The German Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Schulenburg) to the German Foreign Office
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Moscow, September 16, 1939.

No. 371 of September 16

Reference your telegram No. 360 of September 15.

I saw Molotov at 6 o'clock today and carried out instructions. Molotov declared that military intervention by the Soviet Union was imminent-perhaps even tomorrow or the day after. Stalin was at present in consultation with the military leaders and he would this very night, in the presence of Molotov, give me the day and hour of the Soviet advance.

Molotov added that he would present my communication to his Government but he believed that a joint communiqué was no longer needed; the Soviet Government intended to motivate its procedure as follows: the Polish State had collapsed and no longer existed; therefore all agreements concluded with Poland were void; third powers might try to profit by the chaos which had arisen; the Soviet Union considered itself obligated to intervene to protect its Ukrainian and White Russian brothers and make it possible for these unfortunate people to work in peace.

The Soviet Government intended to publicize the above train of thought by the radio, press, etc., immediately after the Red Army had crossed the border, and at the same time communicate it in an official note to the Polish Ambassador here and to all the missions here.

Molotov conceded that the projected argument of the Soviet Government contained a note that was jarring to German sensibilities but asked that in view of the difficult situation of the Soviet Government we not let a trifle like this stand in our way. The Soviet Government unfortunately saw no possibility of any other motivation, since the Soviet Union had thus far not concerned itself about the plight of its minorities in Poland and had to justify abroad, in some way or other, its present intervention.

In conclusion, Molotov urgently asked for an explanation of what was to become of Vilna. The Soviet Government absolutely wanted to avoid a clash with Lithuania and would, therefore, like to know whether some agreement had been reached with Lithuania regarding the Vilna region, particularly as to who was to occupy the city.


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