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Thursday, June 19, 1941: Authorized Nazi
spokesmen denied flatly today that a German
invasion of Russia had started or that border
clashes had occurred, although they admitted
that a "tremendous flood of rumors" had burst
out concerning Nazi-Soviet relations. ...
Although jubilantly acclaiming the new
German-Turkish friendship pact as one of the
diplomatic sensations of the war, the Germans
refused to discuss its obvious bearing on
German-Russian relations -- the topic of
sensational rumors all over Europe. [Hitler
now had pacts with Russia and Turkey, i.e.,
both had promised not to help the other if one
were blitzed. While the world "held its
breath," Hitler reasoned that the best route to
oil was via the Ukraine, a breadbasket willing
to be liberated, rather than Turkey, with no
breadbasket and unwilling to be liberated.
Additionally, a neutral Turkey provided a flank
guard, blocking British forces in the Middle
East.] An indication that German-Soviet
relations had not reached the state of open
hostilities was the fact that Russian residents of
Berlin went about their business as usual today.
... German authorized quarters declined
comment of any kind on reports that Germany
had confronted Russia with positive demands.
They said they had no knowledge of reports that
Rumania, with German support, was demanding
the return of Bessarabia [occupied by Red
Army units in 1940 and compelled to cede
from Rumania to the Soviet Union]. ... The
newspaper Angriff published without comment
a photograph of a steel-helmeted German
soldier on sentry duty in front of a windmill,
the caption reading, "on Guard in East
Prussia." East Prussia has a common frontier
with Russia and, in case of war between
Germany and Russia, would be a probable
"jumping-off point" for Nazi forces. ... It is
known that talks on the technicalities of
carrying out existing German-Russian trade
agreements, particularly in connection with
deliveries by individual industries and firms,
are being carried on here regularly by a
permanent Soviet trade commission and
German economic authorities. Russian sources
said that these technical talks had not led to
any new economic agreements. It was believed
generally in political quarters that any new
economic agreements that might be reached
would only be part of some new broad
German-Soviet agreement. [Stalin was ready
to deal with the pro-Russian faction of the
German government. But if the Nazis
launched an attack the Soviet dictator had
ordered the Red Army to steamroller into
German positions. With a material advantage
Stalin could use standard chess strategy,
trading pieces and promoting pawns until
winning. Hopefully, he had purged the
government of the most dangerous anti-
Stalinists; all he had to do now, thanks to his
foresight, was give orders. Shortcomings
exposed during the Finnish war were being
corrected. The U.S.S.R. had gained blitzkrieg-
buffer regions due to Stalin. Russia, under
Stalin's firm leadership, had converted from an
illiterate peasant economy to an industrial
giant producing vast amounts of military
equipment. Japan had been neutralized; agents
were reporting the Japanese had decided on a
southward strategy. If he could only avoid war
until autumn, guaranteeing peace until next
spring or summer, while further strengthening
his position. It was now bluff or fold until the
Germans played their next card. Nevertheless,
Stalin held a good hand (though this wasn't
necessarily so for the rest of the population).]
... ... Moscow, United Press, The New York
Times, Thur., June 19, 1941: Life continued
normal here today despite rumors abroad that
Germany was about to attack Russia or had
already done so. ... Newspapers and radio
reported fully the new German-Turkish
friendship pact signed at Ankara last night.
