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Schuman-Night Over Europe

Schuman-Night Over Europe

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Woodrow Wilson Professor of Government, Williams College

The Diplomacy of Nemesis




who write of politics and war in the midst of the world's ordeal write dangerously, both for themselves and for their readers. T o take a ringside seat at Armageddon, to sit by with one's books, to set down one's passing thoughts as if he had no part in the battle seems almost contemptible to those who know that all they cherish is at stake. But he who finds no better way to serve, he who believes that those also serve who only sit and write, has no option but to write and to hope,whilewriting, that the quest for truth is also service of a kind, even if only partially successful. Yet truth amid the battle is coy or shy, like a frightened g i r l evasive to stir hopes of more to come, or fearful lest death strike too near. In quest of so elusive a prize the seeker is cautioned by all the canons of learning to practice patience and delay. Scholarship demands that the scholar wait until all the evidence is in, until all the documents are published, until the dispassionate calm of "objectivity" can be enjoyed in a distant future far removed from the turmoil of heart-breaking and world-breaking tragedy. This volume is a violation of these imperatives. If there be justification for such a departure, it lies in part in Voltaire's comment (April 14, 1732) to M. Bertin de Rocheret: "Who writes the history of his own time must expect to be attacked for everything he has said, and for everything he has not said: but those little drawbacks should not discourage a man who loves truth and liberty, expects nothing, fears nothing, asks nothing, and limits his ambition to the cultivation of letters." Further justification




lies in the probability that no calm future will ever come unless men and women can learn now to understand why their lives have become a mad and embittered flight before disaster. It is unlikely, moreover, that "all" the diplomatic documents of these recent years will ever be available. A decade hence a new Sidney B. Fay or a Bemadotte E. Schmitt may be able to tell in detail all the story of 1939-40—perhaps. But some of the documents have already been burned (in Warsaw and in the courtyard of the Quai d'Orsay before the fall of Paris) and others will never see the light of day. The documentation already available on the immediate genesis of the war is voluminous and, within its limits, complete—despite the scarcity of source materials on AngloSoviet, German-Soviet and German-Italian relations. The writer ventures to believe that no fuller or more accurate analysis of the diplomacy of Nemesis will be possible for many years to come. This essay, although tentative at certain points, will be found complete enough, I trust, for all save the most rugged and insatiable readers. The present work, while itself a unit for the period dealt with, concludes a trilogy of which the first volume was The Nazi Dictatorship (1935) and the second Europe on the Eve (1939). Taken together, these works purport to tell how and why democracy committed suicide and delivered Europe and the world over to the mercies of the Fascist Caesars. From the rise of German National Socialism in 1919 to the Triple AlHance of 1940, from the Reichstag fire to the capitulation of Weygand, the tale is an unbroken continuum. The sickness of the Western soul which lies behind the decisions and indecisions of the years of misery is the same disease, from the fall of Briining to the invasion of Greece and beyond. Errata and addenda to the earlier volumes can scarcely be set forth here. But a few retrospective comments will not, I hope, be taken amiss. My first regret is that the initial volume of the trilogy was mis-named. The Nazi regime is not, and never was, a "dictatorship." Neither is the Fascist regime in Italy. The Soviet "dictatorship of the proletariat" was and is a "dictatorship" only in theory and in intent, not in practice. Hitler's rule, like Mussolini's and Franco's and Stalin's, is a "tyranny" or "despotism." This half-forgotten distinction was fully appreciated by the




Greeks and Romans who saw deeply into the forms and purposes of pohtics. "Dictatorship" is a form of power which is (or was) resorted to voluntarily and temporarily by democracies to meet dangers of invasion or revolution. It is a device to save democracy, not to destroy it. Had Briining or Schleicher established an effective "dictatorship" in the Weimar Reich in order to crush the N.S.D.A.P., German democracy might yet be living today. The inability or unwillingness of other democracies to resort to "dictatorship" to save themselves has been a major factor exposing them to destruction by tyrants. The disposition of democrats to regard "dictatorship" in time of crisis as fatal to democracy rather than as fundamental to its preservation reflects a tragic confusion resting upon ignorance of history and misuse of labels. I have shared in this sin in the past. I hereby do penance. In one other respect The Nazi Dictatorship suffered somewhat from misplaced emphasis. The tyranny of the Third Reich is not an "executive committee" of Junkers and capitalists, despite the circumstance that these classes established it under the delusion that it would play this role. It is government by a new and revolutionary political elite which tolerates industrialists and aristocrats only so long as they are content with a status giving them no actual influence over the determination of policies. Property and Money in the old sense have no more future in the Fascist States than in the U.S.S.R. I recall vividly a long argument in Berlin in the summer of 193 3 with Edgar Ansel Mowrer in which he predicted that "National Socialism" would become a kind of "National Bolshevism." I dissented vigorously, thanks to my preoccupation at the time with a too-mechanistic economic determinism. Subsequent events (e.g., the fate of Fritz Thyssen) have demonstrated the correctness of Mr. Mowrer's original thesis. Despite this mistake of evaluation, a detailed understanding of the Nazi Revolution in Germany has proved itself indispensable in my own thinking and writing to an understanding of the Nazi World Revolution. "Those who witnessed the birth and development of Nazism and so the weakness and end of democracy in Germany," writes Heinz Pol in his work on France, The Suicide of a Democracy, "have developed an especially keen eye for certain things. Today this vision makes it possible for us to analyze and explain many events."




These events were forecast with fair accuracy in the first book of this trilogy. As they unfolded, they were dissected in detail in Europe on the Eve. They constituted a return engagement in the European and world arena of the drama of conflict between Liberalism and Fascism first played on the Italian and German stages. In the larger theater, as in the smaller, and for precisely the same reasons, one protagonist was predestined for victory by virtue of the inability of the other to comprehend reality or to act relevantly or in time to meet a mortal danger. So much had been surrendered that I ventured the guess in January, 1939, that the Western Powers had already lost the Second World War at the "conference" in Munich and in the London "Non-intervention" Committee. Since wars already lost do not have to be fought, I felt that the Western Powers would continue (or resume) appeasement and proceed from defeat to defeat without a call to arms. This prognosis left out of account what should have loomed as a certainty: that Hitler would unsheathe the sword against the West and strike for total victory as soon as he felt confident of success, thereby giving the W^estern Munichmen no further opportunity for appeasement through surrender. Stalin's decision likewise assumed a guise different from that anticipated, for he rejected passive "neutrality" as fatal, struck a bargain with Berlin when a viable bargain with London and Paris proved impossible of attainment, and thereafter resorted to aggressive "defense." The hope expressed at the close of the second book, moreover— that Pan-American solidarity was a possible policy for the United States regardless of what might happen in Europe—has also been shattered. It is now clear that the defeat of Britain will mean Fascist control of most of Latin America, regardless of what steps may be taken, too little and too late, in Washington. The thesis of Europe on the Eve which gave rise to most heated argument among commentators, however, was of a different order. The hypothesis (which I regarded as early as 1938 as validated by the evidence then available) that the Western appeasers were basing their calculus on the hope of a Fascist-Communist clash and on the expectation of a German attack upon the U.S.S.R. did not commend itself, even after Munich, to a goodly number of observers. By some my insistence upon it was regarded as proof of "Communist" sympathies, by others as evidence of bias, dis-




tortion or a flair for uncritical and unscholarly polemic. Even some of my best friends did not hesitate to tell me how mistaken was this view. One of them, in The American Political Science Revieiv (August, 1939), held that my interpretation approached "fanatical obsession" and was a "plot" theory and a "too neat formula" attributable to the frustration of "a bitterly disappointed idealist." Another reviewer, in The New York Times, May 14, 1939, held that "It is all . . . too neat, too simple, too early, too unfair and too fantastic." There is little satisfaction in the rueful thought that these critics were in error. Had they been correct, had the motivations of the Munichmen been other than I believed them to be, the world of 1941 might not be a vale of tears and blood. Ample documentary evidence is now at hand to demonstrate the truth of the thesis of Europe on the Eve, as will soon be apparent to all readers with sufficient courage and endurance to toil through the following pages. Indeed the thesis is now fully accepted in quarters which two years ago would have none of it—e.g., Jules Remains in The Saturday Evening Post, October, 19, 1940. On the occasion of Mr. Chamberlain's political retirement. The New York Times observed editorially:
Rarely does history provide such dramatic irony as in the coincidence that on the day that Neville Chamberlain finally passed from the political scene Signer Gayda informed the readers of the Giornale d'ltalia that the differences between the supposed enemies, Communism and Fascism, were not after all so very great: that there were indeed "affinities of inspiration and application" between them. As late as the Spring of 1939 the argument was common in London that, repellent as it was, Fascism (in its Italian and German forms) was preferable to Communism, the assumption being that the two were mortal foes and that the free nations could choose between them. T h e acceptance of this thesis in influential quarters throughout the democratic world represented Hitler's greatest propagandist triumph. H e had been thundering it forth for years. It had got him into power in Germany. It likewise served his purposes abroad, since it led logically to the policy Mr. Chamberlain espoused, with much popular support in Britain and France—the policy of giving Hitler a free hand in Central and Eastern Europe and accepting Mussolini's conquest of Ethiopia, the policy which counseled acquiescence in the Nazi seizure of Austria and Czechoslovakia and gave Hitler the great Skoda munition works and new bastions to the east ( N Y T 10.6.40).




Night Over Europe is, in design, a record and an evaluation of the eleventh-hour diplomacy of the Caesars vi'hereby they paved their road to conquest. It is likewise a record and an evaluation of the eleventh-hour diplomacy of the Western Powers whereby their sorry statesmen brought the scourge of war upon their peoples and led them to and beyond the brink of defeat. National politics and mihtary campaigns have been dealt with only in the measure necessary to render the course of diplomacy intelligible. The past role and the present dilemma of the United States have not been neglected. The narrative of necessity stops in medias res. The broad alternatives of the future, however, are now painfully clear. If Britain succumbs, America and the Soviet Union will be in peril of their lives. If Moscow makes a new "deal" with the Fascist Caesars, giving them the means of final victory over Britain and China, the U.S.S.R. will be destroyed in the sequel and America will face disaster. If Russia joins Britain in challenging the Triplice, the defeat of the Axis will yet be possible without direct American involvement in hostilities. If America clashes with Japan or gives full aid to Britain, the same result may be achieved without Soviet intervention. Any reversion to "neutrality" by America or Russia will almost inevitably mean the conquest of the world by the Triplice. Nothing is certain for 1941 and the years thereafter save that only these alternatives are available to those still able to make choices. In any event I am persuaded that the Great Society will be politically unified in this generation by those who know that it is already an economic and cultural unity, and who are prepared to run risks, to assume duties, to do what must be done to realize this end. Only these will win and survive. All others will perish. As an American rather than a German, as a friend of liberty rather than of tyranny, I share the hopes and preferences of most of my countrymen. I hate war. I want the democracies to survive. I know that victory in war is the price of survival. I know that a new democracy, dedicated with firm and courageous faith to the commonweal and prepared to undertake the building of a new world, is the price of victory. I do not know, nor does anyone, whether Britishers and Americans and others whom they must summon to their aid are capable of freeing themselves from the fatal thralldom of a past which has brought them to ruin, or are




willing or able to pledge themselves to a new mission. If not, others will do what must be done. Tyche, like Nemesis, is a goddess who has no favorites. She is kind only to the wise and the brave. At her hands each people receives w^hat it deserves and deserves what it receives. Whether the Western peoples can again make themselves worthy of her mercy is still for them to say. If these chapters contribute in any way to clarifying what has been, what is, what may be, what must be in the days to come, they will have justified themselves. No one save the speakers and actors who march or stumble through these pages is answerable for anything here said or left unsaid. I am deeply grateful, however, to Sally Carlton Foote and to Helen Schmitt of Williamstown for efficient and cheerful assistance in documentation, typing and indexing. I am also grateful to the donors and administrators of the "Class of 1900 Fund" at Williams College for aid in defraying stenographic and clerical expenses. My thanks are likewise due to G. P. Putnam's Sons and to other publishers mentioned in the text for permission to quote from their publications; to the staffs of the Williams College Library and of the British and German Libraries of Information in New York City for unfailing courtesy and helpfulness; to Spencer Brodney, editor of Events—The Monthly Review of World Affairs, for permission to reprint scattered passages which have already appeared in the pages of his admirable journal; and to my erstwhile co-contributors to Events for lightening my task at many points. My colleagues and students in Williamstown, Chicago, Cambridge and Berkeley, and those who have listened and questioned in many a lecture hall, have made indirect contributions to this work which are no less important and no less appreciated for being anonymous and often unrealized. T o Alfred and Blanche Knopf I owe, among a host of others intellectually indebted to them, more than can be said. Let it be hoped that their work, and the work of all who would save the best in the old by meeting the new with open eyes, will go forward "to broader lands and better days."

Williamstoivn, Mass., Armistice Day, 1940


of Principal Documentary Sources
B = T h e British W a r Blue Book: Miscellaneous No. 9 (1939), Cmd. 6106. Documents Concerning German-Polish Relations and the Outbreak of Hostilities Between Great Britain and Germany on September 5, 1939, H.M. Stationery Office, London, 1939; published in United States by Farrar & Rinehart, N e w York, 1939. F = Ministere des Affaires Etrangeres, Le Livre Jatine Frangais. Documents Diplomatiques, 1938-39, Imprimerie Nationale, Paris, 1939, translated as The French Yellow Book, Reynal & Hitchcock, N e w York, 1940. G = German W h i t e Book N o . 2: Dokumente zur Vorgeschichte des Krieges, Reichsdruckerei, Berlin, December 12, 1939, translated as Documents on the Events Preceding the Outbreak of the War (German Foreign Office, Berlin), German Library of Information, N e w York, July 1940.This 549 page compilation, containing 482 documents, is not to be confused with German White Book N o . I of 1939 (Urkunden zur letzten Phase der deutsch-polnischen Krise, Reichsdruckerei, Berlin) which is limited to events of August 1939, nor with subsequent German W h i t e Books on special topics, each of which is cited separately in the footnotes of the present work. H = Failure of a Mission, Berlin 1937-1939, b y the Right Honorable Sir Nevile Henderson, P . C , G.C.M.G., G. P. Putnam's Sons, N e w York, 1940. P = Polish White Book: Republique de Pologne, Ministere des Affaires Etrangeres, Les Relations Polono-Allemandes et PolonoSovietiques au cours de la periode 1933-1939. Recueil de documents officiels, Flammarion, Paris, March 4, 1940. N Y T = The New York Times, with figures following indicating date of issue cited—e.g. N Y T 3.15.39, for March 15, 1939. All figures after abbreviations in the text (e.g. G loi, P 84 etc.) refer not to pages but to the number of the document cited, save in the case of Henderson's memoirs ( H ) where page references are given. T h e translations from (G) follow the official English translation issued b y the German Library of Information. Those from (F) largely follow the official English translation with occasional deviations from it where a different phraseology seemed to me to suggest more accurately the meaning or spirit of the French original. T h e translations from (P) are my own from the French edition. r- T c F.L.S.






1. The Barbarians 2. Thoughts Before Darkness 3. The Last Frontiers

3 11 26

1. "Peace for Our Time" 2. The Spanish Republic t January 18, 1939 3. Ukrainian Dream

35 41 55

1. Blackshirt Blackmail 2. Czecho-Slovakiat March 15, 1939 3. Anger in Birmingham

78 92 103

1. Eastern Front 2. Albania t April 8, 1939 3. Words from Washington

123 137 146

1. 2. 3. 4.

Fascist Axis Danzig's Freedom Poland's Fate Back to Appeasement xiii

166 173 183 195




1. Stalin's Price 2. Chamberlain's Honor 3. Hitler's Bargain

216 247 272

1. Fear 285 2. Crisis 301 A. The Prelude, August 15-21 301 B. The Chamberlain-Hitler Letters, August 22-25 305 c. The Hitler-Daladier Letters, August 26-27 3^4 D. The "Ultimatum," August 28-30 328 E. The Finale, August 31 344 3. Conquest 353 VIII • S T A L I N ' S V I C T O R Y 1. Poland t September 28, 1939 2. The Eastlands 3. Finland's Sorrow
IX • W I N T E R S E T

377 377 387 397

1. The Westwall 2. Transatlantis

429 445

1. The Northlands t April 9, 1940 2. Chamberlain to Churchill

462 474

1. The Lowlands t May 10, 1940 2. Sedan II

481 493

1. Duce's Hour 2. The French Republic t June 16, 1940

502 510




I. 2. 3. 4.

Urbis et Orbis Stronger than Words Dilemma in Muscovy Union Tomorrow

523 523 548 573 583 follows page 600




—CHARLES BAUDELAIRE PRODUCED BY UNZ. Ainsi que des esprits errants et sans patrie Qui se mettent a geindre opiniatrement —Et de longs corbillards. comme une chauve-souris. despotique. Quand la pluie etalant ses immenses trainees D'une vaste prison imite les barreaux. sans tambours ni musique. S'en va battant les murs de son aile timide E t se cognant la tete a des plafonds pourris. I'Espoir. E t que de I'horizon embrassant tout le cercle II nous verse un jour noir plus triste que les nuits. Defilent lentement dans mon ame. et I'Angoisse atroce. Sur mon crane incline plante son drapeau noir.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . pleure. Vaincu.LES FLEURS /lytiyt/M I'lA/t^iA/ DU MAL Quand le ciel bas et lourd pese comme un couvercle Sur I'esprit gemissant en proie aux longs ennuis. Et qu'un peuple muet d'infames araignees Vient tendre ses filets au fond de nos cerveaux Des cloches tout a coup sautent avec furie E t lancent vers le ciel un affreux hurlement. Quand la terre est changee en un cachot humide. Ou I'Esperance.

For possession of patches of earth men enrich soil with blood. 3 PRODUCED BY UNZ. has in our age brought solace and new assurance to millions of the world-weary. A whole nation has resounded with the summons of "Blut und Boden." "Never forget. The men of the West no longer respect or comprehend the higher values which moved their ancestors to devotion. "that the most holy right in this world is the right to land. These timeless symbols of courage and fertility are forever sacred. Only the primitive call of blood and battle has power to beget effective belief and action.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . T H E BLOOD AND SOIL BARBARIANS are bearers of life. moving without end from soil to blood and from blood to soil. recalled from the primitive childhood of the race. In a mingling of bodies and blood women and men beget new life. From the blood of their gods men drink faith. or suffered bondage at the hands of those to whom this cry meant victory. for the tribes of men seldom work together and love one another as they love possession of the fields that feed them. Other truths of nobler meaning have left men helpless and hollow-hearted." The men and women of a continent and then of a world have eagerly taken up the cry. From the bodies of their gods men eat strength of spirit to face the trials of an earthbound struggle for sustenance. The re-discovery of these pagan truths. Earth is the matrix from which man is bloodily born and to which he bloodlessly returns for final rest. In the flowering earth men plant seed that they may enrich blood with the fruits of soil. and that the most hallowed of sacrifices is the blood which one sheds for this land." wrote the Leader in the Book.CHAPTER ONE DESIGN FOR DYING I.

T H E BLOOD AND SOIL BARBARIANS are bearers of life. The re-discovery of these pagan truths. In the flowering earth men plant seed that they may enrich blood with the fruits of soil.CHAPTER ONE DESIGN FOR DYING I. These timeless symbols of courage and fertility are forever sacred. A whole nation has resounded with the summons of "Blut und Boden. has in our age brought solace and new assurance to millions of the world-weary. and that the most hallowed of sacrifices is the blood which one sheds for this land. or suffered bondage at the hands of those to whom this cry meant victory." wrote the Leader in the Book. The men of the West no longer respect or comprehend the higher values which moved their ancestors to devotion. for the tribes of men seldom work together and love one another as they love possession of the fields that feed them.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . Other truths of nobler meaning have left men helpless and hollow-hearted. From the bodies of their gods men eat strength of spirit to face the trials of an earthbound struggle for sustenance. "that the most holy right in this world is the right to land. Only the primitive call of blood and battle has power to beget effective belief and action. For possession of patches of earth men enrich soil with blood." The men and women of a continent and then of a world have eagerly taken up the cry. In a mingling of bodies and blood women and men beget new life. Earth is the matrix from which man is bloodily born and to which he bloodlessly returns for final rest. From the blood of their gods men drink faith. recalled from the primitive childhood of the race. 3 PRODUCED BY UNZ." "Never forget. moving without end from soil to blood and from blood to soil.

Few know why. The mystery therewith deepened. In its genesis their faith was sired by corruption. whose mission failed. victors and victims alike. A less skeptical generation would attribute the wreck of its world to the wrath of God. do not revere that which they destroy. and of victory for tyrants and slaves. They are outside that culture even though they lived long within it. despite all their frantic and fanatic glory in their creed. Perhaps none can know what is and what will be when mysterious forces tragically shape the destinies of men beyond their knowledge. assumes the mask of predestination. In its maturity it sleeps with decadence and grows great with tribal arrogance and a naked will-to-power.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . Their appearance is not a herald of re-birth. Those still sane are baffled. A less sophisticated age would find in strange misfortune a proof of diabolical forces in the cosmos. that this call is no longer an appeal to life nor a pledge to posterity. their song is now the song of death. Despite the gaudy trappings of those who sing victory.4 Design for Dying Yet all now know. Even those who play a major role in the drama no longer understand the world nor comprehend why human lives once rich with hope are now lost in panic flight before the horsemen of the Apocalypse. If men are moved to action only by long-forgotten symbols of the primitive and the bestial. And yet this dark suspicion offers a key. Neither is it an echo of a remote Springtime when the earth of the West teemed with promise and blood flowed hotly with the challenge of lifegiving deeds. if the physiognomy of defeat for freemen. The 20th-century apostles of blood and soil. arrived at no insight beyond a feeling that he and those with whom he dealt were alike entrapped in a Greek tragedy moving inexorably toward doom. Despite all words and deeds in imitation of life. Sir Nevile Henderson. They do not breed new values out of the ripeness of the old. conceived of want. then the secret of cause and consequence lies deep within the organism of the culture in PRODUCED BY UNZ. Their deepest motivation is a fierce rejection of all that the heirs of Western culture have hitherto loved best. unlike those of the 5th. The contemporary scapegoats and bugaboos devised by the frightened serve as answers only among the mad. Few doubt that this is so. and bom in violence. if the feebleness of those who abhor bestiality delivers the world to death-struck nihilists. the modem call of soil and blood bespeaks the grave.

The soothsayers who cry that fate is beyond control. almost without regret for his lost freedoms and his broken hopes. strangely— when his dreams were fairest—he failed. and call upon the West to abdicate. If the great culture of the West lies close to death. he turned once more to face the night.The Barbarians 5 which these things occur. Falteringly. The historian of the future who pens the epitaph of this age. he defeated pestilence and famine. like that of its precursors. But the chroniclers and commentators of today can scarcely rest content with any simple formula of cultural senescence. He praised his fruitful Reason as the instrument of his own redemption from all the woes his forbears had endured. he drew from the soil such riches as none before imagined. its mortal illness. unlike any men before him. and that for the first time on earth an unending era of peace and abundance was within his grasp. are mirrors of despair. He gloried in the freedom of his dynamic Will. even though their discontent may itself be a symptom of the disease which they deny. Western man had tools for saving his future. he purged his blood of many ills. His defeat is not due to the will of the gods nor the world's design nor the limits of reason nor yet to any doom whereby each civilization inescapably destroys itself and reconverts its children into savages. PRODUCED BY UNZ. are organic entities needs no proof beyond the evidence of man's past. may indeed come to this Spenglerian conclusion in the absence of any other explanation of the strange plague that slows the steps and dims the sight of modern man. had the means of saving himself from the grave which swallowed all earlier cultures. Still less can they cry Destiny and abandon all search for Causality. He reaffirmed the dignity of Man. That the great cultures which men build out of contact with their fellows. Western man. dumbly. he reached out eagerly and knowingly to subdue all Nature. With the weapons his Science gave him he conquered space and time. And in the end. and out of their striving toward Godhood. He cried out triumphantly that he was master of his fate and captain of his soul.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . Once freed from the thralldom of kings and creeds. His failure stems from his collective unwillingness or incapacity to face the realities of his own devising and to adapt himself to the changes of his own creation. as did Gibbon for the earlier Western world of Rome. admits of possible diagnosis in terms of senile decay breeding rottenness in its loins and in its inmost heart. This destiny was scarcely pre-ordained.

With the machine as slave. War begets despair and penury. There might have been abundance. and without peace there could be no building of an economy of abundance. for they touched most deeply men's purses and men's hearts. with its world-wide web of interdependence among all the millions of men. For not paying. PRODUCED BY UNZ. Peace and plenty were also one. nor by blind faith in "progress. Only in the 19th century were the hopes and illusions of laissez-faire still possible. But man as citizen and man as entrepreneur was unwilling to pay. despite much wishing and willing. or hope of it.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED ." nor by reliance on the beneficent effects of each serving the good of all by seeking his own good first. That he never reached the latter goal. It called for foresight and for the sacrifice of ancient prides. a world was lost. The cure of poverty and war was not to be had by idle waiting. peace and plenty are alike indivisible. was a product of the machine—soulless servant born of the marriage of industry and science. that he stumbled unwittingly toward the former which no one willed or wished. produced want and war. the profits of monopoly. The interests which called most imperatively for sacrifice were those which men were least willing to abandon. for all or else for none. In the realm of business. The mind of the race was not too feckless to grasp the issue. promising peace and plenty. No half-way house was tenable in a world which was one. Seers and savants long knew what price must be paid for survival. Western man could either court self-destruction or make of all the earth a garden for himself and posterity. and of agriculture and labor as well.6 Design for Dying The world society of the 2 oth century. is a consequence of his ineptitude in the business of statesmanship and in the statesmanship of business. Wisdom was not lacking. In the 20th the vision of a peaceful and a prosperous fraternity of mankind required organized effort for its realization. There might have been security against war for all or else for none. The price has been often stated. Such effort required abandonment of old ways. The masters of machines became the victims of machines because they refused to pay the price of their own salvation. for without the promise of plenty there could be no hope of building peace within nations or among them. The Machine Age. Poverty begets envy and war. In an industrial civilization covering the planet.

In the spheres of commerce and government. Each new crisis generated new fears—never quite sufficient to move men to effective remedial measures. were incompatible with economic stabihty and advance. of death PRODUCED BY UNZ. by firm repudiation of socialism and competitive capitalism alike. bred international anarchy and war." and the politics of power—fatal to any hope of ordered peace. The pathology of Nemesis is familiar. patriotic multitudes destroyed all possibility of survival for nationstates of patriots. but always sufficient to provoke desperate efforts at escape by measures which rendered the dilemma more insoluble. where the sickness of the West was most malignant. national imperialism. Monopoly bred poverty and a slow paralysis of the great industrial societies where economic well-being and progress had hitherto depended on the fruitful competition of the marketplace. Each consequence aggravated the causes of the other. All else they and their followers were willing to sacrifice—freedom. Men and women by millions lived increasingly in the shadow of fear—of unemployment. By staunch defense of money and privilege. Nationalism and its off-spring.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . Yet patriots everywhere clung desperately to their tribal prejudices and in the end rejected every effort to create a world polity assuring security and justice for all. the twin disorders which threatened death were the economics of monopoly—fatal both to "capitalism" and "democracy. the favored classes of the Western nation-states insured their own destruction and that of the world which they ruled. the persistence of national patriotism and the continued fragmentation of the world community into hostile sovereignties were incompatible with world peace and order. Yet monopolists everywhere clung desperately to their advantages rather than acquiesce in any program of restoring capitalist competition in a free market or creating a collectivist economy in a controlled market. By staunch defense of the National State. of foreign invasion. Its course in retrospect is clear. of bitter impoverishment. honor. of social degradation. In the realm of politics. by firm repudiation of "internationalism" in all its guises. ethics and even life itself—but not the prerogatives which seemed to their beneficiaries the only possible foundation of their lives. of economic and political insecurity.The Barbarians 7 and the comforts of a security which rested upon the privileges of the few at the expense of the many.

The Western ruling groups strove by all the means at their command to destroy the "Workers' State. Each floundering and fear-born move to escape spreads new fears in ever-widening circles. and priests were struck with terror at "Bolshevism"—by which they meant every mistaken effort of proletarian and peasant leaders to extend the horizons of the poor at the expense of the wealthy. The frightened turned for salvation to barbarous practitioners of violence who promised "salvation from Bolshevism"—through methods of rulership copied from the Bolsheviki. Therewith was born the Caesarism whose fear-driven disciples subsequently conquered power by force and fraud in the sick society of industrial Germany. Their failure bred new fear of the dispossessed among all the threatened possessors. The methods adopted to achieve freedom and plenty produced tyranny and famine. Communism became an excellent means of making rich men poor. In the name of PRODUCED BY UNZ. but a doubtful means of making poor men rich. These moods paralyze intellect and conscience alike and drive men back toward brutishness. The expropriated resisted the expropriators. in Lord Balfour's phrase. the Communist program was objectively relevant to the world's dilemma. nobles. the insecurities of military defeat and social dissolution created an opportunity for the seizure of power by the inspired apostles of the Marxist dream. of a crushing burden of armaments to meet fears which became more terrifying with each blundering effort to ward them off. far removed from the insecurities of late capitalism. semi-feudal state.8 Design for Dying from the skies. Despair and terror seldom beget the courageous wisdom necessary to face difficult tasks. Here in a backward.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . On paper. In another marginal and backward society. The first national community to be utterly broken by the impact of 20th century war was Russia. Mussolini's Blackshirts found supporters among the timid middle classes. shaped the acts of all the rulers of the West in the years following the Great War. along with other fears induced by the miseries of a maladjusted world. industrialists. This fear in turn. They visioned a cooperative commonwealth from which want and war would be forever banished. Money flowed from the rich and well-born who saw in Fascism the means of maintaining their own positions. But in practice. and in Japan and Spain and Portugal and elsewhere." They failed.

Millions of the anxious and the world-weary. I do not see any light in the future promised by authoritarianism. of monarchy or of oligarchy. Modern humanistic thought has dissipated the mystery. and comes down to a brutal rule of violence over people who are prevented from seeing and knowing what is going on. and an embittered repudiation of words and values that no longer have content. But authoritarianism in our times. of Race and Empire. despite its pretenses and rhetoric. is irreligious and materialistic. one of which may reasonably be preferred to the other—the first means human dignity and civilization. In the words of Benedetto Croce: The choice between liberty and suppression of liberty is not on the same plane as a choice between things of different values. which has been extended. equality and fraternity. I see the future that liberty promises always as a beacon. authority had at least a background of religious mystery. and who are forced to submit to leadership and give unquestioning obedience to it. or should be extended. became the rationalization of decadence and desperation. it is usually called military discipline. a scientist with that of a PRODUCED BY UNZ. trained animals in a cage. under the delusion that their own fears could thereby be allayed and their advantages assured.The Barbarians 9 anti-Communism and national awakening. the gang-captains of the lesser bourgeoisie smashed organizations of workers and converted peasants and burghers to a new faith. The "new" values of Blood and Soil. the second the debasing of men until they are either a flock to be led to pasture. but is a general process of fostering universal stupidity. But military discipline has its function only as one aspect of the social order. An artist with the face of a corporal. Coming to our own times. it is itself the containing body or is coextensive with society. it can no longer be called military discipline. democracy. joined the marching mobs. In the past.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . To lend glamor to this obedience by associating it with the noble and the heroic. though these had been the soul of the Western cultural tradition for centuries. Liberty. toleration and the dignity of man—all were alike rejected. the great monopohsts of money and land put tyrants in power. replacing it by simple humanitarian ideals. in those we see looming ahead. under the forms of theocracy. to the whole of society. Through bribery and intrigue. tired of thought and talk. If instead of being contained within the society. or captured. The spiritual essence of this fear-bred cult was (and is) a blind quest for security at whatever cost.

PRODUCED BY UNZ. But beyond these devices of force and trickery. How does Fascism reheve its subjects of fear of war and fear of poverty? How does it afford to its followers those material and emotional satisfactions which democracy no longer furnishes? Partly by pageantry and propaganda. The tribesmen of old fled famine and fear by desperate plunder-raids against the wealthy cities and bountiful provinces of more civilized people who had become too sophisticated to defend themselves. Adventures in conquest bring exaltation to all the faithful and put an end to doubts and fears. Preparation for conquest restores life to a sluggish economy and gives new confidence to a discouraged society. having renounced conquest and having found no other formula to restore their faith and cure their ills. Heavy industry is restored to full productivity. economic security for all members of the chosen race is achieved by the creation of a society which lives and moves and has its being for one end only. The problems of war and poverty in the Fascist States have alike been "solved" by mobilizing all of the energies of great peoples for conquest. Partly by the deflection of mass aggressions onto scapegoats unable to resist. a scientist or a politician.^ In what manner has Caesarism "solved" the problems of the 2oth century? To deny the fact of a solution is to ignore reality. but an imbecile. All 1 The New Republic. Success in conquest brings booty and the slave-labor of the conquered. The victims. Idle machines. a politician who waits for his orders and blindly carries them out. Partly by the savage suppression of all dissent. the new Caesars have in truth freed millions of men from the terror of impoverishment at home and war abroad—and this not merely by rendering war "heroic" and "noble" or by preaching to the masses the virtues of self-denial. light industry and agriculture are renovated. unemployment is abolished.10 Design for Dying sergeant. The chiefs of today's despoiling hordes are not different in motives or deeds. is no longer an artist. though the fighting men they command are no longer hunters and herdsmen but robots of the machine. are as putty in the hands of the invaders. And beyond conquest? Time gives no certain answer. idle money and idle men in the totalitarian States have been put to work forging the weapons of destruction. April 7. 1937. The manner of the solution is crucial.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED .

Wretched bands of survivors gathered about feudal rulers. no turning back to the ways of peace is permitted to those who have pledged their all to war and world hegemony. pp. if fortune grant them endless victory over the dying West. London. N o resumption of a welfare economy. 1939. "The Saviour with the Sword. before its culture flowered after centuries of feudal night. is scarcely in doubt. Such struggles to come will be meaningless by any standard of value save that of power as an end in itself.Thoughts Before Darkness 11 that is clear is that the new Caesars and their successors cannot halt even if they would. Arnold J." in "The Disintegrations of Civilizations. PRODUCED BY UNZ. no return to "capitalism. Like climbers scaling a cliff." Vol. After Rome was done to death her conquerors fought fiercely for spoils until all the spoils were gone. Huns and Franks. They continue to live only by continuing to climb from conquest to conquest. The modern destroyers of the West. Their realms were but the shattered fragments of lost empires and broken kingdoms. And if they conquer all? If they crush and subjugate all the twilight peoples of a lost world? Then they must perhaps rend and tear each other. Visigoths and Vandals. so may it be again. Toynbee's brilliant essay. mad and dream-driven. They cannot descend. That this is their destiny. move toward a like demise. they may climb higher or they may fall to death. VI. Oxford University Press.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED .^ 2." no satiation with aggrandizement. or face the collapse of the structures on which they stand. 178-212 of A Study of History. Beyond looms disintegration and the coming of the long darkness. N o stable world imperium is promised by their successes. T H O U G H T S BEFORE D A R K N E S S The disintegration of the world society of the 20th century is attributable less to the satanic power of its destroyers than to the 1 Cf. What looms ahead is titanic and timeless strife among the empire-builders in everwider arenas of combat. As the West once was. But they may not rest save momentarily. Lombards and Norsemen warred upon one another until the Mediterranean world was reduced to a desert inhabited only by nomad hordes. The triumphs of its puny tyrants will not hide the emptiness of an age whose soul has perished because its mind and heart would not will its survival.

" no satiation with aggrandizement. they may climb higher or they may fall to death. Oxford University Press. N o stable world imperium is promised by their successes. no return to "capitalism. 1939. They continue to live only by continuing to climb from conquest to conquest. Lombards and Norsemen warred upon one another until the Mediterranean world was reduced to a desert inhabited only by nomad hordes. before its culture flowered after centuries of feudal night. mad and dream-driven. Toynbee's brilliant essay." Vol. But they may not rest save momentarily. They cannot descend. is scarcely in doubt. After Rome was done to death her conquerors fought fiercely for spoils until all the spoils were gone. Their realms were but the shattered fragments of lost empires and broken kingdoms. Huns and Franks. N o resumption of a welfare economy. The modern destroyers of the West. And if they conquer all? If they crush and subjugate all the twilight peoples of a lost world? Then they must perhaps rend and tear each other. Visigoths and Vandals. Arnold J. Like climbers scaling a cliff. London.Thoughts Before Darkness 11 that is clear is that the new Caesars and their successors cannot halt even if they would. As the West once was. Wretched bands of survivors gathered about feudal rulers. 178-212 of A Study of History. The triumphs of its puny tyrants will not hide the emptiness of an age whose soul has perished because its mind and heart would not will its survival. so may it be again. no turning back to the ways of peace is permitted to those who have pledged their all to war and world hegemony. PRODUCED BY UNZ. That this is their destiny. "The Saviour with the Sword.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . move toward a like demise.^ 2. if fortune grant them endless victory over the dying West. What looms ahead is titanic and timeless strife among the empire-builders in everwider arenas of combat." in "The Disintegrations of Civilizations. pp. or face the collapse of the structures on which they stand. Such struggles to come will be meaningless by any standard of value save that of power as an end in itself. T H O U G H T S BEFORE D A R K N E S S The disintegration of the world society of the 20th century is attributable less to the satanic power of its destroyers than to the 1 Cf. Beyond looms disintegration and the coming of the long darkness. VI.

Western man in the years of his downfall lost these prerequisites of his security. That any such dismal farce was possible was due to blindness and helplessness which all but pass understanding. secular or ecclesiastical." The fall of the West exhibits on the grandest scale the comic-tragic drama of a whole culture done to death by the deeds of those entrusted with its protection. They were bred. The segments of a total answer can only be dimly outlined. Power is relative. whatever it may be.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . Like desperate suicides. How did this come to pass? Partial answers have been suggested in the books preceding this one. He needs love and confidence in his fellows. with each step toward doom plausibly presented and gladly accepted as the only means of salvation. Here again those who watch are driven toward hypotheses of senility. The modern barbarians. He needs devotion to social values which have meaning in his daily toil. like parasites on the bodies of the dying. they sought out their destroyer.12 Design for Dying weakness of its defenders. hailed him from afar. The loss of them came about from the unforeseen and perhaps "inevitable" consequences of the very faiths which he was certain would enrich his life and make him PRODUCED BY UNZ. The fall of Rome presents a parallel in the folly of the Emperor Valens and that of his successors who relied upon barbarians for defense against barbarians. came from within. Further answers will appear in the pages which follow these. The power of the new nihilists flows from the impotence of their foes. By their enemies and victims they were nurtured and brought to mature ferocity. for the corruption of the living. They did not quietly await an unknown fate with the resignation of those who have renounced life. They sprang from the "schism in the soul" of a civilization in dissolution. philosopher of the second century B. The net effect of countless thousands of individual decisions and indecisions in the great capitals of a lost world suggests that the peoples of the West fell victims to a strange plague which progressively deprived them of all power of perception and action. Man never lives by bread alone. The disasters which overtook ancient China were likewise due in large measure to the precept stated by Kia Yi. and in every way aided him to encompass their destruction.: "The policy for the Middle Kingdom is to employ the barbarians for knocking the barbarians on the head. unhke those of old. He needs religion.C. He needs hope and assurance in his way of life.

catholic universality and aristocratic ethics. the incessant doubting of authority. Those who broke with the past. Men no longer cherished truth. Liberalism. Patriotism and Democracy on a culture which first blossomed in an ideational context of theological mysticism. unless they are capable of re-ordering their collective existence according to some design which will recover in new forms the satisfactions which rapid social change destroys. one must observe the impact of Science. Security in the relations between men cannot be enjoyed by those who live in a world of endless flux.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . That impact was one of dissolution. It lay rather in the incapacity of masses of men to build an enduring civilization on the wreckage of an old folk-culture.Thoughts Before Darkness 13 master of his world and of his destiny. Wisdom cannot be learned by those deprived of the comforts of ignorance unless they have courage to rebuild their intellectual and spiritual lives on new foundations. The road to ruin was surely paved with irrationality and treason. The ever-questioning skepticism. Faith in God and faith in Man cannot be recaptured by those who have become skeptical of all words and all things. If that future never materialized the fault was scarcely theirs. and with successive betrayals of the values of liberty. Men no longer valued freedom. That modern man met disaster by virtue of devotion to reason and to the ideals of freedom and fatherland is a paradox so striking as to invite abrupt denial. unless they can devise new values worthy of their belief. who shattered superstition and shook men out of complacent ignorance desired to point the way to a resplendent future of freedom and light. the patient insistence upon pragmatic demonstration which lie behind all Science have given rise to the most amazing achievements of the modern mind and to many of the noblest expressions of the human spirit. Patriotism. This much must at once be granted. And men sold their country for a mess of pottage. who smashed dead idols. These faiths were Rationalism. PRODUCED BY UNZ. Experimental science and technology on the one hand. produced effects of disintegration which modern man was unable either to prevent or to transcend. The history of science is a tale of courage. adventure and accomplishment without precedent in the annals of the race. But if one is to know why the peoples of the West fell victims to faithlessness and self-betrayal. and the creeds of freedom and fatherland on the other.

No synthetic "Goddess of Reason" will serve the needs of worshippers. to the ways of material calculation and to vigorous affirmation of freedom of the will—all alike fatal to the inherited forms of a static society where each man respected his betters." whose relations with his fellows are governed only by calculating selfinterest. to shrewd foresight. In destroying men's faith in the creeds of Church and State. If the old order passes a new order must emerge. It was but a step from questioning the authority of dead saints to questioning that of living priests. "Economic man. to profit-seeking. to adventurous enterprise. resting on unquestioned tradition. gave way to relationships of contract. This bourgeoisie was at once the fountain-head of scientific rationaUsm and the source of the liberal-patriotic ideology wherein all men were envisaged as reasonable. Applied science thereafter begot modern industry and commerce. PRODUCED BY UNZ. is a mythical monster. equal and free. rationalism and agnosticism dissolved the very fabric of society. For men are uhited not by self-interest or abstract reason. As it grew in numbers. its leaders inevitably challenged the Divine Right of Kings and the ruling caste of nobles. If old gods die. Science dissolved old loyalties. It was but another step to questioning the authority of nobles and kings. resting on self-interest. for men cannot live in endless disorder save on the frontiers of new worlds. riches and influence. Relationships of status. and the power of priesthoods to prescribe a stable way of life for European man was lost.14 Design for Dying These things the peoples of the West were unable to achieve in any measure adequate to meet the crisis provoked by the passing of the old ways. patronized his inferiors and proudly knew his own place and kept it. A society dominated by those who approximate to this model is a society facing the grave. To make man wholly rational is to make man less than human. new gods must be born.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . This bourgeoisie was dedicated by the very means of its livelihood to risktaking. but by devotion to ideas in which all men believe. The processes of decay need not here be traced in detail. Here as elsewhere nature abhors a vacuum. In their wake grew a free merchant class of town-dwellers standing between the peasant serfs and the feudal lords of medieval folk-society. Therewith the unity of Christendom was broken. Their first adumbrations manifested themselves in the Reformation and in the Wars of Religion. aftermaths of the liberating inquisitiveness of the Renaissance.

compared to which the turbulent i8th century was as a placid stream. we should find that an increase in command over the environment was a concomitant of breakdown and disintegration and not of growth. in fact. as though the internal struggles within the bosom of a society which Isring the society's breakdown about. commoners and kings. at the close of the last great combat between bourgeois democracies and feudal monarchies. Constitutional democracy and national patriotism were their creeds. beyond cognition or control. Impersonal forces. born of science and of the new capitalism which science nurtured. Old norms were broken in the name of liberation. It looks. and which become more and more violent as its consequent disintegration proceeds. their victory was all but world-wide and their way of hfe had reached fruition. In the great Anglo-French communities facing the Atlantic the years between 1640 and 1815 were years of battle between burghers and aristocrats. But at the moment of victory they were already self-defeated. To be sure. mercantilists. new elites.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . And the evidence. The sturdy merchant was their ideal. unfettered private enterprise and free trade. Old classes were dispossessed. new rulers. A Study of History. manifested itself in rebellion and class war. Toynbee. observes shrewdly: "An empirical survey has left us doubtful whether there is any ascertainable correlation at all between the historical variations in the degree of a society's control over its environment and the historical change in the fortunes of a society whose growth is cut short by a breakdown running into a disintegration. were actually more effective than the activities of genesis and growth in promoting the extension of the society's command both over the life of other living societies and over the inanimate forces of Physical Nature. militarists and landed lords. Their program for living? Utilitarian rationalism. had transformed the European world anew between the Congress of Vienna and Sarajevo. of 1776 and 1789 were builders as well as destroyers. The men of 1649. pp. if some correlation did prove to exist. so far as it goes. They triumphed over monarchs. laissezfaire. They believed in this faith and fought for it. The sinister concentration of the society's dwindling powers upon the absorbing business of fratricidal PRODUCED BY UNZ. suggests that. The tremendous dynamism of the modern tempo. Old kings were killed. With the signing of the Armistice of 1918 in Compiegne forest. The transformation proceeded with dizzy speed and left no time for men to fit themselves snugly and serenely into a new scheme of life. new standards replaced the old. In the downward course of a brokendown civilization's career there may be truth in the Ionian philosopher Heracleitus's saying that 'War is the father of all things'. 15-16. The Machine magically changed the world and made of all Western living a raging torrent.Thoughts Before Darkness 15 Social revolution ensued.^ Europe's 1 Arnold J. V.

The class of artisans swelled into an industrial proletariat living by work for wages and resenting the harshness of a lot as lacking in dignity as it was poor in the comforts of bourgeois existence. salesmen. Peasants became independent farmers or agricultural laborers. and this ironic misconception may even persist for centuries. Since the vulgar estimates of human prosperity are reckoned in terms of power and wealth. technicians and intellectuals.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . That so complete a catastrophe should have followed an age so bright with promise is explicable in terms of the persistence of a faith that had become empty in the face of intellectual disbelief warfare may generate a military prowess that will place the neighbouring societies at the war-obsessed society's mercy. class conflict and war. advertisers. growth by maturity.16 Design for Dying people multiplied as never before on the basis of the new means of Hvelihood which the Machine made possible. however. rushing world of the 19th century was predestined to a new phase when its far frontiers should vanish." lacking blue blood but rich in gold and sharing power in many lands with the remnants of the ancient aristocracy. conquered. which the same business has incidentally brought into its hands. it thus often happens that the opening chapters in the history of a society's tragic decline are popularly hailed as the culminating chapters of a magnificent growth. The lands facing the North Atlantic became bee-hives of industry. It is a law of all living that activity is followed by rest. Africa. and may strike out a military technique that will serve as a key to the acquisition of a far-reaching technical mastery over the Material World. and an ever-increasing middle-class mass of small merchants. disillusionment is bound to follow. for a society that has become incurably divided against itself is almost certain to 'put back into the business' of war the greater part of those additional resources. its peoples should cease to multiply. adapted to the ever-growing needs of an ever-expanding population in a constantly enlarging world. human and material." PRODUCED BY UNZ. The roaring. Instead he stumbled into violence and misery. aggrandizement by quiescence. settled. exploited. These developments might have inaugurated a quiet century of orderly adjustment to the problems of a changed world. claimed. Sooner or later. Australasia and the Americas were explored. The simple burgher class of old was spHt in two: a small class of great industrial captains and money-masters—"self-made men. poverty and sickness of soul until finally he faced the breakdown of all order and all values in a vast chaos. its markets should become sated. Western man might have paused in his headlong quest for profits and empire and found peace once more in a new order and a new faith. Asia.

These threatened groups reasserted all the more vigorously the "reasonableness" of capitalism. for its functioning was corrupted by the self-seeking of insecure plutocrats. poured over the acts and beliefs of men at a time when misfortune fostered doubt. Political democracy had likewise half-destroyed itself. and of Fatherland afforded such satisfactions in the late i8th and early 19th centuries. it brought fear to the middle-class masses who identified themselves with their social superiors. the old faiths failed. and by the rise of demagogues outbidding one another in promising favors to an electorate which had become a congeries of interest-groups. With its Apocalyptic vision of class war and a revolutionary millennium. They preached Political Democracy and National Patriotism all the more vehemently as a means of winning the lower classes to acceptance of the status quo. scarcely believed any longer in the Democracy and Patriotism which they preached. and their emulators in the middle class. terrified the mighty of land and money. By the time of the First World War. when men were willy-nilly driven by the blind forces of material self-interest and collective will-to-power toward the contractions and frustrations of monopolistic capitalism and national imperialism. In this they largely succeeded. Rationalism had already half-destroyed itself. begot disbelief in all beliefs. each seeking to bend the PRODUCED BY UNZ. of Freedom. The cults of Reason. including belief in Freedom and Fatherland. The corrosive acids of skeptical analysis. But the elites of industry and agriculture. insofar as it won the support of disgruntled workers and peasants. In sequel came disbelief in Reason and disbelief in Man. But that faith. Social democracy was tamed and corrupted and at last rendered innocuous.Thoughts Before Darkness 17 and material misfortune. they became ripe for conversion to barbarism or for defeat at the hands of the new barbarians. Believing in nothing and finally lacking all faith even in themselves.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . because they were organically integrated with expanding and prosperous societies of small-scale competitive business carried on under the relatively peaceful political order of democratic nationalism. men devise and cling to beliefs not because they are logically best or objectively relevant to their problems but because they afford emotional comfort. In the life-cycle of creeds. When these things passed. One new faith emerged which for a time caught men's imagination with the promise of salvation: International Social Democracy.

or worse. But to believe in it when democracy seemed to have become a "racket" and a facade for exploitation was hard. T o believe in it amid the wreckage of a world. To believe in Reason when Reason meant progress and plenty was easy. The paths of patriotic glory led only to stinking death for purposes which had ever less meaning to masses imbued with disgust and despair. Communism. This phenomenon coincided in time and space with the decay of old estates and elites and with a growing cleavage of interests between classes and masses. even had its leaders possessed talent for political dictatorship. PRODUCED BY UNZ. and therefore emotionally gratifying to its followers. despite the chauvinistic exuberance of 1914. Such a move would have driven the masses further toward socialism. To believe in it after the clash of nations had brought want and woe to all was beyond men's capacity for faith. As for the amorphous middle class itself. was to beUeve in nothing. This conflict. T o believe in Freedom was not difficult when democracy meant the emancipation of the masses from ancient thralldom and the elevation of the humble to a share in the new prosperity. even had they had the will and the genius for the task. when it meant only intolerable disbelief in everything. so clearly foreseen by Marx in its genesis but not in its outcome. having achieved ascendancy in the name of democracy. No effective new faith emerged which was relevant to the needs of the new age. Big Business in each of the nation-states. In this event even the middle classes might have identified themselves with the proletariat. Such a step would have driven the middle classes completely into the enemy camp—as indeed it did wherever proletarian revolution was threatened. could not embrace proletarian revolution and dictatorship. it was an inchoate mass of millions of little men and women. Conversely the leaders of labor. having demanded "social reforms" in the name of democracy. could not safeguard itself from mass attack from below by establishing an open plutocracy.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . national patriotism was far on the road to ruin. T o believe in Patriotism in time of national rebirth was simple.18 Design for Dying powers of the State to its own advantage. By the same token. brought both contestants to disaster. for each checkmated the other and was in turn checkmated by the middle-income bourgeoisie between them. toward socialism's enfant terrible.

of independent Big Business." all fell short of reshaping the economy of late capitalism into a viable order. They defeated the Covenant of Wilson. of democracy and plutocracy alike. in the face of their own frightened faith in "national sovereignty. Big Business subsidized the Caesars and placed them in office in the belief that security for business was thereby won. The fears of the wealthy and the demands of the poor frustrated the enterprise. The post-Versailles generation was unable to reconcile its own conception of its interests and needs with the demands of a world which offered it a choice between extinction and a radical reformation of its way of life. the hopes of MacDonald. Plutocrats de- PRODUCED BY UNZ. In the face of opposition from Big Business. The men of the middle class were equally unable. But this was "Communism" and "InternationaUsm" and therefore anathema. the dreams of Briand and Stresemann in the firm conviction that "My country.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . Nothing short of a revolution in the economic order and in the political structure of the community of nations could meet the crisis." to translate liberalism into international terms which promised peace. The little Caesars of the colored shirts spelled the death of a free working class. confused and forever insecure from inability to climb to the top and from fear of being pushed to the bottom. Roosevelt's "New Deal. all fled back to programs and policies which insured further frustration. Woodrow Wilson's "New Freedom. Its spokesmen preached democracy and patriotism with less and less conviction. right or wrong" was a safer creed than the brotherhood of man. they were unable to translate liberalism into economic terms which promised security. The blindness and weakness that followed had their genesis in these futile hopes and neurotic fears. Blum's Popular Front. Social Democrats nonetheless awaited their own destruction complacently." Lloyd George's social reforms.Thoughts Bejore Darkness 19 worried. And in fear of Communism and Internationalism. Briining's democratic dictatorship. It was therefore unable to comprehend the nature of the new barbarism which grew out of the despair of the Kleinbiirgertum. as Oswald Spengler had predicted years before the first of the new Caesars had appeared on the scene. hopeful. Communists at first hoped that the triumph of Fascism would pave the way for proletarian revolt and later hoped that alliance with Fascism would somehow lead to the same result.

The classes. Here. Henceforth it manifested itself on the larger stage of world politics. of using Fascist Caesarism against Communist Caesarism. The masses sought "peace" through "neutrality. tolerance and justice on behalf of those sworn to destroy peace. Democrats cried peace. . they feared for their gods: Law." PRODUCED BY UNZ. They believed that Communism meant the death of their deities and that Fascism meant security and new life. despite the record and the plain evidence of events. sought security by arming the "Anti-Comintern" Caesars for protection against the "Red Menace. assiduously cultivated by the Fascist Caesars themselves. the same drama of blindness and weakness was replayed. So strong was their need to believe. Suppose I had gone to the country and said that Germany was rearming and that we must rearm. tolerance and justice. . You'll remember that at that time the Disarmament Conference was sitting in Geneva and there probably was a stronger pacifist feeling running through this country than at any other time since the war. Order. and the politicians who spoke for them. . My position as head of a great party was not altogether a comfortable one. Does anybody think that this pacific country would have rallied to that at that moment? I can not think of anything that would have made the loss of the election from my point of view more certain. Religion. despite all the evident deceit. Precisely as parliamentary democracy and capitalism were demolished within the frontiers of the Caesar-states by the weakness of their defenders. They envied the alien dictators who had learned to drug the masses into passivity or fanatic devotion. Morality.^ They distrusted the masses whose weakness and frivolity they well knew. This process had reached its logical end-point within Italy and Germany by 1935. that they believed in the face of all facts to the contrary. . cruelty and dishonor of the alleged protectors of their altars. The moral chaos and political f ecklessness thus generated within ^ Stanley Baldwin in the House of Commons. In their anxiety and doubt. November 12." and thereby insured war and death.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . . They were undone by fear of losing elections if they warned the masses of dangers which the masses preferred not to face. From 1933 I and my friends were very worried about what was happening in Europe. Property.1936: "I put before the whole House my views with an appalling frankness. . so the balance of power and the whole fabric of the Western State System were destroyed by the folly and impotence of the statesmen and masses of the democratic countries." "isolation" and "pacifism." They were paralyzed by secret hopes.20 Design for Dying livered power to their own destroyers.

Danger came closer. thieves and assassins flourish. they might lead to force. T o meet force with effective economic penalties was impossible. they would be unsafe.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED ." Non-intervention was safer. beginning with the Japanese rape of Manchuria in 1931. But the Chinese were too yellow. "Self-determination" was a sacred principle. Bombers over the Blue Nile became bombers over Barcelona. Good. When the guardians of order not only fail to punish robbery and murder but help to make them profitable. they would be unjust (were not the grievances of the "have-nots" legitimate?). "I have no further territorial demands to make in Europe. the democratic Powers could oppose only notes of protest. particularly when wrongs were committed in far places against peoples who were at best stupid foreigners and at worst disorderly heathens. The Geneva procedures set up for penalizing peace-breakers were willfully sabotaged. T o meet force with force was still more impossible for the same reasons redoubled. they might fatally weaken the still weak Fascist regime and lead to revolution. Then give unto Caesar what is Caesar's or what Caesar says is his. there remained the safe refuge of "neutrality"—and neutrality forbade any retaliation against aggressors or any distinction between right and wrong. T o each new act of Fascist aggression against weak and distant peoples.Thoughts Before Darkness 11 the bourgeois democracies rendered governments and people incapable of meeting either the crises of diplomacy or the shocks of war. Still no matter. Did sympathy and decency dictate succour to the victims? Perhaps. the Ethiopians too black and the Spaniards too "red. The aggressors who had formerly been too weak to be resisted were now too strong to be resisted. and force was wicked. ungentlemanly and dangerous. and encouraged others to embark upon a similar course. Happily it also applied to Czechoslovakia." said Caesar. Each successful aggression strengthened the power of the aggressors to commit greater aggressions. The flames of Shanghai became the flames of Addis Ababa. speeches of exhortation and tears of regret. And Austria? But Austrians were really Germans. But PRODUCED BY UNZ. if they were white men. un-Christian. The clank of tanks in Mongolia became the clank of tanks in Saxony and then in the Rhineland. for such measures would be "bad for business". W h y mix in alien quarrels? W h y quit our own to stand on foreign ground? Collective security having been rendered impossible by these attitudes and policies.

or. the winning tricks of the professional soldier's trade. even after no one longer had stomach or heart to fight. and a bourgeoisie which has never before seen bloodshed now hastily throws up ringwalls round its open towns out of any materials that come to hand: mutilated statues and desecrated altars and scattered drums of fallen columns and inscribed blocks of marble reft from derelict public monuments. called by the last Tsar "not a country. The result was a recapitulation of an ancient tragedy well described by England's most distinguished living historian: In the fullness of Time the din of battle which has ebbed away towards the fringes of Civilization till it has passed almost out of ear-shot will come welling back again in the van of barbarian war-bands that have gained the upper hand over the garrisons of the limes by learning from them. Force against Czechs might have to be opposed by force. and this shocking calamity has descended upon a generation which has been PRODUCED BY UNZ. the "Time of Troubles" has returned. the dreadful sound will come welling up again in the resurgence of an Internal Proletariat that has turned militant once more—to the consternation of a Dominant Minority which has been flattering itself that this projanum vulgus has long since been cowed or cajoled into a settled habit of submissiveness. Millions of Frenchmen and Britons wept with joy that war had been averted. in the effective school of a perpetual border warfare. These pacific inscriptions are now anachronisms. Still nearer swept the flames.22 Design for Dying he should not use force to take what others will grant him freely." Happily force was avoided. The heroic Spanish Republic.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . the vigorous and civilized Czech democracy. then reluctantly the gage of battle must be accepted. sighed Mr. came disenchantment and determination to resist. and even Rumania. more terrifying still. even though this crisis too. Perhaps here too a "bargain" could be made. Would Caesar accept pacifically that which he might otherwise be tempted to seize with arms? Was not Caesar too a fishmonger to be dealt with honorably as trader deals with trader? If not. . . . as of old. had not seemed worth defending. or mind to know for what he was asked to fight. At long last and too late. The Czechs were compelled by their French allies and British friends to surrender. was "a quarrel in a far-away country among people of whom we know nothing. But now the feudal oligarchy that was Poland. Chamberlain." seemed to merit defense—after all hope of defending them was gone. but a profession. in the light of day. for the "Indian Summer" is over. The spectres of war and revolution that have latterly passed into legend now once again stalk abroad.

factory-hands and farmers saw the Great Society dimly as a vast stage-world peopled by heroes and villains. or thought they knew. These gentlemen and their ladies knew the Great World and knew.. They remained blind to all that might.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . nor see the same things in the same way. cit. at the top of the social scale. Mass knowledge of historical processes was meagre. if seen. they saw the world less as it was than as their fears and hopes pictured it to them. Toynbee. Popular intuitions were sound more often than not. and therefore power. like other people. op. in Britain and even in America. homefoik and foreigners. PRODUCED BY UNZ. But their political guides used words for the masses chiefly to win votes by promising favors or quieting fears. Identification of the players was often confused by ignorant stereotypes or by the muddlement willfully spread by press magnates. VI. merchants and bankers. and the few were wealthy and powerful. that plan scarcely reflected the fears and hopes of the simple men and women of the masses. their own interests as the poor can never know them. but popular anxieties and aspirations were without plan in the absence of leadership. statesmen communed with lords and clerics. They did not all see the same things. And yet in France. p. 206. And of necessity in communities in which the many were poor and feeble. The prevalent picture of the world in the minds of the Western elites during the time of trouble was one in which Profits were menaced by Labor and in which the "good old days" could be restored by putting workers in their place and getting rid of 1 Arnold J. mass conceptions of cause and consequence limited. nor draw the same conclusions from what they saw. But by and large. men in the street sensed the danger that threatened their lives and looked for guidance in meeting it. Ditch-diggers. friends and enemies. The holders of public office in the democracies mirrored more frequently the minds of those who held wealth.Thoughts Before Darkness 23 brought up in the illusory conviction that the bad times of yore have gone for good! ^ Insofar as this drift toward ruin represented any formulated plan of action (or inaction) on the part of the democratic politicians. And their interests and their way of life caused them to view the world through glasses which enabled them to see what they looked for. prove disturbing to their own self-assurance.

On the contrary.^ That was to be deplored. Rather magnificent. with Labor run wild and gentlemen butchered by ruffians. All these barriers in the way of the Grand Design had to be broken down by the gentlemen of The City and the Bourse. that collective security was full of peril. then why oppose them? True.24 Design for Dying "radical experiments" in government. along with all popular foolishness about "People's Front" or about "saving" Spain or Austria or Czechoslovakia. was one of connivance in Fascist aggression and a strict quarantine of Moscow until Rome. The barriers were broken down. PRODUCED BY UNZ. that Bolshevism 1 For typical British expressions of such sentiments during the years of appeasement see Europe on the Eve. it followed that collective security through the League of Nations was folly. but they were told that alliances were dangerous. Italy was Order. Russia was Bolshevism.^ The resultant program. The nonsense was dissipated. Belgrade. since its effective implementation would thwart the Fascist plan. Trains ran on time. But these enemies were also "Reds. likely to drag France and therefore Britain into a senseless war. the Family and Christianity. Meanwhile they tolerated no agitators or labor troubles. 340-46. anti-radical. But if Hitler and Mussolini and Franco and the Tokio generals were really fighting Bolshevism. Did Fascism wage wars and disturb markets. since the Reich must be free to move eastward. The Duce stood for no nonsense. persisted in and pursued with few doubts until the end." Ultimately they would "clean up" Russia and restore order. Spain? Clear as crystal: Franco fighting the "Reds" to save Property. Parliaments and publics were not told the untruths which so many of the influential took for truth. Warsaw and Moscow were sheer madness. One could understand such people. The French alliances with Prague. One could plan and hope again. The nation-states in their struggle for power were fitted into this scheme.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . There was discipline. One could work with such people. British commitments in Central and Eastern Europe were folly. to oppose Japanese aggrandizement were nonsense. American desires. if any. none of them fought the Russians. Granted the premise. Berlin and Tokio should be ready to deal with Moscow as Moscow deserved. Bucharest. Germany was Order too. a bit shocking perhaps (too bad about the Jews) and dangerously experimental. pp. anti-Communist. They fought Chinese and Ethiopians and Spaniards and Czechs. but not radical.

In this wise. LiberaHsm. 1939. When in the Ides of March. was weak and untrustworthy. if at all. But this step was beyond the power of the Chamberlains and the Daladiers. But for this it was much too late. the classes were hopelessly confused by new alarms.S. It became clear at a stroke that the Fascist TripUce aimed at the annihilation of the Western Powers first. By then the French alliance system was already broken. the hideous realization dawned upon those in power in London and Paris that this calculation was utterly false. and these men would not yield to new leaders who might have paid the price. that the U. the League of Nations was a wreck. and pathetic hopes of salvation through flight or propitiation. under circumstances which will be examined below. Nothing would suffice abroad to meet the menace but an alliance with Russia to restore some semblance of a balance of power against the TripUce. and that justice (and therefore peace) could be had by granting their desires. it was too late to reverse in five months the consequences of the preceding five years. that the Fascist dictators desired nothing more than peace. This had been clear from the beginning to many Western joumaUsts and intellectuals. This was still a possibility. They were the product of demoralization bred of the constant retreats and surrenders of democratic governments and deliberately fostered by the appeasers to render retreat and surrender more palatable. PRODUCED BY UNZ. But it became clear to the ruling politicians of the democracies only in March.Thoughts Before Darkness 25 threatened ruin. This had been clearly stated years before in Mein Kajnpf. and Patriotism. had already become the dominant motivation of the mass mind.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . the West was condemned to war and to defeat and death. and only later. despite the deep distrust with which the men of the Kremlin viewed the repentant appeasers.R. They furnished popular support for policies which were secretly based on the calculation of an ultimate Fascist assault upon Russia. These fears and hopes were not only a legacy of the holocaust of 1914-18. old hopes. and daily disillusionments. Parliaments and pubhcs believed.S. the masses were demoralized. at the destruction of the Soviet Union. Nothing would suffice at home in the short time left to save the Western Powers but an immediate and dramatic regeneration of popular faith in Rationalism. 1939. in the last hour. Desperate fears of war.

Both of these great Continental communities had long since become an integral part of the cultural world of Greater Europe. to the unwillingness of Americans to recognize themselves as Europeans and to collaborate with Europeans in the work of safeguarding their security and their common heritage. History—meaning. follies and misfortunes of mankind—has already answered the first two questions in the negative. Russia could not. East of Europe lies the other new Europe which is Russia. wrested by Europeans from the Indians and the wilderness. to the unwillingness of West Europeans to welcome collaboration with Russians in their common task. It was due. PRODUCED BY UNZ. save those whose salvation required American or Russian aid. The larger reasons for this result merit brief review. It bids fair to answer the third in like fashion. Each might have received an affirmative answer had leaders and peoples recognized the unity of the world and the imperative need for common action in the common interest. wrested by Europeans from the Mongols and Tartars who once ruled the plains of Asia. In essence it was due. on the other hand. the crimes. once it had estabhshed itself and reached out for conquests? Could America and Russia save themselves from the new barbarism once it had overrun Europe? Each of these questions admitted of an affirmative answer. in Gibbon's phrase. Had the second been answered affirmatively.26 Design for Dying 3. T H E L A S T F R O N T I E R S West of Europe lies the new Europe which is America. Western Europe and Russia co-operate in the post-Versailles reorganization of the world society in such wise as to enable their common civilization to prevail over the threats of inner barbarism bom out of disorganization and breakdown? Could America and Russia aid Western Europe to hold the new barbarism in check. and many West Europeans. the broader poHtical problem of the 20th century was one of the relationships between the Old World and the new worlds to the East and West. the second would never have been posed. on the one hand.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . Had the first question been answered affirmatively. were unable to grasp this fact. the third would never have risen. even though many of their peoples. Could America. Beyond Europe. America would not.

the crimes. the second would never have been posed.26 Design for Dying 3. In essence it was due. follies and misfortunes of mankind—has already answered the first two questions in the negative. East of Europe lies the other new Europe which is Russia. even though many of their peoples. History—meaning. Both of these great Continental communities had long since become an integral part of the cultural world of Greater Europe. Beyond Europe. Western Europe and Russia co-operate in the post-Versailles reorganization of the world society in such wise as to enable their common civilization to prevail over the threats of inner barbarism bom out of disorganization and breakdown? Could America and Russia aid Western Europe to hold the new barbarism in check. were unable to grasp this fact. the third would never have risen.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . save those whose salvation required American or Russian aid. T H E L A S T F R O N T I E R S West of Europe lies the new Europe which is America. wrested by Europeans from the Indians and the wilderness. in Gibbon's phrase. PRODUCED BY UNZ. Had the second been answered affirmatively. Each might have received an affirmative answer had leaders and peoples recognized the unity of the world and the imperative need for common action in the common interest. The larger reasons for this result merit brief review. and many West Europeans. It was due. on the other hand. Could America. once it had estabhshed itself and reached out for conquests? Could America and Russia save themselves from the new barbarism once it had overrun Europe? Each of these questions admitted of an affirmative answer. to the unwillingness of Americans to recognize themselves as Europeans and to collaborate with Europeans in the work of safeguarding their security and their common heritage. to the unwillingness of West Europeans to welcome collaboration with Russians in their common task. wrested by Europeans from the Mongols and Tartars who once ruled the plains of Asia. It bids fair to answer the third in like fashion. on the one hand. Had the first question been answered affirmatively. America would not. Russia could not. the broader poHtical problem of the 20th century was one of the relationships between the Old World and the new worlds to the East and West.

as well as more than half of the Senators and Representatives. The necessary two-thirds was lacking by 7 votes. On March 19. On January 29." By virtue of fidelity to this formula. too pure democracy and too hasty public decisions. There were 49 votes for and 3 5 against. "that America retains her sovereignty. the final Senate vote on the World Court Protocols was taken. each was forced to face its destiny alone—America in relation to Europe and Russia by choice. there is much reason to believe that more than half of the citizens of the United States." said Father Coughlin. Europe in relation to Russia by choice. There were 52 votes for and 36 against. 1935. This document provided (Article II. But by virtue of the design for death already suggested. Russia in relation to Europe and America by necessity. The necessary two-thirds was lacking by 7 votes. Europe in relation to America by necessity. Congratulations to the aroused people of the United States who. provided two-thirds of the Senators present concur. The general nature of America's choice and Russia's necessity may here be noted." Despite this sentiment. Section i. But the minority was larger than one-third. Europe's final choices and necessities will be dealt with at length below.The Last Frontiers 27 and upon whose salvation depended the salvation of America and Russia as well. by more than two hundred thousand telegrams containing at least one million names. Fifty-five gentlemen meeting in the City of Brotherly Love in the summer of the year of our Lord 1787 at length attached their signatures to a document reflecting their fears of too much government. § 2) that treaties might be made by the President of the United States "by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. demanded that the principles established by Washington and Jefferson shall keep us free from foreign entanglements and European hatreds.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . All might have saved themselves together. the United States of America failed to become a member of the League of Nations or of the Permanent Court of International Justice. "Our thanks are due to Almighty God. 1920. The United States therefore eschewed co-operation with the two great institutions which American leadership had planned and imposed on the governments of Western Europe. in both cases favored American participation in the new adventure in international order. the final Senate vote on the resolution to approve ratification of the Covenant was taken. All of the other twenty-one PRODUCED BY UNZ.

however. Had the United States become a member of the League and had its spokesmen acted in the manner of Laval and Hoare or Blum and Halifax or Daladier and Chamberlain. In the first test. The membership of Canada and. PRODUCED BY UNZ. Had the choice been different." Both moves were popular with pacifists. in helping to preserve a preponderance of power on the side of the democracies. the role of the League of Nations would have been different and the ultimate fate of Europe and America would have been different. since they required no "foreign entanglements"—i. They aroused no wrath among provincial patriots. Apart from Leagues and Courts. the tentative steps of Secretary of State Stimson toward common action against Japan were frustrated by the refusal of Sir John Simon to co-operate. But the largest. and that escape from duty was the best road to escape from danger. to be sure. would have no hand in reshaping the world society of which it was an inseparable part. Could America lend effective aid to other Powers in checking the march of aggression? The answer was affirmative—if America would. It is arguable. at one time or another. This admits.e. no responsibilities and therefore. no risks.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . could not offset the absence of the great Colossus of Transatlantis. But America would not. however. (In the United States as elsewhere. these gestures no longer sufficed. the United States might still have collaborated through traditional channels in building world order. of no conclusive proof. The second question was posed. richest and most powerful State in the world. that active participation from the outset by the Power whose weight was decisive in world economy and world politics would have altered decisively the entire world scene. the result might have been the same as if America had never joined.28 Design for Dying sovereignties of the Western hemisphere from the Arctic to the 49th parallel and from the Rio Grande to Cape Horn assumed membership in Woodrow Wilson's League. In the 1920's Washington did indeed make a significant contribution toward disarmament and the "outlawry of war. of all the Latin-American Republics. That the exact opposite is the case occurred to few.) In the 1930's. having helped decisively to win the war and make the peace. before the American Congress or public had expressed themselves. it is true. in theory. in checking aggression. the physiology of decadence manifested itself in the widespread view that risks could be avoided by shunning responsibilities.

They damned British imperialism. Liberalism contributed toward the same result. Courts. helped to destroy Reason and enthrone emotion as the guide to national action by "debunking" the slogans of 1917. Congress. for the United States was a community not essentially different in the structure of its society and in the beliefs of its people from the Western European democracies. Many 20th century Liberals. whatever their intention and however firm their grasp of the issue. Their "Populist" and "Progressive" tradition.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . stemming from Bryan. fragmentation of authority among President. to commit America to any policy involving duties and risks. French militarism and the Treaty of Versailles. They demonstrated in scholarly fashion that the Republic was "dragged into war. A generation of intellectuals. by Wall Street bankers." But the great "Liberals" were almost all isolationists. The i8th century Constitution. sordid arms merchants and British propagandists. That this was untrue was immaterial. Liberalism and Patriotism worked its will. It was never closed. was a tradition mingled with provincialism and shot through with xenophobia and distrust of "Europe. greedy exporters. with its checks-and-balances and its purposeful. States and electorate." In the Senate of the Republic the great isolationists were not all "Liberals. PRODUCED BY UNZ. moreover. the first Roosevelt and other reformers. Italy and Japan in the name of "justice." contrary to its will and against its interests. Here again the Nemesis of Rationalism. scornful of emotion and wedded to Reason.The Last Frontiers 29 But this first defeat begot later defeats and strengthened those who cried out against "intervention" and "involvement. The gap between what citizens needed to do for their own security and what citizens wanted to believe for their own enjoyment was equally wide." and thereby unwittingly played the game of Fascist aggressors and Tory appeasers abroad." The first question was answered. were imbued with blind pacifism which sought to escape the terrors of war not by organizing the world for peace but by refusing to oppose war-makers. made it politically impossible for any President and Secretary of State. They defended the aspirations of Germany. This is what people wished to believe—the more so as half-conscious feelings of insecurity and guilt over the defection of 1920 predisposed them to grasp at every rationalization of post-war retreat from international responsibilities.

In the Far East the statutes were never invoked. law-breakers and law-keepers. That persistence in this high resolve might spell the doom of America was irrelevant. was banned lest it lead to friction and danger of conflict. Most patriots preferred to believe that America could live alone and like it. By the most prevalent definitions. The freedoms of democracy. But any economic pressure against aggressors. Patriotism moved Americans in the same direction. Diplomatic non-recognition of the fruits of conquest was permissible because it was as innocuous as it was futile. Complete "impartiality" was observed as between aggressors and their victims. Patriotic age applauded. Americans remained free to sell and lend impartially to. The "neutraUty" statutes of 1935-37 forbade the selling of arms and the lending of money to both sides in the Spanish civil strife and to all belligerents alike in all wars abroad. Hot anger against the totalitarian States expressed itself in verbal denunciation which always stopped short of any action.Chinese and Japanese. since they were able by military action to reduce such small imports of American supplies PRODUCED BY UNZ. The war lords of Tokio were the beneficiaries. The patriotic youth of the land resolved never again to risk its skins on foreign battlefields. to be "patriotic" meant to be anti-European and anti-internationalist. or any commitment to act. They assured themselves that refusal to risk blood and treasure abroad would release them from the need of risking anything anywhere. wrong and right. enemies and friends. but a Babel of tongues urging movement in all directions at once and thereby preventing any movement in any direction.30 Design for Dying pledged to vote down any statute or treaty making possible common political action with other Powers. Love of country became so fervent that its practitioners insisted upon dying only on American battlefields. Americans of the post-Wilson generation were unable to devise any acceptable liberal program which touched the realities of the world beyond America and took cognizance of America's place in that world. Military or naval pressure was at all times unthinkable.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . apart from ineffective private boycotts. moreover. gave wide scope to all preachers of panaceas. The result was not wisdom or unity. These attitudes and desires eventuated in public policies which had the effect of making the world safe for aggression and making America the economic ally of the aggressors. that might involve risk of war.

R. Italy. trucks and planes for the conquest of China.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . were "impartial" in form and wholly one-sided in fact.The Last Frontiers 31 as China was able to buy. In the United States pacifists. but without willing the results of its acts it gave effective aid to the barbarians in overrunning Western Europe. patriots and isolationists rejoiced that America had been "kept out of war" by connivance in the murder of the Spanish Republic." The "Neutrality" Act of 1937 served notice on Hitler that Britain and France would be denied American arms and money as soon as he might attack them. During September and October of 1939 the Allies were forbidden to buy American arms or borrow American money. The second question was answered. can be deemed in any sense an actual or potential defender of Western European culture. Here is the PRODUCED BY UNZ. Franco was grateful. in no need of American arms and money. Ethiopia. involving the abandonment of that "freedom of the seas" for which America had fought four wars. oil. the new "neutrality" was fully applied. Berlin and Lisbon where friendly governments interested in "saving Spain from Bolshevism" supplied Burgos with arms and money.S. 1939. They were able conversely to purchase in America scrap-iron. Congress refused the President's pleas to change the Act until after war had begun." Here is another totalitarian dictatorship. in desperate need of money and arms. but they went freely to Rome.S. was denied access to them. They were extended to each new victim of Nazi aggression as soon as Hitler attacked. As for Russia. was denied both. there will be doubt in many minds regarding the view that the Communist State deserves to be regarded as part of European civilization. II Duce expressed gratitude for American aid in his conquest. In Spain the policy was the same with the same result. but was permitted to buy oil in abundance for Badoglio's bombers and tanks. Not only did America willfully deny effective aid to Western Europe to hold the barbarians in check. There will be greater doubt over the view that the U. In the Ethiopian war. permitted them to buy arms. Here is an "Asiatic despotism. But in the name of "cash-and-carry" it still forbade them to borrow money and forbade American ships to call at their ports. These prohibitions. The new statute of November 4. Catholics and conservatives rejoiced that Religion and Property had been protected against "Communism. American arms and money were barred to Madrid and to Burgos.

and any Japan) are neighbors and therefore rivals and potential foes. and barbarians. But Stalin and the Soviet Government cannot escape from the consequences of their own ultimate beliefs. whereas the ascist dictatorships are on the side of barbarism. The ultimate aim of the founders of modem socialism was not a society of masters and slaves. to suppress all opposition and so all poUtical liberty and freedom of opinion or speech. intolerance. and savage inhumanity spring naturally from their ultimate aims. 191-95: "It is often said. without tolerance or humanity or justice. founded upon force and upon the social relation between the few who command and the many who blindly obey. just as America is helpless vis-a-vis Japan in Eastern Asia in the absence of collaboration with Russia. The Soviet Government. Victor GoUancz. not by reactionaries.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . any Russia. Being barbarians they follow out consistently the logic of their facts and of barbarism. but a fundamental and important distinction. but of incomplete Communism and therefore of incomplete civihzation. Despite these judgments. which are well-taken. violence. intolerance. They are the heirs of Marx and Engels.32 Design for Dymg betrayer of the Western Powers who joined the barbarians against the West. they even looked forward to the with- f PRODUCED BY UNZ. and Marx and Engels were on the side of western civihzation. disciphne. and their suppression of liberty and truth. repression. is in its ultimate objective on the side of civilization. but by people whose whole lives have shown them to be good Socialists and good Europeans. I beheve this view to be wrong. The other fact is that in its fundamental purposes (though not in its practice) Communism differs from Fascism in that its apostles envisage human society not in terms which repudiate the whole Western cultural tradition but in terms which seek to affirm and extend that tradition. and that the group uses its power. Liberty and equality were their standards of social value. two facts stand against them. any more than Russia can achieve this result without Anglo-French support. Without American support Russia may be unable to hold Japan in check. whatever may be the results of its ractice. Their object was to sweep away 'the existence of class antagonisms and of classes generally'. London. That is the only social ideal of those who control the German and Italian Governments. the dictatorship of a party or rather of a small group controlling a party. 1939. but of free men. like Russia and Japan (any Germany. One is the fact that in the geo-politics of the world balance of power Germany and Russia. that is part of their strength. that there is nothing to choose between the dictatorship of Stalin and that of Hitler or MussoUni. Fascists. inhumanity were not symptoms of communal strength. Without Russian support France and Britain cannot hold Germany in check. Fascism deliberately aims at creating a master-slave society. This is not a theoretical. that in Russia as in Germany and Italy a ruthless autocracy has established itself.^ For these 1 The point is well put by Leonard Woolf in Barbarians at the Gate. their violence. pp. whereas Russia is the logical ally of the neighboring enemies of its neighbors—of France and Britain in Europe and of the United States in Asia and the Pacific.

The Liberals attempted to establish a civilized society of free men by a system of political democracy with a limited amount of liberty. It colours their practice as well as their theory. . tolerance. .. And in 1939-40 Stalin played the role that Chamberlain and Daladier had sought to play earUer. committing precisely the same mistake upside down as the democratic Liberals of the nineteenth century. for their ultimate objective was the exact opposite of the Fascist's. he helped to unleash Fascist aggression against the Western Powers whose ering away of the State. played a role which was the antithesis of that of the United States: it joined the League. enrichment. The Soviet Government is doing the same thing from the other end. a society of free men. knowledge. Between 1920 and 1933 the diplomatic role of Russia was similar to the role of America: non-membership in the League. and the social ideas and standards of western civilization has had disastrous effects upon the internal position and upon their achievements inside Russia. while they allowed the economic system to enslave three-quarters of the population and set an inexorable hmit to the distribution of liberty. as I have said. That too is the ultimate objective of Stalin. . As far as economics are concerned.The Last Frontiers 33 reasons the Soviet Union may be viewed as part of Europe. disrupted the society from within." PRODUCED BY UNZ. They are. Between 1933 and 1938 the U.S. however unable or unwilling its leaders may have been to discharge that duty. It has estabUshed the only economic system compatible with western civilization in the industrialized societies of the twentieth century. namely western civilization. it has laid foundations which would make possible the development of a real community of free men. as Europe's other frontier. profound distrust of Western Europe. truth. and therefore to civilization itself. But it found in each test that its offers were spurned. it offered economic and military aid against aggression. their attitude towards the communal control of power. the creation of a community in which the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all. democracy. and tolerance. They tried to establish civilization while refusing to alter the economic system in the only way which would have made the extension of civilization possible. of the Soviet Government. But upon this magnificent foundation it has imposed a political system of dictatorship and a contempt for liberty. equality.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . etc. therefore. it was the promotion. and widening of the individual's existence.R. as the State which shared with America a duty to itself to act with Western Europe against the barbarians. and of the Communist party. By doing this the regime continually weakens itself. truth. It puts them upon the side of civilization against the barbarians at the gate. justice. promotion of disarmament and outlawry of war. They pursued two incompatible ends and. knowledge.S. through the community. it offered Western Europe co-operation in the organization of collective security. "But though the ultimate objective of Communism and the Soviet Government is the antithesis of that of Fascism. for it is disrupting society from within. and humanity which are incompatible with civilization and which made completely impossible the attainment of its ultimate objective.

however. France and Britain would have become the great neutrals. rejoicing in the ruin of the West but fearing the power of the victorious Reich. when efforts to co-operate with them against Fascism failed. and leave the West in peace.R. hoping that Fascism would destroy the Western Powers. and perhaps itself in the process. however. Russia therefore became the great neutral. only the words go the wrong way.S. rejoicing in the ruin of Russia but fearing the power of the victorious Reich. Stalin's assumptions of 1939. The Communist calculus proved correct. and perhaps itself in the process." and "the books are something like our books.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . reveals similarities in reverse. in peace. and leave the U.34 Design for Dying leaders had attempted to unleash Fascist aggression against the Soviet Union. not on a sudden knock-out blow which would leave Fascism's silent ally in mortal danger from the victor. to suggest that it would be answered differently from the two questions which had preceded it. Where wisdom and will are lacking. The third question remained as yet unanswered. as did the fatal calculus of Chamberlain and Daladier. on the hope of a long and ruinous war of attrition between the two enemy camps. proved too correct for comfort—or perhaps not quite correct. miracles are rare. "only the things go the other way. Had the Tory calculus proven correct. The Nemesis of Moscovy was of a different design from that of America and Western Europe. Close inspection however. hoping that Fascism would destroy Communism." For years Downing Street and the Quai d'Orsay lived in fear of Moscow and looked to the Fascist Caesars for protection. There was little in the record.S. Soviet foreign policy in relation to French and British was somewhat like Alice's Looking-Glass House: the rooms are the same. By the advent of 1941 that victor was threatening both America and Russia with the gravest dangers their governments and peoples had ever been called upon to face. They rested. For years the Narkomindel lived in fear of the capitalist democracies and. looked at last to the new Caesars for protection against the West (and even for the destruction of the West). PRODUCED BY UNZ.

belatedly and by stages far across the great Eurasian land-mass. others more fortunate long after dawn.CHAPTER TWO APPEASEMENT TRIUMPHANT I. This had happened each dawn over much of the earth for a million days and would doubtless happen again for a million days to come. Public events were in few lands sufficiently remarkable to warrant headlines in the holiday newspapers.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . In the South Seas. to enjoy the last day of the holiday season. Socialists in New Zealand were still celebrating an election victory. over a vigorous note received the day before from Washington insisting upon respect for 35 PRODUCED BY UNZ. some before break of day. Six hours after they had breakfasted still more millions bestirred themselves throughout the Americas. people tumbled sleepily out of a billion beds—some with the first light. but not too seriously. as sunrise drove night westward. In all this there was nothing noteworthy. "PEACE FOR O U R N E W YEAR'S DAY TIME" of 1939 dawned like other days in the midPacific at the international date-line. time-zone by time-zone. Some twelve hours later. each to his daily tasks. They rose to recover from hangovers. The private lives of the two billion earth-dwellers were doubtless little different during this New Year's Day from what they had been on others. amid mid-winter cold in the broad Northland and in mid-summer heat in the narrow Southland. In Tokio diplomats pondered. other hundreds of millions in Europe and Africa rolled out of other beds. over the turning face of the eastward-rolling planet. to greet again the beginning of another cycle of the earth's slow journey around the sun. the year to come crowded the old year into the past. Hour after hour. in Eastern Asia.

time-zone by time-zone. but not too seriously. Some twelve hours later. Six hours after they had breakfasted still more millions bestirred themselves throughout the Americas. some before break of day. each to his daily tasks. as sunrise drove night westward. This had happened each dawn over much of the earth for a million days and would doubtless happen again for a million days to come. They rose to recover from hangovers.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED .CHAPTER TWO APPEASEMENT TRIUMPHANT I. over the turning face of the eastward-rolling planet. "PEACE FOR O U R N E W YEAR'S DAY TIME" of 1939 dawned like other days in the midPacific at the international date-line. amid mid-winter cold in the broad Northland and in mid-summer heat in the narrow Southland. In all this there was nothing noteworthy. belatedly and by stages far across the great Eurasian land-mass. in Eastern Asia. In Tokio diplomats pondered. The private lives of the two billion earth-dwellers were doubtless little different during this New Year's Day from what they had been on others. Socialists in New Zealand were still celebrating an election victory. others more fortunate long after dawn. other hundreds of millions in Europe and Africa rolled out of other beds. Public events were in few lands sufficiently remarkable to warrant headlines in the holiday newspapers. the year to come crowded the old year into the past. people tumbled sleepily out of a billion beds—some with the first light. In the South Seas. over a vigorous note received the day before from Washington insisting upon respect for 35 PRODUCED BY UNZ. to enjoy the last day of the holiday season. Hour after hour. to greet again the beginning of another cycle of the earth's slow journey around the sun.

informed its readers that the British ruling classes had betrayed China. Premier Miron Cristea and his ministers for the first time greeted King Carol in court with the Fascist salute. Wladyslaw Sikorski. With us are the growing forces of a united front of workers of the whole world. . . Premier Prince Konoye resigned under the pressure of the militarists who insisted not only on a free hand in China but on control over corporation funds and dividends at home. Spain. contended that Churchill. Lees. organ of the Red Army. General and Ex-Premier." T o the South. In Chungking on January i Chiang Kai-shek's police arrested some hundreds of followers of Wang Ching-wei who had sent a message from his refuge in Indo-China urging peace with Japan. Eden. admonished Russian children in the columns of Bezbozhnik not to obey priests or religious parents. in Bucharest. Red Star. "Each time the Fascist beast has opened its bloody maw a new victim was thrown in. head of the atheist society.' World Fascism is sharpening swords and sabres against us. the Great Stalin. In Moscow Emelyan Yaroslavsky. Austria and Czechoslovakia. and promised in an address to purge Jews from businesses and professions—in order to "preserve Rumania for the Rumanians. Ethiopia. Duff-Cooper and Greenwood were all tools of the Jews who "devote all their energies to making Britain believe that war is inevitable.36 Appeasement Triumphant the Open Door and for American rights in China. . For this he was expelled from the Kuomintang and deprived of all his posts." Daybreak in Germany brought floods of words in praise of the Great Hitler and of the victories of the past year." In Poland. Japanese troops clashed with guerrillas in Mongolia. .ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . perspicacious fearless. Such feeding of animals seeking prey in all directions is called 'pacification. averred that "localization of any war in Eastern Europe would be quite impossible. To the North and West stretched the slovenly vastness of Russia. ." Horace Greeley Hjalmar Schacht did not know that twenty days later he would be relieved by the Fiihrer of his duties PRODUCED BY UNZ. S. . a leader of the British Fascist League. On the fourth day of the New Year. unhesitating and genial marshal of Communism." A. He was replaced by Baron Kichiro Hiranuma who had fewer scruples about bending the necks of Japanese capitalists to the yoke of the army oligarchy. In a symposium in the ZiDolf Uhr Blatt Gobbels declared: "National Socialism's attitude toward Jewry brooks no compromise. but we are confident. With us is the wise.

leaving Paul Reynaud to secure approval of the budget. They voted as a unit with the Right. We shall persevere. Five times he posed the question of confidence on budget items. But he departed at noon. with the men of the Left who had been his former allies in the Popular Front. In Rome preparations were under way for the coming visit of Chamberlain and Halifax. He was confident of cordial relations with the victors of Munich. he said nothing. Daladier's own Radical Socialists for the first time split completely with their erstwhile Socialist and Communist allies. to halt the arms race. we shall not in any way abandon the task we have begun.15 train for Toulon. Although circumstances have not up to now permitted these hopes to materialize. to build peace. . In Prague hope and optimism were expressed by Premier Rudolf Beran. . Five times he was victorious by a margin of over 100 votes supplied by the Center and Extreme Right. who had already succeeded him a year before as Minister of Economics.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . In this the diminutive Finance PRODUCED BY UNZ. The Munich spirit seeks to bring nearer to each other the two axes regardless of differences in regime. He had come to the Italian capital from Berhn to promote "understanding" with the gift of French recognition of Italian title to Ethiopia. . . In the Ambassador's own capital politics took no holiday. however. . her patrimony and the material and moral heritage left by the sacrifices of preceding generations. Daladier missed the 10. the Italian deputies and their friends in the gallery had greeted him with cries of "Tunis! Nice! Savoy! Corsica! Jibuti!" On New Year's Day he made a speech at the Embassy to members of the French colony: France will defend her possessions. His threats to call in the Nazis if Benes accepted Soviet aid against the Reich had precipitated surrender to the Anglo-French ultimatum of September. On November 30. Or if he knew. But French Ambassador Andre Fran9ois-Poncet was troubled. I have brought here with unreserved good will and with sincere esteem for the great achievements of present-day Italy a desire and a hope to solve the difficulties and stamp out the quarrels dividing France and Italy so as to restore between them that collaboration and harmony that should in any case be an adequate expression of their natural affinities. after a disorderly all-night session. Premier Edouard Daladier battled in the Chamber."Peace for Our Time" 37 as President of the Reichsbank in favor of Walter Funk. to complete the improvement of FrancoGerman relations with an improvement of Franco-Italian relations. .

Michael and St. and the carefully staged hysterical scene in parliament on the following night. and waved so cheerily by the Prime Minister as he alighted from his plane at Heston Airport. Sir Laurence Philipps and Sir Frederick Arthur Greer. and I was less interested in the fact itself than in the methods by which it was accomplished: the carefully engineered war-scare in the country at large.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED ." and granted baronies to Sir Maurice Hankey. to Sir Nevile Henderson and Sir Alexander Cadogan. stark terror. The annual New Year's honors list conferred upon Sir James Jeans. Grand Crosses of St. The diplomats who had helped to engineer the surrender of Czechoslovakia to Hitler were not forgotten: to Basil Newton. 1939) pp. British Minister in Prague. physicist. which they entered on January 4. Cecil Harmsworth. Daladier was officially unconcerned. symbolizing defiance of Italian demands. Admiral of the fleet. South of the Pyrenees war-bled Spain enjoyed a brief lull.38 Appeasement Triumphant Minister was successful in the course of the afternoon. George. G. The Chamber adjourned until January lo. went a knighthood of the Order of St. two days before his flight to Munich. the "Order of Aierit. distinguished philosopher and historian." PRODUCED BY UNZ. It pledged "consultation" and reiterated "the desire of our two peoples never to go to war 1 To take but one example. Professor R. Collingwood. Most of the British public still believed that Chamberlain had averted war in September and laid the bases for enduring peace with the Reich. He gained his point. He had agreed with Chamberlain that Franco's victory would contribute to the "appeasement" of Italy. the English prime minister did it by playing on sheer. With the greatest concentration of engines of war since 1918. titles of Companions of the Order of the Bath. to Frank Ashton-Gwatkin and William Strang. Franco's forces were slowly pushing toward Borjas Blancas and Artesa. In London the day was quiet. and Lord Chatfield. wrote in his Autobiography (Oxford University Press. George. These things were in the established tradition of Fascist dictatorial methods. On his Christmas card the Prime Minister had proudly pictured his Munich-bound plane. Only a few sharp minds saw through this sham. Michael and St. except that whereas the Italian and German dictators sway mobs by appeal to the thirst for glory and national aggrandizement. 165-6: "The betrayal of Czechoslovakia was only a third case of the same policy by which the 'National' government had betrayed Abyssinia and Spain.^ Others accepted at face value the piece of paper signed at Munich on September 30 by Chamberlain and Hitler. Daladier sailed from the Mediterranean naval base that night for a journey to Corsica and Tunisia. officially launched by the simultaneous issue of gas-masks and of the prime minister's emotional broadcast.

PRODUCED BY UNZ. Ambassader Hugh Wilson had been called home to "report. or territorial integrity" of any American Republic." "The Primrose Path. Governor of the Bank of England—to sponsor the baptism of the grandchild of his bosom friend. that they are prepared to make their contribution to peace. p. But he said sadly of his Nazi friends: "I am still waiting for a sign ." He was not to return. always provincial in comparison to Manhattan. On New Year's Day. Washington warned Berlin." and "Outward Bound. benighted and bestial." ^ From the balcony of 10 Downing Street Chamberlain had told the applauding crowds: "My good friends. Roosevelt had dined with Ickes to show approval. . The shadows of Berlin and Lima hung heavy over officialdom." Chilly Sumner Welles had coldly rebuffed German protests." "What a Life. Japan and Rebel Spain!) and received a thumping vote of confidence. These things seemed of small moment to the great Megalopolis of Transatlantis to which the gold flowed across the sea. After the November pogrom. including a Declaration of American Principles and a sonorous manifesto of solidarity ("The Declaration of Lima") pledging "consultation" in the face of any danger to the "peace. White of the Neiv York Times reported from Chile that agents of the Bena1 Text in Europe on the Eve. 446. The flight of investors from the pound to the dollar indicated lack of confidence . . Dr. this is the second time in our history that there has come back from Germany to Downing Street peace with honor. I believe it is peace for our time. had no theatre to which to escape. Among the offerings were "Kiss the Boys Good-bye. The Broadway theatrical season was at its height. . ." Yet the turn of the year brought doubts." Washington. Hjalmar Schacht. John W .ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . Italy. 340 to 143. security. At Lima on December 27 the 107 voting delegates of the 21 American Republics signed n o resolutions and declarations. The American press applauded. The irrepressible Harold Ickes had denounced Henry Ford and Colonel Lindbergh for accepting Nazi decorations and denounced the Nazi Jew-baiters as "unlettered." N o new hope emerged from the early January visit to the Reich of Sir Montagu Norman. On December 19 Chamberlain had defended Munich once more before Commons as the only alternative to war (with Germany. Washington warned Tokio."Peace for Our Time" 39 again. The Nazi pogrom of November had shocked Britain.

peaceful. and their very civilization are founded. but war is not the only means of commanding a decent respect for the opinions of mankind. We have learned that when we deliberately try to legislate neutrality.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . The instinct of self-preservation should warn us that we ought not to let that happen any more ." PRODUCED BY UNZ. The mere fact that we rightly decline to intervene with arms to prevent acts of aggression does not mean that we must act as if there were no aggression at all. This generation will "nobly save or meanly lose the last best hope of earth . our neutrality laws may operate unevenly and unfairly—may actually give aid to an aggressor and deny it to the victim. There are many methods short of war." But Washington made light of his charges. All about us grow more deadly armaments—military and economic. On January 4 the Chief Executive addressed the Congress in ringing words which called for action. for revision of "neutrality" legislation: A war which threatened to envelop the world in flames has been averted. To save one we must now make up our minds to save all . . At the very least.40 Appeasement Triumphant vides dictatorship in Peru had surrounded the conference with an atmosphere of "censorship. or build up an aggressor. . Events abroad have made it increasingly clear to the American people that dangers within are less to be feared than dangers from without . All about us rage undeclared wars—military and economic. of bringing home to aggressor governments the aggregate sentiments of our own people. but stronger and more effective than mere words. . Once I prophesied that this generation of Americans had a rendezvous with destiny. intimidation and spying. The first is religion. of democracy. There comes a time in the affairs of men when they must prepare to defend not their homes alone but the tenets of faith and humanity on which their churches. their governments. more is expected. All about us are threats of new aggression—military and economic. or any lack of action. . . . The way is plain. It is the source of the other two—democracy and international good faith . Words may be futile. which will encourage. To us much is given. . assist. for new resolve. That prophesy comes true. just—a way which if followed the world will forever applaud and God must forever bless. generous. The defense of religion. . . we can and should avoid any action. and of good faith among nations is all the same fight. . now as always. but it has become increasingly clear that peace is not assured. Storms from abroad directly challenge three institutions indispensable to Americans.

