The French Yellow Book

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No. 139 :
M. Coulondre, French Ambassador in Berlin, to M. Georges Bonnet, Minister for Foreign Affairs. Berlin, June 20, 1939.

I HAD an interview on June 16 with the State Secretary at the very beginning of which he volunteered the opinion that, as far as he knew, all was quiet for the moment and that he saw no reason why the situation should become more strained in the near future. He repeated with special reference to Danzig, that, in his opinion, only acts of aggression on the part of the Poles could bring about a conflict. As I showed some skepticism he declared that, although the central Government of Warsaw exercised a moderating influence, a state of mind existed among certain local authorities which made him seriously afraid of rash action on their part. Herr von Weizsäcker was none the less confident with regard to the immediate future and told me that he intended to take a holiday during the month of July.

If the State Secretary had not obtained this information from a reliable source, it may be doubted whether, prudent and reserved man as he is, he would have offered it to me on his own initiative. From this declaration made to me, therefore, on the eve of the "Kulturtag" of Danzig, one may at least infer that no immediate action on the part of the Reich is likely to follow on Dr. Goebbels's speeches.

Speaking generally, Herr von Weizsäcker considered that the opening of conversations likely to bring about an easing of the political tension would not be in any way aided by the conclusion of a Franco-Anglo-Russian pact. To threaten-the democracies should persuade themselves once and for all-was the worst possible way of dealing with the Führer. I pointed out that up till then only the reverse situation had been seen. Such methods had never been considered either in Paris or London, where it was fully realized that they had no effect on Herr Hitler. The cause of peace would have made great progress if Berlin became convinced that they had equally little chance of success with the Democracies.


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