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Last-Modified: 1997/10/19

Page 325

 IX. THE FAILURE OF EFFORTS TO PRESERVE PEACE, APRIL 15-JUNE
                          22, 1941

                            *****

Frames 113314-113315, serial 104

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

                          Telegram

URGENT
Moscow, April 15, 1941-9:34 p. m.
Received April 15, 1941-11:45 p. m.

No. 899 of April 15
     
     Reference our telegram of the 7th, No. 823. [14]
     
     The Secretary General of the Office of the Commissar for
Foreign Affairs, Sobolev, summoned me to his office today and
stated  that, by order of Molotov, he had a communication  to
make  on  the demarcation of the section of the German-Soviet
boundary  from  the  Igorka River  to  the  Baltic  Sea.  The
Secretary  General  first  went  briefly  into  the  previous
negotiations,  in which connection he pointed  out  that  the
Soviet   proposals  had  been  based  on  decisions  of   the
Conference  of  Ambassadors of 1923, while  the  German  side
advocated  a boundary line corresponding to the one  actually
existing at present. The Secretary General then declared that
the  Soviet  Government did not wish  to  delay  further  the
solution  of  the  problem  and was accordingly  prepared  to
undertake  a  drawing  of the boundary corresponding  to  its
present course, in conformity with the proposals contained in
the memorandum of the Embassy of March 6, 1941. [14]
     The  Secretary  General added that all  other  proposals
thereby  lapsed;  he  requested  that  his  communication  be
transmitted without delay to the German Government; he  hoped
the matter would now be brought to a speedy conclusion.
     The    communication   made   by   Sobolev   means   the
unconditional acceptance of the German demand, as  postulated
at the end of the memorandum composed by Minister Saucken and
transmitted  to Molotov through the Ambassador  on  March  6.
Considering  the  pressure for the view  heretofore  held  by
Molotov in this matter, the compliant attitude of the  Soviet
Government seems very remarkable. Since the
     
[14] Not printed.

Page 326

Soviet  Government doubtless expects that its  attitude  will
meet with proper appreciation on the part of the Germans, any
delay  in  giving  our  consent would  produce  the  greatest
mistrust  in  the  Soviet Government,  as  you  have  already
rightly  suspected was the case in connection with the  delay
in  the  formation  of the sub-commission.  (See  telegraphic
instruction  No.  456 of March 6 and telegraphic  report  No.
508, of March 7.) [15]
     I request telegraphic instructions.
     
TIPPELSKIRCH

[15] Neither printed.

                            *****
                              
Frames 84989-84991, serial 177

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

URGENT
Moscow, April 16, 1941-12:37 a. m.
Received April 16, 1941-3:10 a. m.
SECRET

No. 902 of April 15
     
     Reference our telegram No. 884 of the 13th.
     
     The Japanese Ambassador, on whom I called today, told me
that  the  conclusion of the Soviet-Japanese Neutrality  Pact
had  created a very favorable atmosphere on the part  of  the
Soviet Government, of which he was convinced by Molotov,  who
today  had asked him to call immediately in order to continue
the   negotiations   regarding  a  commercial   treaty.   The
conclusion  of  the  treaty  had  caused  disappointment  and
anxiety  in  America, where Matsuoka's journey to Berlin  and
Rome had been followed with interest.
     Members  of the Japanese Embassy here maintain that  the
Pact  is advantageous not only to Japan but also to the Axis,
that  the  Soviet  Union's relations with the  Axis  will  be
favorably  affected  by  it, and that  the  Soviet  Union  is
prepared to cooperate with the Axis.
     Stalin's  manner toward the Ambassador at  the  railroad
station  when Matsuoka left is also interpreted in  the  same
way  by  the  diplomatic corps here. The view  is  frequently
expressed  that  Stalin  had  purposely  brought   about   an
opportunity  to  show  his attitude  toward  Germany  in  the
presence  of the foreign diplomats and press representatives;
this,  in view of the persistently circulating rumors  of  an
imminent  conflict between Germany and the Soviet  Union,  is
considered to be especially noteworthy. At the same time the
     
Page 327
     
changed  attitude of the-Soviet Government is  attributed  to
the effect here of the success of the German armed forces  in
Yugoslavia and Greece.
     
TIPPELSKIRCH

Marginal  Note:  Transmitted under No. 1196  to  the  special
train.
Telegram Control. April 16, 1941.

                            *****
                              
Frame 113391, serial 104

                          Protocol
on the outcome of conference between the plenipotentiaries of
the  Government of the German Reich and the Government of the
Union  of the Soviet Socialist Republics to inquire into  the
observance  of the Commercial Agreement between  Germany  and
the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics of February 11, 1940
     
     The  plenipotentiaries of the Government of  the  German
Reich  and  the  Government of the Union of Soviet  Socialist
Republics acting in pursuance of article 10 of the Commercial
Agreement  between  Germany  and  the  Union  of  the  Soviet
Socialist Republics of February 11, 1940, have, on the  basis
of  their  inquiry into the observance of the above-mentioned
agreement as of February 11, 1941, agreed as follows:
     According  to Soviet calculations, the Soviet deliveries
on  February 11, 1941, amounted to 310.3 million Reichsmarks.
The  Germans  will  by  May 11, 1941,  make  deliveries  from
Germany in at least this amount.
     Two  original documents executed, each in the German and
Russian languages, both texts having the same validity.
     Done in Berlin, April 18, 1941.
     
For the Government of the German Reich
K. SCHNURRE

By  authority  of the Government of the Union of  the  Soviet
Socialist Republics
A. KRUTIKOW
     
Page 328

                            *****
                              
Frames 113335-113336, serial 104

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

                          Telegram

URGENT
Moscow, April 22, 1941-12:05 a. m.
Received April 22, 1941-3:30 a. m.

No. 957 of April 21

     The  Secretary General of the Commissariat  for  Foreign
Affairs summoned me to his office today and delivered to me a
note  verbale in which the urgent request is again made  that
we   take  measures  against  continuing  violations  of  the
U.S.S.R.  boundary by German planes. Violations had increased
considerably  of  late. From March 27 to April  18,  80  such
cases had occurred. The note verbale, to which is attached  a
detailed statement of the 80 cases mentioned, refers  to  the
case  of  a  plane that landed near Rovno on April  15th,  in
which were found a camera, some rolls of exposed film, and  a
torn topographical map of the districts of the U.S.S.R.,  all
of  which gives evidence of the purpose of the crew  of  this
airplane.
     The note verbale continues verbatim as follows:
     
     "Consequently   the  People's  Commissariat   deems   it
necessary to remind the German Embassy of the statement  that
was made on March 28, 1940, by the Assistant Military Attach‚
of  the  Embassy of the U.S.S.R. in Berlin to  Reich  Marshal
G”ring, according to which the People's Commissar for Defense
of the U.S.S.R. made an exception to the very strict measures
for  the protection of the Soviet border and gave the  border
troops the order not to fire on the German planes flying over
Soviet  territory  so  long  as such  flights  do  not  occur
frequently."
     
     At   the   end,   the  note  verbale  again   emphasizes
particularly the expectation of the Commissariat for  Foreign
Affairs that the German Government will take all the measures
necessary  in  order in future to prevent  violation  of  the
national boundaries of the U.S.S.R. by German planes.
     The  Secretary General asked me to transmit the contents
to Berlin, which I promised to do.
     In  view of the fact that the Soviet note verbale refers
to  previous memoranda on similar border violations by German
airplanes,  and  also  reminds us of  the  statement  of  the
Assistant  Military Attach‚, it is very likely  that  serious
incidents are to be expected if German planes continue to fly
across the Soviet border.
     
TIPPELSKIRCH

Page 329

                            *****
                              
Frames 352987-352988, serial 1337

 The High Command, of the Armed Forces to the German Foreign
                           Office

WFST/Abt. L (1 Op)
Field Headquarters, April 23, 1941.
Nr.:00 731 a/41 g Kdos.

Secret Military Document [Geheime Kommandosache]
Subject: Soviet-Russian border violations.

