Archive/File: orgs/german/foreign-office/soviet-relations-documents.004 Last-Modified: 1997/10/19 Page 110 IV. GERMAN-SOVIET CO-OPERATION, OCTOBER 2, 1939-MAY 29, 1940 ***** Frames 111659-111660, serial 103 The Reich Foreign Minister to the German Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Schulenburg) Telegram BERLIN, October 2, 1939. No. 475 For the Ambassador. Please inform Molotov at once that according to reports I have received the Turkish Government would hesitate to conclude an assistance pact with France and England, if the Soviet Union emphatically opposed it. In my opinion, as already stated several times, it would also be in the Russian interest, on account of the question of the Straits, to forestall a tie-up of Turkey with England and France. I was therefore particularly anxious for the Russian Government to proceed in that direction, in order to dissuade Turkey from the final conclusion of assistance pacts with the Western powers and to settle this at once in Moscow. No doubt, the best solution at the moment would be the return of Turkey to a policy of absolute neutrality while confirming existing Russian-Turkish agreements. Prompt and final diversion of Turkey from the projected Anglo-French treaty, said to have been recently initialed, would also clearly be in keeping with the peace offensive agreed upon in Moscow, as thereby another country would withdraw from the Anglo-French camp. RIBBENTROP ***** Frame 111660, serial 103 The Reich Foreign Minister to the German Ambassador in Turkey (Papen) Telegram BERLIN, October 2, 1939. No. 352 Ambassador Schulenburg received the following instructions: Insert text of [preceding telegram]. End of instruction. Page 111 I request that you, for your part, likewise do your best to forestall the final conclusion of the assistance pact between Turkey and the Western powers. In this matter you also might point to the strong Russian aversion to a unilateral commitment of Turkey and explain that the conclusion of the assistance pact under present war conditions would necessarily be viewed differently by Germany than before the outbreak of the war. ***** Frame 233367, serial 495 Memorandum by the State Secretary in the German Foreign Office (WeizsĄcker) BERLIN, October 2, 1939. St. S. Nr. 769 The Finnish Minister today requested me to clarify the significance of the arrangement of spheres of influence between Germany and Russia; he was particularly interested in knowing what effect the Moscow agreements might have on Finland. I reminded the Minister that a short time ago Finland, as is well known, had rejected our proposal to conclude a non- aggression pact. Perhaps this was now regretted in Helsinki. For the rest, now as then it is the wish of Germany to live with Finland on the best and most friendly terms and, particularly in the economic sphere, to effect as extensive an exchange of goods as possible. If Herr Wuorimaa felt uneasy about Finland because of the Estonian incident and Herr Munters'  trip to Moscow, announced today, I would have to tell him that I was not informed as to Moscow's policies vis-Ö-vis Finland. But I felt that worries over Finland at this time are not warranted. The Minister then spoke of the Ciano visit. In this connection I remarked that after the completion of the Polish campaign we had undoubtedly arrived at an important juncture in the war. The announced convocation of the Reichstag pointed to a statement from the Government in which the idea would surely be expressed that we regarded as senseless any opening of real hostilities in the West. Of course, should the Western powers fail to seize the opportunity for peace, one would probably have to resign oneself to a bitter struggle. WEIZSéCKER  Latvian Foreign minister. Page 112 ***** Frame 111663-111664, serial 103 The German Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Schulenburg) to the German Foreign Office Telegram VERY URGENT Moscow, October 3, 1939-7:04 p. m. Received October 3, 1939-11:10 p. m. STRICTLY SECRET No. 463 of October 3 Molotov summoned me to his office at 2 p. m. today, in order to communicate to me the following: The Soviet Government would tell the Lithuanian Foreign Minister, who arrives today, that, within the framework of an amicable settlement of mutual relations (probably similar to the one with Estonia), the Soviet Government was willing to cede the city of Vilna and its environs to Lithuania, while at the same time the Soviet Government would indicate to Lithuania that it must cede the well-known portion of its territory to Germany. Molotov inquired what formal procedure we had in mind for carrying this out. His idea was the simultaneous signing of a Soviet-Lithuanian protocol on Vilna and a German-Lithuanian protocol on the Lithuanian area to be ceded to us. I replied that this suggestion did not appeal to me. It seemed to me more logical that the Soviet Government should exchange Vilna for the strip to be ceded to us and then hand this strip over to us. Molotov did not seem quite in accord with my proposal but was willing to let me ask for the viewpoint of my Government and give him a reply by tomorrow noon. Molotov's suggestion seems to me harmful, as in the eyes of the world it would make us appear as "robbers" of Lithuanian territory, while the Soviet Government figures as the donor. As I see it, only my suggestion enters into consideration at all. However, I would ask you to consider whether it might not be advisable for us, by a separate secret German-Soviet protocol, to forego the cession of the Lithuanian strip of territory until the Soviet Union actually incorporates Lithuania, an idea on which, I believe, the arrangement concerning Lithuania was originally based. SCHULENBURG Page 113 ***** Frame 111666, serial 103 The German Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Schulenburg) to the German Foreign Office URGENT MOSCOW October 3, 1939-8:08 p. m. Received October 3, 1939-11:10 p. m. STRICTLY SECRET No. 464 of October 3 Reference your telegram of the 2d No. 475. I informed Molotov in detail of the contents of your instruction. Molotov stated that the Soviet Government shared our trend of thought and was proceeding in that direction. However, it appeared that Turkey had already become rather closely involved with England and France. The Soviet Government would continue to try to rectify or "neutralize" matters in our sense. The Afghan Ambassador, with whom I spoke today, claimed to know that the Soviet Government demanded of Turkey absolute neutrality and the closing of the Straits. Molotov himself said that the negotiations were still under way. When I mentioned the rumors that England and France intended to assault Greece and overrun Bulgaria in order to set up a Balkan front, Molotov asserted spontaneously that the Soviet Government would never tolerate pressure on Bulgaria. SCHULENBURG ***** Frame 11665, serial 103 The Reich Foreign Minister to the German Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Schulenburg) STRICTLY SECRET BERLIN, October 4, 1939. No. 488 Reference your telegram No. 463. I, too, do not consider the method Molotov suggested for the cession of the Lithuanian strip of territory as suitable. On the contrary, please ask Molotov not to discuss this cession of territory with the Lithuanians at present, but rather to have the Soviet Government assume the obligation toward Germany to leave this strip of territory unoccupied in the event of a posting of Soviet forces in Lithuania, Page 114 which may possibly be contemplated, and furthermore to leave it to Germany to determine the date on which the cession of the territory should be formally effected. An understanding to this effect should be set forth in a secret exchange of letters between yourself and Molotov. Reich Foreign Minister [Notes:] As directed by the Reich Foreign Minister, this telegram is being dispatched at once with his signature. Gaus, October 4. I telephoned the contents of the telegram in veiled language at 11 a. m. to Count Schulenburg. He fully understood the instruction. G[aus], October 4. ***** Frames 254871-254872, serial 644 The German Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Schulenburg) to the German Foreign Office Telegram VERY URGENT Moscow, October 5, 1939-12:30 a. m. STRICTLY SECRET No. 470 of October 4 Reference my telegram No. 463 of October 3. Immediately after Under State Secretary Gaus' first telephone call I transmitted to Molotov this morning the request not to divulge to the Lithuanian Foreign Minister anything regarding the German-Soviet understanding concerning Lithuania. Molotov asked me to see him at 5 p. m. and told me, that, unfortunately, he had been obliged yesterday to inform the Lithuanian Foreign Minister of this understanding, since he could not, out of loyalty to us, act otherwise. The Lithuanian delegation had been extremely dismayed and sad; they had declared