Adolf Hitler's Declaration of War Against the United States (December 11th, 1941)
It has often been said that Hitler's greatest mistakes were his decisions to go to
war against the Soviet Union and the United States. Whatever the truth may be, it's worth noting his own detailed justifications
for these fateful decisions.
On Thursday afternoon, December 11, 1941, four days after
the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hitler spoke to the Reichstag in Berlin. The 88-minute address, which he had written
himself, was broadcast to the nation. In it the German leader recounted the reasons for the outbreak of war in September
1939, explained why he decided to strike against the Soviet Union in June 1941, reviewed the dramatic course of the war
thus far, and dealt at length with President Franklin Roosevelt's hostile policies toward Germany. Hitler detailed the increasingly
belligerent actions of Roosevelt's government, and then dramatically announced that Germany was now joining Japan in war
against the United States. The day after it was delivered, an inaccurate and misleading translation of portions of the address
appeared in The New York Times. Although this historic address should be of particular interest to Americans, a complete
text has apparently never before been made available in English. This translation is my own, as are the brief clarifications
given in brackets. Following the speech text is Germany's formal note to the U.S. government declaring war, and a short list
of items for suggested further reading. - Mark Weber
Reichstag Speech of December 11, 1941
of the German Reichstag!
A year of world-historical events
is coming to an end. A year of great decisions is approaching. In this grave period I speak to you, deputies of the Reichstag,
as the representatives of the German nation. In addition, the entire German nation should also review what has happened
and take note of the decisions required by the present and the future.
After the repeated rejection of my peace proposal in 1940 by the British prime minister [Winston Churchill] and
the clique that supports and controls him, it was clear by the fall of that year that this war would have to be fought through
to the end, contrary to all logic and necessity. You, my old Party comrades, know that I have always detested half-hearted
or weak decisions. If Providence has deemed that the German people are not to be spared this struggle, then I am thankful
that She has entrusted me with the leadership in a historic conflict that will be decisive in determining the next five
hundred or one thousand years, not only of our German history, but also of the history of Europe and even of the entire
The German people and its soldiers work and fight today not only for themselves
and their own age, but also for many generations to come. A historical task of unique dimensions has been entrusted to us
by the Creator that we are now obliged to carry out.
western armistice which was possible shortly after the conclusion of the conflict in Norway [in June 1940] compelled the
German leadership, first of all, to militarily secure the most important political, strategic and economic areas that had
been won. Consequently, the defense capabilities of the lands which were conquered at that time have changed.
From Kirkenes [in northern Norway] to the Spanish frontier stretches the most extensive
belt of great defense installations and fortresses. Countless air fields have been built, including some in the far north
that were blasted out of granite. The number and strength of the protected submarine shelters that defend naval bases are
such that they are practically impregnable from both the sea and the air. They are defended by more than one and a half
thousand gun battery emplacements, which had to be surveyed, planned and built. A network of roads and rail lines has been
laid out so that the connections [to the installations] between the Spanish frontier and Petsamo [in northern Norway] can
be defended independently from the sea. The installations built by the Pioneer and construction battalions of the navy,
army and air force in cooperation with the Todt Organization are not at all inferior to those of the Westwall [along the
German frontier with France]. The work to further strengthen all this continues without pause. I am determined to make this
European front impregnable against any enemy attack.
defensive work, which continued during the past winter, was complemented by military offensives insofar as seasonal conditions
permitted. German naval forces above and below the waves continued their steady war of annihilation against the naval and
merchant vessels of Britain and her subservient allies. Through reconnaissance flights and air attacks, the German air force
helps to destroy enemy shipping and in countless retaliation air attacks to give the British a better idea of the reality
of the so-called "exciting war," which is the creation, above all, of the current British prime minister
During the past summer Germany was supported
in this struggle above all by her Italian ally. For many months our ally Italy bore on its shoulders the main weight of
a large part of British might. Only because of the enormous superiority in heavy tanks were the British able to bring about
a temporary crisis in North Africa, but by March 24 of this year a small combined force of German and Italian units under
the command of General [Erwin] Rommel began a counterattack. Agedabia fell on April 2. Benghazi was reached on the 4th.
Our combined forces entered Derna on the 8th, Tobruk was encircled on the 11th, and Bardia was occupied on April 12. The
achievement of the German Afrika Korps is all the more outstanding because this field of battle is completely alien and
unfamiliar to the Germans, climatically and otherwise. As once in Spain [1936-1939], so now in North Africa, Germans and
Italians stand together against the same enemy.
daring actions were again securing the North African front with the blood of German and Italian soldiers, the threatening
clouds of terrible danger were gathering over Europe. Compelled by bitter necessity, I decided in the fall of 1939 to at
least try to create the prerequisite conditions for a general peace by eliminating the acute tension between Germany and
Soviet Russia [with the German-Soviet non-aggression pact of August 23, 1939]. This was psychologically difficult because
of the basic attitude toward Bolshevism of the German people and, above all, of the [National Socialist] Party. Objectively,
though, this was a simple matter because in all the countries that Britain said were threatened by us and which were offered
military alliances, Germany actually had only economic interests.
I may remind you, deputies and men of the German Reichstag, that throughout the spring and summer of 1939 Britain
offered military alliances to a number of countries, claiming that Germany intended to invade them and rob them of their
freedom. However, the German Reich and its government could assure them with a clear conscience that these insinuations
did not correspond to the truth in any way. Moreover, there was the sober military realization that in case of a war which
might be forced upon the German nation by British diplomacy, the struggle could be fought on two fronts only with very great
sacrifices. And after the Baltic states, Romania, and so forth, were inclined to accept the British offers of military alliance,
and thereby made clear that they also believed themselves to be threatened [by Germany], it was not only the right but also
the duty of the German Reich government to delineate the [geographical] limits of German interests [between Germany and the
All the same, the countries involved realized
very quickly -- which was unfortunate for the German Reich as well -- that the best and strongest guarantee against the
[Soviet] threat from the East was Germany. When those countries, on their own initiative, cut their ties with the German
Reich and instead put their trust in promises of aid from a power [Britain] that, in its proverbial egotism, has for centuries
never given help but has always demanded it, they were thereby lost. Even so, the fate of these countries aroused the strongest
sympathy of the German people. The winter war of the Finns [against the Soviet Union, 1939-1940] aroused in us a feeling
of admiration mixed with bitterness: admiration because, as a soldierly nation, we have a sympathetic heart for heroism
and sacrifice, and bitterness because our concern for the enemy threat in the West and the danger in the East meant that
we were no position to help. When it became clear to us that Soviet Russia concluded that the [German-Soviet] delineation
[in August 1939] of political spheres of influence gave it the right to practically exterminate foreign nations, the [German-Soviet]
relationship was maintained only for utilitarian reasons, contrary to reason and sentiment.
Already in 1940 it became increasingly clear from month to month that the plans of the
men in the Kremlin were aimed at the domination, and thus the destruction, of all of Europe. I have already told the nation
of the build-up of Soviet Russian military power in the East during a period when Germany had only a few divisions in the
provinces bordering Soviet Russia. Only a blind person could fail to see that a military build-up of unique world-historical
dimensions was being carried out. And this was not in order to protect something that was being threatened, but rather only
to attack that which seemed incapable of defense.
quick conclusion of the campaign in the West [May-June 1940] meant that those in power in Moscow were not able to count on
the immediate exhaustion of the German Reich. However, they did not change their plans at all, but only postponed the timing
of their attack. The summer of 1941 seemed like the ideal moment to strike. A new Mongol invasion was ready to pour across
Europe. Mr. Churchill also promised that there would be a change in the British war against Germany at this same time. In
a cowardly way, he now tries to deny that during a secret meeting in the British House of Commons in 1940 he said that an
important factor for the successful continuation and conclusion of this war would be the Soviet entry into the war, which
would come during 1941 at the latest, and which would also make it possible for Britain to take the offensive. Conscious
of our duty, this past spring we observed the military build-up of a world power that seemed to have inexhaustible reserves
of human and material resources. Dark clouds began to gather over Europe.
What is Europe, my deputies? There is no geographical definition of our continent, but only an ethnic-national [volkliche]
and cultural one. The frontier of this continent is not the Ural mountains, but rather the line that divides the Western
outlook on life from that of the East.
At one time,
Europe was confined to the Greek isles, which had been reached by Nordic tribes, and where the flame first burned that slowly
but steadily enlightened humanity. And when these Greeks fought against the invasion of the Persian conquerors, they did
not just defend their own small homeland, which was Greece, but [also] that concept that is now Europe. And then [the spirit
of] Europe shifted from Hellas to Rome. Roman thought and Roman statecraft combined with Greek spirit and Greek culture.
An empire was created, the importance and creative power of which has never been matched, much less surpassed, even to this
day. And when the Roman legions defended Italy in three terrible wars against the attack of Carthage from Africa, and finally
battled to victory, in this case as well Rome fought not just for herself, but [also] for the Greco-Roman world that then
The next invasion against the home
soil of this new culture of humanity came from the wide expanses of the East. A horrific storm of cultureless hordes from
the center of Asia poured deep into the heart of the European continent, burning, ravaging and murdering as a true scourge
of God. On the Catalaunian fields , Roman and Germanic men fought together for the first time [in 451] in a decisive battle
of tremendous importance for a culture that had begun with the Greeks, passed on to the Romans, and then encompassed the
Europe had matured. The Occident arose
from Hellas and Rome, and for many centuries its defense was the task not only of the Romans, but above all of the Germanic
peoples. What we call Europe is the geographic territory of the Occident, enlightened by Greek culture, inspired by the
powerful heritage of the Roman empire, its territory enlarged by Germanic colonization. Whether it was the German emperors
fighting back invasions from the East on the Unstrut [river, in 933] or on the Lechfeld [plain, in 955], or others pushing
back Africa from Spain over a period of many years, it was always a struggle of a developing Europe against a profoundly
alien outside world.
Just as Rome once made her immortal
contribution to the building and defense of the continent, so now have the Germanic peoples taken up the defense and protection
of a family of nations which, although they may differ and diverge in their political structure and goals, nevertheless
together constitute a racially and culturally unified and complementary whole.
And from this Europe there have not only been settlements in other parts of the world, but intellectual-spiritual
[geistig] and cultural fertilization as well, a fact that anyone realizes who is willing to acknowledge the truth
rather than deny it. Thus, it was not England that cultivated the continent, but rather Anglo-Saxon and Norman branches
of the Germanic nation that moved from our continent to the [British] island and made possible her development, which is
certainly unique in history. In the same way, it was not America that discovered Europe, but the other way around. And all
that which America did not get from Europe may seem worthy of admiration to a Jewified mixed race, but Europe regards that
merely as symptomatic of decay in artistic and cultural life, the product of Jewish or Negroid blood mixture.
My Deputies! Men of the German Reichstag!
I have to make these remarks because this struggle, which became obviously unavoidable in the early
months of this year, and which the German Reich, above all, is called upon this time to lead, also greatly transcends the
interests of our own people and nation. When the Greeks once stood against the Persians, they defended more than just Greece.
When the Romans stood against the Carthaginians, they defended more than just Rome. When the Roman and Germanic peoples
stood together against the Huns, they defended more than just the West. When German emperors stood against the Mongols,
they defended more than just Germany. And when Spanish heroes stood against Africa, they defended not just Spain, but all
of Europe as well. In the same way, Germany does not fight today just for itself, but for our entire continent.
And it is an auspicious sign that this realization is today so deeply rooted in the subconscious
of most European nations that they participate in this struggle, either with open expressions of support or with streams
When the German and Italian armies took
the offensive against Yugoslavia and Greece on April 6 of this year, that was the prelude to the great struggle in which
we now find ourselves. That is because the revolt in Belgrade [on March 26, 1941], which led to the overthrow of the former
prince regent and his government, determined the further development of events in that part of Europe. Although Britain played
a major role in that coup, Soviet Russia played the main role. What I had refused to Mr. Molotov [the Soviet Foreign Minister]
during his visit to Berlin [in November 1940], Stalin believed he could obtain indirectly against our will by revolutionary
activity. Without regard for the treaties they had signed, the Bolshevik rulers expanded their ambitions. The [Soviet] treaty
of friendship with the new revolutionary regime [in Belgrade ] showed very quickly just how threatening the danger had become.
The achievements of the German armed forces in this campaign were honored in the German
Reichstag on May 4, 1941. At that time, though, I was not able to reveal that we were very quickly approaching a confrontation
with a state [Soviet Russia] that did not attack at the time of the campaign in the Balkans only because its military build-up
was not yet complete, and because it was not able to use its air fields as a result of the mud from melting snow at this
time of year, which made it impossible to use the runways.
Deputies! Men of the Reichstag!
When I became aware
of the possibility of a threat to the east of the Reich in 1940 through [secret] reports from the British House of Commons
and by observations of Soviet Russian troop movements on our frontiers, I immediately ordered the formation of many new armored,
motorized and infantry divisions. The human and material resources for them were abundantly available. [In this regard]
I can make only one promise to you, my deputies, and to the entire German nation: while people in democratic countries understandably
talk a lot about armaments, in National Socialist Germany all the more will actually be produced. It has been that way in
the past, and it is not any different now. Whenever decisive action has to be taken, we will have, with each passing year,
more and, above all, better quality weapons.
very clearly that under no circumstances could we allow the enemy the opportunity to strike first into our heart. Nevertheless,
in this case the decision [to attack Soviet Russia] was a very difficult one. When the writers for the democratic newspapers
now declare that I would have thought twice before attacking if I had known the strength of the Bolshevik adversaries, they
show that they do not understand either the situation or me.
I have not sought war. To the contrary, I have done everything to avoid conflict. But I would forget my duty and
my conscience if I were to do nothing in spite of the realization that a conflict had become unavoidable. Because I regarded
Soviet Russia as the gravest danger not only for the German Reich but for all of Europe, I decided, if possible, to give
the order myself to attack a few days before the outbreak of this conflict.
A truly impressive amount of authentic material is now available which confirms that a Soviet Russian
attack was intended. We are also sure about when this attack was to take place. In view of this danger, the extent of which
we are perhaps only now truly aware, I can only thank the Lord God that He enlightened me in time, and has given me the
strength to do what must be done. Millions of German soldiers may thank Him for their lives, and all of Europe for its existence.