There was no editorial comment. [There were
also reports of Soviet military exercises against
[Turkey controlled the Dardanelles Straits, a
strategic link between the Black Sea and the
Mediterranean Sea. Stalin's original policy
(now impractical due to the overwhelming
German presence in the Balkans checking the
Soviets) aimed at eventual control of the Straits
as an outlet from the Black Sea. Additionally,
Soviet control of the Dardanelles would further
block possible British expeditions against the
U.S.S.R., the memory of British intervention
against the early Bolsheviks still fresh. The
British feared Soviet and/or (more recently)
German control of the strategic waterway,
which would threaten Britain's Middle East
interests. (Early in World War II, it appeared
that the Soviet Union would join the Rome-
Berlin-Tokyo Axis, which called for the division
of the world into geographical spheres of
influence.) Turkey, in the crossfire, aspired for
strict neutrality. But Hitler's innovative
ideology (which bypassed Turkey) called for
the eventual colonization of the Ukrainian
breadbasket, a German landlocked fortress
empire able to sustain economic self-
sufficiency, neutralizing the danger of
domination by the British Fleet. Hitler was not
enthusiastic about fighting Great Britain
because he felt the British Empire contributed
to world stability. (Meanwhile, digressing from
his natural racism, Hitler, the long-time military
buff, admired the Japanese since they were
undefeated in war.)]
Bucharest, Rumania, By Telephone to The
New York Times, Thursday, June 19, 1941:
The Rumanian radio yesterday broadcast a
summons to all reserve officers [and NCOs] to
report for duty immediately. ... ... Stockholm,
Sweden, By Telephone to The New York
Times, Thursday, June 19, 1941: Tension in
Finland was increasing hourly. The situation
was [reported] "completely fantastic."
Mobilization [continues] with great intensity.
[Stay tuned for late breaking war bulletins.
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York Times, Wednesday, June 18, 1941:
Military preparations, in evidence on all sides,
heightened public apprehension here today.
War clouds have been thickening steadily since
signs of a possible Russian-German break
appeared. ... Finnish reserves have been
called up for service. Newspapers warned that
if a German-Russian war broke out Finland
was likely to become involved. ... The official
announcement on the calling of reserves said
that "Finland, to reinforce her security, has, in
the same way as other neutral States, taken
steps to strengthen her defensive preparedness
by calling up reserves for extraordinary
manoeuvres." ... ... Stockholm, Sweden, By
Telephone to The New York Times, Wed.,
June 18, 1941: The tension in Finland's
capital seems to increase with every hour. The
Aftonbladet's Helsinki correspondent reports
today that "children and mothers are leaving
Helsinki in ever-increasing numbers. The
exhortation of the authorities that all who can
should leave has not fallen on deaf ears. The
newspapers publish numerous reports of sports
events being canceled throughout the country.
The Swedish theatre in Helsinki closed its
doors yesterday, ahead of its scheduled July 1
closing date, and proposed trips of singing
societies between Finland and Sweden have
been canceled." ... The Dagens Nyheter
correspondent cautiously reports the building of
more air-raid shelters. It is indicated that more
positive defense measures are being actively
taken on a wide if not yet general scale, and
that the whole of Finland, in fact, is bracing
itself for a possible new ordeal. ... ...
London, Associated Press, The New York
Times, Wed., June 18, 1941: A dispatch from
Helsinki, Finland, filed by telephone to Berne,
Switzerland, and cut off by the Finnish censor
almost at the beginning after terse disclosure of
abnormal military activity, stated that "the
streets of Helsinki are crowded with men and
women in uniform -- soldiers fully armed as
well as Lottas * * *" Here the dispatch was
cut. Lottas are Finnish women auxiliaries who
run kitchens and provide nursing service for
the Finnish Army. ... ... The New York
Times, Wed., June 18, 1941: In New York,
Columbia Broadcasting System said the report
[of a German attack on Russia] was read from
Ankara by the C.B.S. correspondent, Winston
Burdett, after his regular broadcast had been
made. It gave this version of Mr. Burdett's
report: Various commercial radios here in
Turkey today picked up unspecified and
uncredited reports to the effect that Rumania
had dispatched an ultimatum to Soviet Russia
demanding the return of Bessarabia and that the
German Army had actually launched the attack
against Russia at 15 points from the Eastern
frontier. As far as any one in Turkey knows,
these reports are not true, but the interesting
fact is that they are being spread.