Attention of Ambassador Ritter.
     Reports  coming  in  almost  daily  of  further   border
violations by Soviet Russian planes confirm the view  of  the
High  Command of the Armed Forces transmitted to the  Foreign
Office  by  letter of March 1, to the effect  that  it  is  a
matter of conscious provocation on the part of Soviet Russia.
     On  April 11, two 2-motor planes of the type SB  2  flew
over  the  city of Belz at a great height. On April  11,  one
plane each was sighted at Malkinia and Ostrow-Mazowiki.  Also
on  April  14,  a  Soviet-Russian  plane  was  reported  over
Langszorgen.  On  April  15, several  planes  flew  over  the
demarcation line in the Dynow-Lodzina area-south of Losko. On
April  17  alone,  eight planes were identified  over  German
territory-four  each near Deumenrode and Swiddern;  on  April
19,  two planes over Malkinia; another at an altitude of  200
meters (!) over Ostrowice.
     Besides  these, a number of other planes were  reported,
the  nationality of which, however, could not  be  identified
with  certainty  because of the altitude at which  they  were
flying. There is no doubt, however, from the direction of the
flight  and the evidence obtained from the German task forces
stationed  there, that in these cases also,  border  trespass
flights by planes of the U.S.S.R. are involved.
     The  High Command of the Armed Forces now finds that the
steadily mounting number of border trespass flights can  only
be  regarded as the deliberate employment of the air force of
the U.S.S.R. over the sovereign territory of the Reich. Since
more  German units had to be brought up for security  reasons
because  the  forces on the other side of the German  eastern
border  were  strengthened, we have to reckon with  increased
danger of grave border incidents.
     The  orders of the High Command of the Armed Forces  for
the exercise of the utmost restraint nevertheless continue in
force.
     
     The Chief of the High Command of the Armed Forces
     By order: JODL
     
Page 330
     
                            *****
                              
Frame 218002, serial 426

 The Naval Attach‚ of the German Embassy in the Soviet Union
            (Baumbach) to the Naval High Command
                              
                         [Telegram]
                              
No. 34112/110 of April 24
April 24, [1941.]

For the Navy.
     1.  Rumors current here speak of alleged danger  of  war
between  Germany and the Soviet Union and are  being  fed  by
travelers passing through from Germany.
     2.  According  to the Counselor of the Italian  Embassy,
the  British Ambassador predicts June 22 as the  day  of  the
outbreak of war.
     3. May 20th is set by others.
     4. I arm endeavoring to counteract the rumors, which are
manifestly absurd.
     
Naval Attach‚

                            *****
                              
Frames 314-320, serial F 15

Conversation of the Fhrer with the Ambassador Count von der
Schulenburg, on April 28, 1941, From 5:15 p. m. to 5:45 p. m.

STATE SECRET

     The  Fhrer commenced with the question whether I  would
be  back  in  Moscow  by  May 1,  which  I  answered  in  the
affirmative since I wanted to be present at the review.
     The  Fhrer  then mentioned that I had been  present  in
Moscow  during the visit of Matsuoka, and asked what was  the
opinion  of  the Russians of the Russo-Japanese agreement.  I
replied that the Russians had been very pleased at concluding
it, even though they had to make concessions.
     The  Fhrer thereupon asked me what devil had  possessed
the Russians to conclude the Friendship Pact with Yugoslavia.
I  expressed the opinion that it was solely a matter  of  the
declaration of Russian interests in the Balkans.  Russia  had
done  something each time that we undertook anything  in  the
Balkans.  Then,  too, we had probably been obligated  by  the
consultative  pact  to consult the Russians.  Russia,  to  be
sure,  had  no special interest in Yugoslavia, but  certainly
had  in the Balkans, in principle. The Fhrer said that  upon
conclusion of the Russo-Yugoslav Friendship Pact he  had  had
the  feeling  that Russia had wanted to frighten  us  off.  I
denied  this and repeated that the Russians had only intended
to  serve  notice  of  their interest, but  had  nevertheless
behaved correctly by informing us of their intention.
     
Page 331
     
     The  Fhrer then said that it was not yet clear who  had
pulled   the  strings  in  the  overthrow  of  the   Yugoslav
Government. England or Russia? In his opinion it had been the
British, while the Balkan peoples all had the impression that
Russia  had  been  behind it. I replied that,  as  seen  from
Moscow,  there was nothing to support the theory that  Russia
had  had a finger in the pie. As an example, I cited the lack
of  success of the Yugoslav Minister in Moscow, Gavrilovitch,
whose  attempts to interest the Soviet Union in the  Yugoslav
cause  were  abortive  until the last moment.  The  Yugoslav-
Russian  agreement had only become a reality when  Yugoslavia
seized  the initiative after the Putsch and sent officers  to
request   the  agreement.  Russia  had  then  concluded   the
agreement  on the principle that an instrument of  peace  was
involved.  Now, Russia was very apprehensive  at  the  rumors
predicting  a  German attack on Russia. The  Fhrer  insisted
that the Russians had been the first to move, since they  had
concentrated  needlessly large numbers of  divisions  in  the
Baltic States. I replied that this was a matter of the  well-
known  Russian  urge  for 300 percent security.  If  for  any
reason  we sent one German division, they would send  10  for
the  same purpose in order to be completely safe. I could not
believe  that  Russia would ever attack Germany.  The  Fhrer
said  that  he had been forewarned by events in Serbia.  What
had  happened  there was to him an example of  the  political
unreliability of states.
     The  Fhrer  went  on at some length about  the  nations
misled by England, particularly about the development of  its
political  endeavors in Yugoslavia. England had hoped  for  a
Yugoslav-Greek-Turko-Russian front in the southeast  and  had
striven  for this broad grouping of powers in memory  of  the
Salonika  front  in  the World War. He regretted  exceedingly
that-because  of  these efforts of England-he  had  now  been
forced  to move against poor little Greece also. It had  been
repugnant to him to have to strike down, against his  natural
impulses, this small, plucky nation. The Yugoslav coup d'‚tat
had  come suddenly out of the blue. When the news of  it  was
brought to him on the morning of the 27th, he thought it  was
a  joke. When one had gone through that sort of thing one was
bound  to  be  suspicious. Nations today allowed  hatred  and
perhaps  also  financial interests to determine their  policy
rather than good sense and logic, and so it had happened that
as  a result of the promises and the lies of the British, one
after  another,  the Poles, to whom he had offered  the  most
favorable terms; France, which had not wanted the war at all;
Holland  and  Belgium; Norway, and now Greece and  Yugoslavia
had plunged to disaster. It

Page 332
     
might be said that the masses could not help it, but he dealt
not with the peoples but with the governments. And Greece had
decidedly  not  been  neutral! Its press had  been  impudent.
Greece had always been sympathetic to England and had,  above
all,  placed  its  shipping and its submarine  bases  at  the
disposal  of England. Turkey, too, had very nearly taken  the
same road. He did not, it was true, believe that Russia could
be  bought to attack Germany, but strong instincts of  hatred
had   survived,   nevertheless,  and,  above   all,   Russian
determination   to  approach  closer  to  Finland   and   the
Dardanelles was unchanged, as Molotov had allowed clearly  to
be  seen  on his visit. When he considered all this,  he  was
obliged to be careful.
     I pointed out that Cripps had not succeeded until 6 days
after  the  conclusion of the Russo-Yugoslav Treaty  in  even
speaking  to Molotov's deputy, Vishinsky. I further  reminded
him  that  Stalin had told Matsuoka he was committed  to  the
Axis  and  could not collaborate with England and France,  as
well  as  of the scene at the railroad station, which  Stalin
had  purposely brought about in order to demonstrate publicly
his  intention to collaborate with the Axis. In 1939  England
and France had taken all conceivable means to win Russia over
to  their side, and if Stalin had not been able to decide  in
favor of England and France at a time when England and France
were  both  still strong, I believed that he would  certainly
not make such a decision today, when France was destroyed and
England badly battered. On the contrary, I was convinced that
Stalin  was prepared to make even further concessions to  us.
It  had  already  been intimated to our economic  negotiators
that (if we applied in due time) Russia could supply us up to
5 million tons of grain next year. Citing figures, the Fhrer
said  he  thought  that Russian deliveries  were  limited  by
transportation conditions. I pointed out that a more thorough
utilization  of Russian ports would obviate the  difficulties
of transportation.
     The Fhrer then took leave of me.
     
     The  original of the enclosed memorandum with two carbon
copies was sent to Vienna today at 3 p. m. via air courier.
     Respectfully submitted to the State Secretary,  for  his
information.
     
ADEMANN

BERLIN, April 29, 1941.

Page 333

                            *****
                              
Frames 311-312, serial F 15
     
   Memorandum by the State Secretary in the German Foreign
                     Office (Weizs„cker)
     
                          Teletype
BERLIN, April 28, 1941.
     