I may say this today: If this wave of more than 20,000 tanks, hundreds of divisions, tens
of thousands of artillery pieces, along with more than 10,000 airplanes, had not been kept from being set into motion against
the Reich, Europe would have been lost.
have been destined to prevent or parry this blow through the sacrifice of their blood. If Finland [for one] had not immediately
decided, for the second time, to take up weapons, then the comfortable bourgeois life of the other Nordic countries would
quickly have been extinguished.
If the German Reich,
with its soldiers and weapons, had not stood against this opponent, a storm would have burned over Europe that would have
eliminated, once and for all time, and in all its intellectual paucity and traditional stupidity, the laughable British idea
of the European balance of power.
If the Slovaks, Hungarians
and Romanians had not also acted to defend this European world, then the Bolshevik hordes would have poured over the Danube
countries as did once the swarms of Attila's Huns, and [Soviet] Tatars and Mongols would [then], on the open country by the
Ionian Sea, force a revision of the Treaty of Montreux [regarding the Dardanelles strait].
If Italy, Spain and Croatia had not sent their divisions, then a European defense front
would not have arisen that proclaims the concept of a new Europe and thereby powerfully inspires all other nations as well.
Because of this awareness of danger, volunteers have come from northern and western Europe: Norwegians, Danes, Dutch, Flemish,
Belgians and even French. They have all given the struggle of the allied forces of the Axis the character of a European
crusade, in the truest sense of the word.
This is not
yet the right time to speak of the planning and direction of this campaign. However, in a few sentences I would like to say
something about what has been achieved [so far] in this greatest conflict in history. Because of the enormous area involved
as well as the number and size of the events, individual impressions may be lost and forgotten.
The attack began at dawn on June 22 . With dauntless daring, the frontier fortifications
that were meant to protect the Soviet Russian build-up against us from surprise attack were broken through. Grodno fell
by June 23. On June 24, following the capture of Brest-Litovsk, the fortress [there] was taken in combat, and Vilnius and
Kaunas [in Lithuania] were also taken. Daugavpils [in Latvia] fell on June 26.
The first two great encirclement battles near Bialystok and Minsk were completed on July 10. We
captured 324,000 prisoners of war, 3,332 tanks and 1,809 artillery pieces. By July 13 the Stalin Line had been broken through
at almost every decisive point. Smolensk fell on July 16 after heavy fighting, and German and Romanian units were able to
force their way across the Dniester [river] on July 19. The Battle of Smolensk ended on August 6 after many encircling operations.
As a result, another 310,000 Russians were taken as prisoners. Moreover, 3,205 tanks and 3,120 artillery pieces were counted
-- either destroyed or captured. Just three days later the fate of another Soviet Russian army group was sealed. On August
9, in the battle of Uman, another 103,000 Soviet Russian prisoners of war were taken, and 317 tanks and 1,100 artillery
pieces were either destroyed or captured.
[in the Ukraine] fell on August 13, and Kherson was taken on the 21st. On the same day the battle near Gomel ended, resulting
in 84,000 prisoners as well as 144 tanks and 848 artillery pieces either captured or destroyed. The Soviet Russian positions
between the Ilmen and Peipus [lakes] were broken through on August 21, while the bridgehead around Dnepropetrovsk fell into
our hands on August 26. On the 28th of that month German troops entered Tallinn and Paldiski [Estonia] after heavy fighting,
while the Finns took Vyborg on the 20th. With the capture of Petrokrepost on September 8, Leningrad was finally cut off
from the south. By September 16 bridgeheads across the Dnieper were formed, and on September 18 Poltava fell into the hands
of our soldiers. German units stormed the fortress of Kiev on September 19, and on September 22 the conquest of [the Baltic
island of] Saaremaa [Oesel] was crowned by the capture of its capital.
And now came the anticipated results of the greatest undertakings. The battle near Kiev was completed on September
27. Endless columns of 665,000 prisoners of war marched to the west. In the encircled area, 884 tanks and 3,178 artillery
pieces were captured. The battle to break through the central area of the Eastern front began on October 2, while the battle
of the Azov Sea was successfully completed on October 11. Another 107,000 prisoners, 212 tanks and 672 artillery pieces were
counted. After heavy fighting, German and Romanian units were able to enter Odessa on October 16. The battle to break through
the center of the Eastern front, which had begun on October 2, ended on October 18 with a success that is unique in world
history. The result was 663,000 prisoners, as well as 1,242 tanks and 5,452 artillery pieces either destroyed or captured.
The capture of Dagoe [Hiiumaa island] was completed on October 21. The industrial center of Kharkov was taken on October
24. After very heavy fighting, the Crimea was finally reached, and on November 2 the capital of Simferopol was stormed. On
November 16 the Crimea was overrun as far as Kerch.
of December 1, the total number of captured Soviet Russian prisoners was 3,806,865. The number of destroyed or captured tanks
was 21,391, of artillery pieces 32,541, and of airplanes 17,322.
During this same period of time, 2,191 British airplanes were shot down. The navy sank 4,170,611 gross registered
tons of shipping, and the air force sank 2,346,180 tons. Altogether, 6,516,791 gross registered tons were destroyed.
My Deputies! My German people!
These are sober facts and, perhaps, dry figures. But may they never be forgotten by history or vanish from the memory
of our own German nation! For behind these figures are the achievements, sacrifices and sufferings, the heroism and readiness
to die of millions of the best men of our own people and of the countries allied with us. Everything had to be fought for
at the cost of health and life, and through struggle such as those back in the homeland can hardly imagine.
They have marched endless distances, tortured by heat and thirst, often bogged down with
despair in the mud of bottomless dirt roads, exposed to the hardships of a climate that varies between the White and Black
Seas from the intense heat of July and August days to the winter storms of November and December, tormented by insects, suffering
from dirt and pests, freezing in snow and ice, they fought -- the Germans and the Finns, the Italians, Slovaks, Hungarians,
Romanians and Croatians, the volunteers from the northern and western European countries -- in short, the soldiers of the
Today I will not single out specific
branches of the armed forces or praise specific leaders -- they have all done their best. And yet, truth and justice requires
that something be mentioned again: As in the past, so also today, of all of our German fighting men in uniform, the greatest
burden of battle is born by our ever-present infantry soldiers.
From June 22 to December 1 , the German army has lost in this heroic struggle: 158,773 dead, 563,082 wounded
and 31,191 missing. The air force has lost: 3,231 dead, 8,453 wounded and 2,028 missing. The navy: 310 dead, 232 wounded
and 115 missing. For the German armed forces altogether: 162,314 dead, 571,767 wounded and 33,334 missing.
That is, the number of dead and wounded is somewhat more than double the number of those
lost in the [four month long] battle of the Somme of the [First] World War [in 1916], but somewhat less than half the number
of missing in that battle -- all the same, fathers and sons of our German people.
And now let me speak about another world, one that is represented by a man [President Franklin Roosevelt]
who likes to chat nicely at the fireside while nations and their soldiers fight in snow and ice: above all, the man who
is primarily responsible for this war.
When the nationality
problem in the former Polish state was growing ever more intolerable in 1939, I attempted to eliminate the unendurable conditions
by means of a just agreement. For a certain time it seemed as if the Polish government was seriously considering giving its
approval to a reasonable solution. I may also add here that in all of these German proposals, nothing was demanded that
had not previously belonged to Germany. In fact, we were willing to give up much that had belonged to Germany before the
[First] World War.
You will recall the dramatic events
of that period -- the steadily increasing numbers of victims among the ethnic Germans [in Poland]. You, my deputies, are
best qualified to compare this loss of life with that of the present war. The military campaign in the East has so far cost
the entire German armed forces about 160,000 deaths, whereas during just a few months of peace [in 1939] more than 62,000
ethnic Germans were killed, including some who were horribly tortured. There is no question that the German Reich had the
right to protest against this situation on its border and to press for its elimination, if for no other reason than for
its own security, particularly since we live in an age in which [some] other countries [notably, the USA and Britain] regard
their security at stake even in foreign continents. In geographical terms, the problems to be resolved were not very important.
Essentially they involved Danzig [Gdansk] and a connecting link between the torn-away province of East Prussia and the rest
of the Reich. Of much greater concern were the brutal persecutions of the Germans in Poland. In addition, the other minority
population groups [notably the Ukrainians] were subject to a fate that was no less severe.
During those days in August , when the Polish attitude steadily hardened, thanks
to Britain's blank check of unlimited backing, the German Reich was moved to make one final proposal. We were prepared to
enter into negotiations with Poland on the basis of this proposal, and we verbally informed the British ambassador of the
proposal text. Today I would like to recall that proposal and review it with you.
[Text of the German proposal of August 29, 1939:]
Proposal for a settlement of the Danzig-Corridor problem and the German-Polish minority question:
The situation between the German Reich and Poland is now such that any further incident
could lead to action by the military forces that have taken position on both sides of the frontier. Any peaceful solution
must be such that the basic causes of this situation are eliminated so that they are not simply repeated, which would mean
that not only eastern Europe but other areas as well would be subject to the same tension. The causes of this situation
are rooted in, first, the intolerable border that was specified by the dictated peace of Versailles [of 1919], and, second,
the intolerable treatment of the minority populations in the lost territories.
In making these proposals, the German Reich government is motivated by the desire to achieve a permanent
solution that will put an end to the intolerable situation arising from the present border demarcation, secure to both parties
vitally important connecting routes, and which will solve the minority problem, insofar as that is possible, and if not,
will at least insure a tolerable life for the minority populations with secure guarantees of their rights.
The German Reich government is convinced that it is absolutely necessary to investigate
the economic and physical damage inflicted since 1918, with full reparations to be made for that. Of course, it regards
this obligation as binding on both sides.
On the basis
of these considerations, we make the following concrete proposals:
1. The Free City of Danzig returns immediately to the German Reich on the basis of its purely German character and
the unanimous desire of its population.
2. The territory
of the so-called [Polish] Corridor will decide for itself whether it wishes to belong to Germany or to Poland. This territory
consists of the area between the Baltic Sea [in the north] to a line marked [in the south] by the towns of Marienwerder,
Graudenz, Kuhn and Bromberg -- including these towns -- and then westwards to Schoenlanke.
3. For this purpose a plebiscite will be conducted in this territory. All Germans who
lived in this territory on January 1, 1918, or were born there on or before that date will be entitled to vote in the plebiscite.
Similarly, all Poles, Kashubians, and so forth, who lived in this territory on or before that date, or were born there before
that date, will also be entitled to vote. Germans who were expelled from this territory will return to vote in the plebiscite.
To insure an impartial plebiscite and to make sure that all necessary preliminary preparation
work is properly carried out, this territory will come under the authority of an international commission, similar to the
one organized in the Saar territory [for the 1935 plebiscite there]. This commission is to be organized immediately by the
four great powers of Italy, the Soviet Union, France and Britain. This commission will have all sovereign authority in the
territory. Accordingly, Polish military forces, Polish police and Polish authorities are to clear out of this territory
as soon as possible, by a date to be agreed upon.
Not included in this territory is the Polish port of Gdynia, which is regarded as fundamentally sovereign Polish territory,
to the extent of [ethnic] Polish settlement, but as a matter of principle is recognized as Polish territory. The specific
border of this Polish port city will be negotiated by Germany and Poland and, if necessary, established by an international
court of arbitration.
5. In order to insure ample time for
the preparations necessary in order to conduct an impartial plebiscite, the plebiscite will not take place until after at
least twelve months have elapsed.
6. In order to ensure
unhindered traffic between Germany and East Prussia, and between Poland and the [Baltic] Sea, during this period [before
the plebiscite], certain roads and rail lines may be designated to enable free transit. In that regard, only such fees may
be imposed that are necessary for the maintenance of the transit routes or for transport itself.
7. A simple majority of the votes cast will decide whether the territory will go to Germany
or to Poland.
8. After the plebiscite has been conducted,
and regardless of the result, free transit will be guaranteed between Germany and its province of Danzig-East Prussia, as
well as between Poland and the [Baltic] Sea. If the plebiscite determines that the territory belongs to Poland, Germany
will obtain an extraterritorial transit zone, consisting of a motor super-highway [Reichsautobahn] and a four-track rail
line, approximately along the line of Buetow-Danzig and Dirschau. The highway and the rail line will be built in such a
way that the Polish transit lines are not disturbed, which means that they will pass either above or underneath. This zone
will be one kilometer wide and will be sovereign German territory. In case the plebiscite is in Germany's favor, Poland
will have free and unrestricted transit to its port of Gdynia with the same right to an extraterritorial road and rail line
that Germany would have had.
9. If the Corridor returns
to Germany, the German Reich declares that it is ready to carry out an exchange of population with Poland to the extent
that this would be suitable for the [people of the] Corridor.
10. The special rights that may be claimed by Poland in the port of Danzig will be negotiated on the basis of parity
for rights to Germany in the port of Gdynia.
order to eliminate all fear of threat from either side, Danzig and Gdynia will be purely commercial centers, that is, with
no military installations or military fortifications.
The peninsula of Hela, which will go to either Poland or Germany on the basis of the plebiscite, will also be demilitarized
in any case.
13. The German Reich government has protested
in the strongest terms against the Polish treatment of its minority populations. For its part, the Polish government also
believes itself called upon to make protests against Germany. Accordingly, both sides agree to submit these complaints to
an international investigation commission, which will be responsible for investigating all complaints of economic and physical
damage as well as other acts of terror.
Poland pledge to compensate for all economic and other damages inflicted on minority populations on both sides since 1918,
and/or to revoke all expropriations and provide for complete reparation for the victims of these and other economic measures.
14. In order to eliminate feelings of deprivation of international rights in the part
of the Germans who will remain in Poland, as well as of the Poles who will remain in Germany, and above all, to insure that
they are not forced to act contrary to their ethnic-national feelings, Germany and Poland agree to guarantee the rights
of the minority populations on both sides through comprehensive and binding agreements. These will insure the right of these
minority groups to maintain, freely develop and carry on their national-cultural life. In particular, they will be allowed
to maintain organizations for these purposes. Both sides agree that members of their minority populations will not be drafted
for military service.
15. If agreement is reached on
the basis of these proposals, Germany and Poland declare that they will immediately order and carry out the demobilization
of their armed forces.
16. Germany and Poland will agree
to whatever additional measures may be necessary to implement the above points as quickly as possible.
[End of the text of the German proposal]
The same [measures] would have applied with regard to the proposals to secure [the rights of] the minorities.
This is the treaty proposal – as straight-forward and as generous as has ever been
presented by a government – that was made by the National Socialist leadership of the German Reich.
