Der Stürmer

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Category: Revisionism

Demonizing Germany: A Daily Job of the Jewish Media


By Robert

Ever notice all the articles harkening back to WWII lately? The prosecution of a so-called “guard” for a labor camp, a newly-discovered unsung hero who did (who cares) during the D-Day invasion, a “hollowcost” survivor who (despite being a newborn in 1945) vows to “never forget” and kvetch endlessly about how hounded/oppressed/non-worshiped the jews are. Et cetera. Et cetera.

You see it in films, TV, news, documentaries, video games, novels, everywhere – Germany must apologize since they refuse to perish. Have you noticed how the Italians (currently having rapefugees pushed on them) and Japanese are not treated with such vitriol? If anything, Italian and Japanese culture is afforded a mystique and respect when compared to how even the most distant Germanic history is distorted, degraded and minimized.

Enter the media’s treatment of World War II and a particular article that caught my eye in July. On BBC News, we are regaled with “Kursk WW2: Why Russia is still fighting world’s biggest tank battle.” The article is a somewhat interesting read IF you can sift through the propaganda and warnings laced throughout. There is no stated author.

For anyone who has studied the Wehrmacht’s Operation Citadel – aka “Kursk Campaign,” including the Battle of Prokhorovka – with an ounce of honesty will realize that the collective forces of Europe were simply outnumbered, as SS General Sepp Dietrich said “10 to 1.” That includes tanks, of course. Obviously, this campaign in the summer of 1943 claims to be the focus of the article. However, if you read the article with a critical eye, you’ll see it is more for the purposes of propaganda and warning as well as putting forward this ridiculous notion of the judeo-communist philosophical superiority rife in today’s Russia.

At the center of the article is an analysis of Prokhorovka by British historian Ben Wheatley, who teamed with German historian Karl-Heinz Frieser and were published in the German periodical Die Welt. Their collective analysis dealt with a proverbial briar patch on the Prokhorovka battle field in which the Wehrmacht laid a trap at a bridgehead bottleneck for the red army, involving: a Russian tank ditch that trapped/disabled dozens of Russian T-34 tanks and allowed the Deutsche Panzerkorps to pick-off dozens more tanks as they lined up to cross a bridge over said tank ditch.

Relatively innocuous, right? The Die Welt article author Sven Felix Kellerhoff went as far as to say the humbling of the red army’s armored divisions at Prokhorovka should lead Russian officials to tear down their memorial there. Granted, the memorial bestows a laughable heroic status on the judeo-communist’s tank crews for that battle, but the numbers of tanks lost/destroyed are absolutely STAGGERING in favor of the forces of the Wehrmacht and SS Panzerkorps. Aerial photos (cited in the article) even support the Wheatley-Frieser research that Germany lost maybe 4 Panzer IV tanks compared to the unimaginable loss of OVER 200 soviet tanks.

We’re talking about historical research. You go to the source materials, try to interview men who fought in the battle, read official records, even diaries, radio transcripts, and what have you. Research. It is a poorly-kept “secret” that the judeo-communist philosophy fed its people happily into a meat grinder in WWII. Human life means absolutely nothing to the jews who were and are behind the communist way. This is how genocides in Ukraine (Holodomor 1932-1933) managed to kill off over 7 million people via starvation, execution and torture. This too is backed by historical research, yet today’s Russian ruler doesn’t seem too anxious to acknowledge it. I wonder why?

However, reflected in this article is what the current Russian (and poorly-disguised jewish communist) rulers are truly obsessed over: elevating the communist as some sort of superhuman while denigrating everything about National Socialist Germany then and anyone engaging in honest historicity today.

If you can believe it, Russian ambassador (Nechayev) to Germany had this to say: “Attempts to rewrite immutable historical facts, falsify the events of those years, play down the decisive role of the Soviet people in defeating Nazism and freeing Europe from the ‘brown plague’, look unworthy and insulting.” That’s an ambassador commenting on the simple findings of an analysis of the collective historical record. Sound like the typical jewish tactic of going straight for the emotional appeal when you have nothing else backing you?

Do yourself a favor and reread what Nechayev said. “Immutable historical facts?” Hmm… What else are we discouraged from questioning? Now the Russian superman is beyond reproach? So, never mind the 66+ million Russians who were starved/executed/tortured under jewish communists Lenin, Stalin, Kruschev, Gorbachev, etc, right?

“Freeing Europe from the brown plague?” If you don’t think court historians today in schools are not trying to demonize Germany when speaking of WWII, think again. Nowhere will you hear the actual, true tenets of National Socialism. Nowhere will you hear of Hitler’s economic reforms and how they made Roosevelt’s “new deal” only a shadow in comparison. Of special note (and completely off-topic) is that you’d be hard-pressed to find a positive telling of Louisiana governor Huey Long’s modernizing of Louisiana while in the depths of the Depression. He accomplished what he did while avoiding running up the debt Roosevelt subjected the entire United State to.

Even lemmings in the Russian parliament sounded off with Alexander Sherin calling for “the prosecution” of Die Welt’s editor. The BBC World article goes on to state that Vlad Putin has sought to raise soviet- …excuse me, Russian national pride. In the process, he is doing what his fellow jews in Hollywood, US media, publishing, university, etc are doing as well: demonizing Germany every chance they get. But calling for the “prosecution” of an editor?

Think of WWII related “true stories” and even outright fiction. They ALL seek to make Germany the villain every time, even if it’s an idiotic video game. It just has to be Wehrmacht zombies? Really? Credit is due to the BBC article, however, as it goes on to cite a nephew of a Russian veteran of the Kursk campaign who related that his uncle acknowledged soviet tanks vs German ones were destroyed at a 10-1 ratio in Operation Citadel.

Be that as it may, the battle lines are still drawn and anyone writing, presenting, or producing a film that shows National Socialist Germany in a fair or positive light can expect an effort at shaming you from doing so. In face-to-face interactions (most while traveling) I have been confronted by jews and shabbos goy who do their best to act ultra-triggered that I am quietly reading “Achtung Panzer” or the memoirs Wilhelm Keitel to name a few.

What are they so afraid of? Why do they hate it so much when we educate ourselves in seeking the truth? You and I know exactly why. Because not only do historical facts not bow to jewish kvetching, but WE do not either.

Goebbels on the Jews – Part II


By Thomas Dalton

Published: 2010-07-01

In Part 1of this article, I gave a brief explanation of the history of the diaries of Joseph Goebbels, the number two man in the Nazi hierarchy after Hitler himself. For more than 20 years Goebbels maintained a detailed, personal diary that included reflections on all aspects of the war. Of special interest are his comments on Jews and the ‘Jewish Question’. These are striking because, as we are seeing, they indicate a long-term plan of evacuation and deportation, and virtually no sign of large-scale murder.

This, of course, would radically alter our conception of the Holocaust. In a private diary one would normally expect to find an honest and explicit account of such a momentous event, but we see no reference to it. Given this fact, we are faced with two possible explanations:(1) Goebbels knew all about the murder of the Jews, but never mentioned it at all, or only referred to it obliquely in a kind of personal ‘code language.’ Or, (2) there was in fact no mass murder going on. An analysis of the diary entries, in conjunction with relevant comments by Hitler, and in light of other alleged and actual contemporaneous events, can perhaps resolve this question for us.

The diaries are extensive, encompassing 29 volumes of roughly 500 pages each, in the German original. In order to extract the most relevant comments by Goebbels, I conducted an exhaustive study of the key portion of the diary, running from Kristallnacht (November 1938) through the Hungarian deportation of Jews in mid-1944. In all, this constitutes 123 separate entries, the majority of which have never appeared in English.

I continue now with the chronological discussion, beginning at the start of 1942.

On the orthodox account of the Holocaust, the extermination of the Jews accelerated in January 1942.Chelmno camp, which had just commenced in December of the previous year, increased its toll, and Auschwitz allegedly began gassing its first few thousand Jews. The infamous Wannsee conference occurred on January 20, but in spite of the alleged on-going actions at the two camps it was merely “a key stepping-stone on the path to that terrible genocidal finality,” according to Kershaw (2000: 493).

Three days after Wannsee, Hitler again remarked on the Nazi plan to evacuate the Jews and how, historically speaking, things have been much worse for them:

If I withdraw 50,000 Germans from Volhynia [a region in western Ukraine], that’s a hard decision to take, because of the suffering it entails. …If I think of shifting the Jew, our bourgeoisie becomes quite unhappy:“What will happen to them?” Tell me whether this same bourgeoisie bothered about what happened to our own compatriots who were obliged to emigrate?

One must act radically. When one pulls out a tooth, one does it with a single tug, and the pain quickly goes away. The Jew must clear out of Europe. Otherwise no understanding will be possible between Europeans. It’s the Jew who prevents everything. When I think about it, I realize that I’m extraordinarily humane. At the time of the Popes, the Jews were mistreated in Rome. Until 1830, eight Jews mounted on donkeys were led once a year through the streets of Rome. For my part, I restrict myself to telling them they must go away. If they break their pipes on the journey, I can’t do anything about it. But if they refuse to go voluntarily, I see no other solution but extermination. …In the POW camps, many are dying. It’s not my fault. I didn’t want either the war or the POW camps. Why did the Jew provoke this war?(1953/2000: 235-236)

He continued with this theme on January 27:

The Jews must pack up, disappear from Europe. Let them go to Russia. Where the Jews are concerned, I’m devoid of all sense of pity. They’ll always be the ferment that moves peoples one against the other. They sow discord everywhere, as much between individuals as between peoples.

They’ll also have to clear out of Switzerland and Sweden. It’s where they’re to be found in small numbers that they’re most dangerous. Put 5,000 Jews in Sweden – soon they’ll be holding all the posts there. Obviously, that makes them all the easier to spot.(ibid: 260)

Three days later, on January 30, Hitler gave another of his annual anniversary speeches. He repeated his prophecy of the Vernichtung of the Jews, and spoke of their “disappearance” (verschwindet).Once again we must ask: are these the words of a man with an “obsession with secrecy”?Would Hitler really make such claims before a huge audience, if he knew that mass murder was underway?

Goebbels then continues with the following diary entries:

Feb 5, 1942 (II.3.254-255) **

The Jewish Question is again giving us a headache; this time, however, not because we have gone too far, but because we are not going far enough. Among large sections of the German people the idea is gaining headway that the Jewish Question cannot be regarded as solved until all Jews have left the Reich (verlassen haben).

Feb 15, 1942 [1] (II.3.320-321) **

Bolshevism is a doctrine of the devil, and anybody who has once suffered from this scourge doesn’t want anything to do with it again. The sufferings of the Russian people under Bolshevism are indescribable. This Jewish terrorism must be rooted out, stump and stem, (ausgerottet, mit Stumpf und Stiel) from all of Europe. That is our historic task.

World Jewry will suffer a great catastrophe at the same time as Bolshevism. The Führer once more expressed his determination to pitilessly clear out (aufzuräumen) the Jews from Europe. There must be no squeamish sentimentalism about it. The Jews have deserved the catastrophe that has now overtaken them. Their destruction (Vernichtung) will go hand in hand with the destruction (Vernichtung) of our enemies. We must hasten this process with cold ruthlessness. We shall thereby render an inestimable service to a humanity tormented for thousands of years by the Jews. This uncompromising anti-Semitic attitude must prevail among our own people despite all objectors. The Führer expressed this idea vigorously and repeated it afterward to a group of officers; let them put that in their pipes and smoke it\.

The ‘rooting out’ phrase was translated by Lochner as “radically eliminated” – an unnecessary exaggeration. Goebbels also refers to the Vernichtung of the enemy nations – which obviously cannot mean total elimination or murder, but rather domination and defeat. It could hardly be clearer.

Feb 18, 1942 (II.3.335) **

In the evening I had a look at the Polish-Yiddish motion picture, The Dybuk. This film is intended to be a Jewish propaganda picture. Its effect, however, is so anti-Semitic that one can only be surprised to note how little the Jews know about themselves and how little they realize what is repulsive to a non-Jewish person and what is not. Looking at this film I realized once again that the Jewish race is the most dangerous one that inhabits the globe, and that we must show them no mercy and no indulgence. This riff-raff must be rooted out, stump and stem (ausgerottet, mit Stumpf und Stiel).Otherwise it won’t be possible to bring peace to the world.

Here again Lochner exaggerates:“eliminated and destroyed.”(One would at least expect a consistent translation of identical phrases.)

In late February, Hitler discussed the Jewish problem using his infamous biological terminology:

The discovery of the Jewish virus is one of the greatest revolutions that have taken place in the world. The battle in which we are engaged today is of the same sort as the battle waged, during the last century, by Pasteur and Koch. How many diseases have their origin in the Jewish virus! …We shall regain our health only by eliminating the Jew.(1953/2000: 332)

Belzec began operation in March 1942, and by the end of the month had processed at least 35,000 people[2] – who were either killed in gas chambers running on diesel exhaust, or deloused and shipped on further east, depending on your perspective. Another 30,000 were allegedly killed at Auschwitz and Chelmno.

Mar 6, 1942 (II.3.423, 425-426) **

A frontal attack on black markets was made in the [British] House of Commons. No bones are made about the fact that Jews were chiefly implicated in profiteering in the food market. Heading the procession were the Jewish immigrants who went from Germany to England. Jews always remain the same. You must either stigmatize them with a yellow star, or put them in concentration camps, or shoot them, or else let them saturate all public life with corruption, especially during a war. There is no halfway measure\.

An SD [Sicherheitsdienst] report informed me about the situation in occupied Russia. It is, after all, more unstable than was generally assumed. The partisan danger is increasing week by week. The partisans are in command of large area in occupied Russian and are conducting a regime of terror there. The national movements, too, have become more insolent than was at first imagined. That applies as much to the Baltic States as to the Ukraine. Everywhere the Jews are busy inciting and stirring up trouble. It is therefore desirable that many of them must pay with their lives for this (mit ihrem Leben bezahlen müssen). Anyway, I am of the opinion that the greater the number of Jews liquidated (liquidiert), the more consolidated will be the situation in Europe after this war. One must have no mistaken sentimentality about it. The Jews are Europe’s misfortune; they must somehow be removed (beseitigt), otherwise we are in danger of being removed (beseitigt) by them.

First paragraph:“shooting,” or murder, is only one of at least three options. Genocide is apparently not an alternative. Second: Lochner offers up “eliminated” for the term beseitigt, which simply means ‘removal.’ Again we see the phrase “pay with their lives” (this is the only other occurrence, apart from 13 December 1941), but here Goebbels explicitly refers to “many” of the Jews – not most, not all. And it is merely “desirable,” not essential or mandatory. Furthermore, if a “greater number” are to be liquidated – made fluid, removed – then clearly some percentage will remain. Hence no total elimination. In the well-known entry of March 27, Goebbels suggests that only 60% will be liquidated. For these, Madagascar is still an alternative, as we see below:

Mar 7, 1942 (II.3.431-432) **

I read a detailed report from the SD and police regarding a final solution of the Jewish Question. Any final solution involves a tremendous number of new viewpoints. The Jewish Question must be solved within a pan-European frame. There are 11 million Jews still in Europe. They will have to be concentrated later, to begin with, in the East; possibly an island, such as Madagascar, can be assigned to them after the war. In any case there can be no peace in Europe until the last Jews are shut off from (ausgeschaltet) the continent.

That, of course, raises a large number of exceedingly delicate questions. What with those related to Jews? In-laws of Jews? Persons married to Jews? Evidently we still have quite a lot to do and undoubtedly a multitude of personal tragedies will ensue within the framework of the solution of this problem. But that is unavoidable. The situation is now ripe for a final settlement of the Jewish Question. Later generations will no longer have the will power or the instinctive alertness. That’s why we are doing a good work in proceeding radically and consistently. The task we are assuming today will be an advantage and a boon to our descendants\.

For Lochner, ausgeschaltet means, once again, “eliminated.”He evidently is quite fond of this word. Strange, since the German language has the verb eliminieren, and presumably Goebbels would have used it if that in fact was his intended meaning.[3]

Mar 16, 1942 (II.3.478) **

I read a report of the SD about the situation in the occupied East. The activity of partisans has increased noticeably during recent weeks. They are conducting a well-organized guerrilla war. It is very difficult to get at them because they are using such terrorist methods in the area occupied by us that the population is afraid of collaborating with us loyally any longer. The spearheads of this whole partisan activity are the political commissars and especially the Jews. It has therefore proven necessary once again to shoot more Jews. There won’t be any peace in these areas as long as any Jews are active there. Sentimentality is out of place here. Either we must renounce the lives of our own soldiers, or we must uncompromisingly prevent further propaganda by criminal and chaotic elements in the hinterland\.

Mar 20, 1942 (II.3.513) **

Finally we talked about the Jewish Question. Here the Führer is as uncompromising as ever. The Jews must be got out of Europe (aus…heraus), if necessary by applying the most brutal methods\.

The following entry is probably the most widely quoted of all:

Mar 27, 1942 (II.3.561) **

Beginning with Lublin, the Jews in the General Government are now being evacuated (abgeschoben) eastward. The procedure is a pretty barbaric one and not to be described here more definitely. Not much will remain of the Jews. On the whole it can be said that about 60 percent of them will have to be liquidated (liquidiert) whereas only about 40 percent can be used for forced labor\.

The former Gauleiter of Vienna, who is to carry this measure through, is doing it with considerable circumspection and according to a method that does not attract too much attention. A judgment is being visited upon the Jews that, while barbaric, is fully deserved by them. The prophesy which the Führer made about them for having brought on a new World War is beginning to come true in a most terrible manner. One must not be sentimental in these matters. If we did not fight the Jews, they would destroy us (vernichten). It’s a life-and-death struggle between the Aryan race and the Jewish bacillus. No other government and no other regime would have the strength for such a global solution of this question. Here, too, the Führer is the undismayed champion of a radical solution necessitated by conditions, and therefore inexorable. Fortunately a whole series of possibilities presents itself for us in wartime that would be denied us in peacetime. We shall have to profit by this\.

The ghettos that will be emptied in the cities of the General Government will now be refilled with Jews thrown out (ausgeschobenen) of the Reich. This process is to be repeated from time to time. There is nothing funny in it for the Jews, and the fact that Jewry’s representatives in England and America are today organizing and sponsoring the war against Germany must be paid for dearly by its representatives in Europe – and that’s only right\.

Dramatic wording, to be sure. But we now understand the likely meanings of ‘liquidation’ and ‘radical solution’ (see Part 1).And we have yet more evidence that vernichten is not mass murder – would the Jews really kill every German simply by remaining unopposed, and living amongst them? Of course not. But they could destroy the character and integrity of traditional German society. The third paragraph is rarely cited by traditionalists; it too clearly indicates a systematic deportation process, including potentially long-term confinement. This is inconsistent with a high-speed, industrialized scheme of gassing and mass murder.

The following two entries are not in the Lochner book. The second was apparently among the missing entries, and thus could not have been considered. But the first was within his available pages – evidently it did not fit well into the desired picture.

Mar 29, 1942 (II.3.576)

In large part the Jews are once again being evacuated (evakuiert) from Berlin. About one thousand per week are shipped (verfrachtet) to the East. The suicide rate under this Jewish evacuation is extraordinarily high. This does not bother me, however. The Jews have earned no other fate than that which they suffer today. We warned them for so long, and so urgently, not to continue on in their previous way. They ignored our warning, and must pay for that now.

Apr 10, 1942 (II.4.76-77)

Domestically speaking, not much to report. Against all expectations, the [German] suicide rate is declining extraordinarily. Today no one has the desire to freely end his life. Only among the Jews are suicides rapidly increasing. That is welcome too. In Berlin we now have a little over 40,000 Jews. This is of course a sharp decline from the pre-Nazi state, but it’s still too many. At the moment I cannot conduct rigorous evacuations (Evakuierungen), because the strong remaining Jews are needed for the armaments process. But here too a remedy will surely be found in the coming weeks.

So it seems likely that suicide, typhus, and reprisal killings by Lithuanians and others in the East account for a significant number of the total Jewish fatalities. If we add in periodic shootings by the Germans, these four factors may well account for nearly all the deaths claimed by revisionists – let us say, in the range of 300,000 to 600,000.

In April, Sobibor comes online; it processes 20,000 in its first month. Four of the six ‘extermination camps’ are now underway.

Apr 14, 1942 (II.4.95) **

The Grynzpan trial is now to start in the middle of May. I still have a few preparations to make. Preparations by the Department of Justice are in some respects not very clever psychologically. Thus, for instance, the problem of homosexuality, which really isn’t under discussion, has been drawn into the trial procedure, and the question of Jewish evacuations (evakuierungen) is also to be dealt with publicly. I think this is about as bungling as possible…. I shall see to it that these two sets of questions are not raised in court at all. All the other preparations were made in accordance with my directives and, if carried out, will undoubtedly make the trial a perfect success\.

Apr 19, 1942 (II.4.130)

Very strong discussions are held in the relevant circles regarding what must happen with the mixed-race Jews. Undoubtedly they constitute a serious obstacle for the radical solution of the Jewish Question. On the one hand it is argued that they should be sterilized, and on the other that they should be deported (ausgewiesen).The positions are not yet clarified enough for one to decide what to do.

Apr 20, 1942 (II.4.134) **

The most recent act of sabotage [in France] against a German military train which resulted in several deaths will be punished with severe reprisals. The number of people to be shot will be doubled, and over a thousand Communists and Jews will be put into freight cars and shipped (verfrachtet) to the East. There they will soon cease to see any fun in disturbing Germany’s policies for order in Europe\.

Apr 24, 1942 (II.4.159-160)

Some statistics are given to me on the proportion of Jews in American radio, film, and press. The percentage is truly frightening. Jewry controls 100% of the film business, and between 90 and 95% of press and radio. These facts explain the dizzying and spirited warfare of the other side. The Jews are not as clever as they would like to believe. If they are in danger, they become the stupidest of devils.

Nothing new is reported in the East. The Bolsheviks have already responded to our propaganda and portray our troops as cannibals. It’s a shame how the other side slanders and lies. But wherever you look, in the background stands the manipulating international Jewry. We will be doing humanity a great service if we permanently remove them (entfernen) from public life and stick them in quarantine.

Striking statistics on American media. The figures have not changed much to this day. One need only recall the Joel Stein article from 2008, in which Jewish dominance of Hollywood is virtually complete.[4] Of the five major US media conglomerates, every one has either a Jewish CEO or president, or both.[5] Of the top seven American newspapers, six are Jewish owned or oriented.[6]

“Removal and quarantine” doesn’t sound very much like mass murder. Perhaps this is why Lochner bypassed the above entry.

Apr 27, 1942 (II.4.184) **

I talked to the Führer once more in detail about the Jewish Question. His attitude is unrelenting. He wants, under all circumstances, to push the Jews out (herausdrängen) of Europe. That is right. The Jews have brought so much misery to our continent that the severest punishment meted out to them is still too mild. Himmler is presently implementing a large resettlement (Umseidlung) of Jews from German cities to the eastern ghettos.

The last sentence above was inexplicably left out by Lochner. But the following entry is worse:

Apr 29, 1942 (II.4.201) **

The SD gave me a police report on conditions in the East. The danger of the Partisans continues to exist in unmitigated intensity in the occupied areas. The Partisans have, after all, caused us very great difficulties during the winter, and these difficulties have by no means ceased with the beginning of spring. Short shrift (kurzen Prozess) is made of the Jews in all eastern occupied areas. Tens of thousands must bite the dust, and the Fuhrer’s prophecy is fulfilled for them, that Jewry has to pay for inciting a new World War with the complete removal (Ausrottung) of their race..

Here is the last sentence in the original: Zehntausend müssen daran glauben, und an ihnen erfüllt sich die Prophezeiung des Führers, dass das Judentum einen von ihm entfachten neuen Weltkrieg mit der Ausrottung seiner Rasse wird bezahlen müssen. Even those readers with no knowledge of German should be able to discern that the following Lochner translation is dishonest: “Tens of thousands of them are liquidated.”

A short comment by Hitler in mid-May:“It does not occur to any of those who howl when we transport a few Jews to the east that the Jew is a parasite, and as such is the only human being capable to adapting himself to any climate, and of earning a living just as well in Lapland as in the tropics.”(1953/2000: 485)

May 11, 1942 (II.4.273) **

[Gerhard] Schach reported to me on questions regarding the gau of Berlin. We must deal again with the Jewish problem. There are still 40,000 Jews in Berlin and despite the heavy blows dealt them they are still insolent and aggressive. It is exceedingly difficult to shove them off (abzuschieben) to the East because a large part of them are at work in the munitions industry, and because the Jews are to be evacuated (abgeschoben) only by families\.

May 15, 1942 (II.4.293) **

A report from Paris informs me that a number of those who staged the last acts of terror have been found. About 90 percent [sic: 99%] of them are eastern Jews [Ostjuden]. A more rigorous regime is now to be applied to these Jews. As far as I am concerned, it would be best if we either evacuated (abschöben) or liquidated (liquidierten) all eastern Jews still remaining in Paris. By nature and race they will always be our natural enemies anyway\.

May 17, 1942 (II.4.305)

We are trying now to evacuate (evakuieren) the remaining Jews in Berlin to the East, on a larger scale. One third of all Jews living in Germany are located in the capital. This is of course intolerable in the long run. Mainly it’s due to the fact that, in Berlin, relatively many Jews are working in the military-industrial establishment, and, per regulation, neither they nor their families can be evacuated (evakuiert).I am seeking a repeal of this regulation, and will try to remove (aus…herauszubringen) all Jews from Berlin who are not directly engaged in war industries.

May 24, 1942 (II.4.350, 355)

We see in this compilation [of facts] how correct our Jewish policy is, and how necessary it is to continue, in the most radical way, our old course of action, and to ensure that the 40,000 Jews still in Berlin, who in reality are freed felons with nothing left to lose, are quickly either concentrated (konzentriert) or evacuated (evakuiert).The best thing, of course, would be liquidation (Liquidierung).

[The Führer] recognizes in Stalin a man of stature who towers above the democratic figures of the Anglo-Saxon powers. He naturally also knows that the Jews are determined, under all circumstances, to bring victory in this war, because they know that defeat also means for them personal liquidation (Liquidation).It is a world-struggle of enormous dimensions that we must confront if the Reich is not to be destroyed (zerstört).Only now are we clear what Stalin, as a front-man for the Jews, had in fact prepared in this war against the Reich.

Heavy use of ‘liquidation’ in the past few passages. Goebbels further seems to here distinguish this from the process of evacuation. Either it is a different form or degree of movement (perhaps en masse), or it may in fact refer to killings, at least in the current context.

May 28, 1942 (II.4.386)

Ten Jews in concentration camps or under the earth are dearer to me than one in freedom. One must proceed quite unsentimentally. Today we lead a life-and-death struggle, and he who wins will be the one that most vigorously defends his personal and political existence.

The vast majority of concentration camps were not ‘extermination camps’ – even on the orthodox view – and imprisonment (in 1942) was not a death sentence. Given this fact, Goebbels seems to accept either imprisonment or death equally, since both remove the Jews from society. There is no preference for one over the other. If mass extermination really was underway, he would not have written this.

May 29, 1942 (II.4.393)

In the Reich one can observe here and there the first signs of anti-government propaganda. It certainly comes from the Jews. The Jews who remain in the Reich naturally represent an extremely dangerous contingent. They really belong in prison. The fact that they can roam freely means an increasing danger for the public, and an increasing risk. I am constantly trying to transport (verfrachten) as many Jews as possible to the East; once they are out of reach (aus der Reichweite heraus), they can then do us no harm, at least for the time being.

Again, clear indication of actual deportation as, if nothing else, a short-term solution to the Jewish problem. This thought continues in the next striking entry:

May 30, 1942 (II.4.406)

Germans are involved in subversive movements only if the Jews tempt them. Therefore one must liquidate (liquidieren) the Jewish danger, cost it what it will. Given how few Jews can in reality adjust themselves to Western European life, one sees that, where they are led back into the ghetto, they quickly revert to form. West European civilization represents only an external coat of paint to them. There is also the Jewish essence, which works with a dangerous brutality and vindictiveness. Therefore the Führer does not at all wish that the Jews should be evacuated (evakuiert) to Siberia. There, under the harshest living conditions, they would undoubtedly develop again a strong life-element. He would much prefer to resettle (aussiedeln) them in central Africa. There they would live in a climate that would certainly not make them strong and resistant. In any case, it is the Führer’s goal to make Western Europe completely Jew-free. Here they may no longer have their homeland.

This seems to be the only instance of a contemplated deportation to continental Africa; Hitler had referred to Siberia already back in mid-1941.[7] But evidently the latter was now out of the question – too mild a climate.(Is it really that bad in central Africa?)In any case we again see here the elements here of a true ‘final solution’: deportation into temporary eastern ghettos, and then ultimately out of the Eurasian land mass altogether.

But perhaps most striking is the fact that the alleged physical extermination process was well underway at this point. At least 2 million Jews had been killed by May 1942, on the orthodox view. In his diary Goebbels is not just substituting ‘deported’ for ‘killed’; he would have to be inventing entire conversations, phony alternate plans, false Hitler quotes – all for himself! This of course is absurd. Goebbels clearly knew nothing of mass murder.

Jun 17, 1942 (II.4.544)

Jewish influence in American public life, particularly in politics, is enormous. Roosevelt is, so to say, the front man for international Jewry, and thus they see the USA as a praiseworthy country, to some extent.

In July 1942, Treblinka begins operation. It processes an astounding 160,000 Jews in its first month.

Aug 21, 1942 (II.5.378)

The responsible Higher-SS leader reported to me on the conditions in the [Warsaw] ghetto. The Jews are now in large part evacuated (evakuiert) and established in the East. This is quite generous to them. Here the Jewish Question is tackled in the right place, without sentimentality and without much consideration. Only in this way can the Jewish problem be solved.

In September the last of the six ‘extermination camps,’ Majdanek, allegedly begins gassing Jews, at a rate of about 3,000 per month. Chelmno is in the process of shutting down, and thus this one month – September 1942 – is the only month that all six camps are in operation at the same time.

Sep 15, 1942 (II.5.505)

Schirach gave a speech to the European Youth Congress, that meets now in Vienna. …Among other things, Schirach explained that he had evacuated (evakuiert) thousands and thousands of Jews out of Vienna and into the eastern ghettos.

Oct 1, 1942 (II.6.37)

Extraordinarily sharp and aggressive venting against the Jews [by the Führer], whom he threatens with destruction (Vernichtung), so far as they run into our area.

I drive back to the Chancellery with the Führer. Once again we talk through the Jewish Question. Here the Führer takes the same radical standpoint I do. He is also of the opinion that we must completely deport the Jews out of the Reich (restlos herausschaffen), and above all from Berlin.

By the end of October, Treblinka has allegedly gassed some 600,000 Jews – far more than any other camp to date. Belzec has gassed 400,000; Auschwitz a mere 150,000.And yet we only see continuous talk of deportations and evacuations. Either Goebbels is continuing to make up periodic lies for his own benefit, or no gassings occurred.

The end of 1942 brings an unusually heavy discussion of the Jews and the Judenfrage. Interesting reference to rumors of “terrible atrocities” committed in Poland, and the generally increasing rate of attention given by western journalists. Such rumors had been reported in major newspapers for some months by this time. The New York Times reported as early as July 2 on the Bund Report, citing the “slaughter of Jews in Poland.”On July 10 the London Times ran the story “German record in Poland,” referring to the “wholesale extermination of the Jews” and specifically naming the Belzec camp. On November 25 the New York Times ran “Himmler program kills Polish Jews.”And in the London Times, December 4, we read of a “deliberate plan for extermination” of the Polish Jews. As I explained in Part 1, it appears that the strategic value of internal rumors may have backfired in the international arena.

