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Hitler's policy towards the Soviet Union, January 1933-June 1941 Dyck, Harvey Leonard 1958

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HITLER'S POLICY TOWARDS THE SOVIET UNION JANUARY 1933 - JUNE I 9 4 I by HARVEY LEONARD DYCK B.A., U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia, 195?<  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in I n t e r n a t i o n a l Studies  We accept t h i s t h e s i s as conforming t o t h e required standard  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA September, 195>8  ABSTRACT  W i t h i n a y e a r o f h i s a c c e s s i o n t o power, H i t l e r , by c o n c l u d i n g a n o n - a g g r e s s i o n  pact w i t h P o l a n d and by  b r i n g i n g r e l a t i o n s w i t h R u s s i a t o an impasse, had r e v o l u t i o n i z e d German f o r e i g n p o l i c y .  T h i s p o l i c y r e v e r s a l was  chosen, p r i m a r i l y , f o r t a c t i c a l reasons and o n l y seconda r i l y f o r i d e o l o g i c a l reasons.  Prom t h e o u t s e t , i t i s t r u e ,  r e l a t i o n s w i t h R u s s i a were made d i f f i c u l t by H i t l e r ' s  per-  s e c u t i o n o f t h e German Communist P a r t y and by h i s own hatred f o r Bolshevism.  But i t was o n l y a f t e r Poland had  t w i c e t h r e a t e n e d a p r e v e n t a t i v e war a g a i n s t Germany and a f t e r Germany had become d i p l o m a t i c a l l y i s o l a t e d  through  h e r d e s e r t i o n o f t h e League o f N a t i o n s , t h a t H i t l e r  decided  upon a rapprochement w i t h P o l a n d and a b r e a k w i t h R u s s i a . T h i s p o l i c y was f i n a l i z e d by t h e German-Polish Non-Aggression P a c t o f January,  1934•  The p o l i t i c a l o r i e n t a t i o n o f German f o r e i g n p o l i c y , e s t a b l i s h e d by t h i s p a c t , remained f i x e d i n i t s outlines f o r the f o l l o w i n g f i v e years.  During these  years,  H i t l e r used t h e anti-Communist bogey.to j u s t i f y h i s f o r e i g n p o l i c y coups and t o ease h i s r e l a t i o n s w i t h Poland. h e r s e l f , he i g n o r e d as a power f a c t o r i n o p p o s i t i o n . d i d he c o n s i d e r a p o l i t i c a l u n d e r s t a n d i n g  Russia Nor  w i t h h e r . However,  he d i d t o y w i t h t h e i d e a o f h e r as an o b j e c t o f a g g r e s s i o n .  I n the s p r i n g and summer of 1939, S o v i e t p o l i c y was  changed by h i s d e c i s i o n , i n e a r l y s p r i n g ,  to s e t t l e with Poland. he  continued  Hitler's  Even a f t e r making t h i s d e c i s i o n ,  to ignore Russia.  I n m i d - A p r i l , however,  s t i f f e n i n g B r i t i s h r e s i s t a n c e and t h e t h r e a t of an A n g l o R u s s i a n u n d e r s t a n d i n g , on the one  hand, and  coy h i n t s  by  the S o v i e t Government t h a t i t might be p r e p a r e d f o r a d e t e n t e w i t h Germany on t h e o t h e r hand, persuaded H i t l e r t h a t the o n l y way  o f i n t i m i d a t i n g t h e West i n t o n e u t r a l i t y  and P o l a n d i n t o s u b m i s s i o n and of p r e v e n t i n g  a Russo-British  a l l i a n c e , was.f-.to r a i s e the t h r e a t of a Russo-German understanding.  D u r i n g t h e f o l l o w i n g months t h i s t a c t i c  t o be u n s u c c e s s f u l  and by m i d - J u l y ,  proved  H i t l e r , however u n w i l l -  i n g l y , became c o n v i n c e d t h a t o n l y the r e a l i t y of a RussoGerman a l l i a n c e would s u f f i c e t o d r i v e the Western democ r a c i e s i n t o n e u t r a l i t y . I t was t h a t H i t l e r sought t h e pact w i t h When war  mainly f o r t h i s reason, Russia.  came and Western r e s i s t a n c e was  not  paralyzed,  the o r i g i n a l r e a s o n f o r t h e Moscow Pact  appeared.  However, t h e consequent Western b e l l i g e r e n c y  made a c o n t i n u e d  p o l i c y of f r i e n d s h i p w i t h R u s s i a  throughout the w i n t e r of 1939  t o I94.O.  eventual  never been c o m p l e t e l y  a t t a c k on R u s s i a had  The  f r o m H i t l e r ' s mind, but b e f o r e the defeat  dis-  necessary  i d e a of. an absent  of P r a n c e i n  June, 194.0, i t had n e v e r been more t h a n a vague n o t i o n .  W i t h the d e f e a t of P r a n c e , H i t l e r , assuming t h a t  Britain,  t o o , would c a p i t u l a t e , b r i e f l y c o n s i d e r e d t h e i d e a of an a t t a c k on R u s s i a as a s t r a t e g i c g o a l .  When B r i t a i n  con-  t i n u e d t o r e s i s t , H i t l e r , f r u s t r a t e d t h a t he c o u l d not end t h e war and c o n f i d e n t t h a t he c o u l d v a n q u i s h R u s s i a , convinced h i m s e l f t h a t B r i t a i n ' s a t t i t u d e was based on hopes p l a c e d i n R u s s i a .  Thus t o d e s t r o y B r i t a i n ' s  last  r e m a i n i n g hopes on t h e c o n t i n e n t , H i t l e r , i n l a t e J u l y , d e c i d e d upon an a t t a c k on R u s s i a .  D u r i n g the f o l l o w i n g  months the d i p l o m a t i c , m i l i t a r y , and economic p r e p a r a t i o n s f o r t h e a t t a c k were completed, and w i t h the a t t a c k on June 2 2 ,  19ifl,  an e r a of Rus so -German r e l a t i o n s was  ended.  In presenting the  this thesis in partial fulfilment  r e q u i r e m e n t s f o r an advanced degree at the  of  University  o f B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree t h a t the  L i b r a r y s h a l l make  i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r r e f e r e n c e and  study.  I  further  agree t h a t p e r m i s s i o n f o r e x t e n s i v e c o p y i n g of t h i s f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may  be g r a n t e d by the Head o f  Department o r by h i s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e .  thesis my  I t i s understood  that copying or p u b l i c a t i o n of t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l g a i n s h a l l not  be a l l o w e d w i t h o u t my w r i t t e n  The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, Vancouver Canada; Date  § o ^ L W A W „  permission.  ii  CONTENTS Page Acknowledgements  i i i  Abbreviations  iv  CHAPTER I.  Prom Weimar t o t h e T h i r d Reich--A D i p l o m a t i c 1  Revolution II.  Anti-Bolshevism  as T a c t i c and as S t r a t e g y ,  January 1934 - March 1939 . . . . . . . III.  The Russo-German Rapprochement as Threat and as R e a l i t y , A p r i l - August 1939 • .  IV.  39  61).  H i t l e r ' s P o l i c y , August 1939 - June 19l|l: Friendship, Indecision, Attack  BIBLIOGRAPHY  ....  9i+ li+2  iii  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS  I t was i n a seminar under t h e d i r e c t i o n o f P r o f e s s o r Egmont Z e c h l i n , at t h e U n i v e r s i t y o f Hamburg, t h a t I was f i r s t  i n t r o d u c e d t o t h e problem o f H i t l e r ' s  e a s t e r n p o l i c y and t h a t I became i n t e r e s t e d i n i t as a thesis subject. I am much i n d e b t e d t o my a d v i s e r , Dr. John Conway, who, d u r i n g t h e past y e a r , has g i v e n f r e e l y o f h i s time and o f h i s e x t e n s i v e knowledge o f German H i s t o r y i n d i r e c t i n g my r e s e a r c h .  I t was he who, i n  numerous c o n s u l t a t i o n s , taught me t h e a n a l y t i c approach t o a problem i n f o r e i g n p o l i c y and c l a r i f i e d numerous h i s t o r i o g r a p h i c a l problems i n N a z i f o r e i g n p o l i c y . I would a l s o acknowledge t h e h e l p g i v e n me by my w i f e Anne, without which t h i s t h e s i s would not have been c o m p l e t e d — o n t i m e .  iv  ABBREVIATIONS  Germany, A r c h i v e s of the German F o r e i g n M i n i s t r y , Documents -on .German F o r e i g n P o l i c y 1Q1R-1QJ|^: S e r i e s C (1933-1937), v o l I ; S e r i e s D (1937-191+5), v o l s . I-X, Washington, U n i t e d S t a t e s Government P r i n t i n g O f f i c e , 191+9-1957. I n t e r n a t i o n a l M i l i t a r y T r i b u n a l , N a z i Conspiracy and A g g r e s s i o n . O p i n i o n and Judgement. O f f i c e o f U n i t e d S t a t e s C h i e f of Counsel f o r Prose.cut i o n o f A x i s C r i m i n a l i t y , Washington, U n i t e d S t a t e s Government P r i n t i n g O f f i c e , 1947, vol. 1-23. I n t e r n a t i o n a l M i l i t a r y T r i b u n a l : T r i a l of the M a j o r War C r i m i n a l s B e f o r e t h e I n t e r n a t i o n a l M i l i t a r y T r i b u n a l . Nuremberg, ll|_ November 194-5-1 October 1946, Nuremberg, 191+7, v o l . 1-1+2. U n i t e d S t a t e s of A m e r i c a , Department o f S t a t e , Sontag, R.J. and B e d d i e , J.S., ed.-, N a z i - S o v i e t R e l a t i o n s . 1939-194.1: Documents f r o m t h e A r c h i v e s o f the German F o r e i g n O f f i c e . Washington, Government P r i n t e r s , 191+8. P o l a n d , M i n i s t r y f o r F o r e i g n A f f a i r s , The P o l i s h W h i t e Book: O f f i c i a l Documents Concerning P o l i s h German and P o l i s h - S o v i e t R e l a t i o n s 1933-1939. London, Melbourne, H u t c h i n s o n , 1940•  CHAPTER I FROM WEIMAR TO THE THIRD REICH - A DIPLOMATIC REVOLUTION R e l a t i o n s between Germany-Prussia and R u s s i a have been f o r t h e past 200 years c h a r a c t e r i z e d by sharp o s c i l l a t i o n s . They have swung from p e r i o d s o f warm f r i e n d s h i p t o p e r i o d s o f b i t t e r acrimony separated and a m b i g u i t y .  by t w i l i g h t i n t e r l u d e s o f s u s p i c i o n  The Conference o f V e r s a i l l e s i n 1919 ended one  such p e r i o d o f enmity and i n i t i a t e d another o f r e c o n c i l i a t i o n . I t d i d t h i s by s t i g m a t i z i n g b o t h R u s s i a and Germany as t h e p a r i a h s o f t h e European community; t h e former because o f i t s i n f e c t i o n w i t h r e v o l u t i o n , t h e l a t t e r because o f i t s i n f e c t i o n w i t h war.  I n t h i s way t h e two powers were g i v e n a common i n t e r e s t  i n overthrowing  the V e r s a i l l e s system.  On March 25> 1919 t h e  B r i t i s h Prime M i n i s t e r , L l o y d George, r e a l i z i n g t h e l a t e n t dangers i n t h i s c o u r s e , drew them t o t h e a t t e n t i o n o f the F r e n c h P r e m i e r Clemenceau: The g r e a t e s t danger t h a t I see i n t h e present s i t u a t i o n i s t h a t Germany may throw i n h e r l o t w i t h B o l s h e v i s m and p l a c e h e r r e s o u r c e s , h e r b r a i n s , h e r v a s t o r g a n i z i n g power at t h e d i s p o s a l o f t h e r e v o l u t i o n a r y f a n a t i c s whose dream i t i s t o conquer the w o r l d f o r B o l s h e v i s m by f o r c e o f arms. T h i s danger i s no mere chimera.1 Nor were these f e a r s groundless.  On May 6, 1921 Germany  signed a t r a d e agreement w i t h t h e S o v i e t Union.  This lead to a  1 L o u i s F i s c h e r , The S o v i e t s i n World A f f a i r s ; A H i s t o r y o f t h e R e l a t i o n s Between t h e S o v i e t Union and the Rest o f the World 1917-1929, P r i n c e t o n , U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1951~Tfirst p u b l i s h e d i n 1930), v o l . 1 , p. 323.  1  2 f r i e n d s h i p w h i c h s l o w l y matured i n t o an a l l i a n c e . y e a r , on A p r i l 15,  1922  The  following  at R a p a l l o , Germany s i g n e d a pact w i t h  R u s s i a w h i c h , e s s e n t i a l l y , p r o v i d e d f o r the l i q u i d a t i o n of c o n f l i c t s between them.  Germany was  g r a d u a l l y emerging from  her s t a t u s as an o b j e c t of i n t e r n a t i o n a l p o l i t i c s and becoming as i n i t i a t o r of i n t e r n a t i o n a l a c t i o n . The new  p a r t n e r s were p r o b a b l y not immediately  aware  of the s i g n i f i c a n c e of t h e i r a c t i o n i n s i g n i n g the R a p a l l o Treaty.  But i t was  soon made c l e a r t h a t Germany i n t e n d e d t o  use t h i s T r e a t y as an o f f e n s i v e weapon a g a i n s t the V e r s a i l l e s Powers; i f n e c e s s a r y , she was the w o r l d community.  T h i s was  determined  t o b l a s t her way  t o be done not through a f u l l  o r i e n t a t i o n of Germany's p o l i c y eastwards but through i m p l i c i t warning  into  the  (fed the West t h a t i f they p r e s s e d Germany-too p  h a r d , she c o u l d and would t u r n to R u s s i a . The  immediate o b j e c t of the R a p a l l o p a r t n e r s was  prevent Poland from t a k i n g a c t i o n e i t h e r eastward Thus, d u r i n g the 1923  to  or westward.  o c c u p a t i o n of the Ruhr, the s i t u a t i o n  was  saved f o r Germany by the t h r e a t of R u s s i a n a c t i o n a g a i n s t Poland.^  T h i s t h r e a t u n d e r l i n e d the p o t e n t i a l uses of the  relationship.  L a t e r , when Germany and R u s s i a were  strengthened,  t h i s d e f e n s i v e p o l i c y v i s - a - v i s Poland might g i v e way  t o an  o f f e n s i v e p o l i c y and, from the German p o i n t of giew, l e a d to the o L. Kochan, R u s s i a and the Weimar R e p u b l i c , Cambridge, Bowes, 1954, p. 42. 3 F i s c h e r , op. c i t . , p.  452.  3 restoration of her eastern f r o n t i e r —  the p r i n c i p a l aim of  German foreign policy. On the other hand Germany would prefer an eastern policy with, rather than against the Western Powers.  This indeed  was the essence of Stresemann, Germany's sometime chancellor and foreign minister's, f u l f i l l m e n t policy.  The high points  of this policy were the ending of the Ruhr occupation i n September 1923» the Dawes plan i n 1924 and f i n a l l y the Locarno Pact i n 1926.  Each step i n t h i s p a t h of rapprochement with the  west was accompanied by a corresponding front.  weakening of the Rapallo  Russia L'feared that B r i t a i n was drawing Germany into an  anti-Soviet a l l i a n c e and robbing the Rapallo partnership of i t s chief function, namely the assurance of the disunity of the 4 c a p i t a l i s t world. For the moment Stresemann's eastern policy had indeed been "... t a c t i c a l l y subordinated  to his western  5  policy...."  But the elimination of the P o l i s h Corridor remained  the strategic goal of German foreign policy. This being so, Stresemann had no desire to forego the eventual use of Russia as a second pincer against Poland.  He  therefore set about to redress the balance between his eastern and his western p o l i c i e s .  In the f i r s t place he t r i e d to con-  vince the Soviet government that Locarno did not represent a u n i l a t e r a l return of Germany to a western policy.  The community  ^ Kochan, op. c i t . , p. 59. Henry L. Bretton, Stresemann and the Revision of V e r s a i l l e s , Stanford, University Press, 1953> p. 118. J  4  o f i n t e r e s t s based on common h o s t i l i t y t o P o l a n d , he s t r e s s e d , had t h e r e b y , i n f a c t , been s t r e n g t h e n e d .  Germany's w e s t e r n  f l a n k was now secure and t h e q u e s t i o n of Germany's e a s t e r n f r o n t i e r had been l e f t open.  Secondly,  Stresemann u n d e r l i n e d  German f r i e n d s h i p by r e a f f i r m i n g t h e p r i n c i p l e s o f t h e R a p a l l o t r e a t y i n t h e form o f a f u r t h e r pact s i g n e d i n B e r l i n i n A p r i l , 1926.  6  The B e r l i n T r e a t y s t a b i l i z e d German-Soviet r e l a t i o n s on a l e v e l on w h i c h they were t o remain f o r t h e f o l l o w i n g t h r e e years.  D u r i n g these y e a r s , w h i c h marked t h e "heyday" of t h e  R a p a l l o p a r t n e r s h i p , Russo-German r e l a t i o n s were underpinned by e x t e n s i v e c o o p e r a t i o n i n economic, m i l i t a r y and p o l i t i c a l 7 matters.' However i n t h e autumn o f 1929 r e l a t i o n s began t o o d e t e r i o r a t e as Germany swung westward f o r t h e second t i m e . T h i s d e t e r i o r a t i o n which c u l m i n a t e d  i n t h e complete breakdown  i n e a r l y 1934 thus predated H i t l e r ' s a c c e s s i o n t o power by some three years.  I t s beginnings  causes p r e c i s e l y d e f i n e d .  cannot be e x a c t l y dated or i t s  As e a r l y as t h e w i n t e r o f 1929-1930  the R a p a l l o f r i e n d s h i p was b e g i n n i n g t o show wear^ from t h e d a i l y ^ F i s c h e r , The S o v i e t s , v o l . 2 , p. 609. 7 Gustav H i l g e r , W i r und d e r Kremlt E r i n n e r u n g e n e i n e s Deutschen D i p l o m a t e n , B e r l i n , F r a n k f u r t , A l f r e d Metzner, 1956. o  Kochan, op. c i t . , pp. 140-149. 9 H e t b e r t von D i r k s e n , Moscow, Tokyo, London: Twenty Y e a r s of German F o r e i g n P o l i c y , London, H u t c h i n s o n , 1951 > P« 9 7 .  5 f r i c t i o n of minor incidents.  This i n i t s e l f was not s u f f i c i e n t  reason for the relations to become uncertain for they had acquired a routine character based upon s o l i d economic and m i l i t a r y agreements. ^ 1  It was  political,  only with the  beginning of BBniining's chancellorship i n March 1930  that an  element of doubt crept into the p o l i t i c a l basis of the Rapallo relationship.  It was  then that the Soviets began looking for  reinsurance against a possible German defection from the Rapallo front. The attitude of the German Government leaders during the Bruning  era was  largely responsible for Soviet doubts.  Bruning himself acted as his own Foreign Minister during much of his chancellorship.  He had l i t t l e time to devote to foreign  a f f a i r s and consequently  the i n i t i a t i v e i n foreign policy often  f e l l to the State Secretary, von Biilow. von Biilow was  Neither Bruning  nor  enthusiastic about the close Soviet t i e and both  were determined to s t a b i l i z e Russo-German r e l a t i o n s on a lower level.  1 1  Biilow, i n fact, found everything".. .connected with  Soviet a f f a i r s . . . almost p h y s i c a l l y repugnant...."  12  Even i n  the Eastern Department of the Foreign Office supporters of an eastern orientation such as Dirksen, Trautmann and Moltke had given place to mercurial personalities l i k e Richard Meyer. short, foreign policy decisions i n Germany i n 1931  In  were no longer  in the hands of ardent advocates of Russo-German cooperation. 1 U  Hilger, Wir und der Kreml, pp.216, 217.  1 1  Ibid., p.  12  241.  Dirksen, op. c i t . ,  p.  112.  In June 1 9 3 2 Moscow's suspicions were when von Papen replaced Briining as chancellor.  heightened The Soviets  were anxious about his Francophile sentiments and  expressed  concern when rumors were heard that von Papen had proposed an anti-Russian m i l i t a r y a l l i a n c e to the French i n exchange for 13 French concessions to Germany.  In Geneva the Soviet repre-  sentative, Boris Stein, warned the German representative that German-Russian friendship was now at an e n d . ^ In the summer of 1932 o f f i c i a l s i n the Russian Foreign Ministry almost panicked when rumors that H i t l e r had become Chancellor reached Moscow.  Expressions of r e l i e f quickly  followed when instead of H i t l e r , Schleicher, a man of proRapallo sympathies, headed the new  government.^  But despite previous expectations none of this increasing tension i n the p o l i t i c a l sphere-found any r e f l e c t i o n i n either economic or m i l i t a r y r e l a t i o n s . trade actually increased.  In fact after  1929  Dirksen's i n i t i a t i v e i n promoting  trade resulted i n the granting of long term German credits to Russia and i n March 1931 of a tour of Russia by leading German industrialists.  The upshot of t h i s was that i n the period of  1931 to 1933 Germany's share of both Russia's imports and exports amounted to f i f t y percent of the t o t a l sum.'^ In the m i l i t a r y sphere as well, l i t t l e had changed. Kochan, op. c i t . , pp. 162,  I63.  14 Ernst von Weizsacker, Erinnerungen, Munchen, Paul L i s t Verlag, 1950, p. 91. 15 Dirksen, Twenty Years of German Foreign Policy, p. 115. 1 6  Ibid., p. 1 0 6 .  7 The Reichswehr was determined  that m i l i t a r y cooperation with  the Soviet Union should not suffer as the consequence of h a s t i l y conceived p o l i c i e s of a "Saison Regierung."  Thus while von  Papen was f e e l i n g out the French on a joint anti-Russian m i l i t a r y front, a large delegation of Soviet Army o f f i c e r s headed by Marshall Tuchatschevsky  attended German m i l i t a r y maneuvres.^  This a c t i v i t y , however, could not succeed i n glossing over the fact that, p o l i t i c a l l y , the ways of the Rapallo partners were diverging. As early as 1931  the Soviets apprised^- themselves of  these worsening p o l i t i c a l r e l a t i o n s with Germany and decided to find re-insurance elsewhere.  In so doing Russia entered a  "twilight" zone between Germany and the West which lasted  almost  three years, u n t i l January 1934.  During this period, with the  greatest reluctance, Russia was  forced to a l i g n herself with the  western powers.  But before the break i n 1934,  the alignment  merely meant "...a bridge...by which the Russians could withdraw to another combination  should they be constrained to sever the i ft  bonds which linked them with Germany."- 1  0  That the Soviets later  walked this bridge was not their design, but H i t l e r ' s . H i t l e r ' s accession to power on January 30, 1933  burst  l i k e a bomb into the charged atmosphere of international relations.  There was apprehension  Germany's foreign policy.  abroad as to the future of  To a l t e r this the German foreign  17 Hilger, Wir und der Kreml, p. 241. 18 Dirksen, op. c i t . , p.  116.  8 o f f i c e issued a c i r c u l a r l e t t e r to a l l German diplomatic missions;  i n i t von Billow t r i e d to quiet foreign misgivings  by pointing to the composition of the new  cabinet.  It con-  tained former cabinet ministers such as Neurath, Blomberg, and Schwerin-Krosigkv.iwho would guarantee the continuance of foreign m i l i t a r y and economic p o l i c i e s on the same l i n e s . German p o l i c i e s , the c i r c u l a r read, were not dependent upon the party which happened to be i n power but were determined solely by "...German necessities and  conditions.  This assurance did l i t t l e to quiet Soviet fears. On January 31»  Dirksen, the German ambassador i n Moscow,  reported that the dismissal of Schleicher "... i n whom they had much confidence  here respecting his attitude toward  Russia...." and the creation of the H i t l e r Government had 20 caused "... great uneasiness." about the new  E a r l i e r Russian doubts  Vice Chancellor, von Papen, were resurrected  and j u s t i f i a b l e misgivings were f e l t as to the future of the Communist Party (K.P.D.) i n Germany. the fears over H i t l e r himself, who the policy of Brest-Litovsk.  Even more serious were  i n Mein Kampf had advocated  Dirksen f e l t , s u r p r i s i n g l y , that  the greatest immediate cause for alarm i n Moscow was  the  inclusion of the German Nationalist Hugenberg i n the cabinet. But the above suspicions were not shared by a l l Soviet o f f i c i a l s . On the day after H i t l e r ' s accession I s v e s t i i a commented that the r i s e to power of the Nazis was merely a 1 9  G.D.,C,I,1.  20 G.D.,C,I,6.  9 prelude to the class war which would usher i n a Soviet-type state.  Even as late as March 1933 Radek, the Soviet p u b l i c i s t ,  wrote reassuringly that the Nazi victory was only a "Pyrrhic ?1 victory".  A  Others i n Russia, so-called p o l i t i c a l r e a l i s t s ,  held the view that the r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s of o f f i c e would force the National S o c i a l i s t s to revise their anti-Soviet views to coincide with manifest German interests as expressed i n the Rapallo P a c t .  2 2  This l a t t e r view was also held almost unanimously by o f f i c i a l s i n the German Foreign ministry and i n the German Embassy i n Moscow.  Dirksen's own views were mixed.  On the  one hand he recognized the danger which an extension of Nazi enmity from domestic communism to relations with the Soviet Union would denote for German-Soviet r e l a t i o n s .  He even con-  sidered the threat urgent enough to ask for leave to come to B e r l i n to apprasee himself of the new s i t u a t i o n .  2 3  At the same  time, he hoped that H i t l e r would pursue a "Zweigleisigkeit" policy, opting for good relations with the Soviet Union at the 24 same time that he was suppressing the Communist Party at home. Hilger, the German CommeriSial Counsellor i n Moscow, likewise labored under t h i s i l l u s i o n .  In B e r l i n , the State Secretary,  wrote to Dirksen on February 6 that the effects on foreign policy of the change of government were being much exaggerated Hilger, Wir und der Kreml, p. 242-3. 2 1  2 2  2  Ibid., p. 243-4.  '3 G.D.,C,I,6. Dirksen, Twenty Years of German Foreign Policy , p.  2 4  119.  10 by the S o v i e t s ; t h a t r e s p o n s i b i l i t y would temper N a z i p o l i c i e s " I t was  always l i k e t h i s and i t i s the same w i t h a l l p a r t i e s  and suggested  t h a t D i r k s e n should remain i n Moscow f o r the  b e i n g to a v o i d the appearance of a change i n German p o l i c y . H i t l e r ' s own thoughts  -";  time per J  d u r i n g these f i r s t heady days  of power were concerned not so much w i t h Germany's S o v i e t r e l a t i o n s as w i t h the r e e s t a b l i s h m e n t of Germany's freedom of 26 a c t i o n i n f o r e i g n a f f a i r s t h r o u g h r a p i d rearmament.  Never-  t h e l e s s h i s mind t u r n e d i n s t i n c t i v e l y to the east when i t came t o a c o n s i d e r a t i o n of the use t o w h i c h Germany's power s h o u l d be put once i t had been a t t a i n e d .  On F e b r u a r y  3 H i t l e r spoke  at a d i n n e r a t t e n d e d by o f f i c e r s of the Reichswehr; here he i s r e p o r t e d to have s t a t e d those i d e a s of Lebensraum and German e a s t e r n c o l o n i z a t i o n a l r e a d y known from "Mein Kampf." "How  i s p o l i t i c a l power t o be used a f t e r i t has been won?" he  asked.  There was  an element o f u n c e r t a i n t y i n h i s answer, but  the s u b j e c t of h i s "daydreams" was to t e l l .  Perhaps conquest of new  obvious.  export p o s s i b i l i t i e s , perhaps -  and indeed p r e f e r a b l y - conquest of new east and r u t h l e s s G e r m a n i z a t i o n was  "Not yet p o s s i b l e  l i v i n g space i n the 27  of the l a t t e r . . . . "  here not speaking t o " P a r t e i g e n o s s e n " i n the  Hitler heightened  atmosphere of the Braun Haus i n Munich, but b e f o r e r e s p o n s i b l e members of h i s armed f o r c e s who out h i s m i l i t a r y p l a n s . 5 G.D.,C,I,11. G.D.,C,I,16. ? G.D.,C,I,16. 2  2 6  2  would be charged w i t h c a r r y i n g  More weight may  t h e r e f o r e be  attached.  11 to these words, as an expression of his plans i n January 1933 > than would be assigned to similar statements expressed i n H i t l e r ' s more intimate c i r c l e .  However that may be, for the moment at  least, H i t l e r had l i t t l e time to indulge i n his dreams of Empire for there were more immediately pressing'problems i n foreign policy to be faced.  Amongst these was the problem of Poland;  i t s solution may have more d e c i s i v e l y influenced his Soviet policy than a l l of his reputed eastern plans. 1  I n the i n t e r w a r y e a r s Poland's independence and power  were dependent upon the r e l a t i v e strengths of both Russia and Germany and upon the temperature of the Russo-German r e l a t i o n s h i p . In this context Polish-Russian and Polish-German relations were of considerable interest to both Germany and Russia.  It i s i n  this light that an examination of Poland's relations with Germany and Russia during the f i r s t year of the Third Reich can give insight into the breakdown of Russo-German friendship which was completed by the" signing of the Polish-German non-aggression Pact in January, 1934. The creation of the Polish state at the end of World War I was only made possible by the prostration of both Germany 28 and Russia.  Thereafter the maintenance of P o l i s h  independence  assumed either continuing Russian and German weakness, or f a i l i n g that, constant Russo-German enmity.  In terms of the balance of  power this meant that Poland could preserve her freedom of action so long as the combined strengths of Germany and Russia did not Kochan, Russia and the Weimar Republic, p. 154.  12 threaten her m i l i t a r i l y .  If they did, she could only escape  p a r t i t i o n once again by a l l y i n g herself with either of her two great neighbours and so, d e c i s i v e l y affect the balance between them.  The former condition prevailed during the f i r s t years after  the Rapallo Treaty from 1922  t i l l about mid  1930.  The Rapallo Treaty of 1922, as previously mentioned, was largely a reaction of Russia and Germany against the i s o l a t i o n into which they had been placed after World War victorious powers.  I by the  It was thus the product of a community of  interest whose foundations were transitory.  In the same propor-  t i o n that the international quarantine against Germany and Russia was gradually l i f t e d and they were able to associate with other states, so did the relationship lose i t s urgency.  However,  the  Rapallo Pact had another more permanent base - mutual enmity against Poland, the country created out of German and Russian 29 territory. ' By 1931 to dissolve. developments.  even this community of interest was beginning  The solvent was composed of two interdependent On the one hand heightened German nationalism  induced Russia to slide gradually from the r e v i s i o n i s t into the a n t i - r e v i s i o n i s t camp.  In so doing she overtly renounced claims  to any Polish t e r r i t o r y , thereby removing the main obstacle to f r i e n d l y relations between Poland and Russia.  Simultaneously  other combinations were being opened to Soviet diplomacy; Russia  29  :ly  Royal i n s t i t u t e of International A f f a i r s (RIIA), Survey of International A f f a i r s , ed., Arnold Tc/nbee and others, London, Oxford University Press, 1933> P» l83«  13 showed her readiness to exploit these even If this meant imp e r i l l i n g the concept of R a p a l l o .  These developments resulted  30  in Russia's signature of two non-aggression pacts, with France i n August, 19315  and with Poland i n January,  1932.  In Germany both of these pacts were considered breaches 31 i n the Rapallo front.  The foreign o f f i c e i n particular  alarmed over the Polish pact. throughout  the developments.  relations were undoubtedly time, he was  was  In Moscow Dirksen remained calm He recognized that "...Russo-German 32  beginning to totter.'^'  At the same  convinced that future relations would depend upon  Germany's good intentions; that the Soviet Union was more than reinsurance for the future.  seeking nothing  H i t l e r could choose whether  the Soviet non-aggression pacts would become a " . . . b o w l . . . f i l l e d with the milk of peaceful intention or with the virulent brew of 33 menace."  S t a l i n for his part had no desire to drop Germany for  an unsure relationship but he wanted to be i n a position to enter another defense orbit i f the Rapallo pact should, by Germany's 34 choice, become dead. Thus on the eve of H i t l e r ' s advent to power, Russia's relations with Poland had gradually improved while German-Polish relations had reached their nadir. 30 Kochan, op. c i t . , p. 154. Ibid., p. 155. 32 Dirksen, op:cit., p. 115. Ibid., p. 116-117. Kochan, op. c i t . , p. 157* 3 1  3 3  3 4  Moreover, the Polish-Russian  14 rapprochement had introduced an element of doubt into the Rapallo combination  and largely robbed i t of i t s u t i l i t y as an instrument  in support of Germany's r e v i s i o n i s t claims.  While German  n a t i o n a l i s t clamourings reached a frenzy, Russia quietly withdrew from the r e v i s i o n i s t front; while Poland signed the nonaggression pact with Russia, her relations with Germany almost reached the breaking point as a result of a long standing trade war, minority c o n f l i c t s , r e v i s i o n i s t propaganda, German armamentequality demands and the danger of u n i l a t e r a l German rearmament. By January 1933 the situation on Germany's eastern frontier was beginning to fester.  Either German-Polish relations would have to  be redefined or the cold war might erupt into an armed c o n f l i c t . At f i r s t sight i t seemed that H i t l e r intended to exaggerate this tension.  On February 2, i n an interview with a  B r i t i s h j o u r n a l i s t , H i t l e r i s reported to have said: "the situation on Germany's eastern f r o n t i e r was intolerable and would soon have to be remedied."3°  But when on March 6, the day following  the Reichstag elections, P o l i s h troops arrived at the Westerplatte, a peninsula commanding the Danzig harbour, a maneuver which constituted a provocative action against Germany, no r e t a l i a t o r y measures were taken.  Despite his bluster, H i t l e r knew well that  he was not ready to take any drastic action. March 16 the Westerplatte c r i s i s  Fortunately on  ended with the promised withdrawal  35 Richard Breyer, Das Deutsche Reich und Polen, 1932-1937: Aussenpolitik und Volksgruppenfragen, Wurzburg, Holzner, 1955 > p.67« In an interview with Etherton of Sunday Express; cited i n Breyer p. 69« J  15 o f the P o l i s h t r o o p s . H i t l e r ' s c h i e f c o n c e r n d u r i n g h i s f i r s t year as c h a n c e l l o r was t o m a i n t a i n complete freedom of a c t i o n u n t i l he had f e l t out t h e f o r e i g n s i t u a t i o n and d i s c o v e r e d i n which d i p l o m a t i c areas he c o u l d b e s t a c h i e v e h i s purposes. the same problem as h i s p r e d e c e s s o r s : whether west or whether  t o b a l a n c e between the two.  He f a c e d  t o t u r n e a s t or Until this  was  d e c i d e d he found i t u s e f u l to r e a s s u r e R u s s i a t h a t Germany's a t t i t u d e toward her had not c h a n g e d . ^ 3  I n f a c t , p r i v a t e l y , von Neurath a s s u r e d D i r k s e n t h a t German p o l i c y had not changed, and, s i g n i f i c a n t l y , t h a t H i t l e r had d e c i d e d t o draw a sharp l i n e between h i s domestic  anti-  communist p o l i c y and r e l a t i o n s w i t h the S o v i e t U n i o n . ^ 3  o f f i c i a l statement on Germany's R u s s i a n p o l i c y was  issued  But no because  H i t l e r d i d not want t o be t i e d down by any such commitments. Hov/ever, d e s p i t e t h e s e r e a s s u r a n c e s the S o v i e t government remained unconvinced, f o r s i m u l t a n e o u s l y the b u r s t of energy r e l e a s e d by the N a z i r e v o l u t i o n caused grave doubts as t o German goodwill.  The R e i c h s t a g f i r e of F e b r u a r y 27 was the c u r t a i n  r a i s e r of a w e i r d drama which was the K.P.D. and the imprisonment  t o see the t o t a l d e s t r u c t i o n of  and death of i t s members. The  terror  thus unleashed was d i r e c t e d p r i m a r i l y a g a i n s t the German Communist 37 KiKochan, op. c i t . , p. 3 8  G.D.,C,I,33.  167.  16 Party but i n the heat of anti-bolshevism  the Comintern was  verbally attacked and Soviet i n s t i t u t i o n s and nationals i n Germany made to suffer physical abuse. c l e a r l y agitated, but as the suppression was  Soviet leaders were of German communism  a German domestic matter the Soviet ambassador i n B e r l i n ,  Khinchuk limited his protests to a r e p e t i t i o n of generalities about the breakdown of cooperation and a l i s t i n g of incidents 39 perpetrated  against Soviet nationals i n Germany.  On March 2, H i t l e r made his f i r s t anti-Soviet outbursti n a public speech i n B e r l i n ; i t drew a sharp reaction from the 40  Soviet government.  These protests, coinciding as they did  with the P o l i s h action on the Westerplatte,  underlined Germany's  increasing i s o l a t i o n and caused H i t l e r to reverse his propoganda approach.  Henceforth he was  c a r e f u l to d i s t i n g u i s h sharply  between the necessity for the destruction of the K.P.D. and purposes of his foreign p o l i c y .  