The Washington Conference 1941-1942
Washington Conference 1941-42 Next Document

The Polish Ambassador in the United States (Ciechanowski) to the President's Special Assistant (Hopkins)

Hopkins Papers

PERSONAL URGENT WASHINGTON, December 23, 1941. DEAR MR. HOPKINS, With reference to our very personal conversation, I should like to add that I have thought the situation over and have come to the following conclusions:

In the direct interest of all our nations concerned and of the unprecedented prestige and unique position of The President and of Mr. Churchill in the eyes of the entire world today, but especially in view of the German reverse in Russia, and the internal crisis in Germany, it is really essential that some formal outward visible proof of the absolute and close collaboration in this conference of all co-belligerent nations, regardless of their immediate importance in the struggle and of their size, should be given to the world at large now during the opening stage of the conversations and also before the end of the conference.(1)

This might perhaps be done by inviting the Representatives of the countries concerned to the White House for a short session during which The President would briefly address them, informing them of the scope of the conference, assuring that each country will he admitted to have its say if and when questions directly interesting it will be discussed, and that all will be asked to participate in any final arrangement regarding solidarity of action in this war.

In my opinion, such a meeting should be photographed and widely publicized here and abroad.

Please forgive me for so direct a suggestion, but I feel that the importance of the present conference should be fully taken advantage of in order to stress the genuineness of the principles which we have declared we are fighting for, to maintain and raise the morale in the occupied countries so essential to subversive warfare, especially in Poland in view of the Russian advance westwards.(2)

I believe that in this way the fullest advantage could be taken of this most psychological moment.

In venturing to make this suggestion I do so with the firm conviction that it is directly in the interest of the prestige of this country.

Yours very sincerely, JAN CIECHANOWSKY


Memorandum Concerning the Participation of Poland in the Planning of the Joint Prosecution of the War

In view of the conversations about to take place in Washington between The President and the British Prime Minister on matters relating to the joint conduct of the war against the Axis Powers and the definition of the relationship between the United States, Great Britain, Poland, China, the U. S. S. R. and other nations likewise engaged in the war against the Axis Powers-The Polish Ambassador has been instructed by the Polish Prime Minister General Sikorski, at present on his return journey from Russia to London, to request for Poland participation in the discussion and conclusion of any eventual arrangement between the United States, Great Britain and her Allies and the U. S. S. R. concerning the establishment of joint collaboration as co-belligerents in the war. This request is based on the following considerations:

1) Poland is an Ally of Great Britain, by virtue of a Treaty of Alliance signed in London on August 25th, 1939.

2) Poland was the first country to offer armed resistance against the German aggression of September 1, 1939, and since that time her national army, her navy, her air force as well as her mercantile fleet have never ceased to fight on land, on sea and in the air for the defeat of Hitlerism throughout the world.

3) The Polish Nation in Poland unanimously resists the invader both actively and passively, regardless of terrorism and inhuman oppression which have never succeeded in breaking its spirit of resistance. The subversive warfare conducted by Polish organizations has been continuous and is becoming ever more effective.

4) At the present time the Polish Government is forming an army of about seven divisions under Polish Command in Russia. In addition 25,000 Polish soldiers from Russia are shortly to strengthen the Polish Armed Forces in Scotland and in the Near East, as well as the Polish Air Force and the Polish Navy.

5) Poland declared the existence of a state of war with Japan on December 11, 1941.

6) The Polish-Soviet declaration of Friendship and Mutual Assistance signed by Prime Minister General Sikorsky and Prime Minister Stalin on the 4th of December 1941, establishes the principles of full active military collaboration between them during the war and the existence of good neighborly collaboration and friendship and mutual observance of undertakings assumed-after the war.

7) The Polish-British Alliance and the recent formally established collaboration between Poland and Soviet Russia would appear to make the full participation of Poland in a jointly established agreement of collaboration between the United States, Great Britain with her Allies, and Soviet Russia a natural consequence.

Through its fighting spirit and resistance and the subversive warfare which it carries on, the Polish Nation in Poland has been and continues to be, an important active factor of the joint war effort.

The maintenance of the high degree of morale of this population is therefore of utmost necessity.

To all Poles, whether in or outside Poland, in Russia or in other countries, the persons of The President of the United States and of the British Prime Minister are the living guarantees of justice and equity.

It is hardly necessary to add that five million loyal American citizens of Polish origin feel likewise in regard to Poland's future.

The full participation of Poland as a co-belligerent in the partnership about to be established between the United States and the other Democracies fighting in this war, appears therefore of primary importance to all concerned.

WASHINGTON, December 22, 1941.

(1) Underscored in source text. Back

(2) Underscored in source text. Back

Foreign Relations of the United States
The Conferences at Washington, 1941-1942 and Casablanca, 1943
Washington, DC : Government Printing Office, 1968

Washington Conference 1941-42 Next Document

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