that the loss of this area in particular would be especially hard to bear, since many prominent leaders of the Lithuanian people came from that part of Lithuania. This morning at 8 a. m. the Lithuanian Foreign Minister had flown back to Kowno, intending to return to Moscow in one or two days. I said that I would immediately notify my Government by telephone, whereupon I called Herr Gaus. An hour later Molotov informed me that Stalin personally requested the German Government not to insist for the moment upon the cession of the strip of Lithuanian territory. SCHULENBURG Page 115 ***** Frames 69687-69689, serial 127 The Reich Foreign Minister to the German Ambassador in the Soviet Union, (Schulenburg) Telegram VERY URGENT BERLIN, October 5, 1939-3:43 a. m. Received Moscow, October 5, 1939-11:55 a. m. STRICTLY SECRET No. 497 of October 4 Referring to today's telephonic communication from the Ambassador. Legation in Kowno is being instructed as follows: 1) Solely for your personal information, I am apprising you of the following: At the time of the signing of the German-Russian Non-aggression Pact on August 23, a strictly secret delimitation of the respective spheres of influence in Eastern Europe was also undertaken. In accordance therewith, Lithuania was to belong to the German sphere of influence, while in the territory of the former Polish state, the so- called Four-River Line, Pissa-Narew-Vistula-San, was to constitute the border. Even then I demanded that the district of Vilna go to Lithuania, to which the Soviet Government consented. At the negotiations concerning the Boundary and Friendship Treaty on September 28, the settlement was amended to the extent that Lithuania, including the Vilna area, was included in the Russian sphere of influence, for which in turn, in the Polish area, the province of Lublin and large portions of the province of Warsaw, including the pocket of territory of Suwalki, fell within the German sphere of influence. Since, by the inclusion of the Suwalki tract in the German sphere of influence, a difficulty in drawing the border line resulted, we agreed that in case the Soviets should take special measures in Lithuania, a small strip of territory in the southwest of Lithuania, accurately marked on the map, should fall to Germany. 2) Today Count von der Schulenburg reports that Molotov, contrary to our own intentions, notified the Lithuanian Foreign Minister last night of the confidential arrangement. Please now, on your part, inform the Lithuanian Government, orally and in strict confidence, of the matter, as follows: As early as at the signing of the German-Soviet Non- aggression Pact of August 23, in order to avoid complications in Eastern Europe, conversations were held between ourselves and the Soviet Government concerning the delimitation of German and Soviet spheres of influence. In these conversations I had recommended restoring the Vilna dis- Page 116 trict to Lithuania, to which the Soviet Government gave me its consent. In the negotiations concerning the Boundary and Friendship Treaty of September 28, as is apparent from the German-Soviet boundary demarcation which was published, the pocket of territory of Suwalki jutting out between Germany and Lithuania had fallen to Germany. As this created an intricate and impractical boundary, I had reserved for Germany a border correction in this area, whereby a small strip of Lithuanian territory would fall to Germany. The reward of Vilna to Lithuania was maintained in these negotiations also. You are now authorized to make it known to the Lithuanian Government that the Reich Government does not consider the question of this border revision timely at this moment. We make the proviso, however, that the Lithuanian Government treat this matter as strictly confidential. End of instruction for Kowno. I request you to inform Herr Molotov of our communication to the Lithuanian Government. Further, please request of him, as already indicated in the preceding telegram, that the border strip of Lithuanian territory involved be left free in the event of a possible posting of Soviet troops in Lithuania and also that it be left to Germany to determine the date of the implementing of the agreement concerning the cession to Germany of the territory involved. Both of these points at issue should be set forth in a secret exchange of letters between yourself and Molotov. RIBBENTROP ***** Frames 235040-235041, serial 506 Memorandum by the State Secretary in the German Foreign Office (WeizsĄcker) SECRET BERLIN, October 5, 1939. St. S. Nr. 786 The Lithuanian Minister called on me this evening in order, as was expected, to inquire about German claims to a strip of land in southwestern Lithuania. Herr Skirpa, however, even when he entered, had a friendlier appearance than was to be expected. For Minister Zechlin  had in the meantime delivered information in Kowno as instructed, so that I did not need to go any further into the questions that Herr Skirpa put. I restricted myself to a brief mention of today's telegraphic instructions to Herr Zechlin.  Since Herr Skirpa  German Minister in Lithuania.  see supra. Page 117 expressed to me the satisfaction of his Government that we had withdrawn our claim, I stressed that the announcement of our need was "not at the moment pressing." (It is noteworthy that Herr Skirpa knew and traced exactly on the map of Poland that happened to be spread out before us the line agreed upon by us in our secret protocol with the Russians.) The Minister then gave the further information that the Russians expected to get an assistance pact with Lithuania as well as permission to station Russian garrisons, at the same time agreeing in principle to the joining [Anschluss] of Vilna and environs to Lithuania. Herr Skirpa asked me if I had any ideas or suggestions to give in this regard. I stated that I was not informed and added that in connection with our negotiations in Moscow German interests had not been claimed beyond the Russo-German line in the east known to Herr Skirpa. In conclusion the Minister asked to be given any possible suggestions. Herr Urbsys  was still remaining in Kowno today and tomorrow; he himself-Skirpa-was at the disposal of the Reich Foreign Minister at any time. WEIZSéCKER  Lithuanian Foreign Minister. ***** Frames 111680-111681, serial 103 The Reich Foreign Minister to the German Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Schulenburg) Telegram VERY URGENT BERLIN, October 7, 1939. No. 518 I am receiving reliable reports from Istanbul to the effect that Russo-Turkish negotiations might yet lead to the signing of a mutual assistance pact. Hence I request you to call on Herr Molotov immediately and to emphasize strongly once more how much we would regret it if the Soviet Government were unable to dissuade Turkey from concluding a treaty with England and France or to induce her to adopt all unequivocal neutrality. In the event that the Soviet Government itself cannot avoid concluding a mutual assistance pact with Turkey, we would regard it as a foregone conclusion that she would make a reservation in the pact whereby the pact would not obligate the Soviet Government to any kind of assistance aimed directly or indirectly against Germany. Indeed, Stalin himself prom- Page 118 ised this. Without such a reservation, the Soviet Government, as has been previously stressed, would commit an outright breach of the Non-aggression Pact concluded with Germany. It would, moreover, not suffice to make this reservation only tacitly or confidentially. On the contrary, we must insist that it be formally stipulated in such a manner that the public will notice it. Otherwise a very undesirable impression would be created on the public, and such an act would be apt to shake the confidence of the German public in the effectiveness of the new German-Russian agreements. Please take this opportunity to inform yourself on the other details concerning the status of the Russo-Turkish negotiations and to find out what is to be agreed upon between the two Governments in regard to the question of the Straits. Report by wire. Reich Foreign Minister Note: I communicated the contents of this instruction to Count Schulenburg this afternoon by telephone. The transmission was very good. Count Schulenburg said he had just come from Molotov, who had told him that he had not talked with the Turkish delegation since Sunday. Hence our warning certainly arrived in time. I replied that Count Schulenburg should nevertheless lose no time, as it was a matter of decisive importance, and the reports received here pointed to a rather advanced stage in the negotiations. Accordingly, Count Schulenburg is to call on Molotov again tomorrow morning. ***** Frame 0318, serial F 2 The Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars of the Soviet Union (Molotov) to the German Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Schulenburg) SECRET Moscow, October 8, 1939. MR. AMBASSADOR: I have the honor hereby to confirm that in connection with the secret supplementary protocol, concluded on September 29 , 1939, between the U.S.S.R. and Germany, concerning Lithuania, the following understanding exists between us: 1) The Lithuanian territory mentioned in the protocol and marked on the map attached to the protocol shall not be occupied in case forces of the Red Army should be stationed [in Lithuania]; 2) It shall be left to Germany to determine the date for the implementing of the agreement concerning the cession to Germany of the above-mentioned Lithuanian territory. Page 119 Please accept, Mr. Ambassador, the expression of my highest consideration. W. MOLOTOW ***** Frames 357061-357062, serial 1369 Foreign Office Memorandum [October ?, 1939.] OUTLINES FOR MY CONVERSATIONS IN MOSCOW 1) The credit and trade treaty of August 19 of this year is not to be tampered with from either side. However, for our benefit, we must attempt to obtain a more expeditious delivery of raw materials (180 million Reichsmarks). 