4 1  the  He r e a l i z e d the need not to  antagonize foreign powers while Germany was s t i l l weak. He 39 G.D.,C,I,43« Litvinov i n Geneva asked his German opposite number at the disarmament conference what the German charges meant. Edward Hallet Carr, German-Soviet Relations Between the Two World Wars, 1919-1939. Baltimore, John Hopkins, 195.1 > p. HO. In Moscow Litvinov lodged a violent protest: "The National S o c i a l i s t Party had from the beginning blazoned i n i t s banner the f i g h t on communism without making any d i s t i n c t i o n between communism at home and the relations with the Soviet Union." G.D.,C,I,73» J  4 0  41  This "two track" (Eweigleisigkeit) p o l i c y was now widely propagandized. Goring, i n a press interview i n March, explained that "...our own campaign for the extirpation of Communism i n Germany has nothing to do with Russo-German r e l a t i o n s , " and affirmed that Germany would "remain as f r i e n d l y as i n former years." G.D.,C,I,104.  17 t h e r e f o r e chose t o r e v e r s e h i s h o s t i l e a t t i t u d e towards as was  c l e a r when on March 23 he made h i s l o n g - a w a i t e d  Poland, foreign  p o l i c y speech t o the R e i c h s t a g , one of the l a s t to which the f o r e i g n o f f i c e contributed anything. b o t h t o Y/arsaw and explicitly. was  I n i t were passages d i r e c t e d  to Moscow, the former i m p l i c i t l y and the  Without d i r e c t l y naming Poland  obvious —  but the i n t e n t  H i t l e r d e c l a r e d h i m s e l f ready t o r e a c h an under-  s t a n d i n g w i t h any n a t i o n w h i c h was 42 t o make a new  —  latter  start.  w i l l i n g t o f o r g e t the past  H i s r e f e r e n c e to R u s s i a was  and  even more  43 positive.  H i t l e r ' s obvious i n t e n t i o n was  to quieten  the  European s i t u a t i o n long enough f o r him t o break out of the d i p l o m a t i c i s o l a t i o n i n w h i c h Germany found h e r s e l f . speech was a detente  f o l l o w e d by f u r t h e r measures designed i n Russo-German t e n s i o n .  to  The facilitate  During the months of March  and A p r i l , S o v i e t t r a d e o f f i c i a l s had d i f f i c u l t y i n meeting t h e i r payments on the l o n g term German c r e d i t agreement n e g o t i a t e d i n 1931.  H i t l e r l e n t them v a l u a b l e a i d by p r o l o n g i n g f o r a 44  months the d r a f t s due.  few  A f t e r t h e t u r m o i l of the p r e v i o u s weeks  H i t l e r ' s d e c i s i o n came as a s u r p r i s e t o the German o f f i c i a l s i n B r e y e r , op. c i t . , p. 82. 3 "Toward the S o v i e t Union t h e R e i c h Government i n t e n d s t o c u l t i v a t e f r i e n d l y r e l a t i o n s advantageous t o b o t h p a r t i e s . It is above a l l the Government of the n a t i o n a l r e v o l u t i o n who f e e l s thems e l v e s i n a p o s i t i o n to pursue such a p o s i t i v e p o l i c y toward S o v i e t R u s s i a . The f i g h t on communism i n Germany i s an i n t e r n a l a f f a i r , i n w h i c h we w i l l never t o l e r a t e i n t e r f e r e n c e from o u t s i d e . P o l i t i c a l r e l a t i o n s w i t h o t h e r powers w i t h w h i c h we are l i n k e d by important i n t e r e s t s i n common are not a f f e c t e d t h e r e b y . " Norman H. Baynes, ed., The Speeches of A d o l f H i t l e r , 1922-1939, R I I A , London, Oxford U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1942, v o l . 2 , p. 1019. D i r k s e n , op. c i t . , p. 120; G.D.,C,I,33. A  4 4  18 Moscow and angered well for future r e l a t i o n s .  None of the above  concessions, however, l a i d Russian misgivings which d a i l y fed on a long series of i n c i d e n t s . ^ Russo-German relations were to be subjected to further s t r a i n by the suggestion of a Four Power Pact put forward to the German Government by Mussolini i n mid-March, 1933'.  The pact  envisaged the four western powers, B r i t a i n , France, I t a l y and Germany, as the dominant influences i n European policy.  It might  be considered by Germany as an instrument for t h e revision of her eastern f r o n t i e r s through the use of A r t i c l e 19 of the League 46 Charter.  The German foreign o f f i c e , aware of the tension i n  Russo-German relations and the apprehensions  evoked i n Moscow  e a r l i e r by the Locarno Pact, decided to tread warily lest the Soviets interpret the Four Power Pact likewise as a i.,ronilateral 45 The German documents of the period following the Reichstag f i r e brim with Soviet protests against Nazi lawlessness which i n Moscow was interpreted as being' inspired by H i t l e r or at least condoned by him. The Russians could not understand why a dictator l i k e H i t l e r did not put a stop with an o f f i c i a l word to the excesses, i f his intentions towards the U.S.S.R. were genuinely f r i e n d l y . As early as March 1 the Russian ambassador i n an o f f i c i a l note deprecated the actions of the police i n arresting persons who frequented the Soviet hotel i n B e r l i n : (G.D.,C,1,43). The German Government decision at the end of March to withhold entry cards from Soviet journalists for the opening of the Reich stag also drew a "...violent attack on the Government" from Izvestia for the implied discrimination against the Soviet Union: CG.D.,C,I,104). By the end of the month such incidents had become almost routine and began affecting trade r e l a t i o n s . The Soviet commercial missions i n Hamburg and Leipzig were repeatedly looted and communist baiting led to frequent searches by Nazi hoodlums of Derop, the organization for marketing Soviet petroleum products i n Germany:(G.D.,C,I,134). From Moscow, on A p r i l 4, G.D.,C,I,83.  reorientation of German foreign policy westward.  Dirksen was  therefore instructed to inform the Russians that the proposed pact was wholly an I t a l i a n idea designed primarily to weaken France's a l l i a n c e system.  It would not receive Germany's  support unless German-Russian relations were " . . . i n no way... 47 impaired...."  The Soviet reaction was portrayed as one of  "...great reservation and a certain caution."^  The Soviets  feared that they were again to be isolated from a forum i n which Soviet interests could be adversely affected and demanded an observer's role for themselv.es.  Even though the pact i t s e l f  Dirksen, convinced that a c r i s i s had been reached, sent a telegram to the Foreign Minister c l a s s i f i e d "Most Urgent": (G.D.,C.I.134; Dirksen, p. 120). In i t he cautioned that i n spite or the statements made by H i t l e r , Neurath and himself, Soviet fears were r i s i n g that the "...trends i n Germany that are opposed to good German-Soviet relations are gaining the upperhand over the positive attitude i n o f f i c i a l c i r c l e s . " Unless immediate steps were taken to halt the incidents, the Soviet Government would draw broad conclusions and reverse i t s foreign, m i l i t a r y and economic p o l i c i e s . P a r t i c u l a r l y i n the trade f i e l d t h i s would mean a grievous loss to the German economy. In a private l e t t e r to Bulow of the same date Dirksen struck similar note; (G.D.,C,I,134). H i t l e r ' s speech of March 23 had tempora r i l y relaxed tensions but new incidents had " . . . f i l l e d the cup to overflowing". Dirksen was frankly confused. He could not fathom why no redress was made i f H i t l e r ' s March 23 statement was to form the base on which further Russo-German relations were to be conducted. He began to suspect that the c r i s i s connoted a s h i f t i n German policy and for the second time requested permission to come to B e r l i n to report and confer*  4 7  48  G.D.,C,I,121. G.D.,C,I,136,  was  never r a t i f i e d i t was n o t soon f o r g o t t e n by t h e .Soviets.  7  Meanwhile no one i n t h e f o r e i g n o f f i c e q u e s t i o n e d t h e assumption t h a t t h e f i r s t t a s k o f German f o r e i g n p o l i c y was t o b r i n g about a r e v i s i o n o f t h e e a s t e r n b o r d e r , f o r t h e purpose o f s t r e n g t h e n i n g Germany's s e c u r i t y .  There might be d i f f e r e n c e s as t o  methods but t h e end was unanimously agreed upon. i n a review  On A p r i l 7? Neurath,  o f t h e f o r e i g n p o l i c y s i t u a t i o n a t a Conference o f  M i n i s t e r s , a t w h i c h H i t l e r was p r e s e n t , r e i t e r a t e d t h i s  thesis.  A f t e r t h e p r e c e d i n g month o f i n c i d e n t s and rumors of war, P o l a n d loomed up as t h e prime source was  considered  support  o f danger, and defence a g a i n s t h e r  p o s s i b l e o n l y w i t h t h e support  Neurath was dubious.  of Russia.  He saw no hope o f an  Of t h i s  understanding  w i t h Poland w h i c h he termed " n e i t h e r p o s s i b l e n o r d e s i r a b l e " and repeated  t h e Weimar p r o p o s i t i o n t h a t "Our main o b j e c t i v e remains  r e v i s i o n of the eastern Border."  I n Neurath's view t h e way o u t  of t h i s dilemma o f a t h r e a t e n i n g P o l i s h p r e v e n t i v e war and an unsure R u s s i a n a l l y was t o be found n e i t h e r i n a coup n o r i n a change of p a r t n e r s but i n a r e t u r n t o t h e p o l i c y o f R a p a l l o .  The  m o t i v e s f o r t h i s move were t o be b o t h p o l i t i c a l and economic; p o l i t i c a l l y , t h e need f o r a p r o t e c t i v e "...cover w i t h respect to Poland",  and e c o n o m i c a l l y  f o r our r e a r  t h e need t o m a i n t a i n  s t r o n g t r a d e bonds w i t h Germany's b e s t customer f o r i n d u s t r i a l products. 49  Neurath documented t h i s hope by c i t i n g t h e I t a l i a n  D i r k s e n ' s own views on t h e Four Power P a c t d i d n o t i n any measure o v e r l a p with- t h o s e o f t h e f o r e i g n o f f i c e . He f e l t t h a t i f t h e main f u n c t i o n o f t h e pact was t o be r e v i s i o n then Germany was exchanging a bronco f o r a proven work h o r s e . Germany would be vfeying h e r s e l f t o t h e u n p r e d i c t a b l e g y r a t i o n s o f t h r e e o t h e r powers and so s a c r i f i c e her freedom i n d e a l i n g w i t h t h e S o v i e t U n i o n , "...the i n d i s p e n s a b l e second jaw o f t h e p i n c e r s a g a i n s t P o l a n d . " G.D.,C,1,136. y  21 example where the domestic fight against Communism had not prevented the development of c o r d i a l relations with R u s s i a . ^ The conference broke off without any debate but H i t l e r ' s silence must not be equated with acquiescence.  H i t l e r agreed  that Germany's chief security problem was i n the east but he rejected Neurath's conclusion that the only solution lay i n a rejuvenation of the Rapallo front.  For the moment however,  H i t l e r was v e i l i n g to maintain the f i c t i o n of "business as usual" so long as the Polish question was unresolved.  But he did so  only half-heartedly for he feared cooperation with Russia, not only for i d e a l o g i c a l reasons but because Germany was weak. I t was at this point that Neurath's and H i t l e r ' s views diverged. While Neurath spoke of continued enmity against Poland and renewed friendship with Russia, H i t l e r had probably already decided to dispense with the need for Russian support through a Polish rapprochement.^ H i t l e r i n a l l p r o b a b i l i t y did not know yet how he would achieve this aim but there i s a body of evidence to show that the decision i n p r i n c i p l e had already been made.  On A p r i l 8 H i t l e r  broached the topic of border r e v i s i o n to the French Ambassador Francois-Poncet but denied categorically that Germany would change her eastern f r o n t i e r s by f o r c e . 5  2  The Polish problem was also  50 G.D.,C,1,142. ^ 52  Breyer, op. c i t . , p. 83.  Andre Francois-Poncet, The Fateful Years, t r a n s l . J. LeClercq, New York, Harcourt Brace, 1949? p. 96. y  22 touched on when d u r i n g t h i s same time D i r k s e n was  finally  summoned to B e r l i n f o r an i n t e r v i e w w i t h H i t l e r .  The  Fuhrer  seemed bored w i t h h i s Ambassador's r e p o r t and c o n f i n e d h i s remarks to a statement r e a f f i r m i n g h i s March 23 speech. a t t i t u d e to S o v i e t r e l a t i o n s was  own  His  o b v i o u s l y o n l y lukewarm.  Then  an i n c i d e n t o c c u r r e d whose s i g n i f i c a n c e d i d not escape d i r k s e n . He d e s c r i b e s i t i n these-words* " H i t l e r r o s e , went a c r o s s t o  the  window and, g a z i n g i n t o the park of the R e i c h s k a n z l e i , remarked dreamily:  ' I f o n l y we  c o u l d come to an agreement w i t h  But P i l s u d s k i i s the o n l y man  w i t h whom t h a t would be  Poland.' possible."53  D i r k s e n i n t e r j e c t e d t h a t t h a t would mean the r e v e r s a l of Germany's revision policy.  H i t l e r r e f u s e d to pursue the  Simultaneously,  the Warsaw Government, encouraged by  H i t l e r ' s March 23 speech, put out i t s own f o r a detente.  On A p r i l 19,  M o l t k e i n Warsaw.  The  topic.  f i r s t cautious f e e l e r s  F o r e i g n M i n i s t e r Beck r e c e i v e d  German M i n i s t e r came away from the  conversa-  t i o n w i t h the d i s t i n c t i m p r e s s i o n t h a t Beck's remarks should  be  i n t e r p r e t e d "...as a v e i l e d p r o p o s a l f o r d i r e c t c o n t a c t w i t h 54  Germany."  y  At the same time i n B e r l i n Wysoki was  pressing the  German F o r e i g n M i n i s t r y to s e t a date f o r an i n t e r v i e w w i t h H i t l e r . However the P o l i s h Government, unsure of H i t l e r ' s r e a l i n t e n t i o n s r e g a r d i n g P o l a n d , decided to g i v e g r e a t e r urgency to GermanP o l i s h r e l a t i o n s by d e m o n s t r a t i n g 53 D i r k s e n , op. c i t . , p. 5  4  121  G.D.,C,I,167.  55 B r e y e r , op. c i t . , p.  84.  t o Germany the a l t e r n a t i v e t o  an understanding. peace or war.  Them H i t l e r could decide what he wanted  —  To this end P i l s u d s k i resurrected the spectre  of a Polish preventive war.5° It i s apparent that t h i s second power demonstration  by  Poland within two months was a b l u f f designed to force H i t l e r to negotiate.  Poland had no serious intentions of forcing a  57 showdown with Germany.  The Westerplatte incident had shown  the impossibility of that. To H i t l e r Polish intentions i n the f i r s t weeks of A p r i l must have seemed thoroughly ambiguous. one of three, things.  They could mean  Either the Poles had already decided on a  f o r c i b l e settlement with Germany, or they were seeking to force a rapprochement upon Germany, or Polish leadership was do divided that divergent aims were being followed simultaneously. p o s s i b i l i t i e s demanded two d i f f e r e n t responses.  These  If Poland had  56 G.D.,C,I,184. From A p r i l 22 t i l l A p r i l 29 the Foreign Ministry i n B e r l i n was flooded with reports from various missions abroad that the Poles and Czechs were planning m i l i t a r y action against Germany. From Rome the German Ambassador wired of rumors c i r c u l a t i n g i n the diplomatic corps of an imminent P o l i s h march: (G.D.,C,I,177). From Warsaw Moltke sent threatening tidings that at the moment "...arguments for and against (a preventive war) approximately balance each other," and even more ominously that rumors of a "...Soviet Government...binding statement that i n case of a Polish-German c o n f l i c t i t would remain absolutely neutral": (G.D. ,C,Irjil80). Reports of troop movements multiplied and there was extreme agitation i n foreign p o l i t i c a l c i r c l e s : (Breyer, p. 84). Within a few days the storm died down and Moltke revised his e a r l i e r estimate with a re-, assuring note that "...there are no positive signs of a systematic preparation of a preventive war": (G.D.,C,I,183)• A query i n Moscow by Dirksen also revealed that no o f f i c i a l Polish approach for a preventive war had i n fact been made to the Soviets; only private individuals had sounded out the Russian Minister i n Warsaw. G.D.,C,I,199. 57 Breyer, op. c i t . , pp. 84,  85.  already decided on war then the rapprochement feeler was a ruse.  merely  In that event Germany's security lay i n a continued  close relationship with Russia.  However i f Polish policy r e a l l y  were one of rapprochement, then the rumors of war were merely meant as an inducement for Germany to choose P o l i s h friendship* H i t l e r could then drop Russia i n favour of Poland.  Finally i f  P o l i s h leadership were divided and i t s aims confused then H i t l e r would perforce be obliged to strengthen a l l existing security t i e s . In t h i s event the Soviet t i e would be of determining influence. Of the three p o s s i b i l i t i e s H i t l e r of course preferred the second.  He proceeded to plumb Polish intentions regarding a  settlement by negotiations.  At the same time, u n t i l a c l a r i f i -  cation was reached, other precautions would have to be taken. For this reason H i t l e r decided not to bring relations with the Soviet Union to a breaking point.  The Russians were to be  reassured of German good f a i t h and the l i n e to Moscow kept open. Then i f H i t l e r ' s worst fears were realized and Germany was faced with a war against Poland and possibly France too, the Rapallo Pact could be reactivated to redress the power balance. other hand i f a Polish-German  On the  understanding were actually reached,  then the Russian t i e could be cut.  At any rate keeping the  Russians i n play could do no harm f o r the present. To inaugurate t h i s policy of "keep the l i n e to Moscow open" H i t l e r ' s March 23 Reichstag speech contained the e a r l i e r quoted favourable reference to German-Soviet r e l a t i o n s .  The  speech  was H i t l e r ' s reply to the oft expressed Soviet request for an o f f i c i a l public policy statement.  H i t l e r then moved to rob the  25 Russo-German relationship of other uncertainties as well.  Two  of them had stuck out i n the minds of Soviet o f f i c i a l s as bad omens; f i r s t , H i t l e r had never received Khinchuk, the Soviet ambassador i n B e r l i n , and secondly, no German Government had ever r a t i f i e d the Protocol f o r the extension of the B e r l i n Treaty which had been signed i n 1931.5^ On A p r i l 28, 1933 H i t l e r summoned Khinchuk to an o f f i c i a l interview.  H i t l e r confined himself to generalities,  none of which had not been said before.59  However, the impor-  tance which was attached to t h i s conversation by both sides did not derive from i t s content but from the fact that i t had even taken place. The second step i n the projected "insurance detente" took place i n Moscow on May 5 with tne r a t i f i c a t i o n of the Protocol f o r the extension of the B e r l i n Treaty. *0  5  8  G.D.,C,I,29;  1  Dirksen  G.D.,C,I,104.  59 G.D.,C,I,194. 0 The Protocol had been dogged by bad luck ever since the day of i t s signing on June 24, 1931» (Hilger, p. 241; Dirksen; p.113, 114). On that occasion Briining had. t r i e d to withhold knowledge of the signing from the press f o r fear of i t s effect on German-French relations. Thereafter successive German Governments had f a i l e d to get i t through a Reichstag made impotent by p o l i t i c a l stalemate. Since H i t l e r ' s accession Dirksen had repeatedly urged swift r a t i f i c a t i o n to serve as proof positive to the Soviets that Germany's orientation towards her had not changed. As late as A p r i l 8 Dirksen s t i l l had hopes of using the r a t i f i c a t i o n to exercise Russia's deep-seated distrust of Germany: (G.D.,C,1,197, 212). His hopes were buoyed up by the atmosphere he thought to have divined on his ten day t r i p to B e r l i n at the end of May. His warnings that continued police and S.A. outrages against Soviet c i t i z e n s would make continued good relations with the Soviet Union impossible had e l i c i t e d favourable responses from Goring, Goebbels and F r i c k : (Dirksen, op. cit.,p.-12D-2). Even H i t l e r ' s attitude, though a  i  26 used this occasion, i n a dispatch to B e r l i n , to make an energetic plea for a return to the Rapallo policy."  The collaboration and  friendship of two states with so certain a p o l i t i c a l future necessarily represented for the world an important factor. fact. i n 1922  positive  Even today nothing has changed i n regard to this basic Even today, therefore for Germany the same reasons which led to the conclusion of the Rapallo Treaty, and i n  1926  *6l to the conclusion of the B e r l i n Treaty, are a l i v e and operative. H i t l e r however, neither accepted the assumptions upon which the Rapallo e d i f i c e had been raised nor did he trust the advice of his ambassadors i n favour of i t s rejuvenation.  Limited  border revision was no longer the aim of German foreign policy. Dirksen, along with his colleagues i n the foreign service, had not yet realized that the problem of German foreign policy was no mingled with hopes for a P o l i s h rapprochement, seemed p o s i t i v e . The Foreign Office was after a l l convinced that Germany's deepest interests and P o l i s h friendship were incompatible. Dirksen used the occasion of the exchange of documents to dispatch to B e r l i n a lengthy report: (G.D.,C,I,212). In i t he stressed the p o l i t i c a l significance of the exchange but warned against the s e l f deception of expecting more from the pact than i t was capable of delivering. Its e f f e c t s , would be closely hedged about by Soviet d i s t r u s t , by the feeling of injured pride and by the magnetism of the Polish-French o r b i t . Unless these factors were obviated by proven German good-will, then the current Soviet attitude toward Germany, which, was characterized as unrelieved anxiety, mistrust and uncertainty, vuould remain. The corollary i n Soviet policy of this attitude, was the acceptance of the maxium that "revision means war": j|G.D. ,C,I,212; G.D.,C,I, 232). The argument that Russia was the "second necessary power against Poland" was i m p l i c i t i n a l l that Dirksen wrote. The counter argument that Russia was too weak to be of p r a c t i c a l benefit to Germany was c u r t l y dismissed by him with the reminder that the Russo-German a l l i a n c e had never been effective i n terms of actual power but only as a potential force. To the men of the Foreign Office Dirksen's peroration must have been a castle of logic. 6 1  G.D.,C,I,212.  27  l o n g e r how t o r e s t o r e but how t o expand. I n t h e l a t e summer and f a l l o f 1 9 3 3 H i t l e r ' s S o v i e t p o l i c y was g r a d u a l l y c l a r i f i e d by events. however, was n o t immediately  translated into anuofficial policy  statement and t h e i m p r e s s i o n o f a m b i g u i t y policy persisted.  This ^ c l a r i f i c a t i o n  i n German f o r e i g n  The d i s c r e p a n c y thus c r e a t e d between F o r e i g n  O f f i c e a t t i t u d e and Government a c t i o n caused uneasiness 6?  and  c o n s t e r n a t i o n abroad but served H i t l e r ' s p u r p o s e s . The d i v i s i o n of o p i n i o n among t h e German h i e r a r c h y r e g a r d i n g German-Soviet r e l a t i o n s can be c l e a r l y seen from t h e r e c o r d of a c a b i n e t meeting on September 2 6 g i v e n over almost e x c l u s i v e l y to the Russian question.  Even von Bu'low, S t a t e  S e c r e t a r y , broached t h e problem w i t h an e n e r g e t i c p l e a f o r a d e t e n t e w i t h R u s s i a ; and emphasized t h e l o s s e s i n t h e d i p l o m a t i c , economic and m i l i t a r y spheres w h i c h Germany would s u f f e r from a break w i t h h e r . ° 3  H i t l e r , i n r e p l y , s t r e s s e d the i d e o l o g i c a l  i n c o m p a t i b i l i t y of Nazism and Communism, i m p l y i n g thereby  that  a permanent antagonism between R u s s i a and Germany c o u l d be expected for  the f u t u r e . The d e t e r i o r a t i o n i n r e l a t i o n s was R u s s i a ' s  f a u l t f o r t h e S o v i e t Government would "...never f o r g i v e Germany 62 I n Moscow, D i r k s e n , c o n f i d e n t t h a t H i t l e r ' s speech of March 23 s t i l l denoted Government p o l i c y took every o p p o r t u n i t y t o urge upon B e r l i n t h e need f o r a German i n i t i a t i v e i n t h e S o v i e t c a p i t a l . E a r l y i n August he d i v i n e d a r e l a x a t i o n i n t h e immediate t e n s i o n s of German-Soviet r e l a t i o n s and r e p o r t e d t h e d e s i r e i n t h e S o v i e t s i d e f o r a German i n i t i a t i v e : (G.D.,0,1,389,404). W h i l e he awaited a c t i o n from B e r l i n he t r i e d t o p a t c h up german-Soviet r e l a t i o n s as b e s t he c o u l d w i t h honeyed words. At the end of August D i r k s e n r e t u r n e d t o B e r l i n and a l t h o u g h he s t i l l hoped f o r t h e b e s t he.was enough of a p o l i t i c a l r e a l i s t t o c l o s e h i s f i n a l d i s p a t c h w i t h the words, "The R a p a l l o Chapter i s concluded": ( H i l g e r , o p . c i t . p . 3 4 9 ) • A f t e r D i r k s e n ' s d e p a r t u r e t h e German, Charge i n Moscow, Twardowski, c o n t i n u e d to work along t h e same l i n e s as D i r k s e n had. L i t v i n o v i n an exchange w i t h Twardowski summed up what every 6  3  G.D.,C,I,456.  28 f o r our having  smashed Communism i n Germany".  Hitler's rejoinder  to von Bulow's argument t h a t good Russo-German r e l a t i o n s had proved a d i p l o m a t i c , m i l i t a r y and economic a s s e t was a c u r t , "...the  l i a b i l i t i e s have always b e e n . g r e a t e r t h a n the a s s e t s . "  The most t h a t H i t l e r was w i l l i n g t o do was t o grant the S o v i e t s apparent c o n c e s s i o n s .  R e l u c t a n t l y he agreed t o g i v e t h e S o v i e t s  r e a s s u r i n g statements r e g a r d i n g German i n t e n t i o n s and t o r e c e i v e 64 K r e s t i n s k i on h i s journey t h r o u g h B e r l i n .  T h i s a c t i o n was t o  be p u r e l y t a c t i c a l i n order not t o f u r n i s h the R u s s i a n s w i t h a p r e t e x t f o r a break w i t h Germany.  H i t l e r was convinced  that  "...a r e s t o r a t i o n of the German-Russian r e l a t i o n s h i p would be impossible.The  r e a s o n f o r such d e f i n i t e statements was  undoubtedly H i t l e r ' s hopes f o r a rapprochement w i t h  Poland.  SF'ficial- i n t h e German Embassy i n Moscow was d a i l y s e e i n g demonstrated, namely "...the F o r e i g n M i n i s t r y p o s s i b l y wanted good r e l a t i o n s but t h a t o t h e r f o r c e s i n Germany were more powerf u l . " (G.D.,C,1,438). On September 22 Twardowski warned t h a t u n l e s s t h i s S o v i e t i m p r e s s i o n was c o r r e c t e d the R u s s i a n s would be induced- t o go over c o m p l e t e l y i n t o the F r a n c o - P o l i s h camp. T h i s argument must have impressed H i t l e r w i t h t h e f a c t t h a t the s o l e a l t e r n a t i v e t o a R u s s o - P o l i s h pact was a q u i c k move t o put the f i n a l s e a l on a German-Polish u n d e r s t a n d i n g .  take  G.D.,C,I,457; place. G.D.,C,I,457  H i l g e r , p. 250.  K r e s t i n s k i ' s v i s i t d i d not  29 However, u n t i l this was  d e f i n i t e l y achieved, his r e a l inten-  tions towards Russia must he  disguised.^  During the summer of 1933 the loss of confidence  i t became apparent that  i n the p o l i t i c a l base of the Russo-German  combination had disastrously shaken economic r e l a t i o n s . From March u n t i l September action was effect was  the dismantling  taken by both sides whose  of the economic structure which had  been assiduously b u i l t up over the years to the p r o f i t of both 67  partners. '  By the end of March frequent  searches of the Russian  commercial missions i n Leipzig and Hamburg had taken place the systematic for  and  destruction of Derop, the giant Soviet enterprise  d i s t r i b u t i n g Russian o i l i n Germany had begun.  By mid-April  the Soviet Ambassador charged that Derop sales had been cut i n This attitude of H i t l e r ' s was not obvious at f i r s t to Rudolph Nadolny, Dirksen's successor i n November 1933 as Ambassador in Moscow. The same dichotomy between H i t l e r ' s attitude and H i t l e r ' s action i n Soviet p o l i c y persisted. The new ambassador, a career diplomat of East Prussian background, who spoke Russian well, was a convinced advocate of the eastern orientation i n German foreign policy. In Moscow he sought, as his predecessor had done, to bridge the chasm, which had developed between Russia and Germany since H i t l e r ' s advent to power. H i t l e r was to be persuaded of the fact that a dynamic foreign policy with r e v i s i o n i s t aims was possible only with the support of Russia. His i n i t i a l instructions from the Foreign Minister indicated agreement between his views and the ostensible aims of German diplomacy. According to the instructions Nadolny was to further f r i e n d l y relations between the Reichswehr and the Red Army, even though these had not existed for three months; to maintain the Moscow Embassy as an active post (Vorposten) of German policy; and to create a more b e n e f i c i a l atmosphere by avoiding incidents and by making redress for the past Soviet losses. These instructions were based on H i t l e r ' s 6 month old March 23 speech which had since been superseded by H i t l e r ' s plans to seek an agreement with Poland. However, for the moment, i t suited H i t l e r ' s purpose to keep from his Ambassador as well as from the ^  7  KKochan, op. c i t . , p.  169.  30 half and that the trade mission.had  not been able to close a  single sale i n Germany since the beginning of the anti-Soviet agitation.  0 8  After September the Soviets adopted "a wait and  see"  policy i n economic relations; no i n i t i a t i v e was taken although the German Government was  informed that any move from i t s side  would receive a generous reply from the Soviet Government. P o l i t i c a l relations remained the leader i n Russo-German relations.  Similar t a c t i c s were adopted with regard to  military relations.  Russian Foreign Office his true intentions. Nadolny's conscientious efforts to keep Russia i n play could serve H i t l e r well u n t i l the Polish t i e was secure and he was ready to break off relations with Moscow on his own i n i t i a t i v e : (Hilger, op. c i t . , p.252-253). None of H i t l e r ' s diplomatic surprises had thus far provoked Russia to make a 'final break with Germany; the keynote of Soviet policy throughout 1933 remained "caution" and "firmness". If Germany chose to continue the mutually profitable r e l a t i o n ship of past years the Soviets wished nothing better. If Germany chose otherwise the Soviet Government would a l i g n her policy with that of the V e r s a i l l e s Powers. When H i t l e r forced Russia to choose this l a t t e r course S t a l i n , Litvinov, Molotov, and Krestinsky were careful i n their speeches to emphasize that Russia was reluctantly swinging away from the Rapallo front and would be ready to resume normal relations whenever Germany demonstrated her capacity for friendship by concrete afitions: (Hilger, op.cit., p. 246). If Germany chose the mutually profitable relationship of past years the Soviets wished nothing better. If Germany chose otherwise the Soviet Union would a l i g n her policy with that of the V e r s a i l l e s powers. Kochan, op. c i t . , p. 166. G.D.,0,1,198,421.  31 During the f i r s t months of 1933  i t seemed as though  Russo-German m i l i t a r y relations might weather the storm into which p o l i t i c a l relations had been cast by H i t l e r ' s ambiguous attitude. High ranking o f f i c e r s of the Reichswehr as well as members of the Foreign Ministry were agreed that sound m i l i t a r y cooperation guaranteed  the security of the p o l i t i c a l structure rather than  being dependent upon i t .  A l l were determined  to maintain i t . ° 9  In May and June t h i s hope proved f a l s e when on the i n i t i a t i v e of the Soviet Government m i l i t a r y relations were put in jeopardy.?  0  The German High Command, sensing that this devel-  opment might lead to a complete break, despatched  General von  Bockelberg, the Chief of the Army Ordnance O f f i c e , on a goodw i l l mission to Russia.  Between von Bockelberg's departure from  Moscow and his return to B e r l i n the Soviet Government preemptorily  69 The Reichswehr attitude was attested by an incident which took place i n March 1933* After the Reichstag f i r e , Reichswehr o f f i c e r s , f e a r f u l lest a breach i n the Russo-German front should occur, informed Soviet diplomats of the existence of an underground corridor linking the Reichstag with the palace of the Reichstag President, Goring. Dirksen, op. c i t . , p. 93; Francois-Poncet, p. 2. 70 ' The Reichswehr maintained three stations i n Soviet Russia; Lipetsk ( a i r f o r c e ) , Tomka (Chemical warfare) and Kazan (armoured vehicles): (G.D.,C,I,197). Red Army o f f i c i a l s announced that the German plants were to be closed.  demanded that Germany dissolve a l l of her m i l i t a r y plants i n Russia.  71  By mid-August i t was  clear that a l l m i l i t a r y t i e s  would have to be broken and the Reichswehr sent a m i l i t a r y mission to pay a farewell v i s i t to the Red Army. in which the leave-takings were made was  The atmosphere  laden with nostalgia.  P o l i t i c a l talk was engaged i n by neither side but the Red Army attitude l e f t the impression that although "the chapter of cooperation on the basis of mutual confidence must be regarded as closed", they had, " . . . l e f t the door open for themselves for 72 m i l i t a r y collaboration...at some later date.'"  A month later  on September 15 after another round of leave-takings Hartmann the German m i l i t a r y attache i n Moscow, again reported that b a s i c a l l y the Soviet side"...is constantly trying not to l e t the 73 connections with us break o f f . . . . " Concurrently a m i l i t a r y rapprochement between France and Russiar.was evident and there were suggestions that m i l i t a r y J  74 consultations between Russia and Poland had also taken place. The importance  of these contacts, coinciding as they did with  71 General von Bockelberg i n his comprehensive report of t':,? June 13 supported Hartmann's conclusions: "Cooperation with the Red Army and the Soviet armaments industry i s , i n view of the extent of Russian plans and their demonstrated energy i n carrying them out, urgently desirable not only for reasons of defence policy but also for technical reasons with respect to amounts." (G.D.,C,I,252). Later the Russian Foreign Ministry claimed that this action was prompted by rumours that von Papen had divulged a l l particulars of German-Rnasian m i l i t a r y cooperation to the French Ambassador i n B e r l i n , Francois-Poncet. (Hilger, op-, c i t / , / -p. 246, 247. . G.D.,C,1,409. 7 2  7  3 G.D.,C,I,439; G.D.,C,I,460.  7 4  G.D.,C,I,439.  33 the l i q u i d a t i o n o f German m i l i t a r y i n t e r e s t s i n R u s s i a , were not l o s t on the Germans. H i t l e r must have been impressed w i t h the  "real  p o l i t i s c h e " c o n s i d e r a t i o n s w h i c h r e p u t e d l y guided S o v i e t p o l i c y . F o r the moment however he had d e c i d e d t o dispense w i t h the need f o r S o v i e t f r i e n d s h i p even a t the p r i c e o f the l o s s o f S o v i e t c o o p e r a t i o n i n the m i l i t a r y f i e l d .  T h i s c o s t was not g r e a t f o r  the d e c i s i o n openly t o denounce the m i l i t a r y c l a u s e s of t h e V e r s a i l l e s T r e a t y had rendered  t h r e e German armaments p l a n t s 75  and t e s t i n g s t a t i o n s i n R u s s i a o f no consequence t o Germany. H i t l e r thereby  J  gained a freedom o f d i p l o m a t i c maneuvre w h i c h  p e r m i t t e d him t o c o u r t Poland  openly w i t h o u t her f e a r i n g a  R u s s i a n k n i f e t h r u s t i n her back.  Later i f t a c t i c a l consider-  a t i o n s d i c t a t e d a r e t u r n t o the R a p a l l o p a t h H i t l e r c o u l d always take up w i t h R u s s i a a g a i n .  A f t e r a l l he h e l d i t i n h i s hand t o  g i v e R u s s i a what she wanted and c o u l d thus f o r c e her i n t o a p o l i c y of f r i e n d s h i p . Meanwhile the d i p l o m a t i c ground work f o r a GermanP o l i s h understanding  was b e i n g l a i d i n b o t h Warsaw and B e r l i n .  On May 2, H i t l e r r e c e i v e d the P o l i s h M i n i s t e r Wysocki i n the 76  presence o f von Neurath.  Wysocki's words were c a u t i o u s , e x p r e s s i n g  P o l i s h f e a r s f o r Danzig, and P o l a n d ' s d e t e r m i n a t i o n not t o g i v e up the C o r r i d o r .  