Nov 27, 1942 (II.6.344)

Also, the Jews have again become completely impudent, even in the Reich area. I will therefore take care that, at least from Berlin if possible, they will be quickly pushed out (abgeschoben).Next week a transport of 5,000 Berlin Jews will leave for the Eastern zone.

Dec 6, 1942 (II.6.401)

A new suggestion was made on the liquidation (Liquidierung) of Jewish marriages. After that one wants to go to compulsive separations, and otherwise, as means to obtain evacuation (Evakuierung).I do not want to begin this method at the moment. It has caused so much unrest and confusion in public opinion, so as to not be worthwhile, at least in the present. Finally, the Führer has also given me an order to first take care that the unprivileged full Jews are deported (herausgeschafft) from Germany. Once they are all gone, we can then approach the problem of the remaining Jews.

Dec 9, 1942 (II.6.415)

The Jews throughout the world mobilize against us. They tell of terrible atrocities against the Jewish race which we allegedly allowed to happen in Poland, and now they threaten us in London and Washington to inflict a terrible punishment on all guilty parties after the war. That still cannot prevent us from bringing about a radical solution to the Jewish Question. In any case, we will just let this threat be. The Jews will probably not have anything else special to report from Europe.

Dec 12, 1942 (II.6.434)

The atrocity propaganda concerning Poland and the Jewish Question is taking on abnormal forms on the other side. We will not, I fear, be finished with this thing in the long run by remaining silent. We already have to answer to some things, if we do not want to run the risk of becoming gradually discovered. It is best now to go on the attack, and bring up the British atrocities in India or the Middle East. In any case we will have changed the subject.

Dec 13, 1942 (II.6.438-439) **

The question of Jewish persecution in Europe is being given top news priority by the English and the Americans…. At bottom, however, I believe both the English and the Americans are happy that we are cleaning up (aufräumen) the Jewish riff-raff. But the Jews will go on and on and turn the heat on the British-American press. We won’t even discuss this theme publicly, but instead I give orders to start an atrocity campaign against the English on their treatment of Colonials\.

The Italians are extremely lax in the treatment of Jews. They protect the Italian Jews both in Tunis and in occupied France and won’t permit their being drafted for work or compelled to wear the Star of David. This shows once again that Fascism does not really dare to get down to fundamentals, but is very superficial regarding most important problems. The Jewish Question is causing us a lot of trouble. Everywhere, even among our allies, the Jews have friends to help them, which is a proof that they are still playing an important role even in the Axis camp. All the more are they to be shorn of power within Germany itself\.

In place of “cleaning up,” Lochner prefers “exterminating.”

Dec 14, 1942 (II.6.445-446) **

Jewish rabbis in London have held a great protest meeting. The theme was “England, Awake.” It is just too funny for words that the Jews are now compelled, after fifteen years, to steal our slogans and to call upon the pro-Semitic world to fight us, using the same battle-cry with which we once called upon the anti-Semitic world to fight Jewry. But all this won’t avail the Jews of anything. The Jewish race has prepared this war; it is the spiritual originator of the whole misfortune that has overtaken humanity. Jewry must pay for its crime just as our Führer prophesied in his speech in the Reichstag; namely, by the wiping out (Auslöschung) of the Jewish race in Europe and possibly in the entire world\.

An unusually threatening phrase: It’s one thing to clean out Europe via deportations; but how do you clean out “the entire world” without killing them? Perhaps a metaphorical phrase?

Dec 15, 1942 (II.6.449) **

The Jews in London held a day of mourning for the alleged atrocities that we were guilty of in Poland. I do not react at all to this Jewish propaganda, but prefer to sharply lay out the events in India and the Middle East through German propaganda. We will make of these questions a similar propaganda campaign as the English make of the Jewish Question. I assume that the British will soon lose interest in continuing to speak to us in that tone about the Jewish Question.

Lochner includes only the first sentence of the above entry. And he overlooks entirely the following one, in which Goebbels is happy to hand off (not kill) several thousand Polish Jews.

Dec 17, 1942 (II.6.461)

The Jews continue to raise a fuss about the alleged atrocities in Poland. They are now making a new proposal to the effect that Sweden will take in Polish Jews. The Americans would finance this undertaking. For us, nothing could be better; wherever the Jews appear, there too comes anti-Semitism – especially with the Polish Jews. Besides, I hear from the Foreign Office that the Swedes may actually be willing to take the Polish Jews, to some extent. That would really be the highlight of political instinct.

Eden speaks in the House of Commons on the issue of the Polish Jews. One sees in this a whole propaganda effort, a result of the strong Jewish influence on British public opinion. There is hardly an authoritative man, or authoritative paper, that is willing to oppose the propaganda-wishes of Jewry. But we have crossed so many difficult stages in the Jewish problem that we need not concern ourselves about this. Anyway, we still have so many Jews on hand that world Jewry will be careful not to act against us, such that it knows would make us angry.

Dec 18, 1942 (II.6.467) **

The Jewish Question is receiving a big play both in the enemy and in the neutral news services. The Swedes protest hypocritically against our treatment of the Polish Jews, but are by no means willing to receive them in their country. The leading newspapers of Stockholm warn emphatically against having the ghetto Jews from Warsaw forced upon them. It would probably be a good thing if the Swedes were to admit several thousand such Jews into their country. That would give them a practical lesson on the Jewish question. In all likelihood they would understand our measures much better than appears to be the case today\.

The Jews of Jerusalem have held noisy demonstrations of protest against us. They had a day of fasting. At the Wailing Wall they invoked the Old Testament Jewish curse against the Führer, Göring, Himmler, and me. Until now I haven’t noticed any effect on me. One must know these Jews to be able to handle them right. They are now trying to stir up the entire world merely to incite public opinion against the National Socialist Reich and its anti-Semitic convictions. There’s only one answer to this, viz., to continue as at present, rigorously and without compromise. You’re sunk if you give the slightest indication of weakness\.

Dec 19, 1942 (II.6.472) **

Eden delivered a speech in the House of Commons on the Jewish problem and answered planted questions. Rothschild, the “venerable MP,” as the English press calls him, took the floor and delivered a tear-jerker bemoaning the fate of the Polish Jews. At the end of the session the Commons observed a minute of silence. All members of Parliament rose from their seats as a silent tribute to Jewry. That was quite appropriate for the British House of Commons, which is really a sort of Jewish exchange. The English, anyway, are the Jews among the Aryans. The perfumed British Foreign Minister, Eden, cuts a good figure among these characters from the synagogue. His whole education and his entire bearing can be characterized as thoroughly Jewish\.

Dec 20, 1942 (II.6.479) **

Enemy propaganda is exceedingly aggressive. The Jews, too, are talking again. Emil Ludwig Cohn, in an interview in the American press, demands the complete destruction of the German economy and the German war potential. The Jewish campaign against us is growing in volume. What won’t the Jews do to discredit the Reich! They are working arrogantly and on a large scale. But they won’t reach their goal after all, just as they haven’t attained it in the Reich\.

By the end of 1942, on the exterminationist thesis, over 1.6 million Jews died in the six death camps alone. The overall death toll, from all causes, was allegedly more than 4 million. Two-thirds of the holocaust was complete.

* * * * * *

Goebbels begins the new year by recalling Hitler’s 1939 prophecy – interesting how many variations on the Vernichtung word that he uses…

Jan 3, 1943 (II.7.37)

It’s amazing how shortsightedly the Jews all over the world operate. They seem to have learned nothing from the example in Germany. Apparently the hemorrhaging of them by us yielded very little fruit. They should expect this frivolous playing with fire to continue until they are completely wiped out (gänzlich vernichtet).This also corresponds to the Führer’s prophecy, when he explained at the beginning of the war that it would not end with the destruction (Vernichtung) of the Aryan race, but with the expulsion (Austreibung) of Jewry from Europe.

Jan 23, 1943 (II.7.177)

The Führer is of the opinion that the Jewish Question in Berlin must be solved as soon as possible. As long as one still finds Jews in Berlin, we cannot speak of internal security. Also the Jews must be removed from Vienna (aus…heraus) as fast as possible.

Feb 8, 1943 (II.7.295)

The enemy side has the advantage that it is held together by international Jewry. Jewry functions in the enemy nations as a driving element, and we have nothing equivalent to oppose it. From that it follows for us, that we must eliminate (eliminieren) Jewry not only in the Reich but throughout Europe. Also here the Führer adopts my standpoint, that first Berlin must come in line, and that no more Jews would be allowed in Berlin in the foreseeable future.

Here we have the one and only literal use of the term ‘eliminate.’ But lest any traditionalist get too excited about this, I would hasten to point out that, like so many of the other terms, this one does not entail killing. To eliminate is literally to ‘kick someone out of doors’ – from the Latin ex-limen (‘out of threshold’). Again, this is exactly what they were doing with the Jews.

From a military standpoint, the war in the East was now turning against Germany. From mid-December 1942, when they repelled the attack on Stalingrad, to mid-February 1943, the Russians began to recapture an extensive amount of territory. Evacuations of Jews to the East must have appeared less and less feasible, and perhaps this is why Belzec and Treblinka were virtually shut down by the end of February; in fact, the March 2 entry (below) is the last time Goebbels explicitly refers to “the East.” Sobibor held out until late summer 1943, when the second wave of Russian advancement began. Rather than dumping them in ghettos, it gradually became more urgent for the Germans to put the Jews to work in labor camps – hence the shifting emphasis to Auschwitz.

The next three months offered several occasions for Goebbels to comment:

Mar 2, 1943 (II.7.449, 454) **

We are now definitely pushing the Jews out (aus…hinaus) of Berlin. They were suddenly rounded up last Saturday, and are to be carted off (abgeschoben) to the East as quickly as possible. Unfortunately our better circles, especially the intellectuals, once again have failed to understand our policy about the Jews and in some cases have even taken their part. As a result our plans were tipped off prematurely, so that a lot of Jews slipped through our hands. But we will catch them yet. I certainly won’t rest until the capital of the Reich, at least, has become free of Jews\.

Göring realizes perfectly what is in store for all of us if we show any weakness in this war. He has no illusions about that. On the Jewish Question, especially, we have taken a position from which there is no escape. That is a good thing. Experience teaches that a movement and a people who have burned their bridges fight with much greater determination than those who are still able to retreat\.

Mar 6, 1943 (II.7.487) **

Schach gave me a long report on the situation in Berlin as affected by the last air raid. It is extremely serious, after all. The damage done to the Reich capital is very heavy, and it will take us an estimated six or eight months to repair it even halfway. Yet that’s the very moment the SD thinks favorable for continuing with the evacuation of Jews (Judenevakuierung). Unfortunately there have been a number of regrettable scenes at a Jewish home for the aged, where a large number of people gathered and in part even took sides with the Jews. I ordered the SD not to continue Jewish evacuation at so critical a moment. We want to save that up for a couple of weeks. We can then go after it all the more thoroughly\.

Mar 9, 1943 (II.7.515) **

With regard to the Jewish Question, [Hitler] approved of my measures and specifically ordered me to make Berlin entirely free of Jews. I shall see to it that there is no concubinage between Berlin Jews and foreign workers.

March 11, 1943 (II.7.528) **

The evacuation (Evakuierung) of Jews from Berlin has led to a number of untoward happenings. Unfortunately a number of Jews and Jewesses from privileged marriages were also arrested, thereby causing fear and confusion. The scheduled arrest of all Jews on one day has proven a flash in the pan because of the shortsighted behavior of industrialists who warned the Jews in time. We therefore failed to lay our hands on about 4,000. They are now wandering about Berlin without homes, are not registered with the police and are naturally quite a public danger. I ordered the police, Wehrmacht, and the Party to do everything possible to round up these Jews as quickly as practicable\.

The arrest of Jews and Jewesses living in privileged wedlock caused a terrific commotion, especially in artistic circles, since these privileged marriages are still prevalent among actors. But I can’t be squeamish about them. If a German still finds it possible to live with a Jewess as his legal wife, that’s a point against him, and it’s out of place to be too sentimental about this question in wartime\.

Mar 15, 1943 (II.7.556) **

You just can’t trust the Jews across the street. I therefore told the Führer emphatically once more that I deemed it essential to force the Jews out (herauszubringen) of the entire Reich as fast as possible. He approved, and ordered me not to cease or pause until no Jew is left anywhere in Germany\.

Mar 20, 1943 (II.7.595) **

The Führer is happy over my report that the Jews have for the most part been evacuated (evakuieren) from Berlin. He is right in saying that the war has made possible for us the solution of a whole series of problems that could never have been solved in normal times. The Jews will certainly be the losers in this war, come what may\.

Apr 11, 1943 (II.8.90)

The English newspapers complain loudly about growing anti-Semitism in England. That is very exploitable, and will be put to good propaganda use. The Führer’s prophecy, that Jewry will lose this war in the end, is realizing itself more and more. The Jews perhaps believe that they will be able to slowly wear down the authoritarian peoples through the long process of the war; they have forgotten, however, that a longer-running war will also induce a critical situation for them.

Apr 17, 1943 (II.8.115) **

The USA has published statistics according to which there are 5,000,000 orthodox Jews in the United States. The United States can certainly be described as a Class-1 Jew state (Judenstaat erster Klasse). We are going to step up our anti-Semitic propaganda so much that the word ‘Jew’ will again be pronounced in the derisive manner that it deserves, just as it was in the time of our struggle for power. It must come to pass that even an enemy statesman won’t dare to be seen in the company of a Jew without immediately being suspected by his own people of being a stooge of the Jews\.

Apr 18, 1943 (II.8.123-126) **

It was an exceptionally good idea that we raised the Jewish problem again on orders of the Führer. Anti-Semitism is growing rapidly even in the enemy states. Reports to that effect reach us, especially from England. If we continue to high-pressure the anti-Semitic question, the Jews, in the long run, will be much discredited. All one needs to do is be tough and determined, for the Jewish problem has now been frozen so tight that it will be difficult to thaw it out again\.

I gave orders to investigate all Jews still left in Berlin. I don’t want to see Jews with the Star of David running about in the capital. Either the Star must be taken from them and they be classed as privileged, or they must be evacuated (evakuieren) altogether from the capital of the Reich. I believe I shall have completed one of the greatest political achievements of my career once Berlin is free of Jews. When I consider how Berlin looked in 1926 when I came here, and how it looks now in 1943 when the Jews are being evacuated (evakuiert) completely, I get a feeling of what has been achieved in this sector\.

Apr 19, 1943 (II.8.129) **

The Jews in England are now also demanding legal protection against anti-Semitism. We know how this goes from past battles. But that also did not bring them much advantage. We understood that it was always possible to find gaps in the protection laws; and in this remainder, anti-Semitism, if it comes up from the depths of the people, cannot be broken by legal means. A law against Jew-hatred is usually the beginning of the end for the Jews.

Today, of course, we have anti-Holocaust denial laws, hate crime laws, etc. The parallels are troubling.

Apr 25, 1943 (II.8.163) **

From a report from the occupied areas I gather that a truly grotesque situation obtains in Warsaw. The Jews tried to leave the ghetto by subterranean passages. Thereupon these underground passages were flooded. The ghetto is now under artillery fire. When such conditions prevail in an occupied city, it certainly can’t be said to be pacified. It is high time that we remove (aus…entfernen) the Jews just as quickly as possible from the General Government\.

The Führer would like to talk to me before I go on leave, especially to discuss the next measures in the Jewish Question, of which he has very great expectations\.

A minor correction on Lochner, who uses the word ‘evacuate.’ Also, the fact that Goebbels describes as “grotesque” the incident of drowned Jews suggests some minimal level of concern. He clearly prefers evacuation to dead bodies. And one wonders what Hitler’s “great expectations” were about; on the conventional view, nothing dramatic happens to the Jews for a full year from this time – just the on-going transfers to Auschwitz, at about 15,000-20,000 per month.

May 8, 1943 (II.8.230, 236-237) **

Much to my surprise my article “The War and the Jews” has attracted much attention, even in neutral countries. I should have thought the Jews would try to give it the silent treatment. But that is not the case. It is being quoted to an extent that is simply amazing. That showed the Jews are either so foolish as to let my arguments get out into the world, or else in every editorial office sit secret opponents of the Jews who gladly identify themselves with my anti-Semitic arguments by publishing my article\.

The Führer argued that the anti-Semitism which formerly animated the Party and was advocated by it must again become the focal point of our spiritual struggle. He thinks a great deal of the anti-Semitic movement in England, although he is naturally aware that it lacks organization and therefore cannot constitute a political factor. Nevertheless this anti-Semitism is most embarrassing to the Churchill Government. It is comparable to the anti-Semitic endeavors of certain bourgeois organizations in Germany in the old days. These, too, would never have achieved their end had not the revolutionary National Socialist movement taken up the campaign…\.

The Jewish question is being solved least satisfactorily by the Hungarians. The Hungarian state is permeated with Jews, and the Führer did not succeed during his talk with Horthy in convincing the latter of the necessity of more stringent measures. Horthy himself, of course, is badly tangled up with the Jews through his family, and will continue to resist every effort to tackle the Jewish problem aggressively. He gave a number of humanitarian counterarguments which of course don’t apply at all to this situation. You just cannot talk humanitarianism when dealing with Jews. Jews must be defeated (zu Boden geworfen – lit. ‘thrown to the floor’). The Führer made every effort to win Horthy over to his standpoint but succeeded only partially\.

The East will forever regard Europe as an attractive jewel. The East will again and again try to break into this continent in order to dominate it. Our constant, untiring effort must therefore center upon taking the necessary measures for our security. If it be true today that the Bolshevism of the East is mainly under Jewish leadership and that the Jews are also the dominant influence in the Western plutocracies, then our anti-Semitic propaganda must begin at this point. The Jews must therefore be thrown out (aus…heraus) of Europe.

Goebbels’s article, Der Krieg und die Juden, was written for the German public but received wide notice in the Allied countries.[8] He writes of the Jews’ urging the Allies to “exterminate and destroy the Axis powers,” and to “destroy and exterminate our people.”He recalls Hitler’s prophecy of “wiping out the Jewish race” and how they will have to “answer for their countless crimes.”“We are dealing with the most dangerous enemy that ever threatened the life, freedom, and dignity of humanity. There can be no mercy.”The Jewish world war has become “a war for his racial existence,” and, in attacking Germany, “they signed their own death warrant.”

The reference to Hungary is a foreboding of the mass evacuations that would happen 12 months later.

May 10, 1943 (II.8.255) **

The fights in the Warsaw ghetto have largely petered out. I received a secret report on the mysterious question as to how the Jews got hold of the large supplies of arms with which they defended themselves. For the most part they bought them from our brave allies as they were fleeing homeward and in Warsaw got rid of their weapons for good money. There are soldiers for you!

May 11, 1943 (II.8.270) **

It is interesting to note that many of the London papers printed my article against the Jews. I can’t figure it out. Are the Jews so foolish as to believe this article would militate against us and not, on the contrary, strengthen the anti-Semitic feeling in England considerably?

The following is the longest single entry on the Jewish Question. Here I include the abbreviated version that Lochner published, which captures the main points – though he uses “extermination” for auszurotten, and omits the two sentences that follow.

May 13, 1943 (II.8.287-289) **

I have devoted exhaustive study to the Protocols of Zion. In the past the objection was always made that they were not suited to present-day propaganda. In reading them now I find that we can use them very well. The Protocols of Zion are as modern today as they were when published for the first time…\.

At noon I mentioned this to the Führer. He believed the Protocols were absolutely genuine…. The Jewish Question, in the Führer’s opinion, will play a decisive role in England…. In all the world, he said, the Jews are alike. Whether they live in a ghetto of the East or in the bankers’ palaces of the City or Wall Street, they will always pursue the same aims and without previous agreement even use the same means. One might well ask why are there any Jews in the world order? That would be exactly like asking why are there potato bugs? Nature is dominated by the law of struggle. There will always be parasites who will spur this struggle on and intensify the process of selection between the strong and the weak. The principle of struggle dominates also in human life. One must merely know the laws of this struggle to be able to face it. The intellectual does not have the natural means of resisting the Jewish peril because his instincts have been badly blunted. Because of this fact the nations with a high standard of civilization are exposed to this peril first and foremost. In nature life always takes measures against parasites; in the life of nations that is not always the case. From this fact the Jewish peril actually stems. There is therefore no other recourse left for modern nations except to root out (auszurotten) the Jew. They will use all means to defend themselves against this gradual process of destruction (Vernichtungsprozess).One of these means is war\.

There is no hope of leading the Jews back into the fold of civilized humanity by exceptional punishments. They will forever remain Jews, just as we are forever members of the Aryan race\.

The Jew was also the first to introduce the lie into politics as a weapon. Aboriginal man, the Führer believes, did not know the lie…. The higher the human being developed intellectually, the more he acquired the ability of hiding his innermost thoughts and giving expression to something different from what he really felt. The Jew as an absolutely intellectual creature was the first to learn this art. He can therefore be regarded not only as the carrier but even the inventor of the lie among human beings. Because of their thoroughly materialistic attitude, the English act very much like the Jews. In fact, they are the Aryans who have acquired most of the Jewish characteristics…. The nations that have been the first to see through the Jew and have been the first to fight him are going to take his place in the domination of the world\.

May 19, 1943 (II.8.322) **

The English and Americans discuss practically nothing but air warfare. Their successful raid on the German dams created a great sensation both in London and in Washington. Of course they know exactly what they have achieved by this attack. The former Berlin Reuter correspondent, Bettany, claimed that the plan for the attack stemmed from a Jew who emigrated from Berlin. I had this claim written up as a short news item for papers in the Reich, especially in the areas that suffered the disaster. This shows once again how dangerous the Jews are and how right we are in putting them behind bars (sie in sicheren Gewahrsam zu bringen – lit. ‘bringing into secure custody’)…

May 26, 1943 (II.8.370) **

An interesting report tells about the conference at Casablanca. According to this report it was decided that the Anglo-Saxon powers would create a national home for the Jews in Palestine after their eventual victory. This national home is to take care of 20,000,000 Jews. These Jews are to engage chiefly in intellectual and managerial tasks; the work is to be done, as decided in Casablanca, by middle European and especially German workers. For this a large-scale resettlement would be necessary that would, to a certain extent, depopulate (entvölkere) Central Europe. It isn’t hard to imagine what’s going on in the brains of these plutocratic statesmen who are dependent upon the Jews; but we also know what we must do to protect the German people against such a fate\.

The 20 million figure is astonishing. No one before or since has claimed so high a figure for Jewish world population. The Israeli Bureau of Statistics currently lists only 16.7 million in 1939.In 1936 the New York Times (April 9) reported a figure of 16 million. Jewish agencies themselves were reporting that 2 million had been killed by early 1943, so there could not have been more than 14 million left – unless they didn’t believe their own figures. Interesting proposal to capture and relocate Germans for forced labor in Israel. In any case we see a clear connection between the events of World War II and the establishment of Israel.

With the war now clearly turning against Germany, there were many issues more urgent than the deportation of Jews. As a consequence we find only three relevant entries in the final six months of 1943.This fact argues strongly against those who claim that the “extermination of the Jews” was an overriding priority until the very end. Were it not for the Hungarian situation in mid-1944 we might have heard nothing more on it at all.

Jun 25, 1943 (II.8.533)

Even in Italy, the Jews have not been removed (beseitigt), but rather they just wait for their hour to come again. We can be very glad that we have followed a radical policy with respect to the Jewish Question. There are no Jews behind us who could overtake our inheritance.

Jul 17, 1943 (II.9.116)

I receive an unpleasant report from the SD. They want to transfer all the Jewish mixed marriages from Cologne, where they can no longer remain, to Berlin. I oppose this by all means. It is completely out of the question. I have now luckily made Berlin half-way Jew-free, and do not want to take in Jewish families again. They are supposed to be distributed throughout the entire Reich, and I am willing to accept only a certain quota for Berlin.

Ten days after the above entry, the British conducted their first major fire-bombing campaign of the war, against Hamburg. Roughly 45,000 people died, mainly women, children, and the elderly. It was a war crime of the highest magnitude.

Oct 7, 1943 (II.10.72)

As to the Jewish Question, [Himmler] gives a very frank and candid picture. He is of the opinion that we can solve the Jewish Question for all of Europe by the end of this year. He advocates the most radical and harshest solution, namely, that the whole of Jewry will be rooted out (auszurotten).This is surely a consistent, if brutal, solution. We must accept the responsibility to completely solve this question in our time. Later generations will surely no longer have the courage or dedication to address this problem, as we do today.

By October 1943, the alleged Jewish death toll was 4.5-5 million. There were still a million or more deaths to come, on the orthodox view.

On October 23, the Brits firebombed Kassel – 10,000 more civilian deaths.

Into 1944, Auschwitz is the only one of the six ‘death camps’ to remain in operation. It is now fully geared up to support the war effort, making use of all available slave labor. Some 20,000-30,000 Jews are allegedly gassed there each month. But it’s clear that this would have been a tremendous waste of manpower at a particularly critical point in the war. For the most part, though, there is no doubt that by this time German society had been largely cleared of Jews. Goebbels comments accordingly:

Feb 25, 1944 (II.11.348)

As the Jews have been struck down (niederschlagen) in Germany, so they will be struck down in the entire world. That which we have put behind us in our struggle for power, the enemy nations still have before them; but the Führer emphasized that what the Jews in Germany have behind them, they still have to face in England and America.

It’s a strange phrase to use, “what the Jews have behind them,” if in fact they are dead. Most likely the majority are still alive – in prisons, camps, or loose somewhere in the East.

Mar 4, 1944 (II.11.403)

Only with the Jewish Question have we pursued such a radical policy. It was correct, and today we are its beneficiaries. The Jews can no longer trouble us. Nevertheless, even before addressing the Jewish Question, one must emphasize over and over again that it is not possible to be solved (nicht zu lösen sei).One sees how it is possible, if one only wants it. But a bourgeois man naturally cannot understand that.

If the Jewish problem was not truly solved, it can only be because the final deportation phase was not effected. But it was evidently solved well enough to no longer be a concern.

Hungary now comes into view. With things looking bad, Hungarian leaders Horthy and Kallay sought to bail out of the Axis and negotiate an independent armistice. Hitler would have none of this, and occupied the country on March 19.The Germans then installed Dome Sztojay as prime minister. Where Horthy had resisted Jewish deportations, Sztojay readily cooperated. At this time the country had some 760,000 Jews, of which about 230,000 were in Budapest. Ghettoization of the Jews began immediately upon occupation; deportations would commence two months later, in mid-May. Almost all the deportees went to Auschwitz: for forced labor, according to Goebbels, or to be gassed, according to traditionalism.

Mar 13, 1944 (II.11.462)

Above all the Führer emphasized that he has no intention of letting Hungary come to the sorry state that befell us in Italy. The campaign is designed to occupy Hungarian territory with very sharp blows.… Hungary has 700,000 Jews; we will ensure that they do not slip through our net.

Mar 16, 1944 (II.11.490)

Six thousand Jews are still living in Berlin, partly privileged, and partly tolerated. I’m keeping an eye on them, and will still try to deport them (abzuschieben) at the earliest opportunity.

Mar 23, 1944 (II.11.530-531)

At the moment, the [Hungarian] Jews are not under arrest, but rather confined to the ghetto. We can therefore use it well in Budapest, because they will serve to some extent as hostages against enemy air raids. The people of Budapest were always of the opinion that, so long as there are Jews in the Hungarian capitol, they would not be attacked by enemy aircraft. They should want to.

Apr 18, 1944 (II.12.44)

The Führer then explained to the Gauleiters the background of his campaign in Hungary, and how it was designed. He gave an amusing description of his talk with Horthy. He had to use strong-arm tactics because the old man was not comfortable with the necessary measures. The Führer left him in no doubt, that either it would be a fight to the death or that he had to submit. The Führer had so many forces to apply to this campaign that Horthy offered no serious resistance. In particular, the Führer expected contributions from Hungary of food, oil, manganese, and people. In particular, he wants the 700,000 Jews in Hungary involved in beneficial activities for our war effort.

Apr 27, 1944 (II.12.199)

Horthy made clear to the Führer that while Germany has many large cities, Hungary has only Budapest. He clearly argued that Budapest would be attacked by the British and the Americans. In any case, he no longer opposes us; on the contrary, he unleashes a terrible fury on the Jews, and has no objection to our using them as hostages; he even proposed that himself. Meanwhile 300,000 Hungarian Jews have been detained and imprisoned in the concentration camps. They should come, in large part, to Germany as a workforce. Himmler will take care of this; above all, they are to be used for our difficult war production programs. In any case, Hungary will no longer be out of line on the Jewish Question. He who says A, must say B, and once Hungary has begun to implement their Jewish policy they can no longer slow it down. At a certain point, Jewish policy drives itself. This is now the case in Hungary.

May 4, 1944 (II.12.232)

Our plenipotentiary in Hungary, Veesenmayer, gives an excellent speech on the decisive Hungarian factors. …In particular, it’s to his credit that the Hungarian potential is now in large part requisitioned for our war efforts. Also, the Jewish Question is now being handled more energetically. I insist that the measures taken against the Jews in Hungary have a factual basis. It’s not enough that one only announces in the press what happens, but one must also explain it. In Budapest the Jews are starting to be gathered into ghettos. The ghettos are built in the vicinity of the armament factories, because air attacks are likely there. It is hoped thereby to avoid British-American attacks on Budapest, if at all possible.

This, unfortunately, is the last significant entry through the end of June, by which time the evacuations were nearly complete. Some 440,000 Jews were removed from the country through July 7, from all parts except Budapest city; its 230,000 Jews survived the deportations, as did about 90,000 non-Budapest Jews.

* * * * *

Though my detailed study of the diary ends here, a few later entries and events are worth mentioning. D-day (June 6) occurred in the midst of the Hungarian action. The eastern front was rapidly collapsing. On September 11 the Allies fire-bombed Darmstadt, killing 12,000.In October, Goebbels comments that some of the displaced Jews were contemplating a return (!) to Germany after the war:

Oct 24, 1944 (II.14.93)

Jews that fell into our hands have said that our ‘emigrant Semites’ [Jews who have been expelled from the Reich] again stated the intention of returning to the Reich as soon as an opportunity was offered to them. I think it would suit them to prepare a reception that they would in no way expect.

In Hungary, Horthy was able to depose Sztojay in July, and was the de facto leader until October when the Germans again intervened. This time they imprisoned Horthy and installed Ferenc Szalasi. In November he ordered the Budapest Jews into a city ghetto.

Dec 3, 1944 (II.14.343)

International Jewry announces its post-war plans particularly through the mouths of the Zionists. These plans are bursting with impudence and insults, not only against us but also the Anglo-American enemy. The Jews are feeling on top of things today. But they will surely regret their current excesses in the not-too-distant future.

In Budapest the last Jews are now locked into the ghetto. I think that Szalasi would be better advised to deliver the Jews to us. Then should Budapest be directly threatened by the enemy, the Jews would serve as a ferment of decomposition.

Dec 13, 1944 (II.14.406)

The Stockholm Jews are vigorously at work to create incidents between Sweden and the Reich. They will not rest until Sweden is dragged into this war. The Jew is really the ferment of decomposition, and the real culprit of this war. He and his race will therefore likely have to pay the highest price for this war.

Intriguing phrase:“ferment of decomposition.”This recalls Hitler’s comments of 1 December 1941 and 27 January 1942, of seeing the Jews as a corrosive force in society. And again, if the Jew has yet “to pay the highest price,” then clearly he hasn’t paid it so far – meaning, he is still alive somewhere.