The former Polish government refused to respond to these proposals in any way. In this
regard, the question presents itself: How is it possible that such an unimportant state could dare to simply disregard such
proposals and, in addition, carry out further cruelties against the Germans, the people who have given this land its entire
culture, and even order the general mobilization of its armed forces?
A look at the documents of the [Polish] Foreign Ministry in Warsaw later provided the surprising explanation. They
told of the role of a man [President Roosevelt] who, with diabolical lack of principle, used all of his influence to strengthen
Poland's resistance and to prevent any possibility of understanding. These reports were sent by the former Polish ambassador
in Washington, Count [Jerzy] Potocki, to his government in Warsaw. These documents clearly and shockingly reveal the extent
to which one man and the powers behind him are responsible for the Second World War. Another question arises: Why had this
man [Roosevelt] developed such a fanatic hostility against a country that, in its entire history, had never harmed either
America or him?
With regard to Germany's relationship
with America, the following should be said:
is perhaps the only great power which has never had a colony in either North or South America. Nor has it been otherwise
politically active there, apart from the emigration of many millions of Germans with their skills, from which the American
continent, and particularly the United States, has only benefited.
2. In the entire history of the development and existence of the United States, the German Reich has never been
hostile or even politically unfriendly towards the United States. To the contrary, many Germans have given their lives to
defend the USA.
3. The German Reich has never participated
in wars against the United States, except when the United States went to war against it in 1917. It did so for reasons that
have been thoroughly explained by a commission [a special U.S. Senate investigating committee, 1934-1935, chaired by Sen.
Gerald Nye], which president Roosevelt himself established [or rather, endorsed]. This commission to investigate the reasons
for America's entry into the [First World] war clearly established that the United States entered the war in 1917 solely
for the capitalist interests of a small group, and that Germany itself had no intention to come into conflict with America.
Furthermore, there are no territorial or political conflicts between the American and
German nations that could possibly involve the existence or even the [vital] interests of the United States. The forms of
government have always been different. But this cannot be a reason for hostility between different nations, as long as one
form of government does not try to interfere with another, outside of its naturally ordained sphere.
America is a republic led by a president with wide-ranging powers of authority. Germany
was once ruled by a monarchy with limited authority, and then by a democracy that lacked authority. Today it is a republic
of wide-ranging authority. Between these two countries is an ocean. If anything, the differences between capitalist America
and Bolshevik Russia, if these terms have any meaning at all, must be more significant than those between an America led
by a President and a Germany led by a Führer.
is a fact that the two historical conflicts between Germany and the United States were stimulated by two Americans, that
is, by Presidents Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt, although each was inspired by the same forces. History itself has
rendered its verdict on Wilson. His name will always be associated with the most base betrayal in history of a pledge [notably,
Wilson's "14 points"]. The result was the ruin of national life, not only in the so-called vanquished countries,
but among the victors as well. Because of this broken pledge, which alone made possible the imposed Treaty of Versailles
, countries were torn apart, cultures were destroyed and the economic life of all was ruined. Today we know that a
group of self-serving financiers stood behind Wilson. They used this paralytic professor to lead America into a war from
which they hoped to profit. The German nation once believed this man, and had to pay for this trust with political and economic
After such a bitter experience, why is there now
another American president who is determined to incite wars and, above all, to stir up hostility against Germany to the
point of war? National Socialism came to power in Germany in the same year  that Roosevelt came to power in the United
States. At this point it is important to examine the factors behind the current developments.
First of all, the personal side of things: I understand very well that there is a world
of difference between my own outlook on life and attitude, and that of President Roosevelt. Roosevelt came from an extremely
wealthy family. By birth and origin he belonged to that class of people that is privileged in a democracy and assured of
advancement. I myself was only the child of a small and poor family, and I had to struggle through life by work and effort
in spite of immense hardships. As a member of the privileged class, Roosevelt experienced the [First] World War in a position
under Wilson's shadow [as assistant secretary of the Navy]. As a result, he only knew the agreeable consequences of a conflict
between nations from which some profited while others lost their lives. During this same period, I lived very differently.
I was not one of those who made history or profits, but rather one of those who carried out orders. As an ordinary soldier
during those four years, I tried to do my duty in the face of the enemy. Of course, I returned from the war just as poor
as when I entered in the fall of 1914. I thus shared my fate with millions of others, while Mr. Roosevelt shared his with
the so-called upper ten thousand.
After the war, while
Mr. Roosevelt tested his skills in financial speculation in order to profit personally from the inflation, that is, from
the misfortune of others, I still lay in a military hospital along with many hundreds of thousands of others. Experienced
in business, financially secure and enjoying the patronage of his class, Roosevelt then finally chose a career in politics.
During this same period, I struggled as a nameless and unknown man for the rebirth of my nation, which was the victim of
the greatest injustice in its entire history.
paths in life! Franklin Roosevelt took power in the United States as the candidate of a thoroughly capitalistic party, which
helps those who serve it. When I became the Chancellor of the German Reich, I was the leader of a popular national movement,
which I had created myself. The powers that supported Mr. Roosevelt were the same powers I fought against, out of concern
for the fate of my people, and out of deepest inner conviction. The "brain trust" that served the new American
president was made up of members of the same national group that we fought against in Germany as a parasitical expression
of humanity, and which we began to remove from public life.
And yet, we also had something in common: Franklin Roosevelt took control of a country with an economy that had
been ruined as a result of democratic influences, and I assumed the leadership of a Reich that was also on the edge of complete
ruin, thanks to democracy. There were 13 million unemployed in the United States, while Germany had seven million unemployed
and another seven million part-time workers. In both countries, public finances were in chaos, and it seemed that the spreading
economic depression could not be stopped.
on, things developed in the United States and in the German Reich in such a way that future generations will have no difficulty
in making a definitive evaluation of the two different socio-political theories. Whereas the German Reich experienced an
enormous improvement in social, economic, cultural and artistic life in just a few years under National Socialist leadership,
President Roosevelt was not able to bring about even limited improvements in his own country. This task should have been
much easier in the United States, with barely 15 people per square kilometer, as compared to 140 in Germany. If economic
prosperity is not possible in that country, it must be the result of either a lack of will by the ruling leadership or the
complete incompetence of the men in charge. In just five years, the economic problems were solved in Germany and unemployment
was eliminated. During this same period, President Roosevelt enormously increased his country's national debt, devalued
the dollar, further disrupted the economy and maintained the same number of unemployed.
But this is hardly remarkable when one realizes that the intellects appointed by this
man, or more accurately, who appointed him, are members of that same group who, as Jews, are interested only in disruption
and never in order. While we in National Socialist Germany took measures against financial speculation, it flourished tremendously
under Roosevelt. The New Deal legislation of this man was spurious, and consequently the greatest error ever experienced
by anyone. If his economic policies had continued indefinitely during peace time, there is no doubt that sooner or later
they would have brought down this president, in spite of all his dialectical cleverness. In a European country his career
would certainly have ended in front of a national court for recklessly squandering the nation's wealth. And he would hardly
have avoided a prison sentence by a civil court for criminally incompetent business management.
Many respected Americans also shared this view. A threatening opposition was growing all
around this man, which led him to think that he could save himself only by diverting public attention from his domestic
policies to foreign affairs. In this regard it is interesting to study the reports of Polish Ambassador Potocki from Washington,
which repeatedly point out that Roosevelt was fully aware of the danger that his entire economic house of cards could collapse,
and that therefore he absolutely had to divert attention to foreign policy.
The circle of Jews around Roosevelt encouraged him in this. With Old Testament vindictiveness they
regarded the United States as the instrument that they and he could use to prepare a second Purim [slaughter of enemies]
against the nations of Europe, which were increasingly anti-Jewish. So it was that the Jews, in all of their satanic baseness,
gathered around this man, and he relied on them.
American president increasingly used his influence to create conflicts, intensify existing conflicts, and, above all, to
keep conflicts from being resolved peacefully. For years this man looked for a dispute anywhere in the world, but preferably
in Europe, that he could use to create political entanglements with American economic obligations to one of the contending
sides, which would then steadily involve America in the conflict and thus divert attention from his own confused domestic
His actions against the German Reich
in this regard have been particularly blunt. Starting in 1937, he began a series of speeches, including a particularly contemptible
one on October 5, 1937, in Chicago, with which this man systematically incited the American public against Germany . He
threatened to establish a kind of quarantine against the so-called authoritarian countries. As part of this steady and growing
campaign of hate and incitement, President Roosevelt made another insulting statement [on Nov. 15, 1938] and then called
the American ambassador in Berlin back to Washington for consultations. Since then the two countries have been represented
only by charges d'affaires.
November 1938, he began systematically and consciously to sabotage every possibility of a European peace policy. In public
he hypocritically claimed to be interested in peace while at the same time he threatened every country that was ready to
pursue a policy of peaceful understanding by blocking credits, economic reprisals, calling in loans, and so forth. In this
regard, the reports of the Polish ambassadors in Washington, London, Paris and Brussels provide a shocking insight.
This man increased his campaign of incitement in January 1939. In a message [on Jan. 4,
1939] to the U.S. Congress he threatened to take every measure short of war against the authoritarian countries.
He repeatedly claimed that other countries were trying to interfere in American affairs,
and he talked a lot about upholding the Monroe Doctrine. Starting in March 1939 he began lecturing about internal European
affairs that were of no concern of the President of the United States. In the first place, he doesn't understand these problems,
and secondly, even if he did understand them and appreciated the historical circumstances, he has no more right to concern
himself with central European affairs than the German head of state has to take positions on or make judgments about conditions
in the United States.
Mr. Roosevelt went even beyond
that. Contrary to the rules of international law, he refused to recognize governments he didn't like, would not accept new
ones, refused to dismiss ambassadors of non-existent countries, and even recognized them as legal governments. He went so
far as to conclude treaties with these ambassadors, which then gave him the right to simply occupy foreign territories [Greenland
and Iceland ].
On April 15, 1939, Roosevelt made his
famous appeal to me and the Duce [Mussolini], which was a mixture of geographical and political ignorance combined with
the arrogance of a member of the millionaire class. We were called upon to make declarations and to conclude non-aggression
pacts with a number of countries, many of which were not even independent because they had either been annexed or turned
into subordinate protectorates by countries [Britain and France] allied with Mr. Roosevelt. You will recall, my Deputies,
that then [on April 28, 1939] I gave a polite but straightforward answer to this obtrusive gentleman, which succeeded in
stopping, at least for a few months, the storm of chatter from this unsophisticated warmonger.
But now the honorable wife [Eleanor Roosevelt] took his place. She and her sons [she said]
refused to live in a world such as ours. That is at least understandable, for ours is world of work and not one of deceit
and racketeering. After a short rest, though, he was back at it. On November 4, 1939, the Neutrality Act was revised and
the arms embargo was repealed in favor of a one-sided supply [of weapons] to Germany's adversaries. In the same way, he
pushed in eastern Asia for economic entanglements with China that would eventually lead to effective common interests. That
same month he recognized a small group of Polish emigrants as a so-called government in exile, the only political basis
of which was a few million Polish gold pieces they had taken from Warsaw.
On April 9  he froze all Norwegian and Danish assets [in the United States] on the lying pretext of wanting
to keep them from falling into German hands, even though he knew full well, for example, that Germany has not interfered
with, much less taken control of, the Danish government's administration of its financial affairs. Along with the other
governments in exile, Roosevelt now recognized one for Norway. On May 15, 1940, Dutch and Belgian governments in exile were
also recognized, and at the same time Dutch and Belgian assets [in the USA ] were frozen.
This man revealed his true attitude in a telegram of June 15  to French premier
[Paul] Reynaud. Roosevelt told him that the American government would double its aid to France, on the condition that France
continue the war against Germany. In order to give special emphasis to his desire that the war continue, he declared that
the American government would not recognize acquisitions brought about by conquest, which included, for example, the retaking
of territories that had been stolen from Germany. I do not need to emphasize that now and in the future, the German government
will not be concerned about whether or not the President of the United States recognizes a border in Europe. I mention this
case because it is characteristic of the systematic incitement of this man, who hypocritically talks about peace while at
the same time he incites to war.
And now he feared
that if peace were to come about in Europe, the billions he had squandered on military spending would soon be recognized
as an obvious case of fraud, because no one would attack America unless America itself provoked the attack. On June 17,
1940, the President of the United States froze French assets [in the USA] in order, so he said, to keep them from being
seized by Germany, but in reality to get hold of the gold that was being brought from Casablanca on an American cruiser.
In July 1940 Roosevelt began to take many new measures toward war, such as permitting
the service of American citizens in the British air force and the training of British air force personnel in the United
States. In August 1940 a joint military policy for the United States and Canada was established. In order to make the establishment
of a joint American-Canadian defense committee plausible to at least the stupidest people, Roosevelt periodically invented
crises and acted as if America was threatened by immediate attack. He would suddenly cancel trips and quickly return to
Washington and do similar things in order to emphasize the seriousness of the situation to his followers, who really deserve
He moved still closer to war in September 1940
when he transferred fifty American naval destroyers to the British fleet, and in return took control of military bases on
British possessions in North and Central America. Future generations will determine the extent to which, along with all
this hatred against socialist Germany, the desire to easily and safely take control of the British empire in its hour of
disintegration may have also played a role.
was no longer able to pay cash for American deliveries he imposed the Lend-Lease Act on the American people [in March 1941].
As President, he thereby obtained the authority to furnish lend-lease military aid to countries that he, Roosevelt, decided
it was in America's vital interests to defend. After it became clear that Germany would not respond under any circumstances
to his continued boorish behavior, this man took another step forward in March 1941.
As early as December 19, 1939, an American cruiser [the Tuscaloosa] that was inside
the security zone maneuvered the [German] passenger liner Columbus into the hands of British warships.
As a result, it had to be scuttled. On that same day, US military forces helped in an effort to capture the German merchant
ship Arauca. On January 27, 1940, and once again contrary to international law, the US cruiser Trenton reported
the movements of the German merchant ships Arauca, La Plata and Wangoni to
enemy naval forces.
On June 27, 1940, he announced a
limitation on the free movement of foreign merchant ships in US ports, completely contrary to international law. In November
1940 he permitted US warships to pursue the German merchant ships Phrygia, Idarwald and Rhein until
they finally had to scuttle themselves to keep from falling into enemy hands. On April 13, 1941, American ships were permitted
to pass freely through the Red Sea in order to supply British armies in the Middle East.
In the meantime, in March  all German ships were confiscated by the American authorities.