Ankara, Turkey, Associated Press, The New
York Times, Wednesday, June 18, 1941: A
heavy force of German dive bombers and troop
transport planes was reported to have been
shifted to the Moldavian fields of Rumania
near the Russian border [last night] as Nazi
propagandists in Southeastern Europe drummed
up talk of an approaching Blitzkrieg against the
Soviet Union. ... The German telephone
system [yesterday] for the second successive
day declined to put through calls to Berlin from
Bucharest, the Rumanian capital, and Sofia,
capital of Bulgaria, while rumors spread of
vast preparations by the German Army for an
Eastern campaign. ... Nazi circles claimed
[Tuesday] that "all signs point to war with
Russia," although at the same time they
expressed optimism in the belief that large
concessions might be won from the Soviet
Union without actual conflict. The German
demands, it was believed, would make Russia
a virtual economic vassal of Germany and the
Stalin regime was said to be desperately
playing for time with counter-proposals while
the Red Army was being massed for defense.
... ... Moscow, Associated Press, The New
York Times, Wednesday, June 18, 1941: No
effort is being spared to keep the entire Soviet
community in a state of constant, mobilized
preparedness, although there are no signs of a
general or partial mobilization. This intense
drive is being conducted with the greatest
possible precision, embracing workers,
farmers, and women. ... The populace of
Moscow is going about its daily tasks, working
and shopping in well-stocked stores and
attending popular football games. ... ... The
New York Times, Wednesday, June 18, 1941:
The Moscow radio [Wednesday] night did not
mention a word concerning reports of an
ultimatum having been served or of action
between the forces of the two powers,
according to the National Broadcasting
Company, which said all Soviet transmitters
offered musical selections. ... ... Stockholm,
Sweden, United Press, The New York Times,
Wednesday, June 18, 1941: An unconfirmed
report in diplomatic circles said today that
Germany had set a final time limit expiring
next week for a Soviet answer to alleged
demands, including an explanation of
Moscow's contemplated foreign policy. ... ...
Lisbon, Portugal, Associated Press, The New
York Times, Wednesday, June 18, 1941: A
diplomat arriving here from Berlin today said
that it was the general belief there that a
Russian-German showdown would come within
the next few days and that some quarters even
predicted this move would be made within 48
hours. ... Adolf Hitler is convinced Russia
must be brought into line before his European
"new order" can be consolidated sufficiently
for an attack on Britain, this source said. Thus
far the Soviets were said to have balked at
increased economic collaboration. ... The
Russian campaign, he said, would be
preliminary to a grandiose scheme for
eliminating British influence entirely from Asia
-- followed by a move through Iran, which
others said already had sold out lock, stock,
and barrel to the Reich, and by a move to
India. ... ... Zurich, Switzerland, United
Press, The New York Times, Thur., June 19,
1941: [Late Wednesday, U.S. time] Telephone
and telegram communications from Switzerland
to Berlin were cut off shortly before 8 o'clock
last night. ... [Telephone connections with
Rome were reported cut at 10:50 P.M.]
[Stay tuned for late breaking war bulletins.
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York Times, Friday., June 20, 1941: Finland
ordered general mobilization tonight.
Proclamations posted on street corners
ordered all reservists up to the age of 44 to
report at once for service in the army. The
formal mobilization decree affects comparatively
few men, since an intensive program of calling
them to the colors in recent days already has
been carried out by individual notification. ...
Even before the proclamation was posted,
Finnish youths who had been called up for
military service were departing for their posts,
and an appeal was issued for mothers to get
their children out of Helsinki without delay.
Railroad service was reduced drastically, and
large areas of the country, including the region
around Helsinki, were forbidden to foreigners.
... News regarding the status of Finland in the
international situation was under rigid control.
The official news agency announced that the
country's labor camps had been closed but
gave no explanation. Informed sources
expressed belief that the tension would be
dispelled soon in one way or another. ...
Anti-aircraft guns suddenly appeared on the
tops of high buildings, and many automobiles
and trucks were commandeered. ... Persons
who recently left Estonia and crossed the Gulf
of Finland said Russian authorities had
evacuated the entire populations from several
coastal districts throughout the Baltic region.