     To the Reich Foreign Minister.
     Concerning  Count  Schulenburg's memorandum  on  German-
Russian relations:
     I  can  summarize in one sentence my views on a  German-
Russian conflict: If every Russian city reduced to ashes were
as  valuable  to  us  as a sunken British warship,  I  should
advocate  the  German-Russian war  for  this  summer;  but  I
believe  that  we  would be victors over  Russia  only  in  a
military  sense,  and would, on the other hand,  lose  in  an
economic sense.
     It  might perhaps be considered an alluring prospect  to
give the Communist system its death blow and it might also be
said  that  it was inherent in the logic of things to  muster
the   Eurasian  continent  against  Anglo-Saxondom  and   its
following.  But  the  sole decisive factor  is  whether  this
project will hasten the fall of England.
     We must distinguish between two possibilities:
     
     a)  England  is  close to collapse: if  we  accept  this
[assumption], we shall encourage England by taking on  a  new
opponent  ["We  shall" is deleted, but the words  written  in
above  are  illegible.] Russia is no potential  ally  of  the
English. England can expect nothing good from Russia. Hope in
Russia  is not postponing England's collapse. [In handwriting
:] With Russia we do not destroy any English hopes.
     b)  If  we  do  not believe in the imminent collapse  of
England,  then the thought might suggest itself that  by  the
use of force, we must feed ourselves from Soviet territory. I
take  it  as  a  matter  of  course  that  we  shall  advance
victoriously  to Moscow and beyond that. I doubt  very  much,
however, whether we shall be able to turn to account what  we
have won in the face of the well-known passive resistance  of
the  Slavs.  I do not see in the Russian State any  effective
opposition  capable  of succeeding the Communist  system  and
uniting  with  us  and  being of  service  to  us.  We  would
therefore probably have to reckon with a continuation of  the
Stalin  system in Eastern Russia and in Siberia  and  with  a
renewed  outbreak of hostilities in the spring of  1942.  The
window to the Pacific Ocean would remain shut.
     A  German  attack on Russia would only give the  British
new  moral strength. It would be interpreted there as  German
uncertainty  as to the success of our fight against  England.
We would thereby not
     
Page 334

only  be admitting that the war was going to last a long time
yet, but we might actually prolong it in this way, instead of
shortening it.
     
WEIZSŽCKER
     
     This  position is drafted in very brief form, since  the
Reich Foreign Minister wanted it within the shortest possible
time. Weizs„cker.
     
                            *****
                              
Frame 365359, serial 1448

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

Tgb. Nr. A/g/229/41
MOSCOW, May 2, 1941.

SECRET
     
Subject: Rumors of German-Russian military showdown.
     
     Reference  instruction Pol. V 1490g of April  16,  1941.
[16]
     
     I and all the higher officials of my Embassy have always
combated rumors of an imminent German-Russian military  show-
down, since it is natural that rumors of that kind constitute
a  great  hazard  for the continued peaceful  development  of
German-Soviet  relations. Please bear in mind, however,  that
attempts  to  counteract these rumors  here  in  Moscow  must
necessarily  remain  ineffectual if such  rumors  incessantly
reach  here from Germany, and if every traveler who comes  to
Moscow or travels through Moscow not only brings these rumors
along, but can even confirm them by citing facts.
     
COUNT VON DER SCHULENBURG

[16] Not printed.

                            *****
                              
Frames 218003-218004, serial 426

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

                          Telegram

No. 878 of May 3
BERLIN, May 4, 1941-5:45 a. m.
Received Moscow, May 4, 1941-10 a. m.
     
     Secret.  To be decoded only by the officer in charge  of
State Secret documents. Reply via courier or secret code. For
Military  Attach‚.  Secret Military document  No.  602/41  G.
Kdos.  Att  Abt  O  Qu 4, for Herr Osten,  Military  Attach‚,
Moscow  .  . . OKW Wf St/ Abt. L, advises on May 3 under  No.
902/41g  Kdos.,  as follows: Re: Telegram  Naval  Attach‚  of
April 24, No. 34112/110. [17]
     
     [17] Ante, p. 330.
     
Page 335
     
     Instruction  on No. 1: The same war rumors  are  current
here as in Russia so we suspect a renewed attempt on the part
of  England to poison the wells. Reports that are without any
foundation-as,  for  example,  stories  about  extensive  map
making (the Ukraine) in Prague, or about the landing of  more
than   12,000   German  soldiers  in  Finland-confirm   these
suspicions.  Moreover, currency is given to  such  rumors  by
substantial  Russian troop concentrations  near  the  border,
especially  since  they  are without military  justification,
since on the German side, only such forces are posted at  the
border  as  are  absolutely necessary as rear cover  for  the
Balkan operations.
     On No. 4: The quashing of rumors by the German officials
there is very desirable, in which connection use can be  made
in suitable form of the fact that German troop transports are
being carried out from east to west, which in the first  half
of  May  will reach considerable proportions (added only  for
personal  information: (8 divisions). General  Staff  of  the
Army, Attach‚ Division T. No. 602/41 G. Kdos.
     
KRAMARZ

                            *****
                              
Frames 113418-113419, serial 105

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

                          Telegram

VERY URGENT
Moscow, May 7, 1941-2:02 p. m.
Received May 7, 1941-3:10 p. m.
SECRET

No 1092 of May 7
     
     Stalin has taken over the chairmanship of the Council of
People's  Commissars  in  place of Molotov  and  thereby  has
become  head  of the Government of the Soviet Union.  Molotov
received  the  rank  of Deputy Chairman  of  the  Council  of
People's  Commissars and will remain People's  Commissar  for
Foreign  Affairs.  This  change is  being  explained  by  the
pressure  of  work  on  Molotov,  but  it  actually  means  a
considerable abridgment of his former authority.  The  reason
for it may be sought in the recent mistakes in foreign policy
which led to a cooling off of the cordiality of German-Soviet
relations, for the creation and preservation of which  Stalin
had consciously striven, while Molotov's own initiative often
expended itself in an obstinate defense of individual issues.
     In  his  new  capacity as Chairman  of  the  Council  of
People's Commissars, that is, as Prime Minister of the Soviet
Union,  Stalin  assumes responsibility for all  acts  of  the
Government, in both the
     
Page 336
     
domestic  and  foreign fields. This will put an  end  to  the
unnatural  situation wherein the position of  the  recognized
and  undisputed leader of the peoples of the Soviet Union was
nowhere  established in the Constitution. The  centralization
of   all   the  powers  in  the  hands  of  Stalin  means   a
consolidation of governmental authority in the U.S.S.R. and a
further  advancement of the position of Stalin, who obviously
felt  that,  in a situation which he considered  serious,  he
personally had to assume full responsibility for the fate  of
the Soviet Union. I am convinced that Stalin will use his new
position  in order to take part personally in the maintenance
and  development  of good relations between the  Soviets  and
Germany.
     
SCHULENBURG

                            *****
                              
Frames 365383-365388 serial 1448

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

Tgb. Nr. Ag/259/41
Moscow, May 12, 1941.
SECRET

Subject: Appointment of Stalin as Chairman of the Council  of
          People's Commissars.
     
     With reference to telegram No. 1092 of May 7 and also to
Nos.  1113 of May 8, 1124 of May 10, 1115 of May 9,  1120  of
May 9, and 1137 of May 12. [18]
     The  present political position of the Soviet  Union  is
illustrated by the appointment of Stalin as Chairman  of  the
Council  of  People's Commissars. Stalin's decision  to  take
over  this  office, which V. I. Lenin was the first  to  fill
after  the Bolshevist Revolution, gains especial significance
from  the  fact that Stalin had previously avoided  taking  a
government  post. Stalin won his position of power  in  party
and state solely by his personal authority and by the aid  of
men devoted to him. No problems of domestic or foreign policy
had  heretofore  been able to induce Stalin to  abandon  this
characteristic  attitude. Even when the Stalin  constitution,
his  personal  work,  went  into effect,  he  had  apparently
deliberately refrained from occupying the highest  government
post  by  allowing  himself to be  elected  chairman  of  the
presidium of the Supreme Soviets.
     The reasons that now caused Stalin to make this decision
cannot be ascertained, for example, by direct questioning  of
competent   Soviet  officials,  because   of   the   peculiar
conditions here. The new French
     
[18] No. 1113. 1115, 1120, 1124, and 1137 not printed.