2) My principal task in the negotiations will be to find out whether Russia, over and above the treaty of August 19, 1939, could and would compensate for the loss in imports by sea and to what extent this might be done. The military and civil agencies have handed me a schedule of requirements totaling 70 million marks of immediate additional supplies. (Enclosure 1. ) The requests which I shall present in Moscow will go far beyond this schedule, as the German war needs are several times as great as the proposal of the Departments for the negotiations. (See enclosure 2. ) But the relatively modest schedule of departmental requirements shows how low the actual capacity of Russia for supplying raw materials is estimated. The reasons are inadequacies of transportation, of organization, of production methods, etc. 3) The plan to be proposed to the Russians would be as follows: Apart from the treaty of August 19, 1939, the Soviet Union shall supply us X millions worth of raw materials, both such as are produced in Russia and such as Russia buys for us from other neutrals. The German quid pro quo for these raw materials could not follow at once, but would have to take the form of a supply and investment program, to extend over a period of about five years. Within this time we would be prepared, in order to meet our obligations arising from Russian deliveries of raw material, to set up plants in Russia in accordance with a large-scale program to be agreed upon. (See enclosure 3. )  Not printed. Page 120 4) Within the framework of purely economic negotiations, the difficulties actually existing in Russia cannot be overcome, especially as we demand of the Russians performance in advance. A positive achievement can really only be expected, if an appropriate directive is issued by the highest Russian authorities, in the spirit of the political attitude toward us. In that respect these negotiations will be a test of whether and how far Stalin is prepared to draw practical conclusions from the new political course. The raw materials deliveries requested by us can only be carried out, in view of the unsatisfactory domestic supply situation of Russia, at the expense of their own Russian consumption. 5) Depending on the result of my conversations, it will be necessary that the raw materials program be taken up again from the strictly political point of view by a qualified personage. 6) In the Moscow negotiations it should furthermore be ascertained to what extent our imports heretofore made from Iran, Afghanistan, Manchuria, and Japan, can be transmitted via Russia. SCHNURRE ***** Frame 111684, serial 103 The German Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Schulenburg) to the German Foreign Office Telegram VERY URGENT MOSCOW, October 9, 1939-12:30 a. m. Received October 9, 1939-3 a. m. No. 493 of October 8 Reference your telegram of the 7th No. 518. Molotov stated this evening at 9 p. m. that since October 1 no meeting had [taken place] with the Turkish Foreign Minister and that the outcome of the negotiations cannot as yet be surmised. Molotov expressed the view that in all likelihood a mutual assistance pact with Turkey would not be concluded. But under any circumstances the interests of Germany and the special nature of German-Soviet relations would be upheld. Molotov explained that the Soviet Government was pursuing the aim of inducing Turkey to adopt full neutrality and to close the Dardanelles, as well as to aid in maintaining peace in the Balkans. SCHULENBURG Page 121 ***** Frame 233368, serial 495 Memorandum by the State Secretary in the German Foreign Office (WeizsĄcker) BERLIN, October 9, 1939. St. S. Nr. 793 The Finnish Minister had announced a visit today to the Reich Foreign Minister. On the latter's instructions I received Herr Wuorimaa this afternoon. He presented the following facts: By virtue of the developments in the Baltic States, Russia had now penetrated so far into the Baltic that the balance of power there had been upset, and predominance threatened to pass to Russia. The lack of interest in this matter on the part of Germany had attracted attention in Finland, since there was reason there to assume that Russia intended to make demands on Finland identical with those made on the Baltic States. The Finnish Government had requested of Wuorimaa that he find out whether Germany remains indifferent to Russia's forward thrust in this direction and, should that not prove to be the case, to learn what stand Germany intends to take. The Minister added that, on her part, Finland had tried her best during the last few weeks to regulate her commercial relations with Germany and maintain them on a normal basis and to carry out the policy of neutrality desired by Germany also. I answered the Minister in the sense of the enclosed instructions to Helsinki.  Wuorimaa asked me to call him if we had anything further to add. From the words of the Minister it could be inferred that the Finnish Government was rather disturbed over the Russian demands and would not submit to oppression as did Estonia and Latvia. As regards this attitude on the part of the Minister I merely said that I hoped and wished that Finland might settle matters with Russia in a peaceful manner. WEIZSéCKER  Infra. ( not used? LWJ) Page 122 ***** Frames 233369, serial 495 The State Secretary in the German Foreign Office (WeizsĄcker) to the German Minister in Finland (BlĀcher) Telegram BERLIN, October 9, 1939. No.  In connection with telegraphic instruction No. 322.  The Finnish Minister, who will call today at the Foreign Office, is to receive the following information: Our relationship to the three Baltic States rests on the well-known non-aggression pacts; our relationship to Denmark likewise. Norway and Sweden have declined non-aggression pacts with us, since they do not feel endangered by us and since they have hitherto not concluded any non-aggression pacts at all. Finland, to be sure, has such a pact with Russia, but declined our offer nevertheless. We regretted this circumstance, but were and are of the opinion that our traditionally good and friendly relations with Finland do not require any special political agreements. With this absence of problems in the German-Finnish relations it is very easy to understand why in his utterances of October 6th-concerned for the greater part with our neighbors-the FĀhrer did not mention Finland at all, just as he did not mention many other greater and smaller states. From this it only follows that between us there are no points of difference. In Moscow, where in the negotiations of the Reich Foreign Minister, German-Russian relations were discussed in broad political outline and where a treaty of friendship came into being, the well-known definitive line of demarcation was fixed. West of this line lie the German interests, east of it we have registered no interests. We are therefore not informed as to what demands Russia intends to make on Finland. We presume, however, that these demands would not be too far-reaching. For this reason alone a German stand on the question becomes superfluous. But after the developments cited above we would hardly be in a position, in any case, to intervene in the Russian-Finnish conversations. WEIZSéCKER  Not printed. Page 123 ***** Frame 235081, serial 506 Memorandum by the State Secretary in the German Foreign Office (WeizsĄcker) St. S. Nr. 795 BERLIN, October 9, 1939. The Swedish Minister called on me today to tell me that a serious situation would arise in the Baltic region if Russia were to make demands on Finland which threatened the independence and autonomy of Finland. The Minister wished to inform me of the preceding with reference to the close relations between Sweden and Finland. It should not be forgotten that, in contrast to Estonia and Latvia, strong and vigorous forces