H i t l e r ' s r e p l y was tempered by the imagined  dangers o f a P o l i s h p r e v e n t i v e war. H i t l e r o b j e c t e d t o the P o l i s h ?5 John W. Wheeler-Bennett, "From B r e s t L i t o v s k t o B r e s t L i t o v s k " , F o r e i g n A f f a i r s , V o l . l 8 , January 1940, p. 202. 7 6  G.D.,C,I,201;  P.W.B.,1,p.11-13.  34 i n i t i a t i v e on the Westerplatte.  He asserted that as a German  Nationalist he was sympathetic to Polish n a t i o n a l i s t aspirations and recognized Poland as a p o l i t i c a l entity with a right to exist. Suddenly H i t l e r remarked that he had examined Russian b i r t h statistics:  "The astonishing f e r t i l i t y of that nation caused  him to r e f l e c t seriously on the dangers to Europe and, therefore 77 to Poland, which might arise from this f a c t . " ' '  H i t l e r did not  pursue the topic further but he had made h i s point.  The Soviet  bogey was to form the basis of any Polish-German understanding. Wysocki's i n i t i a t i v e , a joint communique was issued. the  It contained  key promise that the "...Chancellor l a i d stress on the firm  intention of the German Government to maintain their attitude r  78  and their actions s t r i c t l y within the l i m i t s of existing t r e a t i e s . ' For  Poland the ghost of the Four Power Directorate had hereby  been temporarily l a i d and the basis formed for the new-ordering of the German-Polish relationship i n the following years.  79  In the following months H i t l e r reiterated the a n t i Soviet theme.  On May 17 he carried the German i n i t i a t i v e one  80  step further i n a speech to the Reichstag. Here he renounced P.W.B.,L, 13. The Neurath Memorandum concerning this conversation although agreeing with Wysocki's report i n a l l other essentials makes no mention of t h i s utterance:(G.D.,C,I,206). 7 p.W.B.,2. 79 Breyer, p. 84,85; Wysocki termed the interview "...of a nature to bring about a r e a l relaxation of tension i n GermanPolish r e l a t i o n s , " and an o f f i c i a l Polish press release noted that the conversation had "...exerted a quieting influence on German-Polish r e l a t i o n s . " G.D. ,C,1,206!". 8  P.W.B.,3,p.l3-15.  35 the p r i n c i p l e of G e r m a n i z a t i o n  and d e c l a r e d f o r the f i r s t time  t h a t "Germany i s ready to t a k e p a r t i n any solemn pact of  non-  a g g r e s s i o n , f o r Germany has no thought of a t t a c k , but t h i n k s s o l e l y of her s e c u r i t y . "  The  o b v i o u s l y meant f o r P o l i s h  i n v i t a t i o n , without  s a y i n g so,  ears.  H i t l e r broached the a n t i - R u s s i a n theme a g a i n following  month i n a t a l k w i t h Wysocki.  r e p o r t of J u l y 13  was  c o n t a i n e d t h e s e words:  The "M.  the  Polish Minister's H i t l e r also  exten-  s i v e l y d i s c u s s e d the s i t u a t i o n i n R u s s i a , and the n e c e s s i t y f o r a l l European c o u n t r i e s to c o o p e r a t e i n combating the economic O-i  c r i s i s and  i t s s e r i o u s consequences i n Germany." But H i t l e r was  not y e t prepared  f u l l y to a rapprochement w i t h Poland u n t i l Germany's p r e c i p i t a t e  to commit h i m s e l f  and t o a break w i t h R u s s i a  d e s e r t i o n of the League of  Nations on October 14 completed her d i p l o m a t i c i s o l a t i o n and compelled H i t l e r t o l o o k around f o r sympathy wherever he  could.  From Geneva the German League of Nations d e l e g a t e s warned of p o s s i b i l i t y of a p r e v e n t i v e war  a g a i n s t Germany.  The  the  Danzig  Senate P r e s i d e n t Rauschning c a u t i o n e d a g a i n s t any new  provocations.  H i t l e r f l i p p a n t l y d i s m i s s e d Rauchning's w a r n i n g : "The  people want  war.  Let them have i t - but o n l y when i t s u i t s me."82  s t a t e d , " I am w i l l i n g to s i g n a n y t h i n g . f a c i l i t a t e the success  of my  policy.  Hitler  I w i l l do a n y t h i n g  I am prepared  to guarantee  a l l f r o n t i e r s and make n o n - a g g r e s s i o n p a c t s and f r i e n d l y  alliances  w i t h anybody. "83 8 1  P.W.B.,4.  Op  G.P. 8 3  to  Hermann Rauschning, The V o i c e of D e s t r u c t i o n , New Putnam's, 1940, p. 104. I h i d . , p. 109.  York,  36 On November 15, t h e P o l i s h r e a c t i o n t o Germany's -"withdrawal from t h e League was t r a n s m i t t e d t o H i t l e r by L i p s k i . L i m s k i e x p r e s s e d Poland's concern f o r her s e c u r i t y , r e c a l l e d t h e Westerplatte  i n c i d e n t and asked s u g g e s t i v e l y "...whether  (Hitler)  d i d not see any p o s s i b i l i t y o f compensating t h e l o s s o f t h i s element o f s e c u r i t y i n d i r e c t German-Polish r e l a t i o n s .  1 , 8 4  H i t l e r ' s gamble had p a i d o f f . The German F i i h r e r , w i t h a s i g h o f r e l i e f , a s s u r e d L i p s k i o f h i s w i l l i n g n e s s " . . . t o e x c l u d e the v e r y i d e a o f the p o s s i b i l i t y o f war from German-Polish r e l a t i o n s . " ^ ^ The i d e a t h a t a German-Polish community o f i n t e r e s t s e x i s t e d i n common enmity towards R u s s i a was i m p l i c i t i n H i t l e r ' s words. He c h a r a c t e r i z e d Poland as an "Outpost ( V e r p o s t e n ) a g a i n s t A s i a , whose d e s t r u c t i o n would be a c a l a m i t y f o r t h e s t a t e s 86 w h i c h would t h u s become A s i a ' s n e i g h b o r s . " The i s o l a t i o n i n t o w h i c h Germany was t h r u s t by her w i t h d r a w a l from t h e League and P o l a n d ' s response t o i t , a m i x t u r e o f t h r e a t and i n v i t a t i o n , was t h e d e c i s i v e f a c t o r i n f i n a l l y p u r suading H i t l e r t h a t h i s own t a c t i c a l i n t e r e s t s demanded a s e t t l e ment w i t h P o l a n d .  Less t h a n two weeks l a t e r , on November 28, a  German d r a f t o f a German-Polish n o n - a g g r e s s i o n pact was p l a c e d i n P.W.B.,6. 5 P.W.B.,6. 6 P.W.B.,6; B r e y e r , op. c i t . , p.100. The shape o f t h i n g s t o come was c l e a r l y i n d i c a t e d i n t h e communique i s s u e d a f t e r t h e conversation. " D i s c u s s i o n o f German-Polish r e l a t i o n s r e v e a l e d the complete agreement o f b o t h Governments i n t h e i r i n t e n t i o n t o d e a l w i t h q u e s t i o n s a f f e c t i n g b o t h c o u n t r i e s by way o f d i r e c t n e g o t i a t i o n , and f u r t h e r t o renounce a l l a p p l i c a t i o n o f f o r c e i n t h e i r mutual r e l a t i o n s , w i t h view t o s t r e n g t h e n i n g European peace." P.W.B.,7. 8 4  8  8  Pilsudski's hands.  Thereafter negotiations were conducted i n  the s p i r i t of the November 15 H i t l e r - L i p s k i conversation and on January 26,  1934>almost exactly one year after H i t l e r had assumed  o f f i c e as Chancellor of Germany, the formal signing of the nonaggression pact took place i n B e r l i n . ? 8  H i t l e r had demonstrated  that i n foreign policy as i n domestic a f f a i r s his w i l l , and his alone, prevailed. Contrary to the wishes of the German Foreign Ministry and the leading o f f i c e r s of the Reichswehr the policy of revision, the hall-mark of the Weimar Republic^had been abandoned; the decisive blow against German-Soviet friendship had been struck.,^ H i t l e r ' s motives i n f i n a l l y seeking this pact were primarily t a c t i c a l .  Circumstances  not ideology directed his  diplomacy towards c o n c i l i a t i o n with Poland.  The fact that H i t l e r  had declared before his r i s e to power, that as Chancellor he would be prepared to reach an understanding with Poland  89  does  not detract from the fact that H i t l e r ' s i n i t i a t i v e i n this direction was dictated i n i t s timing by the circumstances of the 90 day.  The reversal i n German foreign policy which the pact  symbolized was designed to serve Germany's changed foreign policy aims. 8  The f i r s t aim was rapid rearmament and to achieve t h i s the  ? P.W.B.,9,  p.20.  O Q  •Carr, German-Soviet Relations, p. 8 9  110.  Rauschning, Destruction, p. 28.  90 Breyer, Das Deutsche Reich und Polen, p.  113.  38 p a c t was o f s i g n a l u t i l i t y :  i t ended t e n s i o n s on Germany's  9 e a s t e r n b o r d e r ; i t t o r e a gaping h o l e i n the F r e n c h pact i t rendered  system;  S o v i e t e f f o r t s t o r a i s e an e a s t e r n c o a l i t i o n a g a i n s t  Germany a b o r t i v e and prevented  R u s s i a from u s i n g Poland as a  p i v o t from w h i c h t o l e a p - f r o g i n t o the w e s t e r n camp.  Finally,  i t would f o r c e the S o v i e t Government t o r e c k o n w i t h the p o s s i b 92 i l i t y of a j o i n t German-Polish a g g r e s s i o n a g a i n s t R u s s i a .  It  i s not yet c l e a r from the a v a i l a b l e evidence what H i t l e r ' s i d e a s on a German-Polish f r o n t were; i t i s p r o b a b l e t h a t he had no f i x e d i d e a s .  However, p s y c h o l o g i c a l l y an a g g r e s s i v e  p o l i c y would occupy f i r s t p l a c e i n H i t l e r ' s sympathies. opening should l e a d t o t h e e a s t he would move.  I f an  H i t l e r was  determined t o e x p l o i t every f a v o u r a b l e opening i n for  eastern  diplomacy  expansion.  °^ Herman Mau und Helmut K r a u s n i c k , Deutsche G e s c h i c h t e d e r Jungsten V e r g a n g e n h e i t 1933-1945* Tubingen, R a i n e r W u n d e r l i c h , Hermann L e i n s und J.B. M e t z l e r s c h e Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1953? p.78; F r a n c o i s - P o n c e t , T h e J F a t e f u l Y e a r s , p. 115.  92  Kochan, R u s s i a and the Weimar Re-public, p. 172.  39  CHAPTER I I ANTI-BOLSHEVISM AS TACTIC AND JANUARY 1934 I n January 1934  -  MARCH  AS STRATEGY, 1939  H i t l e r was p r o b a b l y determined t o  e x p l o i t t h o r o u g h l y the i n t e r n a t i o n a l s i t u a t i o n w h i c h had been c r e a t e d by the German-Polish n o n - a g g r e s s i o n p a c t .  Friendship  f o r Poland and i t s c o r o l l a r y , enmity towards R u s s i a , were t o be used t a c t i c a l l y t o secure German d i p l o m a t i c freedom of a c t i o n through r a p i d rearmament - t h e p r i n c i p a l t a s k of German f o r e i g n policy.  Behind the symbol of the dove and the s l o g a n of a n t i -  B o l s h e v i s m , H i t l e r proposed t o rearm s t e p by s t e p . t h e weakness of H i t l e r ' s opponents p o l i t i c a l i n i t i a t i v e grasped.  This achieved,  c o u l d be probed and the  In f a c t , i f the p o l i t i c a l  sit-  u a t i o n developed f a v o r a b l y i n t h e i n t e r v a l , a n t i - S o v i e t i s m might be changed from a t a c t i c t o a s t r a t e g y . I t i s remarkable how  s l i g h t the a c t i v e o p p o s i t i o n i n  Germany t o H i t l e r ' s new p o l i c y was.  Those i n the N a z i P a r t y  who  had beat the a n t i - P o l i s h drum were c o n s o l e d by the hope t h a t the pact was a temporary e x p e d i e n t and would be r e p u d i a t e d the moment Germany was rearmed.''  -  Some F o r e i g n O f f i c e and Army c i r c l e s ,  however, were not so e a s i l y r e c o n c i l e d t o t h e new p o l i c y . Rauschning,  V o i c e of D e s t r u c t i o n , p.  115'  In  40 June 1934 t h e i r o p p o s i t i o n came t o a head.  The German  Ambassador i n Moscow, Nadolny, r e f u s e d t o a c q u i e s c e i n an anti-Soviet strategy.  2  He r e p e a t e d l y p r o t e s t e d a g a i n s t the  ending of t h e R a p a l l o p o l i c y .  When i n May 1934 h i s arguments  were r e j e c t e d by h i s government, he r e t u r n e d t o B e r l i n .  Here  he and Billow p r e s s e d t h e i r v i e w s i n p e r s o n a l c o n v e r s a t i o n s w i t h H i t l e r and Neurath.  The former d i s m i s s e d t h e i r arguments w i t h  the remark: " I want t o have n o t h i n g to do w i t h those  people.  Nadolny r e f u s e d t o r e t u r n t o Moscow u n l e s s h i s i n s t r u c t i o n s were a l t e r e d and when i n June t h e y were c o n f i r m e d 4 resigned h i s post.  i n s t e a d , he  With h i s r e s i g n a t i o n a l l a c t i v e o p p o s i t i o n  w i t h i n t h e F o r e i g n O f f i c e a p p a r e n t l y ceased.  On t h e o t h e r hand  the m i l i t a r y o p p o s i t i o n t o H i t l e r ' s e a s t e r n p o l i c y was even more f o r c i b l y quashed.  D u r i n g t h e Rohm purge o f June 30, 1934  many  r e c o g n i z e d proponents i n t h e Reichswehr o f an e a s t e r n o r i e n t a t i o n I n h i s r e p o r t s t o B e r l i n , Nadolny o p e n l y c r i t i c i z e d H i t l e r ' s p o l i t i c a l t h e o r i e s . I n one d e s p a t c h he q u e s t i o n e d t h e aim, as o u t l i n e d i n Mein Kampf, of t h e d o w n f a l l o f t h e S o v i e t Union. Why, he asked, s h o u l d Germany d e s i r e t h i s when she possessed no n a t i o n a l c l a i m t o any R u s s i a n t e r r i t o r y and when she c o u l d b e n e f i t f o r a long time from t r a d i t i o n a l R u s s i a n c u l t u r a l and economic c o o p e r a t i o n ? H i l g e r , Wir und der Kreml, p. 253? T2->5; E r i c h K o r d t , Wahn und W i r k l i c h k e i t , S t u t t g a r t , Union Deutsche V e r l a g s g e s e l l s c h a f t , 1948, pp.64-66. 3 H i l g e r , Wjj^und der Kreml, p. 254. Count Werner von der Schulenburg succeeded to t h e Moscow Ambassadorship i n October, 1934. He was a d i p l o m a t a d m i r a b l y s u i t e d i n d i s p o s i t i o n t o r e p r e s e n t Germany a t a time when no d i p l o m a t i c i n i t i a t i v e i n Moscow was contemplated. U n l i k e Nadolny he was more a s p e c t a t o r t h a n a p l a y e r i n f o r m u l a t i n g p o l i c y recommendations. F o r t h e f o l l o w i n g t h r e e y e a r s t h e Moscow Embassy was reduced t o a " l i s t e n i n g p o s t " . C a r l Schorske, "Two German Ambassadors: D i r k s e n and Schulenburg," i n G.A. C r a i g and F. G i l b e r t , ed., The D i p l o m a t s , P r i n c e t o n , U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1953? p. 488. 4  were k i l l e d .  J  The most n o t a b l e v i c t i m o f t h e purge was t h e  former C h a n c e l l o r  and Reichswehr l e a d e r , G e n e r a l S c h l e i c h e r ,  whose q u a r r e l w i t h H i t l e r over German-Soviet p o l i c y was one of the reasons f o r h i s l i q u i d a t i o n .  The b l o o d y purge put an  end t o a l l f u r t h e r e f f o r t s o f t h e m i l i t a r y t o e f f e c t a r e t u r n t o the R a p a l l o P o l i c y .  There i s no documentary evidence whatsoever  t o support t h e charge t h a t r e l a t i o n s between t h e Red Army and the Reichswehr c o n t i n u e d  t o e x i s t a f t e r 1934.  These events, o f June 1934 a g a i n proved t h a t H i t l e r would not t o l e r a t e i n t e r f e r e n c e i n h i s f o r e i g n p o l i c y e i t h e r from p r o f e s s i o n a l d i p l o m a t s o r from p r o f e s s i o n a l s o l d i e r s . A t any r a t e , t h e p o l i t i c a l o r i e n t a t i o n e s t a b l i s h e d by the P o l i s h German Non-Aggression P a c t , whether as t a c t i c o r as a s t r a t e g y , remained f i x e d i n i t s o u t l i n e s d u r i n g t h e f o l l o w i n g f i v e  years.  D u r i n g these y e a r s German-Soviet r e l a t i o n s were reduced to a "word war" by H i t l e r ' s v e r b a l s a l l i e s and S o v i e t assaults.  H i t l e r ' s anti-Communism was d e s i g n e d  counter-  domestically,  t o focus t h e o p p o s i t i o n o f t h e German people on one o b j e c t and On June 30, 1934 H i t l e r j u s t i f i e d t h e purge i n t h e f o l l o w i n g words: " I had gained t h e i m p r e s s i o n t h a t by c e r t a i n unscrupulous elements a N a t i o n a l - B o l s h e v i s t r i s i n g was b e i n g prepared w h i c h c o u l d o n l y b r i n g u n t o l d s u f f e r i n g upon Germany." Baynes, H i t l e r ' s Speeches, v o l . 1 , p. 315* A f t e r S c h l e i c h e r ' s d e a t h a number o f h i s Reichswehr f r i e n d s , i n an e f f o r t t o r e h a b i l i t a t e him, composed a memorandum t o Hindenburg w h i c h demanded t h a t a m i l i t a r y d i r e c t o r a t e t a k e charge of t h e a f f a i r s o f s t a t e . The o r i e n t a t i o n o f t h i s group was e v i d e n t i n t h a t t h e y proposed Nadolny as F o r e i g n M i n i s t e r . J . Wheeler-Bennett, The Nemesis o f Power: The German Army i n P o l i t i c s 1918-1945. London, M a c m i l l a n , 1953, pp.329-330. P.W.B.,13,15,19,29. On May 23, 1935 H i t l e r t o l d L i p s k i t h a t S c h l e i c h e r ' s e a s t e r n p o l i c y was "ample j u s t i f i c a t i o n f o r t h e end t h a t b e f e l l hmm." P.W.B.,p.19. 6  42 t o make H i t l e r appear as the s a v i o u r of Germany from i n t e r n a l dissension.  I t had the added advantage of b e i n g  ideologically  c o n s i s t e n t - a f a c t which had t o be weighed i n the balance the changed c i r c u m s t a n c e s  of  in  1939.  I n f a c t H i t l e r even o c c a s i o n a l l y used the Communist bogey t o goad h i s own  cabinet into putting f o r t h greater  i n the rearmament programme.  Thus, on September 4, 193°  efforts Goring  s t a t e d t o a meeting of the c a b i n e t t h a t the German economy s h o u l d be put on a war  f o o t i n g f o r t h w i t h because H i t l e r b e l i e v e d the 7  showdown w i t h R u s s i a " i s i n e v i t a b l e . " I t was  i n the f i e l d of f o r e i g n p o l i c y , however, t h a t g the c h i e f use of a n t i - B o l s h e v i s m l a y . I t found an echo i n C e n t r a l and Western Europe; t h i s p e r m i t t e d H i t l e r t o pose as the defender of w e s t e r n c i v i l i z a t i o n from the . d i s i n t e g r a t i n g v i r u s from the E a s t and g a i n , i f not s u p p o r t , at l e a s t t o l e r a n c e for his p o l i c i e s .  E v e r y German i n i t i a t i v e , every v i o l a t i o n of  i n t e r n a t i o n a l o b l i g a t i o n s , every a c t of a g g r e s s i o n was  justified  i n p a r t a t l e a s t on the grounds of the n e c e s s i t y t o h a l t 9 Bolshevism^ 7  N.D.,416-EC; Mau  und K r a u s n i c k , Deutsche G e s c h i c h t e ,  p.91.  I n t h i s c o n n e c t i o n i t i s of i n t e r e s t t h a t i n October 1932 H i t l e r i s r e p o r t e d to have t o l d K u r t C. Ludecke t h a t a p r e v e n t i v e war at the b e g i n n i n g of h i s regime would be d i s a s t r o u s . He s t a t e d : "Wo, I've got to p l a y b a l l w i t h c a p i t a l i s m and keep the V e r s a i l l e s Powers i n l i n e by h o l d i n g a l o f t the bogey of B o l s h e v i s m - make them b e l i e v e t h a t a N a z i Germany i s the l a s t bulwark a g a i n s t the Red F l o o d . That's the o n l y way t o come t h r o u g h the danger p e r i o d , t o get r i d of V e r s a i l l e s and rearm. I can t a l k peace, but mean war." K u r t C.W. Ludecke, I Knew H i t l e r , London, J a r r o l d s , 1938, p. 422. 8  9 R o y a l I n s t i t u t e of I n t e r n a t i o n a l A f f a i r s , Survey of I n t e r n a t i o n a l A f f a i r s , A r n o l d Tuynbee and o t h e r s , ed., London, Oxford U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1936, pp.370-372,  German anti-communist propaganda during the period under discussion was thus a gigantic bluster puffed up i n times of diplomatic stress and deflated i n times of diplomatic calm. The year 1 9 3 4 was one of these quiet interludes; German rearmaIn March 1 9 3 5  ment was proceeding secretly.  the pace quickened  with the reintroduction of conscription, necessary i n part, H i t l e r stated, because of the "...creation of a Soviet Russian 10 army of 1 0 1 d i v i s i o n s " The Eastern Pact also was rejected simply on the grounds that H i t l e r would have nothing to do with 1 1  the  Bolshevist Power.  A year later on March 7 , 1 9 3 6  Hitler,  in announcing the occupation of the Rhineland, lashed out at international communism but adopted a more c o n c i l i a t o r y tone 1 2  towards the Soviet regime. however, short-lived.  This s p i r i t  of c o n c i l i a t i o n was,  In August 1 9 3 6 the strengthening of the  Red Army and the development of a Russian submarine f l o t i l l a i n the B a l t i c were announced.^  3  H i t l e r ' s immediate reaction  (August 24) was to lengthen the period of m i l i t a r y service from one to two years; he defended t h i s move by stating that Germany must not be "overwhelmed i n the Bolshevist chaos. *'^  4  ^  These  Baynes, H i t l e r ' s Speeches, v o l . 2 , p. 1 1 7 6 .  In a v i s i t to B e r l i n i n March 1 9 3 5 , Eden questioned H i t l e r on his charges of alleged Soviet aggressive intentions against Germany. H i t l e r ' s answer was evasive: "In these matters I have had a longer experience than the B r i t i s h . " Schmidt, S t a t i s t auf Diplomatischer Biihne 1 9 2 3 - 1 9 4 5 , Bo'nh, Athenaum-Verlag, 1 9 4 9 p. . 2 9 6 . 1 2  ,  H i t l e r said, "I do not and did not reject cooperation with Russia but v/ith Bolshevism which lays claim to a world rulership, Baynes, op. c i t . , v o l . 2 , p . 1 2 8 1 . 1 3 RIIA, Survey, 1 9 3 6 , p . 3 8 0 . 14 Baynes, op. c i t . , v o l . 2 , p . 1 3 2 7 .  44 developments formed the background to the Nazi Party r a l l y of September 1936 which, i n terms of sustained Anti-Soviet vituperation, established a record.  The speeches by H i t l e r , Goebbels and  Hess were characterized by an extreme aggressiveness. p r a c t i c a l l y called for a "holy war"  They  against communism and made  relations with Russia as bad as they possibly could without 15 actually causing a break i n diplomatic r e l a t i o n s . The Anti-Comintern Pact, signed with Japan i n B e r l i n on November 2 5 , 1936 was a further a p p l i c a t i o n of the a n t i communist jingoism.  Its propaganda value at any rate far ex-  ceeded i t s p o l i t i c a l content.  On January 3 0 , 1937 H i t l e r defended  his anti-Comintern p o l i c y i n these words: "Our attack on Bolshevism has been not only i n defense of our own  civilization 16 but i n defense of European c i v i l i z a t i o n as a whole." The effect of this semantic t r i c k was  either to disarm H i t l e r ' s  victims before they were attacked or to put them "on the spot" by stigmatizing them as c a r r i e r s of the communist germ.  Hitler,  i n effect, claimed the inalienable right for himself to intervene 17 anywhere i n opposition to international communism. ' This t a c t i c was applied most successfully i n the cases RIIA, Survey, 1 9 3 6 , p.389. On September 12, 193o H i t l e r went so f a r as to speak of German interests i n the Ukraine, the Urals and Siberia. Hilger, Wir und der Kreml, p.265. 1 5  16  Baynes, qp. c i t . , p. 1 7  RIIA, Survey, 1937,  1336. vol.2,  pp.37,38.  45  of S p a i n  18  and Czechoslovakia  19  i n 1937  and  1938.  Although H i t l e r ' s anti-Communist tirades were sheer bluster, on another l e v e l , an anti-Soviet front was i n easing relations with Poland.  of advantage  Friendly relations with Poland  helped to secure Germany's eastern f r o n t i e r but they did not increase good feeling between the two nations. non-aggression  pact of January 1934  The German-Polish  was merely the product of  fear, not the expression of a genuine community of interests. I n i t i a l l y i t represented no more for German-Polish relations than the renunciation by H i t l e r of the f o r c i b l e r e v i s i o n of the German-Polish f r o n t i e r .  But, i f the pact were to be used  as the beginning of a long term settlement i t would have to be underpinned by common interests, and hints had been dropped to the Poles i n 1933  that such interests might be found i n a  common h o s t i l i t y towards Soviet Russia. In early 1934  H i t l e r confided some of his thoughts  regarding German policy towards Russia and Poland to Rauschning, the Nazi President of the Danzig Senate.  tw  The record of the  conversation reveals the extraordinary f l e x i b i l i t y of mind with 18  On September 9? 1937 Goebbels made this point i n a speech at Nuremberg: "...a discussion of the Spanish question must include revelations of the international ramifications of the • World Revolution planned by the Bolshevists of which the events in Spain are only a part." Survey, 1937, v o l . 2 , p.188. H i t l e r characterized Czechoslovakia on March 25, 1935 as the "...outstretched arm of Russia." Schmidt, S t a t i s t auf Diplomatischer Buhne, p.302. On September 17, 1938 H i t l e r i s reported to have claimed that he created the Luftwaffe because of the "...existence of Czecho-. Slovakia as an a l l y of Soviet Russia, thrust forward into the very heart of Germany." Baynes, V o l . 2 , p.1501. 1 9  20 Rauschning, Voice of Destruction, pp.116-119. .  46 which H i t l e r approached a strategic problem. came f i r s t .  F i r s t things  Uppermost i n H i t l e r ' s mind was the question of  Poland's r e l i a b i l i t y i n the event of a war on Germany's western border.  He only needed Poland, he said, as long as he  threatened from the west.  The question of an eastern policy  and Poland's place i n i t was importance.  was  for the moment only of secondary  He considered a l l eventualities.  He would "...  prefer an eastern policy of agreement with Poland rather than one directed against her."  He was w i l l i n g to work with the  Poles because they were r e a l i s t s but only i f they were "...generous i n their views." forthcoming  German cooperation would be  i f Poland accepted his own terms.  Germany might  support P o l i s h claims to parts of White Russia i f Poland ceded part of her t e r r i t o r y to Germany.  He might "perhaps" plan a  joint attack with Poland against Russia but there were knotty problems to solve f i r s t .  H i t l e r categorically rejected the  idea of a greater Poland extending from Riga to Kiev, from the B a l t i c to the Black Sea:  "I have l i t t l e use for a m i l i t a r y  might and a new Polish Great Power on my f r o n t i e r s . "  Thus, for  the time being, H i t l e r considered Polish friendship indispensable. In the long run, however, he was w i l l i n g to work with Poland on a basis of P o l i s h subordination to German interests.  only  If  Poland rejected his terms he would crush her: "I could at any time come to an agreement with Soviet Russia."  For the moment  H i t l e r had not adopted plans for a long range strategy. for  Rather,  the following years he set himself the task of organizing  the p o l i t i c a l s i t u a t i o n i n such a way  so that when the time came  47  to move, numerous avenues would be open to his exploitation. In the preceding chapter the prominence of the a n t i Soviet theme i n the utterances of the German leaders during the negotiations leading to the German-Polish Pact has been examined. There i s no record of similar statements by H i t l e r or any other German p o l i t i c i a n during 1934 but i t can safely be assumed that similar advances were made. The anti-Soviet motif was taken up again by H i t l e r i n 21 a conversation with Lipski on January 24, 1935«  Hitler  repeated that Germany and Poland might some day have to stand • together against aggression from the East.  He then contrasted  his own policy with that of General Schleicher with the probable intention of underlining the alternative to a concerted German22 Polish policy. Goring, charged by H i t l e r to promote Polish friendship 23 outside o f f i c i a l diplomatic channels, H i t l e r had l e f t o f f .  J  now continued where  On January 31 he arrived i n Warsaw for  conversations with P o l i s h o f f i c i a l s ;  these marked one of the  high points i n German efforts to secure P o l i s h adherence to an anti-Soviet f r o n t .  2 4  Goring stated that Germany desired a strong  Poland because she feared a common border with the Soviet Union. He suggested "...an anti-Russian alliance and a joint attack 2 1  P.W.B.,13.  2 2  Breyer, Das Deutsche Reich und Polen, p. 180.  3 P.W.B.,17; Dewitt C. Poole, "Light on Nazi Foreign Policy", Ii.y, :..Foreign I A f f a i r s , v o l . 2 5 , October 1946, p. 134. 2  24  / P.W.B.,16; Stanislaw iViackiewicz, Colonel Beck and His Policy , London, Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1944, pp.25,2o~I  48 on R u s s i a " t o t h e P o l i s h g e n e r a l s . to P i l s u d s k i and i t i s reputed  S i m i l a r p r o p o s a l s were made  t h a t t h e M a r s h a l l was o f f e r e d  the j o i n t command o f t h e G e r m a n - P o l i s h f o r c e s i n t h e event o f 25 an a t t a c k on S o v i e t R u s s i a . for  J  G o r i n g h i n t e d t h a t P o l i s h rewards  c o o p e r a t i o n would c o n s i s t o f a G r e a t e r Poland  extending  the B a l t i c t o t h e B l a c k Sea and i n c l u d i n g t h e U k r a i n e .  from  Hitler  would be s a t i s f i e d w i t h North-Western R u s s i a as a German sphere of i n f l u e n c e .  I m p l i c i t i n a l l t h a t Goring s a i d was t h e p o s s i b l e  a l t e r n a t i v e f o r German p o l i c y i f Poland  r e f u s e d t o cooperate -  a r e t u r n to the S c h l e i c h e r p o l i c y of p a r t i t i o n . ^ 2  The  old Marshall rejected Goring s 1  proposals w i t h the  s t r a i g h t f o r w a r d " . . . i t was i m p o s s i b l e t o stand c o n t i n u a l l y a t the ready on such a long l i n e as ^ t h e / P o l i s h - G e r m a n f r o n t i e r . " However, t h e P o l i s h p o s i t i o n was not as c l e a r - c u t as t h i s answer would suggest.  Poland d i d n o t r e j e c t H i t l e r ' s o f f e r because she  had no t e r r i t o r i a l a s p i r a t i o n s i n t h e E a s t , b u t because she d i d pO  not want t o embark on an adventure under German l a d e r s h i p .  The  d e c i s i v e f a c t o r i n b o t h H i t l e r ' s and P i l s u d s k i ' s c a l c u l a t i o n s was the s h i f t i n g power r e l a t i o n s h i p between Poland  and Germany and  between Germany and R u s s i a . 25 M a c k i e w i c z , pp. .£cit., p. 26. 26 Goring repeated t h i s l i n e o f argument t o L i p s k i on A p r i l 25, 1935, P.W.B., 17. 7 P.W.B., 16. 28 B r e y e r , Das Deutsche R e i c h und P o l e n , p. 180. 29 i n March, 1939 Roman K n o l l , noted P o l i s h j o u r n a l i s t and p o l i t i c i a n , wrote: W i t h a d i f f e r e n t power r e l a t i o n s h i p we c o u l d g a i n an advantage from German a s s i s t a n c e . . . . B u t as m a t t e r s a r e today, German a g g r e s s i o n a g a i n s t R u s s i a would above a l l pose a danger f o r Poland. So long as S o v i e t R u s s i a e x i s t s and doesn't c o operate w i t h Germany, we should a v o i d any a c t i o n a g a i n s t h e r . quoted i n B r e y e r , p. 181. 2 9  r  2  49 I n 193° and 1937 w h i l e the p o l i t i c a l s i t u a t i o n matured, a l l u s i o n s t o common German-Polish a n t i - S o v i e t i n t e r e s t s remained the keynote o f H i t l e r ' s approach t o Poland.3° note i n an o t h e r w i s e  The o n l y  jarring  serene r e l a t i o n s h i p was H i t l e r ' s m e n t i o n  t o L i p s k i on May 23, 1935 of an i d e a "...premature today, b u t w h i c h might be p o s s i b l e o f r e a l i z a t i o n i n some f i f t e e n y e a r s t i m e , namely, the b u i l d i n g of a s p e c i a l r a i l w a y l i n e and o f a  31 motor road f o r t r a n s i t t h r o u g h Pomorze,"  The P o l e s might  p r o f i t a b l y have t a k e n t h i s as an i n d i c a t i o n o f H i t l e r ' s p r i c e for  continued  c o l l a b o r a t i o n when Germany was f u l l y rearmed.  On  the other hand, the f a c t t h a t H i t l e r spoke o f a f i f t e e n year p e r i o d and was w i l l i n g t o meet P o l i s h wishes on the D a n z i g q u e s t i o n as w e l l as the m i n o r i t i e s problem r e v e a l e d t h a t he w i s h e d , f o r the moment a t l e a s t , t o c u r r y P o l i s h good w i l l . I n the meantime, d e s p i t e the prominence o f the  anti-  S o v i e t theme i n H i t l e r ' s p u b l i c statements and i n h i s r e l a t i o n s w i t h P o l a n d , he p r a c t i c a l l y d i s c o u n t e d o p p o s i t i o n when he c o n s i d e r e d  R u s s i a as a f a c t o r i n  Germany's immediate p o l i t i c a l  3° On May 22, 1935 H i t l e r d e s c r i b e d h i s rapprochement p o l i c y w i t h Poland t o L i p s k i as "...more advantageous t o Germany t h a n uneasy r e l a t i o n s w i t h R u s s i a . R u s s i a i s Asia'.': (P.W.B. ,19). German p r o t e s t a t i o n s of a n t i - S o v i e t i s m must have been r e n d e r e d more b e l i e v a b l e t o the P o l e s because o f t h e i n s i s t e n c e w i t h w h i c h they were r e p e a t e d . H i t l e r t o l d L i p s k i on December 18, 193_5 t h a t ^ European".. . s o l i d a r i t y ended a t the P o l i s h - S o v i e t border!':'CBW.B., 21). I . , . ." ':.. P o l a n d and Germany were d e s c r i b e d t o P o l i s h S t a t e S e c r e t a r y , Szembek, on May 22, 1936 as a " b l o c " w h i c h " . . . i t would be d i f f i c u l t t o r e s i s t i n E u r o p e . . . . W . B . , 2 2 0 . I n 1937 G o r i n g c o n t i n u e d t o f e e l out t h e s i t u a t i o n but h i s p r o p o s a l s were not p r e s s e d as v i g o r o u s l y as s i m i l a r ones i n 1935 had been. But German-Polish i n t e r e s t s were s t i l l d e s c r i b e d as "one" and " . . . i t would be d e s i r a b l e t o determine how f a r a p o l i c y o f c o l l a b o r a t i o n c o u l d be worked o u t . " P.W.B.,29. ;  :  3 1  P.W.B.,19.  objectives.  During the f i r s t years of his regime H i t l e r had  carefully weighed up the opposition which his rearmament measures might encounter i n Europe and adopted a defensive posture to counteract i t ;  This posture, supported by an abundance of good  luck, had paid r i c h dividends by 1937. now  German rearmament was  s u f f i c i e n t l y advanced for H i t l e r to contemplate  Wehrmacht to strengthen his hand i n foreign policy.  using his If the  European s i t u a t i o n were now to be systematically exploited, defensive planning would have to give way to offensive preparations. On November 5> 1937  H i t l e r outlined his ideas on the  future course of German foreign policy to the now famous  32 "Hossbach Conference'.'.'  Present were: H i t l e r ' s Adjutant,  Commanders-in-Chief, the War Minister and the Foreign Minister. H i t l e r stated that the p r i n c i p a l goal of German policy remained the f o r c i b l e acquisition of continental " L e b e n s r a u m " A t the same time the object of these "Lebensraum" aspirations was not identified.  It was,  i n fact, l e f t vague purposely as nothing  more than a long-term goal.  H i t l e r ' s approach was more f l e x i b l e :  "The question for Germany ran: where could she achieve the greatest gains at the lowest cost."  The overthrow of Austria  and Czechoslovakia was stated as the f i r s t task of the Wehrmacht in the event of a war.  This task was to be accomplished not to  open an invasion route into Russia or even Poland but to 3 G.D. ,D,Iifil9. For good analyses of this conference see: Allen Bullock, H i t l e r : A Study i n Tyranny, New York, Harper, 1952, pp.336-339; John Conway, German Foreign Policy 1937-19.39. unpublished doctoral dissertation, Cambridge University, 1 9 5 5 , pp. 18-20. 2  51 "...remove the threat to our flank i n any possible operation against the West." who  H i t l e r reckoned, country by country, those  might obstruct his path.  He labelled B r i t a i n and France  but hot Russia, as might have been expected from his public statements, as his chief antagonists.  H i t l e r envisaged war i n  one of three contingencies: at the latest i n the period from 194-3 to 1945<»when his r e l a t i v e power would be at a peak; e a r l i e r , i f France became embroiled  i n a c i v i l war  became involved i n a foreign war anean.  In a l l cases Russia was  or t h i r d l y , i f France  against Italy i n the Mediterrdiscounted  as an active opponent.  Russia would not move for fear of Japan; i f she did move, the swiftness of German operations would make Soviet intervention too late. Of interest to this study i s not the declaration of the foreign p o l i c y goal of "Lebensraum" outlined by H i t l e r , for this had been stated before; nor the contingencies  i n which war  would be possible, for they did not materialize; but rather the manner i n which H i t l e r minimized the Soviet Union as a power factor i n planning his foreign policy. reasons for this?  