Page 337
     
Ambassador, who was ignorant of this situation, attempted  to
do  so  nevertheless, and asked this question on the occasion
of  his  initial  visits  to First Deputy  Foreign  Commissar
Vishinsky, Secretary General of the Commissariat for  Foreign
Affairs  Sobolev,  and  Division Chief Kusnetzov.  The  three
gentlemen interrogated expressed themselves spontaneously and
unanimously to the effect that the appointment of  Stalin  to
the  chairmanship of the Council of People's  Commissars  was
the  greatest historical event in the Soviet Union since  its
inception. Asked as to the reasons for this appointment,  the
three  gentlemen  declared after brief  hesitation  that  the
appointment  of  Stalin had been occasioned by  the  all  too
heavy  burden carried by Molotov. When the disparity  between
cause  and  effect  was pointed out to  them,  the  gentlemen
consulted could make no further reply.
     There  can  be  no  doubt  that the  assumption  of  the
chairmanship of the Council of People's Commissars by  Joseph
Stalin constitutes an event of extraordinary importance. That
this  event was brought about by problems of domestic policy,
as  was  first asserted here, especially among correspondents
of  the  foreign press, I do not consider correct. I  do  not
know  of any problem that could have been raised as a  result
of domestic conditions in the Soviet Union of such importance
as to necessitate such a step on Stalin's part. It can rather
be stated with great certainty that if Stalin decided to take
over  the highest government office, it was done for  reasons
of   foreign  policy.  In  order  to  clarify  the   specific
circumstances  that  must have influenced Stalin's  decision,
one  must  refer to some occurrences that took place  in  the
days  previous. It was generally noticed that  at  the  great
review  of  May 1 the Soviet Ambassador to Berlin, Dekanosov,
stood  directly  next  to  Stalin,  on  his  right,  on   the
Government   reviewing  stand.  This  prominence   given   to
Dekanosov must be regarded as a special mark of confidence on
the  part  of  Stalin.  Also, a remarkably  large  number  of
generals  and  admirals of the Red Army  and  the  Red  Fleet
participated  in  the review and the large reception  in  the
Kremlin  that  followed. Finally, on May  5,  the  graduation
exercises  of the War Academy were the occasion of  a  rather
large  ceremony, at which Stalin made an address of  some  40
minutes'  duration.  Since  the  appointment  of  Stalin  was
announced by the Kremlin on May 6, the obvious assumption  is
that  the conversations with the Soviet Ambassador to Germany
and  the  mingling  with  representatives  of  the  staff  of
generals  precipitated Stalin's decision  to  take  over  the
Chairmanship of the Council of People's Commissars. No  other
reason  for this action could have applied than a revaluation
of the international situation on the basis of the magnitude
     
Page 338

and  rapidity of German military successes in Yugoslavia  and
Greece  and  the  realization that  this  makes  necessary  a
departure  from the former diplomacy of the Soviet Government
that had led to an estrangement with Germany. Probably, also,
conflicting  opinions  that  were  noted  among   the   party
politicians  and high-ranking military men, confirmed  Stalin
in the decision to take the helm himself from now on.
     If  one reviews the pronouncements and decrees that have
been promulgated since Stalin's assumption of office, insofar
as  they  enter  into consideration, one can state  that  the
point  of  the matter was undoubtedly missed by  the  version
originally  circulated by foreign correspondents,  especially
by  the  Japanese  Domei  agency,  to  the  effect  that  the
appointment  of  Stalin legalizes an existing  condition  and
that    everything   otherwise   remains   the   same.    The
pronouncements and decrees in question are all in  the  realm
of foreign policy The matters involved are:
     
     1.  The Tass denial of alleged strong concentrations  of
military  forces on the western border of the  Soviet  Union,
etc.
     2.  The  decree regarding the restoration of  diplomatic
ranks (Ambassador, Minister, Charg‚).
     3.  The  decision regarding the closing of the Embassies
of Belgium, Norway, and Yugoslavia, and
     4.  The government decision regarding the opening up  of
diplomatic relations between the Soviet Union and Iraq.
     
     These  manifestations  of the intention  of  the  Stalin
government   are  calculated  in  the  first   place,   while
safeguarding  its  own  interests,  to  relieve  the  tension
between  the Soviet Union and Germany and to create a  better
atmosphere  for the future. We must bear in mind particularly
that  Stalin  personally  has  always  advocated  a  friendly
relationship between Germany and the Soviet Union.
     It  is  self-evident that in the diplomatic  corps  here
there  is a great amount of guess-work being done as to  what
could  have  induced  Stalin at this  time  to  take  over  a
government  office  created  by  the  constitution.   It   is
remarkable  that  groups  representing  the  most   divergent
opinion  agree in the presumption that Stalin is  pursuing  a
policy of rapprochement with Germany and the Axis.
     In  my  opinion,  it may be assumed with certainty  that
Stalin  has set himself a foreign policy goal of overwhelming
importance for the Soviet Union, which he hopes to attain  by
his   personal  efforts.  I  firmly  believe  that,   in   an
international situation which he considers
     
Page 339

serious,  Stalin has set himself the goal of  preserving  the
Soviet Union from a conflict with Germany.
     
COUNT VON DER SCHULENBURG

                            *****
                              
Frame 113434, serial 105
                              
The German Consul at Harbin (Ponschab) to the German Foreign
                           Office

                          Telegram

URGENT
HARBIN, May 13, 1911-12:50 a. m.
Received May 13, 1941-10:30 a. m.
SECRET

No. 39 of May 13
     
     Reference my telegram No. 37 of the 11th. [19]
     Circular instructions from Moscow of May 9:
     
     Although   German-Russian  negotiations  are  proceeding
normally, it has become imperative for the Soviets.  in  view
of  Germany's dictatorial attitude, to warn Germany that  the
Soviets  are  prepared to protect their interests,  if  (this
group  missing  in the original telegram) they are  violated.
Under  the  circumstances it is very important to  learn  the
attitude  of  all other countries in the event of  a  German-
Russian  conflict.  It  is  necessary  to  proceed  with  the
greatest caution. A survey of the situation and prompt report
are requested.
     
PONSCHAB

[19] Not printed.

                            *****

Frames 24524-24527, serial 34
                              
                  Foreign Office Memorandum

Ha Pol 294/41 g RS
STATE SECRET

   SECOND MEMORANDUM ON THE STATUS OF GERMAN-SOVIET TRADE
                         RELATIONS*
     
     1)  The  discussions  concluded  a  few  days  ago  with
Krutikov,  First Deputy People's Commissar for Foreign  Trade
of  the  U.S.S.R.,  were conducted in a notably  constructive
spirit  by  Krutikov.  It was therefore  possible  to  settle
satisfactorily  difficult points in the  Trade  Agreement  of
January  10,  1941, such as delivery of oil seed,  nonferrous
metals,  petroleum, and transit of raw rubber from East  Asia
through   the   territory  of  the   U.S.S.R.   Despite   his
constructive attitude, Kruti-
     
*  My  first memorandum on the same subject, of April  5,  is
attached. [Footnote in the original. For this memorandum, see
ante, p. 318.]

Page 340

kov's  stand  when defending Russian interests was  firm.  He
showed  no  extreme willingness to give way which might  have
been construed as weakness.
     2)  Difficulties  arose, as in the past,  regarding  the
execution  of  German delivery commitments to  the  U.S.S.R.,
especially in the field of armaments. We shall not be able to
adhere to the more distant delivery dates. However, the  non-
fulfillment of German commitments will only make itself  felt
after  August  1941, since until then Russia is obligated  to
made  deliveries  in advance. Difficulties  arose  especially
with  respect to the execution of certain contracts  covering
supplies  for  the air force, as the Reich Ministry  for  Air
will  not  release  the aircraft promised and  already  sold.
Krutikov  brought  up  these  questions,  without  too  great
insistence,  however.  Construction  of  the  cruiser  L   in
Leningrad  is  proceeding  according  to  plan,  with  German
supplies coming in as scheduled. Approximately seventy German
engineers and fitters are working on the construction of  the
cruiser in Leningrad under the direction of Admiral Feige.
     3)  The  status of Soviet raw material deliveries  still
presents a favorable picture. Of the most important items  of
raw materials, the following deliveries were made in April:
     
Grain              208,000 tons
Petroleum          90,000 tons
Cotton             8,300 tons
Nonferrous metals  6,340 tons; copper, tin, and nickel.
     
     With  regard to manganese ore and phosphates, deliveries
suffered   from   the  lack  of  tonnage  and  transportation
difficulties in the Southeast area.
     The  transit  route through Siberia is still  operating.
The  shipments of raw materials from East Asia,  particularly
of  raw rubber, that reach Germany by this route, continue to
be  substantial (raw rubber during the month of April,  2,000
tons by special trains, 2,000 by regular Siberian trains).
     Total deliveries in the current year amount to:
     
Grain           632,000 tons
Petroleum       232,000 tons
Cotton          23,500 tons
Manganese ore   50,000 tons
Phosphates      67,000 tons
Platinum        900 kilograms
     
     4)  Great  difficulties  are created  by  the  countless
rumors  of  an  imminent  German-Russian  conflict.  Official
sources are in large measure

Page 341
     
responsible for the persistence of these rumors. These rumors
are  causing grave anxiety to German industry, which is eager
to  withdraw  from its engagements with Russia  and  in  some
cases  already  refuses to dispatch to Moscow  the  personnel
needed for the execution of the contracts.
     5) I am under the impression that we could make economic
demands on Moscow which would even go beyond the scope of the
treaty  of January 10, 1941, demands desired to secure German
food  and  raw  material requirements beyond the  extent  now
contracted   for.  The  quantities  of  raw   materials   now
contracted  for  are  being  delivered  punctually   by   the
Russians,  despite  the heavy burden this  imposes  on  them,
which,   especially  with  regard  to  grain,  is  a  notable
performance,  since  the  total  quantity  of  grain  to   be
delivered  under the agreement of April 10 of this  year  and
the  Belgian  and  Norwegian agreements, amounts  to  over  3
million tons up to August 1, 1942.
     6)  For  the end of May or beginning of June, the  Trade
Agreement  of January 10, 1941, provides for new negotiations
in Moscow regarding settlement of balances. Such negotiations
would,  however, only make sense if they were used to present
specific  German demands. If this is not to be  the  case,  I
intend  to  procrastinate with regard  to  the  date  of  the
negotiations.
     