Even into 1945, Goebbels is showing no signs of surrender:

Jan 4, 1945 (II.15.62-63)

I report to the Führer on the enormous effect that his New Year’s talk has had, both in and out of the country. He himself has already read with great satisfaction the available foreign telegrams. In any case we must stay cool in the present war situation. The Jews will make every effort to confuse us, and to sow discord with their lies; but that should not shake us. Also in the last months of 1932, the Jews left no stone unturned in order to prevent an organic solution to this internal German conflict. They will also attempt to do this now, in the present efforts to solve the world-conflict in an organic way. But there are ways and means enough to counter this.

Jan 19, 1945 (II.15.153)

In the parts of Poland newly-occupied by the Soviets, the Jewish Question now becomes extraordinarily relevant. The Lublin Commission appears not to have created much that the Jews want. It gives an explanation from the standpoint that, after we have eradicated (ausgerottet) the larger part of Polish Jewry, now Polish anti-Semitism must be taken into account. How that should happen, the Lublin Commission has no plan for itself.

On February 13, Britain fire-bombs Dresden; as many as 45,000 civilians perish. Ten days later it does the same to Pforzheim, with another 17,000 fatalities. Allied barbarity knows no bounds. Perhaps it was these mass slaughters of innocents that led to the following comment:

Mar 14, 1945 (II.15.498) ***

The Jews are reemerging. Their spokesman is the well-known and notorious Leopold Schwarzschild; he is now arguing in the American press that under no circumstances should Germany be given lenient treatment. Anyone in a position to do so should kill these Jews like rats (wie die Ratten totschlagen). In Germany, thank God, we have already thoroughly attended to this. I hope that the world will take this as an example.

As mentioned earlier, this is the one and only instance of Goebbels explicitly calling for the death of Jews – in the 123 entries that I was able to find and report here. In the next sentence I have given a more literal translation of Goebbels’s wording:…haben wir schon redlich besorgt. Barry chose to write “…we have already done a fairly complete job.”Either way, it’s clear that many Jews have indeed ‘died like rats,’ but once again this is a far cry from complete annihilation.

Finally, two late entries from near the very end:

Mar 15, 1945 (II.15.509) ***

The Jews of Palestine…have called a one-day strike in sympathy with the Jews of Europe. The Jews are playing a wicked and thoughtless game. No one can say with certainty which nation will be on the losing side and which on the winning at the end of the war; but there can be no doubt that the Jews will be the losers.

Apr 4, 1945 (II.15.674) ***

The Jews have applied for a seat at the San Francisco Conference [on post-war plans]. It is characteristic that their main demand is that anti-Semitism be forbidden throughout the world. Typically, having committed the most terrible crimes against mankind, the Jews would now like mankind to be forbidden even to think about them.

Indeed, we are still forbidden to think of such things, even 65 years later.

As explained in Part 1 of this article, Goebbels’s diaries, like Hitler’s ‘table talk’ reflections, are not well known or citied, even among the so-called experts. I think we can now see why: these entries offer very little support for the orthodox view, and raise lots of troublesome issues that must be explained away – not the least of which is the fact that, if we are to believe the exterminationists, Goebbels systematically lied to himself or otherwise falsified his own private diary, for years, for the sake of some unknown future events. This is simply not credible. Nor is the possibility that he was unaware of the mass killing that was allegedly happening. By all reasonable indications, the revisionist account – the literal reading of the diary – is most likely true.

All of this might come to light if the Goebbels diaries were published in English, in full, with an honest translation. But don’t hold your breath. I contacted the people at Saur in Germany, asking about this. I received a terse one-sentence reply:[9] “The title Goebbels Tagebücher will not be published in an English version.”


[1] Lochner misdates this entry as February 14. Also, as explained in Part 1, the citation numbers after each date refer to Part, Volume, and page number in the Tagebücher collection; so (II.3.320) means Part II, volume 3, page 320.The double asterisk (**) after a citation indicates that this was published in the Lochner translation (Goebbels 1948); a triple asterisk (***) refers to the Barry translation (Goebbels 1978). Entries with no asterisks are published here for the first time in English.
[2] These are my calculations based on Hilberg and other traditional sources. See my book Debating the Holocaust: A New Look at Both Sides (2009).
[3] He does use it, but only once: on 8 February 1943.
[4] “How Jewish is Hollywood?” Los Angeles Times, 19 December 2008.
[5] Here are the top five and their leading executives: Time-Warner (Jeff Bewkes, Edgar Bronfman), Disney (Robert Iger), News Corp (Rupert Murdoch, Peter Chernin), Viacom (Sumner Redstone, Leslie Moonves, Philippe Dauman), NBC-Universal (Jeff Zucker).With the possible exception of Murdoch (who in any case is profoundly philo-Semitic), all these executives are Jewish.
[6] The top seven: USA Today, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, LA Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, New York Daily News. Except for USA Today, all are Jewish-owned, -managed, or – oriented.
[7] Siberia, of course, being much further away than the occupied Russian territory.
[8] The full English text is available online at: The German original can only be found in the 1944 book Der Steile Aufstieg (‘The Steep Climb’).
[9] Email correspondence from Mr. Martin Wolter, dated 19 November 2009.


  • Browning, C., Path to Genocide. Cambridge University Press, 1995
  • Dalton, T., Debating the Holocaust: A New Look at Both Sides. Theses and Dissertations Press, 2009.
  • Goebbels, J., The Goebbels Diaries: 1942-1943. L. Lochner, trans. and ed. Doubleday and Company, 1948.
  • Goebbels, J., The Early Goebbels Diaries: 1925-1926. O. Watson, trans. H. Heiber, ed. Praeger, 1962.
  • Goebbels, J., Final Entries 1945: The Diaries of Joseph Goebbels. R. Barry, trans.H. Trevor-Roper, ed. Putnam, 1978.
  • Goebbels, J., Die Tagebücher von Joseph Goebbels. E. Fröhlich, ed. K. G. Saur Verlag, 1987-2006.
  • Hilberg, R., The Destruction of the European Jews. Yale University Press, 2003.
  • Hitler, A., Hitler’s Table Talk: 1941-1944. Enigma, 1953/2000.
  • Irving, D., Goebbels: Mastermind of the Third Reich. Focal Point Press, 1996.
  • Kershaw, I., Hitler 1936-1945: Nemesis. W. W. Norton, 2000.
  • Kershaw, I., Hitler, the Germans, and the Final Solution. Yale University Press, 2008.

Holocaust Revisionism for Beginners


David McCalden investigates the Holocaust and tests the claims made about this important aspect of history.

Benton L. Bradberry Has Died



By Jim Rizoli and Diane King

Published: 2019-10-06

Jim and Diane report Benton Bradberry’s death and provide a tribute to him and his signal accomplishment: THE MYTH OF GERMAN VILLAINY.

President Roosevelt and The Origins of the 1939 War


Editor’s Note


This article is excerpted from David L. Hoggan’s book The Forced War: The Origins and Originators of World War II. The complete book was published in hardcover by the Institute for Historical Review in December 1983. Professor Hoggan’s treatment of the Roosevelt/American role in his book is not limited to one section, but runs rather through the course of the narrative as that role develops. Here we have culled the pertinent sections, providing a running commentary (italicized) which fills in the chronological gaps and gives the essential background, as presented by the author, of European events against which Roosevelt moved. The treatment of President Roosevelt in The Forced War begins in earnest in the year 1938, and that is where this article takes up the story. Crucial both to Professor Hoggan’s portrayal of Roosevelt and his general thesis as to war responsibility is his assertion that in October 1938, after the Munich conference, personal control of British foreign policy passed from Prime Minister Chamberlain to his Foreign Minister, Lord Halifax, who thereupon waged an unremitting campaign to force a war with Germany.

The Secret War Aspirations of President Roosevelt

The attitude of President Roosevelt and his entourage was perhaps more extreme than that of the British leaders, but at least the American President was restrained by constitutional checks, public opinion, and Congressional legislation from inflicting his policy on Europe during the period before World War II. A petulant outburst from Assistant Secretary F. B. Sayre, of the American State Department, to British Ambassador Sir Ronald Lindsay on September 9, 1938, during difficult negotiations for an Anglo-American trade treaty, illustrated the psychosis which afflicted American leaders and diplomats. Sayre later recalled: “I went on to say that at such a time, when war was threatening and Germany was pounding at our gates, it seemed to me tragic that we had not been able to reach and sign an agreement.” To imagine Germany pounding on the gates of the United States in 1938 is like confusing Alice in Wonderland with the Bible.

Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau, Jr., telephoned Paris on March 14, 1938, to inform the French that the United States would support and cooperate with a Socialist measure of the Blum Popular Front Government to control, and, if necessary, to freeze foreign exchange in France. This would have been a drastic measure contrary to the international system of arbitrage and to the prevailing international financial policy of the United States. Morgenthau was eager to see Leon Blum retain the premiership in the hope that he would plunge France into conflict with Hitler. He had no compunctions about taking this step without informing either the United States Congress or American business leaders. Leon Blum, the Socialist, did not dare to go that far, and his Government fell because of an inadequate fiscal policy.

The German leaders correctly believed that the unrestrained anti-German press in the United States was profoundly influencing both public and private American attitudes toward Germany. Goebbels told United States Ambassador Hugh Wilson on March 22, 1938, that he expected criticism, and “indeed, it was inconceivable to him that writers in America should be sympathetic with present-day Germany because of the complete contrast of method by which the (German) Government was acting.” On the other hand, he objected to libel and slander and to the deliberate stirring up of hatred. Wilson confided that it was not the German form of government which was at issue, but that “the most crucial thing that stood between any betterment of our Press relationship was the Jewish question.” Ribbentrop was able to challenge Wilson on April 30, 1938, to find one single item in the German press which contained a personal criticism of President Roosevelt. He also intimated that the situation could be otherwise.

In early 1938, Jewish doctors and dentists were still participating in the German state compulsory insurance program (Ortskranken-kassen), which guaranteed them a sufficient number of patients. Wilson relayed information to Secretary of State Hull that, in 1938, 10% of the practicing lawyers in Germany were Jews, although the Jews constituted less than 1 % of the population. Nevertheless, the American State Department continued to bombard Germany with exaggerated protests on the Jewish question throughout 1938, although Wilson suggested to Hull on May 10, 1938, that these protests, which were not duplicated by other nations, did more harm than good. The United States took exception to a German law of March 30, 1938, which removed the Jewish church from its position as one of the established churches of Germany. This meant that German public tax receipts would go no longer to the Jewish church, although German citizens would continue to pay taxes for the Protestant and Catholic churches. The situation established by this new law in Germany was in conformity with current English practice, where public tax revenue went to the Anglican Church, but the Jewish churches received nothing.

On March 14, 1938, Under-Secretary of State Sumner Welles complained to Polish Ambassador Jerzy Potocki about the German treatment of the Jews and praised Poland for her “policy of tolerance.” Potocki, who knew that current Polish measures against the Jews were more severe than those in Germany, replied with dignity that “the Jewish problem in Poland was a very real problem.” It is evident that the Jewish question was primarily a pretext of American policy to disguise the fact that American leaders were spoiling for a dispute with Germany on any terms. In September 1938 President Roosevelt had a bad cold, and he complained that he “wanted to kill Hitler and amputate the nose.”

Perhaps frustration and knowledge of the domestic obstacles confronting his own policy increased President Roosevelt’s fury. Jules Henry, the French Charge d’Affaires, reported to Paris on November 7, 1937, that President Roosevelt was interested in overthrowing Hitler, but that the majority of the American people did not share his views. French Ambassador Saint-Quentin reported on June 11, 1938, that President Roosevelt suddenly blurted out during an interview that “the Germans understand only force,” and then clenched his fist like a boxer spoiling for a fight. He noted that the President was fond of saying that if “France went down, the United States would go down.” Apparently this proposition was supposed to contain some self-evident legalistic-moralistic truth which required no demonstration.

Ambassador Saint-Quentin noted that the relations between President Roosevelt and William C. Bullitt, were especially close. This was understandable, because Bullitt was a warmonger. Bullitt was currently serving as United States Ambassador to France, but he was Ambassador-at-large to all the countries of Europe, and he was accustomed to transmit orders from Roosevelt to American Ambassador Kennedy in London or American Ambassador Biddle in Warsaw. Bullitt had a profound knowledge of Europe. He was well aware that the British did not intend to fight in 1938, and that the French would not fight without British support. He improved his contacts and bided his time during the period of the Austrian and Czech crises. He prepared for his role in 1939 as the Roosevelt Ambassador par excellence. He could accomplish little in either year, because the whole world knew that the President he was serving did not have the backing of the American people for his foreign policy.

In the wake of the peaceful settlement of the Sudeten-German problem in Czechoslovakia at the Munich conference, and after a German-backed Czech-Polish agreement on the transfer of ethnic Polish territory (Teschen) to Poland, Polish Ambassador to Germany Lipski meets with German Foreign Minister Ribbentrop at Berlin in November 1938, to discuss the Danzig and Corridor questions. Little is accomplished, as Lipski carries out Polish Foreign Minister Beck’s instructions not to engage in realistic discussion. But, bearing in mind Hitler’s recent generous proposal of a German guarantee of Poland’s Western border (provided that the Danzig question, with the question of free and sovereign German access to Danzig across the Corridor, is settled), Lipski ostensibly leaves room for a possible agreement on German road and railway access across the Corridor.

Potocki Reports from America

Lipski returned to Poland on November 22, 1938, to discuss the Danzig situation. His assurance to Ribbentrop about the superhighways and the railways had been a mere ruse designed to appease the Germans. The Polish leaders agreed that no concessions would be made to Germany either at Danzig or in the Corridor transit question. The affable manner of Ribbentrop, despite the adamant Polish stand on Danzig, impressed the Polish leaders. Beck speculated that Danzig might not be the issue after all which would produce a conflict between Germany and Poland. He suggested that Hitler might be allowing Ribbentrop unusual liberty in the Danzig question to see what he could accomplish. Lipski’s attitude was similar to Beck’s. His latest conversation with Ribbentrop had caused him to modify his earlier opinion that Germany would never retreat at Danzig. He suggested that the injury done to German relations with the United States by the anti-Jewish policy might affect German policy toward Poland.

Lipski tended to exaggerate the effects on German foreign relations of the demonstrations against the Jews in Germany on November 10, 1938. He predicted that a Franco-German declaration of friendship, which had been discussed by Hitler and the French leaders since the preceding month, would never be signed because of the negative French reaction to the anti-Jewish demonstrations. This prediction proved to be false, and Ribbentrop signed the declaration at Paris on December 6, 1938.

Lipski and the other Polish diplomats were influenced in their judgment of this question at the moment by a report which had been telegraphed by Count Jerzy Potocki from Washington, D.C., on November 21, 1938. The Polish Ambassador was informed by William C. Bullitt, the American Ambassador to France who was visiting in the United States, that President Roosevelt was determined to bring America into the next European war. Bullitt explained to Potocki at great length that he enjoyed the special confidence of President Roosevelt. Bullitt predicted that a long war would soon break out in Europe, and “of Germany and her Chancellor, Adolf Hitler, he spoke with extreme vehemence and with bitter hatred.” He suggested that the war might last six years, and he advocated that it should be fought to a point where Germany could never recover.

Potocki did not share the enthusiasm of Bullitt and Roosevelt for war and destruction. He asked how such a war might arise, since it seemed exceedingly unlikely that Germany would attack Great Britain or France. Bullitt suggested that a war might break out between Germany and some other Power, and that the Western Powers would intervene in such a war. Bullitt considered an eventual Soviet-German war inevitable, and he predicted that Germany, after an enervating war in Russia, would capitulate to the Western Powers. He assured Potocki that the United States would participate in this war, if Great Britain and France made the first move. Bullitt inquired about Polish policy, and Potocki replied that Poland would fight rather than permit Germany to tamper with her western frontier. Bullitt, who was strongly proPolish, declared it was his conviction that it would be possible to rely on Poland to stand firmly against Germany.

Potocki incorrectly attributed the belligerent American attitude solely to Jewish influence. He failed to realize that President Roosevelt and his entourage considered World War I to have been a great adventure, and that they were bitter about those Americans who continued to adopt a cynical attitude toward American militarism after President Roosevelt’s quarantine speech in 1937. President Roosevelt had been one of the few advocating permanent peacetime military conscription in the United States during the complacent 1920’s. Such factors were more than sufficient to prompt Roosevelt to adopt an aggressive attitude toward Germany. He had no strong pro-Jewish feelings; he jokingly said at the 1945 Yalta Conference that he would like to give the Arabian leader, Ibn Saud, five million American Jews. The Jewish issue was mainly a convenient pretext to justify official American hostility toward Germany, and to exploit the typical American sympathy for the under-dog in any situation.

Potocki overestimated the Jewish question because of his own intense prejudices against the Jews, which were shared by the entire Polish leadership. He was highly critical of the American Jews. He believed that Jewish influence on American culture and public opinion, which he regarded as unquestionably preponderant, was producing a rapid decline of intellectual standards in the United States. He reported to Warsaw again and again that American public opinion was merely the product of Jewish machinations.

Though the unresolved issues between Germany and Poland over Danzig and the Corridor begin to come to the fore, in early 1939 the problem of Czechoslovakia — the rump, polyglot state created at Versailles, comprising many central European ethnic populations — continues to dominate European affairs. Hitler backs the aspirations for independence from the Czechs of the Slovaks, the largest minority within the artificial Czech state.

Roosevelt Propagandized by Halifax

Halifax continued to maintain a detached attitude toward the Czech problem, and he secretly circulated rumors both at home and abroad which presented the foreign policy of Hitler in the worst possible light. Hitler would have been condemned by Halifax for anything he did in Czechoslovakia. Had he decided to throw German weight behind the Czechs in an effort to maintain Czech rule over the Slovaks, he would have been denounced for converting the Czech state into a German puppet regime. His decision to support the Slovaks could be denounced as a sinister plot to disrupt the Czecho-Slovak state which the Munich Powers had failed to protect with their guarantee.

The situation is illustrated by the message which Halifax dispatched to President Roosevelt on January 24, 1939. Halifax claimed to have received “a large number of reports from various reliable sources which throw a most disquieting fight on Hitler’s mood and intentions.” He repeated the tactic he had used with Kennedy about Hitler’s allegedly fierce hatred of Great Britain. Halifax believed that Hitler had guessed that Great Britain was “the chief obstacle now to the fulfillment of his further ambitions.” It was not really necessary for Hitler to do more than read the record of what Halifax and Chamberlain had said at Rome to recognize that Great Britain was the chief threat to Germany, but it was untrue to suggest that Hitler had modified his goal of Anglo-German cooperation in peace and friendship.

Halifax developed his theme with increasing warmth. He claimed that Hitler had recently planned to establish an independent Ukraine, and that he intended to destroy the Western Powers in a surprise attack before he moved into the East. Not only British intelligence but “highly placed Germans who are anxious to prevent this crime” had furnished evidence of this evil conspiracy. This was a lamentable distortion of what German opposition figures, such as Theo Kordt and Carl Goerdeler, had actually confided to the British during recent months. None of them had suggested that Hitler had the remotest intention of attacking either Great Britain or France.

Roosevelt was informed by Halifax that Hitler might seek to push Italy into war in the Mediterranean to find an excuse to fight. This was the strategy which Halifax himself hoped to adopt by pushing Poland into war with Germany. Halifax added that Hitler planned to invade Holland, and to offer the Dutch East Indies to Japan. He suggested to Roosevelt that Hitler would present an ultimatum to Great Britain, if he could not use Italy as a pawn to provoke a war. Halifax added casually that the British leaders expected a surprise German attack from the air before the ultimatum arrived. He assured Roosevelt that this surprise attack might occur at any time. He claimed that the Germans were mobilizing for this effort at the very moment he was preparing his report.

The British Foreign Secretary reckoned that Roosevelt might have some doubt about these provocative and mendacious claims. He hastened to top one falsehood with another by claiming that an “economic and financial crisis was facing Germany” which would compel the allegedly bankrupt Germans to adopt these desperate measures. He added with false modesty that some of this “may sound fanciful and even fantastic and His Majesty’s Government have no wish to be alarmist.”

Halifax feared that he had not yet made his point. He returned to the charge and emphasized “Hitler’s mental condition, his insensate rage against Great Britain and his megalomania.” He warned Roosevelt that the German underground movement was impotent, and that there would be no revolt in Germany during the initial phase of World War II. He confided that Great Britain was greatly increasing her armament program, and he believed that it was his duty to enlighten Roosevelt about Hitler’s alleged intentions and attitudes “in view of the relations of confidence which exist between our two Governments and the degree to which we have exchanged information hitherto.” Halifax claimed that Chamberlain was contemplating a public warning to Germany prior to Hitler’s annual Reichstag speech on January 30, 1939. This was untrue, but Halifax hoped to goad Roosevelt into making another alarmist and bellicose speech. He suggested that Roosevelt should address a public warning to Germany without delay.

Anthony Eden had been sent to the United States by Halifax, in December 1938, to spread rumors about sinister German plans, and Roosevelt had responded with a provocative and insulting warning to Germany in his message to Congress on January 4, 1939. Halifax hoped that a second performance of this kind would be useful in preparing the basis for the war propaganda with which he hoped to deluge the British public. He did not achieve the desired response to this specific proposal. Secretary of State Hull explained, in what a British diplomat at Washington, D.C., jokingly described as “his most oracular style,” that the Administration was blocked in such efforts at the moment by hostile American public opinion. Halifax was comforted on January 27, 1939, when he was informed officially that “the United States Government had for some time been basing their policy upon the possibility of just such a situation arising as was foreshadowed in your telegram.” This was another way of saying that the New Deal, which had shot the bolt of its reforms in a futile effort to end the American depression, was counting on the outbreak of a European war.

Halifax learned on January 30, 1939, that leading American “experts” disagreed with a few of the details of his analysis of the Dutch situation. They expected Hitler to mobilize his forces along the Dutch frontier and to demand the surrender of large portions of the Dutch East Indies without firing a shot. The ostensible purpose of this Rooseveltian fantasy would be to “humiliate Great Britain” and to “bribe Japan.” This dispatch was not sent on April Fool’s Day, and it was intended seriously. It enabled Halifax to see that he had pitched his message accurately to the political perspective of Roosevelt, Hull, and their advisers. Anyone in their entourage who did not declare that Hitler was hopelessly insane was virtually ostracized. Roosevelt hoped to have a long discussion with Joseph Stalin at Teheran in 1943 about the alleged insanity of Adolf Hitler. He was disappointed when Stalin abruptly ended this phase of the conversation with the blunt comment that Hitler was not insane. It was like telling the naked Emperor that he was wearing no clothes. It was evident to Stalin that Roosevelt was a clever and unscrupulous politician who lacked the qualities of the statesman.

On January 4, 1939, President Roosevelt tells Congress that U.S. neutrality policy must be re-examined. The next day, Beck and Hitler converse at Berchtesgaden. Hitler stresses German-Polish cooperation, pointing to that of the previous year over the Czechoslovakian crisis (and noting that he would have preferred a settlement in which only Poland, Germany, and Hungary-the countries with ethnic interests within Czechoslovakia -would have participated, rather than the Great Power convocation at Munich). Though quite cordial, the conversations are unproductive in terms of concrete progress toward resolution of the Danzig and Corridor problems. But Hitler at least makes clear his attitude that Danzig would return to Germany sooner or later. Beck hides his strong private aversion to this idea behind a friendly, if reserved, mask. He does reassure Hitler of a dependable (that is: suspicious) Polish attitude toward Russia. Privately, Beck is less interested in preventing a short-range setback or even defeat for Poland than in promoting the ruin of both Germany and Russia. His attitude reflects a Polish mystique arising from World War I: a defeat of Russia by Germany, and of Germany by the Western Powers, would permit a Great Poland to emerge from the ashes of a momentary new Polish defeat.

The Poles Regard America

The Poles also attached great importance to the role of the United States. They knew that American intervention had been decisive in World War 1. They knew that the American President, Franklin Roosevelt, was an ardent interventionist. Roosevelt differed markedly from his predecessor, Herbert Hoover, after whom many streets were named in Poland in gratitude for his post-World War I relief program. Hoover had been favorably impressed by a conversation with Adolf Hitler on March 8, 1938, and he was a leader in the struggle against current American interventionism. The Poles knew that Hoover, who was wrongly accused of being the father of the American economic depression, that began in 1929, had little influence on American policy in 1938. They knew that President Roosevelt was eager to involve the United States in the struggles of distant states in Europe and Asia. American opponents of Roosevelt who opposed his foreign policy were disdainfully labeled isolationists.

The Poles did not trouble themselves about the reasons for President Roosevelt’s interventionism. They were too realistic to assume that he necessarily had any legitimate reasons. They were content to accept the convenient explanation of Count Jerzy Potocki, the Polish Ambassador to the United States. Potocki claimed that President Roosevelt’s foreign policy was the product of Jewish influence. This was untrue, but there was little interest in Poland for an elaborate analysis of American policy. The surveys sent by the Polish Foreign Office to missions abroad rarely mentioned the American scene. The Poles recognized the importance of the American position, but they were content to leave the problem of promoting American intervention in Europe to their British friends.

Beck discussed the European situation after his return to Warsaw with American Ambassador Anthony Biddle. Biddle reported to the American State Department on January 10, 1939, that Beck was not enthusiastic about his recent trip to Germany. The most he was willing to say about his conversation with Hitler was that it had been “fairly satisfactory,” and that Hitler had promised him that there would be no “surprises.” Beck confided to Biddle that Hitler was disappointed about President Roosevelt’s address to Congress on January 4, 1939, which had been bitterly hostile toward Germany. Biddle noted that Beck was complacent about Anglo-French relations and concerned about current Polish relations with France. Biddle reported that “Beck emphasized that Poland and France must meet at an early date to clarify their joint and respective positions vis-a-vis Germany. They were now both in the same boat and must face realities.” It was evident from the general nature of Beck’s remarks that the official Polish attitude was incompatible with the successful negotiation of an agreement with Germany.

American Ambassador Bullitt in Paris reported on January 30, 1939, that he discussed recent German-Polish negotiations with Juliusz Lukasiewicz, the Polish Ambassador. Lukasiewicz admitted that Danzig and the Corridor transit problems had been discussed. He informed Bullitt that Beck had warned Hitler that Poland might act in Ruthenia. Bullitt also discussed general German policy with Lukasiewicz, French Foreign Minister Bonnet, and British Ambassador Sir Eric Phipps. The three men agreed that Hitler would not deliberately make war on any country in 1939. These views were an interesting contrast to the alarmist reports which Halifax had sent to President Roosevelt a few days earlier.

American Charge d’Affaires Gilbert reported from Berlin on February 3rd that Hitler’s basic policy in the East was friendship with Poland. It seemed certain to Gilbert that Beck would be willing to allow the return of Danzig to Germany in exchange for a 25-year Pact, afid for a German guarantee of the Polish Corridor. Gilbert noted that official German circles were quite open in announcing that the reunion of Memel with East Prussia was planned for the Spring of 1939. The Germans believed that the Lithuanians, British, and French would agree to this development without any ill-feeling.

On March 14, 1939, the artificial Czech state disintegrates. The Slovakian parliament proclaims its independence. Hungarian troops enter the Ruthenian region to protect and embrace the ethnic Hungarian population there. The Czechoslovakian president, Emil Hacha, requests an immediate meeting with Hitler. On March 15th, Hacha signs an agreement with Hitler establishing the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia on the former Czech territory. German troops move in that day, and Germany accepts the protection of Slovakian independence. Britain initially accepts the new situation, reasoning that her guarantee of Czechoslovakia given after Munich is rendered invalid by the internal collapse of the Czech state. But on March 17th, Chamberlain — egged on by Halifax and Roosevelt — announces a stunning reversal of British policy: the end of the peace policy (“appeasement”) with Germany. From now on Britain will strenuously oppose, even to the point of war, any further territorial moves by Hitler, no matter how justified.

America and the British Policy Reversal

William C. Bullitt, the leading American diplomat in Europe, was pleased by the reversal of British policy in March 1939. He knew that President Roosevelt would welcome any British pretext for a war in Europe. Ambassador Bullitt sent a jubilant report from Paris on March 17, 1939, in which he triumphantly concluded that there was no longer any possibility for a peaceful diplomatic settlement of European differences.

Halifax welcomed the enthusiastic support for a change in British policy which he received from the American Government after March 15, 1939. The collapse of Czecho-Slovakia produced a greater immediate outburst of hostility toward Germany in Washington, D.C., than in any other capital of the world. German Charge d’Affaires Thomsen reported to Berlin that a violent press campaign against Germany had been launched throughout the United States. There was much resentment in American New Deal circles when Sir John Simon delivered a speech in the British House of Commons on March 16, 1939, in support of Chamberlain’s conciliatory message on the previous day. The Simon speech produced a vigorous American protest in London on March 17,1939. Halifax replied by promising President Roosevelt that the British leaders were “going to start educating public opinion as best they can to the need of action.” This is a different picture from the one presented by Gilbert and Gott [in their book The Appeasers] to the effect that “for most men the answer was simple” after the events at Prague on March 15, 1939. Roosevelt warned Halifax that there would be “an increase of anti-British sentiment in the United States” unless Great Britain hastened to adopt an outspokenly anti-German policy.

Roosevelt requested Halifax to withdraw the British Ambassador from Germany permanently. Halifax replied that he was not prepared to go quite that far. British opinion was less ignorant than American opinion about the requirements of diplomacy, and Halifax feared that a rude shock would be produced if the British copied the American practice of permanently withdrawing ambassadors for no adequate reasons. He promised that he would instruct Henderson to return to England for consultation, and he promised that he would prevent the return of the British Ambassador to Germany for a considerable time. He also promised that Chamberlain would deliver a challenging speech in Birmingham on the evening of March 17, 1939, which would herald a complete change in British policy. He assured Roosevelt that Great Britain was prepared at last to intervene actively in the affairs of Central Europe.

Halifax requested President Roosevelt to join Great Britain in showing “the extent to which the moral sense of civilization was outraged by the present rulers of Germany.” He knew that this lofty formulation of the issue would appeal to the American President. Roosevelt was satisfied with the response from Halifax. He promised the British Foreign Secretary that he would undermine the American neutrality legislation, which had been adopted by the American Congress, with New Deal approval, in response to pressure from American public opinion. Halifax also received the promise that American Secretary of the Treasury Morgenthau would take vigorous new steps in his policy of financial and economic discrimination against Germany. Halifax was greatly encouraged by the support he received from President Roosevelt for his war policy.

Polish Foreign Minister Beck received an assurance from Juliusz Lukasiewicz and William Bullitt on March 19, 1939, that President Roosevelt was prepared to do everything possible to promote a war between the Anglo-French front and Germany. Bullitt admitted that he was still suspicious about British intentions, and he feared that the British might be tempted to compose their differences with Germany at some later date. He promised that any such deviation from a British war policy would encounter energetic resistance from President Roosevelt. Bullitt had received word from Premier Daladier that the British were proposing an Anglo-French territorial guarantee to Rumania, and the American diplomat welcomed this plan.

Bullitt informed the Poles that he knew Germany hoped to acquire Danzig, and that he was counting on Polish willingness to go to war over the Danzig question. He urged Lukasiewicz to present demands to the West for supplies and other military assistance. Lukasiewicz told Bullitt that Poland would need all the help the West could possibly offer in the event of war. Bullitt said that he hoped Poland could obtain military supplies from the Soviet Union, but Lukasiewicz displayed no enthusiasm for this possibility. He warned Bullitt that it was too early to predict what Position Russia would take in a German-Polish dispute. Bullitt recognized from this remark that Lukasiewicz was assuming that Soviet policy toward Poland would be hostile. It was equally clear that Bullitt recognized the military hopelessness of the Polish position, if the Soviet Union did not aid Poland in a conflict with Germany.