It is tempting to linger over the tale in its entirety: the plotting of the generals in the Spring of 1936 in co-operation with German and Italian agents. Hence no action." This death was willed by the dominant personalities in the British and French Governments. in violation of British statutes. 1939 The violent death of Republican Spain during the early months of the New Year. The responsible persons were never indicted or punished by British authorities.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . PRODUCED BY UNZ. the rebellion in Morocco in mid-July of the first year of blood. C. ^ the heartbreaking initiative of Leon Blum in proposing that all the Powers deprive the Spanish Republicans of weapons for their defense: the futile rage of his followers in the People's Front. The British Government was presumably unaware of the fact that British territory was in effect made a base of revolutionary operations against a friendly State and that British subjects. had been honored earlier with the Grand Cross of the Imperial Order of Red Arrows. why should America act? Later. They were rewarded by Franco in June. 2. The pilot. Dorothy Watson. received medals of the same order. the cosmic farce of the "Non-intervention" Committee and the subsequent co-operation of the United States in cutting off 1 The plane was a private one chartered ostensibly for tourist purposes. Congress would not heed. i^s9 4^ But the way was not to be followed. his daughter Diana and her friend. Mr.Spain t January i8. Money for arms? Yes. constituted the last great victory of "appeasement. shouting "Planes for Spain!" but quite unable to move the Quai d'Orsay and Downing Street from their course. save within the limits of the President's phrase "short of war"—three words which became a fatal fetish for Congress and the masses. 1939: Major Hugh B. Bebb. It is difficult to escape the conclusion that Britain was here guilty of violating the rights of Spain under international law by virtue of failure to observe "due diligence" to prevent such acts from taking place. C. Britain was Chamberlain and France was Daladier. H. America would still not act. Pollard was made Hidalgo of the Imperial Order of Red Arrows. T H E S P A N I S H R E P U B L I C t J A N U A R Y i 8 . however. after two and a half years of heroic struggle against the forces of international Fascism. W. the flight of Franco in a British plane to take command of the Rebel forces. In January. If Britain and France would not or could not act. Action to entangle America in international efforts to halt aggression? No. were parties to a conspiracy to overthrow the Spanish Republic. when Britain and France acted.

the rebellion in Morocco in mid-July of the first year of blood. T H E S P A N I S H R E P U B L I C t J A N U A R Y i 8 . Money for arms? Yes. PRODUCED BY UNZ. H. The pilot. If Britain and France would not or could not act. Congress would not heed. however. The responsible persons were never indicted or punished by British authorities. C. 1939: Major Hugh B.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . when Britain and France acted." This death was willed by the dominant personalities in the British and French Governments. shouting "Planes for Spain!" but quite unable to move the Quai d'Orsay and Downing Street from their course. Britain was Chamberlain and France was Daladier. In January. had been honored earlier with the Grand Cross of the Imperial Order of Red Arrows. The British Government was presumably unaware of the fact that British territory was in effect made a base of revolutionary operations against a friendly State and that British subjects. constituted the last great victory of "appeasement.Spain t January i8. after two and a half years of heroic struggle against the forces of international Fascism. 1939 The violent death of Republican Spain during the early months of the New Year. the flight of Franco in a British plane to take command of the Rebel forces. Dorothy Watson. the cosmic farce of the "Non-intervention" Committee and the subsequent co-operation of the United States in cutting off 1 The plane was a private one chartered ostensibly for tourist purposes. received medals of the same order. were parties to a conspiracy to overthrow the Spanish Republic. W. Pollard was made Hidalgo of the Imperial Order of Red Arrows. Mr. It is difficult to escape the conclusion that Britain was here guilty of violating the rights of Spain under international law by virtue of failure to observe "due diligence" to prevent such acts from taking place. C. America would still not act. Bebb. It is tempting to linger over the tale in its entirety: the plotting of the generals in the Spring of 1936 in co-operation with German and Italian agents. ^ the heartbreaking initiative of Leon Blum in proposing that all the Powers deprive the Spanish Republicans of weapons for their defense: the futile rage of his followers in the People's Front. i^s9 4^ But the way was not to be followed. Action to entangle America in international efforts to halt aggression? No. They were rewarded by Franco in June. 2. his daughter Diana and her friend. why should America act? Later. in violation of British statutes. save within the limits of the President's phrase "short of war"—three words which became a fatal fetish for Congress and the masses. Hence no action.

the impassioned resistance of the Loyalist troops fighting barehanded against German and Italian machines.39. That all nobles. Only the close of the tragedy need here be recounted.42 Appeasement Triumphant arms to the Madrid regime. money and sanctity. PRODUCED BY UNZ. All the elements of Europe's tragedy and the world's tragedy were here in miniature and in the exact proportions in which they were compounded in the larger drama.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . ^ the attack upon Madrid in October 1936 by Mola's four columns. led the way." would dehver the capital into their hands. The forces of democracy awakened too late to their peril. frightened by British threats of desertion. 1936. They feared that an irreverent parliamentary democracy. Anglo-French politicians were not more far-sighted than those they represented. London at once intervened to further the Axis design. would reduce or destroy the prerogatives of those with land. they fought with far greater vigor than democrats elsewhere. bankers and priests deemed the cause of Spanish nobles. Their motives had little to do with ideology or economics. the German and Italian invasions. priests and politicians. rather than an old and empty word whose meaning they had forgotten. 1939. went to Spain to aid Franco's revolt at the outset of the rebellion and that these forces had been prepared for action long before the proclamation of revolt in Morocco on July 16. Once awake. Rome and Berlin at once intervened to insure Rebel victory for reasons of Realpolitik. confident that Fascist sympathizers within. since freedom was for them a new experience which they cherished. the sacrifices of the Spanish masses in resisting year after year the siege of their citadel and in fighting stubbornly an unequal war in which they were doomed to defeat by the policies of Britain. Anglo-French nobles. Cf.1. Fearful Paris. But these things have elsewhere been told. bankers. save the servile bondsmen of the Caesars. the sickening subterfuges of the diplomats. speaking for the masses. would be brought to utter ruin by these decisions was too much 1 Ciano and Goring revealed in May. NYT 5. that German and Italian troops. bankers and priests more sacred than the national interests of their country. peasants and the lesser bourgeoisie. but much to do with the desire of the Caesars to complete the encirclement of France and to challenge AngloFrench power in the middle sea. France and the United States. the I ith hour arrival of Russian aid.31 and 6. comprising the original "Fifth Column. some of them disguised as tourists. Nobles. bankers and priests supported military adventurers against workers.

1936: our first casualties date from this time. Alvarez Del Vayo. Now began the third stage of intervention. moreover. the legionaries cut the Gordian knot with their swords. 1937. a stage of sarcasm and caustic irony and ridicule directed against the simple souls in London and Paris. The Caudillo and his Nazi and Fascist aides knew that the Loyalist forces. but was born of the Soviet Union's desire to prevent a hostile force. A Loyalist counter-offensive gained some headway in Estremadura. where the debatable quaUties of Lord Plymouth as stage manager served as a foil to the dexterity and abandonment of the actors. 1940) by J.' All the Italian press echoed the Popolo d'ltalia: 'We have intervened from the first moment to the last. and that in any case the sacrifice of Spain was the price of "peace. that the Loyalists were Bolsheviks. It foreshadowed a greater and grimmer story to come." Moscow intervened in a vain hope of saving France's southern frontier from Fascist control and of stirring London and Paris to action in their own defense. and the assistance and support which the latter gave during the Spanish War was not aimed at achieving a political solidarity between the two countries.Spain 1. Doubting electorates were readily silenced by solemn affirmations that Franco loved Britain and France. p. January i8. able to render the French-Russian Pact practically valueless as a safeguard for the Soviet Union. The long and brilliant repertoire of Italian comedy has no better spectacle to offer than this. They desired. 59: "An examination PRODUCED BY UNZ." P. Foreign Minister of the Republic. cutthroats and scoundrels.^ The last act opened two days before Christmas 1938 with the launching of Franco's offensive against Catalonia. The most intelligent review of the comedy was given in Stampa on July 20. Austria and Czechoslovakia. were short of guns and planes in the face of overwhelming Rebel superiority. In the face of stubborn resistance. A note published in the official Informazione Diplomatica stated: 'Italy replied to the first call of Franco on July 27. xvii: "The foreign policy of the Republic was at no time linked with that of the Soviet Union. Under these circumstances. Ethiopia. to score new successes before Chamberlain should reach Rome. German planes and artillery and ItaUan tanks and infantry pushed forward on both flanks of the Catalonian line. From first to last the story conformed in motive and plot to the stories of China. Knopf. Chamberlain and Halifax. from massing on France's third frontier.' It was only when with the fall of Barcelona they felt assured of certain victory that the totaUtarian states gave up all pretence and jeered at the childishness and passivity of the Western democracies.' " P. but failed to deflect the Rebels from their major operation. N. 47: "Non-Intervention became one of the greatest farces of our time. in a single phrase—a model of simplicity and of honest and impartial dramatic criticism: 'While the diplomats play for time. ip^p 43 for any of the participants to foresee.B. since their Ebro counter-offensive of July. New York. accom1 The tale is nowhere better told than in Freedom's Battle (Alfred A.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . atheists.

His Majesty's Ministers conferred in Rome with Mussolini. however. On January 15 Tarragona fell." Chamberlain's formula was "peace by the method of negotiation. 62: "According to the official statistics for the whole of the Spanish War—pubhshed in the Italian press in June 1939—there were 86420 air raids on loyalist Spain. in the midst of their ideological preoccupations." The Republic could yet be saved. In 1938 Germany imported from Spain 1. 13.700 tons had left for Spain. PRODUCED BY UNZ.318 bombardments in western Europe compared with 872 in east Africa. Italy also managed to provide herself—although in much smaller proportions—with some of the raw materials (principally wool) which she needed. from the author's delusion that "non-intervention" represented a triumph of "international co-operation" and prevented the spread of war. All arms. 1939). who feared a ToryFascist bargain at French expense. took advantage of the splendid opportunity offered them to feed their war industries. 5. January 11-14." The visitors had "learned" the ItaUan viewpoint—which the Fascist press had shrieked to the world for two months. who of the graph of so-called exports to Germany and Italy over the past two years will show how the saviours of Spain. compared with 3. Mussolini's formula was "peace with justice. As his British visitors arrived. 11. not by wheat but by weapons. Spanish Ambassador in Paris. he announced that 45.309 in 1937. 25.500 tons on the Abyssinian Negroes. were denied to it. the British travellers stopped for tea in Paris on January lo. the Duce's legionnaires aided Franco's troops to capture Falser and Montblanch. against 310. Bonnet expressed confidence that his guests understood the French position.584 tons of explosives hurled on the Spanish people. commented bitterly that the wheat was "tied up with red tape." The communique of January 12 declared: "No new commitment." P.000.979 during the Ethiopian War. arrangement or agreement has been asked for or entered into by either Government. Ciano and Pius XI.000 tons of iron ore. and she now has free access to the quicksilver which she was unable to obtain by her repeated attacks on Almaden. however. During a considerable period of the war the rebels had some 600 to 650 first-line planes permanently at their disposal. in preparation for the extension of their civilizing influence to other nations.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED .000 tons in 1937. This assumes the dispatch of thousands of machines to Spain from Germany and Italy.000 tons of wheat would be made available to Barcelona. compared with 1. Professor Padelford's scholarly work suffers. Sefior Pascua. By January 24 only 1. In imitation of the American example. 1939." The most detailed and fully-documented account of "non-intervention" is Norman Padelford's International Law and Diplomacy in the Spanish Civil Strife (The Macmillan Company. New York.563 tons of copper against 7. Under urgent pressure from the French leaders.167 tons of zinc where none had been imported in the preceding year.44 Appeasement Triumphant panied by Cadogan. prepared for their Roman holiday. The Earl of Perth.

Toward the end there were scurryings of diplomats and last hopes that Anglo-French folly might still be redeemed. Chamberlain of his intention to withdraw the Italian forces now in Spain. also came. Alvarez del Vayo. p. The Loyalist Foreign Minister. Britain and France belatedly followed the United States in protesting Japan's closing of the Open Door. But Sir Eric expressed different hopes.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . New York. in the Balearics. Mussolini's newspapers raged against France and indicated that all issues must wait upon Franco's final victory. According to a Havas communique that night: "After seeing Mr. On January 14 Daladier. a step which would enable them to blockade Loyalist ports without Anglo-French objection. As Chamberlain returned empty-handed to London. He received some encouragement in his belated repentance from the Radical Socialist Premier. the British Ambassador. He emphasized particularly the repeated assurances that Signor Mussolini gave Mr. Franco had rejected 1 France and Munich (Harper & Bros. Chamberlain had insisted that belligerent rights could be granted only in return for full acceptance of the complex 80-page "formula" of July 5. The Socialist author of the original "non-intervention" scheme apparently pleaded for last-minute aid to Barcelona. ip^p 45 was scheduled to retire in April as British Ambassador to Italy. Czaky visited Berlin and announced Hungary's adherence to the Anti-Comintern. 1939) by Alexander Werth. Chamberlain the British Ambassador gave M. 1938.. had presumably conveyed this viewpoint to London long before. was visited by Blum and by Sir Eric Phipps. and in other Spanish territories after the final victory of General Franco." ^ On January 15 Bonnet met Halifax at Geneva. Fascist forces moved against Barcelona.Spain f January i8. Burgos (and Rome and Berlin) insisted that foreign troops could only be withdrawn in return for Allied recognition of the belligerency of the Rebels. who had returned in triumph five days previously. since the League Council was to examine the report of the International Commission set up to supervise the withdrawal of foreign combatants from RepubUcan Spain—a measure which the Loyalists had voluntarily agreed to in the vain hope that Britain and France would then take action to force the withdrawal of the vastly superior German and Italian forces fighting with the Rebels. Daladier an account of the Prime Minister's impressions of his Rome visit. PRODUCED BY UNZ. 415.

since any other course would prolong bloodshed. Flan din and other Munichmen in silencing all such nonsense. buy or borrow arms to hold the Catalonian front. This was the way of humanity. 4i6f. This was the way of peace. politicians and journalists who were formerly pro-Franco. found many generals. "Britain firm for inaction. Flandin's pro-Franco speech in the Chamber on January 17 was cheered by half the house. pp.46 Appeasement Triumphant the plan. Senator Berthod was cheered when he warned that French security was in danger from Italian intervention in Spain. Halifax and Bonnet were content to do nothing more. While the 35. who went from Geneva to Paris in an effort to beg. Bonnet hastened back from Geneva on the following day and joined Laval." asserted the headlines. were now raised on behalf of a change of course. Bonnet indicated that there would be no change in French policy unless British policy changed. Their problem of silencing domestic opposition to the final sacrifice of the Spanish Republic on the Fascist altar was not too difficult.000 ton battleship Richelieu was launched at Brest (destined for ignominious ruin eighteen months later without hav1 Cf. He countered Blum's counter-arguments: "If you thought that Italian intervention in Spain could damage France's vital interests. cit. Werth. This was the way to win the friendship of Franco. He brought new assurances of Mussolini's assurances to Chamberlain. Del Vayo. to be sure. At a Radical-Socialist congress on January 15 Bonnet's name was booed. Chamberlain. The Nazi Diplomatische-Korrespondenz affirmed Germany's support of Mussolini's warning that any aid to Barcelona would be deemed "sabotage" of non-intervention and would give Rome a free hand. now convinced that a Rebel victory would be a catastrophe. op. including Henri de Kerillis. why did you tolerate it for two years? W h y are you choosing this moment for putting an end to non-intervention—the very moment when we have been solemnly warned that French intervention would lead to a general war?" ^ The French Right press shouted approval. Some new voices.. Chamberlain had no intention of changing British poUcy.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . Daladier said nothing on the issue. PRODUCED BY UNZ. He argued that France must abide by "non-intervention" even if others broke their promise.

The British Government expressed its concern at the plight of the civilian inhabitants and the hundreds of thousands of refugees in the territory of the Spanish Republic and its willingness to give assistance on humanitarian grounds. There is grave danger of famine at the present time and it is in my view necessary to concert measures of relief in cooperation with other countries. It appears to me that it is inimical to the honor and interests of this country that it should continue to deny to the Spanish Government the right freely to purchase the arms and supplies necessary for its defense. Scattered demonstrations. and to bind Italy." All of this was as Chamberlain would have it. pro-Axis premier of France's erstwhile ally. Leader of His Majesty's Loyal Opposition. For all these reasons it is.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . in my opinion. Jugoslavia and Hungary into an anti-French bloc. Italian war veterans returned their French medals. In view of the fact that while the Spanish Government dismissed from its service all foreign combatants Italian and German troops and munitions are still being employed to carry out openly the avowed intention of the Italian Government to secure by every possible means a victory for Franco. which patiently is wiping its face with sheets of its newspapers. On January 18 he announced his decision in the form of a reply to a letter from Laborite Clement Attlee. In this area he had assigned to Spain the rolp imposed upon Czechoslovakia in Central Europe and upon China in Eastern Asia. Ciano departed for Belgrade on January 17 to woo Milan Stoyadinovich. Attlee's letter asserted: The gravity of the situation in Spain compels me to request the immediate summoning of Parliament.Spain't January i8. The House of Commons was not scheduled to re-convene until January 31. Said // Tevere: "We spit in the face of the Third Republic. it is obvious that the policy of non-intervention now has become a means of insuring that the Spanish Government shall be unable to provide for its defense against aggression by a foreign Power. PRODUCED BY UNZ. i^^p 47 ingfireda shot in defense of France). Impartial inquiries made in behalf of the British Government proved there was wanton slaughter of women and children through indiscriminate bombing of non-military objectives. for it rendered easier his task of holding Paris to the line of Mediterranean appeasement. imperative that Parliament should be called together as soon as possible. speeches and editorials for a change of course did not affect the Prime Minister's imperturbability.

" The weak Daladier spoke glumly of "the hard and heavy task that lies ahead." PRODUCED BY UNZ.S. in China. February. M. The Government will continue to watch the situation in Spain as it develops and if in their view the circumstances should demand alteration in the date they will not hesitate to recommend to Mr." The Cabinet should have supported Czechoslovakia and should now rebuild its alliances with Poland. The French Cabinet announced an identical decision on the same day.S. argued that Italian hostility and the results of Munich left France with no further possibility of a large European policy. (Cf. H.") France should therefore run no risks. But France was defensively invincible behind the Maginot Line. Bonnet deferred replying until January 26—after Barcelona had fallen. Kerillis warned that such policies would only serve to leave France alone in Europe "with no ally save a soldierless England. In the opinion of His Majesty's Government such a course would inevitably lead to an extension of the conflict with consequences which cannot be accurately foreseen but which would undoubtedly be very grave.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . prepared to adopt such a course and in these circumstances they see no advantage in anticipating the date on which Parliament is due to meet in less than a fortnight.48 Appeasement Chamberlain replied: Triumphant I have given careful consideration to your request which is apparently based on your view that the time has come when the policy of nonintervention should be reversed and all embargo on the supply of arms and ammunition to the Spanish Government removed. 1938: "No line of fortifications can hold out indefinitely against an indefinite accumulation of guns and tanks. Socialists warned of peril from an alliance of Fascist Spain with Fascist Italy. Montigny. colleague of M. M. Speaker to call the House together at short notice.R. Rumania and the U. . The French frontier would remain closed to the shipment of any mihtary supplies to the Loyalists. Jugoslavia. Government are not. . as at present advised. in Central Europe. . Paul Reynaud. in Spain. and not a single one of our rights. Caillaux and spokesman for Bonnet. The now pointless debate in the Chamber went on. He then defended appeasement and accused the Communists of wanting France to "intervene everywhere." but declared that France would surrender "not a single acre of our territory. It should seek an understanding with Rome.

Negrin and Del Vayo flew back to the unconquered central zone—to Alicante and then to Madrid. Del Vayo. empty-handed and heavy-hearted. Mussolini addressed a cheering throng outside the Palazzo Venezia: "Our enemies are biting the dust!" The crowd shouted back "We want Corsica! W e want Tunisia!" The Loyalist Ministers fled to Figueras amid the human wreckage of their shattered armies. Loyalist Ambassadors Azcarte in London and Pascua in Paris sought to utilize the services of Downing Street and the Quai d'Orsay to obtain peace from the Rebels on the basis of no reprisals. By February 10. however. On January 26 Barcelona fell to the Rebels. Victory celebrations were ordered throughout Italy. and those of Del Vayo as well. left Paris for Barcelona on the 24th. to grant clemency to Loyalist sympathizers. He never arrived. The Cabinet next met in the Spanish Consulate in Toulouse. Even this was to be yielded. On February 6. Del Vayo saw the last remnants of the Republican forces pass the frontiers into France on February 9. to hold a plebiscite to determine the form of government. had refused to return from France despite the pleas of Del Vayo who flew back to Paris on a peace mission. while still in France. On February 28 Azafia resigned his office. But they had no means of enforcing their desires.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . President Manuel Azafia. PRODUCED BY UNZ. Tours and Bordeaux. favoring unconditional surrender. "It was heartbreaking to watch that procession of men who had been defeated merely because the means of defending the country and the cause which they loved so passionately had been withheld from them. They held out for peace terms whereby Franco would pledge himself to free Spain from foreign domination. At the end they clung only to the last condition.Spain "t January 18. still defying its besiegers. were intercepted by certain Loyalist 1 Freedom's Battle. the Negrin Cabinet sued for "an honorable peace" through British Charge Stevenson and French Ambassador Jules Henri. The death agony of Madrid epitomized what had happened the year before in Vienna and Prague and what was to happen the next year in Paris."^ On February 2 in the cellars of Figueras Castle the members of the Cortes had supported Premier Juan Negrin's decision to continue the hopeless fight. p. all of Catalonia was lost. 1(^3p 49 The verdict of January 18 was the death warrant of the Spanish Republic. But their communications to Negrin in Madrid. 283.

Weygand and Laval on the other. charged subsequently that Negrin was from the beginning a tool of Moscow and that Stalin had demanded Caballero's removal and Negrin's appointment. Sigismundo Casado. now a "General. 2 Text in Del Vayo. Back in Madrid on February 27." organized rebelhon.4. Fascist intervention began in July with the connivance of the British and French Governments. but as a means of securing clemency from the victors. could secure peace at once on favorable terms. 316-17.21 and 6. of which there could no longer be hope." repudiated Negrin's authority and forced the Republican fleet to put out to sea. who was Negrin's predecessor as Republican Premier in 1936-37. text of letters and Araquistain's articles. in session in Negrin's residence near Alicante. and Petain. PRODUCED BY UNZ. Del Vayo and other members of the Cabinet took a plane for France. When the news came at 2. The letters from Stalin to Caballero which he published. Fifteen months later a comparable drama was to be played in France with Reynaud and Mandel on the one hand. He alleged falsely that Negrin was turning over the command of the army to the Communists. Casado's "National Defense Council" was headed by General Jose Miaja. He urged that the Soviet Ambassador. In the name of anti-Communism. With no means of opposing the coup. playing comparable roles. This uprising was suppressed in a few hours. Casado and his followers were certain that they must assume power and oust those who favored continued resistance. headed by Col. former Ambassador in Paris and friend of tlie fiery Socialist Largo Caballero. It was later interned in Bizerte. headed by himself.m.^ To save Spain from Communism and to make a deal with the foe. Negrin. 1936 and February 4. There was no Soviet military intervention in Spain until October 1936.50 Appeasement Triumphant army leaders. NYT 5. op.39) Moscow supported Negrin because he was a liberal democrat. crying "Long live Franco. Negrin made a last appeal to preserve unity and settle all differences by discussion. Del Vayo was hopeful of prolonging resistance—not as a means to victory. and Soviet military experts be restricted to a purely advisory capacity and that Caballero's social radicalism be moderated in the interest of conciliating the peasantry and the small bourgeoisie. pp. Marcel Rosenberg.30 a. cit. But Casado took the view that Franco would never consent to deal with the Negrin Cabinet.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . free of all taint of Communism or extreme Socialist sympathy.. (Cf. revealed the Soviet Dictator in a different role. But the Cabinet. dated December 21. He insisted that only a new regime. however. who 1 Luis Araquistain. Casado. 1937. that the Casado forces had taken Alicante.^ No reply arrived. never to return. who had plans of their own. learned that evening that Casado had seized control of Madrid. On March 5 the artillerymen in Cartagena.

leaving large quantities of military equipment behind as gifts or as payment for Spanish ores. long in hiding. remained to make the official transfer of authority to the victors. with the vast wealth of the Jesuits restored to them. Ramon Serrano Sufler.20 p. Ciudad Real. ip^p 51 at once declared in a broadcast: "We will fight to the last drop of blood unless we are assured of Spanish independence and the expulsion of the foreigner. whatever Miaja's wishes may have been. By the end of the month Miaja and his staff had fled by plane to Algiers. Hunger. Guadalajara. took over the ruined capital amid shouts of "Arriba Espana! Viva Franco!" Of the Loyalist leaders. March 29 Burgos broadcast: "The war has ended! Total victory is Franco's!" The ensuing triumph of reaction was ferocious and complete. punished the peasantry for its insolence and reduced it to semi-serfdom. Cartagena and Albacete. Ciano. disease and despair left the Loyalists with no alternative. Within twentyfour hours the ten remaining provincial capitals in Loyalist hands capitulated: Valencia. The "Fifth Column" of Franco sympathizers in Madrid. He was arrested for his pains and sentenced to 30 years in prison. At the end. Mussolini. rose in revolt. Julien Besteiro. On March 2 8 Madrid surrendered. The magnates of money crushed Spanish labor into sub-proletarian helplessness. Casado made good his escape with British help. Jaen. The Falangists dominated the new regime through Franco's brother-in-law.Spain i January i8. The firing squad and the altar sanctified a fearful vengeance on all those who were active in the Loyalist cause. where he died 18 months later. Cuenca." Since the new junta was obviously headed for unconditional surrender. The mutineers were joined by others who opposed capitulation. a Communist stronghold in Madrid. The feudal nobility recovered its estates. German and ItaUan troops finally returned home in June. Burgos would grant no terms save unconditional surrender. The revolt was suppressed with great loss of life. Suiier. The priesthood came again into its own. Minister of the Interior. only the old and infirm Minister of the Interior.m. Alicante. and PRODUCED BY UNZ. At 2. On March 8 the Cuatro Cemines. Murcia. although the Vatican's hopes of a new Concordat were frustrated by Franco's desire to approve ecclesiastical appointments. For a week Miaja's troops fought the rebellion against the rebellion while the real Rebels looked on. it encountered opposition. Almeria.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED .

Long before the end of LoyaHst resistance. Almost half a million Loyalist refugees were permitted to flee into France. On April 8 Berlin and Burgos announced that the new Spain had signed the anti-Comintern pact on March 27. Even Portugal. He sought to lay down two conditions for full recognition: an amnesty and a pledge of neutrality.52 Appeasement Triumphant Victor Emmanuel reviewed the victorious crusaders in Naples and in Rome. Franco would need money.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . Daladier and Bonnet. With all need for reserve now past. where they were welcomed in a fashion which condemned most of them to appalling misery. Spain had been "saved from Bolshevism. in the British view. according to the Lisbon journals. admirer of Franco and friend of Laval." The aged Senator Leon Berard. first Nazi Ambassador to Burgos and head of the IberoAmerikanische Institut for the dissemination of Nazi doctrines throughout the Hispanic world. Foreign Minister Jordana was non-committal. Spanish democracy was dead. By favors and friendship they hoped fatuously that they might win the good will of Fascist Spain. On February 9 the British cruiser Devonshire had obligingly conveyed Count de San Luis. moved to extend prompt diplomatic recognition to the Caudillo. Franco had concluded a cultural pact with Germany on January 24. Downing Street and the Quai d'Orsay hoped for a Franco amnesty in order that the fugitives might be repatriated. to which he made two visits in mid-February. . Rebel Governor of Majorca. But Franco would grant nothing. In the "settlement" PRODUCED BY UNZ.000 men to the Rebels. This action. had furnished 10. On March 9 General Wilhelm Faupel. The German "Condor Legion" was similarly honored by Hitler. to the Loyalist-held island of Minorca whose surrender to Franco was neatly effected with British aid." Chamberlain and Daladier responded to these events in their customary fashion. Franco could be "bought" by British and French loans . Chamberlain and Halifax. the Nazi and Fascist press boasted of the vast scope of Axis intervention from the beginning. Franco was uninterested and unavailable. The Anglo-French press of the Right rejoiced in Fascist victory and "Red" defeat. declared that victory in Spain would aid Fascist efforts to save Latin-America from the United States. was named French agent to Burgos. . London and Paris acted to make Franco's victory complete and to obtain "assurances" and "guarantees. cleverly prevented an Itahan occupation of Port Mahon.

" Attlee went on: "The Government's sham of nonintervention was really devised to prevent the Spanish Government from exercising its rights under international law. co-author with Blum of "non-intervention. is a gross breach of international traditions and marks a further stage in a policy which is steadily destroying in all the democratic countries confidence in the good faith of Britain. February 27. Bonnet told the Chamber on March i that Franco had already demanded the withdrawal of Italian "volunteers" and had promised amnesty and "Spanish independence. one of the authors of the Hoare-Laval plan of 1935. M. of "selling out" the Spanish Republic and "consummating the treachery by recognizing a rebel. 323 to 261. On March 2 Paris appointed 83-year-old Marshal Henri Philippe Petain as 1 Daladier opened his speech to the Chamber on February 24 with the words: "I want to say flatly that my intention is to recommend to the Cabinet recognition of Generalissimo Franco. M." The lost Labor motion of censure asserted "that in the opinion of this House the decision of H. Chamberlain's statement in Commons. he did not desire France's third frontier to be "hostile.Spain f January 18. 1936) in intervening openly on the Fascist side by recognizing the Rebels as the government of Spain. declared: "H.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . like the arms embargo against the Republic at the beginning of the conflict." Burgos and Rome failed to confirm his words." On February 27 the British and French Cabinets granted de jure recognition. gold and other property in France that Daladier refused to divulge the terms. puppet government. 344 to 137. Government to grant unconditional recognition to the Spanish Insurgent forces dependent upon foreign intervention constitutes a deliberate affront to the legitimate government of a friendly Power. The French Chamber approved on February 24. The British Government connived at PRODUCED BY UNZ. he had decided to recognize Franco unconditionally because. constituted unlawful intervention. and received in return Sir Maurice Peterson. Like Chamberlain. Government have noted with satisfaction the public statements of General Franco concerning the determination of himself and his Government to secure the traditional independence of Spain and to take proceedings only in the case of those against whom criminal charges are laid. as he told the Chamber on February 24." supported Chamberlain. London and Paris thus belatedly followed Rome and Berlin (November 18." Attlee accused the Prime Minister of deceiving the House. amid opposition shouts of "Shame!" and "Betrayal!" Anthony Eden. France got nothing. This action. Four days later Commons followed suit. i^^p 53 which Berard negotiated." In London two days later policemen and firemen kept anti-Franco demonstrators from Downing Street.^ Franco designated the Duke of Berwick and Alba as his Ambassador in London. The latter declared that "certain assurances" had been received from Burgos. but he decUned to reveal them. But Franco was promised so much in the way of Spanish arms.

After all it is better not to be too well known. It is now being regarded more and more as a nation that will acquiesce in any form of tyranny and always stand in favor of the dictatorships. Petain. Like Maginot. In Washington the Roosevelt Administration. Yet he was held up at the frontier at San Sebastian for a week. The Nazi press greeted his new appointment with approval. and its epitaph will be 'We have eaten dirt in vain. . There was a time when this country was universally known as the friend of liberty and the freedom of peoples and as the enemy of tyrants. He had come out of retirement to serve as Minister of War in the Doumergue Cabinet of 1934. weakened the democracies and betrayed one after another the countries that trusted us. was a national hero in France by virtue of his command of the defense of Verdun in 1916. . not Paris. for surprise will then have its full effect. It soon appeared that Burgos." declared II Duce in Rome on January 22. Having together aided the Axis to strangle Spanish democracy. was now laying down conditions: the Spanish fleet at Bizerte must be delivered up before Petain could be received. Our enemies are too stupid to be dangerous. Franco had been a student in the Paris Military School in 1926 when Petain was an instructor there. lifted the embargo and recognized Franco on April i. who reciprocated by sending to Paris the obscure pro-German mayor of Bilbao. The reply was a kick in the face. The Government is thinking all the time of the interests of British capitalists. women and children.54 Appeasement Triumphant French Ambassador to Franco. Petain was received. Liberal leader Sir Archibald Sinclair rejoined: "The British Government's policy has strengthened the dictatorships." the starving of women and children. quasi-Fascist and venerable octogenarian. What does it mean to the Government if Gibraltar is in danger if we get the Rio Tinto dividends? . the western democracies sought to embrace Spanish Fascism. The present action is . the bombing of open towns and the slaying of men. . stupendously ignorant of Italian thingsall of which does not disturb us in the least. . "Foreign anti-Fascism. he was an old friend of the Caudillo. clerical reactionary." In reply Chamberlain denied that the Republican Government could any longer be regarded as the legal government of Spain and averred that recognition was essential for humanitarian reasons and for preservation of British influence. Jose Lequerica. which for twenty-six months had denied arms to the Spanish Republicans. . . . This is not in the interests of democracy or of the safety of the British Empire. "is truly incurably. The fleet was delivered. Now this scrambling with indecent haste to try to make friends with Franco. an announcement to the whole world that anyone who is out to use force will always have a friend in the British Prime Minister.'" PRODUCED BY UNZ.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . He was a warm friend of Daladier who sought his advice repeatedly during the Munich crisis.

pp.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . Diplomatic documents seldom tell all regarding the logical processes. also Europe on the Eve. p. It would seem that today the British Empire would run far less risk from the victory of the Spanish Government than from that of General Franco." Cf. will doubtless continue to be debated for years. wrote (Step by Step. however. to confiscate their property. Part of it lies in the paralysis of mind and will which afflicts leaders and masses aUke in epochs of decadence. New York. Nothing has strengthened the Prime Minister's hold upon well-to-do society more remarkably than the behef that he is friendly to General Franco and the Nationalist cause in Spain. Diplomats are habitually moved to action by regard for national interests and by guesses as to the purposes of those with whom they play the diplomatic game. Even in democracies. Public utterances and memoirs. The difference between the Duchess of AthoU and the Scottish Tories in the Perth by-election began about Spain. The dominant element in those parts regarded her vehement sympathy for the Spanish Government as proof that she was almost ready to carry Bolshevism into Britain. through which decisions are formulated. writing on December 30. The motives and assumptions of the appeasers. 332-46. Apart from these subjective factors. 274): "The bulk of the Conservatives admire General Franco. where their free^ Thus Winston Churchill. U K R A I N I A N DREAM The modus operandi of appeasement. cut their throats. But these sentiments on either side may be pushed beyond the bounds of British interest. Part of the answer must be sought in the admiration felt in British and French "society" for the alleged purposes of the Fascist Caesars. 1939. Italy and Japan from 193 3 to 1939. G. the searcher after causes must look for light within the context of Realpolitik. 1938. PRODUCED BY UNZ. can scarcely be a subject of debate among those famiUar with Anglo-French policy toward Germany.^ Part of the answer lies in the conviction of many people in the democracies that appeasement was the surest road to peace and a morally necessary measure to rectify the "injustices" of Versailles. The mystery of why the political leaders of France and Britain granted to Berlin (and to Rome and Tokio) the means of consummating the destruction of France and Britain is not one to be solved by any single clue or any simple formula. are even less illuminating. to say nothing of the psychological and pathological processes. however. all the forces of the Left are ardent for the Republic. Putnam's Sons.Ukrainian Dream 55 3. pollute their churches and. if necessary. designed to justify what has been done or left undone. so admirably illustrated in the case of Spain. P.

ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . Public utterances and memoirs. will doubtless continue to be debated for years. all the forces of the Left are ardent for the Republic. Diplomats are habitually moved to action by regard for national interests and by guesses as to the purposes of those with whom they play the diplomatic game. cut their throats. Part of it lies in the paralysis of mind and will which afflicts leaders and masses aUke in epochs of decadence. pp. Nothing has strengthened the Prime Minister's hold upon well-to-do society more remarkably than the behef that he is friendly to General Franco and the Nationalist cause in Spain. if necessary. New York. pollute their churches and." Cf. however. Putnam's Sons. 332-46. can scarcely be a subject of debate among those famiUar with Anglo-French policy toward Germany. The difference between the Duchess of AthoU and the Scottish Tories in the Perth by-election began about Spain. writing on December 30. p. 1939. The mystery of why the political leaders of France and Britain granted to Berlin (and to Rome and Tokio) the means of consummating the destruction of France and Britain is not one to be solved by any single clue or any simple formula. Part of the answer must be sought in the admiration felt in British and French "society" for the alleged purposes of the Fascist Caesars. But these sentiments on either side may be pushed beyond the bounds of British interest. 274): "The bulk of the Conservatives admire General Franco. to say nothing of the psychological and pathological processes. Even in democracies. 1938. The motives and assumptions of the appeasers.Ukrainian Dream 55 3.^ Part of the answer lies in the conviction of many people in the democracies that appeasement was the surest road to peace and a morally necessary measure to rectify the "injustices" of Versailles. through which decisions are formulated. PRODUCED BY UNZ. It would seem that today the British Empire would run far less risk from the victory of the Spanish Government than from that of General Franco. Apart from these subjective factors. so admirably illustrated in the case of Spain. also Europe on the Eve. Italy and Japan from 193 3 to 1939. P. G. however. The dominant element in those parts regarded her vehement sympathy for the Spanish Government as proof that she was almost ready to carry Bolshevism into Britain. are even less illuminating. wrote (Step by Step. where their free^ Thus Winston Churchill. the searcher after causes must look for light within the context of Realpolitik. U K R A I N I A N DREAM The modus operandi of appeasement. Diplomatic documents seldom tell all regarding the logical processes. designed to justify what has been done or left undone. to confiscate their property.

but "give-away. In the triad of power relationships during the 1930's. like the warlords of Japan. PRODUCED BY UNZ. They played not checkers. the contestants were the U. pp. Europe on the Eve.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . their conduct is shaped by the nature of the contest in which the Great Powers and their satellites are engaged. would not be disadvantageous to the interests of Britain. which might have proved correct (and therefore safe as guides to action) but which in fact proved wrong. reinforced by hopes. In Realpolitik it is always a sound axiom that a quarrel between two Powers is beneficial to any third Power which fears both—provided that neither upsets the balance by destroying the other and both do not settle their quarrel by combining against their common enemy.$6 Appeasement Triumphant dom of action is limited and their opportunities to devise and execute far-sighted schemes are few. they envisaged the future not in terms of an irreconcilable conflict between the Western democracies and the Fascist signatories of the anti-Comintern accord. Insofar as such assumptions were the raison d^etre of appeasement. What assumptions regarding contemporarypower politics lay behind the course so long pursued in London and Paris? It would be easy to reply: "None"—and to contend that the appeasers exhibited such extremes of blindness and naivete as to justify the conclusion that in their relations with the Caesars they were no longer playing the game of power at all. a Russian-Japanese clash in Asia.^ T h e demagogues of the Third Reich. however feeble their grasp of the provisos may have been. fears and prejudices. 239-62." Perhaps until the end they were unaware that they were players or that any game was going on. Against it stands much evidence that those who determined Anglo-French pohcy toward the Fascist States during the years of retreat were moved less by ignorance and by lack of calculation than by a set of apparently far-sighted assumptions. never tired of denouncing the Soviet Union as their inveterate foe and intended victim. the Fascist Triplice and the Western Democracies. but in terms of an inevitable clash between Fascist totalitarianism and Communist totalitarianism.R. This indeed was the constant boast of Berlin (and of Tokio and Rome) and the equally constant fear of Moscow.. This explanation is unflattering but plausible. The leaders of the latter were not ignorant of the axiom. 1 Cf.S.S. A German-Russian clash in Europe.

From the Tory point of view the conditions of the eventuality were obvious: Tokio must not be thwarted by America on the Asiatic mainland. This is not to say that London and Paris "wanted" such a clash or sought to promote it.000. Berhn must not be thwarted by France in Eastern Europe." having a common language and culture and spreading over the fertile plains between the North Caucasus and the Western Carpathians. Sufficient unto the day are the hopes thereof. Some 35. and that this hope explains much which is otherwise inexplicable. The more specific hopes.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . Alfred Rosenberg.000. Munich was the climax of appeasement. Almost a million lived in Bessarabia.Ukrainian Dream 57 France and the United States if it could he localized. and his mentor in Eastern pohcy. second largest state of the Soviet Union. The prerequisite of locaUzation was equally obvious: the disintegration of the French alliance system in the East and the immobilization of France behind the Maginot Line. were hopes that Hitler. but Italy was weak and could be cajoled into "cooperation" by concessions in Ethiopia. The Ukraine ("frontierland") was inhabited by "Little Russians. would now proceed toward the realization of their long-publicized program for "liberating" the Ukraine and converting it into a German satrapy after the design of the peace of Brest-Litovsk of 1918.000 of them lived within the frontiers of the Ukrainian Socialist Soviet RepubUc. Hence the willingness of Chamberlain and his confreres to acquiesce in Axis control of Spain. Poland and perhaps PRODUCED BY UNZ." The Nazi dream thus involved the partition of Czechoslovakia. Another 5. Austria and Czechoslovakia. for it meant the ruin of the French bloc and of the Paris-Prague-Moscow alliance. This is only to say that such an eventuality would not have been unwelcome to those who made Anglo-French decisions. and insured French acquiescence in further Nazi moves toward the East. since they could be realized only at French expense. The fall of the Czech bastion was the last step needed to free Hitler's hands for the Drang nach Osten.000 or more dwelt in Poland on lands wrested from the Soviets by Pilsudski's armies in 1920. Some 400. the Near East and Spain. Rome's ambitions were more troublesome. wrested from the Soviets by Rumania in 1918.000 lived in the eastern sub-Carpathian region of Czechoslovakia under the name of "Ruthenians. which received full expression in the Munich accords. the Alps and the Pyrenees.

Taylor." pp. PRODUCED BY UNZ. He was perhaps unconsciously influenced by his own anti-Slav prejudices (cf. their hope at the time was by no means absurd. and a struggle to free the great majority of the Ukrainians from Moscow's rule. P." is less revealing as a judgment of Stalin's policy than as a projection in inverted form of Chamberlain's policy. New York.58 Appeasement Triumphant Rumania. up to August. his effort to explain "German sadism" by a bad admixture of "Slav blood. along with Daladier and Bonnet." On October 8.^ If Chamberlain. 1939." This view. cherished the hope that this development would be the natural aftermath of Munich. This was. Representatives of Germany and other states promise moral and material support. Cf. p." * Ukrainian propaganda was broadcast from Vienna. May 15. 23-4) and he was of course. W . . On October 27 Mgr. 11) and reveals the extent to which he was impressed by Nazi denunciations of Russia. bitterly anti-Bolshevik. HaUfax and Henderson." with a militia of some 12. Wheeler-Bennett. and John W. he declared on November 15: "The world already recognizes the Ukrainian nation and its efforts to build up a Ukrainian State . 1927. He at once suppressed all political parties in favor of a single totahtarian entity. Carpatho-Ukraine became an "autonomous" unit in truncated Czecho-Slovakia.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . similarly the professed view of all Germans from Hitler downward who commented on our Russian negotiations. Alfred Rosenberg.000 of which four-fifths were Ukrainians). Germany's Expansion in Eastern Europe. New York. Kubjjowytsch." While Volosin occasionally doubted whether his State was large enough to undertake the liberation of the Polish and Soviet Ukraine (its total population was 552. his pro-German assistant.^ In fact sub-Carpathian Ruthenia. 1934. 259: "I always believed that Moscow's chief aim was to embroil Germany and the Western Powers in a common ruin and emerge as the tertius gaudens of the conflict between them. the "National Ukrainian Union. When War1 Cf. The Forgotten Peace (Morrow. though he acknowledges his admiration for dictatorships "up to a point" (p. Paul B.000 called the "Carpathian Sitch. 1940) Sir Nevile Henderson makes no mention of this hope. Putnam's Sons. Augustin Volosin was named Premier of this primitive region in a cabinet including Julian Revay. 1938. with BohemiaMoravia and Slovakia as the other two constituents. became after Munich the center of Nazi sohcitude and the hope of all Ukrainian "Nationalists" everywhere who looked to Hitler to help them achieve "independence. now rechristened "CarpathoUkraine" in the Nazi press. Die Verteilung der Bevolkerung in der Ukraine. . Foreign Policy Association Report. 3 Cf. while correct enough "up to a point. 2 In Failure of a Mission (G. 1939). like most British diplomats and aristocrats. The Sitch was trained by German officers. Der Zukunftsiveg einer deutschen Aussenpolitik.

and later be attacked and defeated by the Western Powers who should pledge themselves to Ukrainian independence. Bulletin of the Ukrainian Press Service. however. Soviet Russia. Dushnyk expressed the opinion that the Ukrainian Nationalist cause would best be served by a war between Germany and Russia in which Germany would defeat Russia. Ukrainian Hetman Skoropadsky and Cossack Herman Popov left the German capital for Carpatho-Ukraine early in January. But the necessity of having German support did not mean that the Ukrainians were or are Germanophile. France and the United States. July 27. S. President of the United Ukrainian Organizations of the United States. 1940. In the June. August 10 and September 14. Italy and Japan. the solution of the Carpatho-Ukrainian problem was almost entirely in German hands. 40) He and V.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . (Bulletin No. submitted a 133-page affidavit to the Committee on November 29. 1940. Mykola Sciborsky probably stated the relationship accurately when he wrote: "The Ukrainians hoped the anti-Comintern bloc would turn against their greatest enemy. but by England.S. The Hour. Director. Cf. pp. Prague intimated that the Ukrainian Nationalist campaign was being conducted from Berlin. and Poland. issue of The Trident. Grand Duke Vladimir. Pretender to the Romanov throne. 1939 that his organization was disseminating Nazi propaganda in the United States. Ukrainian nationalists would have supported these countries. French.^ The German capital had for years been the Mecca of most Ukrainian Nationalist leaders as well of Russian Monarchist emigres. Due to international developments. PRODUCED BY UNZ. not by Germany. The second reason behind the Bolshevik campaign has already been mentioned—the creation of Carpatho-Ukraine. We are firmly convinced that had they been in their place. since they were then and are now ready to fight Moscow to the end despite the fact that it is now a 'friend' of Berlin. Roman Lapica. To become convinced of this one needs only to read the Ukrainian nationalist press of that time. denied before the Dies Committee on October 20. As early as 1933 Rosenberg had encouraged the latter to establish a short-lived "Russian National Socialist" organization in Berlin to work for the overthrow of the Soviets with German aid. They regarded the bloc favorably not because the sponsor was Germany but because the consolidation of Europe against Russia coincided with the interests of the Ukrainian people. V. 51 East 42 Street. expressed few doubts as to the wisdom of accepting German support until the "betrayal" of March 1939. It is clear that the Ukrainians had to consider this situation and they decided to profit by it for their own interests. Had this anti-Russian front been initiated. had visited Berlin in mid-December and had doubtless wondered whether Nazi promotion of Ukrainian Nationalism could be 1 Cf. The Bulletin and The Trident. But it is self-evident that Moscow's agents would hide before the world the fact that the policy of the Ukrainian nationalists was to serve only the Ukrainian people. 37-8.R. New York City. though filled with denunciations of the U. S. with Britain and France neutral. Dushnyk.Ukrainian Dream 59 saw and Moscow protested. 1939 denying similar charges brought by Emil Revyuk." It is interesting to note that a year previously.S. in The Trident for June 1939. and because the destruction of Bolshevism was one of the basic aims of Ukrainian nationalism. Editor of The Trident ("One Independent Sovereign Ukrainian State!"). English and American leaders would have done the same.

1932 which had been prolonged to December 31.S. asserted in Paris that Germany was plotting to conquer the Ukraine and Transcaucasia. Following Potemkin's visit of May 10.21. But the Polish Government. 1939. to their brothers who are now so brutally suppressed by Poland and Soviet Russia. 1938. Warsaw.38).161). re-affirming existing treaties (including the non-aggression pact of July 25.S.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED .6o Appeasement Triumphant reconciled with his own hopes of Nazi support for a Russian counter-revolution." Since the integrity of both Poland and the U." he added in denunciation of White officers who were accepting Nazi gold. favoring an increase in Polish-Soviet trade and recognizing the necessity of regulating frontier incidents. "Whoever may aid Russia's enemies.1945). however. emigre White leader. The Japanese too have been successful to our shame in buying so-called White Russians to aid them against our Fatherland" ( N Y T 12. the two governments issued a joint statement of November 26. Nazis are not the only ones. On December 20. On February 19. Foreign Minister Beck declared: "The Soviets recognize that the Polish Government will not conclude any accord with one of its great neighbors against the other and understand the advantages which accrue to PRODUCED BY UNZ. Following conversations in Moscow between Litvinov and Ambassador Grzybowski. a new Soviet-Polish commercial agreement was announced (P 162). In his Christmas message Premier Volosin declared: "The creation of a great Ukraine will be realized in the near future. but Poland's peril from the Reich was rendered more rather than less acute. Less than a month later CarpathoUkraine was liquidated by Berlin. I believe Ukrainians of the whole world will be able to return to a liberated fatherland. General Anton Denikin. He said that he and other White generals had obtained the whole plan from Hitler himself several years previously. They made no mention of the Ukrainian question (P 160. 1938. which had shared in the partition of Czechoslovakia and staunchly opposed all Soviet efforts to rescue Prague from its enemies. remained firm in its refusal to accept Soviet collaboration even in its own defense. "cannot call themselves patriots no matter what ideological excuses they may make for taking money to fight their own people. still declined to consider any mutual assistance pact with Moscow. it might have been expected that Warsaw and Moscow would attempt counter-measures in common. was menaced by these ambitions.R.

The Chancellor said next that he was interested in the Ukraine from an economic point of view. Bolshevist Russia was perhaps worse. 11. The Fiihrer told Beck at Berchtesgaden on January 5 that Germany and Poland had common interests: "For Germany. October 24. was always dangerous. Beck refused.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED .000 people with its capital at Chust) consisted of the relatively barren uplands and was scarcely promising as the Piedmont of Hitler's Great Ukrainian dream. km. engaged against Russia. 1938. released a corresponding German division. Berlin continued to groom the Volosin regime for this role. It was for these reasons that a strong Poland was purely and simply a necessity for Germany. Meanwhile German pressure on Poland took the form of veiled threats to stir up revolt in the Polish Ukraine. These demands were inspired by the correct conviction that such annexation would eifectively destroy the Ukrainian Nationalist nucleus and by the doubtful assumption that a common PolishHungarian frontier would constitute an effective barrier to the Drang nach Osten. Here the Chancellor observed that each Polish division. On the other hand. Beck declined to bargain. however. given Communist propaganda. kilometers with a population of 854.094 sq. Tsarist Russia was militarily more dangerous and more imperialistic. and 552. P 44). handed down by Ciano and Ribbentrop in Vienna." then Berlin would guarantee the German-Polish frontiers and extend the German-Polish non-aggression pact for 2 5 years (Ribbentrop to Beck at Berchtesgaden. the Axis permitted Hungary to annex a generous slice of southern Slovakia (10. with a population of 173.523 sq. Ribbentrop then suggested that if Warsaw would assent. which desired to annex the entire area. The remainder of Ruthenia (CarpathoUkraine. including the former provincial capital of Ungvar. Berhn might accept Polish demands for Hungarian annexation of Carpatho-Ukraine.000). M. Potemkin has declared similarly that in case of a Polish-German armed conflict. but that he had PRODUCED BY UNZ.000) and a strip of Ruthenia (1. the Soviets will adopt toward us 'a benevolent attitude' " (P 163). 1938. By the arbitral award of November 2. km. Russia. But if Warsaw would accept German demands regarding Danzig and the Corridor and agree to "a common attitude toward Russia within the framework of the anti-Comintern pact. whether Tsarist or Bolshevist.Ukrainian Dream 61 them from this attitude.307 sq. to the alarm of Warsaw and to the disgust of Budapest.

and that plebiscites which could only lead to trouble should be avoided at all costs. Ribbentrop spoke of Russia.S. "Against Moscow. with Germany. I saw Goring and secured an assurance from him that Germany would not be unconciliatory if the Czech Government frankly sought co-operation with. The Nazi Foreign Minister spoke soothing words. the best hope of Czecho-Slovakia lay in direct negotiation. I did my best to ensure both these objectives. was always unpredictable and that one could never know what it would be tomorrow" (P 51). Ribbentrop was dined in Warsaw by Beck. against 'Russia. in a new setting. Downing Street and the Quai d'Orsay continued to act on the assumptions already suggested. Between the peace of Munich and the fall of Prague. Danzig. the Fiihrer showed the same hostility as in days gone by" (F 37). however.S.S. Henderson acquiesced in the prompt liquidation of the Four-Power International Commission set up at Munich to define the new German-Czech frontier. In conjunction with the events of the Ides of March. "At the audience with Marshal Smigly-Rydz. made no progress. 1934. with a view to the future.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . remained the stumbling block in the way of any German-Polish collaboration against Moscow. On the fifth anniversary of the signature of the pact of January 26. whose enfeeblement he confirmed.' and not merely against Bolshevism. Two of the five members of the Commission were instructed by their governments to accept these de- PRODUCED BY UNZ. He likewise asserted that the course of the U.S. Berlin also insisted on defining the 50% German majority provision regarding additional territories on the basis of the language line drawn on Austrian maps of 1910. This dispute was soon to occupy the center of the diplomatic stage. however. Germany" (H 174-5). where possible. rather than antagonism to. He had "made up his mind before the first meeting began that.di Appeasement Triumphant no interest of a political order" (P 48). it placed the whole question of AngloFrench policy toward the Reich and the U. Berhn demanded acceptance without a plebiscite of its maximum territorial claims as outlined in the Godesberg memorandum which Chamberlain had made the basis of the "war scare" of September. The discussions over Danzig and the Corridor. Beck declared a week later that Ribbentrop had understood the Polish attitude toward Russia and the impossibility of Poland adhering to the antiComintern pact (P 53).R.R.

1938. Mastny. objected and looked to Henderson. The Anglo-German naval accord of June 18. are often most concerned with the things they talk about least. and Downing Street was perturbed by another development which Henderson does not mention. But Henderson accepted the demands "without prior reference to His Majesty's Government . but only to secure their object. The Czech member. Count Ernst von Weizsacker. Dr. . which they would find it difficult afterward to modify again to their renewed advantage" ( H 174-5). though Germany al- PRODUCED BY UNZ. Western opinion was shocked anew by the pogrom of November. On the principle that diplomats. Anglo-French policy at Munich and immediately thereafter is intelligible as a deliberate sacrifice of Czech interests in order to give Hitler an open road for expansion toward the steppes of Little Russia. In the interim. "as to Hitler's good faith and the honesty of his intentions toward the Czechs" ( H 176). because I hoped thereby to avoid plebiscites and to pin the Germans down to a line of their own choosing.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . He remained in England until mid-February. This option Wilhelmstrasse now proposed to exercise. convalescing from a surgical operation which discommoded him rather more than the dissection of Czechoslovakia. had granted the Reich a submarine fleet 45% as large as Britain's. "The German Government thereupon abandoned their pretension at the time. Henderson left for England in mid-October "thoroughly disheartened" and full of misgivings.Ukrainian Dream 63 mands as presented by the German member. the British member. for support. or at least part of it. with the option of building up to 100% of British tonnage. like neurotics. 1935. He later threatened to resign when the Germans further increased their demands. often praised by Chamberlain. . On December 30. by direct negotiations with the Czechs"—which Henderson and Frangois-Poncet had favored from the beginning despite the plain language (F 12) of the Munich accord providing for a settlement through the Commission. it became known that British Admiralty officials were in Berlin to discuss Germany's demand for submarine tonnage equal to Britain's. it may not be without significance that Henderson's published dispatches and his memoirs make no mention of the Ukraine. so he wrote later. They were Italian Ambassador Bernardo Attolico and the French Ambassador Andre Fran9ois-Poncet.

an official Nazi news agency. Despite these inauspicious developments. Early in January Montagu Norman returned Hjalmar Schacht's visit of December. These moves were not conclusively indicative of a Nazi decision to challenge British sea power. But since Chamberlain's quest for appeasement required ever new concessions. American director of the Intergovernmental Refugee Committee. Amid deep secrecy.000 tons with 18-inch guns. N o concrete result of the Berlin discussions was announced. Sir Josiah Stamp and John Masefield. Germany must increase its exports. Before Henderson left London plans had been made for the President of the PRODUCED BY UNZ. the British leaders were imperturbable. The Nazi inquisitors were quite willing to permit racial refugees to take part of their money with them into exile if the money were ear-marked to pay for German imports into the countries of refuge. in the spirit of free and willing cooperation by which alone can their needs and ours be satisfied. asserted that the two financiers would discuss trade and Jews." More tangible inducements were also offered. If Hitler had a free hand in the East they were convinced that all Western questions could be compromised through adroit appeals for cooperation. Here. implemented by economic and financial concessions. the Earl of Derby. Dienst cms Deutschland.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . addressed a public appeal to the leaders and people of the Reich "to use those great gifts by which they have for centuries enriched our common heritage in all fields of human knowledge and activity and to join with us in a supreme effort to lay the spectre of war and enmity between nations and. On January 27 eighteen eminent Britons. including Montagu Norman. submarines (of smaller tonnage) to Britain's 51. it was rumored that the Reich also desired to construct additional cruisers and to avail itself of the escalator clause of the 1937 naval agreement in order to build battleships of 40. the "Soviet menace" was cited as justification. Sir Arthur Eddington.64 Appeasement Triumphant ready had 6. Hitler saw no reason for not charging all the traffic would bear. Leading British industrialists were preparing to visit the Reich to discuss trade arrangements with leading German industrialists. George Rublee. all acting with the approval of Lord Halifax. as always. also went to Berlin to discuss possibilities. to build with us a better future so that we may not only preserve civilization but hand it down to our children enhanced by our experience.

new prizes to conquer. despite Nazi resentment over British rearmament and Hudson's scheduled journey to Moscow. Immediately after Munich Bonnet instructed Ambassador de Lacroix in Prague to convey to Foreign Minister Krofta his "profound sympathy. "He may have been fooling me. to visit Berlin in a "private" capacity. "I would give much to know what was at the back of Hitler's mind during those fateful six months after Munich when he stood at the parting of the ways" ( H 207). H e opined on October 4 that the Nazi radicals were already "scanning the horizon in search of new demands to formulate. Henderson felt that British rearmament. and Bonnet approved of concessions to the Reich wider even than those contemplated in the Godesberg plan. the execution of which is essentially under the control and even in many cases subject to the decision of an international commission"—was a vast improvement over the Godesberg memorandum. he PRODUCED BY UNZ. Goring was re-assuring. The dignity and the self-abnegation shown by the entire Czechoslovak nation afford proof of its reserves of strength and vitality.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . along with Fascist victory in Spain. Frangois-Poncet scarcely shared his chief's optimism. would deter Hitler from any move against the West. Robert Hudson. which "resembled in many respects a veritable armistice convention concluded after victorious military operations on the part of Germany" (F 15). Ribbentrop and Goring expressed approval. and the Secretary of the Overseas Trade Department. but actually to pave the way for an economic and political rapprochement ( H 191-2). Yet he was uncertain. ostensibly to attend a banquet of the industrialists. whose clear-sightedness has done so much to protect their country from the horrors of war .Ukrainian Dream 65 Board of Trade. the best safeguard of her historical patrimony and her proud and free destiny" (F 14). In the sequel the Commission came to nothing. Oliver Stanley. Henderson was therefor optimistic on his return. Like Chamberlain. but I doubt it" ( H 195). . Bonnet sought to demonstrate that the Munich accord—a "settlement concluded under the guarantee of the Four Powers. new battles to fight." The German press. . Georges Bonnet and Edouard Daladier acted as if they felt certain of the ultimate direction of Nazi imperialism." "personal friendship" and "admiration" for "the strength of character and the incomparable self-control shown by all Czechoslovak leaders.

which. in the Fiihrer's fantastic eagle's nest. The two men discussed the possibility of a peace declaration comparable to the Anglo-German declaration of September 30. to the French general strike of November 30. to the pogrom in the Reich. and to stabilize peace in the West. crises similar to the last one just settled at the Munich conference after threatening for several days to degenerate into general pandemonium" (F 16). will be called upon to pay the cost? Does he himself even know? Be that as it may. Bonnet assured the Polish Ambassador on November 22 that the proposed agreement "reserving in principle the relations of the contracting parties with third countries. "We may be certain. so as to have a free hand in the East. This is the price we must be prepared to pay if Europe is not to undergo again. The Western Democracies should eliminate all causes of internal weakness.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . The gentlemen in Warsaw showed little appreciation of the fact that the partition of France's other ally. after a respite of uncertain duration. . does not in any way interfere with France's commitments toward the latter country" (F 22). They were also due apparently to Polish fears that such an accord would spell the end of the Paris-Warsaw alliance. I do not draw the conclusion that we should not listen to his suggestions" (F 18)." reported the Ambassador to Bonnet. and they should give to the outside world tangible proof of industry. They were due to the assassination of a German Charge in Paris. high in the Bavarian Alps above Berchtesgaden. transferred to Rome. was praising Daladier and quoting Goring: "With a man like M. politics becomes a practical proposition. The PRODUCED BY UNZ. Daladier. in his thought. What plans may be revolving already in his mind? Is it Poland. . cohesion and strength. Goring and Ribbentrop approved. "that the Fiihrer remains true to his wish to disintegrate the Franco-British bloc. Russia. took his leave of Hitler on October i8. 1938. But delays followed. the Baltic States. Bonnet was delighted. rendered their own position hopeless. Personally. Hitler is one of those men with whom one must never relax one's utmost vigilance. Frangois-Poncet. they should fill up as quickly as possible any gaps in their armaments. in which they had so eagerly taken part. and whom one can only trust with reservations." In the Ambassador's judgment "the Munich Conference should serve us as a warning . and consequently those of France with Poland.66 Appeasement Triumphant reported.

"He made no particular observations. The terms of the declaration had been submitted to London on the 24th and had been warmly welcomed. With great delicacy. he replied that "he had received no communication from his government and that. but he outlined the essential points. the two Foreign Ministers signed a solemn declaration: (1) The French Government and the German Government fully share the conviction that pacific and neighborly relations between France and Germany constitute one of the essential elements of the consolidation of the situation in Europe and of the preservation of general peace. This declaration deserves to be regarded as the tombstone PRODUCED BY UNZ. to remain in contact on all questions of importance to both their countries and to have recourse to mutual consultation in case any complications arising out of these questions should threaten to lead to international difficulties. Bonnet replied that it was secret. without prejudice to their special relations with third Powers. M. Suritz did not insist" (F 27). (3) Both Governments are resolved. Jacob Suritz. he telephoned for the text of the agreement. Robert Coulondre.Ukrainian Dream 67 Soviet Ambassador. 1938. The next evening. to the Cabinet dinner in Ribbentrop's honor.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . On December 6. who had formerly served in Moscow. Meanwhile on November 23 the new French Ambassador. I drew his attention to the fact that before putting the agreement before the Council of Ministers. was given similar assurances. In witness whereof the Representatives of the two Governments have signed the present Declaration. Suritz called again on November 26. presented his credentials to Hitler. he refrained from inviting Georges Mandel and Jean Zay. chief of the Nazi espionage and bribery services in France. He was accompanied by Otto Abetz. Ribbentrop came to Paris. When asked for comment by Bonnet. I had informed him of its general outlines. Consequently both Governments will endeavor with all their might to assure the development of the relations between their countries in this direction. the agreement in its present form could not be modified. the two Jewish Ministers. By the end of the month all arrangements had been completed. however. Bonnet greeted him warmly. (2) Both Governments agree that no question of a territorial nature remains in suspense between their countries and solemnly recognize as permanent the frontier between their countries as it is actually drawn. which comes into force immediately (F 28). moreover." noted Bonnet.

S. In regard to Spain. Bucharest and Moscow (F 30. Ribbentrop perhaps wished to give us to understand that there is no other objective to be attributed to it. . . Poland and the U. The latter in his own address limited himself on this point to the phrase "tenant compte de la base solide que constitue Vamitie qui les lie a d^autres £tats. . The declaration. that French relations with Jugoslavia.S.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . did not expressly state this as its purpose. already buried at Munich.R. without saying so formally. His contention deceived no one. to be sure." The joint communique pubhshed at the time of signature used the words "tout en reservant les relations particulieres avec les Puissances tierces" (F 29). . In subsequent communications Bonnet asserted that he had warned Ribbentrop against speculating on Anglo-French disunity and expressed hopes for an improvement of Anglo-German relations. . Ribbentrop shared Bonnet's hope for an improvement of French-Italian relations. and understood that Bonnet referred to Britain. These considerations incidentally led the Foreign Minister of the Reich to raise the question of French policy toward the U. 31). "It is the struggle against Bolshevism. was prepared to accept German assurances of respect for the status quo in the West in return for a free hand in the East." wrote Bonnet on December 14. without however laying any particular stress upon it and only with a view to informing himself of the position. that it had PRODUCED BY UNZ." He referred to Italy.S. Its only possible meaning in Realpolitik was that France. Bonnet made no mention of this reservation in his address to Ribbentrop. Bonnet took pains to insist. Belgrade. "which is essentially at the basis of the common German-Italian political conception and. ..68 Appeasement Triumphant which the French and German Foreign Ministers erected over the grave of France's alliances in Eastern Europe. N o comparable warning or hope was voiced with respect to relations with Warsaw. least of all himself. This policy appeared to him to be a survival of the encirclement policy of Versailles. The phrase in the declaration admitting of this interpretation was "sous reserve de leurs relations particulieres avec des Puissances tierces. it is again the struggle against Bolshevism which alone has inspired the German effort from the beginning.S. were unaffected. as well as Britain. I had to remind him that the Franco-Russian pact was not originally meant to remain only bilateral. Rumania. not to Ribbentrop but to his colleagues and to the French public.R.

Coulondre reported from Berlin on December 15. if it had actually developed into an apparently purely Franco-Soviet affair. seems to me as undeniable on the part of the Third Reich. it has been talked about by the whole staff PRODUCED BY UNZ. . and that it was the fault neither of France nor of the U. The first half of Herr Hitler's programme—the integration of the Deutschtum into the Reich—has been carried out more or less completely. . . the one is a corollary of the other. The insistence with which it has been explained to me that Germany has no claims in the direction of France would have been enough to enlighten me. as its disposition to put aside— at least for the present—any idea of conquest in the West. . . . and always with intentional vagueness. To secure mastery over Central Europe by reducing Czechoslovakia and Hungary to a state of vassalage and then to create a Greater Ukraine under German control—this is what essentially appears to be the leading idea now accepted by the Nazi leaders.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . The Minister for Foreign Affairs is to re-examine. spoke to me. With regard to the Ukraine." I have not personally received very definite confidential information on this subject.S. With regard to Czechoslovakia. of the necessity for German expansion in Eastern Europe. with the exception of Herr Hitler. the question of the setting up of the international guarantee. Herr von Ribbentrop spoke of "the creation of zones of influence in the East and South-East". all those with whom I held conversations.R..S. an exchange of observations was necessary in order to leave no doubt as to the implications of the international agreement of Munich. in which Germany and other Powers had been invited to participate. if executed both in the letter and the spirit. in different ways. as soon as he returns to Berlin. i " Bonnet probably desired "re-examination" of an issue which was for all practical purposes closed only as a face-saving device to conceal the true purport of Munich and of the declaration of December 6. now the hour of the "Lebensraum" has come. FieldMarshal Goring. But I received even more explicit information. but it appears that little by little one can see the outlines of a great German enterprise emerge from what is still nebulous. the principle of which was asserted by Germany in protocol No. and doubtless by Herr Hitler himself.Ukrainian Dream 69 been and still was conceived as an element of collective agreement. of "an essentially economic penetration in the SouthEast. in what is perhaps the most illuminating single dispatch in the French Yellow Book of 1939: The will for expansion in the East. as a matter of fact.

Dr. . . their appetites. there is need of a granary. In order to achieve this. Their nature was known PRODUCED BY UNZ. taking up each question in turn. which sent correspondents to Chust and published feature articles on the forthcoming Nazi conquest of the Ukraine. Ruthenia would be the focus of the movement. . whetted both by their needs and by their ambitions. Herr Curtius. Rosenberg's Centre of Studies. It is quite possible that. It is unlikely that Herr Hitler will attempt to achieve his plans concerning the Ukraine by direct military action. . The Nazi leaders lost no opportunity to encourage Paris and London to act upon these assumptions. above all. which would become Germany's granary. . a political operation is thought of which would repeat. and Soviet Russia dispossessed. The Nazi leaders use the method of Descartes. that he has not yet decided on the means of action. Poland won over. It seems. which had been established as a bulwark to stem the German drive. They were fully shared by Laval. the Ukraine is at the door of the Reich. and of labor. drive them towards the East. but the aim appears to be well defined: to create a Greater Ukraine. It looks as if the ways and means had not yet been decided upon. German dynamism is not to be stopped by any of these obstacles. In order to sustain and reinforce this preparatory war economy. and according to which the regime wants neither an ideological war nor the annexation of heterogeneous populations. Hitler will see in a Ukrainian adventure an opportunity to divert the attention of his people from the internal difficulties now increasing in a dangerous manner (F33). The nature of these expectations was known in Berlin which had much of the Right press in its pay. now serves the Reich as a battering-ram to demolish the gates to the East. Dr. Gobbels's Services and the "Ost-Europa" organization under the former Minister. and in military circles. Czechoslovakia. Flandin and the Right press of France.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . among other advantages. . on a larger scale. they already talk of the advance to the Caucasus and to Baku. towards the "glorious adventure" and the great achievement of the regime. as well as the Intelligence Service of the German Army. It would be contrary to the principles he has professed at different times. Among those who approach him. These were the expectations entertained by the French Ambassador in Berlin and by Bonnet regarding Nazi intentions at the turn of the year.70 Appeasement Triumphant of the National-Socialist Party for the past ten days. which they are eager to undertake . are working on the question. of mines. moreover. Rumania must be subdued. Thus by a curious turn of Fate. . support eventually given by diplomatic pressure and by the action of armed bands. that of the Sudetens: propaganda in Poland. . in Rumania and in Soviet Russia in favor of Ukrainian independence.

On December 20 Bonnet was reported to have told the U. We were in agreement. Warsaw was apprehensive. it is unquestionably not correct to say that this reservation implies a recognition of France's special relations with Poland.Ukrainian Dream 71 in Moscow. The latter's subsequent insistence that these conclusions were incorrect is unconvincing. it was on the contrary perfectly clear that the reservation referred to the special relations of friendship of France towards Great Britain and of Germany towards Italy. In the conversations which took place in Berlin and Paris at the time of the preliminary negotiations on the subject of the declaration. On that occasion. in considering that respect for vital reciprocal interests must be the prior condition and the principle of the future development of good Franco-German relations.R. The French Left charged that Bonnet and Daladier had abandoned all of France's allies in order to give Hitler a free hand against Russia.S. 1939. Ribbentrop at least drew the correct conclusions from Bonnet's policy. a radical change had taken place since the Munich conference (F 163). told Bonnet that the Reich regarded Eastern Europe as its own sphere of interest and looked upon the French alliances with Poland and Czecho-Slovakia as "atavisms. I expressly pointed out that Eastern Europe constituted a sphere of German interests. In the Paris conversations the German Foreign Minister. For domestic reasons Bonnet was obliged to deny this—and to the degree to which he became doubtful of the correctness of his own assumptions. In his reply July 21. at the time of our conversations in Paris on December 6. in France's attitude with regard to the problems of Eastern Europe. Bonnet said: "There is one point which I am anxious to make absolutely clear. 1938. according to his own account. and on the occasion of the signature. and. in particular. he began to wish that his denials had substance. that it could rely upon French military aid against the Reich only in case of a German invasion and not in the event of a German-inspired insurrection in the Ukraine. contrary to what is stated in your note. that.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . he wrote a personal letter to Bonnet (who had by then long since shifted his position) declaring: As to your remark about the reservation recorded in Article 3 of the Franco-German declaration concerning the special relations of France and of Germany with regard to third Powers.S. At no moment either before or after the declaration of December 6 has it been possible for the German Government to think that France had decided to disin- PRODUCED BY UNZ. you then stressed on your part." On July 13.

Bonnet said that in foreign political debates before the Chamber things were often said that obviously were only meant for internal consumption and did not have any further importance." According to Welzceck. To return to January 1939: in his address of the 26th Bonnet asserted that all of France's engagements in the East. 39). without conflicting with the Reich. should be enough to prevent Germany's interpreting our relations with Soviet Russia in a way that would misrepresent their nature" (F 38. I rephed that our Government's attitude. Ribbentrop was not satisfied. "M. He ordered Count Johannes von Welzceck. thanks to its geographic location.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . the German protest followed. which enjoys a most favorable position in any case. Bonnet apparently assured him that the objectionable passages in his speech "were for internal consumption only and of no importance whatever to France's real poKcy. thanks to the telegram of the Havas agency and to the conversation which I had last week with Your Excellency. especially the French-Polish and French-Soviet alliances. then in Warsaw. as peculiar. French Ambassador Leon Noel reported to Bonnet that he had called upon Ribbentrop and "was able to put matters in their true light. economically and culturally. remained fully in force and would be appUed if necessary. as well as the situation at home and the state of public opinion in France. . declaring some were meant for internal consumption and at the same time mentioning France's absolute adherence to her present policy on Eastern Europe. . according to Welzceck: "It should be possible to maintain old friendships and develop them." Welzceck's report continued: M. On the question of the Soviets.72 Appeasement Triumphant terest itself in the East of Europe" (F i68). If the French Foreign PRODUCED BY UNZ. The reference to the Havas telegram is obscure. expressing displeasure over France's apparent intention to "widen her friendships in Eastern and Central Europe. Bonnet read aloud several passages from his speech. This struck Ribbentrop. There is no published record of the conversation cited. thus creating the impression in Poland and Czecho-Slovakia that she was taking up again an encirclement policy directed against the Reich." Bonnet replied." In spite of this. to protest. German Ambassador in Paris. as he gave me to understand that he always dreaded their influence on our foreign policy. Bonnet had submitted the speech to him for approval in advance of its delivery. .

PRODUCED BY UNZ. then one cannot well demand that he abdicate all along the line before the Chamber. Yet so much had been staked on this gamble.17. deviation from this line would not be advisable.1740. as a great European Power she would make her presence felt in Europe. T o enjoy the cake which one has given away to others is more difficult than to eat one's cake and have it too. Nothing however in her attitude could give rise to suspicion on the part of the Reich" (F 46). "If I did so. Bonnet." Coulondre replied: "It is difKcult for France to renounce Eastern Europe while making concessions in the Mediterranean. Ribbentrop's own account of this conversation differs from the version in the French Yellow Book. " 'One might gather the impression. "then the war-mongers would gain the upper hand. 'that France has not renounced the policy which brought about the last crisis. so much had been sacrificed." said M." ^ In an interview with Coulondre on February 6 Ribbentrop again complained over Bonnet's language. Bonnet and Daladier. so much had been forever lost that it was all but impossible to execute a volte-face and seek a new orientation. . she will undertake no pohcy in Eastern Europe that would disturb Germany" ( N Y T 1.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . therefore. Whether he should move East or West was now for him alone to determine. drifted along in fumbling befuddlement. like Halifax and Chamberlain. conferred with his advisers iNYT 1. . studied the map. quoting documents issued by the German foreign office. The initiative lay with the victor of Munich.Ukrainian Dream 73 Minister braves the storm of the opposition to put through what he considers personally to be justified German demands on the Sudetenland and subsequently in his own mind draws the consequences of a changed situation in Central Europe. The means were no longer at hand to rebuild the aUiance system that had been shattered or to revert to the diplomacy of Louis Barthou.' .' he remarked. H e bided his time. hoping against hope that their original hopes might yet be realized. I answered him that France had no intention of giving up either her friendships or her interests in any part of the continent. By this time the hopes of the Western Munichmen for a Nazi drive toward the Ukraine were already wavering. However.40). Bonnet has previously affirmed his disinterest in Eastern questions and that. He "declared sharply that M.

nor do we feel that we have any occasion to make war on other people because they are democrats. six years ago this evening. At the most. The day was the sixth anniversary of his appointment as Chancellor. Hitler spoke for two hours and a quarter: When. is on PRODUCED BY UNZ. milHons of other auditors all over Europe and the Americas listening in fear to the voice of the Master. The audience was the new Reichstag of Great Germany. 1939. because different systems of government are in control in these places. all Germans listening attentively to their own radios—and beyond Germany. including Austrian and Sudeten delegates—and beyond the walls. or even The Netherlands. had all failed to solve their economic problems. .74 Appeasement Triumphant and wrestled with his soul. . and reiterating the Nazi version of Anschluss and Munich. the end of which still seemed unknown and unpredictable. their feeling of overwhelming joy and their vows as faithful followers. . who had just been appointed Chancellor of the Reich. . . 855 strong. tens of thousands of National Socialist fighters marched through the Brandenburg Gate to the light of their torches to express to me. We are not in the least interested in this ourselves! We see no advantage in making shipments of National Socialism as an idea. The rescue of Europe began at one end of the Continent with Mussolini and Fascism. Australia. After reviewing once more the years of struggle for victory. it is a matter of indifference to us whether National Socialism—which is our copyright. . It is a matter of absolute indifference to us in Germany what form of government other nations have. he paid ironical respects to democratic statesmen and journalists who criticized the Third Reich and desired its ruin. with incomparably greater resources. H e dehvered one of his more notable orations on January 30. The place was the gayly beflagged KroU Opera in Berlin. just as Fascism is the Italian one—is exported or not. The Third Reich had succeeded. The assertion that National Socialism in Germany will soon attack North or South America.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . China. National Socialism continued this rescue in another part of Europe and at the present moment we are witnessing in still a third country the same drama of a brave triumph over the Jewish international attempt to destroy European civilization. The democracies. countless anxious eyes all over Germany and in Berlin gazed upon the beginning of'a development.

. . also. Eden. . are endeavoring to mobilize the hatred of an entire continent against the European States that are nationally governed. that this does not reflect the will of the millions of American citizens who. . . was chiefly responsible for making these efforts necessary. it should recognize that a hatred on the part of the former victor States. Churchill or Ickes. Germany wishes to live in peace and on friendly terms with all coun- PRODUCED BY UNZ. Our relations with the United States are suffering from a campaign of defamation carried on to serve obvious political and financial interests which. we must . . in which case equity and common sense must also really serve the cause of justice and ultimately of expedience. which would be an easy one for us. Now. . Easier than for the saturated other nations because the motive for our economic battle would be a very simple one. . but nobody has the right to take umbrage against this. . under the pretense that Germany threatens American independence. Either the wealth of the world is divided by force. when we defend ourselves against such apostles of war as Duff Cooper. waged against the Italy of today. The theft of the German colonies was morally an injustice. If certain methods of our economic policy appear injurious to the rest of the world. . they have the right to attack other people and their leaderships. this is represented as interference with the sacred rights of the democracies.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . or else the division is based on the ground of equity and therefore. namely: the German people either live—meaning export—or die. We all believe. . We must export in order to buy foodstuffs. . . . in which case this division will be corrected from time to time by force. once it is launched. despite all that is said to the contrary by the gigantic Jewish capitalistic propaganda through press. And if foreign statesmen threaten with I-don't-know-what economic counter-measures. radio and films. cannot fail to realize that there is not one word of truth in all these assertions. According to the conception of these gentlemen. . . and secondly. and regardless of its motives. . . We can only serve the cause of peace if it is quite clearly understood that a war of rival ideologies. of common sense. . however. . . call Germany to the side of her friend. will. . I can only say that in such a case a trade war of despair would begin. export still more to cover raw materials. Economically it was utter insanity! The political motives advanced were so mean that one is tempted merely to call them silly. which was irrational and purposeless from an economic point of view. .Ukrainian Dream 75 the same plane as the statement that we intend to follow it up with an immediate occupation of the full moon.

If international financial Jewry within and without Europe should succeed in throwing the nations into another world war the result will be not the bolshevization of the earth and therewith a victory for Jewry. but before we can enter upon the final settlement we shall want to see concrete evidence in a willingness. for instance. Germany. including America. Germany refrains from any intervention in American affairs and likewise decisively repudiates any American intervention in German affairs. anyway." The most significant portions of the January 30 address were the portions left unspoken. Stocks recovered in London and New York. I know that this country will not be unsympathetic. whether Germany maintains economic relations and does business with the countries of South and Central America concerns nobody but them and ourselves. "if the economic and social welfare of the German people is henceforth the sole preoccupation of the German Government. let us say. however. if not for disarmament. . . The Neiu York Times wondered at the new demand for colonies." Democratic demoralization had already reached a point at which any speech by Hitler which did not make new territorial demands or threaten immediate war was greeted with joy as a vindication of appeasement and an assurance of peace and prosperity for all the world. I feel that all States today have so many domestic problems to solve that it would be a piece of good fortune for the nations if responsible statesmen would confine their attention to their own problems. This address was widely hailed in the Western press as "moderate" and "conciliatory. . For the first time in an address of such length the Fiihrer did not denounce Soviet Russia. . . . . and we shall be ready to make our contribution to the general appeasement of Europe. The London Times deplored antiSemitism. much may be possible tomorrow that is beyond possibility in a time of obscure and growing tension. but declared that if Hitler desired peace. is a great and sovereign country and is not subject to the supervision of American politicians. . The question. Quite apart from that.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . to enter into arrangements. For the PRODUCED BY UNZ.76 Appeasement Triumphant tries. . but the extermination of the Jewish race in Europe." Chamberlain in Commons on the following day said: "What we want to see is not only words which indicate a desire for peace. at any rate for a limitation of armaments.

PRODUCED BY UNZ. He said nothing of the Drang nach Osten. The Ukrainian dream was dead. and then the war against the West.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . He said nothing of the Ukraine. up to but not beyond the Soviet frontiers.Ukrainian Dream 77 first time he defined Lebensraum in terms of Africa rather than in terms of Eastern Europe. Hitler had charted his course for 1939: Uquidation of France's remaining "alHes" east of the Reich.

At Forli in Romagna he and his best friend. he was a patriot first and a Socialist second. Pietro Nenni. Upon his release five months later he became editor of Avanti. The agitator and his friend were arrested. He sent his secretary. His socialism and pacifism were inspired by a will to deeds. tried. The instrument thereof was Socialist Jules Guesde.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . He founded a new 78 PRODUCED BY UNZ. Dumas had 50. Martial law was proclaimed.CHAPTER THREE APPEASEMENT BETRAYED I. tore up the tracks. He discovered that the editor of Avanti had his price. The year was 1911. Three years later he denounced war once more.000 a month. The proletariat must revolt in all countries to overthrow the bloody capitalist exploiters and imperialists. sentenced to jail. He did more than talk. official organ of the Socialist party of Italy. He had money to buy up newspapers in neutral countries. His martyrdom made him a hero. Charles Dumas. stopped a troop train. Before the learning came the transformation. A mob seized the railroad station. this time more vehemently as befitted a greater war. though he was later to learn from Lenin. Minister of the Interior in the French War Cabinet. to Italy. The agitator was not Lenin.000 francs and an offer of 10. The agitator switched sides and became an ardent advocate of military intervention on the side of France. Unlike the Itahan agitator. Italy must remain neutral. BLACKSHIRT BLACKMAIL ^'DowN WITH WAR! Down with imperialism! Down with bloody adventures in Africa!" The agitator denounced King and country. Cavalry arrived. helped to organize their followers for resistance to the war of conquest already under way in the South.

He had money to buy up newspapers in neutral countries. helped to organize their followers for resistance to the war of conquest already under way in the South. He sent his secretary. Before the learning came the transformation. He discovered that the editor of Avanti had his price. tore up the tracks. tried. sentenced to jail.CHAPTER THREE APPEASEMENT BETRAYED I. Upon his release five months later he became editor of Avanti. The agitator was not Lenin. to Italy. A mob seized the railroad station. stopped a troop train. At Forli in Romagna he and his best friend. He did more than talk. He founded a new 78 PRODUCED BY UNZ. The proletariat must revolt in all countries to overthrow the bloody capitalist exploiters and imperialists.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . The agitator and his friend were arrested. Three years later he denounced war once more. BLACKSHIRT BLACKMAIL ^'DowN WITH WAR! Down with imperialism! Down with bloody adventures in Africa!" The agitator denounced King and country. Dumas had 50.000 a month. His socialism and pacifism were inspired by a will to deeds. Martial law was proclaimed. The year was 1911. His martyrdom made him a hero. he was a patriot first and a Socialist second. Unlike the Itahan agitator. this time more vehemently as befitted a greater war.000 francs and an offer of 10. Charles Dumas. Minister of the Interior in the French War Cabinet. The agitator switched sides and became an ardent advocate of military intervention on the side of France. Italy must remain neutral. Pietro Nenni. Cavalry arrived. The instrument thereof was Socialist Jules Guesde. though he was later to learn from Lenin. official organ of the Socialist party of Italy.

. He therefore sold to Pierre Laval the pledge of an alliance against the Reich in return for Laval's acquiescence in the murder of Ethiopia. pp. His Past" by George Seldes. 1936. The survivors sought safety in flight. April 21. The agitator was Benito Mussolini. head of the propaganda department of the International Brigade. II Duce joined Hitler in alliance against France. The pamphlets were written by Nenni. In 1935-36 he discovered that Hitler was becoming strong and that France and Britain were being steadily weakened by their own leaders. In 1933-34 Mussolini perceived that Hitler was as yet feeble and that France and Britain were still strong. It is pleasant and profitable for those who are uninhibited by sentiment. which paved the road to Austria's grave. this results from the circumstances that foreign policy is unsentimental and that Italy is weak and newly-arrived. in March 1937. He therefore collaborated with the Western Powers and helped save Austria from Hitler's first assault. He fled to France and continued his work for socialism. Ken. This is the way of the weak and of the newly-arrived.1938. The GermanAustrian accord of July 11. PRODUCED BY UNZ. 24if. Fifteen years later. Nenni took over Avanti.Europe on the Eve. "Mussolini vs. Their hosts inconsiderately showered them with propaganda pamphlets and then with bombs. When Ethiopia was done to death with Laval's connivance. Its members took their first step together in according simultaneous 1 Cf. the followers of the agitator. Eight years later its headquarters in Milan were burned down by the friends of his former friend.Blackshirt Blackmail 79 paper: II Popolo (Tltalia. casting his lot with the strong and selling himself to the highest bidder among those stronger than he.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . found themselves near Guadalajara on the road to Madrid. on vacation in Spain.^ The "Axis" was herewith established.^ Unlike parliamentary democrats who often compromise all their principles for the sake of the principle of compromise. the first of the new Caesars adhered uncompromisingly to one principle—that of exploiting the weak. His comrades accused him of accepting bribes and expelled him from the editorship and from the Party. sacrificing Austria in the bargain. also paved the way to the Ciano-Ribbentrop bargain of October 25. If it has been a principle also of Italian foreign policy since the achievement of unification. Nenni's arrest was ordered.

ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . Hence II Duce's support of Magyar claims on Carpatho-Ukraine and his efforts to promote a settlement of all Eastern problems. The prey in the West was in full flight and must not be permitted to rest. But if the Nazi lion could be persuaded that the Russian bear was tough and that the steer in the West was tender. The barking began with Frangois-Poncet's reception in the PRODUCED BY UNZ." holding most of Africa and both exits from the middle sea. The Fascist jackal could not alone challenge France and Britain. Italy could neither wage war on Russia nor hope for the least advantage from war on Russia by others. 1936. 1937. Italy adhered on November 6. Italy was separated from Russia by three seas and six countries. By no means least among them was Mussolini. Munich was the signal for the jackal to move. Hungary and Manchukuo also signed on February 24. It was he who had first discovered what magic could be worked with this slogan." This slogan deceived only the democratic statesmen and the magnates of sanctity and property in the West whom it was intended to deceive. Against these Powers he strove to turn the Axis and the Triplice. But with the aid of the Nazi lion he could nurture another Fascist jackal in Spain to worry the flank of the Anglo-French bull. Mussolini and Ciano had no such designs and no such hopes. Fascist Spain did likewise on March 27. Its slogan was "Anti-Bolshevism. 1939. had formed a bloc. The creature was castrated. In this he succeeded. Signature of the German-Japanese Anti-Comintern Agreement followed on November 25.8o Appeasement Betrayed recognition to Franco on November i8. In its name he had assumed Caesar's mantle. The three Fascist Great Powers. Many factors moved the Fiihrer to abandon or defer his Ukrainian adventure. were the only Great Powers at whose expense II Duce could hope to realize imperial dreams. The hopes of 1918. were not forgotten. with ample bits of the carcass for the jackals to feed upon after the lion was sated. The "plutodemocracies. when German troops held the Ukraine and the Caucasus and Japanese troops poured into Eastern Siberia. but still too formidable for the lesser beasts of prey. must be induced to look hungrily toward the West. The lion. For some of the mighty in Berlin and Tokio this slogan was deemed a useful fagade for imperialistic designs against Russia. each with its satelHte. looking hungrily toward the East. then the steer could be brought down. II Duce was not deceived.

could never dare to resist the military might of the Rome-Berlin axis.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . His supporters approved.Blackshirt Blackmail 81 Italian Chamber on November 30. Only with American and Soviet support could London and Paris meet the Fascist Triplice on equal terms. Rome pressed for new cessions in fresh fulfillment of the promises of the Treaty of London of 1915. It was hinted that Rome might be satisfied with "independence" for Tunis. Ciano hinted at war. Gayda declared that if France proved stubborn "Italy is ready to accept the offensive on any front and with any means. Should Germany move eastward. and a free port at Jibuti. He warned Paris of the fate of Prague and intimated that French Somaliland and the Addis-Jibuti railway must pass into Fascist hands. the Soviet Union could hope to offer effective resistance. participation in the Suez Canal. At a Socialist Congress on December 26 Blum advocated such a Four-Power Bloc against Fascism. Ratifications had never been exchanged. at least for the near future. Munich had ended any such prospects. 1938. But should the Axis move westward. The first objective they were unwilling to contemplate. but his words were idle. Downing Street and the Quai d'Orsay were thus under an increasingly desperate necessity either to join forces with Moscow or to push the Fascist powers into an assault on the Soviet Union at all costs. How to achieve the second? The salvation of the West through a German war against Russia was attainable only by convincing Hitler that his path of least resistance lay to the East and by convincing his allies that they stood to gain something from such an enterprise. Two days later Gayda demanded Italian participation in the management of the Suez Canal. On December 22 it was revealed that Rome had informed Paris on December 17 that it no longer regarded the Laval-Mussolini accord of 1935 as binding. The first condition could scarcely be realized as long as the Soviet Union PRODUCED BY UNZ. Far from giving up the railway shares and the real estate ceded to Italy by Laval's catastrophic pact. Rioting broke out in Tunis on December 8. though any intention of invasion was disclaimed. France and Britain would be beaten unless powerful allies went to their aid. The Fascist clamor for partition of the French colonial empire was based upon the realistic supposition that France. even without allies." Verbal threats were accompanied by troop movements from Ethiopia toward French Somaliland. even with British support.




remained armed to the teeth and Britain and France were without allies, hopelessly outarmed by the greater Reich which they had helped to create, and governed by Chamberlains and Daladiers. The second condition also offered difficulties. T o achieve it, Japan must be stopped from expansion southward and deflected toward Outer Mongolia and Siberia. And since Italy could gain nothing by the anti-Soviet crusade, Mussolini must be paid in other coin to give his blessing. This double problem dominated Tory diplomacy at the turn of the year. On December 6, 1938, Lord Plymouth announced that the Cabinet was contemplating the extension of export credits to China. He warned Japan of the "incalculable consequences" of closing the Open Door. Downing Street, having already hailed the Anglo-American trade agreement of November 17 as a symbol of solidarity, expressed approval of reiterated American championship of the Open Door; blessed the $25,000,000 credit to China through the Export-Import Bank, announced on December 15 in Washington; and looked to the United States to keep Japan within bounds. These gestures of belated and feeble aid to China were of doubtful efficacy. Tokio indicated that it regarded the Nine-Power Pact as dead and that the "new order" in East Asia would comprise a bloc of Japan, Manchukuo and China in which the privileges of the Western Powers would be curtailed or terminated. Hiranuma's assumption of the Premiership signified renewed determination to crush Chinese resistance, but it did not necessarily foreshadow any program of war against the Soviet Union. Whatever the West might do, Japan's path of least resistance lay southward. In the event that France and Britain should be driven to the wall in Europe by the Caesars, Tokio would strike at their Oriental possessions. T o London's distress, Paris failed to comprehend the problem of "appeasing" Mussolini. Daladier referred on December 5 to "the firm resolve of all Frenchmen to assure, by all the means in their power, the absolute integrity of the territory over which the French flag floats." On December 14 Bonnet told the Deputies: "There cannot be the slightest equivocation. France will never consent to giving up an inch of territory to Italy, and any attempt to realize such a claim can only lead to an armed conflict." On December 19 he reiterated this defiance and coupled it with


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references to Nice, Savoy, Corsica, Tunis, and Somaliland and to British support of France against aggression. Three months previously he had denied that France could count on Britain. Four months previously he had made similar brave pledges in defense of Prague. Small military and naval reinforcements were sent to Jibuti where a few hundred troops faced 250,000 Italian and colonial soldiers in the neighboring territories of East Africa. Ciano's note of December 17 was answered on December 16 with an acknowledgment and an expression of willingness to redress "grievances" and to exchange ratifications of the accord which Rome had just repudiated. But no French territory would be ceded and Rome's suggestion of "arbitration" in Munich fashion, with Hitler and Chamberlain as participants, was rejected. On January 9 Daladier returned to Paris from a tour of Corsica, Tunisia, and Algeria which the Fascist press denounced as a "provocation." He made new promises: "I shall maintain France. I shall maintain the French colonial empire." The pathetic gyrations of the French politicians in the face of Fascist threats were of a piece with Laval's folly of 1935. The bargain which Laval had made with U Duce on January 7 of that year was sealed with a pledge to stand aside while Caesar attempted the conquest of Ethiopia. Laval's repeated denials that he had given such a pledge do not alter the fact, which is documented by the Maffey Commission Report to the British Foreign Office.^ In the sequel Laval had done his best, in cooperation with Sir Samuel Hoare, to carry out his pledge. Public and parliamentary pressures, alas, required a pretense of sanctions to restrain the aggressor. But II Duce understood and II Duce conquered his empire. Now he was displaying base ingratitude. Bonnet in his speech to the Chamber on December 19 made no mention of the Italian notification of two days before. On the 29th, after the news had leaked out, he was accused in the Chamber of having deliberately concealed the fact. His critics argued that France was now free to alter the status of Italians in Tunisia, to demand the return of the 2,500 railway shares, to take back the territories which had been ceded. But Bonnet preferred a different course. The small strip of Somaliland coast was indeed reoccupied in mid-February. For the rest. Bonnet chose "watchful
1 Cf. Europe on the Eve, pp. 167-8,173-4, 559"6i.





waiting." In his address to the Deputies on December 29 he said he had not learned of the Italian action until after his address of the 19th. Even if he had, he could not have mentioned it since it had not been discussed by the Cabinet. When asked whether the Italian note had been delivered on the 17th, he repUed: "I neither deny nor confirm it." "I am sorry to say," retorted Communist Deputy Peri, "that M. Bonnet's denials are no longer of any use to anybody." ^ Not until March 29 did the Quai d'Orsay publish the correspondence of December and then only to refute Mussolini's public hints that precise Italian demands had been formulated on December 17. Ciano had written to the French Ambassador: Mr. Ambassador: In our conversation of the second instant Your Excellency expressed the desire of the French Government to know whether the Italian Government considers as still effective the Franco-Italian accords of January 7, 1935, and whether these accords in its opinion can still serve as a basis for Franco-Italian relations. I replied to Your Excellency that the question was one of too great importance for me to give a definite answer offhand and required more extensive study. I now have the honor to inform you as follows in confirmation of what I was able then to tell you personally. The Franco-Italian accords of January 7, 1935, are composed, as Your Excellency knows, of a treaty relative to the settlement of reciprocal interests in Africa and of a series of acts that are closely connected with it. Article VII of the treaty provides that it will be ratified and subordinates its going into effect to an exchange of ratifications. Now this exchange has never taken place. The constitutional procedures preparatory to ratification were indeed begun immediately after the signature but were never carried out. Negotiations for the stipulation of the special convention concerning Tunisia were never even commenced and that convention, according to Article I of the treaty, should have become effective on the same date as the treaty itself. The Franco-Italian treaty for the settlement of reciprocal interests in Africa has therefore never been completed. Over and above these observations of a juridical nature must also be taken into account that the treaty as well as the accompanying acts were concluded on the basis of very definite assumptions and that these assumptions never received any partial confirmation. As you know, the 1935 accords, in return for the settlement of a whole 1 Cf. France and Munich, by Alexander Werth, pp. 399-406.