They said a "belt of devastation" 60-miles wide
had been created along the German-Lithuanian
frontier, in which bridges and railways had
been destroyed, houses burned or blown up
and entire villages obliterated.
Berlin, United Press, The New York Times,
Fri., June 20, 1941: V.G. Dekanozoff, Russian
Ambassador to Berlin, was revealed today to
have visited the Foreign Office at the peak of
a flood of foreign rumors regarding relations
between Germany and the Soviet Union. ... As
far as could be ascertained the visit produced
no appreciable change in the relations.
Responsible German quarters have declined
even to discuss the Soviet situation. For
example, no confirmation whatsoever was
available of reports published abroad of German
demands on Russia, and authorized sources
categorically denied rumors of frontier clashes.
Likewise reports of military movements and
political demands that have been increasing in
neutral quarters in Berlin for the past couple of
weeks lack any confirmation. In view of the
official silence, it was impossible to speculate
at all on German-Soviet relations at the moment.
... Reports reached Berlin that mobilization in
Finland was proceeding rapidly. Nothing on
the subject was printed in German newspapers.
Surprisingly, the Nazi-controlled Danish
newspaper, Faedrelandet, appearing in
Copenhagen two days ago, carried a long
dispatch reporting the rapid evacuation of
Helsinki and the general belief among the
Finns that war between their country and
Russia was imminent.
Oporto, Portugal, Associated Press, The
New York Times, Friday, June 20, 1941: The
Portuguese steamer Malange reported today
that she had rescued five survivors of 38 in the
crew of the 4,070-ton British freighter
Djurdjura, sunk by a submarine June 13 about
500 miles south of the Azores. ... The Djurdjura,
loaded with ore, survivors said, was the last
ship of a convoy of 58 vessels. Formerly
French, she had been taken over by the British
for war duty.
[Stay tuned for late breaking war bulletins.
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REICHFUEHRER ADOLF HITLER'S PROCLAMATION ON WAR WITH SOVIET UNION
June 22, 1941
[New York Times, June 23, 1941]
Weighted down with heavy cares, condemned to months-long silence, the hour has now come when at last I can speak frankly.
When on Sept. 3, 1939, the German Reich received the English declaration of war there was repeated anew a British attempt to render impossible every beginning of a consolidation and thereby of Europe's rise, by fighting whatever power on the Continent was strongest at any given time.
That is how of yore England ruined Spain in many wars. That is how she conducted her wars against Holland. That is how later she fought France with the aid of all Europe and that is how at the turn of the century she began the encirclement of the then German Reich and in 1914 the World War. Only on account of its internal dissension was Germany defeated in 1918. The consequences were terrible.
After hypocritical declarations that the fight was solely against the Kaiser and his regime, the annihilation of the German Reich began according to plan after the German Army had laid down its arms.
While the prophecies of the French statement, that there were 20,000,000 Germans too many-in other words, that this number would have to be exterminated by hunger, disease or emigration-were apparently being fulfilled to the letter, the National Socialist movement began its work of unifying the German people and thereby initiating resurgence of the Reich. This rise of our people from distress, misery and shameful disregard bore all the signs of a purely internal renaissance. Britain especially was not in any way affected or threatened thereby.
Nevertheless, a new policy of encirclement against Germany, born as it was of hatred, recommenced immediately. Internally and externally there resulted that plot familiar to us all between Jews and democrats, Bolshevists and reactionaries, with the sole aim of inhibiting the establishment of the new German people's State, and of plunging the Reich anew into impotence and misery.
Apart from us the hatred of this international world conspiracy was directed against those people which like ourselves were neglected by fortune and were obliged to earn their daily bread in the hardest struggle for existence.
Above all the right of Italy and Japan to share in the goods of this world was contested just as much as that of Germany and in fact was formally denied.
The coalition of these nations was, therefore, only an act of self-protection in the face of the egoistic world combination of wealth and power threatening them.