Halifax attempts to create a broad anti-German front by proposing an alliance to include Britain, France, Poland, and the Soviet Union. But the Poles are as distrustful of the Soviets as they are of the Germans, preferring to maintain a maximum independence of Soviet influence and protection from possible future Soviet moves. Nevertheless they continue in a bellicose anti-German attitude-though Germany is the only nation that could possibly offer them realistic protection from the Soviets.

Poland Rejects Halifax’s Soviet Alliance Plan

Halifax discussed his alliance project with American Ambassador Kennedy on March 22, 1939, and he complained at great length about the negative attitude of Beck toward an alliance front to include both Poland and the Soviet Union. He intimated that he was resolved to continue his anti-Germany policy, and that hostilities in Europe might be expected fairly soon. He was convinced that the British Navy was more than adequate to cope with German naval forces. He urged Kennedy to request President Roosevelt to concentrate the American fleet at Pearl Harbor, as an appropriate gesture to protect Australia and Singapore from a possible Japanese attack, after the outbreak of war in Europe. Halifax admitted at last that the story of a German threat to Rumania could not be substantiated, but he assured Kennedy that [Rumanian Ambassador] Tilea’s statements at London had served a useful purpose.

The moderate attitude of Hitler produced no effect on Beck on the eve of Lipski’s return to Berlin. Beck told American Ambassador Biddle an outrageous falsehood about Hitler’s policy toward Poland on March 25, 1939, which was a fitting prelude to his later public distortions about German policy. Beck claimed that Hitler had demanded the settlement of the Danzig question by Easter, which was only a few days away. In fact, Hitler had never set a time limit on the duration of his negotiation with Poland. Biddle reported with satisfaction on March 26, 1939, in a terse telegram: “Poland today on war footing having achieved same swiftly but quietly.”

It was difficult under these circumstances for Ribbentrop to maintain the impression that peaceful negotiations between Germany and Poland were in progress. The German Foreign Office was receiving a large number of reports from friendly foreign diplomats that the British were making all possible preparations for war against Germany, and it seemed certain at Berlin that Halifax would seek to exploit the bellicose Polish attitude. American Minister Joseph E. Davies reported to Washington, D.C., from Brussels on March 30, 1939, that in Belgium the Chamberlain speech at Birmingham was regarded as a disaster which had reversed the favorable prospects for peace in Europe.

French Ambassador Leon Noel reported to Paris that he had attended a diplomatic dinner on the evening of March 27, 1939, at which Beck, Count Michel Lubienski, and the Polish Chief of Staff, General Stachiewicz, were present. Noel complained that the Polish leaders deliberately avoided any reference to the obviously unsatisfactory recent negotiations with Germany, and that they appeared to be distracted and preoccupied with private problems. Beck was also vague in his conversations with American Ambassador Anthony Biddle, but he told Biddle on the evening of March 28th that the Polish partial mobilization was “a firm answer to certain suggestions made by Berlin.”

Lukasiewicz informed Beck from Paris that he was continuing to collaborate closely with American Ambassador Bullitt. Lukasiewicz was repeatedly informed by Bullitt of the conversations between the British leaders and American Ambassador Kennedy at London. It was obvious to Lukasiewicz that Bullitt continued to distrust the British. The American Ambassador assured him that the United States would be able to exert sufficient pressure to produce a British mobilization at the peak of the next crisis. Lukasiewicz also suspected that part of this distrust reflected a childish desire on the part of Bullitt to exaggerate the importance of his own role on the European scene.

Polish Ambassador Edward Raczynski reported on March 29, 1939, that the principal fear in Great Britain seemed to be that a German-Polish agreement would be reached despite the Polish partial mobilization. The British were arguing that such an agreement would be especially dangerous because it might lead to the rapid disintegratiorr of Soviet Russia. The Polish Ambassador had learned that American Ambassador Kennedy was personally distressed by the war policy of the British leaders, and by the support for this policy which came from President Roosevelt. Raczynski warned Beck that Kennedy appeared to be privately somewhat out of step with Bullitt in Paris and Anthony Biddle in Warsaw, but that otherwise he was reluctantly carrying out his instructions from President Roosevelt to warn the British that their failure to act would produce dire consequences. Raczynski added that he received repeated requests from the British to reassure them that Poland would not accept the German annexation of Danzig. The Polish diplomat noted that it was difficult to convince the British that Poland was really willing to go to war over the Danzig issue.

American Ambassador Bullitt did what he could to support the Polish position at Paris. Lukasiewicz informed Bullitt on March 24, 1939, that Poland would reject the pro-Soviet alliance plan and press for a bilateral alliance with Great Britain. Bullitt assured Lukasiewicz that the British would agree to such an alliance. The Polish Ambassador admitted that he did not trust the British, and he asserted that the cynical English leaders were quite capable of leading Poland into an untenable position and deserting her. He knew that Bullitt shared this attitude to some extent. Lukasiewicz reminded Bullitt of British participation in the partition of Czechoslovakia in 1938. He feared that Great Britain would offer to support Poland, and then insist on Polish concessions to Germany. He knew that until recently the British leaders had favored Polish concessions to Germany, and he was not certain that there had been a complete change in their attitude.

Bullitt used many arguments to reassure the Polish Ambassador. He declared that he was in complete agreement with every aspect of Beck’s stand in the alliance question, and he regarded the creation of a solid Anglo-French-Polish front without the Soviet Union as the best thing which could possibly happen. He claimed that Halifax was not very serious about his Four Power Pact offer, and that it was mainly a gesture to increase British prestige and to appease the French. He said that the British leaders hoped that there would be a war between Germany and Russia, but that they were not eager to make commitments to the Soviet Union.

Bullitt told Lukasiewicz on March 25, 1939, that he had instructed American Ambassador Kennedy at London to tell Chamberlain that the United States was in full sympathy with the Polish position in the alliance question. Bullitt contacted Kennedy again on March 26th. Kennedy was instructed to tell Chamberlain that the United States hoped that Great Britain would go to war with Germany if the Danzig dispute produced an explosion between Germany and Poland. Bullitt told the Polish Ambassador that he was confident that the British response to these suggestions would be favorable. Halifax, of course, was not displeased to know that he had unconditional official American support for his war policy. Lukasiewicz told Bullitt on March 26, 1939, that Lipski would reject the German proposals at Berlin the same day. He praised Bullitt as “an industrious friend who at many complicated points resolved our situation intensively and profitably.”

On March 22nd, Germany and Lithuania reach an agreement for the return to Germany of the ethnic German Memel district. The next day, Poland orders a partial mobilization. It follows in the last week of March with a boycott campaign against ethnic German businesses, and a declaration that any German-caused change in the international (“Free City”) status of Danzig will be regarded as an act of war. Acts of violence against ethnic Germans in Poland increase. Britain announces a doubling in size of the home army. On March 30th, several days before the planned visit of Beck to London, Halifax decides to give a “blank check” guarantee to Poland, supporting it in the event of any action which the Polish government considers a threat to its independence. Chamberlain is to announce the guarantee in the House of Commons on March 31st.

The British Guarantee and America

Halifax had made an epochal decision, and he was impatient to bring his new policy into the open. He decided not to wait until the arrival of Beck in London on April 3, 1939, before assuming a public British commitment to Poland. He wired [British Ambassador to Poland] Kennard on March 30, 1939, that a guarantee to Poland would be announced in the British Parliament on the following day. He added that this guarantee would be binding without commitments from the Polish side. He attempted to place the responsibility for his extraordinary impatience on President Roosevelt. He informed Kennard with a touch of ironical humor that the American Embassy had bombarded him with assertions that Ribbentrop was urging Hitler to invade Poland before the British assumed any commitment. This was a transparent pretext to rationalize a rash policy. It was true that Bullitt at Paris was for immediate British action, but the American diplomats at Berlin hoped that Great Britain would adopt a policy of caution and restraint. American Charge d’Affaires Geist suggested from Berlin that it would be wise for Great Britain to avoid placing obstructions before German eastward expansion. No one could have been more emphatic in deploring a hasty British guarantee to Poland.

Halifax carefully avoided giving the impression that he beheved the alleged story about Ribbentrop’s aggressive intentions. He did repeat the old argument that President Roosevelt and the United States of America would become hostile to Great Britain if she did not go to war against Germany. The constant reiteration of this theme by Bullitt at Paris was undoubtedly useful to Halifax. It also enabled him to shift part of the responsibility for his various moves to the United States, although in reality President Roosevelt was unable to play an active role in Europe at this stage. The official position of the United States was governed by neutrality legislation from the 1935-1937 period, and it is impossible, regardless of the attitude of Roosevelt, to saddle the United States with the responsibility for the moves which Halifax made. The decision of Halifax to confer an advance guarantee wiped out the hopes of Hitler that personal negotiations between Halifax and Beck would end in disagreement. The friction between the two men was a very real thing when Beck came to London, and it is possible that their negotiation would have ended in failure had it not been for the previous British guarantee.

Beck arrives in London on April 3rd. He accepts the British guarantee, and offers a reciprocal promise of Polish intervention on the side of Britain in the event of war between Britain and Germany. But Halifax wants more: a wide-ranging Polish commitment to go to war with Germany if Germany attacks Holland, Belgium, Switzerland, or Denmark. Beck balks at this request for what amounts to “permanent intervention,” as at renewed suggestions for a pro-Soviet alliance against Germany. The British leaders suggest that Beck transform the Polish-Rumanian alliance (an anti-Soviet pact in effect) into an anti-German pact. Beck refuses to ignore the dangers from the Soviet Union to Poland and her neighbors’ Eastern borders, and rejects this proposal.

The British Propagandize Beck

The British leaders did not like Beck’s response. They wished him to think exclusively in terms of destroying Germany, and to forget other considerations. In other words, they wished his thinking to be more similar to that of President Roosevelt in the United States. They began to employ the same propaganda methods on Beck which they used with Roosevelt. They began to suggest a number of hypothetical situations with their usual formula of saying “this may sound fantastic, but” what would you do in such and such a case. Beck put a stop to this by declaring bluntly that “it was against the tradition of the Polish Government to express definite opinions about third countries without directly consulting them.”

Chamberlain switched from hypothetical fantasies to rumors, and he declared that he had heard Germany was planning a sudden invasion of Hungary. Beck did not like this English style of rumor-monge ring. He was convinced that this assertion of alleged German designs against Hungary was entirely false. He wished that the British leaders would desist from their efforts to alarm him in this way. He assured the British leaders with studied emphasis that he was entirely convinced Germany was not planning any political action outside her present frontiers except at Danzig. This was an effective method of reminding them that Poland was indispensable to their plan of launching a British preventive war against Germany.

Theo Kordt of the German Embassy in London was able to telegraph information to Berlin on April 5, 1939, about the principal topics which had been discussed between Peck and the British leaders. Chamberlain admitted in the House of Commons on the following day that there had been no attempt to limit what might constitute a threat to Polish independence. The final word on this matter was left entirely to the Poles. Beck admitted to American Ambassador Kennedy before he left London that the British leaders had complained about the allegedly uncoooperative Polish attitude. He also claimed that he had been able to diminish this dissatisfaction somewhat in the last conversations. Beck referred cleverly to his “old friend America” and his “new friend Britain.” He confided to Kennedy that he was “more than happy” to have the British blank check. He assured the American Ambassador that he did “not want to be the direct cause of plunging the world into war.” This was encouraging, but Beck deprived the statement of any real meaning by admitting that he had no concrete plan to preserve the peace. Indeed, it may be safely assumed that Beck’s statement to Kennedy was entirely for the record.

Kennedy talked with Halifax on April 6th. The British Foreign Secretary admitted that Beck was definitely opposed to a RussoPolish understanding. Halifax believed that he deserved a vacation after the work of the past three weeks. He told Kennedy that Chamberlain was leaving for Scotland on the evening of April 6th, and that he was going home to Yorkshire the following morning. The Poles had their blank check, and a separate British approach to Russia would be the next step. The general European situation was discussed, and Halifax privately admitted to Kennedy that neither Hitler nor Mussolini wanted war.

Roosevelt’s Policy and Beck

Bullitt was delighted at the opportunity to greet Beck on his return from England to the continent. He knew that this privilege resulted from the fact that he “was a strong admirer of the policy of Minister Beck” and enjoyed “friendly relations” with him. Bullitt discussed Roosevelt’s policy with Beck at some length. He claimed that he and Roosevelt were much dissatisfied with both English and American public opinion at this point. Beck expressed mild surprise at this remark as far as England was concerned, and he indicated that he was satisfied with the atmosphere which he had encountered in England. He was quite unperturbed that a formal Anglo-Polish alliance had not been negotiated, and he observed with satisfied irony that it would require much delicacy and discretion on the part of Chamberlain to handle the guarantee agreement other than by the standards of a normal alliance. Beck did not believe that the British Prime Minister possessed either delicacy or discretion. Beck observed, with a knowing smile to his listeners, that Chamberlain had said he was glad Poland had come instantly to an agreement with England. This amused Beck, because Poland had been waiting over a considerable period for the English offer of an agreement.

Beck admitted that Halifax had sought to entangle him with obligations to Holland, Belgium, Denmark, and Switzerland, but he did not attach serious importance to this fact. He was more interested in speculating about the German response to his visit to England and to his acceptance of the British guarantee. He declared that the alliance with England (sojusz z Anglia) had dealt a real blow to Hitler’s plans for a German-Polish agreement. He believed that British approval of Polish aspirations at Danzig had buttressed the Polish cause there as never before. A main topic of speculation was whether Hitler would respond to the British guarantee by denouncing the 1934 Pact with Poland.

Bullitt took his leave from Beck at Lille and returned to Paris. He sent an exuberant report to Washington, D.C., at 11:00 p.m. on April 7, 1939. He informed Roosevelt and Hull that Beck was immensely pleased by recent developments in England, and that the degree of understanding which had been achieved was quite adequate to fill Polish needs. Beck had said that he knew that Hitler would be furious. Bullitt also added with obvious satisfaction that Beck had described Ribbentrop as a “dangerous imbecile. “

Poland’s Use of the British Guarantee

It was likely that the Poles would seek to provoke Germany into attacking them. Unlike Germany, they could not expect to achieve any of their objectives in a major war through their own efforts. Their hope of ultimate victory rested with distant foreign powers. The Polish leaders were far more enthusiastic about a German-Polish war than Hitler ever was, but considerations of high policy suggested the wisdom of a role which was at least passive in appearance.

Poland was counting on the support of Halifax for the realization of her program at the expense of both Germany and Russia. It was conceivable that Halifax could lead Great Britain into a war which began with a surprise Polish invasion of Germany, but the Polish leaders knew that France and the United States were also of decisive importance to British policy. The Poles knew that Halifax would never support Poland unless he could drag France into war. This policy was dictated by the simple fact that Halifax did not believe Great Britain could win a war against Germany without the participation of France. The Poles also knew that it would be difficult for President Roosevelt to arouse the American people against Germany unless it was possible to maintain that Poland was the innocent victim of German aggression.

Polish provocation of Germany after March 31, 1939, was frequent and extreme, and Hitler soon had more than a sufficient justification to go to war with Poland on the basis of traditional practices among the nations. Nevertheless, Hitler could not justify German action, unless he believed that he was prepared to meet the consequences. He hoped to avoid war with Great Britain, and he knew that he would run a grave risk of an AngloGerman war if he invaded Poland. It was for this reason that German-Polish relations became progressively worse over a long period before they produced a conflict. Hitler, who was usually very prompt and decisive in conducting German policy, showed considerable indecision before he finally decided to act, and to face the consequences. He did not abandon his hope for a negotiated settlement with Poland until he realized that the outlook for such a settlement was completely hopeless.

French Foreign Minister Bonnet is not as enthused as his allies the British over the guarantee to Poland. Learning that Marshal Smigly-Rydz, the commander-in-chief of Poland’s armed forces, expressed delight at the guarantee, he fears Polish cockiness and foolhardiness now that Britain, dragging along France, stands unconditionally behind Poland whatever Poland does. Bonnet continues to desire a Western/Polish accommodation with the Soviets, fearing that a Western guarantee alone will not be enough to stop any Hitler moves for Danzig and the Corridor. All this is communicated to the Polish ambassador at Paris, Lukasiewicz. Marshal Smigly-Rydz proclaims with satisfaction to assembled Polish diplomats that an immediate war with Germany is quite possible, and that such a war would mean the end of’ Germany.

Bullitt, the French, and the Americans

Lukasiewicz was less sanguine than Smigly-Rydz about the position of the Western Powers following the British guarantee. He discussed the situation with American Ambassador Bullitt on April 9, 1939. He said that he hoped France would attack Germany from Belgium in the event of war, but he was pessimistic about the future course of French policy. Bullitt and Lukasiewicz also discussed their recent meeting with Beck. The American Ambassador told Lukasiewicz that he had given President Roosevelt extensive information about Beck’s analysis of the situation. Beck had claimed that basically Hitler was a timid Austrian who might be expected to avoid a war against determined and strong opponents. He said that “it should be obvious now to Hitler that threats to Poland would get Germany nowhere.” These exuberant remarks seemed less convincing to Lukasiewicz after his conversation on the previous day with Bonnet.

Bullitt was dissatisfied with the attitude of the French leaders, and he was inclined to blame what he considered the unwarranted complacency of American public opinion. He complained to President Roosevelt in a report on April 10, 1939, that the American public was not aware of the alleged direct threat to the United States from Germany, Italy, and Japan. He hoped that Roosevelt could do something to arouse the American people. His complaint was the decisive factor in persuading President Roosevelt to deliver sensational and insulting public notes to Mussolini and Hitler on April 15, 1939, after the Anglo-French guarantees to Rumania and Greece. Bullitt complained that [French Premiere] Daladier was unresponsive to the attempt of Lukasiewicz to secure the same blank check from France which had been presented to Poland by England. Kennedy reported to Roosevelt from London on April 11, 1939, that Halifax was still pretending to entertain an idealistic hope for peace. Kennedy naturally supposed that it might be worthwhile for the British Foreign Secretary to announce to the world that peace was still possible, but Halifax claimed that to do so would convince everyone that he was “burying his head in the sand.” These remarks illustrate the method by which Halifax sought to convince people that he was merely the prisoner of larger events.

The Roosevelt Telegrams to Hitler and Mussolini

President Roosevelt was doing everything in his power to increase alarmist sentiment in the United States. He announced at Warm Springs, Georgia, on April 9th that he might not return for his annual autumn health cure, because it was quite possible that the United States and the European countries would be involved with the problems of a major European war by that time. Fortunately, much of the reaction to this statement in the United States was extremely hostile, and many foreign observers concluded that this was merely an expression of wishful thinking on the part of the American president.

The British expected some lively developments at Danzig after their guarantee to the Poles. They did not realize that Hitler had ordered the Danzig authorities to go to extreme lengths in seeking to conciliate the Poles. British Ambassador Kennard heard on April 12, 1939, that Lipski had returned to Warsaw from Berlin. He suspected that this might indicate some new developments of major importance in the Danzig question. He asked Beck for the latest news about Danzig, but he was told that nothing had changed.

The quiet at Danzig began to annoy Kennard. He called at the Polish Foreign Office ten days later to insist that Great Britain was “entitled” to receive information about any new steps at Danzig. He noted that the Germans were blaming Great Britain for the deadlock at Danzig, and he claimed that the British were “somewhat anxious” about the situation. Kennard was told once again that there was nothing to report. The Germans had requested the return of Danzig and a transit corridor to East Prussia. The Polish diplomats believed that the Germans expected Lipski to appear some day with “proposals of a detailed nature.” Kennard was not told whether or not such proposals would actually be presented to the Germans by Poland.

The evasive vagueness at the Polish Foreign Office irritated Kennard. He complained to Halifax, and he noted with malicious satisfaction that there were objections to Beck in Polish financial circles. It was known in Poland that Beck had said nothing about British economic assistance during his visit to London. He had proudly emphasized Poland’s alleged preparedness and strength. The Polish financiers regarded this as an unpardonable and expensive blunder.

Beck was waiting impatiently for Hitler’s response to Polish acceptance of the British guarantee. He wondered if Hitler would abrogate the 1934 Pact, which Poland had violated by accepting the guarantee. He did not realize that Hitler had no intention of increasing Poland’s sense of self-importance by devoting a special public message to this matter. Hitler knew that the repudiation of the Pact would be a step of major importance which could scarcely be confined to an official communique and a few reports in the newspapers. This problem was unexpectedly resolved for Hitler by President Roosevelt. The American President responded to Bullitt’s suggestion for an important move to influence American public opinion by committing a colossal diplomatic blunder, which played directly into Hitler’s hands.

Roosevelt disclosed to the American public on April 14, 1939, the contents of telegrams to Mussolini and Hitler which were received in Rome and Berlin on the following day. Roosevelt sought to create the impression that Germany and Italy were exclusively responsible for every threat to European peace. He presented himself as an unselfish peacemaker, who had expended much thought and energy to devise a plan to remove the danger of war. This peace plan required Germany and Italy to declare that they would abstain from war under any and all circumstances for ten to twenty-five years, and to conclude nonaggression pacts with a large number of states, of which several had no independent existence other than in the imagination of the American President.

The Roosevelt message met with a vigorous response in the German press. The German journalists wondered if the United States would agree not to attack Haiti or Santo Domingo within the next twenty-five years. Joseph Goebbels addressed three questions to the American public on April 17, 1939. He wondered if they recognized that Roosevelt was similar to Woodrow Wilson in his desire to promote a permanent policy of American intervention throughout the world. He asked if the American people recognized that Roosevelt’s recent message was a new maneuver to destroy the American neutrality laws, rather than to promote world peace. He inquired if they realized that Roosevelt had advocated a common American front with Bolshevism since his Chicago Quarantine speech in October 1937. The German press announced on April 17th that Hitler would answer President Roosevelt for the German people in a speech to the German Reichstag on April 28, 1939. This step had been agreed upon by Hitler and Ribbentrop in a special conference on the previous day.

Hitler was presented with an opportunity to deal with the Poles as a secondary factor in a general situation. He planned to devote the greater part of his message on the Pact with Poland to a careful criticism of the American President and to a criticism of English policy. He also Intended to abrogate the 1935 AngloGerman naval treaty. Hitler ordered the German press to abstain from criticizing the Poles~lduring the period before he delivered his speech.

Marshal Göring was on a visit to Italy from April 14th until April 16, 1939. He had instructions from Hitler to discuss the total context of Italo-German relations. Ribbentrop was somewhat uneasy about the Göring official mission at this crucial stage when he was seeking to promote an Italo-German alliance. He was relieved to learn later that the Göring mission was completely successful.

Göring discussed the Roosevelt telegrams with Mussolini and Ciano on April 16, 1939. He told Mussolini that it was difficult to avoid the impression that the American President was mentally ill. Mussolini criticized the factual text of the telegrams. It was ridiculous to request Germany and Italy to conclude non-aggression pacts with Palestine and Syria, which were British and French mandates rather than independent states. Mussolini was interested in improving Anglo-Italian relations, and he elected to react publicly to the American challenge in a minor key. A brief initial expression of indignation was followed by Mussolini’s speech at Rome on April 29, 1939. The Italian leader merely denounced the alarmists who sought to disturb international relations, and he emphasized that Italy was peacefully preparing for the International Exposition in Rome scheduled for 1942. The privilege of delivering a detailed reply to the American President was left entirely to Hitler.

The difficult situation between Germany and Poland was a touchy subject in the conversations between Göring and the Italian leaders. Göring did not attempt to minimize the seriousness of the situation, and he complained that “England had deviated from her old line … (and) now obliged herself in advance to render support (to Poland, Rumania, and Greece), and that under conditions which could be determined by the other partner.” Mussolini declared that in the existing dangerous situation it was important for the Axis Powers to revert to passive policies for an indefinite period. This seemed to be the only way to cope with the warlike attitude of the British Government. Göring hoped that it would be possible to settle German differences with Poland by peaceful negotiation, and he predicted that Roosevelt would have little chance for re-election in 1940 if the basic European situation remained unchanged. He admitted that an increase in provocative Polish measures against Germany might force German action against Poland. It was evident that the problem of Poland had become the problem of Europe at this hour.

Ribbentrop was encouraged by the Göring visit to press for a separate Italo-German alliance. The first official discussion of such an alliance took place in May 1938, when Hitler visited Italy. The original plan was to extend the anti-Comintern Pact into an alliance by including the Japanese. It became increasingly evident as time went on that the Japanese were unwilling to proceed this far. The Japanese feared that such an alliance might involve them in difficulties with Great Britain at a time when they were seriously committed in China. The German and Italian attempts to mediate between Japan and Nationalist China in 1938 were unsuccessful. Ribbentrop telephoned a last special appeal to the Japanese for an alliance on April 26, 1939, by way of German Ambassador Ott in Tokio. The reply to this appeal was negative as expected, and Ribbentrop proceeded to concentrate his efforts on a separate Pact with the Italians. He knew that this was a difficult project, because many Italians doubted the wisdom of an alliance connection with Germany. He also knew that the Italian leaders might seek to impose reservations which would deprive the alliance of its full effect.

The Roosevelt message of April 15,1939, was helpful to Ribbentrop in improving German contacts with a number of countries. Ribbentrop also had the satisfaction of knowing that the British were not pleased by the crudeness of the Roosevelt telegrams. Sir George Ogilvie-Forbes, the British Charge d’Affaires in Berlin, declared quite candidly at the German Foreign Office on April 17, 1939, that the British regarded Roosevelt’s messages as “a clumsy piece of diplomacy.” Bullitt at Paris attempted to appease Roosevelt by placing the unsavory situation in a positive light. He claimed that Daladier had been “encouraged” by the latest move of the American President.

Ribbentrop dispatched instructions on April 17, 1939, to the German envoys in the countries named by President Roosevelt, with the exceptions of Great Britain and France and their possessions, and Poland and Russia. The envoys were to inquire if these countries believed themselves threatened, and if their Governments had authorized President Roosevelt’s plan. The German Government knew that they would receive negative answers to both questions, but in coping with Roosevelt they required explicit confirmation of these assumptions.

The British were actively pursuing their policy against Germany in the period of the Roosevelt messages. Polish Ambassador Potworowski reported to Beck from Stockholm on April 15, 1939, that the British were putting pressure on Sweden to join them in blockading Germany during a future war. The Swedes resented the British attempt to dictate their policy, but it was evident to Beck that England was preparing her future blockade of Germany with single-minded energy. Halifax was employing sphinxlike silence as a weapon against his critics in the British House of Commons. He ignored charges that Poland and Rumania would never permit Soviet troops to operate on their territory, and that the guarantees extended to those countries rendered impossible a treaty with Russia. Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs Rab Butler refused to reply to a direct question on April 18, 1939, about the role of Danzig in the British guarantee to Poland. Only one speaker in the House of Commons contended that Poland and Rumania alone had sufficient troops to cope successfully with the Germans. The House as a whole found it quite impossible to accept such a contention.

Hitler’s Reply to Roosevelt of April 28, 1939

British Ambassador Henderson appeared rather pessimistic when he called at the German Foreign Office on April 27, 1939. He had returned to Berlin the previous day, after having been compelled to remain forty days in England at the insistence of Halifax, who had waited until April 20, 1939, before announcing in the House of Lords that Henderson would soon return to Germany. Henderson admitted to [German State Secretary] Weizsaecker that he had suffered a great loss of prestige at the British Foreign Office. The reaction there toward the reports he had sent home before the March 1939 Czech crisis was distinctly negative. He complained that the task of defending recent German policy had been rendered difficult by Hitler’s various earlier statements that he did not intend to seize purely Czech-populated territory. This situation was not changed by Hitler’s willingness to negotiate about the current situation at Prague, because the British Government was unwilling to do so. Weizsaecker complained about the British guarantee to Poland, and he declared that it was “the means most calculated to encourage Polish subordinate authorities in their oppression of Germans there. Consequently it did not prevent, but on the contrary, provoked incidents in that country.” Henderson submitted a formal statement about the British announcement of April 26, 1939, that peacetime military conscription had been established in Great Britain. The French leaders had requested the British to take this step as early as April 1938, and the German leaders had recognized for some time that the British were planning to introduce formal conscription to supplement the 1938 National Service Act. Weizsaecker told Henderson that the British note would receive formal acknowledgement, but that nothing would be done before Hitler’s speech on the following day. He told Henderson that the text of Hitler’s speech had gone to press. The printed text of the speech was delivered to the Diplomatic Corps in Berlin before Hitler addressed the Reichstag.

Hitler had received considerable American advice for the preparation of his speech. Some of this had reached him by way of the American press, and the rest by means of private communication to the German Embassy in Washington, D.C. The German Government was especially grateful for the suggestion of General Hugh Johnson, who had administered the National Recovery Act for President Roosevelt. Hitler had received through Hans Thomsen, the German Charge d’Affaires in Washington, D.C., the detailed suggestions of General Johnson on April 24, 1939. Hans Dieckhoff, the last German Ambassador to the United States, had also made a number of suggestions. Dieckhoff worked at the German Foreign Office in Berlin after his permanent return from the United States in November 1938. He made no secret, in his conversations with the Diplomatic Corps in Berlin, about his fear of American intervention in the event of a new European war, and he expressed this concern in his suggestions to Hitler on April 25, 1939. He was convinced that President Roosevelt intended to invade Europe with powerful American forces in the course of any future war, and he added: “I do not believe that there are elements in the USA which have courage enough or are strong enough to prevent this.” Hitler was impressed by this warning, but he continued to hope for American neutrality in any possible future European conflict.

The German Foreign Office on April 27, 1939, completed the preparation of notes to be delivered at noon on April 28th in London and Warsaw. The notes announced German abrogation of the 1934 non-aggression Pact with Poland and of the 1935 Anglo-German Naval Pact. The note to the Poles, which contained a review of recent German-Polish difficulties, was more than twice the length of the note to London.

Kennard surveyed the Polish scene for Halifax on April 26, 1939. He claimed that Poland might have fought Germany without British support, but he assured Halifax that the Poles after they received the British guarantee believed it was “absolutely fundamental” to fight Germany. The German note announcing the abrogation of the 1934 Pact with Poland was delivered at Warsaw early on the morning of April 28, 1939. Beck’s immediate reaction was one of unbridled scorn. He noted that the Germans still envisaged the possibility of negotiation with Poland. He declared to his subordinates that Hitler was seeking to solve his problems by diplomacy, and he vowed that he would not permit Poland to be imposed upon in this way. Beck had anticipated Hitler’s address on April 28th by persuading the Polish military authorities to declare a state of alert and danger of war for the Polish Navy based at Gdynia.

French Ambassador Coulondre at Berlin discussed the situation with Lipski. The French Ambassador complained that the European scene was very confused, and that this was due in no small measure to the fact that the British in their diplomacy rushed abruptly from one extreme to another. Lipski described in detail the German offer for a settlement which Poland had rejected. Coulondre and Lipski agreed that the German offer was remarkably generous. Coulondre hoped to discover the true motive for Polish policy, but the Polish Ambassador merely mentioned that it was the avowed purpose of the Polish leaders never to be dependent on either Moscow or Berlin.

The day of Hitler’s greatest oratorical performance had arrived. The German Reichstag assembled on the morning of April 28, 1939, under the presidency of Marshal Hermann Göring. It received a good-humored speech from Hitler, which American Charge d’Affaires Geist described as his “lighter vein of oratory.” The Reichstag reciprocated this mood, and Geist noted that many of Hitler’s remarks were received with “malicious laughter.” The laughter seemed malicious to Geist because it was at the expense of the American President.

Hitler carefully left the door of negotiation open toward both Great Britain and Poland. He made it clear that he intended to remain moderate in his future negotiations with these two states. He began his remarks by referring briefly to Roosevelt’s telegram. He explained the German disillusionment in council diplomacy, which was the inevitable heritage of the deceitful mistreatment of Germany at Versailles. He had a formula which enabled Germany to participate in all negotiations with renewed confidence. The formula was a healthy determination to protect German national security. Hitler admitted that he did not believe Germany ever should negotiate again when she was helpless.

