Letter from Hitler to Mussolini, August 25, 1939
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DUCE: For some time Germany and Russia have been engaged in an exchange of views about a new attitude on both sides in regard to their political relations.

The necessity of arriving at some conclusions of this sort was increased by:

(1) The general situation of world politics as it affected both of the Axis Powers.

(2) The necessity of securing a clear statement of position from the Japanese Cabinet. Japan would probably agree to an alliance against Russia, which would have only a secondary interest, under the prevailing circumstances, for Germany, and in my opinion, for Italy also. She would not, however, undertake such definite obligations against England, and this, from the standpoint not only of Germany, but also of Italy, was of decisive importance. The intention of the military to force the Japanese Government in a short time to take a similarly clear position with respect to England had been stated months ago, but had never been realized in practice.

(3) The relation of Germany to Poland, not through the blame of the Reich, but as a result of the activity of England, has become considerably more unsatisfactory since spring and in the last few weeks the position has become simply unbearable. The reports about the persecution of the Germans in the border areas are not invented press reports but represent only a fraction of the terrible truth. The customs policy of Poland, resulting in the throttling of Danzig, has brought about a complete standstill in Danzig's entire economic life for the past several weeks and would if it were continued for only a brief length of time, destroy the city.

These grounds led me to hasten the conclusion of the German-Russian conversations. I have not kept you informed in detail, Duce, since I did not have an idea of the possible extent of these conversations, or any assurance of the possibility of their success.

The readiness on the part of the Kremlin to arrive at a reorientation of its relations with Germany, which became apparent after the departure of Litvinov, has become ever stronger in the last few weeks and has made it possible for me, after successful preparation, to send my Foreign Minister to Moscow for the conclusion of a treaty which is the most extensive non-aggression pact in existence and whose text will be made public. The pact is unconditional and includes also the obligation for consultation about all questions affecting Russia and Germany. I may tell you, Duce, that through these arrangements the favorable attitude of Russia in case of any conflict is assured, and that the possibility of the entry of Rumania into such a conflict no longer exists!

Even Turkey under these circumstances can only envisage a revision of her previous position. But I repeat once more, that Rumania is no longer in a situation to take part in a conflict against the Axis! I believe I may say to you, Duce, that through the negotiations with Soviet Russia a completely new situation in world politics has been produced which must be regarded as the greatest possible gain for the Axis.

About the situation on the German-Polish frontier, I can only inform Your Excellency that we have been for weeks in a state of alarm, that as a result of the Polish mobilization German preparations have naturally also been increased, and that in case of an intolerable Polish action, I will act immediately. The assertion of the Polish Government that it is not responsible for these inhuman proceedings, for the numerous border incidents (last night alone there were twenty-one Polish border violations), and for the firing on the German airplanes, which had already received orders to travel to East Prussia over the sea in order to avoid incidents, shows only that the Polish Government has its excitable soldiery [Soldateska] no longer under control. Since yesterday Danzig has been blockaded by Polish troops, a situation which is unendurable. Under these circumstances no one can say what the next hour may bring. I can only assure you there is a limit beyond which I will not be pushed under any circumstances.

In conclusion I can assure you, Duce, that in a similar situation I would have complete understanding for Italy and that in any such case you can be sure of my attitude.


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