The French Yellow Book

Previous Document Contents Next Document

No. 248 :
M. Coulondre, French Ambassador in Berlin, to M. Georges Bonnet, Minister for Foreign Affairs. Berlin, August 26, 1939. 1.40 a.m.

(Received at 9.55 a.m.)

MY British colleague, who has already transmitted by telegram the overtures made by Herr Hitler to Britain, has left for England to explain them verbally and recommend them for consideration.

These proposals are in actual fact characterized by important new features (handing over of colonies other than those formerly German; transfer of populations to eliminate minority disputes; partial disarmament). In my opinion, it is important to avoid two dangers revealed by the Czech experiences.

The first of these would be for us to be content, after a settlement of the German demands on Poland, with vague undertakings and hypothetical promises in further matters. In this respect, it is enough to recall the collective guarantee to Czechoslovakia.

The second would be to lend ourselves to a maneuver to break up the Allied Front. No pressure of a kind calculated to demoralize Poland should be contemplated. Danzig is only the point of least resistance by which the Reich is trying to penetrate into that country. As M. Lipski said to me yesterday: "What the Germans want is to be able to lay hands on Poland, and one day have the Polish Army at their disposal."

Finally, no negotiation should be entered upon, and this is an essential preliminary condition, before all threat of force has been withdrawn.


Previous Document Contents Next Document
Nuremberg War Crimes Trial 20th Century Page World War II Page

127 Wall Street, New Haven, CT 06511.