In the f i r s t  What may  have been the  place, the great Soviet purges  of the previous year had convinced  German m i l i t a r y and diplomatic 33  o f f i c i a l s of Russia's impotence as a m i l i t a r y power. ^ the fact that Germany was  Then,  isolated from the Soviet Union by a  group of states v i o l e n t l y h o s t i l e to the Soviets made Russian G.D.,D I,C10; RIIA, Survey, 1939-1936, World i n March 1939, p. 63. This conviction was amplified i n 1935. G.D.,D,I,6227o23; 3 3  V  G.D. ,D, 11,82.  52  m i l i t a r y i n t e r v e n t i o n a g a i n s t German t e r r i t o r y d i f f i c u l t i f not i m p o s s i b l e .  F i n a l l y i n t h e y e a r s a f t e r 1934 H i t l e r came  to r e l y more and more upon Japanese power i n t h e E a s t t o 34  d i s s u a d e Moscow from p u r s u i n g an a c t i v e c o u r s e i n Europe. H i t l e r ' s tendency t o d i s c o u n t R u s s i a as a power f a c t o r became p a r t i c u l a r l y e v i d e n t d u r i n g t h e C z e c h o s l o v a k i a c r i s i s i n 1938.  H i t l e r ' s d e c i s i o n on May 3 0 , 1938 t o a t t a c k  C z e c h o s l o v a k i a - ^ was made i n d e p e n d e n t l y of any c o n s i d e r a t i o n of R u s s i a .  There i s no e v i d e n c e t o support t h e b e l i e f t h a t  the C z e c h o s l o v a k i a adventure was designed  as a p r e l u d e t o an  eastern o f f e n s i v e e i t h e r a g a i n s t R u s s i a or Poland.  In the  f o l l o w i n g months H i t l e r s t r o v e t o i s o l a t e C z e c h o s l o v a k i a .  In  t h i s process R u s s i a had t o be c o n s i d e r e d . The m i l i t a r y p l a n n i n g f o r t h e o p e r a t i o n a g a i n s t C z e c h o s l o v a k i a d e f i n i t e l y s t a r t e d from t h e assumption t h a t 36  R u s s i a would attempt t o g i v e C z e c h o s l o v a k i a a i r s u p p o r t . Ground support was c o n s i d e r e d l e s s l i k e l y because of t h e expected p a r t i c i p a t i o n o f P o l a n d and Hungary i n t h e dismemberment of t h e C z e c h o s l o v a k i a n  state.  The m i l i t a r y  directive  o b v i o u s l y had t o p r o v i d e f o r e v e r y e v e n t u a l i t y . On t h e o t h e r hand, t h e p o l i t i c a l  e v a l u a t i o n was more h o p e f u l t h a t R u s s i a  would u l t i m a t e l y d i s i n t e r e s t h e r s e l f i n t h e f a t e of 3 G.D.,D,I,19. I n the f a l l of 1933, Blpmberg, t h e German War M i n i s t e r , i s r e p o r t e d t o have t o l d D i r k s e n t h a t H i t l e r hoped t o f i n d i n Japan a s u b s t i t u t e f o r t h e l o s s o f R u s s i a , e s p e c i a l l y i n m i l i t a r y matters. P o o l e , " L i g h t on N a z i P o l i c y " , P. 135. 4  35 G.D.,D,II, 221. 3  6  G.D.,D,II, 175. 2 2 1 .  Czechoslovakia. preceding  S c h u l e n b u r g s d i s p a t c h e s , i n the p e r i o d 1  Munich i n p a r t i c u l a r , c o u l d o n l y have  strengthened  H i t l e r ' s c o n v i c t i o n t h a t R u s s i a would stand back i n the event 3 7  of war.-"  The  g i s t of h i s a n a l y s i s was  that despite L i t v i n o v ' s  b e l l i c o s e s t a t e m e n t s , R u s s i a would a v o i d b e i n g drawn i n t o a g e n e r a l war  because of S o v i e t i n t e r n a l i n s t a b i l i t y and  f e a r of a t w o - f r o n t war. assaulted d i r e c t l y .  defeated.3  8  R u s s i a would f i g h t o n l y i f she were  Otherwise she would keep her  t o a minimum u n t i l i t was  her  manifest  assistance  t h a t Germany would be  On J u l y 5? T i p p e l s k i r c h , C o u n s e l o r of the German  Embassy i n Moscow, c h a r a c t e r i z e d the S o v i e t a t t i t u d e as one  of  3 9  "...wait and Ribbentrop,  see. was  I I J /  The  a t t i t u d e of Germany's f o r e i g n m i n i s t e r ,  also o p t i m i s t i c .  4 0  This appreciation only  heartened H i t l e r i n h i s d e t e r m i n a t i o n t o s e t t l e w i t h 37 S c h o r s k e , The D i p l o m a t s , p. 490. Schulenburg's e v a l u a t i o n of R u s s i a as a f a c t o r i n o p p o s i t i o n to Germany i n the p e r i o d between 1936 and 1938 was based on ideas of " S t a a t s r a s o n . " The r e v o l u t i o n a r y f a c t o r was p l a y e d down. I n November 1937 Schulenburg s t a t e d t h a t S o v i e t f o r e i g n p o l i c y was based on f e a r of Germany and the l a c k of a modern war i n d u s t r y . I t was t h e r e f o r e a d e f e n s i v e p o l i c y . He agreed w i t h the c u r r e n t view t h a t the purges had shaken the S o v i e t s t a t e o r g a n i z a t i o n but c a u t i o n e d t h a t t h i s "...downward development need not be permanent." G . D . , D , I m 6 l O ; S c h o r s k e , p. 488. 38  G.D.,D,II,  39 G.D.,D,II,  222,  396.  280.  Documents and M a t e r i a l s R e l a t i n g to the Eve of the Second World War, v o l . 2, The D i r k s e n P a p e r s , 19J^L_1239_, Moscow,... F o r e i g n Languages P u b l i s h i n g House, 1945, p. 33« On September 27 L i p s k i r e p o r t e d t h a t "...as t o R u s s i a Herr von Ribbentrop i s rather o p t i m i s t i c . " 4 0  54  Czechoslovakia  and, i f n e c e s s a r y ,  In the end R u s s i a n the a t t i t u d e o f Poland  w i t h t h e West.  n o n - i n t e r f e r e n c e depended upon  and Roumania t o S o v i e t r e q u e s t s f o r  troop t r a n s i t r i g h t s through t h e i r t e r r i t o r y . cause f o r c o n c e r n t o H i t l e r . Germany's  41  s i d e was assured  Poland was no  Her b e n e v o l e n t n e u t r a l i t y on  by her f e a r of opening her f r o n t i e r s  to the Red Army, by Germany's m i l i t a r y s t r e n g t h and by P o l i s h hopes of s h a r i n g i n the C z e c h o s l o v a k i a of Roumania was l e s s t r u s t w o r t h y .  spoils.  But t h e p o s i t i o n  Rumors and d i s p a t c h e s from  May u n t i l September warned o f n e g o t i a t i o n s between Moscow and B u c h a r e s t f o r t h e r i g h t of t r a n s i t - t h r o u g h Roumania f o r S o v i e t troops.  There were f u r t h e r r e p o r t s t h a t S o v i e t planes  were 42  being f l o w n t o C z e c h o s l o v a k i a The d i s p a t c h e s  of German r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s i n Moscow, B u c h a r e s t  and Warsaw were c a u t i o u s . permit  t h r o u g h Roumanian a i r s p a c e .  They i n f e r r e d t h a t Roumania would  the passage of S o v i e t a i r c r a f t t o C z e c h o s l o v a k i a  p r o t e s t but would oppose t h e t r a n s i t of S o v i e t t r o o p s .  under 4 3  By-  r e f u s i n g t o deny or c o n f i r m these rumors t h e S o v i e t Government kept them a l i v e . Czechoslovakia,  H i t l e r would have t o gamble on the S o v i e t  Whatever had  before,  T h i s meant t h a t , i n a t t a c k i n g  in  considerations the  period  after  Hitler Munich  may  attitude.  have  Hitler's  aggressive p l a n s were not tempered i n the l e a s t 1 G.D.,D,II,396. But t h i s was not Schulenburg's purpose. R a t h e r , by s t r e s s i n g t h e l i k e l i h o o d of B r i t i s h and F r e n c h i n t e r v e n t i o n , he hoped t o i n f l u e n c e H i t l e r i n f a v o u r of a moderate p o l i c y . Should these c o u n t r i e s i n t e r v e n e , he warned, R u s s i a would be the o n l y one t o g a i n i n the end. 4  4  2  43  G.D.,D,II,122,126,131,141,146,236,258,262. G.D.,D,II,300,397,538,546.  55 by  fears  was  a potential  confident  he was for  of  of  certain  threat  from the  Soviet  h i s m i l i t a r y predominance  that  R u s s i a would not  m i l i t a r y and i n t e r n a l r e a s o n s ;  Powers w o u l d r a t h e r  negotiate  over  rely  Union.  t h e Red Army;  on h e r own  he knew t h a t  4 4  Hitler  strength  the  w i t h him t h a n w i t h t h e  Western  Soviet  45 Union  y  and,  dominance  finally,  possible  as  a b a r r i e r against  revealed the  obstruct  German a g g r e s s i o n , w o u l d 46  the  his  p o s i t i o n of  w e a k n e s s e s of  his  o p p o r t u n e moment.  If  the  those  w h i c h had  had a l s o  her  isolation.  i n L o n d o n and Moscow c o n f i r m e d t h i s  to n e g o t i a t e  circumstances  a broadened  at  to  well.  it  altered  been  F r a n c e and E n g l a n d t r i e d  M u n i c h had c o n v i n c e d H i t l e r o f R u s s i a ' s  i n the  take  rump C z e c h s t a t e  If  repealed  countries  determined to  opponents  against  pre-  P o l a n d and Roumania  strengthen  H i t l e r was  M u n i c h and t o move  suggested that willing  Russia.  him he w o u l d c r u s h them as  weakness, missions  of at  first  that  i n C e n t r a l E u r o p e , w h i c h exposed  to  advantage  he assumed  military  The German i m p r e s s i o n and  R u s s i a might  German-Soviet  be  economic  agree-  47 ment. for of  '  the 1938  urgent.  A trade  rapprochement  acceleration made t h e  between  and c o n t i n u e d d u r i n g the 4  4  u  Conway,  4  7  G.D.,D,IV,  i n German  interests  German m i l i t a r y p r e p a r a t i o n s Moscow and B e r l i n were  s i x months  following  5 GG. .DD. ., ,DD, ,11,,662223 ..  4  4  obviously  o f H i t l e r ' s p o l i t i c a l programme i n t h e  c o m p l e t i o n of  Negotiations  was  German F o r e i g n P o l i c y , 476,477.  p.  171.  Munich.  thus The  fall more  begun  56 Germans i n t e n d e d t o use t h e n e g o t i a t i o n s s o l e l y t o s t r e n g t h e n t h e i r m i l i t a r y establishment. advisers considered  Neither H i t l e r nor h i s c h i e f  them as a p r e l u d e t o a p o l i t i c a l r a p p r o c h e -  ment, a l t h o u g h H i t l e r undoubtedly saw i n them t h e germ o f a p o s s i b l e p o l i t i c a l a l t e r n a t i v e i f h i s o t h e r p l a n s should be obstructed.  Moreover, t h e e r r a t i c course o f t h e economic  n e g o t i a t i o n s d i s c l o s e d t h a t H i t l e r was not w i l l i n g t o j e o p a r d i z e his  r e l a t i o n s w i t h Poland  f o r t h e sake o f R u s s i a n raw m a t e r i a l s .  A p o l i t i c a l rapprochement w i t h R u s s i a was o b v i o u s l y beyond t h e p a l e o f H i t l e r ' s immediate p l a n s . I n e a r l y October t h e i n i t i a t i v e  f o r the resumption  of economic t a l k s was t a k e n up by Goring, who,  i n his capacity  as Commissioner f o r t h e Four Y e a r P l a n , urged t h a t s e r i o u s attempts be made t o r e a c t i v a t e t r a d e w i t h R u s s i a ,  particularly  w i t h r e f e r e n c e t o t h e d e l i v e r y o f raw m a t e r i a l s .  T h i s move  was  supported  by b o t h R i b b e n t r o p  and S c h u l e n b u r g .  The Economic  P o l i c y Department a d v i s e d t h a t a t r a d e agreement w h i c h would i n c r e a s e raw m a t e r i a l imports percent  over t h e p r e c e d i n g 49  year by 200  should be sought from R u s s i a . C o n s e q u e n t l y , on December 23, 1938 t h e f i r s t  was  held with the Soviet trade delegation i n B e r l i n .  ing  month, on January 11,  conference The f o l l o w -  1939, M e r e k a l o v , t h e S o v i e t  Ambassador t o B e r l i n , agreed t o t h e r e s u m p t i o n o f c o n v e r s a t i o n s on t h e b a s i s o f t h e German p r o p o s a l s o f December^ i n s i s t e d t h a t f u r t h e r t a l k s be h e l d i n Moscow. 4 0  G.D.,D, I V , 481.  4 9  G.D.,D, I V , 482.  5° G.D.,D, I V , 483.  0  and a l s o  The S o v i e t  57 Government m a n i f e s t l y wanted t o i n v e s t the economic n e g o t i a t i o n s w i t h a p o l i t i c a l importance f o r e i g n t o German i n t e n t i o n s . A l t h o u g h H i t l e r d i d not want t h e t a l k s t o have any u n f o r s e e n r e p e r c u s s i o n s , German o f f i c i a l s  c o n s i d e r e d R u s s i a n raw m a t e r i a l s  i m p o r t s t o be of such importance t h a t i t was  d e c i d e d to  accommodate S o v i e t wishes i n p a r t at l e a s t .  T h e r e f o r e , on  January 2 0 M e r e k a l o v was  i n f o r m e d t h a t Schnurre would  «  51  i n Moscow on January 31 f o r a two-week v i s i t . n i f i c a n c e a t t a c h e d to the v i s i t abroad was  The  But a week l a t e r  F r e n c h and B r i t i s h p r e s s c a r r i e d accounts of the  journey^  2  sig-  to be m i n i m i z e d by  h a v i n g Schnurre pay a c a l l i n Warsaw f i r s t . the  arrive  impending  and a b r u p t l y S c h n u r r e ' s v i s i t was c a n c e l l e d . Y e t  i n s p i t e of t h i s i n c i d e n t economic t a l k s were not a l l o w e d to break o f f c o m p l e t e l y .  The c h i e f r e a s o n f o r t h i s was  the  i n s i s t e n c e of Germany's economic e x p e r t s on the need f o r continued raw-materials d e l i v e r i e s . difficulties  However, economic  i n s i d e Germany brought an end t o the n e g o t i a t i o n s 54  i n March, 1 9 3 9 . Thus i t i s apparent t h a t economic,  not  political  c o n s i d e r a t i o n s , had been of p r i m a r y importance b o t h f o r the 51 G.D.,D,IV, 4 8 5 . 52 S c h o r s k e , The D i p l o m a t s , pp. 4 9 8 , 4 9 9 ; G.D.,D,IV, 4 8 7 . The s e n s a t i o n a l account s t a t e d t h a t Schnurre was expected i n Moscow w i t h a l a r g e economic d e l e g a t i o n of 3 0 persons t o develop a comprehensive e x p a n s i o n of German-Soviet t r a d e . Schulenburg blamed t h e P o l e s f o r t h e F r e n c h p r e s s s t o r y . 53>G.D. ,D,IV, 4 8 6 , 3 8 7 . 5  4  Schorske, l o c . c i t . , G.D.,D,IV,488,490,491,493,494,495.  58  r e s u m p t i o n and d i s r u p t i o n of n e g o t i a t i o n s . peremptory way  Moreover, the  i n which the v i s i t of Schnurre to Moscow was  c a n c e l l e d showed t h a t f r i e n d l y p o l i t i c a l r e l a t i o n s w i t h w e r e ' s t i l l of g r e a t e r importance to Germany t h a n was  Poland  Soviet  economic a s s i s t a n c e . D e s p i t e the f a c t t h a t , i n the months f o l l o w i n g the Munich c r i s i s , H i t l e r was  not i n t e r e s t e d i n a p o l i t i c a l r a p p r o c h e -  ment w i t h R u s s i a and d i d not c o n s i d e r R u s s i a as a f a c t o r i n o p p o s i t i o n , the q u e s t i o n may  w e l l be asked: D i d he reckon  as an o b j e c t of a g g r e s s i o n ?  Although  the documents r e g a r d i n g  t h i s q u e s t i o n are i n c o n c l u s i v e , t h e r e i s evidence to  support  the b e l i e f t h a t d u r i n g t h i s p e r i o d H i t l e r at l e a s t toyed the i d e a of an a n t i - S o v i e t course foreign policy.  T h i s s u g g e s t i o n may  t i l l March 1939.  with  as an a l t e r n a t i v e f o r German be adduced from h i s p o l i c y  towards the C a r p a t h o - U k r a i n e and Poland September 1938  her  i n the i n t e r v a l from  H i s p o l i c y a t t h i s time i s  v e r y p a r a d o x i c a l and t h e r e f o r e d i f f i c u l t t o i n t e r p r e t .  However  e r r a t i c , i t does i l l u s t r a t e the numerous avenues open to German diplomacy and a g a i n r e v e a l s the f l e x i b l e approach which H i t l e r adopted t o a s t r a t e g i c problem. By the end of 1938, to Poland had  Germany's p o s i t i o n i n r e l a t i o n  changed f u n d a m e n t a l l y .  As long as Germany  weak she had needed the G e r m a n - P o l i s h Non-Aggression Pact  was to  secure Germany's e a s t e r n f l a n k i n the event of a w e s t e r n i n t e r v e n t i o n to h a l t German rearmament. f r o n t i e r w i t h R u s s i a and But now  A l s o she had f e a r e d a common  l o o k e d w i t h f a v o r on a s t r o n g  the rearmed Germany no l o n g e r needed Poland  Poland.  as a  59 d e f e n s i v e cover nor f e a r e d a common border w i t h R u s s i a .  Hitler  might s t i l l be w i l l i n g to use Poland a g a i n s t R u s s i a or as a cover f o r h i s a t t a c k on the West, but Poland's no l o n g e r e s s e n t i a l to h i s f o r e i g n p o l i c y .  collaboration  was  Nor indeed need  H i t l e r of n e c e s s i t y oppose c o o p e r a t i o n w i t h R u s s i a f o r " r e a l p o l i t i s c h e " r e a s o n s ; he c o u l d f a c e her as an e q u a l . F o r the moment however, H i t l e r c o n t i n u e d h i s wooing In the w i n t e r of 1938  of Poland.  to 1939  o f f e r s f o r an  a l l i a n c e a g a i n s t R u s s i a , w h i c h had been p r e s s e d by G o r i n g i n p r e v i o u s y e a r s , were t a k e n up a g a i n and i n t e n s i f i e d . h i s t o r i c a l q u e s t i o n a r i s e s : Why  were t h e y made?  The  Were they  i n t e n d e d to d i s a r m Poland w h i l e her d e s t r u c t i o n was  being  55 plotted;  were they genuine o f f e r s f o r an a l l i a n c e a g a i n s t  ^6 Russia;  J  were they merely  i n t e n d e d t o c o n s o l i d a t e the German-  P o l i s h r e l a t i o n s h i p so t h a t P o l a n d would a c t as a d e f e n s i v e b a r r i e r a g a i n s t R u s s i a and an opponent a g a i n s t the  western 57  powers i f t h e y d e c i d e d to i n t e r v e n e on b e h a l f of C z e c h o s l o v a k i a ; or were a l l t h r e e p o s s i b i l i t i e s c o n s i d e r e d by H i t l e r at one or another?  The h e a r t of the German o f f e r , as s t a t e d by  time  Goring,  R i b b e n t r o p , and H i t l e r i n numerous c o n v e r s a t i o n s w i t h P o l i s h statesmen between August 1938  and March 1939,  i n c i t e m e n t of Poland a g a i n s t R u s s i a .  was  a blatant  I t promised  the P o l e s  g i g a n t i c t e r r i t o r i a l aggrandizement i n the U k r a i n e . The German 55 ^ John W. Wheeler-Bennett, "Twenty Years of Russo-German R e l a t i o n s 1919-1939." F o r e i g n A f f a i r s , v o l . 2 5 , October 1946 p. 31. 5 B u l l o c k , H i t l e r , p. 452. Conway, German F o r e i g n P o l i c y , p. 184. y  6  J l  60 leaders for their part were modest i n their demands, claiming that their main interest lay merely i n an eradication of Bolshevism and i n the establishment of German dominance i n the 58 Baltic.  J  The conciliatory s p i r i t i n which these conversations  were held, the concrete nature of the German proposals and the absence of any indication that a decision to attack Poland had been made suggest that these proposals were made with the intention of establishing some type of understanding with Poland. In f a c t , after the Austrian Anschluss and the destruction of Czechoslovakia, H i t l e r may well have believed that Poland would v o l u n t a r i l y accept his terms concerning the Corridor and Danzig i f she were faced with the alternative destruction.  Thus he may have hoped that Poland would buy her-  s e l f off and free his hands for action elsewhere.  o0  Alternately  his extravagant promises of Russian t e r r i t o r y to the Poles may have another explanation. He may have meant what he said and actually looked for Polish assistance i n a joint action against the Soviet Union.  The implication of t h i s p o l i c y would have  been obvious to H i t l e r as well as to the P o l i s h statesmen.  In  such a concerted crusade against Russia, Poland would obviously have to take a s a t e l l i t e position behind Germany.  Hitler  may  actually have believed that Poland would accept this status i n view of the developments during the winter of 1938 to 1939 but 5 Documents and Materials Relating to the Outbreak of War, G.D. ,D,V, 112, 120, 126"; P.W.B., 44, 46", 51, T 3 . 8  5  Conway, p.p.. c i t j.p. 184. 60 Loc. c i t . 9  15;  61 Poland, also r e a l i z i n g this threat to her independence, rejected a l l of H i t l e r ' s advances. From H i t l e r ' s fluctuating and thoroughly ambiguous attitude to the Carpatho-Ukraine i n the winter of 1939  to  i t can also be adduced that he considered an aggressive against Russia. 1938,  1940  course  Following the Munich Conference i n September  rumors were spread that H i t l e r planned to turn to the  East and Northeast  as an outlet for further aggression.°1  On  November 2 these rumors were f e d by H i t l e r ' s c r e a t i o n of an autonomous Carpatho-Ukraine, manifestly subject to his w i l l . This action constituted a potential threat that the German Government was  sponsoring the Carpatho-Ukraine as the nucleus  of a Greater Ukrainian state.  As such i t could be used to  i n c i t e a g i t a t i o n against the Governments of Roumania, Poland and Russia by focussing the i r r e d e n t i s t aspirations of their Ukrainian population on a motherland.  The project was warmly  supported by the German Foreign Office, which had represented i t to him i n this l i g h t .  earlier  During the following  months the Carpatho-Ukraine was maintained threat i n the heart of central Europe.  as a potential  Repeated Hungarian.  and P o l i s h demands that the t e r r i t o r y be incorporated into Hungary were repulsed^  3  into a viableseconomic 6 1  6 2  RIIA, Survey, 1938,  and Germany strove to convert the area 64 unit.  v o l . 3 , p.  G.D.,D,IV,45, 46.  °3 G.D.,D,IV,127,128,167,179. 6 4  G.D.,D,IV,146.  If H i t l e r even seriously 310.  62 considered  u s i n g t h e Carpatho-TJkraine  as a jumping o f f spot f o r  an a t t a c k on R u s s i a , he c o u l d o n l y have been heartened i n t h i s purpose by r e p o r t s from abroad.  I n e a r l y January D i r k s e n  from London t h a t a m i l i t a r y s o l u t i o n of t h e U k r a i n i a n  reported  question  would, i n f a c t , be accepted by t h e B r i t i s h Government and p u b l i c o p i n i o n i f i t were r e p r e s e n t e d  as a d r i v e f o r U k r a i n i a n  self-  d e t e r m i n a t i o n . ^5 But H i t l e r soon r e a l i z e d t h a t t h e advantages o f s u p p o r t i n g t h e U k r a i n i a n National.Movement were f a r outweighed by t h e d i s a d v a n t a g e s o f t h i s p o l i c y .  Hungary had been t r a n s -  formed from a w i l l i n g t o a s u l l e n s a t e l l i t e because of t h e Ukrainian p o l i c y .  H i t l e r ' s c h i e f f e a r , however, was t h a t  Poland  and R u s s i a might d i s c o v e r a common i n t e r e s t i n opposing U k r a i n i a n i r r e d e n t i s m and c r e a t e an a l l i a n c e d i r e c t e d a g a i n s t  66 him.  B r i e f l y , t h e C a r p a t h o - U k r a i n e had proved t o be t o o  g e n e r a l a t h r e a t i n C e n t r a l Europe t o serve Germany's purposes. on March 13 H i t l e r a c t e d t o l i q u i d a t e i t as a s t a t e .  Therefore, He informed  t h e Hungarian Regent, Horthjs, t h a t Germany agreed  t o i t s i n c o r p o r a t i o n i n t o Hungary.  Two days l a t e r i t was o c c u p i e d  by Hungarian f o r c e s w h i l e , a t t h e same t i m e , German troops were 67  marching i n t o Prague. ' The  hopes which H i t l e r no doubt p l a c e d i n these a c t i o n s  were r e a l i z e d o n l y i n p a r t .  Hungary, i t i s t r u e , was p l a c e d i n  H i t l e r ' s debt and s e c u r e l y t i e d t o German p o l i c y as an 5 G.D.,D,IV,367; V,108. 6  G.D.,D,IV,367; V,108. 67 G.D.,D,IV,198,205,210.  6 6  63 international  outcast.  But  the  Ukrainian  i r r e d e n t i s m d i d not  demands.  Indeed,  aroused object  Hitler's  a series  to  with  settle  of  o n M a r c h 25 disturbed  by  the  Britain with  as  the  if  of  defeat  Central Europe,  of  the  Hitler  that  Memel. that  Hitler's  of  P o l a n d was This  Czechia the  next  suspicion  pre-  Hitler  to  decide  be  his  and w i t h d r a w determine 0 8  This  sudden  It  aimed  was  at  Hitler future  settle  p.  Hitler  was  the  France,  halting thus  of  Britain  any  further  faced  with  policy:  he  could  position  of  dominance  with Poland  upon the  German F o r e i g n P o l i c y ,  appearance  contained  Poland,  so  promise  confronted  It  followed  Prime  an u n c o n d i t i o n a l  from h i s to  was  developments  o n M a r c h 31  embracing  regarding  involved.  These  anticipated.  which would  or  o n M a r c h 15  decided.  Conway,  accept  i n E a s t e r n Europe  i n Eastern Europe.  in  gamble  of  Poland  coalition  decisions  admit  to  destruction  Prague  attacked.  he h a d n o t  Russia,  German e x p a n s i o n fundamental  offered  factor  a massive  of  Government  she were  a power  and p o s s i b l y  either  annexation  British  a situation  threat  of  which provoked  occupation  Chamberlain  assistance  threat  Poland  suspicions  events  the  Poland.  Hitler's  of  of  German t e r r i t o r i a l a s p i r a t i o n s .  cipitated  Minister  induce  simultaneous  P o l i s h and W e s t e r n of  removal  188.  latter  regardless  course  that  64  CHAPTER I I I THE RUSSO-GERMAN RAPPROCHEMENT AS THREAT AND AS REALITY, APRIL - AUGUST 1939 It has been conclusively demonstrated  elsewhere that  H i t l e r did not decide on a f i n a l settlement with Poland before the end of March.  1  Rather, the evidence suggests that this o  decision was made i n the i n t e r v a l from March 25 to A p r i l 2, and probably was a direct response to Chamberlain's guarantee of Poland on March 3 1 .  3  unexpected  In any case, on A p r i l 3,  H i t l e r issued the f i r s t of two m i l i t a r y directives ordering 4 the preparations f o r an attack on Poland.  Preparations were  to be made i n such a way that an attack could commence at any time after September 1.  The f i r s t d i r e c t i v e was followed on  A p r i l 11 by a more detailed one i n which the complex of p o l i t i c a l problems stemming from the decision to settle with Poland was considered.^  H i t l e r stressed that a m i l i t a r y s e t t l e -  ment with Poland should be regarded as a limited war; i t was not envisaged as a prelude to a western offensive. Following 1 F.H. Hinsley, H i t l e r ' s Strategy, Cambridge, University Press, 1951* pp.11-14; Conway, German Foreign Policy, pp.185-190. Conway, op. c i t . , p.187. G.D.,D,VI,149. 2  Compare G.D.,D,VI,99 and  3 Hinsley, op. cit.,pp.11-12. G.D.,D,VI,149. 5 G.D.,D,VI,185.  4  65 from t h i s , H i t l e r s t a t e d t h a t t h e p r i n c i p a l t a s k of German diplomacy was t o i s o l a t e P o l a n d i n order t h a t she c o u l d be eliminated without did  the r i s k of outside i n t e r v e n t i o n .  Hitler  n o t say who would i n t e r v e n e , b u t t h e f a c t t h a t he r e g a r d e d  the w e s t e r n democracies as h i s main a n t a g o n i s t s made t h i s obvious.  fairly  I t i s o f i n t e r e s t t h a t i n t h i s a n a l y s i s R u s s i a was  p r a c t i c a l l y i g n o r e d as a p o s s i b l e opponent.  The most t h a t  H i t l e r would say was: I n t e r v e n t i o n by R u s s i a , i f she were i n a p o s i t i o n t o i n t e r v e n e , cannot be expected t o be o f any use t o P o l a n d , because t h i s would mean P o l a n d ' s d e s t r u c t i o n by B o l s h e v i s m . 6 H i t l e r ' s p o l i c y towards R u s s i a i n e a r l y A p r i l i s thus f a i r l y clear.  I t was determined by h i s d e c i s i o n t o s e t t l e w i t h P o l a n d ,  a d e c i s i o n from which he d i d n o t r e t r e a t i n t h e f o l l o w i n g months.  Throughout t h i s p e r i o d a l l d i p l o m a t i c a c t i v i t y was  subordinated pursuing  t o t h e p r i n c i p a l aim o f i s o l a t i n g P o l a n d .  t h i s aim H i t l e r a p p a r e n t l y  ing Russia.  In  f e l t q u i t e a t ease i n i g n o r -  H i s ease o f mind was i n f l u e n c e d by s e v e r a l f a c t o r s .  I n the f i r s t p l a c e H i t l e r s t i l l b e l i e v e d now, on A p r i l 11, as he had i n September 1938 and i n March 1939? t h a t  1939?  Russia's  m i l i t a r y weakness would stop h e r from c h a l l e n g i n g Germany s i n g l e handedly.  That R u s s i a would a l l y h e r s e l f w i t h other powers was  considered  u n l i k e l y . F o r o b v i o u s reasons R u s s i a was not l i k e l y  to become Poland's a l l y .  The p o s s i b i l i t y o f a "Grand A l l i a n c e "  embracing R u s s i a , B r i t a i n and F r a n c e was a l s o F u r t h e r , by d i s p a t c h e s 6  G.D.,D,VI,185  discounted.  from h i s Embassy i n London, H i t l e r was  66 discouraged  from attaching great significance to the feelers  which the B r i t i s h Government had put out to Russia after March 1 5 .  7  More importantly, B r i t a i n ' s guarantee of Poland  on March 31 revealed that Russia, at least temporarily, had Q  been dropped as a prospective partner i n an anti-German front. ' This impression was reenforced by a diplomatic report from Moscow on A p r i l 5 which stated that the Soviet Union was s t i l l d i s t r u s t f u l of the p o l i c i e s of B r i t a i n and France and was determined to maintain her freedom of a c t i o n .  9  Presuming the foregoing analysis to be correct, H i t l e r may well have reasoned i n early A p r i l that i f Poland, through her fear of Russia, were already isolated i n the East and i f the Western Powers could be induced to withdraw their guarantee of Poland, Poland might w i l l i n g l y negotiate with Germany rather than face c e r t a i n destruction. not needed for t h i s .  A rapprochement with Russia was  I f , on the other hand, the West were to  persist in" supporting Poland, then the Russian question might have to be reassessed.  There i s no evidence to support the  view that H i t l e r ' s considerations of Russia went beyond this i n early A p r i l . Although H i t l e r was not seriously considering a p o l i t i c a l rapprochement with Soviet Russia at this time, e a r l i e r , in February and March, the approaches of Soviet representatives 7 For an evaluation of the B r i t i s h f e e l e r s by the German Embassy i n London see G.D. ,D,VI,35j50,58>H2. 8  9  G.D.,D,VI,121,136,137. G.D.,D,VI,161.  67 had l e d him t o b e l i e v e t h a t one would.be p o s s i b l e .  1 0  At t h a t  time t h e German response had been f r i g i d ; H i t l e r was s t i l l h o p e f u l o f an agreement w i t h P o l a n d based on a common a n t i Soviet p o l i c y . H However, when t h e s e hopes were f r o z e n by t h e s t i f f e n e d a t t i t u d e o f P o l a n d and B r i t a i n i n l a t e March, R i b b e n t r o p and G o r i n g began u r g i n g t h a t guarded moves be made t o f i n d out what d i p l o m a t i c p o s s i b i l i t i e s might e x i s t i n R u s s i a .  On A p r i l  7 R i b b e n t r o p i n s t r u c t e d K l e i s t , an " e x p e r t " on S o v i e t a f f a i r s i n t h e " D i e n s t e l l e R i b b e n t r o p " , t o improve h i s r e l a t i o n s w i t h the members of t h e S o v i e t Embassy i n B e r l i n . did  t h i s on h i s own i n i t i a t i v e .  Ribbentrop probably  A few days l a t e r when t h e S o v i e t  Charge, A s t a k h o v , openly h i n t e d t o K l e i s t a t a German-Soviet u n d e r s t a n d i n g , R i b b e n t r o p o r d e r e d K l e i s t n o t t o pursue t h e 12  matter.  While Ribbentrop considered a f r i e n d s h i p p o l i c y w i t h  R u s s i a s i m p l y as a r e t u r n t o t h e R a p a l l o p o l i c y a t Poland's I n F e b r u a r y , 1939 t h e S o v i e t M i l i t a r y A t t a c h e i n B e r l i n i s r e p o r t e d t o have s a i d t h a t t h e S o v i e t Government was i n t e r e s t e d i n any change i n t h e s t a t u s o f P o l a n d w h i c h might o c c u r : ( A . R o s s i , The Russo-German A l l i a n c e : August 1939-June 1941,London, Chapman and H a l l , 1 9 5 0 , p . 6 ) . The m o d e r a t i o n o f S t a l i n ' s speech t o t h e P a r t y Congress on March 10 was noted by Schulenburg i n a d i s p a t c h to B e r l i n : (G.D.,D,VI,6). On March 20 i t was r e p o r t e d from Moscow t h a t L i t v i n o v had t o l d t h e w i f e o f t h e Japanese ambassador t h a t "...Germany and I t a l y were about t o s e t t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h the S o v i e t Union i n o r d e r . " G.D.,D,VI,51. 1 0  On March 21 R i b b e n t r o p was s t i l l eager t o buy c o n c e s s i o n s from P o l a n d by p r o m i s i n g t o r e g a r d t h e U k r a i n i a n q u e s t i o n " . . . from a p u r e l y P o l i s h angle":(G.D.,D,VI,61; G.D.,D,VI,73)• I n view of subsequent developments, H i t l e r ' s r e p u t e d statement t o G e n e r a l B r a u c h i t s c h s h o r t l y a f t e r March 15 t h a t " . . . I w i l l pay a s t a t e v i s i t t o Moscow." must be r e g a r d e d as no more t h a n a conv e r s a t i o n p i e c e . K o r d t , M i c h t aus den &%ten, p. 306; K o r d t , Wahn und W i r k l i c h k e i t , p.157. J . v o n R i b b e n t r o p , The R i b b e n t r o p Memoirs, London, W e i d e n f e l d and N i c o l s o n , 1 9 5 4 , p . 1 0 9 ; B . P . K l e i s t , Zwischen S t a l i n und H i t l e r , I 9 3 9 - I 9 4 5 , Bonn, Athenaum V e r l a g , 1 9 5 0 , p p . 2 ^ 2 7 ~ c i t e d i n Weinberg, op.cit.,pp.22,23» 1 1  1 2  68 expense, G o r i n g ' s view was v e r y d i f f e r e n t .  He d e t e s t e d  even  the i d e a of an a l l i a n c e w i t h S o v i e t R u s s i a , b u t , on t h e other hand, was w i l l i n g t o use t h e t h r e a t o f such an a l l i a n c e t o blackmail the P o l e s . ^ N e v e r t h e l e s s , H i t l e r h e l d back from c o n s i d e r i n g a rapprochement w i t h R u s s i a u n t i l a s e r i e s o f events i n the  interval  between m i d - A p r i l and e a r l y May caused him t o reexamine h i s S o v i e t p o l i c y o f n e g l e c t and t o t u r n a more r e c e p t i v e e a r t o Ribbentrop's urgings.  One of t h e s e events was t h e a c t i o n t a k e n  by the B r i t i s h Government on A p r i l 15 i n making i t s f i r s t c o n c r e t e p r o p o s a l f o r an anti-German f r o n t t o t h e S o v i e t Government. Two  days l a t e r t h i s move was f o l l o w e d by a s e r i e s of S o v i e t  c o u n t e r p r o p o s a l s . T h e s e developments i n d i c a t e d a h a r d e n i n g of the B r i t i s h p o s i t i o n and f a c e d H i t l e r w i t h the p r o s p e c t o f an A n g l o - F r e n c h - R u s s i a n a l l i a n c e and a t w o - f r o n t war. T h i s i m p r e s s i o n o f an A n g l o - R u s s i a n f r o n t was,  however,  o f f s e t by a number o f other developments i n l a t e A p r i l and May w h i c h d e f i n i t e l y i n d i c a t e d t h a t t h e S o v i e t s were i n t e r e s t e d i n a d e t e n t e w i t h Germany.  On A p r i l 16 M e r e k a l o v , t h e S o v i e t  Ambassador, i n a s u r p r i s e v i s i t t o We'izsacker made t h i s d e c l a r ation: As f a r as R u s s i a was concerned t h e r e was no reason why she s h o u l d n o t l i v e on a normal f o o t i n g w i t h ^/Germany/, and out o f normal r e l a t i o n s c o u l d grow i n c r e a s i n g l y improved r e l a t i o n s . 1 ° 13 T h i s was t h e g i s t of a c o n v e r s a t i o n between Goring and M u s s o l i n i i n . Rome on A p r i l 16. G.D.,D,VI,211. 14 G.D.,D,VI,23315 G.D.,D,V,239. G.D.,D,VI,215. 1 6  A f o r t n i g h t l a t e r , on May 3> L i t v i n o v was "sacked" for Foreign A f f a i r s . ^ Berlin 1  0  H i s d i s m i s s a l caused a s e n s a t i o n i n  and p r o b a b l y was d e c i s i v e i n overcoming H i t l e r ' s  r e l u c t a n c e t o c o n s i d e r an u n d e r s t a n d i n g ment. 19  as Commissar:  w i t h t h e S o v i e t Govern-  The immediate upshot was t h a t on May 6 H i t l e r  summoned  H i l g e r , t h e economic a t t a c h e i n Moscow, t o Germany t o i n f o r m h i s government on t h e s i t u a t i o n i n R u s s i a .  Hilger discussed  the s i g n i f i c a n c e of L i t v i n o v ' s d i s m i s s a l w i t h R i b b e n t r o p  on  May 9 i n Munich, and w i t h H i t l e r a t Berchtesgaden on t h e following day.  2 0  H i t l e r was o b v i o u s l y c o n s i d e r i n g h i s own  f o r e i g n p o l i c y i n t h e l i g h t o f present S o v i e t b e h a v i o r , but as y e t r e a c h i n g no d e f i n i t e c o n c l u s i o n .  He c o n t i n u e d t o v a c i l l a t e .  On t h e one hand, he, presumably a t t h i s t i m e , i n s t r u c t e d Schulenburg t o m a i n t a i n "extreme c a u t i o n i n any conference  1 7  with  G.D.,D,VI,325.  18 Raeder d e s c r i b e d i t i n these w o r d s : " L i t v i n o v ' s r e s i g n a t i o n as F o r e i g n M i n i s t e r s t r u c k H i t l e r l i k e a cannon b a l l " : ( N . C . A . , Supplement,A, p.1012, quoted i n R o s s i , The Russo-German A l l i a n c e , p.151. 19 Conway, op. c i t . , p . 2 1 0 . H i t l e r expressed h i m s e l f t o t h i s e f f e c t t o h i s g e n e r a l s on August 22: (N.D.,798-P5; G.D.,D,III, 192) and t o M u s s o l i n i on August 25. G.D.,D,VII,266. G.D.,D,VI, 325; H i l g e r , W i r und der K r e m l , pp.277-281; K o r d t , Wahn und W i r k l i c h k e i t , p . l 5 B . I n i t i a l l y Schulenburg and G e n e r a l K o s t r i n g , t h e M i l i t a r y a t t a c h e i n Moscow, were summoned but b o t h were on j o u r n e y s , the Ambassador i n t h e M i d d l e East and K o s t r i n g i n t h e F a r E a s t . 