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series of questions, aimed at developing friendship between Italy and France and instituting relations of confident collaboration between the two nations. Italy notably agreed by 1935 to important sacrifices both as concerns the rights of the Italians in Tunisia and as concerns the rights she held from the Treaty of London in 1915, in recognition of the equitable understanding and attitude in conformity that France was to show for Italy's needs for expansion in East Africa. Now the attitude adopted by France when Italy by the action of the Negus was forced to solve definitively the problem of its relations with Ethiopia and also thereafter was certainly not in accordance with the above intention. It was precisely the opposite. It is sufficient to refer, without need to discuss them further, to the different phases of the events that have transpired since 1935. The accords of January 7, 1935, as Your Excellency was able to note in our conversation of the second instant, have never been executed and thus are emptied of their content and can evidently not be considered as being in effect today. They have in fact been superseded historically by events. As a whole they were related to a general situation that has been rapidly outdated by the events that followed the application of sanctions. Further, the creation of the empire has established new rights and new interests of fundamental importance. Under these conditions and even in the interests of their improvement, Franco-Italian relations cannot have for a basis at the present time the accords of 1935, and especially if it is desired to improve them it is evident that these relations ought to be examined again in common accord by the two Governments (NYT 3.30.39). The nature of the "intentions" and the "very definite assumptions" referred to is not in doubt. The balance of the formula was familiar: you have granted our demands in return for our promises in other fields; once the demands are realized, however, "new rights and new interests" are created; these invalidate our earlier promises; conditions have changed. So sorry. With identical logic the Japanese Foreign Office had repeatedly demonstrated that "changed conditions" had rendered the Nine-Power Pact of 1922 "inappHcable." (The changes were a result of Japanese military violence in disregard of the pact and of other treaty obligations.) Here was the diplomatic equivalent of the proverbial strategy of the murderer who, having killed both his parents, pleaded for mercy on the ground that he was an orphan.



Appeasement Betrayed

Frangois-Poncet's long reply, which was doubtless drawn up by Bonnet, was a plaintive plea for good faith:
. . . My government feels that it must set forth the following facts: First, the accords of January 7, 1935, which set the basis for the settlement of all outstanding differences between France and Italy and which had the object of assuring the development of their friendly relations were approved with only nine dissenting votes by the French Parliament on March 23 and 26,1935. If ratifications could not be exchanged as a result of the adjournment of the establishing of the Tunisian convention that was to precede that exchange, France cannot be held responsible for evaluating the circumstances that led Italy to desire that adjournment. Moreover, even before their ratification these accords, solely advantageous to Italy, were started to be put in operation by France since, anticipating one of their provisions, the French Government arranged the transfer from the French group of the company holding the concession of the Addis Ababa-Jibuti railway of a parcel of 2,500 shares into the hands of an Italian group. Even on the part of the Italian representatives in the negotiations that took place in Paris in 1937 for revision of the economic settlements providing for East Africa, the Rome accords were considered sufficiently established to be frequently invoked as a basic reference. Recently, again on May 12, 1938, considering with the French Charge d'Affaires the program of negotiations submitted on April 22, 1938, by the Italian Government, Your Excellency, while making a formal reservation, raised no objection to the principle of the application of the African accords of January 7, 1935, which was augmented in Points 9, 10 and 11 of that program. Your Excellency even specified with regard to the Tunisian convention that the Chigi Palace contemplated no substantial change in the text proposed by the French Government, which text M. Blondel [Jules Blondel, then the French Charge d'Affaires] pointed out, had been extracted from the 1935 accords. No political consideration in the mind of the Italian Government therefore opposed the maintenance of these accords at that time. Second, no political action of the French Government ever has been since invoked to justify the attitude displayed by the Royal Government. The French Government, on the contrary, has taken every step that has been represented to it as being in the nature of facilitating the improvement of relations between the two countries. On May 12, 1938, the French Government adopted at Geneva a position of principle that aimed to secure for it freedom of action to recognize


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Italian sovereignty in Ethiopia. A few months later, on October 12, it accredited an ambassador to His Majesty the King of Italy and Emperor of Ethiopia. Third, as to the previous attitude of France with regard to the Ethiopian affair, the Italian Government never has been ignorant of the general lines of French policy and the international obligations they included. They were always loyally reported to the Italian Government at the proper moment by the head of the French Government, M. Laval, who was then directing French foreign policy. And the Italian Government knows in what spirit that policy was conducted by the French Government. Premier Mussolini was several times good enough to express to the French Ambassador during the course of the Geneva procedures his appreciation of the moderating influence of France and of the constant efforts of the French delegation to reconcile as much as possible respect for the obligations of the pact with the safeguarding of Franco-Italian friendship. The French Government desires to recall these facts to Your Excellency in acknowledging the receipt of your communication (NYT 3-30.39)-

Thus: Laval had betrayed Ethiopia and the Covenant. Laval had kept his bargain in good faith. His successors had done likewise. Ethiopia was Italian. The League was dead. Mussolini had expressed gratitude. And now, now—to repudiate the deal and to make new demands—was this honorable? Was this just? The grim comedy of these complaints was not lost upon a lonely exile in England. This was what he had predicted. His name was Haile Selassie. But Bonnet continued to hope. He was willing to make new concessions—not perhaps because the wits were right in saying that he was in the pay of every European government except the French, but because he was a convinced and incurable advocate of appeasement, wherever it led. He was quite prepared to grant new favors to Rome if the Grand Design of the Munichmen could thereby be restored to some semblance of its pristine beauty. But Daladier was doubtful. Parliament was dubious. The public was anxious. He must proceed circumspectly. His public formula was that no Italian territorial demands could be met, but as for "nonterritorial" demands, much could be done with sufficient good will on both sides. When the formula produced no results, Bonnet had other devices. On February 14 the Socialist group in the Chamber, sup-





ported by other opposition deputies, demanded that the Foreign Minister explain reports of "secret negotiations with Germany and Italy." The reports came from the pen of Henri de Kerillis in USpoque. M. de Kerillis was a rara avis: an anti-Munichman of the extreme Right. H e was an honest and reputable journalist whose reports were not to be lightly dismissed. He asserted that Bonnet, in his ardor for concessions to the Axis, was circumventing his own diplomatic service through the use of secret agents: in BerUn, Fernand de Brinon; in Rome, Paul Baudouin. The former had published in Le Matin in November 1933 a sensational interview with Hitler, bespeaking appeasement and a French-Nazi entente. He became Vice-President of the Co?mte France-Allemagne, an organization pledged to rapprochement with the Reich. He was a contributor to the leading financial paper of Paris, VInformation, controlled by a bank with which Bonnet had close connections. In its pages he had denounced the "war-mongers" before Munich had praised "self-determination" after the surrender. Baudouin, who was destined for higher things, was a financier of extreme reactionary and Mimichois orientation. He had been party to the alleged "bankers' conspiracy" which had contributed to the fall of the Blum Cabinet in June 1937. He was now President of the Bank of Indo-China. The Berlin Borsenzeitung had reported on February 6 that Baudouin was in Rome negotiating a settlement of Italy's claims against France through a possible cession of a large area south of Libya, including Tibesti and Lake Chad. According to Kerillis, Ambassador Coulondre, after phoning the Quai d'Orsay, had issued a denial. Meanwhile it was announced in Jibuti that Italy had dropped its boycott of the French railway and had signed a contract for the shipment of 15,000 tons of freight. When Coulondre next saw Ribbentrop, the Nazi Foreign Minister expressed surprise at the Ambassador's denial in view of the fact that M. de Brinon had confirmed the story in person with Bonnet's permission. Coulondre returned to Paris and allegedly told Bonnet on February 10 that such maneuvers were "intolerable" and that he would resign if "such practices are not halted." De Brinon explained that he was convinced that Germany would long be occupied by "the immense job" of organizing Central and Eastern Europe. "European peace will not be exposed to grave risks during 1939. . . . If the Berlin-Rome Axis is considered a fact


Blackshirt Blackmail


and the Paris-London Axis another fact that the Germans themselves recognize, there are serious possibilities for negotiation and peaceful settlement. Briefly, I bring back the conviction that if we have a government, each day more and more stable and more and more realist, which is the case for the Daladier-Bonnet government, things should be considerably cleared up during the Spring and Summer, and that at that time we may look to the future with a certain optimism" ( N Y T 2.15.39). Bonnet as usual denied the whole story, though the charges were also made by Pertinax in UOrdre and by UHumanite} Nothing came of the accusations, nor of Bonnet's endeavors, if he had indeed done what he was accused of doing. From his point of view, the wretched "war-mongers" were forever making impossible a sensible settlement with the Axis. From their point of view, he was forever scheming to betray French interests into the hands of Hitler and Mussolini. The two groups checkmated one another in both France and Britain, as did "interventionists" and "isolationists" in the United States. The result was a paralysis of policy which was far more dangerous than a complete surrender or a firm defiance to the Axis. Chamberlain and HaHfax, to whom the French leaders constantly looked for guidance, were not helpful. They were as anxious as Bonnet to appease Mussolini. But they seemed to contemplate the necessity of "sacrifices" by France as well as by Ethiopia and Spain. Ever since the Ciano-Perth accord of April 16, 1938, London had pressed Paris to arrive at a similar settlement with Italy.^ The pressure had increased after Munich. Chamberlain and Hahfax acquiesced anew in Italian intervention in Spain, recognized Italian title to Ethiopia and put the April agreement in force. On November 23-25, 1938, they had come to Paris to urge a similar course on the French Ministers. Daladier and Bonnet needed no urging, but they were perturbed when Chamberlain announced on November 28 that he and Hahfax were going to Rome. At the London Press dinner on December 13 the Prime Minister said that "some will once again be speculating upon who is the winner and who the loser in these talks.
1 No hint of this appears of course in the French Yellow Book, though there is perhaps discernible a certain coolness in the dispatches between Bonnet and Coulondre after mid-February. 2Cf. Europe on the Eve, pp. 349-58 and s6$-yi (text).





That is not the spirit in which we propose to undertake our journey. . . . I find it difficult to rouse much excitement over different systems of government, apart from particular actions which may not necessarily be inherent in the system." The anti-French demonstrations in the Italian Chamber had begun two days after the London announcement of the visit. Frangois-Poncet was assured that these outcries were "spontaneous" and did not represent Italian policy. But Tory appeasement might well be at French expense. In his references to the French colonies, Chamberlain first declared that Britain had "no specific pledge" to defend them. But at the press dinner, he asserted that "our relations with France are so close as to pass far beyond mere legal obligations, since they are founded on identity of interests." In the House of Commons on December 14 he asserted that the Anglo-Italian agreement to respect the Mediterranean status quo "certainly applies to Tunis." Any attack upon Tunis "would be a matter of grave concern." Here, as in dealing with Prague in the spring. Chamberlain warned against war, but declined to assume any pledge of defense. It was not strange that some Frenchmen feared that Tunis might suffer the fate of Sudetenland. On December 19 he spoke of Anglo-French relations as "cordial" and expressed gratitude at Bonnet's pledge of December 14 to place all the forces of France at Britain's disposal to resist unprovoked attack. But he made no reciprocal pledge covering the French colonies, merely opining that "intentions" were "more significant than actual treaties." Paris wondered anxiously what his intentions were. French courage was slightly restored by Daladier's Mediterranean tour and Chamberlain's pledge in Paris on January 10 not to attempt "mediation" of the French-Italian quarrel. This pledge rendered the Rome discussions largely futile. Their results were summed up by the Italian Foreign Office in the January 15 issue of Informazione Diplomatica:
Nothing sensational transpired since [Anglo-Italian] relations are defined in the accords of April 16 that went into effect November 16. These accords already have been loyally applied by both sides. . . . Italy stressed in a most formal manner that the basis of Italian foreign policy is and will continue to be the Rome-Berlin Axis. As for Spain, II Duce repeated that the last Italian legionnaires would be repatriated when the Reds do likewise and when Franco receives belligerent rights, which it is simply


Blackshirt Blackmail


absurd to refuse any longer. U Duce, however, added that if in the near future there is intervention on a larger scale on the part of governments friendly to Negrin, Italy will resume her liberty of action because she would thus consider the non-intervention policy ended and a failure. As for Italo-French relations, II Duce stated that the Spanish question deeply divided the two countries and only when the war was finished might it be possible to review the situation. In the meantime it is absolutely impossible to speak of arbitration or mediation, four-Power conferences and much less of three-Power ones.

The Spanish Republic died. Rome made new demands, always taking care to leave them vague and therefore elastic. Daladier breathed defiance. London pushed plans for a trade conference with Berlin, though the Reich exhibited little enthusiasm in the absence of colonial concessions. Downing Street made polite queries in Rome as to the reasons for the summoning of Italian reservists and the dispatch of reinforcements to Libya where Marshal Badoglio was inspecting fortifications. Chamberlain told the House of Commons on February 21 that ,£580,000,000 would be spent for defense during a single year. Two days later Halifax reaffirmed Anglo-French solidarity and quoted from Mein Kampf to prove that Britain was not decadent. Meanwhile, amid unconfirmed rumors of border clashes, French army chiefs in North Africa conferred under General August Nogues on the defense of Tunis. Hore-Belisha announced on March 8 that Britain would send nineteen divisions to France in the event of war. But on the following day it was intimated that the Prime Minister was hopeful of the settlement of Italian claims against France without war and of the feasibility of a disarmament conference by summer. Sir Samuel Hoare echoed the idea on March 10 by suggesting a meeting of five heads of states. Sir Samuel, now Secretary for Home Affairs, was one of the authors of the Anglo-German naval accord of June 18, 1935, and of the Laval-Hoare bargains of September 10 and December 8» 1935. He was a member of the "Inner Cabinet." He, of all men, should know what results might be expected from appeasement. Men and women therefore breathed easier when he said on March 10 that there was hope of freeing the people of Europe
from a nightmare that haunts them and from an expenditure upon armaments that beggars them. . . . Five men in Europe—three dictators [he must have meant Hitler, Mussolini and Franco, since he was above sus-





picion of dealing with Stalin] and the Prime Ministers of England and France—if they worked with singleness of purpose and unity of action might in an incredibly short space of time transform the whole history of the world. These five men, working together in Europe and blest in their efforts by the President of the United States of America, might make themselves eternal benefactors of the human race. Our own Prime Minister has shown his determination to work heart and soul to such an end. I cannot believe that other leaders of Europe will not join him in the high endeavor upon which he is engaged.

On the same day, however, Stalin was deriving no little satisfaction from pronouncing in Moscow the bankruptcy of AngloFrench hopes for a Nazi-Soviet clash. And in Slovakia there was an effort to proclaim "independence" from Prague. Sir Samuel's address was a swan song.

2. C Z E C H O - S L O V A K I A


15, 1939

Emil Hacha was not a great leader. His eyes were tired, his hair was thin, his face drooped with age and ill-health. But he was amiable, colorless and therefore "safe." For these qualities, now so necessary after the Great Betrayal, the Chamber and the Senate of the Republic elected him President of Czecho-Slovakia on November 30, 1938. It was fitting that so small a man should hold the office that Thomas Masaryk and Edouard Benes had held before him. The proud and prosperous nation of freemen which they had helped to build was now a mutilated torso, still breathing only by the grace of Hitler. Hacha was a man of 66, of Czech peasant stock—a devout Catholic, a jurist, a member of the Hapsburg Imperial Privy Council, Chief Justice of the Supreme Administrative Court of Czechoslovakia after 1925, a lecturer and writer on administrative law—always aloof from party politics. The important thing was that the Nazi press approved of him. Following his election, he drove from the Parliament House in Prague to Hradcany Castle, dominating the ancient city. He was accompanied by General Syrovy, Premier of the central government; by Mgr. Josef Tiso, Premier of Slovakia; and by M. Julian Revay, Deputy for Mgr. Augustin Volosin, Premier of CarpathoUkraine. The State of which he became the head had had, before





picion of dealing with Stalin] and the Prime Ministers of England and France—if they worked with singleness of purpose and unity of action might in an incredibly short space of time transform the whole history of the world. These five men, working together in Europe and blest in their efforts by the President of the United States of America, might make themselves eternal benefactors of the human race. Our own Prime Minister has shown his determination to work heart and soul to such an end. I cannot believe that other leaders of Europe will not join him in the high endeavor upon which he is engaged.

On the same day, however, Stalin was deriving no little satisfaction from pronouncing in Moscow the bankruptcy of AngloFrench hopes for a Nazi-Soviet clash. And in Slovakia there was an effort to proclaim "independence" from Prague. Sir Samuel's address was a swan song.

2. C Z E C H O - S L O V A K I A


15, 1939

Emil Hacha was not a great leader. His eyes were tired, his hair was thin, his face drooped with age and ill-health. But he was amiable, colorless and therefore "safe." For these qualities, now so necessary after the Great Betrayal, the Chamber and the Senate of the Republic elected him President of Czecho-Slovakia on November 30, 1938. It was fitting that so small a man should hold the office that Thomas Masaryk and Edouard Benes had held before him. The proud and prosperous nation of freemen which they had helped to build was now a mutilated torso, still breathing only by the grace of Hitler. Hacha was a man of 66, of Czech peasant stock—a devout Catholic, a jurist, a member of the Hapsburg Imperial Privy Council, Chief Justice of the Supreme Administrative Court of Czechoslovakia after 1925, a lecturer and writer on administrative law—always aloof from party politics. The important thing was that the Nazi press approved of him. Following his election, he drove from the Parliament House in Prague to Hradcany Castle, dominating the ancient city. He was accompanied by General Syrovy, Premier of the central government; by Mgr. Josef Tiso, Premier of Slovakia; and by M. Julian Revay, Deputy for Mgr. Augustin Volosin, Premier of CarpathoUkraine. The State of which he became the head had had, before



March 1^, i^^9


Munich, 140,500 sq. km. and 14,729,000 inhabitants by the 1930 census. It now had only 98,900 sq. km. and 9,807,000 inhabitants. Germany had annexed 28,680 sq. km. with 3,653,000 people, Hungary 11,830 with 1,027,000 people, and Poland 1,086 with 241,000 people. Thanks to German-supported pressure for local "autonomy" in the aftermath of the debacle, the new Czechoslovakia was a federation, with 6,794,000 of its population in Bohemia-Moravia, 2,450,000 in Slovakia, and 552,000 in Carpatho-Ukraine. In the reshuffle of posts in the wake of Hacha's election, Tiso and Volosin retained their positions in Bratislava and Chust, while the premiership in the National Cabinet passed to Rudolf Beran, with Frantisek Chvalkovsky remaining Foreign Minister. The new regime was committed to full collaboration with the Reich. Beran was leader of the ultra-conservative Czech Agrarian party. He it was who had long opposed Benes and urged appeasement of Hitler. He it was who helped to bring about capitulation to the Chamberlain-Daladier ultimatum of September 19. He it was who organized the new "Party of National Unity" in the name of "authoritarian" democracy. With his bald head, round face, stubby mustache and heavy body, he personified the "practical" bourgeois who preferred submission to resistance so long as Property seemed safe. In a broadcast of December 3 he declared:
We shall quickly consolidate good relations with all our neighbors. While firmly resolved to maintain our independence, we have decided in the interests of the present and coming generations for open cooperation with our most powerful neighbor. . . . Even after the recent convulsions, we shall fight our way successfully through all the difficulties that confront us. . . . No power in the world can destroy a nation that is determined to live.^

These hopes were buttressed by the fact that the Annex to the Munich agreement asserted that Britain and France had accepted the partition of Czechoslovakia "on the basis that they stand by the offer, contained in paragraph six of the Anglo-French proposals of the nineteenth September, relating to an international guarantee of the new boundaries of the Czechoslovak state against
1 The Central European Observer, Prague, December 16, 1938.


he replied with a smile: "Could not this matter be forgotten? Since Germany's predominance in that area is a fact. Germany and Italy for their part will give a guarantee to Czechoslovakia. But Rome and Berlin were not yet parties to the arrangement." By early November this "settlement" vi^as achieved through German-Italian arbitration. according to Bonnet (F 32). in reply to The French Yellow Book." ^ But Ribbentrop. His own Government had conveniently forgotten all its obligations toward Prague in September and therewith reduced its ally to such helplessness that no new guarantee could have any meaning." however. January 16. "Besides. Bonnet replied that "France was forced by the pressure of events to foresee the possibility of guaranteeing the Czech borders.17.40. Ribbentrop and Ciano displayed less. quoting German documents issued in Berlin. PRODUCED BY UNZ. When the question of the Pohsh and Hungarian minorities in Czechoslovakia has been settled. His German guest was non-committal: the Reich must await developments with respect to minority problems. London and Paris were solemnly bound to defend Prague against unprovoked aggression. "The best and most effective guarantee would be the establishment of a friendly relationship between Germany and Czecho-Slovakia. According to Ribbentrop. Bonnet raised the question with Ribbentrop in Paris on December 6. agreed to re-examine the question of the guarantee on his return to Berlin." Berlin could never tolerate a reversion to Benes policies which might be encouraged by a four-power guarantee. would not the guarantee of the Reich be sufficient?" (F 35) The French Ambassador responded rather weakly that obligations cannot be forgotten.94 Appeasement Betrayed unprovoked aggression." but he recognized that the new State was within Germany's sphere of interest and that a four-power guarantee might be deemed "an onerous remnant of the defunct French-Czech alliance that was of no particular importance. In any case we are in no hurry to 1 NYT 1. When Coulondre asked Baron von Weizsacker on December 22 what had been done in this direction. This the Baron failed to comprehend. Halifax and Bonnet displayed no enthusiasm. The "guarantee." he added. 1940. failed to materialize. If words on paper still had meaning. But the very lack of substance rendered it all the more important for the Munichmen to insist upon the form.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . "it would be for Czecho-Slovakia to claim that guarantee.

. Chvalkovsky is not coming to Berlin until after the holidays.Czechoslovakia f March 1^. . The conclusion of a customs and monetary union to the profit of the Reich might prove at the same time a most advantageous operation and the first stage on the road to the Ukraine" (F 36). Chamberlain apparently questioned Mussolini regarding the conditions under which Italy might consider joining in the guarantee. M. reported to Bonnet on January 5 that "German domination is weighing down Czecho-Slovakia more and more heavily. Both conditions had already been met . might be a good omen. either through their economic activity or through their high positions. Hitler had received the Czech Foreign Minister in a not unfriendly fashion. The Fiihrer and Ribbentrop had both emphasized that the Reich could not guarantee any State which had not eliminated the Jews: "Do not imitate the sentimental and leisurely manner in which we ourselves treated this problem. under the pressure of Jewish and Bolshevising influences." We have decided to give our newspapers full liberty to answer back. This vermin must be destroyed. and M. He insisted also that Germans in Czecho-Slovalda must be free to be active Nazis. Germany will seek to form a bloc of anti-Semitic States. The French Charge. Downing Street did little to press Berlin for the guarantee. as she would not be able to treat as friends the States in which the Jews. de Lacroix conferred with Chvalkovsky regarding the latter's recent visit to Berlin. thought Coulondre. . . Hitler was casting about for pretexts. could exercise any kind of influence" (F 45). . On February 4 Bonnet instructed Coulondre to join Henderson "in a parallel demarche" in soliciting the views of Wilhelmstrasse regarding the guarantee. Even this reluctance. Henderson was uninterested. ? Coulondre reported to Bonnet that he had seen Ribbentrop on February 6 and had been read a lecture denouncing the inability of London and Paris to understand that "our vital interests must be satisfied" and condemning attacks on the Reich by "British and American newspapers. PRODUCED BY UNZ.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . I^^p 95 settle this question. Three days later M. Prague was already relieving Jews of public posts in order to oblige Berlin. . ." This attitude. de Montbas. Bonnet did little until he began to feel alarmed over Berlin's reluctance. however. . confirmed the misgivings felt in Prague. The Czech army must be reduced. During his visit to Rome.

As to the colonies . Ribbentrop's note of February 28. which was not transmitted to Coulondre until March 2. and especially through the operation of the anti-Comintern pact. drastic reduction of military effectives. and permission for Germans to carry Nazi badges and fly the Nazi flag ( F 4 8 ) .ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . as long as in the democracies the opposition parties are stirred up by the mischievous action of Bolshevism and Jewry (F 46). believe me. would appreciate information on the views of the Government of the Reich on the question of the guarantee provided for in said agreement. adhesion to the anti-Comintern pact. "The French Government. made no specific mention of such conditions. full access to Czech markets for Sudeten industries with which no new Czech industries must be allowed to compete. . The Anglo-French guarantee was no safeguard against them. we will remain adamant. the struggle we have started is merciless. (2) To regain our colonies. sale of raw materials for the now worthless Czecho-Slovak currency in the Sudeten areas. recalling the Munich annex and Chamberlain's talk with Mussolini. Bonnet instructed Coulondre to submit a note verbale on February 8. . Toward the Soviets. anti-Semitic legislation fashioned after the Nuremberg decrees. New conflicts with Hungary and Poland were likely. "An undeniable danger exists that premature guarantees. . Ribbentrop prepared no reply until February 28. we are not prepared to start negotiations. On the first point. And why should we. Britain had similar difficulties in Palestine. In foreign policy our aim is twofold: (i) To fight Bolshevism by every means. Meanwhile De Lacroix reported from Prague on the i8th that Germany had indicated willingness to guarantee the frontiers only on condition of complete neutrahzation. surrender of part of the Czech gold reserve. We will never come to an understanding with Bolshevist Russia. far from PRODUCED BY UNZ.96 Appeasement Betrayed and you will soon see how they do it. anxious to see all the clauses of the Munich agreement effectively carried out. In the face of this unpromising attitude. dismissal of all State employees objectionable to Germany. . . He argued instead that there could be no German guarantee until Prague's other neighbors were willing to accept similar engagements. withdrawal from the League of Nations. The French Embassy would be grateful to the Reicih Foreign OfEce if it would kindly enable it with all speed to comply with the desire thus expressed by the French Government" (F 47).

The technique was a masterly combination of "Trojan Horse" and "Fifth Column" operations. The same note was transmitted to Henderson. Prague simultaneously asked Bratislava to declare its loyalty and to abandon its separatist program as the price of a loan. the "Hlinka Guards. Father Tiso. with the aid of the Vienna radio station. On March 6 Hacha dismissed the Ruthenian Cabinet and asked Father Volosin to form a new government from which Revay should be excluded. seized the barracks of the Sitch Guards and sought to dissolve the organization. Demands were made for a separate army. at the end. but he makes no mention of it in his memoirs. Comparable developments in Carpatho-Ukraine convinced Prague early in March that the dissolution of the federation was imminent unless preventive action were taken.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . Hitler's abrupt liquidation of Czecho-Slovakia followed. His regime at Bratislava was already anti-Semitic and totalitarian. In transmitting it to Bonnet on March 2. Nazi agents fanned the flames of separatist sentiment in Slovakia and Carpatho-Ukraine. a swift military blow against a community too demoralized to offer the slightest resistance. began a campaign for Slovak independence." was organized and equipped with German aid. Seyss-Inquart and Biirckel. soul-shattering threats of annihilation. While Berlin pressed Hacha. Coulondre commented on "certain brutal or perfidious thrusts" and concluded that Berlin was rejecting a guarantee and denying to the Western Powers any further right to interfere in Central European affairs. "This document is therefore anything but reassuring as to the immediate intentions of Hitler's poUcy toward Czechoslovakia. PRODUCED BY UNZ. The Slovak autonomists w^ere led by the Premier.Czechoslovakia f March I ^. Revay went to Berlin to seek Nazi aid while Czech General Prchala. I p^p 97 bringing about a reasonable solution of the Czecho-Slovak internal problem. might rather contribute to consolidate existing opposition and thus provoke further conflict" (F 51). A private militia." No British or French reply to this communication has been published. who had been appointed a Ruthenian Minister on January 17 to curb separatist agitation. Beran and Chvalkovsky to accept arrangements which would have extinguished such independence as their State still enjoyed. Such action was the signal for which the Fiihrer was waiting. Thousands of Czech officials were dismissed. "consent" secured by force and.

who had suggested a demarche at Berlin on the 13 th. You should make this inquiry purely as a request for information. On the following day Goring. Coulondre had learned on the 13 th that a German ultimatum was being prepared for dispatch to Prague. he flew to Berlin in a German plane on March 13. a reference on your part to the procedure of mutual consultation provided for by the Declaration of December 6" (F64). Bonnet apparently communicated with Chamberlain as early as the i ith regarding the German troop movements. On March 9 Hacha dismissed the Slovak Cabinet. if necessary. is to be put on their action in Slovakia. he met the Slovak Diet. proclaimed martial law in Slovak towns and ordered the Hlinka Guards disarmed. PRODUCED BY UNZ. which unanimously voted a declaration of independence and approved the new constitution which he submitted. Coulondre. On his return to Bratislava on the 14th.98 Appeasement Betrayed Instead of complying. On the loth Hacha deposed Tiso. the importance of which would justify. Tiso forthwith became "President" of a presumably sovereign Slovakia. He urged Bonnet to inform the Czech authorities at once "so as not to be overtaken by events as happened in September" (F 56). received word that German intervention would be required and accordingly ordered the air force to be ready by the 14th. Tiso at once wired Hitler for support. who was hastily recalled from an Italian vacation.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . Tiso fled the monastery to which he had been sent. The Vienna radio screamed that a "Marxist plot" was being hatched in Prague. Without waiting for instructions from London. He was told that no ultimatum had been dispatched. that Berlin regarded the Tiso regime as the only legal Slovak Government and that all might yet be settled peaceably if Prague respected the decision of the Slovak Diet (F 63). Troop movements in Germany were already under way. He was met by Ribbentrop and taken to the Chancellery to confer with Hitler. At Hitler's invitation. in the opinion of the Reich authorities themselves. was instructed by Bonnet on the 14th to express "the most serious concern" of Paris and to inquire "most urgently from Herr von Ribbentrop what interpretation. Tiso plotted secession. The Nazi press with one voice sponsored Slovak independence and denounced Prague for "persecuting" Germans. Henderson on the 13 th asked for an interview with Weizsacker. who received him the following morning.

Prague would be occupied at 9. Berlin summoned Hacha and Chvalkovsky to the German capital on the 14th. Hitler wrote his signature on the document and departed." Slovakia was independent. Weizsacker replied that intervention was necessitated by the "dissolution of Czecho-Slovakia" and by the need of coming "to the rescue of the threatened German minority. The Czech Ministers had been summoned to sign. who accompanied him because of his poor health.Czechoslovakia^ March i^. It was already past midnight. After tentative diplomatic steps at Prague looking toward a "reconstruction" of the regime. According to Coulondre. Some fourteen German divisions." Since Ribbentrop was away. The status of Carpatho-Ukraine would be discussed with Budapest. flowers and even a box of candy for Hacha's daughter. consisting largely of mechanized units. Ribbentrop and Keppler awaited them. Coulondre saw Weizsacker on the morning of the 15th at the same time that Count Welczeck was informing Bonnet in Paris of the GermanCzech "agreement" and of the military occupation of the Republic. the democracies can rise up as much as they like. The visitors were at once taken to the Chancellery where Hitler. A document lay on the table. Goring. they will surrender in the end" (F74)The events which shook the world had followed hard upon the proclamation of Slovak independence. far greater events will follow. gathered on the frontiers and occupied Maerisch-Ostrow on the Czech side the same afternoon.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . The President and Foreign Minister were received with military honors. Hacha and Chvalkovsky then protested at the outrage done them and refused to sign a paper con- PRODUCED BY UNZ. Coulondre "reserved absolutely the judgment and attitude" of his Government and contended that the German action was contrary both to the Munich agreement and the Paris Declaration. Beran was ignored. With this. The Fiihrer announced that there would be no negotiations. every one was "overtaken by events. Whoever resisted would be stepped on. "Czecho-Slovakia" wrote Coulondre to Bonnet on the following day "has vanished from the map of Europe" (F 73). ip^^ 99 Before the French Ambassador could act. The decision was irrevocable. Bohemia and Moravia would be annexed to the Reich. The status of Bohemia and Moravia was already fixed (F 70).00 the next morning. In Niimberg Julius Streicher told cheering throngs: "This is only a beginning.

and yet we have saved them from a horrible massacre" (F 77). The Fiihrer has accepted this declaration and expressed his resolve to take the Czech people under the protection of the German Reich. By 9:15 a. Germany has already proven in its thousand-year-old past that. to destroy Prague. March 15 Hacha capitulated.loo Appeasement Betrayed demning their whole people to enslavement. At 4:30 a. by reason of its size and the character of the German nation.m. assuring it of an autonomous development suited to its own character (F 69). administered by doctors whom the German Ministers kindly kept in attendance. order and peace in this part of Central Europe. This argument was unanswerable. The Germans hunted him and his colleague around the table. Hacha collapsed and was revived by injections. . Yet Hacha continued to protest. The document was signed. Goring and Ribbentrop replied that if they refused to sign hundreds of bombers would be given the order at 6. It is by the law of self-survival that the German Reich is determined to intervene again decisively to erect the foundations of reasonable European order and proclaim decrees accordingly. For hours the unequal contest continued. From Hradcany Castle he recalled mediaeval Bohemia's membership in the Holy Roman Empire and declared to the Czech people: "For a thousand years Bohemian and Moravian lands were part of the Lebensraum of the German people. German troops were already across the frontier. He collapsed once more and was again revived. Hitler entered the city in triumph in the afternoon. with Baron PRODUCED BY UNZ. .m. shoved pens into their hands and repeated their threats." The document of the preceding night asserted: Both parties agree in expressing the conviction that the aim of all their efforts ought to be to ensure tranquillity. He objected that he could not make such a decision without the approval of his Government. followed by the Black Guards and the Gestapo. it alone is predestined to solve these problems.m. Bohemia and Moravia were annexed to Germany. he entrusts with entire confidence the destiny of the Czech people and the Czech country to the hands of the Fiihrer of the German Reich. He was told that German agents had already laid down a direct telephone line to the Cabinet in Prague. and with the object of securing a final appeasement.00 a. The President of the Czecho-Slovak State has declared that to serve this purpose. . Chvalkovsky muttered as he left: "Our people will curse us. advance detachments were entering Prague.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED .

General Prchala surrendered. Count Paul Teleki.000 inhabitants. I) "The German Reich undertakes to protect the political independence of the Slovak State and the integrity of its territory. . This Baltic port. You can be sure today that Slovakia is no longer a tolerated appendage.15. Hitler took advantage of the general consternation to recover Memel for the Reich." On March 23 he signed a 25-year "treaty" with Ribbentrop by which (Art. For the rest. But Hitler had changed his mind. T o complete the early Spring seizing season. The Volosin regime proclaimed the "independence" of Carpatho-Ukraine while Revay in Berlin pleaded for German support. ratified by a peace protocol of April 3. with German forces exercising rights of sovereignty. but also to secure bread and soil for Slovaks. about half of whom spoke Lithuanian but almost all of whom regarded themselves as Germans. President Tiso addressed a message on the 14th to the Slovaks of the United States: "We have founded an independent Slovak State today. as his Secretary of State. May God protect you and be with us so that the Slovak people may prosper by that which we have begun today" ( N Y T 3. Hungarian troops crossed the border before the ultimatum expired. . mi.39). and also agreed to conduct its policy and organize its own military forces "in close cooperation with the German Government. Lithuania. announced the annexation of Carpatho-Ukraine to Hungary.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . The Sitch Guards fought the Magyars heroically but in vain. . former aide of Konrad Henlein. An additional 400 sq. . In Budapest pro-Nazi and anti-Semitic Premier Bela Imredy had resigned on February 15 upon discovering that he had "Jewish blood.Czechoslovakiai March 75. . . but is everywhere the master in its own house and able to face the world in its own name." The fate of Carpatho-Ukraine was harder." On March 16 his pro-Nazi and anti-Semitic successor. On March 14 Budapest sent an ultimatum to Prague demanding the withdrawal of all Czech troops within twenty-four hours. however. W e base our future on our independence. Bratislava agreed to German military occupation. i^^p loi von Neurath as Reich Protector and Herr Frank. Immediately thereafter Tiso appealed to Hitler for "protection. had been separated from the Reich by the Treaty of Versailles and placed under the Conference of Ambassadors." T o insure adequate protection. not only to maintain the Slovak tradition. of Slovak territory was acquired by seizure on March 24. following the example of the Polish PRODUCED BY UNZ. with some 150.

Lithuanian title was confirmed by the Allied and Associated Powers. some kneeling in prayer at the grave of their nation. London. now again Germanized into Prague-on-the-Moldau. Thickly strewn before the tomb were thousands on thousands of tiny bunches of violets and snow drops. German-Lithuanian friction over Memel had been chronic during the ensuing seventeen years. was signed in Berlin by Ribbentrop and Foreign Minister Juozas Urbsys.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . 1939 (American edition: Betrayal in Central Europe). before the Tomb of Czecho-Slovakia's Unknown Soldier. Gedye. PRODUCED BY UNZ. each dropped by some mourner for the Czechs' lost freedom. seized the district early in 1923.I02 Appeasement Betrayed occupation of Vilna and the French occupation of the Ruhr. by the walls of the old city stood a little crowd that changed every two minutes. providing for local autonomy. Under order of expulsion. men and women wept. it had best surrender Memel. E. But in lovely Praha on the Vltava. changing sleeping quarters nightly to escape secret agents of the invader and trying in vain to force their way through and beyond the iron ring of German bayonets. thousands upon thousands of whom were on the run. Hitler made another triumphal entry and called the season closed. the British journalist who had written the most moving account of the betrayal of Austria and Czechoslovakia in 1938. R. On March 22 an "agreement. There were no tears in Memel and probably few in Kaunas.^ took his leave of Bohemia's old capital on the day of the occupation of Memel. 1 Fallen Bastions. His account is a fitting requiem: We saw and heard something of the terror of the Gestapo among the population." embellished by a non-aggression pact. As dusk fell and I took my farewell of the city. was he free to see the conquered city. Only on the last day. subject to the terms of the "Statute of the Memel Territory" of 1924. G. democratic government and the protection of minority rights. Now Berlin delicately hinted to Kaunas that if Lithuania wished to escape the fate of Czecho-Slovakia. pale. men bare-headed with teardimmed eyes and women sobbing softly. told of mass arrests and suicides. with permit granted and preparations made for departure to Warsaw. he had taken refuge from the Secret Police in the British Legation. Men of high rank and low. Victor GoIIancz. ashen-faced and hollow-cheeked.

ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . He was unperturbed. This was scarcely remarkable.A nger in Birmingham i o3 On Sunday. This they promptly denied. . moved quietly beyond the crowds with no pride. ANGER IN BIRMINGHAM The most remarkable aspect of the Nazi coup of mid-March was the official reaction of London and Paris to the news of it. . 3. . What was remarkable was the swift change by the end of the week from the initial reaction of acquiescence to the ultimate reaction of disenchantment and wrath. published an article on March 14 by M. The only anxiety to which they gave public expression was not due to any fear lest the whole basis of their policy had been undermined.39). since they knew. if they knew anything. he denounced "Fausse alerte! Fausses nouvelles!" On the same day Pierre-fitienne Flandin pub- PRODUCED BY UNZ. . leading to abandonment of appeasement and belated efforts to rebuild a coalition against Germany. The paper which was usually his mouthpiece. Up to March 16 the Western Munichmen viewed the situation with philosophical complacency. An hour later I was on a train bound for Warsaw. German troops. Thouvenin denouncing the "lies" in the British press about alleged dangers to the Western Powers from events in Czechoslovakia.24. they were prepared to resume the course they had long been embarked upon. all Prague made a pilgrimage here. Hojmne Libre. . dimly discernible through a heavy veil of black crape. Some one had dropped four daffodils. This too was scarcely remarkable. The piles of tiny bunches of flowers had risen breast high. Aside from expressions of mild regret. . At Paris Bonnet had known as early as March 11 what was coming. but to apprehension lest their critics should contend that they were bound to enforce the Anglo-French guarantee of Czecho-SIovakia. that the doom of Czecho-SIovakia was sealed at Munich and that its liquidation was a necessary corollary of the Nazi Drang nach Osten. the day of the great German parade. The initial reaction was of a completely different order. confident that if I ever saw Prague again it would be once more the capital of a free democratic Czech nation (NYT 3. mostly young boys. In the best Munich style. but only immense disdain at the task that had been thrust upon them written on their faces. That reaction in its final form was one of disillusion and bitterness.

An hour later I was on a train bound for Warsaw. they were prepared to resume the course they had long been embarked upon. The initial reaction was of a completely different order. He was unperturbed. This they promptly denied. confident that if I ever saw Prague again it would be once more the capital of a free democratic Czech nation (NYT 3. What was remarkable was the swift change by the end of the week from the initial reaction of acquiescence to the ultimate reaction of disenchantment and wrath. Some one had dropped four daffodils. he denounced "Fausse alerte! Fausses nouvelles!" On the same day Pierre-fitienne Flandin pub- PRODUCED BY UNZ. Hojmne Libre. Aside from expressions of mild regret. At Paris Bonnet had known as early as March 11 what was coming. This too was scarcely remarkable. dimly discernible through a heavy veil of black crape. . but only immense disdain at the task that had been thrust upon them written on their faces. That reaction in its final form was one of disillusion and bitterness. . ANGER IN BIRMINGHAM The most remarkable aspect of the Nazi coup of mid-March was the official reaction of London and Paris to the news of it. that the doom of Czecho-SIovakia was sealed at Munich and that its liquidation was a necessary corollary of the Nazi Drang nach Osten.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . This was scarcely remarkable. . The paper which was usually his mouthpiece. since they knew. Thouvenin denouncing the "lies" in the British press about alleged dangers to the Western Powers from events in Czechoslovakia. the day of the great German parade. . The only anxiety to which they gave public expression was not due to any fear lest the whole basis of their policy had been undermined. Up to March 16 the Western Munichmen viewed the situation with philosophical complacency. In the best Munich style. all Prague made a pilgrimage here. moved quietly beyond the crowds with no pride. published an article on March 14 by M. . but to apprehension lest their critics should contend that they were bound to enforce the Anglo-French guarantee of Czecho-SIovakia. mostly young boys. if they knew anything.39).A nger in Birmingham i o3 On Sunday. 3. German troops. . leading to abandonment of appeasement and belated efforts to rebuild a coalition against Germany. The piles of tiny bunches of flowers had risen breast high.24.

This was set aside.15. FrenchPolish cooperation was impossible because Warsaw. some day previously) expressing optimism: The Left Wing Extremists affiliated to the Second or Third International persist in basing their propaganda and their policy upon antiHitlerism and anti-Fascism. Bonnet went before the Foreign Affairs Commission of the Chamber on Wednesday afternoon. to be sure. But within the democracies the authority and the influence of the Marxist and quasi-Marxist parties are declining.^ Pertinax (Andre Giraud) commented upon official apathy toward the German invasion of Bohemia. March 13. like Budapest. 1 The New York Herald-Tribune. All have realized the gigantic bluff of a propaganda based on the most advanced methods of Moscow. He reported that on Monday. however.39. had adopted an attitude not approved by the Quai d'Orsay. PRODUCED BY UNZ. it was decided to ask Berlin for "explanations. 3.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . He spoke very calmly and used the Nazi term "Czechia. Negrin.15.39). That evening he received Count Welczeck who gave him the text of the German-Czech "agreement" and assured him that "the process of occupying and pacifying the territories concerned will be carried out calmly and in perfect order" (F 69). On Tuesday." Henri de Kerillis and Communist Peri denounced Bonnet's inactivity. The failure of the Popular Front in France or the labor opposition in Great Britain and above all of the Frente Popular in Spain have made the democracies realize where their real interest lies. a brief exchange of views had taken place between Downing Street and the Quai d'Orsay and that "in compliance with Prime Minister Chamberlain's strongly expressed opinion" it was decided to make no protest. He was unperturbed. There are but few who still confound liberty and progress with the tyranny of the republican system of Dr. By Wednesday the pro-government press in Paris was accepting the situation with resignation and some surprise that none of the Czechs had been brave enough to offer resistance." "Paris and London seem to have come to the view that to do something futile was a lesser evil than not to take any notice at all of what was happening" ( N Y T 3.104 Appeasement Betrayed lished an article in the American press (doubtless written. Bonnet explained that the guarantee of Czecho-Slovakia had never been put into effect. On the agenda was a Socialist motion for convocation of an international peace conference. Not until Thursday did Bonnet and Daladier exhibit any alarm.

"They are not prepared to accept or to recognize changes of the nature indicated which are brought about by force. the Cabinet's course since the beginning of the year had been appeasement. where he was vigorously attacked by Laval on the ground that he had not made enough concessions to Italy. PRODUCED BY UNZ. . as in Paris." Events. On January 14 Ambassador Sir Robert Craigie had delivered a note in Tokio to Foreign Minister Hachiro Arita. The powers were necessary for "national defense. They intend to adhere 1 Cf. In London. Daladier declared that the gravity of the situation (discovered somewhat belatedly. 321 to 2 54. The session was stormy. Bohemia must henceforth rest mute. expressing the "uncertainty and grave anxiety in which His Majesty's Government have been left" by recent Japanese explanations of the "new order" in Eastern Asia. Daladier was adamant. At least let some protest of some sort against this violation of right come from this House. Daladier indicated that the 40-hour week would be suspended in all defense industries. Britain exhibited the same pattern of complacency on Tuesday. Kerillis argued that no such authority should be entrusted to the men of Munich or to a government which was producing only 71 planes per month. He rejected all amendments or pledges that the powers would not be used to curb civil liberties or jeopardize social reform." The deputies voted the Cabinet dictatorial powers on Saturday. Appropriate decrees followed. alarm on Thursday and counter-action on Saturday. though no one commented on this) required that the Chambers within the next two days vote his Cabinet dictatorial powers until November 30. it was because this was no time for words.Anger in Birmingham 105 Even then Bonnet repeated his reassurances to the Senate Foreign AflFairs Commission. . Blum was cheered when he said: "A people has been reduced to slavery by the atrocious abuse of force in that year that is the 150th anniversary of the French Revolution. The Senate approved on Sunday. . May 1939." If he had not denounced Berlin and expressed sympathy for Prague. Leo Gershoy.^ By this time appeasement had been repudiated and diplomatic steps had already been initiated to check the Reich. . When parliament met on Friday. . "Alas for French Democracy. diluted only by anxiety as to Italian and Japanese intentions. 286 to 17. with the SociaHsts and Communists solidly in opposition. .ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED .

our people would be found today no less tenacious in defense of their liberty than they have ever been. Despite this hopeful augury.. .000 for 1938." During February and early March there was no change of course." Ashton-Gwatkin was reported to be seeking a general political settlement by a combination of threats and bribes." Robert Hudson hailed Hitler's phrase "We must export or die" as "one of the most encouraging statements we have heard for a very long time. . On February 17 it was indicated that Stanley and Hudson would be preceded to Berlin by Munichman Frank T . They made plans for the forthcoming commercial negotiations. On January 28 Chamberlain asserted: "Our motto is not defiance and—mark my words—it is not diffidence either. The naval estimates for 1939 contemplated expenditures of $722." By an agreement of January 27 London and Paris committed themselves to a grant of . . ./^ 16. Ashton-Gwatkin of the Foreign Office.io6 Appeasement Betrayed to the principles of the Nine-Power Treaty and cannot agree to unilateral modifications of its terms. .400. Somewhat vague pledges to France were accompanied by preparation for Anglo-German trade discussions. told the Liverpool Chamber of Commerce that "Germany has it within her power to bring this insane race in armaments to an end.000. It is defense. Halifax told Lords on February 2 3: "War brings no advantage even to the victors. on the other hand.000 credit to support Chinese currency./^ 5." said the anti-Munichmen) for refugee relief and debt service.000. ." As a further warning to Japan and another step toward meeting American views. . Secretary for India. N o one who knows the British mind will doubt that. On PRODUCED BY UNZ.200.000 to Czecho-Slovakia ("conscience money. It is disastrous. On March i the Marquess of Zetland. Simon announced a week later that the treasury was guaranteeing a . He was received by Ribbentrop on February 21.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . to think that the people of Britain and France would on that account recoil from resisting by force any threat to their rights or to their independence or what they deem to be their vital interest. should the necessity ever be forced upon us. .000 as compared with $581. I think it may lead to a sensible arrangement being reached between our two Governments to develop markets at reasonable prices and end senseless cutthroat competition. half in the form of a gift and the balance as a joint guarantee of a new loan. .

quoted Pascal: "Justice without power is unavailing. London news- PRODUCED BY UNZ. were not regarded as having any weight in mid-March. .14. to propagate rumors or spread distorted views.Anger in Birmingham 107 March 13 Halifax. however. There is complete confidence here that in the end the Czech Government will do whatever the Germans may command." On March 16. speaking at Sunderland. power without justice is tyrannical. "resolutely looked the other way tonight. far from being attacked from without. Hitler's triumphal entry into the Hradcany appeared to the British ministers to be but an unpleasant interlude which had best be ignored.39). . . W e must therefore combine justice and power. Speaker of the House Fitzroy ruled out of order a question by Noel-Baker as to whether Chamberlain would make any representation to Berlin. The Times declared: "It will be generally agreed that there is no specific obligation upon the British Government to take any direct action in the present developments in Central Europe. These unfortunate statements. On October 4 Sir Thomas Insldp. I would appeal both to those who write and those who read newspapers to weigh carefully all reports of foreign governments' alleged intentions. making what is just strong and what is strong just." Chamberlain had confirmed this on December 12." Referring to Czecho-Slovakia. British apathy over Czecho-Slovakia's future is overpowering" ( N Y T 3. . "The British Government and people. he added: "It may be that it suits some people." reported Ferdinand Kuhn on March 13. . Secretary for Dominions. the Diisseldorf discussions culminated in the signature in London of an agreement between agents of the Federation of British industries and the Reichsgruppe Industrie to "replace destructive competition by constructive cooperation." Bonnet and Sir Eric Phipps agreed at Paris on Monday morning that the Anglo-French "guarantee" at Munich did not apply. ." It contemplated the creation of a series of Anglo-German cartels." He added that Britain would "neglect no opportunity of friendly and sincere approach to or by the governments of other countries which may hold real promise of removing misunderstandings or suspicion and so strengthening the forces that make for peace. . . had said "His Majesty's Government feel under moral obligation to treat the guarantee as now being in force. the day after the fall of Prague. for whatever reasons. .ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . was breaking up from within. since Berlin and Rome had failed to participate and Czecho-Slovakia.

It provided for a fixation of the future frontiers of Czecho-Slovakia and PRODUCED BY UNZ. month after month and year after year. cannot any longer hold themselves bound by this obligation.b u t the "stand" was by a British cricket team. but I am bound to say that I cannot believe anything of the kind that now has taken place was contemplated by any of the signatories of the Munich agreement.I o8 Appeasement Betray ed paper placards on Tuesday carried in large letters " A N O T H E R G R E A T S T A N D " . On the fateful Wednesday." Sir Archibald Sinclair asked: "Do the Government still regard themselves as under a moral obligation in regard to the guarantee?" "The position has not undergone any change. His only concession to his critics was a word of regret for Hitler's action." When Ellen Wilkinson asked "Is it unprovoked aggression for a country to provoke secession?" the Speaker ruled the question out of order before Chamberlain was obliged to reply." retorted Chamberlain. Churchill commented "It is no use in our going to their aid now when we did not go to their aid in September. when Hacha surrendered and Hitler seized Prague. No such aggression has yet taken place. Chamberlain asserted: "I may remind him that the proposed guarantee was one against unprovoked aggression against Czecho-Slovakia. accepted by the four powers and Czecho-Slovakia. The Munich agreement constituted a settlement. for the greater part of our lifetime. no longer applicable. "would be an altogether unwarranted assumption." He continued: I have so often heard charges of a breach of faith bandied about. In reply to Attlee in Commons.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED ." asked Attlee. "that this Government are altogether disinterested now in Czecho-Slovakia?" "That. I do not wish to associate myself today with any charges of that character." replied the Prime Minister. "I am afraid other drafts will be presented. after all." "Are we to understand from your reply. however." and added that this was not the last installment of the bill for Munich. of the Czecho-Slovak question. which did not seem to me to be founded on sufficient premises. meant that the State which Britain and France had guaranteed had ceased to exist. "The Government." The Slovak declaration of independence. and a statement that although the trade talks were proceeding satisfactorily Stanley and Hudson would not go to Berlin because the moment was "inopportune. accordingly. Chamberlain reversed his position of Tuesday by arguing in Commons that the Anglo-French guarantee was.

as it always has been. and I believe further that only thus can we banish from our people the haunting fear of that shadow in our time. Liberal Sinclair spoke in a similar vein: "This so-called policy of appeasement is nothing but following the line of least resistance. the object we have in mind is of too great significance to the happiness of mankind for us lightly to give it up or set it to one side. to promote that desire and to substitute the method of discussion for the method of force in the settlement of differences. I cannot regard the manner and the methods by which these changes have been brought about as in accord with the spirit of the Munich agreement. in extending the area of their military control. regardless both of moral principle and the consequences of handing over powerful positions and great resources into the keeping of these formidable Powers. "We are heading straight for anarchy. Hitherto the German Government. any communication with the other tiuree signatories of the Munich agreement. for the first time. It is natural that I should bitterly regret what has occurred. for a universal tragedy which is going to involve us all. they are effecting a military occupation of territory inhabited by people with whom they have no racial connection. They have now without. sent their troops beyond the frontier then laid down. Eden expressed alarm. . Even though it may now be claimed that what has taken place has occurred with the acquiescence of the Czecho-Slovak Government. There is a further point I cannot omit to mention." Laborite Grenfell opined that Chamberlain's policy was "in ruins" and that he should resign in favor of a Prime Minister who would strengthen British ties with friendly Powers. The aim of this Government is now. Now. so far as 1 know." But Sir John Simon came nobly to the defense of the Prime Minister: It is indeed impossible to suppose that in these circumstances the guarantee to maintain the State of Czecho-Slovakia can have any meaning. have defended their action by the contention that they were only incorporating in the Reich neighboring masses of people of German race. There is a time when a great nation has to make great decisions. I believe such a time to be now. Let us remember that the desire of all the peoples of the world still remains concentrated on the hopes of peace and of a return to the atmosphere of understanding and good will which has so often been disturbed. . I PRODUCED BY UNZ.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED .Anger in Birmingham 109 laid down the limits of the German occupation which the German Government accepted. . Although we may have to suffer checks and disappointments from time to time. But finally do not let us on that account be deflected from our course.

there must be consternation and alarm in Britain at the course Hitler has taken. although it is quite certain that the judgment of the democracy in this country would not support it. Simon asserted that Czech gold and foreign exchange in the Bank of England could not be delivered to the Reich without the consent of the Cabinet —a statement which was revealing in the light of subsequent events. not on this country. . but on a lot of foreign governments. to a large extent. . One thing and one thing only will serve Britain—her own armed might. The shock lies in the swift and brutal manner of its end. not external aggression. Chamberlain said quietly that no protest had been made at Berlin. When asked to tell Berlin that "any attempt or attack on the lives and liberties of leaders of the Czech people will intensify indignation in this country at this aggression. Britain has no cause for self-reproach. The final split-up of Czecho-Slovakia was due to an internal split-up." The isolationist Daily Express held: "There is." he responded "I think it would be wrong to assume that the German Government have any such PRODUCED BY UNZ. might involve us in the greatest possible military excursion. this Parliament and its electors. our foreign policy would depend. It is really essential that we should not enter into any extensive general and undefined commitment with the result that. Germany has besmirched her name with infamy which will live as long as the Nazi regime lasts. no call to interfere. On Thursday the Cabinet faced severe criticism in the House and in the press. that presently one or another of these foreign countries who would really have a call upon us in these circumstances. He declined to say whether one would be made.no Appeasement Betrayed agree that this situation is in sharpest conflict with what was contemplated at Munich." The Daily Telegraph declared: " 'Monstrous outrage' is the mildest term that can be applied to yesterday's events in Central Europe. . but we ought not to spend time in rebuking one another." In Commons Government spokesmen announced that Sir Basil Newton would be transferred to Iraq and hinted that Henderson might be recalled from Berlin to report." Only the Daily Mail was more reassuring: "The final disintegration of Czecho-Slovakia was almost inevitable. The Times held that "the purpose of Nazi policy is more and more revealed as sheer aggrandizement and brutal domination. in failing to express that deepest sympathy with the Czech-Slovak people.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . I do not see how we can avoid this result—namely. for everybody feels that.

on the eve of his seventieth birthday. employment. 1939. He was reported to be urging the introduction of some form of conscription and the inclusion of his predecessor in the Cabinet.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . The place was his own home city of Birmingham. . was permitted to say in an address: "Aggression stands forth naked and arrogant in its shame. Here the Prime Minister's father had been Mayor in the 1870's and. That night at Warrington. . President of the Board of Education. Earl De La Warr. 1939. Public opinion "has received a sharper shock than has ever yet been administered to it. He began by referring humorously to his birthday and went on to say that since the week's events in Europe had thrown everything else into the background. His son Austen was instrumental in negotiating Locarno and bringing the German Republic into the League of Nations. he told a cheering throng of 2500. Chamberlain announced his conversion to a new policy. even by the present regime in PRODUCED BY UNZ. W e have seen suppression of a small gallant nation. Neville Chamberlain was seldom without hope. whereas William II and Biilow had rejected it. Austen's half-brother Neville had gone into his father's screw business and had also become an enlightened Mayor of Birmingham before entering Commons in 1918. He too had striven for an Anglo-German entente. March 17. .Anger in Birmingham in intention." Arch-appeaser Viscountess Astor. Since Hitler in Mein Kampf favored such a policy. now thoroughly aroused. But he was already wavering. he must speak of them rather than of trade. On Friday. one for whose gallantry we were only too grateful during the War. social services and finance as he had planned. After his entrance into the Cabinet "Old Joe" had striven mightily but in vain to achieve an Anglo-German alliance directed against Russia. because of his enthusiasm for slum clearance and municipal improvements. and sundry milhons of radio auditors. jumped up to ask: "Will the Prime Minister lose no time in letting the German Government know with what horror the whole of this country regards Germany's action?" Members of the opposition shouted derisively: "Chveden! W h y don't you have another lunch?" Chamberlain did not answer. that his hopes had been shattered." Halifax conferred with Eden and Chamberlain. had been dubbed "Clown Joey" and accused of radicalism by ultra-conservatives. But on March 17. The Birmingham Conservative Association met in the century-old Town Hall.

never could we have reconstructed Czecho-Slovakia as she was framed by the Treaty of Versailles. that when this problem is solved Germany has no more territorial problems in Europe. If I was right then." And he added: "I shall not be interested in the Czech State any more and I can guarantee it. however. nothing that France could have done or Russia could have done could possibly have saved Czecho-Slovakia from invasion and destruction. "Nothing that we could have done. The facts as they are today cannot change the facts as they were last September. that this was the last of his territorial ambitions in Europe and that he had no wish to include in the Reich people of other races than Germans." And then." Without stopping to discuss questions which might have been raised as to the plausibility of these statements. And perhaps naturally that somewhat cool and objective statement gave rise to misapprehension and some people thought that because I spoke quietly. we had been victorious in the end. he went on to defend appeasement: When I came back after my second visit I told the House of Commons of the conversation I had had with Herr Hitler. Even if we had subsequently gone to war to punish Germany for her actions and if.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . "That is an entirely unwarrantable conclusion. We don't want any Czechs. in the Munich agreement itself." When he had spoken on Wednesday in Commons he was: "obliged to confine myself to a very restrained and cautious exposition on what at the time I felt I could make but little commentary." And a little later in the same speech he said. in that declaration which he and I signed together at PRODUCED BY UNZ. that therefore my colleagues and I didn't feel strongly on the subject. I am still right now. there is this clause: "The final determination of the frontier will be carried out by an international commission"—the final determination! And. because I gave little expression to feeling. after the frightful losses which would have been inflicted upon all partakers in the war. lastly." Before doing so.112 Appeasement Betrayed Germany. Herr Hitler himself confirmed this account of the conversation in a speech which he made at the Sportspalast in Berlin when he said: "This is the last territorial claim which I have to make in Europe. "I have assured Mr. he felt called upon to defend himself from the charge that the fall of Czecho-Slovakia was the direct result of his work at Munich. Chamberlain. which bears Herr Hitler's signature. he repeated what he had already said at Berchtesgaden—namely. of which I said that. and 1 emphasize it now. speaking with great earnestness." Peace had been saved. I hope to correct that statement tonight.

We are told that the proclamation of this new German protectorate against the will of its inhabitants has been rendered inevitable by disorders which threatened the peace and security of her mighty neighbor. Who can fail to feel his heart go out in sympathy to the proud and brave people who have so suddenly been subjected to this invasion. Well. if it is so easy to discover good reasons for ignoring assurances so solemnly and so repeatedly given. Before even the Czech President was received and was confronted with demands which he had no power to resist.Anger in Birmingham 113 Munich we declared that any other question which might concern our two countries should be dealt with by a method of consultation. PRODUCED BY UNZ. to have the consultation which is provided for in the Munich declaration. it would be possible to carry further that policy of appeasement which I had described. whose liberties have been curtailed. that those hopes have been so wantonly shattered. what reliance can be placed upon any other assurances that come from the same source? . . how can these events which happened this week be reconciled with those assurances which I have read out to you? Surely. I am convinced that after Munich the great majority of the British people shared my hope and ardently desired that that policy should be carried further. . . Instead of that he has taken the law into his own hands. . if Herr Hitler thought it ought to be done. and within a few^ hours they were in the Czech capital. . as it seemed at Munich. I considered myself justified in founding the hope upon them that once this Czecho-Slovak problem was settled. whose national independence has gone? What has become of this declaration of "no further territorial ambition"? What has become of the assurance "we don't want Czechs in the Reich"? What regard has been paid here to that principle of self-determination on which Herr Hitler argued vehemently with me at Berchtesgaden when he was asking for the severance of the Sudetenland from Czecho-Slovakia and its inclusion in the German Reich? Now we are told that this seizure of territory has been necessitated by disturbances in Czecho-Slovakia. ladies and gentlemen. If there were disorders. that they could provide any justification for what has happened! Doesn't the question inevitably remain in our minds. but today I share their disappointment. were they not fomented from without? And can anybody outside Germany take seriously the idea that they could be a danger to that great country. . in view of those repeated assurances given voluntarily to me. Well.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . their indignation. . as a joint signatory of the Munich agreement I was entitled. the German troops were on the move. .

Already there are indications that the process has begun and It is obvious that it is likely now to be speeded up. and I feel bound to repeat that while I am not prepared to engage this country by new and unspecified commitments operating under conditions which cannot now be foreseen. I pointed out that any demand to dominate the world by force was one which democracies must resist and I added that I couldn't believe such a challenge was intended. will wish to have our counsel and advice. those are grave and serious questions. but I am sure they will require grave and serious consideration. I do not believe there is any one who will question my sincerity when I say there is hardly anything I wouldn't sacrifice for peace. And for that declaration I am convinced that I have not merely the support. the sympathy. it seems incredible that we should see such a challenge. not only of Germany's neighbors but of others perhaps even beyond the confines of Europe.114 Appeasement Betrayed Is this the end of an old adventure or is it the beginning of a new? Is this the last attack upon a small State or is it to be followed by others? Is this. that is the measure of the extent to which these events have shattered the confidence which was just beginning to show its head and which. with the lessons of history for all to read. the confidence of my fellow countrymen and countrywomen. this nation has so lost its fiber that it will not take part to the utmost of its power in resisting such a challenge if it ever were made. to whom we are so closely bound. if it had been allowed to grow. and I have no doubt that others. knowing that we are not disinterested in what goes on in Southeastern Europe. should feel called upon to make such a declaration. a step in the direction of an attempt to dominate the world by force? Ladies and gentlemen. I am not going to answer them tonight. too. . . indeed. We ourselves will naturally turn first to our partners in the British Commonwealth of Nations and to France. of all men. yet no greater mistake could be made than to suppose that because it believes war to be a senseless and cruel thing. . but I shall have also the approval of the whole British Empire and of all the other nations who value peace. might have made this year memorable for the return of all Europe to sanity and stability. It was only six weeks ago that I was speaking in this city and that I alluded to rumors and suspicions which I said ought to be swept away. But there is one thing that I must except and that is the liberty that we have enjoyed for hundreds of years and which we will never surrender. And indeed. in fact. but who value freedom even more. PRODUCED BY UNZ.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . That I. because no government with the interests of its own people at heart could expose them for such a claim to horrors of a world war.

1938. that he should embrace a policy which he had expressly repudiated in March.Anger in Birmingham 115 This renunciation of appeasement. 1939. in September. In what degree. as will be seen. March 16. even when conducted by a Chamberlain. PRODUCED BY UNZ. by what methods. 1939? The obvious answer is his own: he had accepted in good faith the Nazi assurances of the preceding year and was now moved to reconsider his course by the repudiation of these assurances. Chamberlain and his colleagues were shocked and angry. did not quite mean what it first appeared to mean.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . Diplomacy. was neither complete nor permanent) that the course toward Germany which he had hitherto pursued in the belief that British interests would be served thereby had now become a course which placed British interests in jeopardy. Cf. Germany had hitherto been accorded a relatively free hand in the East. 1938. and even on March 15. But Mr. The transition was not one from appeasement to resistance. But here at least was a transition in attitude. The slowness of the Prime Minister's reactions to political change was doubtless a factor. The change is not convincingly explained by the assumption that Chamberlain suddenly became aware of Nazi "perfidy" on Thursday. This explanation. at what point. The Prime Minister became convinced on March 16 (though his conviction. and concluded abruptly that Hitler was no longer to be trusted. in collaboration with whom were all as yet undefined. leaves much unexplained. or from acquiescence in German aggrandizement to "encirclement" to thwart all future aggrandizement. 267. His genius for understatement was 1 German efforts to show that Chamberlain was embarked upon "encirclement" of the Reich before the Ides of March 1939 are not convincing. They were now prepared to consider opposition in some form to future Nazi aggression. Henceforth Germany was to be opposed in the East. Appeasement of Italy and Japan was unaffected by the events of March. is directed not toward the affirmation of abstract principles of ethics but toward the protection and promotion of national interests.^ W h y did Mr. along with the circumstance that the full scope of the Nazi coup was not clear until the middle of the week. however. 268. like so many of Chamberlain's statements. Chamberlain conclude on March 16. G 249. The door to future appeasement of the Reich was carefully kept open.

Chamberlain would fiddle. left unnamed. They suggested that the rulers of the Reich were interested in consolidating their power in the East not in preparation for a crusade against Moscow but in preparation for an assault upon the West. The events of March i6 revealed even to Chamberlain that the Ukrainian dream was dead and that the Soviet Union would not be the next object of Nazi ambition. if permitted to develop. the feelings of profound uneasiness and even alarm among those inhabitants who are conscious of the possibility of a threat to their security. None of these explanations is adequate. Odessa and the Caucasus. It consisted of his abandonment or indefinite postponement of the Drang nach Kiev. The question we have to ask ourselves is whether this conflagration has not now created a situation which is incompatible with the safety of the community as a whole. Chamberlain accused of fiddling while Rome burns. The speech at Birming1 This point was well put by Alexander Glendinning in The Nineteenth Century and After. may prove detrimental to the well-being of all concerned. I am sure that it will be generally agreed that the collapse of most of our public buildings. whether they be considered separately or together. for it was clear by the end of the week that Parliament and press were ill-disposed toward the attitude which Chamberlain had assumed on Monday and Tuesday. But the Prime Minister had defied British opinion on many earlier occasions. and if the lives of its inhabitants are in danger. . played a decisive role. May. and I may add that we are keeping in close touch with representatives of the Fire Brigade. . The identity of the other factor is not in doubt. but I do not think that if he were in Nero's position Mr. Hitler's "perfidy" lay here rather than in his treatment of Prague. so far from relieving the apprehension which has been widely felt.116 Appeasement Betrayed likewise apparent in his earlier utterances.S. It has been suggested that the Fire Brigade should be called. then I confess that I find it difficult to reconcile this state of affairs with the view that there is no cause for misgivings in a situation which. that the greater part of this city is now in flames. with a view to such measures as it may be necessary to take in pursuit of our general aim to restore the confidence we all so earnestly desire.R. and I have no hesitation in saying that this suggestion is one which deserves the most serious consideration.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . I have no doubt. . which I think I may say has been established beyond question. will cause.'" PRODUCED BY UNZ. has served only to increase anxiety and to administer a further shock to confidence. The Realpolitik assumptions behind appeasement therewith collapsed. If the city is on fire. pp. Nazi expansion in Eastern Europe was deemed harmless to British interests so long as its target appeared to be the U. and that it would go something like this: 'The fact. I think he would make a speech. 577-8: "I have heard Mr. 1939.^ Public opinion assuredly played an important role in his decision.S. Some other factor. It was Hungary's annexation of Carpatho-Ukraine on March i6 with Berlin's assent.

PRODUCED BY UNZ. after the violent changes wrought in the map of Europe. how. On the following day he remembered that "on February 5 a National Socialist of standing. in one form or another obtain control of Bohemia and of Moravia" (F 65). Berlin does not hesitate to retract. They are removing their opposition to the plan of a Polish-Hungarian frontier on the Carpathians. for Bonnet's enlightenment. to try to determine in 1 Cf. Evefits. is supporting the Polish and Hungarian claims on Ruthenia" (F 57). The German leaders had completely changed their course. and the Reich would.) When the French Ambassador. and for what reasons this change of mind has occurred.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . Hungary would annex Sub-Carpathian Russia. hence her stubborn determination in Vienna on November 2 to safeguard the existence of an independent Carpathian Ukraine within the frame of the Czechoslovak State. Today. Ambassador Coulondre in Berlin told Bonnet on March 13: "It also appears that the Reich. even though the British War Blue Book is as silent on the point as are Henderson's memoirs and Chamberlain's own utterances. It made no mention of the Ukraine. an expansion which had only to follow the corridor of Sub-Carpathian Russia to reach the oil-wells of Rumania and the wheatfields of the Ukraine. Hence Germany's veto to the Hungarian-Polish project of a common frontier.Anger in Birmingham 117 ham followed. sought to answer his own question. he could come to only one conclusion which he hinted at on the 15th and i6th and stated with crystal clarity on the 19th: "I should like. May. whose duties called for direct contact with the Fiihrer's immediate circle. while favoring the independence of Slovakia. Slovakia would become independent. This explanation. told one of my collaborators to be prepared for developments in which a 'dislocation' (Auflosung) of Czechoslovakia would be unavoidable." (Ibid. first put forward as a hypothesis by the present writer/ can now be substantiated by documentary evidence. It is interesting to speculate when. The Nazi leaders are renouncing the principle of Czechoslovakian integrity. In this case. he added. 1939. obedient to the will of the Reich would afford the latter a starting-point for her expansion toward the southeast. After Munich "they considered at that time that a vassal Czechoslovakia. But Berlin's changed intentions with regard to the Ukraine constituted the decisive element behind the new Anglo-French orientation.

. is in line with the policy of Eastern expansion. . However. This risk may even be increased by the intensification and the speeding up of our rearmament. . One must not. it is vital that we should without delay: (a) rearm to the maximum of our capacity. by uniting our forces with those of Britain. .118 Appeasement Betrayed which directions German dynamism may turn. avoid all publicity about this intensive rearmament. (b) as far as possible. and if to this end we should not take advantage of the favourable circumstances offered to us by the tension and anxiety which prevail in the Central European capitals. especially in Warsaw. is identical with the classic doctrine held by the German General Staff. . The German seizure of Bohemia and Moravia. however onerous and humiliating they may be. In any case. according to which Germany cannot accomplish her high destiny in the East until France has been crushed and. will it continue its drive towards the East? Or. strong enough to impress Germany. before carrying out its vast program to the East. however. taking advantage of its acquired momentum and of the stupor of the Central European States. . as a consequence. was abominable and alarming. We must reckon with the risk of seeing Germany engaged in such an undertaking. and to draw certain practical conclusions for our guidance. will first ttu:n against the Western Powers. to see if we may still hold that it is aimed only at the East. and especially an air force." The new method.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . will the Fiihrer be tempted to return to the idea expressed by the author of Mein Kampf. It is quite possible that tomorrow Hitler will apply to Rumania or Poland the same means that had been so successful against Austria and Czechoslovakia and place before them the alternatives of the massacre of civil populations and the destruction of open towns. whatever new form German dynamism may take after the conquest of Bohemia and Moravia. again. however. be it said. to build a military machine. or the acceptance of the German terms. exclude the possibility that the Reich. will it be tempted to face about and put an end to the opposition of the Western Powers which is interfering with the Reich's liberty of action in the East? In other words. which. . . . with the subsequent inclusion of Slovakia within the German orbit. we are always driven to the same conclusion: to the unavoidable necessity for concentrating the nation's energies towards as vast and PRODUCED BY UNZ. as we have no choice save either to bow one day to Hitler's will or. Britain reduced to impotence on the Continent? W e must likewise examine whether there is still time to erect in the East a wall capable of stemming to a certain extent the German drive. But more important than the method was the probability that it presaged a new goal: Will Germany find it necessary to mark time for a while? Or.

albeit less authoritative. especially with regard to its air force. in the East between the German Reich and Russia. New York. . it might happen that Germany would have moved too far away from its base. Pohsh Ambassador in Washington. 1940. declared: H e advised me of the conference with Ribbentrop. 20-21. The German White Taper.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . Hasty denials of their authenticity in Washington do not prove that they are forgeries. The full text of these documents. 1938. reporting to Beck on Bonnet's course at the time of the signature of the agreement with Ribbentrop. following study of the Polish archives after the fall of Warsaw. the state of mental intoxication in which the Fiihrer must be at present and the irritation and alarm caused in Germany by the rearmament of the democracies and by the attitude of America. 1940. especially for strategic reasons. is afforded from Polish documents issued by the German Foreign Office on March 30. and would be condemned to wage a long and weakening war. Additional evidence. PRODUCED BY UNZ. with an introduction by C. Hartley Grattan. Ambassador William Bullitt on vacation from Paris told him in November 1938 that Russia was the "sick man of Europe" and that "it would be the wish of the democratic countries that armed conflict would break out there. Both internal and external evidence suggests that they are substantially correct translations of actual dispatches. was published by Howell. . He confirmed the fact that Germany had a complete Ukrainian staff which would take over the Government of the Ukraine in the future and which would create there an independent Ukrainian state. under German control Carpatho-Ruthenian Ukraine would serve as a starting-point in this future undertaking in whose continued existence Germany is much interested.Anger in Birmingham 119 as swift a development of its military strength as possible. As the Soviet Union's potential strength was not yet known. as secretly and as intensively as possible (F 80). Bullitt declared. Only then would the democratic countries attack Germany. I consider that we must proceed without delay to the industrial mobilisation of the country. Soskin and Company. Fourth Document. and force her to capitulate. According to a report attributed to Jerzy Potocki. The authenticity of the dispatches from The French Yellow Book quoted above has not been questioned. under this title. . Polish Ambassador Jules Lukasiewicz." ^ On December 17. In view of the impulsive character of the Nazi leaders. voluntarily stressing the fact that he had confessed to the German intermediary that he re1 Pp.

which I had the honor to communicate to the Minister. but also Poland. . France should see herself forced to comply with her obligations to us as a result of the alliance. . "Minister Bonnet doubtless defended himself against attacks rather than circumscribing the positive outlines of French foreign policy. is considered more of a burden. Potocki reported another conversation with BuUitt: "He expressed conviction that Germany would carry out her plan concerning Ukraine. greater efforts would be made to break away from them than to fulfill them. if we further take into consideration that in the last analysis until the end of December the vast majority of French politicians were inclined to consider not only Central Europe. . pp. I merely asked whether Western Powers would become active in such event and whether they would attack the Reich allegedly in order to protect the Soviet Union.S. 34.S. . p." ^ Lukasiewicz on February i.R. and which ended with the Ukrainian question being generally shoved into the foreground by the French press and public opinion.R. Summing up: France does not consider anything of positive value except an alliance with England. . In case. for some reason or other. PRODUCED BY UNZ. and she declares herself in their favor only in a displeased manner. the tremendous diif erence between our direct conversations and the statements of the semi-official press and in parliamentary discussion. .S. M y remarks up to the present have not had any result. while an alliance with ourselves and the U. My opinion does not appear to be in accord with the declaration of Foreign Minister Bonnet. 25-27. 1939. but not before 1940.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . . Bonnet is a person of weak character who is not in a situation to defend any cause. . Several times I have pointed out to Bonnet. as objects which were conceded 1 Ibid. . 1939. Fifth Document. and who falls into the temptation of adapting himself to each of his interlocutors. 2 Ibid. Bullitt replied that all imaginary armed interventions on behalf of some State which might become the victim of German aggression had been abandoned once and for all by democratic countries.^ On January i6. Seventh Document. directly and indirectly. expressed skepticism of Bonnet's renewed assurances in his address of January 6." However "if we recall the attacks of which we were the butt after the Munich conference.12o Appeasement Betrayed gretted both the alliance with us and with the U. I did not enter into discussion with BulUtt about such action. However it is precise and reproduces the exact situation.S.

ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . who gave their assent to a compromise intended to assure the survival of Czecho-Slovakia.15. in the development of the problem of French security. March 14. is in a position to play an important and decisive role. cannot today watch in sUence the 1 Ibid. 3 AP dispatch. would lose the capacity to expand and its forcefulness. thanks to these difficulties and thanks to the opposition of Russia. Eighth Document.^ Coulondre drew correct conclusions from the liquidation of Carpatho-Ukraine and sought to convince Bonnet that the whole content of Anglo-French policy must accordingly be revised.39. It indicated the fact that in the last analysis this was an excuse for permitting the responsible statesmen of the Western Powers to withdraw along the line of least resistance." ^ Finally. then one can realize the profound and essential change which has taken place in the political opinion of the French concerning us. Germany's action in Central Europe was believed today to be further paving the way for Hitler's long-cherished dream of establishing domination over the Ukraine. bloodless booty showed the weakness of these arguments. The rapid succession of events by which Germany acquired valuable. From this conviction resulted an entirely new tone toward Germany. not without affording indirect advantages to the Western Powers." ^ Coulondre and Bonnet knew that such an interpretation of events was false. PRODUCED BY UNZ. and. New York Herald Tribune. Bonnet was sufficiently disturbed to resent the complacent attitude of Downing Street. It was publicly reported from London on March 14 that "in some diplomatic quarters here. attained additional strength.. 55. Serious misgivings arose when Germany.Anger in Birmingham 121 to German expansionism. that the British appeasers had reckoned with the expectation that Germany would find it difficult to absorb territories ceded to it. Twelfth Document. instead of losing force as a result of its action in the East. Polish Ambassador in London.. reported to Beck on March 29. It was foreseen that war between Russia and Germany would ensue. 3. pp. On the i6th the French Foreign Minister instructed Ambassador Corbin to urge upon Halifax the necessity of protesting to Berlin: "The Governments. 39-40. The obvious antipathy against Poland has been replaced by the understanding that on the Continent we are the only State which. which would weaken both. ~ Ibid. Count Edward Raczynski. 1939. p.

Appeasement had failed of its purpose. .12 2 Appeasement Betrayed dismembership of the Czech people and the annexation of their territory without being accused in retrospect of complaisance and moral complicity. They reflected. . as well as to themselves. has destroyed the contractual basis of the first attempt at an understanding between the four great European Powers. They owe it to international opinion. . They spoke.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . You should represent to Lord Halifax the full importance of these considerations and satisfy yourself that the British Government agree that the British and French representatives should immediately take concerted action in Berlin" (F 72). to register a formal protest against this act of force by which Germany. Bonnet doubtless conveyed to Downing Street Coulondre's view of the new German policy. There would be no German-Russian war. PRODUCED BY UNZ. They saw. Bonnet's appeal doubtless aided Chamberlain and Halifax to see the light. in contempt of the rights of a nation.

it was too late to return to appeasement. Public pressure and the course of events kept them on their new tack until the end. Bucharest. but perceived that the appeasers contemplated their deliberate abandonment as the price for purchasing peace for the West. Munich had struck the final blow at the French bloc. was not one of organizing a new coaUtion to halt further German aggrandizement. The entire Czech army and the Skoda arms plants w^ere delivered into Hitler's hands without the firing of a shot in their defense. however. Belgrade. E A S T E R N T H E PROBLEM FRONT of Downing Street and the Quai d'Orsay after March i6. The sources of failure were visible from the beginning of the venture. 123 PRODUCED BY UNZ. but one of reviving an old coalition which had been made moribund by the surrenders of the preceding four years.CHAPTER FOUR TOWARD THE GREAT COALITION I.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . How could confidence now be restored? How could the lost coalition be reconstituted? In striving for answers to these questions in the Spring of 1939 the British and French leaders moved unsteadily along paths they disliked toward goals in which they had no faith. convinced others and at length even themselves that they would fail in the enterprise. By the time their failure was complete. Warsaw and Moscow not only lost all confidence in the ability or desire of Chamberlain and Daladier to defend France's Eastern allies. Their doubts and hesitations. Belated efforts to do so only made the failure more disastrous. 1939.

however. Warsaw and Moscow not only lost all confidence in the ability or desire of Chamberlain and Daladier to defend France's Eastern allies. E A S T E R N T H E PROBLEM FRONT of Downing Street and the Quai d'Orsay after March i6.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . Munich had struck the final blow at the French bloc. Public pressure and the course of events kept them on their new tack until the end. but perceived that the appeasers contemplated their deliberate abandonment as the price for purchasing peace for the West. How could confidence now be restored? How could the lost coalition be reconstituted? In striving for answers to these questions in the Spring of 1939 the British and French leaders moved unsteadily along paths they disliked toward goals in which they had no faith. The sources of failure were visible from the beginning of the venture. Their doubts and hesitations. The entire Czech army and the Skoda arms plants w^ere delivered into Hitler's hands without the firing of a shot in their defense. Belgrade. 123 PRODUCED BY UNZ. convinced others and at length even themselves that they would fail in the enterprise. Bucharest.CHAPTER FOUR TOWARD THE GREAT COALITION I. but one of reviving an old coalition which had been made moribund by the surrenders of the preceding four years. By the time their failure was complete. it was too late to return to appeasement. Belated efforts to do so only made the failure more disastrous. 1939. was not one of organizing a new coaUtion to halt further German aggrandizement.

The British Ambassador had advised Chvalkovsky to come to Berlin. "that one could never regret having done one's duty. He also suspended the proposed visit of Hudson and Stanley to Berlin and called Henderson home to report (B 10). Since the Foreign Minister was absent." reported Coulondre.S. Weizsacker was given the protests on the morning of the i8th. or merely intended to secure concerted action in case of further German drives against other PRODUCED BY UNZ. and the Balkan States. and from that moment I had no real hopes of peace except in a miracle" ( H 2 2 3). . On March 17 Bonnet and Halifax instructed Coulondre and Henderson to present a note to Ribbentrop. "I replied. He reluctantly assented to receiving the French note by post. When informed of the tenor of this communication. 1938. The French note asserted that the German action constituted "a flagrant violation of both the letter and spirit of the agreement signed in Munich on September 29.124 Toward the Great Coalition The first diplomatic steps of London and Paris after the fall of Prague were empty gestures of protest to Berlin. the United States. Upon his recall he felt that his mission was "already a failure. The German Ambassador in London. but feared that the French Government would regret the step. "It is impossible as yet to say whether these conversations are directed toward the creation of a new and soUd coalition against Germany. .ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . He had thought of sitting up all night to learn the outcome of the conference. The Government of the Republic cannot in the circumstances recognize the legality of the new situation brought about in Czecho-Slovakia by the action of the Reich" (F 76). Herbert von Dirksen. but had been plunged in deepest gloom when Hitler had summoned the Czech President as well as the Foreign Minister. Halifax took similar action. . but he decided he could do nothing and therefore "preferred to go unhappily to bed" ( H 214). This Coulondre stoutly denied. and with these words took leave of the State Secretary" (F 78). Consultations had been initiated with France. Bonnet approved (F 81). alleged that Halifax was pushing the more reluctant Chamberlain toward a stronger policy. Weizsacker then declared that France could not protest at a treaty which Prague and Berlin had "voluntarily" accepted. the U.S.R. Weizsacker refused to accept it and asserted that Bonnet had assured Ribbentrop in December that Czecho-Slovakia would no longer be a subject of any exchange of views between Paris and Berlin.

R. He asserted that his Government "cannot recognize the incorporation of Czechia in the Reich nor that of Slovakia in one form or another. Henderson reached London on the afternoon of March 19. Halifax was sympathetic. finally. Tilea. or with the principle of self-determination.S. Meanwhile.Eastern Front 12 5 States. had also delivered a note of protest to Berlin. Attention was concentrated first on alleged German threats to Rumania and Poland. People's Commissar of Foreign Affairs of the U. the Rumanian Minister. Dirksen was also called home to report..S. called at the Foreign OiBce on March 17 to warn against "excessive German economic demands on Rumania" and presumably to plead for British support. to deal a new blow to the feeling of security of nations" (F 82). but Foreign Minister Gaf encu reprimanded Tilea by phone and forced him to issue a denial that he had taken any such step (G 270).ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . by the ultimatum to Lithuania and by Ribbentrop's presentation of demands regarding PRODUCED BY UNZ. Not only does the German Government's action not avert any of the dangers threatening world peace but it actually tends to multiply them. and. or with justice. to disturb the political stability of Central Europe. Bucharest nevertheless ordered partial mobilization and hoped for the best. official Warsaw was filled with lively apprehension by German occupation of Slovakia. The precise purpose of British diplomatic moves over the week-end are not too clear and were perhaps not clear to those who made them. for instance Rumania or Poland" (G 263). He denied the German contention set forth in a German note to Moscow that Hacha had "voluntarily" consented to the liquidation of Czecho-Slovakia. to increase the causes of anxiety already existing in Europe. M. In view of Hungarian threats and German troop movements in Slovakia. Apparently Bucharest failed to secure any British assurances in which it placed sufficient faith to warrant resistance to Berlin. On the 19th a five-year commercial accord was signed whereby Rumanian grain and oil would be exchanged for German arms and machinery. According to German Charge Kordt. On March 18 Maxim Maximovich Litvinov. as legal or as in conformity with the generally accepted rules of international law. Rights to exploit oil and mineral resources and to develop railways and highways were granted to German capital. A mission from the Reich was conducting economic negotiations in Bucharest.

When the Ambassador protested that "you wish to negotiate at the point of bayonets. submitted a memorandum to the Pohsh Foreign Office averring that the German action at Prague had demonstrated that all States were now menaced by the Reich and proposing "without delay an organization of mutual assistance on the part of all those who recognize the necessity of protecting international society against the dehberate violation of the fundamental laws on which it rests. On Tuesday March 21 the British Ambassador in Warsaw. and European peace and security being susceptible of being affected by every action which constitutes a menace to the political independence of any European State. In the interim the British Cabinet had gropingly given shape to its intentions." "As a first step.126 Toward the Great Coalition Danzig and the Corridor. If GermanPolish relations developed satisfactorily "a Polish participation in the guarantee of the Slovak State might be considered. Sir Howard Kennard." Such a declaration would by itself constitute "a valuable contribution to the stabiUzation of Europe. the British Government proposes that the French." Its publication should be followed by common examination by the signatories of every specific situation calling for action." He solicited a visit by Beck to Berlin ( G 203). Polish and Soviet Governments should join the Government of His Majesty in signing and publishing a formal declaration" to the effect that "the peace and security of Europe being an object of interest and of common concern. PRODUCED BY UNZ." Beck retorted: "That is your system!" ( P 6 4 ) . On the 26th Lipski submitted to Ribbentrop a long memorandum rejecting German demands (G 208). Ribbentrop summoned Ambassador Josef Lipski to his office on March 21 to assure him that the Slovak Protectorate was not directed against Poland. Britain was ready to sign as soon as the other three Governments should concur. our respective Governments have decided for the present to consult immediately among themselves concerning measures to be taken with a view toward offering common resistance to any action of this kind. The Foreign Minister told the Ambassador that any Pohsh aggression against Danzig would be considered aggression against the Reich. Beck countered on the 28th by telling German Ambassador von Moltke that any German intervention to change the status quo in Danzig would be deemed an act of aggression against Poland and a casus belli (G 211).ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . Polish military measures provoked protest from Berlin (P 63).

that there is no desire on the part of H. . President Albert Lebrun was elaborately received in London by King George VI. He was accompanied by Bonnet. W e are solely concerned here with the proposition that we cannot submit to a procedure under which independent States are subjected to such pressure under threat of force as to be 1 Neither B nor F nor H contain any information regarding this proposal. When Hudson reached Moscow from Warsaw on March 24. Chamberlain in Commons on March 2 3 was evasive: "I am not yet in a position to make a statement on the consultations which have been held with other Governments as a result of recent developments.. Litvinov had already proposed a conference of Britain.^ Belgium already enjoyed such a guarantee.Eastern Front ii-] Nothing should be said to outside States until the four Powers had reached an agreement (P 65) .R. Nor is this Government anxious to set up in Europe opposing blocs of countries with different ideas about the forms of their internal administration. that the suggestion was "premature. 1938. March i8. Rumania and Turkey to discuss organization of a peace front." Litvinov then urged a conference limited to France. Poland and the Soviet Union. Britain. The "Entente Cordiale" was reaffirmed. . but it was rumored that the British and French Governments had reduced to writing an oral agreement of January 29 whereby they would come to the armed defense of the Netherlands and Switzerland in the event of either being attacked (G 276). Bonnet associated himself with the proposals to Warsaw and Moscow. .S. as it had done to Litvinov's similar proposal of March 17. 2Cf. VEurope Nouvelle. PRODUCED BY UNZ." On the same day that this proposal was transmitted. however. France. Poland.^ Downing Street had thus decided to meet the issue by a solemn declaration in favor of "consultation. 1939. I wish to make it clear. Downing Street replied. he felt a certain coldness which was not entirely meteorological.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . No new obligations were assumed. Government to stand in the way of any reasonable efforts on the part of Germany to expand her export trade. These proposals failed of their purpose. M." a procedure committing no one to anything and once aptly described by Mussolini as "the last refuge of indecision in the face of reality.S. who had already conferred with Bullitt and Suritz. the U. This idea also was given no encouragement by Downing Street.

effective pressure could be exerted on Poland. The accuracy of Kordt's report is not open to serious question. in case of a German attack. . Kordt reported from London to Berlin on the same day: A well-informed diplomat here confirmed to me that. was willing to consider bilateral discussions with Britain to parallel and reinforce the alliance between France and Poland (P 67). Here at the outset was the fatal flaw in the negotiations for a peace front. after such consolidation. in view of the difficulties of multilateral negotiations and the rapid course of events. On the 27th Beck asked Ambassador Lukasiewicz to tell Daladier that Warsaw had made "certain reservations" to the British proposal on the ground that "we do not believe that an act of this kind would be sufficient." Warsaw. and that. up to the present time. The problem posed by the new British policy was a simple problem of geography and grand strategy.12 8 Toward the Great Coalition obliged to yield up their independence. I beheve that the French Government ought to be confidentially informed of our ultimate decision" (P 66). if they should be made. now as always. As Henderson put it subsequently: Neither Britain nor France was in a position to render any effective PRODUCED BY UNZ.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . The decisive reason for this attitude. the idea of a conference seemed to be coming to the fore again in the Foreign Office. . . his Government "could not envisage the possibility of concluding with us without delay a bilateral understanding conforming to the spirit of the proposed declaration. however. It was hoped that. Under these circumstances. In British Conservative circles. From the statement just made by Mr. there exists an opposition—not to be underrated—to the admittance of Soviet Russia to the system planned. apart from the great distrust of assistance from Soviet Russia. in a Four Power Conference. Poland had not been able to decide on accepting the British proposals. Beck instructed Ambassador Raczynski on March 2 3 to ask Halifax whether. Great Britain and France would scarcely be in a position to give Poland effective military assistance. and we are resolved by all means in our power to oppose attempts. turn upon Great Britain with its full strength (G 275). was the consideration that the relations with Germany would become untenable as a result of such participation. Chamberlain in the House of Commons one may draw the conclusion that Conservative Party circles closest to the Government greatly fear that an area in the East consolidated under German predomination would. to put such a procedure into operation" (B 11).

Eastern Front 129 immediate aid to Poland if she were attacked by Germany's overwhelmingly powerful Air Force and highly mechanized Army. and with a view to the necessary inclusion of Russia in the peace front against further German aggression. the British and French Governments began the negotiations with the U. long before any blockade or pressure on the Siegfried Line from the west would be available to help her in her one-sided struggle. Litvinov and Stalin. The original difficulty was two-fold: Chamberlain and Halifax were still unwilling to accept commitments pledging Britain to defend Poland and therefore suggested the vacuous declaration to "consult".S. The second was never realized.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . could see no possibility of any effective eastern front against the Reich unless Britain was willing to assume binding commitments and Poland was willing to accept Soviet aid. which were to drag on throughout those precious four months. and which are both infinitely bigger and stronger than she is. i. He makes no acknowledgment of the error of having rebuffed Moscow's first proposals and having opened serious negotiations with the U.R.S. It could only be a question of at most a few months before Poland would be overwhelmed. and Russia alone was capable of giving it. The first condition was to be in part realized. The British leader shared their attitude. only after a guarantee had been given to Poland.e. Germany was the menace to her in April. and Russia's good will and material assistance were consequently indispensable to Poland's immediate safety. between which she lies. must come from the east.S. on the other hand. The Warsaw leaders from beginning to end rejected all thought of protection of Poland by the Red Army because of their fear of Communism and their distrust of Moscow. PRODUCED BY UNZ. Henderson ignores the fact that Moscow's "volte-face" was a result of the refusal of London and Paris to meet Moscow's terms. Once again. Situated as she is.S.R. Without it the entire enterprise was doomed. (the only Power which could defend Poland against Germany) and preferred to bid for a guarantee by Britain (which could not defend Poland). and will always depend. 1939. only to end in Russia's abrupt volte-face toward the end of August (H 227-8). as in the case of Czechoslovakia—and one cannot stress the point too often—it was a proposition of political geography. Smigly-Rydz and Beck had no desire to be guaranteed or defended by the U.R.S. No physical courage would avail against the superiority afforded by these technical and material advantages. on Germany and Russia. Immediate support if she were to have any. the fate of Poland depended.S. With this consideration in mind.