In the process, German Reich citizens were treated in the most degrading way, ordered to certain locations in violation
of international law, put under travel restrictions, and so forth. Two German officers who had escaped from Canadian captivity
[to the United States] were shackled and returned to the Canadian authorities, likewise completely contrary to international
On March 27  the same president who is [supposedly]
against all aggression announced support for [General Dusan] Simovic and his clique of usurpers [in Yugoslavia], who had
come to power in Belgrade after the overthrow of the legal government. Several months earlier, President Roosevelt had sent
[OSS chief] Colonel Donovan, a very inferior character, to the Balkans with orders to help organize an uprising against
Germany and Italy in Sofia [Bulgaria] and Belgrade. In April he [Roosevelt] promised lend-lease aid to Yugoslavia and Greece.
At the end of April he recognized Yugoslav and Greek emigrants as governments in exile. And once again, in violation of
international law, he froze Yugoslav and Greek assets.
in mid-April  US naval patrols began expanded operations in the western Atlantic, reporting their observations to the
British. On April 26, Roosevelt delivered twenty high speed patrol boats to Britain. At the same time, British naval ships
were routinely being repaired in US ports. On May 12, Norwegian ships operating for Britain were armed and repaired [in
the USA], contrary to international law. On June 4, American troop transports arrived in Greenland to build air fields.
And on June 9 came the first British report that a US war ship, acting on orders of President Roosevelt, had attacked a German
submarine near Greenland with depth charges.
14, German assets in the United States were frozen, again in violation of international law. On June 17, on the basis of
a lying pretext, President Roosevelt demanded the recall of the German consuls and the closing of the German consulates.
He also demanded the shutting down of the German "Transocean" press agency, the German Library of Information
[in New York] and the German Reichsbahn [national railway] office.
On July 6 and 7 , American armed forces acting on orders from Roosevelt occupied Iceland, which was in the
area of German military operations. He hoped that this action would certainly, first, finally force Germany into war [against
the USA] and, second, also neutralize the effectiveness of the German submarines, much as in 1915-1916. At the same time,
he promised military aid to the Soviet Union. On July 10 Navy Secretary [Frank] Knox suddenly announced that the US Navy
was under orders to fire against Axis warships. On September 4 the US destroyer Greer, acting on his orders,
operated together with British airplanes against German submarines in the Atlantic. Five days later, a German submarine
identified US destroyers as escort vessels with a British convoy.
In a speech delivered on September 11 , Roosevelt at last personally confirmed that he had given the order
to fire against all Axis ships, and he repeated the order. On September 29, US patrols attacked a German submarine east
of Greenland with depth charges. On October 17 the US destroyer Kearny, operating as an escort for the British,
attacked a German submarine with depth charges, and on November 6 US armed forces seized the German ship Odenwald in
violation of international law, took it to an American port, and imprisoned its crew.
I will overlook as meaningless the insulting attacks and rude statements by this so-called President
against me personally. That he calls me a gangster is particularly meaningless, since this term did not originate in Europe,
where such characters are uncommon, but in America. And aside from that, I simply cannot feel insulted by Mr. Roosevelt
because I regard him, like his predecessor Woodrow Wilson, as mentally unsound [geisteskrank].
We know that this man, with his Jewish supporters, has operated against Japan in the same
way. I don't need to go into that here. The same methods were used in that case as well. This man first incites to war,
and then he lies about its causes and makes baseless allegations. He repugnantly wraps himself in a cloak of Christian hypocrisy,
while at the same time slowly but very steadily leading humanity into war. And finally, as an old Freemason, he calls upon
God to witness that his actions are honorable. His shameless misrepresentations of truth and violations of law are unparalleled
I am sure that all of you have regarded
it as an act of deliverance that a country [Japan] has finally acted to protest against all this in the very way that this
man had actually hoped for, and which should not surprise him now [the attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941]. After
years of negotiating with this deceiver, the Japanese government finally had its fill of being treated in such a humiliating
way. All of us, the German people and, I believe, all other decent people around the world as well, regard this with deep
We know the power behind Roosevelt. It
is the same eternal Jew that believes that his hour has come to impose the same fate on us that we have all seen and experienced
with horror in Soviet Russia. We have gotten to know first hand the Jewish paradise on earth. Millions of German soldiers
have personally seen the land where this international Jewry has destroyed and annihilated people and property. Perhaps the
President of the United States does not understand this. If so, that only speaks for his intellectual narrow-mindedness.
And we know that his entire effort is aimed at this goal: Even if we were not allied with
Japan, we would still realize that the Jews and their Franklin Roosevelt intend to destroy one state after another. The
German Reich of today has nothing in common with the Germany of the past. For our part, we will now do what this provocateur
has been trying to achieve for years. And not just because we are allied with Japan, but rather because Germany and Italy
with their present leaderships have the insight and strength to realize that in this historic period the existence or non-existence
of nations is being determined, perhaps for all time. What this other world has in store for us is clear. They were able
to bring the democratic Germany of the past [1918-1933] to starvation, and they seek to destroy the National Socialist Germany
When Mr. Churchill and Mr. Roosevelt declare
that they want to one day build a new social order, that's about the same as a bald-headed barber recommending a tonic guaranteed
to make hair grow. Rather than incite war, these gentlemen, who live in the most socially backward countries, should have
concerned themselves with their own unemployed people. They have enough misery and poverty in their own countries to keep
themselves busy insuring a just distribution of food there. As far as the German nation is concerned, it doesn't need charity,
either from Mr. Churchill, Mr. Roosevelt or [British foreign secretary] Mr. Eden -- but it does demand its rights. And it
will do what it must to insure its right to life, even if a thousand Churchills and Roosevelts conspire together to prevent
Our nation has a history of nearly two thousand
years. Never in this long period has it been so united and determined as it is today, and thanks to the National Socialist
movement it will always be that way. At the same time, Germany has perhaps never been as far-sighted, and seldom as conscious
of honor. Accordingly, today I had the passports returned to the American charge d'affaires, and he was bluntly
informed of the following:
President Roosevelt's steadily
expanding policy has been aimed at an unlimited world dictatorship. In pursuing this goal, the United States and Britain
have used every means to deny the German, Italian and Japanese nations the prerequisites for their vital natural existence.
For this reason, the governments of Britain and the United States of America have opposed every effort to create a new and
better order in the world, for both the present and the future.
Since the beginning of the war [in September 1939], the American President Roosevelt has steadily committed ever
more serious crimes against international law. Along with illegal attacks against ships and other property of German and
Italian citizens, there have been threats and even arbitrary deprivations of personal freedom by internment and such. The
increasingly hostile attacks by the American President Roosevelt have reached the point that he has ordered the U.S. navy,
in complete violation of international law, to immediately and everywhere attack, fire upon and sink German and Italian
ships. American officials have even boasted about destroying German submarines in this criminal manner. American cruisers
have attacked and captured German and Italian merchant ships, and their peaceful crews were taken away to imprisonment In
addition, President Roosevelt's plan to attack Germany and Italy with military forces in Europe by 1943 at the latest was
made public in the United States [by the Chicago Tribune and several other newspapers on Dec. 4, 1941],
and the American government made no effort to deny it.
the years of intolerable provocations by President Roosevelt, Germany and Italy sincerely and very patiently tried to prevent
the expansion of this war and to maintain relations with the United States. But as a result of his campaign, these efforts
Faithful to the provisions of the Tripartite
Pact of September 27, 1940, German and Italy accordingly now regard themselves as finally forced to join together on the
side of Japan in the struggle for the defense and preservation of the freedom and independence of our nations and realms
against the United States of America and Britain.
three powers have accordingly concluded the following agreement, which was signed today in Berlin:
an unshakable determination not to lay down arms until the common war against the United States of America and Britain has
been fought to a successful conclusion, the German, Italian and Japanese governments have agreed to the following:
Article 1. Germany, Italy and Japan will together conduct the war that has been forced
upon them by the United States of America and Britain with all the means at their command to a victorious conclusion.
Article 2. Germany, Italy and Japan pledge not to conclude an armistice or make peace
with either the United States of America or Britain unless by complete mutual agreement.
Article 3. Germany, Italy and Japan will also work very closely together after a victorious
conclusion of the war for the purpose of bringing about a just new order in accord with the Tripartite Pact concluded by
them on September 27, 1940.
Article 4. This agreement
is effective immediately upon signing and is valid for the same period as the Tripartite Pact of September 27, 1940. The
high contracting parties shall inform each other in due time before the expiration of this term of validity of their plans
for cooperation as laid out in Article 3 of this agreement.
[End of Agreement text]
Deputies! Men of the German
Ever since my peace proposal of July 1940
was rejected, we have clearly realized that this struggle must be fought through to the end. We National Socialists are
not at all surprised that the Anglo-American, Jewish and capitalist world is united together with Bolshevism. In our country
we have always found them in the same community. Alone we successfully fought against them here in Germany, and after 14
years of struggle for power we were finally able to annihilate our enemies.
When I decided 23 years ago to enter political life in order to lead the nation up from ruin, I
was a nameless, unknown soldier. Many of you here know just how difficult those first years of that struggle really were.
The way from a small movement of seven men to the taking of power on January 30, 1933, as the responsible government is so
miraculous that only the blessing of Providence could have made it possible. Today I stand at the head of the mightiest
army in the world, the most powerful air force and a proud navy. Behind and around me is a sacred community -- the [National
Socialist] Party -- with which I have become great and which has become great through me.
Our adversaries today are the same familiar enemies of more than twenty years. But the
path before us cannot be compared with the road we have already taken. Today the German people fully realizes that this is
a decisive hour for our existence. Millions of soldiers are faithfully doing their duty under the most difficult conditions.
Millions of German farmers and workers, and German women and girls, are in the factories and offices, in the fields and
farm lands, working hard to feed our homeland and supply weapons to the front. Allied with us are strong nations that have
suffered the same misery and face the same enemies.
American President and his plutocratic clique have called us the "have not" nations. That is correct! But the "have
nots" also want to live, and they will certainly make sure that what little they have to live on is not stolen from
them by the "haves." You, my Party comrades, know of my relentless determination to carry through to a successful
conclusion any struggle that has already commenced. You know of my determination in such a struggle to do everything necessary
to break all resistance that must be broken. In my first speech [of this war] on September 1, 1939, I pledged that neither
force of arms nor time would defeat Germany. I want to assure my opponents that while neither force of arms nor time will
defeat us, in addition no internal uncertainty will weaken us in the fulfillment of our duty.
When we think of the sacrifice and effort of our soldiers, then every sacrifice of [those
here in] the homeland is completely insignificant and unimportant. And when we consider the number of all those in past
generations who gave their lives for the survival and greatness of the German nation, then we are really conscious of the
magnitude of the duty that is ours.
But whoever tries
to shirk this duty has no right to be regarded as a fellow German. Just as we were pitilessly hard in the struggle for power,
so also will we be just as ruthless in the struggle for the survival of our nation. During a time in which thousands of our
best men, the fathers and sons of our people, have given their lives, anyone in the homeland who betrays the sacrifice on
the front will forfeit his life. Regardless of the pretext with which an attempt is made to disrupt the German front, undermine
the will to resist of our people, weaken the authority of the regime, or sabotage the achievements of the homeland, the
guilty person will die. But with this difference: The soldier at the front who makes this sacrifice will be held in the
greatest honor, whereas the person who debases this sacrifice of honor will die in disgrace.
Our opponents should not deceive themselves. In the two thousand years of recorded German
history, our people have never been more determined and united than today. The Lord of the universe has been so generous
to us in recent years that we bow in gratitude before a Providence that has permitted us to be members of such a great nation.
We thank Him, that along with those in earlier and coming generations of the German nation, our deeds of honor may also
be recorded in the eternal book of German history!
A LAST APPEAL TO REASON
Adolf Hitler never intended to go to war with Britain, he was simply left with no choice.
Thousands of ethnic Germans were being massacred in Poland, in lands once
belonging to Germany, while the Poles were encouraged by the Americans, French and the British, who were in turn, attempting
by any means, to force Germany into an all-out war.
Hitler wanted the British to join him in a war against the Soviets who had been planning all along to conquer Europe
in it’s entirety.
was literally caught between a the proverbial rock and hard place.
Hitler had relied upon the unwritten understanding, that the blood ties between Britain and
Germany meant that loyalty would overcome bribery and the lure of Zionist money.
He thought that he was appealing
to and dealing with Honorable men.
He was wrong.
Published below, is the translated text of
a leaflet, which was dropped in large quantities over England, following a speech along the same lines that was given by
Adolf Hitler at the Reichstag.
the propagandising of the British and American people by the Government and the mass media prevailed, and Britain was dragged
into one of the most bloody, and far reaching conflicts, in living memory.
A LAST APPEAL TO REASON
BY ADOLF HITLER
“I have summoned you
to this meeting in the midst of our tremendous struggle for the freedom and the future of the German nation. I have done
so, firstly, because I considered it imperative to give our people an insight into the events, unique in history, that lie
behind us, secondly, because I wished to express my gratitude to our magnificent soldiers, and thirdly, with the intention
of appealing, once more and for the last time, to common sense in general.
If we compare the causes which prompted this historic struggle with the magnitude and the far-
reaching effects of military events, we are forced to the conclusion that its general course and the sacrifices it has entailed
are out of proportion to the alleged reasons for its outbreak – unless they were nothing but a pretext for underlying
The programme of
the National Socialist Movement, in so far as it affected the future development of the Reich’s relations with the
rest of the world, was simply an attempt to bring about a definite revision of the Treaty of Versailles, though as far as
at all possible, this was to be accomplished by peaceful means.
This revision was absolutely essential. The conditions imposed at Versailles were intolerable,
not only because of their humiliating discrimination and because the disarmament which they ensured deprived the German
nation of all its rights, but far more so because of the consequent destruction of the material existence of one of the
great civilised nations in the world, and the proposed annihilation of its future, the utterly senseless accumulation of
immense tracts of territory under the domination of a number of states, the theft of all the irreparable foundations of life
and indispensable vital necessities from a conquered nation. While this dictate was being drawn up, men of insight even
among our foes were uttering warnings about the terrible consequences which the ruthless application of its insane conditions
would entail – a proof that even among them the conviction predominated that such a dictate could not possibly
be held up in days to come. Their objections and protests were silenced by the assurance that the statutes of the newly
created League of Nations provided for a revision of these conditions; in fact, the League was supposed to be the competent
authority. The hope of revision was thus at no time regarded as presumptuous, but as something natural. Unfortunately, the
Geneva institution, as those responsible for Versailles had intended, never looked upon itself as a body competent
to undertake any sensible revision, but from the very outset as nothing more than the guarantor of the ruthless enforcement
and maintenance of the conditions imposed at Versailles.
