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Page 1
                  APRIL 17-AUGUST 14, 1939
Frames 231609-231610, serial 485
   Memorandum by the State Secretary in the German Foreign
                     Office (Weizs„cker)
St. S. Nr. 339
BERLIN, April 17, 1939.
     The  Russian Ambassador visited me today-for  the  first
time since he took up his post here [1]-for a conversation on
practical matters. He dwelt at length on a subject  which  he
said   was  of  particular  interest  to  him:  namely,   the
fulfillment  of  certain contracts for war  materiel  by  the
Skoda  Works.  Although  the items  involved  are  manifestly
rather insignificant, the Ambassador regarded the fulfillment
of  the  contracts  as  a  test,  to  determine  whether,  in
accordance with a recent statement by Director Wiehl  [2]  to
him,  we  were  really willing to cultivate  and  expand  our
economic  relations with Russia. The matter of  these  supply
contracts is being looked into elsewhere.
     Toward  the end of the discussion, I casually  mentioned
to  the Ambassador that even granted goodwill on our part,  a
favorable  atmosphere for the delivery of  war  materials  to
Soviet  Russia  was not exactly being created at  present  by
reports  of a Russian-British-French air pact and  the  like.
Herr  Merekalov  seized on these words to take  up  political
matters.  He  inquired as to the opinion here  regarding  the
present situation in Central Europe. When I told him that  as
far  as I knew Germany was the only country not participating
in  the  present saber-rattling in Europe, he asked me  about
our  relations  with  Poland and about the  alleged  military
clashes on the German-Polish frontier. After I had denied the
latter  and  made some rather restrained comments on  German-
Polish  relations, the Russian asked me frankly  [unverblmt]
what I thought of German-Russian relations.
     I  replied to Herr Merekalov that, as everybody knew, we
had   always   had  the  desire  for  mutually   satisfactory
commercial relations with Russia. It had appeared to me  that
the  Russian press lately was not fully participating in  the
anti-German tone of the American and some
[1]  Ambassador  Merekalov had presented his  credentials  on
June 5, 1938.
[2]  Head  of  the Commercial Policy Division of  the  German
Foreign Office.
Page 2
of the English papers. As to the German press, Herr Merekalov
could form his own opinion, since he surely followed it  very
     The   Ambassador   thereupon  stated  approximately   as
     Russian  policy  had always moved in  a  straight  line.
Ideological differences of opinion had hardly influenced  the
Russian-Italian relationship, and they did not have to  prove
a  stumbling  block  with  regard to Germany  either.  Soviet
Russia had not exploited the present friction between Germany
and the Western democracies against us, nor did she desire to
do  so. There exists for Russia no reason why she should  not
live  with  us  on  a normal footing. And  from  normal,  the
relations might become better and better.
     With  this  remark,  to which the Russian  had  led  the
conversation, Herr Merekalov ended the interview. He  intends
to go to Moscow in the next few days for a visit.

Frame 111301, serial 103
 The German Charg‚ in the Soviet Union (Tippelskirch) to the
                       Foreign Office
No. 61 of May 4
Moscow, May 4, 1939-8:45 p. m.
Received May 4, 1939-10 p. m.
     Appointment    of    Molotov   as   Foreign    Commissar
simultaneously  retaining his position  as  Chairman  of  the
Council of People's Commissars is published as ukase  of  the
Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of May 3 by Soviet press with
great fanfare. Dismissal of Litvinov appears on last page  as
small  notice  under "Chronicle." Sudden  change  has  caused
greatest  surprise here, since Litvinov was in the  midst  of
negotiations  with the English delegation,  at  the  May  Day
Parade  still appeared on the reviewing stand right  next  to
Stalin,  and  there  was  no  recent  concrete  evidence   of
shakiness in his position. Soviet press contains no comments.
Foreign  Commissariat  is  giving  press  representatives  no
     Since  Litvinov had received the English  Ambassador  as
late  as  May  2 and had been named in press of yesterday  as
guest  of  honor at the parade, his dismissal appears  to  be
result  of  spontaneous  decision  by  Stalin.  The  decision
apparently  is  connected with the fact that  differences  of
opinion  arose  in  the  Kremlin on Litvinov's  negotiations.
Reason  for  differences of opinion presumably lies  in  deep
mistrust  that  Stalin harbors toward the entire  surrounding
Page 3
world.  At  last  Party Congress Stalin  urged  caution  lest
Soviet  Union be drawn into conflicts. Molotov  (no  Jew)  is
held to be "most intimate friend and closest collaborator" of
Stalin.  His appointment is apparently to guarantee that  the
foreign policy will be continued strictly in accordance  with
Stalin's ideas.

Frame 211496, serial 388

                  Foreign Office Memorandum

To W IV 1493

     This  afternoon I asked the Soviet Charg‚, Counselor  of
Embassy Astakhov, to come to see me and informed him that  we
had  agreed, as requested by his Ambassador on April  17,  to
carry  out the Soviet supply contracts with the Skoda  Works.
Appropriate instructions had already been given. I asked  him
to inform his Government of this.
       Counselor of Embassy Astakhov was visibly gratified at
this  declaration and stressed the fact that for  the  Soviet
Government the material side of the question was  not  of  as
great  importance as the question of principle.  He  inquired
whether  we would not soon resume the negotiations which  had
been  broken off in February. To this I replied that I  could
not  yet  give him any answer to that, as the examination  of
the  numerous  problems  which the last  Russian  answer  had
raised was not yet completed.
     Then Astakhov touched upon the dismissal of Litvinov and
tried  without asking direct questions to learn whether  this
event  would cause a change in our position toward the Soviet
Union.  He  stressed very much the great  importance  of  the
personality  of Molotov, who was by no means a specialist  in
foreign policy, but who would have all the greater importance
for the future Soviet foreign policy.
BERLIN, May 5, 1939.

Frame 211486, serial 388

                  Foreign Office Memorandum

     The  Counselor of the Russian Embassy, Astakhov,  called
on  me  this afternoon in order to introduce to me  the  Tass
Page 4
Filipov,  who  had just arrived. He began with the  statement
that  he  was  happy that Herr Filipov could start  his  work
under new conditions which were completely different from the
past.  The  recently practiced reserve of  the  German  press
toward  Soviet Russia had already attracted the attention  of
the foreign press. I for my part remarked that at the present
time one could not talk about a corresponding Russian reserve
toward  Germany and pointed out the latest broadcasts of  the
Moscow  Radio.  To  this Herr Astakhov remarked  that  Moscow
apparently  still was rather suspicious because,  of  course,
they did not yet know how this reserve was to be interpreted,
which  was,  after all, possibly only a short-lived  tactical
maneuver. At any rate, the Soviet Russians would be only  too
happy if such fears were unjustified.
     Asked  about  the  significance of  the  change  in  the
direction  of  foreign  affairs  in  Moscow,  Herr   Astakhov
declared  that  previously it had,  after  all,  not  been  a
question  of a personal policy of Litvinov, but of compliance
with  general principles. Therefore, for the time  being  one
could  not  speak of a reorientation of policy,  particularly
since  Soviet Russian policy depended on that of  the  others
and not least on that of Germany.
BERLIN, May 9, 1939.

Frames 211504-211505, serial 388
                  Foreign Office Memorandum

To W IV 1870/39


     The Soviet Charg‚, Counselor of Embassy Astakhov, called
on  me today in order to talk to me about the legal status of
the  Soviet Trade Mission in Prague, established there on the
basis of the Soviet-Czechoslovak Trade Agreement of 1935. The
Soviet Union wants to leave the Trade Mission in Prague as  a
section  of the Soviet Trade Mission in Berlin, and  requests
that  it  be given temporarily the same legal status that  it
had  under  the  Soviet-Czechoslovak  Trade  Agreement.  Herr
Astakhov  invoked the German declaration, according to  which
the  present Czechoslovak trade agreements would continue  to
be  applied to the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia  until
something new had replaced them.
     I  received this request and promised an early answer. I
told him
Page 5
as  my  personal  opinion  that there  would  hardly  be  any
objections to the Soviet request.
     During   the  subsequent  conversation  Astakhov   again
referred  in great detail to the development of German-Soviet
relations, as he had already done two weeks ago. He  remarked
that   the  German  press  for  some  weeks  looked  entirely
different.  The attacks hitherto directed against the  Soviet
Union  were missing, reports were objective; in an industrial
newspaper  of the Rhineland he had even seen some photographs
of  Soviet  installations. Of course, the Soviets  could  not
judge  whether this was only a temporary break that was  used
for  tactical reasons. However, it was hoped that a permanent
state  of  affairs would result from it. Astakhov  stated  in
detail that there were no conflicts in foreign policy between
Germany  and Soviet Russia, and that therefore there  was  no
reason for any enmity between the two countries. It was  true
that  in  the  Soviet Union there was a distinct  feeling  of
being menaced by Germany. It would undoubtedly be possible to
eliminate  this feeling of being menaced and the distrust  in
Moscow. During this conversation, he also again mentioned the
Treaty  of  Rapallo. In reply to my incidental  question,  he
commented on the Anglo-Soviet negotiations to the effect that
under the present circumstances the result desired by England
would hardly be achieved.
     To  substantiate his opinion concerning the  possibility
of  a  change in German-Soviet relations, Astakhov repeatedly
referred to Italy and stressed that the Duce, even after  the
creation  of  the  Axis,  had  implied  that  there  were  no
obstacles  to  a  normal development  of  the  political  and
economic relations between the Soviet Union and Italy.
     In  my  replies I was reserved and induced Astakhov,  by
means  of  incidental remarks only, to further elaborate  his

BERLIN, May 17, 1939.


Frames 111353-111355, serial 103

   Memorandum by the German Ambassador in the Soviet Union

Tgb. Nr. A/1023

Moscow, May 20, 1939.
     This  afternoon at 4:00, I was received by the  Chairman
of  the   Council  of People's Commissars and  Commissar  for
Foreign  Affairs  Molotov. The interview took  place  in  the
Commissariat for Foreign Affairs. It lasted over an hour  and
was carried on in most friendly
Page 6
fashion. Herr Molotov, who speaks only Russian, had requested
that  no  translator be brought along since he himself  would
provide an excellent interpreter. The latter, a rather  young
man,  translated very correctly but slowly from  the  French.
That explains in part the long duration of the conference.
     I opened the conversation by saying to Herr Molotov that
the   last   proposals  of  Herr  Mikoyan  in  our   economic
negotiations had presented several difficulties  which  could
not  be  immediately removed. We now believed that a way  had
been found to come to an understanding and we intended in the
very near future to send Geheimrat Dr. Schnurre to Moscow  to
discuss  with  Herr  Mikoyan whether an  agreement  could  be
reached  on the basis of our proposals. I asked whether  Herr
Mikoyan was prepared to confer with Herr Schnurre.
     Herr  Molotov  replied  that  the  course  of  our  last
economic  negotiations  had given the Soviet  Government  the
impression that we had not been in earnest in the matter  and
we  had only played at negotiating for political reasons.  At
first  it  had  been  reported that a German  delegation  was
coming for economic negotiations to Moscow (I suggested  that
this  report did not emanate from us but from the Polish  and
French  press),  and  later it was to the  effect  that  Herr
Schnurre  was coming alone. Herr Schnurre did not  come,  but
Herr Hilger [3] and I had conducted the negotiations and then
these  negotiations also had faded out. The Soviet Government
could  only agree to a resumption of the negotiations if  the
necessary  "political  bases" for them had  been  constructed
[wenn   hierfr   die   notwendige   "politische   Grundlage"
geschaflen sein werde.].
     I  told  Herr  Molotov that we had  never  regarded  the
economic  discussions as a game, but we had always  conducted
them  entirely in earnest. We always had had and  still  have
the  sincerest intention to come to an agreement, and  Berlin
was  of  the  opinion, if I understood it correctly,  that  a
successful conclusion of the economic discussions would  also
help  the political atmosphere. It had been technical reasons
only  that  had been responsible for Herr Schnurre's  absence
and  for  the delay of the negotiations. The present economic
conditions  in Germany made it very difficult to fulfill  the
wishes of Herr Mikoyan. I asked Herr Molotov what he meant by
the construction of political bases. I had had the impression
that  the  German-Soviet atmosphere had improved  during  the
last   year  or  so,  and  I  was  astonished  that  economic
negotiations  should  now  be  impossible  while   previously
negotiations  of  the  same sort had repeatedly  taken  place
under more
[3] Of the staff of the German Embassy in Moscow.
Page 7
unfavorable  conditions and had been brought to a conclusion.
Herr  Molotov  then  declared that the way  in  which  better
political  bases  could  be built  was  something  that  both
Governments  would have to think about. All of my  determined
efforts  to  bring  Herr  Molotov to  make  his  wishes  more
definite  and  more concrete were in vain. Herr  Molotov  had
apparently  determined to say just so much  and  not  a  word
more.  He  is  known  for this somewhat  stubborn  manner.  I
thereupon concluded the conversation and stated that I  would
inform my Government. Herr Molotov then bade me farewell in a
very friendly fashion.
     Immediately  at  the  conclusion of  my  visit  to  Herr
Molotov, I visited Herr Potemkin. I related to him the course
of  my  conversation  with the Chairman  of  the  Council  of
People's Commissars, and I added that I had unfortunately not
been able to find out from the conversation what Herr Molotov
actually  wanted.  He certainly must have  had  something  in
mind. I asked Herr Potemkin to find out whether he could  not
possibly  let me know what direction Herr Molotov's  line  of
thought was taking. I gave the impression that I did not know
at  all what I should suggest to my Government. Nothing could
be  changed  in the main lines of German policy. Thus  in  my
opinion, we would persevere in our East Asia policy. I  could
however, add that this policy was in no way directed  against
the Soviet Union.
Frame 111328, serial 103
The State Secretary in the German Foreign Office (Weizs„cker)
 to the German Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Schulenburg)