were in power in Finland, who would not submit to Russian oppression. I replied to the Minister that nothing was known to me about the probable Russian demands on Finland. To my knowledge the word Finland had not been mentioned in connection with the visit of the Reich Foreign Minister to Moscow. The situation was that we had not put forth any claims to any interests east of the well-known line. I should, however, assume that Russia would not set forth any wishes that were too far-reaching as against Finland and that, therefore, a peaceable solution could be found. WEIZSéCKER ***** Frame 214964, serial 407 The German Minister in Finland (BlĀcher) to the German Foreign Office Telegram VERY URGENT HELSINKI, October 10, 1939-9:30 p. m. Received October 10, 1939-12 midnight. No. 287 of October 10 All indications are that if Russia will not confine its demands to islands in the Gulf of Finland, Finland will offer armed resistance. The consequences for our war economy would be grave. Not only food and timber exports, but also indispensable copper and molybdenum exports from Finland to Germany would cease. For this reason I suggest you intercede with Russian Government in the sense that it should not go beyond a demand for the islands. BLöCHER Page 124 ***** Frame 233342, serial 495 Memorandum by the State Secretary in the German Foreign Office (WeizsĄcker) CONFIDENTIAL BERLIN, October 12, 1939. St. S. Nr. 800 The Bulgarian Minister, supplementing his recent conversation with the Reich Foreign Minister, informed me today of the following: The suggestions recently made by Molotov to the Bulgarian Government concerning a Russian-Bulgarian agreement were not clear at first. Later it became evident that Molotov was thinking of a Russian-Bulgarian mutual assistance pact in the event of attack by a third power. This suggestion was rejected in Sofia. To my question why Bulgaria did not accept it, Draganoff offered as his own conjecture the following: Up to now Bulgaria had never concluded any treaty of alliance of this kind, not even with Germany, to whom she has for long had close ties. Probably his Government did not, for this reason, wish to swerve from this principle nor, above all, conclude a mutual assistance pact with Russia first. Draganoff then went on to say that the Bulgarian Government made the following counter proposal: Bulgaria was ready to conclude a treaty of non-aggression or friendship with Russia if Moscow would present concrete proposals of this kind. A reply to this has not as yet reached Sofia. I thanked the Ambassador for the information and promised to transmit it to the Reich Foreign Minister. WEIZSéCKER ***** Frames 69672-69675, serial 127 The Reich Foreign Minister to the German Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Schulenburg) Telegram BERLIN, October 18, 1939-12:40 a. m. Received Moscow, October 18, 1939-10:05 a. m. No. 594 of October 17 For the Ambassador in person. At an occasion soon to arise, I intend to speak in public about the foreign political situation and shall then, with reference to Chamberlain's last speech, deal with the future aims of England and the British propaganda of lies. In this connection I would also like to refute a lie Page 125 recently circulated in quite specific form by the enemy press, alleging that during my stay in Moscow I had asked the Soviet Union for military assistance, but had met with an outright refusal. I propose to say on this subject approximately the following: "In its grave disappointment at the recent development in the international situation, which has been strongly influenced by the establishment of friendly relations between Germany and the Soviet Union, British propaganda has left nothing untried to discredit and disturb this development and German-Russian relations. In its well-known manner, it stopped at nothing and has made use of the grossest and most absurd lies. Thus, for instance, it has circulated the statement that in the Moscow negotiations I had asked Herr Stalin for military assistance against Poland, France, and England. To this, Herr Stalin, however, is said to have given only the tart reply: 'Not a single soldier.' But what in reality was the course of these Moscow negotiations? Let me reveal it to you: "I came to Moscow on August 23 for the purpose of negotiating and concluding in the name of the FĀhrer, a non- aggression pact with the Soviet Union. I commenced the negotiations with Stalin and Molotov with the statement that I had not come to Moscow, as the British and French delegates had come at the time, to ask the Soviet Union for armed assistance in case a war should be forced upon the German Government by England. The German Government was not in need of assistance for this contingency, but would, in this event, have sufficient military strength to take up the struggle alone against Poland and its Western foes and to carry it to a victorious conclusion. To this, Stalin, with his characteristic clarity and precision, replied spontaneously: 'Germany was taking a proud attitude by rejecting at the outset any armed assistance from the Soviets. The Soviet Union, however, was interested in having a strong Germany as a neighbor and in the case of an armed showdown between Germany and the Western democracies the interests of the Soviet Union and of Germany would certainly run parallel to each other. The Soviet Union would never stand for Germany's getting into a difficult position.' I thereupon thanked Stalin for his clear and precise statement and told him that I would report to the FĀhrer on this broad-minded attitude of the Soviet Government. Thus the German-Russian negotiations were opened and this exchange of views created from the outset a broadminded and friendly climate, in which within 24 hours the Non-aggression Pact and, in the course of further developments, at the end of September, the Boundary and Friendship Treaty were concluded. Upon the political foundation, it was likewise decided immediately to inaugurate a comprehensive economic program, the implementation of which is now being discussed at Moscow. Germany has need of the raw materials of the Soviet Union and the Soviet Union has need of manufactured articles. There is no reason why the flourishing trade of the past between the two nations should not soon revive. On the Page 126 contrary, I am firmly convinced that the former traditional friendship between Germany and Russia has now been restored, and that it will grow stronger and stronger and that the exchange of goods, which is complementary by nature, will result in an undreamed-of prosperity for both nations in the future. Upon the same political foundation, the German-Soviet declaration of September 28, 1939, has also been agreed upon, to the effect that both Governments would work toward the restoration of peace upon conclusion of the Polish campaign. In case these efforts should fail-as they have-the responsibility of England and France for the continuation of the war would be established and at the same time provision would be made for a consultation between the Government of the Reich and the Soviet Government, in this contingency, on the necessary measures to be taken. These consultations are now under way and are proceeding in the same friendly spirit as the Moscow negotiations, and on the firm basis of kindred interests. In this connection, we expect an early visit of Herr Molotov to Berlin. I believe that this brief account is sufficient to sink once and for all the whole raft of lies of the British Ministry of Lies and the other blundering propaganda centers of our enemies, about the present German- Russian negotiations and the future pattern of relations between the two greatest countries of Europe." Please inform Herr Stalin as promptly as possible of the account of the Moscow negotiations as given above and wire me his approval. RIBBENTROP ***** Frame 69660, serial 127 The German Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Schulenburg) to the German Foreign Office Telegram URGENT Moscow, October 19, 1939. No. 568 of October 19 Reference your telegram No. 594 of October 17. Molotov today informed me that Stalin approved the account of the negotiations in Moscow that the Reich Foreign Minister contemplates making in his forthcoming speech. He only asked that instead of the sentences quoted as the statement of Stalin: "Germany was taking a proud attitude . . . " up to " . . . getting into a difficult position," the following version be adopted: "The attitude of Germany in declining military aid commands respect. However, a strong Germany is the absolute prerequisite for peace in Europe, whence it follows that the Soviet Union is interested in the existence of a strong Germany. Therefore the Soviet Union cannot give its approval to Page 127 the Western powers creating conditions which would weaken Germany and place her in a difficult position. Therein