He analyzed and explained many of his principal domestic and foreign policies from 1933 until the German occupation of Prague in March 1939. He treated the prelude to the occupation of Prague at great length. He pointed out that deviations from the Munich conference program began at an early date. The Czechs and Hungarians in October 1938 appealed solely to Germany and Italy to mediate in their dispute, although at Munich it had been decided that mediation was the obligation of the Four Powers.

Hitler placed special emphasis in the latter part of his speech on the failure of the United States to emerge from the world economic depression under Rooseveltian leadership. He announced that Germany was responding to Roosevelt’s initiative of April 15, 1939, by proceeding to conclude non-aggression pacts with a number of neighboring states. But he ridiculed the idea of non-aggression pacts with states on different continents, or with so-called states which actually did not enjoy independence. Ridicule was Hitler’s chief weapon, next to facts and statistics, in his reply to Roosevelt. He had been genuinely amused by Roosevelt’s telegram, and he succeeded in avoiding the impression that he was personally angry with the American President. Hitler made it appear that Roosevelt’s constant efforts to provoke him had been mere slaps at the water of the vast Atlantic ocean which separated the two countries.

The German Chancellor paid glowing compliments to the British Empire, and he stressed his desire for permanent Anglo-German friendship. He revealed that he had decided with reluctance to abrogate the Anglo-German Naval Pact. He suggested that British resentment toward recent German foreign policy successes might have prompted the British leaders to select Poland as an obstacle to place against Germany.

Hitler devoted less than a tenth of his speech to Poland. He explained that he respected Polish maritime interests, and that this had prompted him to proceed with extreme moderation in the Corridor question. He praised Marshal Pilsudski for his desire to improve German-Polish relations. Hitler explained that in 1934 the two states had renounced war as an instrument of national policy in their relations. This was in accord with the terms of the Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928. The pact had recognized one significant exception to this declaration on behalf of Poland. The Poles were allowed to maintain military obligations to France which were directed exclusively against Germany.

Hitler mentioned the many important questions which had not been settled either by the 1934 Pact or by his own efforts for a more comprehensive German-Polish agreement. He described in detail all the points of his offer for a general settlement with Poland. He declared that the Polish counter-proposals offered no basis for an agreement. They envisaged no change in the existing unsatisfactory situation with the exception of the suggestion to replace League authority at Danzig with a German-Polish guarantee. The German Chancellor regretted Poland’s decision to call up troops against Germany, and to reject the German offer. He deplored Polish acceptance of the British guarantee. He announced that Germany was no longer willing to offer her October 1938 proposals as the basis for a settlement of differences with Poland. He explained that he was abrogating the 1934 Pact with Poland, which he had offered to extend for twenty-five years, because the Poles had violated it by accepting the British guarantee. He remarked that no non-aggression pact could survive a unilateral departure from its provisions by one of the contracting parties.

Hitler declared that the abrogation of the Pact did not mean that Germany would refuse to assume new contractual obligations toward Poland. He insisted that, on the contrary, “I can but welcome such an idea, provided, of course, that there arrangements are based, on an absolutely clear obligation binding both parties in equal measure.” Hitler avoided treating the Polish issue as the climax of his remarks. The principal theme throughout the speech was his reply to President Roosevelt, which he sub-divided into twenty-one principal points. He created the impression that such momentous decisions as the repudiation of important pacts with Great Britain and Poland were an anticlimax compared to his debate with the American President.

The immediate reaction to Hitler’s speech in Poland was hostile, although French Ambassador Noel observed that Hitler was pressing for negotiations rather than closing the door. The Polish Government announced that Beck soon would reply to Hitler in the Polish Sejm. Polski Zbrojna (The Polish Army) described Hitler’s abrogation of the 1934 Pact as a tactical blunder. One Polish editor claimed that Hitler’s speech gave the Polish press a moral basis to attack Germany without restraint. Wild rumors accompanied Hitler’s announcement of his proposals to Poland. It was claimed in Warsaw that the Germans had demanded a superhighway corridor through Polish West Prussia over fifteen miles in width instead of the actual 5/8 mile. The Gazeta Polska claimed that Poland would have to go further in Danzig than she had done in the past. One million Polish soldiers under arms by the beginning of summer was considered a minimum necessity. The Dziennik Narodowy (National Daily), a National Democratic paper, asked whether or not Danzig really wished to return to the Reich. It was suggested that possibly a handful of Nazis in the Free City were making all the noise. A rumor circulated that Poland had decided to establish a protectorate in Danzig based on the model of Bohemia-Moravia. The Kurjer Warszawski (Warsaw Courier) expressed the general sentiment that Hitler would not ask anything of Poland if he were really a generous person.

This time the German press retaliated. Joseph Goebbels had received permission to unshackle the press after the Reichstag speech. It was hoped that the German press, and an aroused German public opinion, would be effective weapons in inducing the Poles to negotiate under the less friendly circumstances which prevailed after the British guarantee. Goebbels himself began the campaign in Der Angriff (The Assault) with a commentary on the Polish press, entitled: “Do they know what they are doing?” The article was studded with citations, and its main thesis was that irresponsible Polish journalists were violating the precepts of Pilsudski. Hans Fritzsche, who was one of Goebbels’ chief assistants in the newspaper campaign, later recalled that “each larger German newspaper had for quite some time an abundance of material on complaints of the Germans in Poland without the editors having had a chance to use this material.” When the restrictions were removed, “their material now came forth with a bound.”

American Ambassador Bullitt at Paris refrained from reporting the reactions of Daladier and Bonnet to Hitler’s speech, but he claimed that Secretary-General Alexis Leger at the French Foreign Office had denounced Hitler’s oratory in sharp terms. The German Embassy in Paris reported on April 29, 1939, that the moderate tone of Hitler’s speech had produced a reassuring effect on the French leaders. Charge d’Affaires Theo Kordt also reported from London that Hitler’s speech had produced a conciliatory effect in England. American Ambassador Biddle at Warsaw submitted a report to Washington, D.C., on April 28, 1939, which contained a tortuous attempt to square the circle in the face of Hitler’s logic, and to support the Polish stand against Germany. German Charge d’Affaires Thomsen reported the American press reaction to Hitler’s speech on April 29, 1939. He expressed his personal fear that the Western countries would make an irresistible effort to produce a new World War out of the Danzig-Corridor problem. President Roosevelt read the English translation of Hitler’s speech on April 28, 1939. Hitler’s ridicule threw Roosevelt into a violent rage and produced undying hatred of Hitler personally. This personal factor was added to the other motives which prompted Roosevelt to desire the destruction of Germany. Roosevelt had been doing everything possible to promote war in Europe before Hitler’s speech. Now his personal hatred of Hitler might cause him to make some mistake even more foolish than the telegrams of April 15, 1939, to Hitler and Mussolini. He did not have the support of the American public for his war policy, and it was possible that a few more blunders might lead to the total failure of his policy.

Throughout the late Spring and into the Summer of 1939, relations between Poland and Germany worsen, as Beck-with the reassurance of the British guarantee behind him-remains adamant in not negotiating with Germany over the Danzig and Corridor questions. Militarist and expansionist sentiment runs high in Poland; prominent Polish newspapers print maps claiming that large slices of German territory in fact belong to Poland ethnically and historically. Incidents of terror against the German minority in Poland increase. German schools in Poland are closed on a large scale. Germany appeals to Poland to stop the wave of terror and violence within its borders, to no avail.

Potocki Urges a Change in Polish Policy

The Germans were forced to conclude that attempts to arouse sympathy for the German minority in the West or to exert indirect pressure on Poland were ineffective. The only alternatives were direct intervention or passive acquiescence in the final elimination of the German minority. There were many indications that hostility toward Germany was increasing simultaneously in Great Britain and the United States. Charge d’Affaires Thomsen sent word from Washington, D.C., on May 17, 1939, that President Roosevelt had told the Senate Military Affairs Committee that it would be a very good thing if both Hitler and Mussolini were assassinated. The situation in France was less unpromising. Ambassador Welczeck reported on May 20th that French Foreign Minister Bonnet had assured him on the previous day that he maintained his firm belief in the advantages of Franco-German cooperation. Bonnet declared that he was not folding his hands in his lap, and that he was working actively on a plan to preserve the peace. Official circles in the United States and Great Britain were more or less in step with Polish fanaticism, whereas France was obviously reluctant to go along with it.

Beck was faced at this time with several pleas from Polish diplomats for an understanding with Germany. Polish Ambassador Jerzy Potocki, who was on leave from the United States, discussed the situation with Beck at the Polish Foreign Office on July 6, 1939. He told Beck that he had returned to Poland with. the express purpose of proposing a change in Polish policy. He complained that the United States and England were suffering from a severe war psychosis. There had been wild rumors on the ship which brought him to Europe that the Germans had occupied Danzig. He insisted that the Jews, the leading capitalists, and the armament manufacturers of the West were united in a solid front for war. They were delighted to find their pretext in the Danzig issue and in Poland’s defiant attitude. Potocki added that the most repulsive factor was their complete and cold indifference to the destruction of Poland.

Potocki insisted that the Poles were merely negro slaves in the opinion of the Western profiteers. They were expected to work without receiving anything in return. He sought to appeal to Beck’s vanity by claiming that the Polish Foreign Minister was the only man they feared in Poland. He argued that the United States, despite Roosevelt’s fever for intervention in Europe, were actually concentrating their own imperialist drive on Latin America. He assured Beck that it would be sheer illusion to expect the United States to intervene in Europe on behalf of Poland. Potocki was forced to conclude that his eloquent arguments produced no .effect on the Polish Foreign Minister.

Polish Ambassador Sokolnicki at Ankara supported Potocki in this effort. He was a close friend of Jan Szembek, and it was evident to Potocki and Sokolnicki that Szembek would accept their position if he were Polish Foreign Minister. It seemed likely, too, that Pilsudski would have rejected the Beck policy had he been alive. Sokolnicki confided to German Ambassador Papen at Ankara on July 14, 1939, that he would like to see a negotiated settlement between Germany and Poland before the Jews and the Free Masons had convinced the world that a catastrophic conflict was inevitable. The Polish diplomat added that he would be pleased to see the Anglo-Soviet alliance negotiations end in failure as soon as possible.

The American diplomats in Europe continued to oppose peace and urge war. Bullitt was disgusted with the failure of Bonnet to encourage Poland with a blank check at Danzig. He continued to warn Roosevelt that the French Foreign Minister was working for peace. Bullitt was delighted at times to find that Bonnet was pessimistic about the chances for peace. He reported with satisfaction on June 28, 1939, that Bonnet could see no way out for Hitler other than war. Biddle at Warsaw gave uncritical support to Polish policy at Danzig. He claimed in a report on July 12, 1939, that Viktor Boettcher, the unofficial Danzig foreign minister and a close personal friend of [League High Commisionar at Danzig] Burckhardt, had become openly aggressive and was no longer a “repressed imperialist.” Biddle failed to explain why a man who desired the reunion of his native city with his native country, according to the wishes of the vast majority of both parties, was an imperialist.

By the beginning of August, tensions between Germany and Poland are at the boiling point. The anti-German incidents have continued unabated. Thousands of ethnic German refugees flee Poland and are sheltered by Germany. Marshal Smigly-Rydz is more bellicose than ever. The Polish government engages in provocations and takes economic reprisals at Danzig. On August 4th, a Polish ultimatum is presented to the Danzig Senate, notifying it that the frontiers of Danzig will be closed to the importation of all foreign food products unless the Danzig government promises that it will not interfere with the activities of Polish customs inspectors. Since the Danzig populace depends in the main on food from the outside to survive, this is a formidable threat. Germany is outraged.

Roosevelt Responds to the Crisis of Early August

American Ambassador Bullitt at Paris informed President Roosevelt on August 3, 1939, that Beck was predicting that an intense and decisive phase of the crisis between Germany and Poland might occur before August 15, 1939. President Roosevelt knew that Poland was obviously to blame for the crisis which began at Danzig on August 4th, and he was alarmed at the prospect that the American public might learn the truth about the situation. This could be a decisive factor in discouraging his program for American military intervention in Europe. He instructed Under-Secretary Sumner Welles on August 11, 1939, to order American Ambassador Biddle to advise the Poles about this problem. President Roosevelt urged the Poles to be more clever in making it appear that German moves were responsible for any inevitable explosion at Danzig.

The response of Beck to American intervention was not encouraging. Biddle reported to President Roosevelt, at midnight on August 11th, that the Polish Government had decided that there could be absolutely no concessions to Germany. Beck was obviously unwilling to engage in a series of elaborate but empty maneuvers which might have been useful in deceiving the American public. Beck wished the American President to know that he was content at the moment to have full British support for his policy. Beck showed Biddle a report from Polish Ambassador Raczynski at London on August 13, 1939. The report contained the explicit approval of Halifax for recent Polish measures at Danzig.

Since March Halifax has been courting Russia for an AngloFrench-Soviet alliance, if not with Poland then without her (though her at least passive acquiescence to any arrangement would have to be obtained). The British and French missions to Moscow proceed into August, but the negotiations bog down especially on the question of Poland’s role. The British and French give their OK to the possible movement of Soviet troops through Poland in a “protector” role in the case of German-Polish war. But Poland absolutely refuses any such deal. It is clear that time is running out, especially as Stalin -distrustful, with reason, of the Western Powers, and having given a series of diplomatic “hints” for months previous -begins to eye Hitler favorably, and vice-versa. Stalin would like to see a war of attrition between Germany and the West without his involvement, so that he could move in and pick up the pieces after the combattants had bled themselves dry. Hitler would like to have his hands freed in the East, after a defeat of Poland, by an accomodation with Stalin. Ideally, he hopes that such an accomodation will shock the Western Powers into thinking twice about their apparent plans for what would then amount to a one-front Western war with Germany. In this way Hitler hopes to prevent a general European war.

Roosevelt and the Attempt at an Anglo-French-Soviet Alliance

American Ambassador Bullitt at Paris was not enthusiastic about the Anglo-French attempt to conclude an alliance with the Soviet Union. He was inclined to agree with the hostile Polish attitude toward Russia. Bullitt had been American Ambassador at Moscow from 1933 to 1936, and he had few illusions about the Soviet Union. He suggested in his final report from Moscow on April 20, 1936, that the Russian standard of living was possibly lower than that of any other country in the world. He reported that the Bulgarian Comintern leader, Dimitrov, had admitted that Soviet popular front and collective security tactics were aimed at undermining the foreign capitalist systems. He insisted that relations of sincere friendship between the Soviet Union and the United States were an impossibility. He admitted that a conflict between Germany and France would expose Europe to the danger of Communist domination. He believed that it was worth taking this risk in order to destroy Germany, but he was fully aware of the danger involved.

President Roosevelt was aware that economic and social conditions in Germany were far superior to those in the Soviet Union. Ambassador Joseph E. Davies, who succeeded Bullitt at Moscow, reported to Roosevelt on April 1, 1938, that the terror in Russia was “a horrifying fact.” Davies also complained about the gigantic Soviet expenditures on armaments, and he reported that about 25% of the total Soviet national income in 1937 was spent on defense, compared to 10% in Germany. Davies reported that Stalin, in a letter to Pravda on February 14, 1938, had confirmed his intention to spread the Communist system throughout the world. Stalin promised that the Soviet Government would work with foreign Communists to achieve this goal. He concluded his letter by stating: “I wish very much … that there were no longer on earth such unpleasant things as a capitalistic environment, the danger of a military attack, the danger of the restoration of capitalism, and so on.” Davies mentioned that General Ernst Koestring, the veteran German military attache in the Soviet Union, continued to hold a high opinion of the Red Army despite the gigantic purges of 1937 in the Russian military services. Davies concluded that the Soviet Union could best be described as “a terrible tyranny.” The presentation of these reports did not prompt President Roosevelt to withdraw the statement he had made in his major address at Chicago on October 6, 1937, that the Soviet Union was one of the peace-loving nations of the world. Roosevelt was fully aware of the danger from Communism, but he believed that this consideration was unimportant compared to his preferred objective of destroying National Socialist Germany.

Premier Daladier of France would have been furious had he known that Kennard was sabotaging British pressure on Poland with the argument that American sensibilities had to be taken into account. He told American Ambassador Bullitt at Paris on August 18th that he was shocked and angered by the “violence” with which Lukasiewicz and Beck had rejected Soviet aid to Poland. Daladier claimed that it would be easy to internationalize Soviet aid to the Poles by sending two French and one British divisions to Poland by way of Russia. Daladier repeated to Bullitt three times with increasing emphasis that he would not send a single French peasant to give his life for Poland if the Poles rejected Russian aid.

Bullitt was alarmed by this revelation of what he considered a violently anti-Polish reaction on the part of Daladier. He had applied pressure for months on Daladier and Alexis Leger, the Secretary-General at the French Foreign Office, in the hope that they would distance themselves from the peace policy of Georges Bonnet and repudiate that policy. He had visited London in May 1939 to coordinate his strategy with the efforts of Sir Robert Vansittart. The Diplomatic Adviser to His Majesty’s Government considered relations with France to be his own special province, and he hoped to support the Halifax war policy by securing French participation in any war against Germany. Vansittart assured Bullitt that Alexis Leger was his “intimate friend,” and that Leger could be relied upon to support the efforts of Halifax and Roosevelt to involve France in war with Germany.

Bullitt, Vansittart, and Leger feared that Sir Eric Phipps, the British Ambassador to France and brother-in-law of Vansittart, shared the negative attitude of Prime Minister Chamberlain toward an alliance between the Western Powers and Russia. Bullitt had begun to dislike Bonnet, and he reported to President Roosevelt without any regard for accuracy: “in point of fact both Bonnet and Sir Eric Phipps were opposed to bringing the Soviet Union into close cooperation with France and England.” Bullitt also feared that Prime Minister Chamberlain might attempt to challenge the policy of Halifax and restore his own control over the conduct of British policy. American Ambassador Kennedy had reported from London on July 20, 1939, that Chamberlain was “sick and disgusted with Russians.” The British Prime Minister believed that Hitler would welcome any tangible opportunity for a peaceful settlement. Chamberlain knew that Hitler was not bluffing and that he might gamble on a war, but he told Kennedy that Hitler “is highly intelligent and therefore would not be prepared to wage a world war.”

President Roosevelt had intervened directly in the negotiations between the Soviet Union and the Western Powers on August 4, 1939. Lawrence Steinhardt, who had succeeded Davies as American Ambassador to Russia, was instructed by confidential letter to tell Molotov that the interests of the United States and the Soviet Union were identical in promoting the defeat of Italy and Germany in a European war. President Roosevelt urged the Soviet Union to conclude a military alliance with Great Britain and France, and he intimated that the United States would ultimately join this coalition of Powers. The American Ambassador was informed that President Roosevelt had told Soviet Ambassador Konstantin Umansky, before the latter departed for Russia on leave, that the United States hoped to achieve a position of solidarity with the Soviet Union against Germany and Italy.

The Russians were pleased with the Roosevelt message because it strengthened their position in negotiations with both the Western Powers and Germany, and the support of Roosevelt made it easier for them to gain consent for their ambitious program of expansion in Finland, Poland, Rumania, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. The Russians had no desire to conceal from the foreign Powers the contents of the confidential Roosevelt message. The news of the message appeared in the Voelkischer Beobachter at Berlin on August 11, 1939, and its contents were published by the Ilustrowany Kurjer at Krakow on August 13, 1939. Steinhardt knew that Umansky had been informed of the contents of the Roosevelt message before leaving the United States. The letter with the message was sent by way of Bullitt at Paris, and Steinhardt did not receive it until August 15, 1939. He concluded that Molotov had instructed Umansky to reveal the contents of the lettef before it reached Russia, and that Molotov had proceeded to permit the news of the letter to reach the foreign Powers before he had actually received it himself.

Steinhardt presented the Roosevelt letter to Molotov on August 16, 1939 and the two diplomats proceeded to discuss its contents. Roosevelt, in writing the letter, had hoped to influence Russian policy in favor of the Western Powers, but it is not surprising that he failed completely in this effort, and that Molotov used the message for his own purposes. Molotov told Steinhardt that the British and French military missions had come to Russia to discuss military collaboration in terms which the Soviet Foreign Commissar characterized as “vague generalities.” Molotov added that these missions were unable to contend with the specific points which Russia had raised.

Steinhardt reported to President Roosevelt on August 16th that he was personally convinced that the Soviet Union would seek to avoid participation in the early phase of a European conflict. This annoyed President Roosevelt, who seemingly would have led the United States into a European conflict on the first day of war had American public opinion and the American Congress permitted such a policy. The American President was perturbed to learn, a few days later, that Alexis Leger at the French Foreign Office was not the unconditional advocate of war-at-any-price which Bullitt had claimed. Leger revealed his opinion that it would be exceedingly unwise for Great Britain and France to attack Germany without military support from the Soviet Union. This seemed to indicate that there would be virtually no support for a war policy in France if the negotiations at Moscow failed. Roosevelt also learned that Premier Daladier was continuing to denounce the “criminal folly” of the Poles. President Roosevelt knew that Halifax would abandon his project for war against Germany if he was unable to gain the military support of either the Soviet Union or France. The possibility that the peace might be saved was perturbing to the American President who hoped to utilize a European war to achieve his dream for the perpetuation of his tenure and the increase of his personal prestige and glory.

By August 11th, even as negotiations with the British and French are still in progress, Stalin decides to exercise the option with Germany. A definite indication is sent to Berlin the next day. Russian Foreign Minister Molotov and German Ambassador Schulenberg engage in preliminary talks. With the final failure of the British and French missions, the way is open for a German-Soviet agreement. On August 23rd, after the settling of a commercial treaty, Ribbentrop flies to Moscow; that night a GermanSoviet nonaggression pact is signed and announced to the world. It is a desperate, quickly-snatched triumph for Hitler, whose satisfaction at his position is marred only by the knowledge that Count Ciano, the Italian Foreign Minister, had backed Italy down and out of the “united front” with Germany in the face of an evident Anglo-French determination to go to war over Danzig.

The German-Soviet Pact

Hitler hoped to recover the diplomatic initiative through his Kremlin pact of August 23, 1939. The effort launched by Halifax on March 17, 1939, to build a formidable British alliance front in Eastern Europe had failed. Hitler also hoped that Great Britain and France would react to this situation by withdrawing their support from Poland. He knew that his pact with Russia placed him in a strong position to resume negotiations with the Western Powers. His recent success was too sensational to permit new negotiation efforts to be readily confused with weakness. The British Government gave Hitler an excellent opening for his new diplomatic campaign by commissioning Chamberlain to write to him. The British leaders, of course, did not intend to embark on major negotiations, but Hitler had other plans. The presentation of the Chamberlain letter by Henderson on August 23, 1939, was the signal for a major German diplomatic offensive in Great Britain.

The situation would have been relatively simple for Hitler by August 23, 1939, had it not been for the unpardonable indiscretion of Ciano and the incredible conduct of General Gamelin. The statement of Ciano on August 18th that Italy would not support Germany cushioned Halifax from the impact of the German treaty with Russia, and it gave General Gamelin an excuse to rationalize the unfavorable French military situation, which had been created by the Russian agreement with Germany. The action of Ciano was especially unwarranted because the Italian Foreign Minister knew that Hitler hoped to create the maximum effect of surprise with his Russian pact. Ciano knew that his own pledge to the British would greatly reduce the impact of Hitler’s diplomacy. It was easy to argue in London that the position of Hitler would be insecure if the Italians refused to be loyal to their engagements with him. Italian loyalty to Hitler and a clear decision from France against war on behalf of the Poles would surely have pulled the teeth from the Halifax campaign to launch a preventive war against Germany. The absence of these contingencies made it exceedingly difficult for Hitler to capitalize on his Russian success in negotiations with the British leaders. He was not fully aware of this situation on August 23rd. He knew nothing of the Italian pledge to the British on August 18th, or of the crucial debate in the meeting of the French Defense Council. He failed to appreciate the adamant determination of Halifax for war. He knew that British Ambassador Henderson was opposed to war, and he hoped that the views of the British diplomat at Berlin were shared to some extent by his master at London. Hitler was more optimistic than the facts warranted, but this was mainly because he was not fully aware of the existing situation.

The Russians too were unduly optimistic about their prospects on August 23, 1939. They overestimated the military power of France, and they expected a hopeless military stalemate on the Franco-German front reminiscent of World War 1. Stalin hoped to expand his position in Eastern Europe, and to intervene militarily against Germany in the latter phase of a European war, when both Germany and the Western Powers were exhausted. There was one notably great difference in the attitudes of Stalin and Hitler. The Soviet Dictator, like Halifax and Roosevelt, was hoping for the outbreak of a general European war. Hitler considered that a European war would be a great evil, and he was anxious to prevent it. It is ironical to anticipate that the leaders of the Soviet Union, Great Britain, and the United States ultimately joined together in true Orwellian fashion, at Nuremberg in 1945-1946, to condemn the German leaders for deliberately seeking, as “aggressors,” to destroy the peace of the world.

In July, Hitler had launched a private program for peace at the suggestion of Reichsmarshall Göring. Göring’s friend Birger Dahlerus, a Swedish engineer with many contacts in both Britain and Germany, arranged unofficial meetings throughout July and August between Germans and British supporters of the Chamberlain government. Other private contacts between the Germans and the British developed. Potentially good news about the attitude of influential Britons-their desire to see peace between Britain and Germany maintained-came from these conferences, including a report stating that William S. Ropp, who had been selected to head the British Air Ministry intelligence service division for Germany in wartime, claimed that there was lively opposition to war with Germany in the British Air Ministry. Ropp had further suggested that a British-French declaration of war on Germany need not be taken seriously, because it would be possible to conclude peace after the completion of the Polish phase of hostilities. Göring, ever suspicious, suspects the Ropp remarks may be a British ploy, designed to lure Hitler into gambling in Poland. But Alfred Rosenberg, head of the Foreign Policy office of the National Socialist Party, believes the sentiments may well be genuine and accurate. His report on the matter is forwarded to the German Foreign Office and to Hitler.

Hitler Hopes for Peace — Despite Roosevelt

The German Foreign Office also received a confidential report on August 16,1939, from Paul Legrenier, a French journalist who was sincerely friendly toward Germany. Legrenier insisted that Great Britain and France would not go to war against Germany in a conflict between Germany and Poland arising from trouble at Danzig. He was basing his report on the determination of French Foreign Minister Bonnet not to fight for Polish interests at Danzig, and on the obvious fact that Great Britain would not attack Germany without French support. Joseph Barnes, the Berlin correspondent of the New York Herald Tribune, estimated to the German diplomats on the same day that there was still at least a 50-50 chance that Great Britain and France would not attack Germany. Barnes added that he was basing his estimate on the assumption that Germany would make a great effort to avoid needless provocation of Great Britain and France. The reports of Ropp, Legrenier, and Barnes were received by Hitler on August 16, 1939, before the announcement of the Russo-German Pact. Hitler was convinced that the conclusion of the Pact with Russia would increase the chances for peace. It is not astonishing under these circumstances that he was more optimistic than Göring or Mussolini about the possibilities of avoiding an Anglo-German war.

The German Foreign Office was under no illusion about the official policy of President Roosevelt in the current crisis. They knew that his policy was based on the twin assumptions that there should and would be a general European war. There was also reason to believe that some of the American diplomats in Berlin did not share this attitude. British Ambassador Henderson informed the Germans that American Charge d’Affaires Kirk was constantly prodding him to insist that Great Britain would fight rather than retreat, but there was ample evidence that Kirk hoped a show of British firmness would prompt Hitler to make new proposals for a settlement. The Germans also knew that Kirk had severely reprimanded Louis P. Lochner, the American journalist, for questioning the determination of Germany to go to war. Lochner was following the tactics of the Polish journalists by claiming that Hitler was bluffing, because he knew that these tactics would encourage German defiance and make war more likely. It was obvious that Kirk would not have intervened with Lochner on his own initiative had he personally favored war, and the German diplomats were pleased to learn that Kirk had denounced his warmongering.

The Roosevelt Messages to Germany and Poland

President Roosevelt sent insincere peace messages to Germany and Poland at 9:00 P.m. on August 24, 1939. He ignored in his message to Germany the rebuff he had received from Hitler’s speech to the Reichstag on April 28th by claiming that “to the message which I sent you last April I have received no reply.” He proposed a settlement between Germany and Poland by direct negotiation, arbitration, or mediation. He was treading on difficult ground, because Poland, whom he favored, rather than Germany, whom he opposed, blocked the resumption of negotiations. The messages from President Roosevelt forced President Moscicki of Poland to pay lip service to negotiation, although the Polish Government did not desire to resume contact with the Germans. The reply of President Moscicki was a definite pledge to President Roosevelt that Poland would negotiate, although the Poles actually had no intention of doing so.

President Roosevelt informed Hitler that “it is understood, of course, that upon resort to any one of the alternatives I suggest, each nation will agree to accord complete respect to the independence and territorial integrity of the other.” President Roosevelt imagined that this arrangement would preclude in advance any tangible Polish concessions to Germany, but its terms were entirely consistent with the Hitler offer of October 1938 which the Poles had rejected. The original German proposals were actually based upon the respect of the independence and territorial integrity of Poland. This had not prevented the Poles from rejecting them and from ordering the partial mobilization of the Polish armed forces against Germany. Hitler had revealed to the world the inaccuracies and fallacies in the Roosevelt proposals of April 15, 1939, to Germany and Italy, but President Roosevelt rarely accepted criticism. He blandly concluded his message to Hitler with the statement that the United States was prepared to contribute to peace “in the form set forth in my messages of April 14 (advance release of the messages to the American press on that date).” The Roosevelt messages to Germany and Poland were made public at Washington, D.C., at 10:00 p.m. on August 24, 1939. The message to Hitler was not submitted to the German Foreign Office by American Charge d’Affaires Kirk until 9:00 a.m. on August 25th. Hitler decided to defer his reply to President Roosevelt for several days. He was intent, because of the importance of German-American relations, upon preparing a carefully cogent and courteous exposition of the German position for the benefit of the American President.

German Ambassador Mackensen had a satisfactory conversation with Mussolini about the Russo-German treaty early on August 25, 1939. The Italian leader warmly assured Mackensen that he approved of this Pact, and he recalled that he had suggested this himself the previous Spring. Mussolini told Mackensen that he was whole-heartedly in accord with Germany’s position in the Polish question. The Italian leader described the worsening of German-Polish relations as “so acute that an armed conflict can no longer be avoided.” He was convinced that the Polish mentality was “no longer responsive to reasonable suggestions, no matter from which side they might come.”

Mackensen was immensely impressed by the attitude displayed by Mussolini in the absence of Ciano or [Italian Ambassador to Germany] Attolico. Mussolini claimed that the Poles should have responded to Hitler’s original offer by accepting the German annexation of Danzig as an indication that they were sincere in their desire to come to a general agreement with Germany. Mussolini was convinced that “a general conference might have followed” which would have “assured European peace for fifteen to twenty years, as is desired by all.” The attitude of the Italian leader on the morning of August 25th was everything which Hitler could have desired, and the German leader concluded that it would be possible to rely on Mussolini’s full support. He expected a favorable statement from Italy later in the day in response to the earlier initiative of Ribbentrop.

Mussolini and Ciano had renewed their discussion about a general peace conference with [British Ambassador to Italy] Sir Percy Loraine after the announcement of the Russo-German pact. Loraine reported to Halifax on August 23rd that Mussolini wanted peace, and that he would like to mediate in the GermanPolish dispute. Mussolini assured Loraine that Hitler would not accept the terms of a general settlement unless they included the German annexation of Danzig. Loraine reported that the Italians were concentrating on an attempt to gain a British concession on this one decisive point. Loraine informed Halifax that both Mussolini and Ciano were convinced that a successful diplomatic conference was the only hope for a solution of the current difficulties.