BERLIN, May 21, 1939.
No. 94
     Reference   your   telegram  73.  [4]   For   Ambassador
     On  basis  of  results so far of your  discussions  with
Molotov, we must now sit tight [ganz stillzuhalten] and  wait
to see if the Russians will speak more openly.
     I  request  that  you  act accordingly  until  otherwise
instructed, but to wire from time to time any useful  reports
and  news  reaching  you  as well as your  appraisal  of  the
[4]  Not printed; it summarized interview between Schulenburg
and Molotov described in preceding document.
Page 8

Frames 111346-111347, serial 103

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

Tgb. Nr. A/1023

Moscow, May 22, 1939.
     DEAR  HERR VON WEIZSŽCKER: I have the honor to  transmit
to  you  as  an enclosure a copy of the memorandum [5]  which
gives  the  content  and  course of my  interview  with  Herr
Molotov  on May 20. I have also included the memorandum  with
my report.
     The  Reich  Minister  directed me  to  maintain  extreme
caution  in  my  conference  with  Molotov.  As  a  result  I
contented myself with saying as little as possible  and  took
this  attitude  all  the more because the  attitude  of  Herr
Molotov seemed to me quite suspicious [recht verd„chtig].  It
cannot  be  understood otherwise than that the resumption  of
our economic negotiations does not satisfy him as a political
gesture, and that he apparently wants to obtain from us  more
extensive  proposals  of  a  political  nature.  We  must  be
extremely cautious in this field as long as it is not certain
that possible proposals from our side will not be used by the
Kremlin only to exert pressure on England and France. On  the
other  hand, if we want to accomplish something here,  it  is
unavoidable that we sooner or later take some action.
     It  is  extraordinarily difficult here to learn anything
at   all   about  the  course  of  the  English-French-Soviet
negotiations.  My  British colleague, who apparently  is  the
only  one who is active in that connection here (he was being
announced  to Herr Potemkin when I was visiting the  latter),
preserves  an iron silence. Even neutral diplomats  have  not
been able to learn anything.
     My  French  colleague has been away for some  time.  The
Counselor of Embassy and Charg‚ in the last few days asked us
for a transit visa, so that it seems that he also is going to
leave  Moscow  soon. If the reports are correct  that  France
will  now  take  over the negotiations in the matter  of  the
French-British-Soviet "alliance," these negotiations may well
take place not here but in Paris.
     My  Italian colleague is of the opinion that the  Soviet
Union  will  surrender  her freedom of  negotiation  only  if
England and France give her a full treaty of alliance.
     It  is  often stated here (I do not know whether  it  is
correct) that one of the principal reasons for the hesitation
of  England in accepting the Soviet proposals for a  military
alliance  is  the  question of Japan.  London  is  afraid  of
driving the Japanese into our arms if she guar-
[5] Ante, p.5.
Page 9
antees  the defense of all Soviet frontiers. If Japan  should
come  into  our  arms  voluntarily,  this  consideration  for
England should be eliminated.
     With  best  greetings and Heil Hitler, I  am,  Herr  von
Weizs„cker, yours very respectfully,
Frames 178398-178397, serial 276

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

BERLIN, May 27, 1939.

     DEAR  COUNT SCHULENBURG: We answered your letter of  the
22d  in  our  telegram of yesterday, [6] which will  probably
surprise  you less than Herr Hilger, who was at hand  at  the
birth of a very different sort of instruction. I feel that  I
still  owe  you a word of explanation. We are of the  opinion
here that the English-Russian combination certainly will  not
be easy to prevent. However, there may even today be a rather
wide field of negotiation into which we may be able to inject
ourselves with an impeding and disturbing effect by use of  a
more  unmistakable  sort  of  language.  The  possibility  of
success  is considered here to be quite limited, so that  one
must  weigh whether a very open statement in Moscow,  instead
of  being beneficial, might not rather be harmful and perhaps
produce  a peal of Tartar laughter. In weighing these  points
of  view, it had also to be considered that one link  in  the
whole  chain,  namely, a gradual conciliation between  Moscow
and   Tokyo,  is  regarded  by  the  Japanese  as  distinctly
problematical.   Rome  also  was  very  hesitant,   so   that
eventually  the  disadvantages of the  proposed  far-reaching
step  were  regarded as the determining factor. In short,  we
will  remain  within the instructions which we have  sent  to
you, and we now want to see how deeply Moscow on the one hand
and   Paris-London  on  the  other  are  willing  to   pledge
themselves to each other.
     Your   reports  and  judgments  of  the  situation   are
naturally most welcome here at all times.
     Our  inquiries  about  the return  here  of  the  Soviet
Russian  Ambassador, Merekalov, are only of  significance  in
relation to the future moves at the Kremlin.
     Heartiest greetings and best wishes.
Heil Hitler!
Always yours faithfully,
[5] Telegram not printed.
Page 10

P. S. Berlin, May 30, 1939.

     To  my lines above I must add that now, with the consent
of  the  Fhrer, a distinctly limited exchange of views  with
the Russians will take place by means of a conference which I
am  to  hold  today  with the Russian Charg‚.  You  will,  of
course,  be  officially  informed of  developments.  I  need,
therefore, not go more deeply into the matter here.

Frames 111372-111374, serial 103

                Foreign Office Memorandum [7]

MAY 29, 1939.

     1.  We  are  faced with the fact that our Ambassador  in
Moscow  had a talk with Herr Molotov about the resumption  of
German-Soviet  commercial  negotiations  and  that  on   this
occasion  Herr Molotov made them subject to the clarification
of  political relations between Germany and Soviet Russia. Of
course  we  ask  ourselves whether  Herr  Molotov  wanted  to
express thereby a desire that a talk get under way concerning
the political relations between us, or whether he wanted this
considered simply as a form of rejection.
     2. You yourself as well as their Ambassador occasionally
have  indicated  possibilities of  some  day  discussing  the
political relations between Germany and the Soviet Union, and
we  ask  ourselves whether this is in harmony with  Molotov's
views or whether we are dealing here with different points of
view of their Embassy here and their Foreign Commissariat.
     3.  If  they should have the desire to have a  political
conversation  with  us,  I personally  can  imagine  this  as
entirely  possible. I would consider as a condition that  the
aggressive  promotion  of the idea  of  world  revolution  no
longer  be  an element in the present Soviet foreign  policy.
[Marginal  notation: "mutually not to interfere  in  domestic
politics  in any way, for ..."] If this condition  is  met-as
certain  signs  might indicate-I could imagine  that  such  a
conversation could lead to useful results in the direction of
a   progressive   normalization  of   German-Soviet   Russian
relations. [Marginal notation: "Ukraine."]
     4.  It is admittedly very doubtful whether the state  of
affairs  in  Europe just at the moment promises success  from
such  talks,  since  the  Soviet  Government  is  engaged  in
negotiations with England, which indicate that Moscow is more
or less determined to enter actively

[7] This and the following document are apparently a series
of proposals submitted by Ribbentrop to Hitler.

Page 11

into  the English policy of encirclement. However, it is,  of
course, up to your Government [marginal note: "ice-cold"]  to
judge whether at this stage in the Anglo-Soviet negotiations,
it still sees room for such a conversation with Germany.

[Penciled notation: "spare myself the reproach of not having
spoken up."] [8]

Frames 111368-111371, serial 103

                  Foreign Office Memorandum


     I  suggest  that  the request of the Soviet  Embassy  in
Berlin  for  permission for the further  maintenance  of  the
Soviet Russian commercial agency in Prague as a branch of the
Russian  commercial agency in Berlin be used as the  occasion
for   the  following  statement,  to  be  made  by  Herr  von
Weizs„cker to the Russian representative in Berlin.

     1.  The  question  of the continued maintenance  of  the
Russian commercial agency in Prague is one of principle.  For
that  reason  the Minister believed that in  this  matter  he
could  not  make  a  decision on his own  responsibility  and
presented the matter to the Fhrer.
     2.  The  German  Reich Government  would  like  to  know
whether   the  Soviet  Government  wishes  to  consider   the
maintenance of its commercial agency in Prague on a permanent
basis  or whether it has only a limited period in mind. What,
in the latter case, would be the time limit ?
     3. It is not easy for the German Reich Government, under
the   present  circumstances,  to  consent  at  all  to   the
maintenance  of  this Russian commercial agency,  even  as  a
branch   of   the  Berlin  office.  To  its  last  suggestion
particularly,  of  taking  up direct commercial  negotiations
with  Moscow, it received an answer in Moscow from  which  it
believes  it  must  infer that the Soviet  Government  is  at
present  very little interested in resuming and strengthening
German-Russian commercial relations. There is,  in  addition,
the  development of the foreign policy of the  Soviet  Union,
which also calls for caution on the part of the  German Reich
Government  with respect to the examination and  granting  of
special  Soviet Russian wishes, such as in this case  of  the
Prague  commercial  agency. For the Reich Government  has  no
doubt  the  that  Russia  seems to be  inclined  actively  to
support  the British policy of encirclement directed  against
Germany. The Reich Government, therefore for its part too, in
its own understandable interest, considers a clarification of
this  development as the necessary condition for the granting
of special concessions. But above all, as stressed in

[8]  The  penciled  notations appear to  be  notes  by  State
Secretary  von  Weizs„cker  for  his  conversation  with  the
Russian Charg‚ on May 30, post, p. 12.

Page 12

point  2,  it would be important to know for how long,  under
those   circumstances,   the   Soviet   Government   requests
permission  for the continuance of its commercial  agency  in


Frames 111362-111367, serial 103

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

St. S. Nr. 455
BERLIN, May 30, 1939.

     The  Soviet Russian Charg‚ called on me this morning  at
my  request. I designated as our subject of conversation  the
Soviet  Russian request to continue accrediting  their  trade
mission in Prague as a branch office of the trade mission  in
Berlin.   In   my  subsequent  remarks,  which   the   Charg‚
interrupted  by occasional objections, I adhered strictly  to
the instructions given to me.
     First, I told the Charg‚ that the request of the Russian
Government involved a matter of principle, and that for  this
reason  the  Foreign Minister had dealt  with  it.  Herr  von
Ribbentrop  had presented the matter to the Fhrer.  At  this
point  the attention of the Charg‚ was aroused, and  he  made
sure  by asking me again whether the Fhrer had really  dealt
with the matter.
     I  then continued that we would like to know whether the
trade  mission  in Prague was to be retained  permanently  or
only  temporarily, and for what length of time. To  this  the
Charg‚  immediately  replied that he  personally  could  only
state  that there was still much work to be done in order  to
complete  current business in the Protectorate, but that  his
Government had probably been thinking of a permanent status.
     In  accordance with instructions I then went on to state
that  it would not be easy for us to give our consent to  the
retention of the trade mission in Prague, because we, i.  e.,
Ambassador Count Schulenburg, had recently received from Herr
Molotov  a  not very encouraging reply in the matter  of  our
economic relations. The Charg‚ indicated that he was informed
of  the  contents  of  the talk, and  pending  more  detailed
instructions interpreted it to the effect that in Moscow they
wanted  to avoid a repetition of what happened last  January,
i.  e., they did not want to make preparations again for  the
trip of a German trade negotiator to Moscow only to receive a
cancellation at the last moment, amidst the ridicule  of  the
foreign  press.  Actually,  Herr  Molotov  had  stated   that
politics and economy could not be entirely