2 0  70 Molotov"  21 but a t the same time he o r d e r e d a change i n the 22  tone of the German p r e s s .  From the S o v i e t s i d e h i n t s at a  rapprochement c o n t i n u e d t o be made.23  on May  17  Astakhov,  S o v i e t Charge i n B e r l i n , c a l l e d on S c h n u r r e , r e i t e r a t e d  the  that  t h e r e were no c o n f l i c t s i n f o r e i g n p o l i c y ' b e t w e e n Germany and R u s s i a , and h i n t e d s p e c i f i c a l l y a t a r e t u r n t o the R a p a l l o partnership."  4  As a r e s u l t of t h e s e S o v i e t approaches  and of the  s t i f f e n i n g of Western o p p o s i t i o n , H i t l e r must have done some s e r i o u s t h i n k i n g on the f u t u r e of German-Soviet r e l a t i o n s . No l o n g e r c o u l d R u s s i a be i g n o r e d as she had been i n A p r i l J H i t l e r ' s hopes t h a t B r i t a i n would v o l u n t a r i l y renounce her guarantee of P o l a n d had been dashed; however u n w i l l i n g l y , H i t l e r now  had t o c o n s i d e r how  Schulenburg was  to court Russia.  Consequently,  i n s t r u c t e d to r a i s e the q u e s t i o n of the  21 G.D.,D,VI, 325, note 2 . H i t l e r ' s c h i e f l i e u t e n a n t s were not plagued by s i m i l a r doubts. As e a r l y as A p r i l 20 R i b b e n t r o p was t r y i n g t o f o r c e the Japanese t o c o n c e s s i o n s i n a Three Power P a c t by warning t h a t Germany might a r r i v e a t an u n d e r s t a n d i n g w i t h R u s s i a : ( R I T A , Survey, The Eve of the War;1939, 1 9 5 8 , p . 3 6 6 ) . On May 6 and 7 R i b b e n t r o p spoke t o Ciano of s e i z i n g every f a v o r a b l e o c c a s i o n t o p r e v e n t the " . . . a d h e s i o n of R u s s i a t o the a n t i - t o t a l i t a r i a n bloc....":(Ciano's Diplomatic Papers,p.286). I n P a r i s on May 6, G o r i n g ' s a d j u t a n t Bodenschatz, o b v i o u s l y on i n s t r u c t i o n s from h i s c h i e f , warned of a f o u r t h p a r t i t i o n o f P o l a n d : ( F r a n c e , M i n i s t e r e des A f f a i r e s E t r a n g e r e s , The F r e n c h Y e l l o w Book: D i p l o m a t i c Documents 1 9 3 8 - 1 9 3 9 * London, pp.134,135). G o r i n g ' s motives are u n c e r t a i n . E i t h e r he i n t e n d e d t o b l a c k m a i l the F r e n c h and the P o l e s , or he wanted t o undermine Ribbentrop's p o l i c y . 22 Weinberg, Germany and The S o v i e t U n i o n , 23 G.D.,D,VI,332,351. 2 4  G.D.,D,VI,406.  p.24.  7  1  25 r e s u m p t i o n of economic n e g o t i a t i o n s i n Moscow. ' T h i s d e c i s i o n t o resume c o n t a c t s w i t h the S o v i e t Government, even i f they were t o be merely of an e x p l o r a t o r y ?6 n a t u r e , was Bolshevism  made w i t h o u t and was  enthusiasm.  Hitler•despised  r e l u c t a n t t o g i v e up the Communist bogey  as a j u s t i f i c a t i o n f o r h i s f o r e i g n p o l i c y coups.  In a d d i t i o n  he had t o c a r e f u l l y weigh the e f f e c t on domestic o p i n i o n of such an a l l i a n c e w i t h the "Bed  Menace".  H i t l e r also  suspected  t h a t the S o v i e t s wanted to use the t h r e a t of a Russo-German rapprochement to w r e s t c o n c e s s i o n s  from B r i t a i n and  I n s p i t e of t h e s e m i s g i v i n g s , on May put out a c a u t i o u s f e e l e r t o Molotov.  20,  France.  2 7  Schulenburg  He proposed t h a t  the  same Herr Schnurre whose e a r l i e r v i s i t had been so a b r u p t l y c a n c e l l e d , come to Moscow f o r the r e s u m p t i o n of economic negotiations.  The  German p r o p o s a l was  no doubt designed to  probe S o v i e t i n t e n t i o n s but i t had the added p o s s i b i l i t y of p u t t i n g a spoke i n the A n g l o - S o v i e t  n e g o t i a t i o n s without  to commit Germany to any d e f i n i t e p o l i c y .  M o l o t o v * s answer,  however, w h i l e f r i e n d l y , posed a r i d d l e : ...the S o v i e t Government c o u l d o n l y agree t o a r e s u m p t i o n of the n e g o t i a t i o n s i f the n e c e s s a r y ' p o l i t i c a l b a s i s ' f o r them were to be c o n s t r u c t e d . 25  having  ~ °  T h i s d e c i s i o n was preceded by a month of d i s c u s s i o n s i n B e r l i n on whether a p o l i t i c a l approach to the S o v i e t Union should be made. S c h o r s k e , The D i p l o m a t s , p . 5 0 3 . ?6 For a good account of H i t l e r ' s r e l u c t a n c e to take up c o n t a c t s w i t h the S o v i e t Union see Conway, German F o r e i g n P o l i c y , p p . 2 0 8 - 2 1 0 . 27 Astakhov's statement of May 17 was r e p r e s e n t e d i n t h i s l i g h t by an o f f i c i a l of the German F o r e i g n O f f i c e on May 22. G.D.,D,VI,406, note 5. 28 G.D.,D,VI,424. J  72 Schulenburg, t e r i z e d Molotov's  i n r e p o r t i n g t h i s conversation, charac-  a t t i t u d e as " s u s p i c i o u s " but i n t e r p r e t e d h i s  statement as an i n v i t a t i o n f o r more " . . . e x t e n s i v e p r o p o s a l s o f a political nature."  2 9  The ambassador saw t h e dilemma t h a t t h e  R u s s i a n s might use a German i n i t i a t i v e t o e x e r t p r e s s u r e i n n e g o t i a t i o n s w i t h B r i t a i n and F r a n c e , b u t , n e v e r t h e l e s s , suggested  t h a t i f German i n t e n t i o n s were s e r i o u s , a l i m i t e d  move should be c o n s i d e r e d . However, Molotov's  request f o r the establishment of  " p o l i t i c a l bases" a p p a r e n t l y went beyond H i t l e r ' s  intentions.  H i t l e r had no i n t e r e s t i n s t r e n g t h e n i n g t h e S o v i e t hand i n n e g o t i a t i o n s w i t h t h e West.  T h e r e f o r e , on May 21, Schulenburg  was i n s t r u c t e d t o adopt a "wait and s e e " a t t i t u d e i n h i s 30 r e l a t i o n s w i t h the S o v i e t s . In t h e c r u c i a l p e r i o d w h i c h f o l l o w e d , from May 21 t i l l May 30, H i t l e r c o n s i d e r e d a l l p o s s i b i l i t i e s a g a i n .  This i s  p a r t i c u l a r l y e v i d e n t from h i s s e c r e t speech t o t h e German m i l i t a r y commanders on May 23- w h i c h i l l u s t r a t e d b o t h t h e uncert a i n t y of German diplomacy  a t t h i s time and t h e development of  H i t l e r ' s i d e a s on R u s s i a s i n c e A p r i l l l .  3 1  The i s o l a t i o n o f  Poland was s t a t e d s t i l l t o be t h e primary t a s k of German diplomacy.  However, u n l i k e H i t l e r ' s a n a l y s i s i n e a r l y A p r i l ,  R u s s i a was now c o n s i d e r e d a f a c t o r of some importance. G.D.,D,VI,424. 29 G.D.,D,VI,424; G.D.,D,VI,414,note 2. 30 N.S.R.,p.7. G.D.,D,VI,433,ND 079-L. 2 8  3 1  Russia  73  was  envisaged i n one of two r o l e s : among Germany's opponents  i n an a l l i a n c e with.the west or, an accomplice i n the destruct i o n of Poland.  On the one hand, i f Russia were to enter the  Franco-British a l l i a n c e , H i t l e r f e l t sure that she could be neutralized as an attacker through pressure from J a p a n .  32  The  interminable negotiations of the preceding months with Japan, had at least disclosed that Germany could at any time secure 33 a pact s p e c i f i c a l l y directed against Russia.  On the other  hand, concerning a Russo-German Pact, H i t l e r trenchantly commented: It i s not ruled out that Russia might d i s i n t e r e s t herself i n the destruction of Poland.34 However, the p o s s i b i l i t i e s of reaching an agreement with Russia seemed s l i g h t indeed, when on the following day, May  24, the B r i t i s h announced that an agreement with the Kremlin  was  expected at an early date.35  closely after Molotov's  This threat, following so  i n v i t a t i o n of May  20 for a German  i n i t i a t i v e caused a great s t i r i n the German Foreign Office and gave r i s e to a number of c o n f l i c t i n g suggestions on how proceed further with the Russian question.  Weizsacker  to was  32  H i t l e r was also aware of the possible repercussions of a Japanese Pact. On May 22 Schulenburg warned that the conclusion of a German-Japanese a l l i a n c e might destroy the last misgivings which were s t i l l keeping Russia and B r i t a i n apart. G.D.,D,11,424. 33 H i t l e r , of course, desired a Japanese a l l i a n c e with universal application but the Japanese navy would agree only to a pact directed e x p l i c i t l y and solely against Russia. G.D.,D,VI,70, 2 5 4 , 275, 2 9 8 , 326, 344, 363, 2 8 2 , 410, 457, 4 6 7 , 4 8 7 . J  34 G.D.,D,VI,433. 35 Quoted i n L.B.Namier, Diplomatic Prelude 1938-1939, London, Macmillan, 1948, p. 175.  74 pessimistic.  He expected t h e imminent c o n c l u s i o n o f an Anglo-  R u s s i a n Agreement.  Nevertheless,  on May 25  5  he suggested t h a t  a l i m i t e d i n i t i a t i v e be t a k e n i n an e f f o r t t o r o b the RussoB r i t i s h h i v e o f i t s sting.3° f a v o r e d dropping the K r e m l i n .  Ribbentrop,  on t h e other hand,  a l l r e s e r v e and making a f r o n t a l approach t o  On May 26, i n a d r a f t memorandum of s t a r t l i n g  candour, he suggested t h a t a sweeping o f f e r be made t o t h e Soviets.37  The core o f h i s proposed o f f e r was a s u g g e s t i o n  an agreement on P o l a n d , a t i o n , c o u l d be reached.  taking Russia's  that  i n t e r e s t s i n consider-  But H i t l e r h e l d back, and, on t h e  same day, i n s t r u c t e d Schulenburg t o m a i n t a i n complete r e s e r v e i n r e l a t i o n s w i t h t h e Soviets.3°* During  t h e f o l l o w i n g days t h e German government  remained undecided on what t o do. The F o r e i g n O f f i c e was impatient; Ribbentrop  was not s a t i s f i e d w i t h H i t l e r ' s "wait and  see" p o l i c y and looked around f o r some approach, w h i c h , w h i l e not committing Germany t o any course o f a c t i o n , would d i s c l o s e 3° G.D.,D,VI,437. W e i z s a c k e r suggested t h a t a l i m i t e d i n i t i a t i v e be t a k e n through H i l g e r i n economic d i s c u s s i o n s w i t h the S o v i e t F o r e i g n M i n i s t r y and t h a t a more i n d i r e c t approach be made t h r o u g h Rosso, t h e I t a l i a n Ambassador i n Moscow, who c o u l d make c l e a r t o the R u s s i a n s German r e a d i n e s s f o r c o n t a c t s . 37 G.D.,D,VI,441. I t i s p o s s i b l e t h a t H i l g e r had a hand i n drawing up t h i s memorandum. 3°" G.D. ,D,VI, 442. T h i s d e c i s i o n was reached a f t e r c o n s u l t a t i o n s w i t h t h e Japanese and I t a l i a n embassies. H i t l e r ' s r e t i c e n c e was r e p r e s e n t e d t o Schulenburg by Weizsacker i n a d i s p a t c h on t h e f o l l o w i n g day, as the r e s u l t o f s u s p i c i o n t h a t the S o v i e t s were t r y i n g t o use Germany t o b l a c k m a i l t h e Western Powers. G.D.,D,VI,446.  Soviet intentions.  On May 26 he c o n s i d e r e d a c o n c e r t e d  German-Japanese i n i t i a t i v e b u t d i s m i s s e d t h i s as i m p o s s i b l e when an approach t o t h e Japanese an u n f a v o u r a b l e response.39  embassy i n B e r l i n  elicited  The p o s s i b i l i t y o f an i n d i r e c t  approach t o t h e S o v i e t Government t h r o u g h t h e I t a l i a n ambassador i n Moscow was weighed n e x t .  T h i s p o s s i b i l i t y and o t h e r urgent  m a t t e r s were d i s c u s s e d by W e i z s a c k e r , Gaus, t h e head o f t h e L e g a l Department o f t h e F o r e i g n O f f i c e , A t t o l i c o , t h e I t a l i a n ambassador, and R i b b e n t r o p , a t an i m p o r t a n t meeting h e l d on 40 May  29 a t R i b b e n t r o p ' s c o u n t r y home a t Sonnenberg.  The c o u r s e  of t h e d i s c u s s i o n s r e v e a l e d t h a t R i b b e n t r o p ' s v i s i t o r s were dubious over t h e e f f i c a c y of a f u r t h e r approach t o t h e S o v i e t s . R i b b e n t r o p , however, was n o t so e a s i l y d i s c o u r a g e d and proposed t h a t a l a s t t r y to torpedo t h e A n g l o - R u s s i a n n e g o t i a t i o n s be made.  He suggested t h a t W e i z s a c k e r meet Astakhov t h e f o l l o w i n g  day and use t h e q u e s t i o n o f t h e s t a t u s o f S o v i e t  commercial  m i s s i o n s i n Prague as t h e o c c a s i o n f o r a p o l i t i c a l conversation. ''" 4  When t h i s proposed c o u r s e o f a c t i o n was s u b m i t t e d t o H i t l e r on 4? the same day, he agreed t o a l i m i t e d exchange of v i e w s . Thus on May 30 W e i z s a c k e r c a r r i e d out h i s i n s t r u c t i o n s by summoning Astakhov f o r an i n t e r v i e w .  H i s approach was  s u g g e s t i v e ; he i n d i c a t e d t h a t Germany's e a s t e r n r e l a t i o n s had 39 G.D.,D,VI,446; Weinberg, Germany and t h e S o v i e t Union, p.30 W e i z s a c k e r , p. 231; Weinberg, op. c i t . , pp.30-31; Conway,op.cit.,pp.213-214; K o r d t , Wahn und W i r k l i c h k e i t , p . 1 5 9 , 4 0  4 1  G.D.,D,VI,449,450.  4 2  G.D.,D,VI,446.  76 become f r e e r as a r e s u l t of P o l a n d ' s i n t r a n s i g e n t mood and t h a t i d e o l o g i c a l b a r r i e r s need not stand i n t h e way o f a Russo-German u n d e r s t a n d i n g . A t 43  informed  t h e same time W e i z s a c k e r  t h e Moscow Embassy t h a t t h e d e c i s i o n had been reached  44 "...make a c e r t a i n degree of c o n t a c t w i t h t h e S o v i e t s . . . . " As a s i g n o f German good f a i t h H i l g e r was i n s t r u c t e d t o resume 45 trade t a l k s with the Russian The  Government.  r e l u c t a n c e w i t h w h i c h , a t t h e end o f May, H i t l e r  agreed t o t h i s l i m i t e d i n i t i a t i v e towards R u s s i a r e v e a l s t h a t he d i d not seek a rapprochement as an end i n i t s e l f , o r as a means by w h i c h t o d e s t r o y P o l a n d m i l i t a r i l y , but s i m p l y and s o l e l y t o f o r e s t a l l an A n g l o - R u s s i a n a l l i a n c e and t h e t w o - f r o n t war which t h a t would e n t a i l .  T h i s view i s r e e n f o r c e d by t h e  t a c t i c s w h i c h H i t l e r employed i n t h e f o l l o w i n g months o f June i n order t o sound out t h e S o v i e t Government. D e s p i t e t h e f a c t t h a t , as a p r e r e q u i s i t e f o r improved t r a d e r e l a t i o n s , M o l o t o v , on May 20, had demanded a c l a r i f i c a t i o n of " p o l i t i c a l b a s e s " , H i t l e r , throughout June, continued h i s soundings m a i n l y through t r a d e t a l k s i n Moscow. There are a G.D.,D,VI,451. 44 G.D.,D,VI,452. The i n a c c u r a t e t r a n s l a t i o n i n t o E n g l i s h o f t h i s passage i n N a z i - S o v i e t R e l a t i o n s ; "...we have now d e c i d e d to undertake d e f i n i t e n e g o t i a t i o n s w i t h t h e S o v i e t Union...." had c r e a t e d t h e erroneous i m p r e s s i o n t h a t H i t l e r had made a f i r m d e c i s i o n t o r e a c h an agreement w i t h t h e S o v i e t s by May 30. N.S.R.,p.l5. 5 G.D.,D,VI,453. A response from R u s s i a was not slow i n coming. I n h i s speech o f May 31, Molotov avoided a l l v e r b a l s a l l i e s a g a i n s t Germany and Schulenburg r e p o r t e d t h a t i n d i p l o m a t i c c i r c l e s i n Moscow t h e r e was g r e a t e r s c e p t i c i s m of an e a r l y agreement between R u s s i a and B r i t a i n a f t e r t h e speech than t h e r e had been b e f o r e . G.D.,D,VI,463. 4 3  4  77  number of p o s s i b l e reasons f o r t h i s .  On t h e one hand German  raw m a t e r i a l needs argued i n f a v o r of an economic agreement w i t h R u s s i a r e g a r d l e s s o f the outcome o f t h e p o l i t i c a l n e g o t i a 4-6 tions.  D  However, H i t l e r remained s u s p i c i o u s of S o v i e t  i n t e n t i o n s and was u n w i l l i n g t o r i s k a S o v i e t d o u b l e - c r o s s w h i c h a s p e c i f i c p o l i t i c a l p r o p o s a l would open him t o . Moreover, t o prevent a R u s s o - B r i t i s h agreement^ i t was e s s e n t i a l t h a t s i g n s of a Russo-German rapprochement be p u b l i c i z e d as soon as possible.  H i t l e r knew t h a t R u s s o - B r i t i s h n e g o t i a t i o n s were  balanced p r e c a r i o u s l y .  Merely the p u b l i c i t y attending a trade  agreement, he may have hoped, c o u l d b r i n g them c r a s h i n g down, or a t l l e a s t buy him enough time t o work out another t a c t i c . Be t h a t as i t may, d u r i n g the month o f June t h e i n i t i a t i v e was m a i n l y on t h e German s i d e .  O c c a s i o n a l l y , t o be  s u r e , the S o v i e t s would p l a y coy and r a i s e German hopes w i t h a non-committal approach.  The Draganov i n c i d e n t of June 14 must  be i n t e r p r e t e d as such a m o v e .  47  I n f a c t , i t so r a i s e d  R i b b e n t r o p ' s hopes t h a t two days l a t e r he warned S h i r a t o r i , t h e 46 On June 15 Schnurre warned t h a t i n the f a c e of raw m a t e r i a l needs another breakdown i n t h e economic n e g o t i a t i o n s such as had a l r e a d y o c c u r r e d i n F e b r u a r y c o u l d not be r i s k e d . G.D.,D,VI,530. On June 14 Astakhov c a l l e d on Draganov, the B u l g a r i a n M i n i s t e r i n B e r l i n , and i n a two hour c o n v e r s a t i o n o u t l i n e d t o him, o b v i o u s l y f o r t r a n s m i s s i o n t o t h e German Government, t h a t of the t h r e e a l t e r n a t i v e s open t o S o v i e t d i p l o m a c y , a pact w i t h the Western Democracies, a s p i n n i n g out o f r e l a t i o n s w i t h t h e West, or a rapprochement, w i t h Germany, the l a t t e r was p r e f e r r e d by the S o v i e t Government. He h i n t e d a t S o v i e t i n t e r e s t s i n B e s s a r a b i a and a l s o at a d e s i r e f o r a n o n - a g g r e s s i o n p a c t . G.D.,D,VI,529. 4 7  78 Japanese Ambassador i n Rome: "Since Japan had not accepted our p r o p o s a l s Germany would now c o n c l u d e a n o n - a g g r e s s i o n pact 48 Russia."  A l t h o u g h t h i s was m a n i f e s t l y a b a r e - f a c e d  with  e f f o r t at  b l a c k m a i l , i t p r o b a b l y a l s o was an honest e x p r e s s i o n o f R i b b e n t r o p ' s views.  T h i s i m p r e s s i o n i s supported by t h e sudden  r e v e r s a l o f Germany's p o s i t i o n i n t h e n e g o t i a t i o n s f o r an a l l i a n c e w i t h Japan.  On June 21 R i b b e n t r o p  had had t h e German  Embassy i n Tokyo i n s t r u c t e d t h a t , c o n t r a r y t o p r e v i o u s  tactics  of urgency, t h e n e g o t i a t i o n s w i t h t h e Japanese were now t o be continued  only i n a d i l a t o r y manner.  49  However, d e s p i t e R i b b e n t r o p ' s o p t i m i s m , H i t l e r ' s hopes of t o p p l i n g t h e R u s s o - B r i t i s h n e g o t i a t i o n s were not founded. H i l g e r ' s e f f o r t s i n Moscow remained f r u i t l e s s .  The F o r e i g n  Trade Commissar, Mikoyan, e s p e c i a l l y , remained s p h i n x - l i k e i n his dealings with H i l g e r .  On June 27 W e i z s a c k e r commented  bitterly: . . . i t i s d o u b t f u l i f we s h a l l even get as f a r as n e g o t i a t i o n s w i t h Moscow i n t h e economic f i e l d . 7  ^° G.D.,D,VI,529, note 2. 4 9  G.D.,D,VI,553.  5° G.D.,D,VI,571. H i l g e r ' s economic t a l k s w i t h Mikoyan opened h o p e f u l l y c o n June 2 w i t h a S o v i e t query on what means Germany proposed i n order t o s e t t l e t r a d e m a t t e r s : (G.D.,D,VI, 465). On June 7 Schnurre suggested t h a t he be sent t o Moscow as a p l e n i p o t e n t i a r y t o n e g o t i a t e an economic t r e a t y i f c o n d i t i o n s were found t o be f a v o r a b l e : (G.D.,D,VI,491). The German Government agreed t o t h i s p r o p o s a l and on June 9 Schulenburg r e p o r t e d t h a t t h e S o v i e t Government agreed t o t h e d i s p a t c h of Schnurre t o Moscow but f i r s t demanded t h a t t h e l a t e s t S o v i e t p r o p o s a l s o f F e b r u a r y be accepted as t h e b a s i s f o r t r a d e n e g o t i a t i o n s : (G.D.,D,VI,499)• W e i z s a c k e r recommended acceptance of the S o v i e t terms: (G.D.,D,VI,514). But doubts s t i l l p e r s i s t e d i n B e r l i n and H i l g e r was r e c a l l e d f o r c o n s u l t a t i o n s (June 15-17): (G.D.,D,VI,499? note 3 ) . On h i s r e t u r n t o Moscow he was informed  79 The more l i m i t e d e f f o r t s of Schulenburg were l i k e w i s e b a r r e n of r e s u l t s . 5  1  By the end of June B e r l i n was weary of S o v i e t m u l i s h n e s s . n e i t h e r the d e s i r e d p o l i t i c a l  The  becoming d i s t i n c t l y  economic t a l k s were  advantage nor were they  producing clarifying  the economic p o s s i b i l i t i e s v i s - a - v i s the S o v i e t Union.52 Throughout the month h i n t s at p o s s i b l e areas of mutual i n t e r e s t i n Poland  and the B a l t i c s t a t e s or at a r e v i v a l of the B e r l i n  T r e a t y had met  w i t h an ambiguous, i f not o u t r i g h t n e g a t i v e , 53  response i n Moscow.^  On June 29 H i t l e r d e c i d e d  economic n e g o t i a t i o n s had  that  the  gone f a r enough; a c c o r d i n g l y ,  he  i n s t r u c t e d the F o r e i g n o f f i c e t o i n f o r m the S o v i e t Government t h a t Germany was no longer i n t e r e s t e d i n the resumption of by Mikoyan on June 24 of f u r t h e r S o v i e t terms. A v i s i t to Moscow by Schnurre was now made dependent upon the p r i o r c l a s s i f i c a t i o n of p o i n t s of d i f f e r e n c e : (G.D.,D,VI,568). Schulenburg c o r r e c t l y i n t e r p r e t e d t h i s r e b u f f as i n d i c a t i n g t h a t R u s s i a d i d not want a dramatic development i n Russo-German r e l a t i o n s but n e v e r t h e l e s s was not w i l l i n g to l e t the t a l k s break o f f . G.D.,D,VI,570. 51 W h i l e i n B e r l i n from June 12-24, Schulenburg c a l l e d on Astakhov on June 17 and t o l d him i n v e r y d e f i n i t e terms t h a t " R u s s i a had to make her choice":(G.D.,D,VI,540). On h i s r e t u r n t o Moscow on June 27, Schulenburg a g a i n broached the t o p i c of " p o l i t i c a l b a s e s " t o Molotov when the F o r e i g n M i n i s t e r c o n f i n e d h i s demands t o Mikoyan's economic terms, Schulenburg r e p o r t e d p r o g r e s s : (G.D.,D,VI,579,607). However, he h i m s e l f was aware t h a t t h i s d i d not mark p r o g r e s s . I n f a c t , when the S o v i e t Government agreed to a v e r y l i m i t e d exchange of German n a t i o n a l s f o r S o v i e t p r i s o n e r s of The S p a n i s h C i v i l War, the Ambassador, on J u l y 3, c h a r a c t e r i z e d t h i s g e s t u r e as t h e " . . . f i r s t s i g n of any accommodating d i s p o s i t i o n to speak of f o r a l o n g t i m e . " G.D.,D, vi,610. 52 On June 28 Schnurre recommended t h a t the economic d i s c u s s i o n s be postponed f o r both p o l i t i c a l and economic reasons. G.D.,D,VI, 576; G.D.,D,VI,596. S c h o r s k e , The D i p l o m a t s ,  p.  504  80 economic n e g o t i a t i o n s .  A few days l a t e r - the exact date i s  unknown - i n s t r u c t i o n s to t h i s e f f e c t were t r a n s m i t t e d t o the 54  On June 30 R i b b e n t r o p  Moscow Embassy.  i n s t r u c t e d Schulenburg  55 t h a t i n the p o l i t i c a l f i e l d as w e l l , enough had been s a i d . This d e c i s i o n to d i s c o n t i n u e n e g o t i a t i o n s , while prompted m a i n l y by R u s s i a ' s another m o t i v e .  enigmatic  The d i f f i c u l t i e s  b e h a v i o r , may  have had  encountered by the  i n t h e i r n e g o t i a t i o n s w i t h the S o v i e t Union may  British  have encouraged  H i t l e r to b e l i e v e t h a t R u s s i a " . . . c o u l d be l e f t out of the number of h i s enemies."5°  j  n a  settlement w i t h Poland,  Hitler,  no doubt, would have p r e f e r r e d having R u s s i a as an u n f r i e n d l y but n e v e r t h e l e s s dependable n e u t r a l t o h a v i n g her as a p a r t n e r i n s h a r i n g the  spoils.  D u r i n g the next t h r e e weeks, w h i l e H i t l e r mulled his  over  f u t u r e course of a c t i o n , S o v i e t r e l a t i o n s were t r e a t e d l a c k -  idaisically.  O p i n i o n i n b o t h the Moscow Embassy and i n the  F o r e i g n O f f i c e agreed t h a t n o t h i n g h a s t y be done. suggested t h a t Germany might make a few to c r e a t e an atmosphere of c o n f i d e n c e  small gestures  i n which serious  towards a rapprochement c o u l d l a t e r be taken.57 s i m i l a r mood p r e v a i l e d .  Schulenburg i n order steps  In B e r l i n a  W e i z s a c k e r b e l i e v e d t h a t any  progress  c o u l d o n l y be made s l o w l y and "step by s t e p " . A f t e r a v i s i t to B e r l i n , the C o u n s e l l o r of the Moscow Embassy, on J u l y 12, 7  __  _  G.D,,D,VI,583. The q u e s t i o n l e f t unanswered i n N a z i - S o v i e t R e l a t i o n s of whether these i n s t r u c t i o n s were even t r a n s m i t t e d t o the Moscow Embassy, has s i n c e been s o l v e d by the g i v e n German Document p u b l i c a t i o n . I t i n c l u d e s t h i s m a r g i n a l note by W e i z s a c k e r : "...has meantime been d i s p a t c h e d . " 55 G.D.,D,VI,588. 5° Conway, German F o r e i g n P o l i c y , p. 217* 57 G.D. ,D,Vl7o48\ J  81 observed that i n B e r l i n the Soviet topic was  being probed  keenly but that "...the w i l l to take a d e f i n i t e p o l i t i c a l 58 stand has not yet asserted i t s e l f . " y  In the meantime, i n spite of his instructions of June 29 to discontinue a l l trade talks, H i t l e r did not yet seem w i l l i n g to block off this last avenue of contact. July 7,  On  therefore, a last i n i t i a t i v e i n the economic f i e l d  was decided upon.  Hilger was  instructed to agree to Mikoyan's  e a r l i e r conditions by informing him on the economic differences which the German Government f e l t s t i l l existed between Germany 59 and Russia.  These instructions were carried out on July 10.  Schulenburg reported that Mikoyan seemed disposed to accept this German i n i t i a t i v e as a p o l i t i c a l  gesture.^  However, on July 16 Schulenburg reported that the Soviets were now  d i s s a t i s f i e d with the information given them  by Hilger and proposed that a further c l a r i f i c a t i o n of the points at issue be sought i n conversations i n B e r l i n between  6l Babarin, the Soviet trade representative, and Schnurre.  Two  days later, Schnurre met Barbarin i n B e r l i n for a conversation which must be regarded as the beginning of a thaw i n RussoGerman relations which culminated one month later i n the Moscow Agreements.  Suddenly, after the evasions and postponements of  the previous month and a half, Barbarin made the astonishing 5 G.D.,D,VI,66l. 5 G.D.,D,VI,628. G.D.,D,VI,642. 8  9  6 0  6 1  G.D.,D,VI,677.  82 statement t h a t ; i f agreement c o u l d be r e a c h e d , he empowered t o s i g n an economic t r e a t y .  I t was  was  apparent t h a t  the S o v i e t s wanted the n e g o t i a t i o n s s t a r t e d but a l s o wanted them to be u n o b t r u s i v e  and away from Moscow.  I n s p i t e of  these r e s e r v a t i o n s , Schnurre suggested to h i s government t h a t the n e g o t i a t i o n s be c o n t i n u e d .  W h i l e from a p o l i t i c a l  p o i n t the l a c k of p u b l i c i t y was  u n f o r t u n a t e , the  stand-  conclusion  of an economic agreement would, n e v e r t h e l e s s , have d e s i r a b l e On J u l y 22 the Moscow press announced the r e s u m p t i o n  effects.  of Russo-German economic n e g o t i a t i o n s . Schulenburg was  On t h a t same day  i n s t r u c t e d by the German F o r e i g n O f f i c e to p i c k  up the t h r e a d of p o l i t i c a l d i s c u s s i o n s w i t h the S o v i e t Govern-  62 ment.  The  come to an  p e r i o d of w a i t i n g , ordered  on June 30,  had  clearly  end. W h i l e the S o v i e t i n i t i a t i v e of J u l y 18 was  the p o s i t i v e  f a c t o r w h i c h encouraged H i t l e r to b e l i e v e t h a t a p o l i t i c a l agreement w i t h R u s s i a was  p o s s i b l e , t h e r e was  also a  negative  f a c t o r w h i c h caused him t o resume the p o l i t i c a l d i s c u s s i o n s J u l y 22.  By t h i s time H i t l e r r e a l i z e d t h a t i f he were t o s e t t l e  w i t h Poland was  on  t h i s y e a r , he would have t o move q u i c k l y .  Poland  not yet i s o l a t e d and each day o n l y brought f o r t h f r e s h s i g n s  t h a t the Ytfestern Democracies were determined to stand by  their  pledge to Poland.°3 I f the t h r e a t of a Russo-German understanding °" G.D. ,D,VI,700. 63 On J u l y 21 the F r e n c h Charge i n B e r l i n , De S a i n t - H a r d o u i n , i n a d i s p a t c h t o h i s Government, made t h i s a c u t e a n a l y s i s : " . . . d u r i n g the past week some change has t a k e n p l a c e i n the C h a n c e l l o r ' s mind. I t i s r e p o r t e d t h a t the F i i h r e r i s now conv i n c e d t h a t , c o n t r a r y to what he has h i t h e r t o been assured by some of h i s a d v i s o r s , F r a n c e and England are r e s o l v e d t o f u l f i l l t h e i r pledges t o P o l a n d . . . . " The F r e n c h Y e l l o w Book, p . l 6 9 . 2  83 had n o t pursuaded them t o g i v e way; t h e n , H i t l e r d e c i d e d , t h e  64 r e a l i t y o f one s h o u l d . D u r i n g t h e f o l l o w i n g days t h e German Government was galvanized into action.  Ribbentrop  consulted d a i l y with h i s  s u b o r d i n a t e s and was h i m s e l f c o n s t a n t l y i n t o u c h w i t h  Hitler.^  T h i s a c t i v i t y was g i v e n even g r e a t e r urgency when i t became known on J u l y 25 t h a t B r i t a i n and F r a n c e were d i s p a t c h i n g m i l i t a r y m i s s i o n s t o Moscow.  Ribbentrop  r e a c t e d t o t h i s by 66  o r d e r i n g t h a t n e g o t i a t i o n s be pressed a t "an unheard o f tempo." Measures were t a k e n i n a l l f i e l d s t o l a y t h e groundwork f o r aRusso-German u n d e r s t a n d i n g . F o r t h i s purpose t h e German government moved t o harmonize r e l a t i o n s between Japan and 67 R u s s i a . ' S i m u l t a n e o u s l y c u l t;ur£ u r a l c o n t a c t s between Germany and R u s s i a were r e e s t a b l i s h e d .  68  F i n a l l y H i t l e r d e c i d e d t o l a y h i s cards on t h e t a b l e . He ordered t h a t h i s views on a s e t t l e m e n t of i n t e r e s t s be p u t b e f o r e t h e S o v i e t Government.  On t h e evening  o f J u l y 26,  ^4 Conway, German F o r e i g n P o l i c y , p. 220. 5 G.D.,D,VI,757. 66 K l e i s t , Zwischen S t a l i n und H i t l e r , quoted i n S c h o r s k e , The D i p l o m a t s , p. 507. 6  67  On.- J u l y 24 W e i z s a c k e r suggested t o Astakhov t h a t a "modus v i v e n d i " i n Russo-Japanese r e l a t i o n s be e s t a b l i s h e d f o r a number of y e a r s . G.D.,D,VI,115. 68 A l s o on J u l y 24 t h e S o v i e t Embassy sounded out t h e German F o r e i g n O f f i c e on a S o v i e t i n v i t a t i o n t o two Germans t o a t t e n d the R u s s i a n a g r i c u l t u r a l e x h i b i t i o n i n Moscow: (G.D.,D,VI,714). During t h e same p e r i o d Astakhov was p r e s e n t as an o f f i c i a l guest a t an opening o f t h e e x h i b i t i o n of German a r t i n Munich, at which H i t l e r , p e r s o n a l l y , p r e s i d e d . G.D.,D,VI,727.  84 S c h n u r r e , on R i b b e n t r o p ' s i n s t r u c t i o n s  w e  n t over t h e whole  sweep o f Russo-German r e l a t i o n s i n an i n f o r m a l but p e n e t r a t i n g p o l i t i c a l d i s c u s s i o n w i t h Astakhov and B a b a r i n .  7 0  As p o s s i b l e  s t a g e s t o a p o l i t i c a l rapprochement he suggested: economic c o l l a b o r a t i o n , n o r m a l i z a t i o n o f p o l i t i c a l r e l a t i o n s , and then the r e s t o r a t i o n of good p o l i t i c a l r e l a t i o n s .  The S o v i e t s ,  w h i l e r e m a i n i n g s u s p i c i o u s o f German i n t e n t i o n s , seemed r e c e p t i v e t o Schnurre's s u g g e s t i o n s .  Schnurre thereupon s t a t e d t h e  German case i n i t s most b l u n t form. s t a n d i n g was r i p e now.  The time f o r an under-  I t would n o t be so a f t e r t h e c o n c l u s i o n  of an A n g l o - R u s s i a n agreement: What c o u l d B r i t a i n o f f e r R u s s i a ? At b e s t p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n a European war and t h e h o s t i l i t y o f Germany, h a r d l y a d e s i r a b l e end f o r R u s s i a . What c o u l d we o f f e r as a g a i n s t t h i s ? N e u t r a l i t y and keeping out o f a p o s s i b l e European c o n f l i c t and, i f Moscow w i s h e d , a GermanR u s s i a n u n d e r s t a n d i n g on mutual i n t e r e s t s , w h i c h , j u s t as i n former times would work out t o t h e advantage o f both c o u n t r i e s . ' I T h i s c o n v e r s a t i o n undoubtedly marked t h e b e g i n n i n g of  a c o n c e r t e d German e f f o r t t o f r i g h t e n , the West i n t o neu-  t r a l i t y t h r o u g h a German-Russian p a c t .  I t i s obvious t h a t  H i t l e r was now aiming a t a d e f i n i t e u n d e r s t a n d i n g w i t h R u s s i a ; he was n o t merely wanting t o prevent a R u s s o - B r i t i s h p a c t . the f o l l o w i n g days numerous e f f o r t s were  madB  In  to win Soviet  c o n f i d e n c e , even i f . g i g a n t i c c o n c e s s i o n s had t o be made i n t h e process. 6  On J u l y 29 W e i z s a c k e r i n s t r u c t e d Schulenburg t o sound  9 K o r d t , Wahn and W i r k l i c h k e i t , p. l 6 l .  7° G.D.,D,VI,729; H i l g e r , W i r und der K r e m l , p. 282. 7 1  G.D.,D,VI,729.  85 out Molotov on h i s response t o Schnurre's i n i t i a t i v e o f July 2 6 .  I f Molotov's response were f a v o r a b l e , Schulenburg  7 2  was t o s t a t e more s p e c i f i c a l l y t h a t Germany was prepared t o guard S o v i e t i n t e r e s t s i n P o l a n d and i n t h e B a l t i c a r e a .  A  p r o b a b l e m i l i t a r y s e t t l e m e n t w i t h Poland was a l s o t o be h i n t e d at.  These seemed t o be t h e German terms f o r a Russo-German  agreement. There now f o l l o w e d i n r a p i d s u c c e s s i o n t h r e e p o l i t i c a l c o n v e r s a t i o n s between German statesmen and S o v i e t r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s , In t h e course o f these d i s c u s s i o n s Schnurre's s u g g e s t i o n s f o r a p o l i t i c a l rapprochement form.  o f J u l y 26 were s t a t e d i n a more d e f i n i t e  On August 2 R i b b e n t r o p summoned t h e S o v i e t Charge f o r an 73  interview.  Here t h e German F o r e i g n M i n i s t e r proposed a s e t t l e -  ment based on n o n - i n t e r f e r e n c e i n t h e i n t e r n a l a f f a i r s o f t h e o t h e r c o u n t r y and t h e "...abandonment o f a p o l i c y d i r e c t e d a g a i n s t our v i t a l i n t e r e s t s . "  He s t r e s s e d t h a t t h e r e was no  problem between t h e B l a c k and t h e B a l t i c Seas which c o u l d n o t be s o l v e d t o R u s s i a n s a t i s f a c t i o n .  A l t h o u g h t h e note o f  urgency o f Schnurre's e a r l i e r approach was absent from R i b b e n t r o p ' s manner, t h e e f f e c t o f t h i s c o n v e r s a t i o n was t o c o n f i r m Schnurre's o f f e r .  However, t h i s c o n t r a s t i n Schnurre's  and R i b b e n t r o p ' s moods t r o u b l e d Astakhov. 74 August 3 , he saw Schnurre a g a i n .  T h e r e f o r e , on  The German economic  expert  r e a s s u r e d him of Germany's s e r i o u s i n t e n t i o n s and added t h a t G.D.,D,VI,736. G.D.,D,VI,758. 7 2  7 3  7 4  G.D.,D,VI,761.  86 h i s government would be ready w i t h c o n c r e t e  p r o p o s a l s when i t  r e c e i v e d word t h a t Moscow was s i m i l a r l y d i s p o s e d .  In the  interests  of speed, he suggested t h a t t h e c o n v e r s a t i o n s be  continued  i n Berlin.75  saw M o l o t o v .  Qn t h a t same day Schulenburg  The German p r o p o s a l s  f o r a settlement  finally of a l l  problems i n Russo-German r e l a t i o n s was a g a i n r e s t a t e d .  