American Ambassador William C. Bullitt was advising both Halifax and the French leaders to maintain their military missions in Moscow, and to continue their efforts to detach Italy from Germany. Halifax recognized that the situation in Russia was untenable by this time. The Anglo-French teams had no choice other than to leave Russia empty-handed. Molotov granted an audience to French Ambassador Naggiar on August 25th, immediately after the British and French military men departed from the Russian capital. The Soviet Commissar for Foreign Affairs took pleasure in announcing to the West that the Poles were exclusively responsible for the failure of Anglo-French negotiations with the Russians for a mutual assistance pact. This announcement confirmed suspicions which French Foreign Minister Bonnet had entertained for many days, and he was inclined for this reason to accept the Russian explanation at face value. Bonnet continued to be furious with the Poles. They had allowed Lipski to engage in an inconclusive conversation with Marshal Göring the previous day, but they had haughtily rejected his suggestion for Franco-Polish consultation on Danzig. The French Foreign Minister was resolved to retaliate by seizing the first opportunity of releasing France from her military obligations to Poland.

Halifax was no longer concerned about Russia, and he did not share the desire of Bonnet to repress Polish excesses at Danzig. He was primarily interested in creating the impression everywhere in the world that the Russo-German pact had not caused him to reconsider his policy toward Germany. Halifax dispatched uniform instructions to British diplomatic missions in all countries on August 24th. He urged them to accept the superhuman task of correcting the impression that the pact had been a blow to the “peace front” headed by England and France. He also claimed that the pact “had produced no effect” on the British Cabinet. He exhorted his diplomats that the British course was straight ahead under the slogan of “preventing the domination of Europe by Germany.” Halifax did not explain how a revived German nation of eighty million German citizens could fail to be the leading continental power. After all, it had been said after 1871 that the Germany of Bismarck, with her forty million inhabitants, dominated Europe. The policy of Halifax was calculated to destroy Germany rather than to permit that normal growth and development which for centuries had been considered the natural right of every nation. It was a policy which led to the destruction of a friendly Germany and to the domination of Europe by a hostile Union pledged to overthrow the capitalist system in Great Britain.

Percy Loraine in Rome exposed himself to ridicule in an effort to meet the diplomatic requirements of Halifax. He informed Ciano on August 24 that the Russo-German pact had given him “the first hearty laugh he had had for some weeks.” The same man had previously informed the Italian leaders that a pact of mutual assistance with Russia was a necessary feature of the British program. The Italians could be pardoned for suspecting that his “hearty laugh” closely resembled an hysterical scream, because they had never heard him laugh. Loraine soon learned that Halifax was under heavy pressure at home on August 24th to modify the uncompromising British stand at Danzig. The British Foreign Secretary confided to Loraine, despite his earlier circular instructions, that Great Britain might ultimately consider the return of Danzig to Germany as part of an international settlement. Loraine was bewildered by this information, and he wondered if Halifax intended after all to encourage Mussolini to take the initiative for a conference, which again might resolve British difficulties. There had been no similar suggestion from Halifax during the entire period from the British guarantee to Poland of March 31 st to the conclusion of the Russo-German pact. Unfortunately, the momentary weakening of Halifax’s rigid stand at Danzig was of short duration, and he soon concluded that he could maintain his original position against the mounting opposition at home. Gilbert and Gott, in The Appeasers, attempt to present this incident as a sustained effort on the part of Halifax to come to terms with Germany at Danzig. Unfortunately, this was not the case.

The Polish Pledge to Roosevelt

President Roosevelt received the text of President Moscicki’s message on August 25,1939, and forwarded it to Hitler. Roosevelt emphasized to Hitler that he had a binding promise from Moscicki that Poland would engage in direct negotiations with Germany. The American President added that “all the world prays that Germany, too, will accept.” Hitler knew that the message from President Roosevelt was merely a propaganda gesture to discredit Germany, and he was sufficiently shrewd to recognize that a promise made by Poland to the United States was not worth the paper on which it was written. The Poles knew that Roosevelt would support any Polish move to increase the prospect of conflict with Germany and that the American President would not react unfavorably if they refused to honor a pledge to negotiate with Germany. Hitler also knew this, and hence he concentrated on his effort to convince the British that the Poles should negotiate rather than seek to exploit the meaningless Polish response to President Roosevelt.

Beck assured American Ambassador Biddle shortly before midnight on August 25, 1939, that war between Germany and Poland was inevitable. He claimed that Poland had an adequate legal basis for a declaration of war against Germany, in case the Germans failed to take the initiative against Poland within the next few days. Beck denied that there was any truth in the Bielitz massacre, which had been confirmed by neutral sources. He claimed instead that a Polish soldier had been killed by the Germans on August 16, 1939, and that the Germans had proceeded to cut open the stomach of the corpse and to conceal in it the skull of a baby. This story was widely repeated by Polish spokesmen in the days and years which followed, although no attempt was ever made to document the incident. They failed to realize that this type of savagery was based upon certain primitive voodoo-like superstitions in Eastern Europe which were not shared by the Germans. It would have been an unique historical event had modern Poland elected to base a declaration of war on this fantastic charge. American Ambassador Biddle was much impressed by the aggressive attitude of Beck. He predicted to President Roosevelt that Poland would present a series of ultimata to Germany if Hitler backed down in the Danzig dispute.

Beck was impressed by a public German announcement on August 25, 1939, that the Tannenberg and Nuremberg conclaves had been cancelled. The cancellation announcement, and the impressive number of incidents between the Germans and Poles on the following day, convinced the Polish Foreign Minister that a German attack would come at any moment. He did not conclude until August 27th that Hitler, after all, had taken no decisive military measures. French Ambassador Noel claimed that Beck was a very sick man at t1iis time. The French diplomat charged that he was suffering from aggravated fatigue, tuberculosis, and an excessive addiction to stimulants. The Polish Foreign Minister ultimately died of tuberculosis in Rumania in 1944, after the British authorities had denied him permission to come to England. The French Ambassador, who detested Beck, delighted in conveying the impression that the Polish Foreign Minister was both morally and physically decadent.

German troops at the Slovak-Polish frontier had begun their advance on the morning of August 26, 1939, before countermanding orders reached them, and they crossed into Poland at Jablonka Pass. Fortunately, the Poles were not holding a position there, and an engagement was avoided when the Germans speedily retreated a considerable distance across the frontier and into Slovakia. The Poles engaged German patrols in nearly a dozen skirmishes in the Dzialdowo region directly north of Warsaw and across the East Prussian frontier. The engagements ended when the German units were suddenly withdrawn. It was significant that these serious incidents occurred on two of the most crucial sectors of the German operational plan. A massacre of minority Germans in the Lodz area and constant violations of the German frontier from the Polish side tended to deflect attention from these incidents. A Polish warship on August 26, 1939, fired at a German civilian transport airplane on which State Secretary Wilhelm Stuckardt of the Ministry of Interior was returning from Danzig. Stuckardt and the Danzig leaders had discussed the legal problems involved in the projected return of Danzig to the Reich.

Hitler’s reversal of military orders naturally created perplexity in the German Army. One of the German Generals was dispatched to the Wilhelmstrasse on the night of August 25, 1939, to inquire indignantly why the soldiers had been sent out if it was intended to settle differences with Poland by diplomatic means. The German Foreign Office had no ready answer with which to meet this embarrassing question.

In Berlin, British Ambassador Henderson, a sincere advocate of a British-German understanding who privately sympathizes with Germany in the Polish question, works tirelessly for peace in the difficult position of having to officially represent Halifax’s war policy. He tries to persuade Halifax of the reality of the German minority’s sufferings in Poland. He stresses that unless Poland finally negotiates with Germany there will undoubtedly be war. He remarks that from the beginning “the Poles were utterly foolish and unwise. “

Roosevelt Hopes for War and Strives to Coordinate Policy

Phipps reported from Paris that Bullitt had received new instructions from President Roosevelt designed to facilitate a closer coordination of British and American policy against Germany. The American President suggested that everything possible should be done by propaganda to bring down the German regime in revolutionary chaos. Roosevelt believed that wireless propaganda should be broadcast to Germany around the clock. He expected that it would produce a great effect to argue in advance that Hitler would be solely responsible for any war. He hoped that the pacific desires of the German people might be exploited to undermine the loyalty of Germans toward their government after the outbreak of war.

Henderson continued to do what he could at Berlin to preserve peace. He contacted Polish Ambassador Lipski again on August 25th and urged him to discuss the problem of the German minority in Poland with the German Government. Henderson reported to Halifax that Italian Ambassador Attolico was horrified at the prospect of war. Attolico had declared with indignation that warmongers such as Anthony Eden should be hanged. Henderson avoided criticizing Attolico’s statement about Eden in any way. Eden, to be sure, had worked with Churchill to sabotage appeasement, but the chief role in the scuttling of the appeasement policy had been played by Halifax, the man to whom Henderson addressed his report.

Sir Ronald Lindsay the British Ambassador to the United States, addressed a series of final reports to Halifax prior to his return to England and his replacement by Lord Lothian. Lindsay indicated that Roosevelt was delighted at the prospect of a new World War. The American President had damaged his prospects in May 1939 with his unsuccessful attempt to pull the teeth from the American neutrality laws, but he assured Lindsay that he would succeed in emasculating this legislation after the outbreak of war. He admitted that he would be forced to delay a new effort to do so “until war broke out.” The American President also promised that he would not actually abide by the neutrality laws if he was compelled to invoke them. He would frustrate the purpose of the laws by delaying a proclamation of neutrality for at least five days after the outbreak of war. He would see that war material in the interim was rushed to the British in Canada in enormous quantities. Lindsay reported with his usual excessive moderation that there “was every indication in his language that the American authorities would be anxious to cheat in favor of His Majesty’s Government.”

Roosevelt also promised Lindsay that he would delay German ships under false pretenses in a feigned search for arms, so that they could be easily seized by the British under circumstances which would be arranged with exactitude between the American and British authorities. The British Ambassador was personally perturbed that the President of one of the important countries could be gay and joyful about a tragedy which seemed so destructive of the hopes of all mankind, He reported that Roosevelt “spoke in a tone of almost impish glee and though I may be wrong the whole business gave me the impression of resembling a school-boy prank.” It was an American and world tragedy to have at this important juncture a President whose emotions and ideas could be rated by a friendly Ambassador as childish.

Halifax was inclined to regard the attitude of the American President as a product of one of the most successful British efforts in colonial propaganda. The American President, who was an enthusiastic militarist, had accepted the idea of World War II as his best escape from the economic depression in the United States. The British Foreign Secretary had studied the fantastic Lochner report about the alleged remarks of Hitler to his military men on the Obersalzberg on August 22nd. He wired Loraine in Rome on August 26th that recent information from Berlin indicated that Hitler had some kind of Polish partition in mind. His purpose was to convey to Mussolini the idea that the German leader was too extreme in his plans, at the expense of the Poles, to be amenable to a reasonable settlement of GermanPolish difficulties. Halifax hoped in this way to discourage Mussolini’s ideas for a diplomatic conference.

Thomsen’s View of Roosevelt

State Secretary Weizsaecker had invited American Charge d’Affaires Kirk to call at the German Foreign Office on the evening of August 26th. Weizsaecker conveyed Hitler’s acknowledgment of the two recent messages from President Roosevelt, and Kirk expressed his pleasure at this act of courtesy. Weizsaecker advised Kirk that it would be more timely to present warnings in Warsaw than at Berlin. German Charge d’Affaires Thomsen reminded Hitler on August 28th that Roosevelt would do everything he could to encompass the downfall of Germany. He predicted that Roosevelt would employ ruthless tactics to force active American participation in a European war despite opposition from American public opinion. Thomsen was convinced that American raw materials and machines would be made available to Great Britain and France immediately after the outbreak of war, and that this measure would be popular because it would aid in overcoming the extensive unemployment. Thomsen concluded that the existing American neutrality legislation would be either abrogated or circumvented.

On August 25th, the British guarantee to Poland becomes a formal military alliance. Hitler appeals to Britain and France not to make a German-Polish dispute the cause of general European war. He offers a remarkable alliance to Britain in which German troops would guarantee the British empire around the world. The offer is brushed aside. Henderson continues his attempt to save the situation at Berlin; he urges Lipski to enter into discussions with the Germans, to no avail. Henderson’s exertions are joined by those of Dahlerus, by now communicating directly between Hitler and Chamberlain and Halifax. France strongly urges Poland to negotiate with Germany. Britain does not. Poland calls up more reservists to active service. On August 29th, Hitler presents a moderate 16-point basis for direct negotiations with Poland. Poland does not respond. Beck refuses to go to Berlin to take part in discussions. On August 31st, Lipski, minus plenipotentiary powers, meets with Hitler but refuses to consider one final German proposal.

Chamberlain and Halifax

No one in the position of the British Ambassador could be blamed for desisting from further efforts to prevent war, but Henderson never stopped trying. It is this fact, combined with his unquestionable British patriotism and his determination to stand by his own country through thick and thin, regardless of the dreadful blunders of the British leaders, that make his mission to Berlin a study in courage. He tried every possible tactic to persuade Chamberlain to express his own views, and to encourage the British Prime Minister to resume leadership at the British Foreign Office before it was too late. He made a special effort to convince the British leaders that he had always been firm with Hitler, and he recalled that he had bombarded Hitler with arguments and answers in the conversation of August 28th, which had apparently turned out very favorably for Great Britain.

Halifax continued to advise Chamberlain to ignore the complaints of Henderson and others about the attitude and policies of Poland. He received a very useful letter from Count Raczynski on August 30th. The Polish Government in this letter solemnly swore that no persecution of the German minority was taking place in Poland. The American journalist, W.L. White, later recalled that there was no doubt among well-informed persons by this time that horrible atrocities were being inflicted every day on the Germans of Poland. The pledge from Raczynski had about as much validity as the civil liberties guaranteed by the 1936 constitution of the Soviet Union.

Chamberlain complained to American Ambassador Kennedy after the outbreak of World War II “that America and the world Jews had forced England into the war.” Kennedy himself was convinced that “neither the French nor the British would have made Poland a cause of war if it had not been for the constant needling from Washington.” Kennedy in 1939 was subjected to constant pressure from the American Ambassador at Paris, and he placed primary emphasis on “Bullitt’s urging on Roosevelt in the summer of 1939 that the Germans must be faced down about Poland.” Kennedy was instructed by President Roosevelt on the telephone “to put some iron up Chamberlain’s backside,” a gratuitous instruction because Chamberlain had abdicated control over British policy to Lord Halifax in October 1938. Kennedy, Bullitt, and Roosevelt never succeeded in understanding this situation. They were neither well-informed, nor astute about discovering facts for themselves, and Halifax never chose to confide in them. The subsequent sting of conscience which caused Chamberlain to complain to Kennedy about America and the Jews was an attempt to shift the blame rather than a full confession. He was merely saying in different words that he and his friends might have found the courage to challenge Halifax had not the latter enjoyed the support of President Roosevelt. This was undoubtedly a defensive rationalization, because none of them ever displayed the slightest inclination to oppose Halifax. Furthermore, Halifax had decided upon a policy of war with Germany long before the German occupation of Prague, and before Roosevelt attempted to exert any considerable bellicose pressure on the British leaders. Halifax had stirred Roosevelt against the Germans before Hitler went to Prague, rather than the other way around. Roosevelt was a novice in international affairs compared to Halifax, and it was inconceivable that he could exert a decisive influence on the British Foreign Secretary.

Halifax had considered an Anglo-German war inevitable ever since 1936, and he never wavered in his campaign to destroy Germany, from October 1938, when he assumed personal control over British policy, to the outbreak of World War II in September 1939. He was more than a match for Chamberlain, the Unitarian business leader from the Midlands, or for any of his soft-spoken friends. He had refrained from wresting control over foreign policy from Chamberlain until the British leader returned from Munich to face the hostile critics within his own Conservative Party. He had never seriously criticized Chamberlain’s conduct of policy until he was in a position to dominate it himself. Halifax would have been amused to hear Winston Churchill telling his friends in August 1939 that he feared the British Government “would run out over Poland.” This was the wrong way to put it. Halifax was primarily worried by the possibility that France would run out over Poland. This was the only event which would prompt him to abandon his own policy of war against Germany.

On the morning of September 1st, German troops attack Poland. Hitler announces the invasion before the Reichstag, stating that the brutal suppression of the ethnic German minority and the lack of freedom and self-determination for Danzig necessitated military action. Mussolini makes last-minute pleas for a grand peace conference dealing with all causes of European conflict, to meet on September 5th, on the precondition that Danzig is returned to Germany in advance. Hitler and, initially, France, are agreeable. Britain is not, and goads France into joining with Britain in insisting on a precondition that fighting must stop in Poland. The conference plan fails. On the night of September 2nd, British ministers led by Halifax virtually demand of Chamberlain that an ultimatum be issued to Germany. It is presented the next morning, demanding not only that the fighting cease but that all German troops withdraw from Poland. With the expiration of the ultimatum at 11 a.m., Britain declares war on Germany. A French ultimatum follows, somewhat reluctantly. With its expiration at 5 p.m., France declares war on Germany. World War II begins.

Halifax and Roosevelt

It was clever of Halifax to claim that further intimate Anglo-German conversations would displease President Roosevelt. Chamberlain had been severely criticized for failing to respond favorably to an impractical proposal from Roosevelt, in January 1938, for a grandiose diplomatic conference, which would not only have failed to commit the United States to the British imperialistic program, but undoubtedly would have weakened the effort of Chamberlain to increase British influence in Italy. Lord Lothian had succeeded Sir Ronald Lindsay as British Ambassador to the United States. Lothian, like Henderson at Berlin, favored a peaceful understanding with Germany, but he was a disciplined diplomat who subordinated his own personal views to the requirements of Halifax’s war policy. The new British Ambassador was destined to play a more active role behind the scenes of American politics than any previous British diplomat. Lothian confirmed Lindsay’s judgment that there was “nothing neutral” about Roosevelt’s attitude. The American President insisted that “the most serious danger from the standpoint of American public opinion would be if it formed the conclusion that Herr Hitler was entangling the British Government in negotiations leading to pressure on Poland by England and France to abandon vital interests.” It was obvious to Lothian that Roosevelt wanted war in Europe.

The American President knew that a diplomatic settlement of the European crisis would extinguish his own plans for American military aggression in Europe. Lord Lothian assured Halifax that the partisanship of Roosevelt extended to the minute details. Roosevelt intended to urge the belligerents at the outbreak of the expected war not to bombard civilians, because he hoped in this way to protect Warsaw, one of the Allied capitals. Lothian knew that Roosevelt would never object to a later effort by Great Britain to massacre the civilian population of Germany by means of mass bombing attacks. Roosevelt confided to Lothian that his primary objective at the moment was to evade American neutrality legislation after the outbreak of war. He was intent on renewing the struggle in the American Congress to remove the legal embargo on war material. He promised that he would refuse to admit from the very start of hostilities that aluminum sheets for airplanes were “aeroplane parts” or that airplane engine blocks had anything to do with airplanes.

Lothian confirmed the report of his predecessor that Roosevelt was delighted at the prospect of a new World War. This warlike attitude of Roosevelt was exploited by Halifax in adducing artificial arguments for closing the door on further negotiations with Hitler. There was actually no reason to fear that President Roosevelt would be in a position to cause trouble for Great Britain in the event of a negotiated settlement in Europe. The American President did not have the support of Congress or public opinion for his aggressive foreign policy, and he was nearing the end of his final presidential term, final according to the sacrosanct political tradition established by George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. It was obvious that he would need a crisis of the greatest dimensions, such as a big war in Europe, to campaign successfully for further terms of office. It would have been easy for the British Government to improve relations with a more conciliatory successor had war been averted and had Roosevelt been defeated in the American election of 1940.

For space reasons the 98 footnotes with which Professor Hoggan supports his case in this article are omitted from this issue of The JHR. They appear in the German edition of The Forced War (Der erzwungene Krieg: Die Ursachen und Urheber des 2. Weltkriegs [Tuebingen: Grabert Verlag]), the latest (12th) revised edition of which contains some substantial supplementations, and of course appear in the English edition.

Why Germany Invaded Poland


By John Wear

Published: 2019-01-14

Great Britain’s Blank Check to Poland

On March 21, 1939, while hosting French Prime Minister Édouard Daladier, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain discussed a joint front with France, Russia and Poland to act together against German aggression. France agreed at once, and the Russians agreed on the condition that both France and Poland sign first. However, Polish Foreign Minister Józef Beck vetoed the agreement on March 24, 1939.[1] Polish statesmen feared Russia more than they did Germany. Polish Marshal Edward Śmigły-Rydz told the French ambassador, “With the Germans we risk losing our liberty; with the Russians we lose our soul.”[2]

Another complication arose in European diplomacy when a movement among the residents of Memel in Lithuania sought to join Germany. The Allied victors in the Versailles Treaty had detached Memel from East Prussia and placed it in a separate League of Nations protectorate. Lithuania then proceeded to seize Memel from the League of Nations shortly after World War I. Memel was historically a German city which in the seven centuries of its history had never separated from its East Prussian homeland. Germany was so weak after World War I that it could not prevent the tiny new-born nation of Lithuania from seizing Memel.[3]

Germany’s occupation of Prague in March 1939 had generated uncontrollable excitement among the mostly German population of Memel. The population of Memel was clamoring to return to Germany and could no longer be restrained. The Lithuanian foreign minister traveled to Berlin on March 22, 1939, where he agreed to the immediate transfer of Memel to Germany. The annexation of Memel into Germany went through the next day. The question of Memel exploded of itself without any deliberate German plan of annexation.[4] Polish leaders agreed that the return of Memel to Germany from Lithuania would not constitute an issue of conflict between Germany and Poland.[5]

What did cause conflict between Germany and Poland was the so-called Free City of Danzig. Danzig was founded in the early 14th century and was historically the key port at the mouth of the great Vistula River. From the beginning Danzig was inhabited almost exclusively by Germans, with the Polish minority in 1922 constituting less than 3% of the city’s 365,000 inhabitants. The Treaty of Versailles converted Danzig from a German provincial capital into a League of Nations protectorate subject to numerous strictures established for the benefit of Poland. The great preponderance of the citizens of Danzig had never wanted to leave Germany, and they were eager to return to Germany in 1939. Their eagerness to join Germany was exacerbated by the fact that Germany’s economy was healthy while Poland’s economy was still mired in depression.[6]

Many of the German citizens of Danzig had consistently demonstrated their unwavering loyalty to National Socialism and its principles. They had even elected a National Socialist parliamentary majority before this result had been achieved in Germany. It was widely known that Poland was constantly seeking to increase her control over Danzig despite the wishes of Danzig’s German majority. Hitler was not opposed to Poland’s further economic aspirations at Danzig, but Hitler was resolved never to permit the establishment of a Polish political regime at Danzig. Such a renunciation of Danzig by Hitler would have been a repudiation of the loyalty of Danzig citizens to the Third Reich and their spirit of self-determination.[7]

Germany presented a proposal for a comprehensive settlement of the Danzig question with Poland on October 24, 1938. Hitler’s plan would allow Germany to annex Danzig and construct a superhighway and a railroad to East Prussia. In return Poland would be granted a permanent free port in Danzig and the right to build her own highway and railroad to the port. The entire Danzig area would also become a permanent free market for Polish goods on which no German customs duties would be levied. Germany would take the unprecedented step of recognizing and guaranteeing the existing German-Polish frontier, including the boundary in Upper Silesia established in 1922. This later provision was extremely important since the Versailles Treaty had given Poland much additional territory which Germany proposed to renounce. Hitler’s offer to guarantee Poland’s frontiers also carried with it a degree of military security that no other non-Communist nation could match.[8]

Germany’s proposed settlement with Poland was far less favorable to Germany than the Thirteenth Point of Wilson’s program at Versailles. The Versailles Treaty gave Poland large slices of territory in regions such as West Prussia and Western Posen which were overwhelmingly German. The richest industrial section of Upper Silesia was also later given to Poland despite the fact that Poland had lost the plebiscite there.[9] Germany was willing to renounce these territories in the interest of German-Polish cooperation. This concession of Hitler’s was more than adequate to compensate for the German annexation of Danzig and construction of a superhighway and a railroad in the Corridor. The Polish diplomats themselves believed that Germany’s proposal was a sincere and realistic basis for a permanent agreement.[10]

On March 26, 1939, the Polish Ambassador to Berlin, Joseph Lipski, formally rejected Germany’s settlement proposals. The Poles had waited over five months to reject Germany’s proposals, and they refused to countenance any change in existing conditions. Lipski stated to German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop that “it was his painful duty to draw attention to the fact that any further pursuance of these German plans, especially where the return of Danzig to the Reich was concerned, meant war with Poland.”[11]

Polish Foreign Minister Józef Beck accepted an offer from Great Britain on March 30, 1939, to give an unconditional guarantee of Poland’s independence. The British Empire agreed to go to war as an ally of Poland if the Poles decided that war was necessary. In words drafted by British Foreign Secretary Lord Halifax, Chamberlain spoke in the House of Commons on March 31, 1939:

I now have to inform the House…that in the event of any action which clearly threatened Polish independence and which the Polish Government accordingly considered it vital to resist with their national forces, His Majesty’s Government would feel themselves bound at once to lend the Polish Government all support in their power. They have given the Polish Government an assurance to that effect.[12]

Great Britain for the first time in history had left the decision whether or not to fight a war outside of her own country to another nation. Britain’s guarantee to Poland was binding without commitments from the Polish side. The British public was astonished by this move. Despite its unprecedented nature, Halifax encountered little difficulty in persuading the British Conservative, Liberal and Labor parties to accept Great Britain’s unconditional guarantee to Poland.[13]

Numerous British historians and diplomats have criticized Britain’s unilateral guarantee of Poland. For example, British diplomat Roy Denman called the war guarantee to Poland “the most reckless undertaking ever given by a British government. It placed the decision on peace or war in Europe in the hands of a reckless, intransigent, swashbuckling military dictatorship.”[14] British historian Niall Ferguson states that the war guarantee to Poland tied Britain’s “destiny to that of a regime that was every bit as undemocratic and anti-Semitic as that of Germany.”[15] English military historian Liddell Hart stated that the Polish guarantee “placed Britain’s destiny in the hands of Poland’s rulers, men of very dubious and unstable judgment. Moreover, the guarantee was impossible to fulfill except with Russia’s help.…”[16]

American historian Richard M. Watt writes concerning Britain’s unilateral guarantee to Poland: “This enormously broad guarantee virtually left to the Poles the decision whether or not Britain would go to war. For Britain to give such a blank check to a Central European nation, particularly to Poland—a nation that Britain had generally regarded as irresponsible and greedy—was mind-boggling.”[17]

When the Belgian Minister to Germany, Vicomte Jacques Davignon, received the text of the British guarantee to Poland, he exclaimed that “blank check” was the only possible description of the British pledge. Davignon was extremely alarmed in view of the proverbial recklessness of the Poles. German State Secretary Ernst von Weizsäcker attempted to reassure Davignon by claiming that the situation between Germany and Poland was not tragic. However, Davignon correctly feared that the British move would produce war in a very short time.[18]

Weizsäcker later exclaimed scornfully that “the British guarantee to Poland was like offering sugar to an untrained child before it had learned to listen to reason!”[19]

The Deterioration of German-Polish Relations

German-Polish relationships had become strained by the increasing harshness with which the Polish authorities handled the German minority. The Polish government in the 1930s began to confiscate the land of its German minority at bargain prices through public expropriation. The German government resented the fact that German landowners received only one-eighth of the value of their holdings from the Polish government. Since the Polish public was aware of the German situation and desired to exploit it, the German minority in Poland could not sell the land in advance of expropriation. Furthermore, Polish law forbade Germans from privately selling large areas of land.

German diplomats insisted that the November 1937 Minorities Pact with Poland for the equal treatment of German and Polish landowners be observed in 1939. Despite Polish assurances of fairness and equal treatment, German diplomats learned on February 15, 1939, that the latest expropriations of land in Poland were predominantly of German holdings. These expropriations virtually eliminated substantial German landholdings in Poland at a time when most of the larger Polish landholdings were still intact. It became evident that nothing could be done diplomatically to help the German minority in Poland.[20]

Poland threatened Germany with a partial mobilization of her forces on March 23, 1939. Hundreds of thousands of Polish Army reservists were mobilized, and Hitler was warned that Poland would fight to prevent the return of Danzig to Germany. The Poles were surprised to discover that Germany did not take this challenge seriously. Hitler, who deeply desired friendship with Poland, refrained from responding to the Polish threat of war. Germany did not threaten Poland and took no precautionary military measures in response to the Polish partial mobilization.[21]

Hitler regarded a German-Polish agreement as a highly welcome alternative to a German-Polish war. However, no further negotiations for a German-Polish agreement occurred after the British guarantee to Poland because Józef Beck refused to negotiate. Beck ignored repeated German suggestions for further negotiations because Beck knew that Halifax hoped to accomplish the complete destruction of Germany. Halifax had considered an Anglo-German war inevitable since 1936, and Britain’s anti-German policy was made public with a speech by Neville Chamberlain on March 17, 1939. Halifax discouraged German-Polish negotiations because he was counting on Poland to provide the pretext for a British pre-emptive war against Germany.[22]

The situation between Germany and Poland deteriorated rapidly during the six weeks from the Polish partial mobilization of March 23, 1939, to a speech delivered by Józef Beck on May 5, 1939. Beck’s primary purpose in delivering his speech before the Sejm, the lower house of the Polish parliament, was to convince the Polish public and the world that he was able and willing to challenge Hitler. Beck knew that Halifax had succeeded in creating a warlike atmosphere in Great Britain, and that he could go as far as he wanted without displeasing the British. Beck took an uncompromising attitude in his speech that effectively closed the door to further negotiations with Germany.