lies the community of interests between Germany and the Soviet Union." SCHULENBURG ***** Frame 111764, serial 103 Memorandum by the State Secretary in the German Foreign Office (WeizsĄcker) St. S. Nr. 864 BERLIN, November 1, 1939. Field Marshal GĒring, Grand Admiral Raeder and Colonel General Keitel, independently of each other, have told me that the Russian delegation in Berlin expected too much in the way of inspection and procurement of German materials of war. Colonel General Keitel told me it was the FĀhrer's opinion that materials regularly issued to troops could be shown to the Russians; what might be sold, we had to decide ourselves. Things in the testing stage or otherwise secret should not be shown to the Russians. WEIZSéCKER ***** Frame 111828, serial 103 The State Secretary in the German Foreign Office (WeizsĄcker) to German Missions Abroad  Telegram BERLIN, December 2, 1939. Pol. VI 2651 In your conversations regarding the Finnish-Russian conflict please avoid any anti-Russian note. According to whom you are addressing, the following arguments are to be employed: The inescapable course of events in the revision of the treaties following the last Great War. The natural requirement of Russia for increased security of Leningrad and the entrance to the Gulf of Finland. The foreign policy pursued by the Finnish Government has in the last few years stressed the idea of neutrality. It has relied on the Scandinavian states and has treated German- Russian opposition as axiomatic. As a result Finland has avoided any rapprochement with Germany and has even rejected the conclusion of a non-aggression pact with Germany as compromising, even though  As indicated on an accompanying list; list not printed. Page 128 Finland has a non-aggression pact with Russia. Also in the League of Nations, Finland, in spite of the debt of gratitude which she owed to Germany for the latter's help in 1918, has never come out for German interests. Foreign Minister Holsti is typical of this point of view and particularly hostile to Germany. Extensive elements in Finland emphasize their economic and ideological orientation in the direction of democratic England. Correspondingly the attitude of most of the organs of the press is out-spokenly unfriendly to us. The platonic sympathy of England has confirmed Finland in her previous attitude and has done the country no good. WEIZSéCKER ***** Frame 111834, serial 103 Memorandum by the State Secretary in the German Foreign Office (WeizsĄcker) St. S. Nr. 949 BERLIN, December 5, 1939. Colonel General Keitel telephoned me today on the following matter: Lately there have been repeated wrangles on the boundary between Russia and the Government General, into which the army, too, was drawn. The expulsion of Jews into Russian territory, in particular, did not proceed as smoothly as had apparently been expected. In practice, the procedure was, for example, that at a quiet place in the woods, a thousand Jews were expelled across the Russian border; 15 kilometers away, they came back, with the Russian commander trying to force the German one to readmit the group. As it was a case involving foreign policy, the O. K. W. was not able to issue directives to the Governor General in the matter. Naval Captain BĀrkner will get in touch with the desk officer at the Foreign Office. Colonel General Keitel asked me to arrange for a favorable outcome of this interview. WEIZSéCKER ***** Frame 111835, serial 103 Memorandum by the State Secretary in the German Foreign Office (WeizsĄcker) St. S. Nr. 950 BERLIN, December 5, 1939. Colonel General Keitel called me on the telephone today to say that the Russian schedule of requests for deliveries of German products was growing more and more voluminous and unreasonable. The negotia- Page 129 tions with the Russians would necessarily, therefore, become more and more difficult. The Russians, for example, wanted machine tools for the manufacture of munitions, while the O. K. W. could not spare such machine tools in the present state of the war under any circumstances. The same was true in respect to supplies of air and naval war materiel. I confirmed to Colonel General Keitel that the Foreign Office, too, intended to put a curb on Russian demands. We had not yet quite made up our mind how to do it, whether in Moscow or here through the Russian Ambassador. The Reich Foreign Minister, too, had yet to be informed. In conclusion, Colonel General Keitel said that he was willing, either through General Thomas or by his own participation, to bring about a meeting, if necessary. WEIZSéCKER ***** Frames 111836-111837, serial 103 The State Secretary in the German Foreign Office (WeizsĄcker) to the German Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Schulenburg) Telegram No. 1003 BERLIN, December 6, 1939. Supplement to Instruction Poll VI 2651, Item II. Supplementing telegraphic instruction of December 2,  the following additional instruction was issued today to all the important missions: In conversations regarding the Finnish-Russian conflict, you are requested to make use of the following considerations: Only a few weeks ago Finland was about to come to an understanding with Russia, which might have been achieved by a prudent Finnish policy. An appeal to the League of Nations by the Finnish Government is the least suitable way of solving the crisis. There is no doubt that British influence on the Finnish Government-partly operating through Scandinavian capitals- induced the Finnish Government to reject Russian proposals and thereby brought on the present conflict. England's guilt in the Russo-Finnish conflict should be especially emphasized.  Ante, p. 127. ( not used? LWJ) Page 130 Germany is not involved in these events. In conversations, sympathy is to be expressed for the Russian point of view. Please refrain from expressing any sympathy for the Finnish position. End of telegraphic instruction. WEIZSéCKER ***** Frames 395-393, serial F 18 Memorandum by the Reich Foreign Minister RAM Nr. 60 BERLIN, December 11, 1939. I. I asked the Russian Ambassador to see me today at 5 p.m. At the beginning of our conversation, I indicated to Herr Shkvartsev the inappropriateness of the report given out by the Tass agency yesterday, dealing with alleged armament supplies by Germany to Finland. I stressed the fact that this report had been denied yesterday by German sources. All the more did I regret that this report, apparently launched from English sources via Sweden and only designed to create discord between Germany and the Soviet Union, has been taken up in so striking a fashion by the official Russian agency. On the armaments business with Finland I made the following suggestions to him: 1) Germany had before the commencement of hostilities last summer contracted with Finland for the supply of certain anti-aircraft guns in exchange for nickel shipments from Finland. After the hostilities began, further shipments ceased. 2) The Italian Government had inquired in October whether Germany was willing to permit the transit of fifty aircraft to Finland. At that time the threat of military measures between Russia and Finland could not yet be foreseen. Therefore, the German Government had, to be sure, refused transit by air, but raised no objection to transit by rail. The Italian Government, however, did not refer to this matter again, and neither the Italians nor the Finns made requests for a transit permit for the planes. 3) Some time ago an application was made to ship certain war materials for Finland from Belgium through Germany. This application, too, had been rejected. I was now asking the Russian Ambassador to inform his Government of the foregoing and to point out that with publications such as the Tass report mentioned, only England's game was being played. England was behind Finland and according to intelligence received, England was also responsible for the failure of the Russo-Finnish negotiations last November. I should be grateful if the Russian Government would cause the Tass agency, before releasing such reports in the future, first to get in touch either with the German Embassy in Page 131 Moscow or with Berlin, in order that such unpleasant incidents might be avoided. The Russian Ambassador showed appreciation of my viewpoint and promised to report to his Government accordingly. II. I then spoke to the Russian Ambassador about the extensive demands for military supplies put forward by the Russian trade delegation. I wanted to say beforehand, that I had given instructions to comply with the Russian requests in any conceivable way, within the limits of possibility. But it should not be forgotten that Germany was at war and that certain things were simply not possible. As I had since been told, a new basis had been found in the meantime, upon which the further negotiations can soon be concluded in Moscow, between the newly arrived Russian delegation and our negotiators. I asked the Russian Ambassador, however, to point out in Moscow, that from the German side everything humanly possible has been done and that beyond that one could not go. The Russian Ambassador promised to report to Moscow in this sense and stressed the point that from the Russian side any military information obtained here by the Russian delegation would, of course, be kept secret. I told the Russian Ambassador that we had complete confidence in the Russian promises, but it should be understood by the Russians that there was certain material that we could not supply during the war. RIBBENTROP ***** Frames 213-208, serial F 18 Foreign Office Memorandum STATE SECRET W 1027/40 g. Rs. MEMORANDUM ON THE GERMAN-SOVIET COMMERCIAL AGREEMENT SIGNED ON FEBRUARY 11, 1940 The Agreement is based on the correspondence-mentioned in the preamble-between the Reich Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars, Molotov, dated September 28, 1939.  