The German Charge in the Soviet Union (Tippelskirch) to the German Foreign Office : Telegram
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No. 61 of May 4
Moscow, May 4, 1939: 45 p. m.
Received May 4,1939 10 p. m.

Appointment of Molotov as Foreign Commissar simultaneously retaining his position as Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars is published as ukase of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of May 3 by Soviet press with great fanfare. Dismissal of Litvinov appears on last page as small notice under "Chronicle." Sudden change has caused greatest surprise here, since Litvinov was in the midst of negotiations with the English delegation, at the May Day Parade still appeared on the reviewing stand right next to Stalin, and there was no recent concrete evidence of shakiness in his position. Soviet press contains no comments. Foreign Commissariat is giving press representatives no explanations.

Since Litvinov had received the English Ambassador as late as May 2 and had been named in press of yesterday as guest of honor at the parade, his dismissal appears to be result of spontaneous decision by Stalin. The decision apparently is connected with the fact that differences of opinion arose in the Kremlin on Litvinov's negotiations. Reason for differences of opinion presumably lies in deep mistrust that Stalin harbors toward the entire surrounding capitalist world. At last Party Congress Stalin urged caution lest Soviet Union be drawn into conflicts. Molotov (no Jew) is held to be "most intimate friend and closest collaborator" of Stalin. His appointment is apparently to guarantee that the foreign policy will be continued strictly in accordance with Stalin's ideas.


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