Page 13

separated in our relations; a certain connection between  the
two   did   actually  exist.  Apparently  Potemkin   in   his
communication  to the Charg‚ here expressed the  matter  this
way:  that the contemplated trade negotiations could  not  be
treated lightly.
     After  we had exchanged a few more words to clarify  the
incident  of  last January, I told the Charg‚ that  I  agreed
with  him  that economics and politics could not be  entirely
separated from each other. It was for this very reason that I
was  having  the conversation with him, because  the  British
efforts  to draw Russia into her sphere-efforts of  which  we
were informed-indicated a political orientation in Moscow  of
which we would have to take account, even in considering less
important problems, such as the Soviet Russian trade  mission
in Prague. I returned therefore to the question raised at the
beginning of our conversation-namely, what length of time the
Soviet Government would propose for the business of its trade
mission in Prague.
     The  Charg‚ concluded from this part of the conversation
that  he  would have to inquire again in Moscow  as  to  what
intentions they actually had for the trade mission in  Prague
and,  furthermore, what Foreign Commissioner Molotov actually
meant  to  tell Count Schulenburg. The Charg‚ was willing  to
say  on  his own account that Herr Molotov had, to  be  sure,
talked with the customary Russian distrust, but not with  the
intention of barring further German-Russian discussions.
     After  the discussion had reached this point I  reminded
the  Charg‚  of  certain conversations which he  himself  had
conducted  in  the Office and above all of the statements  of
his  Ambassador, now absent from Berlin, who told me  in  the
middle  of  April  of the possibility of a normalization  and
even   further   improvement   of  German-Russian   political
relations.   From  this  point  the  conversation   proceeded
spontaneously  and I changed over to a purely  conversational
tone and put aside paper and pencil.
     I  here  reminded  the  Charg‚ of  the  remarks  of  his
Ambassador about the more reserved language of the  press  on
both  sides  in the last few months. I mentioned that  to  my
knowledge  the  topic of Soviet Russia had receded  into  the
background in official German speeches of recent months-which
the Charg‚ confirmed but held that it could be interpreted in
different   ways.  Finally  I  told  the  Charg‚   that   the
development of our relations with Poland, which was known  to
him, had actually made our hitherto restricted policy in  the
East freer.
     After some concurring remarks by the Charg‚, I told  him
that  personally  thought the German position  toward  Soviet
Russia was as

Page 14

follows:  Germany  was not narrow-minded,  but  she  was  not
officious  either.  Among our German  political  merchandise,
however, one item did not exist, namely a special liking  for
Communism. We had dealt with Communists in short order and we
would  continue  to do so; moreover, we did  not  expect  any
special  liking for National Socialism in Moscow  either.  At
this point the Charg‚ interrupted with explanations as to how
Russian relations with Italy and particularly Turkey, as well
as  other  countries  could  be normal  or  even  very  good,
although in those countries Communism was not favored at all.
He  strongly  emphasized  the possibility  of  a  very  clear
distinction between maxims of domestic policy on the one hand
and orientation of foreign policy on the other hand.
     I  then  continued with my figure of speech  and  stated
that  among our political merchandise there was also a pretty
good selection for Russia, ranging from normalization of  our
relations such as the Russian Ambassador had suggested to me,
to unrelenting hostility. Normalization was indeed obstructed
by a lot of rubble and I was convinced that many people would
even  like  to pile it higher. The Charg‚ probably knew  that
Herr Beck, the Polish Foreign Minister, was also not entirely
without  his  share  in this. One could  conduct  interesting
talks with Herr Beck, but he appeared to me to have become  a
little  old, because he sometimes suffered from a regrettable
weakness of memory. Thus, for instance, Beck's interpretation
of  the  German policy toward the Ukraine was refuted by  the
German  conduct  in  the  case  of  the  Carpathian  Ukraine.
However, I did not want to go into these things in detail;  I
thought  that  Germany had proved that she  could  cope  with
Communism  at  home;  nor did she have any  fear  in  foreign
policy.  I did not know whether there still was any  room  at
all for a possible gradual normalization of relations between
Soviet  Russia  and  Germany, now  that  Moscow  had  perhaps
already  listened to the enticements of London. At any  rate,
however,  since the Charg‚ and his Ambassador had  talked  so
frankly in the Foreign Ministry, I would like to spare myself
the  reproach  that  we on our part had  held  back  and  had
concealed our position. We did not ask anything from  Moscow,
we  did  not desire anything from Moscow, but neither did  we
want to be told by Moscow at a later date that we had erected
between us an impenetrable wall of silence.
     The  Charg‚,  who had followed the talk attentively  and
had contributed to it a number of remarks not mentioned here,
stated  in  conclusion that the ideological  barrier  between
Moscow  and  Berlin was in reality erected by us. Before  our
treaty with Poland we

Page 15

had  rejected a Russian offer of alliance and until  recently
there  had  been  little comprehension here  of  the  Russian
thesis  that  foreign and domestic policy  did  not  have  to
interfere  with  each other. He believed that his  Government
had  not wavered in this viewpoint and was still faithful  to
it  today.  In  conclusion the Charg‚ stated  that  he  would
report  home  about our talk, the second  part  of  which  he
designated,  for his part, as private, and he  would  request
instructions  from his Government as to what  its  real  aims
were  concerning  the trade mission in  Prague,  as  well  as
whether he, the Charg‚, had correctly interpreted the Molotov
talk as in no way negative [keineswegs zurckweisendes].
     I  did not, of course, ask the Charg‚ about the state of
the  Anglo-Russian negotiations; nor did he mention  anything
about  them.  However,  it cannot be contested  that  in  his
remarks today about our political relations he used basically
the  same language as hitherto and as his Ambassador  did  in
the  middle  of  last April. The Molotov-Schulenburg  episode
appears  to  me,  therefore, to  have  been  the  product  of
sensitivity   and   distrust  rather  than   a   premeditated


Frames 111375-111378, serial 103

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


BERLIN, May 30, 1939.

No. 101. For the Ambassador.
         For information.

     Contrary  to the policy previously planned, we have  now
decided  to  undertake definite negotiations with the  Soviet
Union. Accordingly, in the absence of the Ambassador I  asked
the Charg‚, Astakhov, to see me today. The Soviet request for
further  continuance of their trade mission at  Prague  as  a
branch  of the trade mission at Berlin provided the  starting
point of our conversation. Since the Russian request presents
a question of policy the Reich Foreign Minister had also been
considering  it  and  he had taken the  matter  up  with  the
Fhrer.  To my inquiry as to whether the maintenance  of  the
trade mission at Prague involved a permanent situation  or  a
continuance  over a limited period, the Charg‚ remarked  that
in  his  personal view it seemed most likely that the  Soviet
Government was thinking of a permanent arrangement. I replied
that it would not be an easy matter for us

Page 16

to  grant permission for continuance of the trade mission  in
Prague,  since Ambassador Count Schulenburg had just received
from  Molotov  a  not very encouraging pronouncement  on  the
subject of the general state of our relations. The Charg‚, in
the  absence  of more definite instructions, interpreted  the
conversation between Count Schulenburg and Molotov, of  which
he  had  knowledge, as meaning that at Moscow they wished  to
avoid  a  repetition of the course of events of last January.
In Molotov's view political and economic matters could not be
completely separated in our relationship. Between the two  as
a matter of fact, there was a definite connection.
     After  I  had  cleared up to some extent the  events  of
January,  I  said  to  the Charg‚ that in  our  opinion  also
political  and  economic  matters in  Russo-German  relations
could not be entirely separated and I was conferring with him
particularly  because British efforts  to  draw  Russia  into
their orbit pointed to a political orientation on the part of
Moscow  of  which  we  would have  to  take  notice  even  in
relatively minor matters such as that of the trade mission in
Prague.  I  would therefore have to renew my query  regarding
the length of time the Soviet Union desired the trade mission
at  Prague.  The  Charg‚ at this stage  of  the  conversation
stated that he must ask Moscow what the intentions there were
regarding  the  trade  mission at  Prague  and  what  Foreign
Commissar  Molotov had intended to say to Count  Schulenburg.
In  his  view  Molotov  had, it was  true,  spoken  with  the
suspicion  customary  with the Russians,  but  not  with  the
intention   of   putting  a  check  on  further  Russo-German
     In  this  connection  I recalled to the  Charg‚  certain
conversations which he himself had carried on at the  Foreign
Office  and  especially statements made to me by  the  Soviet
Ambassador about the middle of April about the possibility of
normalization  and even further improvement  of  Russo-German
political relations, and at this point I also referred to the
more moderate tone of the public statements on both sides for
several  months  past  and above all to  the  fact  that  the
development of our relations with Poland had made our  policy
in  the East. which had previously been hampered, more  free.
Following indications of agreement on the part of the Charg‚,
I  said  that in my personal opinion Germany was not  narrow-
minded  as  respects Soviet Russia, but also not importunate.
Communism would continue to be rejected by us, while  we,  on
the  other hand, expected no affection for National Socialism
from   Moscow.  The  Charg‚  emphasized  strongly   in   that
connection the possibility of a very clear separation between
principles governing internal policy on the one hand and  the

Page 17

adopted  in  foreign policy on the other.  I  continued  that
Russia, in addition to that normalization of our relationship
at  which the Russian Ambassador had hinted, could choose any
course  up to unyielding antagonism, even though many people,
as,   for   instance,  the  Polish  Foreign  Minister,   were
interested   in   hindering   such   normalization.    Beck's
interpretation of Germany's Ukrainian policy could,  however,
be  best  refuted  by Germany's conduct  in  respect  to  the
Carpatho-Ukraine. Whether there was still room for a  gradual
normalization after Moscow had, perhaps already, given ear to
the enticements of London, I did not know. However, after the
Charg‚ and the Ambassador had made unequivocal statements  at
the  Foreign Office, we wanted to escape the charge  that  we
had kept silent about our own position. We were asking and we
wanted  nothing from Moscow; however, we did not want  Moscow
to  be  able  to  say  to us later that  we  had  erected  an
impassable wall of silence between us.
     The  Charg‚ replied that he believed that his Government
was  still  of  the opinion that foreign policy and  internal
policy  need  not  disturb each other. He  would  report  the
conversation  and  request instructions from  his  Government
both  as to its intentions about the trade mission in  Prague
and as to whether he had correctly interpreted the statements
of Molotov as being in no sense a rejection.
     I  got  the  impression from the conversation  that  the
statements of Molotov should not be considered an intentional
     Instructions  for further treatment of the  subject  are
being held in reserve.


Frames 111379-1113S0, serial 103

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


BERLIN, May 30, 1939.

No. 102

With reference to telegram of today No. 101.

     In  the light of talk of today with Soviet Charg‚  here,
about  which  other telegraphic instructions are  under  way,
there  are  no objections here if Hilger gets in  touch  with
Mikoyan of his own accord and without referring to an  order.
The fact that Hilger has worked for two and one-half weeks in
Berlin with competent authorities on creation of a basis  for
commercial negotiations with Soviet Union ought

Page 18

to  be  sufficient occasion to initiate such a  talk  on  his
part.  However,  Hilger  would have  to  confine  himself  in
possible conversation to talking generally of his work  here,
without  repeating the offer to resume negotiations.  On  the
other  hand,  in  view of Soviet sensitivity because  of  the
recall of Schnurre some time ago, he may try to remove doubts
of  the  seriousness of our intentions at that  time  and  at
present  of  expanding  economic relations  with  the  Soviet
Union.  If  in  this connection the Soviet negotiators  touch
upon  political questions, Hilger is only to point  out  that
political  questions were the subject of direct  conversation
between  the State Secretary and the Soviet Charg‚  and  that
the  political authorities were probably about to clarify the
situation further.
     If  during  this  talk the Soviets show  willingness  to
resume  economic negotiations Hilger could promise to get  in
touch with Berlin at once.


Frames 111398-111401, serial 103

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

MOSCOW, JUNE 5, 1939.

     MY  DEAR HERR VON WEIZSŽCKER: May I thank you very  much
for your kind and very interesting letter of the 27th of last
     It  is obvious that Japan would not like to see even the
smallest agreement between us and the Soviet Union. The  less
our pressure becomes upon the western boundary of Russia, the
stronger the might of the Soviet Union will make itself  felt
in  Eastern  Asia.  The Italians really ought  to  welcome  a
German-Russian  arrangement;  they  themselves  have   always
avoided  clashing  with Moscow, and the Reich  could  take  a
stronger stand toward France if Poland were kept in check  by
the Soviet Union, thus relieving our eastern boundary. If the
Italians  nevertheless are "pretty reserved," the reason  may
be  that  they are not pleased to see the importance  of  the
Reich  within  the  Axis increase through an  improvement  in
German-Soviet relations and the resulting automatic  increase
in our power.
     It appears to me that they have gained the impression in
Berlin   that  Herr  Molotov  had  rejected  a  German-Soviet
arrangement  during  the discussion  with  me.  I  have  read
through my telegram once

[9] Marginal notation: "F" [sent to the Fhrer].

