The Reich Foreign Minister to the German Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Schulenburg)
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BERLIN, October 18, 1939-12:40 a. m.
Received Moscow, October 18, 1939-10:05 a. m.

No. 594 of October 17

For the Ambassador in person.

At an occasion soon to arise, I intend to speak in public about the foreign political situation and shall then, with reference to Chamberlain's last speech, deal with the future aims of England and the British propaganda of lies. In this connection I would also like to refute a lie recently circulated in quite specific form by the enemy press, alleging that during my stay in Moscow I had asked the Soviet Union for military assistance, but had met with an outright refusal. I propose to say on this subject approximately the following:

"In its grave disappointment at the recent development in the international situation, which has been strongly influenced by the establishment of friendly relations between Germany and the Soviet Union, British propaganda has left nothing untried to discredit and disturb this development and German-Russian relations. In its well-known manner, it stopped at nothing and has made use of the grossest and most absurd lies. Thus, for instance, it has circulated the statement that in the Moscow negotiations I had asked Herr Stalin for military assistance against Poland, France, and England. To this, Herr Stalin, however, is said to have given only the tart reply: 'Not a single soldier.' But what in reality was the course of these Moscow negotiations? Let me reveal it to you:

"I came to Moscow on August 23 for the purpose of negotiating and concluding in the name of the Führer, a non-aggression pact with the Soviet Union. I commenced the negotiations with Stalin and Molotov with the statement that I had not come to Moscow, as the British and French delegates had come at the time, to ask the Soviet Union for armed assistance in case a war should be forced upon the German Government by England. The German Government was not in need of assistance for this contingency, but would, in this event, have sufficient military strength to take up the struggle alone against Poland and its Western foes and to carry it to a victorious conclusion. To this, Stalin, with his characteristic clarity and precision, replied spontaneously: 'Germany was taking a proud attitude by rejecting at the outset any armed assistance from the Soviets. The Soviet Union, however, was interested in having a strong Germany as a neighbor and in the case of an armed showdown between Germany and the Western democracies the interests of the Soviet Union and of Germany would certainly run parallel to each other. The Soviet Union would never stand for Germany's getting into a difficult position.' I thereupon thanked Stalin for his clear and precise statement and told him that I would report to the Führer on this broad-minded attitude of the Soviet Government. Thus the German-Russian negotiations were opened and this exchange of views created from the outset a broadminded and friendly climate, in which within 24 hours the Non-aggression Pact and, in the course of further developments, at the end of September, the Boundary and Friendship Treaty were concluded. Upon the political foundation, it was likewise decided immediately to inaugurate a comprehensive economic program, the implementation of which is now being discussed at Moscow. Germany has need of the raw materials of the Soviet Union and the Soviet Union has need of manufactured articles. There is no reason why the flourishing trade of the past between the two nations should not soon revive. On the contrary, I am firmly convinced that the former traditional friendship between Germany and Russia has now been restored, and that it will grow stronger and stronger and that the exchange of goods, which is complementary by nature, will result in an undreamed-of prosperity for both nations in the future. Upon the same political foundation, the German-Soviet declaration of September 28, 1939, has also been agreed upon, to the effect that both Governments would work toward the restoration of peace upon conclusion of the Polish campaign. In case these efforts should fail-as they have-the responsibility of England and France for the continuation of the war would be established and at the same time provision would be made for a consultation between the Government of the Reich and the Soviet Government, in this contingency, on the necessary measures to be taken. These consultations are now under way and are proceeding in the same friendly spirit as the Moscow negotiations, and on the firm basis of kindred interests. In this connection, we expect an early visit of Herr Molotov to Berlin. I believe that this brief account is sufficient to sink once and for all the whole raft of lies of the British Ministry of Lies and the other blundering propaganda centers of our enemies, about the present German-Russian negotiations and the future pattern of relations between the two greatest countries of Europe."

Please inform Herr Stalin as promptly as possible of the account of the Moscow negotiations as given above and wire me his approval.


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