The French Yellow Book

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No. 191 :
M. DE SAINT-HARDOUIN, French Chargé d'Affaires in Berlin, to M. Georges Bonnet, Minister for Foreign Affairs. Berlin, August 12, 1939.

GERMAN propaganda is now discoursing on the harsh treatment of Germans by the Poles in order to create an "atmosphere" which recalls the similar agitation made at the time of the Sudeten affair, hoping in this way to convince world-opinion and also to attempt for the last time to persuade France and Great Britain to abandon Poland to her fate.

In order to avoid that, in the game now being played, Germany should reach a point from which she could no longer draw back, one may wonder whether it would not be advisable to make it clear in some form or another that we are not deceived and to try, on our side, to prevent this "atmosphere" from being created. Undoubtedly it would be necessary to act with care so as not to exasperate the leaders of the Reich by reminding them of what they are supposed to know or by arguing with them. But in my view it would be useful to show that our attitude to the Danzig question remains unchanged and to explain objectively why we cannot allow our hearts to be softened by the fate of the German population in Poland (as the German Press invites us to do).

I therefore advise that our wireless stations should broadcast, in an unprovocative manner, the following themes (they are not new, but their very repetition would not fail to have its effect):

(1) To justify her claims on Danzig Germany puts forward the racial argument; why, then, is it occupying Prague?

(2) From an historical point of view Germany maintains that Danzig is "Urdeutsch," that is to say within the homeland of the German people; even if we admitted this, it is still inconceivable that the Reich has finally renounced its claims on a land that was German at a far earlier date and accepts the expulsion of the indigenous population of the Upper Adige.

(3) For its own purposes, the German Press makes daily mention of the incidents of which the German minority in Poland is supposed to be a victim; but it would be worth recalling those incidents of which the Polish minority in Germany has been victim; that minority is as large as Germany's minority in Poland (between 700,000 and a million souls); it is deprived of its essential liberties; recently several Polish schools have been closed. While the treatment undergone by Germans abroad distresses deeply the German Reich, it remains entirely silent about the regime which it imposes in the "Protectorate" of Bohemia and Moravia, whence it expels journalists and where it will allow no eye-witnesses.


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