Sunday, August 16, 2015
ADSS 1.96 Luigi Maglione notes: Polish German situation worsening
ADSS 1.96 Luigi Maglione - notes
Reference: AES 5378/39, handwritten
Location and date: Vatican, 16.08.1939.
Summary statement: Amb Poland informs Maglione about the notes of protest exchanged between Poland and Germany; Danzig is only a pretext for Germany to go to war against Poland. Maglione has received information that supports Papée’s argument. Makes mention that Russia has come to an agreement with Germany for the dismemberment of Poland. Germany wants the Ukraine and oilfields of Romania.
The Polish Ambassador (1) give me the following oral information:
On the 9 August the Reich’s Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs (2) called the Polish Charge d‘Affaires in Berlin (3) and told him that the German Government was surprised at the step taken by the Warsaw Government with the Government of the Free City of Danzig; adding that similar steps were not to be tolerated. (4)
After consulting Marshal Rydz-Smigly (5), the Polish Government, issued instruction on 10 August to the Under-Secretary of Foreign Affairs (6) to call the German Charge d’Affaires in Warsaw and to inform him that the Polish Government had exercised its rights and was surprised, too, concerning the step taken in Berlin with the Polish Charge d’Affaires and was obliged to state that it would consider as acts of aggression similar actions carried out by the Reich Government. (7)
The Polish Ambassador also told me that it is known in his country that for Germany the Danzig question is only a pretext: the Reich intends to attack Poland because it wishes to settle itself in Ukraine of reach the Romanian oil wells, and so cannot push the army forward leaving the left flank exposed. Poland is calm; it awaits the attack with equanimity and is certain to be assisted by the Western Powers.
The Ambassador is not afraid of complications from the Russian side.
News from other sources confirm that the Danzig question is only a pretext for Germany who intends to carry out a war of extermination [sterminio] against Poland. It is believed that they have reached an agreement with Russia for the partition of poor Poland.
In Berlin there is the delusion that neither England nor France will intervene for Poland.
(1) Casimir Papée (1889-1979), Polish Ambassador to the Holy See 1939-58.
(2) Ernst von Weizsäcker (1882-1951), German Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs 1938-43.
(3) Stefan Lubomirski (1898-1948), Polish Charge d’Affaires Berlin (1933-39).
(4) DGFP, Series D, volume 7, n5, pp304. The German government complained about Polish protests against German interference with Polish customs officers in Danzig. The German government denied any wrong doing on its part and accused the Polish government of escalating tension.
(5) Edward Rydz-Smigly (1886-1947), Marshall of Poland 1936-41.
(6) Miroslaw Arciszewski (1892-1963), Polish Under-Secretary of Foreign Affairs 1938-39.
(7) Johann von Wühlisch (1889-1943) German Charge d’Affaires, Warsaw. Appalled by German atrocities in occupied Poland, Wühlisch worked with colleague Rudolf von Scheliha (1897-1942) rescuing Jews and non-Jews. Both men were eventually arrested, tried for treason and executed.