The German Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Schulenburg) to the State Secretary in the German Foreign Office (Weizsäcker)
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Moscow, August 14, 1939.


May I thank you most heartily for your gracious letter of the 7th instant. (1)

I am still of the opinion that any hasty measure in the matter of our relations with the Soviet Union should be avoided; it will almost always be harmful. So I consider it entirely right that our treatment of the Soviet Embassy in Berlin be relaxed only slowly.

The following were the main points in my last conversation with Herr Molotov: the statements about the Baltic States satisfied him to a certain extent, but he wanted to know whether we also included Lithuania among the Baltic States. My statements on the Polish question evidently impressed him, too; he followed my words with the greatest attentiveness. His comment on this point is perhaps worth noting: "Compliance with the desire of the Germans that, in the Polish matter, no 'solution' be forced on the Reich, depends, above all, on Germany itself." Herr Molotov apparently meant thereby that-whatever might happen-the fault would be ours. Finally-and this seems to me the most important point-Herr Molotov demanded that we cease to support Japanese "aggression." In this connection, it is perhaps not uninteresting to note that a member of the American Embassy here, which for the most part is very well informed, stated to one of our aides that we could at any moment upset the British-French negotiations, if we abandoned our support of Japan, sent our military mission back to China and delivered arms to the Chinese. I am afraid that these American ideas are very optimistic, however, and not readily workable, but the Reich Foreign Minister, after all, had some ideas of his own on this point. Something of this sort would, perhaps, have to take place if we are to make any progress.

The British and French military missions have been in Moscow for three days now. The Soviets made no great fanfare over their arrival. Only a very few conferences of the military men have taken place so far, and of their subject matter and outcome nothing is yet known. I assume that the negotiations will last a long time.

With reference to the foregoing, I should like to mention the following: I received instructions to participate in the Nuernberg Party Day, and am supposed to leave Berlin for Nuernberg on September 1 with the other gentlemen of the foreign service. I must also have the new grey uniform made for me for this purpose. Although all preparations have been made, I shall nevertheless have to make a three-day stop in Berlin in order to make the final arrangements and purchases. This means that I shall have to leave here on August 26th, at the latest. The instructions I have received from the Foreign Office are circular instructions, such as apparently every one of us has received. Would it not, as things stand, be better and more necessary for me not to go to Nuernberg this time, but to remain here! I am unable, of course, to judge of these matters with certainty, but I wanted, at least, to address an inquiry to you in the matter. As matters now stand, I consider it very proper that our political conversations with the Soviet Union be carried on in Berlin. In view of conditions here, however, it seems certain to me that from time to time in order to expedite matters I shall have to speak with Herr Molotov, the highest personage that can be reached. Surely I am the person who can best and most easily carry on conversations with Herr Molotov. This remarkable man and difficult character has now grown accustomed to me and has, in conversations with me, in great measure abandoned his otherwise always evident reserve. Any new man would have to start from scratch. But, as I stated, I am unable to judge whether this viewpoint should prevail or whether participation in the Nuernberg Party Day should have priority. I would therefore be very grateful to you if you would have a short telegram sent me on this subject.

With very best regards and a Heil Hitler! I am, my dear Herr von Weizsäcker,

Your ever very devoted



(1) Not printed. Back

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