All attempts made by democratic Germany to obtain equality for the German people by a revision of the Treaty proved
World War Enemies Unscrupulous Victors
It is always in the interests of a conqueror to represent stipulations
that are to his advantage as sacrosanct, while the instinct of self-preservation in the vanquished leads him to
reacquire the common human rights that he has lost. For him, the dictate of an overbearing conqueror had all the less legal
force, since he had never been honorably conquered. Owing to a rare misfortune, the German Empire, between 1914 and 1918,
lacked good leadership. To this, and to the as yet unenlightened faith and trust placed by the German people in the words
of democratic statesmen, our downfall was due.
Hence the Franco-British claim that the Dictate of Versailles was a sort of international, or even a supreme,
code of laws, appeared to be nothing more than a piece of insolent arrogance to every honest German, the assumption, however,
that British or French statesmen should actually claim to be the guardians of justice, and even of human culture, as mere
effrontery. A piece of effrontery that is thrown into a sufficiently glaring light by their own extremely negligible achievements
in this direction. For seldom have any countries in the world been ruled with a lesser degree of wisdom, morality and culture
than those which are at the moment exposed to the ragings of certain democratic statesmen.
The programme of the National Socialist Movement, besides freeing
the Reich from the innermost fetters of a small substratum of Jewish-capitalist and pluto-democratic profiteers, proclaimed
to the world our resolution to shake off the shackles of the Versailles Dictate.”
Adolf Hitler's Spot-On 1936
Speech on the Evil of Soviet Bolshevism (Transcript)
at the September 1936 Nuremburg Nazi party rally. Source: The Ethnic European.
"The aim of Bolshevism ... is to exterminate all that is healthy and replace the same by depravity
and degenerate elements. We do not want a situation here in Germany, as in Russia, in which 98% of official key
positions are held by alien Jews."
"Such is the difference between
the Bolshevik and the National Socialist revolutions: The one transforms prosperous and peaceful countries
into a waste of ruin and devastation, whilst the other, re-builds a broken-down and poverty-stricken Reich into
an economically sound and prosperous state."
“We do not deny the grave concern which we feel at the thought of other nations becoming a victim
of Bolshevism towards which we are deadly antagonistic. This deadly enmity of ours is not based on an obstinate
refusal to recognise any ideas that may be contrary to ours. But this hostility is based on a natural feeling of
revulsion towards a diabolical doctrine that threatens the world at large and Germany.
The first phase in the fight of National Socialism against Communism did not take place in Russia. Soviet
Communism tried to poison Germany between the years 1918 and 1920, and its methods of penetration into this country
was much the same as its present-day military efforts in moving the Bolshevik military machine closer and closer
to German frontiers.
We have stamped out Bolshevism,
which Moscow’s blood-fiends such as Lewin, Axelroth, Neumann, Bela-Kuhn, etc. tried to introduce into Germany.
And it is because we see day by day these efforts of Soviet rulers to meddle in our domestic affairs have not yet
ceased, that we are forced to regard Bolshevism beyond our frontiers as our deadly enemy.
We have fought Bolshevism in Germany as a philosophy that endeavoured to poison and destroy our
people. And Bolshevism will continue to be fought if it attempts to introduce its sordid Spanish methods into
Germany (Spanish Civil War).
It is not the aim of Bolshevism to free
nations from their ailments. Its object is to exterminate all that is healthy and replace the same by depravity
and degenerate elements. We do not want a situation here in Germany, as in Russia, in which 98% of official key
positions are held by alien Jews. Under no circumstances do we want our national intelligence debased.
Communism, however, cannot deny
that in Russia today 98% of all official positions are held by Jews who not only can never be classed as members
of the proletariat, but who have never earned an honest penny in their lives.
We have fought Bolshevism because its leaders had planned for us a slaughter house on Russian and Spanish
lines. Such is the difference between the Bolshevik and the National Socialist revolutions. The one transforms
prosperous and peaceful countries into a waste of ruin and devastation, whilst the other, re-builds a broken-down
and poverty-stricken Reich into an economically sound and prosperous state.
German people were familiar with the true nature of Bolshevism whilst the peoples of Britain and the United States
were kept in ignorance. Censorship protected Jewish-owned finance houses and corporate interests that were investing
in Bolshevik USSR.
We believe that it is a bigger task to put five
million people back to work than to burn down houses and churches and allow hundreds of thousands of workers and peasants
and others to kill each other. We have also fought Bolshevism on general economic grounds.
From time to time, the world hears of hunger famines in Russia. Since
1917, that is, since the victory of Bolshevism, there is no end to this form of distress. Russia, starving for
close on 20 years, was one of the richest grain countries in the world.
When compared with Germany, Russia possesses eighteen times more land
per head of population, and yet what a sorry form of economic policy this country must have to deny its people
a decent form of livelihood. If Bolshevism in Russia, however, does not succeed in getting nine farmers to produce
sufficient to at least support one non-farmer what then would have happened in Germany, where two and a half farmers
produce enough to support seven and a half non-farmers?
What would have happened to Germany and the whole of its economic structure if Jewish-Bolshevik
economic malpractice had ever been allowed to take root here?
We have fought Bolshevism because a victory for it in Germany would have spelled
starvation for perhaps 50% of our population. If Russia were incapable of supporting not even eight people
per square kilometre, then in Germany under Bolshevik rule, not even ten million would have had the necessary
minimum standard of living. For here in Germany, our 68 million people occupy the same area, which in Russia
would not support more than 5 million.
Bolshevism preaches world revolution, and it would use the German workers as cannon fodder for the attainment of
its goal. We National Socialists, however, do not want our military forces to be used for forcing upon other
nations something that they do not want. Our Army does not swear an oath that it will carry our National Socialist
ideology to other nations.
British politicians in England have so far not had the opportunity of learning what Communism in one’s
own country stands for. But we have.
As I am the one who has fought against this Judeo-Soviet teaching in Germany and stamped it out. I
flatter myself that I possess more understanding of the true character of Bolshevism than those armchair critics
who at most have read up on the subject a little.
Today, I follow the spread of Bolshevik poison throughout the world just as assiduously as I followed
its poisonous trail years ago in Germany, and never lost an opportunity of warning the country. The abhorrent
mass-murders of nationalists, the burning alive of wives of nationalist officers after soaking them in petrol,
the revolting murder of children of nationalist parents as for example in Spain, should serve as a warning to
help to break down resistance in other countries.”
On the morning
of June 22, 1941, Reich Minister Joseph Goebbels announced to the world the startling news that German forces, together
with Finnish and Romanian troops, had struck against the vast Soviet Union. On German radio he read Adolf Hitler's historic
proclamation justifying the attack. Among other things, he said that Stalin had massed some 160 divisions to strike westwards.
In reality, more than 300 Soviet divisions were assembled against Germany and Europe. Hitler and his generals had thereby
greatly underestimated the Soviet danger -- a fateful miscalculation that ultimately proved catastrophic, and not just for
Germany. To the Italian leader Benito Mussolini, Hitler wrote that deciding to attack Soviet Russia was "the most difficult
decision of my life." And even though it meant engaging Germany in a two-front war, something he had specifically warned
against in Mein Kampf, this was a decision he never regretted. Hitler's strike against the Soviet Union, code-named
"Barbarossa," has often been called his worst single military blunder because the immense clash he unleashed ended
four years later, in May 1945, with his suicide in his Berlin command post, Soviet forces hoisting the Red hammer-and-sickle
banner above the Reichstag, and Germany's unconditional surrender. Hitler's "Barbarossa" assault is often, but
simplistically, portrayed as a treacherous and unprovoked surprise attack against a peaceable ally, motivated by greed,
dreams of empire, loathing of Russians and other Slavic peoples, and visceral hatred of Communism. Today, 60 years later,
German and Russian historians continue to grapple with the origins of this mightiest military clash in history. Because Hitler's
proclamation of June 22, 1941, helps to explain the German leader's motives for turning against Soviet Russia, it is a document
of historic importance. The text is given here in full.
German people! National Socialists!
Weighed down with heavy cares, condemned to months-long silence, the hour
has now come when at last I can speak frankly.
When on September 3, 1939, the German Reich received the British declaration of war there was repeated anew the
British attempt to thwart every beginning of a consolidation of Europe and thereby its rise, by fighting against whatever
power on the Continent was strongest at any given time. That is how, in times past, Britain ruined Spain in many wars.
That is how she conducted her wars against Holland. That is how
later she fought France with the aid of all Europe, and that is how, at the turn of the century, she began the encirclement
of the then German Reich and, in 1914, the [First] World War. It was only on account of its internal lack of unity that
Germany was defeated in 1918. The consequences were terrible.
After hypocritical declarations that the fight was solely against the Kaiser and his regime,
and once the German army had laid down its arms, the annihilation of the German Reich began according to plan.
While the prophecies of a French statesman
that there were two million Germans too many -- in other words, that this number would have to be eliminated by hunger,
disease or emigration -- were apparently being fulfilled to the letter, the National Socialist movement began its work of
unifying the German people, and thereby initiating the resurgence of the Reich. This rise of our people from distress, misery
and shameful disregard was in the form of a purely internal renaissance. In no way did that affect, much less threaten, Britain.
Nevertheless, a new, hate-filled policy of
encirclement against Germany began immediately. Internally and externally there came into being that plot, familiar to all
of us, between Jews and democrats, Bolsheviks and reactionaries, with the sole aim of inhibiting the establishment of the
new German people's state, and of plunging the Reich anew into impotence and misery.
Apart from us, the hatred of this international world conspiracy was directed
against those nations that, like ourselves, were neglected by fortune and were obliged to earn their daily bread in the hardest
struggle for existence.
all, the right of Italy and Japan, just as much as that of Germany, to share in the goods of this world was contested and
in fact was formally denied. The alliance of these [three] nations was, therefore, purely an act of self-protection in the
face of the egoistic global combination of wealth and power that threatened them. As early as 1936 [Winston] Churchill,
according to statements by the American General Wood before a committee of the American House of Representatives, declared
that Germany was once again becoming too powerful and must therefore be destroyed.
In the Summer of 1939 the time seemed to have come for Britain to begin
to realize its intended annihilation by repetition of a comprehensive policy of encirclement of Germany. The plan of the
campaign of lies staged for this purpose consisted in declaring that other people were threatened, in tricking them with
British promises of guarantees and assistance, and of getting them to go against Germany, just as had happened prior to
the [First] World War.
May to August 1939, Britain thus succeeded in broadcasting to the world that Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Finland and Bessarabia.
as well as Ukraine, were being directly threatened by Germany. Some of these states allowed themselves to be misled into
accepting the promise of guarantee proffered with these assertions, thus joining the new encirclement front against Germany.
Under these circumstances I considered myself entitled to assume responsibility, before my own conscience and before the
history of the German people, not only of assuring these countries or their governments of the falseness of these British
assertions, but also of setting at rest the strongest power in the east [the Soviet Union], by especially solemn declarations
regarding the limits of our interests.
National Socialists! At that time you probably all felt that this step was a bitter and difficult one for me. The
German people has never harbored hostile feelings against the peoples of Russia. However, for more than two decades the
Jewish Bolshevik rulers in Moscow had been endeavoring to set aflame not only Germany but all Europe. At no time did Germany
ever attempt to carry her National Socialist worldview into Russia, but on the contrary Jewish Bolshevik rulers in Moscow
unswervingly endeavored to foist their domination upon us and other European nations, not only by ideological means but above
all with military force. The consequences of the activity of this regime were nothing but chaos, misery and starvation in
I, on the other
hand, have been striving for two decades, with a minimum of intervention and without destroying our production, to arrive
at a new socialist order in Germany, one that not only eliminates unemployment but also permits the productive worker to
receive an ever greater share of the fruits of his labor. The achievements of this policy of national economic and social
reconstruction -- which strove for a true national community by overcoming rank and class divisions -- are unique in today's
It was therefore only
with extreme difficulty that I brought myself in August 1939 to send my [Foreign] Minister [von Ribbentrop] to Moscow in
an endeavor there to counter the British encirclement policy against Germany. I did this only out of a sense of responsibility
toward the German people, but above all in the hope of finally, in spite of everything, achieving long-term detente and
of being able to reduce sacrifices that otherwise might have been demanded of us.
While Germany solemnly affirmed in Moscow that the designated territories
and countries -- with the exception of Lithuania -- lay outside any German political interests, a special [supplementary]
agreement was concluded in case Britain were to succeed in inciting Poland into actually going to war against Germany. In
this case, as well, German claims were subject to limitations entirely out of proportion to the achievements of the German
The consequences of this treaty, which I myself desired and which was concluded in the interests of the German nation, were
very severe, particularly for Germans living in the countries concerned. Far more than half a million [ethnically] German
men and women, all small farmers, artisans and workmen, were forced to leave their former homeland practically overnight
in order to escape from a new [Soviet] regime that at first threatened them with boundless misery and sooner or later with
thousands of Germans disappeared. It was impossible ever to determine their fate, let alone their whereabouts. Among them
were no fewer than 160 men of German Reich citizenship. To all this I remained silent because I had to! For, after all, it
was my one desire to bring about a final relief of tension and, if possible, a permanent settlement with this [Soviet] state.
However, already during our advance in Poland,
Soviet rulers suddenly, and contrary to the treaty, also claimed Lithuania. The German Reich never had any intention of
occupying Lithuania, and not only failed to present any such demand to the Lithuanian government, but on the contrary refused
the request of the then Lithuanian government to send German troops to Lithuania in that spirit for that purpose as inconsistent
with the aims of German policy.
all this I complied also with this fresh Russian demand. However, this was only the beginning of continually renewed extortions,
which have been repeated ever since.
The victory in Poland, which was won exclusively by German troops, prompted me to address yet another peace offer
to the Western powers [Britain and France]. It was rejected, due to the efforts of the international and Jewish warmongers.
Already at that time the reason for this rejection lay in the fact that Britain still had hopes of being able to mobilize
a European coalition against Germany, which was to include the Balkans and Soviet Russia. It was therefore decided in London
to send Mr. Cripps as ambassador to Moscow. He received clear instructions under all circumstances to resume relations between
Britain and Soviet Russia, and develop them in a pro-British direction. The British press reported on the progress of this
mission, except insofar as tactical reasons did not impose silence.