As early as 1936 Prime Minister Churchill, according to statements by the American General Wood before a committee of the American House of Representatives, declared Germany was once again becoming too powerful and must therefore be destroyed.
In the Summer of 1939 the time seemed to have come for England to begin to realize its intended annihilation by repetition of a comprehensive policy of encirclement of Germany.
The plan of the campaign of lies staged for this purpose consisted in declaring that other people were threatened, in tricking them with British promises of guarantees and assistance, and of making them march against Germany just as it did preceding the great war.
Thus Britain from May to August, 1939, succeeded in broadcasting to the world that Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Finland and Bessarabia as well as the Ukraine were being directly threatened by Germany.
A number of these States allowed themselves to be misled into accepting the promise of guarantee proffered with these assertions, thus joining the new encirclement front against Germany. Under these circumstances I consider myself entitled to assume responsibility before my own conscience and before the history of the German people not only of assuring these countries or their governments of the falseness of British assertions, but also of setting the strongest power in the east, by especially solemn declarations, at rest concerning the limits of our interests.
National Socialists! At that time you probably all felt that this step was bitter and difficult for me. Never did the German people harbor hostile feeling against the peoples of Russia. However, for over ten years Jewish Bolshevist rulers had been endeavoring from Moscow to set not only Germany but all Europe aflame. At no time ever did Germany attempt to carry her National Socialist Weltanschauung into Russia, but on the contrary Jewish Bolshevist rulers in Moscow unswervingly endeavored to foist their domination upon us and other European peoples, not only by ideological means but above all with military force.
The consequences of the activity of this regime were nothing but chaos, misery and starvation in all countries. I, on the other hand, have been striving for twenty years with a minimum of intervention and without destroying our production, to arrive at a new Socialist order in Germany which not only eliminates unemployment but also permits the worker to receive an ever greater share of the fruits of his labor.
The success of this policy of economic and social reconstruction of our people, which by systematically eliminating differences of rank and class, has a true peoples' community as the final aim of the world.
It was therefore only with extreme difficulty that I brought myself in August, 1939, to send my Foreign Minister to Moscow in an endeavor there to oppose the British encirclement policy against Germany.
I did this only from a sense of all responsibility toward the German people, but above all in the hope after all of achieving permanent relief of tension and of being able to reduce sacrifices which might otherwise have been demanded of us.
While Germany solemnly affirmed in Moscow that the territories and countries enumerated-with the exception of Lithuania-lay outside all German political interests, a special agreement was concluded in case Britain were to succeed in inciting Poland actually into war with Germany.
In this case, too, German claims were subject to limitations entirely out of proportion to the achievement of German forces.
National Socialists! The consequences of this treaty which I myself desired and which was concluded in the interests of the German nation were very severe, particularly for Germans living in the countries concerned.
Far more than 500,000 German men and women, all small farmers, artisans and workmen, were forced to leave their former homeland practically overnight in order to escape from a new regime which at first threatened them with boundless misery and sooner or later with complete extermination.
Nevertheless, thousands of Germans disappeared. It was impossible ever to determine their fate, let alone their whereabouts.
Among them were no fewer than 160 men of German citizenship. To all this I remained silent because I had to. For, after all, it was my one desire to achieve final relief of tension and, if possible, a permanent settlement with this State.
However, already during our advance in Poland, Soviet rulers suddenly, contrary to the treaty, also claimed Lithuania.
The German Reich never had any intention of occupying Lithuania and not only failed to present any such demand to the Lithuanian Government, but on the contrary refused the request of the then Lithuania to send German troops to Lithuania for that purpose as inconsistent with the aims of German policy.
Despite all this I complied also with this fresh Russian demand. However, this was only the beginning of continually renewed extortions which kept on repeating ever since.
Victory in Poland which was won by German troops exclusively caused me to address yet another peace offer to the Western Powers. It was refused owing to efforts of international and Jewish warmongers.
At that time already the reason for such refusal lay in the fact that Britain still had hopes of being able to mobilize a European coalition against Germany which was to include the Balkans and Soviet Russia.
