The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression
Volume I Chapter IX
Aggression Against Poland, Danzig, England & ; France
(Part 20 of 21)

And so it was that at 11 o'clock on 3 September a state of war existed between Germany and England and between Germany and France. The plans, preparations, intentions, and determination to carry out this assault upon Poland which had been going on for months, for years before, had come to fruition despite all appeals to peace, all appeals to reason. It mattered not what anybody but the German Government had in mind or whatever rights anybody else but the German nation thought they had. If there is any doubt left about this matter, two more documents remain for consideration. Even now, on 3 September, Mussolini offered some chance of peace. At 6:30 hours on 3 September Mussolini sent a telegram to Hitler:

"The Italian Ambassador handed to the State Secretary at the Duce's order following copy for the Fuehrer and Reich Chancellor and for the Reich Minister for Foreign Affairs: "Italy sends the information, leaving, of course, every decision to the Fuehrer, that it still has a chance to call a conference with France, England and Poland on following basis: 1. Armistice which would leave the Army Corps where they are at present. 2. Calling the conference within two or three days. 3. Solution of the Polish-German controversy which would be certainly favorable for Germany as matters stand today.

"This idea which originated from the Duce has its foremost exponent in France.

"Danzig is already German and Germany is holding already securities which guarantee most of her demands. Besides, Germany has had already its 'moral satisfaction.' If it would accept the plan for a conference, it will achieve all her aims and at the same time prevent a war which already today has the aspect of being universal and of extremely long duration." (1831-PS)

[Page 723]

Perhaps even Mussolini did not appreciate what all Germany's aims were, for his offer was turned down in the illuminating letter which Hitler was to write in reply:

"I first want to thank you for your last attempt at mediation. I would have been ready to accept, but only under condition, that there would be a possibility to give me certain guarantees that the conference would be successful. Because, for the last two days the German troops are engaged in an extraordinarily rapid advance in Poland. It would have been impossible to devaluate the bloody sacrifices made thereby by diplomatic intrigues. Nevertheless, I believe that a way could have been found, if England would not have been determined to wage war under all circumstances. I have not given in to the English, because, Duce, I do not believe that peace could have been maintained for more than one-half year or one year. Under these circumstances, I thought that, in spite of everything, the present moment was better for resistance. At present, the superiority of the German armed forces in Poland is so overwhelming in all fields that the Polish Army will collapse in a very short time. I doubt whether this fast success could be achieved in one or two years. England and France would have armed their allies, to such an extent that the crushing technical superiority of the German Armed Forces could not have become so apparent anymore. I am aware, Duce, that the fight which I enter, is one for life and death. My own fate does not play any role in it at all. But I am also aware that one cannot avoid such a struggle permanently and that one has to choose after cold deliberation the moment for resistance in such a way that the probability of the success is guaranteed and I believe in this success, Duce, with the firmness of a rock. Recently you have given me the kind assurance that you think you will be able to help me in a few fields. I acknowledge this in advance with sincere thanks. But I believe also -- even if we march now over different roads -- that fate will finally join us. If the National Socialist Germany were destroyed by the Western democracies, the Fascist Italy would also have to face a grave future. I was personally always aware of this community of the future of our two governments and I know that you, Duce, think the same way. To the situation in Poland, I would like to make the brief remark that we lay aside, of course, all unimportant things, that we do not waste any man in unimportant tasks, but di-

[Page 724]

rect all on acts in the light of great operational considerations. The Northern Polish Army which is the Corridor, has already been completely encircled by our action. It will be either wiped out or will surrender. Otherwise, all operations proceed according to plan. The daily achievements of the troops are far beyond all expectations. The superiority of our air force is complete, although scarcely one-third of it is in Poland. In the West I will be on the defensive. France can here sacrifice its blood first. Then the moment will come when we can confront the enemy also there with the full power of the nation. Accept my thanks, Duce, for all your assistance which you have given to me in the past and I ask you not to deny it to me in the future." (1831-PS)

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