The Agreement represents the first great step toward the economic program envisaged by both sides and is to be followed by others. 1. The Agreement covers a period of 27 months, i. e., the Soviet deliveries, which are to be made within 18 months, will be compen-  Ante, pp. 108-109. Page 132 sated by German deliveries in turn within 27 months. The most difficult point of the correspondence of September 28, 1939, namely, that the Soviet raw material deliveries are to be compensated by German industrial deliveries over a longer period, is thereby settled in accordance with our wishes. This was not possible without a hard fight. Only the personal message of the Reich Foreign Minister to Stalin brought the final settlement. The stipulation of 18 and 27 months represents a compromise solution, since at stated intervals- namely, every 6 months-the mutual deliveries of goods must be balanced according to the fixed ratio. If this balance does not exist, i. e., particularly if the German deliveries fall behind the ratio of the Soviet deliveries fixed by the Agreement, the other side is entitled to suspend its deliveries temporarily until the fixed ratio is reestablished. This stipulation is annoying, but could not be eliminated by us, as Stalin himself had adopted it during the final talks. 2. The Soviet deliveries. According to the Agreement, the Soviet Union shall within the first 12 months deliver raw materials in the amount of approximately 500 million Reichsmarks. In addition, the Soviets will deliver raw materials, contemplated in the Credit Agreement of August 19, 1939, for the same period, in the amount of approximately 100 million Reichsmarks. The most important raw materials are the following: 1,000,000 tons of grain for cattle, and of legumes, in the amount of 120 million Reichsmarks 900,000 tons of mineral oil in the amount of approximately 115 million Reichsmarks 100,000 tons of cotton in the amount of approximately 90 million Reichsmarks 500,000 tons of phosphates 100,000 tons of chrome ores 500,000 tons of iron ore 300,000 tons of scrap iron and pig iron 2,400 kg. of platinum Manganese ore, metals, lumber, and numerous other raw materials. To this must also be added the Soviet exports to the Protectorate, which are not included in the Agreement, in the amount of about 50 million Reichsmarks so that the net deliveries of goods from the Soviet Union during the first treaty year amount to a total of 650 million Reichsmarks. In addition, there are other important benefits. On the basis of the correspondence of September 28, 1939, the Soviet Union had granted us the right of transit to and from Rumania, Iran, and Afghanistan Page 133 and the countries of the Far East, which is particularly important in view of the German soybean purchases from Manchukuo. The freight rates of the Trans-Siberian Railroad were reduced by 50 percent for soybeans. The transit freight charges are to be settled by a clearing system and amount to approximately 100 million Reichsmarks. Adding certain other items (clearing share in purchase of raw materials by the Soviet Union in third countries), it may be assumed that during the first 12 months Soviet deliveries and services will amount to a total of about 800 million Reichsmarks. 3. Thus far, only part of the Soviet deliveries has been fixed for the second treaty year. During the first 6 months of the second treaty year the Soviet Union will deliver to Germany 230 million Reichsmarks worth of raw materials of the same kind as in the first treaty year. It is contemplated that negotiations will be resumed before the expiration of the first treaty year and the quantities for the exchange of goods for the second treaty year fixed and even increased beyond the volume of the first treaty year. 4. The German deliveries comprise industrial products, industrial processes and installations as well as war materiel. The Soviet deliveries of the first 12 months are to be compensated by us within 15 months. The Soviet deliveries of the first 6 months of the second treaty year (13th to 18th month) are to be compensated by us within 12 months (from the 16th to the 27th month). 5. Among the Soviet deliveries within the first 18 months are 11,000 tons of copper, 3,000 tons of nickel, 950 tons of tin, 500 tons of molybdenum, 500 tons of wolfram, 40 tons of cobalt. These deliveries of metals are intended for the carrying out of the German deliveries to the Soviet Union. Since these metals are not immediately available in Germany and will not be delivered until the treaty is in force, it will be necessary to bridge the initial period by using metals from our own stocks for the German deliveries to the Soviet Union and to replace them from the incoming Soviet metal deliveries. Any different arrangement, such as the advance delivery of metals which we demanded at first, could not be achieved. Furthermore, the Soviet Union declared her willingness to act as buyer of metals and raw materials in third countries. To what degree this promise can be realized in view of the intensified English counter-measures cannot be judged at the present time. Since Stalin himself has repeatedly promised generous help in this respect it may be expected that the Soviet Union will make every effort. Page 134 6. The negotiations were difficult and lengthy. There were material and psychological reasons for this. Undoubtedly, the Soviet Union promised far more deliveries than are defensible from a purely economic point of view, and she must make the deliveries to Germany partly at the expense of her own supply. On the other hand, it is understandable that the Soviet Government is anxious to receive as compensation those things which the Soviet Union lacks. Since the Soviet Union does not import any consumer goods whatsoever, their wishes concerned exclusively manufactured goods and war materiel. Thus, in numerous cases, Soviet bottlenecks coincide with German bottlenecks, such as machine tools for the manufacture of artillery ammunition. It was not easy to find a compromise between the interests of both sides. Psychologically the ever-present distrust of the Russians was of importance as well as the fear of any responsibility. And People's Commissar Mikoyan had to refer numerous questions to Stalin personally, since his authority was not sufficient. Despite all these difficulties, during the long negotiations the desire of the Soviet Government to help Germany and to consolidate firmly the political understanding in economic matters, too, became more and more evident. The Agreement means a wide open door to the East for us. The raw material purchases from the Soviet Union and from the countries bordering the Soviet Union can still be considerably increased. But it is essential to meet the German commitments to the extent required. In view of the great volume this will require a special effort. If we succeed in extending and expanding exports to the East in the required volume, the effects of the English blockade will be decisively weakened by the incoming raw materials. BERLIN, February 26, 1940. SCHNURRE ***** Frames 242-240, serial F 18 The Reich Foreign Minister to the German Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Schulenburg) Telegram STATE SECRET BERLIN, March 28, 1940. No. 543 For the Ambassador personally. Secret. During my recent visit to Rome, where-as you know-I worked on the improvement of Italian-Russian relations among other things, I already contemplated carrying out the plan of a visit by Herr Molotov Page 135 to Berlin. Although I did not mention this idea to anyone, the Anglo-French propaganda, correctly guessing my intentions, spoke of it with the hope of interfering with the plan and thereby with the further consolidation of our relations with Russia. I could have denied the Anglo-French report without any trouble, but refrained from doing so out of consideration for Molotov. Then, the Russian press for its part issued a