Memorandum by Counselor of Legation Hilger of the German Embassy in the Soviet Union
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Re: Publication of joint Soviet-German communiqué.

On September 17 at 3 p. m., the draft of a joint German-Soviet communiqué was transmitted by telephone with instructions to obtain the consent of the Soviet Government to the publication of such a communiqué on September 18. The text of this draft is enclosed (enclosure 1).

On September 17 at 11:30 p. m., the Ambassador submitted the draft to Herr Molotov for approval. The latter stated that he would have to consult with Herr Stalin on the matter. Herr Stalin, who was called on the telephone by Herr Molotov, declared that in his opinion, too, a joint communiqué had to be issued, but that he could not entirely agree to the text proposed by us since it presented the facts all too frankly [da es den Tatbestand mit allzu grosser Offenheit darlege]. Thereupon Herr Stalin wrote out a new draft in his own hand and asked that the consent of the German Government be obtained to this new draft. (See enclosure 2.)

On September 18 at 12:30 a. m., I communicated to Under State Secretary Gaus the text of the Soviet draft. Herr Gaus stated that he could not of his own accord declare himself on the matter and had to ascertain the decision of the Reich Foreign Minister.

On September 18 at 12 o'clock noon, the Chief of the Office of the Minister, Herr Kordt, called up on the telephone and informed me as follows:

"We agree to Russian proposal concerning communiqué and shall publish the communiqué in this form Tuesday in the morning papers. Ribbentrop."

I immediately transmitted the above communication by telephone to Herr Molotov's secretary.

On September 18 at 2:05 p. m., Herr Kordt called up again and informed Counselor of Embassy von Tippelskirch as follows:

"The communiqué will be published by us in some of the evening papers. Please advise the offices concerned."

I immediately apprised Herr Molotov's secretary of the above-mentioned communication also.

Two hours later the text of the communiqué appeared on the teletype and was also broadcast over the German short-wave radio.

Moscow, September 18, 1939.

Herewith most respectfully submitted
to the Ambassador
to the Counselor of Embassy

On September 18 at 7:15 p. m., Herr Gaus called up and asked whether the communiqué would be published today in the Russian evening papers. If not, it should be broadcast today over the Soviet radio. The Reich Foreign Minister was very anxious that this be done. I told Herr Gaus that today, because it was the Russian Sunday, no evening papers had appeared; that I would inform them further regarding the radio. At 8:00 p. m. I was able to let Herr Gaus know that the Soviet radio had broadcast the communiqué several times since 4:00 p. m.



(Enclosure 1)

Draft of a Joint German-Soviet Communiqué

In view of the internal incapacity of the Polish State and of the dissension of the populations living in its former territory, the Reich Government and the Government of the U. S. S. R. consider it necessary to bring to an end the intolerable political and economic conditions existing in these territories. They regard it as their joint duty to restore peace and order in these areas which are naturally of interest to them and to bring about a new order by the creation of natural frontiers and viable economic organizations.

(Enclosure 2) (1)

In order to avoid all kinds of unfounded rumors concerning the respective aims of the German and Soviet forces which are operating in Poland, the Government of the German Reich and the Government of the U. S. S. R. declare that the operations of these forces do not involve any aims which are contrary to the interests of Germany and of the Soviet Union, or to the spirit or the letter of the Non-aggression Pact concluded between Germany and the U. S. S. R. On the contrary, the aim of these forces is to restore peace and order in Poland, which had been destroyed by the collapse of the Polish State, and to help the Polish population to reconstruct the conditions of its political existence.

(1) A note in Schulenburg's hand reads: "Stalin draft. September 18, '39." Back

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