In the fall of 1939 and the spring of 1940 the first results actually made themselves
felt. As Russia undertook to subjugate by armed force not only Finland but also the Baltic states, she suddenly motivated
this action by the assertion, as ridiculous as it was false, that she must protect these countries from an outside threat,
or forestall it. This could only be meant to apply to Germany, for no other power could even intervene in the Baltic area,
let alone go to war there. Still I had to be silent. However, those in power in the Kremlin immediately went further.
Whereas in the spring of 1940 Germany, in
accordance with the so-called Friendship Treaty [of Sept. 28, 1939, with Soviet Russia], withdrew her forces from the eastern
frontier and, in fact, for the most part cleared these areas entirely of German troops, a deployment of Russian forces at
that time was already beginning, to an extent that could only be regarded as a deliberate threat to Germany.
According to a statement that [Soviet Foreign
Minister] Molotov personally made at that time, there were 22 Russian divisions in the Baltic states alone already in the
spring of 1940. Given that the Russian government always claimed that it had been called in by the local population, the
purpose of their presence there could only be a demonstration against Germany.
While our soldiers from May 10, 1940, onward were breaking Franco-British
power in the west, Russian military deployment on our eastern frontier was continuing to an ever more menacing extent. From
August 1940 onward I therefore considered it to be in the interest of the Reich to no longer permit our eastern provinces,
which moreover had been laid waste so often before, to remain unprotected in the face of this tremendous deployment of Bolshevik
Thus, and just as
intended by this British-Soviet Russian cooperation, there came about the tying up of such strong [German] forces in the
east that a radical conclusion of the war in the west, particularly as regards aircraft, could no longer be vouched for by
the German leadership. This, however, was in line with the goals not only of British but also of Soviet Russian policy,
for both Britain and Soviet Russia intended to let this war go on for as long as possible in order to weaken all Europe
and render it ever more impotent.
threatened attack on Romania was in the last analysis equally intended to gain possession of or, if possible, to destroy,
an important base of the economic life of not only Germany, but of all of Europe. Since 1933 the German Reich sought with
boundless patience to win over states in southeastern Europe as trading partners. We therefore also had the greatest interest
in their internal consolidation and order. Russia's advance into Romania and Greece's alliance with Britain threatened to
quickly turn these regions as well into a general theater of war.
Contrary to our principles and customs, and at the urgent request of the then Romanian government,
which was itself responsible for this development, I advised that it acquiesce to the Soviet Russian demands for the sake
of peace, and to cede [the province of] Bessarabia. The Romanian government believed, however, that it could answer for this
before its own people only if Germany and Italy in compensation would at least guarantee the integrity of what still remained
of Romania. I did so with heavy heart, above all because when the German Reich gives a guarantee, that means it also abides
by it. We are neither Englishmen nor Jews.
I still believe at this late hour to have served the cause of peace in that region, albeit by assuming a serious
obligation of our own. In order, however, finally to solve these problems and achieve clarity concerning the Russian attitude
toward Germany, as well as under pressure of continually increasing mobilization on our eastern frontier, I invited Mr.
Molotov to come to Berlin.
Soviet Foreign Minister [during their November 1940 meeting] then demanded Germany's clarification of or agreement to the
following four questions:
first question: Is the German guarantee for Romania also directed against Soviet Russia in case of attack by Soviet Russia
The German guarantee is a general one and is unconditionally binding upon us. Russia, however, never declared to us that
she had other interests in Romania beyond Bessarabia. The [Soviet] occupation of Northern Bukovina was already a violation
of this assurance. I did not therefore think that Russia could now suddenly have more far-reaching intentions against Rumania.
Molotov's second question: Russia again feels
itself menaced by Finland, Russia is determined not to tolerate this. Is Germany ready not to give any aid to Finland, and
above all immediately to withdraw German relief troops marching through to Kirkenes?
My answer: As ever, Germany has absolutely no political interests in Finland.
A new war by Russia against the small Finnish nation could not, however, be regarded any longer by the German government
as tolerable, all the more so because we could never believe that Finland could threaten Russia. Under no circumstances
did we want another theater of war to arise in the Baltic.
Molotov's third question: Is Germany prepared to agree that Soviet Russia give a guarantee
to Bulgaria and, in this regard, send Soviet troops to Bulgaria, in connection with which he -- Molotov -- was prepared
to state that the Soviets did not intend on that account, for example, to depose the King?
My answer: Bulgaria is a sovereign state, and I have no knowledge that
Bulgaria had ever asked Soviet Russia for any kind of guarantee such as Romania had requested from Germany. Moreover, I would
have to discuss the matter with my allies.
Molotov's fourth question: Soviet Russia absolutely requires free passage through the Dardanelles, and for her protection
also demands occupation of a number of important bases on the Dardanelles and the Bosporus. Is Germany in agreement with
this or not?
My answer: Germany
is prepared at any time to agree to altering the Treaty of Montreux  in favor of the Black Sea states. Germany is
not prepared to agree to Russia's taking possession of bases on the Straits.
National Socialists! Here I adopted the only attitude that I could adopt
as the responsible leader of the German Reich, but also a conscientiously responsible representative of European culture
and civilization. The result was to increase the activity in Soviet Russia directed against the Reich, above all, however,
the immediate commencement of undermining the new Romanian state from within, and an attempt to remove the Bulgarian government
With the help
of confused and immature leaders of the Romanian [Iron Guard] Legion a coup d'etat was staged in Romania whose aim was to
overthrow Chief of State General Antonescu and produce chaos in the country so as to eliminate thee legal authority and
thus remove the precondition for implementing the German guarantee. I nevertheless still believed it best to remain silent.
Immediately after the failure of this undertaking,
there was renewed reinforcement of concentrations of Russian troops on Germany's eastern frontier. Panzer detachments and
parachute troops were transferred in ever increasing numbers to dangerous proximity to the German frontier. The German armed
forces and the German homeland know that until a few weeks ago not a single German tank or motorized division was stationed
on our eastern frontier.
any final proof was required for the coalition meanwhile formed between Britain and Soviet Russia, despite all diversion
and camouflage, the Yugoslav conflict provided it. While I made every effort to undertake a final attempt to pacify the
Balkans and, in sympathetic cooperation with the Duce [Mussolini], invited Yugoslavia to join the Tripartite Pact, Britain
and Soviet Russia jointly organized that coup d'etat which, in a single night, removed the government that had been ready
to come to agreement.
we can inform the German nation that the Serb putsch against Germany did not take place merely under the British, but primarily
under Soviet Russian auspices. While we remained silent on this matter as well, the Soviet leaders now went one step further.
They not only organized the putsch, but a few days later [April 5, 1941] concluded that well-known friendship treaty with
those submissive creatures, which was meant to strengthen the Serbs in their will to resist pacification of the Balkans,
and to incite them against Germany. And this was no platonic intention: Moscow demanded mobilization of the Serbian army.
Because, even then, I still believed it better
not to speak out, those in power in the Kremlin went still further: The government of the German Reich today possesses documentary
evidence proving that Russia, in order finally to bring Serbia into the war, gave her a promise to supply her, by way of
Salonika, with weapons, aircraft, munitions and other war materials against Germany. And this happened almost at the very
moment that I was advising Japanese Foreign Minister Matsuoka to bring about an easing of tensions with Russia, still hoping
thereby to serve the cause of peace.
Only the rapid advance of our incomparable divisions to Skoplje [Skopje], as well as the capture of Salonika itself,
frustrated the aims of this Soviet Russian-British plot. Officers of the Serbian air force, however, fled to Russia and
were there immediately received as allies.
It was only the victory of the Axis powers in the Balkans that thwarted the plan to tie down Germany this summer
in months of fighting in southeastern Europe while meantime steadily completing the deployment of Soviet Russian armies
and strengthening their readiness for battle in order, finally, together with Britain and supported by anticipated American
supplies, to tie down and then defeat the German Reich and Italy.
Thus Moscow not only broke but miserably betrayed the stipulations of our friendship treaty.
All this was done while the rulers in the Kremlin, exactly as in the case of Finland and Romania, up to the last moment
pretended peace and friendship and issued seemingly harmless denials.
Although I have been obliged by circumstances again and again to keep silent, the
moment has now come when to continue as a mere observer would not only be a sin of omission but a crime against the German
people -- yes, even against the whole of Europe.
Today something like 160 Russian divisions are standing at our frontier. For weeks there have been constant violations
of this frontier, not only affecting us but also in the far north [against Finland], as well as Romania. Russian airmen
consider it sport nonchalantly to overlook these frontiers, presumably to prove to us that they already feel themselves
masters of these territories. During the night of June 17 to 18 Russian patrols again penetrated into Reich territory, and
could only be driven back after prolonged exchange of fire.
This has brought us to the hour when it is necessary for us to counter this plot of Jewish-British
warmongers and equally the Jewish rulers of the Bolshevik center in Moscow.
German people! At this moment a deployment of forces is taking place that, in its
extent and scope, is the greatest the world hitherto has seen. United with their Finnish comrades, the fighters of the victory
of Narvik are standing in the Northern Arctic. German divisions commanded by the conqueror of Norway [General Dietl], together
with the heroes of Finnish freedom under their Marshal [Mannerheim], are protecting Finnish soil. Formations of the German
eastern front extend from East Prussia to the Carpathians. German and Romanian soldiers are united under Chief of State
Antonescu from the banks of the Prut along the lower reaches of the Danube to the shores of the Black Sea.
The task of this front, therefore, is not merely the protection of individual
countries, but the safeguarding of Europe, and thereby the salvation of all.
I therefore decided today to once again lay the fate and future of the German
Reich and our people in the hands of our soldiers.
May the Lord God help us especially in this fight!
Why Germany Invaded Poland
Great Britain’s Blank Check to Poland
On March 21, 1939, while hosting French Prime
Minister Édouard Daladier, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain discussed a joint front with France, Russia
and Poland to act together against German aggression. France agreed at once, and the Russians agreed on the condition that
both France and Poland sign first. However, Polish Foreign Minister Józef Beck vetoed the agreement on March 24, 1939. Polish statesmen feared Russia more than they did Germany. Polish Marshal Edward Śmigły-Rydz told the French
ambassador, “With the Germans we risk losing our liberty; with the Russians we lose our soul.”
complication arose in European diplomacy when a movement among the residents of Memel in Lithuania sought to join Germany.
The Allied victors in the Versailles Treaty had detached Memel from East Prussia and placed it in a separate League of Nations
protectorate. Lithuania then proceeded to seize Memel from the League of Nations shortly after World War I. Memel was historically
a German city which in the seven centuries of its history had never separated from its East Prussian homeland. Germany was
so weak after World War I that it could not prevent the tiny new-born nation of Lithuania from seizing Memel.
occupation of Prague in March 1939 had generated uncontrollable excitement among the mostly German population of Memel.
The population of Memel was clamoring to return to Germany and could no longer be restrained. The Lithuanian foreign minister
traveled to Berlin on March 22, 1939, where he agreed to the immediate transfer of Memel to Germany. The annexation of Memel
into Germany went through the next day. The question of Memel exploded of itself without any deliberate German plan of annexation. Polish leaders agreed that the return of Memel to Germany from Lithuania would not constitute an issue of conflict between
Germany and Poland.
did cause conflict between Germany and Poland was the so-called Free City of Danzig. Danzig was founded in the early 14th
century and was historically the key port at the mouth of the great Vistula River. From the beginning Danzig was inhabited
almost exclusively by Germans, with the Polish minority in 1922 constituting less than 3% of the city’s 365,000 inhabitants.
The Treaty of Versailles converted Danzig from a German provincial capital into a League of Nations protectorate subject
to numerous strictures established for the benefit of Poland. The great preponderance of the citizens of Danzig had never
wanted to leave Germany, and they were eager to return to Germany in 1939. Their eagerness to join Germany was exacerbated
by the fact that Germany’s economy was healthy while Poland’s economy was still mired in depression.
of the German citizens of Danzig had consistently demonstrated their unwavering loyalty to National Socialism and its principles.
They had even elected a National Socialist parliamentary majority before this result had been achieved in Germany. It was
widely known that Poland was constantly seeking to increase her control over Danzig despite the wishes of Danzig’s
German majority. Hitler was not opposed to Poland’s further economic aspirations at Danzig, but Hitler was resolved
never to permit the establishment of a Polish political regime at Danzig. Such a renunciation of Danzig by Hitler would
have been a repudiation of the loyalty of Danzig citizens to the Third Reich and their spirit of self-determination.
presented a proposal for a comprehensive settlement of the Danzig question with Poland on October 24, 1938. Hitler’s
plan would allow Germany to annex Danzig and construct a superhighway and a railroad to East Prussia. In return Poland would
be granted a permanent free port in Danzig and the right to build her own highway and railroad to the port. The entire Danzig
area would also become a permanent free market for Polish goods on which no German customs duties would be levied. Germany
would take the unprecedented step of recognizing and guaranteeing the existing German-Polish frontier, including the boundary
in Upper Silesia established in 1922. This later provision was extremely important since the Versailles Treaty had given
Poland much additional territory which Germany proposed to renounce. Hitler’s offer to guarantee Poland’s frontiers
also carried with it a degree of military security that no other non-Communist nation could match.
proposed settlement with Poland was far less favorable to Germany than the Thirteenth Point of Wilson’s program at
Versailles. The Versailles Treaty gave Poland large slices of territory in regions such as West Prussia and Western Posen
which were overwhelmingly German. The richest industrial section of Upper Silesia was also later given to Poland despite
the fact that Poland had lost the plebiscite there. Germany was willing to renounce these territories in the interest of German-Polish cooperation. This concession of Hitler’s
was more than adequate to compensate for the German annexation of Danzig and construction of a superhighway and a railroad
in the Corridor. The Polish diplomats themselves believed that Germany’s proposal was a sincere and realistic basis
for a permanent agreement.
March 26, 1939, the Polish Ambassador to Berlin, Joseph Lipski, formally rejected Germany’s settlement proposals. The
Poles had waited over five months to reject Germany’s proposals, and they refused to countenance any change in existing
conditions. Lipski stated to German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop that “it was his painful duty to draw
attention to the fact that any further pursuance of these German plans, especially where the return of Danzig to the Reich
was concerned, meant war with Poland.”