Page 19

again and compared it with my letter to you and my
memorandum. I cannot discover what has given rise to this
opinion in Berlin. [10] In reality, the fact is that Herr
Molotov almost invited political discussions. Our proposal of
conducting only economic negotiations appeared insufficient
to him. Of course, there was and is the danger that the
Soviet Government will utilize German proposals for pressure
on the English and French. Herr Molotov in his speech at once
utilized tactically our offer to begin economic negotiations.
Caution on our part was and is therefore necessary, but it
appears clear to me that no door has been shut and that the
way is open for further negotiations.
     We  have  heard and read with the very greatest interest
of   your  conversation  with  Herr  Astakhov.  Incidentally,
several days after having mailed my last letter to you I  had
occasion to talk again with Herr Potemkin about Soviet-German
relations. I told him that I had racked my brains as to  what
positive  steps could be taken to realize the suggestions  of
Herr   Molotov.  There  were  no  points  of   friction,   no
controversial  issues, between Germany and the Soviet  Union.
We  had  no  border incidents to eliminate and no dispute  to
settle. We were asking nothing, from the Soviet Union and the
Soviet  Union  nothing  from us,  apparently.  I  asked  Herr
Potemkin,  with whom-in private-I can talk much more  freely,
whether he could now tell me anything about the ideas of Herr
Molotov.   Herr  Potemkin  answered  this  in  the  negative;
unfortunately, he could not add anything to the statements of
Herr Molotov, who had spoken for the Soviet Government. [11]
     I  am  curious  whether your conversation with  Astakhov
will help the matter. Herr von Tippelskirch in my opinion was
justified in calling attention to the fact that, through  our
non-aggression treaties with the Baltic countries, Russia has
received  from  us,  free of charge, increased  security  and
thereby a German political down payment.
     I  would  like to call attention to the fact  that  Herr
Molotov mentioned in his speech three conditions, which  must
be  met  under  any  circumstances in order  to  achieve  the
English-French-Soviet alliance. In none of the  three  points
is  it  stated  that  the demands of the Soviet  Union  refer
exclusively to Europe. The Far East is not named, to be sure,
but  it  is not excluded, either. As far as I know,  however,
Great Britain wants to assume new obligations only in Europe.
From this a

[10]  This  sentence underlined and with marginal comment  in
Ribbentrop's handwriting: "?? Erl [edigt]"-[Taken care of].
[11] This sentence underlined and in margin " !! ".

Page 20

new  controversy may result, if the guarantee of  the  Baltic
countries  is  achieved.  The Soviet  Russians  are  full  of
distrust toward us, but they do not much trust the democratic
powers,  either.  Distrust is aroused very easily  here  and,
once aroused, can be removed only with great difficulty.
     It is significant that Molotov, in speaking of relations
with  England,  did  not  mention the invitations  which  the
British  Government has extended to Mikoyan and  recently  to
Voroshilov, too, following the visit of Mr. Hudson in Moscow.
     I  learn  from  a  generally reliable source  that  Herr
Potemkin  was  sent  to Ankara in such a hurry  in  order  to
prevent  Turkey from signing with the English. Herr  Potemkin
prevented   the  signature  of  the  treaty,  but   not   the
"declaration." The Soviet Government is reported  not  to  be
opposed in principle to an English-Turkish agreement, but  is
said  to  consider it important that Turkey should  not  dash
ahead, but should act at the same time and in the same manner
as the Soviet Union.
     The  most  recent  border incidents  on  the  Mongolian-
Manchurian   frontier  seem  to  have  been  quite   serious.
According  to  Japanese  reports, the  "Mongols"  on  May  28
employed  one  hundred  airplanes,  forty-two  of  which  the
Japanese  claim to have shot down. They claim that  seventeen
airplanes had been shot down previously. I believe  that  the
Soviets  are  responsible for these serious  incidents.  They
represent aid to China; they are to prevent the Japanese from
withdrawing   their  very  strong  troop   contingents   from
Manchuria to China.
     With most cordial regards and Heil Hitler, I remain,  my
dear Herr von Weizs„cker,

Yours most respectfully,


Frames 178376-178378, serial 276

                  Foreign Office Memorandum

BERLIN, June 15, 1939.

     The  Bulgarian minister called on me today and  told  me
confidentially the following: The Soviet Russian Charg‚, with
whom  he  had no intimate relations, called on him  yesterday
without  any apparent reason and stayed with him  two  hours.
The  long  conversation, of which it could not be ascertained
whether  it  had  reflected  the personal  opinions  of  Herr
Astakhov  or the opinions of the Soviet Government, could  be
summarized approximately as follows:
     The  Soviet Union faced the present world situation with

Page 21

She  was vacillating between three possibilities, namely  the
conclusion  of  the pact with England and France,  a  further
dilatory   treatment   of  the  pact  negotiations,   and   a
rapprochement with Germany. This last possibility, with which
ideological considerations would not have to become involved,
was  closest to the desires of the Soviet Union. In addition,
there  were other points, for instance that the Soviet  Union
did  not recognize the Rumanian possession of Bessarabia. The
fear  of  a  German attack, however, either  via  the  Baltic
countries  or via Rumania was an obstacle. In this connection
the  Charg‚ had also referred to Mein Kampf. If Germany would
declare  that she would not attack the Soviet Union  or  that
she would conclude a non-aggression pact with her, the Soviet
Union  would  probably refrain from concluding a treaty  with
England. However, the Soviet Union did not know what  Germany
really  wanted,  aside  from certain  very  vague  allusions.
Several  circumstances also spoke for the second possibility,
namely  to  continue  to conduct the pact  negotiations  with
England  in a dilatory manner. In this case the Soviet  Union
would  continue  to  have a free hand in any  conflict  which
might break out.
     Herr  Draganoff then stated that he had declared to  the
Soviet  Russian  Charg‚ that Germany, in his  opinion,  could
have  no  aggressive aims against the Soviet  Union,  and  he
pointed  out that the situation had also changed with respect
to  other  countries, since Mein Kampf had been  written.  He
reproached  Russia with the fact that she had helped  Rumania
to  the Dobruja, for which the Charg‚ tried to lay the  blame
exclusively on the Tsarist Government.
     At  the end Herr Draganoff repeated again that he had no
indications why Herr Astakhov had given him this information.
He  was pondering the possibility that this was probably done
with the intention of having Herr Draganoff report it to us.


Frames 111436-111440, serial 103

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

Moscow, June 18, 1939.
W. 950/39g

Reference report of June 17, 1939, by a different channel.

Subject: conversation with Commissar for Foreign Trade
Mikoyan on June 17, 1939.

     Enclosed  I  am  sending a memorandum  of  Counselor  of
Legation  Hilger  on  his  conversation  with  Commissar  for
Foreign Trade Miko-

Page 22

yan  on  June  17, 1939. The fact that Mikoyan received  Herr
Hilger  immediately after his arrival, after  an  appointment
had  been  made  on  the day before, shows  that  Mikoyan  is
anxious  not  to lose contact. That Mikoyan would immediately
accept   the   German  proposal  could  hardly  be   expected
considering the mentality of the Soviet Government, which  at
present  is  riding a high horse, and its  known  methods  of
negotiation.  The continually repeated statement  of  Mikoyan
that  he  suspects  a  political game  behind  our  offer  of
negotiation may not be due only to tactical motives  but  may
partly  reflect  his true opinion. Mikoyan seems  to  believe
that we had deliberately chosen the present time for economic
negotiations.  This  becomes clear from his  remark  that  we
expected  an  advantage  from a resumption  of  the  economic
negotiations just now.
     It  is  a  remarkable nuance that Mikoyan in his  answer
uses the same formula as the communiqu‚ published on June  16
on  the  first conversation of Molotov with the  British  and
French  Ambassadors and Strang. In this as  well  as  in  the
other case the result is called "not entirely favorable."



Subject: conversation with Mikoyan on June 17, 1939.

     After  the Embassy had made an appointment the  People's
Commissar  Mikoyan  received me today  immediately  after  my
return from Berlin.
     I  explained  to  Mikoyan the purpose  of  my  trip  and
pointed  out  the  unfavorable  impression  which  his   last
communication of June 8 had left with us. At the same time  I
asked  him to consider the fact of my trip to Berlin and  the
answer of the German Government which I had brought along  as
an additional proof of the seriousness of our intentions with
respect  to  the expansion and strengthening of German-Soviet
economic relations. Thereupon I read to Herr Mikoyan the text
of the German answer that had been given to me in Berlin (cf.
enclosure).  The  People's  Commissar  listened   with   rapt
attention,  while Babarin, newly appointed Deputy  Commercial
Representative   in   Berlin,  who   was   present   at   the
conversation,  busily  wrote down every  word.  The  People's
Commissar  appeared to be visibly impressed with  the  German
answer.  Nevertheless, he declared after a short  pause  that
the German answer had disappointed him, since it did not meet
his conditions.

Page 23

     On  the basis of the instructions received in Berlin  on
this  subject, I then commented on the contents of the German
answer  in  great detail. I stressed particularly  the  great
German concession which was expressed in sending Counselor of
Legation  Schnurre and in accepting the last Soviet  proposal
as   a  basis  for  negotiations.  I  reminded  the  People's
Commissar that during the negotiations in February he did not
describe  the last Soviet proposal as his last word,  but  as
the basis of further negotiations. I further reminded him  of
his  statement in the conversation of June 8, in which he had
declared that the Soviet Government would see in the despatch
of Herr Schnurre proof of the fact that the German Government
was also serious in the matter of "policy" [der "Politik"].
     Mikoyan replied that my two last statements corresponded
entirely  with  the  facts  and  that  I  had  repeated   his
statements correctly. Nevertheless, he still did not  believe
he  had  assurance  that it was for  us  not  a  question  of
continuing  a  political game in which  the  Germans  had  an
interest  just  at  the present moment and  from  which  they
expected advantages to them.
     To  this  I  replied  sharply that I  had  often  enough
rejected  his statements regarding a political game allegedly
played  by  us and that they would not become more convincing
by  continuous repetition. I could not understand at all what
risk  for the Soviet Union the People's Commissar saw in  the
whole  matter, since the Soviet Government was not delegating
a  special emissary to Berlin, but the German Government  was
sending  Herr Schnurre to Moscow, and, in fact, in  agreement
with  the  request  expressed by  the  Soviet  Government  in
January of this year.
     Herr  Mikoyan replied that this statement by me was also
correct,  since  the  Soviet  Government  at  that  time  had
expressed the specific desire to conduct the negotiations  in
     Thereupon I stated to the People's Commissar that I  was
completely in the dark about what he really wanted  from  us,
after  all,  and what answer he had expected from the  German
     Mikoyan replied that he had expected concrete statements
as to which points of his last proposal we would and which we
would not accept.
     I  told  the  People's Commissar that this  was  clearly
apparent in the German answer and my oral comments of  today.
Therefore  I  would like to repeat for the third  time  that,
after the existing obstacles had been removed on our part, we
definitely  expected agreement from the Soviet Government  to
our wishes and an increase in the Soviet offer

Page 24

of  raw materials. All other less important points would have
to  be  left to the negotiations suggested by us. This  offer
from  us represented the maximum concession. If on this basis
we   did  not  soon  arrive  at  concrete  negotiations,  the
responsibility would fall alone upon the Soviet Government.
     Thereupon,  the  People's  Commissar  declared  that  he
unfortunately  could not change his opinion that  the  German
answer  was "not entirely favorable." Nevertheless, he  would
present it to his Government and inform me of the result.

MOSCOW, June 17, 1939.


     The  German  Government is willing to send Counselor  of
Legation  Schnurre  to  Moscow with  authority  to  negotiate
expansion and strengthening of economic relations between the
Reich  and Soviet Russia and, if a common basis is found,  to
come  to  an  agreement. From the fact of  sending  a  German
plenipotentiary   as   negotiator  we  request   the   Soviet
Government to conclude that the German Government expects and
desires  a positive conclusion on a widened basis.  We  would
have   to   refuse  acceptance  in  advance  of  the   Soviet
counterproposal  of  February  1939,  however,   since   this
counterproposal   itself  is  to  be   the   basis   of   the
negotiations.  The  Soviet Government, however,  should  note
that  in the meanwhile we have endeavored to remove obstacles
which  in  February  still appeared to us as  insurmountable.
However,  we  expect  that the Soviet Government,  too,  will
reexamine  Soviet raw material deliveries  in  the  light  of
German  desires in order to establish a balance of  give-and-
take under the future treaty.

Frame 23208, serial 34

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

No. 113 of June 27
Moscow, June 27, 1939-5:42 p. m.
Received June 27, 1939-8:30 p. m.

Reference your telegram of the 26th No. 132 [12]

     As  I  see  it, Mikoyan's tactics can be interpreted  as
follows:  Mikoyan  does not want to see  the  talks  with  us
broken off, but wishes to keep

[12] Not printed.

