Nazi-Soviet Relations 1939-1941 : Preface

IN 1945 THE American and British armies captured the archives of the German Foreign Office which had been evacuated from Berlin. Use of the archives for intelligence purposes began immediately. Later, it became evident that the documents concerning the aims and methods of German foreign policy should be published for the enlightenment of world opinion, including German opinion.

In June 1946 the Department of State and the British Foreign Offlce agreed to sponsor jointly the publication of approximately twenty volumes of documents illustrative of German foreign policy from 1918 to 1945. The French Government subsequently became a party to this agreement. The documents were to be printed in the original German, and the more important were also to be printed in English translation. It was agreed that the selection and editing were to be performed on the basis of the highest scholarly objectivity and that, to secure an authoritative and scholarly documentary record of German foreign policy, the services of private scholars should be enlisted, as well as the services of scholars in government service. Each Government reserved the right to publish separately any portion of the documents.

The Department of State has decided to publish separately the most significant documents bearing on German-Soviet relations during 1939-1941. This collection has been made by the Washington editors of the documents, Raymond James Sontag and James Stuart Beddie, assisted by Jean Brownell Dulaney.

Nazi-Soviet Relations Page

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