Instead of opening discussions with Moscow and pressing Warsaw to co-operate. Government. G 277). Chamberlain and Halifax perhaps feared also that a bilateral accord might merely invite German aggression if it provided only for consultation and might close the door to a resumption of appeasement if it contained any British pledge to defend Poland. Beck replied that the Polish Government was "fully in accord with the proposal of the English Government" (P 68). Chamberlain declined to reveal whither the negotiations were leading.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . Despite its earlier suggestions. M. of any differences that may arise between them. Government have no official confirmation of the rumours of any projected attack on Poland and they must not. Warsaw was evidently hesitant about entering into any bilateral arrangement with Britain until its doubts of British intentions had been resolved. Downing Street ignored the Kremlin and considered the Polish counter-proposal. H. but other Governments had not been left in doubt about what Britain was prepared to do (cf. by way of free negotiation between the parties concerned. They have constantly advocated the adjustment. They consider that this is the natural and proper course where differences exist." He could not say how much further. M. therefore. Kennard asked Beck on March 30 whether he had any objection to such a declaration as Chamberlain contemplated making in Commons on the following day. I am glad to take this opportunity of stating again the general policy of H. Bonnet also agreed. On March 31 the British Prime Minister accordingly startled the world by informing the House of Commons in a low voice of the new formula: The right Hon. which had all the defects and few of the advantages of all compromises. gentleman the leader of the Opposition asked me this morning whether I could make a statement as to the European situation. but by March 28 he was hinting that "what the Government have in mind goes a great deal further than consultation.130 Toward the Great Coalition London's attempted solution of this problem has already been suggested. As I said this morning. the more so as the British warning to Germany was to be given "in the least provocative form" (F 88). be taken as accepting them as true. The solution was a unilateral declaration. In their opinion there should be no question incapable of solution by peaceful means. and PRODUCED BY UNZ. indefinite and temporary.

Government in the meantime before those consultations are concluded.' " Even Poland's independence was to be defended only if "clearly" threatened and if Warsaw decided upon resistance. with or without British advice. I may add that the French Government have authorised me to make it plain that they stand in the same position in this matter as do H . If Poland decided to resist and London decided that the "threat" was not "clear. certain consultations are now proceeding with other Governments.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . Government (B 17). that is why he appealed to us—without committing himself. Rumania gave way. Berlin nevertheless registered fury and Moscow expressed qualified satisfaction. Now he has come out PRODUCED BY UNZ.Eastern Front 131 they would see no justification for the substitution of force or threats of force for the method of negotiation. This pledge. in the event of any action which clearly threatened Polish independence. I now have to inform the House that during that period. Chamberlain tried to use us to scare Germany about Rumania. so we proposed a conference—a conference which made him pause and think—and while he was thinking. a typical product of the Chamberlain mentality. and which the Polish Government accordingly considered it vital to resist with their national forces. M. H . The pledge was limited to the period of the current discussions. be it noted. did not preclude further "appeasement" provided that demands were submitted for "free negotiation" without use or threats of force. left much to be desired. In order to make perfectly clear the position of H ." Britain would again presumably have no obligation. Britain would have no obligation. Should Poland decide. paraphrasing the ofBcial Soviet view. T h e y have given the Polish Government an assurance to this effect. M. As the House is aware. not to resist a German threat.1. We are not Mr. Chamberlain's pawns.39): "Mr. The key word in the declaration is not integrity but 'independence. M.-^ 1 Walter Duranty. although any bargaining value which such a limitation was expected to have was reduced to the vanishing point by the practical impossibility of withdrawing the pledge without thereby giving to the Reich an easy diplomatic triumph. wrote (in NYT 4. The pledge however was not a guarantee of Poland's territorial integrity. This curious formula. Government would feel themselves bound at once to lend the Polish Government all support in their power. Said the Tmes of April i: "The new obligation which this country has assumed does not bind Britain to defend every inch of the present frontiers of Poland.

and the. "Judgment as to whether a nation is virtuous or not can be given not by any human being but by God alone. .000 ton battleship. in ceremonies attending the launching of the Reich's second 35. If the world says today that the nations must be divided into those that are virtuous and those that are not—and that the virtuous nations are primarily the British and the French. contributed nothing new. the question may be asked. Daladier's radio address of March 29. "They were not virtuous means. announced diplomatic recognition of Franco. "By what means have virtuous nations acquired this quarter of the globe?" T h e answer must be. Ambassador Raczynski spent an hour with Halifax on April i and received undisclosed "reassurances.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . the Admiral von Tirpitz. announced Japanese occupation of the Spratly Islands." Sir Alexander Cadogan was reported to have indicated that the British pledge was unlimited and covered Danzig and the Corridor if Warsaw so desired. In that case we are willing to cooperate. but we have the satisfaction of knowing he and Bonnet have done what we wanted—thrown overboard the Munich surrender policy and taken a decisive stand. Tokio. already seized by Japan on February i o. I would only like to say to that statesman that there was an opportunity to do this for 15 years before our time. The first of April was by no means a day of undiluted triumph for the new Anglo-French course. If that checks the Germans he will have the satisfaction of doing it without us. I would reply. the Fiihrer breathed defiance and threats. If a British statesman thinks today that all problems can and must be settled by frank discussions and negotiations. flanking French Indo-China 700 miles south of Hainan. but hoped that Beck's visit to London would clarify the issue. "God has already given judgment. .132 Toward the Great Coalition Warsaw was not wholly satisfied. On the same day at Wilhelmshaven." Perhaps this British statesman will say. for H e has presented the virtuous nations with a quarter of the globe. . W e are told that we had no right to do this or that." .non-virtuous the Germans and Italians—we can only answer. He denounced British "encirclement" prior to 1914. . soliciting the collaboration of all interested in defending peace. to be sure. . and taken everything away from the non-virtuous. into the open with a French-British pledge." In reply to this. G 280)." PRODUCED BY UNZ. Roosevelt. but indicated that it would still follow an "independent" policy (cf. Warsaw was gratified at the British pledge. however.

. In that case any agreements which may be made to safeguard the independence of these countries will never have to be called upon. if such an attempt should be made to dominate the world by force. . His task was to convince himself and his colleagues that the pledge would be carried out and to bargain." but it was to be hoped that the events would never come to pass. to mention only one example. and Europe may then gradually simmer down into a state of quietude in which their existence even might be forgotten. Germany would. . but this desire can only be reciprocal. We are so certain of ourselves because we are strong." Simon concurred. We are not thinking of waging war on other nations. the Naval Agreement. but this is on condition that they leave us alone.Eastern Front 13 3 "What right has Britain in Palestine. I once made an agreement with Britain. (G281). . Here was "a specific engagement directed toward a certain eventuality. are not willing to abandon vital interests. If this desire no longer exists in Britain. the practical premises for this agreement are removed. however. Chamberlain told Commons on April 3 that the new course was a "tremendous departure" in British policy which would need "a chapter to itself when the history books come to be written. This erstwhile pro-Nazi diplomat had seemingly decided to accept the risks of the British pledge.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . If the German Government has never had any such thoughts. so much the better. however. for a British loan and for colonial outlets for the victims of Polish anti- PRODUCED BY UNZ. . namely. to shoot Arabs merely because they stand up for their country? Who gives her that right?" At any rate. and we are strong because we are united. well. But I should like to say one thing. if possible. The German Reich is. nor are they willing to look on threatening dangers without taking action. . namely. The agreement "binds us in certain events to undertake war. the German Reich of the present time. and also because we keep our eyes open . . accept even this with calm. not prepared permanently to accept intimidation or even a policy of encirclement. It is based on the keen desire which we all possess never to have to wage war on Britain." but he was surprised that there should be any misunderstanding or doubt. The German nation of today. Under these circumstances Josef Beck paid his long-planned visit to London (April 3-6). . we have not killed thousands in Central Europe but we have settled our problems in calm and order.

. ideological differences "do not really count in a question of'this kind.The task of Chamberlain and Halifax was to convert their temporary. and naval control of the Baltic. a tentative AngloPolish alliance was projected in London. Colonel Beck at the same time. Better to include Hungary and have Poland "mediate" between Budapest and Bucharest. Thanks to Polish cooperation with Hitler in destroying the Czech bastion. Austria." Lloyd George. The government that had given Hitler a Sudetenland that had never been part of Germany now undertook to deny him Danzig and the Corridor which had for centuries belonged to Germany." PRODUCED BY UNZ. He was put off with an empty formula. The government that had refused to defend the Czech democracy now undertook to defend the^nti-Semitic and half-Fascist Polish state. Warsaw preferred bilateral to multilateral pacts.134 Toward the Great Coalition Semitism. reciprocal alliance. unilateral pledge to Poland into a permanent. moreover. and to use such an alliance as a nucleus around which a "stop Hitler" coalition might be built. Amid these complexities and confusions.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . could not possibly save Poland from German conquest. feared to alienate Hungary by including Rumania in any scheme of collective defense. indulging in blackmail by using prospective Jewish refugees for the exaction of ransom. Colonel Beck was assured that Flis Majesty's Government fully appreciated the difficulty to which he had referred and was at any time ready to examine with the Polish and Rumanian Governments' proposals for the solution of problems arising in Poland and Rumania which are a part of the larger problem. Czechoslovakia. Churchill." As for Moscow. at the request of the Rumanian Government. having yielded to the Reich the Rhineland.e. and Eden stated that the PoHsh commitment would be dangerous and futile without Soviet collaboration. But their guest would make no bargain with the Red bear. The Western Powers. Nevertheless. An official British statement of April 6 declared: "In the course of recent conversations in London Colonel Beck expressed the desire that any international effort for the treatment of Jewish problems should be extended to that of the Jews in Poland and that Jewish immigrants through Poland should have their due share in any opportunity for settlement which may be found. drew attention to the similar problem of enlisting Rumania. Chamberlain told Commons that he would welcome "the cooperation of any country. Beck. they undertook the impossible. Poland now had a very much longer German frontier and could not possibly stand 1 This was one of the less savory aspects of Beck's visit to London. He apparently hoped to bargain with Downing Street in such a fashion as would enable Poland to do what Germany was already doing—i. whatever may be its internal system of government.

direct or indirect. It was understood that the arrangements above mentioned should not preclude either Government from making agreements with other countries in the general interest of the consolidation of peace (B i8). thanks to British acquiescence in German remilitarization of the Rhineland and German domination of the Baltic. was not regarded as a serious difiiculty by the negotiators in London. The two men wrangled over Slovakia. Pending the completion of the permanent agreement.Eastern Front 135 up against the Reich in war. But Beck agreed that Poland should commit suicide by attacking the Reich in the rear in the event of a Nazi march westward. Military discussions were to await on a final accord. For the first time in 20 years the British Government had entered into a bilateral pledge of mutual defense with an Eastern European State. That Poland could give no effective aid to Britain in the event of attack and that Britain could give no aid at all to Poland.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . Beck gave H. M. Government to the Polish Government. It was recognised that certain matters. Weizsacker hinted that Warsaw had violated the Polish-German accord of 1934 and that Hitler's last offer regarding Danzig and the Corridor could not be repeated. Like the temporary assurance. Memel. M. Government under the same conditions as those contained in the temporary assurance already given by H. Lipski. Government to Poland. the permanent agreement would not be directed against any other country but would be designed to assure Great Britain and Poland of mutual assistance in the event of any threat. M. however. troop movements. to the independence of either. Government an assurance that the Polish Government would consider themselves under an obligation to render assistance to H. including a more precise definition of the various ways in which the necessity for such assistance might arise. Chamberlain envisaged the new arrangement as a step toward a great coalition. Beck have covered a wide field and shown that the two Governments are in complete agreement upon certain general principles. They left the PRODUCED BY UNZ. It was agreed that the two countries were prepared to enter into an agreement of a permanent and reciprocal character to replace the present temporary and unilateral assurance given by H. was at pains to assure Weizsacker that the obligations were purely defensive and bilateral and that Poland would enter no bloc. The Anglo-Polish communique released by Chamberlain in Commons on April 6 asserted: The conversations with M. M. would require further examination before the permanent agreement could be completed. M.

The vacillation of German policy in the 1AP dispatch from Berlin. But they have not been used to hearing it there for a long time. Chamberlain compared the new Anglo-Polish relationship to the French-Polish relationship.13 6 Toward the Great Coalition issue in abeyance (P 70. on his way back to Warsaw. for the first time a country has clearly expressed its determination to oppose force by force. and they still do not despair of wearing down Polish resistance in the long run. the Reich would denounce the pact of 1934 and press for an immediate settlement of the problems of Danzig and the Corridor. They were "practically similar. hitherto restrained. however. but that every effort would be made to blackmail Poland. although its restoration to the Reich had been anticipated for April i.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . warning Warsaw of the horrible fate in store for small States that made themselves tools of British designs of aggression against the Reich. to divide Britain and France and to bring about acquiescence in some "reasonable" settlement of the Danzig issue (F 93). There is no record in the available documents. Ribbentrop and Hitler were reported ^ to have warned Lipski that if Poland affirmed the new accord with Britain. Meanwhile. who was in Berlin for a conference. On the 6th Ribbentrop told Tiso. that Hitler did not want war. In this atmosphere Beck passed through Berlin on the 8th. and to reply to any unilateral movement with rifles and guns." What would constitute a threat to Polish independence had not yet been defined. G 212). This is the kind of language that is understood in Germany. April 8. without conferring with any high official (F 94-95). French Embassy circles felt that no sudden blow at Danzig would now be undertaken. It has also been very difficult for them to believe their ears. For the first time the Third Reich has come up against a categorical No. but would form a subject of further discussion with Warsaw. but Poland must accede to German demands. lashed out at Poland on April 7. Charge Vaux Saint-Cyr reported to Bonnet on April 5 that Anglo-French support of Poland had exasperated the Fiihrer "who has been of late in a constant state of anger" (F 92). 1939. PRODUCED BY UNZ. The German reaction to the recent developments was perhaps best summed up in Saint-Cyr's despatch to Bonnet of April 11: The German hesitations must without any doubt be attributed in the first place to the firm attitude adopted by Poland. no decision regarding Danzig seems to have been reached as yet. The Nazi press. of any such precise threat.

Albania f April 8. Italian troops occupied Valona during hostilities. it has no resources to sell abroad. By the Treaty of London of 1915 Italy was promised a protectorate over Albania.: the German aversion to rush into a conflict in which the Reich would be engaged on two fronts and in which it would have to reckon. Their inland valleys shut off Serbia from the sea and control the avenues into Epirus. in the East as in the West. are inhabited by a million Moslem herdsmen. Albania is perhaps the poorest and most backward region of the Balkan Peninsula. but were forced to evacuate PRODUCED BY UNZ. Petersburg. Chamberlain felt disposed to congratulate himself that the new British commitments had perhaps averted an imminent German coup at Danzig. with St. viz.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . reaching from Ankara to Washington. That the State struck down was already under the effective control of the aggressor did not diminish the seriousness of the action. for it was regarded in London and Paris as the prelude to further action of a far more ambitious character. were therefore out of all proportion to the scope of the operation itself. Its diplomatic repercussions. These simple people have never in modern times been a subject of diplomacy. Berlin. Its barren hills. with powerful adversaries (F 97). Paris and London in the background. 2 . The Axis soon delivered a new "blow to confidence" in another quarter. far less touched by Western life than their neighbors in Jugoslavia and Greece. his satisfaction was short-lived. but they have long been an object. sloping down to the Adriatic opposite the "heel" of the Italian boot. apart from cattle and the handicraft work of its peasantry. ip^^ 137 Danzig affair brings out a point which seems to me of capital importance for the appreciation of the general political situation. Macedonia and Montenegro. Save for small oil deposits in the hinterland of Valona. The resurrection of an independent Albania in 1913 under the unhappy Prince Wilhelm of Weid represented a compromise between the ambitions of Belgrade. 1939 If Mr. The blow was in part a diversion and in part a new instance of the Fascist technique of striking unexpectedly while the attention of the democracies was turned elsewhere. Their rocky shores command Corfu and the entrance to the Adriatic. A L B A N I A t A P R I L 8. Vienna and Rome.

ip^^ 137 Danzig affair brings out a point which seems to me of capital importance for the appreciation of the general political situation.Albania f April 8. are inhabited by a million Moslem herdsmen. but they have long been an object. but were forced to evacuate PRODUCED BY UNZ. The resurrection of an independent Albania in 1913 under the unhappy Prince Wilhelm of Weid represented a compromise between the ambitions of Belgrade.: the German aversion to rush into a conflict in which the Reich would be engaged on two fronts and in which it would have to reckon. Albania is perhaps the poorest and most backward region of the Balkan Peninsula. reaching from Ankara to Washington. Italian troops occupied Valona during hostilities. with St. The Axis soon delivered a new "blow to confidence" in another quarter. with powerful adversaries (F 97). far less touched by Western life than their neighbors in Jugoslavia and Greece. Petersburg. Chamberlain felt disposed to congratulate himself that the new British commitments had perhaps averted an imminent German coup at Danzig. Their rocky shores command Corfu and the entrance to the Adriatic.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . Their inland valleys shut off Serbia from the sea and control the avenues into Epirus. A L B A N I A t A P R I L 8. his satisfaction was short-lived. were therefore out of all proportion to the scope of the operation itself. apart from cattle and the handicraft work of its peasantry. viz. These simple people have never in modern times been a subject of diplomacy. Vienna and Rome. Its diplomatic repercussions. That the State struck down was already under the effective control of the aggressor did not diminish the seriousness of the action. sloping down to the Adriatic opposite the "heel" of the Italian boot. Save for small oil deposits in the hinterland of Valona. Macedonia and Montenegro. for it was regarded in London and Paris as the prelude to further action of a far more ambitious character. in the East as in the West. it has no resources to sell abroad. By the Treaty of London of 1915 Italy was promised a protectorate over Albania. 1939 If Mr. 2 . Berlin. Its barren hills. Paris and London in the background. The blow was in part a diversion and in part a new instance of the Fascist technique of striking unexpectedly while the attention of the democracies was turned elsewhere.

London hinted that any Italian military action in Albania would modify the Mediterranean status quo and therefore violate the Ciano-Perth accord of 1938. to Countess Geraldine Apponyi." New "loans" followed in 1934 and 1935. But after Munich Zog allegedly offered to denounce his alliance with Rome if the Western Powers would give him support. German troops moved southward. Commons jumped. First Lord of the Admiralty. but since none was forthcoming he decided to compromise. Earl Stanhope. In March he pleaded for British aid to enable him to resist Italian pressure." free of interest and with no definite provision for repayment. 1931. He sought an entente with Jugoslavia. Goring was on vacation in Italy. He declined to renew the Pact of Tirana in 1931. 1938." Perth saw Ciano. Italian reports early in April indicated that relations were "strained.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . was difficult. 1926) Rome agreed to aid the Albanian Government in maintaining the political status quo vs^ithin the kingdom. Italian troops moved eastward. Paris saw evidence in the exchanges going on between Berlin and Rome that Hitler had advised Mussolini to act at once in a common plan to dominate the Balkans." Albania nevertheless gravitated into the Italian orbit. a Hungarian noblewoman with an American mother. on condition of a "continuation of full and sincere technical and political collaboration between the two governments. 1927. a defensive alliance was signed for twenty years. however.138 Toward the Great Coalition in 1920 when the Conference of Ambassadors decided to restore Albanian "independence. On November 22. explained empty seats at a film show aboard the Ark Royal on April 4 by saying that orders had been given to man the anti-aircraft guns of the Royal Navy. By the five-year Pact of Tirana (November 27. On April 4 the Bari radio station during its regular broadcast in Albanian denied "tendentious and unfounded reports" abroad and declared: "It is not the intention of the Italian Government to make attempts on the independence and integrity of the Albanian Government." but that negotiations for strengthening the alliance were under way and were expected to have a favorable outcome. A series of corresponding economic agreements culminated in June. Ciano was his "witness" at his wedding on April 27. when Italy consented to extend a number of "loans. Moslem King Zog. The Prime Minister asked PRODUCED BY UNZ. Hitler went to Berchtesgaden for the Easter holidays.

All day celebrating crowds of Albanian patriots cheered the blessed event and breathed defiance to the Duce. Queen Geraldine. but it was speedily crushed and degenerated into guerrilla fighting in the hills. Stanhope expressed regret. while Pariani and Keitel continued their talks. On Saturday Italian forces entered Tirana while the king followed his family into exile. Some resistance was offered. a wealthy land-owner. Ciano arrived by plane from Rome. On April 5 General Alberto Pariani. conferred at Innsbruck with General Wilhelm Keitel. King of Italy and Emperor of Ethiopia. Chief of Staff and former military advisor to the Albanian army. . . Ciano received the Albanian Minister and the Italian Minister to Tirana. Queen Geraldine gave birth to a boy baby early the same morning.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . the blow fell as swiftly and almost as silently as the thrust of a stiletto. A new accord was reported imminent. On Good Friday. ip^p 13 9 the press to give no publicity to the statement. On the 13 th Mussolini presided over the Fascist Grand Council which received the Albanian offer with joy. A provisional council of Italian stooges called a constituent assembly which voted on April 12 to end the dynasty and the constitution and to "offer in the form of personal union the crown of Albania to Victor Emmanuel III. Chief of the Reichswehr. Rome expressed amusement. BerHn expressed resentment. But King Zog called up 15. carrying the two-day old Prince Skander." The new Cabinet was headed by Shefket Verlaci. Italian Undersecretary for War. 1939. particularly at Durazzo. fled over the mountains to Greece. but rumors in Rome held that this move was merely designed to persuade Zog to accept Italian proposals for the establishment of garrisons and the use of Albanian ports by the Italian fleet.000 troops. for his Majesty and his royal descendants. an Italian cruiser and two destroyers arrived at Durazzo. April 7. The Italian press and radio revealed nothing. Itahan troops under General Alfredo Guzzoni landed at several points and moved inland. On the 15th the Senate and the Chamber of Corporations approved the King's PRODUCED BY UNZ. Tirana expressed hope . On the morning of the 6th. He then greeted the cheering crowds which shouted: "To Paris!" and "Down with France!" On the 14th he greeted Goring who was back from a visit to Tripoli where he had been the guest of Marshal Balbo. The Fascist press warned small countries against accepting Anglo-French protection.Albania t April 8.

. Greece could not act. Bonnet saw Phipps and Suritz." On Saturday Hull condemned Italy's "forcible and violent invasion" as an additional threat to the peace of the world. France was more shocked than it had been at the fall of Austria. with the Greek. . The Bishop of Coventry asserted: "We have to face the fact that a nominally Christian nation has delivered a shocking and appalling attack on a small nation. that any occupation of Corfu or any ItaUan move beyond the Albanian frontiers would be viewed with gravity. protested to Hull and said that ItaUans had no sense of chivalry. Nobody acted. It is against the nature of the Italians to understand that they should have waited at least a few weeks more. The Times expressed alarm and defiance.00 p.39)." Diplomatic PRODUCED BY UNZ. "Just when our Queen gave birth to a child. A Royal Air Force plane went to Dyce to take Mr. Spain or Czecho-Slovakia." In Rome Perth called on Ciano to ask Italy's intentions and to inquire how the invasion could be reconciled with the 1938 accord. Chamberlain returned to the capital on Easter Sunday and took a stroll and a cup of tea with his wife in Kew Gardens. the Italian Charge in London. But France could not act. Fiak Konitza. Bulgarian and Albanian Ministers and with the Jugoslav Charge. Crolla was reassuring. it had a general interest in world peace and did not anticipate any breach of the Ciano-Perth agreement. The public was shocked. . Turkey could not act. On the previous day he had told Commons that while Britain had no direct interest in Albania. Jugoslavia could not act. Albanian Minister in Washington. Ciano apparently replied that there was no violation. on Good Friday the British Broadcasting Corporation interrupted its orchestra concert to announce the Italian occupation of Albania. Halifax conferred with the French and Turkish Ambassadors.m. At 1. Halifax told Guido CroUa. the Italians dealt this blow.140 Toward the Great Coalition assumption of the Albanian crown. On the loth the Cabinet decided that any aggression against Greece or Turkey would be regarded as an "unfriendly act. Chamberlain decided to continue fishing.8. The military action had been necessitated by Zog's unfriendly policy and by his plotting to invade Jugoslavia and disturb Italian-Jugoslav relations ( N Y T 4.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . Chamberlain back to London from his fishing holiday. since Albanian "sovereignty" and "integrity" would be respected. As Beck took his leave.

only to learn later that London was not in earnest in its professed desire to halt Italian aggression. Chamberlain announced another new departure to Commons. Grigore Gafencu and Shukru Saracoglu. into a pact which might also be operative against Germany.S. But it was decided neither to denounce the Ciano-Perth accord nor to charge Italy with its violation. all would yet be well. Beck aspired to be "honest broker" between Budapest and Bucharest and to include them both if possible in any bloc against Berlin. Ip39 141 and naval moves were initiated in the Mediterranean. such a pact would be both dangerous and distasteful to Warsaw.R. concluded discussions at Istanbul on April 9. The Rumanian Government appears to have refused to join any fourpower pact of Britain. He began by reviewing the ItaUan and Albanian versions of what had occurred with emphasis on the "divergence of testimony. If Berlin supported Hungarian irredentist designs on Transylvania." While condoning the Italian action and carefully avoiding any temptation to protest or propose resistance. one from another.S. Poland and Rumania or to make its alliance with Poland viable against the Reich (G 291). The Rumanian and Turkish Foreign Ministers. With his preference for bilateral arrangements. France. but seemed as hesitant as Bucharest to enter into any reciprocal pacts with Britain. Ankara. Certain overtures had apparently been made to Rumania before Beck's departure from London. Athens and Belgrade were all alarmed by the Italian action. Budapest was reported to have been asked by Downing Street on April 6 whether it would welcome a British guarantee.Albania f April 8. On Thursday. If II Duce would only withdraw his troops from Spain. The seizure of Albania coincided with continued British efforts to complete the "peace front" against Berlin. the Prime Minister conceded that "public opinion PRODUCED BY UNZ. But the Magyar regime was already firmly tied to the Axis. They had done so in 1936 during sanctions. the Polish Foreign Minister had no enthusiasm for converting the PoUsh-Rumanian alliance against the U. and it would be wise to suspend judgment on facts which preceded the occupation.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED ." But "accounts seem to differ very materially. but without agreeing to any extension of the limited obligations of the Balkan Entente." He revealed that King Zog had appealed to the Foreign Office on April 8 "to do their utmost in aid of a small nation which was desperately trying to defend its own territory. April 13.

bearing in mind definite pledges and assurances which the Italian Government had already given. M. On these broad grounds. a matter which in our opinion was an important element in the Anglo-Italian agreement of April last. . must inevitably be a cause of further uneasiness and increased international tension. nevertheless. they were. although H . and informed him that H . On April 9 he saw him again and informed him that.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . gravely concerned by reports reaching them of the sudden invasion of Albania and found it difficult to believe if the situation between Italy and Albania was as had been described to him by Count Ciano and Signor Crolla differences between the two countries were incapable of solution by negotiation and that they found it equally difficult to understand and reconcile the landing of Italians on the Albanian coast with the integrity of frontiers. the Foreign Secretary said he could feel completely reassured if he could be certain that situation would develop in such a way that conditions of the agreement were not likely to be violated. . . It will be felt widely in this country and in the world at large that the action taken by Italy in Albania. Government profound misgivings and that they would not satisfy public opinion in this country. we instructed our ambassador to speak to Count Ciano in Rome. Lord Perth added that explanations proffered up to date had caused H . M. Ambassador had seen Count Ciano. W h e n pressed b y Lord Perth as to what were Italian intentions with regard to the future. Count Ciano said this would PRODUCED BY UNZ. so far from contributing to the general cause of peace and security. . while at the same time Lord Halifax reminded the Italian Charge d'Affaires that the situation might raise in acute form the whole question of the status quo in the Mediterranean. w h o had stated that the Italian Government fully intended to respect the independence and integrity of Albania and the status quo in the Mediterranean. . Government had taken note of these assurances. . and that is how far are the proceedings in Albania in conformity with the agreement which was signed by the Italians and ourselves on April 16 last year. Government felt they were entitled to the frankest and fullest explanation not only of present developments in the Italian-Albanian situation but also of future intentions of the Italian Government. Lord Perth reminded Count Ciano that both governments were pledged by the Anglo-Italian agreement to preserve the status quo in the Mediterranean area." He went on in the best Chamberlain manner: In this country there is one question which we are bound to ask ourselves.142 Toward the Great Coalition has once again been profoundly shocked at this fresh exhibition of the use of force. . . O n the same day H . W i t h these considerations in mind. M. M. .

The "difficulty.Albania f April 8. Charge Crolla informed Halifax on Easter Eve that Italy had no intention of occupying Corfu." Lord Halifax told him he could dismiss from his mind that the British Government had any intention of occupying Corfu. M. IP3P 143 depend on the wishes of the Albanians themselves. O n the morning of Easter Sunday. PRODUCED BY UNZ. which has cast a shadow over the genuineness of their intentions to carry out their undertakings. Lord Halifax. and we must await the answer of the Italian Government to this offer. T h e Greek Minister subsequently called at the Foreign Office and was informed of the tenor of the conversation and. but that "any British occupation of Corfu would have a very dangerous reaction. "As far as I am concerned nothing that has happened has in any way altered my conviction that the policy of H.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . Government find it difficult in the extreme to reconcile what has happened in Albania with the preservation of national sovereignty as contemplated by the Anglo-Italian agreement. but that the Government would take a very grave view if anybody else occupied it. while welcoming his assurance." The Prime Minister observed that lively apprehension had been engendered in Greece by the Italian action." But "I frankly confess my deep disappointment at the action taken by the Italian Government. during the same evening the Italian Charge d'Affaires called with a further message from Mussolini and gave renewed assurance Italy intended to respect the continental and insular territory of Greece. said it was absolutely vital there should be no misunderstanding between the two governments on this point. Government in signing the Anglo-Italian agreement a year ago was right. H . did not seem to warrant any denunciation of the agreement. we learned from our Minister at Athens that information had reached the Greek Government that Italy was intending to occupy Corfu in the near future. whatever might be the technicalities of the position. M." however. T h e Foreign Secretary saw the Italian Charge d'Aifaires on that day and told him of this report. he gave assurance it was not the policy of his government. It would appear from the latest news that the Albania Provisional Administrative Council has offered the crown of Albania to the King of Italy. But. on his own responsibility. nor even any threat to denounce it. and the Italian Charge d'Affaires said he had no hesitation in saying it was absolutely impossible it should be correct and. and this information was subsequently confirmed by the Greek Minister in London.

but also what other people are willing to do. and H.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . The House and the public cheered this extension of British obligation. W e have to consider not only what we wish. as the case might be. once confidence has been shaken it is not so easily re-established. whose close relationships with the Greek Government are known. they have come to the conclusion that. H. in the event of any action being taken which clearly threatens the independence of Greece and Rumania. M. on their behalf. and which the Greek or Rumanian Governments respectively consider it vital to resist with their national forces." Eden agreed with Chamberlain. H. without any preconceived ideological notions. Consequently. The formula was identical with the Polish formula. "Independence. Attlee and Sinclair. without any prejudice. I therefore take this opportunity of saying that. especially Turkey. Government attach the greatest importance to the avoidance of disturbance by force or threats of force of the status quo in the Mediterranean and the Balkan Peninsula. Government will feel themselves bound to lend at once to the Greek or Rumanian Governments. I ask the House to believe that. but urged him not to "halt half-way. but demanded "speed and vigor" and insisted that the first step to preserve peace should be "the full inclusion of Soviet Russia in our defensive peace bloc" and the second step should be the promotion of Balkan unity. all the support in their power. We are communicating this declaration to the governments directly concerned and to the Powers. which are willing to resist PRODUCED BY UNZ. we are endeavoring to the utmost of our ability so to marshal the forces which are still in favor of peace." Churchill was sympathetic. and I understand that the French Government are making a similar declaration this afternoon. however. Government feel they have both a duty and service to perform by leaving no doubt in the mind of anybody as to their position. W e have a very difficult task to perform. In reply to a question "What about Russia?" Chamberlain said that his failure to mention Russia did not mean that "we are not keeping in closest touch with representatives of that country." was guaranteed. deplored the refusal of the Prime Minister to concede that Italy had flagrantly violated its pledges and accused him of holding Russia "at arm's length. M.144 Toward the Great Coalition Chamberlain then went on to announce a new British commitment: As I have said on previous occasions. The threat must be "clear." not "integrity." The threat must be resisted. M.

the liquidation of Czecho-Slovakia and Albania had led by mid-April to a provisional and reciprocal AngloPolish accord for mutual defense. the French Government considers itself as engaged immediately to lend all the assistance in its power. particularly to Turkey (NYT 4.39). the French Government has in consequence given to Rumania and to Greece the particular assurance that. in the case that any action should be attempted which would clearly menace the independence of Rumania or Greece and which the Rumanian Government or the Greek Government felt it to be to its vital interests to resist with its national forces. confirmed by the French Government and the Polish Government in the same spirit. Taking into consideration the special uneasiness that events of the last few weeks have brought on. but too fearful of Fascist wrath to respond PRODUCED BY UNZ. direct or indirect. which attacks their vital interests. The French-Polish alliance is. that our efforts may be successful. On April 13 Daladier issued a formal declaration which read in part: The French Government attaches the greatest importance to prevention of any modification to the status quo imposed by force. French commercial agreements were concluded late in March with Poland. furthermore. Jugoslavia was interested. has been happy over the conclusion of the reciprocal engagements of Great Britain and Poland. and to non-reciprocal Anglo-French guarantees of the independence of Rumania and Greece." It was intimated that negotiations with Turkey were far advanced.Albania f April 8.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . or by the menace of force. Turkey was not yet included.14. on the other hand. France and Poland guarantee each other immediately and directly against all menace. who had decided to give each other mutual aid to defend their independence if they are menaced directly or indirectly. The English Government has taken the same stand. The French Government. On April 11 the French Cabinet met for the first time since the disappearance of Albania and approved the defensive measures already taken by Daladier. Today our Ambassadors are communicating this declaration to all interested governments. including the dispatch of part of the French Mediterranean fleet from Toulon to eastern waters. There were parallel steps in Paris. in the Mediterranean and in the Balkan Peninsula. albeit carefully qualified and full of loopholes. were not interested in being included. ip^p 145 aggression. Jugoslavia and Rumania. with irredentist ambitions capable of realization only through Axis support against Bucharest and Belgrade. Bulgaria and Hungary. In summary.

Downing Street and the Quai d'Orsay. If Anglo-French diplomacy could fashion nothing better than had thus far been achieved in the way of new barriers to Axis aggression. the "peace front" was still in the blue-print stage. Without Soviet adherence there could be little hope of its efficacy. did not join the bloc which London and Paris were seeking to build. America had fought the Reich in 1917. There were precedents. An American pledge to defend Britain and France in advance of war would deter the Axis from challenging the West in arms and thereby offer high hope of preventing war. If war came and America promptly joined Britain and France against the Reich.146 Toward the Great Coalition to overtures from the West. Such cooperation would indeed become imperative if Soviet cooperation was to be spurned or become unavailable. with minimum risk. Athens and Bucharest was immobilized to the point of declining to give any reciprocal pledge in return for Western guarantees.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . Berlin and Rome had no cause to feel discouraged over these developments so long as the U.S. a resumption of appeasement. Roosevelt. After a month of diplomacy. Belgrade was immobilized to the point of declining any Western proposals for unilateral guarantee. Hitler and Mussolini could face the future with confidence. however.R. An Anglo-French-American alliance for common defense. involving reciprocal commitments to make war jointly on any aggressor menacing either of the signatories. did not enter- PRODUCED BY UNZ. Italian control of Albania and Axis support of Hungary rendered Jugoslavia even more helpless. would make a "peace front" in Eastern Europe unnecessary and would even make possible. W O R D S F R O M WASHINGTON The next phase of the spring diplomacy of 1939 was initiated by Franklin D. German control of Austria. The Anglo-French architects of the "peace front" desired for obvious reasons to enlist the cooperation of the United States. victory for the Western Powers would be probable. even if the Polish diplomats and generals were unaware of the fact. 3.S. The German occupation of Slovakia had rendered Poland strategically helpless against the Reich. The state of Anglo-Soviet negotiations remained a mystery. America had projected an alliance with Britain and France in 1919.

Roosevelt. The German occupation of Slovakia had rendered Poland strategically helpless against the Reich. involving reciprocal commitments to make war jointly on any aggressor menacing either of the signatories.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . Athens and Bucharest was immobilized to the point of declining to give any reciprocal pledge in return for Western guarantees. even if the Polish diplomats and generals were unaware of the fact. the "peace front" was still in the blue-print stage.R. If Anglo-French diplomacy could fashion nothing better than had thus far been achieved in the way of new barriers to Axis aggression. did not enter- PRODUCED BY UNZ.146 Toward the Great Coalition to overtures from the West.S. would make a "peace front" in Eastern Europe unnecessary and would even make possible. If war came and America promptly joined Britain and France against the Reich. however. W O R D S F R O M WASHINGTON The next phase of the spring diplomacy of 1939 was initiated by Franklin D. The Anglo-French architects of the "peace front" desired for obvious reasons to enlist the cooperation of the United States. The state of Anglo-Soviet negotiations remained a mystery. America had fought the Reich in 1917. with minimum risk. There were precedents. Belgrade was immobilized to the point of declining any Western proposals for unilateral guarantee. After a month of diplomacy. An Anglo-French-American alliance for common defense.S. Downing Street and the Quai d'Orsay. Hitler and Mussolini could face the future with confidence. Without Soviet adherence there could be little hope of its efficacy. 3. An American pledge to defend Britain and France in advance of war would deter the Axis from challenging the West in arms and thereby offer high hope of preventing war. Berlin and Rome had no cause to feel discouraged over these developments so long as the U. did not join the bloc which London and Paris were seeking to build. victory for the Western Powers would be probable. German control of Austria. Such cooperation would indeed become imperative if Soviet cooperation was to be spurned or become unavailable. Italian control of Albania and Axis support of Hungary rendered Jugoslavia even more helpless. America had projected an alliance with Britain and France in 1919. a resumption of appeasement.

But in Redpolkik a foreign policy is much more than this. Whether the formulation is known to parliament and public is irrelevant. from week to week by the shifting balance of power. The President and the Department of State had knowledge and responsibility but no authority. when and by whom national interests are jeopardized and what dangers and opportunities are presented from year to year. fears and purposes of the officials who indulge in the verbalizing. plus willingness to act on the part of those with authority. and it requires that those able and willing to act possess a knowledge of ends and means and a grasp of the political realities of the world in which action must take place. This affirmation may be disputed by those who regard a foreign policy as a series of official verbalizations regarding the hopes. if it is to be worthy of the name and to have any possibility of being effective. It consists finally of a flexible but resolute program of action for meeting dangers and taking advantage of opportunities through the effective use of economic and military power to thwart those States who threaten the national interests and to aid those whose interests are parallel. The precedents were meaningless in the face of legislative and public opinion in the United States throughout the decade. One of the central facts of world politics during the years of Nemesis was that the United States of America had no foreign policy. responsibility nor authority in any form admitting PRODUCED BY UNZ. Congress had authority but little responsibility and less knowledge.Words from Washington 147 tain serious expectations of American support in 1939 or 1940.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . The public had neither knowledge. so long as it is known to other governments and so long as parliament and public can be counted upon to support whatever action may be necessary to protect the interests thus defined. The strange fact was that the greatest and most powerful of the Great Powers had no foreign policy and was incapable of devising any. requires authority to act on the part of those charged with responsibility for action. It consists of a well-defined formulation of the national interests which a government proposes to promote and defend. from month to month. America had repented of the decision of 1917 and had repudiated the alliance of 1919 and the League and World Court as well. a foreign policy. It consists further of an expert analysis of the changing pattern of power relations in world politics in order that those who administer policies may know where. In brief.

both published by Alfred A. Counsels in high places were divided. PRODUCED BY UNZ. there loomed in the public mind numerous fanciful and wishful pictures of the world. In place of an accepted definition of national interests. might have led to results not too intolerable in the world of tomorrow. based squarely on the premise that the conquest of Asia by Japan and of Europe by the Axis was of no concern to the United States. there were ardent efforts to deny that the United States had any interests outside of its own frontiers. Even a deliberate policy of supporting the ambitions of Berlin. Knopf. No one able to act was willing to take any action beyond verbalizing. Rome and Tokio. none of these courses was within the realm of the politically possible. Constitutional government by separation of powers and checksand-balances was in part responsible for this state of affairs. Public attitudes were confused. Charles Beard.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . The issue between "internationalists" and "isolationists" need not here be reviewed. involving the full use of the full weight of the United States in world economy and world politics to thwart the Fascist Triplice. It was unwilling to champion an isolationism in which its leading members had no faith. In larger part. might have promised success and safety. if such a course could be imagined. The Administration was reluctant to risk unpopularity by following any course judged "dangerous" by any appreciable body of opinion. Isolated America. In truth. A Foreign Policy for America and Raymond Leslie Buell. as with regard to 1 Cf.'^ Suffice it to say what should be obvious: that any policy is better than no policy. In place of a program of action. might have led to a program of successful adaptation to the kind of world which would result from such developments.148 Toward the Great Coalition of relevant action. Where public sentiment was most nearly unanimous. New York. the explanation lay in the peculiar American equivalent of the blindness and confusion which paralyzed the Western European democracies. since action was always inexpedient in terms of domestic politics and inaction was invariably safe. most of them mutually exclusive and none of them resembling reality. In place of a rational evaluation of Weltpolitik. 1940. lest the use of it entail responsibilities and risks which many believed could be avoided by doing nothing. A resolute and intelligent isolationism. however. A firm and far-seeing interventionism. there was widespread determination to refrain from all action abroad and to make no use of the economic and military power of America.

by all those still capable of evaluation.Words from Washington 149 the desirability of aiding China and Spain by denying arms to their enemies. he was reduced to devious devices and subterfuges to escape isolationist criticism. as the utterances of men who either had no conception of the factor of force in Realpolitik or who were interested only in winning the plaudits of the crowd. nations which renounce force are impotent. banned trade only in arms and money. They usually had no effect whatever on the behavior of foreign governments. in condemnation of aggression.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . Congress and the President worked forever at cross purposes. This was to indulge periodically in abstract statements of high moral principle. since statesmen abroad were fully aware of the fact that the official spokesmen of the United States were neither able nor willing to support their eloquence by force. The verbalizers in Washington had commonly no grasp of the uses of violence in world politics and invariably denounced it in all its forms—as if violence were an end rather than a means. Only one means was available of reconciling the two views and eliciting public applause. the Administration was reluctant to defy the foreign governments and the domestic pressure groups that demanded a different course. PRODUCED BY UNZ. At no time did the President have confidence that such a course could serve American interests. These statements were usually addressed to foreign governments. and declarations of purpose unsupported by force are futile. He nevertheless signed the bills. Since force is the final arbiter in an anarchic State System. This program offered no promise of averting the development of a "war boom. in praise of democracy and in denunciation of totalitarianism were therefore evaluated abroad. The formula adopted. The "neutrality legislation" of 1935-37 reflected Congressional and public demand to "keep the United States out of war" by surrendering the right to trade with belligerents. and the right of victims of aggression to buy or borrow the things they needed desperately. In his desire to discourage aggressors and aid their victims. as the Founding Fathers perhaps intended. The result was paralysis." With lofty impartiality it merely denied the right of aggressors to buy or borrow the things they had no need of. devoid of all effective implementation or tangible content. American statements in defense of international law. however. This evaluation was substantially accurate.

Soskin & Co. But a diplomacy of empty words is a diplomacy foredoomed to failure. 7th. Welles. Vol. Lodge.^ Such was the case with Roosevelt's initiative of mid-April 1939. I. Black. The President's January message to Congress had urged repeal of the arms embargo and methods "short of war" but "stronger than words" to deter aggressors. Documents on American Foreign Relations. The first group was muddled by anxiety to "keep out of war" and to avoid the criticisms which full frankness as to intentions would entail. Walsh. Boston. 1939. 1940). Ambassador Bullitt.. July. January. 9th and 12th documents in The German White Paper of Polish documents (Howell. One was represented by Roosevelt. bestirred himself (through Secretary of the Treasury Morgenthau) to aid a French air mission to purchase American bombing planes. Red. New York. He had given private assurances to various foreign diplomats that the Administration stood squarely against any further appeasement and solidly behind the Western European Powers not only to the extent of desiring to give them material aid against the Axis but to the point of contemplating ultimate American entry into war on the Allied side. The second group was muddled by hatred of totalitarianism. a few Congressmen and sundry members of the Cabinet and the Foreign Service—all committed to giving support to the Western European Powers againsr the Axis.150 Toward the Great Coalition as if moral and legal judgment of its use could be divorced from consideration of the purposes being served by its use. While the President waited. The verbalizers in Washington commonly vv^on public approbation within the United States and often in Britain and France as well. Myers. 1940. and the confusion within them. pressmen. In its background two political forces were in juxtaposition. Senator Key Pittman.^ 1 For text of the principal verbalizations see S. 1938-June. 2 Cf. and numerous Congressmen. Bullitt. PRODUCED BY UNZ. Kennedy. Nye. II. The other was represented by Borah. The interplay between them. was a fascinating and tragic spectacle. World Peace Foundation.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . Vol. Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Brown and Yellow. promised congressional action. each checkmating the other. Shepard Jones and Denys P. and by patriotic concern for "national interests" envisaged as entities in a vacuum. home on leave from Paris. Hiram Johnson. Hull. professional patriots and pacifists—all committed to eschewing "foreign entanglements" and reaffirming the isolationist conception of Washington's Farewell Address. the La Follettes. 1939-June. Vandenberg.

Most of its members were convinced that there was no danger of war abroad and that the President was "meddling." W e must not risk war by playing "world-wide power politics. do you not. Since Chamberlain and Daladier." W e must not "set ourselves up as an oracle of righteousness. Moves in Congress to repeal the arms embargo dragged on inconclusively during February and March. confidentially ordered the army to release certain types of bombing and pursuit planes to the French mission. Castle all condemned the President. Roosevelt was unable or unwilling to do anything to implement the sympathies of the majority of Americans with the Loyalists.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . Walsh and William R. For three days the Anglo-French press rejoiced at this fresh assurance of American support.Words from Washington 151 Secretary of War Woodring accused Morgenthau of seeking to give away American military secrets. The President. Hiram Johnson cried. The isolationists were outraged. Vandenberg. Colonel Stimson's appeal to the President on January 24 (NYT) to permit the sale of arms to the Spanish Republic evoked no response. think the American people have a right to know if they are going down the road to war?" Herbert Hoover in Chicago on February i denounced the President for "his proposal that we make effective protests at acts of aggression against sister nations. ." Roosevelt in his efforts to disabuse them hinted that American interests would be jeopardized by any successful German onslaught over the Rhine. Clark. were bent upon a Fascist victory in Spain." Soon afterward Roosevelt was quoted in other quarters as having said that the American frontier was on the Rhine. The distinction between legitimate expansion and wicked aggression becomes confused. along with the Vatican and most of the American Catholic hierarchy. The crash of one of the bombers in California on January 23 precipitated pubUc outcries and an investigation by the Senate MiHtary Affairs Committee. "Good God. only to have the President issue a belated denial. The President invited the Committee to visit the White House on January 31. On February 9 the Neiv York Herald Tribune accurately described the Administration's policy as a "wobbling course between an appearance of neutrality which has vanished and a cooperation with the democracies which must remain unconfessed. On February 28 twelve senators revived the "war referendum" proposal which had been defeated by a narrow margin in the PRODUCED BY UNZ. Gentlemen." Nye. . however. .

It "froze" Czech balances in American banks." ^ The Administration refused to recognize the conquest of Czecho-Slovakia. PRODUCED BY UNZ.." "military aggression. 199-200. with the Administration supplying no leadership. But fifty Senators endorsed a bill by Senator Bone to tax all large incomes out of existence on a declaration of hostilities—to "scare the country out of war. including munitions. 1939. March 18. .39) that Fascist aggression endangered America and could be "successfully resisted only by the far-sighted readiness and co-operation of the nations which are opposed to such a system.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED .7. Hull at once announced on April 8 that "the forcible and violent invasion of Albania is unquestionably an additional threat to the peace of the world It is scarcely necessary to add that the inevitable effect of this incident. 1939. as well as trampled upon the humanities of our civilization. II Duce struck down Albania. On March 17. 2 Ibid. On March 21 Pittman moved to amend the Neutrality Act by putting all exports to belligerents. I am unalterably opposed to the doctrine preached in many quarters that our government and our people must treat the nations on both sides of this great issue with perfect impartiality. on a cash-and-carry basis. . 261. we must sell to a nation which has violated its treaties with us. The President recognized Franco on April i. Amid confusion worse confounded. Senate hearings on the neutrality legislation opened April 5. Borah argued that aggressors were not violating the Kellogg Pact." "arbitrary force. Stimson warned ( N Y T 3." and "wanton lawlessness. Increased military and naval appropriations were passed. The fall of Prague and Tirana produced no marked change in the Washington deadlock. the Department of State once more championed "respect for the sanctity of treaties and of the pledged word" and denounced "intervention. . to be sure." admitted the sponsor. taken with other similar incidents. for example. that." ^ Bullitt cabled that French officials were expecting immediate 1 Department of State Press Releases. April 8. XX." Such appeals were vain. thus affecting our welfare. the very instruments with which to continue its wrong-doing. is further to destroy confidence and to undermine economic stability in every country of the world.152 Toward the Great Coalition previous Congress. It imposed an additional 2 5 % countervailing duty on German imports in alleged retaliation against dumping.

pp. to refrain from attacking their neighbors. Georgia. New York. have some effect in providing at least a breathing space for France and Britain. There were gestures. Elaborate arrangements were made to get full publicity in all countries." Hamilton Fish denounced Roosevelt's "war hysteria" and his "provocative and inflammatory propaganda. 35f." Bullitt and Kennedy replied to his anxious inquiries that there was little he could do without making some commitment." He expressed hope that "our sister nations beyond the seas will break the bonds of ideas which constrain them toward perpetual warfare. On Saturday." Gobbels fumed. even though Duce and Fiihrer know it was empty verbiage. Senator Reynolds accused the President of calling on the Germans to revolt and "sticking his nose into other people's business. however. As he left Warm Springs." If they attacked." The new "formula" was an appeal to the dictators. for Washington on April 9 he startled the nation by saying. It came as a shock to Berlin and Rome. Joseph Alsop and Robert Kintner. PRODUCED BY UNZ. The fleet was ordered back to the Pacific. if we don't have a war. for poUtical expediency forbade doing anything effective. the United States would do nothing save deny arms and loans to them and to their victims. Roosevelt delivered a Pan-American Day address on April 14 and publicly asked the European dictators whether they could "find no better methods of realizing their destinies than those which were used by the Huns and Vandals. Welles and other advisers were collaborating in concocting permissible phraseology. 1940). whom the President had just insulted. the message was issued. April 15. American White Paper (Simon & Schuster. One had said: "It's just five minutes before midnight. While Hull." ^ The President now felt moved to do something dramatic. via press and radio. the darkest hour is at hand.Words from Washington 153 war. for the President's message. He groped for a "formula" that would involve no commitment (this was verboten by Congress and country) and yet would. "I'll be back in the fall.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . he hoped. There was no "commitment. Pittman introduced a resolution (which came to nothing) to empower the President to embargo non-agricultural exports to any violator of the Nine-Power Pact. addressed to Hitler with an identical copy to Mussolini: ^Cf.

even if it were to be confined to other continents. Switzerland. . Because of the fact that after the acute tension In which the world has been living during the past few weeks there would seem to be at least a momentary relaxation—because no troops are at this moment on the march —this may be an opportune moment for me to send you this message. Plainly the world is moving toward the moment when this situation must end in catastrophe unless a more rational way of guiding events is found. Sweden. Norway. Lithuania. All of them know that any major war. and it is customary and necessary that they leave their arms outside the room where they confer. . it is necessary that both sides enter upon the discussion in good faith. Rumania. Great Britain and Ireland. as in courts. . France. I am convinced that the cause of world peace would be greatly advanced if the nations of the world were to obtain a frank statement relating to the present and future policy of governments. acting only with the responsibility and obligation of a friendly intermediary. Estonia. unfortunately necessary to take cognizance of recent facts. Poland. I trust that you may be wUling to make such a statement of policy to me as the head of a nation far removed from Europe in order that I. PRODUCED BY UNZ. Portugal. Reports. is not involved in the immediate controversies which have arisen in Europe. . however. Yugoslavia. as it must also be of the peoples of the other nations of the entire Western Hemisphere.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . Because the United States. Liechtenstein. Denmark. which we trust are not true. . Luxemburg. . T h e existence of this fear—and the possibility of such a conflict—is of definite concern to the people of the United States for whom I speak. It is. Belgium. A vast territory in another independent nation of the Far East has been occupied by a neighboring State. You have repeatedly asserted that you and the German people have no desire for war. If this is true there need be no war. T h e Netherlands. Are you willing to give assurance that your armed forces will not attack or invade the territory or possessions of the following nations: Finland. Hungary. Latvia. In conference rooms. insist that further acts of aggression are contemplated against still other independent nations. may communicate such declaration to other nations now apprehensive as to the course which the policy of your government may take. Spain. assuming that substantial justice will accrue to both.154 Toward the Great Coalition You realize I am sure that throughout the world hundreds of millions of human beings are living today in constant fear of a new war or even a series of wars. as one of the nations of the Western Hemisphere. Three nations in Europe and one in Africa have seen their independent existence terminated. must bear heavily on them during its continuance and also for generations to come.

At the same time. Reciprocal assurances such as I have outlined will bring to the world an immediate measure of relief.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . Palestine. deplored the President's "tactless phrases. Iraq. if we dare look that far ahead. as I am reasonably sure. the Arabias. I therefore suggest that you construe the word "future" to apply to a minimum period of assured nonaggression—ten years at the least—a quarter of a century. T h e discussions which I have in mind relate to the most effective and immediate manner through which the peoples of the world can obtain progressive relief from the crushing burden of armament which is each day bringing them more closely to the brink of economic disaster. Bulgaria. and in those discussions the government of the United States will gladly take part. If such assurance is given b y your government. but would be entirely foreign to the whole trend of British thought which rests essentially upon a desire to live and let live. ." Chamberlain voiced his "satisfaction" in Commons on April 18. those governments other than the United States which are directly interested could undertake such political discussions as they may consider necessary or desirable. Simultaneously the government of the United States would be prepared to take part in discussions looking toward the most practical manner of opening up avenues of international trade to the end that every nation of the earth may be enabled to buy and sell on equal terms in the world market as well as to possess assurance of obtaining the materials and products of peaceful economic life. Some circles. . Greece. each of the nations enumerated above will in turn give like assurance for transmission to you." Halifax in Lords on the following day denied that the Government was engaged in any effort to "encircle" Germany—a policy which would "not only be extreme folly and lack any color of morality." He further PRODUCED BY UNZ.Words from Washington 155 Russia. I will immediately transmit it to the governments of the nations I have named and I will simultaneously inquire whether. . I propose that if it is given two essential problems shall promptly be discussed in the resulting peaceful surroundings. Turkey. Syria. however. This highly unconventional appeal to reason was received with incredulity and resentment in Italy and Germany and with enthusiasm in France and Britain. An official British statement of April 15 expressed "cordial approval. Egypt and Iran? Such an assurance clearly must apply not only to the present day but also to a future sufficiently long to give every opportunity to work by peaceful methods for a more permanent peace.

Coulondre followed him. who left his post on April 24. and that we want instead to continue our work. N o less absurd is the proposal of reciprocal guarantees lasting ten years which do not take into account the pyramidal errors of geography into which individuals have fallen who have not even the most rudimentary knowledge of European affairs. professional fatalists who often cover with a great banner their fear. . would replace Sir Ronald Lindsay as British Ambassador in Washington. the Marquess of Lothian (Philip Kerr). followed by the London Times and other organs of the Munichmen. PRODUCED BY UNZ. The Caesars meanwhile bided their time and devised means of turning Roosevelt's move to their advantage. that the greater the number of conferees the more certainty there is of failure. It is therefore time to reduce to silence the sowers of panic. soon began to plead for a resumption of "peaceful negotiations" and to argue that Danzig. experience gives us some bitter lessons on this score. namely. after all. was "not worth a war. The diplomatic effect of this revolutionary decision was partly nullified by the circumstance that the French Right press.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . He was later made Chief of the Publicity Department of the Foreign Office.156 Toivard the Great Coalition announced that Henderson would return to Berlin." New "assurances" from Aiussolini were brought to London by the Earl of Perth. Mussolini made no reply apart from the statement in a radio address of April 20 in which he declared that preparations for the Rome Exposition of 1942 showed Italy's pacific intentions: . Sir Percy Loraine succeeded him in the Italian capital. On April 2 6 Chamberlain proposed the introduction of limited conscription in Britain. of which Germany and Italy have given many concrete proofs. It is therefore absolutely unjust and unjustifiable from any point of view to attempt to place nations of the Axis on the seat of the accused. their insensate hatred. It was announced at the same time that another repentant appeaser. This should be considered a promising indication that we do not intend to attack any one. The Ambassador did so on April 24. retiring British Ambassador in Rome. As for the proposed expansive conference in which the United States would limit itself effectively to its customary role of distant spectator. anticipators of catastrophes. or defense of their more or less inadmissible interests. W h e t h e r or not any reply is sent to the well-known message I cannot pass up this occasion to reaffirm that the policy of Rome and of the Axis is a policy inspired by the criteria of peace and of collaboration. .

Sofia. subsequently visited Ankara. Foreign Minister Cincar-Markovich of Jugoslavia called upon Ciano and Ribbentrop. 501 anti-aircraft guns.S. do not allow ourselves to be impressed by press campaigns or convivial vociferations. 43. but merely a pacific step to prevent "some madman or other" from getting control of vast stores of munitions. 785 mine-throwers. soliciting assurances that they did not feel themselves menaced. What. Foreign Minister Gafencu of Rumania departed on a Cook's tour of Berlin. Hitler announced that he would reply on April 28. Paris. In Czecho-Slovakia alone he had confiscated 1582 planes. he turned to a specific reply to the American President in the form of 21 numbered points." had acted to insure peace.Words from Washington 15 7 We. He. Gobbels toured the Near East. The Fiihrer revealed that he had already made his "one and only" offer to Poland and announced the abrogation of the German-Polish non-aggression pact of 1934 and the Anglo-German naval accord of 193 5. He sent queries to a number of States on Roosevelt's list. .090. along with our own. After recapitulating at length the objectives of Nazi policy. He reviewed the record of his achievements at length. Hitler's Reichstag address was an unusually adroit appeal to the Munichmen in the Western democracies. . if anything. Rome and Belgrade. 469 tanks. alleging that the Anglo-Polish commitments had invalidated both agreements. all of them revealing extreme care in preparation. Memoranda to this effect were submitted to London and Warsaw. Teleki and Czaky of Hungary visited Italy and Germany. warming to his subject and waxing humorous at Roosevelt's expense. Hitler went on for 2 '/2 hours. . Chamberlain.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . Brauchitsch visited Rome and Libya.875 machine guns. or by Messiah-like messages.S. 2175 pieces of artillery. Goring lingered in Italy. thorough familiarity with anti-Roosevelt sentiment in the United States and a nice mastery of symbols with which PRODUCED BY UNZ. however. London.R.000 automatic pistols. because we have a tranquil conscience and we have both men and means to defend the peace of all. Vice-Commissar Vladimir Potemkin of the U. not "American clairvoyants. 114. was achieved by these peregrinations was not revealed.000 rifles and all kinds of other material of war. Bucharest and Warsaw. despite the fact that it contained no threats against Russia. 1. Here was no violation of any agreement with Mr.

ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . to the imperialism of the democracies ("Moroccans. representing all the peoples of the world. and will not go to war against any country except in the case of unquestionable home defense. I am not able to understand further why these responsible leaders. to use no worse word. to the Treaty of Versailles. etc. have all fallen victim to foreign might.158 Toivard the Great Coalition to refute and repudiate the plea of April 15. A research committee set up by President Roosevelt himself has examined the cause of America's entry into the Great W a r and reached the conclusion that the entry ensued for exclusively capitalistic reasons. He endorsed Senator Nye: America's entry into the Great W a r was not a case of unquestionable home defense. Nevertheless. He paid his respects to Allied and American acts of war since 1919. Berbers.' but 'Made by Democracies' " ) . PRODUCED BY UNZ. He deftly ridiculed American championship of the conference method of rectifying injustices: M y skepticism is based on the fact that it was America herself who gave sharpest expression to her mistrust in the effectiveness of conferences. Negroes. provided the whole world is not systematically brought into such conflicts by means of a network of nebulous pact obligations"). make them more difficult and indeed disturb them by recalling ambassadors.. were inscribed not 'Made in Germany. For the greatest conference of all time was without any doubt the League of Nations. to the war-mongers ("It is a punishable neglect. without any reason"). Let us hope.. etc. to the wisdom of isolationism for America ("I do not believe that every conflict must have disastrous consequences for the whole globe. that at least the United States will in the future itself act according to this noble principle. to the mendacity of the democratic press which spreads alarm and panic "which in the end go so far that interventions from another planet are believed possible and cause scenes of desperate alarm". Arabs. He denied that any small State felt threatened by aggression or that he had ever waged or contemplated war for any purpose. if the leaders of nations are not capable of controlling their newspapers which are agitating for war and so saving the world from the threatening calamity of an armed conflict. no practical conclusions have been drawn from this fact. however. T h a t authoritative body. then. the swords of which. instead of cultivating diplomatic relations between nations.

The first State. that shrank from this endeavor was the United States—the reason being that President Wilson himself even then nourished the greatest doubts of the possibility of really being able to solve decisive international problems at the conference table. to give a verdict against individual interests. As for a statement of German policy. The freedom of North America was not achieved at the conference table any more than the conflict between the North and the South was decided there. too. . . . . German representatives will never again enter a conference that is for them a tribunal. the most cruel dictated treaty in the world brought about a still more fearful confusion. like all others. . for instance. instead of the greatest confusion known in history being resolved around the conference table. I will say nothing about the innumerable struggles which finally led to the subjugation of the North American Continent as a whole. It was not till after years of purposeless participation that I resolved to follow the example of America and likewise leave the largest conference in the world. by a majority vote. refer to the Monroe Doc- PRODUCED BY UNZ. the United States itself declined to enter the League of Nations and to become the victim of a Court which was able. W h y should he make one to the American President. . he had made many—but always to the German people. The Fiihrer went on to say that only one nation had ever laid down its arms before entering a conference: As soon as the German nation had laid down its arms it was not even invited to the conference table. Roosevelt would rightly.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . were. .Words from Washingto72 159 created in accordance with the will of an American President. . was supposed to solve the problems of humanity at the council table. not solved at the conference table of the League of Nations—and. For who is to be the judge there? . In this case Mr. I must admit. particularly since other States were not asked to do likewise? "We on our side might with the same right address to the President of the American repubUc the question as to what aim American foreign policy has in view in its turn— and on what intentions this policy is based. But I should be grateful to President Roosevelt if he would explain to the world what the new World Court is to be like. however. Incidentally. Then one day. in the case of the Central and South American States. Since then I have solved the problems concerning my people which. . unfortunately. . . without recourse to war in any case. but in violation of all assurances was made to suffer the worst perfidy that had ever been known.

in which. . and contrary to Mr. . and asks for a statement to the effect that Germany will not attack Ireland. deploring the barbarous methods with which England is attempting to suppress a people which loves its freedom and is but defending it. Roosevelt's opinion. but they do voice a continuous appeal to the world. Roosevelt of German aggression. Apart from this fact. Roosevelt's notice that Palestine is at present occupied not by German troops but by the English. Moreover. however. because I assume that he would probably rightly consider such a presumption tactless. suggestions. all States bordering on Germany have received much more binding assurances and above all." As for States alleged to feel themselves threatened. W e Germans support a similar doctrine for Europe—and above all for the territory and the interests of the Greater German Reich. Roosevelt on the condition of absolute reciprocity. in some instances strongly so. Syria—are at present not in possession of their freedom. than Mr. . The German Government is nevertheless prepared to give each of the States named an assurance of the kind desired by Mr. .ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . I would obviously never presume to address such a request to the President of the United States of America. but reproaches England with subjecting Ireland to continuous aggression at her hands. . . . .160 Toward the Great Coalition trine and decline to comply with such a request as an interference in the internal affairs of the American continent. He mentions Ireland. he does not charge Germany with oppressing Ireland. the Irish Taoiseach (Prime Minister). Roosevelt asked from me in his curious telegram. The Arabs living in that country wUl therefore certainly not have complained to Mr. And I here solemnly declare that all the assertions which have been circulated in any way concerning an intended German attack or invasion on or in American territory are rank frauds and gross untruths. quite apart PRODUCED BY UNZ. . Now. inquiries had been made: The reply was in all cases negative. the fact has obviously escaped Mr. . . provided that the State wishes it and itself addresses to Germany a request for such an assurance together with appropriate proposals. for instance. strangely enough. and that the country is having its liberty restricted by the most brutal resort to force. is being robbed of its independence and is suffering the cruelest maltreatment for the benefit of Jewish interlopers. In the same way. I have just read a speech delivered by de Valera. . It is true that I could not cause inquiries to be made of certain of the States and nations mentioned because they themselves—as for example. but are occupied and consequently deprived of their rights by the military agents of democratic States.

therefore. In other words. . could have their origin only in a stupid imagination. In this sense. have a much easier task in comparison. Roosevelt. re-united and re-armed German people and torn up the Treaty of Versailles without spilling a drop of blood. in which Providence has placed me and for which I am therefore obliged to work. No economic conference was likely to succeed because various countries are "not able to maintain order in their domestic economic system" or "infect the international capital market with uncertainty by currency manipulation and. Roosevelt. Mr. Conditions prevailing in your country are on such a large scale that you can find time and leisure to give your attention to universal problems. You became President of the United States in 1933 when I became Chancellor of the Reich. and can. You. It is likewise an unbearable burden for world economic relations that it should be possible that some countries for some ideological reason or other to let loose a wild boycott of agitation against other countries and their goods and so practically eliminate them from the market. Mr. therefore. As for disarmament. Let him contemplate how Hitler had solved the unemployment problem in Germany. by my own energy. You have at your disposal the most unlimited mineral resources in the world.Words from Washington i6i from the fact that such assertions. . I. your concerns and suggestions cover a much larger and wider area than mine.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . is unfortunately much smaller. Roosevelt. from the very outset you stepped to the head of one of the largest and wealthiest States in the world. claim a place among those men who have done the utmost which can be fairly and justly demanded from a single individual. only to be "disgracefully deceived. as far as the military possibilities are concerned. . by causing continual fluctuations in value of their currencies to one another. You have the good fortune to have to feed scarcely fifteen people per square kilometer in your country. who twenty-one years ago was an unknown worker and soldier of my people." Let Roosevelt reduce the American tariff. above all. All had been rejected. although for me it is more precious PRODUCED BY UNZ. Let him bring about the restoration of the stolen German colonies. in the face of history. have attained this. Consequently. because my world. Mr. the world is undoubtedly so small for you that you perhaps believe that your intervention and action can be effective everywhere. Germany had disarmed once (he enumerated all the weapons surrendered)." He had nevertheless proposed disarmament agreements on many occasions.

Downing Street was told that German acceptance of the naval pact of June i8. By exposing the hollowness of Roosevelt's words and contrasting American professions of purpose with American deeds. it demonstrated the absence of any American foreign policy. 145-52. This masterpiece of Hitlerical oratory achieved several purposes at once. progress and peace of the whole human community. had been a great concession by the Reich to Britain.^ In concluding the original agreement London had violated the treaty rights of France and other Powers and had jeopardized Soviet naval security in the Baltic. On the day of the address German diplomatic notes were dispatched to London and Warsaw. This was the exclusion "for all time" of any possibility of conflict between Germany and Britain. that this is the vi^ay in vi'hich I can be of the most service to that for which we are all concerned. the justice.quo from the Reich save the pledge to restrict German naval building to the ratio specified. It reaffirmed Axis solidarity and paved the way for the formal alliance soon to come. It freed the Reich from the encumbrances of the German-Polish and Anglo-German accords and twisted Roosevelt's formula into a plea for bilateral non-aggression pacts with the weaker neighbors of Germany. pp. for it is limited to my people! I believe. namely. wellbeing. "naturally conditional on the British Government's intention to adopt a political attitude which would assure a friendly development of Anglo-German relations. however. It furnished new ammunition to the domestic critics of the President and promoted further confusion in the United States. argued that Britain had withdrawn a quid pro quo allegedly granted to Germany as a condition of German concurrence in the bargain.162 Toward the Great Coalition than anything else. Simon and Hoare had acquiesced in German violation of the naval clauses of Versailles by granting the Reich parity in submarines and a ratio of naval tonnage in other categories equal to 35% of the British tonnage. PRODUCED BY UNZ. Europe on the Eve." Germany had "never intervened in 1 Cf.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . despite the fact that in this agreement Baldwin. 1935. It held out new incentives to Anglo-French appeasers by an adroit blending of professions of peaceful intent with complaints over "legitimate grievances" and threats of doom if "encirclement" were persisted in. For this act of bad faith it had received no quid pro. however. 1939. The German note of April 28.

The same formula was used in a longer note to Poland. referred to above. The Anglo-Polish accord was in "open contradiction" to it. 98. The Reich would abide by the qualitative provisions of the 1937 agreement so as to "make their contribution to the prevention of a general unlimited international race in naval armaments" and it would welcome new negotiations for "a clear and unambiguous understanding on a sure basis" (G 294). The Reich had entered into the pact in all good faith. PRODUCED BY UNZ. in whatever part of Europe Germany might be involved in war-like conflict. to their regret. which establishes the obligation to make a mutual AngloGerman exchange of information. "The German Govern1 Cf. they must also conclude that the provisions of Part III. Europe on the Eve. The execution of this obligation rests naturally on the condition that a relationship of open confidence should exist between the two partners. as a cardinal problem of British foreign policy.Words from Washington 163 the sphere of British interests nor encroached in any way on these interests. 1935. "The German Government can only regard such a sudden and radical change of Polish policy with astonishment and estrangement. of its basis." But the British Government "are lately departing more and more from the course of an analogous policy towards Germany. the British Government have unilaterally deprived the Naval Agreement of June i8. Since the German Government. and have thus put out of force this Agreement. but." Recent British decisions and "the inspired anti-German attitude of the British press" revealed that Britain "must always take up an attitude hostile to Germany. 1937. Warsaw was accused of having broken the pact of 1934 ^ by virtue of the Anglo-Polish agreement. 1937. By means of this encirclement policy. on the contrary. have lapsed. The same applies to Part III of the Anglo-German Naval Agreement of July 17." Poland had pledged itself to interfere in any Anglo-German conflict "even if this conflict does not at all touch upon Poland and its interests." Poland had "rendered itself subservient" to a policy of encirclement.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . even in a case where British interests are not affected in any way by such a conflict. p." Thus the British Government no longer regard a war between Britain and Germany as an impossibility. can no longer recognize the existence of this relationship. as well as the complementary declarations of July 17.

"The German Reich and the Kingdom of Denmark will under no circumstances go to war or employ force of any kind against one another. 1939. Negotiations to this end were opened early in May with Denmark. the pact was to be binding for ten years and would run for another ten years if not terminated by notice at least one year before the expiration of this period. The Scandinavian States at a meeting of foreign ministers in Stockholm on May 9 decided that "the Northern countries as hitherto remain outside of all groups of Powers that may be formed in Europe and in the event of war will do everything to avoid being involved. "The Polish Government have thereby arbitrarily and unilaterally rendered this declaration (the non-aggression pact) inoperative." Poland had partially mobilized its army and sought British aid." Thus read Article i of the Danish-German Treaty of Non-Aggression of May 31. Sweden and Finland sent polite refusals (G 344). Should action of the kind specified be taken by a third power against one of the contracting parties. that it must be based on a definite obligation binding on both parties" (G 213). Estonia followed suit. Norway. Poland's answer had been "tantamount to a rejection of the German offer. Estonia and Latvia.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . have not given the slightest cause for such a change of Polish policy. Finland." The Reich v^ould welcome new negotiations and a new settlement. Thus were bids made for new agreements in communications announcing the unilateral abrogation of old ones—and adding insult to injury by accusing the recipients of having broken their word. The Estonian and Latvian PRODUCED BY UNZ.164 Toward the Great Coalition ment. Simultaneously Wilhelmstrasse invited other States to conclude non-aggression pacts with the Reich. The supposition was that there were no limits to democratic gullibility. "and make only one stipulation. A Protocol specified that normal exchange of goods under the rules of neutrality would not be deemed "support" to any third power against either signatory (G 345). Norway. A pact had already been signed with Lithuania on March 22 at the time of the re-annexation of Memel (G 342)." But each State was left free to answer the German invitation as it chose. Sweden. Latvia assented in principle on May 4. the other contracting party will in no way support such action. By Article 2. while Denmark joined the lesser Baltic states in acceptance." Germany had proposed a reasonable solution of the problem of Danzig and the Corridor. on the other hand.

There is food for reflection in the circumstance that this series of treaty texts in the German White Book concludes with the German-Soviet non-aggression pact of August 23. The German accord with Lithuania nevertheless endured for 16 months and those with Estonia and Latvia for 13. Each signatory had pledged its neutrality in any conflict between Germany (or the U.R." to use Welles' phrase. were identical in language with the Danish treaty. was conspicuous by its absence in all cases. in the fall of 1939.R.) and any of the others and had thereby escaped the "entanglements" involved in common action for common defense. 1940.Words from Washington 165 treaties of June 7. If the United States could have been said to possess a "foreign policy. at the end of which time Denmark was abruptly occupied by the Reichswehr and its independence terminated.347). "Respect for the pledged word.S. Their final termination was effected on July 21.S. PRODUCED BY UNZ. by the "voluntary" incorporation of the three Baltic states into the Soviet Union." its cardinal principle was precisely this rule which Germany's neighbors so trustingly followed. The pacts with the Baltic states were nullified by the mutual assistance agreements imposed upon them by the U." and if that policy could have been said to rest upon any "principles.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . save that they were to run concurrently with neither remaining in force longer than the other.S. 1939 (G 346. All had thereby facilitated the process whereby the aggressor was able to conquer each without interference from the others. Roosevelt's words of April 15 were thus not taken wholly in vain. But the pacts had served their purpose in encouraging isolationist neutrality on the part of the neighbors of the Reich. which in turn had long-standing non-aggression pacts of its own with all of them. The ten-year pact with Denmark was observed by the Reich for 11 months and 21 days.S.

where he learned to win friends and influence people in French. a lady of aristocratic lineage. heiress to a champagne fortune. In 1910 he sailed to America to make his fortune. The former married money in the person of Annelies Henkel. sent him to boarding school in Grenoble. His father-in-law made him a partner in the wine firm of Henkel & Co. One of his aunts by marriage. He became intimate with several Jewish banking families and is alleged to have become an Anglophile under the influence of Madame Rothschild. FASCIST JOACHIM VON RIBBENTROP AXIS and Galleazzo Ciano both attained distinction through matrimony. he worked in the War Ministry and was sent in 1918 to Turkey where he met Franz von Papen. His noble aunt was persuaded to adopt him in 1926 and thereby to bestow upon him the coveted 166 PRODUCED BY UNZ.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . The next four years he spent selling Rhine wine in Canada. In 1914 he returned to the Reich via a Dutch boat from New York.CHAPTER FIVE AGGRESSORS' ALLIANCE I. son of Richard Ribbentrop. and later to London where he became a clerk in a German importing company." He was a pacifist and a socialist. After service on both fronts. The latter married power in the person of Edda MussoHni. He married in 1920. a retired army ofBcer of Wesel on the Rhine. The Nazi Foreign Minister was born plain Joachim Ribbentrop. As adjutant of the German delegation he witnessed the signing of the Versailles "Dictate. But he was not above making a tidy sum during the early years of the French occupation of the Rhineland by speculating in inflated marks and importing French wines duty-free. daughter of the Duce.

F or P. Its Hege lords were not German princes but the Kings of Poland through whose realm flowed the Vistula. They are determined in the future too. In the dim past a Duke Conrad of Masovia had invited the Crusading Order of Teutonic Knights to help him protect his duchy against the Slavic pagans of Prussia. They massacred the Danzigers. The contracting parties obligate themselves now. The Knights. since Italy was still neutral when these publications were issued. This pact becomes effective immediately from the moment of signature. PRODUCED BY UNZ.Danzig's Freedom 17 3 to make an alliance with one more powerful than himself for the purpose of attacking others . who displayed a degree of ruthless ambition worthy of their Nazi successors. Neither are there any other documents available as yet on German-Italian relations. . in the event of war conducted jointly. After a series of wars of extermination. extending over the middle decades of the 13 th century.39. 5. because if he conquers. 2. The two governments will form standing commissions for the purposes indicated above under Articles i and 2. . whose lands lay near the site of Danzig. The two contracting parties are conscious of the importance which attaches to their common relations to powers with whom they are on terms of friendship. The two contracting parties are in agreement to fix the first period of its effectiveness for ten years." If Mussolini felt any anxiety on this score. 6. the Knights conquered Prussia and brought German colonists in their wake to dispossess the original Prussians who went the way of the vanquished. to keep up these relationships and jointly to give them a form consonant with the mutual interests that bind these powers. The text of the treaty is not given in G. you are at his discretion. They seized the Baltic In a similar manner the two governments will also constantly arrive at understandings concerning other measures necessary for the practical execution of the provisions of this act. These commissions shall be under the jurisdiction of the two Foreign Ministers. to conclude an armistice and peace only in full agreement with each other. Danzig long held an honored place.22. The Danzigers built their town east of the river's estuary. NYT 5. D A N Z I G ' S F R E E D O M Among the Hansa towns which grew up along the shores of the North and Baltic Seas during the German Middle Ages. B.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . he left his worries to the future. 7. They will come to an understanding in sufficient time (rechtzeitig) before expiration of this period concerning the extension of the effectiveness of the pact. attacked the Lithuanians in 1309.

The latter area was predominantly Polish. Margrave of Brandenburg. Poland recovered Pomerania.174 Aggressors^ Alliance shore up to the Gulf of Finland but were beaten back from the Russian hinterland by Alexander Nevsky. while East Prussia. Danzig and Pomorze (the "Corridor"). still held by the Knights. Even its Polish-speaking Mazurians in Marienwerder and Allenstein voted to remain German in the plebiscite of July 11. They occupied Eastern Pomerania. a status which it enjoyed until the annexation of the city by the King of Prussia in the second partition of Poland in 1793. with its foreign relations.000 burghers of Danzig were almost soUdly German. East Prussia was also German. Danzig too had become almost completely German. 1920. The Grand Master of the Order was now a vassal of the Polish king. A League High Commissioner was appointed to act as intermediary between Danzig and Poland. In the years which followed the Poles restored the Slavic character of West Prussia or "Pomorze" (By the Sea) which connected the heart of the kingdom with the Baltic. telegraphs and postal service controlled by Poland and with its internal administration in the hands of a local legislature. 1466. The separation of East Prussia from the rest of the Reich became a major grievance to all German patriots—and one not to be assuaged by the treaty of 1921 whereby Warsaw granted the Reich an unimpeded right of transit across Pomorze. By the second treaty of Thorn. West Prussia and Danzig. At the Paris Peace Conference the resurrected Poland of Pilsudski's ambitious colonels and the land-hungry gentry demanded annexation of East Prussia." but it reverted to Prussia with the fall of Bonaparte. Its "freedom" was guaranteed by the League of Nations. inhabited by the Poles. railways. In 1457 it received a charter from King Casimir which granted substantial independence. a relationship which continued after 1511 when the Mastery passed to Albrecht. customs.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . The conference decided that Danzig should again become a Free City. PRODUCED BY UNZ. But at Tannenberg and Griinewald in 14 lo they were defeated by the united Poles and Lithuanians. From 1807 until 1814 it was again a "Free City. But the 400. became a feudal dependency of the Polish Crown. of the Hohenzollern-Anspach line. But their colonization efforts in East Prussia failed to deprive the erstwhile realm of the Knights of its Germanic character. and remained Prussian until 1919.

Knopf. But the survival of Poland. The world revolution was postponed. Warsaw was saved. Alfred A. "We will never consent to a restoration of Poland.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED .000. but they transferred a million Germans to Polish rule. But the ragged hordes of the Red Army were too numerous. 1919. and held for nineteen years thereafter in the face of constant Lithuanian protests. third edition. "Between Prussia and Poland there is a struggle for existence.Danzig's Freedom 175 These arrangements. 1920. launched a new invasion of Russia and by the Treaty of Riga of March 18. A year later he invaded the Soviet Ukraine. annexed a million and a half White Russians and between five and seven million Ukrainians. 1921. 1919." declared Bismarck in 1886. fell far short of the original Pohsh demands. Pilsudski marched on Vilna in April. for the rulers of the new Poland had not been content with the boundary of language in the east. depended upon the maintenance of military superiority over Germany by the new Poland and her allies. The Allies dispatched a military mission to aid Poland. October. In order to be effective.000 square miles and 34. and proposed a union of Lithuania." By July. The new Poland with an area of 150.000.000 people. in addition to the Lithuanians of Vilna which was again seized by the Poles in October. this military superiority had to be maintained against Russia as well as against Prussia. coupled with the partition of Upper Silesia in 1921. They had insisted on the frontiers of 1772. 1920. White Russia and the Ukraine in a Greater Poland. New York. The Reds were driven back.000 Poles in an area 1 P. like the "independence" of Danzig. 1939. despite Russia's recognition of Polish independence and its willingness to negotiate a compromise frontier. contrary to his pledges to the Western Powers. Our way toward worldwide conflagration passes over the corpse of Poland." •'• Thirty-three years later Prussia consented under force majeure. the Communist armies were driving on Warsaw. Petlura. The elated Pilsudski. PRODUCED BY UNZ. as projected by the "Curzon Line" of December. Poland—Key to Europe. including two outstanding anti-Bolsheviks: Lord d'Abernon and General Maxime Weygand. In alliance with the Ukrainian Nationalist leader. General Tukhachevsky led the counter-attack with the words: "The destinies of the World Revolution will be settled in the West. Polish forces seized Kiev and sought to reach the Black Sea. included only 23. 73 of Raymond Leslie Buell's admirable study.

1939. 1936. Burckhardt.R." He suggested forthwith the formal return of Danzig to the Reich. save that he attributed to Ribbentrop a willingness to con- PRODUCED BY UNZ. On October 24. to crown the work inaugurated by Pilsudski and the Fiihrer. Ribbentrop did not ask an immediate answer. On Beck's instructions Lipski pleaded for Hungarian annexation of Carpatho-Ukraine to aiford a common PoUsh-Hungarian frontier. "The tone of the conversation was friendly throughout" (G 197). if not into its territorial frontiers. Local Nazis supported from Berhn took over the Free City in violation of its democratic constitution. . had been laid after Munich.176 Aggressors^ Alliance of 90. Lipski promised to discuss these proposals with Beck.S. The Western Powers abdicated in September. G 1-196 and P 1-42). . "a clean sweep of all existing sources of friction between Germany and Poland . but whose deepest loyalties were not to Poland. was recalled. a reciprocal guarantee of the new frontiers. The Nazis succeeded between 1933 and 1938 in incorporating Danzig into the party structure of the Third Reich. The groundwork. Ribbentrop evaded this issue but proposed. Lipski's report of this discussion corroborates the German version. Lithuania. an extension of from 10 to 25 years of the German-Polish non-aggression pact. Professor Carl J. 1938. was a friend of Hitler. His successor. The rest of its lands had been taken from Germany. There followed a decade and a half of chronic Polish-German friction over Danzig and the Corridor (cf. a Swiss historian. They were inhabited by minorities whose rights were in part protected by the treaty of 1919 (repudiated by Warsaw in 1934). in strictest confidence. The Third Reich's diplomatic and psychological offensive against Poland followed hard on the heels of the Ides of March. League High Commissioner.S. He obligingly recognized that he had no authority. a guarantee of the Danzig market for Polish goods. the U. Sean Lester. Poland acquiesced in the assumption of power in Danzig by a Gauleiter appointed by the Fiihrer on condition that Polish economic and military rights be respected.000 square miles. an extraterritorial motor road and railway across the Corridor.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . and (after Munich) Czechoslovakia. formally guaranteed by the League of Nations. however. Ribbentrop conferred with Polish Ambassador Josef Lipski at Berchtesgaden. and an additional clause providing for consultation over all future controversies.

Warsaw must insist upon the maintenance of the status quo." He asked the Polish position as to the extraterritorial highway. Beck's reply to Ribbentrop was a message to Lipski on October 31 reiterating Poland's desire for good relations. in "Jewish emigration from Poland" and in a common policy toward Russia within the framework of the anti-Comintern pact. and the rights of the Polish minority. ownership of the railroads serving Danzig and Gdynia. On November 19 Lipski conveyed this response to Ribbentrop. He was w^illing. but he beUeved that "such a wish on the part of Germany might conceivably not fall on barren ground in Poland" ( G 198). and since it could not serve Polish commercial needs in the absence of a customs union with its Polish hinterland. Poland asked respect for Poland's rights: unlimited access to the sea. Ribbentrop assured him that Berlin wished to deal with German-Polish relations in the broadest possible way." The Foreign Minister deplored Beck's attitude. Beck's policy had been very clear and logical.Danzig's Freedom I'j'j sider German-Polish cooperation in colonial questions. Any other solution "and in particular that of incorporating Danzig in the Reich would inevitably end in conflict" (P 45). Lipski replied that he could not make any official pronouncement as to this. Poland respected the liberty assured to the Germans of Danzig. to substitute a bilateral German-Polish agreement for the League guarantees and to visit Germany for further discussion. The Foreign Minister had suggested that if Poland should accept the German view regarding Danzig and the Corridor highway "the question of Sub-Carpathian Ruthenia might find a solution conforming to the desires of Poland" (P 44). however.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . emphasizing the difficulty of accepting the German proposals "for reasons of internal policy. Ribbentrop regretted. He did not regard the plan of a bilateral pact as "very practical. He agreed that the 1934 accord should be "perfected. the inclusion of the Free City in the Polish customs area. The Ambassador also indicated that he had expressed grave doubts to Ribbentrop regarding the possibiHty of Warsaw ever assenting to the reunion of Danzig with the Reich. The Reich would not treat Poland as it had treated Benes. that Beck had publicly told a representative of the Hearst press in October that Poland would not discuss any PRODUCED BY UNZ." But since Danzig was one of the most important arteries of Polish trade. however. with a very special maritime significance for Poland.

would always remain German. Moltke and Lipski. Hans von Moltke.178 Aggressors^ Alliance reunion of Danzig with the Reich. Beck and Ribbentrop continued the PRODUCED BY UNZ. having no trust in "security systems" or pacts with Russia." Beck replied that Poland thoroughly appreciated the German viewpoint and would hold fast to its old independent policy. On January 6. Polish opinion. since such a discussion might dispel Polish suspicions on the one hand that Germany "intended to use Carpatho-Ukraine as the springboard for an anti-Polish policy" and German suspicions on the other that Poland wished to bar Germany from the Danubian region (G 199)- These negotiations culminated in Beck's visit to Berchtesgaden on January 5." As for Danzig a new departure must be attempted. German Ambassador in Warsaw. Moltke saw Beck again in mid-December to suggest a personal talk between the two Foreign Ministers. Beck assented. but would remain with Poland economically. Novel methods would afford a solution. If Warsaw would agree to Berlin's terms. Germany would guarantee Poland's frontiers anew by treaty. made the Danzig question difficult. in the presence of Ribbentrop. "The Fiihrer had in mind a formula by which Danzig would return to Germany politically. and it was not only a question of the opinion of the "coffee house opposition" (G 200). and sooner or later would return to Germany. At the former meeting Beck told Hitler.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . The Fiihrer replied that Germany had "no interests on the other side of the Carpathians. that Poland was seriously concerned with the international guarantee of Czecho-Slovakia and the ultimate fate of Carpatho-Ukraine." Communications with East Prussia were as vital to the Reich as access to the sea was to Poland. It was for this reason that he had told Lipski to make clear the Polish position on Danzig by "eine offene Aussprache" (P 47). Lipski repeated that any German effort at Anschluss could only lead to a conflict (P 46). Danzig was German. 1939. told Beck a few days later that amicable relations were too important to be disturbed by this or that difference of views. but if Poland would accept a general settlement "one would hear as little about the Polish Corridor as one now heard about the South Tyrol or Alsace-Lorraine." There would be criticism within Germany. in Munich. and Ribbentrop's visit to Warsaw on January 25. No leader save Hitler "was in a position to engineer such a solution. Beck agreed. however.

Danzig's Freedom 179 discussion. in reply to Beck's pessimism over Danzig. The Warsaw discussions of January 25-27 brought the issue no nearer to a settlement." Ribbentrop repeated his original proposal and said that Berlin could not be disinterested in any alteration of the status of Carpatho-Ukraine. 1939. "but without results so far. Poland could not join the anti-Comintern pact nor consent to any reunion of Danzig with Germany (P 50-56). Even he did not suggest that the Polish attitude up to March was attributable to French or British influence. Ribbentrop stressed the moderate character of the German proposals and asserted that "99 out of 100 Englishmen or Frenchmen would say at once. Ribbentrop later declared that the offer was never flatly rejected by the Polish leaders. until April. Hitler and Ribbentrop regarded them as extremely modest and hoped that the projected guarantee of Poland's frontiers would induce Warsaw to accept them. All problems admitted of a pacific solution.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . however. it is probable that public opinion in the democracies would have regarded them as fair. Ribbentrop told President Moscicki and Marshal Smigly-Rydz that the Chancellor desired an enduring entente with Poland. if asked. Beck invited him to Warsaw (G 201). There is in fact no documentary evidence of any ad- PRODUCED BY UNZ. had denied that Germany sought any violent solution (P 48. but agreed with Ribbentrop that if the League gave up its functions in Danzig a GermanPolish declaration should be issued to maintain the status quo. According to the Polish account Hitler had emphasized the need of a strong Poland for defense against Russia. It is noteworthy that the German suggestions were not accompanied by any overt pressure until March. 49). Beck rejected the proposal for an extraterritorial highway. Beck said he "had cudgelled his brains" for a solution of the Danzig question. while Ribbentrop. They remained secret. Had these proposals been generally known about in the West. The deadlock over Danzig and the Corridor remained unbroken until the outbreak of war. There is no documentary evidence that Warsaw or Berlin communicated their terms to London or Paris. Bonnet apparently had no authoritative news of them until the last week of March (F 83-88). that at least the return of Danzig and of the Corridor was a natural demand on the part of Germany" (G 202). There would be no German blow at Danzig. despite the distrust engendered by Munich and the November pogrom.

At no time was Berlin (or Paris or London) able to shake this confidence or alleviate these suspicions. Warsaw's attitude was "realistic. for the Polish leaders had no confidence in Nazi pledges. NYT 10.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . When Carpatho-Ukraine was finally given to Budapest (March 16).25. The press of each country insulted the other with increasing vehemence. The Reich's road to war and Poland's road to ruin therefore became a broad highway which ran undeviatingly toward its goal." Beck hoped to secure a common frontier with Hungary as a quid pro quo. After the Ides of March. They supposed erroneously that the defense of the Corridor. October 24. Each government accused the other of tolerating the persecution of minorities. was secure so long as Danzig remained "Free" and Poland possessed unimpaired sovereignty over Pomorze. The goal was not predetermined on either side. and therefore of Poland as a whole. threats and recriminations became the order of the day in the relations between Berlin and Warsaw. 1939. They assumed that acceptance of the German demands would jeopardize Polish security and that new demands would follow if Poland yielded. Beck might have accepted it. the rape of Czecho-Slovakia had enhanced Polish suspicions to a point at which no such bargain was any longer acceptable. but was nevertheless implicit in the nature of the original deadlock. Warsaw was inspired by justified suspicion of Nazi motives and by unjustified confidence in Poland's ability to resist the Reich.39. Ribbentrop's address at Danzig. When Polish and German students clashed in Danzig (G 195) and Polish mobs demonstrated before the German Embassy in Warsaw. it may have been impossible from the outset. throwing stones through the windows and shouting: "Down with Hitler" and "Long Live 1 Cf. They believed erroneously that Poland was a Great Power. Indeed. In short. PRODUCED BY UNZ. Had Ribbentrop proposed a bargain on this basis during the autumn. They had observed that other States which granted German requests found that each concession paved the way for new demands. But the Nazi leaders were still cherishing the Ukrainian dream.^ W h y then did Smigly-Rydz and Beck avoid a final answer and adopt a negative attitude? T o say that "Polish opinion" forbade acceptance of the German proposals is to assume that Poland vv^as a democracy and that the Polish leaders lacked means of controlling opinion.180 Aggressors^ Alliance vice or support from the Western capitals to Warsaw.

This Ribbentrop promptly denied. The calling up of Polish reserves did not improve the atmosphere. British support of Poland and the subsequent British pledge of March 31 were inspired by fear of a sudden German blow at Danzig and the Corridor. complained that the protectorate over Slovakia could only be regarded as a threat to Poland. 12 and 13 (P 147). who had sought in vain." Lipski." Lipski suspected that Ribbentrop desired to "neutralize" Poland while Memel was being occupied (P 61). According to Lipski. the more determined became the Nazi leaders to increase the pressure PRODUCED BY UNZ. and for Hitler's repudiation of Schleicher's scheme for a German-Soviet alliance which would have meant the downfall of the Polish state. He affirmed that Germany would never make a bargain with the Soviets. It was important that he should not gain the impression that Poland simply did not want to reach a settlement" (G 203). "This was also important because up to now the Fiihrer could not but be astonished at the peculiar attitude adopted by Poland on a number of questions. He suggested that Lipski go to Warsaw to report to Beck in person and invite him to visit Berlin to negotiate a final settlement on the basis of the original German proposal. The greater the resistance encountered. Ribbentrop solicited Polish gratitude for the German defeat of Russia in 1914-17. The more the pressure increased. despite the promised intercession of General von Keitel. The contest of wills was resumed on March 21 when Ribbentrop summoned Lipski to explain to him the circumstances of the end of Czecho-Slovakia and to express the hope that the final disposition of Carpatho-Ukraine "had caused great satisfaction in Poland. to secure an interview with Ribbentrop or Weizsacker on Anarch 11.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . which had made possible Poland's resurrection. The British pledge in turn made Warsaw more recalcitrant toward Berlin. The moves of the chancelleries now began to revolve in a vicious circle.Danzig^ s Freedom 181 Polish Danzig!" Ribbentrop protested and Beck apologized. But such gestures did not stem the rising tide of hatred on both sides of the frontier ( G 146.147). "He insisted that any German-Polish entente should have manifestly anti-Soviet tendencies. Berlin accused London of making a German-Polish settlement impossible and increased its pressure on Warsaw. the more vivid became Polish and British fears and the more firm became the attitude of London and Warsaw toward German demands.

He quoted Hitler as denying that Danzig had any military importance. In view of the German military actions at Prague and in Slovakia and the German naval action at Memel. He perused a memorandum which the Ambassador submitted from Beck and repeated that "the only possible solution of the problem was the reunion of Danzig with the Reich and the construction of an extraterritorial motor road and railway connection between the Reich and East Prussia. Ribbentrop retorted that Polish troop concentration might prove dangerous and that any violation of Danzig territory would be treated as a violation of the Reich's frontiers. especially where the return of Danzig to the Reich was concerned. M. Moltke reported from Warsaw that anti-German and pro-war feeling was growing with the encouragement of the Polish authorities (G 210) and that Beck had told him on the 28th that any move by Berlin or the Danzig Senate to alter the status of the Free City would be deemed a casus belli (G 211. It proposed that Germany and Poland jointly guarantee the "freedom" of Danzig. Lipski denied any such intentions. Ribbentrop received Lipski again on March 26 "with marked coldness" (P 63). Lipski replied that it was his painful duty to draw attention to the fact that any further pursuance of these German plans. By the end of March each side had in effect assured the other that it would use force against any use of force by the other to break the deadlock. meant war with Poland" (G 208). Lipski referred to the map and to the demilitarization of the Free City (P 63. It thereby excluded any Anschluss of Danzig with the Reich (G 208.147). he felt that Ribbentrop's indignation over Polish defense measures was "at least bizarre. On March 28 Ribbentrop protested to Lipski over anti-German demonstrations in Bromberg (G 209). appendix. P 62). but expressly excluded any infringement on Polish sovereignty in the Corridor." Ribbentrop pleaded for a general German-Polish "Ausgleich" and noted that the Reich now recognized the "priority" of Poland in Ukrainian questions. P 64). The Polish memorandum was conciliatory in tone.182 Aggressors'Alliance and to see plots of "encirclement" in every new development. PRODUCED BY UNZ.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . Each man besought the other to persuade his superiors to reconsider (G 208).

The role of the Western Allies was not one of inciting Poland to war. That Power was the Soviet Union. Their role was that of a spectre—huge. They were left in the background.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . nor one of stiffening Polish resistance.Tolana'sFate 183 3. The Nazi leaders knew that their PRODUCED BY UNZ. If all the communications exchanged during the spring of 1939 were available for inspection. Nothing emerges from the search save a hesitant determination on the part of repentant Munichmen to try to prevent the extinction of Poland's independence by German aggression. that Poland could not save itself from a Nazi onslaught. and in the relations between Moscow and Berlin. All knew that only one Power could give effective aid to Poland against Germany and that the ultimate risk of a German attack depended upon German calculations as to whether that Power would or would not come to Poland's defense. however. P O L A N D ' S FATE The contestants in this strange battle of threats were grotesquely unequal in power. save only the political and military leaders of Poland. One searches in vain for evidence of some logical Anglo-French program behind the phrase-making. nor yet one of pressing Warsaw to compromise. grim and conclusive but half unseen. Everyone knew^. Few hints regarding them appear in the published diplomatic correspondence of Britain. The men of Downing Street and the Quai d'Orsay moved through successive crises with no clear vision of what they should do or what they believed they were trying to do. France. All knew that France and Britain lacked military power to save Poland from conquest by the Reich if the issue came to war. with the proportions of determination and hesitancy fluctuating from week to week. though the Warsaw leaders seemed blissfully unaware of German might and Polish weakness. The Soviet Union declines to publish any diplomatic correspondence. it might well appear that little attention was given to these relationships. This confusion stemmed from a greater confusion. T o protect Polish "independence" from any "clear" threat which Poland should feel called upon to "resist" was less a policy than a phrase to conceal the lack of a policy. The key to Poland's fate lay in the relations between the Allies and Moscow. Germany and Poland.

