Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression Volume IV
Document No. 1544-PS

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File Memorandum

on my parting visit with the Chancellor

After an exchange of irrelevant courtesies, the conversation turned to the speech of the Chancellor [Bundeskanzler]. i said to him that though he had used very cordial expressions on the German mission of Austria his dramatic advocacy of her independence which he apparently considered threatened had drowned out this testimony to a large extent, to say nothing about some unnecessary pinpricks against Germany. To his assertion that he had reestablished his authority in the country by this speech I added that this speech also had provoked a debate yesterday in the French chamber. in my opinion it was greatly to be regretted that the Austrian question had again become the center of European discussions. For Germany an Austrian independence supported by French and Czech crutches was intolerable, for it would lead to arguments which might easily endanger the peace concluded recently.

The Chancellor admitted this without qualifications and requested me to inform the Reich Foreign Minister as soon as possible that neither he nor any other political agency in Austria had instigated this debate in the French Chamber, and that he shared my opinion on its extraordinarily disrupting effects. On my request he stated his willingness to publish Sunday morning an article in the official paper "Wiener Zeitung" (Viennese newspaper) in which he would clearly detach the problem of Austrian independence from French interests. And he had instructed the Austrian press to carry only meagre excerpts of the debate in the Chamber.

I then introduced into the conversation the wide-spread opinion that he had acted under "brutal pressure" in Berchtesgaden. I myself had been present and been able to state that he had always and at every point had complete freedom of decision. The Chancellor replied he had actually been under considerable moral pressure, he could not deny that. He had made notes on the talk which bore that out. I reminded him that despite this talk he had not seen his way clear to make any concessions, and I asked him whether without the pressure he would have been ready to make the concessions he made late in the evening. he answered: "To be honest, no!" It appears to me of importance to record this statement.

In parting I asked the Chancellor never to deceive himself that Austria could ever maintain her status with the help of Non-German, European combinations. This question would be decided only according to the interests of the German people. he asserted that he held the same conviction and would act accordingly.

Vienna, 26 Feb 1938
/s/ Papen
Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression Volume IV
Office of the United States Chief Counsel for Prosecution of Axis Criminality
Washington, DC : United States Government Printing Office, 1946

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