Foreign Minister Józef Beck accepted an offer from Great Britain on March 30, 1939, to give an unconditional guarantee
of Poland’s independence. The British Empire agreed to go to war as an ally of Poland if the Poles decided that war
was necessary. In words drafted by British Foreign Secretary Lord Halifax, Chamberlain spoke in the House of Commons on
March 31, 1939:
now have to inform the House…that in the event of any action which clearly threatened Polish independence and which
the Polish Government accordingly considered it vital to resist with their national forces, His Majesty’s Government
would feel themselves bound at once to lend the Polish Government all support in their power. They have given the Polish
Government an assurance to that effect.
Great Britain for the
first time in history had left the decision whether or not to fight a war outside of her own country to another nation.
Britain’s guarantee to Poland was binding without commitments from the Polish side. The British public was astonished
by this move. Despite its unprecedented nature, Halifax encountered little difficulty in persuading the British Conservative,
Liberal and Labor parties to accept Great Britain’s unconditional guarantee to Poland.
British historians and diplomats have criticized Britain’s unilateral guarantee of Poland. For example, British diplomat
Roy Denman called the war guarantee to Poland “the most reckless undertaking ever given by a British government. It
placed the decision on peace or war in Europe in the hands of a reckless, intransigent, swashbuckling military dictatorship.” British historian Niall Ferguson states that the war guarantee to Poland tied Britain’s “destiny to that of
a regime that was every bit as undemocratic and anti-Semitic as that of Germany.” English military historian Liddell Hart stated that the Polish guarantee “placed Britain’s destiny in the hands
of Poland’s rulers, men of very dubious and unstable judgment. Moreover, the guarantee was impossible to fulfill except
with Russia’s help.…”
historian Richard M. Watt writes concerning Britain’s unilateral guarantee to Poland: “This enormously broad
guarantee virtually left to the Poles the decision whether or not Britain would go to war. For Britain to give such a blank
check to a Central European nation, particularly to Poland—a nation that Britain had generally regarded as irresponsible
and greedy—was mind-boggling.”
the Belgian Minister to Germany, Vicomte Jacques Davignon, received the text of the British guarantee to Poland, he exclaimed
that “blank check” was the only possible description of the British pledge. Davignon was extremely alarmed in
view of the proverbial recklessness of the Poles. German State Secretary Ernst von Weizsäcker attempted to reassure
Davignon by claiming that the situation between Germany and Poland was not tragic. However, Davignon correctly feared that
the British move would produce war in a very short time.
later exclaimed scornfully that “the British guarantee to Poland was like offering sugar to an untrained child before
it had learned to listen to reason!”
Deterioration of German-Polish Relations
German-Polish relationships had become strained by the increasing harshness with which the Polish authorities handled
the German minority. The Polish government in the 1930s began to confiscate the land of its German minority at bargain prices
through public expropriation. The German government resented the fact that German landowners received only one-eighth of
the value of their holdings from the Polish government. Since the Polish public was aware of the German situation and desired
to exploit it, the German minority in Poland could not sell the land in advance of expropriation. Furthermore, Polish law
forbade Germans from privately selling large areas of land.
German diplomats insisted that the November 1937 Minorities Pact
with Poland for the equal treatment of German and Polish landowners be observed in 1939. Despite Polish assurances of fairness
and equal treatment, German diplomats learned on February 15, 1939, that the latest expropriations of land in Poland were
predominantly of German holdings. These expropriations virtually eliminated substantial German landholdings in Poland at
a time when most of the larger Polish landholdings were still intact. It became evident that nothing could be done diplomatically
to help the German minority in Poland.
threatened Germany with a partial mobilization of her forces on March 23, 1939. Hundreds of thousands of Polish Army reservists
were mobilized, and Hitler was warned that Poland would fight to prevent the return of Danzig to Germany. The Poles were
surprised to discover that Germany did not take this challenge seriously. Hitler, who deeply desired friendship with Poland,
refrained from responding to the Polish threat of war. Germany did not threaten Poland and took no precautionary military
measures in response to the Polish partial mobilization.
regarded a German-Polish agreement as a highly welcome alternative to a German-Polish war. However, no further negotiations
for a German-Polish agreement occurred after the British guarantee to Poland because Józef Beck refused to negotiate.
Beck ignored repeated German suggestions for further negotiations because Beck knew that Halifax hoped to accomplish the
complete destruction of Germany. Halifax had considered an Anglo-German war inevitable since 1936, and Britain’s anti-German
policy was made public with a speech by Neville Chamberlain on March 17, 1939. Halifax discouraged German-Polish negotiations
because he was counting on Poland to provide the pretext for a British pre-emptive war against Germany.
situation between Germany and Poland deteriorated rapidly during the six weeks from the Polish partial mobilization of March
23, 1939, to a speech delivered by Józef Beck on May 5, 1939. Beck’s primary purpose in delivering his speech
before the Sejm, the lower house of the Polish parliament, was to convince the Polish public and the world that he was able
and willing to challenge Hitler. Beck knew that Halifax had succeeded in creating a warlike atmosphere in Great Britain,
and that he could go as far as he wanted without displeasing the British. Beck took an uncompromising attitude in his speech
that effectively closed the door to further negotiations with Germany.
Beck made numerous false and hypocritical statements in his speech.
One of the most astonishing claims in his speech was that there was nothing extraordinary about the British guarantee to
Poland. He described it as a normal step in the pursuit of friendly relations with a neighboring country. This was in sharp
contrast to British diplomat Sir Alexander Cadogan’s statement to Joseph Kennedy that Britain’s guarantee to
Poland was without precedent in the entire history of British foreign policy.
ended his speech with a stirring climax that produced wild excitement in the Polish Sejm. Someone in the audience screamed
loudly, “We do not need peace!” and pandemonium followed. Beck had made many Poles in the audience determined
to fight Germany. This feeling resulted from their ignorance which made it impossible for them to criticize the numerous
falsehoods and misstatements in Beck’s speech. Beck made the audience feel that Hitler had insulted the honor of Poland
with what were actually quite reasonable peace proposals. Beck had effectively made Germany the deadly enemy of Poland.
than 1 million ethnic Germans resided in Poland at the time of Beck’s speech, and these Germans were the principal
victims of the German-Polish crisis in the coming weeks. The Germans in Poland were subjected to increasing doses of violence
from the dominant Poles. The British public was told repeatedly that the grievances of the German minority in Poland were
largely imaginary. The average British citizen was completely unaware of the terror and fear ofdeath that stalked these
Germans in Poland. Ultimately, many thousands of Germans in Poland died in consequence of the crisis. They were among the
first victims of British Foreign Secretary Halifax’s war policy against Germany.
immediate responsibility for security measures involving the German minority in Poland rested with Interior Department Ministerial
Director Waclaw Zyborski. Zyborski consented to discuss the situation on June 23, 1939, with Walther Kohnert, one of the
leaders of the German minority at Bromberg. Zyborski admitted to Kohnert that the Germans of Poland were in an unenviable
situation, but he was not sympathetic to their plight. Zyborski ended their lengthy conversation by stating frankly that
his policy required a severe treatment of the German minority in Poland. He made it clear that it was impossible for the
Germans of Poland to alleviate their hard fate. The Germans in Poland were the helpless hostages of the Polish community
and the Polish state.
leaders of the German minority in Poland repeatedly appealed to the Polish government for help during this period. Sen. Hans
Hasbach, the leader of the conservative German minority faction, and Dr. Rudolf Wiesner, the leader of the Young German
Party, each made multiple appeals to Poland’s government to end the violence. In a futile appeal on July 6, 1939,
to Premier Sławoj-Składkowski, head of Poland’s Department of Interior, Wiesner referred to the waves of
public violence against the Germans at Tomaszów near Lódz, May 13-15th, at Konstantynów,
May 21-22nd, and at Pabianice, June 22-23, 1939. The appeal of Wiesner produced no results. The leaders of the
German political groups eventually recognized that they had no influence with Polish authorities despite their loyal attitudes
toward Poland. It was “open season” on the Germans of Poland with the approval of the Polish government.
anti-German incidents also occurred against the German majority in the Free City of Danzig. On May 21, 1939, Zygmunt Morawski,
a former Polish soldier, murdered a German at Kalthof on Danzig territory. The incident itself would not have been so unusual
except for the fact that Polish officials acted as if Poland and not the League of Nations had sovereign power over Danzig.
Polish officials refused to apologize for the incident, and they treated with contempt the effort of Danzig authorities
to bring Morawski to trial. The Poles in Danzig considered themselves above the law.
steadily mounted at Danzig after the Morawski murder. The German citizens of Danzig were convinced that Poland would show
them no mercy if Poland gained the upper hand. The Poles were furious when they learned that Danzig was defying Poland by
organizing its own militia for home defense. The Poles blamed Hitler for this situation. The Polish government protested
to German Ambassador Hans von Moltke on July 1, 1939, about the Danzig government’s military-defense measures. Józef
Beck told French Ambassador Léon Noël on July 6, 1939, that the Polish government had decided that additional
measures were necessary to meet the alleged threat from Danzig.
July 29, 1939, the Danzig government presented two protest notes to the Poles concerning illegal activities of Polish custom
inspectors and frontier officials. The Polish government responded by terminating the export of duty-free herring and margarine
from Danzig to Poland. Polish officials next announced in the early hours of August 5, 1939, that the frontiers of Danzig
would be closed to the importation of all foreign food products unless the Danzig government promised by the end of the
day never to interfere with the activities of Polish customs inspectors. This threat was formidable since Danzig produced
only a relatively small portion of its own food. All Polish customs inspectors would also bear arms while performing their
duty after August 5, 1939. The Polish ultimatum made it obvious that Poland intended to replace the League of Nations as
the sovereign power at Danzig.
concluded that Poland was seeking to provoke an immediate conflict with Germany. The Danzig government submitted to the Polish
ultimatum in accordance with Hitler’s recommendation.
Beck explained to British Ambassador Kennard that the Polish government was prepared to take military measures against Danzig
if it failed to accept Poland’s terms. The citizens of Danzig were convinced that Poland would have executed a full
military occupation of Danzig had the Polish ultimatum been rejected. It was apparent to the German government that the
British and French were either unable or unwilling to restrain the Polish government from arbitrary steps that could result
August 7, 1939, the Polish censors permitted the newspaper Illustrowany Kuryer Codzienny in Kraków
to feature an article of unprecedented candor. The article stated that Polish units were constantly crossing the German frontier
to destroy German military installations and to carry captured German military materiel into Poland. The Polish government
failed to prevent the newspaper, which had the largest circulation in Poland, from telling the world that Poland was instigating
a series of violations of Germany’s frontier with Poland.
Ambassador Jerzy Potocki unsuccessfully attempted to persuade Józef Beck to seek an agreement with Germany. Potocki
later succinctly explained the situation in Poland by stating “Poland prefers Danzig to peace.”
Roosevelt knew that Poland had caused the crisis which began at Danzig, and he was worried that the American public might
learn the truth about the situation. This could be a decisive factor in discouraging Roosevelt’s plan for American
military intervention in Europe. Roosevelt instructed U.S. Ambassador Biddle to urge the Poles to be more careful in making
it appear that German moves were responsible for any inevitable explosion at Danzig. Biddle reported to Roosevelt on August
11, 1939, that Beck expressed no interest in engaging in a series of elaborate but empty maneuvers designed to deceive the
American public. Beck stated that at the moment he was content to have full British support for his policy.
also feared that American politicians might discover the facts about the hopeless dilemma which Poland’s provocative
policy created for Germany. When American Democratic Party Campaign Manager and Post-Master General James Farley visited
Berlin, Roosevelt instructed the American Embassy in Berlin to prevent unsupervised contact between Farley and the German
leaders. The German Foreign Office concluded on August 10, 1939 that it was impossible to penetrate the wall of security
around Farley. The Germans knew that President Roosevelt was determined to prevent them from freely communicating with visiting
Atrocities Force War
August 14, 1939, the Polish authorities in East Upper Silesia launched a campaign of mass arrests against the German minority.
The Poles then proceeded to close and confiscate the remaining German businesses, clubs and welfare installations. The arrested
Germans were forced to march toward the interior of Poland in prisoner columns. The various German groups in Poland were
frantic by this time; they feared the Poles would attempt the total extermination of the German minority in the event of
war. Thousands of Germans were seeking to escape arrest by crossing the border into Germany. Some of the worst recent Polish
atrocities included the mutilation of several Germans. The Polish public was urged not to regard their German minority as
helpless hostages who could be butchered with impunity.
Wiesner, who was the most prominent of the German minority leaders in Poland, spoke of a disaster “of inconceivable
magnitude” since the early months of 1939. Wiesner claimed that the last Germans had been dismissed from their jobs
without the benefit of unemployment relief, and that hunger and privation were stamped on the faces of the Germans in Poland.
German welfare agencies, cooperatives and trade associations had been closed by Polish authorities. Exceptional martial-law
conditions of the earlier frontier zone had been extended to include more than one-third of the territory of Poland. The
mass arrests, deportations, mutilations and beatings of the last few weeks in Poland surpassed anything that had happened
before. Wiesner insisted that the German minority leaders merely desired the restoration of peace, the banishment of the
specter of war, and the right to live and work in peace. Wiesner was arrested by the Poles on August 16, 1939 on suspicion
of conducting espionage for Germany in Poland.
German press devoted increasing space to detailed accounts of atrocities against the Germans in Poland. The Völkischer
Beobachter reported that more than 80,000 German refugees from Poland had succeeded in reaching German territory by
August 20, 1939. The German Foreign Office had received a huge file of specific reports of excesses against national and
ethnic Germans in Poland. More than 1,500 documented reports had been received since March 1939, and more than 10 detailed
reports were arriving in the German Foreign Office each day. The reports presented a staggering picture of brutality and
W. L. White, an American journalist, later recalled that there was no doubt among well-informed people by this time
that horrible atrocities were being inflicted every day on the Germans of Poland.
Day, a Chicago Tribune correspondent, reported on the atrocious treatment the Poles had meted out to the ethnic Germans
traveled up to the Polish corridor where the German authorities permitted me to interview the German refugees from many Polish
cities and towns. The story was the same. Mass arrests and long marches along roads toward the interior of Poland. The railroads
were crowded with troop movements. Those who fell by the wayside were shot. The Polish authorities seemed to have gone mad.
I have been questioning people all my life and I think I know how to make deductions from the exaggerated stories told by
people who have passed through harrowing personal experiences. But even with generous allowance, the situation was plenty
bad. To me the war seemed only a question of hours.
British Ambassador Nevile
Henderson in Berlin was concentrating on obtaining recognition from Halifax of the cruel fate of the German minority in
Poland. Henderson emphatically warned Halifax on August 24, 1939, that German complaints about the treatment of the German
minority in Poland were fully supported by the facts. Henderson knew that the Germans were prepared to negotiate, and he
stated to Halifax that war between Poland and Germany was inevitable unless negotiations were resumed between the two countries.