France. grim and conclusive but half unseen. That Power was the Soviet Union. The men of Downing Street and the Quai d'Orsay moved through successive crises with no clear vision of what they should do or what they believed they were trying to do.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . The key to Poland's fate lay in the relations between the Allies and Moscow. The Nazi leaders knew that their PRODUCED BY UNZ. it might well appear that little attention was given to these relationships. with the proportions of determination and hesitancy fluctuating from week to week. and in the relations between Moscow and Berlin. P O L A N D ' S FATE The contestants in this strange battle of threats were grotesquely unequal in power. Nothing emerges from the search save a hesitant determination on the part of repentant Munichmen to try to prevent the extinction of Poland's independence by German aggression. They were left in the background. All knew that France and Britain lacked military power to save Poland from conquest by the Reich if the issue came to war. nor yet one of pressing Warsaw to compromise. Everyone knew^. Germany and Poland. Their role was that of a spectre—huge. T o protect Polish "independence" from any "clear" threat which Poland should feel called upon to "resist" was less a policy than a phrase to conceal the lack of a policy. If all the communications exchanged during the spring of 1939 were available for inspection. nor one of stiffening Polish resistance. One searches in vain for evidence of some logical Anglo-French program behind the phrase-making. though the Warsaw leaders seemed blissfully unaware of German might and Polish weakness.Tolana'sFate 183 3. that Poland could not save itself from a Nazi onslaught. however. Few hints regarding them appear in the published diplomatic correspondence of Britain. save only the political and military leaders of Poland. All knew that only one Power could give effective aid to Poland against Germany and that the ultimate risk of a German attack depended upon German calculations as to whether that Power would or would not come to Poland's defense. The Soviet Union declines to publish any diplomatic correspondence. The role of the Western Allies was not one of inciting Poland to war. This confusion stemmed from a greater confusion.

If not. Escape was possible by their own efforts. T o pay Stalin's price was to make all compromise with Hitler unnecessary. the answer is that delay was imperative for survival—since it would have given the Western Powers time for more adequate rearmament. They might have made their reckoning without the Kremlin. and the U. then it is arguable that any compromise with Stalin would have been preferable to fighting the Reich alone. even at the inevitable cost of their own further enfeeblement. France and Britain." The trap was of their own devising. T o fight hopelessly and to die alone for a "principle" is heroic. That conclusion might have led them to the view that some compromise or any compromise. the first conclusion to be drawn therefrom was that of their own weakness vis-a-vis the Reich. time to attempt the restoration of the Great Coalition thrown away at Munich. Britain. They perhaps preferred not to know. with no original intention of PRODUCED BY UNZ. What was the price of delay? On what terms could a compromise have been had? The German proposals were "moderate" and were in all likelihood submitted in "good faith"—i. There is much reason to beUeve that a compromise with Hitler would have been possible without at once jeopardizing the existence of Poland. Not to pay Stalin's price was to create a situation in which (in the absence of the long-hoped-for Nazi-Soviet clash) the alternatives were compromise or catastrophe.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . If they had no desire to pay Stalin's price for Soviet defense of Poland. time to effect changes in the relations between the Allies and Moscow and perhaps between the AlHes and Washington. for he would not challenge a Poland solidly supported by France.184 Aggressors^ Alliance own course must follow the spectre's shadow.S. But the first principle of Realpolitik is national self-preservation.. W h y was no compromise reached? The thought is easily dismissed with the cliche that no compromise with Hitler was possible. If the AlUed and Polish leaders knew this also. was preferable to the risk of war with the foe they had helped make formidable. there is no evidence of it in their acts or words. when their calculus had become fantastic.R. The former is commonly deemed preferable to the latter. They were not deceived or ensnared by Moscow into some devilish trap or "doublecross. This too they would not do until too late.e.S. If it be contended that such a compromise would only have delayed the struggle for survival.

Paris and London had acquiesced in the demands on Vienna and had intervened actively to compel Prague's acceptance of German terms which obviously spelled the end of Czechoslovakia's security and independence. neither Beck nor Chamberlain nor Daladier was concerned per se with broken Nazi promises and with the obvious unreliability of Hitler's pledges. 1939. This distrust.. It was also the case in March." If the Polish leaders were unaware of this. On the part of Chamberlain and Daladier the opposition was less to their substance than to their form—i." W h y then did Warsaw. The Nazi leaders were therefore not in a position of having committed themselves to a program from which they could not recede. they were not made public by Berlin.e. like Duce. Between October 24. In both Warsaw and the Western capitals the dominant feeling toward the Nazi leaders was distrust. The German proposals to Warsaw menaced neither the independence nor the security of Poland. and April 28.R. to the threat of force and to the alleged dangers to Polish independence. Despite parliamentary rhetoric.Poland^ s Fate 185 using them to encompass Poland's destruction. The proposals themselves were not comparable to those made earlier to Austria and Czechoslovakia. when the U.S. Paris and London persist from beginning to end in their opposition to compromise? On the part of Smigly-Rydz and Beck the opposition was to the substance of the German proposal. had been lost to the Allies and when the Western Powers were prepared to condone Berlin's original demands on Warsaw if only Hitler would resort to "negotiation" and not to "force. 1938. And it was still the case in August.1938. This was the case in October. observed his obligations when it was expedient to do so and repudiated or evaded them when they became inconvenient.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED ." The Polish state was no more secure against possible German attack with Danzig "free" and the Corridor under unqualified Polish sovereignty than it would have been with Danzig German and the Corridor traversed by German "corridor. was of a special character. 1939. Fiihrer. however.1939. Such conduct was distinguished from that of Beck.S. despite the glib dictum that "he who controls Danzig controls Poland. the Anglo-French leaders were not. Poland's acceptance of the German suggestions would have led to compromise and delay at what seemed to be relatively small cost. Daladier and Chamberlain only by the fact that their circumlocutions were less imaginative and PRODUCED BY UNZ.

moreover. they were quite prepared to sacrifice Poland—if it could be done without war. If Poland stood in the way. But he assumed that the Western powers had abandoned the East. they permitted everyone to believe (including themselves) that the Ukraine was their objective. for these virtues had long since vanished on all sides. Had Hitler appealed to the West with promises and threats. 1939. however. had learned lessons from Vienna and Prague. To the degree to which Beck and his colleagues suspected that London and Paris were ready to abandon them to encourage the Nazi Drang nach Osten. What was at issue was a terrifying doubt on all sides as to the ultimate direction of Nazi dynamism. they were quite prepared to sacrifice Czechoslovakia—if it could be done without war. to that degree did they feel moved by fear to resist PRODUCED BY UNZ. the Munichmen of Paris and London might have pressed Warsaw to yield. This doubt was deliberately fostered by Berlin. The rulers of the Reich were not following a course predetermined as to its details and timing. to March. 1938. The Fiihrer's entourage was in truth doubtful as to its next move. The pressure was polite and even patient.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . Benes obligingly yielded.186 Aggressors^ Alliance their repudiations and evasions less open and honest. Warsaw. He pressed Warsaw directly without the Western capitals knowing what was being discussed until after the Ides of March. With shrewd insight the Nazi leaders were feeling their way after the victory at Munich to see where doubt and fear would open paths of least resistance. for doubt is a weapon in the new strategy which can always be counted upon to frighten and demoralize prospective victims. If Czechoslovakia stood in the way. were not pure Machiavellianism. When they appear they reflect doubt. for v^ar was difficult to localize so long as Paris had paper obligations to Prague. But questions of when. From March. Chamberlain and Daladier were content. as he had done in the summer of 1938. These are uncommon qualities of Nazi diplomacy. Conquest was their goal. where and whom were to be answered not in advance but according to circumstances. for war was difficult to localize so long as Paris had paper obligations to Warsaw. What was at stake in "distrust" of Hitler was not any question of honor or fidelity to engagements. They play little role in interstate relations in epochs of undiluted power politics. But Smigly-Rydz and Beck did not yield. These tactics. Warsaw was therefore not at once terrorized.

they might now have yielded what they could not yield before. Warsaw could not run risks of accepting now what it had rejected earlier. the appalling peril to which it had exposed France and Britain was sufficient to drive the architects of disaster to any new PRODUCED BY UNZ. A Nazi drive against the West represented only a remote threat to Poland. half fearful lest the sacrifice of Poland might now become not the prelude to the Ukrainian crusade but the prelude to a Nazi peace with Russia and a Nazi war against the West. But Warsaw could not be certain that the direction had changed. half hoping that Hitler would still move East.Poland's Fate 187 even moderate German demands. The question arises here as to whether the subsequent course of Paris and London may not have been inspired by a secret wish to entice Poland to destruction in the hope that Russia and the Reich would yet clash over the corpse. A Nazi drive against Russia represented an immediate threat. Under these conditions Poland was bound to resist. Austria and Czechoslovakia to the Axis. F 114. Berlin had (for the present) renounced the Ukraine.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . Ribbentrop's words were confusing. threatened Polish security as clearly as the liquidation of Austria had threatened Czech security. The Munichmen had shrunk from no perfidy in delivering Ethiopia. The Western diplomats feared that the new target was the Western Powers. Berlin apparently continued to hint to Warsaw that the two countries might well cooperate against Russia. Between Munich and the Ides of March. His Master was still feeling his way. Beck thus adopted a clear line of continued resistance to the Reich. moreover. If Poland's diplomats could have felt certain of this. Hitler had made a limited and tentative decision rather than a final one. but new doubts multiplied. The steppes remained tempting. The liquidation of Czecho-Slovakia. Paris and London on the other hand hedged and hesitated. They half hoped that Hitler would find means of bending Poland to his will on his march toward Kiev and the Caucasus. When the error of this course was clear. 124). Prospects of sharing in a partition of Lithuania and of the Soviet Ukraine were held out (cf. They knew little and cared less about German proposals to Warsaw. After March old hopes waned. Downing Street and the Quai d'Orsay had no deep interest in the fate of Poland. Spain. nor could it afford to rebuff the new interest of the Western Powers in Poland's independence.

they were honorable men. But it can also be explained by doubt. it was successful in destroying Poland. uncertainty. But it failed to precipitate the expected Nazi-Communist combat and was therefore as disastrous as preMunich appeasement had been. But their conduct suggests a variety of schemes. Moscow suspected it. They wooed Moscow and yet rebuifed Moscow.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . reported to Bonnet on April 5 that Burckhardt had broken his journey from Geneva to the Free City at Berlin on March 12-13 ^^^ was there advised "to remain only a very short time to avoid exposing himself to the most serious inconvenience. The Western statesmen defied Berlin and yet sought to appease Berlin. the course of Anglo-French diplomacy in Warsaw raises doubts as to whether Chamberlain and Daladier acted upon any such clear conception. Like Brutus. however. M. Warsaw may at times have suspected it. They are also rich in great stupidities which are often disastrous. can be explained by the hypothesis suggested above." He remained only three days at his post before returning to Geneva to report. confusion. They supported Warsaw and yet sought a "general settlement" at Warsaw's expense. T o lure Poland to death in order to restore the chance of a German-Soviet conflict wherein the West could be neutral and secure was not beyond their calculations. Here as elsewhere any policy is better than no policy.188 Aggressors^ Alliance expedient which offered hope of escape. AH things considered. despite a certain witlessness in Polish diplomacy. but their honor did not exclude such schemes as this. to be sure. de la Tournelle. changing with the changing situation and entangling them in contradictory purposes springing from alternating hopes and fears. That this was one of the many hopes and designs they entertained is probable. the fall of Poland perhaps belongs in the second. By the same token no policy is better than several incompatible policies pursued simultaneously with no choice made among them until after the twelfth hour. The sequence of events suggest that such an appeasers' plot may have been embarked upon. Berlin suspected this. vacillation. Tour- PRODUCED BY UNZ. The peace of Munich belongs in the first category. Decadent societies are rich in great villainies which are often stupid. befuddlement. Such conduct. Pending conclusive evidence as yet unrevealed. French Consul in Danzig. If so.

Four days later: Leading Nazi circles are said to be speculating still on the wavering attitude attributed to France. What course Bonnet may have favored under these circumstances is unreported.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . French Charge in Berlin. the President of the Senate. Hitler was determined. followed by Polish troop movements which perhaps forestalled a putsch. accompanied by the President of the Bank of Danzig and the head of the Department for Foreign Affairs. not Germany's. and S. but Daladier issued a declaration on April PRODUCED BY UNZ. responsibility for war would be Poland's. I persist in thinking that the best chance of avoiding a conflict depends on the spirit of resolution which the Western powers will display (F 96). he felt. M. Nazi agents will not fail to maintain that the Third Reich has the best intentions towards us. W e know today what such assurances are worth. during the coming weeks. M y personal impression is that up to the present the Germans have made no final decision. He still hoped..Poland's Fate 189 nelle wrote of German troop movements near Danzig. and that they are still counting on the success of an intimidating maneuver. degenerated into a tension between the Reich and the Western democracies (F 93). The Danzig S. de Vaux Saint-Cyr. W e must therefore. German propaganda would doubtless try to convince certain sections of French opinion that by fighting England's battles on the Continent. events would doubtless have taken different course (F 91). however. If Herr Forster had been present. saw the situation in a similar light. S. when Austria was invaded. expect a violent offensive against the moral structure of France and of England. Field Marshal Goring repeatedly gave his word of honor to M. If Poland resisted. Mastny that Germany was animated by the very best intentions toward Czechoslovakia. our country is playing a dupe's part. who was in hospital for an operation. flew to Berlin on March 28 and persuaded the Party Headquarters that strict orders should be issued at once to the Danzig units forbidding any kind of agitation. T h e German-Polish dispute has. A. to incorporate Danzig into the Reich. Already. in fact. hoped to strike from within on March 29 and confront Warsaw and Berlin with a fait accofnpli. Herr Greiser's intervention was facilitated by the absence of the Gauleiter. however. But [reported Tournelle] convinced no doubt with reason that Polish troops would immediately enter the city. to compel Poland to yield to blackmail and he could not believe that the British guarantee covered Danzig.

Weizsacker reported that he "cut Lipski short. . . Armed force is the only thing that counts with him" (F 108). On April 20 Beck told all PoKsh diplomats abroad that Polish policy toward Danzig -was unchanged and that Warsaw would not consent to any "unilateral decision" (P 74). ridiculed his remarks as to troop movements. 75. to modify the constitution by violence. 22). According to Tournelle. He complained that the Reich had aroused Polish fears by its ultimatum to Lithuania and by its failure to maintain contacts with Warsaw while German troops occupied Czecho-Slovakia. and the Allies could not safely relax either their vigilance or their military and diplomatic efforts. it is the enslave- PRODUCED BY UNZ. It is not only the fate of the Free City. 21. "The Germans are not wrong when they claim that Danzig is in itself only a secondary question.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . . Weizsacker expressed incredulity and asserted that Hitler's offer. cf. from within or without. P 70). Polish troops would immediately enter Danzig. It was under these circumstances that Hitler delivered his Reichstag address of April 28. F 105. Polish High Commissioner Marj an Chodacki had informed the Danzig Senate that if any effort were made. "Herr Hitler's activity will not be less dangerous because he plays the hermit for a while. "That is apparently the sort of language best understood here" (F 104). Whether Berlin subsequently gave a formal warning to Warsaw not to accept the Anglo-Polish accord of April 6. Meanwhile Lipski had called on Weizsacker on April 6 at the latter's request and assured him that the Anglo-Polish accord was purely defensive and did not make Poland a member of any antiGerman bloc. direct or indirect. is unclear. B 14. Coulondre warned Bonnet not to be deceived by Hitler's moderate tone. 214. as reported in the press. which might aim a blow at their vital interests" (F 99). Lipski observed that Berlin had not regarded the French-Polish alliance as incompatible with the 1934 accord. revealing for the first time the terms of the German proposals to Poland and announcing the abrogation of the Reich accords with Poland and Britain (G 213. and calmly refuted his words with obvious arguments" (G 212. had evoked a reply which was completely unsatisfactory. which could be made only once.190 Aggressors'' Alliance 13 approving the Anglo-Polish accord and guaranteeing "as between France and Poland immediate and direct aid against any threat. P 74.

. The fact is that. On May 2 Henderson saw Ribbentrop. . but army circles had undermined his popularity and compelled them to accept the British guarantee. or whether. It may be deplored that the problem seems to center at the moment around Danzig. by consenting to concessions. 119). like ourselves. The Polish-British Agreement has been employed by the Chancellor of the German Reich as the pretext PRODUCED BY UNZ. it will use the political independence which it will have striven to safeguard. According to Moltke. it is important that nothing should be done which might make her doubtful of our support (F 112)." Henderson received the impression that Ribbentrop and Hitler did not believe that the Western Powers would fight over Danzig (F 118. It is important that opinion in France should realize that it goes far beyond this Danzig question.Poland's Fate 191 ment or the liberty of Europe which is at stake in the issue now joined" (F 113). . but they stand equally firmly in defence of certain basic principles of conduct in international life.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . The point is whether. The Foreign Minister accused Britain and France of pursuing a policy of encirclement and warned that if they ever attacked the Reich they would "break their teeth. . the common defense front against German imperialism. on the contrary. in order to join. but. and that it is neither the cause nor the essential factor. The Polish leaders hope. Three days later Beck replied to Hitler's speech and the German memorandum in an address to the Polish Diet. should occasion arise. which would lead to others. that the issue will not be precipitated. In his address of May 5 Beck declared: . He had hoped to minimize it. the Poles feel that the vital question is one between themselves and the Reich. . but Hitler's words and acts had compelled him to reply (G 216). since the events of last March. Poland is to agree to stand aside in an eventual conflict between Germany and the Western Powers and thus resign itself to becoming an auxiliary and vassal of the Reich. Neither Great Britain nor Poland have any aggressive intentions whatever. if we want to find Poland at our side when the hour of danger comes. the Polish Foreign Minister personally disliked the Anglo-Polish accord and would have preferred to continue Pilsudski's policy. in any case. Ambassador Noel in Warsaw also deemed it wise to caution Bonnet against taking the view that Danzig was unimportant: One could not help wondering why Polish public opinion took such an uncompromising attitude concerning the Danzig Statute and refused to consider any substantial concession on this point.

I am obliged to state that I heard this proposal for the first time in the Chancellor's speech of the 28th April. I reserve the right to return to this matter if necessary. We in Poland do not recognize the conception of "peace at any price. In certain previous conversations allusions were merely made to the effect that in the event of a general agreement the question of Slovakia could be discussed. like almost everything in this world. Our generation. has its price. and that is honor (B 15. which has shed its blood in several wars. as a concession on his part. . Consequently. The Chancellor of the Reich mentioned in his speech a triple condominium in Slovakia." There is only one thing in the life of men. . . A self-respecting nation does not make unilateral concessions. . it is true. nations and States which is without price. the proposal for a prolongation of the pact of non-aggression for twenty-five years was also not advanced in any concrete form in any of the recent conversations. On the same dayBeck transmitted a formal memorandum to Berlin. But peace. It is clear that negotiations in which one State formulates demands and the other is to be obliged to accept those demands unaltered are not negotiations in the spirit of the declaration of 1934 and are incompatible with the vital interests and dignity of Poland.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . then. the recognition and definite acceptance of the present frontier between Poland and Germany. It is still a matter of unilateral concessions w^hich the Government of the Reich appear to be demanding from us. The Polish deputies stood up and cheered. P 77). is the reciprocity? It appears somewhat vague in the German proposals. Where. 1938. high but definable. . We did not attempt to go further with such conversations. Here also unofficial hints were made.192 Aggressors' Alliance for unilaterally declaring non-existent the agreement which the Chancellor of the Reich concluded with us in 1934. . . . In his speech the Chancellor of the Reich proposes. But in such conversations various other hints were made which extended much further than the subjects under discussion. surely deserves a period of peace. The German failure to reply to the Polish counter-proposals of March 26 was deplored. from prominent representatives of the Reich Government. . emanating. this proposal likewise cannot affect my contention that the German desiderata regarding Danzig and a motor road constitute unilateral demands. reminding Wilhelmstrasse of the original purposes of the 1934 agreement and of Hitler's pledge to respect Polish rights in Danzig on February 20. Similarly. I must point out that this would have been a question of recognising what is de jure and de facto our indisputable property. Peace is a valuable and desirable thing. since it is not our custom to bargain with the interests of others. The Polish Government PRODUCED BY UNZ.

with the Polish-German Declaration of 1934. P28). In the former case. no response was forthcoming. in the very circumstances in which the declaration of 1934 and the Pact of Paris had ceased to be binding on Poland as regards Germany. was designed to wear down Polish rights and to intensify the Nazification of Danzig." . and one in Paris. Warsaw. would either acquiesce or resist. and. the German and PoHsh press insisted in each country that the Government of the other must take the initiative in any further discussions. The deadlock was complete.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . Poland and the Reich between May and August now became episodes in a larger game. 1928. The first. Poland's obligations arising out of the Polish-British understanding would come into operation in the event of German action threatening the independence of Great Britain. The Declaration of 1934 in its introductory paragraphs clearly stated that both Governments have "decided to base their mutual relations on the principles laid down in the Pact of Paris of the 27th August. London and Moscow. While Ribbentrop conferred with Ciano. Sudetenland. consequently. whose compatibility with the Declaration of 1934 has been recognized by the German Reich. it would finally perceive that Danzig was in fact part of the Reich and that continued insistence on its formal independence PRODUCED BY UNZ. . tested and found true in Austria. They are germane to the narrative only as they reveal the ingenuity of the Nazi leaders in conducting the "war of nerves" and illustrate the process whereby German-Polish relations became progressively embittered to a point at which all possibility of a compromise was gone. . It appears from the above that the Government of the German Reich had no justification for their unilateral decision to regard the Declaration of 1934 as not binding (B 16. Memel and elsewhere. The weapons utilized by Berlin were familiar ones—tried. . one among the German minority in Poland. Despite a pro forma bid for a resumption of negotiations. in the same way as the Polish-French Alliance. 1939. operating through Senate President Arthur Greiser and Gauleiter Albert Forster. assumed the Fiihrer. . The psychological Blitzkrieg against Poland took the form of three coordinated offensives: one in Danzig itself. German-Polish negotiations ceased (F 124-126). . This guarantee has a purely defensive character and in no way threatens the German Reich. Slovakia.Poland's Fate 193 reject as completely without foundation all accusations regarding the alleged incompatibility of the Anglo-Polish Mutual Guarantee of April. The events which followed in the relations among Danzig.

Berlin lists crimes and asks redress: libel. Germans are beaten. The offensive on the diplomatic front was designed to frustrate the Anglo-Soviet negotiations. illegal arrest. to foster doubts as to whether Danzig was "worth a war. Stones fly. PRODUCED BY UNZ. Germans are insulted. Poland could be represented as the "aggressor" and the Reichswehr could be called into action in "self-defense." to revive appeasement. to win Moscow to a new orientation. Windows in German shops are broken. Germans are boycotted in Thorn. as they had been in 1938. that innocent Germans were victims of intolerable oppression. A picture of Hitler is torn up in Liniewo. Shots are fired at a German band.194 Aggressors^ Alliance was futile. This vicious circle served Nazi purposes perfectly.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . Shots fly. The German public and part of the British and French pubUcs were persuaded." and all the despair. and that "justice" and "selfdetermination" required the Reich's intervention to protect the helpless. Polish patriots demand reprisals. Farmhouses are burned. Berlin demands investigation and punishment. In Danzig. bitterness and hatred which have ever been the weapons of tyranny (cf. to drive a wedge between France and Britain. With methodical thoroughness. etc. Polish officials insult Germans and are insulted by Germans. German schools are closed. trespass. assault. and thereby to convince the Polish Government that it stood alone and abandoned before the formidable power of Germany. Fugitives flee across the border. Berlin demands investigation and punishment. fabricated passion. Outrages multiply. theft. dissolve their organization and expel the agitators and saboteurs who operated covertly under orders from Berlin. F 126-202). ad infinitum.. made-to-order "incidents. The leader of the German minority petitions the President of the Polish Republic. Sudden death strikes in dark alleys and in beer hall brawls. The Polish press is antiGerman. arson. The local moves and countermoves in this game of intimidation are partially recorded in the diplomatic documents—pale reflections of manufactured fear. Warsaw sought to intimidate their leaders. Mobs gather." T o the degree to which their subversive activities jeopardized Polish authority." The second arm of the German drive reached into the German communities in Western Poland and organized them to resist Polish "persecution. murder. G 349-437. Berhn demands investigation and punishment. There is an anti-German "pogrom" in Tomaschow-Mazowiecki. In the latter case.

The last success of Downing Street in its efforts to reforge a bloc of states to oppose Axis aggression was registered in the negotiations with Turkey. . Ankara was from the outset not too eager for an Anglo-French guarantee. To those who still envisage the course of human events in terms of Causality rather than in terms of Destiny this failure will doubtless remain for years an object of study as absorbing as the closely related question of why the leaders of Britain and France finally accepted the armed challenge of the Reich. The Balkan Entente of 1934 afforded no protection against aggression by a Great Power. The Turkish leaders welcomed German loans and the steady growth of commercial and cultural contacts with the Reich. or interrupt a diplomatic collaboration with Moscow of many years' standing. BACK T O APPEASEMENT In the face of the German-Italian alliance and the Nazi offensive against Poland. . Defiance. The occupation of Albania and the announcement of the pending Axis alliance made the Turkish Government more receptive to British overtures. as were British efforts to appease Italy. Anglo-French diplomacy failed to complete the organization of an effective "peace front" during the spring and summer of 1939.R. They felt little anxiety regarding German intentions in the Near East. Black rumors.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . 4. Threats. Italian ambitions were viewed with suspicion. Turkish apprehensions centered on more immediate neighbors. But there were serious obstacles in the way of a permanent agreement.S. The breaking of nerves in a vast campaign to continue the breaking of nations . Chodacki protests to Greiser at violation of Polish rights. Turkey sought additional security against Rome. Ankara would do nothing which might antagonize the U.S. was cordially received. but only on condition that it involve no commitment to risk war with the Soviet Union. who came in mid-April as the new German Ambassador. Franz von Papen. Both parties preferred to await the outcome of the Anglo-Soviet discussions before accepting commit- PRODUCED BY UNZ.Back to Appeasement 195 Greiser protests to Chodacki at the conduct and at the excessive number of Polish customs inspectors. after their diplomatic efforts to avoid war and to prepare for war had alike come to naught. Recrimination.

BACK T O APPEASEMENT In the face of the German-Italian alliance and the Nazi offensive against Poland. after their diplomatic efforts to avoid war and to prepare for war had alike come to naught.S.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . But there were serious obstacles in the way of a permanent agreement. Anglo-French diplomacy failed to complete the organization of an effective "peace front" during the spring and summer of 1939.S. To those who still envisage the course of human events in terms of Causality rather than in terms of Destiny this failure will doubtless remain for years an object of study as absorbing as the closely related question of why the leaders of Britain and France finally accepted the armed challenge of the Reich. was cordially received. or interrupt a diplomatic collaboration with Moscow of many years' standing. who came in mid-April as the new German Ambassador. The last success of Downing Street in its efforts to reforge a bloc of states to oppose Axis aggression was registered in the negotiations with Turkey. Recrimination. but only on condition that it involve no commitment to risk war with the Soviet Union. . They felt little anxiety regarding German intentions in the Near East. Ankara was from the outset not too eager for an Anglo-French guarantee. Franz von Papen. Italian ambitions were viewed with suspicion. . Turkish apprehensions centered on more immediate neighbors. Threats. The Turkish leaders welcomed German loans and the steady growth of commercial and cultural contacts with the Reich. Chodacki protests to Greiser at violation of Polish rights.Back to Appeasement 195 Greiser protests to Chodacki at the conduct and at the excessive number of Polish customs inspectors. Both parties preferred to await the outcome of the Anglo-Soviet discussions before accepting commit- PRODUCED BY UNZ.R. The occupation of Albania and the announcement of the pending Axis alliance made the Turkish Government more receptive to British overtures. 4. Defiance. as were British efforts to appease Italy. Black rumors. Ankara would do nothing which might antagonize the U. The Balkan Entente of 1934 afforded no protection against aggression by a Great Power. Turkey sought additional security against Rome. The breaking of nerves in a vast campaign to continue the breaking of nations .

He declared: You know political events have occurred lately with lightning speed and have seriously occupied the attention of those burdened with the responsibilities of government. however. Pending completion of the definitive agreement. Chamberlain announced to Commons: "It is agreed that the two countries will conclude a definite long-term agreement of reciprocal character in the interest of their national security.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED .000 marks. Paris and Ankara had concluded a pact under which Turkish troops were allowed to PRODUCED BY UNZ. M. we have made up our minds to cooperate and. On July 3. substantially identical with those concluded the following month between Turkey and France. and any attempt to interfere with that freedom would endanger Turkish security." He read no text. Government and the Turkish Government declared that in the event of aggression leading to war in the Mediterranean area they would be prepared to cooperate effectively and lend each other all aid and assistance in their power. by whom and against whom. 1938. we were faced with a situation pregnant with danger which made it impossible for us to remain neutral. Believing this danger now exists. What was to be safeguarded. but when events involved the Balkan Peninsula and raised the question of security in the Eastern Mediterranean. The looseness of this obligation made it little more than a mutual expression of hope and intent. Parallel negotiations with France were complicated by the presence of a tangible quid pro quo which the Turkish authorities were determined to have as the price of any agreement. This was the Sanjak (district) of Alexandretta in northwestern Syria. It is our conviction that the Mediterranean should be free to all nations on a footing of equality. Neither was it a reciprocal pact to safeguard the "independence" of the parties. 1939. under French mandate. Agreement was reached. It consisted of seven articles. as was the accord of April 6 with Poland. was left undefined. on a provisional accord. Premier Refik Saydam secured unanimous approval from a parliament which simultaneously ratified a credit from Germany of 150. to fight with those equally anxious to preserve peace. Chamberlain did not define "Mediterranean area. H. if necessary. comparable to those accepted by Rumania and Greece.000. At first this government decided Turkey's best course was to remain neutral.196 Aggressors^ Alliance merits for mutual defense. though one was issued in Ankara. On May 12." The commitment was not a unilateral British guarantee.

Syrian protests were brushed aside. This declaration. White in Events. 1939. 1938. Ankara had disclaimed all territorial designs and insisted that its only interest was self-determination for the Turkish inhabitants. including the more precise definition of the diverse conditions in which reciprocal engagements might be executed. the illuminating articles by Wilbur W. two identical agreements were signed by Bonnet and Ambassador Suad Davaz. accords with other countries (NYT 6. was as follows: 1. The other was a mutual assistance pact of seven articles following the model of the Anglo-Turkish accord. The League of Nations Commission which was to have supervised the election retired in haste. now rechristened the "Republic of Hatay"—a Turkish name indicating Hittite origin. It is understood that the propositions announced above do not hinder either one or the other government to conclude.Back to Appeasement 197 participate in the policing of the Sanjak during the election of a local constituent assembly. On June 23. 9 Alouites and the balance Armenians. In the negotiations of 1939. The text of the French-Turkish accord as issued at Paris June 23. is not directed against any country but has for a purpose to assure to France and Turkey reciprocal aid and assistance in the case where they would consider it necessary. 1939. The changed status of the Sanjak resembled a joint French-Turkish protectorate. 1939. in case of an act of aggression that might lead to a war in the Mediterranean region. On September 6 the 40 delegates chosen (22 Turks.39). 5. will demand more profound examination before the definite accord can be concluded. 6. The governments recognize that it is also necessary to assure the establishment of security in the Balkans and are in consultation to attain this goal as rapidly as possible. as well as the accord in the future.^ This purchase of Turkish aid savored of a new type of "ap1 Cf. While awaiting the conclusion of the definite accord the French and Turkish Governments declare that. One provided for the outright cession of Hatay to Turkey. The Quai d'Orsay was willing. they would be ready to cooperate effectively and to give each other mutually all the aid and assistance in their power. 4. 7. 3. Turkey made clear its desire to annex Hatay as a condition of a new accord with France. PRODUCED BY UNZ. It is agreed that the two States will conclude a definite accord of long duration carrying reciprocal engagements in the interests of their national security. 2. and by Foreign Minister Shukru Saracoglu and Ambassador Rene Massigli. however.24. Greeks and Arabs of other sects) voted a new constitution for the district. in the general interests of consolidation of peace.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . It is recognized by the two governments that certain conditions. This examination is actually in progress. The French Government and the Turkish Government have entered into close conversation and the discussions in which they have engaged and which are still in progress have disclosed their habitual identity of views.

D. Washington." The aim was "the establishment within ten years of an independent Palestine state .000 permissible at the discretion of the British High Commissioner. in which Arabs and Jews should share in the government. Land transfers were also to be restricted to meet Arab desires.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . C . All Jews. PRODUCED BY UNZ. the Arabian Sea. . 6019. the British Cabinet issued a White Paper on May 17.198 Aggressors' Alliance peasement. Thereafter no Jewish immigration would be permitted without Arab approval. to which France had promised independence by the unratified treaty of 1936. His Majesty's Stationery Office.000 per year for a transitional 5-year period. Hatay was part of Syria. 1939. The Axis press raged against French "perfidy" and "hypocrisy. declaring "unequivocally that it is not part of their policy that Palestine should become a Jewish state." different from the old in that the party bribed was a friend turned ally rather than a rival turned enemy. The "bribe. were of necessity committed to sympathy toward the Allies as against the anti-Semitic Caesars of the Axis. . Members of the League Mandates Commission spoke of the French action as a flagrant violation of the mandate. they might jeopardize all Anglo-French interests between the Mediterranean. London. Their desires and even their rights could therefore be ignored with relative impunity." Jewish immigration would be restricted to 10. If they should be won in any considerable numbers to the Axis cause. the Persian Gulf. Cmd. British policy in Palestine partially appeased the furious at the cost of infuriating the Zionists. The Arabs of the Near East. was not the property of the briber. were objects of the wiles of Berlin and Rome. Following the failure of the partition plan of 1938 and of a round table conference of Jews and Arabs in London." But at least an ally had been bought. Cf. Here too high considerations of RealpoHtik were regarded as justification for a course difficult to defend on other grounds. France as mandatory had no title to Hatay. with an additional 25. British Statemien on the White Taper. however. Bonnet's gift of Hatay to Turkey had as little ethical or legal justification as Laval's gift of Ethiopia to Italy. If the cession of Hatay infuriated Arab nationalists against the Western Powers. 1939.^ 1 Cf." however. Zionists and non-Zionists alike. whose nationalist spokesman ceaselessly condemned Jewish immigration into Palestine. 1939. American Zionist Bureau. Syrian nationalists fumed over the bargain. and the Red Sea.

They cannot rise to the simple idea that the present day world is one of brigandage.Back to Appeasement 199 Commons approved 268 to 179 on May 23. . They cannot see the essential. Chaim Weizmann and other Zionist leaders that this pohcy was a repudiation of the Balfour Declaration of 1917. . white-gloved diplomats to fall into all of the gangsters' traps. . ruses. a violation of the mandate agreement and a heavy blow to millions of Jews throughout the world." wrote Henri de Kerillis in USpoque of April 26.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . J. "The future historian. could write on May 7: Danzig is merely an episode of the revision of the peace treaties." The Munichmen had no deep conviction that this -was so. wrote: "It is already evident that the day has not yet come when France and Britain are prepared to oppose Germany's forceful revision of the peace treaty terms with a definite 'No'." Daladier denied any rift with Bonnet. blackmail and cynicism. The righteous wrath and the high resolve of March and early April gave way to phrases suggesting that the "peace front" was to be but the prelude to appeasement in a new form. a strange ambiguity made its appearance in the utterances of Anglo-French leaders during the late spring. But on the larger stage. hypocrisy. and often a mouthpiece of Bonnet. This would be a veritable crime against an unfortunate community of peoples which would have to sacrifice their well-being and hopes of a better future to the dreams of Utopists and speculations of the war merchants. Philip. but many speakers agreed with Dr. which is Reichsfiihrer Adolf Hitler's aim. but he found it necessary in order to quiet rumors to re-affirm French determination to oppose further aggression. were at least indicative of a determination in London and Paris to balk Axis designs with a firm veto and a diligent search for allies. They had only doubts and fears compounded of senile dreams and infantile illusions. Hitler intends to strike down Great Britain and France. unrepentant appeaser. New York Times correspondent in Paris. Pierre-Etienne Flandin. Peoples may once more be committed to international war without the objects of the conflgration being clearly defined and understood. PRODUCED BY UNZ. however deplorable on legal and moral grounds. They continue to send their top-hatted. These steps in the Near East. They cannot detect lies. They rejoice and swell with hope at the smallest promise. "will note with a sort of stupor the incapacity of the democracies to adapt themselves to the totalitarian psychology. On April 30 P.

Daladier groped. June 8: Nobody can suppose that even if it is appreciated that further acts of aggression against the independence of European States would be resisted. which is just the opposite of encirclement. If the present crisis continues. . 1939. Following Bonnet's lead. the real defenders of liberty. it would be satisfactory or even possible for Europe to remain divided into potentially hostile groups. . If there were a new world war. PRODUCED BY UNZ. most certainly wishes to reach the point at which international difference can be made the subject of calm. . therefore. The democratic Powers. revolution wUl come. . The greater the love of freedom. That is a vain pretext invented for propaganda purposes. Chamberlain. Great Britain and those nations who are like-minded with her must have a common con1 The New York Herald Tribune. In a series of public and Parliamentary addresses British leaders voiced their hopes: Halifax. . June 9: We must resist any attempt to secure domination by force [but Britain] still is ready to discuss round the table the claims of Germany or any other country. . Such a settlement must be obtained by negotiation. This force must henceforth be utilized for the great and indispensable effort to reconstruct Europe and the world on a pacific basis.toward a new formula. if necessary by force of arms. On June 4 he said to the executive committee of the Radical Socialists: The French Government has tried and is still trying to find a way of enabling Europe to live happily in a free collaboration of peoples. . In barring the road to the aggressor and in extending a welcome hand to all who seek the road to collaboration. . The British Government. we claim. . as some people claim.^ This voice was not alone. . Eden. Such a policy cannot be considered one of encirclement. . have regained their force. We are for collaboration. June 11: The world cannot continue to live indefinitely at the present tension nor can we hope to relax that tension by policies which. the German people would probably become Communists. for war has always been the negation of freedom. we are. The new formula received clearer expression in London. formerly weakened by the revolutionary parties. . the more they must seek to avoid war. not force. But at the same time I wish to assure the world that France is in the front rank of the Powers that will prevent Europe from being drawn into a catastrophe by efforts at domination. unprejudiced negotiation. in which Germany would doubtless be defeated.200 Aggressors^ Alliance . May 8. .ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . . are mainly defensive. however urgent and essential.

. In such a new atmosphere we could examine the colonial problem. [But] through cooperation—and we." . In such a community collective security against aggression plus peaceful change in the status quo are alike indispensable to orderly government. we must be prepared to fight for its defense. with all that this means. .ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . and any other issue that afiFects the lives of all European citizens. in the quality of its personnel and the speed and power of its machines it is unexcelled by the air force of any other country. are ready to cooperate—there is ample scope for extending to all nations the opportunities of a larger economic life. . questions of raw materials. . which is implied in the term "Lebensraum. War is but diplomacy carried on by other. and this is my last word: our opposition is not to change. . . [Yet] Our immediate task is to resist aggression.Back to Appeasement 201 structive purpose. .. In the event of further aggression. for in a changing world there must be adjustments from time to time. . the issue of "Lebensraum. The final objective is still to insure peace with justice. . . means. June 12: If there is no attempt or intention to use force. but they are available today to resist aggression or domination. Halifax. . . i. our army is daily increasing in its numbers and in the efficiency of its equipment. . Halifax. . . There may be a parity of force and therefore a PRODUCED BY UNZ. trade barriers. . June 24:1 repeat once more. In an anarchic State System. . Diplomacy is potential war. Chamberlain. as Woodrow Wilson insisted in the League Covenant. But what we are resolved to oppose is the use of force to bring about changes which should be determined by discussion and cooperation. ." the limitation of armaments. . and as to our air force . there are no negotiations free of the threat of force.e. These mighty armaments threaten no one. This formula was neatly applicable to a hypothetical community of nations in which "justice" and "welfare" are common objectives. . But in the actual community of nations. . for our part. . In a world in which confidence is restored. . [However] our navy today is the most powerful in the world. then the whole influence of this country—which is not negligible—wiU be thrown on the side of reaching a fair settlement by negotiation. . forcible. the formula neglected Fascist Realpolitik. our two countries [Germany and Britain] could well cooperate in developing the resources which still lie latent and which would bring in returns of solid value to us both. we are resolved to use at once the whole of our strength in fulfillment of our pledges to resist it . June 29: We know that if international law and order is to be preserved. It is not enough to devise measures for preventing the use of force to change the status quo unless there is also machinery for bringing about peaceful change.

. The legal complexities of this curious episode need not here be reviewed. moreover. Fascist demands.S. T o say that such demands will be met by negotiation but will be resisted if supported by force produces no change in the character of the demands nor in the consequences of yielding to them. Chancellor of the Exchequer.. had never been demands for "justice" or "welfare" but for power—i. France and Britain no longer possessed parity with the Axis.000 of Czech gold held in London in the name of the Bank for International Settlements on behalf of the National Bank of Czecho-Slovakia. the B. On the 24th Chamberlain told Commons that the Cabinet was considering de facto recognition of the German annexation of Bohemia and Moravia.^ 6. enhanced fighting capacity with which to make further demands for power effective.I. On May 19 Chamberlain dismissed as "a mare's nest" the rumor that the Bank of England would release the Czech gold to the B. The faith of the new appeasers was not without works.S. The first concrete evidence of the new departure was the revelation that the British Cabinet had done nothing to prevent the Reich from securing control of some .000. told Commons that the Cabinet had no authority to interfere with the balances of the B." and their anxiety to arrange a "general settlement" all lent color to Soviet suspicions and Fascist hopes that another Munich could be arranged.202 Aggressors^ Alliance bargain between equals if each side knows that the other is prepared to use its force.R.e. Sir John Simon.. But without the U. The reluctance of Chamberlain and Daladier to pay the price of a Soviet alliance. but had discovered that he had no authority to do so. their eagerness to deny "encirclement. Demands for domination cannot be compromised. That Chamberlain and Simon should have permitted legal complexities to stand in the way of action to prevent Ger- PRODUCED BY UNZ. admitted that the transfer of the funds to Basle had already been made." He had wanted to prevent the transfer. These fears and hopes rested on deeds no less than on words.I. I think from a continental source.I. The Bank of England had to comply with the order of its depositor.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . which had transmitted the order of the new Bank of Bohemia and Moravia.S.S.S. The Government had learned of it "indirectly. Financial Secretary of the Treasury. The Cabinet had "impounded" other sums deposited by Czech nationals in British banks to prevent payment to Germany. But on May 2 3 Captain Harry Crookshank.

Henry PRODUCED BY UNZ. Cooper was President of Unilever (soap and margarine) in which the German Schicht brothers were partners. a prominent member of the Anglo-German Fellowship. Farben Trust. until November. Among its members were the son of Lord Runciman. were Sir Montagu Norman and Sir Otto Niemeyer. They were parties to the transfer. holding half the shares of Submarine Cable. According to some reports. Despite Simon's denial. D'Arcy Cooper. Among the members of the Committee of Six appointed by Chamberlain in January to advise the Cabinet on armament questions were Messrs. Clarke. the end of appeasement did not mean that the Reich was to be deprived of the fruits of past conquests and thereby impeded in preparations for future conquests. Addison. Bennet was a director of Imperial Chemical Industries. The British representatives on the Board of Directors of the B. Chamberlain was believed to hold a thousand shares of Imperial Chemical stock. F. In British financial and industrial circles hopes of a gentlemanly "deal" with Hitler refused to die. Even the "internationalism" of "capitalism" could be used as an effective weapon by the Nazis to bring international capitalism to ruin.000 invested in the German I. In The City Bruno von Schroeder of the I. G. Sir Robert Kindersley of the Bank of England. which had been inspired by Ribbentrop with the blessing of Lord Leverhulme. Sir Josiah Stamp. Mr. A.I. with the Siemens Electrical Company of Germany holding the balance. Geoffrey Clarke and I. was a director of the Telegraph and Maintenance Company. President of the English rayon trust. Governor of Lever Brothers. which had $55. Lord Mount Temple. 1938.Back to Appeasement 203 many from securing Czech gold was typical of the approach of barristers and businessmen to issues raised by warlords who had no respect for law and no interest in money save as a means of preparing war. Andrew Agnew of Shell Oil. Bennet. and. had close contacts with the German Vereinigte GlanstoffFabrike. Germany had pledged the Czech gold a month before the occupation of Prague for the purchase of cotton and nickel in New York. These hopes were not unrelated to the mixed character of many British and German corporations. For them at least.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . Addison. a director of Lloyd's Bank and Imperial Airways. its President.S. B. it is probable that he and Chamberlain were parties to the transfer.000. The offices of Unilever housed the central headquarters of the Anglo-German Fellowship.

had conferred with Sir Horace Wilson and Robert S. such as refugees and whales. PRODUCED BY UNZ. pp. London. If war came. Further strange results of this assumption came to light on July 20 in rumors in Fleet Street that Dr. Other Powers should participate in the loan. for May and June." Hudson was neither forced to resign from the Ministry nor even rebuked. Hudson deplored the "leak" but insisted that his scheme was "a good plan." Chamberlain told Commons on July 24 that "there is no proposal of a loan to Germany. These men and those in the Cabinet who saw eye to eye with them still believed that peace could somehow be purchased from the Nazi Caesar whom their fellow-industrialists and bankers of the Reich had placed in power in Berlin six years previously." Hudson had merely expressed his "personal view. "The mischief—if mischief there was— was in the disclosure of what took place to the newspapers. One of his kinsmen was Kurt von Schroeder who aided Ribbentrop. Europe on the Eve. but Germany could join the Western Powers and the United States "in the economic development of China and of the vast regions of Africa." The Cabinet had not known of the talk. Wohlthat had seen Wilson.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . Downing Street intimated iCf.^ This is not to suggest a "capitalist plot" in pre-war Britain to sabotage the "peace front" and serve Hitler's purposes." The Reich should accept arms limitation and evacuate Prague. such a "peace loan" would later be necessary to insure "stability. "Quick March to Other Munichs" in Magazine Digest (Toronto) September." Wohlthat had returned to report to Goring. Hudson admitted on July 23 that he had discussed with Wohlthat immediate "long-term credits on a huge scale" to Germany. 1939. Hudson regarding a British "disarmament loan" of a billion pounds to Berhn. Whether the "leak" had ruined a promising scheme or had been deliberately engineered to test opinion was unclear. Hitler's economic advisor.. Berlin was contemptuous and Paris amazed. After the usual official denials. he explained. No British territories would be ceded. Helmuth Wohlthat. 1939. but they had discussed other matters. Papen and Thyssen to put Hitler in the Chancellorship in 1933. The Week.204 Aggressors^ Alliance Schroeder Bank was a fellow member with Sir Montagu Norman of the Bankers Industrial Development Company. It is only to suggest that the tycoons of British industry and finance had an obvious stake (as who did not?) in friendly Anglo-German relations. 344f.

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that nothing would come of the proposal. This disclosure coincided with the wrangling in London between Col. Adam Koc and Ambassador Edward Raczynski, on the one side, and Halifax, Simon and Sir Frederick Leith-Ross, on the other, as to whether a projected loan of ;{ 8,000,000 to Poland could be spent wherever Poland chose or only in Britain. Ambassador Kennedy, with one eye on the need of strengthening the peace front and the other on possible Polish orders in the United States, apparently urged generosity on Lord HaHfax.^ But Koc left in a huff on July 26. London would not lend save in sterhng, Warsaw would not borrow save in gold. "In principle" the Cabinet was strengthening the bloc against aggressors. In practice its course was devious. How the new strength was to be used was suggested by other developments. Mid-July rumors of new appeasement schemes ranged all the way from Warsaw tales that Major-General Sir Edmund Ironside, who arrived on July 17, had urged Polish leaders not to fight for Danzig, to Washington reports of a projected 25-year 5-Power pact whereby Germany would recover both Danzig and the colonies. Sir Oswald Mosley preached colonial restitution and a free hand for the Reich in the East. There is no evidence that Chamberlain and his colleagues favored these particular plans. In the Far East, however, their course was clearer. It had been foreshadowed in Chamberlain's speech to Commons of November 2, 1938. The negotiations w^hich opened in Tokio on July 15 between Ambassador Sir Robert Craigie and Foreign Minister Hachiro Arita, following the imposition of a Japanese blockade on the British concession at Tientsin on June 14, were ostensibly designed to settle the Tientsin difficulty as a "local" matter. On July 17 Chamberlain denied in Commons that any change of policy was contemplated, despite Japanese insistence that the discussions include the "general situation." On July 21 a Foreign Office spokesman declared: "Britain cannot shut her eyes to the hard facts of the military situation, but in view of suggestions that Britain is about to make a deal at the expense of China, I would like to stress that the United States and French Governments are being informed of every step of the negotiations with Japan." But on July 24 Chamberlain revealed to Commons the text of the "formula" which had been agreed upon in Tokio as a basis of continuing the discussions over Tientsin:
1 Cf. The German White Taper, 15th document.





His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom fully recognize the actual situation in China where hostilities on a large scale are in progress and note that as long as that state of affairs continues to exist the Japanese forces in China have special requirements for the purpose of safeguarding their ovi'n security and maintaining public order in the regions under their control and that they have to suppress or remove such causes or acts as will obstruct them or benefit their enemy. H. M. Government have no intention of countenancing any acts or measures prejudicial to the attainment of the above-mentioned objects by the Japanese forces and they will take this opportunity to confirm their policy in this respect by making it plain to British authorities and British nationals in China that they should refrain from such acts and measures.

Despite the insistence of Chamberlain and Halifax that the formula connoted no change of British policy, it could have but one meaning if actually applied in practice: British cooperation with Tokio in consolidating Japanese control of the areas already conquered, and in facilitating the conquest of the rest of China. The completeness of this capitulation to Japan's "New Order" in Eastern Asia was without precedent. The nearest parallel was the Lansing-Ishii agreement of November 2, 1917, constituting recognition by the United States (until 1923 when it was abrogated) that "territorial propinquity" creates "special interests." But this accord at least included a reaffirmation of the Open Door principle. The only quid pro quo that Downing Street received for its betrayal of China and the Nine-Power Pact was the hope that remaining British interests in China might not at once be liquidated by the Tokio warlords. Even this hope was slender in view of continued anti-British demonstrations and outrages in Japan and North China. Chamberlain's statement of August 4 that insults to British subjects made his "blood boil" and his "warning" that the British fleet might be sent to the Far East "in certain circumstances" were correctly assessed in Tokio, Rome and BerHn as verbiage. More significantly, he conceded British naval inferiority in the Orient, asserted "we have graver and nearer problems to consider," declined to denounce Britain's commercial treaty with Japan, and urged "patience and moderation." Downing Street apparently hoped for American acquiescence in the impending Oriental Munich in view of the fact that the President on July 18 had accepted defeat at the hands of Congress of Administra-


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tion efforts to remove the arms embargo provisions from the Neutrality Act and to impose restrictions on the sale of war supplies to Japan. Machiavelli must have roared with laughter from his grave at the spectacle of London and Washington pretending to oppose the Japanese conquest of China while 75% of Japan's imports of war supplies came from American and British sources. On July 26, however, the State Department gave a formal sixmonth notice of abrogation of the Japanese-American commercial treaty of 1911. The Vandenberg resolution proposing such action had not come to a vote in Congress, but Senators Vandenberg and Borah, despite their isolationist prejudices, joined the general chorus of American approval. Downing Street and Tokio registered pained regret at a move that was widely interpreted as a forerunner of American restrictions on trade with Japan. There was no assurance that such action would follow in view of Congressional determination to aid the Fascist imperialisms by treating aggressors and their victims with complete "impartiality." But London and Washington had at last reached the parting of the ways in the Far East—an eventuality that had been looming for seven years, since Sir John Simon spurned Secretary Stimson's pleas for joint pressure against Japan in February, 1932. By mid-August the central question of the world diplomatic game was whether Chamberlain's new program of yielding to Fascist blackmail would induce Hitler and his allies to accept new piecemeal victories by "negotiation." The absence of any ministerial crisis over the Wilson-Hudson revelations, coupled with the adjournment of Parliament on August 4, indicated that the Prime Minister was in no danger of effective opposition at home. As for pressure from abroad, France had become little more than a British dependency. Washington and Moscow were seemingly caught in an insoluble dilemma. If the Kremlin signed the coveted pact. Chamberlain might make new concessions to the Axis in the name of strength. If the Kremlin refused, he might do likewise in the name of weakness. If Washington limited its action in the Far East to words. Chamberlain could justify the abandonment of China as a necessity dictated by American indifference. If Washington went beyond words, he could urge that British action was unnecessary. The prospects thus appeared favorable for a full resumption of appeasement during the second half of the summer—if Hitler would agree.



Aggressors^ Alliance

Among the influential voices raised on the Continent in favor of such a course was that of the Vatican. Chamberlain and Halifax had been received by the Holy Father on January 13. Less than a month later, on February 10, 1939, Pope Pius XI (Achille Ratti) had gone to rest after seventeen years as head of Christendom's oldest and most nearly catholic church. Under his leadership the Holy See had arrived at a settlement of the "Roman question." What had been impossible so long as the Italian Government was a parliamentary democracy had become possible when Italy was ruled by a Fascist tyranny. The Lateran Treaty of 1929 restored the temporal sovereignty of the Papacy by establishing "Vatican City" as an independent state. Pius XI had spoken out vigorously against the racial and religious policies of the Caesars, but in other matters had followed the Biblical injunction of giving unto Caesar his due. Communism was the enemy. Franco was the savior of Spain. The Fascist despots and the democratic appeasers, it was hoped, would be the saviors of Europe. On March 2 the College of Cardinals elected Eugenio Cardinal Pacelli as 262nd Supreme Pontiff. He assumed the name of Pius XII. He was by profession a diplomat, having been Papal Secretary of State. He had negotiated the Concordat of 1933 with Hitler. He was the first native of Rome to reach the highest office of the Church in two centuries. His election, and his subsequent appointment of Luigi Cardinal Maglione as his Secretary of State, were widely regarded as a rebuff to the Axis. The new Pope, however, was above all a man of peace. Peace could most easily be preserved by promoting further compromise between the Western Powers and the Axis. If compromise meant that Britain and France must give and Italy and Germany must take, this was no fault of the Vatican. It was at any rate preferable to any pact between the Western Powers and the Red atheists of Moscow. On May 5 Mgr. Valerio Valeri, Nuncio to France, conferred with Bonnet, while Hitler received Mgr. Cesare Orsenigo—who had expressed the hope on January 11 that "the peaceful procedure which was so effective in Munich may become the accepted method in the future of mediating international controversies." Pius XII, who had made no protest over the liquidation of Czecho-Slovakia and Albania, now urged prayers for peace and secretly offered Papal mediation to bring about Ger-


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man-Polish and French-Italian compromises. That Warsaw and Paris would pay the price was not open to question. On May 8 the Duke of Windsor, in a plea for peace from Verdun, condemned "aggression" and "encirclement" alike. On the same day Richard Butler, Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, told Commons that H. M. Government "stands for the settlement of international differences by friendly negotiation, arbitration or other peaceful means. They are at all times ready to lend their good offices at the request of any of the interested parties." "The Polish Government," added Chamberlain, "are well aware that H. M. Government would welcome an amicable settlement." On the same day it was reported from Paris that the Pope had invited the Premiers and Foreign Ministers of Britain, France, Italy, Germany and Poland to confer in Vatican City, first to settle the Danzig issue and then to seek a "general settlement." A Vatican statement of May 26 urged "either a general meeting of the interested Powers" or "bilateral negotiations confined to the nations interested in each specific question"—the latter being a favorite Fascist formula to isolate the weak and induce surrender. On June 2 the Pope announced that he was greatly encouraged by the responses he had received. A week later it was rumored in Rome that the Papacy had proposed an immediate Four-Power conference a la Munich, with the U.S.S.R. excluded. Meanwhile, on June 4, Pius XII had conferred with Francis Osborne, British Minister to the Papacy. Ramon Serrano Sufier, Franco's Minister of the Interior, was received by the Holy Father as well as by the Duce. On June 12 the Pope praised the visiting Spanish soldiers of the Italian Arrow Division for having brought him "immense consolation" as "defenders of the faith and of civilization." Two days later Regent Horthy, in opening the Hungarian Parliament, expressed the hope that the Pope's efforts would result in a conference of Great Powers. On the 18th Mgr. Cortesi, Nuncio to Poland, left Warsaw for Rome to report and receive further instructions. On July 28 it was reported that the Pope was urging upon M. Casimir Papee, the Polish Ambassador, a compromise whereby Danzig would have "dominion status" under Berlin for five years. Vatican diplomacy had produced no demonstrable results by the end of July, but it was evi-





dent that the Papacy's objectives ran parallel to those of the Anglo-French Munichmen and might be made to serve the purposes of the Axis equally well. Political developments in the United States during the summer tended in the same direction. The royal visit to America, announced the previous autumn, was a gesture which warmed many hearts but changed few minds. King George VI and Queen Elizabeth reached Quebec on May 17. As they sat on their thrones at Ottawa two days later to give ceremonial assent to bills passed by the Dominion Parliament, the new United States Minister to Canada, Daniel C. Roper, presented his credentials directly to the King. Following a long tour to the Pacific coast, the two Sovereigns, accompanied by Prime Minister Mackenzie King, were received at Niagara Falls on June 7 by Secretary Hull. A day later they were warmly greeted in Washington by the President and Mrs. Roosevelt. They stayed at the Executive Mansion. They placed a wreath on the tomb of the first American President at Mount Vernon. They dined at the White House. They entertained the Roosevelts at the British Embassy. They placed wreaths on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington. They visited a CCC camp. They had tea at the White House with federal officials. They heard the President insist again that if "methods divorced from aggression could only be universally followed, relations between all countries would rest upon a sure foundation." King and President swam in the White House pool like old friends. King and Queen visited New York, arriving on an American destroyer. They looked at the World's Fair and called at Columbia University where they were received by President Butler and shown the charter of King George II which established the College in 1754. They journeyed to Hyde Park. King and President swam in the Roosevelts' pool like old friends. The President and his wife drove them around the estate. All ate hot dogs. On Sunday evening June 12 they took their leave and three days later sailed for Halifax, Newfoundland and home. This visit might have symbolized the solidarity of the Englishspeaking world. It was intended to do so by guests and hosts alike. Millions of Americans gathered to see royalty. There was enthusiasm everywhere, nowhere an unfriendly voice. The President's warm greeting at Union Station was described by Ambassador Kennedy as "perhaps the most important handclasp in modern


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times." Despite all these things, the symbols of "hands-across-thesea" remained empty. The Americans who controlled Congress viewed the royal visit with cynicism, in private if not in public. They suspected Chamberlain's new moves for appeasement. They suspected a British plot to entangle America in Europe's wars with Roosevelt's connivance. They suspected Kennedy. They suspected Bullitt who said in Neuilly on May 28 that "we sympathize with nations which, whatever the odds, prefer to fight for their freedom rather than to submit to the heel of the conqueror. . . . There are times when men must take up arms to save all that is worthy in human life." They rejected every suggestion that the United States had a stake in Europe or an interest in supporting the Western Powers against the Axis. America must not jeopardize its neutrality by commitments abroad. Alliances were only for aggressors. These attitudes found expression in the long-delayed outcome of the Congressional debate over "neutrality" legislation. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee began leisurely hearings on April 5. Col. Stimson's plea for the Thomas Amendment to differentiate between aggressors and their victims fell on deaf ears. Baruch's plea for Western Hemisphere defense and for cashand-carry as a means of keeping out of foreign wars had a better hearing. But even this slight step toward a policy advantageous to Britain and France was to prove impossible until it was too late to deter the war-makers. The polls of the American Institute of Public Opinion showed a 55% majority in March in favor of selling arms to the democracies in the event of war and a 66% majority in April. But the pressure of isolationists and pacifists who insisted on retention of the impartial arms embargo against all belligerents was more effective than popular majorities. Roosevelt's message of April 15 evoked immediate congratulations from the other American Republics and a favorable echo in part of the press, but many Senators were secretly pleased by Hitler's effective rejoinder. On May i the second section of the Neutrality Act of 1937 expired. It had authorized the President to place exports of goods to belligerents, other than arms, ammunition and implements of war, on a cash-and-carry basis. It had never been applied, but it represented the formula which the administration wished to extend to all exports to belligerents in place of the arms embargo.





Pittman's reports of "progress," however, were not followed by action. Many Senators were skeptical or hostile. On May 8 the Senate hearings dragged to their close. It was clear that a majority of the Committee and a substantial minority of the American public were convinced that European aggressors represented no danger to the United States and that non-involvement in Europe's wars could best be assured by maintaining legislation in force which would tie the President's hands. Under these circumstances the Administration felt that it was politically inexpedient to furnish any leadership. Although the President could have rallied a majority of Americans to his cause, his control of Congress was doubtful. He preferred to let matters drift, even as his Ambassadors abroad advised him that war was inevitable and extended assurances to Anglo-French statesmen that they could count upon American support. On May i6 Secretary Hull declined an invitation from the House Committee to go before it. He agreed to talk confidentially with the members, however, and on May 27 he issued letters to the two Committee Chairmen urging legislation (doubtless as the lesser of impending evils, as he saw them) which would permit the sale of all American goods to all belligerents provided that title should pass to the buyer for cash before shipment, and that all ships of American registry be banned from belligerent ports and combat zones. On May 28 Sol Bloom, Acting Chairman of the House Committee, introduced a resolution embodying these suggestions plus a prohibition on travel by American citizens on belligerent vessels. His draft would not be apphcable to civil strife abroad and would apply to international conflicts only when the President should find that such conflicts were endangering the lives of Americans or the peace of the United States. In a Chicago address on the same day Hull warned that "there is no more disastrous illusion than the thought that a policy of national isolation would make it easier to solve our great domestic problems" or free us "from risk of embroilment in war. The exact reverse is true." On June 7, however, the House Committee voted to postpone reporting out the Bloom bill. But the vote was close and was reversed six days later. The minority report, signed by nine of the ten Republicans on the Committee, declared: "We are opposed to the President's policy of using the threat of our power to preserve a balance of power in Europe. . . . W e believe that the


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way to peace is for us to be neutral, not biased; friendly, not threatening. . . . W e cannot dictate what other nations shall do. We should not attempt to influence their decisions by attempting to conceal our firm purpose as a nation to stay neutral." In the House debate which began on June 27, the Republican opposition, led by Hamilton Fish of New York, argued that the Bloom bill would drag the country into war and make the President a dictator. On the 28th Congressman Vorys (Rep.) of Ohio offered an amendment to restore the embargo on arms and ammunition. The House approved, 159 to 157. A move to strike out the amendment and substitute the original bill was defeated two days later, 180 to 176. In the final vote, after a stormy night session, the House adopted, 200 to 188, an automatic arms embargo almost identical with that in the existing act and sent the amended measure to the Senate. The President was defeated. He said on July 3 that Europeans would construe the vote as evidence that the majority of Americans disapproved his efforts to deter aggression. He hoped that the Senate would reverse the House and expressed his readiness to keep Congress in session all summer if filibustering tactics should render this necessary. On July 7 Hiram Johnson announced that 34 Senators had agreed to oppose "by every honorable and legitimate means at our command" any attempt to lift the arms embargo. On July 11 the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 12 to 11 to defer all consideration of neutrality legislation until the next session of Congress. The President's defeat was complete. The belated action he now took was too little and too late. He conferred with his Secretary of State, and on July 14 submitted a statement from Hull to Congress:
. . . Those who urge the retention of the present embargo continue to advance the view that it will keep this country out of war—thereby misleading the American people to rely upon a false and illogical delusion as a means of keeping out of war. I say it is illogical, because, while the trade in "arms, ammunition and implements of war" is at present banned, the trade in equally essential war materials, as well as all the essential materials out of which the finished articles are made, can continue. . . . I say it is a false delusion because a continuation of the trade in arms is a clearly recognized and traditional right of the nationals of a neutral country in time of war, subject only to effective blockade and to the right





of belligerents to treat any such commodities as contraband. The assertion frequently made that this country has ever engaged or may become engaged in serious controversy solely over the fact that its nationals have sold arms to belligerents is misleading and unsupportable. . . . Those who are supporting the recommendations for the amendment of existing legislation recognize definitely that the present embargo encourages a general state of war both in Europe and Asia. Since the present embargo has this effect its results are directly prejudicial to the highest interests and to the peace and to the security of the United States. In the present grave conditions of international anarchy and of danger to peace, in more than one part of the vs^orld, I profoundly believe that the first great step toward safeguarding this nation from being drawn into war is to use whatever influence it can, compatible with the traditional policy of our country of non-involvement, so as to make less likely the outbreak of a major war. . . . Partisanship should play no part in the determination of the foreign policy of this country. In the present situation of danger a peaceful nation like ours cannot complacently close its eyes and ears in formulating a peace and neutrality policy, as though abnormal and critical conditions did not exist. The entire question of peace and neutrality at this serious juncture in its possible effects upon the safety and the interest of the United States during coming months is of the utmost importance. This question should, in my judgment, receive full and careful consideration and be acted upon by this government without unnecessary or undue delay. These words were vain. On the evening of July i8, on the President's invitation, a number of Senate leaders gathered in the upstairs study of the White House to discuss the situation. For an hour Roosevelt repeated the arguments in favor of the immediate repeal of the arms embargo. When McNary asked if he believed in the probability of war before the next session of Congress, the President replied that he was certain there was "a very strong possibility." Hull contended that war was all but certain and that repeal would reduce its chances by half, since it would make clear to the Axis that American arms would be available to the Allies. Borah broke in to say that he had better sources of information than the State Department and that there would be no war. At the end, Vice-President Garner asked Barkley and the other supporters of the Administration whether they had sufficient votes at their command to bring up repeal on the floor.


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Their answers were negative. "Cap'n," said Garner, "you haven't got the votes." The President agreed and commented that he had done his best. The Senate must now take the responsibiUty.^ Hull was depressed, but the gathering broke up in good cheer. Congress adjourned on August 5. The greatest of the Great Powers thus announced to the world, almost casually, that if the aggressors' alliance precipitated war with France and Britain by attacking Poland, the United States would forbid its citizens to sell arms or loan money to either side. The Allies would be the victims since the Axis had no need of American arms and would in any event be cut off from the Atlantic seaways by the British fleet. America would act as economic ally of those whom most Americans habitually denounced as law-breakers and madmen. This would be the American role in Europe, for the President, in the event of general hostilities, would recognize a state of war and issue an embargo proclamation. It would be the American role in Asia because the President had not recognized a state of war and no embargo was enforced. The friendly Powers whose sea forces controlled the Atlantic would be denied access to American arms. The unfriendly Power whose sea forces controlled the Western Pacific would not be denied access to American arms. The notification to Tokio on July 26 of abrogation of the commercial treaty of 1911 could not take effect until January. It was not to be followed by any cessation of the steady flow of war supplies to Japan. In the face of Chinese appeals and the avowed sentiments of the overwhelming majority of the American people, the conquerors of China were permitted by Washington to proceed with their task and to draw 65% of their oil, 65% of their motor cars, 77% of their aircraft and 90% of their copper, scrap iron and steel from the United States of America.^ Isolationists and pacifists dictated American aid to the Axis in Europe. The American junk business dictated aid to Japan in Asia. The American policy of helping to make the world safe for aggression was not to be changed. In BerHn and Moscow political leaders reflected upon this decision. After reflection, they drew conclusions.
iCf. Joseph Alsop and Robert Kintner, American White Paper, pp. 44-46, and Charles Beard, "Neutrality Deadlock," Events, September, 1939. 2 Cf. the able address of Senator Lewis B. Schwellenbach of Washington, with appended tables and documents, in the Congressional Record for August 2, 1939.





loth of March, 1939, was the i6ist day after the Peace of Munich. It was also the i6ist day before the day on which the final touches were given in Berlin to a German-Soviet commercial treaty, signed on August 19 and followed four days later by the non-aggression pact between Hitler and Stalin. In one respect at least the ruler of Russia who was the son of Vissarion Djugashvili, the Georgian shoemaker, differed from the ruler of Germany who was the son of Alois Schicklgruber, the Austrian Beamter: the former had no faith in either astrology or numerology. He nevertheless recognized that the loth of March, 1939, was a mid-point between two epochs. For on that day he spoke his mind before the i8th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. His address was a long report on the work of the Central Committee since the 17th Congress, held in 1934. It covered the chaos of the world, the crisis of capitalism, the progress of Soviet economy, the status of the Party, the questions of fact and the questions of theory which were of concern to all orthodox Stalinists. It dealt in particular with the position of the U.S.S.R. in world politics, and suggested the alternatives of the days to come. Stalin's point of departure was the proposition that the "second imperialist war" had become a fact:

It is not so easy in our day suddenly to break loose and plunge straight into war without regard for treaties of any kind or for public opinion. Bourgeois politicians know this very well. So do the Fascist rulers. That is why the Fascist rulers decided, before plunging into war, to frame public opinion to suit their ends, that is, to mislead it, to deceive it. A





loth of March, 1939, was the i6ist day after the Peace of Munich. It was also the i6ist day before the day on which the final touches were given in Berlin to a German-Soviet commercial treaty, signed on August 19 and followed four days later by the non-aggression pact between Hitler and Stalin. In one respect at least the ruler of Russia who was the son of Vissarion Djugashvili, the Georgian shoemaker, differed from the ruler of Germany who was the son of Alois Schicklgruber, the Austrian Beamter: the former had no faith in either astrology or numerology. He nevertheless recognized that the loth of March, 1939, was a mid-point between two epochs. For on that day he spoke his mind before the i8th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. His address was a long report on the work of the Central Committee since the 17th Congress, held in 1934. It covered the chaos of the world, the crisis of capitalism, the progress of Soviet economy, the status of the Party, the questions of fact and the questions of theory which were of concern to all orthodox Stalinists. It dealt in particular with the position of the U.S.S.R. in world politics, and suggested the alternatives of the days to come. Stalin's point of departure was the proposition that the "second imperialist war" had become a fact:

It is not so easy in our day suddenly to break loose and plunge straight into war without regard for treaties of any kind or for public opinion. Bourgeois politicians know this very well. So do the Fascist rulers. That is why the Fascist rulers decided, before plunging into war, to frame public opinion to suit their ends, that is, to mislead it, to deceive it. A


. . It might be attributed to the fear that a revolution might break out if the non-aggressive States were to go to war and the war were to assume world-wide proportions. . and the aggressors remain aggressors. France and the U. . that is. . To what are we to attribute this one-sided and strange character of the new imperialist war? . say. without the least attempt at resistance. A war against the interests of England. although it was not hard to see how preposterous this whole clumsy game of camouflage was. a position of "neutrality. a slight penchant for geometry. It cannot be hidden under any guise. have rejected the policy of collective security. a world war. for PRODUCED BY UNZ. But war is inexorable. that Germany has seized Austria and the Sudeten region. say. from enmeshing herself in European affairs. or in the wilds of Spanish Morocco. Italy and Japan against the interests of the United States.. that is. but true. All "we" have is an innocuous "Berlin-Rome-Tokio triangle". . Thus we are witnessing an open redivision of the world and spheres of influence at the expense of the non-aggressive States. in the mountains of Abyssinia. making concession after concession to the aggressors. the military bloc of aggressors remains a military bloc. from embroiling herself in a war with China. The war is being waged by aggressor States. with the Soviet Union. . The war remains a war. while the latter draw back in retreat. . that Germany and Italy together have seized Spain—and all this in defiance of the interests of the non-aggressive states.A. particularly England and France. and have taken up a position of non-intervention. . or. All "we" have is an innocuous "Berlin-Rome Axis". primarily England. who in every way infringe upon the interests of the non-aggressive States. Great Britain and France in the Far East? Nothing of the kind! . .S. do you call that a bloc! "We" have no military bloc. The policy of non-intervention reveals an eagerness. Take Germany. . For no "axes. better still. on the part of the latter. the policy of collective resistance to the aggressors. . not to hinder Germany.Stalin''s Price 217 military bloc of Germany and Italy against the interests of England and France in Europe? Bless us.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . that Italy has seized Abyssinia. just a geometrical equation for an axis. France. and even with a certain amount of connivance. from embroiling herself in a war with the Soviet Union. a desire. Incredible. the United States? Nonsense! "We" are waging war on the Comintern. But the chief reason is that the majority of the non-aggressive countries. . not to hinder the aggressors in their nefarious work: not to hinder Japan. for it is ridiculous to look for Comintern "hotbeds" in the deserts of Mongolia. . Cheap and easy! . A military bloc of Germany. . That is how Messieurs the aggressors thought of framing public opinion. . It is a distinguishing feature of the new imperialist war that it has not yet become universal. ." "triangles" or "anti-Comintern pacts" can hide the fact that in this period Japan has seized a vast stretch of territory in China." .

{General laughter. that the Germans have cruelly "disappointed" them. thereby violating all their obligations. without any Fascist bosses.'] But if we ignore the madmen and turn to normal people.] Well. and everything will be all right. the so-called Carpathian Ukraine. with no national oppression. putting it down in black on white. If there really are such lunatics in Germany. promising them easy pickings. Is that a way to live? . . . As I look at you I can't help thinking that there is no hope for you unless you annex yourself to me. . . but that now the Germans are refusing to meet their bills and are sending them to Hades. against the Soviet Union. without any capitalists." "the demoralization of the Russian air force.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . with a population of some seven hundred thousand. . . they abandoned Czechoslovakia to her fate. to this so-called Carpathian Ukraine. of course. to the gnat. so be it: I allow you t o annex your tiny domain to my vast territories." [General laughter and applause. It is quite possible. how sorry I am for you. despite the undertaking to defend her independence. namely. to the west and are demanding colonies.218 Retreat jrom Moscow instance. they have turned. . French and American press over the Soviet Ukraine is characteristic. they let her have the Sudeten region. . that they now had what is called the Carpathian Ukraine. ." . PRODUCED BY UNZ.] Even more characteristic is the fact that certain European and American politicians and pressmen. T h e y let her have Austria. and then they began to lie vociferously in the press about "the weakness of the Russian army." and "riots" in the Soviet Union." are themselves beginning to disclose what is really behind the policy of non-intervention. . T h e hullabaloo raised by the British. to poison the atmosphere and to provoke a conflict with Germany without any visible grounds. is it not clearly absurd and foolish seriously to talk of annexing the Soviet Ukraine to this so-called Carpathian Ukraine? Imagine: T h e gnat comes to the elephant and says perkily: "Ah. you see. . which has a population of over thirty million. [Thunderous applause. Here you are without any landlords. the Soviet Ukraine. T h e gentlemen of the press there shouted until they were hoarse that the Germans were marching on Soviet Ukraine. . having lost patience waiting for "the march on the Soviet Ukraine. that there are madmen in Germany w h o dream of annexing the elephant. T h e y are saying quite openly. egging the Germans on to march farther east. and prompting them: "Just start war on the Bolsheviks. It looks as if the object of this suspicious hullabaloo was to incense the Soviet Union against Germany. brother. One might think that the districts of Czechoslovakia were yielded t o Germany as the price of an undertaking to launch war on the Soviet Union. rest assured that we shall find enough strait-jackets for them in our country. for instead of marching farther east. that is. . and that not later than this spring the Germans would annex the Soviet Ukraine.

on the integrity and inviolability of the frontiers of the Soviet state.R. and we shall adhere to this position as long as these countries maintain like relations with the Soviet Union. What must the Soviet Union do in the face of these facts? Obviously. and are ready to deal two blows for every blow delivered by instigators of war who attempt to violate the Soviet borders. to talk of treason.S.S. case-hardened bourgeois diplomats say. T o continue the policy of peace and of strengthening business relations with all countries. That is our position. 2. It would be naive to preach morals to people who recognize no human morality. directly or indirectly. was probable without any Soviet efforts to promote it." This fiasco. 2.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . had sought to buUd a system of collective security. and as long as they make no attempt to trespass. Soviet foreign policy was clear and expUcit: 1. it must strive to turn the "non-intervention" of the Western Powers into a "fiasco.S. How to meet them? The U. We stand for peace and the strengthening of business relations with all countries. 4. and we shall adhere to this position as long as these countries maintain like relations with the Soviet Union. one gathered. 3. We stand for peaceful. That is our position. implied Stalin.Stalin''s Price 219 Far be it from me to moralize on the policy of non-intervention. Yet there were dangers. 4.S. To strengthen the international bonds of friendship with the working people of all countries. These also were four: " i ." Stalin passed on to internal problems of the "Socialist Fatherland.R. We stand for the support of nations which are the victims of aggression and are fighting for the independence of their country. and as long as they make no attempt to trespass on the interests of our country. who are interested in peace and friendship among nations. We are not afraid of the threats of aggressors. T o strengthen the might of our Red Army and Red Navy to the utmost. The U. PoUtics is politics. But new dangers imposed new tasks. treachery and so on. that the big and dangerous political game started by the supporters of the policy of non-intervention may end in a serious fiasco for them. trade. 3.S. as the old. however. live- PRODUCED BY UNZ. It must be remarked.S." reviewing at length statistics of production. To be cautious and not allow our country to be drawn into conflicts by war-mongers who are accustomed to have others pull the chestnuts out of the fire for them. close and friendly relations with all the neighbouring countries which have common frontiers with the U. had joined the League and made pacts with Paris and Prague.R.

^ That policy. defied understanding by many Western publicists.2 20 Retreat from Moscow stock. nor have we any orientation toward Poland or France. to sing the praises of the Versailles treaty.U. (B.R. for example in Italy. If the interests of the U. Stalin.S.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . did not prevent the U.] Long live the Communist Party of the Soviet Union!" [Applause. who experienced the shame of the Brest-Litovsk peace.] Long live our victorious collective farm peasantry! [Applause. 1939.S. W e have never had any orientation toward Germany. referred to Soviet foreign policy as "a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.S. in January.] Long live the great friendship of the nations of our country! [Applause.S.S. we will not hesitate to take it. ^ Winston Churchill on October i. is toward the U. The delegates rise and hail Comrade Stalin with loud and stormy cheers. He concluded with quotations from Lenin and an ideological justification of the dictatorship.R. O u r orientation. And there need be no doubt that this will be the case.S. But Fascism is not the issue here.S. The answer to the riddle did not lie in "ideological affinity. "If the successes of the working class of our country. if its fight and victory serve to rouse the spirit of the working class in the capitalist countries and to strengthen its faith in its own power and in its victory. freight.R. Here is a clue to the alleged "mystery" of Soviet foreign policy. schools. and Axis policy as well." nor in the transformation of Russia into 1 J. Of course. alone. in the past and at present.R. 1934. 1939. Foreign Languages Publishing House.S.1 Long live our victorious working class! [Applause. It is not for us. Cries of: "Hurrah for Comrade Stalin!" "Hurrah for our great Stalin!" "Hurrah for our beloved Stalin!"] 1 These words were less prophetic than Stalin's words five years previously. [Loud and prolonged applause. if only for the reason that Fascism. we are far from being enthusiastic about the Fascist regime in Germany. Moscow. then our Party may say that its work has not been in vain." PRODUCED BY UNZ. from establishing very good relations with that country.). All and sundry imperialists looked upon Poland as the vanguard in the event of a military attack on Russia.'] Long live our socialist intelligentsia! [Applause. Report on the Work of the Central Committee to the Eighteenth Congress of the CPS. demand a rapprochement with this or that country which is not interested in disturbing peace. etc. He had then said: Poland regarded herself as the barrier of the Western States against the U.

It lay rather in the circumstance that the Western democracies had ceased to play the game imposed upon them by the nature of international politics. It has been given to far less wishful thinking than the Western democracies and guilty of infinitely less bombast than the Fascist states. to treat one's enemies as if they might some day be friends. Aiany eiforts have been made in the West to explain the revolution in Soviet foreign policy in 1939 in terms of internal changes in Soviet society and Soviet politics. It is hardly an exaggeration to say that for the past two decades it has been the most realistic leadership in Europe. with all weapons in the arsenal of Realpolitik and without the inhibitions and confusions so characteristic of London. In this game those who refuse to play and those who play stupidly are lost. . Both changes are explicable through changes in the international environment to which the Kremlin sought by new devices to adapt itself. Europe on the Eve.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . . Wolfe. It requires knowledge of the probable intentions of others and ability to change those intentions to one's advantage by adroit combinations of threats and inducements. PRODUCED BY UNZ. The later one was disastrous and bitter. whereas all the totalitarian regimes continued to play it—unscrupulously. and one's friends aS if they might some day be enemies.StaliTis Price 111 a "Fascist" State.^ To play well means to follow rules of power which are far older than Machiavelli: to regard one's neighbors as one's enemies. their psychology and their weaknesses. to consider one's neighbors' neighbors as potential allies. The Imperial Soviets (Doubleday. nor in the "Bolshevization" of the Axis. 1940) p. . The Soviet leaders did not regard their policies as sources of service to the Western Powers or of pleasure to Western liberals. to recognize that the power of States in relation to other States is local. Doran & Co. New York. their aims. to know that power is relative and that one State's gain is another's loss. Few efforts of this kind were made to explain the equally revolutionary shift of 1933-35. They were concerned exclusively with the interests of the Soviet Union. The men of Moscow possessed these skills. and Washington. The Soviet hierarchy has nearly always been clear-headed in its appraisal of foreign governments. The earlier reversal was advantageous to the Western Powers and palatable to Western liberals. Paris. Those who play well survive. Moscow played well. 253-62. astutely. This is not to deny the relationship 1 Henry C.. 65: "The Kremlin leadership has rarely been unrealistic in its foreign policies. pp." Cf. Success requires that words be not confused with deeds.

Trotsky to the contrary notwithstanding. represented the adoption of new means to serve old ends. Their leaders are answerable to "public opinion" which changes too slowly to permit swift changes of program. They were servants of a Caesar ruling over an imperium which was a model of military socialism. Freedom of choice as to means is circumscribed not only by external forces but by domestic forms as well. albeit an important one. but also a re-afHrmation of the democratic ideals associated with Marx and Engels and in some measure with Lenin. The abrupt repudiation of these ideals in Moscow's diplomacy of 1939 was therefore a profound shock. Caesarism in Spengler's sense —the conquest of Money by Blood. to problems of means. the supremacy of Politics over Economics. In truth the Soviet State had not undergone any significant internal change.R. Bourgeois democracies have never been able to play at Realpolitik with the same flexibihty and ruthlessness that are possible to feudal monarchies and totalitarian despotisms.S. States ruled by aristocrats or by tyrants suffer from no such restrictions.S. like its new course in 1933. is it necessary to explain the decisions of 1939 in terms of internal factors. however. But its rulers were not bourgeois democrats. For the U. Its class structure and its economy did not require foreign conquest as a prerequisite of domestic stability. as for other Powers. this relationship is ever present and is fundamental to any understanding of the way in which interests are defined. the free and ruthless rule of one party and one man—found its first clear expression in the 20th century in revo- PRODUCED BY UNZ. Moscow's new course in 1939. At only one point. was in process of becoming a democracy supposed that the diplomacy and the vocabulary of Communism in 1933-39 i^-E-y the Constitution of 1936 and Litvinov's speeches at Geneva) reflected not merely a new means cjf protecting Soviet interests by collaboration with Western liberalism.. The Western commentators who assumed that the U.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED .S. It had been and it remained a totalitarian dictatorship—the first to be established and in most of its political externals the prototype of the tyrannies of Mussolini and Hitler.R. to be explained in terms of the villainy and perfidy of Stalin or in terms of the degeneration of the Soviet State into a despotism. Their ruling classes are imbued with the ethics of democracy and capitalism. It is not fundamental.222 Retreat from Moscow between foreign policy and the internal structure of States.S.

Revolution in Germany might mean Communism in Germany. but because they had no desire to weaken the Fascist regimes. A Great Coalition. Moscow desired to thwart German and Italian imperialism not only to protect the Soviet Union but also to weaken the regime of the Caesars. Soviet 1 This writer shared many of the earlier illusions regarding the place of the Soviet State in the political evolution of our age. Its expansion was potentially dangerous to all its neighbors. could make German expansion so dangerous that it could not be attempted.R.^ The problem posed to the men of the Kremlin in March of 1939 was difficult. In a totaUtarian world it remained a totalitarian tyranny.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . as his past writings testify. however.S. New York. In a democratic world StaUn's Russia might well have become a democracy. The men of the West agreed with the men of Moscow that Fascism must make conquests or perish. In a rational world all its neighbors would therefore combine to prevent its expansion. The same was true for Italy. Unlike the men of Moscow. What was expedient depended less upon what happened within than upon what happened without. Moscow alone could not prevent Fascist conquests.S. 1940. PRODUCED BY UNZ. Whether this prospect was objectively probable mattered less than the fact that it was dreamed of by the new revolutionary elite of the U. Such was the goal of Louis Barthou and of Litvinov. Therewith the rationality of Realpolitik flew out of the window. and feared by the old elites of France and Britain. would have been won permanently to a democratic "peace front" against Fascismihad Western democracy displayed capacity to defend itself instead of serving the interests of its destroyers. The Nation. Perhaps the most eloquent and persuasive presentation of the thesis that Soviet diplomacy was primarily a reflection of an inner degeneration of Soviet society is to be found in Chapter III of Louis Fischer's Stalin and Hitler. for they dreaded the aftermath for which Moscow hoped. they did not wish it to perish.R. Paris and London refused to thwart Italian and German imperialism not only because they hoped it would leave them in peace in order to move eastward.S. He still believes that Soviet society might have been progressively democratized and that the U. the desires of Moscow clashed with those of London and Paris. They had acted for six years on the sound assumption that the Third Reich must either expand or fall. In this event the Third Reich would fall.Stalin's Price 223 lutionary Russia.S. The rulers of this realm felt themselves free to practice such opportunism in foreign policy as expediency might dictate. Precisely at this point. committed to united resistance in arms to assault on any of its members.

in order to clear the Nazi road to the Ukraine. When two men fear attack by a third and are unable or unwilling to act in unison against the menace to both.R. mitigated only by the hope. a member of the Executive Committee of the Comintern. to weaken Germany for many years and to retain for English imperialism a dominant position in Europe. the Anglo-French leaders sought safety in the assumption that the Third Reich would strike at Russia. Moscow's counter-hope was that Fascist imperialism might be deflected against the Western Powers.S. which never quite died. After the murder of Barthou. Dmitry Z." With allowances for rhetoric. This prospect brought cheer to the Kremlin and fear to the Western Powers. 1939: "The plan of the reactionary English bourgeoisie is this—sacrificing of the small nations of southeastern Europe to Fascist Germany. to bribe Germany from her imperialistic designs on English colonies.S. Austria and Czechoslovakia were successively frustrated by Downing Street and the Quai d'Orsay. The problem then became one of the direction in which the Fascist conquerors would strike. This was the nightmare of Daladier and Chamberlain. This hope brought cheer to the Western statesmen and fear to the Kremlin. against the U.S. At the same time the English reactionaries wish to pull the teeth of German imperialism by means of the U. as Austria and Czechoslovakia had been sacrificed. The next question was whether Hitler would turn against the West.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED ..R.S. In their view this prospect constituted no danger to Western interests. This hope was empty unless Poland and Rumania should be sacrificed. Fascism and Communism might destroy one another. to direct Germany eastward— namely. then each hopes that the other will be the victim. to attempt by such counter-revolutionary war to retard the further successes of socialism and the victory of Communism in the U. Fascist capitalism and democratic capitalism might destroy one another. China. this view was justified.S. that the Drang nach Osten might yet be resumed.. This could not be PRODUCED BY UNZ. Memorial services were held at Munich. Collective security died.R..224 Retreat from Moscow efforts to save Ethiopia. told the i8th party congress on March 12. The Red Caesar had already drawn the same conclusion. The Ides of March convinced Chamberlain that he had failed in his effort to turn Hitler against Stalin.S. Manuilsky. Spain. with Japan and perhaps Italy as allies.

The second might lead to Nazi victory over the West.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . however. Each involved risks.Staliris Price 225 risked. was difficult. PRODUCED BY UNZ. Each maneuver offered obvious advantages.S. The first would expose Moscow to the danger of a new betrayal by the Munichmen. Or he might join Hitler openly in trying to destroy and despoil the Western Powers. The Western appeasers no longer felt confident of Hitler's intentions. He might respond to Western overtures and seek again to enlist the support of the now-frightened Western Powers in order to block the Reich in all directions. In the sequel to the Ides of March. Or he might attempt to out-Chamberlain Chamberlain by giving Hitler a free hand against the West in the name of "neutrality" and "non-intervention. but afforded the West no genuine protection if he turned in the opposite direction. since it would insure the fall of France and Britain and leave the Reich immeasurably more povv^erful than the Soviet Union. T o solicit Soviet defense of Warsaw and Bucharest. followed by assault on the U. from an invincible Reich. might revive the possibility of a German-Soviet war. however. Yet if the price were not paid." meanwhile picking up such pieces of the inevitable wreckage of Poland and Rumania as might be safely seized. The Allies' dilemma presented no other choice. The fall of Warsaw and Bucharest would then leave the Reich free to assault France and Britain. The third would make this possibility almost a certainty. since Warsaw and Bucharest had no desire for Soviet aid. followed by a German-Soviet war with the West neutral. They therefore guaranteed Poland and Rumania—not in order to block Hitler's road to the East. Stalin dallied with the first alternative. Poland and Rumania would be lost and the Western Powers would face the Reich alone. if obtained. The alternatives of the Western Allies were fewer and therefore more desperate. Pledges of Soviet aid.S. for Berlin and Moscow might declare a truce. but in order that the West should not be utterly isolated in the face of a possible Drang nach Westen. Poland and Rumania could be defended against the Reich only by Russian arms. rejected the third and finally accepted the second as the least dangerous of the three.R. But Soviet fears of this possibihty made Moscow's price for pledges too high for London and Paris to pay. Stalin's dilemma posed three alternatives. Their commitments to Poland and Rumania not only thwarted Hitler in the East.

and 13th documents in The German White Paper. Tentative gestures had been made earlier in the year as doubts grew concerning the wisdom of Munich.S. PRODUCED BY UNZ.21.S. izyf. . On the same day Lord Halifax was guest of honor at an Embassy dinner given by Ambassador Ivan Maisky." Chamberlain's pledge to Poland of March 31. T o be sure.^ Izvestia declared on March 28 that the British and French Governments "now appear inclined to drop the overtures that they made twelve days ago in the first moment of panic at the news of a German ultimatum to Rumania. on March 17.39) ^ ^ t Chamberlain himself. Bucharest yielded to German demands. London's own suggestion for an Anglo-French-Polish-Soviet declaration to "consult" was regarded by Litvinov as wholly inadequate. all the Tory back-benchers shouted indignantly "Why? W h y ? " ( N Y T 2. 1 Cf. But London had rejected the Soviet proposal for a six-Power conference. but Downing Street preferred to give an immediate unilateral guarantee to Poland. on condition of French and Polish adherence.226 Retreat from Moscow Anglo-French overtures to draw the U. . 12th. Sir William Seeds. however.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . . Litvinov's rebuke to Berlin on March 19 further encouraged the British Cabinet to believe that Moscow's collaboration could be counted upon.R. attended a reception at the Soviet Embassy on March i—the first time a Prime Minister had set foot inside the Soviet Ambassador's quarters since the days of Ramsay MacDonald." On February 20 London announced that Robert Hudson would visit Moscow as well as Berlin. the new British Ambassador. above. when Laborite Thurtle jumped up in Commons to ask whether the Prime Minister did not believe the time opportune for some "friendly gesture" to Soviet Russia. But London hesitated. nth. He nevertheless assented. Litvinov expressed willingness to extend Soviet aid to Rumania. cf. Moscow next proposed a four-Power conference. if need be. pp. into the "peace front" began at once after the Birmingham speech. arrived in Moscow in January and extended assurances of a desire to "cooperate. Poland's rejection of the British formula closed the issue." Pravda asserted: "German aggression in Central Europe has not met opposition from the so-called democratic governments. accompanied by Halifax and other ministers. N o new line can be seen either in the foreign policy of England or the foreign policy of France.

supporters of the policy of non-intervention managed to deliver to Germany in a peaceful way what it was going to take by force. declared: "The U.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . has not been affected by the consequences of Munich.Stalin''s Price 227 was conceded to represent a change. Are they not going to act the same way with regard to the Polish seacoast and Danzig after they have guaranteed Poland's independence without even deciphering what they mean by the word "independence"? They asserted that Czecho-Slovakia could continue its independent existence without the Sudeten provinces. Izvestia of April 2 wrote: "If France and Britain are honestly determined to resist aggression and to stand for collective security. Beck that he does not want his country to bind itself to Russia until the last minute of the eleventh hour does not deserve to be taken seriously unless he accepts the prospect of his country's suicide. and unchangingly protects the interest of peace and the independence of nations.R. Pravda's cartoon of April 4 showed a silk-hatted British lion in a boat extending a rock-weighted life preserver to small nations drowning in a sharkinfested sea. Beck made it clear to the British Ministers that his country wanted no Russian help. for reasons of prestige. Maybe now they will affirm that Poland can continue its independent existence without Upper Silesia and without access to the sea. having promised support to Czecho-Slovakia.S. Soviet skepticism was given snarp expression when a Havas report from Moscow.R. though its sincerity and permanence were doubted. declared that the U." But it added: If England and France. It is probable that immediately after Col. gave no one such a promise and undertook no such obligation." The Soviet press distrusted "Beck's Poland" and doubted whether the Polish Foreign Minister was up to any good in London. A Tass Communique of April 3. Pertinax commented: "The boast of Col. she can hardly bear to be left outside the door.S. Nevertheless. then they can count on the full support of the only country that bears no responsibility for Munich. later demanded its capitulation to Germany. had promised to supply arms to Poland in the event of war and withhold raw materials from Germany. Beck's departure from PRODUCED BY UNZ. why should not German Fascism expect that England and France would act likewise in the case of Rumania and Poland? At Munich.S. following the line of an earlier denial of similar reports on March 21. published in Le Tanps.S. Russia can afford to wait.

to be sure. But this was uncertain. as became apparent later. Rumania and Greece and initiated discussions with Turkey. Chamberlain had been obliged to choose between an effort to make a pact with Moscow.2 28 Retreat from Moscow London. Britain and France had guaranteed Poland. to be followed by attempts to secure Polish and Rumanian cooperation. This. A month had passed since the fall of Prague.S.5. owing to Soviet suspicions of the Munichmen. but the failure of London and Paris to do anything about the Italian seizure of Albania two days later was ridiculed as fresh evidence of Anglo-French weakness.S. would have been a small loss if a binding alliance with the U. could have been secured thereby. The completion of the guarantees to Poland and Rumania prior to any understanding with Litvinov produced a result which was to determine the course of decisions and events to come. and an effort to make a pact with Poland and Rumania. This result was insufficiently appreciated in London and Paris but fully appreciated in Moscow." In view of the attitude of Warsaw and Bucharest. was the first major error in Anglo-French efforts to build the "peace front.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . It was simply that the Western Powers had now committed themselves to fight the Reich if Germany threatened the independence of the two States lying between Germany and the PRODUCED BY UNZ. negotiations with Russia will be started in all earnestness" ( N Y T 4. Halifax informed Maisky almost daily of developments in British policy. But Polish capacity for suicide was not to be underestimated. This procedure. where fears were rife that Soviet aid would lead to the spread of Communism and to the loss of territories seized from Russia in 1918-21. partly out of fear lest such a move should drive MussoUni completely into Hitler's arms and cause him to keep his troops in Spain. Meanwhile Moscow waited. extending guarantees to Rumania and Greece. He chose the latter alternative. to be followed by attempts to secure Soviet cooperation.39). Chamberlain's address of April 13. was given much space in Moscow papers but little comment.R. These suspicions grew while London wooed Warsaw and Bucharest and slighted Moscow. but Chamberlain refrained from direct overtures to Moscow. but between Moscow and the West everything was still in abeyance. The Anglo-Polish accord of April 6 was deemed moderately encouraging. He doubtless feared that the former would throw Smigly-Rydz and Carol into Hitler's arms.