Beck made numerous false and hypocritical statements in his speech. One of the most astonishing claims in his speech was that there was nothing extraordinary about the British guarantee to Poland. He described it as a normal step in the pursuit of friendly relations with a neighboring country. This was in sharp contrast to British diplomat Sir Alexander Cadogan’s statement to Joseph Kennedy that Britain’s guarantee to Poland was without precedent in the entire history of British foreign policy.[23]

Beck ended his speech with a stirring climax that produced wild excitement in the Polish Sejm. Someone in the audience screamed loudly, “We do not need peace!” and pandemonium followed. Beck had made many Poles in the audience determined to fight Germany. This feeling resulted from their ignorance which made it impossible for them to criticize the numerous falsehoods and misstatements in Beck’s speech. Beck made the audience feel that Hitler had insulted the honor of Poland with what were actually quite reasonable peace proposals. Beck had effectively made Germany the deadly enemy of Poland.[24]

More than 1 million ethnic Germans resided in Poland at the time of Beck’s speech, and these Germans were the principal victims of the German-Polish crisis in the coming weeks. The Germans in Poland were subjected to increasing doses of violence from the dominant Poles. The British public was told repeatedly that the grievances of the German minority in Poland were largely imaginary. The average British citizen was completely unaware of the terror and fear of death that stalked these Germans in Poland. Ultimately, many thousands of Germans in Poland died in consequence of the crisis. They were among the first victims of British Foreign Secretary Halifax’s war policy against Germany.[25]

The immediate responsibility for security measures involving the German minority in Poland rested with Interior Department Ministerial Director Waclaw Zyborski. Zyborski consented to discuss the situation on June 23, 1939, with Walther Kohnert, one of the leaders of the German minority at Bromberg. Zyborski admitted to Kohnert that the Germans of Poland were in an unenviable situation, but he was not sympathetic to their plight. Zyborski ended their lengthy conversation by stating frankly that his policy required a severe treatment of the German minority in Poland. He made it clear that it was impossible for the Germans of Poland to alleviate their hard fate. The Germans in Poland were the helpless hostages of the Polish community and the Polish state.[26]

Other leaders of the German minority in Poland repeatedly appealed to the Polish government for help during this period. Sen. Hans Hasbach, the leader of the conservative German minority faction, and Dr. Rudolf Wiesner, the leader of the Young German Party, each made multiple appeals to Poland’s government to end the violence. In a futile appeal on July 6, 1939, to Premier Sławoj-Składkowski, head of Poland’s Department of Interior, Wiesner referred to the waves of public violence against the Germans at Tomaszów near Lódz, May 13-15th, at Konstantynów, May 21-22nd, and at Pabianice, June 22-23, 1939. The appeal of Wiesner produced no results. The leaders of the German political groups eventually recognized that they had no influence with Polish authorities despite their loyal attitudes toward Poland. It was “open season” on the Germans of Poland with the approval of the Polish government.[27]

Polish anti-German incidents also occurred against the German majority in the Free City of Danzig. On May 21, 1939, Zygmunt Morawski, a former Polish soldier, murdered a German at Kalthof on Danzig territory. The incident itself would not have been so unusual except for the fact that Polish officials acted as if Poland and not the League of Nations had sovereign power over Danzig. Polish officials refused to apologize for the incident, and they treated with contempt the effort of Danzig authorities to bring Morawski to trial. The Poles in Danzig considered themselves above the law.[28]

Tension steadily mounted at Danzig after the Morawski murder. The German citizens of Danzig were convinced that Poland would show them no mercy if Poland gained the upper hand. The Poles were furious when they learned that Danzig was defying Poland by organizing its own militia for home defense. The Poles blamed Hitler for this situation. The Polish government protested to German Ambassador Hans von Moltke on July 1, 1939, about the Danzig government’s military-defense measures. Józef Beck told French Ambassador Léon Noël on July 6, 1939, that the Polish government had decided that additional measures were necessary to meet the alleged threat from Danzig.[29]

On July 29, 1939, the Danzig government presented two protest notes to the Poles concerning illegal activities of Polish custom inspectors and frontier officials. The Polish government responded by terminating the export of duty-free herring and margarine from Danzig to Poland. Polish officials next announced in the early hours of August 5, 1939, that the frontiers of Danzig would be closed to the importation of all foreign food products unless the Danzig government promised by the end of the day never to interfere with the activities of Polish customs inspectors. This threat was formidable since Danzig produced only a relatively small portion of its own food. All Polish customs inspectors would also bear arms while performing their duty after August 5, 1939. The Polish ultimatum made it obvious that Poland intended to replace the League of Nations as the sovereign power at Danzig.[30]

Hitler concluded that Poland was seeking to provoke an immediate conflict with Germany. The Danzig government submitted to the Polish ultimatum in accordance with Hitler’s recommendation.[31]

Józef Beck explained to British Ambassador Kennard that the Polish government was prepared to take military measures against Danzig if it failed to accept Poland’s terms. The citizens of Danzig were convinced that Poland would have executed a full military occupation of Danzig had the Polish ultimatum been rejected. It was apparent to the German government that the British and French were either unable or unwilling to restrain the Polish government from arbitrary steps that could result in war.[32]

On August 7, 1939, the Polish censors permitted the newspaper Illustrowany Kuryer Codzienny in Kraków to feature an article of unprecedented candor. The article stated that Polish units were constantly crossing the German frontier to destroy German military installations and to carry captured German military materiel into Poland. The Polish government failed to prevent the newspaper, which had the largest circulation in Poland, from telling the world that Poland was instigating a series of violations of Germany’s frontier with Poland.[33]

Polish Ambassador Jerzy Potocki unsuccessfully attempted to persuade Józef Beck to seek an agreement with Germany. Potocki later succinctly explained the situation in Poland by stating “Poland prefers Danzig to peace.”[34]

President Roosevelt knew that Poland had caused the crisis which began at Danzig, and he was worried that the American public might learn the truth about the situation. This could be a decisive factor in discouraging Roosevelt’s plan for American military intervention in Europe. Roosevelt instructed U.S. Ambassador Biddle to urge the Poles to be more careful in making it appear that German moves were responsible for any inevitable explosion at Danzig. Biddle reported to Roosevelt on August 11, 1939, that Beck expressed no interest in engaging in a series of elaborate but empty maneuvers designed to deceive the American public. Beck stated that at the moment he was content to have full British support for his policy.[35]

Roosevelt also feared that American politicians might discover the facts about the hopeless dilemma which Poland’s provocative policy created for Germany. When American Democratic Party Campaign Manager and Post-Master General James Farley visited Berlin, Roosevelt instructed the American Embassy in Berlin to prevent unsupervised contact between Farley and the German leaders. The German Foreign Office concluded on August 10, 1939 that it was impossible to penetrate the wall of security around Farley. The Germans knew that President Roosevelt was determined to prevent them from freely communicating with visiting American leaders.[36]

Polish Atrocities Force War

On August 14, 1939, the Polish authorities in East Upper Silesia launched a campaign of mass arrests against the German minority. The Poles then proceeded to close and confiscate the remaining German businesses, clubs and welfare installations. The arrested Germans were forced to march toward the interior of Poland in prisoner columns. The various German groups in Poland were frantic by this time; they feared the Poles would attempt the total extermination of the German minority in the event of war. Thousands of Germans were seeking to escape arrest by crossing the border into Germany. Some of the worst recent Polish atrocities included the mutilation of several Germans. The Polish public was urged not to regard their German minority as helpless hostages who could be butchered with impunity.[37]

Rudolf Wiesner, who was the most prominent of the German minority leaders in Poland, spoke of a disaster “of inconceivable magnitude” since the early months of 1939. Wiesner claimed that the last Germans had been dismissed from their jobs without the benefit of unemployment relief, and that hunger and privation were stamped on the faces of the Germans in Poland. German welfare agencies, cooperatives and trade associations had been closed by Polish authorities. Exceptional martial-law conditions of the earlier frontier zone had been extended to include more than one-third of the territory of Poland. The mass arrests, deportations, mutilations and beatings of the last few weeks in Poland surpassed anything that had happened before. Wiesner insisted that the German minority leaders merely desired the restoration of peace, the banishment of the specter of war, and the right to live and work in peace. Wiesner was arrested by the Poles on August 16, 1939 on suspicion of conducting espionage for Germany in Poland.[38]

The German press devoted increasing space to detailed accounts of atrocities against the Germans in Poland. The Völkischer Beobachter reported that more than 80,000 German refugees from Poland had succeeded in reaching German territory by August 20, 1939. The German Foreign Office had received a huge file of specific reports of excesses against national and ethnic Germans in Poland. More than 1,500 documented reports had been received since March 1939, and more than 10 detailed reports were arriving in the German Foreign Office each day. The reports presented a staggering picture of brutality and human misery.[39]

W. L. White, an American journalist, later recalled that there was no doubt among well-informed people by this time that horrible atrocities were being inflicted every day on the Germans of Poland.[40]

Donald Day, a Chicago Tribune correspondent, reported on the atrocious treatment the Poles had meted out to the ethnic Germans in Poland:

…I traveled up to the Polish corridor where the German authorities permitted me to interview the German refugees from many Polish cities and towns. The story was the same. Mass arrests and long marches along roads toward the interior of Poland. The railroads were crowded with troop movements. Those who fell by the wayside were shot. The Polish authorities seemed to have gone mad. I have been questioning people all my life and I think I know how to make deductions from the exaggerated stories told by people who have passed through harrowing personal experiences. But even with generous allowance, the situation was plenty bad. To me the war seemed only a question of hours.[41]

British Ambassador Nevile Henderson in Berlin was concentrating on obtaining recognition from Halifax of the cruel fate of the German minority in Poland. Henderson emphatically warned Halifax on August 24, 1939, that German complaints about the treatment of the German minority in Poland were fully supported by the facts. Henderson knew that the Germans were prepared to negotiate, and he stated to Halifax that war between Poland and Germany was inevitable unless negotiations were resumed between the two countries. Henderson pleaded with Halifax that it would be contrary to Polish interests to attempt a full military occupation of Danzig, and he added a scathingly effective denunciation of Polish policy. What Henderson failed to realize is that Halifax was pursuing war for its own sake as an instrument of policy. Halifax desired the complete destruction of Germany.[42]

On August 25, 1939, Ambassador Henderson reported to Halifax the latest Polish atrocity at Bielitz, Upper Silesia. Henderson never relied on official German statements concerning these incidents, but instead based his reports on information he received from neutral sources. The Poles continued to forcibly deport the Germans of that area, and compelled them to march into the interior of Poland. Eight Germans were murdered and many more were injured during one of these actions.

Hitler was faced with a terrible dilemma. If Hitler did nothing, the Germans of Poland and Danzig would be abandoned to the cruelty and violence of a hostile Poland. If Hitler took effective action against the Poles, the British and French might declare war against Germany. Henderson feared that the Bielitz atrocity would be the final straw to prompt Hitler to invade Poland. Henderson, who strongly desired peace with Germany, deplored the failure of the British government to exercise restraint over the Polish authorities.[43]

On August 23, 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union entered into the Molotov-Ribbentrop agreement. This non-aggression pact contained a secret protocol which recognized a Russian sphere of influence in Eastern Europe. German recognition of this Soviet sphere of influence would not apply in the event of a diplomatic settlement of the German-Polish dispute. Hitler had hoped to recover the diplomatic initiative through the Molotov-Ribbentrop nonaggression pact. However, Chamberlain warned Hitler in a letter dated August 23, 1939, that Great Britain would support Poland with military force regardless of the Molotov-Ribbentrop agreement. Józef Beck also continued to refuse to negotiate a peaceful settlement with Germany.[44]

Germany made a new offer to Poland on August 29, 1939, for a last diplomatic campaign to settle the German-Polish dispute. The terms of a new German plan for a settlement, the so-called Marienwerder proposals, were less important than the offer to negotiate as such. The terms of the Marienwerder proposals were intended as nothing more than a tentative German plan for a possible settlement. The German government emphasized that these terms were formulated to offer a basis for unimpeded negotiations between equals rather than constituting a series of demands which Poland would be required to accept. There was nothing to prevent the Poles from offering an entirely new set of proposals of their own.

The Germans, in offering to negotiate with Poland, were indicating that they favored a diplomatic settlement over war with Poland. The willingness of the Poles to negotiate would not in any way have implied a Polish retreat or their readiness to recognize the German annexation of Danzig. The Poles could have justified their acceptance to negotiate with the announcement that Germany, and not Poland, had found it necessary to request new negotiations. In refusing to negotiate, the Poles were announcing that they favored war. The refusal of British Foreign Secretary Halifax to encourage the Poles to negotiate indicated that he also favored war.[45]

French Prime Minister Daladier and British Prime Minister Chamberlain were both privately critical of the Polish government. Daladier in private denounced the “criminal folly” of the Poles. Chamberlain admitted to Ambassador Joseph Kennedy that it was the Poles, and not the Germans, who were unreasonable. Kennedy reported to President Roosevelt, “frankly he [Chamberlain] is more worried about getting the Poles to be reasonable than the Germans.” However, neither Daladier nor Chamberlain made any effort to influence the Poles to negotiate with the Germans.[46]

On August 29, 1939, the Polish government decided upon the general mobilization of its army. The Polish military plans stipulated that general mobilization would be ordered only in the event of Poland’s decision for war. Henderson informed Halifax of some of the verified Polish violations prior to the war. The Poles blew up the Dirschau (Tczew) bridge across the Vistula River even though the eastern approach to the bridge was in German territory (East Prussia). The Poles also occupied a number of Danzig installations and engaged in fighting with the citizens of Danzig on the same day. Henderson reported that Hitler was not insisting on the total military defeat of Poland. Hitler was prepared to terminate hostilities if the Poles indicated that they were willing to negotiate a satisfactory settlement.[47]

Germany decided to invade Poland on September 1, 1939. All of the British leaders claimed that the entire responsibility for starting the war was Hitler’s. Prime Minister Chamberlain broadcast that evening on British radio that “the responsibility for this terrible catastrophe (war in Poland) lies on the shoulders of one man, the German Chancellor.” Chamberlain claimed that Hitler had ordered Poland to come to Berlin with the unconditional obligation of accepting without discussion the exact German terms. Chamberlain denied that Germany had invited the Poles to engage in normal negotiations. Chamberlain’s statements were unvarnished lies, but the Polish case was so weak that it was impossible to defend it with the truth.

Halifax also delivered a cleverly hypocritical speech to the House of Lords on the evening of September 1, 1939. Halifax claimed that the best proof of the British will to peace was to have Chamberlain, the great appeasement leader, carry Great Britain into war. Halifax concealed the fact that he had taken over the direction of British foreign policy from Chamberlain in October 1938, and that Great Britain would probably not be moving into war had this not happened. He assured his audience that Hitler, before the bar of history, would have to assume full responsibility for starting the war. Halifax insisted that the English conscience was clear, and that, in looking back, he did not wish to change a thing as far as British policy was concerned.[48]

On September 2, 1939, Italy and Germany agreed to hold a mediation conference among themselves and Great Britain, France and Poland. Halifax attempted to destroy the conference plan by insisting that Germany withdraw her forces from Poland and Danzig before Great Britain and France would consider attending the mediation conference. French Foreign Minister Bonnet knew that no nation would accept such treatment, and that the attitude of Halifax was unreasonable and unrealistic.

Ultimately, the mediation effort collapsed, and both Great Britain and France declared war against Germany on September 3, 1939. When Hitler read the British declaration of war against Germany, he paused and asked of no one in particular: “What now?”[49] Germany was now in an unnecessary war with three European nations.

Similar to the other British leaders, Nevile Henderson, the British ambassador to Germany, later claimed that the entire responsibility for starting the war was Hitler’s. Henderson wrote in his memoirs in 1940: “If Hitler wanted peace he knew how to insure it; if he wanted war, he knew equally well what would bring it about. The choice lay with him, and in the end the entire responsibility for war was his.”[50] Henderson forgot in this passage that he had repeatedly warned Halifax that the Polish atrocities against the German minority in Poland were extreme. Hitler invaded Poland in order to end these atrocities.

Polish Atrocities Continue against German Minority

The Germans in Poland continued to experience an atmosphere of terror in the early part of September 1939. Throughout the country the Germans had been told, “If war comes to Poland you will all be hanged.” This prophecy was later fulfilled in many cases.

The famous Bloody Sunday in Toruń on September 3, 1939, was accompanied by similar massacres elsewhere in Poland. These massacres brought a tragic end to the long suffering of many ethnic Germans. This catastrophe had been anticipated by the Germans before the outbreak of war, as reflected by the flight, or attempted escape, of large numbers of Germans from Poland. The feelings of these Germans were revealed by the desperate slogan, “Away from this hell, and back to the Reich!”[51]

Dr. Alfred-Maurice de Zayas writes concerning the ethnic Germans in Poland:

The first victims of the war were Volksdeutsche, ethnic German civilians resident in and citizens of Poland. Using lists prepared years earlier, in part by lower administrative offices, Poland immediately deported 15,000 Germans to Eastern Poland. Fear and rage at the quick German victories led to hysteria. German “spies” were seen everywhere, suspected of forming a fifth column. More than 5,000 German civilians were murdered in the first days of the war. They were hostages and scapegoats at the same time. Gruesome scenes were played out in Bromberg on September 3, as well as in several other places throughout the province of Posen, in Pommerellen, wherever German minorities resided.[52]

Polish atrocities against ethnic Germans have been documented in the book Polish Acts of Atrocity against the German Minority in Poland. Most of the outside world dismissed this book as nothing more than propaganda used to justify Hitler’s invasion of Poland. However, skeptics failed to notice that forensic pathologists from the International Red Cross and medical and legal observers from the United States verified the findings of these investigations of Polish war crimes. These investigations were also conducted by German police and civil administrations, and not the National Socialist Party or the German military. Moreover, both anti-German and other university-trained researchers have acknowledged that the charges in the book are based entirely on factual evidence.[53]

The book Polish Acts of Atrocity against the German Minority in Poland stated:

When the first edition of this collection of documents went to press on November 17, 1939, 5,437 cases of murder committed by soldiers of the Polish army and by Polish civilians against men, women and children of the German minority had been definitely ascertained. It was known that the total when fully ascertained would be very much higher. Between that date and February 1, 1940, the number of identified victims mounted to 12,857. At the present stage investigations disclose that in addition to these 12,857, more than 45,000 persons are still missing. Since there is no trace of them, they must also be considered victims of the Polish terror. Even the figure 58,000 is not final. There can be no doubt that the inquiries now being carried out will result in the disclosure of additional thousands dead and missing.[54]

Medical examinations of the dead showed that Germans of all ages, from four months to 82 years of age, were murdered. The report concluded:

It was shown that the murders were committed with the greatest brutality and that in many cases they were purely sadistic acts—that gouging of eyes was established and that other forms of mutilation, as supported by the depositions of witnesses, may be considered as true.

The method by which the individual murders were committed in many cases reveals studied physical and mental torture; in this connection several cases of killing extended over many hours and of slow death due to neglect had to be mentioned.

By far the most important finding seems to be the proof that murder by such chance weapons as clubs or knives was the exception, and that as a rule modern, highly-effective army rifles and pistols were available to the murderers. It must be emphasized further that it was possible to show, down to the minutest detail, that there could have been no possibility of execution (under military law).[55]

The Polish atrocities were not acts of personal revenge, professional jealously or class hatred; instead, they were a concerted political action. They were organized mass murders caused by a psychosis of political animosity. The hate-inspired urge to destroy everything German was driven by the Polish press, radio, school and government propaganda. Britain’s blank check of support had encouraged Poland to conduct inhuman atrocities against its German minority.[56]

The book Polish Acts of Atrocity against the German Minority in Poland explained why the Polish government encouraged such atrocities:

The guarantee of assistance given Poland by the British Government was the agent which lent impetus to Britain’s policy of encirclement. It was designed to exploit the problem of Danzig and the Corridor to begin a war, desired and long-prepared by England, for the annihilation of Greater Germany. In Warsaw moderation was no longer considered necessary, and the opinion held was that matters could be safely brought to a head. England was backing this diabolical game, having guaranteed the “integrity” of the Polish state. The British assurance of assistance meant that Poland was to be the battering ram of Germany’s enemies. Henceforth Poland neglected no form of provocation of Germany and, in its blindness, dreamt of “victorious battle at Berlin’s gates.” Had it not been for the encouragement of the English war clique, which was stiffening Poland’s attitude toward the Reich and whose promises led Warsaw to feel safe, the Polish Government would hardly have let matters develop to the point where Polish soldiers and civilians would eventually interpret the slogan to extirpate all German influence as an incitement to the murder and bestial mutilation of human beings.[57]


[1] Taylor, A.J.P., The Origins of the Second World War, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1961, p. 207.

[2] DeConde, Alexander, A History of American Foreign Policy, New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1971, p. 576.

[3] Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, Cal.: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, pp. 25, 312.

[4] Taylor, A.J.P., The Origins of the Second World War, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1961, p. 209.

[5] Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, Cal: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, p. 50.

[6] Ibid., pp. 49-60.

[7] Ibid., pp. 328-329.

[8] Ibid., pp. 145-146.

[9] Ibid., p. 21.

[10] Ibid., pp. 21, 256-257.

[11] Ibid., p. 323.

[12] Barnett, Correlli, The Collapse of British Power, New York: William Morrow, 1972, p. 560; see also Taylor, A.J.P., The Origins of the Second World War, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1961, p. 211.

[13] Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, Cal.: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, pp. 333, 340.

[14] Denman, Roy, Missed Chances: Britain and Europe in the Twentieth Century, London: Indigo, 1997, p. 121.

[15] Ferguson, Niall, The War of the World: Twentieth Century Conflict and the Descent of the West, New York: Penguin Press, 2006, p. 377.

[16] Hart, B. H. Liddell, History of the Second World War, New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1970, p. 11.

[17] Watt, Richard M., Bitter Glory: Poland and Its Fate 1918 to 1939, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1979, p. 379.

[18] Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, Cal: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, p. 342.

[19] Ibid., p. 391.

[20] Ibid., pp. 260-262.

[21] Ibid., pp. 311-312.

[22] Ibid., pp. 355, 357.

[23] Ibid., pp. 381, 383.

[24] Ibid., pp. 384, 387.

[25] Ibid., p. 387.

[26] Ibid., pp. 388-389.

[27] Ibid.

[28] Ibid., pp. 392-393.

[29] Ibid., pp. 405-406.

[30] Ibid., p. 412.

[31] Ibid. p. 413.

[32] Ibid., pp. 413-415.

[33] Ibid. p. 419. In a footnote, the author notes that a report of the same matters appeared in the New York Times for August 8, 1939.

[34] Ibid., p. 419.

[35] Ibid., p. 414.

[36] Ibid., p. 417.

[37] Ibid., pp. 452-453.

[38] Ibid., p. 463.

[39] Ibid., p. 479.

[40] Ibid., p. 554.

[41] Day, Donald, Onward Christian Soldiers, Newport Beach, Cal.: The Noontide Press, 2002, p. 56.

[42] Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, Cal.: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, pp. 500-501, 550.

[43] Ibid., p. 509

[44] Ibid., pp. 470, 483, 538.

[45] Ibid., pp. 513-514.

[46] Ibid., pp. 441, 549.

[47] Ibid., pp. 537, 577.

[48] Ibid., pp. 578-579.

[49] Ibid., pp. 586, 593, 598.

[50] Henderson, Nevile, Failure of a Mission, New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1940, p. 227.

[51] Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, Cal.: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, p. 390.

[52] De Zayas, Alfred-Maurice, A Terrible Revenge: The Ethnic Cleansing of the East European Germans, 2nd edition, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006, p. 27.

[53] Roland, Marc, “Poland’s Censored Holocaust,” The Barnes Review in Review: 2008-2010, pp. 132-133.

[54] Shadewalt, Hans, Polish Acts of Atrocity against the German Minority in Poland, Berlin and New York: German Library of Information, 2nd edition, 1940, p. 19.

[55] Ibid., pp. 257-258.

[56] Ibid., pp. 88-89.

[57] Ibid., pp. 75-76.

The Rape of Germany after World War II


By Films About Germany
Published: 2019-08-05

A topic that many historians avoid but that needs to be truly studied that happened in Germany not only during but after WWII.

Khazars – Turco-Mongolians Converted to Jehovah Worship


By Douglas Reed

From The Controversy of Zion

The Talmudic government set out to prepare its second encounter with the West from a new headquarters, planted among an Asiatic people, the Khazars, converted to Jehovah worship many centuries before. The ruling sect was thenceforward to operate through this different body of people; they were wild folk who had not known the cautionary experience in Spain.

In 1951 a New York publisher who contemplated issuing one of the present writer’s books was strongly advised not to do this by the head of a Jewish political bureau, and was told, “Mr. Reed invented the Khazars”.

However, the Judaist authorities agree about their existence and conversion, and the historical atlases show the development of the Khazar kingdom, which at its greatest extent reached from the Black Sea to the Caspian (around 600 AD).

They are described as a Tartar or Turco-Mongolian people and the Jewish Encyclopaedia says that their chagan, or chieftain, “with his grandees and a large number of his heathen people embraced Judaism, probably about 679 AD”.

The fact is attested by correspondence between Hasdai ibn Shapnet, Foreign Minister to Abdel Rahman, Sultan of Cordova, and King Joseph of the Khazars, exchanged about 960 AD.

The Jewish Encyclopaedia says that the Judaist scholars had no doubts as to the genuineness of this correspondence, in which the word Ashkenazi first occurs as denoting this sharply-outlined, hitherto unknown group of “Eastern Jews” and as indicating Slav associations.

This community of Turco-Mongolian Ashkenazim, then, was distinct in every element save that of the creed from the Jews previously known to the Western world, the Sephardim.

The hold of the Talmudic government, in the centuries that followed, became looser over the scattered communities of the West; but it ruled this new compact community in the East with a rod of iron.

The Jew of Semitic physiognomy became ever rarer (today the typical countenance of the Jew has Mongolian traits, as is natural).

No Gentile will ever know why this one mass-conversion of a numerous “heathen” people to Talmudic Judaism was permitted, thirteen hundred years ago. Was it chance, or were these elders able to foresee every mortal possibility?

At all events, when the Sephardim were scattered and the destructive idea received, in Spain, its sharpest setback, this reserve force lay ready to hand and for the purpose of the destructive mission it was the best possible material.

Long before their conversion to Judaism the Khazars were hostile to the immigrant Russ from the north who eventually conquered them, established the Russian monarchy and accepted Christianity.

When the Khazars became converted the Talmud was complete, and after the collapse of their kingdom (in about 1000 AD) they remained the political subjects of the Talmudic government, all their resistance to Russia being governed by the Talmudic, anti-Christian Law.

Thereafter they moved about in Russia, particularly to Kieff (the traditional “holy city” of Russian Christianity), elsewhere in the Ukraine, and to Poland and Lithuania.

Though they had no Judahite blood, they became under this Talmudic direction the typical nation-within-the-nation in Russia. The areas where they congregated, under Talmudic direction, became the centres of that anti-Russian revolution which was to become “the world revolution”; in these parts, and through these people, new instruments of destruction were forged, specifically for the destruction of Christianity and the West.

These savage people from the inmost recesses of Asia lived within the Talmud like any Babylonian or Cordovan Jew and for centuries “observed the Law” in order that they might “return” to a “promised land” of which their ancestors probably never heard, there to rule the world.

In the Twentieth Century, when the politicians of the West were all agog with this project of the return, none of them had ever heard of the Khazars. Only the Arabs, whose lives and lands were directly at stake, knew of them, and vainly tried to inform the Peace Conference of 1919 and the United Nations in 1947.

After 1500, therefore, the Jews fell into two distinct groups: the scattered communities of the West, who were Sephardic in origin, and this closely corralled mass of Talmudic, Slav “Jews” in the East.

Time had to show if the Talmudic centre would be able to make out of the Ashkenazim a destructive force as potent in the future as the earlier one in the past, and whether it could keep its hold over the communities in the West, with their different tradition and their memory of the Iberian expulsion.

About the year 1500, then, the Talmudic government moved from Spain to Poland, establishing itself among a body of “Jews” hitherto unknown to the West and relaxing its hold on the Sephardic Jews, who began to dwindle in numbers and to disintegrate as a cohesive force (in the judgment of the Judaic elders).

Only about 450 years separate that event and that point in time from our present day, when the effects of the removal of the Talmudists to Poland have shown themselves, and have answered the two questions raised in the last paragraph.

Expulsions of Germans after World War II (Part I)


By John Wear

Published: 2019-07-07


One of the great tragedies of the 20th century was the forced expulsion of ethnic Germans from their ancestral homes in Europe after the end of World War II. The Allies carried out the largest forced population transfer – and perhaps the greatest single movement of people – in human history. A minimum of 12 million and possibly as many as 18.1 million Germans were driven from their homes because of their ethnic background. Probably 2.1 million or more of these German expellees, mostly women and children, died in what was supposed to be an “orderly and humane” expulsion.[1]

One estimate of the number of Germans expelled runs to 16.5 million: 9.3 million within the 1937 Reich borders and 7.2 million outside. The Germans within the 1937 Reich borders include 2,382,000 East Prussians, 1,822,000 East Pomeranians, 614,000 in Brandenburg east of the Oder, and 4,469,000 Silesians. The Germans outside the 1937 Reich borders include 240,000 in Memel and the Baltic States, 373,000 in Danzig, 1,293,000 in Poland, 3,493,000 in Czechoslovakia, 601,000 in Hungary, 509,000 in Yugoslavia, and 785,000 in Romania. The Russians did not expel many of their 1.8 million Volga Germans from the Soviet Union; instead, the Volga Germans were predominantly deported to other (distant) locations within the Soviet Union.[2]

Historical and Legal Bases for Expulsions

The mass expulsion of entire populations after the conclusions of armed conflicts was not in the European tradition. With the exception of the Treaty of Lausanne in July 1923, which sanctioned mutual expulsions after the Greek-Turkish war of 1921-1922, European nations did not contemplate nor carry out resettlement schemes prior to World War II. The Poles and Czechs, however, were determined to forcibly expel their minority populations under the auspices of international organizations. These two governments-in-exile, located in London during most of the war, sought approval from the victorious Allies for the forced expulsion of their German minorities.[3]

The Polish and Czechoslovak governments-in-exile found that the Allies were in complete agreement that the Germans should be expelled from both postwar Poland, which had annexed major portions of the former Germany, and the former Sudetenland. Documents from the Russian archives make it clear that Stalin and Molotov were fully informed about the Polish and Czech plans to deport their Germans. The Soviet leaders told the Czechs and Poles that they not only had no objection in principle to the deportations, but that they also thought positively about them.

Stalin unambiguously endorsed the expulsions in a June 28, 1945 conversation with the Czechoslovak prime minister and deputy foreign minister: “We won’t disturb you. Throw them out.” Stalin gave the Polish communist leader Władysław Gomułka advice on how to get the Germans to leave, “You should create such conditions for the Germans that they want to escape themselves.”[4]

Some provisional decisions concerning the expulsion of Germans had been made at the Tehran Conference in December 1943. Stalin wanted to keep the eastern half of Poland which he had acquired pursuant to the terms of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact made with Germany. In order to compensate Poland for her lost territory, East Prussia and perhaps Upper Silesia would be ceded to Poland. Poland would gain back in the west the same amount of territory she lost in the east. Churchill demonstrated to Stalin his thoughts on a Poland shifted westward with three matchsticks. Stalin was pleased with Churchill’s demonstration.[5]

Edvard Beneš, the president of the Czechoslovak government, justifiably claimed that he had received the blessings of Roosevelt and Churchill for the transfers. Both the American and British governments were sympathetic to the Czechoslovak and Polish cases for expulsion of the Germans and, like the Soviets, had no objection in principle.

Churchill was especially callous on the subject of German expulsions. On October 9, 1944, Churchill remarked to Stalin that 7 million Germans would be killed in the war, thus leaving plenty of room for Germans driven out of Silesia and East Prussia to move into rump Germany. On February 23, 1945, Churchill dismissed the difficulties involved in transferring the German population to the west. Churchill insisted that the transfers would be easy to make since most of the Germans in the territories now taken by the Russians had already left.[6]

The question is: What moral or legal basis would allow the Allies to expel the ethnic Germans from their homes? The forced expulsion of millions of Germans was a clear violation of the Atlantic Charter signed by the United States and Great Britain in August 1941. The Atlantic Charter had promised in Point Two that there would be no territorial changes that do not accord with the freely expressed wishes of the people concerned. However, the Sudetenland Germans, East Prussians and Silesians were not asked if they wanted to stay in their 700-year-old homelands. They were thrown out against their will.[7]

British statesmen decided to repudiate the noble principles of the Atlantic Charter. In March 1944, the Earl of Mansfield stated before the British House of Lords: “The Atlantic Charter will not apply to Germany, and therefore there is no reason whatever why we should not contemplate, if not with equanimity, at least without consternation, any unavoidable sufferings that may be inflicted on German minorities in the course of their transference.”[8]

Other British statesmen including Churchill made similar statements that the Atlantic Charter did not apply to Germany. During a debate in the House of Commons on February 23, 1944, Anthony Eden expressed his view of the Atlantic Charter: “There are certain parts of the Atlantic Charter which refer in set terms to victor and vanquished alike. Article Four does so. But we cannot admit that Germany can claim, as a matter of right on her part, whatever our obligation, that any part of the Charter applies to her.”