Page 25

the  negotiations firmly in hand, in order to  control  their
progress  at any time. Obviously it would not fit  very  well
into the framework of the Soviet Union's general policy, if a
stir   should  be  created  by  a  resumption  of  the  trade
negotiations, and above all by repeated journeys of a special
plenipotentiary  to Moscow. The Soviet Government  apparently
believes  that  by  resuming the trade negotiations  at  this
particular  moment  we intend to influence  the  attitude  of
England  and  Poland,  and thereby  expect  to  gain  certain
political  advantages.  They fear that  after  gaining  these
advantages we would again let the negotiations lapse.
     In  order  to  dispel this distrust,  there  are  in  my
opinion the following possibilities:
     That I be directed to propose to Mikoyan the dispatch of
a  qualified  special delegate with all necessary  powers  to
Berlin,  in  order  to  continue and  possibly  conclude  the
negotiations there. In view of Mikoyan's tactics, this course
seems  to  me  to have a far better prospect of  success.  If
Mikoyan  should decline this proposal, the possibility  would
remain of entrusting me with the further conduct of the trade
negotiations in Moscow.
     I  propose  to supplement these considerations  after  I
have had an opportunity to speak with Molotov.


Frame 111454, serial 103

                  Foreign Office Memorandum


     In  connection  with the telegram of  Count  Schulenburg
concerning  the Hilger-Mikoyan conversation, [13] the  Fhrer
has decided the following:

          The  Russians  are  to  be informed  that  we  have
     concluded  from  their  attitude  that  they  make   the
     continuation  of  further  talks  dependent   upon   the
     acceptance of the bases of our economic discussions,  as
     they  were fixed for January. Since this basis  was  not
     acceptable  to  us,  we would not  be  interested  in  a
     resumption  of the economic discussions with  Russia  at
     the present time.

     The  Fhrer agreed that this answer be delayed for a few
     I  notified  the  Reich  Foreign  Minister  of  this  by
telephone, and I am

[13] Supra.

Page 26

sending  this  note only as a guide for a conference  of  the
competent official with the Minister.

BERCHTESGADEN, June 29, 1939.

Respectfully submitted herewith to
State Secretary von Weizs„cker.
June 29, 1939.

Frames 111452-111453, serial 103

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

Moscow, June 29, 1939-2:40 a. m.
Received June 29, 1939-7:20 p. m.

No. 115 of June 28

     This  afternoon I had a conversation with  Molotov,  who
received  me  immediately  after I had  been  announced.  The
conversation lasted over an hour and proceeded in a  friendly
     I  described  to  Molotov the impressions  which  I  had
gained  from talk with influential personalities  in  Berlin,
particularly with the Reich Foreign Minister. I  pointed  out
that  we  would  welcome  a normalization  of  the  relations
between Germany and Soviet Russia, as the State Secretary had
stated  to  the  Soviet Charg‚ in Berlin.  For  this  we  had
furnished  a number of proofs, such as reserve in the  German
press,  conclusion  of the non-aggression treaties  with  the
Baltic  countries  and  desire  for  resumption  of  economic
negotiations. From all this it was evident that  Germany  did
not   have  any  bad  intentions  toward  the  Soviet  Union,
particularly since the Berlin Treaty [14] was still in force.
We,  on the German side, would continue to take advantage  of
any opportunity to prove our goodwill. However, we had had no
answer  from the Soviet Union to the question of what Molotov
meant in his last conversation with me by "creation of a  new
basis of our relationship" ["Schaffung einer Neuregelung  der
Basis"].  We  also  objected to the attitude  of  the  Soviet
     Molotov  replied  that he received  my  statements  with
satisfaction.  The  foreign policy of the  Soviet  Government
was,  in  accordance with the pronouncements of its  leaders,
aimed   at  the  cultivation  of  good  relations  with   all
countries,  and  this  of course applied-provided  there  was
reciprocity-to Germany too. He was gratified that in the

[14] Treaty of friendship and neutrality between Germany  and
the Soviet Union, signed at Berlin April 24, 1926.

Page 27

opinion of the German Government the Berlin Treaty was  still
in  force, particularly since the Soviet Government  had  had
doubt   about  that.  As  to  the  question  of  the   treaty
negotiations  for  non-aggression  pacts  with   the   Baltic
countries,  Molotov remarked that Germany had concluded  them
in  her  own  interest, and not out of love  for  the  Soviet
Union. He had to doubt the permanence of such treaties  after
the  experience which Poland had had; to which I replied that
Poland  had herself caused the termination of the  treaty  by
joining a combination hostile to us, which was irreconcilable
with friendly relations to us.
     Concerning    the   question   of   resuming    economic
negotiations   Molotov  referred  to  the  last  conversation
between  Mikoyan and Hilger. Molotov showed himself informed,
approved the attitude of Mikoyan, and suggested that we  give
Mikoyan  the  desired information. After settlement  of  this
question  the  trip to Moscow contemplated by Schnurre  would
perhaps prove useful.
     My  impression is that the Soviet Government is  greatly
interested  in knowing our political views and in maintaining
contact  with us. Although a strong distrust was  evident  in
everything  that  Molotov  said,  nevertheless  he  described
normalization  of  relations with Germany  as  desirable  and
possible.  Progress  is  to be seen also  in  the  fact  that
Molotov,  in  connection  with  the  resumption  of  economic
negotiations, this time did not speak of prior creation of  a
political basis, but confined himself to Mikoyan's demand.
     I  request telegraphic instructions whether and in  what
form  compliance  should  be  given  to  Mikoyan's  requests,
presented also by Molotov.
     (Cf. telegraphic reports No. 111 and 113 of the 20th and
the 27th of this month.) [15]


Frame 111464, serial 103

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

No. 134
BERLIN, June 30, 1939.

Reference your telegram 115. [16]

     Reich  Foreign  Minister took note of  your  telegraphic
report  on  conversation with Molotov. He is of  the  opinion
that in the politi-

[15] Neither printed.
[16] Supra.

Page 28

cal  field enough had been said until further instruction and
that for the moment the talks should not be taken up again by
     Concerning the possible economic negotiations  with  the
Russian Government, the deliberations here have not yet  been
concluded.  In this matter, too, request that for time  being
nothing  further  be  initiated,  but  that  instructions  be


Frames 111460-111469, serial 103

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

No. 121 of July 3
Moscow, July 3, 1939-8:40 p. m.
Received July 4, 1339-1:20 a. m.

Reference telegram of July 2 No. 139. [17]

     In  accordance with instructions, I add to  my  telegram
No. 115 of June 28 the following:
     Molotov  received  me  in  the  Kremlin,  after  I   had
announced  my arrival three hours before. Correct translation
was  secured through Hilger. Molotov's translator  failed  to
     I  opened the discussion with the statement that on  the
basis  of  the talks in Berlin, particularly with  the  Reich
Foreign  Minister, I had the impression that we would welcome
a normalization of relations with the Soviet Union. The State
Secretary had very clearly acquainted Herr Astakhov with  our
position.  Indicative  of this position  was  the  following:
correct  tone  of the German press toward the  Soviet  Union,
conclusion   of  non-aggression  treaties  with  the   Baltic
countries   and  our  desire  for  resumption   of   economic
     Molotov listened attentively and stated that he received
this  communication with satisfaction. I continued that since
the  conversation of the State Secretary with Astakhov we had
waited for a Soviet statement as to what Molotov had meant in
his conversation with me on May 20 by the words "creation  of
a   political   basis   for   the  resumption   of   economic
negotiations"; I would also have to point out to him that the
attitude  of  the  Soviet press in all  questions  concerning
Germany still gave cause for serious criticism. Herr Astakhov
had  been  told  that  Herr  Molotov  wanted  to  answer   me
personally. Among other

[17] Not printed.

Page 29

things  I  had  come  in  order to inquire  whether  he  held
anything to tell me.
     In his answer Molotov did not go into the question as to
the meaning of the concept "political basis," but he declared
that   the   Soviet   Government  in  accordance   with   the
enunciations of its leaders desired good relations  with  all
countries  and therefore-provided there was reciprocity-would
also  welcome a normalization of relations with  Germany.  It
was not the fault of the Soviet Government if these relations
had  become  bad.  He could not accept the criticism  of  the
Soviet  press, since he was not aware of any hostile attitude
of the press toward Germany.
     I replied that much could be said about these questions;
that I had not, however, come to talk of the past, but of the
     Thereupon,  Molotov  asked  how  we  visualized  further
developments  and  what changes had occurred  lately  in  the
relations between Germany and the Soviet Union. As to the non-
aggression treaties, Germany had concluded them in the  first
place  in  her own interest, and they concerned only  Germany
and  the  countries participating, but not the Soviet  Union.
Furthermore,  he would have to doubt the permanence  of  such
treaties after the experiences which Poland had had.
     I  replied that our non-aggression treaties provided the
Baltic  countries  with  additional security,  in  which  the
Soviet  Union  was very much interested. Poland  had  herself
provoked  the termination of the treaty with us  by  behaving
irresponsibly and joining a combination hostile to us,  which
was  irreconcilable with friendly relations with us. To  this
Molotov  stated that in his opinion the treaty  concluded  by
Poland with England was a purely defensive instrument.
     I disagreed and pointed out that the word "defensive" in
this  connection  was of only academic significance.  Then  I
returned  to  Molotov's  question as  to  how  we  visualized
further  developments and said that, in my opinion, the  main
task  in  the  future  would  be that  both  countries  avoid
everything  that  would  lead to a further  deterioration  of
relations  and  do  everything that  might  result  in  their
improvement. Germany had no ill intentions against the Soviet
Union,  and one of the proofs for that was the Berlin Treaty,
which we had extended some time ago.
     Thereupon  Molotov  asked, "Are you convinced  that  the
Berlin  Treaty  is  really still in force and  has  not  been
abrogated by later treaties concluded by Germany?" I  replied
the following: "I know

Page 30

of  no such treaties and have no reason to doubt the validity
of the Berlin Treaty."
     At  the  end I asked Molotov what he had to say  to  the
question of the resumption of economic negotiations.
     Molotov  replied that he knew the contents of  the  last
conversation   between  Mikoyan  and  Hilger.   He   approved
Mikoyan's (group missing) and suggested that we give  Mikoyan
the desired information.
     I sought to convince Molotov that it would not be in the
interest of speeding up the economic negotiations if  details
were  discussed between Mikoyan and Hilger or  me,  since  we
continuously   had  to  request  instructions  from   Berlin.
Schnurre, on the other hand, had all the necessary authority,
knowledge,  and experience and would be able to conclude  the
negotiations quickly to mutual satisfaction
     Thereupon   Molotov  indicated  that   cancellation   of
Schnurre's  trip  in February had annoyed the  Soviet  Union.
They  would  leave  it to Mikoyan, who  had  mastery  of  the
subject matter, to ask for what he considered right. When  we
had  given  the  information desired by Mikoyan,  a  trip  by
Schnurre to Moscow might perhaps prove useful.
     The  conversation closed in friendly spirit and with  my
repeated request that Molotov influence the attitude  of  the
Soviet press.


Frames 178431-178434, serial 276

The Counselor of Embassy of the German Embassy in the  Soviet
     Union  (Tippelskirch) to the German  Ambassador  in  the
     Soviet Union (Schulenburg)

BERLIN, JULY 12, 1939.

     MY DEAR MR. AMBASSADOR: Herr Lamla, [18] whom I asked to
I  remember me to you, has probably already told  you  a  few
things.  However,  I  still  would  like  to  report  on   my
impressions  here. The Reich Foreign Minister was  busy  with
the  Bulgarian  state  visit and was  not  able  to  see  me.
Otherwise,  however, with the exception of Gaus and  Selchow,
who  were  on  vacation  I have talked to  all  personalities
concerned.  The  State Secretary was interested  to  hear  an
opinion  as  to  what  result the English-French-Soviet  pact
negotiations  would have. He said that he could  not  imagine
that  the  Soviet Union after having entered the negotiations
would  let  them  pass  without result  and  sink  back  into
isolation. He was also interested in your conversations  with
Molotov  and remarked that in his opinion our side  had  done

[18] Of the staff of the German Embassy in Moscow.