" Churchill: "It has become a matter of life or death. we shall be walking into a trap. If it was a solemn vow to act." Lloyd George: "If we are to go in without the help of Russia." Chamberlain had contented himself with saying: I do not wish today to specify what governments we may now or in the near future find it desirable to consult on the situation. Chamberlain's critics in Commons pressed him to woo the Russians. In 1914 . On April 3 Arthur Greenwood said: "Since her entrance into the League Russia has been more loyal to its principles and decisions than the British Government. but in these times it is important to mobilize in the cause of peace all States which are prepared to stand for peace.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . Should the Kremlin have thanked London and signed a mutual assistance pact out of gratitude? This sentiment is unknown in Realpolitik.S. .S. then Moscow could point out that the Allies had assured the safety of the Soviet Union against any German attack through Poland and Rumania." Eden: "The main purport of Mr. .R.Staliris Price 229 U. . Moscow. .. It is the only country whose armies can get there (Poland) and who has got an air fleet which can match Germany's. but I would make an allusion to the Soviet Union because I quite appreciate that the Soviet Union is always in the thoughts of members opposite and that PRODUCED BY UNZ. Moscow had no interest in this or any other pledges to oppose aggression. If this promise was an empty gesture. . . The worst folly would be to chill any international cooperation which Russia can give. . The German conquest of the Ukraine would be a direct assault on the life of the Russian Soviet State.R. no longer fearful of German assault. her invasion of East Prussia saved Paris. I realize that there are all kinds of ideological objections to the U. desired some tangible quid pro quo for accepting any obligation to defend France and Britain or Poland and Rumania. Chamberlain had already given away his best bargaining point. N o one can say there is not a solid identity of interest between the Western democracies and Russia.S.S. Then in the Far East the aggression of Japan brought Japan into close grips with Russia. . Lloyd George's argument—and with this I entirely agree—is the desirability of trying to secure the best possible relations with the Soviet Government. Soviet resourcefulness would devise another price." Sir Archibald Sinclair: "The task of bringing Russia into cooperation with us is one of supreme importance. But this the Western Powers would never bring themselves to pay.

Chamberlain announced the publication of a British White Paper on the Anglo-Soviet negotiations of 1939. An anonymous British official declared: "There is no reason to believe that Russia may not join the alliance within the next few days." The Quai d'Orsay was reported to have suggested that Moscow should agree to use the Soviet air fleet against Germany if the Reich attacked Poland or Rumania." The Journal de Moscou wrote on April 18: "It is clearer than ever that the world is moving toward a frightful catastrophe. . It is natural that such grave events should attract equally the attention of countries like the U. Paris reports held.230 Retreat from Moscoiv they are still a little suspicious as to whether so-called ideological differences may not be dividing us in what otherwise it would be in the interests of both to do. . . We welcome the co-operation of any country. No documents are as yet available concerning them.S. . On April 15 Seeds saw Litvinov. Ten days later Simon asserted that the Cabinet had no objection "in principle" to an alliance with Moscow. ." Deep secrecy was preserved regarding the concrete proposals which followed.39). but in resistance to aggression.R. however.16. . sincerely interested in safeguarding general peace. which by their power and geographic situation do not have to fear a direct attack. which will inevitably occur unless the necessary measures are taken in time.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . Walter Duranty reported from Moscow that the Narkomindel (Soviet Foreign Office) felt that new commitments "should be undertaken only with extreme caution and after an assurance of most positive guarantees. You may be sure that your initiative finds the warmest echo in the hearts of the people of the Soviet Union. . Our point is that whatever may be those ideological differences they do not really count in a question of this kind. In January. . . 1940. whatever may be its internal system of government. . but had to consider the wishes of others. not in aggression. and the United States. The Russians are not so entirely hostile to the Germans and Italians as the British and French may believe" ( N Y T 4. But on February 21 Butler told Commons that consultations PRODUCED BY UNZ. Seeds saw Litvinov again while Maisky was called home for consultation. A happy augury was President Kalinin's cable to Roosevelt of April 16 offering "deep sympathy and cordial congratulations in connection with your noble message appealing to the Governments of Germany and Italy. On April 14 Maisky saw Halifax. that Litvinov would announce Soviet adherence to the new bloc within a few days. .S. .

On the 21 St. Vice-Commissar Vladimir Potemkin visited Bucharest. Latvia and Estonia.Stalin's Frice 231 with Paris had delayed publication and that he could not set a date. Beck and Chamberlain were still voiced in the Soviet press. Poland. Appeasement of Japan was still the order of the day. he reported. on his way back to London.20. as Maisky reached Moscow. Burgos and Tokio openly threatened to join the Axis if London made a pact with Moscow. Pertinax wrote on April 20 that Paris was seeking to make the operation of the pact of 1935 "automatic" by sweeping away the procedural delays and restrictions introduced by Laval. if any. W e are going to assist Europe in case of aggression.39). declared in Copenhagen on April 27: "Russia's position in a possible conflict is perfectly clear. The Kremlin was believed to have agreed to support Britain and France in common defense of Swit- PRODUCED BY UNZ." He was reported to have brought from Moscow a proposal for a five-year Anglo-French-Soviet aUiance with binding guarantees of mutual aid against aggression in Europe and Asia alike. Lithuania. The Paper had not been issued by the time this volume went to press. This arrangement would be supplemented by a direct Anglo-Soviet mutual assistance pact ( N Y T 4. Distrust of Bonnet. But Downing Street shied away from any commitments in the Orient. Sofia and Ankara in May—with what result. Lisbon. It is equally possible that Downing Street concluded after study of the documents that the record was scarcely creditable to Anglo-French diplomacy. Spain and the Vatican must not be offended. with Soviet aid to be extended to these States in the event of a threat of aggression only in the form and to the degree that their Governments might request. rumors circulated that Litvinov had asked that any new Triple Entente be operative against Japan as well as Germany. In Europe looser and more "flexible" formulas were preferred. In any case the course of the discussions must still be traced from secondary sources. Portugal. but the return of Henderson and Coulondre to Berlin stirred misgivings. no one knew. The British plan. Maisky.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . The announcement of April 26 of the introduction of conscription in Britain was welcomed in Moscow. was to secure a unilateral Soviet guarantee of Rumania. It is possible that the British Ministers feared that it would further embitter Anglo-Soviet relations by presenting Moscow's purposes in an unfavorable light.

which desires to arrange a pact of mutual aid—in either an Anglo-Russian bilateral form corresponding to the French-Soviet treaty. Many details have to be considered. "We are carrying on discussions of a perfectly friendly character.1939. . . Rumania. which still does not want to make any exclusively anti-German arrangements." The Polish Ambassador in London had reported to Warsaw on April 26: Without any doubt England wants Russian participation in the relations of the Powers. in this way. From his conversations he became convinced that the British Government was avoiding a closer relationship with the Soviet. Also. But the future development of the international situation may take such a turn as to make the maintenance of this line impossible. At the same time Cadogan underlined the difficulties that the British Government would have. Belgium and the Netherlands on condition that the Western Powers sign a binding alliance and guarantee the Baltic States. England and Russia —was unacceptable to England according to Cadogan. bom of Jewish parents named 1 Raczynski to Beck. But the counter-proposal of the Soviet. it is inferred that England and France wish to limit themselves to obtaining a declaration from Russia stating that in case of war it would maintain a benevolent attitude so that. many other governments have to be borne in mind . PRODUCED BY UNZ. On May 2 Chamberlain asked Commons to be patient.^ This hesitation was followed by a wholly unexpected event. but it does not want to bind itself formally or too closely. April 26. assurance may be had of access to basic materials. Jugoslavia. Reason: "111 health. Cadogan referred to the necessary considerations of the reactions that would be provoked in other countries." Maxim Maximovich Litvinov. Because of this. or as an accord among France. There is no want of good will on the part of His Majesty's Government. etc. tries to avoid any direct tie-up with the Soviet. Poland.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . On May 3 the resignation of the Peoples' Commissar for Foreign Affairs was curtly announced in Moscow. The German White Paper.232 Retreat from Moscow zerland. he did not want to give a negative answer in such a way as to cause anger. From the explanations made to me by the permanent Sub-secretary Cadogan of the Foreign Office. 14th document. Russia would make known its attitude beforehand. Spain. pages 68-9. nor did France want it. London hesitated. This could be accomplished through a partial statement of the Soviet Government which would state that in the case of a German attack on Poland or Rumania. Minister Gafencu has been informed of this point of view. T h e Rumanian Foreign Minister expressed his opinion before me that actual Anglo-Soviet negotiations would be fruitless. English policy. mentioning among others.

He had sacrificed his own Foreign Minister.12. Eden. in 1930. and at Munich left him uninvited.Stalin's Price 233 Finkelstein in Byalystok in 1876. He became Chicherin's aide and. for he was seen thereafter at official functions. on the altar of appeasement. "that we should give up altogether our own opinions and accept without question the views of some other government. spurned his oifers of aid to Prague in the summer of 1938. He had been for years an ardent advocate of collective security. But he was out of office. Reports of German-Soviet negotiations were already rising early in May. Leningrad party boss.^ London registered mild anxiety. G. PRODUCED BY UNZ. His British wife. Gedye. Stalin was already considering his course in the event of their failure.40. whom he married in England during the Great War. Litvinov must go." When Communist Willie Gallacher suggested that 1 Cf. W e have to look after the interests of our own country and also look at the probabilities of achieving success in the policy we are following. "We cannot accept the view. humiliated and alone. If the alternative was to be an entente with Berlin. his successor. R. The Times was reassuring: "There is no reason to anticipate any change in the prime objectives of Soviet foreign policy. It is probable that he had suggested his own retirement after Munich and had suggested a reorientation of Soviet policy in the autumn of 1938. Andrei Zhdanov." said Chamberlain on May 5 in reply to Noel-Baker. Molotov assumed Litvinov's post. The career of this wise and witty genius was a succession of brilliant diplomatic victories until the Western Powers destroyed the League and the "peace front" of 1935. NYT 9. was Ivy Low. No hard and fast aUiance could be contemplated." There was in fact no outward evidence that Stalin had shifted his course or despaired of an agreement with the West. Premier Viacheslav Molotov and perhaps Marshal Klementi Voroshilov were rumored to favor a deal with Hitler if London would not meet Moscow's terms. He saw no need to strengthen Litvinov's hand in Moscow by hastening the tempo of negotiations. E.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . it was hinted. had been a wandering revolutionary most of his hfe. Chamberlain ignored them. Maxim was not in disgrace. because this would alienate the smaller anti-Communist Powers and tend deplorably to establish ideological blocs. Chamberlain proceeded in leisurely fashion to prepare a reply to the Soviet counter-proposals. She accompanied him back to Russia after the revolution.

should agree to come to the aid of Poland. because personalities change rather rapidly. During May Chamberlain continued to report progress and to withhold details. PRODUCED BY UNZ." When Lady Astor shouted: "Nonsense!" he commented: "That sounds like the noble lady for Berlin. The British proposals appear to have corresponded to this description. dispatch of Frank L.S. Halifax and Bonnet shied away from any 1 Cf.S. Latvia. In these proposals it is not stated that the Soviet Government must give separate guarantees for the States bordering it. More relevant were Washington reports that the U. Lithuania and perhaps southeastern Finland in case of any threat of German aggression. the counter-proposals of the British Government include no pledge of help to be given by the British and French Governments to the Soviet Union on a reciprocal basis should the Soviet Union become engaged in military operations in execution of the obligations it would undertake concerning any Eastern European State. was determined to occupy Estonia. It was evidently a rejection of any alliance and a proposal that the U.R. NYT 5.2 34 Retreat from Moscow Chamberlain ought to establish personal contacts with Soviet leaders.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED ." Sir Stafford Cripps opposed conscription on the ground that the Cabinet was not a national government but a "class and party government. The proposals state the Soviet Government must give immediate help to Britain and France in case the latter are involved in military operations in execution of their obligation toward Poland and Rumania." Moscow's silence was broken by an official communique on May 9: The Soviet Government received on May 8 counter-proposals of the British Government.R. Lloyd George avowed on May 8 that British pledges were "demented" without Soviet support and suggested that any member of the General Staff who believed that Britain could win a war without Russian help should be "confined in a lunatic asylum.6.^ Preparations for the impending Anglo-Turkish accord on May 6 coincided with new rumors of appeasement.S. with which the French Government was in agreement. the Prime Minister replied: "Perhaps the Honorable Member will suggest whom I should make personal contact with.S. Greece and Turkey if called upon to do so and if Britain and France should do so first. Kluckhohn.39. Rumania. Chamberlain." Such cleverness was its own reward. However. On the same day the British reply to Moscow was sent to Seeds.

They contended that their pledges to Poland and Rumania gave Russia ample protection.R. On May 10. would.S. the Soviet Government on their side would express a readiness also to lend assistance if it is desired.S. H . In the most extensive statement he had thus far made on the negotiations. PRODUCED BY UNZ. who explained to him that the Soviet Government was still not clear as to whether. M. in the event of Britain and France being involved in hostilities in discharge of their own obligations thus accepted. irrespective of whether Britain and France are already intervening in the discharge of their own obligations.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED .9. The U. At the same time they made certain modifications in their own original proposals. Pertinax's remarkable dispatch foreshadowing Soviet neutrality and the German-Russian pact. Government to be in accord with the recent pronouncement of Stalin that it is the policy of the Soviet Government to support countries which might become victims of aggression and which are prepared to defend their own independence. Government in the sense that. T h e Foreign Secretary yesterday saw the Soviet Ambassador. Government undertook these obligations without inviting the Soviet government to participate directly in them. under the 1 Cf. which. M. Government.S. Almost simultaneously. H . Daladier apparently recognized the justice of this objection. they made plain that it is in no part their intention that the Soviet Government should commit themselves to intervene. raise inevitably the very difficulties which their own proposals were designed to avoid. to fight alone against aggression. H .Stali?is Price 235 pledge to defend the U. M. seems to H .39. M. Maisky retorted that these States might be rapidly conquered by the Reich. if the Soviet Government feel able to make it.^ but Chamberlain did not. he declared: H . in the view of H . M. Government accordingly suggested to the Soviet Government that they should make on their own behalf a declaration similar in effect to that already made by H . the Soviet Government suggested a scheme at once more comprehensive and more rigid. NYT 5.S. would then be exposed to German attack and would have no guarantee against a separate peace between Germany and the Western Powers. he denied that British plans would require the U. M. Government accordingly pointed out to the Soviet Government the existence of these difficulties. however.R. H . Government added that if the Soviet Government wished to make their own intervention contingent on that of Britain and France. whatever advantages it might present. in view of certain difficulties to which the House is well aware that any such suggestion would inevitably give rise.R. Such a declaration. M. In particular. M.S. Government for their part would offer no objection.S.

moreover. As is known. although it would assume exactly the same PRODUCED BY UNZ. and consider that the Soviet Government should come to the immediate aid of Great Britain and France should they be involved in hostilities as a result of carrying out the obligations they have assumed in guaranteeing Poland and Rumania. primarily of the four principal Powers in Europe—Great Britain. of three Powers—Great Britain. at least..S.R. which.S. has made counter-proposals.S. the U.S.R.S. should guarantee the other States of Eastern and Central Europe which are threatened b y aggression.S. bound by a pact of mutual assistance on the principle of reciprocity. if they still existed. with the consent of France. It must be noted that this clear and fundamentally defensive and peaceable attitude of U. and that if there was any room for doubt on this point the Foreign Secretary anticipated that it would without difficulty be removed. France. Great Britain's suggestions avoid the subject of a pact of mutual assistance between France. T h e Foreign Secretary assured the Ambassador that this definitely was not the intention of the proposal made by H . has not met with a sympathetic response on the part of Great Britain and France.—and that these three Powers.S. Great Britain says nothing about the aid which the U. Great Britain and the U. and Poland—or.R.S. held and continues to hold that if France and Great Britain really want to create a barrier against aggression in Europe a united front of mutual assistance should be created. It thus follows that under this arrangement the U. at the conclusion of which Molotov promised that the Soviet Government would give careful consideration to our proposals. . Government.R. and this the Soviet Ambassador readily agreed to do. M. Government in possession of the precise grounds upon which these doubts of his Government are based.R. M. M.236 Retreat from Moscow proposals of H .ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED .S. A long editorial in Izvestia on May 11 was not without bitterness: .R. is based on the principle of reciprocity and equality of obligations.S. Great Britain.S. Government. T h e U. France and U. . Government or France.S. must find itself in a position of inequality. M. and we are now awaiting their reply.S.R.S. circumstances might not arise wherein the Soviet Government w^ould stand committed to intervention unsupported by H . H e accordingly invited the Soviet Ambassador to place H . Stalin. should naturally receive on the principle of reciprocity from France and Great Britain should it be involved in hostilities owing to the fulfillment of the obligations it may assume in guaranteeing any of the States of Eastern Europe. I should add that the British Ambassador to Moscow had an interview two days ago with Molotov. remained obdurate. however.

N o t having a pact of mutual assistance with Great Britain and France nor with Poland. On May 11 the League council consented to Moscow's request to postpone for one week the meeting scheduled for May 15 in PRODUCED BY UNZ. by defending Poland and Rumania Great Britain and France would be defending themselves and not the western frontier of the U. Firstly.. In his statement in the House of Commons on May lo Chamberlain. spoke of collaboration.R. But collaboration implies reciprocity as its natural basis.S.. the British Premier.R. Poland had reciprocal obligations with the West. of an alliance with the U.S.. for they have a pact of mutual assistance with Poland.S.S.R. But attack might come through the Baltic. inasmuch as she has a treaty of alliance with Poland. Rumania had an alliance with Poland. and this is the main point.S. in the event of aggression directly aimed at the U.R. is not confined to Poland and Rumania. was a clue as to Stalin's price for an alliance.R. although the brunt of this resistance would fall principally on U. by implication. would be one of inequality.S. was willing to assume reciprocal obligations of defense with Britain and France and with Poland and Rumania. the U.S. Here.R.S.S. The U.R.. as well as Poland and Rumania. the Kremlin might unilaterally guarantee Warsaw and Bucharest. Again the situation of the U.R. As to Rumania.S.S. Rumania virtually will have to play the part of an indirect ally of Great Britain and France.R. But the situation of the U.S.S. T h a t is not true. moreover. If London and Paris would agree to defend the U. against attack.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . W e are told that by defending Poland and Rumania Great Britain and France would virtually be defending the western frontier of the U. Moscow would not give any unilateral guarantee to Poland or Rumania. W e say nothing about the highlyinteresting fact that under this arrangement the actual resistance to aggression and the time of commencement of this resistance are left to be decided only by Great Britain and France. is to undertake to assist all these States without receiving any assistance from them.S. Hence the Baltic States should likewise be guaranteed.S. the western frontier of the U.S.R.S. real collaboration cannot be brought about. owing to its geographical situation. is different.R. and. she will be obliged to follow in Poland's wake—that is.S. who in her turn is obliged to defend Great Britain and France from aggression.S. Secondly.S. the latter would have to rely solely upon its own forces.Stalin^ s Price 237 obligations as France and Great Britain.S.S. W h e r e there is no reciprocity.

This formula did not meet Moscow's objections. to be followed by a Soviet guarantee to Rumania. If obliged to fight in support of these pledges. Daladier had men of similar mind in his own entourage. Maisky would represent the U. Latvia. Britain and the U. He said in reply: "The suggestion that we despise the assistance of the Soviet Union is really without foundation. Jacob Suritz. clerical reactionary who both feared and despised the State whose armies he had helped to defeat before Warsaw in 1920. Daladier submitted suggestions after conferring with the Soviet Ambassador. General Maxime Weygand. the Soviet Union would be joined by Britain and France. Simon and Hoare met to consider further steps. What was more disturbing.S. Neither did the reported compromise plan attributed to Bonnet and to Ambassador Paul £mile Naggiar. On the 19th Chamberlain. Estonia and Finland. visited Ankara and Bucharest where he apparently expressed full agreement with those who looked upon Russia as a greater menace than the Reich and wanted no Russian aid against the Reich. Paris and Moscow would sign a mutual assistance pact but not guarantee the Baltic States. If we are ready to be an ally of Russia in time of war. But Chamberlain would have no alliance and would consider no guarantee of the Baltic States.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . whereby London.238 Retreat from Moscow order to permit Potemkin to attend. apart from Bonnet.S. 'Can you trust the Russian Government?' I suppose in Moscow they say." In dealing with Russia it was essential to take account of the "wishes of some of the countries on whose behalf the arrangements are being made." But "I want to make it clear that this policy is not a policy of lining up opposing blocs of Powers in Europe. Poland. 'Can you trust Chamberlain?' I hope we may soon say that the answer to both questions is in the affirmative.S. Maislcy told Robert Vansittart that his Government would accept nothing less than a full military alliance. to resist any aggressor. Moscow's reply was received by London on May 15. why should we shrink from becoming an ally of Russia now. it was announced that Potemkin would not go to Geneva after all. Chamberlain was the target of another verbal barrage in Commons on May 19." Churchill argued vehemently for an alliance: "It is said.S. when we might by that very fact prevent the break- PRODUCED BY UNZ.R. Two days later the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Cabinet decided to propose a joint declaration by France. which is the supreme test.R.

"Russia offered to come in months ago. The British Foreign Minister allegedly submitted to the Soviet Ambassador a proposal for an Anglo-French-Soviet guarantee of Poland and Rumania. Appeals from Benes and King Zog for some action against aggression were sidetracked. "After all." "And have seen its false teeth. there could be no eastern front. consultation in case of any threat to the Baltic States. W e would not extend our responsibilities or risks by extending our guarantees to cover the Baltic States. Halifax and Bonnet solemnly reaffirmed their devotion to the Covenant. and a technical agreement for effective assistance to the protected states. The Kremlin was likewise adamant. It was feared Aioscow might abuse such a guarantee and provoke a conflict with Germany for its own purposes. Downing Street was adamant against any arrangement which might leave to Moscow the decision of Avhere and when to fight. At this very hour we are officially joining in the celebration of their carnivorous triumphs. and without an eastern front the West would be lost if war came. British opposition was equally firm against any guarantee of the Baltic States. This privilege must be reserved to London and Paris. "And we were frightened of its teeth. and that is to be strong.Stalin's Price 239 ing out of war? I cannot understand these refinements of diplomacy and delay. despite Maisky's plea for action. W e are up to our neck in it already There is only one way to influence Mussolini." Halifax stopped off in Paris on his way to Geneva to consult Daladier and Bonnet who consulted Suritz who consulted Molotov and asked that new instructions be sent to Maisky who could see Halifax any day in London. W e have pacts of friendship with them. Moscow was silent." continued the Welshman.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . Such devices indicated no progress. "For months we have been staring this powerful gift horse in the mouth." Without Russia. concerted action among the guarantors if one of them should be attacked by virtue of its pledge. On the 2ist the 105th session of the League council met in Geneva. he urged. But the Kremlin expressed its strong PRODUCED BY UNZ. the Netherlands and Belgium. the Government is not frightened of the teeth of those beasts of prey who have been tearing down one independent country after another. despite Maisky's efforts to have them considered." said Lloyd George. we have shaken their paws. A demand from China for economic pressure on Japan was met with an innocuous resolution." interrupted Archibald James.

" As Downing Street forwarded the new proposals to Moscow on May 26. which required Council approval. be in any way suspected of any sympathy for the aggressors. These doubts were resolved by Molotov's address of May 31. Government is now in a position to make on the main questions arising it will be found possible to reach a full agreement at an early date. with condemnation of aggressors and stronger condemnation of appeasers. His doubts were due to a phrase referring to "the spirit of Article 16 of the Covenant"—the sanctions article which Downing Street had long since interpreted as imposing only optional obligations. On the 29th Molotov announced that he would speak on foreign policy before the Supreme Soviet two days later. Other signatories of the convention had agreed to Finland's request. Meanwhile it was reported in London on May 24 that the Cabinet had agreed "in principle" to a new formula. assurances that the proposed alliance would go into effect automatically and immediately in the event of any aggression against the signatories or against States guaranteed by them. "As a result of these conversations all relevant points of view now have been made clear. who said he would have to "refer to his Government. He began.S. 1939." Bonnet assured the French Cabinet that the plan met Soviet demands for equality and reciprocity and would be accepted." Neither could it be accused of glossing over dangerous changes in the international situation PRODUCED BY UNZ. He was reported to have asked for. On May 27 the text was transmitted by Seeds and the French Charge to Potemkin and Molotov.R.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . The U. It was believed to include a pact of mutual assistance within the framework of the Covenant. M.240 Retreat jrom Moscow opposition to any fortification of the Aaland Islands. the Council closed its session on May 27 without acting on the issue. in Stalin's vein of March 10. "cannot. as everybody understands. Chamberlain was vague but confident. S. and I have every reason to hope that as a result of proposals which H. Bonnet transmitted to Suritz the text of a tripartite accord. and to have received. Voroshilov was invited to attend the British army maneuvers during the summer. In deference to Soviet wishes. He summoned Seeds to his office that evening for further discussion. whereby each signatory would come to the military aid of the others in the event of attack upon its territory and would "consult" in the event of aggression against any State guaranteed by the signatories. New doubts stirred in London.

the policy of non-resistance to the further development of aggression. appreciate the difference between verbal statements and real policy. the Soviet Government entered into negotiations with PRODUCED BY UNZ. [Within three months Molotov would be doing both." Only thus shall we be able to defend to the end the interests of our country and the interests of universal peace. The non-aggressive Powers had sought the collaboration of the U. "We. Roosevelt." The international situation had thus been altered for the worse.R. Moscow had agreed to negotiate because it was interested in "checking the further development of aggression and establishing a reliable and effective defensive front of non-aggressive Powers. As yet it cannot even be said whether these countries are seriously desirous of abandoning the policy of non-intervention. devoid of anti-Comintern camouflage and "directed against the chief European democratic countries. of course." Memel was taken. Then Germany denounced its pacts with Britain and Poland "in reply to the proposal of Mr.S." Germany "put an end to one of the large Slav States. "Did the Munich agreement stop aggression? Not in the least. a proposal permeated with a peace-loving spirit. In this connection certain changes in the direction of counteracting aggression are to be observed in the policy of the non-aggressive countries of Europe too." Rome and Berlin then concluded an offensive treaty.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED .S. May it not turn out that the present endeavour of these countries to resist aggression in so?ne regions will not serve as an obstacle to the unleashing of aggression in other regions? Such questions are being asked in certain bourgeois publications abroad too." In connection with the proposals made to us by the British and French Governments. Albania was extinguished. W e stand for peace and for preventing the further development of aggression. Czecho-Slovakia" so easily as to raise the question of "what was the real aim of the conference in Munich. But Molotov conceded that a change was taking place in British policy. H o w serious these changes are still remains to be seen.Staliris Price 241 in order to "soothe" opinion or appease aggressors. But we must remember Comrade Stalin's precept "to be cautious and not allow our country to be drawn into conflicts by war-mongers who are accustomed to have others pull the chestnuts out of the fire for them." Yet the Anglo-Polish pact and the Anglo-Turkish pact were new.] Munich was the culmination of appeasement. W e must therefore be vigilant.

including all European countries bordering on the U.S. T h e other day new British and French proposals were received.S. France and the U.S. and while trying t o secure for themselves the assistance of the U. Such is our opinion. Thus the position was one of inequality for the U.S. operating against attack on the part of aggressors and fundamentally differing from the military and offensive alliance recently concluded between Germany and Italy. just as they left open another question. that a concrete agreement be concluded by Great Britain. and do not ask anybody to do so.R. W e consider.. It would be an agreement of an exclusively defensive character. In these proposals the principle of mutual assistance between Great Britain. namely. and covering its northwestern frontiers.S.S.S.S. however.S. While guaranteeing themselves from direct attack on the part of aggressors by mutual assistance pacts between themselves and with Poland. to the States of Central and Eastern Europe. the basis of such an agreement must be the principle of reciprocity and equality of obligations. in its turn might count on their assistance in the event of it being directly attacked by aggressors. be concluded between Great Britain.S. the British and French left open the question whether the U.S. an opinion we force upon no one.R. a pact of an exclusively defensive character. Tliis was in the middle of April. although it should be noted that it is hedged around by such reservations —even to the extent of a reservation regarding certain clauses in the League PRODUCED BY UNZ. that this point of view really answers the interests of security of the peaceable States.R.S.S. Naturally.R.S. on the basis of reciprocity in the event of direct attack by aggressors is now recognized. should these states prove unable to defend their neutrality from attack by aggressors. T h e negotiations begun then have not yet ended.S. without exception. But even at that time it vi^as apparent that if there was a real desire to create an effective front of the peaceable countries against the advance of aggression.R.. It should be noted that in some of the British and French proposals this elementary principle did not meet with favour. the following minimum conditions were necessary: that an effective pact of mutual assistance against aggression. regarding the forms and extent of the immediate and effective assistance to be given to each other and to the guaranteed States in the event of attack by aggressors. that a guarantee against attack by aggressors be extended b y Great Britain. This of course is a step forward.R.S. but to which we adhere. whether they could participate in guaranteeing the small States bordering on the U.S. France and the U.S. France and the U.242 Retreat from Moscow them regarding measures necessary for combating aggression.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . in the event of attack by aggressors on Poland and Rumania.R. France and the U.R. W e do not demand the acceptance of our point of view.R.

ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . . namely. "It is to be expected that the Finnish Government will draw the necessary conclusions from this situation.000. . . That is how matters stand regarding the negotiations with Great Britain and France. ." An advantageous trade agreement had just been concluded with Rome.S. There is no need to show that the foreign policy of the PRODUCED BY UNZ. . It is fully in line with the task which faces us in Europe. but say nothing about their giving assistance to the three countries on the northwestern frontier of the U. There is a limit to all patience. .R." Molotov noted with satisfaction that the League Council. As regards the question of guaranteeing the countries of Central and Eastern Europe. "Our relations with the friendly power of Turkey are developing normally. on this point the proposals mentioned show no progress whatever from the standpoint of reciprocity.R. . . . W e take such a thing as a pact of mutual assistance signed by the Soviet Government seriously. The Soviet Premier went on to say suggestively that he did not consider it necessary "to renounce business relations with countries like Germany and Italy. .S. Berlin had proposed to grant a credit of 200. which may prove unable to defend their neutrality in the event of attack by aggressors. There is no need for me to deal with our policy toward China. Disagreements had developed. the establishment of a united front of peaceable Powers against the further extension of aggression. lacking unanimity because of Soviet objections.. The Soviet Government will not tolerate any provocation on the part of Japano-Manchurian troops on its borders. They provide for assistance being given by the U. . .000 marks.S. .S. .R." The Premier concluded by noting that the fisheries agreement with Japan had been extended for another year on terms more favorable to the U.Staliris Price 243 of Nations Covenant—that it may prove to be a fictitious step forward. .S." The Polish-Soviet trade agreement was welcomed. A reminder of this must now be given with regard to the borders of the Mongolian People's RepubHc as well. . . had not sanctioned the revision of the 1921 convention demilitarizing the Aaland Islands. but "it is not precluded that the negotiations may be resumed. But the Soviet Union cannot undertake commitments in regard to the five countries mentioned unless it receives a guarantee in regard to the three countries on its northwestern frontier.S. . to the five countries which the British and French have already promised to guarantee. "Threats to the Soviet Union do not achieve their aim.

S." ^ The Supreme Soviet unanimously adopted a resolution of endorsement.S. But no revolution was conceivable in a victorious Germany. are unlikely to answer this question. condoned by the neutral Western Powers. Foreign Languages Publishing House. ( 3 ) 3 bloc of the Western Powers and the Soviet Union against the Reich to prevent any further aggression or to insure German defeat if it were attempted. merely as a means of securing more favorable terms from Hitler with whom secret negotiations of a wholly different character had already begun? This is possible. That the last possibility finally materialized does not prove that it was from the outset envisaged as the most desirable one by the Kremlin." Was Stalin at any time prepared to sign a pact with Britain and France on any conditions? Was he not perhaps carrying on negotiations with no intention of bringing them to a successful conclusion. And a Germany victorious over the Western Powers would be a far greater 1V.R. thus preserving the fiction that the policy of the Soviet leaders was under legislative control. when made available. (2) a Nazi attack on the U. The diplomatic negotiations rested where Molotov had left them. Moscow.S. . The International Situation and Soviet Foreign Policy.244 Retreat jrom Moscow Soviet Union is fundamentally peaceful and opposed to aggression . The first possibility no longer required serious consideration. (4) a German attack on Poland and the Western Powers. but not probable. A reciprocal mutual assistance pact between Britain..S. Moscow's menace was Germany. Molotov. PRODUCED BY UNZ. but the Kremlin would not guarantee the States which the Western Powers had guaranteed unless they in turn would guarantee the Baltic States and thus commit themselves to fight any aggression against any of the European States bordering on the U. Four theoretical possibilities could be envisaged by the Kremlin: (I) a united attack by all the bourgeois Powers on the Soviet Union. Prospects of Communist revolution in Germany could still be dreamed of without too great a strain of the Stalinist imagination. M.S.R. condoned by a neutral Soviet Union.R. . 1939. Even the documents.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . France and the U. The answer must be sought in terms of Stalin's objectives as revealed by statements of purpose and by subsequent events. The question inevitably arises as to whether these demands were "sincere. was all very well.S.

ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . cit. as well as of 1 Louis Fischer. is to the Communists outside of the U. And again: "If Stalin had had any doubt about the Allies' determination to stop Hitler. These terms were conditioned not only by fear of Possibility No. That is what is called dialectics. were no longer begging the Allies for support against the Reich. puts the matter thus: "The away-from-appeasement tendency of the British and French thus offered Stalin a choice between the Allies and Germany. Whether the possibility was to be utilized depended upon calculations of the relative risks and advantages of a pact with Hitler and a pact with the Allies. Thus. If they did not accept forthwith the Allied suggestions.S.S. so much the worse for them. This commitment made it possible for Stahn to make a pact with Hitler without the risks which such a course would have entailed earlier.^ The Kremlin could afford to insist on its own terms. If their leaders thought otherwise. if not deterred from aggression.S. The Allies were the beggars. PRODUCED BY UNZ. the Bolsheviks were pro-Ally.. Stalin could play off the Allies against Germany and Germany against the Allies and use this bargaining advantage to get more from the side with which in the end he decided to sign a treaty" (p. 17). not because they said so. his policy would have been to re-inforce that determination.S. 3. And the moment the Allies took a firm stand against a Fascist aggressor. They had no need to. the Bolsheviks made a pact with him. but by the specific problems of strategy involved in the geo-political relations between the U. Stalin and Molotov. One may dispute the formulation that Stalin made his pact with Hitler because the AHies had committed themselves to fight the Reich.Stalin's Price 245 menace than a Germany checkmated. Germany could be checkmated and. but because their purposes both as defenders of the Socialist Fatherland and as international revolutionists could best be served thereby. and this in turn depended upon what each side offered to Moscow. Russia would never have trusted itself alone with Germany in Eastern Europe except in the expectation that Germany would be occupied with the war in Western Europe. Stalin knew that the Allies could not afford to reject these terms. and the Reich. Moscow's demand for a guarantee of the Baltic States. moreover. This was therefore the alternative "sincerely" preferred by the men of Moscow. And beggars cannot be choosers.R.R. Stahn foresaw the coming struggle between the Allies and Germany. The pact caught the Communists with their dialectics down" (p. 5). as long as the Allies followed the weak policy of appeasement and submission to Fascist aggressors. only by the realization of the third possibility. It was in this perspective that the Soviet Government saw its negotiations with England and France in the spring and summer of 1939. it was because of continued fear of the second possibility. The last reference. of course. The fourth possibility was always open if the third failed. induced by the peculiar character of the Allied proposals and enhanced by new gestures of appeasement in the West. then defeated. op.

3.S. and in order to thwart attack upon their own country by that Power. London and Paris failed to secure an alliance with Moscow against Berlin. should be military master of these borderlands in order to use them for an invasion of the Reich. 4 appeared to the Kremlin to be preferable to Possibility No. The leaders of the Red Army were not disciples of Andre Maginot and Liddell Hart. as in 1914. These areas were obviously Poland and the Baltic States." Without them. Moscow had no need or desire for land for its own sake. What was important was that the U.R. with the leaders of the Reichswehr. and of preparing for war against the Reich. That issue for Moscow was not one of protecting the Border States for the sake of protecting the Border States. that the best defense was attack. to secure mastery of Poland and the Balticum and to use them for the successful invasion of Russia. N o such war could be risked (since Possibility No. What was important to the Soviet strategists was that Germany should not be permitted by a sudden blow. The question ignores the central issue in the Anglo-Soviet negotiations.S. as in 1916-18. Questions of "independence.246 Retreat from Moscoiv Poland and Rumania. PRODUCED BY UNZ. These conditions were reasonable and "sincere. They did not believe that the best attack was defense. By failing to meet these conditions.S. Any German attack on Russia and any Soviet attack on Germany must traverse these countries. 4 was always available) unless Moscow could be certain of full Allied participation against Germany and of military control of the areas essential for defense against Germany or for attack upon Germany.S. from without or from within.R.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED ." "integrity" or "annexation" were by themselves of no strategic consequence. subsequently evolved into a demand for access to the Baltic States and to Poland by the Red Army. Possibility No. In order to attack the Power which the Allies were asking them to attack in the event of further aggression. Was the demand "sincere"? Answers tend to run in terms of another question: Did Stalin desire no more than the defense of the independence and integrity of the Border States or was he aiming at their annexation under cover of a specious protection? Here again the final fate of these States is not conclusive evidence of original intent. it seemed to them necessary to have military control of the Baltic States and military access to Poland. They believed. It was one of protecting the U.

former Ambassador to Tokio and Charge in the Petrograd Embassy during the revolution. I have from the beginning preferred the Rus- PRODUCED BY UNZ. It was also noted that Ambassadors Seeds and Naggiar were not present in the Kremlin during Molotov's speech. ." Here as always Chamberlain's course was ill-calculated to dispel Russian suspicions. Adams would serve a useful purpose. was being received by President Moscicki amid much talk of Polish-Soviet cooperation. . new Soviet Ambassador to Warsaw. although Augusto Rosso and Count Friedrich von der Schulenberg both appeared. Chamberlain was fishing in Hampshire as the guest of Sir Francis Lindley. accompanied by a redraft more to Moscow's liking. Confidence verging on complacency continued to be expressed in London.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . The formal Soviet reply was given by Molotov to the Allied envoys on June 2 while Nicholas Charonov. Chamberlain in Commons on June 5 was non-committal. The reply was understood to be a restatement of Molotov's address in the form of a detailed commentary on the British draft agreement. While the Soviet Premier was publicly expressing distrust of British sincerity. . It was hinted in Paris that the British and French Cabinets were not disposed to make further concessions and that little progress could be expected so long as Molotov insisted on a joint guarantee of the Baltic States. Sir Francis was a die-hard Munichman and anti-Bolshevik who had repeatedly condemned any coalition against Japan and declared that in the event of a Soviet-Japanese war "our sympathies certainly should not be with Moscow.Chamberlain's Honor 2." Churchill wrote on the next day: "Matters have now gone so far that it is inconceivable that any of the three Governments could take the responsibility of depriving the hundreds of milhons of working people involved of this joint security for their life and progress. CHAMBERLAIN'S HONOR 247 The negotiations for the new triple entente which had seemed so near to completion at the end of May were not terminated by Molotov's hard words before the Supreme Soviet. When Laborite David Adams asked whether he "had considered or will consider the desirability of making an official visit to Moscow" he replied: "In the present circumstances I do not consider that the suggestion made by Mr.

ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . accompanied by a redraft more to Moscow's liking. Chamberlain in Commons on June 5 was non-committal. was being received by President Moscicki amid much talk of Polish-Soviet cooperation. . When Laborite David Adams asked whether he "had considered or will consider the desirability of making an official visit to Moscow" he replied: "In the present circumstances I do not consider that the suggestion made by Mr. former Ambassador to Tokio and Charge in the Petrograd Embassy during the revolution." Churchill wrote on the next day: "Matters have now gone so far that it is inconceivable that any of the three Governments could take the responsibility of depriving the hundreds of milhons of working people involved of this joint security for their life and progress." Here as always Chamberlain's course was ill-calculated to dispel Russian suspicions. although Augusto Rosso and Count Friedrich von der Schulenberg both appeared. While the Soviet Premier was publicly expressing distrust of British sincerity. Chamberlain was fishing in Hampshire as the guest of Sir Francis Lindley. It was hinted in Paris that the British and French Cabinets were not disposed to make further concessions and that little progress could be expected so long as Molotov insisted on a joint guarantee of the Baltic States. Confidence verging on complacency continued to be expressed in London. The formal Soviet reply was given by Molotov to the Allied envoys on June 2 while Nicholas Charonov. Sir Francis was a die-hard Munichman and anti-Bolshevik who had repeatedly condemned any coalition against Japan and declared that in the event of a Soviet-Japanese war "our sympathies certainly should not be with Moscow. Adams would serve a useful purpose. CHAMBERLAIN'S HONOR 247 The negotiations for the new triple entente which had seemed so near to completion at the end of May were not terminated by Molotov's hard words before the Supreme Soviet.Chamberlain's Honor 2. I have from the beginning preferred the Rus- PRODUCED BY UNZ. The reply was understood to be a restatement of Molotov's address in the form of a detailed commentary on the British draft agreement. . . It was also noted that Ambassadors Seeds and Naggiar were not present in the Kremlin during Molotov's speech. new Soviet Ambassador to Warsaw.

1939. PRODUCED BY UNZ. . desire to appear in the role of assistant. June 9. 1939.2. the French-British alliance with Poland. O"^ June 6 Augustus Schmidt. would no longer be effective. We realize perfectly well what such an automatic guarantee." ^ Yvon Delbos agreed: "Without Soviet Russia. They are simple. June 7. Said Estonian Foreign Minister Karl Selter: "As soon as any Great Power should. It is not compatible with Finland's independence and sovereignty. . they are logical and they conform to the main groupings of common interest.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . . without our invitation. such assistance would be considered as an aggression against which the Baltic States would fight with all their means" ( N Y T 6. The Finnish Diet was told by Foreign Minister Eljas Erkko on the same day: It is reported that Russia wishes to give Finland an automatic guarantee and thus detach Finland from other Nordic States by placing her in an exclusive position.248 Retreat from Moscow sian proposals to either the British or French alternatives. if given to Finland. the guarantee the two Western Powers have accorded to Rumania. they received the impression that the major difficulty lay not in any reluctance of Chamberlain and Daladier to guarantee the Baltic States but in the unwillingness of these States to accept any guarantee. The whole possibility of establishing an effective eastern front depends upon the military strength of France and Great Britain in the West and upon the cordial aid of a friendly Soviet Russia in the East. means if offered without her consent and without negotiations.." ^ Insofar as parliaments and publics were taken into the confidence of the Anglo-French leaders. 2 Ibid. Estonian Minister in London. The Finnish nation is determined to protect its neutrality to the bitter end. Nobody can convince us that if 1 New York Herald Tribune.39). either as a representative of some collective system or as a defender of its own vital interests on the soil of the Baltic States. Baltic spokesmen voiced their distaste for any scheme which would jeopardize their "neutrality" and expose their independence to the doubtful mercies of Soviet protection. I have every reason to inform you on this occasion that such a guarantee cannot be accepted. conveyed to Halifax the refusal of Latvia. and Finland is bound to treat as an aggressor every Power that on the strength of such a self-assumed guarantee intends to extend its so-called assistance when perhaps it considers the guaranteed State needs it. Estonia and Finland to allow other Powers to guarantee them against German aggression.

Laval and Hoare had delivered Ethiopia to Mussolini. They noted that Chamberlain and Daladier had experienced no visible traumas of conscience in delivering Spain to the Axis. it turned out. but continues to exist because neither of its great neighbors will permit the other to secure control. in the name of peace. was to run risks of German attack and/or Soviet domination. For such States isolationist neutrality is a necessity. If sincere. The attitude of London and Paris toward the issue is less comprehensible. was to promote a German-Soviet bargain in which the integrity of Finland would be threatened and the independence of Lithuania.Chamberlain's Honor z^cf we. and Czechoslovakia to the Reich.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED .S. Riga. To accept a tripartite guarantee which in practice could be enforced only by the U. T o refuse to accept such a guarantee.R. But the Machiavellian Realpoliticians in Moscow had difficulty in regarding the sentiment as sincere. however disastrous its results might be. but the democracies—never. A buffer State by definition is one which is too feeble to defend itself alone. Britain had guaranteed Iraq and Egypt and dozens PRODUCED BY UNZ. such a sentiment was doubtless admirable. This necessity remains a possibility so long as neither adjacent Great Power makes a thieves' bargain with the other or yields to the other or is defeated by the other. could hope to maintain themselves only as buffers between Berlin and Moscow.S. Latvia and Estonia ultimately extinguished. The weak sovereignties of the Balticum could live only by virtue of a German-Russian checkmate. The impossibility of accepting the Kremlin's terms lay ostensibly in ethical imperatives against forcing guarantees upon States which had no desire for them. should be dragged into the Great Powers' constellations. once freed from the Tsardom. The attitude of Kovno. it could help the world or ourselves. Hitler might barter away the liberties of lesser peoples. and Hatay to Turkey— in exchange for "peace" in the first two instances and for an alliance in the third. These border States. Chamberlain and Halifax later declared self-righteously that Britain and France could not treat independent peoples as pawns and deliver them to Soviet control as the price of a pact with Moscow. Tallinn and Helsinki was a natural reflection of their peculiar political and geographical position. In the hope of maintaining their buffer character these States rejected any guarantee.

in virtue of the principle of equahty and reciprocity. Inter1 New York Herald Tribune. and the non-aggression pact they have concluded with Germany is far from re-assuring. This hypothesis is confirmed by the statements of the Latvian and Estonian leaders refusing any kind of guarantee. There is no sense in having a crack in the peace diving-bell. .2 50 Retreat from Moscow of lesser communities under circumstances justifying doubts as to the voluntary character of the marriage. to commit themselves. The Russian claim that these should be included in the triple guarantee is well founded. In each case the protests of the "beneficiaries" of an unwanted "protection" had not been deemed sufficiently important to warrant jeopardizing some higher political purpose. . Churchill wrote: "Nor should there be any serious difficulty in guaranteeing the Baltic States and Finland. in the name of the "integrity" of Great Russia. however. Belgium and Switzerland are for Great Britain and France. W h y not then concert in good time. Others also wondered. The United States of America had withheld diplomatic recognition from the three smaller Baltic States for five years after Moscow had granted it. June 7. PRODUCED BY UNZ. 1939. . the Soviet leaders. Moscow wondered . however. terrorized and weakened." ^ Delbos wrote: "Since the Baltic States are for Soviet Russia what Holland. . the "independence" of the Baltic States had suddenly become an object of inflexible solicitude on the part of the Western Powers. It is possible if not probable that the Baltic States. demand for the former the same guarantees as those accorded to the latter. . Latvia and Estonia were invaded by the Nazis or subverted to the Nazi system by propaganda and intrigue from within. . the measures which may render such a fight unnecessary? It is too much to ask these small States at this stage. . France had done likewise all over the globe. Now. the whole of Europe would be dragged into war. then represented in Washington by Ambassador Boris Backmetiev of the long defunct Kerensky regime.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . would allow themselves to be invaded without saying a word and the agreement would thus be ineffective in the East. before the triple alliance has been signed. publicly and courageously. . It is quite sufficient for the three Great Powers to declare that the invasion or subversion of the Baltic States by the Nazis would be an unfriendly act against the grand alhance. People say. 'What if they do not wish to be guaranteed?' It is certain. that if Lithuania.

but that some formula could be worked out. To say that these attitudes were justified is beside the point. but that they feared and hated the Soviet colossus even while they sought its help. June 9. military bases in Finland and military access to Poland. Here again the West was inhibited from playing RealpoUtik by the class attitudes of its rulers. should be granted military control of Estonia. 1939. Chamberlain and Daladier did not anticipate this grim alternative. since the Cabinet did not intend "that the military support which the three 1 Ibid. Moscow offered aid at a price.R. How specifically that price was defined is still a matter of conjecture. Their policy rested rather upon refusal to face the possibility of a German-Soviet bargain.Chamberlain^ s Honor 251 preted in the Hitlerian manner. Their gestures to placate Moscow without paying the price were not indicative of great diplomatic skill. They therefore declined to pay Stalin's price. PRODUCED BY UNZ. It was not that the Western diplomats loved the "independence" of the Baltic States.R. Latvia and Lithuania. as Ankara asked for Hatay. Thanks to the consequences of appeasement.S.S. Survival in the face of Nazi imperialism was possible with Soviet aid. Behind Moscow's formulas was the implication that the U." ^ The difficulty was that the Western leaders were deterred from accepting the Soviet demands less by moral scruples than by political prejudices and misconceptions.S. exclusively on the hope of keeping open a last channel of possible Nazi attack on Russia through which a German-Soviet war might yet be unleashed without involving the Western Powers.. They did not base their policy.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . On June 7 Chamberlain told Commons that it was impossible to impose unwanted guarantees. as Molotov feared. this price would have been cheap in comparison with Allied defeat at the hands of the Reich abetted by the U. This is the whole difficulty. it may be transformed into a right of occupation and transit. the issue for the West was: to be or not to be. Even had Moscow asked for outright annexation of Eastern Poland and all the Balticum. It rested in greater measure upon a desire to enlist Soviet collaboration against the Reich without paying a price which would enhance Soviet power and bring Communism closer to Central Europe. Behind this was the implication of political control.S. N o doubt the Kremlin expected London and Paris to see the implications and to make appropriate proposals.

M. He had accompanied Chamberlain to Germany in September. The Soviet leaders were disgruntled but wilHng to accept what the wits called the Strang nach Osten. and when it might therefore take action and call on Britain and France for support. Sir Horace Wilson appears to have induced Chamberlain to rely on Strang for both the Munich and Moscow missions.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . Anglo-French conversations led to agreement on Strang's instruction. Neither would they send Cadogan or Vansittart. The new obUgation. Chamberlain had not hesitated to go to Berchtesgaden." In order to arrive at a formula a special envoy would be sent to Moscow^ to assist Seeds. But now they decided that no such "blank check" to Stalin was permissible.S. Hoare and Simon had apparently agreed earlier that Moscow might be permitted to decide when its vital interests were being threatened by German action in the Baltic. head of the Central European Department of the Foreign Office. in the Baltic.252 Retreat from Moscow Powers have agreed to extend should be confined to actual aggression on their own territory.S. 1938. in the event of a threat to the U." the Prime Minister retorted angrily: "The honorable gentleman is very offensive in his suggestions. It attributed their reluctance either to the influence of Berlin or to "certain reactionary quarters in democratic States. Munich and Rome. Godesberg. When Dalton suggested in Commons that Chamberlain was merely "spinning out time" so he could "wriggle back to the Munich policy. Halifax had not hesitated to go to Rome. Strang had been Charge in Moscow during the trial of the Metropolitan-Vickers engineers in 1933 when AngloSoviet relations had reached the breaking point. would not be automatic mutual aid but "consultation." Pravda warned on the 13th that the Baltic States must be guaranteed whether they wished to be or not." On June 15 Seeds. Government. I see no reason why the delay should be attributed to H.R. The voyage from London to Moscow could better have been undertaken by someone who had never been to Munich." Strang took a plane for Moscow on June 12. While Laval in the French Senate on June 9 reiterated his thesis that only a French-ItaUan entente was worth having and that an Allied-Soviet agreement would be disastrous. Chamberlain. Strang and Nag- PRODUCED BY UNZ. The choice was scarcely a happy one. The emissary selected was William Strang. But neither would go to Moscow. From Munich to Moscow was a long journey.

Estonia and Finland.S. They still think that when commencing the negotiations on a pact for mutual assistance with the U." Thus Poland and Great Britain give a guarantee simultaneously both to Lithuania and Holland. In Pravda Andrei Zhdanov published a long editorial: . I do not know whether Lithuania and Holland were asked their opinions in connection with this bilateral guarantee. forms an artificially invented "stumbling block" to the negotiations. . . the British and French Governments had serious intentions to create a powerful barrier against aggression in Europe.Chamberlain''s Honor 253 giar outlined new plans to Molotov and Potemkin. . although my friends do not share it. There was no comment on either side. A Tass communique of June 21 asserted that "the 'new' Anglo-French proposals do not show any progress as compared to previous proposals. Tass declared that "the results of the first interview and of the examination of the Anglo-French formulations" were appraised at the Narkomindel as "not wholly favorable. since we were presented on April 15 with the first British proposals. and shall try to prove it by facts.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . That the deadlock was unbroken was indicated by another typical Soviet maneuver on June 29. in such a case. that is." Other conferences followed without result." Molotov delivered a formal answer to the Allied envoys on the 2 2nd. in its issue of June 4 this year. bears responsibility for such slow progress in the negotiations? . The question of a tripartite guarantee of immediate assistance to Latvia. . have been going on for seventy-five days. In any case. The question is: Who. . . I believe. What is the reason for the delay in the negotiations whose favorable termination is impatiently and hopefully awaited by all peace-loving nations and all friends of peace? I permit myself to express my personal opinion in this matter.S. Anglo-Soviet negotiations in the direct sense of this word.R. . in the event of violation of their neutrality by aggressors. that the British and French Governments have no wish for an equal treaty with the U.S.S. the Soviet Government took sixteen days in preparing answers to the various British projects and proposals while the remaining fifty-nine have been consumed by delays and procrastination on the part of the British and French. states that "Poland agreed that if Britain was involved in war on account of the invasion of Holland she would come to Britain's assistance" and that "Great Britain agreed that if Poland was involved in war on account of the invasion of Danzig or Lithuania she would come to Poland's assistance. The Sunday Times. Of these. The English newspaper. the press reported PRODUCED BY UNZ.R. . . . if not the British and French.

ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . been concluded. this does not prevent Great Britain and France from demanding from the U. with which the U. Prime Minister Aimo Cajander of Finland asserted on July I: "Against our wish to stand neutral we are offered protection which we have not asked and which we do not accept and which offer we do not consider a friendly act. in an interview with a certain French journalist. both Holland and Lithuania deny the existence of such guarantees. Wherein then differs the position of Poland from the position of the ruling circles of the three Baltic States? In nothing whatsoever.R.S. The Times wrote on July 5 that "Holland and Switzerland at least should never be brought in against their will. the Polish Minister for Foreign Affairs.S. in the main.. . Moreover.S. anything in the sense of granting her any guarantee whatever and that she was fully satisfied with the fact that Poland and the U.R.S. recently concluded a trade agreement. The next few days must show whether this is so or not. The Sunday Times reports a pact of bilateral guarantee for these countries has already. However.S. but only talks about a treaty in order to speculate before public opinion in their countries on the imaginary unyielding attitude of the U. Colonel Josef Beck.S. Not long ago. and thus make easier for themselves the road to deal with the aggressors. we know nothing.S.S'. "the British Government cannot in any case undertake any engagement which even remotely or indirectly binds it to intervene in the internal affairs of another State except on the express request of the government of that State.S.S.S. and it is no secret for any one that The Sunday Times report has not been denied anywhere. More conferences ensued in Moscow.R." A Dutch communique of July 3 expressed similar sentiments." The mention of "internal affairs" was understood to refer to Soviet insistence that the guarantee of the Baltic States must provide for action in the event of a Nazi putsch from within no less than a Nazi invasion from with- PRODUCED BY UNZ.R. "New" instructions were sent from London. as far as I know.2 54 Retreat from Moscow nothing to this effect. but also for Holland and Switzerland.R.S. of whose desire to receive a guarantee from the U." As for the Baltic.R. It seems to me that the British and French desire not a real treaty acceptable to the U. All this shows that the British and French do not desire a treaty with the U. that would be based on principles of equality and reciprocity.S'. declared quite unequivocally that Poland neither demanded nor requested from the U.S." .R. guarantees not only for Poland and four other States. .R.S. does not even maintain ordinary diplomatic relations.S. Still. although they vow every day that they too are for "equality.

Perhaps Viscount Gort. and honest. London was optimistic. Inspector-General of Overseas Forces. At the same time we are extremely anxious not even to appear to be desirous of encroaching on the independence of other States. a peace front erected on a basis of full reciprocity. The secret conversations in the Kremlin dragged on for weeks with no issue. Paris breathed confidence that even the thorny point of "indirect aggression" in the Baltic could be smoothed over. would be better. On the other hand he had commanded the Allied forces that fought the Bolsheviks south of Archangel in 1918-19. Chamberlain told Commons in the last debate of the summer on foreign affairs that staff talks would be initiated at once. Chief of the Imperial General Staff. He and the French Ministers were willing to sign a provisional accord. The three Governments had "not hitherto been able to agree upon a definition satisfactory to all parties of the term 'indirect aggression.' " On July 31. as with Poland. A military mission would be sent to Moscow. Moscow was silent—deafeningly so on new British appeasement moves in the Orient. sincere and resolute repudiation of the policy of 'non-intervention. He had sufficient prestige and had recently conferred with Polish military leaders in Warsaw. On the same day Izvestia declared that the Soviets "stand for the establishment of a general peace front capable of halting Fascist aggression. Pressmen speculated as to whether it would be headed by General Sir Edmund Ironside. But Aioscow preferred to sign nothing "until we had got a complete agreement. On July 25—amid echoes of the HudsonWohlthat scandal in London—it was hinted in Downing Street that the Cabinet was prepared to give Russia new proof of the importance of being earnest by opening staff talks for military cooperation. And if we have not agreed so far with the Soviet Government upon this definition of indirect aggression. it is because the formula they favor ap- PRODUCED BY UNZ.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . despite Cajander's statement on July 30 expressing faith in British assurances that no agreement would be made in violation of Finland's integrity or neutrality." Military discussions would facilitate a final accord. namely. full equality.Chamberlain^ s Honor 255 out. eve of the 25th anniversary of the outbreak of war between Germany and Russia.' although all three of us realize that indirect aggression may be just as dangerous as direct aggression and all three of us desire to find a satisfactory method of providing against it.

Inspector General of the Royal Air Force and Major-General T . advertised in Fleet Street: "Don't Mind Hitler. Heywood. sought to "encroach" on the "independence" of the Baltic States. Commons voted. The German Government now has two miUion men under arms. .. I and my colleagues have no confidence whatever in them. Chamberlain denied in a bitter debate that there was any need for calling the members back earlier. Molotov had suggested the mission. W e cannot trust the Government to do the right thing when Parliament's back is turned. On the second day of August." The announced personnel of the military mission was not reassuring. the Entente Cordiale nine months. pathetic and shameful if at this moment the Commons should write itself off as a factor in the situation or reduce whatever strength it can offer to the firm front the nation will make against PRODUCED BY UNZ. G.S. . . . A Tass communique of August i challenged Butler's statement that the U. he charged. the Anglo-Russian convention of 1907 fifteen months and the Locarno pacts eight months. to adjourn until October 3.256 Retreat from Moscow peared to us to carry that precise significance. Halifax was hamstrung by Hoare. It would be disastrous. Ltd.S. W e are showing a great amount of trust and a really strong intention to bring these negotiations to a successful issue. London Coastal Coaches. Churchill felt that "the country is safer when the House is sitting. to be aided by Air Marshal Sir Charles Burnett. 245 to 129. . . Many of its members were interested primarily in getting away to their summer vacations. Simon and Chamberlain "with their faded laurels on their brows.R. Take Your HoHday. The AngloJapanese alliance had taken six months to negotiate. ." Neither did Commons warm to Dalton's condemnation of the Inner Cabinet in which." Instead of Gort or Ironside. the Prime Minister named as leader Admiral Sir Reginald Plunkett-Ernle-Erle-Drax. although Chamberlain spoke of "this most unusual decision" as "almost without precedent in negotiations of this kind. . . . . brother of Lord Dunsany. ." The Prime Minister denied that there had been any undue delay. but not its personnel.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . Opposition speakers declared flatly that the Prime Minister was certain to attempt another Munich during the recess. The House was not stirred. It sought merely to leave no loophole in the formula of "indirect aggression" whereby aggressors could encroach on the independence of the Baltic States.

Chief of Staff General Boris Shaposhnikov.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . Steinhardt. Accompanied by Seeds and Naggiar. There is going to be a supreme trial of will power if not of arms" in the near future. Warsaw hinted at its desire to be represented to prevent Soviet control of Libau. . But Tass denied Polish reports that the military missions were in disagreement on Far Eastern questions.000. and Assistant Chief of Staff General Ivan Smorodin.300 for purchase of arms in England.000 remained unbroken. He named as agents to deal with the Anglo-French officers War Commissar Voroshilov.^ 5.Chamberlain^ s Honor 257 aggression. Latvian port on the Baltic. The deadlock over an additional . Not until August 11 did the British and French officers arrive in Moscow. Meanwhile the French Cabinet named a military mission headed by General Joseph Doumenc to join the British mission in London for the trip to Moscow. one-time mansion of a sugar magnate and erstwhile residence of Litvinov. they were cordially received by Voroshilov and Molotov. Chief of Navy Aviation Commander Alexander Loktianov. reached the Soviet capital.000 mark credit over seven years at PRODUCED BY UNZ. . On the next day Laurence A. Navy Commissar Admiral Nikolai Kuznetsov. Amid new appeasement rumors centering around Burckhardt in the role of the new Runciman.163. new American Ambassador. while Ciano conferred mysteriously with Ribbentrop and Hitler in Berchtesgaden. but no reports of any kind were issued regarding their course. . the final Danzig crisis boiled and bubbled ever more furiously. But Chamberlain made adjournment a question of confidence and carried the day. On the 12th the Moscow military discussions got fully under way in Spiridonovka House. Strang flew home from Moscow empty-handed on August 7.000. Also on August 2 Hudson and Raczynski signed an agreement for a credit to Poland of ^8. On August 19 Pravda reproduced an article from the Communist Daily Worker of London of August 7 accusing Chamberlain of plotting a new Munich through discussions between Lord Kelmsley and Hitler for a conference to hand over Danzig to the Reich. On August 20 an official Soviet announcement revealed that on the previous day a German-Soviet trade agreement had been signed in Berlin for a 200. On August 5 the Anglo-French mission left London on the City of Exeter for a leisurely voyage to Leningrad. Molotov evidently attached greater importance to these discussions. They continued daily.

S. can render assistance to France.S. Pravdds leading article on August 26 discussed Lenin's views on free love which. "Only the proletarian revolution.S. it seemed.. In Helsinki Erkko expressed confidence that Britain would not "sell out" Finland.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . Simultaneously a Soviet broadcast quoted a Paris report that Chamberlain had sent an economic mission headed by Professor Riley to arrange a nevv^ Munich.R. was "bourgeois" if it meant freedom to commit adultery to escape childbearing." wrote the Master. Just as British and American troops in the past World War would have been unable to participate in military collaboration with the French armed forces if they had no possibility of operating in French territory. The pact was signed on August 23 in terms making it wholly incompatible with any new Triple Entente. Pravda opined that the trade pact "may turn out to be a significant step toward further improvement not only of economic but of political relations between the Soviet and Germany. "can create conditions where love and marriage are indivisible. the Soviet armed forces could not PRODUCED BY UNZ. Great Britain and Poland only if its troops will be allowed to pass through Polish territory." Subsequent Soviet explanations of the failure of the negotiations with the Western Powers were brief and scarcely revealing. At midnight of August 21-22 it was announced in Berlin that Ribbentrop would fly to Moscow to sign a non-aggression pact with the U. Seeds and Naggiar saw Molotov.S. Downing Street at once declared that its obligations to Poland were unaffected." He continued: The Soviet military mission considered that the U. hesitated and finally left Moscow for Helsinki on August 26. In an "interview" in Izvestia on August 26 Voroshilov contented himself with saying that the German-Soviet pact had been concluded "among other reasons" because the staff talks with Britain and France "had reached a deadlock in view of insuperable differences. Soviet circles suggested that the proposed pact with the Reich was not incompatible with an Anglo-French-Soviet accord. Parliament was called back into session on August 24. having no common frontier with an aggressor. The Anglo-French military missions prepared to depart at once." It did.R. because there is no other way for Soviet troops to establish contact with the aggressor's troops. Soviet explanations of the new course at first made no reference to the military negotiations.258 Retreat from Moscow five per cent.

. On August 31 Molotov in his address before the Supreme Soviet urging ratification of the pact with Berlin declared: "Germany abandoned its anti-Soviet policy and offered the most favorable trade agreement ever made at a time when other countries plotted to involve us in a war. . nor on the side of Germany against England. What the Soviet PRODUCED BY UNZ. Reports. What lies at the root of the attitude of the British and French Governments—of their contradictory policy? These Governments fear aggression and need a Soviet pact to strengthen them." F. p.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . It may be doubted.Chmnberlain's Honor 259 participate in military collaboration with armed forces of France and Great Britain if they were not allowed access to Polish territory. makes a valid point in this connection in "Russia's Role in the European Conflict. which had proved unable to supply the peacetime needs of the population. Their decision was not made out of a desire to "avoid war. that the Soviet leaders would have preferred a bargain with the West if it could have been had on terms which they deemed viable and free of danger of Anglo-French desertion. however. jMarch i. for reasons already noted. . backed by the Reich's efficient industry. The Soviet Government—unlike its sympathizers in the West—was aware that Russia's industrial system. Negotiations for such a bargain had been opened long before. But is it not clear to them that we do not have to get involved in war either way? . 1940. . whether these discussions were intended as a ruse by the Kremlin to deceive London and Paris while Hitler and Stalin completed their bargain. But they simultaneously fear that a pact with the Soviet Union might strengthen the Soviet Union. P. however. . This pact proves that all attempts to solve European problems without Soviet participation are doomed.-"^ Even 1 Vera Micheles Dean. But it is more than likely. would be no match for the highly mechanized German forces. ." Such a fatuous precept of foreign policy is followed only in befuddled democracies. 311: "There is another consideration that has not received sufficient attention in Western discussions of Soviet foreign policy. would be unequal to the strain of a major war. . not in totalitarian dictatorships." He ridiculed "those AngloFrench leaders who insist that the Soviet Union side with these two countries against Germany. no matter how great its man power and morale. It also knew that the Red Army." It is not yet possible to reconstruct with any confidence the course of the Moscow staff talks of August 12-26. As a result of the Soviet-German non-aggression treaty the Soviet Union is not obliged to enter a war on the side of England against Germany. which they do not desire. .

Their disappointment at the undistinguished personnel was enhanced by their discovery that the missions had no authority to sign an agreement.' Having discovered that France and Britain. probably to be enforced by Soviet garrisons on their territories. Drax and Doumenc could not give affirmative answers to questions which Seeds. since such action threatened to involve it in war with Germany.S. on successive occasions. They may have included a demand that Poland and Rumania substitute for their anti-Soviet alliance an anti-German alliance. In their judgment such a war was already "inevitable" with no encouragement from Moscow. in its opinion.S. Chamberlain and Daladier had already answered in the negative. The former. Doumenc and Sir Reginald PlunkettErnle-Erle-Drax apparently had no authorization to accept even tentatively the Soviet conception of the proper conditions of military collaboration. would have deterred Berlin from war while the latter enabled Berlin to embark upon war with little risk.i6o Retreat from Moscow had this been their prime purpose.S.R. could only lead straight to that war with Germany it had been seeking to avoid since 1933. still better. if effective. Tallinn. Riga and Helsinki refused. Naggiar. What was more important. Neither was their purpose to "unleash war" between the Reich and the West. not "military" questions to be decided by strategists. or Japan. by getting most for least or. to divert the main thrust of both German and Japanese expansion from Russia to the territories and possessions of the Western powers. if war could not be prevented. shield the Soviet Union against attack from West and East.R. Strang." PRODUCED BY UNZ. was to prevent Germany and Japan from coming within striking distance of the U. was reluctant to join the Allies in 'collective action' which.' the Soviet Government. had failed to support 'collective security. What it was interested in was 'collective security' which might presumably check aggression before it occurred. thanks to past collaboration between appeasers and aggressors. in turn. it could have been better served by a pact with the West than by one with Hitler. London and Paris would not compel them to cooperate.S. These were "political" questions to be decided by diplomats. and permit fulfillment of StaUn's plans for 'building socialism in one country. Bucharest refused. Downing Street and the Government wanted. Warsaw refused. Their purpose was to serve the interests of the U.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . above all. and. or both. They probably hoped that the Allied missions would come prepared to accept the Soviet terms. The Soviet Government was not interested in 'collective action' against aggressors. by getting something for nothing if that could be had. Any terms discussed would have to be referred back to London and Paris. These conditions included access to Poland by the Red Army and a hard and fast guarantee of the Baltic States.

loc. the only territories where Nazi aggression could be fought. W e have done everything to bring them to success and we believed that they would shortly end happily 1 Cf. with all who wished to conclude the same engagement with us.S. If he hoped to encourage Germany and thereby provoke a war which would weaken Germany and all capitalist states and hasten the world revolution then the crime is heinous. as well as the brains of some who try to see the Russo-German pact in a more favorable light. It was in that spirit that we began civil and military conversations with Russia in agreement with Great Britain. that Chamberlain and Daladier. . 33. pp. These are the three alternative interpretations of Stalin's act. I have searched my brain. but I have found no fourth alternative. for in this eventuality they felt. A world revolution born in dishonesty and of deliberately induced mass-murder cannot be creative or welcome to decent humanity.S. . The men of the Kremlin had no interest in trying to make bricks without straw. If Stalin expected Hitler to win and become his ally for that reason he stands condemned as a traitor to Soviet Russia's past and to European civilization.^ The subsequent explanations in London and Paris of what had happened were even less illuminating than the Soviet statements. control over. allegedly out of deference to the desires of the States that were to be defended. The Kremlin's refusal to accept such conditions was shaped by the presence of an alternative solution of their problem. Louis Fischer. In order to organize a peace front against all efforts at aggression we have entered into engagements with other countries..ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . cit. They had no desire to accept commitments to join Britain and France in fighting Nazi aggression if the Western Powers. or even access to.Chamberlain^ s Honor 261 Quai d'Orsay undoubtedly rejected any thought of permitting Moscow to use compulsion against the border States. 34: "The sum total of it all is this: if Stalin believed that his pact with Hitler would discourage France and England and induce them to remain passive after Hitler had invaded Poland. T o accept terms which would have compelled the Red Army to sit by helplessly until the Reich had conquered Poland and the Balticum and invaded the Soviet Union was unthinkable to the Moscow leaders. Stalin suspected Anglo-French passivity in re Poland because he knew that Chamberlain and Daladier had themselves been the assistant execu- PRODUCED BY UNZ. would make peace with Berlin once the Reichswehr was marching against Bolshevism.R. rightly or wrongly. in a spirit of human solidarity. In the end they concluded that the alternative was preferable." The difficulties with this view are several. whatever they might do at the outset of hostilities. then he was prepared to be the assistant executioner and partitioner of an independent country. In a broadcast of August 25 Daladier said: . resolutely denied the U.

the hour at which it was published and the terms of its articles. this was as "heinous. the obscure circumstances in which this pact was negotiated. Nevertheless. . He did not expect Hitler to win his war.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED ." no less so but also no more so. In reality. . Russia signed with Germany a pact that permits her to escape the obligations that her policy had imposed and that she had always publicly affirmed. But these two countries have no common frontier. That he expected the Western Powers to abandon Poland. That he anticipated war between the Reich and the West is probable.262 Retreat from Moscow when. He probably believed that it would increase it. it was announced that negotiations had been taking place and were likely to be soon concluded for a nonaggression pact between the two countries. What he anticipated beyond that point it is impossible to say. . Why he chose Berlin in preference to London and Paris is obvious from what is known about the course of the negotiations. He did not believe that a pact with Chamberlain and Daladier on their terms would diminish the likelihood of such passivity. I do not attempt to conceal from the House that the announcement came to the government as a surprise—a surprise of a very unpleasant character. not between one of these and passive neutrality. Fischer's three alternatives ignore a crucial fact: Stalin felt that passive "neutrality" and "non-intervention" were certain roads to doom. reversing suddenly her policy and her doctrine. moved by the observations of the Russian Secretary for Foreign Affairs. On the same day in Commons Chamberlain asserted: . Doubtless this treaty seeks to prevent German aggression against Russia and of Russia against Germany. I said that we had already shown a great amount of trust and a strong desire to bring the negotiations with the Soviet Union to a successful conclusion when we agreed to send our soldiers. Then. after Berlin and Moscow had made their pact. but no inkling of that change had been conveyed either to us or the French Government by the Soviet Government. sailors and airmen to Russia to discuss military plans together before we had an assurance that we should be able to reach an agreement on political matters. . . since he assumed that the secret hope of the Anglo-French leaders was still to foster a German-Soviet war in which the West would be neutral. is also probable. For some time past there had been rumors about impending changes in the relations between Germany and the Soviet Government. as he saw it. that if we could come to a successful conclusion of our tioners and partitioners of an allied independent country at Munich. in Berlin and Moscow. T h e House may remember that on July 31 I remarked that we had engaged upon a step that was almost unprecedented in character. PRODUCED BY UNZ. If he sought to "provoke" a western conflict. His choice. was between a pact with the West and a pact with Hitler. than the Tory calculus before and after Munich. show that it increases the chances of aggression against the friends of France and against France herself.

Chamberlain's Honor 263 military discussions. To keep Berlin ignorant of the Allied-Soviet negotiations would have been pointless even had it been possible—and it is seldom possible to maintain complete secrecy about important negotiations which involve democratic governments. I do not propose this afternoon to pass any final judgment upon the incident. the text of which was only published this morning. But ethics divorced from national self-interest has no place in Realpolitik. if any. . it failed of its purpose. In ethics the charge was perhaps just. Chamberlain and Daladier thus accused Moscow of deceit. on the face of it.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . Its pointlessness from the Soviet side lay in the circumstance that Hitler at Prague had already abandoned the Ukrainian dream and turned against PRODUCED BY UNZ. I think. would be premature until we have had an opportunity of consulting with the French Government as to the meaning and consequences of this agreement. but the question which the government had to consider when they learned of this announcement was what effect. . Its effect might well have been to drive the Reich and the West together once more and to promote a new program of appeasement at Moscow's expense. this changed situation would have upon their own policy. That. . The Kremlin's powerful bargaining position required that it negotiate independently and simultaneously with Berlin and the Western capitals to see which could be induced to grant the most advantageous terms. we sent the mission. a political agreement should not present any insurmountable difficulty. They were warmly received in friendly fashion and discussions were actually in progress and proceeding on a basis of mutual trust when this bombshell was flung down. Its effect would have been to confirm the already deep distrust with which London and Paris reciprocated Moscow's distrust of them." To make any such threat would have been sheer folly in terms of Soviet interests if. dishonesty and betrayal. Soviet security required that this eventuality be avoided at all costs. To say the least. as was more than possible. The British mission arrived on August 12. It is doubtless true that the Soviet leaders did not at any time say bluntly to Anglo-French representatives: "Accept our terms or we shall sign a pact with Hitler. it was highly disturbing to learn that while these conversations were proceeding on that basis the Soviet Government was secretly engaged with Germany for purposes which. as Chamberlain and Daladier well knew. were inconsistent with the objects of their foreign policy as we had understood it.

S. It also fostered Nazi interest in the possibility that these discussions might fail and that Moscow. but also.S. had nothing to fear.S. for Germany would not challenge such a combination or.R. if it did. lay between resistance to Nazi aggression and renewed connivance in such aggression if directed against the U. The alternatives of the repentant Munichmen. T o pursue both simultaneously promised not only to lay the ghost of Allied appeasement and the bugaboo of Nazi attack on the U. had little to lose from such calculations in Berlin and could therefore blackmail Wilhelmstrasse with the threat of an Allied-Soviet pact.R.S. in the sequel. In the first case the U.R. or they would refuse the Soviet terms and yet remain bound to defend Poland. to create one of three situations: either the Allies would accept Soviet terms and commit themselves irrevocably to fight aggression by the Reich in any direction. Had the Narkomindel sought to blackmail London and Paris with the threat of a pact with Berlin. and yield to Berlin.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED .S. would be the "neutral" beneficiary of what was assumed to be an inevitably PRODUCED BY UNZ. Berlin would be willing to come to an understanding with Moscow at Poland's expense. Germany would attack Poland and be attacked in turn by the Western Powers in a conflict in which the U. as they had abandoned Czechoslovakia.264 Retreat from Moscow the Western Powers. Hence Moscow stood to gain from German knowledge of the Allied-Soviet negotiations and from AlUed ignorance of the German-Soviet negotiations.S. or they would abandon Poland. If consummated.R. They were less certain that • the Allies had abandoned appeasement than that Hitler had abandoned his designs on the U. it might easily have driven them into the latter course.S.R. the more so as Hitler might conceivably reverse himself once more and respond favorably to any Allied appeasement overtures promising him a free hand in the East. would be defeated.S. might be neutralized so that aggression against the West would entail few risks.S.R. Berlin's knowledge of the Allied-Soviet discussions promoted delay lest a new Triple Entente confront the Reich with war on two fronts. In the second case. as Moscow saw them.S. for a price. But for Moscow to inform the Western Powers of its discussions with Berlin was to expose the Soviet Union to dangers which its leaders deemed more definite and more formidable.S. The new Nazi alternatives were immediate aggression against the West (and its Eastern alHes) and ultimate aggression. The U.S.

In the third case Berlin would have little incentive to come to terms with Moscow. they had nevertheless learned of it from a variety of other sources including their own diplomatic representatives.. would know that the greenest pastures of future conquest lay not to the East but to the West. New York.S. wrote on October 12: It can be stated that both Paris and London had been warned by reliable sources that an association was being prepared between Berlin and Moscow to divide among themselves the spheres of influence and even the territories from the Baltic to the Aegean Sea. G 319. Doran & Co. with an equally nice eye for the imponderables. Stalin's speech of March 10 and Molotov's of May 31 also contained broad hints. Every aggressor moves in the path of least resistance. PRODUCED BY UNZ. and that Moscow was considering a pact with Berlin as a possible alternative to one with the Western Powers. with the West's blessing. Under these circumstances the Fiihrer. however. that Berlin was attempting to circumvent Allied "encirclement" by a pact with Moscow. The Moscow radio of July 21 announced that trade negotiations with Germany were under way.1938).S. pp. despite Moscow's silence. For this very reason Western abandonment of Poland was impossible.ChamberlaiTis Honor 265 long war of attrition.e. After the humiliation of a second Munich at Poland's expense the Western Powers would be all but helpless. with a nice eye for the imponderables. April 8. Henri Berenger. the 1 Various reputable journalists had predicted such a development. between the Oder. i. 309-11. If the Western Cabinets had no official news of this alternative from the Kremlin.^ For Chamberlain to dismiss these reports as mere "rumors" was either dishonest or was a reflection of his own incapacity to read or evaluate diplomatic dispatches. The Soviet Union would be imperiled.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . Cf. But this was improbable. T o return to the original statements of the Anglo-French leaders: insofar as their purpose was to convey the impression that the Soviet-Nazi pact was a bolt from the blue. Stalin. Wolfe in The Qerman Octopus (Doubleday. the British and French leaders were deliberately concealing what they had known for months.R. M. Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the French Senate. was in this assumption correct. The Kremlin perhaps assumed that the Allies would defend Poland in any case and that an Allied-German war was certain if the Western Powers declined Moscow's terms for an alliance. only if the fall of Poland led to Nazi attack on the U. including Otto Tolischus in the New York Times and Henry C.

military and financial fields in order to link up the present with the past—that is. But apart from official sources of information.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . regarding the danger of a Nazi-Soviet accord and its probable consequences for German policy. A storm against Poland may break out at any moment. This is to be effected by a 'massive and annihilating attack' to be launched from three directions (East Prussia. it is impossible to say how much Lord Halifax learned. Rumours that a German action against Poland would not take place until September. but they were not quite sure that it would materialize. The Western Powers were aware of this possibility. The June 20 issue of the Bulletin contained a forecast so remarkable as to merit reproduction in full: No. or might have learned. "The only means of preventing such an attack is a speedy conclusion of the Pact between Western Europe and Russia. 20th June. 15 FRIENDS OF EUROPE INFORMATION SERVICE. 1939. Nazi circles in Berlin do not believe that such a pact between Western Europe and Russia will be realised in the near future. From a politically well-informed Reich German the following statement has been received: "The political barometer indicates a 'calm which precedes the storm'. During the past few months ^New York Herald Tribune. PRODUCED BY UNZ. which is concentrated in the Corridor and in Posnania. he could have learned much by reading the "Information Service" Bulletin of the "Friends of Europe. "The German plan aims at preparing a 'Cannae' for the Polish Army. and Mussolini is well-informed of this situation. are intentionally circulated by German propaganda in order to create confusion." an efficient and respectable anti-Nazi organization with secret correspondents in the Reich and with 18 members of Parliament on its board. HITLER'S MILITARY STRATEGY FOR DANZIG AND POLAND. 1939 (For Private Circulation Only). October 13.2 66 Retreat from Moscoiv Danube and the Dniester.^ So long as Downing Street declines to publish or open for inspection the dispatches of its diplomatic agents bearing on this problem. Pomerania and Silesia). Complete preparations have been made in Germany. from the Carpathians to the Balkans. The Western Powers had been informed that constant negotiations were being conducted between the Reich and the KremHn in the diplomatic. to resuscitate the Chicherin-Rathenau agreement concluded in 1922 at Rapallo.

It is further intended that Hitler should make use of this defensive strategy by means of such a 'peace offensive' after the annihilation of the Polish army. (Estonia. "5. A joint German-Italian 'counter-offensive' against Egypt vs'ould be reserved as a subsidiary 'threat'. "2. no German air raids would take place against London and Paris. After the 'annihilation' of the Polish army a 'peace offensive' would be launched in Western Europe. (as the Third Reich would crumble as a consequence of such an effort). but. In order to prepare the ground psychologically for this 'peace offensive'. Latvia. perhaps. T h e reason is that Germany does not want to 'provoke' the military strength of Great Britain and France. with the object of destroying the Polish army within a few weeks. but not Finland. " T h e following is the German plan for the campaign: " i . "6. T h e next step would be the 'annihilating attack' against Poland launched by four-fifths of the German army. even if hostilities between the fortifications on the Franco-German frontier had taken place in the meantime. Germany also expects that Great Britain and France would not attack Italy in the event of a 'localised' GermanPolish war. "3. This implies that the defeat of Poland would not be followed by a military attack against the Western Powers. It would be the purpose of the 'peace offensive' to destroy definitely the security system between Western and Eastern Europe. but no direct attack against them would take place. Defensive in the West. In the initial phase no German air-raids would be carried out against London and Paris. T h e psychological strategy of Hitler's war plan is based on the assumption that Great Britain and France would at least confine themselves to defensive measures. PRODUCED BY UNZ. based on the hope that the French army would also remain on the defensive. even remain neutral. or. at the most.Chamberlain^ s Honor 161 German diplomacy has been very active in Moscow aiming at a partition of Poland between Germany and Russia.) "Moreover.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . or to wait until it becomes clear that its realisation is not yet possible. even if hostilities should break out at the fortifications on the Franco-German frontier. Lithuania. T o this end the Germans offered Russia even the possession of the Baltic States. "4. merely as reprisals if Great Britain and France should make bombing raids against Germany. or. T o wait and see whether the pact between Western Europe and Russia will fail. T h e Western Powers would be threatened from Spain and from Libya. the solid cohesion of the Berlin-Rome Axis is only based on the fact that both dictators do not believe in the realisation of a Pact between Western Europe and Russia.

. by a propagandist 'peace attack' against the Western European masses with full psychological exploitation of what lies in pretending that they should be spared the horrors of war. Litvinov.R. This was little more than a shrewd guess. one cannot help being struck by the coincidence between the intentions attributed to the Fiihrer and the resignation of M.S. B 48) about an impending NaziSoviet accord until August 15? If so. Samuel Grafton's comments in the New York Post.S. (2) By bringing.S. in order to induce the former 1 Cf. simultaneous pressure to bear on Japan and on Poland. through the mere threat of a better understanding with the U.S. My informant became very animated in the course of the conversation. If the intention of the Fiihrer really is to attempt a rapprochement with the U.^ His report was the blue-print of Nazi grand strategy for the next five months. which would assure him of the benevolent neutrality of that country in the event of a conflict. it remains to be seen how he intends to exploit this new policy.R. Kiosseivanov did not consider as impossible an understanding between the U.S. . . French Minister in Sofia.S.. In that event a fourth partition of Poland would allow Germany to proceed with her forceful drive eastwards" (F 34). M. reported the opinion of the Bulgarian Foreign Minister: "M. preferred not to face them. In my opinion.268 Retreat from Moscow on the contrary.R. Coulondre reported from Berlin that he had learned from a secret source that "the Fiihrer will come to an understanding with Russia" to partition Poland. 1939. he may hope to draw advantage from it in three different ways: (i) By arriving at a more or less tacit agreement with the U. 1938. September 25.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . Downing Street had ample facts at its disposal at the Quai d'Orsay—facts which in part at least must have filtered through Bonnet who. however. PRODUCED BY UNZ. Such had always been the dream of a section of the German General Staff. and the Reich.S. On May 7. Is it conceivable that a private organization had better and earlier sources of information than the British diplomatic service and the British Intelligence Service? Is it conceivable that Henderson actually knew nothing or reported nothing (Cf. and it is very likely that he finally said much more than he was authorized to tell.S. especially if the Comintern agreed to tone down its propaganda. like some of his British collaborators. On December 16. perhaps even of her complicity in a partition of Poland.R.." The anonymous informant of the "Friends of Europe" was obviously not guessing. Ristelhueber. Especially as regards Russia.

Just as Hitler did not consider himself in a position to settle the question of Austria and of Czechoslovakia without Italy's consent. Berlin has believed in a possible change in Soviet policy." said X to Coulondre. . "there are no legal or ideological considerations that hold good. On the same day Coulondre reported that Hitler had sought earlier to seduce Beck with prospects of a German-Polish partition of the Soviet Ukraine and with promises of giving Poland Lithuania and Memel in return for Danzig and the Corridor (F 124). well. who opined "that the Polish State cannot last very long. On May 9 the French Ambassador continued: It appears that. and when I met him this evening. . Litvinov's retirement has awakened in certain minds the idea of an intrigue designed to upset the negotiations which are already most difficult between Moscow and the Western Powers and to wreck them in one way or another. On May 22 Coulondre reported in detail on the attitude of Ribbentrop. .S. and thus to sow discord among the Allies. Did this idea grow and take definite shape before M. he stated that he had received no indication whatever from A'loscow which would justify him in thinking that the rumors circulated were founded on any facts (F 125). or a simple diplomatic maneuver intended to reverse the situation in his favor. to accept certain Soviet demands to which Poland and Rumania would be opposed.S. he now would not dream of settling the Polish-German differences without Russia.R. under the threat of collusion between Germany and Russia. There have already been three partitions of Poland. . . . and already made his choice between a real understanding of the U. On the other hand. you will witness a fourth!" (F 123).ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . or was it inspired by this event? This is difficult to ascertain. "When it is a case of carrying out a plan. it is not yet certain that Herr Hitler has already decided upon his line of conduct." The Nazi Foreign PRODUCED BY UNZ. and the latter to agree to the concessions he is asking for.Chamberlain^ s Honor 269 to sign a military alliance. believe me. This rumor is so persistent that the Soviet Charge d'Affaires himself was much struck by it. Sooner or later it would be bound to disappear. once more partitioned between Germany and Russia. for some time past. In any case. (3) By bringing the Western Powers. M. asked me in an excited manner: "Have you learned that the Soviet Government has decided to change its pohcy?" As I remarked that it was rather for me to put the question to him. the rumor has spread through the whole of Berlin that Germany has made or is going to make proposals concerning a partition of Poland. . for the last 24 hours. . . One would be rather inclined to adopt the latter conjecture. Litvinov's retirement.

ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . on Moscow's terms. I learn from various sources that it is now the military authorities who are most active in pressing the Chancellor to go to war with Poland. French Charge in Berlin wrote that a German Blitzkrieg against Poland was probable "provided that Russian neutrality is assured" (F 176). French Consul General in Hamburg. They nevertheless continued to reject the Soviet terms. "At this moment.S. On August 18: "It is imperative to bring the Russian negotiations to a satisfactory conclusion as soon as possible. During June and July the Ambassador continued to warn Bonnet of the danger of a Nazi-Soviet accord and to urge haste in completing the Moscow negotiations as a means of forestalling them. I can never repeat too often how important a psychological factor this is for the Reich" (F 194). told Bonnet that commercial circles were anticipating a German-Soviet five-year non-aggression pact if an agreement were not soon concluded between London. knew from the beginning of May that the most likely result of their refusal to meet Soviet terms for a Triple Entente would be a German-Soviet pact eventuating in the destruction of Poland. In short. to the detriment of France and Great Britain. despite their denials. By mid-August Coulondre was urgent: We must "expedite to the very utmost the conclusion of the agreement with the Soviets.270 Retreat from Moscow Minister deemed a German-Soviet reconciliation "both indispensable and inevitable. the Western statesmen. Hitler was dubious. we should keep clearly conscious of this situation and bear in mind that the Reich would do its best to take advantage." since it would conveniently delete Poland from the map and give Germany the means of destroying Britain. On July 4 M. of any failure. On August I M. but the High Command and the more important industrialists agreed with Ribbentrop. in the conversations now taking place with Moscow" (F 127). when the Anglo-Franco-Russian negotiations seem to have entered upon a decisive phase. Paris and Aloscow (F 155). That the Polish Colonels desired to sabotage the negotiations and to oppose every suggestion of Soviet aid in the defense of their country is readily explicable in terms of their fixed PRODUCED BY UNZ. Only one conclusion follows: they preferred a Nazi-Soviet pact for the partition of Poland to an alliance with the U. de Saint-Hardouin.S. Garreau. howsoever veiled.R. The most powerful deterrent would be a pact with the Russians" (F 199).

he will give way rather than expose his country. June i. Their fear of Bolshevism prevented them from paying Stalin's price. were no longer capable of playing Realpolitik. quoting "a senior official of the Wilhelmstrasse": "The Fiihrer has asked General Keitel. for whom Communism was now merely the cloak for intense nationalism and whose ulterior motives seemed to me highly suspicious. chief of the General Staff. despite all his anti-Bolshevik posturing. This hypothesis is plausible. They knew that the breakdown of the Moscow negotiations would spell Poland's doom. (F 132). he knows that he will have to fight Russia as well. hideous but inescapable. Both replied that much depended on whether Russia remained neutral or not. on the contrary. Coulondre to Bonnet. as to whether the ulterior purpose of the Anglo-French leaders in all their moves from March to September was to encompass Poland's destruction as a means of embroiling Russia and the Reich in war over the spoils. she would not have much chance of winning.-in-C. if Germany had to fight against Russia. would unleash war and insure Poland's ruin. his party and himself to ruin and defeat. under existing conditions. But a different one is more plausible. Again the question arises.^ No pact with Moscow. far from being MachiaveUian schemers.' Both declared that. Their solicitude for "self-determination. their opinion being that Turkey was likely to act in favour of the Western Powers only if Russia herself joined in. but that if. if Poland does not yield." PRODUCED BY UNZ. The prevalent opinion at the Wilhelmstrasse is that. But the Anglo-French leaders had no such delusion. I had rather Germany made it than ourselves" (H 260). Yet Henderson could tell Hitler on August 23: "If an agreement had to be made with Moscow. 1939. and General von Brauchitsch. . an armed conflict would turn in favour of Germany. Herr Hitler's decision will depend upon the signature of the Anglo-Russian pact. It is believed that he will risk war if he does not have to fight Russia. In the first case General Keitel replied 'Yes' and General von Brauchitsch (whose opinion has great value) replied 'probably. Both generals attached considerable importance to the intervention of Turkey. Hitler had no such scruples. A pact with Moscow would save Polish independence if not Polish integrity (which Britain had never guaranteed) and probably prevent war by deterring German action against Warsaw. followed by a Nazi pact with Moscow. C." in the name 1 Cf.Chamberlain's Honor 271 delusion that Poland was a "Great Power" quite capable of defeating the Reich single-handed. of the Army. It is that the Anglo-French leaders.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . whether in their opinion. London and Paris would declare war but would face no danger and might even make a peace with safety if Moscow and Berlin quarreled over the dissection of the Polish cadaver . .

ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . and I still believe that from the outset Moscovs' never meant them to terminate in agreement vi'ith us. the hope only of empty men . the Reich would be driven back toward the West again. . which was more Orthodox Russian than CathoHc Polish. Stalin found the British bidder reluctant to pay for services which. she could now afford to think only of her personal advantage. as the perpetual star multifoliate rose of death's twilight kingdom. and that the Western Powers would be brought to disaster in the process were considerations which they doubtless took cognizance of in the dim way of those already damned. Stalin's sole objective was to embroil Germany with the Western Powers and to make one or the other pull the chestnuts out of the fire for himself. . A fourth partition was always a possible eventuality. should be in Soviet hands rather than constitute a lure to German expansion via Poland. Chamberlain had sought to buy an alliance against the Reich from the Red Caesar.272 Retreat from Moscow of which they had dehvered Austria. Hitler had never had such inhibitions. but was unwilling to pay the price asked. and the ideological basis of the Soviet regime was now nothing but a sham and a delusion." Again (H 259): "Moscow was now unblushingly showing the cloven hoof and was asking for a free hand in the Baltic States. if 1 Henderson comments (H 251): "By July the Russian negotiations had ceased to have for me even the superficial appearance of any reality. The British agreement with Poland had relieved Russia of all fear of German aggression against herself and. and. with Germany secretly in the market. and. ." 3. It was important for Russia that the population of the Polish Ukraine. Hitler was less scrupulous or maybe he was in turn duped by Stalin. be promptly sacrificed by Hitler to Moscow. Russia's real objective was thus becoming apparent. Peradventure. . Moscow had become the seat of an Oriental despotism. But these considerations seemed less important than their own pre-occupations and illusions. the end of our negotiations might have been different. and that was and must always be the supreme aim of Russian policy.-^ "Sightless. . instead of being obliged any longer to consider her own safety. by virtue of their refusal to sacrifice them. Czechoslovakia and Spain to the Axis. HITLER'S B A R G A I N If the motives and calculations of Stalin and Chamberlain were devious in the diplomacy of 1939. the scales were PRODUCED BY UNZ. if England had been willing to traffic in the honor of neutral Baltic States. unless the eyes reappear. Hitler sought to buy Soviet neutrality and was willing to pay the same price that Chamberlain could not bring himself to pay. those of Hitler were simple. That the States they nobly refused to sacrifice vi^ould. if Moscow could restore her influence in the Baltic States and raise a barrier in the Ukraine to the German Drang nach Osten. forbade them to deliver Poland and the Baltic States to Moscovs^.

the hope only of empty men . be promptly sacrificed by Hitler to Moscow. the Reich would be driven back toward the West again. forbade them to deliver Poland and the Baltic States to Moscovs^. . . Moscow had become the seat of an Oriental despotism." Again (H 259): "Moscow was now unblushingly showing the cloven hoof and was asking for a free hand in the Baltic States.272 Retreat from Moscow of which they had dehvered Austria. A fourth partition was always a possible eventuality. Peradventure. the end of our negotiations might have been different. and that was and must always be the supreme aim of Russian policy. by virtue of their refusal to sacrifice them. That the States they nobly refused to sacrifice vi^ould. . the scales were PRODUCED BY UNZ. The British agreement with Poland had relieved Russia of all fear of German aggression against herself and. if England had been willing to traffic in the honor of neutral Baltic States. with Germany secretly in the market. But these considerations seemed less important than their own pre-occupations and illusions. and. instead of being obliged any longer to consider her own safety. It was important for Russia that the population of the Polish Ukraine." 3. and that the Western Powers would be brought to disaster in the process were considerations which they doubtless took cognizance of in the dim way of those already damned. unless the eyes reappear. Hitler was less scrupulous or maybe he was in turn duped by Stalin. . Stalin's sole objective was to embroil Germany with the Western Powers and to make one or the other pull the chestnuts out of the fire for himself. if 1 Henderson comments (H 251): "By July the Russian negotiations had ceased to have for me even the superficial appearance of any reality.-^ "Sightless. Stalin found the British bidder reluctant to pay for services which. Czechoslovakia and Spain to the Axis. Chamberlain had sought to buy an alliance against the Reich from the Red Caesar. those of Hitler were simple.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . Russia's real objective was thus becoming apparent. as the perpetual star multifoliate rose of death's twilight kingdom. Hitler had never had such inhibitions. and I still believe that from the outset Moscovs' never meant them to terminate in agreement vi'ith us. HITLER'S B A R G A I N If the motives and calculations of Stalin and Chamberlain were devious in the diplomacy of 1939. but was unwilling to pay the price asked. and. should be in Soviet hands rather than constitute a lure to German expansion via Poland. if Moscow could restore her influence in the Baltic States and raise a barrier in the Ukraine to the German Drang nach Osten. . and the ideological basis of the Soviet regime was now nothing but a sham and a delusion. which was more Orthodox Russian than CathoHc Polish. Hitler sought to buy Soviet neutrality and was willing to pay the same price that Chamberlain could not bring himself to pay. she could now afford to think only of her personal advantage.

