The German Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Schulenburg) to the State Secretary in the German Foreign Office (Weizsacker) May 22, 1939
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Tgb. Nr. A/1023
Moscow, May 22,1939.

DEAR HERR VON WEIZSACKER: I have the honor to transmit to you as an enclosure a copy of the memorandum (1) which gives the content and course of my interview with Herr Molotov on May 20. I have also included the memorandum with my report.

The Reich Minister directed me to maintain extreme caution in my conference with Molotov. As a result I contented myself with saying as little as possible and took this attitude all the more because the attitude of Herr Molotov seemed to me quite suspicious [recht verdachtig]. It cannot be understood otherwise than that the resumption of our economic negotiations does not satisfy him as a political gesture, and that he apparently wants to obtain from us more extensive proposals of a political nature. We must be extremely cautious in this field as long as it is not certain that possible proposals from our side will not be used by the Kremlin only to exert pressure on England and France. On the other hand, if we want to accomplish something here, it is unavoidable that we sooner or later take some action.

It is extraordinarily difficult here to learn anything at all about the course of the English-French-Soviet negotiations. My British colleague, who apparently is the only one who is active in that connection here (he was being announced to Herr Potemkin when I was visiting the latter), preserves an iron silence. Even neutral diplomats have not been able to learn anything.

My French colleague has been away for some time. The Counselor of Embassy and Charge in the last few days asked us for a transit visa, so that it seems that he also is going to leave Moscow soon. If the reports are correct that France will now take over the negotiations in the matter of the French-British-Soviet "alliance," these negotiations may well take place not here but in Paris.

My Italian colleague is of the opinion that the Soviet Union will surrender her freedom of negotiation only if England and France give her a full treaty of alliance.

It is often stated here (I do not know whether it is correct) that one of the principal reasons for the hesitation of England in accepting the Soviet proposals for a military alliance is the question of Japan. London is afraid of driving the Japanese into our arms if she guarantees the defense of all Soviet frontiers. If Japan should come into our arms voluntarily, this consideration for England should be eliminated.

With best greetings and Heil Hitler, I am, Herr von Weizsacker, yours very respectfully,



(1) Ante. Return to the Text

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