Henderson pleaded with Halifax that it would be contrary to Polish interests to attempt a full military occupation of Danzig,
and he added a scathingly effective denunciation of Polish policy. What Henderson failed to realize is that Halifax was
pursuing war for its own sake as an instrument of policy. Halifax desired the complete destruction of Germany.
August 25, 1939, Ambassador Henderson reported to Halifax the latest Polish atrocity at Bielitz, Upper Silesia. Henderson
never relied on official German statements concerning these incidents, but instead based his reports on information he received
from neutral sources. The Poles continued to forcibly deport the Germans of that area, and compelled them to march into
the interior of Poland. Eight Germans were murdered and many more were injured during one of these actions.
Hitler was faced
with a terrible dilemma. If Hitler did nothing, the Germans of Poland and Danzig would be abandoned to the cruelty and violence
of a hostile Poland. If Hitler took effective action against the Poles, the British and French might declare war against
Germany. Henderson feared that the Bielitz atrocity would be the final straw to prompt Hitler to invade Poland. Henderson,
who strongly desired peace with Germany, deplored the failure of the British government to exercise restraint over the Polish
August 23, 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union entered into the Molotov-Ribbentrop agreement. This non-aggression pact contained
a secret protocol which recognized a Russian sphere of influence in Eastern Europe. German recognition of this Soviet sphere
of influence would not apply in the event of a diplomatic settlement of the German-Polish dispute. Hitler had hoped to recover
the diplomatic initiative through the Molotov-Ribbentrop nonaggression pact. However, Chamberlain warned Hitler in a letter
dated August 23, 1939, that Great Britain would support Poland with military force regardless of the Molotov-Ribbentrop
agreement. Józef Beck also continued to refuse to negotiate a peaceful settlement with Germany.
made a new offer to Poland on August 29, 1939, for a last diplomatic campaign to settle the German-Polish dispute. The terms
of a new German plan for a settlement, the so-called Marienwerder proposals, were less important than the offer to negotiate
as such. The terms of the Marienwerder proposals were intended as nothing more than a tentative German plan for a possible
settlement. The German government emphasized that these terms were formulated to offer a basis for unimpeded negotiations
between equals rather than constituting a series of demands which Poland would be required to accept. There was nothing
to prevent the Poles from offering an entirely new set of proposals of their own.
The Germans, in offering to negotiate with Poland,
were indicating that they favored a diplomatic settlement over war with Poland. The willingness of the Poles to negotiate
would not in any way have implied a Polish retreat or their readiness to recognize the German annexation of Danzig. The
Poles could have justified their acceptance to negotiate with the announcement that Germany, and not Poland, had found it
necessary to request new negotiations. In refusing to negotiate, the Poles were announcing that they favored war. The refusal
of British Foreign Secretary Halifax to encourage the Poles to negotiate indicated that he also favored war.
Prime Minister Daladier and British Prime Minister Chamberlain were both privately critical of the Polish government. Daladier
in private denounced the “criminal folly” of the Poles. Chamberlain admitted to Ambassador Joseph Kennedy that
it was the Poles, and not the Germans, who were unreasonable. Kennedy reported to President Roosevelt, “frankly he
[Chamberlain] is more worried about getting the Poles to be reasonable than the Germans.” However, neither Daladier
nor Chamberlain made any effort to influence the Poles to negotiate with the Germans.
August 29, 1939, the Polish government decided upon the general mobilization of its army. The Polish military plans stipulated
that general mobilization would be ordered only in the event of Poland’s decision for war. Henderson informed Halifax
of some of the verified Polish violations prior to the war. The Poles blew up the Dirschau (Tczew) bridge across the Vistula
River even though the eastern approach to the bridge was in German territory (East Prussia). The Poles also occupied a number
of Danzig installations and engaged in fighting with the citizens of Danzig on the same day. Henderson reported that Hitler
was not insisting on the total military defeat of Poland. Hitler was prepared to terminate hostilities if the Poles indicated
that they were willing to negotiate a satisfactory settlement.
decided to invade Poland on September 1, 1939. All of the British leaders claimed that the entire responsibility for starting
the war was Hitler’s. Prime Minister Chamberlain broadcast that evening on British radio that “the responsibility
for this terrible catastrophe (war in Poland) lies on the shoulders of one man, the German Chancellor.” Chamberlain
claimed that Hitler had ordered Poland to come to Berlin with the unconditional obligation of accepting without discussion
the exact German terms. Chamberlain denied that Germany had invited the Poles to engage in normal negotiations. Chamberlain’s
statements were unvarnished lies, but the Polish case was so weak that it was impossible to defend it with the truth.
Halifax also delivered
a cleverly hypocritical speech to the House of Lords on the evening of September 1, 1939. Halifax claimed that the best
proof of the British will to peace was to have Chamberlain, the great appeasement leader, carry Great Britain into war. Halifax
concealed the fact that he had taken over the direction of British foreign policy from Chamberlain in October 1938, and
that Great Britain would probably not be moving into war had this not happened. He assured his audience that Hitler, before
the bar of history, would have to assume full responsibility for starting the war. Halifax insisted that the English conscience
was clear, and that, in looking back, he did not wish to change a thing as far as British policy was concerned.
September 2, 1939, Italy and Germany agreed to hold a mediation conference among themselves and Great Britain, France and
Poland. Halifax attempted to destroy the conference plan by insisting that Germany withdraw her forces from Poland and Danzig
before Great Britain and France would consider attending the mediation conference. French Foreign Minister Bonnet knew that
no nation would accept such treatment, and that the attitude of Halifax was unreasonable and unrealistic.
Ultimately, the mediation effort collapsed,
and both Great Britain and France declared war against Germany on September 3, 1939. When Hitler read the British declaration
of war against Germany, he paused and asked of no one in particular: “What now?” Germany was now in an unnecessary war with three European nations.
Similar to the other British leaders, Nevile Henderson, the British
ambassador to Germany, later claimed that the entire responsibility for starting the war was Hitler’s. Henderson wrote
in his memoirs in 1940: “If Hitler wanted peace he knew how to insure it; if he wanted war, he knew equally well what
would bring it about. The choice lay with him, and in the end the entire responsibility for war was his.” Henderson forgot in this passage that he had repeatedly warned Halifax that the Polish atrocities against the German minority
in Poland were extreme. Hitler invaded Poland in order to end these atrocities.
Polish Atrocities Continue against German Minority
The Germans in Poland continued to experience
an atmosphere of terror in the early part of September 1939. Throughout the country the Germans had been told, “If
war comes to Poland you will all be hanged.” This prophecy was later fulfilled in many cases.
The famous Bloody Sunday in Toruń on September
3, 1939, was accompanied by similar massacres elsewhere in Poland. These massacres brought a tragic end to the long suffering
of many ethnic Germans. This catastrophe had been anticipated by the Germans before the outbreak of war, as reflected by
the flight, or attempted escape, of large numbers of Germans from Poland. The feelings of these Germans were revealed by
the desperate slogan, “Away from this hell, and back to the Reich!”
Alfred-Maurice de Zayas writes concerning the ethnic Germans in Poland:
The first victims of the war were Volksdeutsche, ethnic German civilians
resident in and citizens of Poland. Using lists prepared years earlier, in part by lower administrative offices, Poland immediately
deported 15,000 Germans to Eastern Poland. Fear and rage at the quick German victories led to hysteria. German “spies”
were seen everywhere, suspected of forming a fifth column. More than 5,000 German civilians were murdered in the first days
of the war. They were hostages and scapegoats at the same time. Gruesome scenes were played out in Bromberg on September
3, as well as in several other places throughout the province of Posen, in Pommerellen, wherever German minorities resided.
Polish atrocities against
ethnic Germans have been documented in the book Polish Acts of Atrocity against the German Minority in Poland. Most
of the outside world dismissed this book as nothing more than propaganda used to justify Hitler’s invasion of Poland.
However, skeptics failed to notice that forensic pathologists from the International Red Cross and medical and legal observers
from the United States verified the findings of these investigations of Polish war crimes. These investigations were also
conducted by German police and civil administrations, and not the National Socialist Party or the German military. Moreover,
both anti-German and other university-trained researchers have acknowledged that the charges in the book are based entirely
on factual evidence.
book Polish Acts of Atrocity against the German Minority in Poland stated:
When the first edition of this collection of documents
went to press on November 17, 1939, 5,437 cases of murder committed by soldiers of the Polish army and by Polish civilians
against men, women and children of the German minority had been definitely ascertained. It was known that the total when
fully ascertained would be very much higher. Between that date and February 1, 1940, the number of identified victims mounted
to 12,857. At the present stage investigations disclose that in addition to these 12,857, more than 45,000 persons are still
missing. Since there is no trace of them, they must also be considered victims of the Polish terror. Even the figure 58,000
is not final. There can be no doubt that the inquiries now being carried out will result in the disclosure of additional
thousands dead and missing.
of the dead showed that Germans of all ages, from four months to 82 years of age, were murdered. The report concluded:
It was shown that the
murders were committed with the greatest brutality and that in many cases they were purely sadistic acts—that gouging
of eyes was established and that other forms of mutilation, as supported by the depositions of witnesses, may be considered
The method by which the individual murders were committed in many cases
reveals studied physical and mental torture; in this connection several cases of killing extended over many hours and of
slow death due to neglect had to be mentioned.
By far the most important finding
seems to be the proof that murder by such chance weapons as clubs or knives was the exception, and that as a rule modern,
highly-effective army rifles and pistols were available to the murderers. It must be emphasized further that it was possible
to show, down to the minutest detail, that there could have been no possibility of execution [under military law].
The Polish atrocities
were not acts of personal revenge, professional jealously or class hatred; instead, they were a concerted political action.
They were organized mass murders caused by a psychosis of political animosity. The hate-inspired urge to destroy everything
German was driven by the Polish press, radio, school and government propaganda. Britain’s blank check of support had
encouraged Poland to conduct inhuman atrocities against its German minority.
book Polish Acts of Atrocity against the German Minority in Poland explained why the Polish government encouraged
guarantee of assistance given Poland by the British Government was the agent which lent impetus to Britain’s policy
of encirclement. It was designed to exploit the problem of Danzig and the Corridor to begin a war, desired and long-prepared
by England, for the annihilation of Greater Germany. In Warsaw moderation was no longer considered necessary, and the opinion
held was that matters could be safely brought to a head. England was backing this diabolical game, having guaranteed the
“integrity” of the Polish state. The British assurance of assistance meant that Poland was to be the battering
ram of Germany’s enemies. Henceforth Poland neglected no form of provocation of Germany and, in its blindness, dreamt
of “victorious battle at Berlin’s gates.” Had it not been for the encouragement of the English war clique,
which was stiffening Poland’s attitude toward the Reich and whose promises led Warsaw to feel safe, the Polish Government
would hardly have let matters develop to the point where Polish soldiers and civilians would eventually interpret the slogan
to extirpate all German influence as an incitement to the murder and bestial mutilation of human beings.
 Taylor, A.J.P., The Origins of the Second World War, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1961, p. 207.
 DeConde, Alexander, A History of American Foreign Policy, New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1971, p. 576.
 Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, Cal.: Institute for Historical Review,
1989, pp. 25, 312.
 Taylor, A.J.P., The Origins of the Second World War, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1961, p. 209.
 Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, Cal: Institute for Historical Review,
1989, p. 50.
 Ibid., pp. 49-60.
 Ibid., pp. 328-329.
 Ibid., pp. 145-146.
 Ibid., p. 21.
 Ibid., pp. 21, 256-257.
 Ibid., p. 323.
 Barnett, Correlli, The Collapse of British Power, New York: William Morrow, 1972, p. 560; see also Taylor, A.J.P.,
The Origins of the Second World War, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1961, p. 211.
 Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, Cal.: Institute for Historical Review,
1989, pp. 333, 340.
 Denman, Roy, Missed Chances: Britain and Europe in the Twentieth Century, London: Indigo, 1997, p. 121.
 Ferguson, Niall, The War of the World: Twentieth Century Conflict and the Descent of the West, New York: Penguin
Press, 2006, p. 377.
 Hart, B. H. Liddell, History of the Second World War, New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1970, p. 11.
 Watt, Richard M., Bitter Glory: Poland and Its Fate 1918 to 1939, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1979, p. 379.
 Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, Cal: Institute for Historical Review,
1989, p. 342.
 Ibid., p. 391.
 Ibid., pp. 260-262.
 Ibid., pp. 311-312.
 Ibid., pp. 355, 357.
 Ibid., pp. 381, 383.
 Ibid., pp. 384, 387.
 Ibid., p. 387.
 Ibid., pp. 388-389.
 Ibid., pp. 392-393.
 Ibid., pp. 405-406.
 Ibid., p. 412.
 Ibid. p. 413.
 Ibid., pp. 413-415.
 Ibid. p. 419. In a footnote, the author notes that a report of the same matters appeared in the New York Times
for August 8, 1939.
 Ibid., p. 419.
 Ibid., p. 414.
 Ibid., p. 417.
 Ibid., pp. 452-453.
 Ibid., p. 463.
 Ibid., p. 479.
 Ibid., p. 554.
 Day, Donald, Onward Christian Soldiers, Newport Beach, Cal.: The Noontide Press, 2002, p. 56.
 Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, Cal.: Institute for Historical Review,
1989, pp. 500-501, 550.
 Ibid., p. 509
 Ibid., pp. 470, 483, 538.
 Ibid., pp. 513-514.
 Ibid., pp. 441, 549.
 Ibid., pp. 537, 577.
 Ibid., pp. 578-579.
 Ibid., pp. 586, 593, 598.
 Henderson, Nevile, Failure of a Mission, New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1940, p. 227.
 Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, Cal.: Institute for Historical Review,
1989, p. 390.
 De Zayas, Alfred-Maurice, A Terrible Revenge: The Ethnic Cleansing of the East European Germans, 2nd
edition, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006, p. 27.
 Roland, Marc, “Poland’s Censored Holocaust,” The Barnes Review in Review: 2008-2010, pp. 132-133.
 Shadewalt, Hans, Polish Acts of Atrocity against the German Minority in Poland, Berlin and New York: German Library
of Information, 2nd edition, 1940, p. 19.
 Ibid., pp. 257-258.
 Ibid., pp. 88-89.
 Ibid., pp. 75-76.
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