The Fiihrer and his generals were confident that their war against the West would be crowned with victory if Soviet neutrality were assured. but it is mere guesswork. Stalin made the obvious choice. That this would turn out to be the case was doubtless taken for granted by Ribbentrop and Hitler from the outset. London and Paris took it for granted that the West was invincible behind its land and sea defenses and could sooner or later compel German capitulation by blockade operations. would obligate the U. Had Chamberlain foreseen what was to come. Stalin and Chamberlain made no such assumption." PRODUCED BY UNZ. I incline to the latter view myself. to great expenditures of blood and treasure for an object that the West might not. New York. he would either have abandoned Poland being heavily weighted against the Western Powers. Secretary of State for India. For Hitler. 1940) p.S.S. against the wishes of the Poles. Herr Hitler.. help to achieve once the enterprise was launched. regardless of Soviet policy. Stalin found the German bidder eager to pay generously for services which promised Moscow large gains with almost no expenditure of blood and treasure." The Right Honorable Lord Lloyd of Dolobran. This was the price. and we refused to pay it. 85: "The conclusion of the German-Soviet pact removed even a faint hope for an honorable peace.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . They could not barter away the honor and freedom of small but independent countries. From the outset I regarded the Russian negotiations as something which had to be attempted. but which lacked all sense of realities. paid Russia's price without question. Neville Chamberlain's courage in making this refusal. and to move their arms. and I am prejudiced. The British and French had found that Russia would not agree even to a benevolent neutrality in the event of German aggression against Poland unless we conceded them the right to dominate by military and naval force the independent Baltic States. since they both underestimated German fighting power and overestimated Allied capacity for resistance. Only much later did he begin to suspect that he had been paid in fool's gold and had perhaps exposed his State to dangers far greater than those which might have been met with had he accepted ChamberIain's terms. who had denounced the iniquities of the Kremlin for 20 years to the whole world. Some day the world will pay due tribute to Mr. but Germany could.R. into Eastern Poland. wrote in The British Case. the price paid was negligible and the bargain seemed all gain and no loss. however. It is to be hoped that some day light will be thrown on the question as to whether Stalin from the beginning was in collusion with Hitler with a view to spinning out his negotiations with us until Germany was ready to strike or whether both Germany and ourselves were merely his cat's paws. with an introduction by Halifax (The Macmillan Co. Moscow took it for granted that Soviet neutrality in an Allied-German conflict would mean a prolonged war of exhaustion. after all.Hitler's Bargain 273 rendered. the self-appointed leader of the Anti-Communist bloc.

ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . The wisdom of this course was amply demonstrated by the unwisdom of the alternative course upon which Wilhelm II embarked.2 74 Retreat from Moscow to the Reich in the name of "peace for our time. the new Kaiser alienated St. Bismarck. In a larger sense the Nazi decision of 1939 was a recognition of realities of grand strategy dating back to the establishment of the Second Reich. vis-a-vis Germany. He could therefore afford to surrender any amount of non-German territory to Moscow. or he would have paid the price of a Soviet pact with the overwhelming approval of the British electorate. and that Russian "re-insurance" arrangements were the price that must be paid for French isolation and German hegemony over the Continent. Petersburg and was never able there- PRODUCED BY UNZ." if such a course could have been imposed on Pariiament and public.R. only Hitler foresaw accurately the results of the coming test of force. In fact. whatever the immediate effect might be in strengthening the U. Russian neutrality was not unrelated to the circumstance that Britain and France had attacked and humiliated Russia sixteen years previously. In either case disaster would have been averted or postponed. the fall of Paris and the unification of the Germanies by the Hohenzollerns were made possible only by Russian neutrality in the Franco-Prussian war. He knew that a Reich victorious over France and Britain would have Russia at its mercy.S. Had Stalin foreseen what was to come. They were equally clear that conflict with Russia would net the Reich nothing. But this danger he readily discounted in the conviction that the Soviet leaders •would continue to assume that occupation of "lost provinces" would give them ample protection. Moltke and Wilhelm I were firm in their conviction that the Reich must never expose itself to the danger of having to fight simultaneously on two fronts. he would doubtless have spurned Hitler's bait and pressed for a bargain with the West on terms representing some compromise between what he had asked and what the Alhed leaders were prepared to give. By refusing to continue Bismarck's policy. He stood only to gain from fostering Stalin's delusion that Soviet security was to be had by control of the borderlands. The first Sedan.S. Because of this eventuality Moscow might be tempted to attack him in the rear to prevent the defeat of the Western Powers. They would therefore refrain from intervention to save the West until the West was beyond saving.

If the lesson of Brest-Litovsk was that Germany could defeat Russia. the deadly sin of the Hohenzollerns was not that of having risked war with Russia. French hegemony over Europe. only PRODUCED BY UNZ. 1926. in the first instance. The French-Russian alliance followed and then the Entente Cordiale. Germany had indeed defeated and conquered Russia. The initial Nazi conception of German-Soviet relations was the antithesis of Rapallo and an apparently complete repudiation of the line of Bismarck. This collaboration was undisturbed until the fall of the German Republic. The first fruit of their new wisdom was the Treaty of Rapallo of April 24. albeit feebly.R. creator of the Reichswehr. BrockdoriT-Rantzau and Stresemann. soon transformed into the Triple Entente.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . wherein Berlin and Moscow cancelled all claims against one another and inaugurated a diplomatic rapprochement which released each from its enforced isolation and challenged. the lesson of Versailles was that war between Germany and Russia meant the victory of the Western Powers over the Reich. but at such cost in time and strength as to allow the formation of a Great Coalition of Western democracies which brought the Second Reich to its ruin. But when we speak of new land in the East we can have in mind at present. Rathenau. wherein Germany and Russia pledged themselves anew to non-aggression and neutrality. German and Russian officers inaugurated secret military collaboration as intimate and continuous as if the two States had been allies. but that of having challenged Britain. According to Mein Kampf.S. This lesson was taken to heart by some German statesmen and most German military authorities in the aftermath of defeat. In the Nazi Weltanschauung. Bolshevism was an instrument of international Jewry whereby the Russian State was being rotted and rendered ripe for easy conquest. Soviet anxieties over the possible implications of Locarno were soothed by the Berlin treaty of April 24. to the policy of territorial conquests. Under the leadership of General von Seekt. The Third Reich should make alliances with Britain and Italy in order to secure a free road to the East: "We are abandoning finally the colonial and commercial policy of pre-war times and passing over to the policy of the future.S. The "war on two fronts" lost the Marne in 1914 and lost the war in 1918.Hitler's Bargain 275 after to rectify his mistake. A large section of German big business approved and sought to further trade relations with the U. 1922. Maltzan.

the Government of the Reich desires to cultivate friendly relations profitable to both countries. . a return to the Rosenberg line was perceptible. and on January 30 Hitler reciprocated." The "East orientation" underlying such statements stemmed from General Max Hofmann and from two early converts to National Socialism: Eric von Ludendorff and Alfred Rosenberg. When fate abandoned Russia to Bolshevism it robbed the Russian people of the educated classes which once created and guaranteed her existence as a State. The reversal of course was PRODUCED BY UNZ. 1933: "Towards the Soviet Government. however. the Urals and Siberia. This was in fact the Nazi program from the summer of 1934 until March 1939. when the Niirnberg Party Congress met. ." And again: "Fate itself seems to give us our direction. The problem of why the Fiihrer finally returned to Bismarck and abandoned the program he had preached for two decades is not one capable of solution by reference to documentary sources or to the utterances of his advisers. Early in 1936. The relations of the State to other Powers which are bound to us by common interests will not be affected by this. Stalin spoke of "continued excellent relations" with Germany on January 25. . and Voroshilov was offering to carry war into the enemy's territory. despite incessant public clamor against Bolshevism. The Jew has taken its place. It is as impossible for the Russians to shake off the Jewish yoke by their own strength as it is for the Jew to keep control of the vast empire for any length of time.276 Retreat from Moscow Russia and her subordinate border States.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . . The struggle against Communism in Germany is our internal affair. there were doubts as to the wisdom of the course advised by the anti-Soviet fanatics in the Party. Hitler could say in his first speech to the Reichstag on March 23. But even at the outset of the Nazi regime. By September. The successful remilitarization of the Rhineland convinced the Kremlin that the Western Powers were quite willing to see the Third Reich move eastward and that Hitler could now pursue the Ukrainian dream without hindrance from London and Paris. The German element may now be entirely wiped out in Russia. . 1934. The enormous empire will one day collapse. The government of the national revolution feels itself especially suited to carry out a positive policy of this kind toward Soviet Russia." The Berlin treaty was renewed by the Hitler Cabinet early in May. Hitler was publicly coveting the Ukraine. .

were primarily designed to liquidate those who were "last ditch opponents of Hitler. holds that the purges in the U. Wolfe. He respected Stalin's ruthlessness. despite the slovenliness of their subjects and relative weakness of the industrial plant at their disposal. Spain. with or without judicial formalities. which at last became a certainty. some who would never under any circumstances have considered an accord with Hitler. the Low Countries and France. pp. those who were merely suspect were ruthlessly disposed of.R.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . Bucharinites. In the Soviet Union. This conviction sprang from the phenomenal eagerness of the democratic politicians to strengthen the Triplice and reduce the power of their own States to the vanishing point. Stalin's State.Hitler's Bargain I'j'j probably due to a growing conviction. There can be no doubt that Hitler and Rosenberg strove in 1934 and thereafter to disrupt the U. Those who played Hitler's game. he met the danger by "liquidating" all prominent dissenters in the "purges" of 1935-38. Norway. by "Trojan Horse" and "fifth column" tactics.^ His generals respected the Red Army. those who prematurely sought to bargain with Berlin. Nazi and Japanese agents. some who placed world revolution above Realpolitik. pp. The guilt or innocence of the accused (this writer still believes that most of them had engaged in most of the treasonable activities they were charged with) was less important to Stalin than the purposes served by the trials: to maintain intact the monolithic dictatorship and to convince Hitler that aU his hopes of "boring from within" were doomed to frustration before the firing squad. The Nazi Dictatorship. Since Stalin was uninhibited by democratic prejudices regarding civil rights and the value of human life. Rumania and ultimately Denmark. The Imperial Soviets. included a variety of dissenters: Trotskyites. that the path of least resistance lay in other directions.S.S. 423-72. 102-3. Hitler had conducted a purge of his own on "Bloody Saturday" of 1934. They concluded correctly that the Russia of StaHn was 1 Cf. Czechoslovakia. of returning blow for blow and playing Realpolitik in the most approved fashion. He knew the uses of terrorism. as elsewhere." The victims. They respected Stalin's willingness to defend Czechoslovakia before Munich.S. Nazi strategists relied upon the cooperation of elements opposed to the existing regime. It was also due to the obvious error of Hitler's original conception of the Soviet regime.S. far from being paralyzed by the Jewish "ferment of decomposition. Henry C.R. some who sought to appease Berlin and Tokio by an immediate entente at Soviet expense." revealed itself to be a totalitarian Caesar-state ruled by men who were quite capable. as they disrupted Austria. PRODUCED BY UNZ. however. He noted that many of the victims of Stalin's purge were Jews.

between Chamberlain and Henderson on the one hand and Nazi diplomats on the other in which the British appeasers had urged a German attack on the Soviet Ukraine. 1939. isolated in 1938. Ernst Fraenkel puts the matter cogently: Until all secret documents are published. I want to mention only one which is to be found in the Fiihrer's psychology. At the diplomatic reception of January 7. Rosenberg was definitely "out of favor" by the close of 1938.S. Gedye. the statesmen whom Hitler has glorified time and again. Wolfe." The Review of Politics.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . p.1 When Hitler came to his decision is not yet clear. sought vengeance by promoting a GermanSoviet rapprochement. 25. Hitler esteems only those politicians who have resisted his own policy. Hitler took the opportunity to come to terms with the latter state. I believe Stalin's firm attitude during the 1938 crisis impressed Hitler just as Mussolini and Pilsudski had impressed him in 1934.^ Rumor also had it that Wilhelmstrasse transmitted to Moscow transcripts of conversations. Stalin and Hitler.* Such stories are interesting. Rumor held that one-eyed General Syrovy.12. E. 214.S. Hitler singled out the Soviet Ambassador for friendly attention. C. and that the France and Britain of Daladier and Chamberlain were "weak" States. 1940. Indiana. G. Allen. 6i. 4 Cf. 3 Cf. at Munich and afterwards. Louis Fischer. bitter at the betrayal of Prague by Paris and London.278 Retreat from Moscow a "strong" State. The University Press. Anti-Soviet articles in the Nazi press diminished and then vanished during the early months of 1939. PRODUCED BY UNZ.^ Other rumors held that at the appropriate moment Berlin sent to Stalin photostatic copies of Anglo-German correspondence (or phonograph records made from hidden dictographs) revealing similar Tory motives. Notre Dame. Mussolini and Pilsudski. June 6. R. Nazi psychology is very simple: alliance with the strong Powers. Among many points.40. it is impossible to prove exactly which motives influenced Hitler to substitute a policy which he had condemned violently for so many years. Ribbentrop's conviction of British decadence enhanced his interest in a new orientation toward the U.. p. " Cf. January.R. 1939. war against the weak ones. but probably irrele1 "German-Russian relations since 1918. NYT 9. "Washington Merry-Go-Round. op. p. Drew Pearson and Robert S. Since Munich had proved that England and France were not ready to fight whereas Russia was. were both ready to fight against him. Hitler ceased denouncing Moscow in his public addresses. cit.'' Washington Times-Herald. H.

ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . any aggressive act and any attacks against each other undertaken either singly or in conjunction with any other Powers. In any event the secret Nazi-Soviet pourparlers were well advanced by early August. by Schulenberg and the German Embassy staff and by Italian Ambassador Rosso. One does not need allies to outwit a foe who will give way before threats.S.S. N o Japanese representative appeared. August 23 Ribbentrop and 32 assistants landed at the Moscow airdrome in two huge Condor planes. The document to which Ribbentrop and Molotov attached their signatures. It may have influenced British pohcy toward Japan during the spring. After luncheon at the German Embassy. was published as follows: TREATY OF NON-AGGRESSION BETWEEN GERMANY AND THE U N I O N OF SOCIALIST SOVIET REPUBLICS. T h e two contracting parties undertake to refrain from any act of force. If one of the contracting parties should become the object of war- PRODUCED BY UNZ. Berlin hoped at first to use the threat of a bargain with Moscow as a means of achieving a military alliance with Japan—not necessarily against the U. 1939 Guided by the desire to strengthen the cause of peace between Germany and the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics. The visitors were housed in the former Austrian Embassy. His problem after the Ides of March was to choose between two suitors. Ribbentrop and Schulenberg entered the Kremlin and conferred for three hours with Molotov and Stalin. The pact was signed.Hitler's Bargain 279 vant. Photographers recorded for posterity the broad smiles of the Nazi visitors and their Communist hosts. By summer this hope had faded.R. but against the Western Powers. At I p. The Nazi courtship probably began before March and became ardent after Litvinov's resignation. The Anglo-French courtship did not begin until mid-April and was tepid and desultory. the German Government and the Government of the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics have come to the following agreement: 1. by Potemkin and his aides. 1926.. They were welcomed by General Suvorov. AUGUST 23. and basing themselves on the fundamental stipulations of the Neutrality Agreement concluded between Germany and the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics in April. Commander of the Moscow garrison. Stalin had no need of testimony from Berlin as to the secret hopes of the Western Munichmen. British recognition of Japan's "new order" in July may explain Japanese reluctance to conclude a military pact with the Reich.m. 2.

J. This reputation had not been among the least of its moral assets abroad. whose leaders have freed themselves from all legalistic solicitude for the sacredness of the pledged word.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . in which case ratification of the pact with BerUn might be withheld? Was he seeking to trap Hitler by PRODUCED BY UNZ. Neither of the two contracting parties will join any group of Powers which is directed. Was Moscow waiting to see whether Britain and France would now abandon Poland? Was Stalin hoping that London and Paris would now abruptly grant all his demands. on the other hand. N o scanning of the text of the Nazi-Soviet pact will uncover the actual terms of the bargain struck by the two dictators. against the other party. Stalin's government. Italy and Japan or. treaties with the U.2 8o Retreat from Moscow like action on the part of a third Power.S. had in recent years won for itself an enviable reputation of fidelity to engagements. 1939. the two partners will solve these disputes or conflicts exclusively by friendly exchange of views or if necessary by arbitration commissions. It was now to be cast away in the interest of the new "realism. Molotov permitted a week to pass before obtaining ratification of the pact from the Supreme Soviet. 3.S. be it added. In case disputes or conflicts on questions of any kind should arise between the two contracting parties. were to become as worthless as those with Germany. Published treaties between totalitarian regimes. are designed neither to disclose the intentions of the parties nor to bind them to solemn obligations. The present agreement is concluded for the duration of ten years with the stipulation that unless one of the contracting partners denounces it one year before its expiration. it will automatically be prolonged by five years. 7.R. The instruments of ratification are to be exchanged in Berlin. The treaty comes into force immediately it has been signed (G 348). the other contracting party will in no way support the third Power. as those with Daladier's France and Chamberlain's Britain. but only to impress public opinion and third Powers." After August 23. 4. Hitler had always followed the Florentine's dictum that treaties are to be observed only so long as convenient. The Governments of the two contracting parties will in future remain in consultation with one another in order to inform each other about questions which touch their common interests. mediately or immediately. The present agreement shall be ratified in the shortest possible time. These words revealed little of the assumptions and purposes of the signatories. 6.

The pact was ratified in Moscow on August 31. An impressive Soviet military mission arrived in Berlin on September 3. Fischer believes that the German-Soviet understanding in its original form envisaged Soviet annexation of Bessarabia and Eastern Poland as far west as Warsaw. Instead. though no formal demand from Moscow seems to have been made upon Beck. On October 24. Hitler threw away the one asset which had gained him countless friends in the democracies: his trappings as an anti-Bolshevik crusader and 1 Op.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . 1939. with Estonia and Latvia to fall within the Soviet sphere and Lithuania within the German sphere. But it remains a hypothesis until the documents speak." "Previously" might mean between September i and 17. Warsaw refused. pp. Ribbentrop declared in Danzig: "When the German army advanced victoriously into Poland.R. the Russian troops—after a very few days—moved forward on the entire front in Poland and occupied Polish territory up to the line of demarcation which we had previously agreed upon with the Russians.Hitler's Bargain 281 encouraging him to attack Poland and then announcing that Nazi aggression had invalidated the agreement? None of these fears or hopes materialized. What they lost is less tangible. PRODUCED BY UNZ. They declined to do so. According to Louis Fischer.^ Moscow did not raise the question with the Allied missions of the entry of the Red Army into Poland "to make contacts with the Reichswehr" until August 15.S. cit. English propaganda declared that the Russian army would certainly not participate in the measures against Poland. since the Kremlin took refusal for granted unless London and Paris should put pressure on Poland. by which time Hitler had presumably consented to such a step and to the partition of Poland with the U. The German attack on Poland began the following dawn.. 26f.S. Finland was discussed later. That a secret German-Soviet agreement was reached for the partition of Poland and for German non-intervention in the Baltic before the Red Army moved can scarcely be doubted. In the final accord Moscow yielded up part of the Polish zone and was granted domination over Lithuania in exchange. The gains accruing to the two partners from their unholy bargain were obvious. The known facts square with this hypothesis. Or it might mean before August 23 or between August 23 and September I.

conniving in aggression against the weak and preparing himself to become an aggressor. quoted in E. had demonstrated their capacity to shape and even control democratic diplomacy in every major crisis. a proletarian dictatorship under the protectorate of German imperialism—this would be the most absurd situation we could witness. had served its purpose.R. This would actually be the last link of the chain . cit. no less than Fascism's anti-Communist role. and at the end an alliance with German Imperialism. Having decided upon the latter course. were prophetic: "Bolshevism now is threatened by the worst eventuality which can be imagined: an alliance between Bolshevism and imperialistic Germany steps forward like a terrible ghost. Stalin threw away the sympathy of Western liberals and radicals who had admired the U. That little would be nothing if the Western Powers were crushed as he confidently expected. The discarded clothes. retreat. 42.^ In so doing he not only rendered the surviving Communist parties in the West ridiculous by their ludicrous ignorance of what was happening and their pretense of self-righteous omniscience. for its firm opposition to Fascist aggression and had hoped that Soviet society would evolve into a socialist democracy. however. . Fraenkel. if retained. A tentative answer can be put only in a series of paradoxes. Hitler's friends abroad. could scarcely have won any new victories in Europe for the Reich. Hitler had lost little.282 Retreat from Moscow would-be conqueror of the Ukraine. This tattered costume. loc..S. Hitler sacrificed allies who might still have proved useful. including the dupes and dunces. Others could still be counted upon.S. Communism's antiFascist role was played out.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . even in the event of a Nazi war against the West. on the other 1 Rosa Luxemburg's words of 1918. but he turned admiration to disgust among millions of sympathizers. the disguise could be resumed with good effect. p." PRODUCED BY UNZ. A socialist revolution sitting on German bayonets. Stalin's alUes in the West. But most of them had future utility only in the event of a Nazi attack on Russia. In grasping Hitler's hand. capitulation. Stalin revealed himself to be but another Caesar. Which Caesar lost most in this ruthless liquidation of the moral imponderables? Time will give a final answer. . Stalin's friends abroad had demonstrated their inability to influence the policies of the Western Powers. If the Americas later became an object of interest. Under its spell the Western leaders had helped to make the Third Reich invincible and had rendered their own nations ripe for defeat. Stalin sacrificed allies who were useless.

But it was precisely this eventuality which Hitler took for granted in making his pact with Moscow—not because Soviet supplies of raw materials (which were to prove disappointing) were to insure victory by breaking the British blockade. Russia would be left alone to confront a foe so PRODUCED BY UNZ. Even in this case their utility for practical politics and military strategy was doubtful.S.S. these friends of the U. Such a development would leave the U. But they and their kind would not survive the war in any case. It was precisely this eventuality which appeared to Stalin the least probable outcome of the Second Imperialist War.S.R. Hitler's loss and Stalin's loss of Western good will would prove to be equally negligible if the Third Reich succeeded in conquering France and Britain and in immobilizing America. helpless before the victor. Napoleon might have subdued Muscovy had he been able to subdue England first. had been helpful in the past only because of the danger of a Nazi-Soviet clash.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . They would be useful to the KremHn in the future only in the event of a new threat of Fascist attack on the U. Red revolution in a defeated Reich was possible. Josef Vissarionovich knew full well that "the prince who contributes toward the advancement of another power ruins his own.S." Stalin did not embrace Hitler on the assumption that Germany would then conquer the Western Powers. This danger was now past. Stalin's basic error lay in the fact that his initial assumption was as wrong as Hitler's was right.R. This assumption was all but irrevocable. would count for nothing under any circumstances. Hitler might succeed where Napoleon had failed.S. since the Axis would never tolerate it. He hoped that America would intervene to defeat the Reich as in 1917. but because Soviet neutrality would be Rilckversicherung which would spell swift military victory over the West. It was unthinkable in a defeated France and Britain.S. If the Western Powers were crushed by the Triplice. followed by revolution among the vanquished. Russia and the world revolution would then be engulfed in common ruin.Hitler''s Bargain 283 hand. Stalin's initial assumption was a long war of attrition. had thrown away its only possible allies against Great Germany. and a triumphant Axis could not be successfully challenged in arms by Moscow. Chamberlain and Daladier were doubtless impossible as allies.R.S.S. This was the program of Mein Kampj. The U. If France and Britain as Powers also failed to survive.R.

For Hitler the pact of August 23 might spell world hegemony.284 Retreat from Moscow formidable as to leave the Soviet Union without hope of survival. it threatened to be catastrophic.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . PRODUCED BY UNZ. In the short run. For Stalin it might spell annihilation. In the long run. it was clever and perhaps necessary.

The Czechs should not have reverted." Goring insisted upon showing his guest the alterations under way at Karinhall. Britain's bachelor Ambassador to the Reich visited Hermann Goring at the latter's estate of Karinhall. and Russia would not." reported the Ambassador." ["I described them as such." wrote Henderson later. The Poles were doomed because Britain and France could not. The corpulent man-mountain of many uniforms complained to his lean friend of "British hostility.000. Anyway. The Ambassador declared that Britain would forcibly resist any new aggression. Mercy. "in no disrespectful or suggestive spirit. how was it to be avoided? Henderson replied that "patience was necessary and the wild men in Germany must be restrained. had broken his promises to Chamberlain. under "American encouragement. "naked ladies labelled with the names of various virtues. there had been no threat to bomb Prague until Hacha had warned that some Czech troops might fire on the Germans. Goring said that Hacha had consented.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . Purity. he had known nothing of the decision until it was taken. etc.FEAR O N MAY 27. If Britain did not want war. His host retorted that Germany was invincible. by seizing Prague. such as Goodness. Had I anticipated that my dispatch would ever be published I should have written 'nude figures' 285 PRODUCED BY UNZ. The walls were to be hung with tapestries which he was about to purchase from William Randolph Hearst for £5. 1939. He showed Henderson the sketches of the tapestries—"mostly representing. including a new and huge dining hall of marble. come to their aid." Henderson replied that Hitler." to the Benes spirit.CHAPTER SEVEN HITLER'S WAR I.

under "American encouragement. there had been no threat to bomb Prague until Hacha had warned that some Czech troops might fire on the Germans.FEAR O N MAY 27. 1939. including a new and huge dining hall of marble." wrote Henderson later. he had known nothing of the decision until it was taken. The Poles were doomed because Britain and France could not. etc. The Czechs should not have reverted. Had I anticipated that my dispatch would ever be published I should have written 'nude figures' 285 PRODUCED BY UNZ. "in no disrespectful or suggestive spirit. such as Goodness.CHAPTER SEVEN HITLER'S WAR I. The Ambassador declared that Britain would forcibly resist any new aggression." Goring insisted upon showing his guest the alterations under way at Karinhall. Anyway. and Russia would not.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . His host retorted that Germany was invincible." reported the Ambassador." to the Benes spirit." Henderson replied that Hitler. Purity. Mercy. Goring said that Hacha had consented.000. how was it to be avoided? Henderson replied that "patience was necessary and the wild men in Germany must be restrained." ["I described them as such. If Britain did not want war. by seizing Prague. The walls were to be hung with tapestries which he was about to purchase from William Randolph Hearst for £5. "naked ladies labelled with the names of various virtues. come to their aid. The corpulent man-mountain of many uniforms complained to his lean friend of "British hostility. had broken his promises to Chamberlain. Britain's bachelor Ambassador to the Reich visited Hermann Goring at the latter's estate of Karinhall. He showed Henderson the sketches of the tapestries—"mostly representing.

" qualities which had appeared once more in connection with the Kalthof incident of May 20 when an armed mob led by uniformed Nazis had attacked Polish customs inspectors. Beck agreed on the need of consultation. On May 30 Beck replied that Poland had always shown evidence of "extreme prudence and great calm. His first official act was to communicate to Weizsacker on the 26th the circumstances of the British introduction of military conscription. Therefore "in such an eventuality. that Germany was entitled to the return of Danzig and some "equitable" settlement of the Corridor question. that a German coup at Danzig might be effected in such wise as to make Polish counter-action look like aggression. The British Embassy in Warsaw shared his view. Henderson had returned to Berlin on April 24. . Directetir du Cabinet at the Polish Foreign Office. Charge Norton told Count Lubienski. On the day of Henderson's visit to Karinhall. . but that I failed to see Patience among them" (B 12). Germany might become more reasonable because of Anglo-French-Soviet support of Poland. "a joint pressure ought to be attempted. It would be desirable that Poland should consult its allies before taking any irrevocable position in a doubtful case" ( P 7 9 ) . He still hoped that this could be arranged in a peaceful fashion." If military measures could be delayed without compromising Poland's defense. Goring roared with merriment.] "I told him that they looked at least pacific. The Ambassador felt. This would provoke war. despite Polish stubbornness (H 234).ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . But if hostilities could be postponed. T w o days later Hitler dampened Henderson's hopes of renewed appeasement by denouncing his pacts with London and Warsaw. ." But Britain should take preparatory military measures to support any demarche at Berlin in order to leave Germany in no doubt and to quiet Polish suspicions "that the dip- PRODUCED BY UNZ. "but it is impossible to foresee all the eventualities before which the Polish Government might find itself in the course of development of the Danzig situation. but he had no desire to see Poland drag Britain into conflict by provoking German attack. His task was to warn the Nazi leaders that further aggression meant war. the Polish Government might delay its reaction in order to leave time to Britain to demonstrate clearly to Germany that in case of a conflict she would range herself on the side of Poland. however.2 86 Hitler's War in place of the cruder expression I actually used" (H 2 3 7).

Here were all the elements of tragedy. If they wished to continue peace by purchase and to resume compromise with the Reich. Simon. Hoare. Having no appetite for war." France should also act.R. From the U. The terms in which they posed it made it insoluble. Pilsudski and the Colonels.S.Fear i^-j lomatic intervention of Britain might end in proposing to the parties a compromise unacceptable to Poland. This goal PRODUCED BY UNZ. London's problem was to induce Poland not to provoke German attack and to induce Berlin not to attack. The men of Warsaw did not trust the men of Westminster to be resolute in view of the compromised reputations of Runciman. or expose Poland to partition or extinction. The first objective required pressure on Warsaw to be prudent. Neither trusted the men of Moscow. Both knew that Hitler was bent on the recovery of Danzig and the Corridor.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . they wanted no aid but only promises of aid to impress Hitler. Zeligowski. If they wished to build an effective barrier against further German expansion and to crush the Reich if Hitler risked war. These terms per se did not threaten Poland's independence. It is possible that this intervention might render the pacific settlement of an eventual incident more difficult" (P 80). but such pressure (unlike the pressure on Prague the year before) must stop at the point at which it might involve threats of desertion. Perth. But Beck doubted whether Soviet intervention "could be accepted favorably by the German Government. Halifax and Chamberlain. The men of Westminster never solved their problem. But the final German goal became one of destroying the Polish State.S. this was possible only by accepting Moscow's terms for collaboration and by compelling Poland to accept them under a clear threat of abandoning Warsaw to its fate. The men of Westminster did not trust the men of Warsaw to be reasonable in view of the chauvinistic record of Haller. But London was pledged to war if Hitler attacked Poland. provided Hitler would use "peaceful means" and stop short of Poland's extinction. Warsaw felt that to yield was to insure Poland's destruction. London felt that not to yield was to insure Poland's destruction. this was possible only by compelling Poland to accept the Nazi* terms. The second objective required pressure on Germany in the double form of warnings of Britain's readiness to fight and offers to aid in the achievement of the German aim.

followed by further incidents. Warsaw protested that Nazi agents were stirring up the German PRODUCED BY UNZ. The struggle over Danzig became the overture to Armageddon." Polish authorities took remedial action. But the West could neither save Poland nor defeat the Reich without Russian aid.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . in Slovakia and in the pitiable remnant of the Czech Republic that had died in March. Had such aid been accepted." said Frederick the Great. Mob violence flared. since Warsaw was not Prague and the Western Powers would no longer compel their Eastern allies to commit suicide. The Nazi press screamed that Germans in Poland were being assaulted. Poland would have paid part of the price. "Whoever possesses the mouth of the Vistula and the City of Danzig. became excited. France and even Poland will be tired and will not think of fighting any more for the sake of Danzig. They were. "In three months." observed the French Ambassador in Warsaw on May 15. but Hitler would not have risked war. 1939.2 88 Hitler's War required war. War with Poland meant war with Britain and France. New repressions ensued. Such an attitude could be explained only by AngloFrench "encouragement" to the Warsaw "madmen. The Nazi strategy of terror was a new appHcation of the technique already employed in Austria. The tale of how the "war of nerves" was conducted is too tedious to review in detail. and Anglo-French leaders as well. "will be more the master of Poland than the king who rules there. Then we shall settle the problem under favorable conditions" (F 128). Nazi organizers among the German minority precipitated "incidents. Hitler and Ribbentrop did not desire to discuss these points." But the "war of nerves." they believed. Polish refusal to accept it was incredible. This stimulated resentment among the German minority." "Germany. once master of the Free City. in Sudetenland. At the end Soviet aid was no longer to be had. murdered or driven by thousands from their homes. They had proposed what seemed to them a reasonable solution. felt that no bread was better than half a loaf. however. robbed. "would not be far from having Poland completely at her mercy" (F 126). "England. Polish leaders." commented Ambassador von Moltke. Simple people on both sides. would change the situation. Hitler was therewith prompted to challenge the West to mortal combat. who might otherwise have lived peaceably as good neighbors or at worst ignored one another.

etc. Polish Acts of Atrocity against the German Minority in Poland.500. Cf. a mimeographed bulletin issued by the Information Department of the Polish Government at Angers. groans. whose chauffeur had killed a Marienburg butcher (B 26.000 Poles "can be considered to have died as the result of war activities." or else order the Reichswehr to march to the rescue of the victims in the name of humanity. men and arms were smuggled into the Free City from the Reich (B 29). Polish Commissioner General in the Free City.857 (second edition. 1940." The Polish White Book and The French Yellow Book contain much material on the Nazi strategy within Poland during the spring and summer of 1939. S. To the tune of this monstrous cacophony of shrieks. The Fiihrer finally had no option but to acquiesce in the "extermination" of German Volksgenossen at the hands of the Polish "beasts.437 (first edition) or 12. New York.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . The German Attempt to Destroy the Polish Nation. cold. It is here estimated that 2. hunger. 2) contains additional data (G 349f). PRODUCED BY UNZ. March. consisting of even more shocking photographs is available to librarians. Weizsacker told Henderson on June 13 that Britain was permitting the Poles to gamble with their destiny in a fashion diametrically opposed to Henderson's earlier view that the Reich should have a free hand on 1 Cf.Fear 289 minority to acts of lawlessness to disrupt the Polish State. physicians. responsibility rested with the Danzig authorities who had taken no steps "to prevent the criminal activities of the disturbers of the peace" (F 131). officials. or else attempt the liquidation of the entire German minority and thus provoke attack by the Reich. France." A supplementary Pictorial Report on Polish Atrocities. was protesting to Marjan Chodacki. Greiser demanded a reduction in the number of Polish customs officials and threatened to boycott the three officials whom Warsaw refused to recall. 423). 27. A. G 420. with 259 pages of affidavits. Chodacki replied that the officials would not be recalled. German Library of Information. 109 pages of description of German atrocities in occupied Poland. The German White Book (No. 1940. historians and "other serious students" on application to the German Library of Information. They were. Poland increased the number of its customs inspectors. Warsaw finally had no option but to surrender. horror stories and grisly photographs "proving" that 5. over the "Kalthof incident" while the Danzig Senate was demanding the recall of two customs officials and of Deputy Commissioner Perkowski.-*^ By the end of May Arthur Greiser. executions. curses and threats. President of the Danzig Senate. with 45. the diplomats played their empty game of thrust and parry until the pen gave way to the sword.000 missing) murders had been committed by Poles against Germans before "liberation.

H e seemed to Weizsacker to be worried about the possibility of a summer conflict. therefore. Welczeck commented that the Fiihrer could PRODUCED BY UNZ. including that of an internal coup in Danzig. He does not believe in the Russian pact" (G 307)." Germany must wait until the disorder had disappeared. Coulondre feared that Berlin was planning to take Danzig by an internal putsch. however." he told the Danzigers. . Beck concurred. This looked as if Britain were preparing a preventive war. If not. "He is not quite at ease about the British relationship with Poland. France would support Poland." saying that Polish policy was passing through "the age of puberty. Gobbels spoke in Danzig on June 17-18 during a "Kultur Week. felt that useful discussions between the Axis and the Western Powers could be initiated if the Anglo-Soviet discussions were successful. belongs to Germany since this port is at the mouth of the Rhine and the Rhine is a German river" (F 138). Both Henderson and Coulondre. There would be peace if Germany kept the peace. On July I Bonnet saw Welczeck who had just conferred with Ribbentrop in Germany. cities at the mouths of rivers always belong to the country through whose territory the rivers flow. Halifax instructed Ambassador Sir Howard Kennard to tell Beck that consultation was now necessary "so as to insure that Hitler shall not be able so to manage matters as to maneuver the Polish Government into the position of aggressors" (B 30). armaments and colonies.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . The Ambassador denied any British will to war.290 Hitler's War the Continent. Bonnet urged HaUfax to make clear that the Western Powers would not abandon Poland in the face of such tactics (F 147). According to the theories of Warsaw. Gobbels declared. Three days later. G 314). There must be discussion of trade. Bonnet reiterated that he had never intended to grant the Reich a free hand in the East. . "Germany intends to take back all the territory which has belonged to her in the course of history"— a phrase suppressed in the German press (F 143). If the Poles retaliated they would be the "aggressors" (F 145. at the German Summer Solstice Festival. "that your lovely German city should be situated at the mouth of the Vistula. cf. but was non-committal and preferred delay (B 32). "It is your misfortune. He gave Welczeck a note covering all possible eventualities. . The Ambassador said that his chief feared the Polish hotheads might precipitate war. Rotterdam.

" said Chodacki to the French Consul.' It is unfortunately inevitable that the initiative should rest with the would-be aggressor" (B 34). I would beg you to consider that such threats could only further strengthen the Fiihrer in his resolve to ensure the safeguarding of German interests by all the means at his disposal. But Ribbentrop's reply to Bonnet on July 13 declared: Any violation of Danzig soil by Poland. and that. if Germany declines to tolerate that violence should thus be done to German interests. adding: "This attitude may seem oversimplified. France will attack Germany. But. which is contained in the final sentence of your note. or any Polish provocation incompatible with the prestige of the German Reich. Noel persuaded him that Warsaw should do nothing by way of economic or military measures without consulting London and Paris "unless the march of events did not leave it the necessary time" (F 157). His note asserted that "any action. British Charge Norton conveyed similar views of Polish intentions to Halifax. would meet in reply with an immediate march by the Germans and the total destruction of the Polish army. mean that France recognizes Poland's right to oppose by arms any departure in any respect from the status quo in Danzig. the river or the railway. if taken literally. whatever its form. "Our tolerance has limits. which would tend to modify the status quo in Danzig. Bonnet expressed skepticism. restrained and well-calculated to counteract German technique of 'psychological terrorism. T h e Fiihrer has always desired FrancoGerman understanding and described as madness a fresh war between the two countries. would. By mid-July the tension had eased somewhat.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . if we have reached a point where the French Government PRODUCED BY UNZ. which was really Germany's last claim. "but they have not yet been reached. would bring the French-Polish agreement into play and oblige France to give immediate assistance to Poland" ( F 150). Warsaw decided to acquiesce in German military steps in Danzig. which are no longer separated by any conflict of vital interests. If such was in fact the purpose of French policy. T h e statement already mentioned. Weizsacker told Coulondre that there would be no German putsch in Danzig and that Beck was giving some signs of seeking a friendly solution.Fear 291 not understand how Britain and France could fight for Danzig. Beck informed Noel on July 6 that "Danzig is under our guns" and that therefore Warsaw would take no action unless Germany sought to close the harbor. but at least it is comprehensible. and so provoke armed resistance by Poland. and our conduct should have great elasticity" (F 152).

however." PRODUCED BY UNZ. it will find Germany ready at any moment. but that this was not a question for war. He conveyed assurances of absolute British support of Poland and asked what Warsaw would do if Berlin proclaimed an Anschluss of Danzig with the Reich without any mihtary action. Charge de SaintHardouin. or at least to temporize. August 15-20. It would then be the French Government alone which would have to bear before its people and before the world the responsibility for such a war (F 163). What would follow if the "protest" were ignored or the "explanation" proved unsatisfactory was not specified (Charge Seguin to Bonnet. His hosts replied that Poland would favor a tripartite protest in BerUn. G 443). conferred with Smigly-Rydz and Beck. . returned with assurances to Chodacki that the Chancellor would not resort to war to secure Danzig and a road across the Corridor (F 166). But Danzig Gauleiter Albert Forster. after conferring with Hitler in Berchtesgaden.292 Hitler's War wants war. F 167. since Poland must eventually compromise. Foreign diplomats and pressmen in Berlin noted a tendency to retreat. Coulondre reported ominous military preparations in the Reich. Anglo-German relations meanv/hile failed to improve. Berlin continued to insist that Danzig must return to the Reich. On July 19 General Edmund Ironside. . On June 23 Downing Street sent a long memorandum to Wilhelmstrasse replying to the German denunciation of the naval accord with elaborate augmentation and with an offer to negotiate a new agreement if Berlin would indicate what "scope and purpose" it would consider appropriate and "how it "would propose to ensure that any action in the shape of denunciation or modification of the new Agreement during the terms of its vaUdity should carry the consent of both parties.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . reported constantly accelerated military preparations and felt that a new crisis "so great that European peace may not be able to survive it" would begin by the end of the harvest. and would continue until early October when autumn rains on the Polish plains would make mechanized warfare difficult (F 171) . And if the Reichswehr openly occupied Danzig? The Polish General Staff would send officers to demand an explanation. 1939. July 20. The report which Ironside and his colleagues took home regarding Polish ability to resist German attack will doubtless make fascinating reading if and when published. cf. head of a British military mission to Poland. despite Henderson's efforts.

On July 10 Chamberlain told Commons: Recent occurrences in Danzig have inevitably given rise to fears that it is intended to settle her future status by unilateral action. He had only to tell the Danzigers to proclaim the re-attachment of the Free City to Germany.Fear 293 On June 29 at Chatham House HaUfax declared that all questions could be examined and adjusted if "we all really wanted peaceful solutions. the threat of military force is holding the world to ransom. it was quite simple. "If Germany by unilateral action at Danzig in any form compelled the Poles to resist. G 438). . . Obviously that would put the onus of action on the Poles. and we are firmly resolved to carry out this undertaking (B 35. in fact. and our immediate task is to resist aggression" (B 25). be such as is contemplated on this hypothesis. from what I have said earlier. Britain would at once come to their assistance. thus presenting Poland and other Powers with a fait accompli. If the sequence of events should. . in connection with persistent German reports that Britain would never fight over Danzig. that "if Germany persists in her plan for Anschluss.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . He felt even more strongly about Smigly-Rydz's observation. and if her action were supported by other Powers they would be accused of aiding and abetting her in the use of force. . Members will realize. . . But . If Herr Hitler wanted war. which she considers it vital to resist with her national forces. Poland will fight. and subsequently broadcast in Poland. which incidentally are in no way threatened." This defi on the eve of Ironside's visit was perhaps intended to discourage any British efforts to promote a compromise at Poland's expense and to prevent Beck from giving serious consideration to concessions. it is suggested. We have guaranteed to give our assistance to Poland in the case of a clear threat to her independence. organized by surreptitious methods. that Herr Hitler "could not possibly be in any doubt" as to British poUcy. Weizsacker told Henderson and Coulondre that such public statements could only make the situation worse. Hon. published as an interview in the London News-Chronicle of July 17. be represented as an act of aggression on her part. In such circumstances any action taken by Poland to restore the situation would. that the issue could not be considered as a purely local matter involving the rights and liberties of the Danzigers. but not even that would cause us to hesitate to support PRODUCED BY UNZ. even if she fights alone and without alUes. . but would at once raise graver issues affecting Polish national existence and independence. Henderson had assured Weizsacker. .

. "All in all. . Beck's suspicions were enhanced by the British attitude toward loans to Poland. Halifax noted the symptoms of German hesitancy toward the end of July and sought to capitaHze upon them to promote a compromise. . Beck was skeptical. and I trust that more care than ever will be taken on Polish side to avoid provocation in any sphere and to restrain press. . but Henderson saw him only at a distance in the Festspielhaus during a performance of Die Walkiire. Carl Burckhardt might deal with Greiser and Forster in such fashion as to promote German moves in the desired direction. There were hopes that Dr. The British Ambassador went to Bayreuth on July 29 in the hope of seeing the Fiihrer during the Wagner Festival. . of course. and. The technique was exactly the same as in 19 3 8 . I hope to arrange that we shall be informed through High Commissioner and His Majesty's Consul General in Danzig when any concrete question is to be taken up by High Commissioner at the request of Senate. of the discussions. (H253).2 94 Hitler's War them. PRODUCED BY UNZ. . . did not at present see any facts on which to base a forecast of German change of policy" (B 39). Beck. if Germany attacked them" (B 36). He bided his time and waited for the conjunction of circumstances which would facilitate his final decision. Forster continued to encourage Burckhardt to believe that Germany would take no military action. . Henderson was convinced that Hitler did not desire to resume negotiations and was playing for time until his military preparations should be complete and the Anglo-Soviet negotiations should fail. It is nevertheless essential not to destroy possibility of better atmosphere at outset." reported Norton. while entirely understanding and sharing your Lordship's general desire. For your own information. "M. But when he arrived Hitler and Ribbentrop had left for an inspection of the Westwall after conferring unexpectedly in Berlin on the 28th. as "there is some reason to think that German policy is now to work for a detente in the Danzig question. The Fiihrer returned to the Wagner shrine.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . "Contact with the British Ambassador was not part of the game for him. fearing a German move for a localized war against Poland (B 41). in order that we may have an opportunity of discreetly urging moderation on Polish Government" (B 38). He instructed Norton on July 21 to urge particular "restraint and circumspection" upon Beck.

Hitler since Smigly-Rydz and the generals would have turned him out of office. It was advantageous to keep London. as Berlin doubtless intended. which has now lasted for four months. without any collapse or appreciable deterioration in morale. . . a fundamental change in Poland's attitude can not be expected in the near future ( G 444)- Herring and margarine figured prominently in the initiation of the crisis. Another bloodless victory was improbable. . Ambassador von Moltke reported on August i: T h e population of Poland has borne the state of partial mobilization and political insecurity. thanks to the victory of the Allies.Fear 295 The final crisis began during the first days of August. It is probable that by August i Ribbentrop had assured Hitler that a pact between Berlin and Moscow was far more likely than one between London and Moscow. It was already clear that the "war of nerves" had not produced a sufficient impact to bring about effective AngloFrench pressure on Poland to yield. Chodacki gave notice that as of August i Warsaw would no longer permit the dutyfree importation into Poland of herring caught by the Danzig fishing fleet (consisting chiefly of Dutch vessels) or of fats manufactured by "Amada Unida. Even if. In consideration of the confidence which Poland places-in her allies and which British propaganda nourishes with particular care. but he could neither accept Soviet aid nor yield to. T h e special social structure of the Polish population and the propaganda which has been skillfully adapted to it have brought about in Poland that. in the course of a war. . . . they are convinced that Poland will finally rise again greater and stronger than ever. Beck knew better. Many Poles expected their army to seize East Prussia with ease and to defeat the Reichswehr at the gates of Berhn. Warsaw supplied pretexts for German action. . . Plans for the victory celebration at Tannenberg at the end of the month aroused alarm abroad. The Poles were too "uncivilized" and self-confident to be paralyzed by the Nazi strategy. PRODUCED BY UNZ. Paris and Warsaw guessing.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . but war would involve few risks. ." were'reassuring. this year designated as the "Congress of Peace." an English firm with Dutch capital. Poland should be completely occupied by German troops. Such news would have been the green light for which he was waiting. even among the masses. but plans for the Niirnberg Parteitag early in September. the determination to resist continues unbroken. In a belated effort to deter the Danzig Nazis from further infringements on Polish rights.

m. If the above-mentioned illegal actions should take place. as the responsibility for them will rest entirely on the Senate of the Free City. Every attempt made to hinder them in the exercise of their duties. with the assurance that you have given instruction cancelling the action of your subordinates. though they were informed of it by Beck the evening before its delivery PRODUCED BY UNZ. There were retaliatory threats to abolish customs barriers between Danzig and the Reich. on August 6 of the current year and on subsequent days.000 zlotys and margarine to a value of 15. On August 4 Warsaw learned that at four customs posts on the East Prussian frontier the Polish inspectors had been notified by Danzig officials that they could not continue their duties after August 6.000. estimated that this ruling would affect herring shipments of an annual value of 5.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . There were outcries that Warsaw was wrecking the customs union. The German press resumed its campaign against the Polish customs authorities in Danzig whom it accused of behaving as "bandits" (F 175. at the latest. at every point on the frontier which they consider necessary for examination of the customs. although tonnage through Danzig had declined with the development of the Polish harbor of Gdynia to the north.000. I hope to receive a satisfactory explanation before the above-mentioned date (G 432. whose number had increased from 27 to 120 since 1929. . This ultimatum was apparently prepared in Warsaw without consultation with the British and French Embassies. P 82). . The reprisal evoked hot indignation in Danzig. I am forced to warn you that all Polish customs inspectors have received the order to appear for duty in uniform and bearing arms. 177. 178. The Senate gave orders to its customs officials to disregard those Polish inspectors who were alleged to belong to the frontier guards and not to the customs service. the Polish Government will take retaliatorymeasures without delay against the Free City. I await your answer by August 5 at 6 p. de La Tournelle.000 zlotys. M. Chodacki promptly informed Greiser that this infringement of the fundamental rights of Poland will on no pretext whatever be tolerated by the Polish Government. comprising 95% of Poland's imports of this commodity. B 42-44). This action was in reprisal for Nazi interference with Polish customs inspectors. . every attack or intervention on the part of the police will be regarded by the Polish Government as an act of violence against the officials of the Polish State in the pursuance of their duties.296 Hitler's War The French Consul.

Noel was of the opinion that Poland had no legal right to do so unless requested to by Burckhardt or by the League Council (F 182). "The Danzig Government protest with great energy against the threatened retaliations of the Polish Government which they regard as an absolutely inadmissible threat and the consequences of which will devolve on the Polish Government alone" (G 434.^ For reasons unknown Noel failed to transmit full copies of the ChodackiGreiser correspondence to the Quai d'Orsay until August 15 (F 193).000 legionnaires that Poland would meet "force with force. On the 7th Greiser replied in writing with a reciprocal expression of "astonishment" that Chodacki should have made "a completely unverified rumor" a pretext for an ultimatum which "can be understood only as an intentional provocation to bring about incidents and acts of violence of the most dangerous nature. P 84). Warsaw nevertheless ordered its customs officials to be armed. Beck told Kennard that had the Senate not yielded Warsaw might have resorted to military measures. informing the recipients that the Danzig Senate had notified Chodacki in a letter of July 29 that the Danzig Customs Administration would no longer treat the frontier guards as Polish customs inspectors. At Cracow on August 6 Smigly-Rydz told 150." Noel felt that Polish resistance had caused the Danzig Nazis to retreat. though both he and Kennard had advised their Governments of the general nature of the interchange at the time it took place. "Polish guns will speak!" The German press screamed that German guns would also speak and that Poland had "overstepped all limits in her insolence and irresponsibility. but "the margin of concessions which Poland is still prepared to make in her wish to 1 The third document in F 193 purports to be an order of August 4 from Dr. The capitulation of Greiser to the Polish threat temporarily eased the crisis. to the Head Office of the Polish Customs.Fear 297 (P 81). but that "for technical reasons" it could not give a written reply before Monday." The Warsaw journal Czas warned that if the Danzig Nazis attempted a putsch. Beck at once informed all Polish diplomatic posts of this communication (P 83). Greiser phoned Chodacki to the effect that the Senate would not impede the Pohsh officials. Director of the Danzig Customs Administration. Kunst. On the morning of August 5. PRODUCED BY UNZ." No such order as was alleged had been issued by any responsible authority. the 7th (F i 8 i ) .ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . Chodacki expressed the "astonishment" of Warsaw at Greiser's attitude and repeated his warning (G 433).

" ^ On August 9 Weizsacker transmitted a communication to the Polish Charge Prince Etienne Lubomirski: T h e Reich Government have been greatly astonished to receive information of the note of the PoHsh Government to the Senate of the Free City of Danzig. 1939. It would be well if Berlin were to understand this" (F 187).298 Hitler''s War temporize has become so narrow that any incautious act might well have the most serious consequences. for the German Government herewith repudiates in advance all responsibility for them. Should the Polish Government continue to support such measures. was that the moment had now come to force a showdown. 6115. Germany. In case of a refusal. with full knowledge of the consequences. that the Polish note of August 4 "served more than anything else to produce that final brainstorm in Flerr Hitler's mind on which the peace of the world depended. T h e German Government further draw the attention of the Polish Government to the fact that the measures taken by the Polish Government to prevent the import of certain goods from the Free City of Danzig into Poland are likely to bring about serious economic loss to the population of Danzig. 1938. however. Forster saw the Fiihrer in Berchtesgaden on the 8th. in the "domestic" controversy in Czechoslovavkia between Henlein and Benes." September 20. Plans were apparently laid for the intervention of the Reich in the dispute between Danzig and Poland in a fashion comparable to the German intervention of September. iVluch of this Final Report is reproduced in H. and that the responsibility of such consequences would devolve exclusively on the Polish Government. What Berlin understood. the Free City of Danzig was threatened with retaliatory measures. and in reality had never been issued by. there would. Cm. 6. was based on unfounded rumors. Henderson had little doubt. as he viewed the situation later. No. i (1939). in which a demand was made in the form of an ultimatum to revoke an alleged decree intended to hinder the Polish customs inspectors in the exercise of their normal duties (which decree. p. in the form of an ultimatum. T h e Reich Government see themselves obliged to point out to the Polish Government that the repetition of such a demand.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . be no choice left 1 "Final Report by the Right Honorable Sir Nevile Henderson on the Circumstances Leading to the Termination of His Mission to Berlin. to the Free City of Danzig and the threat of retaliatory measures would lead to greater tension in the relationship between Germany and Poland. in the opinion of the Reich Government.the Senate of the Free City of Danzig). PRODUCED BY UNZ.

"The Polish Government are compelled to point out to the German Government that.Fear 299 to the Free City of Danzig. desired to avoid incidents. as hitherto. P 86). Warsaw could not perceive any "legal foundation justifying German interference" in Polish-Danzig relations. 47). but Ribbentrop preferred for the moment to minimize the issue by keeping the communication secret and by utilizing subordinate officials. emphasizing that Hitler would know how to achieve the return of Danzig to the Reich. but to seek other export and. but Noel apparently neglected to transmit them promptly to the Quai d'Orsay. on the basis of the agreement to which she is a party. Coulondre was away from Berlin on leave. but evidently knew nothing of the content or even of the existence of the German-Polish notes for some days. P 85). Beck had conferred with Kennard and Noel before sending this reply (G 447) and had also informed Halifax through Raczynski. as the Allied military mission reached Moscow. Jugo- PRODUCED BY UNZ. On August 11. as matters stand. however. Charge Saint-Hardouin reported the military and psychological aspects of the German decision (F 189-191). On the morning of August 10 Forster told Burckhardt (who told Chodacki who told Beck) that Hitler was "incensed" at the tone of the Polish press and that the situation was "extremely serious. The British Ambassador in Warsaw at once sent the texts of these communications." The Fiihrer. any attempt made by the authorities of the Free City of Danzig to jeopardize the rights and interests that Poland possesses in Danzig. That evening Forster addressed a Danzig mass meeting and two days later a gathering in Furth. Secret conferences of all kinds now became the order of the day. consequently. The final phrase was an obvious hint of Anschluss between Danzig and the Reich. other import possibilities (G 445. Polish Undersecretary of State Miroslaw Arciszewski transmitted a sharp reply on August 10 to German Charge Johann von Wiihlisch. In a like spirit. expressing "the greatest surprise" at the German note. "strictly confidential.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . The language was threatening. and that the Polish Government will consider as an aggressive act any possible intervention of the Government of the Reich which may endanger these rights and interests" (G 446. they will in the future oppose by such means and measures as the Polish Government alone consider adequate." to Downing Street (B 46.

he had seen the text of the Polish note of August 10 and was therefore in no mood to listen to Italian pleas for moderation." By mid-August London. particularly Polish persecution of Germans. In a later report to the League Council (written December 27. but were now eager for battle. That a witches' broth was brewing was certain. after Burckhardt's departure. "in all respects different from the Poles. Saint-Hardouin was unclear as to whether the German game was one of preparing a Blitzkrieg. he would fight "without mercy" with an air force of a million men. submitted to Halifax and published in Geneva April 15. Paris and Warsaw were all guessing as to Berlin's intentions—fearing the worst. or pressing for a compromise.300 Hitler's War slavia was reported to have rejected Axis demands for "benevolent" neutrality. But this was not to be. The DanzigPolish controversy was minimized in the German press in favor of vague statements about other issues. and wondering what plan of action Hitler had decided upon. All the difficulties came from the intellectuals." But he could wait—"on condition that the German minority in Poland ceased to be molested. resources and military centers. On August 11-13 Ribbentrop and Ciano conferred at Salzburg while Burckhardt and Hitler did likewise at Berchtesgaden. involving German-Italian use of Jugoslav railways." The Czech "danger" had been removed. he did not believe Burckhardt's assurances that France and Britain were exercising a "moderating influence. as they always were when they were offered simplified solutions. and to have called up reserves for maneuvers along the Axis frontiers. What came of these discussions was anybody's guess. That it could be prevented from boiling over only by immediate conclusion of an Anglo-Soviet pact was equally certain.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . When the PRODUCED BY UNZ." The Czech army had been excellent. Burckhardt quoted Hitler as having said that his generals had been "cautious" the year before with regard to Czechoslovakia. which were then in his possession. as he knew from "the plans of the Polish staff. 1940). The Fiihrer kept his cards carefully concealed. "Calm reigns in Bohemia and the peasants and workers are content with their lot." If he had to fight. or merely bluffing to induce surrender (F 190. 191)." The Polish army was worthless. By the time Hitler saw Ciano. hoping for the best. He "had no such scruples as Wilhelm II. They knew that the Red Army had "no offensive power." As for Poland. as the German leaders undoubtedly knew.

This was not "encirclement. had disappointed German hopes." Coulondre replied that Anglo-French policy was a product of the German action of March which had convinced all Frenchmen that "the restoration of a balance of power in Europe" was indispensable for the preservation of their liberty. 1939." The Poles were "running amok. but was always ready "to use its good offices to promote any settlement to which Poland as a free and sovereign State might think it possible to subscribe. He showed Coulondre the notes of August 4-5 and 9-10. His Government. C R I S I S A." "One could not imagine that either France or Britain would risk her very existence in favor of her friend who had gone PRODUCED BY UNZ. Ambassador Robert Coulondre. saw Weizsacker in Berlin. for the "changeable and excitable" Poles." He refused to believe "that France intends always to screen these Polish pranks {couvrir les incartades polojuises). influenced by the Anglo-French "encirclement" policy." disputed Coulondre's statements and warned him solemnly that France should recognize that the Polish Government "did not really govern the country. When Weizsacker asked whether this would be true even in the absence of "unprovoked" aggression. would confront the neighbors of the Reich with two equally unpleasant alternatives: a new Munich.Crisis: A ugust 1^-21 301 boiling point should be reached. 2." Weizsacker.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . if assured of Soviet neutrality. he said. the Ambassador advised him not to lose himself in "subtleties. or war in which Poland would be speedily crushed and the Western Powers would be isolated and impotent. "as instructed." He expressed anxiety over Forster's speeches and his visits to Berchtesgaden and over the tone of the German press. just back from Paris. it seemed probable that the Fiihrer. Weizsacker commented that the situation had indeed changed. with Britain and France compelling Poland to yield. was as determined as ever to come to Poland's defense against aggression." The French ties with Poland would not be loosened and the guarantees given would operate automatically. T H E P R E L U D E : AUGUST 15-2 I On August 15. as well as his daily list of "acts of persecution.

he said. influenced by the Anglo-French "encirclement" policy. just back from Paris. "as instructed." Coulondre replied that Anglo-French policy was a product of the German action of March which had convinced all Frenchmen that "the restoration of a balance of power in Europe" was indispensable for the preservation of their liberty. or war in which Poland would be speedily crushed and the Western Powers would be isolated and impotent." The Poles were "running amok." He expressed anxiety over Forster's speeches and his visits to Berchtesgaden and over the tone of the German press. for the "changeable and excitable" Poles." disputed Coulondre's statements and warned him solemnly that France should recognize that the Polish Government "did not really govern the country. When Weizsacker asked whether this would be true even in the absence of "unprovoked" aggression. C R I S I S A." The French ties with Poland would not be loosened and the guarantees given would operate automatically. with Britain and France compelling Poland to yield. This was not "encirclement.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . was as determined as ever to come to Poland's defense against aggression. it seemed probable that the Fiihrer. He showed Coulondre the notes of August 4-5 and 9-10. His Government. had disappointed German hopes. would confront the neighbors of the Reich with two equally unpleasant alternatives: a new Munich. Ambassador Robert Coulondre. Weizsacker commented that the situation had indeed changed." He refused to believe "that France intends always to screen these Polish pranks {couvrir les incartades polojuises). the Ambassador advised him not to lose himself in "subtleties. 1939.Crisis: A ugust 1^-21 301 boiling point should be reached. as well as his daily list of "acts of persecution." Weizsacker. 2." "One could not imagine that either France or Britain would risk her very existence in favor of her friend who had gone PRODUCED BY UNZ. saw Weizsacker in Berlin. T H E P R E L U D E : AUGUST 15-2 I On August 15. if assured of Soviet neutrality. but was always ready "to use its good offices to promote any settlement to which Poland as a free and sovereign State might think it possible to subscribe.

He "would not and could not believe that Britain would fight under all circumstances whatever folly the Poles might commit." adequate military preparations. On the 15th a Polish soldier was killed on the Danzig frontier." He felt that the peril could only be met by "absolute firmness." Henderson retorted that this sounded like Ribbentrop. Yet no leading Nazi official had made any definite pronouncements . as had been the case in the Munich crisis. Weizsacker was also visited on the afternoon of August 15 by Henderson. German mobilization was proceeding secretly. ." Weizsacker replied that Polish folly had freed Britain from "any obligation to follow blindly every eccentric step on the part of a lunatic. but released two days later. "The bottle. The Secretary was indignant. and advice to Warsaw to "avoid local incidents" (F 194). The degree of Axis solidarity could not be estimated. The two men wrangled over whether Polish persecution of Germans was worse than German persecution of Poles or vice versa. The German press was challenging Poland's right to existence. and Beck was telling Noel that he would make every effort to achieve a peaceful solution and w^ould if necessary utilize Burckhardt as intermediary (F 196). Yet Chodacki and Greiser were now conferring amicably. On August 14 several Polish customs officials in Danzig were arrested. not publicly. if German action compelled Warsaw to resort to arms. Weizsacker said that London seemed to have no appreciation of Polish madness. would be a "tragic mistake. The victor would not be Stalin but Trotsky" (G 449). as it had challenged Czechoslovakia a year before." he said. In the end the Ambassador assured me of his readiness to co-operate in any way towards the maintenance of peace. (F 195)." If Hitler wanted war he could have it. since Britain would meet force with force.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . . . "was full to the top. . .302 Hitler's War mad. No information was available regarding the Hitler-Ciano-Ribbentrop discussions of August 11-13." Henderson answered PRODUCED BY UNZ. Coulondre came away convinced that the danger of attack upon Poland was "formidable and imminent. an accord with Moscow. A European war would end in a defeat of all parties. even of the Russia of today." Henderson observed that "Germany could never see but one side to any question and always wanted everything modified in her favor. T o suppose that Britain would not give Poland full armed support. Coulondre was worried.

"He seemed very confident. and professed to believe that Russian assistance to the Poles would not only be entirely negligible. replied Weizsacker. the cause lay less in Allied reluctance to arrange a compromise PRODUCED BY UNZ. If no middle way was ever found between these equally ghastly alternatives. He could give no advice except that Warsaw should see reason. He was impressed by Weizsacker's calm. This was the first time that a high German official had hinted to Henderson of the impending German-Soviet pact. Their attitude made any German initiative impossible. The Ambassador did not question him regarding this. Weizsacker said this story was a lie. This was impossible both because of Anglo-French opinion and because it would leave the Western Powers utterly disgraced and helpless.S. Nor did my insistence on the inevitability of British intervention seem to move him" (B 48). Not to do so was to challenge the Reich to attack Poland and thereby risk war with the West. raw materials. When Henderson suggested that a postponement of the Danzig question might permit discussion in a more peaceful atmosphere. When Henderson alleged that the Danzig Nazis had been instructed by the German Consul General to adopt a more rigorous attitude. When Henderson attempted to justify Polish policy by referring to German arms smuggling into Danzig. Weizsacker cut short his hopes by saying that the Poles would only abuse any delay.R. The issue was thus squarely posed as to whether the Western Powers would compel Warsaw to yield to German desires. noted Weizsacker. T o do so would be to deal a fatal blow at the whole effort to build a "peace front. had not consulted London before sending its notes of August 4 and 10. Henderson departed." The most probable outcome would be another Munich. etc. "conscious of the gravity and precariousness of the situation" (G450). that Berlin could take the initiative in arranging German-Polish negotiations. but that the U. might occur later on. Weizsacker said that Danzig was only protecting itself against its protector. Henderson did not deny this..ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . would even in the end join in sharing in the Polish spoils. but sought without success to discover the results of Ciano's visit to Salzburg. Both men agreed that Chamberlain could not again fly to the Reich. and that Anglo-German discussions of colonies.S.Crisis: August 1^-21 303 that Warsaw was showing extreme prudence and would take no major step without consulting London. Warsaw.

like Prague in 1938. coupled with provocations and panic-mongering to induce Germans in Poland to flee to the Reich. especially in German language broadcasts. He urged upon Kennard (August 15) that it was "of the first importance to get the local issues (customs inspectors. As for the press. should be neutral. should PRODUCED BY UNZ. his intention after mid-August was to destroy Poland—by a Blitzkrieg if need be. Halifax still hoped for delay if only provocations and pretexts could be avoided. the Foreign Minister commented petulantly that the British press had "first suggested that firmness of the Polish Government had caused the [Danzig] Senate to yield in the matter of Polish customs inspectors" (B 51. But Coulondre expressed new fears to Bonnet: Danzig was receding into the background of German attention only because of a great press campaign over the Polish "terror. Beck to treat M. "I should like M." This maneuver. cf. Beck would use Burckhardt's services. so much the worse for the West—provided always that the U. was either a hotbed of criminal lunatics or no longer had effective authority within Poland's frontiers. by a series of "negotiated settlements" a la Prague if possible.S. Burckhardt with the fullest confidence. distorted or even merely fabricated.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . Whatever his original intentions may have been.S." The French Ambassador felt that Allied propaganda. was Sudentenland all over again (F 200). margarine and herrings) settled at once" and to get the Polish Government "to moderate their press. Berlin obviously intended to inflame popular feeling and to create the impression that Warsaw. Kennard should "concert" with him before seeing Beck (B 50). Lipski had assured Coulondre that most of the German "evidence" was "exaggerated. as in my opinion he is doing his best in a very difficult situation." Beck should deal with Burckhardt rather than with Greiser. it was important that Warsaw should make plain its readiness "to examine the possibility of negotiation over Danzig if there is a prospect of success." In view of world opinion." Noel would be getting similar instructions.304 Hitler's War than in Hitler's unwillingness to compromise. If this meant war with the West.R. If the latest incident (the arrest by the Danzig police of three Polish customs inspectors) could not be settled between Chodacki and Greiser. F 196). The incident was settled without Burckhardt's intervention. Kennard and Noel at once saw Beck and reported that they had obtained assurances that he would act in the manner suggested.

Crisis: August 22-2^ 305 spread the truth (F 197. "The Germans. . "are prone to convince themselves very readily of anything they wish to believe. Beck agreed (F 210.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED .000 troops under arms and was moving armored divisions toward the Polish frontier (Cf. B 52-55 and F 206)."^ On August 18 Coulondre was urging that the French Government should press Poland to "give no grounds for complaint" with respect to minorities and should forbid the French press "to make any attacks which might be taken as a personal insult" to Hitler (F 199). 213). the British Cabinet met on the 22nd and announced that the Moscow pact "could in no way 1 Final Report. T o give negative truths the emotional efficacy of positive falsehoods is beyond the power of any propaganda in a market where lies are mistaken for truth or even preferred to it. F 205. Henderson had again warned Weizsacker that while Britain would prevent any provocation by Poland it would unquestionably give armed assistance to the Poles if Germany compelled them to fight (G 451)." observed Henderson. . 212). They should have capitulated at news that Germany would invade Poland on August 2 2 or immediately thereafter (F 211. like Polish politicians. But for this it was already too late. But instead of acting in any such rational fashion. B. . British statesmen were rational. 209). PRODUCED BY UNZ. Three days before the announcement of its impending signature. They should have been panic-stricken by reports now reaching them that Germany had 2. cf. Therefore . Bonnet did what he could. Rational statesmen do not try to defend what has become indefensible. who were afraid lest Herr Hitler should move too slowly in the prosecution of his own ultimate designs. Dr. 7.400. Gobbels' propaganda machine was the ready tool of the extremists. Poland had now become indefensible. But to compete with Gobbels within the Reich was impossible. were also stupid and stubborn. Ribbentrop obviously hoped that his bargain with Molotov would alter British policy in this respect. They should have been terrified at the Berlin-Moscow Axis. . THE CHAMBERLAIN-HITLER LETTERS: AUGUST 2 2 .2 5 There followed what Chamberlain and Henderson referred to as the "bombshell" of the German-Soviet pact.? Ribbentrop momentarily forgot that British statesmen. p. 208. .

Crisis: August 22-2^ 305 spread the truth (F 197. THE CHAMBERLAIN-HITLER LETTERS: AUGUST 2 2 . who were afraid lest Herr Hitler should move too slowly in the prosecution of his own ultimate designs."^ On August 18 Coulondre was urging that the French Government should press Poland to "give no grounds for complaint" with respect to minorities and should forbid the French press "to make any attacks which might be taken as a personal insult" to Hitler (F 199). 208. PRODUCED BY UNZ. Poland had now become indefensible. . "are prone to convince themselves very readily of anything they wish to believe. Beck agreed (F 210.400.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . F 205. 7. . 213). 212). Henderson had again warned Weizsacker that while Britain would prevent any provocation by Poland it would unquestionably give armed assistance to the Poles if Germany compelled them to fight (G 451). British statesmen were rational. Dr. They should have capitulated at news that Germany would invade Poland on August 2 2 or immediately thereafter (F 211.? Ribbentrop momentarily forgot that British statesmen. like Polish politicians. ." observed Henderson. p.2 5 There followed what Chamberlain and Henderson referred to as the "bombshell" of the German-Soviet pact. But for this it was already too late. Bonnet did what he could. Therefore . "The Germans. Gobbels' propaganda machine was the ready tool of the extremists. . cf. were also stupid and stubborn. They should have been terrified at the Berlin-Moscow Axis. the British Cabinet met on the 22nd and announced that the Moscow pact "could in no way 1 Final Report. B. But instead of acting in any such rational fashion.000 troops under arms and was moving armored divisions toward the Polish frontier (Cf. 209). Ribbentrop obviously hoped that his bargain with Molotov would alter British policy in this respect. They should have been panic-stricken by reports now reaching them that Germany had 2. But to compete with Gobbels within the Reich was impossible. Rational statesmen do not try to defend what has become indefensible. Three days before the announcement of its impending signature. . B 52-55 and F 206). T o give negative truths the emotional efficacy of positive falsehoods is beyond the power of any propaganda in a market where lies are mistaken for truth or even preferred to it.

and it is impossible to foresee the end of hostilities once engaged. N o greater mistake could be made. if war once starts. Having thus made our position perfectly clear. if only conditions of confidence could be restored. M. as they always have been. Government are. On August 2 2 Chamberlain addressed a letter to Hitler to remove all doubts: Your Excellency will have already heard of certain measures taken by H . I am certain that it is desired neither by our PRODUCED BY UNZ. Government had made their position more clear in 1914. M. but if in spite of all their efforts others insist on the use of force. These steps have. ready to assist in creating such conditions. W h e t h e r or not there is any force in that allegation. the great catastrophe would have been avoided. It has been alleged that. they are prepared and determined to resist it to the uttermost" (G 453). M. they are resolved.3o6 Hitler's War affect their obligations to Poland. M. which they have repeatedly stated in public and which they are determined to fulfill. Government. H . I wish to repeat to you my conviction that war between our two peoples would be the greatest calamity that could occur. M. H. it will come to an early end even if a success on any one of the several fronts on which it will be engaged should have been secured. if H . in the opinion of H ." Parliament was recalled. If the case should arise. and by the fact that apparently the announcement of a German-Soviet Agreement is taken in some quarters in Berlin to indicate that intervention by Great Britain on behalf of Poland is no longer a contingency that need be reckoned with. M. been rendered necessary by the military movements which have been reported from Germany. Government have stated in public repeatedly and plainly. it cannot alter Great Britain's obligation to Poland which H . and which they are determined to fulfil. Whatever may prove to be the nature of the German-Soviet Agreement. involving a European war with all its tragic consequences. Government. as the Prime Minister has repeatedly said. The opinion was expressed that "there is nothing in the difficulties that have arisen between Germany and Poland which would justify the use of force. Government are resolved that on this occasion there shall be no such tragic misunderstanding. It would be a dangerous illusion to think that. and prepared. Preliminary military measures were taken. There are indeed no questions in Europe which should not be capable of peaceful solution. to employ without delay all the forces at their command.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . and announced in the press and on the wireless this evening.

as to another Canossa. This he would not tolerate. Warsaw had been informed PRODUCED BY UNZ. ready to assist in creating conditions in which such negotiations could take place.30 in a flight to Salzburg. G 454). obvious. In view of the grave consequences to humanity which may follow from the action of their rulers. The difficulties in the way of any peaceful discussion in the present state of tension are. and in which it might be possible concurrently to discuss the wider problems affecting the future of international relations.m. The urgency of the crisis had left no time for some one more eminent to come. with the result that hundreds of thousands of Germans were being tortured. with the aid of a neutral intermediary if desired by both sides. the harder will it be for reason to prevail. and Britain's word had never been broken. By noon they were at Berchtesgaden. less than a year before. He was conciliatory. and the longer that tension is maintained. Weizsacker expressed fear lest it be published. including matters of interest to us and to you. Henderson told him there was no such intention and gave him a summary. We have been. and I cannot see that there is anything In the questions arising between Germany and Poland which could not and should not be resolved without the use of force. Meanwhile he observed that Britain had given Poland a blank check. August 23 the Secretary phoned that arrangements had been made and that he would join the Ambassador at 9." to which Chamberlain had gone. But Britain had given its word to Poland.Crisis: August 22-2^ 307 people." said the Ambassador. Henderson was instructed to hand this letter to Hitler in person as soon as possible. The Prime Minister went on to say that if a truce to press polemics and all incitement could be arranged. nor by yours. He had already seen a translation of the letter and was preparing a reply. "Home of the Evil Fairy. and at all times will be. if only a situation of confidence could be restored to enable discussions to be carried on in an atmosphere different from that which prevails today. At 8 a. Any settlement. Henderson was apologetic over his rank. The Fiihrer was in a rage—"excitable and uncompromising.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . "At this moment I confess I can see no other way to avoid a catastrophe that will involve Europe in war. must be guaranteed by other Powers. however. however. suitable conditions might be created for direct German-Polish negotiations regarding minorities. I trust that Your Excellency will weigh with the utmost deliberation the considerations which I have put before you" (B 56.

despite the fact that Downing Street had yielded up almost all its rights under the treaty "by way of negotiations. since he was certain that Stalin had procrastinated only to get rid of Chamberlain in order to profit by a war. This he would no longer tolerate. he said that it was all England's fault. which he said was only "a protective measure.^ He would give his written reply in two hours. he replied by asking whether "Britain had ever found a solution for any of the idiocies of Versailles by way of negotiations"—a tender point with all appeasers and ex-appeasers. This time the Fiihrer was calm. Memorandum of Herr von Loesch. that of a sex-maniac who had been treated as he deserved. but soon went back to Berchtesgaden on news that Hitler wished to see him again. PRODUCED BY UNZ." Britain had spread false rumors of mobilization. he repeated his threat. it may be assumed that the statements quoted were actually made. B 57. which also says nothing of Hitler's preference for war at the age of 50. In the absence of denials on either side. 50 years old: he preferred war now to when he would be 55 or 60. Henderson returned. though he hints of them in his memoirs. ." It takes two to make a friendship. Britain had more to lose than Germany." England had rejected all his offers of friendship and forced him into agreement with Russia. If anyone had to 1 Cf. he said. If British military measures continued. Britain had poisoned the atmosphere and prevented the Poles from accepting reasonable German terms. The British Blue Book similarly says nothing of Henderson's alleged comments on the Soviet pact. If war came it would be a hfe and death struggle. Tales of the castration of Germans by Poles seemed to excite his fury in a peculiar fashion. When the Ambassador said that Britain had only opposed the principle of force. Henderson commented that he had never believed in an Anglo-Soviet pact. Hitler insisted there were six cases. Henderson said he knew of only one case. When Henderson spoke of the tragedy of war.3o8 Hitler's War that any further persecution would result in immediate action by the Reich. He had ample evidence of Polish atrocities. These things were all due to British support of Czechs and Poles. said the Fiihrer. he would order immediate mobilization. When the Ambassador said war would then be unavoidable.to Salzburg.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . He would not stand it. Tlie second and briefer conversation in the late afternoon is not reported as a separate discussion in The German White Book. interpreter. . "He was. He gave Henderson his letter and repeated that he would attack Poland if another German were ill-treated. Henderson's report to Halifax. and G 455. .

" N o Anglo-German friendship would be possible without a change of attitude on the part of the Powers responsible for the Treaty of Versailles. he preferred that Germany should do so." If Britain and France should carry out mobilization measures. . "and of his longing to satisfy them. B 60 gives the same letter in a different translation.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . but the attitude adopted by British diplomacy.Crisis: August 22-2^ 309 conclude a pact with Moscow. in this case. PRODUCED BY UNZ. Hitler retorted: "Make no mistake. . . It will be a treaty lasting for many years" (G 455. "Though he spoke of his artistic tastes. . I shall order the immediate mobilization of the German armed forces. 1 Final Report. thanks to British reports of German mobilizations and the British guarantee to Poland—which had let loose "a wave of unspeakable terror" against Germans and provoked Polish efforts to achieve the economic strangulation of Danzig. despite the fact that Germany "never has intended nor intends in the future to attack either Great Britain or France. lo. I said. be a long one. she is prepared and determined to fight. 2 G 456. B 58)." wrote Henderson later. Renewed assurances of British determination to support Poland "can in no way shake the determination of the German Government to protect the interests of the Reich. If the future were to bring a change in this respect." ^ Hitler's reply to Chamberlain was a longish document: Germany had always desired British friendship and had restricted its interests to this end. none would welcome it more than I. There can be no doubt as to the determination of the new German Reich to accept privation and misfortune in any form and at any time rather than sacrifice her national interests or even her honor. has served to convince me of the hopelessness of such an attempt. "During my whole lifetime I have struggled to achieve a friendship between Britain and Germany. up to the present at least. p. I likewise agree with your assurance that the ensuing war would. This was intolerable. Germany had made a very generous proposal. ." ^ Henderson questioned Hitler as to the meaning of his threat of mobilization in view of the circumstance that "I would. If Germany is attacked by Britain. It was rejected. I derived the impression that the corporal of the last war was even more anxious to prove what he could do as the conquering Generalissimo of the next. But certain interests Germany could not renounce. These included Danzig and the Corridor. .

ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . This move preceded by a few minutes the dispatch of instructions from Bonnet to Noel (6. Poland must not "take up the position of an aggressor. virtual or actual." but "reserve its freedom to defend its rights by diplomatic action" (F 218). that is to say. Bonnet informed Ambassador Corbin in London on August 24 that he would "make a most urgent demarche" in Warsaw to prevent Polish military action in the event of the Danzig Senate proclaiming Anschluss. since he felt that only a few hours were left for this last effort (F 217). to ask for an interview with Weizsacker and assure him that Warsaw was "always ready for discussion under normal conditions" (F 220).m. To any possible decision of this sort. Henderson told Coulondre that he saw no hope apart from the establishment of immediate contact between Warsaw and Berlin. Beck at the same time instructed Ambassador Lipski." The Ambassador found Hitler's reply confusing. the French Government urgently recommends that the Polish Government abstain from all military action in the event of the Danzig Senate proclaiming the City's return to the Reich. He had therefore urged HaUfax to advise Beck to seek contact with Hitler at once. by making all reservations and stating her intention of having recourse to all legal remedies which may be afforded to her by diplomatic usage (F 222).3IO Hitler's War regard a general German mobilization as the equivalent to war.40 p. it is important that Poland should reply only by an action of the same kind. Acting apparently at the suggestion of London and Paris. but concluded that this sentence was intended as a warning to France. The disadvantages arising from such a position would be as grave for Poland as for her allies. In the same way. and as an excuse for general mobilization when and if Hitler should decide on it (B 59). PRODUCED BY UNZ. who was studiously ignored by Wilhelmstrasse throughout the crisis. Noel reported that evening that Beck had told him that German military preparations had necessitated additional Polish military measures (F 219). on account of the repercussions it might have on the obligations. which bind the latter to other Powers. the French Government is more anxious than ever that Poland should at all cost avoid laying herself open to the charge of being the aggressor— this being the whole purpose of the German maneuver—and thus playing into Germany's hands. as an indication that Germany could not be intimidated. August 24) to see Beck "at the earhest possible moment" and tell him that in the new conditions resulting from the Russo-German Pact.

and Smigly-Rydz conferred and agreed to reject any German proposals that the British alhance be terminated (B 67).m.S. make Lithuania (including Vilna) a buffer state. were small things compared to Poland's alliance with Britain. Beck of my conversation without delay" (F 226)." The question was "solely one of expediency. to confer with the Allies and refrain from any miUtary action until faced by direct or indirect aggression (F 232).S. were in vain. Lipski's efforts in Berlin. Beck agreed. He was "friendly. Beck." Poland would not be hampering its freedom of action in case of a German attack nor prejudicing the validity of French obligations to Poland. B 62). Goring had received the Polish Ambassador at 5 p." but emphasized that he was speaking only in a personal capacity.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . The danger in Danzig became greater with the action of the Senate on August 23 in approving Gauleiter Forster's appointment as "Head of the State" (cf. He warned of the danger of war and said that the Reich could cooperate only with Britain or Russia and had already made its choice (P 147). would partition Poland at the Vistula. Coulondre reported rumors in Berlin that Germany and the U. August 24 but made no suggestions aside from remarking that he "no longer had influence to do much in the matter" and that Danzig. however. in case of Anschluss proclaimed by the Danzig authorities.R. Smigly-Rydz extended similar assurances to General Faury (F 238). Border incidents led to further French advice that the Polish army should show the utmost restraint. It was fitting that PRODUCED BY UNZ..Crisis: August 22-2^ 311 Bonnet added that the French General Staff felt that any Polish army which might advance into Danzig would be in "an extremely delicate position. Beck consented. grant hmited independence to Bohemia and Moravia. since Weizsacker was in Berchtesgaden and Ribbentrop was in Moscow. Later in the evening Noel saw the Foreign Minister and conveyed to him the substance of Bonnet's telegram. While Beck instructed Chodacki to challenge the legality of Forster's appointment (B 63). Noel therefore saw Arciszewski again on the evening of the 24th to tell him that "we relied upon the Polish Government not to take any initiative likely to bring about irreparable results without first consulting us. Moscicki. The crisis had in the interim precipitated the first of a series of appeals by outside Powers to keep the peace. etc. and revise the frontiers of the Baltic States and Rumania. I requested him to inform M.

everything may be lost by war. . Five days later Sumner Welles and Adolf A. Pious humanity awaits justice." Poland had always defended the idea that no durable power could be founded on the oppression of the weak and had always held that "the best guarantee of peace rested in the regulation of international questions by direct negotiations based on justice and respect for rights and mutual interests" (P 88. in the name of the Oslo States. . Jr. but there is still time. Bonnet sent a similar communication to Luxemburg on the 28th (F 279). not with arms. Roosevelt. . . F 244). Hundreds of millions of men are one with us in the heartfelt hope of halting the race to war" (P 87).ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . Are there any interests which cannot be better reconciled before than after a war? Let the conscience of the world reawaken! .. . ." In reply to King Leopold. cf. bread and liberty. Berle. On August 27 he informed Brussels that if Belgium adopted an attitude of neutrality. A durable peace can only be founded on a moral order. T w o days later President Ignace Moscicki of Poland replied with an expression of "sincere admiration. France would fully respect it. . . . He had left Washington on the 12th on a vacation trip along the Maine coast aboard the Tuscaloosa. Nothing is lost by peace.312 Hitler's War the initial steps should come from seven States of which six would be victims of aggression within nine months and of which five were destined to destruction—thanks in large measure to their passion for "neutrality. August 24: "Justice advances with strength of reason. not iron that kills and destroys. . drafted a proposed message to the PRODUCED BY UNZ. On August 24 action was taken by Franklin D. then in conference in Brussels. The Pope meanwhile had issued a radio appeal for peace on Thursday evening. broadcast a plea to all whom it might concern: "Is our continent going to commit suicide in a frightful war which will know neither victors nor vanquished but which would extinguish the spiritual and material values created by centuries of civihzation? . "Only in the event of Belgian neutrality not being respected by another Power might France be led to modify her attitude in order to secure her own defense" (F 270). Dangers are imminent. Pius XII expressed hope that their common effort might attain its goal (F 239). Empires that are not founded on justice are not blessed by God. Bonnet replied in similar vein (F 243)." On August 2 3 King Leopold of Belgium. apparently convinced that war was probable within two weeks.

" America was against military conquest and domination. humanity and Christianity. In Washington he decided to send additional messages to Hitler and Moscicki.Crisis: August 22-2$ 313 King of Italy and radioed it to the President." He was therefore urging the Chancellor and President Moscicki to agree to refrain from all hostile acts "for a reasonable and stipulated period" and to seek a solution by direct negotiations or by impartial arbitration or by conciliation through a moderator from one of the traditionally neutral European States or from one of the American RepubUcs. On the 23 rd he hurried back to the capital. American White Paper. The United States was still ready "to contribute its share to the solution of the problems which are endangering world peace. On the 25th the President sent a message of approval to King Leopold. but was confident "that the cause of world peace— which is the cause of humanity itself—rises above all other considerations. On August 25 Moscicki thanked Roosevelt and declared that Poland had always favored direct negotiation and also considered conciliation "through a third party as disinterested and impartial as Your Excellency to be a just and equitable method in the solution of controversies arising between nations. It was cabled on the evening of August 23rd." The message to Moscicki proposed the same procedures of settlement. Victor Emmanuel was urged to "formulate proposals for a pacific settlement of the present crisis" in which endeavor he was "assured of the earnest sympathy of the United States. pp." (The President had not proposed that he himself be moderator. assuring him that "the people of the United States whole-heartedly share the hopes and the aspirations so eloquently expressed by Your Majesty." The replies changed nothing. They had none. Josef Alsop and Robert Kintner. some of it eloquent and most of it irrelevant. He had sent the redraft of the message ahead of him.) Poland was not making claims or asking concessions and would of course agree "to refrain from any positive 1 Cf. Poland and the Reich should each agree "to accord complete respect to the independence and territorial integrity of the other." The appeal to Hitler declared that the President had received no reply to his message of April 14.^ These well-meaning gestures were of necessity unimplemented by any "commitments" and were therefore not expected by those who made them to have any effect. Amid much verbiage about civilization. 52-7.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . PRODUCED BY UNZ.

pp. On August 29 Queen Wilhelmina of The Netherlands and King Leopold of Belgium offered their good offices to Poland. but we cannot agree that national interests can only be secured by the shedding of blood or the destruction of the interests of other States. . The Canadian Prime Minister made appeals to Hitler. we shall not be fighting for the political future of a far away city in a foreign land. W e do not seek to claim a special position for ourselves in Eastern Europe. 1939. if that should happen." That evening Roosevelt sent a second message to Hitler advising him of Poland's readiness for direct negotiations or conciliation. September 2.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . we shall be fighting for the preservation of 1 Full text in The Department of State Bulletin. despite all our efforts to find the way to peace—and God knows I have tried my best—if in spite of all that. . Chamberlain observed that Hitler's reply to his letter of August 2 2 "includes what amounts to a restatement of the German thesis that Eastern Europe is a sphere in which Germany ought to have a free hand. "All the world prays that Germany too will accept. 1939. I have immediately transmitted your message to my Government. Germany." Hitler's belated reply was a curt message from Charge Hans Thomsen to Secretary Hull. If. The Chancellor had "greatly appreciated" the President's messages. while Halifax spoke in similar vein to Lords (B 65). all these endeavors have remained without result. I. He too had "left nothing untried" for peace. F 251). W e do not think of asking Germany to sacrifice her national interests." ^ Commons had meanwhile reassembled on August 24 and heard a review of the crisis from the Prime Minister." Victor Emmanuel's reply of August 30 was even briefer: "I am grateful for your interest. Owing to the attitude of the Polish Government. PRODUCED BY UNZ. we find ourselves forced to embark upon a struggle which is bound to be fraught with suffering and rnisery for all mankind and the end of which no man can foresee." There was still hope. As is known to all. Britain. 292. P 100-104 and F 284. No. and Moscicki on August 26. Mussolini. direct or indirect.314 Hitler''s War act of hostility provided that the other party also agrees to refrain from any such act. and Italy (cf. France. This thesis entirely misapprehends the British position. pp. lo. 157-61 and No. "Even at the last hour he accepted an offer from the Government of Great Britain to mediate in this dispute. dated August 31 and received on the afternoon of September i. . however. there has been done and there is being done by us whatever is possible to bring about a peace with justice. 9. and 298). 183-84. also without results (cf. August 26.

as a united nation (B 64).Crisis: August 22-2$ 315 those principles of which I have spoken. a war which would cause far greater bloodshed than that of 1914. if anything. The British Ambassador in Berlin was convinced that the Fiihrer had ordered the German army to advance into Poland during the night of August 25-26. this merely proved that they were unable to keep control over their own people. will stand together. PRODUCED BY UNZ. Germany was resolved under all circumstances to put an end to these Macedonian conditions on her eastern frontier. America 9 V 2 and Germany only 600. Food rationing was introduced. This speech might. all provoked by the Poles. In contrast 1 Cf. But Hitler hesitated. who had returned to Berlin on the preceding evening. the destruction of which would involve the destruction of all possibility of peace and security for the peoples of the world. and in this critical hour I believe that we. The British Empire had 40 milHon square kilometers. Hitler declared that upon reflection he "desired to take a step in regards to England which was to be as decisive as the step taken in regards to Russia. and that this afternoon we shall show the world that. This issue of peace or war does not rest with us." T o say that Germany desired to conquer the world was ridiculous. Russia 19. and I trust that those with whom the responsibility does lie will think of the millions of human beings whose fate depends upon their actions. not only in the interests of law and order but also for the sake of European peace. Final Report of Henderson. The Tannenberg celebration was cancelled on the 26th and the Niirnberg Congress on the 27th. pp.-^ In the early afternoon of August 25 Henderson was invited to the Chancellery by the Fiihrer.000. we have a united country behind us. Phone service to Paris and London had been cut for several hours. . Internal German air service was suspended. . 8 and 11. as we think. "It was thus quite clear who wanted to conquer the world." Polish provocations "had become intolerable. All of this meant war. All German airports were closed. in this House of Commons. but had countermanded the order in a last hope of separating Britain from Poland (H 271-2). For ourselves. If the Polish Government contested their responsibility ." During the preceding night 21 new frontier incidents had occurred. give rise to a desperate and incalculable war between Germany and England.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . T h e problem of Danzig and the Corridor would have to be solved. T h e British Prime Minister had made a speech which had done nothing towards bringing about a change in the Polish attitude. so will we act.

In his covering wire to Halifax. He was "not interested" in Western problems. since Polish provocation might compel intervention to protect German nationals. He approved of the British Empire and was prepared to pledge himself personally to its existence and to devote the might of the German Reich to that end. Hitler replied. Hitler was "absolutely calm and normal and spoke with great earnestness and apparent sincerity. he would not only guarantee the British Empire." once the German-Polish problem was settled. Germany would not have to carry on a war on two fronts. Under no circumstances would Russia and Germany again take up arms against one another. The Siegfried Line was "the final frontier of the Reich in the West." If Britain would consider these suggestions. Henderson said this was for Ribbentrop to discuss with Lipski. T o the Ambassador's comment that the offer would not be considered unless it meant a negotiated settlement with Poland. Hitler added that a war could bring Germany advantages. "He himself was a man of great decisions.3i6 Hitler's War to the last world war. Hitler retorted that Lipski had seen Goring but had been unable to propose anything new. Henderson commented that Ribbentrop was present but said little.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED ." He suggested that Henderson should fly to England to put the case to his Government. "war would be inevitable. He had always wanted an Anglo-German understanding. in economic respects also. but could not bring the slightest gain to England. "they might end in a blessing for both countries. like Britain's relations with France. PRODUCED BY UNZ. for a war of the longest duration (G 457). that his relations with Italy." If not. remain untouched. and that cognizance be taken of "Germany's unalterable resolution never again to enter into a conflict with Russia. and he would in this case also be capable of a great action. The agreement concluded with Russia was unconditional and represented a turning point in the foreign policy of the Reich with the greatest long range possibilities. but pledge German aid for its preservation and discuss limitation of armaments. All he asked was that his limited colonial demands be met—and for this "he was prepared to concede a most protracted time limit". Apart from this pact the agreements made with Russia would safeguard Germany. Henderson suggested that Ribbentrop should see Beck." As soon as the Polish-German question was settled he would make an offer (G 457." Once these were granted. Hitler said he could not guarantee this. B 68).

He did not want to turn Germany into a barracks. the 26th. Berlin feared that no Polish settlement. to be sure. With Halifax's approval. and spent the next two days in consultations regarding the British reply. On August 25. however achieved. despite Hitler's statement that "he had no interest in making Britain break her word to Poland. When Henderson insisted that the offer would get no consideration unless it meant peace with Poland. however achieved. German planes were shot at. that Beck had refused an invitation last March. like Czecho-Slovakia after Munich. 1939. then do not send it at all. If war came. Both apprehensions were fully justified. the Fiihrer declared: "If you think it useless. He wanted to end his life as an artist.Crisis: August 22-2 j 317 with Ribbentrop's concurrence. he would settle down . would satisfy Berlin unless it left the Western Powers isolated. The important thing in the eyes of the Nazi leaders was not one of substance but of form: Britain must abandon Poland. and left Poland so helpless as to convince even the Polish leaders that their State. If he did. Once the Polish question was settled. not as a war-monger. Britain would fight.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . If he did not. Behind the forms. Henderson flew to London in a German plane on Saturday morning." If London did not desert Warsaw. while Henderson and Hitler talked. The important thing in the eyes of the British leaders was also formal rather than substantive: Hitler must not use force against Poland. the Polish problem could be settled to Britain's satisfaction and an Anglo-German entente would be possible. (B 69). Germany would fight. signed by Halifax and Ambassador Raczynski. was at the mercy of the Reich. were more tangible considerations. If it did. Downing Street feared that no Polish settlement. Japan would be the only winner. would satisfy London unless it left the Reich "encircled" and left Poland as Britain's ally. . There was another case of castration. This belated instrument of eight articles pledged each party to give the other "all the support and assistance in its power" in the event of either "becoming engaged in hostilities with a European Power in consequence of aggression PRODUCED BY UNZ." He repeated that Polish persecution was intolerable. . the tentative Anglo-PoUsh arrangements were converted into a formal Agreement of Mutual Assistance. the Polish problem could be settled to the Reich's satisfaction and an Anglo-German entente would again be possible.