denial. Nevertheless, I have not given up the idea of a visit by Molotov to Berlin. On the contrary, I should like to retain it, and if it can be realized I should like to put it into effect in the near future. It goes without saying that the invitation is not to be confined to Herr Molotov; it would suit our own needs better, as well as our really ever-closer relations with Russia, if Herr Stalin himself came to Berlin. The FĀhrer would not only be particularly happy to welcome Stalin in Berlin, but he would also see to it that he would get a reception commensurate with his position and importance, and he would extend to him all the honors that the occasion demanded. An invitation both to Herr Molotov and to Herr Stalin has, as you know, already been issued orally by me in Moscow and was accepted by both of them in principle. In what manner the invitation should now be repeated, and its definite acceptance and realization attained, you yourself can judge best. During the conversation to be conducted you will have to word the invitation to Herr Molotov more definitely, whereas you will have to state the invitation to Herr Stalin in the name of the FĀhrer in less definite terms. We must, of course, avoid receiving a clear-cut refusal from Stalin. Before you take any action, I request that you comment on the subject immediately, reporting to me by wire your opinion as to the procedure to be followed by you and the prospects for its success. RIBBENTROP ***** Frames 0466-0467, serial F 5 The German Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Schulenburg) to the German Foreign Office Telegram VERY URGENT Moscow, March 30, 1940-11:40 p. m. Received March 31, 1940-8:15 a. m. STRICTLY SECRET No. 599 of March 30 For the Reich Foreign Minister personally. Reference your telegram of the 28th, No. 543. Page 136 I. I personally believe firmly-as I reported on the occasion of my inquiry of October 17, telegram No. 554 - that Molotov, conscious of his obligation, will visit Berlin as soon as the time and circumstances appear propitious to the Soviet Government. After careful examination of all factors known to me I cannot, however, conceal the fact that I consider the chances slight for the acceptance of an invitation at the present time. My opinion is based on the following considerations: 1. All our observations, particularly the speech of Molotov on March 29, confirm that the Soviet Government is determined to cling to neutrality in the present war and to avoid as much as possible anything that might involve it in a conflict with the Western powers. This must have been one of the main reasons why the Soviet Government broke off the war against Finland, abandoning the People's Government. 2. The Soviet Government having this attitude, it probably fears that a demonstration of the relations between the Soviet Union and Germany such as a visit by Molotov or by Stalin himself to Berlin might, at present, involve the risk of severance of diplomatic relations or even of warlike developments with the Western powers. 3. Indicative of the situation is the Tass denial mentioned by you which denies with rather striking plainness and firmness all rumors about an allegedly impending; trip to Germany by Molotov. 4. It is a known fact that Molotov, who has never been abroad has strong inhibitions against appearing in strange surroundings. This applies as much if not more to Stalin. Therefore, only very favorable circumstances or extremely important Soviet advantages could induce Molotov or Stalin to make such a trip, in spite of disinclinations and "wariness;" furthermore, Molotov, who never flies, will need at least a week for the trip, and there is really no suitable substitute for him here. II. Although the prospects for success therefore appear to be slight, I will, of course, do everything in my power in order to try to realize the plan, in case it is to be pursued any further. A suitable starting point for an informal conversation on that subject can be found without much trouble. The course of the conversation will reveal whether and how far I can go into the subject. As regards the invitation to Stalin, the possibility of a meeting in a border town would have to be left open from the very beginning. SCHULENBURG  Not printed. Page 137 ***** Frame 0465, serial F 5 The German Foreign Office to the German Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Schulenburg) Telegram RAM Nr. 13 g. Rs. BERLIN, April 3, 1940. STATE SECRET No. 570 For the Ambassador personally. Reference your telegram No. 599, of March 30. The Reich Foreign Minister requests that nothing further be initiated for the time being. SCHMIDT Minister ***** Frames 203141-203142, serial 354 The Reich Foreign Minister to the German Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Schulenburg) BERLIN, April 7, 1940. Received MOSCOW, April 9, 1940. You receive herewith two copies of a memorandum  which will be presented by our envoys in Oslo and Copenhagen on April 9, at 5:20 a. m., German summer time, to the Governments concerned. Until the step which you are instructed to take below has been carried out, the strictest secrecy is to be maintained with regard to the memorandum and this instruction, and no mention thereof is to be made even to any other member of the Embassy. On April 9, at 7 a. m., German summer time, you are requested to ask for an interview with Herr Molotov, and, during the course of the morning. to hand him a copy of the memorandum. You will kindly emphasize orally that we had absolutely reliable reports regarding an imminent thrust of Anglo-French military forces against the Norwegian and Danish coasts and therefore had to act without delay. As outlined in the memorandum, it is a matter of security measures. Swedish and Finnish territory will in no way be affected by our action. The Reich Government is of the opinion that our actions are also in the interest of the Soviet Union, for execution of the Anglo-French  Not printed here. Page 138 plan which is known to us would have caused Scandinavia to become a theater of war, and that, in all probability, would have led to a reopening of the Finnish question. Please report immediately by wire how your communication is received. RIBBENTROP ***** Frame 203133, serial 354 The German Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Schulenburg) to the German Foreign Office Telegram VERY URGENT Moscow, April 9, 1940. SECRET No. 653 of April 9 Reference your instruction of April 7 (delivered by Counselor of Legation von Saucken) and our telegram No. 648 of April 9.  For the Reich Foreign Minister in person. Instruction carried out with Molotov today at 10:30 a. m., European time. Molotov declared that the Soviet Government understood the measures which were forced upon Germany. The English had certainly gone much too far; they had disregarded completely the rights of neutral nations. In conclusion, Molotov said literally: "We wish Germany complete success in her defensive measures." SCHULENBURG  Latter not printed. ***** Frames 210958-210960, serial 384 Memorandum by the German Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Schulenburg) Tgb. Nr. A. 1833/40 Moscow, April 11, 1940. MEMORANDUM For some time we have observed in the Soviet Government a distinct shift which was unfavorable to us. In all fields we suddenly came up against obstacles which were, in many cases, completely unnecessary; even in little things like visas they started to create difficulties; the release of the Volksdeutsche imprisoned by the Poles, which was promised by treaty, could not be achieved; the deportation of the German citizens long imprisoned in Soviet jails suddenly stopped; the Page 139 Soviet Government suddenly withdrew its promises already given with regard to the "North Base" ["Basis Nord"] in which our Navy is interested, etc. These obstacles, which were apparent everywhere, reached their climax in the suspension of petroleum and grain shipments to us. On the 5th of this month I had a long talk with Herr Mikoyan, during which the attitude of the People's Commissar was very negative. I had to make the most strenuous efforts to get at least some concessions from him. We asked ourselves in vain what the reason might be for the sudden change of attitude of the Soviet authorities. After all, nothing at all had "happened"! I suspect that the tremendous clamor of our enemies and their sharp attacks on neutrals-particularly on the Soviet Union-and on neutrality in general were not without effect upon the Soviet Government, so that it feared being forced by the Entente into a great war for which it is not prepared, and that for this reason it wanted to avoid anything that might have furnished a pretext to the English and French for reproaching the Soviet Union with unneutral behavior or partisanship for Germany. It appeared to me as though the sudden termination of the Finnish war had come