SCHNURRE
     
BERLIN, May 15, 1941.

                            *****
                              
Frame 217951 serial 426

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

                          Telegram

No. 938 of May 14
BERLIN, May 15, 1941-6:27 p. m.
Received Moscow, May 15, 1941-10:30 p. m.

     Confidential  material. Secret. To be  decoded  only  by
officials  authorized to handle confidential material.  Reply
via courier or secret code.
     In  reference to telegraphic report No. 957 of April 21,
and written report No. A: 1408 of April 22, 1941. [20]
     Please inform the Commissariat for Foreign Affairs  that
the  seventy-one  cases  mentioned of  border  violations  by
Germans  are  being  investigated.  The  investigation   will
require some time as the
     
[20] Latter not printed.

Page 342

air  force  units  and  crews  concerned  will  have  to   be
interrogated individually. Please effect the early release by
the  Soviet  Government of the plane that made the  emergency
landing near Rovno on April 15.
     
RITTER

                            *****
                              
Frame 217944, serial 426
                              
 The German Minister in Sweden (Wied) to the German Foreign
                           Office

                          Telegram

Pol. I M 3378 g
STOCKHOLM, [May 16, 1941.]

No. 534 of May 16
     
     I  have  learned that the Soviet Russian Minister  here,
Frau  Kollontay,  said recently that at no  time  in  Russian
history  have there been stronger troop contingents assembled
on Russia's western border than now.
     
WIED

                            *****
                              
Frame 113436, serial 105

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

St. S. Nr. 340
BERLIN, May 17, 1941.

     Ambassador  Oshima asked me today in  the  course  of  a
conversation  on  Japanese-American negotiations  whether  an
"easing of tension" had occurred in German-Russian relations.
I  replied  that German-Russian relations were unchanged.  We
were observing Russia carefully. Russian concentration at our
border  was  a matter of common knowledge. That we  had  also
sent German troops to the East in reply, was natural. We  had
not  exactly liked everything the Russians had been doing  in
the last few months. I would not, however, call it a state of
"tension."
     In  the diplomatic corps, the subject of Russia is  much
discussed. I recently told the Swedish Minister, in reply  to
a  direct  question,  that developments between  Germany  and
Russia depended on Stalin's conduct.
     
WEIZSŽCKER

Page 343

                            *****
                              
Frame 217949, serial 426

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

                          Telegram

No. 1193 of May 18
Moscow, May 17, 1941.

Reference your telegram No. 938 of May 14.
     
     The  case  of  the German plane that made the  emergency
landing  near Rovno, with which the liaison staff of the  Red
Army  and  the Commissariat for Foreign Affairs  are  already
occupied,  was  also brought up today with Secretary  General
Sobolev,  with the request for early release of the airplane.
At  the same time, the communication ordered by you regarding
the  investigation of border violations by  the  Germans  was
made.  S[obolev] countered that the Soviet Government awaited
the  German  reply, and referred gravely  to  the  fact  that
border  violations by German planes were continuing and  were
still frequent.

SCHULENBURG

                            *****
                              
Frames 24480-24482, serial 34

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

                          Telegram

BERLIN, May 24, 1941.

Reference your telegram No. 1192 of May 17. [21]
     
     I.  BY  Sobolev's reply, our wishes regarding the  final
demarcation  of  the boundary from the Igorka  River  to  the
Baltic Sea have been satisfactorily met. Since, however,  the
settlement  of  our claims under the treaty  of  January  10,
1941, has been protracted for months due to no fault of ours,
both  Minister von Saucken and Departmental Counselor  Conrad
had  to  be  employed at other urgent tasks and are therefore
not available at this time. We are trying to release them  as
soon as possible in order that they may resume their work  in
the  Central Boundary Commission and we will shortly  make  a
proposal for another date.
     Since,  under the circumstances, Assistant Wieber  would
have to remain idle there for some time, while he is urgently
needed here, please arrange for his return.
     
[21] Not printed.

Page 344
     
     II.  The  instrument of ratification for the  treaty  of
January  10,  1941, has been executed by the  Fhrer.  Kindly
notify  the  Soviet Government so that preparations  for  the
exchange of documents can be made.
     
WOERMANN

                            *****
                              
  Note for the Office of the Reich Foreign Minister, Fuschl

Berlin, May 24, 1941.
     
     The  intent  of  the attached telegram to  Moscow  is  a
further  effort to treat in a dilatory manner the  matter  of
the  boundary commission, since otherwise the next step would
be a survey of the boundary by a Mixed Commission.
     On  the  other hand, Soviet wishes are deferred  to,  in
that  we  have  now declared ourselves prepared  to  exchange
instruments  of  ratification  for  the  boundary  treaty  of
January 10, 1941.
     
WOERMANN

                            *****
                              
Frame 113450, serial 105

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

                          Telegram

URGENT
MOSCOW, May 24, 1941-3:45 p. m.
Received May 24, 1941-6:15 p. m.
SECRET

No. 1223 of May 24

     Reference my telegram No. 1099 of the 7th.
     
     On  May  22  I  called on Molotov to  discuss  with  him
current  negotiations  on  cultural  questions,  release   of
prisoners, etc. Molotov received me in the same study that he
had  formerly, surrounded by his usual staff in the  Kremlin.
He  was  as amiable, self-assured and well-informed as  ever.
The  only  difference  was the name-plate  at  the  entrance,
bearing   the  new  inscription  "Molotov,  Deputy  Chairman,
Council  of  People's  Commissars."  There  was  nothing   to
indicate that his position with Stalin was shaken or that his
influence  as  People's  Commissar for  Foreign  Affairs  had
suffered any diminution.
     This  and other observations made here since Stalin took
over  the  supreme  power of the state,  show  that  the  two
strongest  men  in  the Soviet Union-Stalin and  Molotov-hold
positions  which are decisive for the foreign policy  of  the
Soviet  Union.  That  this  foreign  policy  is,  above  all,
directed  at  the  avoidance of a conflict with  Germany,  is
proved  by the attitude taken by the Soviet Government during
the  last  few  weeks,  the tone of the Soviet  press,  which
treats all

Page 345
     
the  events  which  concern  Germany  in  an  unobjectionable
manner,  and the observance of the trade agreements concluded
with Germany.
     
SCHULENBURG

                            *****
                              
Frames 113497-113499, serial 105

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

                          Telegram

Moscow, June 14, 1941-1:30 a. m.
Received June 14, 1941-8 a. m.

No. 1368 of June 13
     
     People's  Commissar  Molotov  has  just  given  me   the
following  text  of a Tass despatch which will  be  broadcast
tonight and published in the papers tomorrow:
     
     Even  before the return of the English Ambassador Cripps
to  London, but especially after his return, there have  been
widespread  rumors of "an impending war between the  U.S.S.R.
and  Germany" in the English and foreign press. These  rumors
allege:
     
     1.  That Germany supposedly has made various territorial
and  economic  demands on the U.S.S.R. and  that  at  present
negotiations  are impending between Germany and the  U.S.S.R.
for  the  conclusion  of a new and closer  agreement  between
them;
     2.  That  the Soviet Union is supposed to have  declined
these  demands  and  that as a result Germany  has  begun  to
concentrate her troops on the frontier of the Soviet Union in
order to attack the Soviet Union;
     3. That on its side the Soviet Union is supposed to have
begun intensive preparations for war with Germany and to have
concentrated its troops on the German border.
     
     Despite   the   obvious  absurdity  of   these   rumors,
responsible  circles in Moscow have thought it necessary,  in
view  of  the persistent spread of these rumors, to authorize
Tass  to  state  that  these rumors are a  clumsy  propaganda
maneuver  of the forces arrayed against the Soviet Union  and
Germany, which are interested in a spread and intensification
of the war.
     Tass declares that:
     
     1.  Germany has addressed no demands to the Soviet Union
and has asked for no new closer agreement, and that therefore
negotiations cannot be taking place;
     2.  According to the evidence in the possession  of  the
Soviet Union both Germany and the Soviet Union are fulfilling
to the letter the

Page 346
     
terms  of the Soviet-German Non-aggression Pact, so  that  in
the opinion of Soviet circles the rumors of the intention  of
Germany to break the Pact and to launch an attack against the
Soviet  Union  are completely without foundation,  while  the
recent movements of German troops which have completed  their
operations in the Balkans, to the eastern and northern  parts
of  Germany, must be explained by other motives which have no
connection with Soviet-German relations;
     3.  The  Soviet  Union,  in accordance  with  its  peace
policy, has fulfilled and intends to fulfill the terms of the
Soviet-German  Non-aggression Pact;  as  a  result,  all  the
rumors according to which the Soviet Union is preparing for a
war with Germany are false and provocative;
     4. The summer calling-up of the reserves of the Red Army
which  is  now taking place and the impending maneuvers  mean
nothing but a training of the reservists and a check  on  the
operations  of the railroad system, which as is  known  takes
place   every  year;  consequently,  it  appears   at   least
nonsensical to interpret these measures of the Red Army as an
action hostile to Germany.
     
