The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression
Volume I Chapter IX
Aggression Against Poland, Danzig, England & ; France
(Part 8 of 21)

All this would sound very well, if it had not been for the fact that orders for the invasion of Poland had already been issued

[Page 691]

and the Armed Forces had been told to draw up a precise timetable.

The memorandum goes on to set out the history of the last negotiations and discussions. It sets out the demands of the 21st which the German government had made for the return o Danzig, the autobahn, and the railway. It mentions the promise by Germany of the twenty-five year guarantee, and continues:

"The Polish government did not avail themselves of the opportunity offered to them by the German government or a just settlement of the Danzig question; for the final safe- guarding of Poland's frontiers with the Reich and thereby for permanent strengthening of the friendly,. neighbourly relations between the two countries. The Polish government - even rejected German proposals made with this object.

"At the same time the Polish government accepted, with regard to another state, political obligations which are not compatible either with the spirit, the meaning or the text of the German-Polish declaration of the 26 of January, 1934. Thereby, the Polish government arbitrarily and unilaterally rendered this declaration null and void." (TC-72 No. 14)

In the last paragraph the German government says, that nevertheless, they are prepared to continue friendly relations with Poland.

On the same day that memorandum,was issued, 28 April, Hitler made a speech in the Reichstag, in which he repeated, in effect, the terms of the memorandum. He repeated the demands and offers that Germany made in March, and went on to say that the Polish government have rejected his offer. He expressed his disappointment:

"I have regretted greatly this incomprehensible attitude of the Polish government. But that alone is not the decisive fact. The worst is that now Poland, like Czechoslovakia, a year ago, believes under the pressure of a lying international campaign, that it must call up troops although Germany, on her part, has not called up a single man and had not thought of proceeding in any way against Poland. As I have said, this is, in itself, very regrettable and posterity will one day decide whether it was really right to refuse the suggestion made this once by me. This, as I have said, was an endeavor on my part to solve a question which intimately affects the German people, by a truly unique compromise and to solve it to the advantage of both countries. According to my conviction, Poland was not a giving party in this solution at all, but only a receiving party, because it should be beyond

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all doubt, that Danzig will never become Polish. The intention to attack on the part of Germany, which was merely invented by the International Press, led, as you know, to the so-called guarantee offer, and to an obligation on the part of the Polish government for mutual assistance. ***" (TC-72 No. 13)

The speech demonstrates how completely dishonest was everything that the German government was saying at that time. Hitler, who may very well have had a copy of the orders for "Fall Weiss" in his pocket as he spoke, announced publicly, that the intention to attack by Germany was an invention of "the International Press."

In answer to that memorandum and that speech, the Polish government issued a memorandum on 5 May. It sets out the objectives of the 1934 agreement to renounce the use of force and to carry on friendly relationship between the two countries; to solve difficulties by arbitration and other friendly means. The Polish government states its awareness of the difficulties about Danzig and declares that it has long been ready to carry out discussions. The Polish government sets out again its part of the recent discussions. The Polish government states that it communicated its views to the German government on 26 March, and that it then proposed Joint guarantees by the Polish and German governments of the City of Danzig, based on the principles of freedom for the local population in internal affairs. The Poles stated their preparedness to examine the possibilities of a motor road and railway facilities. They received no reply to those proposals. The Polish position is summarized in one sentence:

"It is clear that negotiations in which one State formulates demands and the other is to be obliged to accept those demands unaltered are not negotiations in the spirit of the declaration of 1934 and are incompatible with the vital interests and dignity of Poland" (TC-72 No. 16).

The Polish government proceeds to reject the German accusation that the Anglo-Polish agreement is incompatible with the 1934 German-Polish agreement. It states that Germany herself has entered into similar agreements with other nations, and lastly it announces that it is still willing to entertain a new pact with Germany, should Germany wish to do so. (TC-72 No. 16)

The German answer was contained in a letter from the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, is signed by Hitler, and dated 10 May (C-120). Copies went to the various branches of the OKW, and with them apparently were enclosed "Instructions for the economic war and the protection of our own economy."

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Not only were military preparations being carried out throughout these months and weeks, but economic and every other kind of preparation was being made for war at the earliest moment.

This period of preparation, up to May 1939, concluded with the conference in the Reichschancellery on 23 May. The report of this meeting is known as the Schmundt Minutes (L- 79). In his address to the conference Hitler cried out for lebensraum, and said that Danzig was not the dispute at all. It was a question of expanding their living room in the east, and he said that the decision had been taken to attack Poland.

Goering, Raeder and Keitel, among many others, were present. The following is a significant paragraph:

"If there were an alliance of France, England and Russia against Germany, Italy and Japan, I would be constrained to attack England and France with a few annihilation blows. The Fuehrer doubts the possibility of a peaceful settlement with England." (L-79)

So that, not only has the decision been taken definitely to attack Poland, but almost equally definitely to attack England and France.

The original plaintext version of this file is available via ftp.

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