The French Yellow Book

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No. 190 :
M. DE SAINT-HARDOUIN, French Chargé d'Affaires in Berlin, to M. Georges Bonnet, Minister for Foreign Affairs. Berlin, August 12, 1939.

IN view of the tone of the Press, of the continual calling-up of reserves, of the intense military activity which is all the time increasing, and of new food restrictions (there are queues outside the butchers' shops this morning), the nervousness of the public has grown suddenly sharper.

The semi-official Press is busy creating the impression that important decisions are about to be taken today or to-morrow. According to current rumours the Reichstag will meet on Tuesday.

September 2 is, in fact, the opening date of the Nuremberg Congress, which is to be the Congress of Peace (the medal symbolizing this celebration has just been struck) and the preparations for which are being pushed forward with all speed. Between now and then, it is hinted, Germany will in fact have made "her Peace secure."

That is the date which this Embassy always indicated as the one fixed for the Germany Army to be ready. Herr Hitler has begun his consultations. He would seem to be on the point of making a decision.

It seems very difficult to believe, separated as we are by only three weeks from that Congress of Peace and with the troops not yet concentrated, that, despite the illusions which are held here about a "Blitzkrieg" which would not give France and England time to intervene, anyone could hope to obtain this peace, in so short a time, after having imposed the German solution by warlike means. What they are therefore counting on, is capitulation without war by the Western Democracies, alarmed by the Reich's display of military strength and by the self-confidence which it is going to show in the course of the next few days.

Nevertheless, it is quite certain that the Reich in building up this bluff is becoming more deeply involved both in the political and in the military spheres, and that it runs the risk of reaching a point from which it would be difficult to draw back. In that case, however, it seems probable to judge from the information so far in our hands, that the Reich leaders will wait for the result of the spectacular gatherings at Tannenberg and Nuremberg, as the Danzig meeting did not produce the expected results. But if the Congress of Peace were postponed or if preparations for it were interrupted, the possibility of immediate action being taken should, to my mind, be at least more seriously considered.


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