SCHULENBURG

                            *****
                              
Frame 103716, serial 93

The Reich Foreign Minister to the German Minister in Hungary
                       (Erdmannsdoff)

                          Telegram

STATE SECRET
VENICE, June 15, 1941-9:40 p. m.
Received Berlin, June 15, 1941-10:15 p. m.

No. 552 of June 10

Transmitted to Budapest under No. 1021
     
     For the Minister personally.
     
     Please  inform  the  Hungarian  Minister  President   as
follows:
     
     In  view of the heavy concentration of Russian troops at
the  German  eastern  border, the  Fhrer  will  probably  be
compelled, by the beginning of July at the latest, to clarify
German-Russian  relations  and in  this  connection  to  make
certain  demands.  Since  it  is difficult  to  foretell  the
outcome   of   these  negotiations,  the  German   Government
considers  it necessary for Hungary to take steps  to  secure
its frontiers.
     
     The  above  order is of a strictly confidential  nature.
Please  also  mention  this fact to  the  Hungarian  Minister
President.

RIBBENTROP

Page 347
     
                            *****
                              
Frames 113558-113562, serial 105

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

                          Telegram

VERY URGENT
BERLIN, June 21, 1941.
STATE SECRET
BY radio
     
     For the Ambassador personally.
     
     1)  Upon  receipt of this telegram, all  of  the  cipher
material still there is to be destroyed. The radio set is  to
be put out of commission.
     2)  Please inform Herr Molotov at once that you have  an
urgent communication to make to him and would therefore  like
to  call  on him immediately. Then please make the  following
declaration to him.
     
     "The  Soviet Ambassador in Berlin is receiving  at  this
hour from the Reich Minister for Foreign Affairs a memorandum
giving  in  detail the facts which are briefly summarized  as
follows:
     "I.  In 1939 the Government of the Reich, putting  aside
grave  objections  arising out of the  contradiction  between
National Socialism and Bolshevism, undertook to arrive at  an
understanding  with  Soviet Russia.  Under  the  treaties  of
August 23 and September 28, 1939, the Government of the Reich
effected  a  general reorientation of its policy  toward  the
U.S.S.R.  and  thenceforth adopted a cordial attitude  toward
the  Soviet Union. This policy of goodwill brought the Soviet
Union great advantages in the field of foreign policy.
     "The Government of the Reich therefore felt entitled  to
assume  that thenceforth both nations, while respecting  each
other's regime and not interfering in the internal affairs of
the  other partner, would arrive at good, lasting, neighborly
relations.  Unfortunately it soon  became  evident  that  the
Government  of the Reich had been entirely mistaken  in  this
assumption.
     "II.  Soon  after  the conclusion of the  German-Russian
treaties,  the  Comintern  resumed  its  subversive  activity
against    Germany,   with   the   official    Soviet-Russian
representatives giving assistance. Sabotage,  terrorism,  and
espionage  in  preparation for war were demonstrably  carried
out  on  a  large  scale. In all the countries  bordering  on
Germany  and  in  the territories occupied by German  troops,
anti-German feeling was aroused and the German attempt to set
up  a  stable  order in Europe was combated.  Yugoslavia  was
gladly  offered  arms against Germany by the  Soviet  Russian
Chief of Staff, as proved by documents found in Belgrade. The
declarations  made  by  the U.S.S.R.  on  conclusion  of  the
treaties with Germany, regarding her intention to collaborate
with    Germany,   thus   stood   revealed   as    deliberate
misrepresentation  and  deceit  and  the  conclusion  of  the
treaties  themselves  as  a tactical maneuver  for  obtaining
arrangements  favorable  to  Russia.  The  guiding  principle
remained the weakening of the non-Bolshevist
     
Page 348
     
countries in order the more easily to demoralize them and, at
a given time, to crush them.
     "III.  In  the diplomatic and military fields it  became
obvious that the U.S.S.R.-contrary to the declaration made at
the  conclusion  of the treaties that she  did  not  wish  to
Bolshevize and annex the countries falling within her  sphere
of   influence-was  intent  on  pushing  her  military  might
westward   wherever  it  seemed  possible  and  on   carrying
Bolshevism  further into Europe. The action of  the  U.S.S.R.
against the Baltic States, Finland, and Rumania, where Soviet
claims  even  extended to Bucovina, showed this clearly.  The
occupation  and  Bolshevization by the Soviet  Union  of  the
sphere  of  influence  granted to her  clearly  violated  the
Moscow  agreements, even though the Government of  the  Reich
for the time being accepted the facts.
     "IV.  When  Germany, by the Vienna Award of  August  30,
1940,  settled  the crisis in Southeastern  Europe  resulting
from  the action of the U.S.S.R. against Rumania, the  Soviet
Union  protested  and  turned to  making  intensive  military
preparations  in  every field. Germany's  renewed  effort  to
achieve  an  understanding, as reflected in the  exchange  of
letters  between the Reich Foreign Minister and  Herr  Stalin
and  in  the  invitation to Herr Molotov to come  to  Berlin,
brought demands from the Soviet Union which Germany could not
accept,  such  as the guarantee of Bulgaria by the  U.S.S.R.,
the establishment of a base for Soviet Russian land and naval
forces  at  the  Straits,  and the  complete  abandonment  of
Finland.  Subsequently, the policy of the  U.S.S.R.  directed
against  Germany  became more and more obvious.  The  warning
addressed to Germany regarding occupation of Bulgaria and the
declaration  made  to  Bulgaria after  the  entry  of  German
troops,  which  was of a definitely hostile nature,  were  as
significant in this connection as was the promise to  protect
the  rear of Turkey in the event of a Turkish entry into  the
war in the Balkans, given in March 1941.
     "V. With the conclusion of the Soviet-Yugoslav Treaty of
Friendship of April 5 last, which was intended to stiffen the
spines  of  the  Yugoslav plotters, the U.S.S.R.  joined  the
common  Anglo-Yugoslav-Greek front against  Germany.  At  the
same  time she tried rapprochement with Rumania, in order  to
induce  that  country to detach itself from Germany.  It  was
only  the  rapid German victories that caused the failure  of
the  Anglo-Russian  plan  for an attack  against  the  German
troops in Rumania and Bulgaria.
     "VI.  This policy was accompanied by a steadily  growing
concentration of all available Russian forces on a long front
from   the  Baltic  Sea  to  the  Black  Sea,  against  which
countermeasures were taken by Germany only later.  Since  the
beginning of the year this has been a steadily growing menace
to  the territory of the Reich. Reports received in the  last
few  days  eliminated the last remaining  doubts  as  to  the
aggressive  character  of  this  Russian  concentration   and
completed   the  picture  of  an  extremely  tense   military
situation.  In addition to this, there are the  reports  from
England  regarding the negotiations of Ambassador Cripps  for
still  closer  political and military  collaboration  between
England and the Soviet Union.

Page 349

     "To  sum  up,  the  Government of  the  Reich  declares,
therefore,  that  the  Soviet  Government,  contrary  to  the
obligations it assumed,
          1) has not only continued, but even intensified its
     attempts to undermine Germany and Europe;
          2)  has adopted a more and more anti-German foreign
     policy;
          3)  has concentrated all its forces in readiness at
     the  German  border. Thereby the Soviet  Government  has
     broken  its treaties with Germany and is about to attack
     Germany  from  the rear, in its struggle for  life.  The
     Fhrer has therefore ordered the German Armed Forces  to
     oppose   this  threat  with  all  the  means  at   their
     disposal."
     
     End of declaration.
     
     Please  do  not  enter  into  any  discussion  of   this
communication. It is incumbent upon the Government of  Soviet
Russia to safeguard the security of the Embassy personnel.
     
RIBBENTROP

                            *****
                              
Frames 038-031 [sic], serial F 20
                              
               Letter From Hitler to Mussolini

June 21, 1941.

