The French Yellow Book

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No. 159 :
M. LÉON NÖEL, French Ambassador in Warsaw, to M. Georges Bonnet, Minister for Foreign Affairs. Warsaw, July 9, 1939.

TEN days ago, at the very moment when the rumour spread through Europe that the problem of Danzig was on the point of receiving a "German solution"; while Dr. Goebbels's staff seemed to be endeavouring to concentrate the attention of world opinion upon the Free City, as if to convince it that this problem constituted-incidentally, through the fault of Poland-the last obstacle to peace; and while Count von Welczeck did not shrink from assuring Your Excellency that this was the Reich's last claim-at this very moment the Press service of the Danzig Senate was itself circulating a booklet entitled Danzig: What is at stake? which contained this passage:

"We now return to the solution of the fundamental dispute between Poland and Germany, which has been put on one side since 1933. It is apposite to recall in this connection that, in so far as concerns Danzig the Corridor and the other territories arbitrarily detached from the Reich, it is a question of German soil, for whose possession Poland can put forward no claim, either moral, historical, civilising or cultural."

It is, in fact, beyond any doubt no less than this that is in question at this moment in the eyes of the Germans as regards Poland. The language used by those Germans who live in Poland, or who come here on a visit, and even that which one may hear from the lips of certain close friends of Herr von Moltke, clearly confirm it; and while, of course, my German colleague personally shows himself much more prudent, nobody has ever heard him say that the annexation of Danzig was the last of the Nazi claims.

The Poles are very well aware of the way in which the question of their relations with the Germans now presents itself, and they know the extent of the Teutonic appetite in their respect. It is this that explains why almost all of them regard war with the Reich as inevitable.

Whether they share the latter view or not, the rulers of the country remain no less resolved-and the moderation which they display in their appreciation of the situation in Danzig definitely proves this-to do everything they can in order that a conflict, if it cannot be avoided, should at least be retarded as long as possible.


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