The French Yellow Book

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No. 34 :
M. Ristelhueber, French Minister in Sofia, to M. Georges Bonnet, Minister for Foreign Affairs. Sofia, December 16, 1938.

IN the course of a recent conversation that I had with the Prime Minister, the latter mentioned the great satisfaction he felt in consequence of the recent Franco-German declaration. He said that it had not come as a surprise to him. When Baron von Neurath passed through Sofia nearly two years ago, he stressed the very ardent desire of his Government to arrive at an understanding with France, as there were no questions at issue to divide the two countries. He had even confessed himself pained at the lack of enthusiasm with which Paris had responded to these advances.

As for Germany, while her desire for expansion eastwards was obvious, it was perhaps a mistake to imagine that her first objective would be South-Eastern Europe. It appeared to him that Poland was most menaced. The Polish-Soviet rapprochement constituted a defence against this danger. But the two Slav peoples hated each other so profoundly that their understanding could only be ephemeral and artificial. On the contrary, M. Kiosséivanov did not consider as impossible an understanding between the U.S.S.R. and the Reich, especially if the Comintern agreed to tone down its propaganda. Such had always been the dream of a section of the German General Staff. In that event a fourth partition of Poland would allow Germany to proceed with her forceful drive eastwards.


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