76 Molotov appeared " u n u s u a l l y open" b u t remained non-committal. I t would appear from t h e f o r e g o i n g a n a l y s i s t h a t H i t l e r ' s d e c i s i o n t o seek an agreement w i t h R u s s i a was made i n t h e i n t e r v a l from J u l y 16, when the S o v i e t s o f f e r e d t o resume economic t a l k s , t o J u l y 26, when Schnurre put t h e q u e s t i o n of a p o l i t i c a l s e t t l e m e n t and B a b a r i n .  squarely before  Astakhov  I t i s p o s s i b l e t h a t t h e d e c i s i o n had a l r e a d y  f a l l e n by J u l y 22 when Schulenburg was i n s t r u c t e d t o p i c k up the threads  of the e a r l i e r p o l i t i c a l discussions.77  I n any  event t h e German moves from t h e 26th on, e v i n c e a s i m i l a r i t y of approach and a s i n g l e n e s s o f purpose w h i c h suggest t h a t  they  were t h e r e s u l t  of a d e c i s i o n by H i t l e r t o l a u n c h a c o n c e r t e d 78 e f f o r t f o r a pact w i t h R u s s i a . 75 J u s t p r i o r t o t h i s c o n v e r s a t i o n W e i z s a c k e r had informed Schulenburg t h a t i f t h e S o v i e t s i d e was r e c e p t i v e t o German soundings, more c o n c r e t e p o l i t i c a l p r o p o s a l s would be broached to t h e S o v i e t Charge i n B e r l i n . G.D.,D,VI,759. 7° G.D.,D,VI,766. 77 Schulenburg was t o l d "...a c o n c l u s i o n , and t h i s a t t h e e a r l i e s t p o s s i b l e d a t e , i s d e s i r e d f o r g e n e r a l reasons." G.D.,D,VI,700. 78 ' F o r t h e view, based on h e a r s a y e v i d e n c e , t h a t H i t l e r made h i s f i n a l d e c i s i o n t o seek a pact w i t h R u s s i a on t h e n i g h t o f August 4-5 see R o s s i , The Russo-German A l l i a n c e , p.27 and Namier, D i p l o m a t i c P r e l u d e , p. 284.  T h i s view i s strengthened  by t h e f a c t t h a t i n t h e  f o l l o w i n g days t h e tempo of t h e Russo-German rapprochement was  h e l d back o n l y by S t a l i n ' s r e l u c t a n c e t o commit h i m s e l f .  The  Germans, f o r t h e i r p a r t , p r e s s e d  f o r an understanding  with  i n c r e a s i n g v i g o r ; they were, a f t e r a l l , w o r k i n g a g a i n s t a deadl i n e - t h e date f o r t h e a t t a c k on Poland August 262  had been s e t f o r  Thus, when Astakhov, i n a f u r t h e r t a l k w i t h  Schnurre on August 5 r e f u s e d t o say more t h a n t h a t h i s government d e s i r e d t o continue t h e c o n v e r s a t i o n s w i t h Germany, Ribbentrop,  t h r e e days l a t e r , i n s t r u c t e d Schnurre t o shock t h e  S o v i e t s out o f t h e i r l e t h a r g y by i m p r e s s i n g  upon them t h e  imminence o f a^German-Polish war and t h e w i l l i n g n e s s o f Germany t o s t a t e c o n c r e t e t e r m s . Astakhov a l s o  7 9  W i t h i n these t h r e e days  had r e c e i v e d new i n s t r u c t i o n s from h i s govern-  80 ment.  On t h e b a s i s o f these new i n s t r u c t i o n s  and Schnurre met a g a i n on August 10.  then, Astakhov  Astakhov s t a t e d t h a t he  a g a i n had r e c e i v e d express i n s t r u c t i o n s t o "emphasize" t h a t the S o v i e t Government d e s i r e d an improvement i n i t s r e l a t i o n s w i t h Germany.  Thereupon Schnurre became more s p e c i f i c and  o u t l i n e d the questions clarification.  on w h i c h t h e German Government sought  These were t h e q u e s t i o n s :  of t h e S o v i e t s t o t h e P o l i s h q u e s t i o n ?  What was t h e a t t i t u d e  And, number two, why  were m i l i t a r y n e g o t i a t i o n s w i t h the Western Powers being t i n u e d i n Moscow?  con-  Schnurre a s s e r t e d t h a t as t o t h e f i r s t  q u e s t i o n " . . . i t was p o s s i b l e . . . t h a t a s o l u t i o n by f o r c e of arms ? 8 0  9  G.D.,D,VI,772. G.D.,D,VII,18.  88 would have t o take p l a c e . " S i  As t o t h e second problem i t  was a f f i r m e d t h a t i f t h e ' S o v i e t being t h r e a t e n e d  Government were f e a r f u l of  i n a German-Polish war, Germany was "... Qp  prepared t o g i v e t h e S o v i e t Union every assurance d e s i r e d . " S c h n u r r e ' s words were c l e a r l y meant as an i n d i c a t i o n of the. p r i c e H i t l e r was w i l l i n g t o pay f o r S o v i e t friendship.  They i n d i c a t e d t h a t H i t l e r was p r e p a r e d t o o f f e r  the S o v i e t Government a n o n - a g g r e s s i o n p a c t , and, even more important,  t h a t he had d e c i d e d ,  Poland.  However, b e f o r e  8 3  i n p r i n c i p l e , to p a r t i t i o n  s p e l l i n g out t h e s e terms, H i t l e r  awaited Moscow's response t o h i s move. T h i s response was not l o n g i n coming. w h i l e H i t l e r was c o n v e r s i n g  On August 12,  w i t h Ciano i n B e r c h t e s g a d e n , fid?  Astakhov t r a n s m i t t e d the S o v i e t r e p l y t o Schnurre i n B e r l i n . ^ He t o l d Schnurre t h a t t h e S o v i e t Government was prepared t o d i s c u s s a l l of t h e s u b j e c t s r a i s e d by t h e German s i d e i n p r e ceding c o n v e r s a t i o n s  and proposed t h a t subsequent n e g o t i a t i o n s  be c a r r i e d out i n Moscow.  To u n d e r l i n e t h e f a c t t h a t Moscow  was making e x t e n s i v e c o n c e s s i o n s  t o t h e German v i e w p o i n t ,  Sstakhov s t a t e d t h a t the d i s c u s s i o n s were t o be "undertaken by degrees". proposals  T h i s , of c o u r s e , was t h e substance of Schnurre's of J u l y 26.  Astakhov was d u l y informed t h a t H i t l e r  agreed t o t h e suggested p r o c e d u r e . ^ 81 G.D.,D,VII,18. G.D.,D,VII,18. 83 Conway, German F o r e i g n P o l i c y , p. 227. 84 G.D.,D,VII,50. 5 K o r d t , Wahn und W i r k l i c h k e i t , p. 163, 164. 8  8 2  8  89 Word of Astakhov's b i d reached H i t l e r d u r i n g a Q/  c o n v e r s a t i o n w i t h Ciano. rupted.  The  i n t e r v i e w was  Then H i t l e r e x u l t a n t l y informed  S o v i e t s were prepared i n Moscow.  briefly  inter-  h i s guest t h a t the  to r e c e i v e a German p o l i t i c a l n e g o t i a t o r  H i t l e r then gave h i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of S o v i e t  policy: R u s s i a would not be prepared t o p u l l t h e Western Powers' c h e s t n u t s out o f the f i r e . Stalin's p o s i t i o n was j u s t as much i n danger from a v i c t o r i o u s as from a d e f e a t e d R u s s i a n army. R u s s i a was at the most i n t e r e s t e d i n e x t e n d i n g .her access t o the B a l t i c Sea. Germany had no o b j e c t i o n t o t h i s . B e s i d e s , R u s s i a would p r o b a b l y never i n t e r v e n e on b e h a l f of Poland whom she t h o r o u g h l y d e t e s t e d . The s o l e purpose of sending the A n g l o - F r e n c h M i l i t a r y M i s s i o n to Moscow was to c o n c e a l the c a t a s t r o p h i c s t a t e of the p o l i t i c a l n e g o t i a t i o n s . " ' These c o n f i d e n t words suggest t h a t H i t l e r  had  c o r r e c t l y i n t e r p r e t e d the R u s s i a n note of August 12 as. s i g n i f y i n g t h a t a d e c i s i v e s t e p had been t a k e n i n Moscow. the R u s s i a n o f f e r was  Although  a c t u a l l y o n l y a f o u n d a t i o n on w h i c h  c o n c r e t e n e g o t i a t i o n s were y e t to be b u i l t , H i t l e r  firmly  b e l i e v e d t h a t t h e r e would be no d i f f i c u l t y i n a r r i v i n g terms f o r an agreement.  at  A f t e r a l l , he h e l d i t i n h i s hand to  g i v e R u s s i a what she d e s i r e d ; he had a l r e a d y d e c i d e d to g i v e her g i g a n t i c c o n c e s s i o n s . favourable now  concerning  terms f o r a pact had thus a l r e a d y been made; i t  remained o n l y f o r the n e g o t i a t i o n s t o proceed and  pact t o be O D  8  Fundamental d e c i s i o n s  ?  signed.  G.D.,D,VII,43; C i a n o ' s D i p l o m a t i c P a p e r s , p. G.D.,D,VII,43.  302.  the  Tifith t h i s p o l i c y e s t a b l i s h e d i n H i t l e r ' s mind, the f o l l o w i n g d a y s , a l t h o u g h brimming w i t h d i p l o m a t i c and counter  p r o p o s a l s between  advance i n the F u h r e r ' s  B e r l i n and Moscow, r e v e a l no  Soviet  C o n s e q u e n t l y , we  proposals  policy.  are now  i n t e r e s t e d o n l y i n the  l i g h t s of the d i p l o m a t i c moves w h i c h i n t e r v e n e d and August 23,  to Ribbentrop's  dramatic  high-  l e d , on  f l i g h t t o Moscow.  In the  p e r i o d from August 12 to August 23 German d i p l o m a t i c maneuvres were c h a r a c t e r i z e d by extreme urgency. decided  By August 14 i t had  been  t h a t as a s i g n of the German d e s i r e f o r immediate  negotiations w i t h a r a p i d conclusion, Ribbentrop  would  represent  88  H i t l e r at the Moscow d i s c u s s i o n s .  Schulenburg  informed  Molotov of t h i s arrangement the f o l l o w i n g day and added t h a t h i s government agreed t o a l l of Moscow's s u g g e s t i o n s i n the August 12 S o v i e t p r o p o s a l .  contained  8 9  M o l o t o v ' s r e p l y , t r a n s m i t t e d to B e r l i n on August while unusually p o s i t i v e , nevertheless Union was  still  i n no h u r r y .  The  showed t h a t the  15,  Soviet  Soviet Foreign M i n i s t e r  suggested a s p e c i f i c agenda, b u t , on the o t h e r hand, demanded 90 t h a t "adequate p r e p a r a t i o n s " precede R i b b e n t r o p * s v i s i t . R i b b e n t r o p immediately agreed t o M o l o t o v ' s terms and o f f e r e d t o 91  come to Moscow sometime a f t e r August 18. continued  to s t a l l .  M o l o t o v , However,  H i s answer, w h i c h a r r i v e d on August  18,  00  E a r l i e r i t had been planned to send Dr. F r a n k , the D i r e c t o r of the R e i c h s r e c h t s a m t , and Schnurre to Moscow. G.D.,D,VII,62. G.D.,D,VII,70,79. 8 9  90 G.D.,D,VII,70,79,88. 9 1  G.D.,D,VII,75.  91 while affirmative, s t i l l  l e f t the exact date of R i b b e n t r o p ' s  92 v i s i t open.'  T h i s answer was  not good enough f o r the Germans.  I f the Russo-German T r e a t y were t o have i t s d e s i r e d impact  upon  the B r i t i s h , F r e n c h and P o l i s h Governments, t h e n e g o t i a t i o n s would have t o be speeded up. Schulenburg t o propose  Ribbentrop t h e r e f o r e i n s t r u c t e d  to M o l o t o v , t h a t he R i b b e n t r o p , be  r e c e i v e d i n Moscow w i t h i n t h e next few August 19 was  days. ^ 9  the day of d e c i s i o n i n Moscow.  Late  t h a t a f t e r n o o n the S o v i e t l e a d e r s agreed t h a t the Russo-German economic agreement, w h i c h , i n the meantime, had been n e g o t i a t e d i n B e r l i n , be s i g n e d , and t h a t R i b b e n t r o p be asked to a r r i v e i n Moscow one week l a t e r .  9 4  H i t l e r now was  s u r e of h i s coup.  However, t o a c h i e v e the maximum p o l i t i c a l r e s u l t s from the agreement, H i t l e r knew t h a t n e g o t i a t i o n s had to commence f o r t h with.  C o n s e q u e n t l y , on August 20,  S t a l i n f o r an e a r l i e r d a t e .  he appealed d i r e c t l y t o  On the f o l l o w i n g day, S t a l i n  agreed t h a t R i b b e n t r o p c o u l d a r r i v e i n Moscow on August L a t e t h a t same n i g h t , a communique was i s s u e d 96 R i b b e n t r o p ' s imminent a r r i v a l i n Moscow.  finally 95 23. announcing  T h i s announcement,  b e i n g b o t h impudent and unexpected, made a tremendous i m p r e s s i o n i n Germany and abroad. nightmare  of e n c i r c l e m e n t had been b a n i s h e d ; the German G e n e r a l s  92  G.D.,D,VII,105.  3  G.D.,D,VII,113  9  9 4  9  5  9  6  The German people were r e l i e v e d t h a t the  G.D.,D,VII,132,133,144. G.D.,D,VII,157-160. G.D.,D,VII,160.  92  were convinced Poland;97  t h a t they c o u l d now  fight victoriously  in  H i t l e r hoped t h a t Poland would be d e m o r a l i z e d  and,  of g r e a t e s t importance, t h a t the Western Powers would be intimidated into  neutrality.  That H i t l e r ' s o r i g i n a l motive i n s e e k i n g a pact R u s s i a was  the i n t i m i d a t i o n of the Western Powers i s apparent.  As p r e v i o u s l y s t a t e d , H i t l e r ' s d e c i s i o n to s e t t l e w i t h was  with  made i n d e p e n d e n t l y  Poland  of the i d e a of a Russo-German under-  98 standing.  7  T h i s d e c i s i o n was  w i t h R u s s i a had not even begun.  made at a time when n e g o t i a t i o n s Indeed, the Russo-German  n e g o t i a t i o n s must be r e g a r d e d as a consequence, r a t h e r t h a n a 99 cause, of t h i s d e c i s i o n .  The  Russo-German Pact was  therefore  not the t r i g g e r w h i c h r e l e a s e d N a z i a g g r e s s i o n but was, i n s t e a d , the f a c t o r w h i c h l e t H i t l e r hope t h a t he would be able t o Poland w i t h o u t  outside interference.  crush  H i t l e r thought, t h a t as  a r e s u l t of h i s d i p l o m a t i c r e v o l u t i o n , B r i t a i n and F r a n c e would r e c o g n i z e the h o p e l e s s n e s s of the m i l i t a r y s i t u a t i o n and would not i n t e r v e n e . O n August 23,  H i t l e r c o n f i d e n t l y assured  his  Generals: The l i k e l i h o o d of an i n t e r v e n t i o n of the Western , , Powers i n a c o n f l i c t i s , i n my o p i n i o n , not g r e a t . 0  97 The Moscow coup was r e p r e s e n t e d i n t h i s l i g h t t o the German Generals by H i t l e r i n a c o n f e r e n c e on August 22, N.D.,798-PS; G.D.,D,VII, Appendix, p. 559. 98 / ' H i n s l e y , H i t l e r ' s S t r a t e g y , p. 16. 99 I b i d . , p.20. 100 Conway, German F o r e i g n P o l i c y , pp.249,250. quoted i n J . Wheeler-Bennett, Munich, P r o l o g u e t o Tragedy, London, M a c m i l l a n , 1948, p. 4 1 5 .  93 The  p r i c e which H i t l e r was w i l l i n g t o pay f o r t h e  i n t i m i d a t i o n of t h e Western Powers i s r e c o r d e d Agreements n e g o t i a t e d by R i b b e n t r o p  i n t h e Moscow  on August 23.  Through t h i s  pact, H i t l e r s a c r i f i c e d h i s i d e o l o g i c a l l e a d e r s h i p of the a n t i communist w o r l d .  Moreover, under t h e terms o f these  agree-  ments, H i t l e r gave t o R u s s i a a p o s i t i o n of dominance i n E a s t e r n Europe.  In a secret protocol Bessarabia, Estonia, L a t v i a ,  F i n l a n d , and h a l f of Poland were promised t o t h e R u s s i a n s .  The  S o v i e t Union's i n t e r e s t s i n t h e Balkans were a l s o r e c o g n i z e d , but t h i s i n a p u r p o s e l y vague manner. encountered i n t h e n e g o t i a t i o n s .  No d i f f i c u l t i e s were  A f t e r a l l , Ribbentrop  had not  come t o Moscow t o b a r g a i n , b u t t o secure a pact w i t h R u s s i a , and t h a t q u i c k l y .  94  CHAPTER IV HITLER'S POLICY, AUGUST 1939  - JUNE-1941:  FRIENDSHIP, INDECISION, AND ATTACK The Moscow Pact, contrary to popular b e l i e f , did not immediately create confidence i n Nazi-Soviet relations.  The  new  partners, while sparing no effort to demonstrate their own good f a i t h , were suspicious of each other. s a t i s f i e d with this situation.  But H i t l e r was not  The purpose of the Pact was to  eliminate the Western Powers from Eastern Europe.  Even i f the  new partners were not f r i e n d l y , they must at least appear to be so.  Thus rumors on August 27 that the Red Army had withdrawn  250,000 troops from i t s western borders, moved Ribbentrop to direct an appeal to Molotov to cancel the order.  1  Even after  2 Molotov had dismissed the rumor with a "hearty laugh"  Ribbentrop  continued to i n s i s t that i t be o f f i c i a l l y denied and the opposite stated.-'  H i t l e r could take no chances on his Moscow coup f a i l i n g  to paralyze the Western and P o l i s h determination to r e s i s t . On August 30 the Kremlin acceded to Berlin's wishes with a Tass  4  statement.  Soviet accommodation was matched by German good  f a i t h and Moscow was kept constantly informed on the diplomatic 1  G.D.,D,VII,360.  2  G.D.,D,VII,383.  3  G.D.,D,VII,387, 424. G.D.,D,VII,446„  4  95 n e g o t i a t i o n s p r e c e d i n g the outbreak of war.  5  D e s p i t e the f a c t t h a t the Moscow P a c t had  succeeded  i n e l i m i n a t i n g P o l a n d m i l i t a r i l y , when t h e two armies met B r e s t - L i t o v s k i n September, i t had not shocked Powers i n t o r e m a i n i n g n e u t r a l .  Thus when war  Germany and Great B r i t a i n on September 3? the Moscow P a c t d i s a p p e a r e d .  The new  the  at  western  broke out between  t h e main r e a s o n f o r  s i t u a t i o n however, w i t h  the p o s s i b i l i t y of a t w o - f r o n t war, d i c t a t e d a p o l i c y of continued friendship with Russia. summer of 1940 was  H i t l e r ' s Soviet policy t i l l  thus p r e s c r i b e d by t h e f a c t of c o n t i n u e d  the western  opposition. H i t l e r ' s d e t e r m i n a t i o n t o accommodate the S o v i e t Government was  apparent  i n the n e g o t i a t i o n s p r e c e d i n g the  Russo-German Boundary and F r i e n d s h i p T r e a t y of September 28 29.  and  P r i o r t o the c o n f e r e n c e b o t h c o u n t r i e s s t a t e d t h e i r  bargaining positions. nature  0  territorial  but S o v i e t p r o p o s a l s c o n s t i t u t e d a b a s i c r e v i s i o n of the  Moscow agreements. proposed  German demands were of a minor  On September 25 S t a l i n , i n a s u r p r i s e move,  t o S c h u l e n b u r g , t h a t the S e c r e t P r o t o c o l of August  23  be amended i n o r d e r t h a t the i n d i s p u t a b l y P o l i s h a r e a s , c o m p r i s i n g 5 G.D.,D,VII,387, 431,  440.  On September 20 R i b b e n t r o p i n s t r u c t e d G e n e r a l K B s t r i n g t o r e q u e s t Molotov t o t r a n s f e r t h e i m p o r t a n t Lwow and Drohobyez o i l area t o the German sphere. I t had been a s s i g n e d t o the R u s s i a n sphere by the s e c r e t p r o t o c o l of August 23 but was under German o c c u p a t i o n s i n c e September 17. The S o v i e t r e p l y t r a n s m i t t e d on t h a t same day r e g a r d i n g b o t h t h e o r i g i n a l r e q u e s t and a subsequent a p p e a l t h a t the a r e a be l e f t under German m i l i t a r y o c c u p a t i o n pending a f i n a l s e t t l e m e n t , was an u n e q u i v o c a l no. A. R o s s i , The Russo-German A l l i a n c e ; August 1939 - June 1941, London, Chapman and H a l l , 1950, pp.59,60; G.D.,D,VIII,109.  the Province of Lublin and the Province of Warsaw West of the Bug River, f a l l to the Germans.  In return the Germans should  waive their claim to Lithuania.  The Soviet Union would then  move to s e t t l e the B a l t i c question.7 On September 27 Ribbentrop arrived i n Moscow with a large suite. Poland was  In three conference  sessions the d i v i s i o n of  sealed and economic problems discussed.  The record  of the negotiations reveals that the i n i t i a t i v e obviously lay with the Soviets.  Ribbentrop had ^ostensibly come to Moscow  to define boundaries but H i t l e r was primarily interested i n winning Soviet confidence. To this end he was w i l l i n g to make 8 broad concessions. Early i n the negotiations Ribbentrop had weighed vg On September 19 Molotov suggested that the f i n a l border settlement ignore the idea of a P o l i s h r e s i d u a l state by establ i s h i n g as f i n a l the four r i v e r l i n e . Negotiations should commence at once i n Moscow. On September 23 the m i l i t a r y de- ' marcation l i n e between the Red Army and the Reichswehr along the four river l i n e was announced i n a joint communique: G.D.,D,VIII,104,122. Q  ° The agreements arrived at i n Moscow between September 27 and 29 were contained i n a series of documents dated September 28: (G.D.,D,VIII,157-163). The best accounts of the negotiations are given i n Kordt, Wahn and W i r k l i s h k e i t , pp.221-228; Nicht aus den Akten, pp. 344-354; Hilger, p. 295-97. There was a GermanSoviet Boundary and Friendship Treaty. There was a c o n f i d e n t i a l protocol providing for the unhindered migration of Germans to German t e r r i t o r y and of Ukrainians and White Russians to Soviet t e r r i t o r y . The most s i g n i f i c a n t agreement provided for the cession to Germany of Lublin and Warsaw west of the Bug River and the transfer to the Soviet sphere of influence of Lithuania with the exception of i t s southwest corner. A further secret protocol affirmed that both parties would suppress any P o l i s h propaganda on their s o i l aimed at the t e r r i t o r y of the other. The protocols were supplemented by an exchange of two l e t t e r s r e l a t i n g to economic matters. In the f i r s t i t was agreed to promote trade relations vigorously through an exchange of Soviet raw materials for German manufactured goods "over an extended  97 the pros and cons r e l a t i v e to the Soviet plan for the exchange of t e r r i t o r y and on September 28 he appealed to H i t l e r f o r a decision.  Ribbentrop's evaluation was concerned solely with  m i l i t a r y and t e r r i t o r i a l considerations.  His memorandum contains  no hint of the p o l i t i c a l repercussions which a refusal of the Soviet proposals might e n t a i l .  H i t l e r ' s reply has not been  found, although i t was no doubt' positive.  It i s unlikely that  H i t l e r gave his acquiescence for any reason other than the fact that S t a l i n had requested i t .  For the moment Soviet amity was  more v i t a l to H i t l e r than any s p e c i f i c piece of Polish r e a l estate.^-  0  The Moscow pacts of August and September 1939 were signed by H i t l e r with the intention of using them so long as they served his purposes.  Given H i t l e r ' s propensity for adventurism,  they were based upon r e a l i s t i c considerations i n the form of momentarily overlapping German and Soviet interests.  In an address  period." The second provided for the flow of German t r a n s i t over Soviet tracks to third countries and for the delivery to Germany of additional crude o i l i n the amount of the annual production of the area of Drohobyz and Beryslav which Ribbentrop had e a r l i e r attempted to secure for Germany. F i n a l l y the German and Soviet Governments j o i n t l y appealed for peace and hinted darkly at coordinated action i f France and B r i t a i n would not accept the fact of Russo-German hegemony i n Central Europe and sue for peace. 9  G.D.,D,VIII,152.  H i t l e r was not disappointed. The negotiations ended on a f r i e n d l y note and Ribbentrop later stated to anyone who would l i s t e n that during his v i s i t to the Kremlin he had f e l t as though he were among old 'Partei Genossenl' (G.D.,D,VIII,665; G.D.,D,VIII, 501); Kordt, Wahn u. Wirklichkeit, p. 231.  ' to his Commanders-in-Chief on November 23, asserted that the Soviet Union was  1939  them to be to her advantage."  Hitler  as ruthless as he was  would adhere to the pacts "...only so long as she  98  and  considers  He held that Russia harboured  far-reaching ambitions i n the B a l t i c and Balkan and Persian Gulf areas which would inevitably clash with his own foreign policy aims.  The future struggle was not given an i d e o l o g i c a l  basis for H i t l e r claimed that Panslavism would pose as great a threat to German interests as Soviet internationalism.  At  present the Soviet armed forces were weak and "this s i t u a t i o n would obtain for the next one or two years."  In the i n t e r v a l  H i t l e r assumed that the German-Soviet community of interests  12 would p e r s i s t . After the B r i t i s h Government on October 12 rejected H i t l e r ' s peace appeals of September 28 and October 6, H i t l e r realized that continuing Soviet friendship would be an essential ingredient of Nazi power for the impending struggle i n the West; his back would be free i n the east and Soviet raw materials would J  "  L  N.D.  789 - ps  Goring claimed that H i t l e r told him i n late August 1939, "I am determined to work with Russia for a long time." Co'ewit't- C. Poole, "Light on Nazi P o l i c y " , Foreign A f f a i r s , p. 144). On October 2, 1939 H i t l e r stated to Ciano, "Germany wanted to l i v e in peace with Russia...." (G.D.,D,VIII,176). The following month he affirmed to Mussolini that his resolve to cooperate with Russia was fixed. (Galeazzo Ciano, Ciano's Diplomatic Papers, Stuart Hood, t r a n s l . , London, Odham's Press, 1948, p. 364.7. Hilger believes that H i t l e r was resolved for f i v e or six months after the signing of the Moscow pacts that they should last for some years: (Hilger, Kreml, p.290). On November 25, 1939 Raeder informed his senior o f f i c e r s of H i t l e r ' s view "...that as.long as S t a l i n i s i n power, i t i s certain that she w i l l adhere s t r i c t l y to the pact made." (N.D.,170,C,22). 1 2  be put at h i s disposal. H i t l e r ' s determination during the winter of 19391940 to abide s t r i c t l y by the terms of the Moscow pacts was best recorded by his attitude to the Finno-Russian winter war. By the terms of the August 23 Pact Finland had been assigned to the Soviet sphere of i n t e r e s t .  An attempt by the Finnish  Minister i n B e r l i n on October 2 to seek c l a r i f i c a t i o n on this 13 point was not answered.  A week later he was c l e a r l y given  to understand that Germany would d i s i n t e r e s t herself i n the fate of Finland i n the event of a Finno-Russian war. " When 14  war broke out on November 30, 1939 Germany declared her neutrality and German missions abroad were instructed to express sympathy for the Russian v i e w p o i n t . ^  Thereafter by a l l means  short of direct intervention H i t l e r supported the Soviet action. In the naval f i e l d Raeder urged clear-cut support of Soviet i n t e r e s t s ^ and German support was c o n s i d e r a b l e . 1  17  As the war  3 N.S.R.,p.lll. N.S.R.,p.l22. 5 G.D.,D,VIII,423. N.D.170,C,^27. As early as October 27 Molotov had objected to the appearance of German ships i n the Gulf of Finland, which he charged, would be interpreted abroad as "...a power demonstration i n favour of Finland...." (G.D.,D,VIII,305). The following day the Foreign Office deferred to Soviet wishes: (G.D.,D,VIII,309). On December 9 the Soviet Chief of Naval Staff inquired whether Germany would aid i n the blockade of Finland through the supplying with food and f u e l to Soviet submarines i n the B a l t i c . Schulenburg advised support; i t would not affect the outcome of the Finnish war and could form the subject of later German naval counterclaims: (G.D.,D,VIII,433). On the following day H i t l e r gave his approval: (G.D. ,D,VIII, D440_.'J). Hov/ever, German aid i n this respect was never used; two days later the Soviets cancelled i t without giving any explanation: (G.L.Weinberg, Germany and the Soviet Union 1939-1941, Leiden, E.J. B r i l l , 1954,p7B9T. x  1 4  X  1 6  1 7  100 continued  and prospects  of B r i t i s h and French intervention i n  the B a l t i c became more l i k e l y , Germany became interested i n f a c i l i t a t i n g a swift end to the war. January and February 1940,  There i s evidence that i n  Germany offered to mediate between  18  Finland and Russia.  The war  ended on March 12,  1940.  From H i t l e r ' s point of view the results of the FinnoRussian war were not entirely negative.  The Germans were pleased  that the Soviets, through their i s o l a t i o n from third countries. as a result of the P o l i s h and Finnish campaigns, had been pushed 19 farther into their camp.  Moreover, the m i l i t a r y weaknesses  of the Soviet forces as revealed i n the Finnish struggle, seemed a good omen for Germany's future security i n the east. on March 16, 1940 was  Ribbentrop  certain that Soviet weaknesses would  dissuade the Red Army from attacking Roumania and causing  unrest  20 i n the Balkans.  However some voices were raised i n caution.  From Helsinki on March 13,  the Finnophil German Ambassador,  Bliicher, warned that the sudden peace had improved Russia's strategic p o s i t i o n v i s - a - v i s the Scandanavian countries  and  given her a dominating p o s i t i o n i n the Gulf of Finland and 21 Central area of the B a l t i c  the  Sea.  H i t l e r ' s support of Russia during the winter war  was  unequivocal to the point of undermining the Rome-Berlin Axis. The Soviet attack on Finland occasioned anti-Russian demonstraWeinberg, p. 89. tions G i n. DRome i n the r e c a l l i n g of I t a l i a n and . , D , V Iwhich I I , 5 7 4resulted . 1 8  1 9  2 0 2 1  G.D.,D,VIII,665. G.D.,D,VIII,672.  101 Russian Ambassadors  22  from each other's c a p i t a l s i n December.  I t a l i a n sympathies were wholly with the Finns; d a i l y , I t a l i a n volunteers offered their services to the Finnish Embassy i n Rome.  I t a l y was also anxious to ship pursuit planes i n t r a n s i t  through Germany but a Soviet protest i n B e r l i n on December 9 23 prevented that. ~* On January 3 Mussolini f i n a l l y directed a strongly worded l e t t e r to H i t l e r i n which he urged the Fuhrer to keep f a i t h with their revolutions by returning to an a n t i Bolshevist p o l i c y .  He warned that a "...further step i n your  relations with Moscow would have catastrophic repercussions i n 24 ,. Italy...." Two weeks later Weizsacker cautioned that a n t i -  25 Bolshevism was "trump" i n I t a l y .  The sudden end of the winter  war on March 12 was thus welcomed with a sigh of r e l i e f by Hitler.  He could now seriously set about to f a c i l i t a t e a  detente i n Russo-Italian tension. On the other hand,in the Eastern Mediterranean H i t l e r ' s Soviet t i e s were paying handsome dividends.  Following  the outbreak of h o s t i l i t i e s on September 2, Molotov informed Schulenburg that "...the Soviet Government was prepared to work  26 for permanent n e u t r a l i t y of Turkey as desired by (Germany)". I n i t i a l Soviet e f f o r t s to prevent the conclusion of a mutual assistance pact between the western A l l i e s and Turkey f a i l e d G.D.,D,VIII,494. 2 2  2  3 G.D.,D,VIII,432.  2 4  2  G.D.,D,VIII,504.  5 G.D.,D,VIII,548.  2 6  N.S.R.,p.85,86.  See also G.D.,D,VIII,6.  102 on October 19. repeated  T h e r e a f t e r Turkey's n e u t r a l i t y was  Soviet threats.  The  assured  by  Germans found t h i s method of  n e u t r a l i z i n g Turkey so e f f e c t i v e t h a t when rumors a r r i v e d i n March 1940  t h a t the c o n c l u s i o n of a R u s s o - T u r k i s h  i m i n e n t , uneasiness  was  agreement  was  caused i n the German F o r e i g n O f f i c e .  On March 24, W e i z s a c k e r h u r r i e d l y i n s t r u c t e d the German Ambassador i n Turkey to undermine the R u s s o - T u r k i s h I t was  negotiations.  f e a r e d t h a t a d i r e c t rapproachement between the  two  powers would p r o v i d e the B r i t i s h w i t h a b r i d g e on which they c o u l d c r o s s to the R u s s i a n s . secured by keeping  T u r k i s h n e u t r a l i t y was  to be 27  up T u r k i s h f e a r of a R u s s i a n a t t a c k .  To  t h i s end the Germans p u b l i s h e d documents at the b e g i n n i n g  of  J u l y 1940 w h i c h c l e a r l y compromised the p o s i t i o n of the Turks  28 w i t h respect to Russia.  German machinations  were s u c c e s s f u l  and a l r e a d y by the end of A p r i l 1940 Pravda l a s h e d out at the 29 " i n t r i g u e s of the B r i t i s h and F r e n c h i m p e r i a l i s t s " i n Turkey. Nevertheless, Russia's  s h o r t - l i v e d f l i r t a t i o n w i t h Turkey  7  had  l e f t a r e s i d u e of s u s p i c i o n i n Germany. During the w i n t e r of 1939-1940 German l e a d e r s were plagued by the nightmare of a R u s s i a n march i n t o the  Balkans,  w h i c h by the terms of the August 1939 Moscow P r o t o c o l had a s s i g n e d to the S o v i e t sphere of i n t e r e s t . t o d i v e r t R u s s i a from t h i s g o a l .  P l a n s were  On January 8, 1940  been  prepared  a military  and m i l i t a r y - p o l i t i c a l study d e a l i n g w i t h t h i s problem was 27 G.D.,D,IV,10. Max B e l o f f , The F o r e i g n P o l i c y of S o v i e t R u s s i a , 1929-1941, London, Oxford U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1949, I I , p.301. C i t e d i n R o s s i , The Russo-German A l l i a n c e , p.88. 2 8  2 9  103 submitted to Ribbentrop by the Chief of the Operations Office of the O.K.W., General Jodl.3°  i t assumed that Germany's  interest demanded Russia's diversion from the Balkans. sidered the alternatives. was  Action against Indianand  It con-  Afghanistan  not practicable because of the distances involved but a  Russian drive through the Caucausus, Iraq, Iran and Batum would be desirable; i t would divert Russia from the Balkans and simultaneously  threaten B r i t i s h positions.  Although dubious  of Soviet willingness to divert s u f f i c i e n t forces for such an operation, Jodl f e l t that Germanywould at least be j u s t i f i e d i n encouraging Russia towards such an objective.  The above question  has been dealt with in.some d e t a i l to i l l u s t r a t e some of the diplomatic and strategic alternatives open to H i t l e r as he considered his Soviet policy i n the winter of 1939-1940. Thus far one of the least understood problems i n German-Soviet relations i s the e f f e c t which economic collaborat i o n between Germany and Russia had on H i t l e r ' s Soviet p o l i c y . The problem i s not yet solved.  We  are not c e r t a i n of either  the extent of the economic cooperation or the degree to which the German war  effort before June 1941 was  The most we can dare i s an informed guess.  dependent upon i t . Moreover we  face  the question that H i t l e r ' s consciousness of economics as a factor i n foreign policy was p o l i t i c a l and m i l i t a r y terms. H i t l e r was  limited;  H i t l e r thought mainly i n  However, the writer assumes that  not e n t i r e l y oblivious of economic matters.  consideration of this aspect of the problem i s now 3° G.D.,D,VIII,514.  Some  appropriate.  104 The 1939  was  a p o l i t i c a l r a t h e r t h a n an economic i n s t r u m e n t ,  i n scope and effort.  19,  Russo-German economic agreement of August  limited  t h e r e f o r e i n c o n s e q u e n t i a l f o r the German war  R i b b e n t r o p ' s second v i s i t to Moscow was  a t t e n d e d by-  f u r t h e r economic d i s c u s s i o n s w h i c h on September 28 r e s u l t e d i n an exchange of l e t t e r s r e g a r d i n g vided for increased  economic m a t t e r s .  They p r o -  t r a d e based on the exchange of R u s s i a n  raw  m a t e r i a l s f o r German manufactured goods "over an extended p e r i o d " and  f o r the t r a n s i t of German t r a f f i c over S o v i e t t e r r i t o r y  to  31 t h i r d countries.-" interminable  T h i s agreement was  t o form the b a s i s  economic n e g o t i a t i o n s w h i c h , on F e b r u a r y 4,  f i n a l l y r e s u l t e d i n an e x t e n s i v e  agreed t o the d i s 32  p a t c h to Moscow of a German economic d e l e g a t i o n . Schnurre,arrived 33  n e g o t i a t i o n s were begun immediately.~ ~ J  >  the t a l k s , were f a r - r e a c h i n g .  remain i n f o r c e but was  3 4  The  This  dele-  on October 7  German p r o p o s a l s ,  t a i n e d i n a memorandum w h i c h S c h n u r r e had for  1940,  t r a d e agreement.  As e a r l y as September 9 R u s s i a had  g a t i o n , headed by R i t t e r and  of  and con-  p r e p a r e d as an o u t l i n e August 19 T r e a t y was  to  to be supplemented by f u r t h e r agreements  d e s i g n e d t o o f f s e t the e f f e c t s of the A l l i e d b l o c k a d e .  The  of the German p l a n c a l l e d f o r massive d e l i v e r i e s of R u s s i a n  heart raw  m a t e r i a l s w i t h German c o u n t e r d e l i v e r i e s i n the form of manuf a c t u r e d goods and c a p i t a l equipment b e i n g made over an extended 31 G.D.,D,VIII,162,163. 32 G.D.,D,VIII,21 33 G.D.,D,VIII, 237. G.D.,D,VIII, 208. 3 4  105 p e r i o d of up t o f i v e y e a r s .  Schnurre r e a l i z e d t h a t no  agree-  ment would be p o s s i b l e u n l e s s the n e g o t i a t i o n s were t r e a t e d  35 from a p o l i t i c a l , r a t h e r t h a n an economic p o i n t of view. fore  n o  agreement was  intervened.  Two  reached b e f o r e the p r i n c i p a l s  There-  themselves  K r e m l i n c o n f e r e n c e s , p e r s o n a l l y a t t e n d e d by  S t a l i n , were h e l d on January 2 and January 29."^ t h e p o i n t s at i s s u e w i t h o u t s o l v i n g them.  