,
          and  by  the establishment of a base for  land  and
          naval  forces of the U.S.S.R. within range  of  the
          Bosporus  and the Dardanelles by means of  a  long-
          term lease.
[4]  "Untersttzung" in Moscow Embassy draft; garbled in text
as received in Berlin.
Page 259

     "3) Provided  that the area south of Batum and  Baku  in
          the  general  direction  of  the  Persian  Gulf  is
          recognized as the center of the aspirations of  the
          Soviet Union.
     "4) Provided  that Japan [renounces [5]] her  rights  to
          concessions for coal and oil in Northern Sakhalin.
     "In  accordance  with the foregoing, the  draft  of  the
protocol  concerning  the  delimitation  of  the  spheres  of
influence  as  outlined by the Reich Foreign  Minister  would
have to be amended so as to stipulate the focal point of  the
aspirations  of the Soviet Union south of Batum and  Baku  in
the general direction of the Persian Gulf.
     "Likewise,  the  draft  of  the  protocol  or  agreement
between Germany, Italy, and the Soviet Union with respect  to
Turkey should be amended so as to guarantee a base for  light
naval  and  land forces of the U.S.S.R. On [am] the  Bosporus
and the Dardanelles by means of a long-term lease, including-
in  case  Turkey declares herself willing to  join  the  Four
Power  Pact-a  guarantee  of  the  independence  and  of  the
territory of Turkey by the three countries named.
     "This  protocol  should  provide  that  in  case  Turkey
refuses  to  join the Four Powers, Germany,  Italy,  and  the
Soviet  Union  agree  to work out and to  carry  through  the
required  military and diplomatic measures,  and  a  separate
agreement to this effect should be concluded.
     "Furthermore there should be agreement upon:
     "a) a  third  secret  protocol between Germany  and  the
          Soviet  Union  concerning  Finland  (see  Point   1
     "b) a  fourth  secret  protocol between  Japan  and  the
          Soviet  Union concerning the renunciation by  Japan
          of the oil and coal concession in Northern Sakhalin
          (in return for an adequate compensation).
     "c) a  fifth secret protocol between Germany, the Soviet
          Union,  and  Italy, recognizing  that  Bulgaria  is
          geographically located inside the security zone  of
          the  Black  Sea boundaries of the Soviet Union  and
          that  it is therefore a political necessity that  a
          mutual  assistance  pact be concluded  between  the
          Soviet  Union and Bulgaria, which in no  way  shall
          affect   the  internal  regime  of  Bulgaria,   her
          sovereignty or independence."
     In  conclusion  Molotov stated that the Soviet  proposal
provided five protocols instead of the two envisaged  by  the
Reich  Foreign Minister. He would appreciate a  statement  of
the German view. [6]

[5] "Verzichtet" in Moscow Embassy draft; omitted in text  as
received in Berlin.
[6]  The next account of a discussion of the proposed  treaty
found   in  the  German  Foreign  Office  files  appears   in
Ambassador  Schulenburg's telegram to the Foreign Office  No.
122 of January 17, 1941, post, p. 270.

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