Page 31

politically   for   the  moment.  Then   we   discussed   the
instructions  concerning  the  answer  to  Mikoyan,   and   I
expressed myself as in favor of giving this information. (The
instructions  were  submitted to  the  Fhrer  by  the  Reich
Foreign  Minister and were dispatched after details had  been
added  by  the State Secretary.) The State Secretary believed
that  we  might  try to make some progress in  the  field  of
economics,  but slowly and step by step. The State  Secretary
apparently did not want to go further into the subject of the
"Berlin Treaty ;" he asked about the result of the discussion
with  Molotov  on  this  point. I  referred  to  your  second
telegram  and said that you had only touched upon the  topic.
My  vacation  appeared to him a little  bit  long!!  I  shall
therefore be back at the beginning of August.
     Herr  Schnurre was not in a very good mood. He  stressed
repeatedly  that without any positive reaction by Molotov  it
would  be  difficult to make any progress. He  showed  me  an
order  of the Fhrer he had received by telephone on June  30
according  to which further activities in Moscow were  to  be
stopped  in  view of the conduct of the Russians.  Thereupon,
Schnurre drafted a memorandum and the order. I told him  that
the   Embassy  and  particularly  you,  yourself,  had   done
everything  possible,  but  we could  not  drag  Molotov  and
Mikoyan through the Brandenburger Tor.
     Unfortunately, I stayed with Woermann only a short time,
because  the State Secretary called for me. He considered  it
as  important that the Soviets, through Astakhov,  had  taken
the  initiative for the rapprochement. I did not  deny  that,
but I called attention to the Fournier despatch published  by
the  Temps about the negative statement of the Soviet Embassy
here,  which  had  escaped  him.  Incidentally,  he  made  an
interesting  remark about the Berlin Treaty  which  makes  it
appear  advisable not to touch upon the topic  again  without
instructions. More details orally! I have talked with Schliep
about  the  Komsomol people and caused him  to  have  further
steps taken now for the removal [die Abbef”rderung].
     Of  course,  we conferred with everyone else  concerned,
including   Meyer-Heydenhagen.  I  have  also   roused   Herr
Schwendemann  against the Komsomol people. Then  I  discussed
with  Braun  Stumm  (since  Dr. Schmidt  was  not  available)
everything  concerning the press in the sense of your  letter
to  Seibert  which, incidentally, Schmidt still had,  and  it
fell on fertile ground.
     In  the Personnel Division I talked with Herren Kriebel,
Schroeder,  Dienstmann,  Dittmann. In  accordance  with  your
instructions I expressed myself as against either one  of  us
being reassigned.
Page 32

     According  to my impressions the problem of  the  Soviet
Union  is  still of the greatest interest here. The opinions,
however,  fluctuate  and are undecided. The  formation  of  a
definite political opinion has not yet materialized.
     Tonight I am going to Badgastein, Hotel Kaiserhof.
     With  most cordial regards I remain, my dear Ambassador,
yours most respectfully, Heil Hitler.


Frame 111485, serial 103

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


Moscow, July 22, 1939-1:07 p. m.
Received July 22, 1939-1:35 p. m.

No. 136 of July 22
     Entire  Soviet  press today publishes  following  report
under headline "In the Foreign Trade Commissariat":

     "Soviet-German negotiations on commerce and credit  have
recently  been resumed. Negotiations are being  conducted  by
Babarin, the Deputy Commercial Representative in Berlin,  for
the  Foreign  Trade  Commissariat, and by  Schnurre  for  the


Frames 69530-69536, serial 127

                  Foreign Office Memorandum

BERLIN, July 27, 1939.


     In  accordance with my instructions I invited the Soviet
Charg‚, Astakhov, and Babarin, the chief of the Soviet  trade
mission  here, to Ewest for dinner last night.  The  Russians
stayed until about half past twelve. The Russians started the
talk about the political and economic problems which interest
us in a very lively and interested manner so that an informal
and thorough discussion of the individual topics mentioned by
the  Reich Foreign Minister was possible. The following parts
of the conversation should be stressed:
     1.   Referring  to  remarks  by  Astakhov  about   close
collaboration  and community of interests in  foreign  policy
which   formerly  existed  between  Germany  and  Russia,   I
explained that such collaboration

Page 33

appeared  attainable  to  me now, if  the  Soviet  Government
considered it desirable. I could visualize three stages:

     Stage  One:  The  re-establishment of  collaboration  in
economic  affairs  through the credit and  commercial  treaty
which is to be concluded.
     Stage   TWO:   The  normalization  and  improvement   of
political  relations.  This  included,  among  other  things,
respect for the interests of the other party in the press and
in public opinion and respect for the scientific and cultural
activities  of  the other country. The official participation
by Astakhov in German Art Day at Munich, or the invitation of
German delegates to the Agricultural Exhibition in Moscow, as
suggested by him to the State Secretary, could, for instance,
be included under this heading.
     Stage  Three  would  be  the  re-establishment  of  good
political  relations, either a return to  what  had  been  in
existence  before (Berlin Treaty [19]) or a  new  arrangement
which  took account of the vital political interests of  both
parties.  This  stage  three appeared  to  me  within  reach,
because controversial problems of foreign policy, which would
exclude  such  a relationship between the two countries,  did
not,  in my opinion, exist in the whole area from the  Baltic
Sea  to  the Black Sea and the Far East. In addition, despite
all the differences in Weltanschauung, there was one thing in
common  in  the  ideology of Germany, Italy, and  the  Soviet
Union:  opposition to the capitalist democracies. Neither  we
nor  Italy had anything in common with the capitalism of  the
West.  Therefore it would appear to us quite  paradoxical  if
the Soviet Union, as a Socialist state, were to side with the
Western democracies.

     2.  With  the  strong  agreement  of  Babarin,  Astakhov
designated the way of rapprochement with Germany as  the  one
that  corresponded  with  the  vital  interests  of  the  two
countries.  However,  he  emphasized  that  the  tempo   must
probably be very slow and gradual. The Soviet Union had  been
forced  to feel itself most seriously menaced by the National
Socialist  foreign  policy. We had appropriately  called  our
present  political situation encirclement. That  was  exactly
how,  after  the  events  of  September  of  last  year,  the
political  situation  had  appeared  to  the  Soviet   Union.
Astakhov  mentioned the Anti-Comintern Pact and our relations
to Japan, and Munich and the free hand in Eastern Europe that
we  gained  there, the political consequences of  which  were
bound to be directed against the Soviet Union. Our assumption
that  the  Baltic countries and Finland, as well as  Rumania,
were  in  our  sphere of interest completed  for  the  Soviet
Government  the  feeling of being menaced. Moscow  could  not
quite believe in a

[19] Treaty of friendship and neutrality between Germany  and
the Soviet Union, signed at Berlin April 24, 1926.

Page 34

shift  of  German policy with respect to the Soviet Union.  A
change could only be expected gradually.
     3.  In my reply I pointed out that German policy in  the
East  had taken an entirely different course in the meantime.
On our part there could be no question of menacing the Soviet
Union;  our  aims  were  in an entirely different  direction.
Molotov,  himself, in his last speech had  called  the  Anti-
Comintern  Pact camouflage for an alliance aimed against  the
Western  democracies.  He  was  acquainted  with  the  Danzig
question,  and the related Polish question. I  saw  in  these
anything  but  a clash of interests between Germany  and  the
Soviet  Union.  That we would respect the  integrity  of  the
Baltic countries and of Finland had become sufficiently clear
through  our  non-aggression  pacts  and  our  non-aggression
offers.  Our relationship to Japan was that of a well-founded
friendship,  which  was not, however, aimed  against  Russia.
German  policy  was  aimed  against  England.  That  was  the
decisive factor. As I had stated previously, I could  imagine
a  far-reaching  compromise  of  mutual  interests  with  due
consideration  for the problems which were vital  to  Russia.
However,  this possibility was barred the moment  the  Soviet
Union,  by  signing  a  treaty, sided  With  England  against
Germany.  The Soviet Union would then have made  its  choice,
and  then  would only be able to share the German  opposition
with England. Only for this reason would I have any objection
to  his  view  that  the  tempo of a  possible  understanding
between Germany and the Soviet Union had to be slow. The time
was opportune now, but would not be after the conclusion of a
pact WITH London. This would have to be considered in Moscow.
What could England offer Russia? At best, participation in  a
European  war and the hostility of Germany, but not a  single
desirable  end for Russia. What could we offer, on the  other
hand?  Neutrality  and  staying out of  a  possible  European
conflict    and,   if   Moscow   wished,   a   German-Russian
understanding on mutual interests which, just  as  in  former
times, would work out to the advantage of both countries.
     4.  During the subsequent discussion Astakhov came  back
again  to  the  question of the Baltic  countries  and  asked
whether,  besides  economic penetration,  we  had  more  far-
reaching  political aims there. He also took up the  Rumanian
question seriously. As to Poland, he stated that Danzig would
return  to  the  Reich  in one way or another  and  that  the
Corridor question would have to be solved somehow in favor of
the  Reich.  He  asked  whether the  territories  which  once
belonged  to  Austria were not also tending  toward  Germany,
particularly  the  Galician and Ukrainian territories.  After
describing our

Page 36

commercial  relations  to the Baltic  countries,  I  confined
myself  to  the  statement  that no German-Russian  clash  of
interests  would  result from all these questions.  Moreover,
the  settlement of the Ukrainian question had shown  that  we
did  not  aim  at  anything there that would endanger  Soviet
     5.  There  was a rather extensive discussion  about  the
question  of why National Socialism had sought the enmity  of
the  Soviet Union in the field of foreign policy. In  Moscow,
they  had never been able to understand this. They had always
had  full  understanding  for  the  domestic  opposition   to
Communism. I took advantage of this opportunity to explain in
detail   our   opinion  concerning  the  change  in   Russian
Bolshevism  during recent years. The antagonism  of  National
Socialism  resulted  naturally from  the  fight  against  the
Communist Party of Germany which depended upon Moscow and was
only  a  tool of the Comintern. The fight against the  German
Communist  Party  had  long  been over.  Communism  had  been
eradicated  in  Germany. The importance of the Comintern  had
been  overshadowed  by the Politbureau,  where  all  entirely
different policy was being followed now than at the time when
the  Comintern dominated. The amalgamation of Bolshevism with
the national history of Russia, which expressed itself in the
glorification of great Russian men and deeds (celebration  of
the  battle of Poltava, Peter the Great, the battle  on  Lake
Peipus,   Alexander   Nevski),   had   really   changed   the
international face of Bolshevism, as we see it,  particularly
since Stalin had postponed world revolution indefinitely.  In
this state of affairs we saw possibilities today which we had
not seen earlier, provided that no attempt was made to spread
Communist propaganda in any form in Germany.
     6.  At  the  end  Astakhov stressed  how  valuable  this
conversation had been to him. He would report it  to  Moscow,
and he hoped that it would have visible results in subsequent
developments there. The question of the commerce  and  credit
treaty was discussed in detail.
     7.  After  the  statements of the  Russians  I  had  the
impression that Moscow had not yet decided what they want  to
do. The Russians were silent about the status and chances  of
the English pact negotiations. Considering all this, it looks
as  if  Moscow, for the time being, is following a policy  of
delay  and postponement toward us as well as England in order
to  defer  decisions the importance of which they  understand
completely. Therefore the receptive attitude of the  Russians
after  the  various  talks,  particularly  the  attitude   of
Molotov;  therefore  the  delay in  the  protracted  economic
negotiations,  in which the Russians absolutely  reserve  the
tempo to themselves; therefore

Page 36

most  likely  also the retention of Ambassador  Merekalov  in
Moscow.  As  a  further  handicap,  there  is  the  excessive
distrust, not only toward us but toward England as well. From
our  point of view it may be considered a noteworthy  success
that  Moscow, after months of negotiation with England, still
remains uncertain as to what she ought to do eventually.


Frames 69528-69529, serial 127

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

BERLIN, July 29, 1939.
W 1216g

     On the evening of the 26th of this month Schnurre had  a
detailed discussion with Astakhov and Babarin, the content of
which is reported in the enclosed memorandum. [20] Astakhov's
answer  indicates that a detailed report from him is  already
available  in  Moscow. At the end Astakhov asked  whether  we
would   maintain  similar  opinions  if  a  prominent  Soviet
representative  were  to  discuss  these  questions  with   a
prominent  German  representative.  Schnurre  answered   this
question essentially in the affirmative.
     It  would  be  important  for us  to  know  whether  the
statements  made  to  Astakhov and  Babarin  have  found  any
response in Moscow. If you see the opportunity of arranging a
new  talk with Molotov, I request that you sound him  out  in
this  sense and that, should the occasion arise, you use  the
line  of thought of the memorandum. If it should develop that
Molotov abandons the reserve thus far maintained by him,  you
can  advance  another  step in your  presentation  and  state
somewhat more precisely what was expressed generally  in  the
memorandum.  This concerns particularly the Polish  question.
In  any  development  of  the Polish question,  either  in  a
peaceful manner as we desire it or in any other way  that  is
forced  upon us, we would be prepared to safeguard all Soviet
interests  and  to  reach an understanding  with  the  Moscow
Government.  If the talk proceeds positively  in  the  Baltic
question too, the idea could be advanced that we will  adjust
our  stand with regard to the Baltic in such a manner  as  to
respect the vital Soviet interests in the Baltic.

Draft signed by von WEIZSŽCKER

[20] Supra.

Page 37

Frame 260369, serial 695

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

BERLIN, August 3, 1939-1:47 p. m.
Received Moscow, August 3, 1939-6:00 p. m.

