The German Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Schulenburg) to Counselor of Legation Schliep of the German Foreign Office
Previous Document Nazi-Soviet Relations Page Next Document

Moscow, August 7, 1939.

DEAR COUNSELOR 0F LEGATION SCHLIEP: Sincerest thanks for your letter of the 2d of this month (1) and its interesting enclosure.

As a matter of fact, I have in the meantime received the telegraphic instruction to take part in Party Day. On September 1, I am to travel in the new grey uniform from Berlin to Nuernberg with the other gentlemen of the Foreign Office. That means that I must be in Berlin on August 27 at the latest. A final fitting and the purchase of a number of accessories are unavoidable.

You know from our telegram that the political negotiations of the British and the French have been interrupted for the time being. Mr. Strang left by air this morning for London, where a great quantity of work kind allegedly accumulated for him. At the end of the week, the British and French officers will come. The British military men here regard the prospects of the pending military negotiations also with considerable skepticism. Among the members of the British Military Mission is the former Air Attaché in Moscow, Collier. Collier is a very sober and quiet man and knows Soviet conditions well. At the time of the intervention, he was in Archangel. The fact that he is being sent is welcomed by the British here, since he will not be taken in by the Russians and knows their methods of negotiation.

Concerning the political negotiations up to now, we hear that throughout Herr Molotov sat like a bump on a log. * He hardly ever opened his mouth, and if he did it was to utter only the brief remark: "Your statements do not appear to me entirely satisfactory. I shall notify my Government." The British and the French Ambassadors are both said to be completely exhausted and glad that they now have a breathing spell ahead of them. The Frenchman said to one of my informants, "Thank God that that fellow ** will not participate in the military negotiations!"

Regarding my conversations with Molotov, you are, of course, informed. I believe that we put a few good fleas in the ears of the Soviets, anyhow. At every word and at every step, one can see the great distrust toward us. That this is so, we have known for a long time. The unfortunate part of it is, that the mistrust of such people is very easily kindled and can only be allayed slowly and with difficulty.

I recently wrote you of rumors concerning the fist-fight between the Turkish Ambassador Apaydin (who left here very suddenly) and his military attaché. At that time I didn't believe these rumors, but they seem to be correct. I hear now on good authority that the fracas even took place before witnesses. At first the military attaché was also recalled, but then this disciplinary measure was withdrawn, apparently so that the rumors concerning the fight which were circulating here would not receive new support.

My old acquaintance, Minister Idman, who at present is in charge of the Finnish Legation, told me that when he called on Molotov the latter expressed himself as very dissatisfied over the hostile attitude of the Finnish press toward Russia. Idman said he replied that the Finnish press is free to write what it wishes and if it prints anti-Russian articles the Soviet Union had certainly given occasion for them.

The Danish Minister here recently made his first call on Molotov. The Minister President brought up the question of the German-Danish Non-aggression Treaty. He had taken note of, but had made no comment on, the Minister's statement that Denmark was much reassured by the conclusion of the pact.

In conversation with Molotov, the Ministers of Latvia and Estonia here also characterized the German Non-aggression Treaties as guarantees of peace, and remarked that the conclusion of the treaties had been entirely natural, since Latvia and Estonia had similar non-aggression treaties with the Soviet Union. Molotov, however, had taken the position that these treaties indicated an inclination toward Germany, and he could not be moved from this position.

The Estonian Chargé here, in talking about the attitude of the Soviets toward Baltic questions, spoke of the possibility that Germany might guarantee the independence of Latvia and Estonia, as it had done with Belgium. I am of the opinion that the Soviets no longer want such a guarantee to be given by us.

General Köstring, who has gone to Berlin for a few days, will look you up and give you the news from here. I hope he has already done it. We are very curious to know what news he will bring us from Berlin. Just as eagerly we await the arrival of Herr von Tippelskirch on next Friday.

I hope the three Germans will arrive soon who are to visit the agricultural exhibition here at the invitation of the Soviet Government. The exhibition is really very much worth seeing (amazingly grandiose). Should not the Soviet Government be invited to the Eastern Fair at Königsberg? Obviously it is too late for the Soviet Union to participate and to send exhibits to the fair; however, in return for the invitation to the agricultural exhibition, a couple of Soviet representatives could at least be invited to visit the fair.

Here the rather terrific heat continues. I like it better than the usual rain and mud.

With warmest regards to your wife and with greetings to you, and with Heil Hitler! I remain, dear Herr Schliep,

Sincerely yours,



(1) Not printed. Back

* He has been very different toward Hilger and me of late, very communicative and amiable. [Marginal note in the original] Back

** Molotov. [Footnote in the original] Back

Previous Document Nazi-Soviet Relations Page Next Document

127 Wall Street, New Haven, CT 06511.