Newsgroups: alt.revisionism Subject: The Diplomats were shocked... Organization: The Nizkor Project http://www.nizkor.org Followup-To: alt.revisionism Archive/File: holocaust/poland diplomatic.001 Last-Modified: 1994/07/10 "The diplomats were shocked when Josef Lipski, the new Polish ambassador, told everyone on January 25  that some rumored Polish-German discussions were 'only of an economic nature'; the following morning, the Polish-German non-aggression treaty was announced. ...The ten-year nonaggression treaty, concluded secretly, outside the League of Nations and behind the back of Poland's ally, France, brought Western distrust for Colonel Josef Beck, the Polish foreign minister. It is even more ironic in the light of events in 1939, when Beck's actions were a factor that prevented the Russians from closing a treaty with the French and British. The Poles refused to allow the Russians into their country in case of a German attack on Poland, and it was this which opened the door for the German-Soviet Pact, which soon destroyed Poland." (Weitz, 71) "The empty drive to reassure the world continued. Following the hollow state visit to Paris, the von Ribbentrops, accompanied by Paul Schmidt, took a private train to Poland for a state visit with Colonel Josef Beck, the Polish foreign minister, and his associates. Poland was still treated as a potential anti-Russian ally, but there were specific German 'requests' on the agenda. Earlier in January, Colonel Beck, unable to dodge it, had accepted an invitation to the Berghof. Among the requests made by Hitler, ... was the return to Germany of Danzig. In exchange, Poland could use the city as a free port. Hitler also wanted an 'extraterritorial' right-of-way for an autobahn and a railroad line across the Polish Corridor to German East Prussia. He virtually wanted to carve a slim strip of German territory across Polish soil so that Germany and East Prussia, now separated by Polish territory, could be connected. No more Polish frontier police, no more Polish customs, no Polish uniforms on German trains. The ideas were rebuffed by Joseph Beck. No matter how powerful his host and how beautiful the scenery, the suave Colonel Beck made it clear that Danzig would 'stay Polish' and that cars and trains would have to submit to Polish law when crossing Polish soil. ...von Ribbentrop had two only two aims: Danzig and the autobahn strip. Now von Ribbentrop heard the echo of the Berghof 'nay' repeated in Warsaw. Once more the answer from Poland was a firm and polite no. On the second day of the state visit, proceedings were cut short by a 'bad cold' that Beck developed overnight.<74> Hitler was infuriated by these two failures, and von Ribbontrop was mortified. According to Schmidt, he had already used hours of his famed perseverance at the Berghof to change the mind of Colonel Beck, but without an iota of success. He thought he could improve on his Berghof performance during the Warsaw visit, but he was disappointed once more. It angered him that Hitler had supported Poland's claims against Czechoslovakia and her seizure of Olsa. Was Poland still to be pampered because she was a potential ally against Soviet Russia? In von Ribbentrop's view, Poland had exhausted her credit." (Weitz, 195-196) [...] "While von Ribbentrop was signing the [Soviet-German] treaty in Moscow, Sir Nevile Henderson was delivering an urgent letter from Neville Chamberlain to Hitler at the Berghof. The letter stated that Britain would support Poland but would still help to find a solution for Anglo-German differences if Germany was prepared to open such negotiations, and that Briatain was anxious for a truce while Polish-German differences regarding the treatment of minorities were being discussed. Hitler's first reaction was intermperate and negative. His second reaction was calm and negative. For the patient Henderson, he trotted out the false allegation that 100,000 'Germans' had now fled from Polish brutality, and once again presented himself as the world protector of all the people he alone decided were 'Germans,' no matter how remote their national or racial bonds. He said he realized it might mean war to 'protect German interests' but he would rather 'fight a war at fifty than one at fifty-six,<101> He hinted that Britain had incited Czechoslovakia and was doing the same to Poland. While von Ribbentrop was proposing friendly toasts in faraway Moscow, Ernst von Weizaecker and Walter Hewel were in the Berghof as witnesses to this display of Hitler's intransigence. Sir Nevile Henderson's memoirs treated the German Fuehrer with more objectivity than he deserved. He wrote, 'When Hitler comes up before the bar of the Last Judgement, he will certainly argue with apparently complete self-conviction that he could have spared the horrors of war if the Poles had accepted his reasonable and generous conditions. It will, I submit, be false.' The British guarantee to Poland of earlier in the year was transformed into a full treat on August 25, and Hitler originally planned Case White, his invasion of Poland, for August 26." (Weitz, 213-214) <74> J. von Ribbentrop, Zwischen London und Moskau. (Annelies von Ribbentrop, ed. Leoni am Starnberger: Druffel, 1953). p. 160 <101> Henderson, Nevile. Failure of a Mission: Berlin 1937-1939. New York: Putnam, 1940. p. 270 Work Cited Weitz, John. Hitler's Diplomat: The Life and Times of Joachim von Ribbentrop.New York: Ticknor & Fields, 1992.
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