The British War Bluebook
Viscount Halifax to Sir N. Henderson (Berlin). September 1, 1939.
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No. 114.
Viscount Halifax to Sir N. Henderson (Berlin).

Sir, Foreign Office, September 1, 1939.

I ASKED the German Charge d'Affaires to call on me at 10, Downing Street at 10:50 this morning, and informed him that I had done this because we had received a good many reports to the effect that German forces had crossed the Polish frontier at several points. Dr. Kordt interrupted me to ask whether I meant the Polish frontier or that of the Danzig Free State. I replied that the Polish Ambassador had mentioned four points, but that I did not know which points these were. We also had information that several Polish towns, including Warsaw, had been bombed.

2. I asked Dr. Kordt whether he had any information which would enable him to cast any light upon these reports. He replied that he had no information whatsoever. I then said that I assumed, therefore, that he had no communication to make to us from his Government. Dr. Kordt replied that he had none with the exception of two notes which he had sent in earlier in the morning relating to the limitation of shipping and of the passage of aircraft in the Gulf of Danzig. Dr. Kordt explained that this related to the whole gulf and not only to the port of Danzig. I informed Dr. Kordt that I had not yet seen these notes.

3. I went on to inform Dr. Kordt that the reports to which I had drawn his attention created a very serious situation. It was not necessary for me to say anything more at the present except to let him know that the Cabinet would meet later in the morning and that any further communication which we might have to make would be addressed to his Government in Berlin, but we should inform him of the character of that communication.

4. Before he left, Dr. Kordt stated that he had just listened on the wireless to the beginning of the Führer's speech in the Reichstag. He had not heard the latter mention any of the points to which I have drawn attention. The Führer had said, however, that the situation was intolerable and that he was obliged to draw the necessary consequences.

5. Dr. Kordt subsequently telephoned at 11:30 a. m. to say that he had received a telephone message from the News Department in the German Ministry for Foreign Affairs to the effect that the news that Warsaw and other towns were being bombed was untrue. He also repeated to me a sentence from the Führer's speech to the effect that since this morning shooting was taking place from the Polish side, and the Germans were shooting back.

I am, etc.


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