The French Yellow Book

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No. 70:
M. Coulondre, French Ambassador in Berlin, to M. Georges Bonnet, Minister for Foreign Affairs. Berlin, March 15, 1939.

IN accordance with your instructions I had an interview with the State Secretary this morning. After reading the text of your telephoned message I summed it up for Herr von Weizsäcker. I pointed out to the State Secretary that he should realize with what deep concern I had heard of the entry of German troops into Moravia. This military intervention was contrary to the Munich Agreement and to the Declaration of December 6. Consequently I had to reserve absolutely the judgment and attitude of my Government, and I requested Herr von Weizsäcker to enlighten me as to the precise intentions of the German Government.

The State Secretary replied as follows: "The present state of affairs was brought about by the dissolution of Czechoslovakia. Ruthenia, in which separatism has been active, is now partly occupied by Hungarian troops. Slovakia has proclaimed her independence; the action taken by the Government of Prague against the Government of Slovakia also hastened the movement which led to this proclamation.

"As far as Bohemia and Moravia are concerned, hostilities have broken out there; German blood has been shed and the German Government felt compelled immediately to come to the rescue of the threatened German minority. The agreement reached this morning between the leaders of the German and Czech States in the presence of their Ministers for Foreign Affairs definitely settles the question of Bohemia and Moravia."

I did not fail to point out to Herr von Weizsäcker that the entry of German troops into Moravia and the military pressure brought to bear on Czechoslovakia threw a peculiar light on the nature and conditions of this agreement. The State Secretary answered that after two hours conversation with the German Chancellor, the President of the Republic was convinced that the Czech Government was incapable of preventing the return to active politics of M. Beneš's adherents, and had signed the agreement and placed the future of his country in the hands of the Führer.

I then told Herr von Weizsäcker that for the moment I must urge him to enable me to furnish the French Government with full information regarding the intentions of the Reich towards Czechoslovakia, and especially with regard to an eventual withdrawal of the German troops from Bohemia and Moravia, and to the independence of the country.

Herr von Weizsäcker replied that as to Bohemia and Moravia he could only ask me to refer again to the terms of the agreement between Berlin and Prague. He had nothing further to add. The Reich recognized the independence of Slovakia. As for Ruthenia, its fate must be discussed with Hungary. The explanations of the State Secretary show that the German Government intends, under cover of this agreement, to impose on the Czech plenipotentiaries the annexation of Bohemia and Moravia-which can already be considered as a fait accompli.


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