DUCE!
     I  am writing this letter to you at a moment when months
of  anxious deliberation and continuous nerve-racking waiting
are  ending  in the hardest decision of my life.  I  believe-
after  seeing  the  latest Russian situation  map  and  after
appraisal  of numerous other reports-that I cannot  take  the
responsibility for waiting longer, and above all,  I  believe
that there is no other way of obviating this danger-unless it
be further waiting, which, however, would necessarily lead to
disaster in this or the next year at the latest.
     The situation: England has lost this war. With the right
of  the drowning person, she grasps at every straw which,  in
her  imagination might serve as a sheet anchor. Nevertheless,
some  of her hopes are naturally not without a certain logic.
England has thus far always conducted her wars with help from
the   Continent.  The  destruction  of  France-in  fact,  the
elimination  of all west-European positions-is directing  the
glances  of the British warmongers continually to  the  place
from which they tried to start the war: to Soviet Russia.
     Both  countries, Soviet-Russia and England, are  equally
interested  in a Europe fallen into ruin, rendered  prostrate
by  a  long war. Behind these two countries stands the  North
American Union goading them on and watchfully waiting.  Since
the  liquidation of Poland, there is evident in Soviet-Russia
a  consistent trend, which, even if cleverly and  cautiously,
is nevertheless reverting firmly to the old
     
Page 350

Bolshevist  tendency to expansion of the  Soviet  State.  The
prolongation of the war necessary for this purpose is  to  be
achieved  by  tying up German forces in the  East,  so  that-
particularly  in  the air-the German Command  can  no  longer
vouch for a large-scale attack in the West. I declared to you
only recently, Duce, that it was precisely the success of the
experiment in Crete that demonstrated how necessary it is  to
make use of every single airplane in the much greater project
against  England.  It may well happen that in  this  decisive
battle  we  would  win  with  a superiority  of  only  a  few
squadrons. I shall not hesitate a moment to undertake such  a
responsibility  if,  aside from all other  conditions,  I  at
least possess the one certainty that I will not then suddenly
be   attacked   or  even  threatened  from  the   East.   The
concentration of Russian forces-I had General Jodl submit the
most  recent  map  to  your Attach‚  here,  General  Maras-is
tremendous. Really, all available Russian forces are  at  our
border.  Moreover, since the approach of warm  weather,  work
has  been  proceeding on numerous defences. If  circumstances
should  give me cause to employ the German air force  against
England,  there  is danger that Russia will  then  begin  its
strategy  of  extortion in the South and North,  to  which  I
would have to yield in silence, simply from a feeling of  air
inferiority.  It would, above all, not then be  possible  for
me, without adequate support from an air force, to attack the
Russian  fortifications with the divisions stationed  in  the
East. If I do not wish to expose myself to this danger,  then
perhaps the whole year of 1941 will go by without any  change
in  the  general situation. On the contrary. England will  be
all  the less ready for peace for it will be able to pin  its
hopes  on  the  Russian  partner.  Indeed,  this  hope   must
naturally even grow with the progress in preparedness of  the
Russian armed forces. And behind this is the mass delivery of
war material from America which they hope to get in 1942.
     Aside from this, Duce, it is not even certain whether we
shall have this time, for with so gigantic a concentration of
forces on both sides-for I also, was compelled to place  more
and  more  armored units on the eastern border, and  also  to
call Finland's and Rumania's attention to the danger-there is
the possibility that the shooting will start spontaneously at
any moment. A withdrawal on my part would, however, entail  a
serious  loss  of prestige for us. This would be particularly
unpleasant  in  its  possible  effect  on  Japan.   I   have,
therefore,  after  constantly  racking  my  brains,   finally
reached the decision to cut the noose before it can be  drawn
tight. I believe,
     
Page 351

Duce,  that I am hereby rendering probably the best  possible
service  to  our joint conduct of the war this year.  For  my
over-all view is now as follows:
     
     1)  France  is,  as  ever, not to be  trusted.  Absolute
surety  that North Africa will not suddenly desert  does  not
exist.
     2)  North Africa itself, insofar as your colonies, Duce,
are concerned, is probably out of danger until fall. I assume
that  the  British, in their last attack, wanted  to  relieve
Tobruk.  I do not believe they will soon be in a position  to
repeat this.
     3)  Spain is irresolute and-I am afraid-will take  sides
only when the outcome of the war is decided.
     4)  In Syria, French resistance can hardly be maintained
permanently either with or without our help.
     5)  An  attack  on Egypt before autumn  is  out  of  the
question altogether. I consider it necessary, however, taking
into  account  the whole situation, to give  thought  to  the
development  of an operational unit in Tripoli  itself  which
can,  if  necessary, also be launched against  the  West.  Of
course,  Duce, the strictest silence must be maintained  with
regard  to these ideas, for otherwise we cannot expect France
to  continue  to grant permission to use its  ports  for  the
transportation of arms and munitions.
     6)  Whether or not America enters the war is a matter of
indifference, inasmuch as she supports our opponent with  all
the power she is able to mobilize.
     7) The situation in England itself is bad; the provision
of food and raw materials is growing steadily more difficult.
The  martial  spirit to make war, after all,  lives  only  on
hopes.  These  hopes  are based solely  on  two  assumptions:
Russia and America. We have no chance of eliminating America.
But  it  does  lie  in  our  power  to  exclude  Russia.  The
elimination  of Russia means, at the same time  a  tremendous
relief for Japan in East Asia, and thereby the possibility of
a   much  stronger  threat  to  American  activities  through
Japanese intervention.
     
     I  have  decided under these circumstances, as I already
mentioned,  to put an end to the hypocritical performance  in
the  Kremlin. I assume, that is to say, I am convinced,  that
Finland,  and likewise Rumania, will forthwith take  part  in
this  conflict,  which will ultimately free Europe,  for  the
future  also,  of a great danger. General Maras  informed  us
that  you,  Duce, wish also to make available  at  least  one
corps.  If  you have that intention, Duce-which  I  naturally
accept  with  a  heart  filled with  gratitude-the  time  for
carrying it out will still be sufficiently long, for in  this
immense theater of war the troops cannot be assembled at  all
points  at  the  same time anyway. You, Duce,  can  give  the
decisive aid, however, by strength-

Page 352

ening your forces in North Africa, also, if possible, looking
from  Tripoli toward the West, by proceeding further to build
up a group which, though it be small at first, can march into
France  in  case  of a French violation of  the  treaty;  and
finally,  by  carrying  the air war and,  so  far  as  it  is
possible, the submarine war, in intensified degree, into  the
Mediterranean.
     So far as the security of the territories in the West is
concerned, from Norway to and including France, we are strong
enough there-so far as army troops are concerned-to meet  any
eventuality with lightning speed. So far as the  air  war  on
England  is  concerned, we shall, for a time, remain  on  the
defensive,-but this does not mean that we might be  incapable
of countering British attacks on Germany; on the contrary, we
shall,  if  necessary,  be in a position  to  start  ruthless
bombing  attacks  on  British  home  territory.  Our  fighter
defense,  too,  will  be adequate. It consists  of  the  best
squadrons that we have.
     As  far  as the war in the East is concerned,  Duce,  it
will  surely be difficult, but I do not entertain a  second's
doubt  as  to its great success. I hope, above all,  that  it
will  then  be possible for us to secure a common food-supply
base in the Ukraine for some time to come, which will furnish
us  such additional supplies as we may need in the future.  I
may state at this point, however, that, as far as we can tell
now,  this  year's German harvest promises to be a very  good
one.  It  is conceivable that Russia will try to destroy  the
Rumanian oil region. We have built up a defense that  will-or
so I think-prevent the worst. Moreover, it is the duty of our
armies to eliminate this threat as rapidly as possible.
     If  I  waited until this moment, Duce, to send you  this
information, it is because the final decision itself will not
be  made  until  7  o'clock tonight.  I  earnestly  beg  you,
therefore, to refrain, above all, from making any explanation
to  your  Ambassador  at Moscow, for  there  is  no  absolute
guarantee that our coded reports cannot be decoded.  I,  too,
shall  wait  until the last moment to have my own  Ambassador
informed of the decisions reached.
     The   material   that   I  now  contemplate   publishing
gradually,  is  so exhaustive that the world will  have  more
occasion  to wonder at our forbearance than at our  decision,
except  for  that  part  of the world  which  opposes  us  on
principle and for which, therefore, arguments are of no use.
     Whatever may now come, Duce, our situation cannot become
worse as a result of this step; it can only improve. Even  if
I should be obliged at the end of this year to leave 60 or 70
divisions in Russia, that

Page 353
     
is  only  a  fraction of the forces that I am now continually
using  on the eastern front. Should England nevertheless  not
draw  any  conclusions  from  the  hard  facts  that  present
themselves,  then  we  can,  with  our  rear  secured,  apply
ourselves with increased strength to the dispatching  of  our
opponent.  I  can promise you, Duce, that what  lies  in  our
German power, will be done.
     Any  desires, suggestions, and assistance of which  you,
Duce, wish to inform me in the contingency before us, I would
request that you either communicate to me personally or  have
them agreed upon directly by our military authorities.
     In conclusion, let me say one more thing, Duce. Since  I
struggled  through to this decision, I again feel spiritually
free. The partnership with the Soviet Union, in spite of  the
complete  sincerity  of the efforts to bring  about  a  final
conciliation, was nevertheless often very irksome to me,  for
in  some  way or other it seemed to me to be a break with  my
whole  origin, my concepts, and my former obligations.  I  am
happy now to be relieved of these mental agonies.
     With hearty and comradely greetings, Your
     
[ADOLF HITLER]
     
                            *****
                              
Frames 24545-24548, serial 34
     
   Memorandum by the State Secretary in the German Foreign
                     Office (Weizs„cker)
     
St. S. Pol. No. 411
BERLIN, June 21, 1941.