They c l a r i f i e d  Ribbentrop  inter-  vened i n the n e g o t i a t i o n s w i t h a l e t t e r on F e b r u a r y 2.  He  charged the S o v i e t Government w i t h r e n e g i n g on i t s promise t o "...support Germany e c o n o m i c a l l y d u r i n g the war which had been f o r c e d on h e r . "  A t t e n t i o n was  drawn to the Russo-German  p o l i t i c a l u n d e r s t a n d i n g which had n o t h i n g i n common w i t h an o r d i n a r y t r a d e agreement. F i n a l l y R i b b e n t r o p c i t e d the "advance I n i t i a l l y n e g o t i a t i o n s proceeded smoothly and on October 18 R i t t e r r e p o r t e d t h a t a l t h o u g h S o v i e t methods were wearisome "...the g e n e r a l i m p r e s s i o n thus f a r i s not u n f a v o u r a b l e . " (G.D.,D,VIII,272). D i f f i c u l t i e s soon arose and over the next t h r e e months were m u l t i p l i e d . S o v i e t r e q u e s t s were m a i n l y f o r the newest German m i l i t a r y equipment and f o r heavy s h i p s and s h i p ' s equipment. On November 10, 1939 H i t l e r ordered t h a t R u s s i a n r e q u e s t s s h o u l d not be granted a t the expense of German needs. On November 30 the S o v i e t s f i n a l l y p r e s e n t e d a f o r m i d a b l e l i s t of r e q u i r e m e n t s which c o n s i s t e d almost e x c l u s i v e l y of i r o n ore and the l a t e s t types of m i l i t a r y equipment: (G.D.,D,VIII,407, 412,413). On December 5 K e i t e l complained t h a t S o v i e t demands f o r machine t o o l s would c u t i n t o German armament p r o d u c t i o n : (G.D., D,VIII,420). Two days l a t e r f e a r s i n B e r l i n r o s e t h a t t h e economic n e g o t i a t i o n s were headed f o r a breakdown which would have u n f o r e s e e a b l e p o l i t i c a l consequences: (G.D.,D,VIII,430). On December 27 R i t t e r r e p o r t e d t h a t the n e g o t i a t i o n s were bogged down and, w i t h o u t comprehending t h e i r o n y of h i s words, t h a t the R u s s i a n s " . . . a r e t r y i n g t o get a l l they t h i n k they can." (G.D., D,VIII,484,footnote 2). G.D.,D,VIII,584  106  payment" of P o l i s h t e r r i t o r y and B a l t i c interests which Germany had made, with the obvious hint that further payments i n l i k e coin would not be forthcoming i f S t a l i n did not change his •37  attitude.-" effect.  Ribbentrop's diminutive sabre r a t t l i n g had i t s  H i t l e r ' s p o l i t i c a l interest i n buying Soviet n e u t r a l i t y  was probably not as great as Stalin's p o l i t i c a l interest i n buying t i m e .  38  On February 8 S t a l i n broke the impasse.  39  In  addition to offering substantial concessions on the main economic agreement, S t a l i n suddenly agreed to a number of minor German requests which had been l e f t unanswered for months.  In sub-  sequent discussions on the d e t a i l s of the agreements R i t t e r noted that Mikoyan's "previous pettifogging methods" were no 40 longer i n evidence. The economic agreement was signed on the basis of 41 Stalin's compromise proposals on February 11. 3 7  G.D.,D,VIII,594.  3  RIIA, Survey, The I n i t i a l Triumph of„the Axis , 1958y p.408.  8  3 9  :  j  f  G.D.,D,VIII,6000.  G.D.,D,VIII,602. 41 Concessions were made on both sides but Russia's were c l e a r l y of greater magnitude. Germany forewent i t s i n i t i a l demand f o r advance delivery of non-ferrous metals and granted Russia some secret weapons and plans: (Weinberg, p . 6 9 ) . However Germany got her way on the demand that her d e l i v e r i e s should lag behind Russia's. This meant i n fact that Russia'would grant Germany substantial credits at the expense of her own reserves. Soviet deliveries extending over 18 months were to be compensated by German 0 ,_ . , . < : . n compensatory d e l i v e r i e s over 27 months. A balancing according to this schedule was to take place p e r i o d i c a l l y . This last s t i p u l a t i o n meant that i f Germany did not make i t s d e l i v e r i e s promptly Russia could temporarily discontinue her d e l i v e r i e s . This seems to have happened t?jice; i n A p r i l 1940 and again i n September: (G.D.,D,VIII,671; IX,32; RIIA, Survey, I n i t i a l Triumph of Axis, p. 413. 4  0  ;  107 The c o m p l i c a t e d s c h e d u l e a r r i v e d a t Soviet d e l i v e r i e s bears closer maximum l a g b e t w e e n S o v i e t  scrutiny.  reveals  that  the c o n c l u s i o n of the agreement.  a l t h o u g h documentary evidence  is  1941,  e x a c t l y 14 months  One w r i t e r  l a c k i n g , that  suggests,  this fact  c e r t a i n l y have b e e n i n H i t l e r ' s m i n d ??hen he i n i t i a l l y date f o r h i s a t t a c k  on R u s s i a f o r A p r i l  We must now a t t e m p t Soviet  1941.  AO  of t h e agreement RIIA,  its  of  importance  S c h n u r r e r e c k o n e d i n F e b r u a r y 1940  for that  18 months  would approach 1 b i l l i o n R M .  Survey, I n i t i a l Triumph of A x i s ,  the  42  t h e t o t a l S o v i e t d e l i v e r i e s t o Germany d u r i n g t h e life  must  set  an estimate of the extent  e c o n o m i c a s s i s t a n c e t o Germany and o f  t h e German war m a c h i n e .  the  d e l i v e r i e s and German c o u n t e r -  d e l i v e r i e s w o u l d be r e a c h e d on May 1 1 , after  It  f o r German and  pp.407,  4 3  ' 408.  « G.D.,D,VIII,60O. These were t o i n c l u d e l a r g e q u a n t i t i e s o f o i l , p h o s p h a t e s , s c r a p i r o n , p i g i r o n , c o t t o n , chrome o r e s , l e g u m e s , g r a i n , p l a t i n u m , m a n g a n e s e , o r e and l u m b e r : ( G . D . , D , VIII,600). The a g r e e m e n t a l s o made p r o v i s i o n f o r t h e f l o w o f German t r a f f i c t o and f r o m R o u m a n i a and t h e c o u n t r i e s o f t h e M i d d l e E a s t and f o r t h e p u r c h a s e by R u s s i a i n t h i r d c o u n t r i e s o f o t h e r raw m a t e r i a l s e s s e n t i a l t o G e r m a n y ' s w a r e f f o r t : ( S u r v e y , The War and t h e N e u t r a l s , 1956, p . 1 6 ) . Assistance i n t h i s regard was s u b s t a n t i a l . As e a r l y as O c t o b e r 2 9 , 1939 M i k o y a n h a d a g r e e d t o p u r c h a s e raw m a t e r i a l s f o r Germany a b r o a d and have them s h i p p e d on n e u t r a l b o a t s t o B l a c k Sea h a r b o u r s : ( G . D . , D , V I I I , 3 1 4 ) . On November 1 , 1939 t h e S o v i e t Government f u r t h e r a g r e e d t o i m p o r t raw m a t e r i a l s p u r c h a s e d a b r o a d b y , G e r m a n y and s t o r e d under c a m o u f l a g e : ( G . D . , D , V I I I , 3 2 0 ) . In addition a substantial v o l u m e o f s o y a b e a n s and r u b b e r r e a c h e d Germany on t h e T r a n s i b e r i a n Railway from the Far E a s t : (Weinberg, pp.72,73)• An o b j e c t i v e e s t i m a t e of t h e i m p o r t a n c e of a l l t h i s a s s i s t a n c e i s i m p o s s i b l e t h u s f a r ; t h e German Documents c o v e r i n g t h e p e r i o d a f t e r A u g u s t 1940 have n o t b e e n p u b l i s h e d a t t h e t i m e o f t h i s w r i t i n g . N  One writer presumptuously states that Soviet economic assistance to Germany "...was more s i g n i f i c a n t p o l i t i c a l l y than economically  ....; against the B r i t i s h blockade i t was  weak as a weapon and i t s propaganda value i n no way 44 to actual value of the trade turnover...."  far too  corresponded  Against this  argument must be placed the unanimous opinion of the Germans themselves. convinced  In October 1939 the Chief of Naval Operations  was  that Russian offers of assistance were "...so generous 45  that the B r i t i s h blockade w i l l surely f a i l . "  J  Ribbentrop  was  reported to be "very pleased" with the economic agreement concluded i n February 1940  and Schnurre characterized i t as pro-  viding "...a wide open door to the east for us v/hich would 46 decisively weaken the effects of the B r i t i s h blockade." In March 1940 an emissary from Ribbentrop informed Gafencu, the Roumanian Foreign Minister, that "the economic assistance which 47 the Soviets could give to Germany ... might well be d e c i s i v e . " F i n a l l y one writer even questions whether H i t l e r ' s attack on the west would have been as unqualifiedly successful as i t was without Russian o i l and rubber and whether "...the attack on the 48 Soviet Union would have been possible at a l l . " H i t l e r ' s attitude to Russia during the winter of D a l l i n , Soviet Russia's Foreign P o l i c y , p. 427, Weinberg, p. 74. 4 4  cited i n  ^ N.D. 170-C 15. G.D.,D,VIII,636. 47 Grigore Gafencu, Prelude to the Russian Campaign, London, Fletcher-Allen, t r a n s 1 . , London, Frederick Muller, 1945? p.38. Weinberg, Germany and the Soviet Union, p. 7 5 . 4  4 6  109 1939-1940 was dictated by the strategic necessity of keeping his eastern f r o n t i e r quiet while he attacked i n the west.  To  this end he had given Russia diplomatic support i n the B a l t i c area and had i n turn received Stalin's congratulations on h i s conquest  of Norway and Denmark i n A p r i l 1940.  Russia had made  gains through German successes to date; through them the eastern reaches of Poland had f a l l e n to her, the B a l t i c states had been transformed into Soviet dependencies and the A l l i e s had been prevented from aiding Finland. On May 10, 1940,Hitler launched his offensive against the west.  Within six weeks the French campaign was ended;  H i t l e r was confident the B r i t i s h would sue for peace.  If t h i s  assumption were proven correct the arguments i n favour of the Soviet alliance would notlonger obtain and H i t l e r would be free to turn against the east.  However, i f i t were proven false  H i t l e r would have to review the entire p o l i t i c a l and m i l i t a r y situation, for h i s plans did not extend beyond the defeat of France. H i t l e r ' s lightnihgg conquest  of France was deeply  49  disturbing to the Soviets.  They had expected a war of  a t t r i t i o n which would guarantee their security by leaving Germany exhausted.  They were now compelled  of gaining the same end.  to find other means  In June and July the Soviets moved  quickly to secure a glacis i n the north to protect Leningrad and Moscow and one i n the south across the entranee to the Ukraine and the Caucusus. 49 Kordt, Wahn u Wirklichkeit . p. 272.  On June 16, 1940,Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania were completely- occupied by Soviet forces and i n a further series of steps i n June and July f i n a l l y f u l l y incorporated into the Soviet Union.  The German Government was  surprised by Russia's  incorporation of the south-west corner of Lithuania, which was to have f a l l e n to Germany, and over the massing of Russian troops along the German f r o n t i e r , but the main operation had 50  been expected for some time.  In fact German missions  abroad  were instructed to avoid anti-Soviet partisanship i n discussing it.? 1  The reopening of the Balkan problem was expected.  also not un-  The previous October the Soviet Government had  grasped the i n i t i a t i v e i n  the area by proposing a mutual  52 assistance pact to Bulgaria.  The Soviet aim obviously was  to cut Roumania off from the Black Sea and secure a passage to the S t r a i t s .  The outbreak of the F i n n i s h war caused Russia to  suspend i t s i n i t i a t i v e for six months.  However, i t was revived  by Molotov i n a speech on March 29? i n which he hinted at 53  possible Soviet action regarding Bessarabia.  Soviet troops  were concentrated on the Dniester and i n G a l i c i a i n May.  The  Roumanian Government threatened to fight rather than disgorge any t e r r i t o r y and hoped the German dependence on Roumanian o i l 5° N.D. 5  1  5  2  170-C, 58.  G,.D.-,D., . I X ,  465.  G.D.,©,VIII,247.  53 G.D.,D,IX,35; Beloff, I I , p.313-  Ill would encourage H i t l e r to r e s t r a i n the Soviets from attacking 54 Roumania. y  On June 2 3 , Molotov informed Schulenburg that the 5 5  Bessarabian question "...brooked no further delay"  and that  the Soviet Government wished to incorporate Bukovina as well because of i t s Ukrainian population.  The Soviets were deter-  mined to use force i f necessary and expected the German Government to support their action.  As the matter was urgent, Molotov 56 requested a German reply by June 2 5 . H i t l e r ' s policy i n the Balkans since the outbreak of  war had been to keep the area quiet.  Unrest could only  serve  Soviet ends, p a r t i c u l a r l y while German forces were diverted by 57 the assault i n the west.-"  However Soviet r e v i s i o n v i s - a - v i s  Roumania could not be impeded, since Molotov's claims, with the exception of the demand for the Bucovina, were i n accord with the Secret Protocol of August 2 3 ,  1939.  The German reply, con-  tained i n a note transmitted to Molotov on June 2 5 , positive but c a u t i o u s . 5 8 scrupulously observed.  was therefore  The Moscow agreements were to be The Soviet claim to Bessarabia was accepted  and diplomatic support promised.  Soviet designs on the Bucovina  were questioned, p a r t i c u l a r l y as the area had never before been 59 a part of Russia.  German economic interests i n Roumania were  stressed and the hope stated that the Balkans might not become a theatre of war. 54  G.D.,D,IX,345.  5 7 N.D.,1456-PS.  55  G.D.,D,X,4.  5 8 .D.,D,X,13.  56  G.D.,D,X,5.  5 9 ..D.,D,X,20.  G  G  112 The S o v i e t d e c i s i o n on B u c o v i n a , as a r e s u l t of German o b j e c t i o n s , was a compromise.  Schulenburg ¥/as informed  on t h e f o l l o w i n g day t h a t S o v i e t c l a i m s would be l i m i t e d t o the n o r t h e r n B u c o v i n a ; German economic i n t e r e s t s would be r e s p e c t e d ; t h e i n t e r e s t s o f t h e Y o l k s d e u t s c h e would be g i v e n full  consideration. The S o v i e t u l t i m a t u m was p r e s e n t e d i n Bucharest on 61  June 27.  The Roumanian Government proposed t o r e s i s t ; war  seemed i m m i n e n t . ^  2  That same day t h e German Government d e c l a r e d  i t s disinterestedness i n the d i s p u t e ^  3  and a d v i s e d the Roumanian  64  Government - to accept t h e ultimatum.  The f o l l o w i n g day Roumania  u n c o n d i t i o n a l l y accepted S o v i e t demands.^  Germany's t e r r i -  t o r i a l payment i n the Balkans f o r S o v i e t n e u t r a l i t y was t h e r e b y completed. The S o v i e t move a g a i n s t Roumania had e f f e c t s which were f a r - r e a c h i n g .  The u l t i m a t u m , coming a t a time when t h e  Wehrmacht was o c c u p i e d i n t h e west and v i o l a t i n g t h e spheres o f i n f l u e n c e agreement i n t h e case o f B u c o v i n a , r a i s e d H i t l e r ' s suspicions.  Was S t a l i n , f e a r f u l o f German v i c t o r i e s , t r y i n g  to c o n s o l i d a t e h i s d e f e n s i v e p o s i t i o n and open an o f f e n s i v e p e n e t r a t i o n a g a i n s t Germany i n t o t h e B a l k a n s ? G.D.,D,X,25. G.D.,D,X,27. 62 G.D.,D,X,29. 3 G.D.,D,X,31. G.D.,D,X,33. 5 G.D.,D,X,44. H i l g e r , W i r und der K r e m l , pp.208,299. 6 0  6 1  6  6 4  6  6 6  66  113 Nevertheless were set  the Balkans,through R u s s i a ' s  actions,  i n m o t i o n and a s e r i e s o f e v e n t s u n l e a s h e d w h i c h  s e r i o u s l y compromised G e r m a n - S o v i e t  collaboration.  The.  o f t h e s e e v e n t s was n o t a c c i d e n t a l b u t d e s i g n e d by Had H i t l e r d e s i r e d S o v i e t channelled d i f f e r e n t l y . ^ hitherto  Hitler.  f r i e n d s h i p t h e y c o u l d have  7  course  been  F i n a l l y B a l k a n n e u t r a l i t y , w h i c h had  b e e n p r e c a r i o u s l y m a i n t a i n e d , was u p s e t .  The B a l k a n  s t a t e s were c o m p e l l e d t o c h o o s e w i t h whom t h e y w o u l d  coalesce,  68 R u s s i a or Germany. outcome o f t h i s  H i t l e r ' s manoeuvres  again determined  competition.  In the meanwhile the  i d e a o f a n a t t a c k o n R u s s i a was  never completely absent from H i t l e r ' s mind.  However, b e f o r e  J u l y 1 9 4 0 , i t was no more t h a n a v a g u e n o t i o n . h i s m i l i t a r y commanders r i d himself  i n November o f 1939  a German o f f e n s i v e  i n the west.  he c o u l d n o t  counteraction  His c o n v i c t i o n that  maintain, t h i s posture  o f German m i l i t a r y w e a k n e s s . for  " p o l i t i c a l reasons"  German  he was d e t e r m i n e d  and w i t h h o l d f r o m S o v i e t T h u s on O c t o b e r  to  Russia  w o u l d r e m a i n n e u t r a l , was, a f t e r , a l l , b a s e d o n p r e p o n d e r a n t v i s - a - v i s the Red f o r c e s ;  late  H i t l e r had t o l d  that  of doubts over a p o s s i b l e S o v i e t  armed s t r e n g t h  the  to  v i e w any symptom 10,Hitler  a s u g g e s t i o n by R a e d e r  that  rejected  Germany buy 69  U-boats  frora t h e S o v i e t s  o r h a v e them b u i l t i n R u s s i a n s h i p y a r d s .  A s i m i l a r .Admiralty request  o f November 11 was r e j e c t e d  H i t l e r . o n the grounds that S o v i e t ^ W e i n b e r g , p. 1 0 4 . ^ G a f e n c u , P r e l u d e , p.. 50»  boats were of  inferior  by quality  69 N . D . IZO-C,95 The F u h r e r C o n f e r e n c e s o n N a v a l A f f a i r s , r e p r i n t e d i n B r a s s e y ^ T ^ a v a l A n n u a l , New Y o r k , M a c m i l l a n , 1 9 4 8 , p<43. 5  and, more s i g n i f i c a n t l y , t h a t Russia "...should not be allowed to see any of our weaknesses...."  70  Germany could undertake  a m i l i t a r y settlement with Russia only after she was free i n  71 the west.  In January 1940, H i t l e r , confident of a quick  victory i n France i n spring, ordered Raeder to postpone the delivery of naval equipment to Russia as the "favourable development of the war" might permit Germany to avoid their delivery 72 completely.  During the French campaign i n June 1940, with  victory i n sight and the c a p i t u l a t i o n of B r i t a i n assumed, H i t l e r told Jodl that he was determined to s e t t l e with Russia 73 the moment his m i l i t a r y position permitted. J  However this  statement cannot have been more than a conversation piece, for on June 4, H i t l e r informed Raeder that after the defeat of 74 France he planned to reduce the size of the Germany Army. Obviously H i t l e r ' s plans did not yet extend beyond the defeat of France. The end of the fighting i n France, therefore, called for fundamental decisions regarding future war policy.  Hitler,  however,vacillated while he waited for word from London that his "peace terms" had been accepted.  When instead, his offers  were defiantly rejected, H i t l e r was forced to take new  strategic  decisions involving the invasion of B r i t a i n . On July 13 H i t l e r N.D., 17G9C ,21; The Ftihrer Conferences on Naval A f f a i r s , Brassey, p. 47. G.D.,D,VIII,384. N.D.,17»C,54. Weinberg, Germany and the Soviet Union, pp.107,108. G.D.,D,X,75; Galeazzo Ciano, The Ciano Diaries: 1939-1943, H.Gibson, ed., New York,Doubleday, 19467pp.272,273. 7 0  7 1  7 2  7 3  7 4  115 t o l d t h e Army H i g h Command (OKH) t h a t B r i t a i n would be f o r c e d s u r r e n d e r by a d i r e c t a s s a u l t . 7 5  to  On J u l y 16 t h e f i r s t  d i r e c t i v e f o r t h e " . . . l a n d i n g o p e r a t i o n a g a i n s t England...." 76  was i s s u e d .  Nevertheless  t h i s d i d not r e p r e s e n t a f i n a l  d e c i s i o n and H i t l e r c o n t i n u e d t o vvadHl&te.  He remained un-.  e n t h u s i a s t i c about t h e o p e r a t i o n and dubious whether i t c o u l d be accomplished  w i t h a v a i l a b l e n a v a l and a i r u n i t s .  I t was t h i s f r u s t r a t i o n w i t h B r i t a i h w h i c h drove him once more t o c o n s i d e r t h e R u s s i a n problem.  Only J u l y 21 H i t l e r 77  c a l l e d a conference  of h i s t o p m i l i t a r y a d v i s e r s .  p o i n t s o f i n t e r e s t t o t h i s study were made here.  Three F i r s t , the  primary t a s k o f German p o l i c y remained t h e d e f e a t of B r i t a i n . A d i r e c t a s s a u l t a c r o s s t h e channel,however,was c o n s i d e r e d hazardous and would be undertaken o n l y " . . . i f no other means i s l e f t t o come t o terms w i t h B r i t a i n . " t h a t h i s peace o f f e r would be accepted  H i t l e r was s t i l l  hopeful  or that B r i t a i n could  be f o r c e d t o s u r r e n d e r by means o f a d i p l o m a n t i c f r o n t comp r i s i n g S p a i n , J,apan and R u s s i a .  Secondly,  H i t l e r assumed t h a t  B r i t a i n ' s c o n t i n u e d r e s i s t a n c e was based on hopes of American or S o v i e t i n t e r v e n t i o n . H i t l e r d i d not f e a r a S o v i e t a t t a c k but f e l t S t a l i n was " f l i r t i n g " w i t h B r i t a i n t o keep h e r i n t h e war  and prevent  alone.  a s i t u a t i o n where R u s s i a would f a c e Germany  To e l i m i n a t e t h i s f a c t o r , H i t l e r d i r e c t e d t h e O.K.W. t o  75 Haider D i a r y (13 J u l y , 1940), c i t e d i n Weinberg, p. 109. 7° N.D.,P.S.,442. 77 The F u h r e r Conferences on Naval A f f a i r s , Br as say, p. 119; N.D.,170-0,68; Weinberg, pp.109-111; R.Wheatley, O p e r a t i o n Sea L i o n , O x f o r d , C l a r e n d o n P r e s s , 1958, p. 42.  116 make p r e l i m i n a r y s t u d i e s f o r an e a s t e r n o f f e n s i v e w h i c h he i n d i c a t e d might be p o s s i b l e i n t h e f a l l o f 1940.  This i s the  f i r s t e x p l i c i t mention o f a p r o j e c t e d o f f e n s i v e .  Hitler's  i d e a s on t h e B r i t i s h problem, c o n t r a r y t o h i s own s t r a t e g i c 78 maxims,  were o b v i o u s l y b e g i n n i n g  to turn to a  Napoleonic  solution. As a r e s u l t of t h i s c o n f e r e n c e O.K.H. began s t u d i e s of S o v i e t m i l i t a r y s t r e n g t h and d i s p o s i t i o n s and commenced work 79 on o p e r a t i o n a l p l a n s f o r a p o s s i b l e e a s t e r n o f f e n s i v e .  During  the week from J u l y 21 t o 29 H i t l e r c o n s u l t e d f u r t h e r w i t h h i s m i l i t a r y a d v i s e r s and was pursuaded t h a t an a t t a c k on R u s s i a i n t h e f a l l was i m p r a c t i c a b l e .  K e i t e l , i n f a c t , i s s a i d t o hava 80  contested  i n a memorandum t h e whole i d e a o f an e a s t e r n  On J u l y 29 H i t l e r informed  initiative. 81  J o d l of h i s i n t e n t i o n to attack.  J o d l passed t h i s i n f o r m a t i o n on t o h i s O p e r a t i o n s  Staff that  same day and i n s t r u c t e d them t o prepare a d i r e c t i v e  ordering  the massing o f German t r o o p s on t h e German-Soviet border. d i r e c t i v e , designated  This  "Aufbau Ost" was i s s u e d on August 9, 1940.  I t p r o v i d e d f o r t h e improvement o f t h e t r a n s p o r t a t i o n and s u p p l y r o u t e s t o t h e east and was designed  t o overcome those d e f i c i e n Qp  A. H i t made l e r , an Mein R efy 1940 n a l and c i e? s which a t tKampf, a c k i nNew t h eYfoarlkl, o i m p Ho is ts ci hbcloec.k , p. 183. 8  79 Weinberg, op....cit..,~PP. 111,112. 7 9  80  N.C.A.,Supplement B., p.1636.  8 1  Dewitt.. C. P o o l e , " L i g h t on N a z i P o l i c y , " p. 144.  8 2  N.C.A.,Supplement B.,pp.1635,I636.  1939,  117  On July 31 H i t l e r summoned a conference of a l l of Germany's top army and naval commanders to the Berghof.^ No'dae from the Luftwaffe was present.  It was to hear H i t l e r ' s  fundamental decisions regarding future war policy and must thus be considered one of H i t l e r ' s most decisive strategic conferences.  Two  subjects were discussed: the question of an  invasion of B r i t a i n and the problem of Russia. During the previous week the Naval Staff had made a detailed study of the deficiencies i n the n a v a l e s t a b l i s h m e n t which made the landing i n B r i t a i n before the end of September impossible.  Even then i t would be hazardous and the Naval 84  Staff suggested postponement of the invasion t i l l May  1941.  At the conference of July 31 the problems of an attack on B r i t a i n were more c l e a r l y defined.  However, H i t l e r refused to  be dissuaded by l o g i s t i c , naval, a i r or weather problems from his intention to attack B r i t a i n i n the autumn.  If the autumn  invasion did not come off then plans should be made for another attempt i n May,  1941.  H i t l e r seemed frustrated and pessimistic.  Poland,  Denmark, Norway, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and France had a l l f a l l e n l i k e ripe grain before the Nazi scythe. armies were s t i l l intact but his victory was incomplete.  Hitler's The  fact of the channel prevented him from.harvesting the B r i t i s h fields. 8 3  pp.  As he surveyed his Empire he must have asked himself  Haider's Diary (July 3 1 ? 1 9 4 0 ) cited i n G.D.,D,X,Appendix, Weinberg, pp. 115,116.  370-374;  Wheatley, Operation Sea Lion, pp. 44-46.  whether he was to he frustrated i n this f i n a l achievement. It was a  i n this mood of f r u s t r a t i o n , rather than i n 85  . .Geisteszustand ... der an Grossenwahn grenzte...."  that, H i t l e r turned to the question of Russia.  H i t l e r stated  that i f the invasion of B r i t a i n proved more d i f f i c u l t  than  had been expected or did not take place at a l l , the task then would be to "...eliminate a l l factors that l e t England hope for a change i n the s i t u a t i o n . " the United States and Russia. eliminated as power factors.  B r i t a i n placed her hopes i n They then would have to be  How  was  this to be accomplished?  Here H i t l e r ' s argument reached a high degree of.refinement. The solution to a l l of Germany's problems suddenly lay i n the defeat of Russia.  I f Russia were vanquished,  Japan would be  relieved on her western flank and she could then move against B r i t a i n and thus,by threatening the United States i n the P a c i f i c , n e u t r a l i z e her.  Abruptly Russia was  characterized as 86 the factor on "...which B r i t a i n i s relying the most." This statement reveals an advance i n H i t l e r ' s thinking.  For only a  month e a r l i e r H i t l e r had confided to A l f i e r i that Britain's hopes lay primarily i n America and "...perhaps also ... a secret 87 hope as to Russia." America lay beyond reach but Russia was exposed to his Wehrmacht which i n land battle had proved  invincible.  H i t l e r ' s monologue rose to a climax: "With Russia smashed, 5 Hilger, Wir und der Kreml, p. 299. 8  8 6  8 7  Haider's Diary, (July 3 1 , 1940) cited i n G.D.,D,X,Appendix. G.D.,D,X,21.  119  Britain's last hope will, be shattered.... Decision:  Russia's  destruction must therefore be made a part of this struggle. Spring 1941.  The sooner Russia i s crushed, the better."  tentative attack schedule was set.  A  It called for the comple-  t i o n of operations i n f i v e months with the use of some 120 divisions.  Approximately 60 d i v i s i o n s were to hold'the western  front. Hinsley has c o r r e c t l y pointed out that two ambivalent elements helped to make H i t l e r ' s decision.  The f i r s t was  f r u s t r a t i o n that the war could not be ended quickly; the second was  overconfidence  that he could maintain his position i n the 89  west and simultaneously  enslave Russia.  H i t l e r was unwilling  to look facts i n the face and admit that there were factors involved, such as the position of the United States, which he could not d i r e c t l y influence.  He had a p r e d i l e c t i o n for land  battles and,finally,he was deluded regarding his own a b i l i t i e s as a m i l i t a r y s t r a t e g i s t . Moreover,it  i s apparent that the immediate decision  had nothing whatsoever to do with i d e o l o g i c a l considerations 90 or with Lebensraum aspirations.  In the c r u c i a l month of  July no word regarding either of these f e l l from H i t l e r ' s l i p s . However, once the decision was made, he j u s t i f i e d i t on ideological grounds and presented his plans for the enslavement of the 88 F. H. Hinsley, H i t l e r ' s Strategy, Cambridge, University Press, 1951, pp.124-127. N.D.,170-C,32. N.D.,170-0,40. I t must be added that the decision to strike eastward might never have been made had not t h i s idea been kept a l i v e i n H i t l e r ' s mind by his i d e o l o g i c a l and "Lebensraum" frame of reference. 8 9 9 0  120 Russian people as part of an anti-Communist  crusade.  It i s obvious from Haider's account of the July 31 Berghof conference that H i t l e r ' s remarks s i g n i f i e d a d e f i n i t e decision to make m i l i t a r y and diplomatic preparations for an attack on Russia.  The documents e x p l i c i t l y speak of a "decision"  rather than of a possible venture.  Moreover,the immediate  repercussions i n the m i l i t a r y and diplomatic f i e l d s further indicate that fundamental decisions regarding H i t l e r ' s eastern policy had been reached. The basic pattern of H i t l e r ' s strategy was thus apparent. of 1940.  The primary goal was to crush B r i t a i n i n the f a l l However,if B r i t a i n held out during the winter,another  attack "might" be made i n spring.  At the same time the object  of Britain's hopes, Russia, would have to be eliminated.  An  attack on Russia was to be used as a t a c t i c to bring B r i t a i n to her knees.  A l t e r n a t i v e l y i f B r i t a i n were eliminated, an  attack on Russia i n the following spring could become H i t l e r ' s strategic goal. Diplomatic and m i l i t a r y preparations for the attack on Russia were speedily begun.  The most obvious repercussion  i n the diplomatic f i e l d was i n H i t l e r ' s changed attitude to Finland.  During the winter war of 1939-1940 Germany had  supported Russia unqualifiedly. But H i t l e r ' s plans of July 31 for an attack on Russia called for.Finnish p a r t i c i p a t i o n and 91  Hilger, Wir und der Kreml, p.299. H i t l e r ' s propaganda was so effective that even such an acute writer as Hilger has f a l l e n victim to i t : "He became more and more convinced that he was called by fate to destroy Bolshevism and that he was not permitted to rest u n t i l he had conquered for the German people their r i g h t f u l Lebensraum." y  121 d i c t a t e d a course o f rapprochement. t h a t R u s s i a was p r e p a r i n g  S i g n s i n J u l y and August  t o a t t a c k F i n l a n d , put H i t l e r ' s  plans  i n j e o p a r d y , so he moved t o c o n s o l i d a t e h i s p o s i t i o n . He was determined not t o forego  the strategic  advantage o f c o n t r o l l i n g a F i n n i s h b r i d g e h e a d f o r an o f f e n s i v e from t h e n o r t h .  T h e r e f o r e on August 14, H i t l e r ordered t h a t  F i n l a n d was t o be s u p p l i e d w i t h m i l i t a r y equipment.  Word, o f  H i t l e r ' s support of F i n l a n d reached H a i d e r on August 22. H i s d i a r y evinces  s u r p r i s e : " R e v e r s a l o f a t t i t u d e of Fuhrer w i t h  respect to F i n l a n d .  Support w i t h arms and a m m u n i t i o n . "  the f o l l o w i n g days H a i d e r r e c o r d e d  92  In  f u r t h e r t h a t F i n l a n d was  t o be s u p p l i e d w i t h a i r p l a n e s and, i n t h e event o f S o v i e t 93 Petsamo was t o be o c c u p i e d . Negotiations with F i n n i s h O f f i c i a l s were begun and on September 12 an arms-purchase 94 agreement was concluded.  attack,  Meanwhile G o r i n g had d i r e c t e d t h e  A i r M i n i s t r y t o supply F i n n i s h o r d e r s p r o m p t l y .  On August 30  he informed Thomas t h a t t h e F u h r e r would f i n d any f u r t h e r R u s s i a n p o l i t i c a l o r m i l i t a r y advance on t h e European "displeasing".  continent  The S o v i e t s were t o be i n f o r m e d of German  assistance to Finland with the i n t e n t i o n of dissuading  them  9 5  from moving f o r w a r d .  y  A f u r t h e r German F i n n i s h agreement, pro-  v i d i n g f o r t h e t r a n s i t o f German t r o o p s and equipment t h r o u g h H a i d e r D i a r y (Aug. 22, 1940), G.D.,D,X,366, f o o t n o t e 2. 93 Loc. c i t . 9 2  9 4  Weinberg, op. c i t . , p. 127.  95 N.D. 1456-P.S.; G.D.,D,X,366,  f o o t n o t e 2.  122 F i n l a n d was signed on September 22. entered F i n l a n d .  96  German t r o o p s  immediately  Molotov was a g i t a t e d and questioned t h e  97  4  Charge i n Moscow on these t r o o p movements.  Frantic corres-  pondence on b o t h s i d e s r e v e a l e d t h e degree o f Russia'is c o n c e r n . A l l o f t h i s was t o H i t l e r ' s l i k i n g and on September 26 he conf i d e d t o Raeder t h a t h i s s w i f t a c t i o n had saved t h e F i n n i s h s i t u a t i o n f o r Germany and t h a t no c o m p l i c a t i o n s were t o be  98 expected t h a t year. had  On H i t l e r ' s i n i t i a t i v e t h e d i s p u t e  e x a c e r b a t e d German-Soviet r e l a t i o n s . The p o l i c y d e c i s i o n o f J u l y 31  w  a  s  further reflected  i n t h e German a t t i t u d e t o R u s s o - I t a l i a n r e l a t i o n s .  In the  p e r i o d i m m e d i a t e l y f o l l o w i n g t h i s f a t e f u l Berghof c o n f e r e n c e , H i t l e r ' s i n t e r e s t i n a R u s s o - I t a l i a n rapprochement began t o wane.  E a r l i e r , H i t l e r had been w i l l i n g t o s a c r i f i c e F i n l a n d  and even j e o p a r d i z e t h e R o m e - B e r l i n A x i s i n order t o keep Soviet f r i e n d s h i p .  F o l l o w i n g t h e W i n t e r War t h e F o r e i g n  O f f i c e had c o n s i s t e n t l y t r i e d t o improve r e l a t i o n s between Germany and I t a l y .  A b r u p t l y t h e German p o s i t i o n was r e v e r s e d .  However, On August 17, R i b b e n t r o p informed A l f i e r i t h a t "... the German Government does not d e s i r e t h a t . . . ( I t a l y ) make t o o go c l o s e a rapprochement w i t h R u s s i a . . . . "  7 /  This r e v e r s a l  o b v i o u s l y had t o do w i t h a p o l i c y d e c i s i o n o f some magnitude. 96 N.S.R.,pp.201-203. 97 N.S.R.,pp. 198-199. N.D.,-170-C,86. 99 See p a r t i c u l a r l y G.D.,D,IX,6,11,21,34,263,280,346,359, 9 8  381,520.  123  S i m i l a r l y diplomatic preparations for an eventual attack were begun i n the Balkans.  Soviet action against  Roumania i n late June 1940 had unleashed a wave of r e v i s i o n i s t sentiment i n Bulgaria and Hungary.  On June 27 the governments  of both countries urged Germany to support their claims against Roumania.-*-  00  Simultaneously,  the Roumanian Government turned  to Germany for security and requested both a t e r r i t o r i a l guarantee^ ''" and the dispatch to Bucharest of a German m i l i t a r y 0  102 mission.  The l a t t e r request was repeated on July 13.  The  o f f i c i a l l i n e which the Foreign Office took i n early July was that Germany had no p o l i t i c a l but only economic interests i n the Balkans.  Germany therefore desired t r a n q u i l i t y i n the area.  She sympathized with legitimate r e v i s i o n i s t claims but would only support them after peace returned to Europe.' ' 1  03  The  Bulgarians and Hungarians, however, would not be quieted by Ribbentrop's honeyed words and threatened m i l i t a r y action against Roumania.  On July 4 B e r l i n gave way and instructed i t s Minister  in Bucharest to urge the Roumanian Government to enter voluntari l y into negotiations with Bulgaria and Hungary for the cession 104 of land to them. Meanwhile reports were c i r c u l a t i n g that the Soviet Union i n the period from July 5 to 9 had turned a f r i e n d l y ear to Bulgarian and Hungarian aspirations and promised to support 1°° their 1°1 1°2 103 1°4 5 1 0  G.D.,D,X,37,38. claims against Roumania. G.D.,D,X,68. G.D.,D,X,80. G.D.,D,X,70,73,75. G.D.,D,X,80. G.D.,D,X,119,165.  105  This prospect was c l e a r l y  124 disquieting to H i t l e r .  It would put those countries i n Russia's  debt and thereby threaten Germany's Balkan interests.  More-  over, as Ribbentrop intimated on July 8, a war i n the Balkans 106 might lead to a linkup of England and Russia i n the area. If the Balkans were not to f a l l to Russia by default, H i t l e r had to do something quickly.  On July 1% he personally  intervened to urge the Roumanian monarch to i n i t i a t e negotiations with Bulgaria and Hungary.  107  During the next two weeks  H i t l e r ' s decision to s e t t l e with Russia was made.  It envisaged  the use of Balkan t e r r i t o r y , man power and raw materials and therefore c a l l e d for Roumanian, Hungarian and Bulgarian collaboration.  