A British Labor MP later acknowledged on March 1, 1945, before the House of Commons: “We started this war with great motives and high ideals. We published the Atlantic Charter and then spat on it, stomped on it and burnt it, as it were, at the stake, and now nothing is left of it.”[9]

The expulsion of ethnic Germans can be viewed in the United States as both a repudiation of the Atlantic Charter and the adoption of the Morgenthau Plan. Section Two of the Morgenthau Plan, which dealt with the “New Boundaries of Germany,” stated: “Poland should get that part of East Prussia which doesn’t go to the USSR and the southern portion of Silesia.” However, the drastic territorial changes finalized at the Potsdam Conference on August 2, 1945 went beyond what even Morgenthau had envisioned. It was agreed at the Potsdam Conference that all German land east of the Oder-Neisse Rivers that was not under Soviet administration “shall be under the administration of the Polish state.”[10]

The Potsdam Conference was held from July 17 to August 2, 1945, to decide how to administer Germany after her unconditional surrender to the Allies. The goals of the conference included the establishment of postwar order, peace-treaty issues, and remedying the effects of the war, at least on its victors. Participants were the United States represented by President Harry S. Truman, the Soviet Union represented by Joseph Stalin, and Great Britain represented first by Winston Churchill and later by Clement Attlee. In a bitter blow to French pride, France was not invited to the Potsdam Conference. Although the Allies had independently agreed on the need to move the Germans out of Eastern Europe, the discussions at Potsdam indicated that the Americans and British had second thoughts on the expulsion of the Germans.[11]

President Truman at Potsdam expressed his concerns about where 9 million Germans would go. Stalin reassured Truman that most of the Germans had already left. Stalin later noted that the Poles had retained some Germans to work in the fields, but that the Poles would expel them once the harvest was in.

Churchill also stated somewhat disingenuously that “I have grave moral scruples regarding great movements and transfers of populations.” Churchill then added that perhaps the Germans who had left Silesia should be allowed to go back. Stalin told Churchill that the Poles would hang the Germans if they returned. Stalin also said that the Germans had already been driven out of Czechoslovakia, and that there was no need to contact President Beneš about the German expulsion.[12]

Despite the reservations of the Western Allies, at the conclusion of the Potsdam Conference all parties agreed to the transfer of the Eastern Germans. The Western Allies could have said no, but they wanted to avoid any breach with the Soviets. Sir Denis Allen, a member of the British delegation, recalled:

We were then all too well aware – and to a degree hard to picture in retrospect – of our ignorance of what was really happening in Eastern Europe and still more of our inability to influence events there.

If experience of the Nazi era and of war had engendered a certain numbness and indifference to human suffering, it had also bred new hope that, against all the odds, the wartime alliance might be consolidated into a workable system of post-war collaboration in Europe and in the world at large. So there was a widely shared determination not to press concern over events in the East that we could not prevent, to the point where it might maim at birth the Control Council and the United Nations; if hopes were to be frustrated, let it be the Russians and not ourselves who were seen to be responsible.[13]

The Potsdam Conference adopted Article IX of the Potsdam Protocol regarding the German-Polish border and Article XIII regarding the transfer of the Eastern Germans to what was left of Germany. The first paragraph of Article XIII reads: “The Three Governments having considered the question in all its aspects, recognize that the transfer to Germany of German populations, or elements thereof, remaining in Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary will have to be undertaken. They agree that any transfers that take place should be effected in an orderly and humane manner.”[14]

Article XIII of the Potsdam Protocol was intended to bring the then-ongoing expulsions under a regulated procedure. According to Paragraphs Two and Three of Article XIII, the Allied Control Council in Berlin was to determine how many Germans were to be resettled. Until then a moratorium on expulsion of the Germans was to be in effect. However, the moratorium was ignored, and the expulsions continued just as before, and during the conference itself.[15]

At Nuremberg the mass deportations perpetrated by the Nazis were included as part of the crimes allegedly committed by the National Socialist government of Germany. On November 20, 1945, Pierre Mounier, assistant prosecutor for France, reproached the accused for having ordered the mass deportations. Mounier stated: “These deportations were contrary to the international conventions, in particular to Article 46 of The Hague Regulations 1907, the laws and customs of war, the general principles of criminal law as derived from the criminal laws of all civilized nations, the internal penal laws of the countries in which such crimes were committed, and to Article 6(b) of the Charter.” France’s chief prosecutor at Nuremberg also denounced the mass deportations perpetrated by the Nazis as “one of the horrors of our century.”[16]

The Nuremberg court expressed the opinion that even in a total war, when a country must fight for its very existence, civil rights and in particular The Hague Convention and its Regulations on Land Warfare place restraints upon those waging war. The mass deportations perpetrated by National Socialist Germany were held to be both a war crime and a crime against humanity. The irony is that while the Nuremberg trials were in progress, the mass deportation of millions of Germans was occurring under the sanction of the same powers whose prosecutors and judges were condemning the mass deportations perpetrated by the Germans.[17]

Bertrand Russell criticized the expulsion of the Germans in a letter to the London Times:

In eastern Europe now mass deportations are being carried out by our allies on an unprecedented scale, and an apparently deliberate attempt is being made to exterminate many millions of Germans, not by gas, but by depriving them of their homes and of food, leaving them to die by slow and agonizing starvation. This is done not as an act of war, but as part of a deliberate policy of “peace.”

…Are mass deportations crimes when committed by our enemies during war and justifiable measures of social adjustment when carried out by our allies in time of peace? Is it more humane to turn out old women and children to die at a distance than to asphyxiate Jews in gas chambers? Can those responsible for the deaths of those who die after expulsion be regarded as less guilty because they do not see or hear the agonies of their victims? Are the future laws of war to justify the killing of enemy nationals after enemy resistance has ceased?[18]

American historian Ralph Franklin Keeling commented on the hypocrisy of the Potsdam Agreement:

Potsdam calls for annulment of all Nazi laws which established discrimination on grounds of race and declares: “No such discrimination, whether legal, administrative or otherwise, shall be tolerated.” Yet these forced migrations of German populations are predicated squarely on rank racial discrimination. The people affected are mostly wives and children of simple peasants, workers, and artisans whose families have lived for centuries in the homes from which they have now been ejected, and whose only offense is their German blood. How “orderly and humane” their banishment has been is now a matter of record.[19]

The Early Expulsions of Germans

For more than three months prior to the Potsdam Agreement on August 2, 1945, the Polish government was expelling German citizens from what it now called the “Recovered Territories” – a reference to the fact that Poland once ruled Silesia and Pomerania under the Piast dynasty 600 years earlier. Czechoslovakia had been expelling German civilians since mid-May 1945. Although Yugoslavia and Romania had neither asked for nor received permission from the Allies to expel their German citizens, both of these countries soon began large-scale deportations of their German populations. While the expulsions of the Germans were crude and disorganized, they were neither spontaneous nor accidental. Instead, the expulsions were carried out according to a premeditated strategy devised by each of the governments concerned well before the end of the war.[20]

The expelling nations relied almost exclusively on the use of terror to propel their German minorities across the frontiers. Except for a very few instances, deportations as a result of mob actions did not cause the German expulsions. Rather, the so-called “wild expulsions” were carried out primarily by troops, police and militia acting under orders and policies originating at the highest levels of the expelling governments.

So chaotic was the process of expelling the German minorities that many foreign observers, and even many people in the expelling countries themselves, mistook the violent events of the late spring and summer of 1945 as a spontaneous process from below. The expelling governments were more than happy to allow the myth of the “wild expulsions” to grow, since this myth enabled them to disclaim responsibility for the atrocities that were essential components of the expulsions.[21]

The worst of the violence in Poland occurred between mid-June and mid-July 1945, particularly in the districts bordering the Oder-Neisse demarcation line, which were designated by the Polish Army Command as a military settlement area. The commander of the Polish Second Army expressed on June 24, 1945 the Polish position on the rapid transfer of the Germans:

We are transferring the Germans out of Polish territory and we are acting thereby in accordance with directives from Moscow. We are behaving with the Germans as they behaved with us. Many already have forgotten how they treated our children, women and old people. The Czechs knew how to act so that the Germans fled from their territory of their own volition.

One must perform one’s tasks in such a harsh and decisive manner that the Germanic vermin do not hide in their houses but rather will flee from us of their own volition and then [once] in their own land will thank God that they were lucky enough to save their heads. We do not forget Germans always will be Germans.[22]

The Germans who were forced to resettle were usually allowed to take only 20 kilograms of baggage with them, and were escorted to the border by squads of Polish soldiers. In late June 1945, at least 40,000 Germans were expelled within a few days. One commentator described what this meant to the Germans living near the Oder-Neisse line:

The evacuation of individual localities usually began in the early morning hours. The population, torn from their sleep, had scarcely 15 to 20 minutes to snatch the most necessary belongings, or else they were driven directly onto the street without any ceremony. Smaller localities and villages were evacuated at gunpoint by small numbers of soldiers, frequently only a squad or a platoon. Due to the proximity of the border, for the sake of simplicity the Germans were marched on foot to the nearest bridge over the river, driven over to the Soviet side [i.e., into the Soviet Occupation Zone of Germany] and there left to their own fate.[23]

The German expellees were frequently robbed by members of the Polish militia and military units that carried out the expulsions. Food supply became an acute problem, and the uprooted Germans were often destitute and exhausted when they arrived in the Soviet Occupation Zone of Germany. The German expellees became easy prey for Soviet occupation troops, who often stole the few belongings the Germans had brought with them. Some Germans were beaten and raped, forced to perform humiliating acts, and some were randomly killed.[24]

Not all of the cross-border traffic of Germans was in a single direction. At the end of the war, many hundreds of thousands of Germans from the Recovered Territories who had fled the Red Army’s advance to the west now returned to their homes. The returning Germans did not understand that there was not going to be a return home. The alarming spectacle of the population in the Recovered Territories of Poland actually increasing in the weeks after V-E Day was one of the factors spurring local authorities to quickly proceed with “wild expulsions” of the Germans. Polish troops and government officials used aggressive and often violent measures to prevent the unwanted Germans from returning to their homes.[25]

However great the hazards and miseries of life on the road were for the German expellees, they were usually preferable to the expulsion trains the Polish authorities began to operate. Taking up to two weeks to reach Berlin, the trains were typically not provisioned and lacked the most basic amenities. As a result the death rate on the trains soared. One passenger wrote:

In our freight wagon there were about 98 people, and it is no exaggeration to say that we were squeezed against each other like sardines in a can. When we reached Allenstein people started to die, and had to be deposited along the side of the rails. One or more dead bodies greeted us every morning of our journey after that; they just had to be abandoned on the embankments. There must have been many, many bodies left lying along the track….

The train spent more time stopping than moving. It took us more than 14 days to reach the Russian occupation zone. We rarely traveled at night….After a few days we had no more to eat. Sometimes, by begging the Polish driver, we were able to get a little warm water drawn from the engine….The nights were unbearable because of the overcrowding. We could neither keep upright nor sit down, much less lie down. We were so tightly squeezed together that it was impossible not to jostle each other occasionally. Recriminations and quarrels erupted, even attempts to exchange blows in the middle of this human scrum. The very sick suffered the worst. Typhus was widespread throughout the entire transport and the number of deaths grew with each passing day. You can well imagine the state of hygiene that prevailed in the wagon.[26]

A German priest who witnessed the arrival of German expellees at the border described what he saw:

The people, men, women, and children all mixed together, were tightly packed in the railway cars, these cattle wagons themselves being locked from the outside. For days on end, the people were transported like this, and in Görlitz the wagons were opened for the first time. I have seen with my own eyes that out of one wagon alone 10 corpses were taken and thrown into coffins which had been kept on hand. I noted further that several persons had become deranged…The people were covered in excrement, which led me to believe that they were squeezed together so tightly that there was no longer any possibility for them to relieve themselves at a designated place.[27]

The worst of the violence appears to have been taken against the German minority in Czechoslovakia. A brief but intense outbreak of revenge-taking occurred across Czechoslovakia in May and June 1945 in response to the determination of German forces to continue fighting up to, and even after, V-E Day. Foreign observers and some Czechs themselves were shocked by the scale, the intensity, and the lack of discrimination of the reprisals against German civilians. One person wrote:

The end of the occupation was the beginning of the expulsion of German civilians, if they had survived the first hours and days of brutality. Retaliation was blind. An old woman was defenestrated; a member of a visiting German orchestra was beaten to death in the street because he could not speak Czech; others, not all of them Gestapo members, were hanged, doused with gas and lit, as living torches. Enraged mobs roamed through hospitals to find easy victims there. One [of those murdered] was a Czech patient, who happened to be the father of the writer Michael Mareš, but his papers listed a Sudeten birthplace. From May until mid-October official statistics listed 3,795 suicides of Germans in Bohemia.[28]

The Ministry of Education, the Military Prison, the Riding School, the Sports Stadium and the Labor Exchange in Prague were set aside as prisons for German civilians. The Scharnhorst School was the scene of a massacre in which groups of 10 Germans were led down to the courtyard and shot. In Strahov as many as 10,000 to 15,000 Germans were herded into the football stadium. Here the Czechs forced 5,000 prisoners to run for their lives as guards fired on them with machine guns. Some Germans were shot in the latrines. As a general rule all SS men were shot, either by a shot in the back of the neck or to the stomach. Even after May 16, 1945, when order was meant to be restored, 12 to 20 Germans died daily at the Strahov Stadium. Most of the victims had been tortured first.[29]

The worst atrocities during this period in Czechoslovakia were perpetrated by troops, police and others acting under color of authority. In a compound at Postoloprty in northern Bohemia, parties of up to 250 Germans at a time were removed and shot by Czechoslovak soldiers on June 5 and 6. The precise number of Germans killed ranges from a low of 763 (the number of bodies unearthed in 1947) to a high of 2,000. In a similar incident at Kaunitz College in Brno a Czechoslovak investigation found that at least 300 Germans died as a result of torture, shooting or hanging in May and June 1945.

On June 18, 1945, Czechoslovak troops shot 265 German civilians in the back of the neck and buried them in a mass grave the Germans had first been forced to dig beside a railway station. At Lanškroun, a two-day “People’s Tribunal” conducted by a prominent member of Beneš’s party resulted in 20 people who were shot; two hanged; others tortured; and others drowned in the town’s fire pool. In the city of Chomutov on the morning of June 9, up to a dozen Germans were tortured to death in a “cleansing operation” conducted by Staff Captain Karel Prášil on a sports field in full view of sickened Czech passersby.[30]

On May 30, 1945, under threat from a trade union headed by the Communist activist Josef Kapoun, the mayor of Brno agreed to an expulsion action against German civilians that same evening. The first column of expellees was marched off in the general direction of the Austrian frontier. A second group of German expellees, rounded up from neighboring villages and towns, followed them a few hours later. The German expellees, who by now numbered some 28,000, were denied permission to cross into Austria by the Allied occupation authorities. Rather than allowing the Germans to return home, the Brno activists responsible for the expulsion confined them in a collection of impromptu camps in the border village of Pohořelice. Lacking food, water or sanitary facilities, 1,700 Germans are estimated to have died in these camps.[31] A Red Cross nurse estimated that an additional 1,000 expellees died on the march to the camps.[32]

In light of the euphemistically styled “excesses” of May and June, some Czechoslovak policymakers and western correspondents began to criticize the Czech actions. For example, F.A. Voigt, longtime diplomatic correspondent of the Manchester Guardian, wrote that the Czechs themselves were adopting “a racial doctrine akin to Hitler’s…and methods that are hardly distinguishable from those of Fascism. They have, in fact, become Slav National Socialists.”[33]

The Czechoslovak government, however, never seriously attempted to rein in the agencies over which it exercised control. Czech leaders realized that nothing but the application of force on a massive scale could rid Czechoslovakia of its German population. Too much terror might result in at worst some embarrassment abroad; too little terror would prevent the success of the operation. Beneš implicitly acknowledged as much in a speech broadcast on Radio Prague: “We are accused of simply imitating the Nazis and their cruel and uncivilized methods. Even if these reproaches should be true in individual cases, I state categorically: Our Germans must go to the Reich and they will go there in any circumstances.”[34]

The Czechoslovak government introduced numerous measures discriminating against their German minority. Germans could go out only at certain times of day; they were forced to wear white armbands, sometimes emblazoned with an “N” for Nĕmec or German; they were forbidden from using public transportation or walking on the pavement; they could not send letters or go to the cinema, theater, or pub; and they could not own jewelry, gold, silver, precious stones and other items. They were issued with ration cards, but were not allowed meat, eggs, milk, cheese or fruit, and had restricted times for buying food. The Germans were also sometimes forced to work as slaves on farms, in industry, or in the mines.[35]

For many Germans an aspect of the expulsions was blatant theft. Czech president Edvard Beneš was quoted as saying: “Take everything from the Germans. Leave them only a handkerchief to sob into.”[36] Beneš declared all Germans and Hungarians to be politically unreliable and their possessions were therefore to fall to the Czech state.[37]

The Czech partisans frequently took anything that appealed to them, and sometimes simply moved into a German’s house, appropriating the former owner’s possessions. In 1945 there were many instances of farmworkers appropriating German farms, junior doctors taking over German medical practices, and junior managers taking over German businesses. There were cases of pure opportunism: Czechs who had formerly moved in German circles suddenly became the apostles of Czech nationalism and hunted down former German acquaintances. Once the wilder days were over, the new Czech Republic moved to regulate the plunder of German property so that the booty reverted to the state.[38]

Throughout the summer of 1945, trains of German expellees continued to pour into Berlin and other German and Austrian cities. The Western journalists who had traveled to Berlin to cover the Potsdam Conference were aghast at the scenes they encountered at the railroad stations, with dead and dying littering the platforms. Charles Bray, Germany correspondent of the London Daily Herald, described finding four dead Germans on a visit to Stettin Station, with “another five or six…lying alongside them, given up as hopeless by the doctor, and just being allowed to die.” Bray discovered the suffering of the German expellees “gave me no satisfaction, although for years I have hoped that the Germans would reap the seeds they had sown.”[39]

Several observers compared the fate of the German expellees to the victims of the German concentration camps. Maj. Stephen Terrell of the Parachute Regiment stated: “Even a cursory visit to the hospitals in Berlin, where some of these people have dragged themselves, is an experience which would make the sights in the Concentration Camps appear normal.”[40]

Adrian Kanaar, a British military doctor working in a Berlin medical facility, reported on an expellee train from Poland in which 75 had died on the journey due to overcrowding. Although Kanaar had just completed a stint as a medical officer at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, what he witnessed of the expellees’ plight so distressed him that he declared his willingness to face a court martial if necessary for making the facts known to the press. Kanaar declared that he had not “spent six years in the army to see a tyranny established which is as bad as the Nazis.”[41]

Gerald Gardiner, later to become Lord Chancellor of Great Britain, had been a member of a volunteer ambulance unit working with concentration camp survivors. Gardiner stated with regard to the expellee trains arriving in the late summer and autumn of 1945 from the Recovered Territories, “The removal of the dead in carts from the railway stations was a grim reminder of what I saw in early days in Belsen.”[42]

Robert Murphy, a career diplomat who had served as Gen. Eisenhower’s political advisor and was now the State Department’s senior representative in Germany with the rank of ambassador, became concerned about the Allied mistreatment of the German expellees. Murphy stated with regard to the German expellees:

In viewing the distress and despair of these wretches, in smelling the odor of their filthy condition, the mind reverts instantly to Dachau and Buchenwald. Here is retribution on a large scale, but practiced not on the Parteibonzen [Party leaders], but on women and children, the poor, the infirm. The vast majority are women and children….

Our psychology adjusts itself somehow to the idea that suffering is part of the soldier’s contract…That psychology loses some of its elasticity, however, in viewing the stupid tragedy now befalling thousands of innocent children, and women and old people….The mind reverts to other recent mass deportations which horrified the world and brought upon the Nazis the odium which they so deserved. Those mass deportations engineered by the Nazis provided part of the moral basis on which we waged the war and which gave strength to our cause.

Now the situation is reversed. We find ourselves in the invidious position of being partners in this German enterprise and as partners inevitably sharing the responsibility.[43]

An eyewitness report of the arrival in Berlin of a train which had left Poland with 1,000 German expellees aboard reads:

Nine hundred and nine men, women, and children dragged themselves and their luggage from a Russian railway train at Leherte station today, after 11 days traveling in boxcars from Poland.

Red Army soldiers lifted 91 corpses from the train, while relatives shrieked and sobbed as their bodies were piled in American lend-lease trucks and driven off for interment in a pit near a concentration camp.

The refugee train was like a macabre Noah’s ark. Every car was jammed with Germans…the families carry all their earthly belongings in sacks, bags, and tin trucks…Nursing infants suffer the most, as their mothers are unable to feed them, and frequently go insane as they watch their offspring slowly die before their eyes. Today four screaming, violently insane mothers were bound with rope to prevent them from clawing other passengers.

“Many women try to carry off their dead babies with them,” a Russian railway official said. “We search the bundles whenever we discover a weeping woman, to make sure she is not carrying an infant corpse with her.”[44]

The stated rationale during the war for the transfers had been to remove a cohort of dangerous Germans – above all, fit men of military age – who might threaten the security of the countries in which they lived. Instead, it was women, children, and old men who were deported, while the fit men had been held back for slave labor.

Earl Ziemke wrote of the expelled Germans: “…Only 12% could be classified as fully employable; 65% needed relief. Contrary to agreements made before the movement to keep families together, the countries expelling Germans were holding back the young, able-bodied men. Of the arrivals 54% were women, 21% were children under 14 years, and only 25% men, many of them old or incapacitated.”[45]

The period of the “wild expulsions” had involved massive state-sponsored programs of targeted violence, resulting in a death toll of many hundreds of thousands of Germans. Yet it was an episode that escaped the notice of many Europeans and virtually all Americans. From its signing on August 2, 1945, the Allies would attempt to administer the expulsions in the “orderly and humane” manner specified by the Potsdam Agreement. However, the so-called organized expulsions turned out to be no more orderly and humane than the “wild expulsions” had been.


[1] Dietrich, John, The Morgenthau Plan: Soviet Influence on American Postwar Policy, New York: Algora Publishing, 2002, p. 137.

[2] MacDonogh, Giles, After the Reich: The Brutal History of the Allied Occupation, New York: Basic Books, 2007, p. 162.

[3] Naimark, Norman M., Fires of Hatred: Ethnic Cleansing in Twentieth-Century Europe, Cambridge, Mass. and London: Harvard University Press, 2001, p. 108.

[4] Ibid., pp. 108-109.

[5] De Zayas, Alfred-Maurice, A Terrible Revenge: The Ethnic Cleansing of the East European Germans, 2nd edition, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006, p. 83.

[6] Naimark, Norman M., Fires of Hatred: Ethnic Cleansing in Twentieth-Century Europe, Cambridge, Mass. and London: Harvard University Press, 2001, pp. 109-110.

[7] De Zayas, Alfred-Maurice, A Terrible Revenge: The Ethnic Cleansing of the East European Germans, 2nd edition, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006, p. 88.

[8] Dietrich, John, The Morgenthau Plan: Soviet Influence on American Postwar Policy, New York: Algora Publishing, 2002, p. 145.

[9] De Zayas, Alfred-Maurice, A Terrible Revenge: The Ethnic Cleansing of the East European Germans, 2nd edition, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006, p. 88.

[10] Dietrich, John, The Morgenthau Plan: Soviet Influence on American Postwar Policy, New York: Algora Publishing, 2002, p. 137.

[11] Naimark, Norman M., Fires of Hatred: Ethnic Cleansing in Twentieth-Century Europe, Cambridge, Mass. and London: Harvard University Press, 2001, p. 110.

[12] Ibid., pp. 110-111.

[13] De Zayas, Alfred-Maurice, A Terrible Revenge: The Ethnic Cleansing of the East European Germans, 2nd edition, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006, p. 86.

[14] Ibid., p. 87.

[15] Ibid.

[16] Ibid., p. 35.

[17] Ibid., p. 37.

[18] Russell, Bertrand, The London Times, Oct. 23, 1945, p. 5.

[19] Keeling, Ralph Franklin, Gruesome Harvest: The Allies’ Postwar War against the German People, Torrance, Cal.: Institute for Historical Review, 1992, p. 13.

[20] Douglas, R. M., Orderly and Humane: The Expulsion of the Germans after the Second World War, New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2012, p. 93.

[21] Ibid., pp. 94-95.

[22] Bessel, Richard, Germany 1945: From War to Peace, London: Harper Perennial, 2010, pp. 214-215.

[23] Ibid., p. 215.

[24] Ibid., pp. 216-217.

[25] Douglas, R. M., Orderly and Humane: The Expulsion of the Germans after the Second World War, New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2012, p. 103.

[26] Ibid., pp. 109-110.

[27] Davies, Norman and Moorhouse, Roger, Microcosm, London: Pimlico, 2003, p. 422.

[28] Demetz, Peter, Prague in Danger: The Years of German Occupation, 1939-1945, New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2008, p. 235.

[29] MacDonogh, Giles, After the Reich: The Brutal History of the Allied Occupation, New York: Basic Books, 2007, p. 134.

[30] Douglas, R. M., Orderly and Humane: The Expulsion of the Germans after the Second World War, New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2012, p. 96.

[31] Ibid., pp. 98-99. See also MacDonogh, Giles, After the Reich: The Brutal History of the Allied Occupation, New York: Basic Books, 2007, p. 139.

[32] MacDonogh, Giles, After the Reich: The Brutal History of the Allied Occupation, New York: Basic Books, 2007, p. 139.

[33] Douglas, R. M., Orderly and Humane: The Expulsion of the Germans after the Second World War, New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2012, p. 97

[34] Ibid., pp. 97-98.

[35] MacDonogh, Giles, After the Reich: The Brutal History of the Allied Occupation, New York: Basic Books, 2007, p. 131.

[36] Goodrich, Thomas, Hellstorm: The Death of Nazi Germany 1944-1947, Sheridan, Colo.: Aberdeen Books, 2010, p. 241.

[37] MacDonogh, Giles, After the Reich: The Brutal History of the Allied Occupation, New York: Basic Books, 2007, p. 128.

[38] Ibid., pp. 126-127, 131.

[39] London Daily Herald, Aug. 24, 1945.

[40] Douglas, R. M., Orderly and Humane: The Expulsion of the Germans after the Second World War, New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2012, p. 117.

[41] Ibid., pp. 117-118.

[42] Ibid., p. 118.

[43] Ibid., pp. 118-119.

[44] Wales, Henry, Chicago Tribune Press Service, Nov. 18, 1945.

[45] Ziemke, Earl, U.S. Army in the Occupation of Germany, Washington, D.C.: Center of Military History, United States Army, 1975, p. 435.

Talmudic Government Moves into Christianized Europe


By Douglas Reed
From The Controversy of Zion

Then came the event which has produced such violent results in our time: the Talmudic government moved into Christianized Europe and established itself among peoples to whom the nature of its dogma and its methods were strange and even incomprehensible. This led, in the course of many centuries, to the recurrent clash of the alien ambition and creed against native interest, which our century is again experiencing.

The nature of Westerners (more especially in the northern latitudes) is to be candid, to declare purposes, and to use words to express intention, and Christianity developed these native traits.

The force which appeared among them was of the opposite character, oriental, infinitely subtle, secretive, conspiratorial, and practised in the use of language to disguise real purposes. Therein lay its greatest strength in the encounter with the West.

The removal to Europe came about through the Islamic conquests. The Arabs, under the Prophet’s banner, drove the Romans from Palestine. By this means the native inhabitants of Palestine, who had inhabited it some two thousand years before the first Hebrew tribes entered, became the rulers of their own country, and remained so for nine hundred years (until 1517, when the Turks conquered it). An instructive comparison may be made between the Islamic and the Judaic treatment of captives:

The Caliph’s order to the Arab conquerors in 637 AD was,

You shall not act treacherously, dishonestly, commit any excess or mutilation, kill any child or old man; cut or burn down palms or fruit trees, kill any sheep, cow or camel, and shall leave alone those whom you find devoting themselves to worship in their cells”.

Jehovah’s order, according to Deuteronomy 20.16, is,

Of the cities of these people, which the Lord thy God doth give thee for an inheritance, thou shall save alive nothing that breatheth”.

From Palestine, Islam then spread its frontiers right across North Africa, so that the great mass of Jews came within the boundaries of the same external authority. Next, Islam turned towards Europe and invaded Spain. Therewith the shadow of Talmudic Zionism fell across the West.

The Moorish conquest was “supported with both men and money” by the Jews, who as camp-followers were treated with remarkable favour by the conquerors, city after city being handed to their control! The Koran itself said,

Their aim will be to abet disorder on the earth”;

the Islamic armies certainly facilitated this aim.

Christianity thus became submerged in Spain. In these propitious circumstances the Talmudic government was transferred from Babylonia to Spain, and the process began, the results of which have become apparent in our generation. Dr. Kastein says:

“Judaism, dispersed as it was over the face of the globe, was always inclined to set up a fictitious state in the place of the one that had been lost, and always aimed, therefore, at looking to a common centre for guidance …

“This centre was now held to be situated in Spain, whither the national hegemony was transferred from the East. Just as Babylonia had providentially taken the place of Palestine, so now Spain opportunely replaced Babylonia, which, as a centre of Judaism, had ceased to be capable of functioning.

“All that could be done there had already been accomplished; it had forged the chains with which the individual could bind himself, to avoid being swallowed up by his environment: the Talmud”.

The reader will observe the description of events: “individuals” do not commonly bind themselves, of choice, with chains forged for them. Anyway, the Jewish captivity was as close as ever, or perhaps had been made closer. That was for the Jews to ponder.

What was to become of vital importance to the West was that the Jewish government was now in Europe. The directing centre and the destructive idea had both entered the West.

The Talmudic government of the nation-within-nations was continued from Spanish soil. The Gaonate issued its directives; the Talmudic academy was established at Cordova; and sometimes, at least, a shadowy Exilarch reigned over Jewry.

This was done under the protection of Islam; the Moors, like Babylon and Persia before, showed remarkable benevolence towards this force in their midst. To the Spaniards the invader came to bear more and more a Jewish countenance and less and less a Moorish one; the Moors had conquered, but the conqueror’s power passed into Jewish hands. The story which the world had earlier seen enacted in Babylon, repeated itself in Spain, and in later centuries was to be re-enacted in every great country of the West.

The Moors remained in Spain for nearly eight hundred years. When the Spanish reconquest, after this long ordeal, was completed in 1492 the Jews, as well as the Moors, were expelled. They had become identified with the invaders’ rule and were cast out when it ended, as they had followed it in.

The “centre” of Talmudic government was then transferred to Poland.

At that point, less than four centuries before our own generation, a significant mystery enters the story of Zion: why was the government set up in Poland? Up to that stage the annals reveal no trace of any large migration of Jews to Poland. The Jews who entered Spain with the Moors came from North Africa and when they left most of them returned thither or went to Egypt, Palestine, Italy, the Greek islands and Turkey. Other colonies had appeared in France, Germany, Holland and England and these were enlarged by the arrival among them of Jews from the Spanish Peninsula.

There is no record that any substantial number of Spanish Jews went to Poland, or that any Jewish mass-migration to Poland had occurred at any earlier time.

Yet in the 1500’s, when the “centre” was set up in Poland, “a Jewish population of millions came into being there “, according to Dr. Kastein. But populations of millions do not suddenly “come into being”.

Dr. Kastein shows himself to be aware that something needs explanation here, and to be reluctant to go into it, for he dismisses the strange thing with the casual remark that the size of this community, of which nothing has previously been heard, “was more due to immigration,apparently from France, Germany and Bohemia, than to any other cause”. He does not explain what other cause he might have in mind and, for a diligent scholar, is on this one occasion strangely content with a random surmise.

But when a Zionist historian thus slurs over something the seeker after knowledge may be fairly sure that the root of the matter may by perseverance be found.