No. 164 of August 3

For the Ambassador for his information.

     Reference  telegraphic instruction  of  today.  [21]  In
accordance  with the political situation and in the  interest
of   speed,  we  are  anxious,  without  prejudice  to   your
conversation with Molotov scheduled for today, to continue in
Berlin  the  clarification of terms  for  the  adjustment  of
German-Soviet  interests. To this end Schnurre  will  receive
Astakhov  today and will tell him that we would be ready  for
more  concrete discussions if that is also the desire of  the
Soviet  Government.  We  would  propose  in  this  case  that
Astakhov  obtain instructions from Moscow. We would  then  be
prepared  to  speak quite concretely concerning  problems  of
possible interest to the Soviet Union.


Frames 69519-69521, serial 127

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


BERLIN, August 3, 1939-3:47 p. m.
Received Moscow, August 4, 1939-4:30 a. m.

No. 166 of August 3

For the Ambassador personally!

     Last  evening  I  received the Russian Charg‚,  who  had
previously called at the office on other matters. I  intended
to  continue  with him the conversations with which  you  are
familiar, that had previously been conducted with Astakhov by
members  of the Foreign Office with my permission. I  alluded
to  the  trade  agreement discussions, which are  at  present
progressing  satisfactorily,  and  designated  such  a  trade
agreement as a good step on the way toward a normalization of
German-Russian  relationships, if this was  desired.  It  was
well  known that the tone of our press with regard to  Russia
had  for  over  half  a  year been a very  different  one.  I
considered that, insofar as the desire

[21] No. 166, infra.

Page 38

existed on the Russian side, a remolding of our relations was
possible, on two conditions:

a)  noninterference  in the internal  affairs  of  the  other
country   (Herr  Astakhov  believes  he  can   promise   this

b)  abandonment  of  a  policy  directed  against  our  vital
interests. To this, Astakhov was unable to give any clear-cut
answer,  but  he  thought his Government had  the  desire  to
pursue a policy of mutual understanding with Germany.

     I  continued that our policy was a direct and long-range
one;  we were in no hurry. We were favorably disposed  toward
Moscow;  it  was therefore a question of what  direction  the
rulers there wanted to take. If Moscow took a [negative] [22]
attitude, we would know where we stood and how to act. If the
reverse were the case there was no problem from the Baltic to
the Black Sea that could not be solved between the two of us.
I  said  that there was room for the two of us on the  Baltic
and  that Russian interests by no means needed to clash  with
ours  there. As far as Poland was concerned, we were watching
further developments attentively and dispassionately. In case
of provocation on the part of Poland, we would settle matters
with  Poland in the space of a week. For this contingency,  I
dropped  a gentle hint at coming to an agreement with  Russia
on  the fate of Poland. I described German-Japanese relations
as good and friendly; this relationship was a lasting one. As
to  Russian-Japanese relations, however, I had my  own  ideas
(by  which I meant a long-range modus vivendi between the two
     I  conducted whole conversation in an even tone  and  in
conclusion  again  made  it  clear  to  the  Charg‚  that  in
international  politics we pursued no  such  tactics  as  the
democratic  powers. We were accustomed to building  on  solid
ground,  did  not  need  to pay heed  to  vacillating  public
opinion,  and did not desire any sensations. If conversations
such  as  ours  were  not handled with  the  discretion  they
deserved, they would have to be discontinued. We were  making
no  fuss about it; the choice lay, as mentioned, with Moscow.
If  they  were interested there in our ideas, why  then  Herr
Molotov  could  shortly pick up the thread again  with  Count
Schulenburg (this superseded by telegram No. 161 [23]).
     Conclusion of the conversation.

[22]  This word, missing in the telegram as received  in  the
Moscow  Embassy,  has been supplied from the  German  Foreign
Office file copy.
[23] Ante,  p. 37.

Page 39

Note for Count Schulenburg:
     I  conducted the conversation without showing any haste.
The Charg‚, who seemed interested, tried several times to pin
the  conversation  down to more concrete terms,  whereupon  I
gave  him to understand that I would be prepared to  make  it
more  concrete  as  soon as the Soviet Government  officially
communicated  its fundamental desire for a new  relationship.
Should Astakhov be instructed in this sense, we for our  part
would  be  interested in an early definite  settlement.  This
exclusively for your personal information.



Frames 695322-69527, serial 127

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


Moscow, August 4, 1939-12:20 a. m.

No. 158 of August 3

Re instruction W 1216g of July 29, and telegraphic directive
of July 31. [24]

     In  a conference of 1 1/4 hours today, Molotov abandoned
his usual reserve and appeared unusually open. I referred  to
my  last  conversation with M. and said that in the  meantime
economic  negotiations had been resumed in  Berlin  and  were
apparently  proceeding  in  a  promising  manner.   we   were
consequently  expecting an early conclusion. An  exchange  of
ideas  had  further taken place between Schnurre  and  Soviet
representatives in Berlin, as to the contents of which M. was
surely informed. M. confirmed the fact that "by and large" he
was posted in the matter. Referring to Astakhov's question as
to  whether  Schnurre's  statements would,  if  the  occasion
arose,  be  backed  up  by a qualified  German  personage,  I
declared  that  I  was authorized to confirm  explicitly  the
train of thought developed by Schnurre. I then explained how,
on  the  basis  of the three steps mentioned by Schnurre,  we
contemplated  the  normalization  and  improvement   of   our
relations  with  the Soviet Union. In continuation  I  stated
that  from  the Baltic to the Black Sea, in our  opinion,  no
opposition  of  interests  existed between  Germany  and  the
Soviet  Union, that the Anti-Comintern Pact was not  directed
against  the  Soviet Union, that by concluding non-aggression
pacts with the Baltic countries we

[24] Latter not printed.

Page 40

had  proven our decision to respect their integrity, and that
our  well-known  demands  on Poland meant  no  impairment  of
Soviet  interests. We therefore believed that  adjustment  of
interests  was entirely possible and were asking the  opinion
of the Soviet Government in this matter.
     M.  answered  point by point at some length.  He  stated
that  the Soviet Government had always desired the conclusion
of  an economic agreement and if a like desire existed on the
German  side, he considered the prospects for realization  of
an  economic agreement as entirely favorable. So far  as  the
attitude of the Soviet press was concerned, he considered our
reproaches-with some exceptions-unjustified. But he took  the
stand  that  the  press of both countries  must  desist  from
anything  that  might tend to exacerbate their relations.  He
considered  the  gradual  resumption  of  cultural  relations
necessary and expedient and believed that a gratifying  start
had already been made toward improvement.
     Going  on  to  the question of political  relations,  M.
declared   that   the   Soviet   Government   also    desired
normalization and improvement of mutual relations. It was not
its  fault that relations had so deteriorated. The reason for
this he saw, firstly, in the conclusion of the Anti-Comintern
Pact  and in everything that had been said and done  in  this
connection. To my objection that the Anti-Comintern Pact  was
not directed against the Soviet Union and had been designated
by  M. himself on May 31st as an alliance against the Western
democracies  M.  said  that  the  Anti-Comintern   Pact   had
nevertheless  encouraged  the aggressive  attitude  of  Japan
toward  the  Soviet Union. In the second place,  Germany  had
supported  Japan,  and  thirdly, the  German  Government  had
repeatedly  shown  that  it  would  not  participate  in  any
international   conferences  in  which   the   Soviet   Union
participated. M. cited the meeting in Munich as an example.
     I  answered M. in detail, stressing that it  was  not  a
matter of discussing the past but of finding new ways.
     M.  replied  that the Soviet Government was prepared  to
participate in the quest for such ways; yet he must insist on
asking  how my statements of today are to be reconciled  with
the  three  points  mentioned by him.  Proofs  of  a  changed
attitude of the German Government were for the present  still
     I  thereupon again stressed the absence of opposition of
interests in foreign policy and mentioned German readiness so
to  orient our behavior with regard to the Baltic States,  if
occasion   arose,  as  to  safeguard  vital   Soviet   Baltic

Page 41

     At  the  mention of the Baltic States, M. was interested
in  learning  what  States we meant by the term  and  whether
Lithuania was one of them.
     On  the  Polish question I stated that we persevered  in
our  well-known demands on Poland but strove for  a  peaceful
solution.  If  on  the other hand a different  solution  were
forced  on  us,  we  were  prepared  to  protect  all  Soviet
interests  and  come  to  an understanding  with  the  Soviet
Government on this matter.
     M.  showed  evident interest but said  that  a  peaceful
solution depended first of all on us.
     I  vigorously contradicted this and pointed out that the
British guarantee had unfortunately brought it about that the
decision lay with the Polish authorities.
     I then repudiated Molotov's assertion that Germany alone
was to blame for deterioration in German-Soviet relations.  I
reminded him of the fateful consequences of the conclusion of
the  treaty  of 1935 with France and added that the  possible
new  participation  by  the Soviet  Union  in  a  combination
hostile to Germany might play a similar role. M. replied that
the  present course taken by the Soviet Union aimed at purely
defensive ends and at the strengthening of a defensive  front
against   aggression.  In  contrast  to  this,  Germany   had
supported  and promoted the aggressive attitude of  Japan  by
the  Anti-Comintern  Pact and in the military  alliance  with
Italy was pursuing offensive as well as defensive aims.
     In  conclusion M. assured me that he would  apprise  his
Government  of  my statements and repeated  that  the  Soviet
Government  also  desired normalization  and  improvement  of
     From  M.'s whole attitude it was evident that the Soviet
Government  was  in  fact more prepared  for  improvement  in
German-Soviet relations, but that the old mistrust of Germany
persists.   My  over-all  impression  is  that   the   Soviet
Government is at present determined to sign with England  and
France if they fulfill all Soviet wishes. Negotiations, to be
sure, might still last a long time, especially since mistrust
of  England is also great. I believe that my statements  made
an  impression on M.; it will nevertheless take  considerable
effort  on our part to cause the Soviet Government  to  swing


Page 42

Frames 178513-178517, serial 276

 The German Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Schulenburg) to
 Counselor of Legation Schliep of the German Foreign Office

Moscow, August 7, 1939.

     DEAR COUNSELOR 0F LEGATION SCHLIEP: Sincerest thanks for
your  letter of the 2d of this month [25] and its interesting
     As a matter of fact, I have in the meantime received the
telegraphic  instruction  to  take  part  in  Party  Day.  On
September  1,  I  am to travel in the new grey  uniform  from
Berlin  to Nuernberg with the other gentlemen of the  Foreign
Office. That means that I must be in Berlin on August  27  at
the  latest. A final fitting and the purchase of a number  of
accessories are unavoidable.
     You   know   from   our  telegram  that  the   political
negotiations  of  the  British  and  the  French  have   been
interrupted for the time being. Mr. Strang left by  air  this
morning  for  London,  where a great quantity  of  work  kind
allegedly  accumulated for him. At the end of the  week,  the
British  and French officers will come. The British  military
men  here  regard  the  prospects  of  the  pending  military
negotiations  also  with considerable skepticism.  Among  the
members  of  the British Military Mission is the  former  Air
Attach‚ in Moscow, Collier. Collier is a very sober and quiet
man  and  knows Soviet conditions well. At the  time  of  the
intervention, he was in Archangel. The fact that he is  being
sent  is welcomed by the British here, since he will  not  be
taken  in  by  the  Russians  and  knows  their  methods   of
     Concerning the political negotiations up to now, we hear
that  throughout Herr Molotov sat like a bump on a log. *  He
hardly  ever opened his mouth, and if he did it was to  utter
only  the brief remark: "Your statements do not appear to  me
entirely  satisfactory. I shall notify  my  Government."  The
British  and  the  French Ambassadors are  both  said  to  be
completely exhausted and glad that they now have a  breathing
spell  ahead  of  them.  The Frenchman  said  to  one  of  my
informants,  "Thank  God  that  that  fellow  **   will   not
participate in the military negotiations!"
     Regarding  my conversations with Molotov,  you  are,  of
course,  informed. I believe that we put a few good fleas  in
the  ears of the Soviets, anyhow. At every word and at  every
step, one can see the great distrust toward us. That this  is
so, we have known for a long

[25] Not printed.
* He has been very different toward Hilger and me of late,
very communicative and amiable. [Marginal note in the
** Molotov. [Footnote in the original]

Page 43

time.  The  unfortunate part of it is, that the  mistrust  of
such  people is very easily kindled and can only  be  allayed
slowly and with difficulty.
     I recently wrote you of rumors concerning the fist-fight
between  the Turkish Ambassador Apaydin (who left  here  very
suddenly)  and  his military attach‚. At that time  I  didn't
believe these rumors, but they seem to be correct. I hear now
on  good  authority  that the fracas even took  place  before
witnesses.  At first the military attach‚ was also  recalled,
but  then this disciplinary measure was withdrawn, apparently
so   that   the  rumors  concerning  the  fight  which   were
circulating here would not receive new support.
     My  old acquaintance, Minister Idman, who at present  is
in  charge  of  the Finnish Legation, told me  that  when  he
called  on  Molotov  the  latter expressed  himself  as  very
dissatisfied  over the hostile attitude of the Finnish  press
toward  Russia. Idman said he replied that the Finnish  press
is free to write what it wishes and if it prints anti-Russian
articles  the  Soviet Union had certainly given occasion  for
     The Danish Minister here recently made his first call on
Molotov.  The Minister President brought up the  question  of
the  German-Danish Non-aggression Treaty. He had  taken  note
of, but had made no comment on, the Minister's statement that
Denmark was much reassured by the conclusion of the pact.
     In  conversation with Molotov, the Ministers  of  Latvia
and Estonia here also characterized the German Non-aggression
Treaties  as  guarantees  of peace,  and  remarked  that  the
conclusion  of the treaties had been entirely natural,  since
Latvia  and Estonia had similar non-aggression treaties  with
the  Soviet  Union. Molotov, however, had taken the  position
that  these treaties indicated an inclination toward Germany,
and he could not be moved from this position.
     The  Estonian Charg‚ here, in talking about the attitude
of   the  Soviets  toward  Baltic  questions,  spoke  of  the
possibility that Germany might guarantee the independence  of
Latvia and Estonia, as it had done with Belgium. I am of  the
opinion  that the Soviets no longer want such a guarantee  to
be given by us.
     General K”string, who has gone to Berlin for a few days,
will  look you up and give you the news from here. I hope  he
has already done it. We are very curious to know what news he
will  bring  us  from Berlin. Just as eagerly  we  await  the
arrival of Herr von Tippelskirch on next Friday.