                         MEMORANDUM
                              
     The  Russian Ambassador, who had wanted to call  on  the
Reich  Foreign  Minister today and had been  referred  to  me
instead,  called on me this evening at 9:30 p. m. and  handed
me the attached note verbale. This note refers to a complaint
of the Russian Government of April 21 of this year, regarding
80  cases of flights of German aircraft over Soviet territory
in  the spring of this year. In the meanwhile, says the note,
180  more flights of this kind had taken place, against which
the  Soviet Border Patrol had each time filed a protest  with
the  German  representatives at  the  border.  Moreover,  the
flights had assumed a systematic and intentional character.
     In  conclusion,  the  note verbale expresses  confidence
that  the German Government will take steps to put an end  to
these border violations.
     I  replied to the Soviet Ambassador as follows: Since  I
was not acquainted with the details and in particular was not
conversant with
     
Page 354

the  protests allegedly filed at the border between the local
authorities,  I would have to refer the note verbale  to  the
competent  offices. I did not wish to anticipate  the  German
reply.  I  should  like  to say only this  much  in  advance,
namely,  that  I,  on  the contrary,  had  been  informed  of
wholesale  border violations by Soviet aircraft  over  German
territory;  it was therefore the German and not  the  Russian
Government that had cause for complaint.
     When  Herr  Dekanosov tried to prolong the  conversation
somewhat,  I told him that since I had an entirely  different
opinion  than  he  and  had  to  await  the  opinion  of   my
Government, it would be better not to go more deeply into the
matter just now. The reply would be forthcoming later.
     The Ambassador agreed to the procedure and left me.
     As a German interpreter for Russian could not be located
at  the  time,  I  had  Minister  von  Grundherr  attend  the
conversation as a witness.
     Submitted herewith to the Reich Foreign Minister.
     
VON WEIZSŽCKER

                         [Enclosure]
                              
 The Soviet Embassy in Germany to the German Foreign Office

No. 013166

                        NOTE VERBALE
                              
     By  order of the Soviet Government, the Embassy  of  the
Union  of Soviet Socialist Republics in Germany has the honor
to make the following statement to the German Government:
     The  People's  Commissariat for Foreign Affairs  of  the
U.S.S.R. by note verbale of April 21 [22] informed the German
Embassy  in  Moscow of the violations of the  border  of  the
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics by German aircraft, which
in the period from March 27 to April 18 of this year amounted
to 80 cases registered by the Soviet Border Guard. A reply to
the  foregoing note has not yet been received from the German
Government. On the contrary, the Soviet Government must state
that  violations  of the Soviet boundary by  German  aircraft
during  the  last two months, namely, from April 19  of  this
year  up to and including June 19 of this year, have not only
not  ceased, but are increasing and have assumed a systematic
character,  attaining  the number  of  180  in  this  period,
regarding each of which a protest was made
     
[23] For contents, see telegram No. 957 of April 21 from  the
German Charg‚ in the Soviet Union, ante, p. 328.

Page 355

by  the Soviet Border Guard to the German representatives  at
the  border. The systematic nature of these flights  and  the
fact that in several cases German aircraft penetrated 100  to
150  kilometers  and  more  into the  U.S.S.R.  preclude  the
possibility  that  these violations  of  the  border  of  the
U.S.S.R. by German aircraft could have been accidental.
     In  drawing  the attention of the German  Government  to
this  situation,  the Soviet Government  expects  the  German
Government  to  take measures toward putting an  end  to  the
violations of the Soviet border by German aircraft.
     
BERLIN, June 21, 1941.

                            *****
                              
Frame 113550, serial 105

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

                          Telegram
                              
VERY URGENT
Moscow, June 22, 1941-1:17 a. m.
Received June 22, 1941-2:30 a. m.
SECRET

No. 1424 of June 21
     
     Molotov  summoned me to his office this evening at  9:30
p.  m.  After  he  had mentioned the alleged repeated  border
violations by German aircraft, with the remark that Dekanosov
had been instructed to call on the Reich Foreign Minister  in
this matter, Molotov stated as follows:
     There  were  a  number of indications  that  the  German
Government  was  dissatisfied  with  the  Soviet  Government.
Rumors  were  even  current that a war was impending  between
Germany  and the Soviet Union. They found sustenance  in  the
fact  that  there was no reaction whatsoever on the  part  of
Germany  to the Tass report of June 13; that it was not  even
published  in  Germany. The Soviet Government was  unable  to
understand the reasons for Germany's dissatisfaction. If  the
Yugoslav  question  had  at  the  time  given  rise  to  such
dissatisfaction, he-Molotov-believed that, by  means  of  his
earlier  communications,  he had cleared  up  this  question,
which, moreover, was a thing of the past. He would appreciate
it  if  I  could tell him what had brought about the  present
situation in German-Soviet Russian relations.
     I  replied  that I could not answer his question,  as  I
lacked the per-
     
Page 356

tinent  information;  that  I would,  however,  transmit  his
communication to Berlin.

SCHULENBURG

                            *****
                              
Frame 47072-47075, serial 67

Memorandum  of  the  Conversation Between the  Reich  Foreign
     Minister and Soviet Russian Ambassador Dekanosov in  the
     Foreign Office at 4 a. m. on June 22, [1941]

Aufz. RAM 37/41
     
     The  Reich Foreign Minister began the conversation  with
the remark that the hostile attitude of the Soviet Government
toward Germany and the serious threat that Germany saw in the
Russian  concentration on the eastern border of Germany,  had
forced the Reich to military countermeasures. Dekanosov would
find  a  detailed  statement of the reasons  for  the  German
attitude  in the memorandum, which the Reich Foreign Minister
then  handed him. [23] The Reich Foreign Minister added  that
he  regretted  very  much this development in  German-Russian
relations as he in particular had made every attempt to bring
about  better  relations between the two countries.  It  had,
however,   unfortunately  transpired  that  the   ideological
conflict  between the two countries had become stronger  than
common sense, upon which he, the Reich Foreign Minister,  had
pinned  his hopes. He had nothing further, the Reich  Foreign
Minister said in conclusion to add to his remarks.
     Dekanosov  replied that he had asked  for  an  interview
with  the Reich Foreign Minister because, in the name of  the
Soviet Government, he wanted to pose a few questions that, in
his opinion, required clarification.
     The Reich Foreign Minister thereupon replied that he had
nothing  to add to what he had already stated. He  had  hoped
that the two countries would contrive a sensible relationship
with each other. He had been deceived in this great hope  for
reasons that were explained in detail in the memorandum  just
delivered. The hostile policy of the Soviet Government toward
Germany, which had reached its climax in the conclusion of  a
pact  with Yugoslavia at the very time of the German-Yugoslav
conflict,  had  been evident for a year.  At  a  moment  when
Germany  was  engaged  in  a  life-and-death  struggle,   the
attitude of Soviet-Russia, particularly the concentration  of
the  Russian  military  forces  at  the  Soviet  border,  had
presented so serious a threat to
     
[23] Not printed here.

Page 357
     
the  Reich  that  the Fhrer had to decide to  take  military
countermeasures.  The policy of compromise  between  the  two
countries had therefore been unsuccessful. This was, however,
by  no  means  the fault of the Reich Government,  which  had
carried  out  the  German-Russian treaty in detail,  but  was
attributable  rather to a hostile attitude of  Soviet  Russia
toward  Germany,  that had existed for some time.  Under  the
pressure  of  a  serious threat of a political  and  military
nature  which  was emanating from Soviet Russia  Germany  had
since this morning taken the appropriate counter-measures  in
the military sphere. The Reich Foreign Minister regretted not
to be able to add anything to these remarks, especially since
he  himself  had  had to conclude that, in spite  of  earnest
efforts,  he had not succeeded in creating sensible relations
between the two countries.
     Dekanosov  replied briefly that, for his  part  too,  he
exceedingly regretted this development, which was based on  a
completely  erroneous conception on the part  of  the  German
Government,  and, in view of this situation, he  had  nothing
further  to say except that the status of the Russian Embassy
would now be arranged with the competent German authorities.
     He thereupon took leave of the Reich Foreign Minister.
     
MINISTER SCHMIDT
BERLIN, June 22, 1941.

Page 358

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