P 91) . G 459. Each State would inform the other of its mutual assistance pacts.^ It is noteworthy that in this pact of alliance London granted to Warsaw what it had been unwilling to grant to Moscow—i. 6). the right at its discretion to resist "indirect aggression" and to protect its security by resisting threats to the independence and security of third States.3i8 Hitler's War by the latter against that Contracting Party" (Art. 1939. MiHtary and diplomatic consultation was envisaged.000 to finance Polish purchases in Britain. the independence of either in such fashion "that the Party in question considered it vital to resist it with its armed forces. PRODUCED BY UNZ. Cf.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . The Agreement was to come into force at signature. or to strangle Poland economically. in this case Danzig or Lithuania. 7). The KremUn had asked a similar right in the Baltic as a condition of an Anglo-Soviet pact. In the event of hostilities resulting from appHcation of the Agreement. directly or indirectly. and if the aggressor embarked upon hostilities they would apply Article I. with third States. Beck insisted upon reserving freedom of action to take military measures not only in the event of armed aggression against Poland but also in the event of German efforts to instigate revolution within Poland.e. the signatories would not conclude an armistice or peace treaty save by mutual consent (Art. In the treaty and in all discussions in the Polish capital. Against attempts to undermine the independence of either "by processes of economic penetration or in any other way. The same obligation applied to any action by a European Power clearly threatening. 3) would support one another in resistance. nor "create new obligations between the Contracting Party not participating in these undertakings and the third State concerned" (Art. Downing Street would have 1 Text also published as Cmd." The same would be true of hostilities resulting from action threatening the independence or neutrality of another European State "in such a way as to constitute a clear menace to the security of that Contracting Party" (Art. Cmd. On August 2 an Anglo-Polish Guarantee Agreement had been signed in London by Hudson and Raczynski for a loan of £8. or to jeopardize Polish security by subverting the independence or neutrality of third States. to be valid for five years and to remain in force thereafter subject to denunciation by six months' notice (B 19. past and future." the signatories (Art. Such pacts would neither limit the obligations of Britain and Poland toward one another. 6093. 6101. 2).163. i ) .

just as in April they had been willing to guarantee Poland but not the U. The British statesmen may have been unwilling hitherto to grant such a right to either Warsaw or Moscow and may have changed their views after the resulting failure of the negotiations with the U. presumably to check atrocity stories.S.R. He instructed Kennard to urge upon Beck acceptance of possible proposals for (i) a corps of neutral observers. Hahfax doubtless hoped that the pact of August 2 5 might soften Polish stubbornness through removing fears of abandonment by the Western Powers. and (2) an exchange of populations as an element in any negotiations and as a pledge to Berlin of Polish sincerity. "If action is to be taken by the Polish Government in this sense it ought to be done immediately" (B 71. An Allied frontal attack on Polish intransigence seemed certain to fail. Beck agreed to the latter suggestion and PRODUCED BY UNZ.Crisis: August 22-2^ 319 none of it. Although he had just received a long report from Lipski (P 93) on the persecution of the Polish minority in Germany—a matter which London and Paris did not propose to consider.).S.R.S.. But the unrealists in Warsaw were no more disposed to make Anglo-French policy the touchstone of their attitude toward the Reich than were the unrealists in London and Paris disposed to make their own obligations contingent on Soviet policy. Halifax tried a flanking movement by putting minority problems to the fore. August 26. or to grant Poland a free hand against small neighbors and not to grant such a privilege to the U. Since Berlin could be expected to yield up nothing of its earlier demands (made "once and for all. While he firmly closed the door on Hitler's hopes of British desertion of Poland. Or they may have been willing to grant to Warsaw what they could not bring themselves to grant to Moscow. 5 p.S." said Hitler).R.m. as the Nazi press was doing. Warsaw must be induced to modify its opposition to these demands. That Chamberlain appeared to be making it filled the Fiihrer with contempt and fury and drove him farther along the road to war. against attack. Halifax to Kennard. If any compromise was possible. Halifax sought simultaneously to promote a German-Polish compromise. To treat the realm of Smigly-Rydz as a "Great Power" and that of Stalin as a negligible quantity. rather than territorial issues. the best that Hahfax could hope for was that Hitler would not go beyond them.S.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . was a mistake which Hitler did not make.S.

whether Downing Street and the Quai d'Orsay gave Poland a completely "blank check" with respect to Danzig and the Corridor. . The Ambassador warned him "there was no time to lose" and asked him again to inform London of any Polish action contemplated as the result of any ^ait accompli at Danzig. however. Since the Vatican had made inquiries as to how it might help. Nothing further appears in the documents now available. Kennard suggested that Beck tell the Pope to tell Berhn of Warsaw's willingness to consider an exchange of populations and the use of neutral observers. Beck at once and telephone reply (B 73. the Allied diplomats in Berlin and Warsaw recognized that the "minority problem" would not be discussed by Wilhelmstrasse apart from the future status of the Free City and of Pomorze. Cf. .ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . but "made the reservation that a situation might arise where immediate action would be necessary" (B 72). It may be doubted. Beck assented.320 Hitler's War promised to discuss the former with the Cabinet. As Polish Government appear in their reply to President Roosevelt to accept idea of direct negotiations. Whether these steps represented the limits of Anglo-French "advice" to Warsaw is uncertain. The published dispatches. The attempt to initiate negotiations through the Vatican or through London seems curious in view of the fact that the German Embassy in Warsaw and the Polish Embassy in PRODUCED BY UNZ. Noel regretted this as "a reservation made with a view to some wholly unpredictable eventuality" (F 247). P 95). Government earnestly hope that in the light of the considerations set forth in foregoing paragraphs [referring to the alliance and to safeguarding of Poland's essential interests in any settlement through an international guarantee] Polish Government will authorize them to inform German Government that Poland is ready to enter at once into direct discussion with Germany. Please endeavor to see M. We should not consider intimation by Polish Government of their readiness to hold direct discussions as in any way implying acceptance of Herr Hitler's demands. reveal advice only on the former issue. H. but apparently neither he nor Kennard insisted that it be withdrawn. M. however. Despite the atrocity stories which filled the German press. On August 28 HaUfax wired Kennard about the proposed reply to Hitler. . Beck agreed to consider this.

because he knew too well what had happened to Schuschnigg. and consequently tend to safeguard the territorial status quo" (F 252). Coulondre. Polish Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . Both Warsaw and Berlin had indicated a desire for "direct negotiation. August 26 Bonnet wired Noel to push Coulondre's original suggestion (F 249). except for routine matters (cf. got the impression from Noel that Henderson had suggested an exchange of populations to Hitler (P 92).m. but said Warsaw could not take the initiative in proposing negotiations with Germany on this basis "for fear that Herr Hitler should misunderstand their intentions" (F 258." wrote Henderson. even though he did not reject the Anglo-French suggestions as to a possible point of departure. as in the Tyrol (F 246). What to do? There were hopes that Hitler would be content with his earlier demands regarding Danzig and the Corridor. And Beck would not initiate them. Coulondre. Count Jean Szembek. He agreed (August 26). vigorously urged Beck to accept both the proposals for neutral observers and those for an exchange of minorities (P 92). Kennard and Noel. Henderson. P 92). 5). and only an outside channel could serve for the inauguration of Polish-German discussions. who were less worried about Polish surrender than about Polish refusal to make any concessions. "all personal contact between Warsaw and Berlin was suspended" (Final Report. P 147).20 a. as Noel put it. He reported a comment by Lipski: "What the Germans want is to be able to lay hands on Poland and one day have the Polish army at their disposal" (F 248). Benes." But Ribbentrop would not initiate them because Poland had rejected earlier invitations. and Lipski had agreed that this was "a most interesting idea" and should be pressed on Warsaw at once. Bonnet and Noel seized upon the suggestion on the ground. feared any pressure which might demoralize Poland. and Hacha. that this would "bring the problem into the field of nationality questions. At 2. p. and that Warsaw PRODUCED BY UNZ. having in mind the precedent of Prague. Coulondre had phoned Bonnet shortly after midnight August 2 5 that Henderson had asked Hitler whether he would consider an exchange of populations.Crisis: August 22-2^ 321 Berlin were still open for business. "From the end of March till the end of August. But Ribbentrop and Beck were boycotting each other's agents.

260. In this case. Hitler in fact preferred to leave his territorial demands vague and concentrate on minority grievances. and the confusion with which they sought to grapple with it. and if so. that Hitler might still be satisfied with such a solution and on the further hope that Warsaw could be brought to accept it. it soon appeared. As to whether HaHfax and Bonnet urged Beck to accept them. or on the first erroneous report of Coulondre. they were gambling on the hope. when. Whether Warsaw. Warsaw had rejected the earlier demands in October. now enjoying a British guarantee. The second hope was never to be realized. in January. doubtless hoping thereby to obviate the need of considering the status of Danzig and the Corridor or of pressing Warsaw to accept German demands which Beck had already turned down. But Hitler. the evidence of the record is not conclusive as to his decision (on August 25-26) to reject any and all compromises and to confound his enemies by threats and delays until he should PRODUCED BY UNZ. The deliberate spreading of confusion and doubt as to his intentions was part of Hitler's invariably successful strategy in dealing with the democracies. had not proposed any exchange of populations. using these as a wedge to split Poland and Britain and to weaken Warsaw's will to resist. But it appeared by evening that Hitler had made no allusion to the "April" proposals and that he had made no comment at Henderson's mention of past exchanges of populations in the Balkans (F 259. The first hope was either premature or belated. The hesitant maneuvering of the diplomats amid this fog of doubt reveals clearly the insoluble dilemma in which London and Paris had involved themselves. there is no available evidence. namely. Here too he preferred to be noncommittal. London and Paris also preferred to leave territorial questions in abeyance and to urge Polish acceptance of an exchange of populations. thanks in part to Hitler's tactics. the return of Danzig and access to the Free City across the Corridor" (F 245). could be induced to accept these demands was doubtful.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . and again in March before it had received any British guarantee—a point of which Chamberlain made much in refutation of Hitler's contention that Polish intransigence was due to British support. If they did. however. Coulondre reported to Bonnet early on August 26 that Hitler had repeated to Henderson "his claims of last April.322 Hitler's War might ultimately be persuaded to reconsider them. Corbin to Bonnet).

comparable to the ultimatum to Czechoslovakia of September 19. Poland would be as helpless as Czechoslovakia in the sequel and the Western Powers would in fact be isolated. without war—by virtue of an Anglo-French ultimatum to Poland. whatever the formulas might be. The Ambassador gives no answers to his own questions. If he did not on this occasion. indeed. compel an ally as yet unblessed with a Henlein or a Runciman to accept demands that had already been refused. 1 Henderson comments: "Nothing was now going to satisfy Hitler except a fourth partition of Poland. PRODUCED BY UNZ. yet it made no difference whatsoever to his plans.^ His purpose was rather to explore the possibilities of inducing London and Paris to treat Warsaw as they had treated Prague the year before. If he could get Danzig and the Corridor. which rest upon the assumption that the German decision for war was reached before August 25. a disposition to buy peace by surrender). as he had gotten Sudetenland. even if they would. What he was evidently playing for was an Allied demarche at Warsaw similar to that which had followed Chamberlain's flight to Berchtesgaden. had committed the Western leaders all the more desperately and uncompromisingly to their obligations of "honor" toward Poland. A careful analysis of the known facts and the probabilities casts considerable doubt on this view. as on that. this was perhaps due to his realization that Chamberlain and Daladier were committed to the course upon which they had embarked and could not easily. they were "reasonable" and bore considerable resemblance to the premature forecast of August 26.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . What. they might ultimately be "softened" sufficiently by the "war of nerves" to yield to specific demands presented plausibly and in "moderate" guise. W h y they were withheld so long and were not accepted when formulated will be examined in due course. was the underlying motive of the proposals which he handed to me on August 25? He received the fairest possible reply from H. Why then did he make those proposals? Did he genuinely have a last hesitation at the thought of war? Or was it merely with the idea of hoodwinking his German people to believe that he had tried to the last to avoid war?" (H 274). make his demands explicit. The German-Soviet pact.Crisis: August 22-2^ 323 be ready to wage war on a predetermined day. In these circumstances I am still at a loss to understand why he postponed his aggression from August 26 to September r.e. When they were finally formulated in the "16 points" of August 30. M. 1938—he was doubtless quite ready to accept a settlement on this basis. But given "good will" (i. Government. instead of having the expected effect of breaking AlKed resistance.

and has begun mobilization. I may say. I will not attack France. As you are aware. . T h e Polish provocation. practical. . but.324 Hitler's War LETTERS: C. . ." PRODUCED BY UNZ. to the worst possible treatment. T h e situation has now become intolerable. Our aeroplanes can no longer fly between Germany and East Prussia without being shot at. It is very painful for me to think that I might have to fight your country. These things have gone on long enough. I have just concluded a pact with Moscow that is not only theoretical. N o t only has the Warsaw Government rejected m y proposal. France would not tolerate it any more than Germany. Coulondre replied that on his "word of honor as a soldier" France would fight if Poland were attacked. . . Hitler asked to see Coulondre. but would do all it could to preserve peace and "would not spare its counsels of moderation to the Polish Government. . I want to state once again: I wish to avoid war with your country. . Please tell this to Premier Daladier on my behalf. . has placed the Reich in a position which cannot be allowed to continue. He requested the French Ambassador to convey a message to his Premier: he had no enmity toward France. Are you aware [he asked Coulondre emphatically] that there have been cases of castration? T h a t already there are more than 70. (F 242). our blood brothers. however.000 refugees in our camps? Yesterday seven Germans were killed by the police in Bielitz. and 30 German reservists were machine-gunned at Lodz. following Henderson's departure. but the decision does not rest with me . T H E HITLER-DALADIER AUGUST 26-27 The next episode of the crisis—an entr'acte while Hitler waited for Henderson's return from London—was an exchange of communications between Daladier and the Fiihrer.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . "Why then. . and I will reply by force to any further provocations. but it has subjected the German minority. I believe I shall win. I say again. he had renounced Alsace-Lorraine. . and you believe you will win: what is certain is that above all French and German blood will flow. the blood of two equally courageous peoples. N o nation worthy of the name can put up with such unbearable insults. . I will see it through to the bitter end. . At the end of the afternoon of August 25. he did not want war with France: Indeed I find the idea that I might have to fight France on account of Poland a very painful one." War would bring untold miseries and the real victor would be Trotsky. but if she joins in the conflict. it is painful to me to think we might come to that. .

T h e situation has now become intolerable. Our aeroplanes can no longer fly between Germany and East Prussia without being shot at.000 refugees in our camps? Yesterday seven Germans were killed by the police in Bielitz. Are you aware [he asked Coulondre emphatically] that there have been cases of castration? T h a t already there are more than 70. and 30 German reservists were machine-gunned at Lodz. I have just concluded a pact with Moscow that is not only theoretical. he had renounced Alsace-Lorraine. It is very painful for me to think that I might have to fight your country. but it has subjected the German minority. however. to the worst possible treatment. . and has begun mobilization. (F 242). These things have gone on long enough. but. "Why then. he did not want war with France: Indeed I find the idea that I might have to fight France on account of Poland a very painful one. and I will reply by force to any further provocations. . . our blood brothers." War would bring untold miseries and the real victor would be Trotsky. I believe I shall win. . I say again. He requested the French Ambassador to convey a message to his Premier: he had no enmity toward France. practical. ." PRODUCED BY UNZ. I may say. but would do all it could to preserve peace and "would not spare its counsels of moderation to the Polish Government. I will not attack France. has placed the Reich in a position which cannot be allowed to continue. it is painful to me to think we might come to that. . and you believe you will win: what is certain is that above all French and German blood will flow. I want to state once again: I wish to avoid war with your country.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . T h e Polish provocation. but if she joins in the conflict. Coulondre replied that on his "word of honor as a soldier" France would fight if Poland were attacked. . At the end of the afternoon of August 25. I will see it through to the bitter end. N o t only has the Warsaw Government rejected m y proposal. . . . Hitler asked to see Coulondre. As you are aware. . following Henderson's departure. but the decision does not rest with me . . Please tell this to Premier Daladier on my behalf. . T H E HITLER-DALADIER AUGUST 26-27 The next episode of the crisis—an entr'acte while Hitler waited for Henderson's return from London—was an exchange of communications between Daladier and the Fiihrer.324 Hitler's War LETTERS: C. N o nation worthy of the name can put up with such unbearable insults. France would not tolerate it any more than Germany. . the blood of two equally courageous peoples.

(F 242). Coulondre said they were exaggerated in the German press and could be brought to an end by France's moderating influence in Warsaw. You realize. whatever may be its results. . . . how a peoples' memory retains a horror for war and its disasters.Crisis: A ugust 2 6-2 7 325 asked Hitler. from helping to maintain Poland in her pacific inclinations. as they did 25 years ago. The Premier replied to the Chancellor's message by declaring that he owed it to Hitler and "to our two peoples to say that the fate of peace rests solely in your hands." You cannot doubt my sentiments toward Germany. such as may be envisaged between the Governments of two sovereign nations. as I do.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . to guide them along the paths of peace towards the full accomplishment of their mission in the common work of civilization. In so serious an hour I sincerely believe that no man endowed with human feelings could understand that a war of destruction should be allowed to break out without a last attempt at a pacific adjustment between Germany and Poland. . This solidarity has never prevented us. prompts me to ask you for a reply to this proposal. "did you give Poland a blank check?" The Ambassador recalled the events of March. I can also pledge my honor that there is nothing in the clear and sincere solidarity of France with Poland and her allies which could modify in any manner whatsoever the peaceful inclinations of my country. Like myself. . wants also to live in peace with Germany. Hitler recalled atrocities. . you were a soldier in the last war. Your will for peace may be exercised in all confidence in this direction without the slightest derogation from your sense of German honor. Hitler said they were increasing . If the blood of France and that of Germany flow again. My conception of your eminent role as leader of the German people. such as Poland. These two facts are easily reconciled. In mid-afternoon of August 26 Bonnet asked Coulondre to convey a personal letter from Daladier to Hitler. each of the PRODUCED BY UNZ. nor France's pacific dispositions towards your nation. In all sincerity I can assure you that there is not one of the grievances invoked by Germany against Poland in connection with the Danzig question which might not be submitted to decision by such methods with a view to a friendly and equitable settlement. and does not prevent us today. I can personally guarantee the readiness which Poland has always shown to have recourse to methods of free conciliation. . which. . I am ready to make all the efforts that an honest man can make in order to ensure the success of this attempt. you cannot doubt either that France will be true to her solemn promises to other nations. . I am perfectly sure. Unless you attribute to the French people a conception of national honor less high than that which I myself recognize in the German people. . .

this formula left the Reich free to strike when it would. Warsaw would not listen to Daladier. however. The Ambassador justified his own action to Bonnet on the ground that it might later have "some psychological effect.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . Things had already gone too far. Men would admire him." He added. In delivering this communication Coulondre commented "for forty minutes. as otherwise we should have to hold it responsible for the provocations directed against us. adding that "since yesterday the situation has become still more acute. This may perhaps be as well. some of them imaginary. that he would reply to Daladier in writing (F 261). But I must warn you that we shall strike at the first incident" (F 266). I know certainly that this is not in the minds of the French and British Governments." He asserted. France in the place of Germany would already have made war. but thanks to Anglo-French support she hoped for resurrection once more." She knew that she was going towards suicide. but the most certain victors will be the forces of destruction and barbarism (F 253. that "we can expect a happy result only if we carefully guard against giving the impression that we are on watch for any possible bargain. On August 27 Ribbentrop gave Coulondre Hitler's reply. cf. but I did not prevail. but the soldiery of that "barbarous country" had broken loose." Hitler said that Poland was "congealed in morbid resistance. When Coulondre said that there could be no way of discovering whether the German and Polish viewpoints were still irreconcilable without discussing them. with a wary eye to Bonnet's well-known weakness for playing give-away. Since the German press was reporting new incidents daily." urging Hitler "in ttie name of history and for the sake of humanity" not to reject this last chance to avert bloodshed. The Polish Government is no longer master in its own country. There were reasonable men in Warsaw. "Perhaps I moved him. G 460). His stand was taken. of German attacks on PRODUCED BY UNZ. some of them imaginary. Poland will not cede Danzig. And I desire that Danzig return to the Reich. I have simply emphasized the importance of having appearances correspond to the end to reahty" (F263). however burdensome it might be. Hitler replied: "It is useless. Mothers would bless him.326 Hitler's War two peoples will fight with confidence in its own victory. The Polish press was full of other incidents.

" It failed of its obvious purpose—to induce a French abandonment of Poland and an Anglo-French rupture. If fate decrees that our two peoples should fight one another once more over this question." He had made an offer to Poland so generous that it had shocked the German people. How would you act if a French province were separated by a corridor in possession of an alien Power? You are a Frenchman. who deems herself safe from attack by virtue of guarantees given to her. for whatever the issue of such a war. and you will not doubt my sense of honor and my sense of duty which make me act in exactly the same way. T h e Macedonian conditions prevailing along our eastern frontier must cease. N o nation with a sense of honor can ever give up almost two million people and see them maltreated on its own frontiers. Daladier. I am a German. This proved impossible. statesmen of other nations were relieved of their obligation. I am fully conscious of the grave consequences which such a conflict would involve. But he had achieved solutions without bloodshed. which they often found impossible to fulfill. Daladier. had rejected his offer and resorted to madness and terror. "By the manner in which these solutions were accomplished. Germany had renounced Alsace-Lorraine and accepted the western frontier as final. F 267). would fight with my people for the reparation of an injustice. cf. and I therefore know how you would act." Poland. the Polish State of today would in any case be lost ( G 461. JVI. but it perhaps succeeded in a more subtle purpose: that of further undermining Bonnet's weak will to resist and widen- PRODUCED BY UNZ.Crisis: August 26-2"] 327 frontier guards. I see no possibility of persuading Poland. In his reply Hitler declared that he too knew the horrors of war as a front-fighter. to agree to a peaceful solution. I therefore formulated a clear demand: Danzig and the Corridor must return to Germany. This adroit effort was perfectly phrased to appeal to the Munichmen of France. it would be from different motives. I for my part. of having to accept responsibility for this revision before their own people. . This is all the more tragic in view of the fact that many great men of your nation have long since recognized the folly of the solution found in 1919 and the impossibility of keeping it up forever. Unless we are determined under the circumstances to solve the question one way or the other. He had sought revision of the Versailles Diktat by negotiation. . "Therefore I could make it only once. I would despair of an honorable future for my country. M. . Daladier. But I think that Poland would suffer most. M. many of whom had long since been saying: "Danzig is not worth a war. incited by the British guarantee. while the others would fight for its retention.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED .

When Henderson observed. but insisted that the nature of the German-Polish settlement was fundamental. I used every argument which I could think of to induce him to see reason and come down on the side of peace" ( H 276). . Hitler said he could not agree to direct conversations with Poland until he had studied the British note.00 p. The note agreed that a German-Polish settlement was the pre-requisite for any Anglo-German negotiations on larger issues. he was conciliatory and calm.3 O At 5. He expressed interest in a possible exchange of populations and said he would give his reply the same day. After a roll of drums Dr. Schmidt at 10. head of the Chancellery staff. Ribbentrop and Dr. with Henderson.m. Meissner. . Whether the drama to follow would be Siegfried or Gotterdafnmerung depended upon the flying Ambassador and his message. "I am in no hurry. . Halifax and others cooperating.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . saying that this was for Berlin and Warsaw to settle by free negotiations on a basis of equality. At the door was a guard of honor. National demoralization throughout the Repubhc during the next nine months was to show the correctness of the Fiihrer's larger calculus. the Corridor and "territorial rectifications" in Silesia. For the moment. his threats were but the confused stage thunder of a Wagnerian Vorspiel. The Fiihrer seemed to the Ambassador "friendly and reasonable and appeared to be not dissatisfied with the answer I had brought to him. "But I am" (F 287). Its authorship was doubtless mixed. save for the three days preceding Munich.30. safeguarding essential Polish interests and under an international guarantee. Although non-committal. said he was glad to see Henderson wearing the customary red carnation which the Ambassador had always affected. Bonnet's behavior on September 1-2 was to show his mettle anew. The British reply to Hitler's note of the 25th was not written in Chamberlain's usual circuitous style. Henderson refused to be drawn into a discussion of specific claims." the Fiihrer replied. For Germans who knew Henderson it had become a symbol of optimism.328 Hitler's War ing the internal schisms in France. PRODUCED BY UNZ. THE " U L T I M A T U M " : AUGUST 2 8 . D. August 28 Henderson's plane brought him back to Berlin where he was received in the Chancellery by Hitler. Hitler said he must have Danzig.

with Henderson. Hitler said he could not agree to direct conversations with Poland until he had studied the British note. saying that this was for Berlin and Warsaw to settle by free negotiations on a basis of equality." the Fiihrer replied. Its authorship was doubtless mixed. "But I am" (F 287). Hitler said he must have Danzig. Meissner. his threats were but the confused stage thunder of a Wagnerian Vorspiel. At the door was a guard of honor. the Corridor and "territorial rectifications" in Silesia. THE " U L T I M A T U M " : AUGUST 2 8 . The note agreed that a German-Polish settlement was the pre-requisite for any Anglo-German negotiations on larger issues.328 Hitler's War ing the internal schisms in France. "I am in no hurry. but insisted that the nature of the German-Polish settlement was fundamental. he was conciliatory and calm. Ribbentrop and Dr. For the moment. PRODUCED BY UNZ.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED .00 p. save for the three days preceding Munich. .30. I used every argument which I could think of to induce him to see reason and come down on the side of peace" ( H 276). . When Henderson observed. head of the Chancellery staff. He expressed interest in a possible exchange of populations and said he would give his reply the same day. Schmidt at 10. The British reply to Hitler's note of the 25th was not written in Chamberlain's usual circuitous style. .3 O At 5. National demoralization throughout the Repubhc during the next nine months was to show the correctness of the Fiihrer's larger calculus. The Fiihrer seemed to the Ambassador "friendly and reasonable and appeared to be not dissatisfied with the answer I had brought to him. After a roll of drums Dr. Whether the drama to follow would be Siegfried or Gotterdafnmerung depended upon the flying Ambassador and his message. For Germans who knew Henderson it had become a symbol of optimism. Henderson refused to be drawn into a discussion of specific claims. August 28 Henderson's plane brought him back to Berlin where he was received in the Chancellery by Hitler. said he was glad to see Henderson wearing the customary red carnation which the Ambassador had always affected.m. Halifax and others cooperating. safeguarding essential Polish interests and under an international guarantee. D. Although non-committal. Bonnet's behavior on September 1-2 was to show his mettle anew.

The condition which the German Chancellor lays down is that there must first be a settlement of differences between Germany and Poland. M. These proposals are of course stated in very general form and would require a closer definition. the safeguarding of Poland's essential interests and the securing of the settlement by an international guarantee. Government feel compelled to point out that an understanding upon both of these is essential to achieving further progress. his message is silent. In connection with these last. and they recall that in his speech of April 28 last the German Chancellor recognized the importance of these interests to Poland. M. if differences between Germany and Poland are peacefully composed. to proceed so soon as practicable to such discussion with a sincere desire to reach agreement. M. Government are fully prepared to take them. M. H. Government hope the German Government would for their part PRODUCED BY UNZ. Government have obligations to Poland by which they are bound and which they intend to honor. as subjects for discussion and they would be ready. They have already received a definite assurance from the Polish Government that they are prepared to enter into discussions on this basis. for any advantage offered Great Britain. Government entirely agree. turns upon the nature of the settlement and method by which it is to be reached. Government consider it essential for the success of the discussions which would precede agreement that it should be understood beforehand that any settlement arrived at would be guaranteed by other Powers. the importance of which cannot be absent from the Chancellor's mind. with some additions. H. In the opinion of H. They could not. Everything. to make their contribution to the effective operation of such a guarantee. a reasonable solution of the differences between Germany and Poland could and should be effected by agreement between the two countries on lines which would include the safeguarding of Poland's essential interests. acquiesce in a settlement which put in jeopardy the independence of a State to whom they have given their guarantee. and H.Crisis: A ugust 28-30 329 The Chancellor's message deals with two groups of questions: those which are matters now in dispute between Germany and Poland and those affecting the ultimate relations of Germany and Great Britain. Government it follows that the next step should be the initiation of direct discussions between the German and Polish Governments on a basis which would include the principles stated above—namely. In the view of H. M. M. The German Government wUl be aware that H. But as was stated by the Prime Minister in his letter to the German Chancellor of August 22 H. Government. if desired. On these points. Government observe that the German Chancellor has indicated certain proposals which. As to that. he would be prepared to make to the British Government for a general understanding. M. H. M. subject to one condition. M. however. and H. M. but H. Government would be ready.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED .

The note went on to argue the urgency of suppressing incidents and preventing the circulation of unverified reports in order to allow time for a full examination of the possibility of settling minority questions. providing that the external forms of "free negotiations." This sentence was taken to mean that London had induced Warsaw to accept such terms as Berlin might draw up." The Fiihrer spoke of Polish madness and of "annihilating" Poland. I observed that it had been made in the form of a dictate and therein lay the whole difference. it was not unnatural that Hitler and Ribbentrop drew the conclusion suggested. If. would have no hope of acceptance. such discussion led to agreement.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . PRODUCED BY UNZ. "Such an outcome would be a calamity without parallel in history" (B 74." The choice was his. his army was "eager and ready for battle". G 463). This was not at all the British conception of the kind of German-Polish discussions contemplated. He had to satisfy his people." Failure to achieve a just settlement between Germany and Poland might plunge the whole world into war. if that. there was no hope of a peaceful solution. But since this had been the pattern of all of Hitler's "bloodless victories" and represented the only conception of "negotiations" which the Nazi leaders knew. he could not tolerate further persecution of Germans. Government hope. He said his original offer had been contemptuously refused and he would not make it again. Henderson was not successful in disabusing them. "He had offered a corridor over the Corridor in March. M. the way would be open to the negotiation of that wider and more complete understanding between Great Britain and Germany which both countries desire. He said in the discussion of August 28 that if Hitler "put forward immoderate demands. and I must honestly tell him that anything more than that. world co-operation could be anticipated to effect "the transition from preparation for war to the normal activities of peaceful trade. If Hitler chose peace. I begged him very earnestly to reflect before raising his price.330 Hitler's War also be willing to agree to this course." "Polish interests" and an "international guarantee" were preserved—as at Munich. It is clear from subsequent developments that the one sentence in this message which interested Hitler and Ribbentrop was the statement that the British Government had "received a definite assurance from the Polish Government that they are prepared to enter into discussions. as H.

the Ambassador replied that "concessions were easier of realization in a good rather than a bad atmosphere" (B 75. Something in between a too-obvious Polish capitulation and a gentlemen's compromise between equals would probably have satisfied them. Was he willing to negotiate direct with the Poles and was he ready to discuss the question of an exchange of populations? He replied in the affirmative as regards the latter (though I have no doubt that he was thinking at the same time of a rectification of frontiers). for this had been Chamberlain's method then and it was presumably his method now. By "negotiations" they doubtless meant PRODUCED BY UNZ. What did it mean to the British leaders? The answer is elusive.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . if he had been wilHng to be patient" (H l o i ) . The evil incubus of Munich played a decisive role. not on the substance (cf. he said he could not give me an answer until after he had given reply of H." He had kept his word. since his emphasis in discussing German-Polish differences was. As regards the first. that Downing Street not only had assurances that Warsaw would "negotiate. after reflection." When the Chancellor suggested immediate colonial concessions as an evidence of good intentions. Yet they knew that peace was possible only by Polish concessions. as always. On the crucial point Hitler concluded. Henderson wrote later that Hitler in Poland "could certainly have attained his ends without loss of life. 76). Chamberlain's address to Commons on August 29 (in which he incidentally rebuked the Hearst press for "inventing" and cabling an alleged text of the confidential British reply) did not create an opposite impression.Crisis: August 28-30 3 31 In the end I asked him two straight questions. Chamberlain and Halifax did not have in mind another Munich. In this connexion he turned to Herr von Ribbentrop and said: "We must summon FieldMarshal Goring to discuss it with him" (B 75). He asked Hitler now to "negotiate" and assured him that Poland was ready." When Hitler asked about British willingness to accept an alliance with Germany. Government the careful consideration which such a document deserved. all agreed that neither London nor Berlin was "bluffing. T o Hitler this meant what it had meant in 1938. He had said then that German demands could be realized without war if only Hitler would abstain from force and "negotiate. For the rest. M." but was prepared to cooperate in imposing upon Poland at least the terms of A4arch. B 77). on the formal and procedural aspects of the issues. Henderson said "he did not exclude such a possibility.

to recommend that Poland enter into negotiations with the Reich. they also reveal much more. only because the Poles believed themselves able to rely on British assistance. and it expresses in the most concise form possible the Hitler technique. But Hitler meant a Munich/ From this discrepancy in unformulated definitions arose the divergency of views regarding the key sentence in the British reply. . had expired. . in fact.332 Hitler's War steps in this direction. which manifestly was also interested in the dispatch of a Polish plenipotentiary or representative to Berlin in the last hour.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . So he chose war. you must be stronger still. In reality England did absolutely nothing toward bringing about these negotiations upon which war or peace were dependent. it is clear from the record of past events that Warsaw had extended 1 Henderson: "There had never been. G. And from this seemingly small seed there blossomed vi^ithin three brief days such flowers of evil as no man dreamed of. and even his own people were beginning to be tired of these repeated crises. was also deceived by England. . These are the naked facts which are revealed in documents published by the English. . Britain through a series of malicious intrigues and mendacity devoted its entire diplomatic mechanism to the purpose of giving Poland time to complete her mobilization and to put off Germany with evasive subterfuges.^ Up to August 28." however. Kennard consciously delayed the execution of a mission which he received from London. had not seemed the fairer prospect for them" (H 295-6). 525. It is scarcely credible that he or Ribbentrop would have acted as they did if bloody war. But it would only have been to start again once the world had recovered from the shock. . . the question of whether the British assurance of PoUsh willingness to negotiate was "sincere" is almost academic. . Supplement A). which necessarily had to be set by the Reich as a result of the Polish mobilization. namely that the British Government carried on their infamous double-dealing during the decisive days at the end of August. rests upon this point. PRODUCED BY UNZ. Given these differences in basic assumptions. . Of the two alternatives the most attractive from the point of view of his growing personal ambitions and those of the clique which was nearest to him was war. . . The British Blue Book proves conclusively that instead of promoting direct contacts between Berlin and Warsaw during the four decisive days of August 28 to 31. Polish willingness to negotiate on the moderate German proposals was not evident. 518-9. 524. 2 The official German reply to The British Blue Book asserted: "Halifax grossly duped the German Government when he declared that he had received an assurance from Warsaw that Poland was ready to negotiate. The French Government. if you wish to obtain them by negotiation. . with all the additional prestige which another bloodless success would have procured for him with his own people. Such is the role Halifax and his diplomatic aides played in the days preceding the outbreak of war" (pp. rather than a bloodless victory. 'If you wish to obtain your objectives by force. you must be strong. he might have been content for the moment. Possibly if Hitler had secured his objectives by this display of force. The Nazi thesis of British "war guilt. They not only prove England's responsibility for the war. .' That was a remark which he made to a foreign statesman who visited him that year. until the deadline. for Hitler but the two solutions: the use of force or the achievement of his aims by the display of force.

apart from Ribbentrop's subsequent allegations." These were sharply defined to include British obligations to Poland and Polish independence. since London was waiting for Berlin to reformulate its substantive demands before formulating its own suggestions to Poland. provided that the initiative should come from some other quarter. From the German point of view. From the British point of view. albeit reluctantly and with important qualifications. Downing Street's purpose was to keep the peace. Warsaw had not yet yielded to London as to substance. Downing Street was therefore prepared to urge such concessions upon Warsaw if the condition were met. and there is no proof that Halifax and Bonnet (or Kennard and Noel) pressed him on this substantive point. Downing Street was confident that substantive questions could be settled—not by German dictation in advance nor yet by an Anglo-German bar5jain. this was equivalent to a refusal to negotiate. security. In the request to Berlin -O "negotiate" and in the report to Berlin that Warsaw was willing to "negotiate.Crisis: August 2 8-^ 0 333 genera] assurances to both London and Washington of its willingness to negotiate and had even yielded to Allied pressure with respect to neutral observers and a possible exchange of minorities. If Berlin would yield to London as to procedure. it was an expression of willingness to negotiate. unless the menace to "integrity" should also be deemed a menace to Polish independence and security. he was willing to negotiate. but by German-Polish discussions. They were not defined at any time to include the "independence" of Danzig as an end in itself nor the territorial integrity of Poland. Beck had not yielded on the question of German annexation of Danzig or a corridor across Pomorze. and freedom from armed attack or economic domination. This would not be the case if Poland made small territorial concessions under conditions of free and equal negotiation." there was no "perfidy of Albion" but only an jnwillingness to accept what proved to be the Nazi definition of PRODUCED BY UNZ. and was thus ready to meet German desires as to substance—if German desires could be restricted to the scope indicated. On the procedural point.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . effectively guaranteed by other Powers. though not this time at the price of sacrificing "vital interests. that Downing Street deliberately "deceived" Berlin or Paris or Warsaw in order to "provoke" war. Warsaw had yielded to British demands as to procedure. There is no evidence.

This cannot be regarded. the German Government are nevertheless prepared to accept tht English proposal. . ." At the end of a crisis which had originated over questions of herring and margarine. andl only seeing their efforts rejected by the abrupt initiation of measures of I a military character in accordance with the general development indicated above. the German Government on their part regret at the outset that they are unable to share such an opinion.334 Hitler''s War "negotiation. . T h e German Government desire in this way to give to th( British Government and to the British people a proof of the sincerity o PRODUCED BY UNZ. as evidence that the fate of civiHzation depends upon trivialities. Hitler and Ribbentrop stated more definitely than before what they desired: . . T h e y do so solely. T h e y further consider they may assume that the British Government entertain no doubt 1 on the fact that this is a state of affairs which can no longer be remedied ! in a matter of days or even weeks but for which perhaps only a few hours yet remain. The text of the reply rehashed old complaints and asserted that Germany could not tolerate further Polish persecution of Germans. For in view of the disorganized state of Poland we must at any moment be prepared for the possibility of events occurring { which Germany could not tolerate. . a copy of which had already been sent by plane to London. and to enter into direct discussions. T h e German Government note with satisfaction that the British i Government are also convinced on principle that some solution must be found for the state of affairs which has now developed. If the British Government still believe that these grave differences can be solved by direct negotiations. 80). Despite their skeptical judgment of the prospects of such direct nego tiations. The Fiihrer was "far less reasonable" than yesterday and the interview was "stormy" (B 79.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . T o resume: early in the evening of August 29 Henderson was summoned to receive Hitler's reply. however. because—as already emphasized—the written communication received froii the British Government gives them the impression that the latter alsr desire a friendly agreement along the lines indicated to Ambassado> Henderson. a world was condemned to death because of a difference of views over a question of diplomatic etiquette. The Nazi press that day had reported five more Germans killed. without meeting with the support of the Polish Government. It was ratlier a sign that the schism of the West had become incurable and fatal. Theyj have already tried to open up a way for peaceful negotiations of thisi nature.

the German Government are no longer in a position to take upon themselves any guarantees.R. if he came. Keitel and Brauchitsch among them.S." He asked whether a Polish plenipotentiary.Crisis: A ugust 28-30 335 the German intention of arriving at a state of permanent friendship with Great Britain. 293). without the co-operation of the U. Hitler and Ribbentrop heatedly denied this and declared that the request only emphasized the urgency of the moment with two mobilized armies facing each other and Germans being "massacred" daily in Poland. and. cf. noting with foreboding that the anteroom of the Chancellery was full of officers. T h e y expect his arrival on Wednesday. the German Government never had the intention. sounded like an ultimatum ("hatte den Klang eines ultimatums'''). F 299. he said. if possible. F 291.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . B 78). would be well received and whether the negotiations would be conducted on a basis of full equality. From this point forward the issue for Hitler and Ribbentrop. despite their denial that their demand was an "ultimatum. or to participate in any guarantees. "Of course" (B 79. the German Government therefore agree to accept the proposed intermediation of the British Government to send to Berlin a Polish representative invested with plenipotentiary powers. of attacking vital Polish interests or of questioning the existence of an independent Polish State. As he read through the note. 1939. Under these conditions. in their proposals. H 278-9. Henderson nevertheless departed in deep gloom. T h e German Government nevertheless feel bound to point out to the British Government that in the case of a reorganization of the territorial conditions in Poland. He observed to Meissner as he went out that he feared he should never wear a red carnation again in Germany. Hitler replied. August 30. Henderson retorted hotly to Hitler's assertion that he "did not care how many Germans were being slaughtered. The issue for Downing Street was whether the Fiihrer would stay his sword while all sides sought to arrange PRODUCED BY UNZ. Moreover. This. T h e German Government will immediately draft the proposals for a solution acceptable to them." was whether Britain could produce a Polish plenipotentiary by the close of Wednesday.S. Henderson made no comment until he reached the passage calling for the arrival of a Polish plenipotentiary on the following day. will make such proposals available for the British Government also before the Polish negotiator arrives ( G 464.

That they did not is no proof of bad faith. Henderson conveyed this view to Wilhelmstrasse at 4 a. knowing that this would mean substantive surrender as well. in Poland's own interest. W e hope you may receive our reply this afternoon" (B 81).m. It might be well for you at once to let this be known in proper quarters through appropriate channels. They were not prepared to compel Warsaw to capitulate in advance to terms which were not to be defined until the arrival of a plenipotentiary. unreasonable to expect that we can produce a Polish representative in Berlin today. did not make strenuous efforts to produce a Polish plenipotentiary in Berlin. but by the use of force. if that sufficed. and "implored him. August 30 he wired: "We shall give careful consideration to German Government's reply. as Ribbentrop later alleged. Neither were they prepared to insist that Poland must send to Berlin by a specified hour an envoy who would have no option but to accept German terms in the name of his Government or to expose his country to immediate invasion. The central fact of the next few days was that the British leaders. by a parade of strength. Telegrams came in from Downing Street all day. Henderson was thus prepared to urge Polish capitulation on the procedural question. He told the Polish Ambassador of the German reply and impressed upon him "the need for immediate action" (H 281). of course. notifying PRODUCED BY UNZ. while he drafted his report to London of the interview he had just had with the Nazi leaders. But. Halifax dissented. if it did not" (H 281). They were prepared to do what they could to initiate direct German-Polish discussions in an atmosphere of mutual restraint and concessions." he adds significantly. Henderson himself seems to have been willing enough to press Warsaw to send a plenipotentiary at once.an Government must not expect this. but it is. One transmitted a personal message from Chamberlain to Hitler. so far as their acts are revealed in the published records. He warned Lipski that Poland could not resist the Reich if it came to war. He asked Lipski to call on him on the evening of August 29. and Germ.m.336 Hitler's War negotiations. to urge his Government to nominate without delay someone to represent them in the proposed negotiations at Berlin. "I was equally under no illusion as to what this meant. At 2 a.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . and I telegraphed at the same time to Lord Halifax to the effect that Hitler had made up his mind to achieve his ends.

On the 28th he had asked Kennard to tell Beck. that London "ardently hoped that the Polish Government would be willing to authorize it to inform the German Government that Poland was ready to enter immediately into a direct discussion PRODUCED BY UNZ. The new formula of the repentant Munichmen had brought them to a desperate pass in the absence of a Great Coalition which could deter Hitler from recourse to violence. this morning." all the while knowing that negotiation meant a shameful and dangerous surrender for which he had no heart. B 83. He found himself trying to convince his superiors that they should try to compel Poland to "negotiate. I had made similar observation to H e r r Hitler yesterday evening. While I still recommend that the Polish Government should swallow this eleventh-hour effort to establish direct contact with Herr Hitler. urgently and at once.Crisis: August 28-30 337 the Fiihrer of British steps at Warsaw to avoid frontier incidents and begging Berlin to take comparable precautions. Moscow was now lost—a fact which Henderson faced with almost idiotic complacency and even satisfaction. Halifax would not coerce Warsaw into yielding. one can only conclude from the German reply that H e r r Hitler is determined to achieve his ends by socalled peaceful fair means if he can. if Herr Hitler is allowed to continue to have the initiative. Nevertheless. H e added that something must be done as soon as possible. humanity. Hitler's great mistake. may also depend on detailed plan referred to in the last paragraph of the German reply. it seems to me that result can only be either war or once again victory for him by a display of force and encouragement thereby to pursue the same course again next year or the year after (B 82). of course. was his "complete failure to understand the inherent British sense of morality. Henderson did not make clear which of these equally distasteful alternatives he preferred. cf. who said that it had already been conveyed to Herr Hitler.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . Another notified Wilhelmstrasse of British "counsels of restraint" to the Poles and solicited reciprocity (H 282. 87). he felt. and freedom" (H 280). his reply being that one could fly from Warsaw to Berlin in one and a half hoars. even if it be only to convince the world that they were prepared to make their own sacrifice for preservation of peace. Much. I repeated the message this morning by telephone to State Secretary.M. but by force if he cannot. Henderson wired Halifax in the course of the morning: Your message was conveyed to the Minister for Foreign Affairs at 4 A.

Noel agreed. cf. But Beck was now willing to open direct negotiations. following German military occupation of Tiso's "independent" State. He would negotiate only if no humiliation was likely and no concessions were asked for. of.338 Hitler's War with Germany" (P 95). Aieanwhile he would prepare for war. More than this Halifax did not ask. The Polish Ambassador intends to act on these instructions when an opportunity arises" (F 278). that Slovakia was threatened by Poland (P 94. Kennard complained that this action would give the world the impression that Poland was embarking upon war. 97. On August 29 at 4 p.15 p. but added that he had no objection to the mobilization as such. There is no record PRODUCED BY UNZ. that Lipski had been authorized "to make indirect overtures with a view to settling the question of minorities by exchanges of population. The communique of August 30 avoided the use of the term "mobilization. as to what London meant by an "international guarantee" (P 96. however. Szembek read them an official communique which was about to be published." with August 31 decreed as the first day of mobilization (G 465).30 p.m. Warsaw was busy denying German atrocity stories and protesting to Slovakia over the statement by the Bratislava radio. Count Szembek summoned Kennard and Noel to inform them that German preparations had necessitated a Polish order for general mobilization. Beck accordingly delayed the public announcement for several hours (P 98). Beck agreed and so informed Raczynski and Lukasiewicz.m. 276). They asked him to inform Beck at once of their attitude. the Russian Foreign Minister of 1914. requesting more precise information. Coulondre phoned Bonnet at 6. It would be "extremely desirable" that Warsaw should await the German reply to the British note before announcing mobilization publicly." but referred to "defensive military measures" necessitated by German threats and troop movements in Slovakia (P 99). At 5. There is no evidence that Halifax or Bonnet took any initiative to prevent or postpone the Polish mobiUzation. provided there was no ultimatum or brow-beating. Anticipating objections. But Beck's attitude toward Anglo-French advice to open discussion with Berlin was somewhat similar to that of Sazonov.m. F 280).ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . F 274. August 30 the German Charge phoned Berlin that notices ordering general mobilization had been posted throughout Poland "since an hour ago. he declared that the order was irrevocable.

of course. Like Paleologue. and that the basis for any negotiations should be some compromise between the clearly defined limits of March proposals on the German side and status quo on the Polish side. suggests that: "It is possible that he was in possession of secret instructions. I am. Supplement A. did not have the significance attached to it in 1914. The Ambassador replied in a wire which reached the Foreign Office at 10 a. It PRODUCED BY UNZ. they are not as yet published. they may have preferred silence lest the Government to which they were accredited appear to their own Governments to be taking an aggressive step —and lest Paris and London bring pressure against this.Crisis: August 2S-30 339 that Kennard and Noel informed their Governments on August 29 of the imminence of Polish mobilization or advised them on the 30th of the situation in Warsaw. was a desperate and futile measure to meet an impending German attack upon Poland.m. especially after examples of Czecho-Slovakia.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . The Russian mobilization then was understood by all to be the signal for a military attack on Germany. Considering that the Polish Government.'^ At 5. Halifax wired him to 1 G. If Kennard received any further instructions on this point. T h e y would certainly sooner fight and perish rather than submit to such humiliation. obviously not mentioned in the Blue Book. standing alone and when they were largely unprepared for war. nor am I communicating to them H e r r Hitler's reply tUI I receive instructions which I trust will be without delay (B 84). however. pp. Lithuania. refused the March terms it would surely be impossible for them to agree to proposals which appear to go beyond the March terms now that they have Great Britain as their ally. 1939. expressing no views to the Polish Government. thereby possibly weakening common resistance to Berlin. France has confirmed her support and world public opinion is clearly in favor of direct negotiations on equal terms and is behind Poland's resistance to a dictated settlement. and Austria. begun August 31. 522-4.: I feel sure that it would be impossible to induce the Polish Government to send M.30 p. Petersburg in 1914. and never completed. French Ambassador in St. Mobilization in 1939. I would suggest that if negotiations are to be between equals it is essential that they should take place in some neutral country or even possibly Italy. The Polish mobilization. Halifax apparently advised Kennard early in the morning of August 30 of the German reply of the 29th and solicited his opinion. Beck or any other representative immediately to Berlin to discuss a settlement on basis proposed by Herr Hitler.m.

Halifax thus insisted that Hitler must withdraw his demand for immediate delivery of a Polish plenipotentiary and permit London to judge of the reasonableness of the German terms before putting further pressure on Warsaw. which is wholly unreasonable. If Halifax actually had played the role of honest broker.340 Hitler's War urge Polish authorities to "abstain from personal violence to members of the German minority and prevent similar violence on the part of the populace". Kennard replied that Beck had assured him that the Polish Government have "no intention of provoking any incidents. M. If Henderson thought this line a mistaken one. At 6. and stop inflammatory radio propaganda (B 85). but only affords fresh evidence of the incompatibility of the German and British concepuons of "negotiation. to undertake forthwith everything in his power to compel Poland to enter negotiations. one would assume that he would have instructed his Ambassador in Warsaw. . . ." PRODUCED BY UNZ. Here again. Halifax wired Henderson: W e understand that German Government are insisting that a Polish representative with full powers must come to Berlin to receive German proposals. contrary to the Nazi thesis. If latter think they offer reasonable basis they can be counted on to do their best in Warsaw to facilitate negotiations. . when their proposals are ready. The strange attitude of Kennard unquestionably suggests collusion with the Foreign Office. allow German fugitives to leave Poland freely. therefore. . after learning from the latter's telegram of August 28 that he had not as yet delivered the note to the Polish Government. He arranged to see Ribbenis inconceivable that an Ambassador in such a situation would refuse to carry out the instructions of his Government. The British Government. . and were confident that London "will not express any definite views on problems concerning Poland without consulting Pohsh Government" (B 86. Could you not suggest to German Government that they adopt the normal procedure. Government." despite intolerable German provocation at Danzig. ." The probability is that Halifax knew that Warsaw would not yield to any compulsion and that he had no desire to attempt it.50 p. this attitude does not demonstrate any British desire for war. . P 105). no instructions to this effect went forward to Kennard. Either Kennard's refusal to transmit his Government's instructions to Poland was a ilagrant insubordination or it was collusion.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . W e cannot advise Polish Government to comply with this procedure. . not only lied in its note of August 28. but it waited until the morning of August 31 before informing the Polish Government of the state of things in Berlin and of Germany's readiness to enter into negotiations.m. Throughout all of August 30. of inviting Polish Ambassador to call and handing proposals to him for transmission to Warsaw and inviting suggestions as to conduct of negotiations. German Government have been good enough to promise they will communicate proposals also to H . he did not say so.

Chamberlain had commented that "it was ordy Herr Hitler who could imagine that Great Britain.Crisis: August 28-30 341 trop at 11. Bonnet told Noel that Hitler "for the first time accepts the principle of a direct conversation. He therefore asked for a half-hour postponement to permit deciphering of the message. He suggested troop withdrawals to avoid incidents. .m. If Ribbentrop and Beck were to meet. in order to be reconciled with Germany. Corbin. the Polish envoy ought to be Ambassador Lipski. He was equally certain that Poland would never accept terms amounting to enslavement (F 297). but if Beck came to Berhn Hitler would humiHate him and increase his demands. he supported the steps taken by Kennard. The reply which the Ambassador brought added httle new to the British position and was regarded as irrelevant by Ribbentrop. would let herself be lured into a general conference without regard for the country to which she had given her guarantee" (F 293). asserted that the Chancellor wanted Silesia as well as Danzig and the Corridor. Ribbentrop suspected that Henderson had asked for the postponement with malice aforethought in order to arrive after midnight when the "ultimatum" expired. as in the case of Czecho-SIovakia. . it should be in some town near the frontier. F 300). Henderson received from London in code the British reply to Hitler's latest communication. "This solution would have the advantage that the Polish Government would not appear to be yielding to a time limit which has every appearance of an ultimatum" (F 296. German and Polish "vital interests" PRODUCED BY UNZ. that he would never return to his March proposals. reporting from London on the Henderson-Hitler interview of the 29th. On Bonnet's instructions.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . It would be difficult to meet it with a flat refusal" (F 294). . and that he would negotiate only if assured in advance that Poland would accept all his demands. Noel was certain that Hitler was counting on a Soviet refusal to join any "guarantee" in order that he could evade his obligations later. Shortly before he was to see Ribbentrop on August 30. August 30 to transmit these communications. French diplomacy meanwhile closely adhered to the British line. Coulondre agreed with Henderson that Warsaw should appoint a plenipotentiary. cf. It declared that Britain "could not sacrifice the interests of other friends in order to obtain an improvement" in Anglo-German relations.30 p. If the negotiations were to take place in Berlin.

M. Government feel confident that they could obtain such an undertaking from the Polish Government if the German Government would give similar assurances.. The method of contact and arrangements for discussions must obviously be agreed with all urgency between the German and Polish Governments. London felt that "these proposals will be fully examined during the discussions." Who would participate must be discussed further.) As for particular demands on Warsaw. M. but "H." (This formula was designed to avert Soviet defection and reflected anxiety lest Berlin seek to utilize such defection as a basis for claiming later that the guarantee was inapplicable. and they share the apprehension of the Chancellor arising from the proximity of two mobilized armies standing face to face. "aping Herr Hitler at his worst. Government's view it would be impracticable to establish contact so early as today. M. Further.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . G 466).S. Government are at once informing the Polish Government of the German Government's reply. whose participation in the guarantee H. which might prevent the occurrence of incidents tending to render GermanPolish relations more difficult (B 89. They would accordingly most strongly urge that both parties should undertake that during the negotiations no aggressive military movements will take place. Government would suggest that a temporary modus vivendi might be arranged for Danzig." Cognizance was taken of German willingness "to enter into direct discussion" with Poland and to accept in principle the condition that any settlement should be made the subject of an international guarantee. H.M." Henderson reported (B 92).R.342 Hitler's War were not "incompatible. M.M. Government have stated and which in principle the German Government have expressed their willingness to accept. H. H. Government fully recognize the need for speed in the initiation of discussion. but in H. On this occasion Ribbentrop sought to impress his English visitor by a display of fury. The midnight interview of August 30 in Wilhelmstrasse would have degenerated into an open brawl save that the Ambassador was an English gentleman and the Foreign Minister had long aspired to be an English gentleman. The Ambassador urged that complete restraint in German-Polish relations was possible only if the German minority refrained from PRODUCED BY UNZ." The note continued: H. It can then be determined how far they are compatible with the essential conditions which H.M.S. Government have always assumed. M. Government hoped that to avoid loss of time the German Government will take immediate steps to obtain the assent of the U.

threw it on the table and said it was "iiberholt" (outdated). M. If not.Crisis: August 28-30 343 provocations. "who always mistook rudeness for strength. Henderson asked if the proposals were ready and could be given to him. after all. Henderson went on. When he asked to see the document the Foreign Minister. Ribbentrop denounced Polish outrages and said he could not even consent to discuss the matter. "I returned to H. had counted on the arrival of a Polish envoy by midnight. asked Henderson. "rather gabbled through to me as fast as he could in a tone of the utmost scorn and annoyance" ( H 284). Since none had arrived. why did he not hand over the proposals and also transmit them to Lipski for communication to Warsaw? Ribbentrop retorted! angrily that for him to invite the Polish Ambassador to come to see him would be "utterly unthinkable and intolerable. But it was for Hitler to decide. Germans were reported to be committing acts of sabotage. Henderson retorted that Hitler had told him the day before that Germany had already mobilized. it might be different. the German note of the preceding evening was. it would use its influence in Warsaw to achieve a settlement. "convinced that the last hope for peace had vanished." wrote Henderson. Ribbentrop's reply was that British intervention had produced only one tangible result: Polish mobilization. Embassy that night. as Henderson put it. Henderson expressed surprise at hearing such language from a Foreign Minister (B 91). These were the " 16 points" of which Henderson was able to follow only the general drift. the Foreign Minister replied that it had had "cursed" little effect. continued Ribbentrop. Then. Germany. there was no longer any question of proposals. If London were given a copy and concluded that the proposals were reasonable. and told him of Ribbentrop's proposals which he understood included cession of Danzig and a plebiscite in the Corridor." He nevertheless saw Lipski at 2 a. and "were not on the PRODUCED BY UNZ." flatly refused. Ribbentrop read out in German at top speed a long document—or. When Henderson said that London had constantly given moderating advice at Warsaw. an ultimatum? Ribbentrop emphatically denied this.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . He said that London could not advise Warsaw to dispatch a plenipotentiary at once to Berlin and felt that the Reich should transmit its proposals to Lipski." If Lipski asked him for an interview. But in order to show what Germany had intended to propose.m.

ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . Both Henderson and Lipski realized. (Cf." In view of Ribbentrop's mood he suggested that Lipski recommend to Beck that Warsaw propose a meeting between Smigly-Rydz and Goring. They were in all respects moderate and reasonable by any standard of judgment. Germany should be granted an extraterritorial traffic zone one kilometer wide.344 Hitler's War whole too unreasonable. German and Poles alike. 1918. should decide whether to join Germany or remain Polish through a plebiscite participated in by all persons. "Danzig shall be forthwith returned to the Reich." The Corridor between the Baltic. if Halifax and Beck did not. Polish rights in Danzig would be respected in return for a grant of similar German rights in Gdynia. with the exception of Gdynia which was recognized as Polish territory. If Germany won. All complaints about treatment of minorities would be investigated. Kulm. 92. Poland should be granted a similar zone to Gdynia. The "16 points" which Ribbentrop refused to transmit in writing either to Henderson or to Lipski were wholly alien to the spirit of Nazi diplomacy. The Reich was prepared to negotiate an exchange of populations in the event of a German electoral victory. If Poland won.) E. Berlin and Warsaw would exempt members of their respective German or Polish minorities from military service and conclude new agreements to safeguard their PRODUCED BY UNZ. that it was no longer the eleventh hour. Bromberg and Schonlanke. G 466. An absolute majority of the votes cast would decide title. as well as Hela Peninsula. but long past midnight. H 283-7. The plebiscite should not take place until twelve months had elapsed. B 91. THE F I N A L E : AUGUST 3 I Many mysteries regarding motives becloud this curious talk between the former wine-vendor and the diplomat of Rauceby Hall during the small hours dividing the last Wednesday from the last Thursday of peace. or born in the territory on or before that day. he sent Charge Prince Lubomirski by motor car and plane to Warsaw (P 147). Not trusting telegraphic communication. Lipski assented. Marienwerder. Polish authorities should meanwhile evacuate the Corridor in favor of an Anglo-French-Soviet-Italian Commission with sovereign rights. with reciprocal indemnification for all damage suffered since 1918. domiciled in the territory on January i. Both ports would be demilitarized.

92. as well as Hela Peninsula. Marienwerder. "Danzig shall be forthwith returned to the Reich. Poland should be granted a similar zone to Gdynia. that it was no longer the eleventh hour. The Reich was prepared to negotiate an exchange of populations in the event of a German electoral victory. Both Henderson and Lipski realized. Germany should be granted an extraterritorial traffic zone one kilometer wide. should decide whether to join Germany or remain Polish through a plebiscite participated in by all persons. Polish rights in Danzig would be respected in return for a grant of similar German rights in Gdynia. German and Poles alike. if Halifax and Beck did not. Lipski assented. THE F I N A L E : AUGUST 3 I Many mysteries regarding motives becloud this curious talk between the former wine-vendor and the diplomat of Rauceby Hall during the small hours dividing the last Wednesday from the last Thursday of peace. They were in all respects moderate and reasonable by any standard of judgment. Berlin and Warsaw would exempt members of their respective German or Polish minorities from military service and conclude new agreements to safeguard their PRODUCED BY UNZ. domiciled in the territory on January i. All complaints about treatment of minorities would be investigated. (Cf. H 283-7. Kulm. The plebiscite should not take place until twelve months had elapsed." The Corridor between the Baltic. An absolute majority of the votes cast would decide title. Polish authorities should meanwhile evacuate the Corridor in favor of an Anglo-French-Soviet-Italian Commission with sovereign rights. 1918. If Germany won. G 466. B 91. with the exception of Gdynia which was recognized as Polish territory. Bromberg and Schonlanke.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . If Poland won. with reciprocal indemnification for all damage suffered since 1918. Not trusting telegraphic communication. or born in the territory on or before that day. he sent Charge Prince Lubomirski by motor car and plane to Warsaw (P 147). The "16 points" which Ribbentrop refused to transmit in writing either to Henderson or to Lipski were wholly alien to the spirit of Nazi diplomacy. Both ports would be demilitarized.344 Hitler's War whole too unreasonable.) E. but long past midnight." In view of Ribbentrop's mood he suggested that Lipski recommend to Beck that Warsaw propose a meeting between Smigly-Rydz and Goring.

If guaranteed effectively by the Powers (and Soviet participation would have made such a guarantee far more viable than the empty Anglo-French guarantee to Prague). Whether Polish opinion could have been prevailed upon to accept these terms will never be known. Had these terms been made known on August 30. the terms implied no threat to Polish independence or security. along with Coulondre. Halifax and Chamberlain.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . W h y did Hitler. consider such a phenomenal moderation of his own demands? Why. such acceptance would have been embarrassing in the extreme to the Reich authori- PRODUCED BY UNZ. Beck. and if followed by moderation on both sides. Moscicki and Smigly-Rydz could doubtless have imposed such a settlement had they desired to. if he had come to regard this as a possible basis for a settlement. That Henderson. Neither Britain nor France was committed to maintaining the now fictitious independence of Danzig and the sovereignty of Poland over the Corridor. would have accepted the terms and induced Warsaw to accept them is scarcely open to doubt. Bonnet. It is probable that all three leaders would have agreed to these terms if time had been allowed for reflection and for a restoration of some sense of security. and Daladier. On the hypothesis that Hitler had already decided to conquer Poland by arms.Crisis: August ^i 345 rights. with his armored divisions and bombing squadrons already poised to annihilate the Polish State. Germany and Poland would at once demobilize and agree upon measures to carry it out (G466). "Did Ribbentrop and his master not wish them to be communicated to the Polish Government lest the latter might in fact agree to negotiate? It is the only conclusion which one can draw from this episode" (H 286). Far from constituting a new Munich. it is certain that Paris and London would have pressed Warsaw to consider them and it is possible that Beck would have empowered Lipsld or some other agent to accept them. did he and Ribbentrop withhold the document from both London and Warsaw until it was "too late"? Henderson found it difKcult "not to draw the conclusion that the proposals in themselves were but dust to be thrown in the eyes of the world with a view to its deception and were never intended to be taken seriously by the German Government itself" (H 284). Should the plan be accepted. Poland was not a democracy. the terms might well have become the basis of a German-PoHsh "good neighbor" policy.

once the Soviet pact was signed. the whole Allied "peace front.346 Hitler's War ties. But the Reichswehr was Hitler's servant. In fact Hitler chose to escape all embarrassment and to avail himself of none of these opportunities by concealing the terms until midnight of August 30 and then declaring that the time for acceptance was past." feeble as it was. Once Warsaw had begun to yield. They had apparently urged invasion on August 25 and. once London and Paris had moved to press Warsaw to accept. as they had exploited Munich. France. They could have raised their price in the subsequent negotiations as Hitler had done at Godesberg. and Britain to achieve demands widely publicized since April and now accepted by Warsaw before the fighting began. have called off the war and represented Polish comphance as another bloodless victory of magnificent proportions. He had overruled it before and could do so again if he concluded that greater advantages or fewer risks were to be met with by so doing. not his master. the Nazi leaders would have been equally embarrassed. to be sure. In 1936 and 1938 Hitler had overruled his army leaders who advised caution. They were published on the eve of war as evidence of German "moderation. Nothing is known as yet of the probably divergent views of Hitler's aides as to how the Reich should engineer the final showdown with Poland. They could have exploited that victory. In 1939 it seems likely that Keitel and Brauchitsch advised war. for new objectives and a new pretext would have to be devised. They could. Henderson's conclusions seem sound. It is probable. Some of his advisers. probably including Weizsacker and Goring. would have cracked. when they were generally known about although still not officially transmitted. both within the Reich and throughout the world. doubtless urged such a course." Their "rejection" by Warsaw was presented as proof of Polish wickedness which made war unavoidable. Had Warsaw accepted the terms as late as August 31. that their forces could speedily crush Poland and ultimately defeat France and Britain. begrudged the Fiihrer every day lost thereafter. since they were confident. Even the duped subjects of the Fiihrer would have found it difficult to understand why they should fight Poland.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . for strategic and meteorological reasons. that the calculations of the Fiihrer were at once less Machiavellian and more complex. however. not out of any PRODUCED BY UNZ.

They were never officially submitted to PRODUCED BY UNZ. to mobilize as secretly as possible. would meet with British approval and eventuate in a diplomatic triumph. The course adopted combined the two strategies in an illogical and incongruous fashion. that military preparations be as open as possible to obtain maximum psychological effect. Hitler oscillated between these two conceptions. to issue a diplomatic ultimatum but not a threat to order troops into action. All of this had been done in 1938 with brilliant success. But the plans of the Reichswehr and the "wild men" for conquering and partitioning Poland and facing war with Britain and France required a wholly different diplomatic strategy. Yet the only purpose of such an entente would be to free the Reich once more to move against Russia.Crisis: August 5 / 347 passion for reasonable compromise but out of a conviction that abstention from force. by presenting it as a result of the rejection of justified German demands. but were not published in time to allow any serious consideration of them. within the Reich and among the neutrals. The terms of settlement were made studiously moderate. followed by a rapid Allied demoralization and collapse.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . Negotiations in this case could have no purpose save to befuddle the enemy in advance and render the attack plausible. Hitler sought an Anglo-German entente with apparent sincerity. coupled with plausible terms (which could later be enlarged). that they be published or at least communicated to London and Paris fairly early in the crisis to allow time for the appeasers to convert or terrorize their parliaments and publics. Here the proper course would be to frame demands belatedly and in a form calculated to insure rejection. and that a date be finally set on which German troops would march in the event of non-acceptance. and to strike unexpectedly after the ultimatum had been formally submitted and rejected. Preparations for a new Munich required that the terms of settlement be phrased in language calculated to win Chamberlain and Daladier. It might well have worked again in view of the revival of Chamberlain's hopes for appeasement and the failure of the Anglo-Soviet negotiations. Hitler had already renounced this orientation and made his entente with Moscow. German decisions suggest a confusion of counsels in high Nazi circles. as in the case of the Hapsburg ultimatum to Serbia in 1914. finally resolved by a strange compromise.

" albeit lacking all substantive content. far from being the masterpiece of consistent maneuvering toward a predetermined objective exhibited in the prelude to Munich. he himself was still wavering. but the result. When he decided upon conquest. with the generals regarding every day as precious. It may be surmised that Hitler did not wholly give up his initial plans for another Munich and decide upon mihtary conquest before August 30. A diplomatic ultimatum was issued. Despite his decision. Since the Fiihrer's decision for conquest was evidently reached on Wednesday. Hitler's earlier boasting on August 25. if it was to crush Poland swiftly." The blow was struck after the alleged rejection of proposals which had never been transmitted. Who worked at cross purposes with whom in Wilhelmstrasse it is impossible to say. almost in retrospect. and Warsaw were given no date on which troops would march. was a mere muddle. again on the Munich road. but military preparations were sufficiently publicized to beget fear. and then became. but with no terms included apart from the demand for a plenipotentiary and with emphatic denials that it was an "ultimatum. it was too late—given the vacillations of the preceding ten days—to set the diplomatic stage appropriately for this course. must act at once in order to allow several weeks for the campaign before the autumn rains should cover the Polish roads and fields with mud. since he knew that the Western Munichmen would require several weeks to "put over" a new Munich and he also knev/ that the Reichswehr. save that Hitler's Munichmen and his warriors were still at loggerheads. London.348 Hitler's War anyone until after they were public knowledge and no longer a diplomatic proposal. his day of hesitation. Paris. to justify unsheathing the sword. that he was a man of "great decisions" suggest the difficulties he was experiencing in overcoming his indecisions. The "16 points" had been drawn up to pave the road toward Munich and had then been withheld because they were ill-calculated to pave the way for conquest. August 31. By then he was scarcely free any longer to choose between the two alternatives. This ambivalence persisted through Thursday.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . an "ultimatum. Henderson attributed the further delay to Itahan efforts to restrain PRODUCED BY UNZ. the order to attack would perhaps have been given shortly after midnight of August 30-31. The demand for a Polish plenipotentiary was at first a procedural suggestion.

But regrets were now put aside for the work in hand. they would be in a position of calling upon their countrymen to risk their lives in defense of an ally as obviously lacking in political wisdom as in loyalty to its guarantors. with the "16 points" as his itinerary. for by so doing they would have repudiated their own formula of peaceful negotiation and discredited themselves utterly." They were not "rejected.R. Chamberlain and Daladier would have faced a choice even more painful than the one they actually confronted. possibly due to stormy controversies earUer in the day with Weizsacker. In the course of Thursday these doubts and quarrels were resolved and the trumpets of war were blown. The diplomatic score had been a jumble because the maestro did not know until it was more than half over which piece he wanted the orchestra to play. It was doubtless because of these considerations that London and Paris on the last Thursday did little in the way of urging upon Warsaw either acceptance or rejection of the "16 points.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . as Moscow was already doing.Crisis: August 57 349 Berlin. Had he overruled the Reichswehr and chosen the Munich road. if they would. If Warsaw accepted them. however.S. Neither were they accepted. urge Warsaw to reject such moderate proposals. Ribbentrop's conduct at the midnight meeting suggests great inner anxiety. They could not." For this at least the Western statesmen must have felt silent gratitude. a fearful spectre would arise: Beck and Smigly-Rydz. Goring and others who favored a course different from the one Ribbentrop had induced Hitler to take. If they urged Warsaw to accept them and Warsaw nevertheless rejected them.S. For them it was better that Poland be destroyed with a common German-Soviet frontier resulting (and—who could tell?—perhaps a German-Soviet quarrel over the spoils) than that Poland be obliged on their advice to reject a settlement which everybody would regard as reasonable or to accept a settlement which might PRODUCED BY UNZ." as Berlin alleged. Hitler's fumbling relieved the AlUes of a final dilemma. might well cast their lot with the Axis to save what they could from the wreckage and thus leave Hitler wholly free to attack the West. caught between Hitler and Stalin. for Hitler's war allowed no time to consider them and therefore obviated the need of "yes" or "no. For the West it would have seemed a far worse catastrophe than immediate war. This was now far more probable than a reversion to the old program of a German-Polish entente against the U.

that his Government was still prepared for direct negotiations on the basis of the principles set forth earlier by Halifax and was ready to guarantee that Polish troops would not violate the frontier if Germany would give a similar guarantee. moreover.B97). At 12. At i p. while reserving judgment on the German note.m. But it seems to me that it would certainly be to the interests of the Polish Government to inform Berlin without delay that it accepts the direct negotiations which. Weizsacker phoned to ask him if he wanted to see Ribbentrop in the capacity of a plenipotentiary or in some other capacity.40 p. it is preparing to send to M. and that. He replied that he sought an audience PRODUCED BY UNZ. The French Ambassador phoned Bonnet that "this news should not induce us to depart from the dignified composure with which the exchange of views must be conducted.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . Coulondre and Henderson urged Lipski to establish contact with Ribbentrop.350 Hitler's War leave the Western Powers completely isolated. Beck told Lipski to inform Ribbentrop that Warsaw was examining "in a favorable spirit" the British suggestion and would give a formal response within a few hours (P n o . Lipski's emissary. reached Warsaw before noon (P 147). HaUfax instructed Kennard to urge the same suggestion on Beck (B 95). Lipski reported that Coulondre and Henderson felt that Warsaw should inform Berlin that the Polish Embassy was available for discussion (P 109). But since he had obtained no enlightenment as to British intentions with respect to the "international guarantee" he was obliged to "reserve his point of view on this question" (Pio8. According to Coulondre. cf. in response to a query ordered by Halifax (B 94). the order would be given to attack (F 315). Henderson had gotten word from a reliable source that unless Warsaw sent a plenipotentiary by noon. have been suggested by the French and British Governments. Lipski asked for an audience. Lipski the necessary instructions to meet the Germans in the capacity of plenipotentiary" (F 315). but what he did there is unclear. Early Thursday morning Henderson got "from another source in touch with Goring" more details of the "i6 points" which he transmitted to Lipski. B 102). A modus vivendi in Danzig should be established. The Polish Ambassador was in phone communication with Beck until the Reichswehr severed all connections in the evening. At noon Beck told Kennard.m. At 3 p. Lubomirski.m.

If these proposals were not officially communicated to the Polish Government by Berlin. however. In conclusion M.m.cf.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . 1939.Pi47). 3rd edition. Lipski neither asked for the German proposals nor did Ribbentrop offer them. 384): "Certainly Foreign Minister Beck made a serious error when he failed to instruct the Polish Ambassador to receive these proposals [the "16 points"] in his interview on August 31. had apparently told Kennard in the afternoon that he would authorize Lipski to inform Berlin "that Poland had accepted the British proposals for negotiations" (B 104). It is unclear whether Beck acted in bad faith here or came to the conclusion indicated after the original instructions had been sent to the Ambassador. cf. Lipski was received by Ribbentrop who asked him at once if he had special full powers to negotiate. since in view of past experience it "might be accompanied by some sort of ultimatum. "I repHed no." Beck had told Kennard that if invited to Berlin "he would of course not go. But when Lipski tried to phone Warsaw after his brief interview with Ribbentrop.Crisis: August 5 / 351 as Ambassador to present a communication from his Government (P i n ) . Alfred A. He then asked me if I was informed that in response to suggestions from London the Reich Government had given its consent to negotiate directly with the Polish delegate. Knopf.^ In the latter case he presumably intended to send Lipski new instructions that evening. F 320). The Polish Ambassador merely followed his instructions to transmit Beck's message that Warsaw was "weighing favorably" the British suggestions and would give its formal answer within two hours (Bi02. Beck." since they were never officially transmitted. At 6.30 p. it was Poland's fault. Beck's tergiversation can be justified if at all only by the Polish fear that at the last minute Poland would be the subject of a new IVIunich. New York. Beck had authorized him to say that Warsaw had accepted the British proposals. but had forbidden him to accept any German document if it should be presented. He would make my demarche known to the Chancellor" (P 112). he found the wires cut. supplied with the necessary full powers. There was never any official Polish reply to the "16 points. as he had no intention of being treated like President Hacha" (B 96. Lipski first saw them in full in the extra editions of the Berlin 1 Raymond Leslie Buell comments (Poland: Key to Europe. p. who was awaited yesterday. Ribbentrop said that he had supposed that I was supplied with the necessary full powers." PRODUCED BY UNZ. I replied that I had received only indirect news on this subject.

Henderson concluded that all further efforts to initiate negotiations would be useless. and told him that if. On his return the Ambassador received a call from Weizsacker. Halifax had wired him at 12. . Henderson saw Goring. .352 Hitler's War papers Thursday evening (P 147. at the latter's invitation. P 141). Since both documents had been broadcast at 9 and Weizsacker said he could make no explanatory statement. who had just been named head of the new War Cabinet. Words can now no longer veil the aggressive plans of the new Huns. The hand stretched out by Poland was left empty" (P 136). cf.m. ." The German Government "cannot but regard their proposals as having been once more virtually rejected" (G 468).15 where he gave him the text along with an official communique. and with more reason. Henderson feared that if Goring. that he was glad that Lipski was establishing contact at Berlin and agreed that Beck should not go to the German capital. But he "did not see why the Polish Government should feel difficulty about authorizing Polish Ambassador to accept a document from the German Government. . and I earnestly hope that they may be able to modify their instructions to him in this respect. On September 2 a Polish communique asserted that the "16 points" were "only a cynical pretext for aggression against Poland. as he had heard.50 a.m. The Warsawbroadcasting station summarized the proposals at 11 p. Goring said he could not intervene." The State Secretary invited him to Wilhelmstrasse at 9.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . declaring that the Fiihrer had "now waited for two days in vain for the arrival of an authorized Polish delegate. and announced that their pubhcation two hours earher in Berlin "proves the undisguised aggressive intentions of Germany towards Poland. September i. . had nothing better to do with his time. The broadcast was necessary to prove German "good faith. at 5 p. Kennard agreed on the next day. ." The Marshal talked for two hours about Polish wickedness and the advantages of Anglo-German friendship. from whom he had vainly sought earlier in the day to secure the text of the "16 points. this must mean that everything was ready for action (H 290).m. There was no mention of PRODUCED BY UNZ. Germany is aiming at the domination of Europe and is cancelling the rights of nations with as yet unprecedented cynicism" (G 469). the "16 points" were to be broadcast that evening the last chance of peace would be wrecked.

Kennard replied Friday evening (B 101) that it would be "clearly useless for me to take the action suggested. September i Forster issued a decree proclaiming the incorporation of Danzig into the Reich— a decision reenacted later in the day by the Reichstag in accordance with Forster's plea to Hitler (P 131. He suggested that Lipski be instructed to receive the proposals. Berlin claimed that many German customs posts on the frontier were attacked by Polish troops or irregulars on Thursday." Poland had been invaded at dawn. on Friday and presented it as a "defensive" measure to meet force with force. a refusal by them to receive proposals would be gravely misunderstood by outside opinion" (B 100). Gestapo agents hurried him on his way as he fled to Kaunas (B 117). Polish "rights" in Danzig had long since been reduced to a shadow (cf. The Supreme Soviet had ratified the NaziCommunist pact on Thursday.m.m.Conquest 353 any ultimatum in the report on the German proposals which has been furnished to us. For several days there had been border clashes. CONQUEST The attack upon the Polish armies by Goring's air squadrons and the armored divisions of the Reichswehr was unaccompanied by any declaration of war. September I by Forster who told him that his functions were ended and he had best depart within two hours. with each side accusing the other of responsibility (P 116. Hitler ordered his generals to open the attack at 5.45 a.m.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . and the suggestion that the demands for the presence of a Polish plenipotentiary at Berlin on 30th August amounted to an ultimatum was vigorously repudiated by Herr von Ribbentrop in conversation with H. League Commissioner Burckhardt.M. P 106). On the other hand. Ambassador. who had been closely watched by the Gestapo since midnight of August 30. B 108). the Polish Government would naturally refuse to discuss it until the ultimatum was withdrawn. The buttons had been pressed in Berlin shortly after Lipsld's last interview with Ribbentrop. If the document did contain an ultimatum. G 470). Early the next morning Hitler unleashed his war. At 4 a. 132. Warsaw PRODUCED BY UNZ. 3. was visited at 8 a. German troops from East Prussia apparently entered Danzig before midnight of August 31-September i (P 117).

B 108). Hitler ordered his generals to open the attack at 5. 132. with each side accusing the other of responsibility (P 116." Poland had been invaded at dawn. Warsaw PRODUCED BY UNZ. Early the next morning Hitler unleashed his war. He suggested that Lipski be instructed to receive the proposals. The Supreme Soviet had ratified the NaziCommunist pact on Thursday. For several days there had been border clashes.m. G 470). Ambassador. September i Forster issued a decree proclaiming the incorporation of Danzig into the Reich— a decision reenacted later in the day by the Reichstag in accordance with Forster's plea to Hitler (P 131. If the document did contain an ultimatum. At 4 a. 3. German troops from East Prussia apparently entered Danzig before midnight of August 31-September i (P 117).ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . League Commissioner Burckhardt. On the other hand.M.m. The buttons had been pressed in Berlin shortly after Lipsld's last interview with Ribbentrop. on Friday and presented it as a "defensive" measure to meet force with force. Gestapo agents hurried him on his way as he fled to Kaunas (B 117). Berlin claimed that many German customs posts on the frontier were attacked by Polish troops or irregulars on Thursday. the Polish Government would naturally refuse to discuss it until the ultimatum was withdrawn.m. CONQUEST The attack upon the Polish armies by Goring's air squadrons and the armored divisions of the Reichswehr was unaccompanied by any declaration of war. who had been closely watched by the Gestapo since midnight of August 30. September I by Forster who told him that his functions were ended and he had best depart within two hours. a refusal by them to receive proposals would be gravely misunderstood by outside opinion" (B 100). and the suggestion that the demands for the presence of a Polish plenipotentiary at Berlin on 30th August amounted to an ultimatum was vigorously repudiated by Herr von Ribbentrop in conversation with H.Conquest 353 any ultimatum in the report on the German proposals which has been furnished to us. Polish "rights" in Danzig had long since been reduced to a shadow (cf. P 106). was visited at 8 a. Kennard replied Friday evening (B 101) that it would be "clearly useless for me to take the action suggested.45 a.

The cruiser Schleswig-Holstein. The thirty reserve divisions of the Polish Army were never assembled. 30. theoretically capable of mustering 1. blasted pathways for the German infantry with such rapidity that Polish mobilization was never completed.m.322 wounded.000 inhabitants. and a dozen other points (P 119). The formahties dated from an PRODUCED BY UNZ.404 missing. Cracow. the moves of the diplomats following the unleashing of the Blitzkrieg have the archaic flavor of a Bach fugue or an 18th century court dance. Grodno. the German forces took 694. Kutno. Huge bombing squadrons attacked Polish airdromes.45 a. By September 15 all western Poland had! been lost.572 dead. In the face of this fearful miracle wrought by the war-engines of tomorrow. Thousands of planes and tanks.354 Hitler's War claimed that German patrols and aircraft had violated the frontier at many points between August 27 and September i. At 5. The Blitzkrieg was fully under way long before noon. oil depots and rail centers at Gdynia. Warsaw was surrounded. Most of the planes of the small) Polish air force were destroyed by German dive bombers before they left the ground.500. September r (P 118). aided by an espionage service which revealed every move of the Polish Government and General Staff to the German High Command. Some forty divisions invaded southern Poland from Silesia and Slovakia and moved to join the northern army near Warsaw.000 troops for its defense. The thirty regular divisions lacked artillery and tanks and were blinded by the German air force. and 3. How many Poles perished in this wholly onesided campaign may never be known. According to Hitler's Reichstag speech of October 6. had remained beyond its allotted time and had moved to an anchorage opposite the Polish fortifications on the Westerplatte.000 prisoners and suffered losses of only 10. which had been in the port of Danzig since August 28. its guns opened fire on these positions at 4.000. Twenty-nine German divisions poured into the Corridor from Pomerania and East Prussia. The heroism of men against machines meant massacre. Within eighteen days the Third Reich had revolutionized the science of warfare and struck down a nation of 34. The remnants of the Polish forces which had escaped death or capture were in full flight toward the southeast.30 Nazi bombs began falling on the Polish air base at Puck.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . According to the Polish naval commander at Gdynia.

ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . September i he sent Prince Lubomirski. In Berlin Lipski was warned for his own safety to remain inside his Embassy or his home. had named a "Ministerial Council for Defense of the Reich. the Polish Ambassador left the capital for the Danish frontier to which he was courteously escorted in a special train.Conquest 355 epoch when Western life was leisurely and chivalrous even in war-time. "The entire nation. Germans in Poland are persecuted with bloody terror and driven from their houses. and Lammers. Roosevelt had issued an appeal on the ist to the belligerents to refrain reciprocally from aerial bombardment of civil populations and unfortified cities. On September i President Moscicki proclaimed to all the citizens of Poland that "our hereditary enemy" had attacked the Polish State. I have no other choice than to meet force with force from now on" (B 107). the sixth anniversary of his arrival in Berlin. . and has appealed to arms. Hitler's proclamation to the Reichswehr declared: "The PoHsh State has refused the peaceful settlement of relations which I desired. The German Embassy staff in Warsaw asked for its passports. Warsaw at once agreed." headed by Goring and consisting of Hess. In order to put an end to this lunacy. told Beck that he was outraged at the brutal disarmament of the Slovak forces and the transformation of his country into a base of operations against Poland (P 134). At i p. Meanwhile Hitler. Dr. blessed by God in a struggle for a just and holy cause and united with the Army. who had hastened back from Warsaw. After a day's delay he reached Copenhagen on the 5th (P 147). Frick.m. The Fiihrer PRODUCED BY UNZ. He entrusted Polish interests to the Swedish legation. and hospitals and even machine-gunned peasant women in their fields. Keitel. On September 2. . schools. One of its first decrees forbade Germans to listen to any foreign broadcasts. His request to leave by way of Hungary was refused. . Slovak Minister in Warsaw. will march in serried ranks to combat and to complete victory" (P 120). Szathmary. Wilhelmstrasse went to great pains to convey its assent to the Polish Government (P 122-130) while Nazi airmen dropped bombs indiscriminately on churches. Aloscicki and War Minister Kasprzycki made provisions for enlisting Slovak and Czech legions to aid in the "liberation" of their nations (P 133). to the German Chief of Protocol to ask for his passport. Funk. It took its leave by way of Lithuania after entrusting its interests to the Dutch legation. on August 31.

. . Without the German people these Eastern territories would be in the thrall of darkest barbarism. Up till last night it sent no plenipotentiary. fire. . These whole territories owe their cultural development solely to the German people. with increased terror. I can only regard such a statement with regret. More than a million Germans had to leave their homes as far back as 1919 a n d 1920. and blood before the cheering deputies: For months we have all been suffering under the torture of a problem. The Corridor was annexed by Poland. Danzig always was and still is a German city. In the final analysis it had not the slightest intention of fulfilling its obligations towards its minorities. My Deputies. . and it would inform England accordingly. I have likewise tried in this case to alter these intolerable conditions by proposals of peaceful revisions. Danzig was separated from us. if anyone expects Germany and the head of its government to put up with such a thing. . More than that.356 Hitler's War summoned the Reichstag on September ist and breathed righteousness. Poland unleashed the fight against the Free City of Danzig. I cannot waver for one instant in the fulfillment of my duty. which had degenerated into an intolerable one. I wish to express thanks to Italy in particular. I have given the solemn assurance and I repeat that we neither demand nor will we ever demand anything from these Western States. The German minorities living there were subjected to the cruellest abuse. . . Instead it made known through its Ambassador that it was considering for the moment whether and to what extent it was prepared to accept the English proposals. political and. finally in recent weeks. I sat with my Government for two full days waiting for the Polish Government to make up its mind whether or not it would finally send a plenipotentiary. military means. These proposals were rejected. . W e PRODUCED BY UNZ. . with further pressure on the Germans in these territories and with an attempt to throttle the Free City of Danzig by slow economic. . You will understand however that we are unwilling to call in outside help for the carrying out of this struggle. as well as interception of communications. If statesmen of the Western Powers declare that this concerns their interests. .ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . The Corridor always was and still is German. It is a lie when the claim is made that we attempted to carry out our revisions by sheer pressure. I have now decided to talk the same language to Poland that it has been talking to us for months. they were answered with mobilization. . As in the past. bestowed on us by the Versailles Treaty. It was likewise unwilling to solve the Corridor question in any way acceptable to or consistent with the interests of both parties. who has given us her support throughout this time. the German nation would deserve nothing better than to make its exit from the political stage.

I will close with the statement of faith which I once uttered when I began my struggle for power in the Reich. 1 have spent more than 6 years in building up the German armed forces. The neutral States have assured us of their neutrality exactly as we have already guaranteed ours to them. then will that determination and our German steel together shatter and conquer every adversity (G 471). . I will continue this struggle.Conquest 357 will fulfill this task by ourselves. During this time more than 90 billions have been devoted to this purpose. This pact was greeted with exactly the same enthusiasm in Moscow as you are showing for it here. I mean the bravest of its members. this time with regular troops. . . The non-aggression and consultation pact which became effective on the day it was signed was given its supreme ratification in Moscow and Berlin as well yesterday. Whoever puts himself outside the rules of the humane conduct of war can only expect us to deal likewise. I can only underline every word of Foreign Commissar Molotov's speech. That shall never again happen. In evidence of this I have again put on that old coat which was the most sacred and most dear to me of all. My confidence in them is unshakeable. until the safety and rights of the Reich are assured. his successor is Party Member Hess. . From 5. Hitler's victim looked at once to its allies for aid. Last night for the first time Poland opened fire on our own territory. poison gas will be fought with poison gas. . . in the end. Beck asked Raczynski and Lukasiewicz to inform Halifax and Bonnet of the PRODUCED BY UNZ. My whole life has been nothing but a constant struggle for my people and its resurrection and for Germany. . Germany and Russia fought opposite each other in the world war and were both. I desire nothing other than to be the first soldier of the German Reich. my first successor will be Party Member Goring. .45 this morning this fire has been returned and from now on bomb will be repaid with bomb. At that time 1 said: once our determination is so strong that nothing can overcome it. Should anything happen to Party Member Goring. . To-day they are the best equipped in the world and are incomparably superior to those of 1914. If anything should happen to me in this struggle.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . . As a National Socialist and a German soldier I enter this struggle with a stout heart. It would then be your duty to follow these men as Fiihrer with the same blind loyalty and obedience as you follow me. This contest was inspired by one single doctrine of faith—the belief in this people. I will not take it off until the victory is ours or—I shall not live to see the end. There is one word that I have never learned—capitulation. the sufferers. In case anything should happen to Party Member Hess I am now going to ordain a law for the summoning of the Senate which will then select the worthiest. . . regardless of whom it may be against.

On the 5th Raczynski wrote a letter to Churchill who had been called to his old post of First Lord of the Admiralty upon the British declaration of war. "Under these conditions a decision of the Allies which would have the effect of occupying a notable portion of the German aviation would be in the interests of all" (P 137. it will have the benefit in this struggle of the immediate aid of its allies" (P 121). but some of the members distrusted Chamberlain. Commons reassembled on the afternoon of September i. perhaps for the first time. Laborite. Commons was in no mood to temporize. James Maxton. At the beginning of hostilities there were two days of doubt as to whether the British and French Cabinets would fulfill their obligations to Poland by waging war on the Reich. in conformity with existing alliances. the Polish leaders realized. with Poland doomed. On the 3rd Beck asked Raczynski to communicate immediately to Halifax the satisfaction of Warsaw at British refusal to consider any "conference" as long as the invasion continued." The Foreign Secretary was reassuring. and old George Lansbury. The National Executive of the Labor Party issued a manifesto calling PRODUCED BY UNZ. By mid-September. E. Laborite-Pacifist. B 112). Harvey. cf.358 Hitler's War invasion: "The Polish Government. He begged Halifax to initiate aerial operations against the Reich in view of "the urgency of an immediate military action in the west. but to plead without delay for immediate military aid (P 138). resolved to defend to the end the independence and the honor of Poland. It is unlikely that any of the Anglo-French leaders had entertained any illusions on this score.000 for defense and enacted other war legislation.000. Kennard hoped that he might be "informed at the earliest possible moment of our declaration of war and that our air force will make every effort to show activity on western front with a view to relieving pressure here" (B 115). Independent Quaker.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . Only four members had voted against the Emergency Powers Bill: Cecil Wilson. On the 2nd he asked his envoys in London and Paris to make clear that almost all of the German air force was attacking Poland. expresses the assurance that. that there was no way in which France and Britain could save Poland by military action. Leader of the Independent Labor Party. T. but said that Britain "could not scatter its forces" (P 140). Other appeals produced no results. appropriated £500.

namely. He began in a mood that seemed firm: "I do not propose to say many words tonight. The British and French Ambassadors had been instructed to deliver a communication to Wilhelmstrasse: "Early this morning the German Chancellor issued a proclamation to the German A r m y which indicated clearly that he was about to attack Poland. The King called on Chamberlain in the afternoon. Government satisfactory assurances that the German Government have suspended all aggressive action against Poland and are prepared promptly to withdraw their forces from Polish territory. emphasizing that Berlin had never officially communicated to London or Warsaw the proposals whose "rejection" had led to the German attack on Poland. The War Office and the Admiralty held emergency conferences. at any rate.m. I am accordingly to inform your Excellency that unless the German Government are prepared to give H . At 6 p. In these circumstances it appears to the Governments of the United Kingdom and of France that by their action the German Government have created conditions. At 11. PRODUCED BY UNZ. H . the Prime Minister went before Parliament. He quoted from documents on the recent negotiations.. but that "since this morning shooting was taking place from the Polish side. But. Information which has reached H. an aggressive act of force against Poland threatening the independence of Poland.Conquest 359 for firm resistance ro aggression. presumably to announce the great decision. Halifax had summoned Kordt at 10. I fear that I may not be able to avoid that responsibility. which call for the implementation by the Governments of the United Kingdom and of France of the undertaking to Poland to come to her assistance. and the Germans were shooting back" (B 114).50 a.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED .m." But then he seemed to some to waver. M. Government in the United Kingdom and the French Government indicates that German troops have crossed the Polish frontier and that attacks upon Polish towns are proceeding. M. but the German Charge said he had no information regarding any attack on Poland and no communication to make.30 he phoned to say that reports of the bombing of Warsaw and other Polish towns were untrue. Eighteen months ago in this House I prayed that the responsibility might not fall upon me to ask this country to accept the awful arbitrament of war. M. The time has come when action rather than speech is called for. Complete mobilization had been ordered in the morning. I cannot wish for conditions in which such a burden should fall upon me in which I should feel clearer than I do today as to where my duty lies.

M. and the moral approval of the greater part of the world.360 Hitler''s War Government in the United Kingdom will without hesitation fulfil their obligations to Poland. 345. Henderson delivered the note to Ribbentrop at 9. G 473). Coulondre delivered an identical one at 10 (F 344. . H e insisted that he had read the "16 points" "slowly and dis- PRODUCED BY UNZ. Halifax had meanwhile wired Henderson late in the afternoon the communication Chamberlain had read and told him: "You should ask for immediate reply and report result of your interview. We have no quarrel with the German people. There is one other allusion which I should like to make before I end my speech. . Ribbentrop said that Poland was the aggressor and he could give no reply without consulting Hitler. H. except that they allow themselves to be governed by a Nazi Government. Government. M. For your own information." Chamberlain ignored a Member's question "Time limit?" and w e n t on: If a reply to this last warning is unfavorable. As long as that Government exists and pursues the methods it has so persistently followed during the last two years. which we ourselves earnestly endeavoured to avoid. In reply to any questions you may explain that the present communication is in the nature of warning and is not to be considered as an ultimatum. It now only remains for us to set our teeth and to enter upon this struggle. If out of the struggle we again re-establish in the world the rules of good faith and the renunciation of force. Ambassador is instructed to ask for his passports. there will be no peace in Europe. In that case we are ready.30 p. . If the German reply is unsatisfactory the next stage will be either an ultimatum with time limit or an immediate declaration of war" (B 109). then even the sacrifices that will be entailed upon us will find their fullest justification (B 105). He explained why he had been unable to give the Ambassador the text of the "16 points" two nights previously. that throughout these last days of crisis Signor Mussolini also has been doing his best to reach a solution.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . We shall enter it with a clear conscience. I shall then send you further instructions. W e are resolved that these methods must come to an end. why. and see one country after another attacked by methods which have now become familiar to us in their sickening technique. with determination to see it through to the end. with the support of the Dominions and the British Empire. We shall merely pass from one crisis to another. and that is to record my satisfaction.m. and I do not suggest that it is likely to be otherwise. and the satisfaction of H.

M. H. "It may be. Germany. M. Halifax and Chamberlain addressed Lords and Commons respectively. Poland. Government for their part would be willing to agree (B 116). I am inclined to believe that Herr Hitler's answer will be an attempt to avoid war with Great Britain and France. If the German Government should agree to withdraw their forces. No reply to the note had been received from Berlin. knowing little of Bonnet's maneuvers and the diplomatic exchanges going on with Rome. All day Saturday Poland and the world waited. on the understanding that the settlement arrived at was one that safeguarded the vital interests of Poland and was secured by an international guarantee. If the German and Polish Governments wished that other Powers should be associated with them in the discussion. meanwhile. for their part." said the Prime Minister. T h a t is to say. then H . Government would be willing to regard the position as being the same as it was before the German forces crossed the Polish frontier. At 7 p. Great Britain. "that the delay is caused by consideration of a proposal which. Reported Henderson: "He was courteous and polite this evening. Acting Labor leader Greenwood said he wondered "how long we are prepared to vacillate at a time when Britain and all that Britain stands for in human civilization are in peril? I do not believe that the French PRODUCED BY UNZ.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED . her towns are under bombardment and Danzig is being made a subject of a unilateral settlement by force. but not likely to be one which we can accept" (B 111).Conquest 361 tinctly and had even given oral explanations" and had hoped that on the next day Poland would have agreed to them (G 47 2)." The whole House cheered. be bound to take action unless the German forces are withdrawn from Polish territory. H . But it sat in silence when he went on to say: H . would find it impossible to take part in a conference while Poland is being subjected to invasion. Government will. This sounded to some like compromise. M. M. France. as stated yesterday. and Italy. While appreciating the efforts of the Italian Government. had been put forward by the Italian Government that hostilities should cease and that there should immediately be a conference between the five Powers.m. the way would be open to discussion between the German and Polish Governments on the matters at issue between them. T h e y are in communication with the French Government as to the limit of time within which it would be necessary for the British and French Governments to know whether the German Government were prepared to effect such a withdrawal. Government.

after the debacle to which he had contributed so much. PRODUCED BY UNZ. It is very possible that the communications which we have had with the French Government will receive a reply from them in the course of the next few hours. will believe m