Page 44

     I  hope  the three Germans will arrive soon who  are  to
visit  the agricultural exhibition here at the invitation  of
the  Soviet  Government. The exhibition is really  very  much
worth  seeing  (amazingly grandiose). Should not  the  Soviet
Government  be  invited to the Eastern  Fair  at  K”nigsberg?
Obviously  it is too late for the Soviet Union to participate
and  to send exhibits to the fair; however, in return for the
invitation to the agricultural exhibition, a couple of Soviet
representatives could at least be invited to visit the fair.
     Here  the  rather  terrific heat continues.  I  like  it
better than the usual rain and mud.
     With warmest regards to your wife and with greetings  to
you, and with Heil Hitler! I remain, dear Herr Schliep,

Sincerely yours,

Frames 23237-23241, serial 34

                  Foreign Office Memorandum

To W 1301/39g


     Soviet  Charg‚ Astakhov called on me today at 11  a.  m.
for  a conversation lasting an hour. First the journey of the
German  participants in the agricultural exhibition at Moscow
was  discussed (cf. separate memorandum [26]). I  then  asked
Astakhov  whether he had any news from Moscow  regarding  the
questions  which  had  been discussed  between  us.  Astakhov
replied in the affirmative and stated as follows:
     The  question  informally discussed between  us,  as  to
whether  a  political  thought  should  be  inserted  in  the
preamble  to the credit agreement, had also been examined  in
Moscow. It was held more appropriate not to connect the trade
and  credit  agreement with language of a  political  nature.
This  would  be  anticipating the future. I replied  to  Herr
Astakhov that this was our view, too. Astakhov then mentioned
that  he had once again received an express instruction  from
Moscow  to  emphasize that the Soviet Government  desired  an
improvement in relations with Germany. The declaration he had
made  to  me the last time was thereby strengthened.  I  took
advantage  of  this  in  the  ensuing  conversation  to  tell
Astakhov the following:
     We   had   noted  with  satisfaction  that  the   Soviet
Government was anxious to continue the conversation regarding
the  improvement of Soviet-German relations.  We  had  wished
that Molotov would let

[26] Not printed.

Page 45

us  know his basic attitude in regard to the status of Soviet
interests  in  order to facilitate further conversations  and
had believed that it was premature for us to discuss concrete
problems so long as we did not know exactly the interests  of
the  Soviets. But, in any event, one question was quite ripe,
namely  Poland. The Polish delusion of grandeur, shielded  by
England, drove Poland constantly to new provocations. We were
still  hoping  that Poland would somehow come to  reason,  so
that a peaceful solution could be found. Failing this, it was
possible  that, against our will and against our  desires,  a
solution by force of arms would have to take place. If, as we
had  now done on various occasions, we had declared ourselves
willing  to  enter  upon a large-scale adjustment  of  mutual
interests  with Moscow, it was important for us to  know  the
position of the Soviet Government on the question of  Poland.
In  Moscow,  after  political  negotiations  had  brought  no
result,  military negotiations were now being conducted  with
England and France. We scarcely believe that. contrary to the
direction  in  which her interests clearly  lay,  the  Soviet
Union  will  align herself with England and make herself,  as
had  England, a guarantor of megalomaniac Polish aspirations.
It  would, of course, mean a poor start for the German-Soviet
conversations,  if,  however, as a  result  of  the  military
negotiations  in  Moscow, a sort of  military  alliance  were
contemplated against us, with the Soviet Union participating.
These were therefore questions that were of interest to us at
this  stage  of  our conversations, and upon  them  depended,
after   all,  the  prospects  of  achieving  a  German-Soviet
understanding: in the first place, then, the attitude of  the
Soviet  Union  on  the Polish question, and,  in  the  second
place,  the  objectives  that  Moscow  was  pursuing  in  the
military  discussions with England and France. I could  again
assure  Herr  Astakhov,  as I had  already  done  on  various
occasions, that, even in the event of a solution by force  of
arms, German interests in Poland were quite limited. They did
not at all need to collide with Soviet interests of any kind,
but  we had to know those interests. If the motive behind the
negotiations conducted by Moscow with England was the feeling
of  being  threatened by Germany in the event  of  a  German-
Polish  conflict, we for our part were prepared to  give  the
Soviet  Union  every  assurance desired, which  would  surely
carry  more weight than support by England, which could never
become effective in Eastern Europe.
     Astakhov  was  keenly interested, but naturally  had  no
instructions of any kind from Moscow to discuss  the  subject
of  Poland  or the subject of the negotiations in Moscow.  In
the course of the conversation,
Page 46

however, he went quite extensively into both subjects on  his
own accord. The negotiations with England had begun at a time
when  there  had still been no sign of a disposition  on  the
part of Germany to come to an understanding. The negotiations
had  been entered upon without much enthusiasm, but they  had
to  conduct  them  because  they had  to  protect  themselves
against the German threat and had to accept assistance where-
ever  it  was offered. To be sure, the situation had  changed
since  the  conversations with Germany had started.  But  one
could not now simply break off something which had been begun
after  mature  consideration. The outcome of the negotiations
was  uncertain in his opinion, and it was quite possible that
his Government likewise considered the question as completely
open.   Our  conversation  of  today,  just  as  those  which
previously  took place, would surely tend in that  direction.
On the question of Poland, he said that he doubted whether he
would  receive a concrete reply from Moscow on this  enormous
problem.  At this stage of the conversations it was  somewhat
like  putting the cart before the horse to want to bring  the
question  of  Poland  up now for final  discussion.  Astakhov
sought  to  learn whether any German decisions in the  Polish
question  could  be expected in the next few  days  and  what
Germany's aims in respect to Poland were. I avoided  a  reply
to this question and at any rate did not show such urgency in
the  matter.  Astakhov will report and then revert  to  these
questions. Astakhov was unable to answer an informal question
regarding  the  possible  return of his  Ambassador.  On  the
contrary, he asked me whether we had not heard anything  from
Moscow regarding Herr Merekalov. He emphasized, however, that
it  made  no  difference in our talks who was acting  as  the
official representative of the Soviet Government in Berlin.


BERLIN, August 10, 1939.

Frames 228752-228755, serial 472

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

Moscow, August 14, 1939.


     May  I  thank you most heartily for your gracious letter
of the 7th instant. [27]
     I  am still of the opinion that any hasty measure in the
matter of

[27] Not printed.

Page 47

our  relations  with the Soviet Union should be  avoided;  it
will  almost  always  be harmful. So I consider  it  entirely
right  that our treatment of the Soviet Embassy in Berlin  be
relaxed only slowly.
     The   following  were  the  main  points  in   my   last
conversation  with  Herr Molotov: the  statements  about  the
Baltic  States  satisfied him to a  certain  extent,  but  he
wanted  to know whether we also included Lithuania among  the
Baltic States. My statements on the Polish question evidently
impressed  him, too; he followed my words with  the  greatest
attentiveness.  His comment on this point  is  perhaps  worth
noting:  "Compliance with the desire of the Germans that,  in
the  Polish  matter, no 'solution' be forced  on  the  Reich,
depends,   above  all,  on  Germany  itself."  Herr   Molotov
apparently meant thereby that-whatever might happen-the fault
would  be  ours.  Finally-and  this  seems  to  me  the  most
important  point-Herr  Molotov  demanded  that  we  cease  to
support  Japanese  "aggression." In this  connection,  it  is
perhaps  not  uninteresting to note  that  a  member  of  the
American  Embassy here, which for the most part is very  well
informed,  stated to one of our aides that we  could  at  any
moment upset the British-French negotiations, if we abandoned
our support of Japan, sent our military mission back to China
and  delivered  arms to the Chinese. I am afraid  that  these
American ideas are very optimistic, however, and not  readily
workable, but the Reich Foreign Minister, after all, had some
ideas of his own on this point. Something of this sort would,
perhaps, have to take place if we are to make any progress.
     The  British and French military missions have  been  in
Moscow  for three days now. The Soviets made no great fanfare
over  their  arrival.  Only a very  few  conferences  of  the
military  men  have taken place so far, and of their  subject
matter  and outcome nothing is yet known. I assume  that  the
negotiations will last a long time.
     With  reference  to  the foregoing,  I  should  like  to
mention the following: I received instructions to participate
in  the  Nuernberg Party Day, and am supposed to leave Berlin
for  Nuernberg on September 1 with the other gentlemen of the
foreign  service. I must also have the new grey uniform  made
for  me for this purpose. Although all preparations have been
made,  I shall nevertheless have to make a three-day stop  in
Berlin in order to make the final arrangements and purchases.
This means that I shall have to leave here on August 26th, at
the latest. The instructions I have received from the Foreign
Office  are  circular instructions, such as apparently  every
one  of  us  has received. Would it not, as things stand,  be
better and more necessary

Page 48

for  me not to go to Nuernberg this time, but to remain here!
I  am  unable,  of  course, to judge of  these  matters  with
certainty,  but I wanted, at least, to address an inquiry  to
you  in the matter. As matters now stand, I consider it  very
proper that our political conversations with the Soviet Union
be carried on in Berlin. In view of conditions here, however,
it  seems  certain to me that from time to time in  order  to
expedite matters I shall have to speak with Herr Molotov, the
highest personage that can be reached. Surely I am the person
who can best and most easily carry on conversations with Herr
Molotov. This remarkable man and difficult character has  now
grown accustomed to me and has, in conversations with me,  in
great measure abandoned his otherwise always evident reserve.
Any  new  man  would have to start from scratch.  But,  as  I
stated,  I  am unable to judge whether this viewpoint  should
prevail  or whether participation in the Nuernberg Party  Day
should  have priority. I would therefore be very grateful  to
you  if  you  would have a short telegram  sent  me  on  this
     With  very best regards and a Heil Hitler! I am, my dear
Herr von Weizs„cker,

Your ever very devoted

Frames 69514-69515, serial 127

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


No. 171 of August 14
BERLIN, August 14, 1939-1:52 p. m.
Received Moscow, August 11, 1939-5 p. m.

For the Ambassador for his information.

     Astakhov   called  on  me  on  Saturday  in   order   to
communicate to me the following:
     He  had received instructions from Molotov to state here
that  the  Soviets  were interested in a  discussion  of  the
individual groups of questions that had heretofore been taken
up.  A.  designated as such questions, among others,  besides
the  pending economic negotiations, questions of  the  press,
cultural  collaboration, the Polish question, the  matter  of
the   old   German-Soviet  political   agreements.   Such   a
discussion, however, could be undertaken only by degrees  or,
as  we  had  expressed it, by stages. The  Soviet  Government
proposed Moscow as the place for these discussions, since  it
was  much  easier for the Soviet Government to  continue  the
conversations there. In this conversation,

Page 49

A.  left  the  matter  open as to whom we  would  propose  to
conduct  the conference, the Ambassador or another personage,
to be sent out.
     To  my question as to what priority the Soviets assigned
the  question of Poland, A. replied that he had  received  no
special  instructions regarding sequence, but that the  chief
stress of his instructions lay in the phrase " by degrees."
     These communications of A.'s were probably the amplified
instructions to the Charg‚ of which you notified us.
     Subject to further instructions.


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