about from similar considerations. Of course, these suspicions could not be proved. However the situation had become so critical that I decided to call on Herr Molotov in order to talk these matters over with him, and after this discussion to notify the Foreign Office. On the 8th of this month I therefore asked for permission to see Herr Molotov-i. e., before the Scandinavian events. Actually, the visit to Herr Molotov did not take place until the morning of the 9th-i. e., after our Scandinavian operations. During this talk it became apparent that the Soviet Government had again made a complete about- face. Suddenly the suspension of the petroleum and grain shipments was termed "excessive zeal of subordinate agencies" which would be immediately remedied. (Herr Mikoyan is Assistant Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars, i. e., the highest Soviet personality after Herr Molotov!) Herr Molotov was affability itself, willingly received all our complaints and promised relief. Of his own accord he touched upon a number of issues of interest to us and announced their settlement in a positive sense. I must honestly say that I was completely amazed at the change. In my opinion there is only one explanation for this about-face: our Scandinavian operations must have relieved the Soviet Government enormously-removed a great burden of anxiety, so to speak. What their apprehension consisted of, can again not be determined with cer- Page 140 tainty. I suspect the following: The Soviet Government is always extraordinarily well informed. If the English and French intended to occupy Norway and Sweden it may be assumed with certainty that the Soviet Government knew of these plans and was apparently terrified by them. The Soviet Government saw the English and French appearing on the shores of the Baltic Sea, and they saw the Finnish question reopened, as Lord Halifax had announced; finally they dreaded most of all the danger of becoming involved in a war with two Great Powers. Apparently this fear was relieved by us. Only in this way can the completely changed attitude of Herr Molotov be understood. Today's long and conspicuous article in Izvestia on our Scandinavian campaign (already sent to you by wire) sounds like one big sigh of relief. But, at any rate-at least at the moment-"everything is in order" again here, and our affairs are going as they should. SCHULENBURG ***** Frame 112110, serial 103 The German Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Schulenburg) to the German Foreign Office Telegram VERY URGENT Moscow, April 13, 1940-10:31 p. m. Received April 14, 1940-5:20 a. m. SECRET No. 687 of April 13 Molotov today asked me to see him and brought up the following: Persistent rumors were being circulated everywhere that Germany would soon be forced to include Sweden in her Scandinavian operations, particularly in order to ship more troops to Norway. Molotov added that in his opinion Germany, and definitely the Soviet Union, were vitally [lebhaft] interested in preserving Swedish neutrality. He asked me how much truth there was in these rumors. First, I referred to my statement to him on April 9, that our operations would not touch Sweden and Finland and added that I was not aware of the slightest indication that we had any designs on Swedish territory. Nevertheless, I would pass his inquiry on to Berlin. In conclusion, Molotov declared that the Soviet Government was greatly interested in preserving Swedish neutrality, that its violation was frowned upon by the Soviet Government, and that it hoped the inclusion of Sweden in our operations would not take place, if this could at all be avoided. Request instructions by wire. SCHULENBURG Page 141 ***** Frame 112111, serial 103 The Reich Foreign Minister to the German Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Schulenburg) Telegram IMMEDIATE BERLIN, April 15, 1940. SECRET No. 636 Reference your telegram No. 687. I request that you explain to Herr Molotov our attitude toward Sweden as follows: We share completely the attitude of the Soviet Government that preservation of Sweden's neutrality corresponds both to German and to Soviet interests. As you already told him on transmitting our memorandum on April 9 and repeated during the conversation of April 13, it is not our intention to extend our military operations in the north to Swedish territory. On the contrary, we are determined to respect unconditionally the neutrality of Sweden, as long as Sweden in turn also observes strict neutrality and does not support the Western powers. Reich Foreign Minister ***** Frames 203979-203980, serial 357 The Reich Foreign Minister to the German Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Schulenburg) BERLIN, May 7, 1940. Received Moscow, May 10, 1940. Enclosed you will find two copies of two memoranda  which will be presented by our Legations in The Hague, Brussels, and Luxemburg to the Governments there on the day and hour to be indicated to you orally by the courier. [Interlinear penciled notation: May 10, 1940, 5:45 a. m., German summer time.] Until the dāmarche ordered below has been accomplished, the memoranda and these instructions are to be kept strictly secret and not mentioned even to any member of the Embassy. I request that after receipt of these instructions you enter on the copies of the attached memoranda-on the last page, beneath the text-the date of the day before that on which you deliver the copies to the Government in Moscow, preferably with typewriter, or else in ink.  Not printed here. Page 142 About 7 o'clock in the morning, German summer time, on the day mentioned to you by the courier, I request that you ask for an appointment with Molotov and then, in the course of the morning at the earliest hour convenient to him, hand him a copy of the memoranda. I request that you tell Herr Molotov that the Reich Government, in view of our friendly relations, is anxious to notify the Soviet Government of these operations in the West, which were forced upon Germany by the impending Anglo-French push on the Ruhr region by way of Belgium and Holland. For the rest, I request that you use the viewpoints and arguments to be found in the memoranda themselves. I request that you report by wire immediately concerning the reception accorded your mission. RIBBENTROP ***** Frame 203978, serial 357 The German Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Schulenburg) to the German Foreign Office Telegram URGENT Moscow, May 10, 1940-6 p. m. No. 874 of May 10 Reference instructions of May 7. For the Reich Foreign Minister: I called on Molotov; instruction carried out. Molotov appreciated the news and added that he understood that Germany had to protect herself against Anglo-French attack. He had no doubt of our success. SCHULENBURG ***** Frames 210963-210964, serial 384 The German Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Schulenburg) to the German Foreign Office Telegram VERY URGENT Moscow, May 29, 1940-7:10 p. m. Received May 29, 1940-10:10 p. m. No. 1006 of May 29 Reference your telegram of the 28th No. 877.  The reported agreement of the Soviet Government to the sending of Cripps appears credible, since the Soviet Government has always  Not printed. Page 143 taken the position that it was of interest to it to learn what the British Government had to tell them, and that economic agreements with England were in harmony with the neutral position of the Soviet Union. In addition, the Soviet Union is interested in obtaining rubber and tin from England in exchange for lumber. There is no reason for apprehension concerning Cripps' mission, since there is no reason to doubt the loyal attitude of the Soviet Union toward us and since the unchanged direction of Soviet policy toward England precludes damage to Germany or vital German interests. There are no indications of any kind here for belief that the latest German successes caused alarm or fear of Germany in the Soviet Government. All the assertions of the foreign and especially enemy press to the contrary are desperate attempts to sow distrust between Germany and the Soviet Union, to start a diplomatic activity against Germany at any cost in view of the precarious situation of the Allies, and to exploit this as propaganda for their own people. The selection of Cripps as British plenipotentiary appears unfortunate in view of the attitude in Moscow: the Soviet Government prefers to negotiate important matters with a prominent representative of the foreign government. As I see it here a trip by Ritter  and (group garbled) at the present time would have to avoid looking like a race with Cripps. The advisability of the trip would also have to be considered from the point of view of whether we would (group missing) anything new to offer the Soviet Government. SCHULENBURG  Ambassador Ritter of the German Foreign Office staff.
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