H i t l e r ' s moves to secure the Balkans for  Germany culminated i n the Second Vienna Award of August  30«  Through i t , he f i r s t put Bulgaria and Hungary i n his debt by compelling Roumania to cede part of the Dobrudja to Bulgaria and part of Transylvania to Hungary.  Then, i n a masterstroke  of diplomacy, he secured Roumania's allegiance by offering her a t e r r i t o r i a l guarantee.  The immediate  effect of H i t l e r ' s  gction was to establish German hegemony i n the whole of Southeastern Europe.  The date of the decision which culminated i n  this development  i s instructive regarding H i t l e r ' s motives.  German interest i n supporting Bulgarian and Hungarian r e v i s i o n i s t G.D.,D,X,129. G.D.,D,X,171. 108 G.D.,D,X,408,409,410,413. The guarantee read: "Germany and I t a l y assume as of today the guarantee for the i n t e g r i t y and i n v i o l a b i l i t y of the Roumanian national t e r r i t o r y . " 1 0 6  1 0 7  125 c l a i m s dated from e a r l y J u l y .  However H i t l e r ' s i d e a o f a  t e r r i t o r i a l guarantee o f Roumania f i r s t appears i n the docur  1°9  ments on J u l y 26.  I t was repeated by H i t l e r on J u l y 27,  and was b a s i c t o h i s p l a n s of J u l y 3 1 . was  1 1 1  110  I n them Roumania  d e s t i n e d t o f u l f i l l t h e same f u n c t i o n a g a i n s t R u s s i a i n  the south t h a t F i n l a n d was t o f u l f i l l  i n the north.  statements by H i t l e r on August 31 support  Moreover,  t h e argument t h a t t h e  112 guarantee of Roumania was d i r e c t e d a g a i n s t R u s s i a . developments i n the Balkans  The  i n the c r u c i a l months of J u l y and  August thus appear both as a cause and as an e f f e c t o f H i t l e r ' s decision to attack Russia.  S o v i e t a c t i v i t y i n the  t i l l t h e end o f J u l y argued i n f a v o u r o f an a t t a c k .  Balkans Develop-  ments t h e r e a f t e r stemmed l a r g e l y from the d e c i s i o n t o p r e p a r e an a t t a c k . The V i e n n a Award caught t h e S o v i e t Government by surprise.  I n f a c t H i t l e r d i d n o t see f i t t o have Molotov i n 113  formed o f t h e award u n t i l August 31.  The S o v i e t s o b j e c t e d  to t h i s a c t i o n by h u r l i n g a s e r i e s o f charges a g a i n s t t h e German Government. was  The hollowness  o f German p r o t e s t a t i o n s  e s t a b l i s h e d beyond doubt by t h e d i s p a t c h o f German t r o o p s 114  to Roumania i n l a t e September. ^ i. ,. German a c t i o n i n the Balkans a conscious provocation of R u s s i a . 1 0 9  G.D.,D,X,234.  1 1 0  G.D.,D,X,245.  1 1 1  H2  and i n F i n l a n d had been  The t r o o p movement,  Haider M a r y ( J u l y 3 D , G.D. ,D,X,Appendix, pp.370-374. H a i d e r D i a r y (August 3 1 ) , G.D. ,D,X,415,footnote 2, p. 590;  N.D.,170-C,50.  H 3 N.S.R.,pp.178-181. 114 Weinberg, o p . c i t . p.131.  126 following hard upon the German guarantee of Roumania strengthened the Soviet Government i n i t s suspicions that i t was systematically excluded from a f f a i r s i n the Balkans.  being The  ostensible purpose of the troops was to act as training units within the Roumanian Army '' but their r e a l purpose was to 11  prepare the ground for a joint German-Roumanian offensive . „ . 116 against Russia. The resulting tension i n Russo-German relations represented a calculated r i s k , p a r t i c u l a r l y with respect to Russo-German trade r e l a t i o n s .  These r e l a t i o n s had been 1  developing p o s i t i v e l y on the basis of the February delivery schedules after the trade bottlenecks of March and A p r i l . July 22,  On  1940,Schnurre reported exceptional Soviet accommo-  dation on transportation and d e l i v e r i e s during the preceding months but warned that d i f f i c u l t i e s could be expected i n the future because German d e l i v e r i e s were running behind Soviet deliveries to a greater extent than the February agreement 117 provided.  Following the July 31 decision H i t l e r must have  been anxious to maintain the flow of Russian raw materials into Germany u n t i l shortly before the projected attack.  To ensure  t h i s , economics would have to be insulated from p o l i t i c s to the greatest possible extent.  German d e l i v e r i e s would have to  be f u l f i l l e d according to schedule.  On August 14, two weeks  after the July 31 Berghof conference, Goring informed Thomas, 5 N.S.R.,p.206. 1 1  1 1  ^ N.D.,C-53j cited i n Weinberg, op.cit.,p.131. G.D.,D,X,206.  1 1 7  12$  head of the War  Economics Department of the O.K.W., that  "...the Fuhrer desires punctual d e l i v e r i e s to the Russians only t i l l the spring of 1941.  Later we would have no interest 11 8  in satisfying Russian wishes f u l l y . "  The implication was  obvious. Closely intertwined with the economic repercussions of the decision to attack Russia were the m i l i t a r y repercussions.  F i r s t to be affected was the size of the m i l i t a r y  establishment.  Early i n July a reduction i n the size of the  armed forces had been projected.  This development was  abruptly reversed by H i t l e r ' s decision to attack B r i t a i n and to plan an attack on Russia. 31,  His plans, as outlined on July  called for an army of 180 d i v i s i o n s .  On August 17  ordered commencement of work on an army t h i s  Keitel  s i z e . T h e  comprehensive order for the buildup of the army to 180 120 divisions was  issued by the O.K.W. on September 10.  Simultaneously,the east was  begun.  movement of German troops to the  Following reports i n late August of Soviet  troop concentrations i n Bessarabia and Bucovina, Hitler, on August 26,ordered strengthened  that German forces i n Poland were to be 121  by the addition of 12 d i v i s i o n s .  purpose, to prepare an eastern offensive, was 118  N.D.  Their true to be disguised  2353-PS.  N.D. ,:i456"rrPSo, cited i n Weinberg, op. c i t . , p. 119. Haider Diary (July 3 D , G.D.,D,X, footnote 1, p. 373. 121 war Diary Wehrmacht Operations Staff (August 2 6 ) , G.D.,D,X,549-550; G.D.,D,X,389-396. The Fuhrer Conferences on Naval A f f a i r s , Brassey, p.132. '  : 1 1 9  1 2 0  128 as a defensive maneuvre to protect German interests i n the  122 Balkans.  * The navy too became involved i n the m i l i t a r y pre-  parations against Russia.  On August 13 Raeder was instructed  to strengthen the f o r t i f i c a t i o n s of the northern Norwegian fiords "...so that Russian attacks there would have no chance of success, and the foundation for occupying Petsamo would be  laid."  1 2 3  I n the meantime o p e r a t i o n a l s t u d i e s f o r the e a s t e r n offensive were commenced. begun i n late August.  Preliminary studies were already  On September 3 General Paulus was  charged  with the task of preparing a detailed operational plan for the 124 attack on Russia.  By early November the plan was  completed.  At a conference of high ranking m i l i t a r y leaders on November 4 i t , as well as Germany's proposed intervention i n Greece i n support of Italy, were examined.  Although H i t l e r expected 125  Russia to remain neutral i n the Greek offensive, "the problem of Soviet n e u t r a l i t y was  to be discussed during Molotov's  forthcoming v i s i t to B e r l i n .  In the meantime, preparations for  the " O s t f a l l " were to be continued.  On November 12 H i t l e r  issued d i r e c t i v e 18 on the conduct of the war.  It coincided  with Molotov's a r r i v a l i n B e r l i n and had something to say regarding i t .  The d i r e c t i v e contained H i t l e r ' s decisions on  matters previously discussed and indicated no withdrawal from N.D.,1229-P.S. 1 2 2  123 Fuhrer Conferences,  Brassey, p.126; N.D.  170-C,76.  !24 Weinberg, op. c i t . , p.126. 1 2  5  N.D.,170-C,95; Fuhrer Conferences,  Brassey, p.146.  129 his decision to attack Russia.  On the contrary i t treated  Molotov's v i s i t as an event of no consequence and ordered "...whatever result this conference has, preparations are to be continued for the Eastern campaign." ^ 12  No detailed  directive regarding the campaign had yet been issued but t h i s was solely because plans were not yet completed.  Hitler 7  promised one as soon as he had approved the plans of the army.  These plans, l o g i s t i c a l and operational, were gathered  together by Haider and presented to H i t l e r on December  5 .  1  2  7  H i t l e r agreed to them and ordered that they, together with plans from the O.K.W., be synthesized into a detailed d i r e c t i v e . This synthesis was issued by H i t l e r on December 9 as Directive  128 21 and given the code name " F a l l Barbarossa." The operational planning leading to the December 8 directive for the attack on Russia has been treated i n some d e t a i l to show that i t was the l o g i c a l culmination of a process i n i t i a t e d by H i t l e r ' s decision of July 31-  As such i t was  "...merely a summing up of plans already worked o u t . " directive was not issued e a r l i e r because the preparatory 1 2 9  studies were not completed.  The  It had nothing to do with doubts  i n H i t l e r ' s mind concerning the attack as some writers s u g g e s t .  130  These doubts did i n fact exist,but the date on which Directive 21 126 Fuhrer Conferences, Brassey, p. l66;N.D.,444-P.S. 1 2 7  N.D.,1799-P.S.  1 2 8  N.D.,446-P.S.; N.S.R.,pp.260-264«  1 2 9  Weinberg, Germany and the Soviet Union, p.139.  1 3 0  Hinsley, H i t l e r ' s Strategy, p.  109.  130 was i s s u e d does n o t e l u c i d a t e them. s e q u e l t o Molotov's  Nor was t h e d i r e c t i v e a 131  v i s i t t o B e r l i n on November 12 and 13.  I n t h e meantime, Germany took other measures w h i c h f u r t h e r e x a c e r b a t e d German S o v i e t r e l a t i o n s .  The T r i p a r t i t e  Pact was s i g n e d by Japan, I t a l y and Germany i n B e r l i n on 132 September 27, 1940. -  J  The purpose of t h e Treaty, from t h e German  view p o i n t , was p r i m a r i l y t o encourage Japanese a g g r e s s i o n a g a i n s t B r i t a i n and t o f r i g h t e n t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s i n t o permanent n e u t r a l i t y .  I t was a l s o hoped t h a t R u s s i a would be  pursuaded t o renounce her i n t e r e s t s i n t h e B a l k a n s . came as a s u r p r i s e t o R u s s i a .  The P a c t  She was not informed o f t h e  T r e a t y t i l l t h e day p r e v i o u s t o i t s s i g n a t u r e . ^  3 3  On September  26 t h e German Charge d ' A f f a i r e s i n Moscow, v o n T i p p e l s k i r c h , on i n s t r u c t i o n s from R i b b e n t r o p , assured Molotov t h a t t h e T r e a t y would not a f f e c t e x i s t i n g good r e l a t i o n s between Germany and R u s s i a , but a n t i c i p a t i n g a p r o t e s t , T i p p e l s k i r c h added t h a t an i n v i t a t i o n f o r Molotov t o come t o B e r l i n would soon be f o r t h coming.  Molotov r e s e r v e d comment on t h e T r e a t y but pressed  T i p p e l s k i r c h f o r an e x p l a n a t i o n of t h e l a n d i n g o f German t r o o p s 134 in Finland.  F u r t h e r S o v i e t p r o t e s t s c o n c e r n i n g German t r o o p  movements i n t o both F i n l a n d and Roumania were made i n t h e • ^ l See H i l g e r , o p . c i t . , p.303 f o r t h e o p p o s i t e view; a l s o P a u l Schmidt, S t a t i s t auf D i p l o m a t i s c h e r Biihne, p. 514. 132 N.D.,2643-P.S. 133 N.S.R.,pp.195-196. 1 3 4  N.S.R.,pp.197-198.  131 following days. H i t l e r was determined  not to withdraw from his  positions either i n Finland or the Balkans.  The idea of a  delimitation of interests on a world wide scale,which was broached to Molotov by Ribbentrop i n a l e t t e r on October  13,  was designed to divert Russia from these areas and to conceal from Soviet eyes the functions for which they were to be used.  1  However, H i t l e r s i n v i t a t i o n to Molotov to v i s i t B e r l i n i n 1  November was not intended solely as a diversionary strategem. No doubt H i t l e r was  interested i n discovering Soviet plans for  the coming months.  Possibly,he was even w i l l i n g to revoke his  decision to attack Russia i f Molotov would agree to his proposals for a long term delimitation of interest. did not expect to have his proposal accepted.  Anyway, he  On the day of  Molotov's a r r i v a l the already discussed order was given that plans for the attack on Russia already i n progress were to be continued.  At any rate,a meeting with Molotov could do no harm  35 N . S . R . p p . 2 0 3 - 2 0 4 ; 206-207, 147:-p.?>~7~2;:.3. On October 13 Ribbentrop directed a 15 page l e t t e r to S t a l i n . F i r s t he put up an elaborate defense of" German policy and t r i e d to gloss over those developments which were most disquieting to Moscow. Ribbentrop's intentions may even have been honest for i t i s not at a l l certain that H i t l e r took Ribbentrop into his confidence regarding his e a r l i e r decisions. The substance of Ribbentrop's apologia was a s i l l y indictment of B r i t i s h policy. Roumania had received a t e r r i t o r i a l guarantee to protect German economic interests i n the Balkans against B r i t i s h intrigues. The German troops i n Roumania were there as instruction units and to safeguard German interests against B r i t a i n . German troop landings in Finland were represented as supply movements into Norway. The T r i p a r t i t e Pact was not aimed at the Soviet Union but should, on the contrary, f a c i l i t a t e a Russo-Japanese rapprochement. If this did not convince Molotov, Ribbentrop hoped that his peroration would at least divert his attention. In i t Ribbentrop proposed a grandiose delimitation of interests among the Soviet Union, I t a l y , Japan and Germany. N.S.R.,pp.207-213.  136  Ciano, Diplomatic Papers, p. 406.  132 and,if the Soviets were obstinate, at least Hitl'er:l?;o ialdeha ve a pretext for his assault. Molotov arrived i n B e r l i n on November 12 and conversations were begun forthwith. soon revealed that H i t l e r was  The tenor of the  conversations  determined not to draw back from  his positions of influence i n the Balkans and i n Finland.  Further  Russian interests i n Europe were to be repulsed and Russian energy diverted towards the Persian Gulf. were apparent from the outset.  The German t a c t i c s  At the f i r s t session Ribbentrop  t r i e d to lay down a conference agenda of three points:  Russia's  association with the T r i p a r t i t e Pact, a delimitation of extraEuropean spheres of influence among Russia, Japan, Italy,  and 13'  Germany and a r e v i s i o n of the S t r a i t s Regime i n favour of Russia. Molotov soon showed that he was  not to be diverted  from discussing the Balkan and Finnish questions. H i t l e r as an equal and pricked his grandiloquent  He  faced  and vague pro-  posals for the diversion of the "bankrupt B r i t i s h estate" with pointed  questions. The Finnish question was  looked on by Molotov as the  touchstone of Russo-German r e l a t i o n s .  It was  the last t e r r i t o r y  assigned to Russia i n the Moscow agreements which had not been incorporated  into the Soviet Union.  German troop movements and  arms shipments were preventing Russia from absorbing  it.  Molotov  demanded that Finland be dealt with on the basis of the spheres of influence agreement.  H i t l e r t r i e d to evade the question  j u s t i f y German action i n Finland on the grounds of wartime  137  N . S . R . ,ppp.  217-255.  and  133 necessity. Baltic.  H i t l e r warned M o l o t o v t o keep t h e peace i n t h e  The f a c t t h a t one t h i r d o f the d i s c u s s i o n s i n B e r l i n  were devoted t o t h e F i n n i s h q u e s t i o n a t t e s t s t o t h e urgency w i t h w h i c h i t was regarded by R u s s i a and t h e i n t r a n s i g e n c e o f t h e German p o s i t i o n . M o l o t o v f u r t h e r demanded t h a t Germany revoke i t s guarantee o f Roumania.  When H i t l e r c a t e g o r i c a l l y r e f u s e d t o  do t h i s , M o l o t o v countered w i t h a q u e s t i o n o f a R u s s i a n to B u l g a r i a .  H i t l e r evaded t h i s q u e s t i o n  B u l g a r i a had requested  by a s k i n g i f  t h e guarantee and by s t a t i n g t h a t he  c o u l d n o t g i v e an o p i n i o n w i t h o u t  f i r s t consulting Mussolini.  Molotov made t h e s a t i s f a c t o r y s e t t l e m e n t a p r e c o n d i t i o n of R u s s i a ' s The  guarantee  o f the B a l k a n  adhesion to the T r i p a r t i t e  question Pact.  S o v i e t Union was not i n p r i n c i p l e opposed t o j o i n i n g t h e  A x i s Powers b u t f i r s t r e q u i r e d more p r e c i s e I n f o r m a t i o n on i t s nature and purposes. Minister l e f t  On November 13 t h e S o v i e t  Foreign  Berlin.  M o l o t o v ' s two day v i s i t had a l t e r e d n o t h i n g . the n o r t h e r n and southern for  Both  pincers of H i t l e r ' s projected f r o n t  t h e d r i v e a g a i n s t R u s s i a were s t i l l i n German hands.  There  had been no agreement because H i t l e r had n o t sought agreement. I n August 1939 he had been w i l l i n g t o make g i g a n t i c t e r r i t o r i a l concessions  f o r Soviet n e u t r a l i t y .  Payment had been c e r t a i n .  I n t h e f a l l o f 1940,however,he was not even w i l l i n g t o g i v e R u s s i a h e r r i g h t f u l due i n F i n l a n d .  I t can indeed be argued  138 F o r t h e o p p o s i t e view t h a t Molotov's v i s i t marked t h e o c c a s i o n f o r H i t l e r ' s d e c i s i o n t o s e t t l e w i t h R u s s i a see W e i z s a c k e r , E E r i n n e r u n g e n , pp.304,305.  134 t h a t H i t l e r ' s stand on the B a l k a n s was  d i c t a t e d by h i s p l a n s  to i n t e r v e n e i n Greece,but the same cannot be s a i d w i t h to F i n l a n d .  Moreover, H i t l e r ' s p r o p o s a l s  regard  f o r an e x t r a European  sphere of i n f l u e n c e agreement was  f a r - f e t c h e d and the promised  t e r r i t o r i a l gains uncertain.  f a c t t h a t Molotov had  The  l e t h i m s e l f be b l u f f e d strengthened s e t t l e with Russia. was  still  not  H i t l e r ' s determination  to  On November 14 Raeder observed t h a t H i t l e r  " . . . i n c l i n e d towards a d e m o n s t r a t i o n w i t h R u s s i a . F o l l o w i n g Molotov's departure  The  Russia  f a i l u r e of the B e r l i n c o n v e r s a t i o n s  used as the p r e t e x t f o r t h e p r e p a r a t i o n s . wrote to M u s s o l i n i t h a t M o l o t o v ' s v i s i t had t h a t he was  39  from B e r l i n on November  1 3 , p o l i t i c a l and m i l i t a r y p r e p a r a t i o n s f o r t h e a t t a c k on were a c c e l e r a t e d .  ,,1  On November 20  was Hitler  "...made i t p l a i n  becoming i n c r e a s i n g l y i n t e r e s t e d i n the  Balkans."  Molotov's l e t t e r of November 25 added f u e l to these c h a r g e s . Meanwhile the p l a n n i n g f o r " O p e r a t i o n  Barbarossa"  1 4 0  1 4 1  had  39 N.D. 170-C,98. On November 25 a f t e r h i s r e t u r n to Moscow Molotov t r a n s m i t t e d to Schulenburg h i s Government's c o n d i t i o n s f o r the a c c e s s i o n of R u s s i a t o the proposed Four Power P a c t : (N.S.R.,p.258,259)• They merely covered the same ground w h i c h had been gone over d u r i n g M o l o t o v ' s v i s i t to B e r l i n . German troops were t o be withdrawn ffom F i n l a n d i n exchange f o r a S o v i e t assurance t o keep the peace i n the a r e a . B u l g a r i a was t o s i g n a mutual a s s i s t a n c e pact w i t h R u s s i a and g i v e S o v i e t f o r c e s a base w i t h i n s t r i k i n g d i s t a n c e of the D a r d a n e l l e s . The area i n the d i r e c t i o n of the P e r s i a n G u l f was to be r e c o g n i z e d as the c e n t r e o f . S o v i e t a s p i r a t i o n s . F i n a l l y ^ J a p a n was,,to renounce her c l a i m s t o r a w ^ m a t e r i a i s c o n c e s s i o n s ^ i r i N o r t h e r n S a k h a l i n . The memorandum merely strengthened H i t l e r ' s view t h a t the f u l f i l l m e n t of S o v i e t terms f o r a l o n g range u n d e r s t a n d i n g would put i n jeopardy Germany's proposed jump o f f spots f o r the i n v a s i o n of R u s s i a . The p r o p o s a l s were never answered d e s p i t e the f a c t t h a t R u s s i a c o n t i n u e d u n t l l F e b r u a r y t o ask f o r a r e p l y . N.S.R.,pp.270-271. C i t e d i n R o s s i , The Russo-German A l l i a n c e , p. 172. N.S.R.,pp.258,259. 1  1 4 0  1 4 1  1  135 been complicated  by the f a i l u r e of Mussolini's offensive  against Greece.  Before the attack on Russia could commence  the right flank of H i t l e r ' s anti-Russian front would have to be consolidated.  The Balkan states would have to be tied even  more securely to the Axis and a path cleared into Greece.  On  November 20, a scant week after Molotov's return to Moscow, Hungary was  pursuaded to join the T r i p a r t i t e Pact.  later Roumania followed suit and Slovakia was sign.  Bulgaria was now  Three days  also induced to  the last state separating Germany from 142  Greece and Russo-German tensions now  focussed on her.  Molotov offered Bulgaria a mutual assistance pact i n late November.  His proposal was  rejected.  Thereafter the German  Government increased i t s pressure on Bulgaria and despite repeated  Soviet threats secured Bulgarian adherence to the 143 T r i p a r t i t e Pact on March 1. German forces could now be massed on the Greek f r o n t i e r and the Luftwaffe put i n bombing 144 range of the Ukraine and the Caucusus. The Soviet reaction 145 J  was  increased sullenness.  Tension reached a peak i n the  following days with the Yugoslav c r i s i s .  On March 25 the  Yugoslav Government reluctantly signed with the Axis. internal Yugoslav c r i s i s was c i r c l e s ; the Government was 1 4 2  X 4  3  1 4 4  1 4  5  thereby unleashed by pro-Soviet overthrown and a  pro-Russian  Kordt, Wahn undWlrklichkeit, p. 287. N.S.R.,p.276. RIIA, Survey, The I n i t i a l Triumph of the Axis, p. N.D.,170-C,  128.  An  396.  136 Government i n s t a l l e d .  Y u g o s l a v i a ' s a l l i a n c e w i t h Germany was  r e p u d i a t e d and a t r e a t y of f r i e n d s h i p and non a g g r e s s i o n p r o posed t o t h e S o v i e t Government.  The Y u g o s l a v i a n o f f e r was  accepted and on A p r i l 5 a R u s s o - Y u g o s l a v i a n  Pact was signed." " 1  40  R u s s i a n a c t i o n , however, was no more t h a n a t o k e n g e s t u r e f o r R u s s i a was not i n a g e o g r a p h i c a l p o s i t i o n t o g i v e Y u g o s l a v i a military assistance. began.  On A p r i l 6 the German a t t a c k on Y u g o s l a v i a  S i m u l t a n e o u s l y German t r o o p s invaded Greece and i n f o u r  weeks c l e a r e d the Balkans o f enemy f o r c e s .  Hitler's  southern  wing was now i n p o s i t i o n f o r the a t t a c k on R u s s i a . H i t l e r ' s l i g h t e n i n g v i c t o r y persuaded S t a l i n t o reverse himself.  N e g o t i a t i o n from a p o s i t i o n of s t r e n g t h had  not stopped H i t l e r ; perhaps appeasement would.  From now on  S t a l i n l e f t no e f f o r t u n t r i e d t o keep H i t l e r i n good In t h e f i e l d of m i l i t a r y p l a n n i n g , f e w were encountered.  humour.  147  complications  I n December and January v a r i o u s p l a n n i n g con-  f e r e n c e s were h e l d and by F e b r u a r y p l a n n i n g was f a r enough advanced f o r H i t l e r t o s e t t l e d e t a i l e d problems connected the proposed a t t a c k .  The Naval War D i a r y of F e b r u a r y  with 18  c h a r a c t e r i z e d the proposed camouflage measures f o r " O p e r a t i o n 14f Barbarossa"  as "the g r e a t e s t d e c e p t i o n i n war h i s t o r y . . . . "  P l a n s f o r t h e p a r t i c i p a t i o n o f Roumania and F i n l a n d were 1 4 6  N.S.R., pp.316-318.  1 4 7  N.D. 170-0,149.  1 4 8  N.D.  X 4  9  872-P.S.  N.D. 033-C; N.D. 170-0,121.  137 completed .by early May.  150 ^  On June 14 the Supreme Commanders  of the Armed Forces, Goring, Raeder, Brauchitsch and K e i t e l presented their f i n a l plans for the attack to H i t l e r . ^ 1 But the timing of the invasion was complicated by the Balkan war i n A p r i l .  Planning i n January had been based  on the assumption that the attack would come i n mid-May.  On  March 27 H i t l e r informed his m i l i t a r y commanders that the Balkan operation would force postponement of the attack by 152 four weeks.  Then on A p r i l 30 H i t l e r set the offensive for  22.^  June  Economic planning paralleled m i l i t a r y planning,  In  November 1940 Goring informed General Thomas, of the War Economics Department of O.K.W., of the planned attack. Detailed studies of the Soviet economy were immediately begun and i n 154 January they were coordinated under a planning s t a f f . ^  On  February 28 orders were issued for the creation of an organization to exploit the economic area of Russia.  By A p r i l 2  planning was far enough advanced to permit a memorandum to be drafted on the aims and methods of the German occupation of Russia. 5 1  6  Neither Italy or Japan were informed of the preceding plans. !51 52 53 !54 55 I? 1  x  X  6  H i t l e r probably withheld his decision from Mussolini Weinberg, op. c i t . , p. 149. N.D., O78-C. N . D . , 1746-P.S.; N.D.,170-C, 142. N.D., 873-P.S. N.D. 2353-P.S. N.D., 1317-P.S.; N.D., 1157-P.S. N.D., 1017-P.S.  138 because he thought i t unnecessary to inform him.  Italy,  H i t l e r knew, would be eager enough when the attack began. The Italians had no doubt discerned a change i n H i t l e r ' s attitude to Russia since the winter of 1939-1940. H i t l e r ' s assurance to Mussolini on January 19,  Despite  1941,that as 157  long as S t a l i n lived there would be no danger from Russia, the Duce found H i t l e r ' s mood to be "...very On May  J  anti-Russian."158  14 the most Ribbentrop would say i n answer to a question  by Ciano on H i t l e r ' s eastern plans ,was that i f S t a l i n were not careful "Russia w i l l be dispatched i n the space of three months."159  On June 2,  less than three weeks before the  scheduled opening of the eastern offensive, Ciano came away from a conversation with H i t l e r with the impression that ..for  the moment H i t l e r has no plan of action."1°° The Japanese question was more complex than the  I t a l i a n one. alone.  H i t l e r was  convinced he could vanquish Russia  Moreover, he probably f e l t that Japanese knowledge of  his plans would encourage Japan to seek an accomplice  role  against Russia which would divert her from an attack against B r i t i s h positions i n the P a c i f i c .  At any rate when the Japanese  Foreign Minister, Matsuiicka, paid a four day v i s i t to B e r l i n i n late March and early A p r i l , H i t l e r ' s Soviet Plans were veiled 157 1  5  8  N.D.,  134-C.  Ciano Diaries, p.  338.  Ciano Diaries, p. 351; 1 d 0  Ciano Diaries, p.  361.  N.D.,1866-P.S.  139 from him. 101  The most that Ribbentrop would say was that  "...present relations with Russia were correct...but not very  162 friendly."  H i t l e r raised the question of war with Russia  merely to dismiss i t .  However, Ribbentrop t r i e d to dissuade  MatsuDka from discussing a non-aggression pact with Soviet leaders.  A further hint was contained i n Ribbentrop's  refer-  ence to the need for greater shipments of rubber to Germany via sea routes; " . . . t r a f f i c over the Siberian Railroad was i AT not adequate." German aims must have seemed thoroughly ambiguous to the Japanese Foreign Minister and he probably 164 must also have considered a Russo-German war improbable. On his return to Tokyo he v i s i t e d Moscow where, on A p r i l 13,. a Russo-Japanese neutrality pact was signed.  Some three months  l a t e r , on July 10, Ribbentrop realized the error of German policy and instructed the German Ambassador i n Tokyo to request 165 the Japanese Government to intervene against Russia i n Siberia. The request came too l a t e . Stalin's f r a n t i c e f f o r t s to win H i t l e r ' s favour during the three months preceding the attack on Russia, which have been N.S.R.,pp.281-316. On March 24 Weizsacker had suggested to Ribbentrop that the Japanese be informed of H i t l e r [ s projected assault on Russia: Weizsacker, op. c i t . , p. 309* 1 6 2  1 6  3  N.S.R., p. 284. N.S.R., p. 307.  1 64 x o  ^ Beloff, The Foreign Policy of Soviet Russia,II.„p.373. Rossi, op. c i t . , p. 195.  140 f u l l y d i s c u s s e d elsewhere,were f u t i l e .  166  Hitler's decision  had l o n g s i n c e f a l l e n ; Germany p o l i c y proceeded a l o n g "...a mental one-way s t r e e t a g a i n s t R u s s i a . " 7 L O  German v o i c e s r a i s e d i n c a u t i o n .  However, t h e r e were  The army and navy commanders  q u e s t i o n e d t h e p r o p o s i t i o n t h a t t h e way t o London l a y over 168 Moscow and warned a g a i n s t a t w o - f r o n t war. Of t h e c i v i l i a n s opposing a war a g a i n s t R u s s i a Schulenburg was most p e r s i s t e n t i n h i s r e p r e s e n t a t i o n s . . the  Since  Moscow P a c t he had. c o n c e i v e d o f Russo-German r e l a t i o n s as a  r e v i v a l of t h e R a p a l l o s p i r i t .  I n mid A p r i l he journeyed t o  B e r l i n w h e r e , i n c o l l a b o r a t i o n w i t h Weizsacker, he t r i e d t o 169 d i s s u a d e H i t l e r from an a t t a c k a g a i n s t R u s s i a . Hitler r e c e i v e d Schulenburg but would not even admit t o him t h e f a c t t h a t an a t t a c k was planned. the  Schnurre's v a r i o u s memoranda t o  e f f e c t t h a t R u s s i a n raw m a t e r i a l d e l i v e r i e s t o Germany were  e s s e n t i a l t o t h e German war economy must a l s o be regarded as 170 p r o t e s t s a g a i n s t t h e i d e a o f a Russo-German war. ' T h e i r e f f e c t was p r o b a b l y t h e o p p o s i t e of what Schnurre had i n t e n d e d .  I f t h e war e f f o r t were dependent upon  R u s s i a n raw m a t e r i a l d e l i v e r i e s , then i t was a l s o dependent upon S o v i e t good w i l l . Of t h i s H i t l e r was not c o n v i n c e d and F o r S t a l i n ' s e f f o r t s see N.D.,1?0-C, 149, 150, 151, 155, 159, 160, 161, 165, 167, 169, 176; K o r d t , Wahn u. W i r k l i c h k e i t , pp. 298-300. B e l o f f , op. c i t . , I I , pp. 377-384. 167 " ' W e i z s a c k e r , Memoirs, p. 313' 1 ° N.D.,170-C, 8 6 , 9 8 , 102; F u h r e r , C o n f e r e n c e s , B r a s s e y , (November 14, 1940), p. 153. W e i z s a c k e r , E r i n n e r u n g e n , p. 315* H i l g e r , W i r und der K r e m l , p. 306; N.S.R., pp.330-334. 1 6 6  8  1 d 9  1 7 0  141 probably parsuaded himself that control over his raw material needs was essential to his programme. In spite of a l l these warnings H i t l e r was not to be dissuaded.  On June 22, 19 1, German panzers r o l l e d across the A  German-Russian border on schedule. nation i n these words; " . . . i t  H i t l e r addressed the German  i s necessary for us to take steps  against (the) Jewish Anglo-Saxon warmongers and the equally 171 Jewish rulers of the Bolshevist centre of Moscow." In Rome, a disgruntled Ciano observed: "An obvious 172 and convincing reason i s lacking for such a war."  171 The Times (23 June, 1941), quoted i n RIIA, Survey, I n i t i a l Triumph of the Axis, p. 406. 1 7 2  Ciano Diaries (1939-43), p. 368.  142  BIBLIOGRAPHY H i t l e r ' s Speeches and Tfri tings Baynes, Norman H., ed., The Speeches of Adolph H i t l e r , 1922-1939, Royal Institute of International A f f a i r s , London, New York, Toronto, Oxford University Press, 1942, 2 vols. H i t l e r , Adolph, Mein Kampf, Chamberlain, J. and others, ed., New York, Regnal and Hitchcock, 1939. 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Poland, Ministry for Foreign A f f a i r s , The Polish White Book: O f f i c i a l Documents Concerning Polish-German and PolishSoviet Relations 1933-1939* London, Hutchinson, 1940.  143 Bibliography (Continued) Record of the Fuehrer Conferences on Naval A f f a i r s 1939-1941, Thursfield, H.G., IIRear-Admiral, ed., Brassey's Naval Annual 1940, New York, Macmillan, 1948. United States of America, Department of State, Sontag, R.J. and Beddie, J.S.,ed., Nazi-Soviet Relations, 1939-1941; Documents from the Archives of the German Foreign Office, Washington, Government Printers, 1948. Memoirs and Diaries Byrnes, J.F., Speaking Frankly, New York, London, Harper, 1947. Ciano, Galeazzo, The Ciano Diaries, 1937-1938, Mayor, transl.London Methuen, 1951. The Ciano Diaries , 1939-1943, Gibson, H.,ed., New York, Doubleday, 1946. Ciano's Diplomatic Papers, Hood, S., t r a n s l . , Muggeridge, M., ed., London, Odham's Prdss, 1948. Davies, J.E., Mission to Moscow, New York, Simon and Schuster, 1941 Dirksen, Herbert von, Moscow, Tokyo, London: Twenty Years of Foreign Policy, London, New York, Melbourne, Sydney, Cape Town, Hutchinson, 1951. Dodd, W.E. and Dodd, M, ed., Ambassador Dodd's Diary, 1933-1938, London, Gollancz, 1941. Francois-Poncet, Andre, The F a t e f u l Years, Le Clereq,J, t r a n s l . , New York, Harcourt Brace, 1949. Gafencu, Grigore, Last Days of Europe, Fletcher-Allen, E., t r a n s l . , New Haven, Yale University Press, 1948. Goebbels, Joseph Dr., The Goebbels Diaries: 1942-1943, Lochner, L.P., ed. and t r a n s l . , New York, Doubleday,  1948.  Hassell, U l r i c h von, The Von Hassell D i a r i e s , 1938-1944, New York, Doubleday, 1947. Henderson, Nevile S i r , F a i l u r e of a Mission, London, Hodder and Stroughton, 1940.  144 Bibliography (Continued)  Hilger, Gustav, Wir und der Kreml: Erinnerungen Eines Deutschen Diplomaten, Frankfurt am Main, B e r l i n , Alfred Metzner,~1956. Kordt, E r i c h , Nicht aus den Akten, Stuttgart, Union Deutsche Verlagsgesellschaft, 1950. Papen, Franz von, Memoirs, Connell, B., t r a n s l . , New York, E.P. Dutton, 1953. Rauschning, Hermann, The Voice of Destruction, New York, Putnam, 1940. Ribbentrop, J. von, The Ribbentrop Memoirs. Watson, 0 . , t r a n s l . , London, Yteidenfeld and Nicolson, 1954. Schmidt, P., S t a t i s t auf Diplomatischer Biihne 1923-1945, Bonn, Athenaum-Verlag, 1949. Shirer, William, A. B e r l i n Diary, London, Hamish Hamilton, 1941. Weizsacker, Ernst von, Erinnerungen, Munchen, Leipzig, Freiburg, Paul L i s t , 1950. Secondary Works Beloff, Max, The Foreign Policy of Soviet Russia, 1929-1941, 2 vols., London, New York, Toronto, Oxford University Press, 1947, 1949. Bretton, Henry L., Stresemann and the Revision of V e r s a i l l e s , Stanford, University Press, 1953* Breyer, Richard, Das Deutsche Reich und Polen, 1932-1937: Aussenpolitik und Volksgruppen-fragen, Wurzburg, Holzner, 1955. Bullock, Allen, Hitlerj__A Study i n Tyranny, New York, Harper, 1952. Carr, Edward, H., German-Soviet Relations Between the Two World Wars, 1919-1939, Baltimore, John Hopkins, 1951. International Relations Since the Peace Treaties, London, Macmillan, 1937•  145  Bibliography (Continued) Conway, John, German Foreign P o l i c y 1937-193?. unpublished Doctoral Dissertation at Cambridge University, 1958. Da11in, D., Soviet Russia's Foreign P o l i c y , 1937-1942. Yale, University Press, 1942. Deutscher, I., S t a l i n : A P o l i t i c a l Biography.-.-. New York, London, Oxford University Press, 1949. Fischer, Louis, The Soviets i n World A f f a i r s : A History of the Relations Between the Soviet Union and the Rest of the World. 1917-1929, Princeton, University Press, 1951 (copyright 1930 by Jonathan Cape, London). Gafencu, Grigore, Prelude to the Russian Campaign, FletcherAllen, t r a n s l . , London, Frederick Muller, 1945. Gilbert, G.M., 1948.  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Rauschning, Hermann, The Revolution of Nihilism; Warning to the West, Dickes, E.W., t r a n s l . , New York, Alliance Book Corporation, 1940. Roberts, Henry L., "Maxim Litvinov," i n Craig, G.A., and Gilbert ed., The Diplomats, Princeton, University Press, 1953? PP. 344-377. Rossi, A., The Russo-German A l l i a n c e , August 1939-June 1941, London, Chapman and H a l l , 1950. Scheele, Godfrey, The Weimar Republic, Overture to the Third Reich, London, Faber, 1945. Schorske, C a r l . "Two German Ambassadors: Dirksen and Schulenburg in Craig, G.A., and G i l b e r t , F., ed., The Diplomats, Princeton, University Press, 1953? pp. 477-511. Seabury, P., The Wilhelmstrasse, Berkley, Los Angeles, Universit; of C a l i f o r n i a Press, 1954.  147 Bibliography (Continued) Survey_of International A f f a i r s , 1932-193.81 Toynbee, Arnold and others, ed., Royal Institute of International A f f a i r s , London, Oxford University Press, 1933-1951. 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