It was therefore decided in London to send Mr. Cripps [Sir Stafford Cripps] as Ambassador to Moscow. He received clear instructions under all circumstances to resume relations between the English and Soviet Russia and develop them in a pro-British direction. The British press reported on the progress of this mission as long as tactical reasons did not impose silence.
In the Autumn of 1939 and Spring of 1940 the first results actually made themselves felt. As Russia undertook to subjugate by armed force not only Finland but also the Baltic States she suddenly motivated this action by the assertion, as ridiculous as it was false, that she must protect these countries from an outside menace or forestall it.
This could only be meant to apply to Germany, for no other power could even gain entrance into the Baltic area, let alone go to war there. Still I had to be silent. However, those in power in the Kremlin immediately went further.
Whereas in the Spring of 1940 Germany, in accordance with the so-called pact of friendship, withdrew her forces from the Far Eastern frontier and, in fact, for the most part cleared these areas entirely of German troops, a concentration of Russian forces at that time was already beginning in a measure which could only be regarded as a deliberate threat to Germany.
According to a statement that Molotoff [Soviet Foreign Minister and then Premier Vyachesiaff Molotoff] personally made at that time, there were twenty-two Russian divisions in the Baltic States alone already in the Spring of 1940.
Since the Russian Government itself always claimed it was called in by the local population, the purpose of their presence there could only be a demonstration against Germany.
While our soldiers from May 5, 1940, on had been breaking Franco British power in the west, Russian military deployment on our eastern frontier was being continued to a more and more menacing extent.
From August, 1940, on I therefore considered it to be in the interest of the Reich no longer to permit our eastern provinces, which moreover had already been laid waste so often, to remain unprotected in the face of this tremendous concentration of Bolshevist divisions.
Thus there resulted British-Soviet Russian cooperation intended mainly at the tying up of such powerful forces in the east that radical conclusion of the war in the west, particularly as regards aircraft, could no longer be vouched for by the German High Command.
This, however, was in line with the objects not only of the British but also of the Soviet Russian policy, for both England and Soviet Russia intend to let this war go on for as long as possible in order to weaken all Europe and render it progressively more impotent.
Russia's threatened attack on Rumania was in the last analysis equally intended to gain possession of an important base, not only of Germany's but also of Europe's economic life, or at least destroy it. The Reich, especially since 1933, sought with unending patience to gain States in Southeast Europe as trading partners. We therefore also had the greatest interest in their internal constitutional consolidation and organization. Russia's advance into Rumania and Greece's tie-up with England threatened to turn these regions, too, within a short time into a general theatre of war.
Contrary to our principles and customs, and at the urgent request of the then Rumanian Government, which was itself responsible for this development, I advised acquiescence to the Soviet Russian demands for the sake of peace and the cession of Bessarabia.
The Rumanian Government believed, however, that it could answer for this before its own people only if Germany and Italy in compensation would at least guarantee the integrity of what still remained of Rumania.
I did so with heavy heart, principally because when the German Reich gives a guarantee that means it also abides by it. We are neither Englishmen nor Jews.
I still believe at this late hour to have served the cause of peace in that region, albeit by assuming serious personal obligation. In order, however, finally to solve these problems and achieve clarity concerning the Russian attitude toward Germany, as well as under pressure of continually increasing mobilization on our Eastern frontier, I invited Mr. Molotoff to come to Berlin.
The Soviet Minister for Foreign Affairs then demanded Germany's clarification of an agreement to the following four questions:
Point One was Molotoff's question: Was the German guarantee for Rumania also directed against Soviet Russia in case of attack by Soviet Russia on Rumania?
My answer: The German guarantee is a general one and is unconditionally binding upon us. Russia, however, never declared to us that she had other interests in Rumania beyond Bessarabia. The occupation of Northern Bukovina had already been a violation of this assurance. I did not therefore think that Russia could now suddenly have more far-reaching intentions against Rumania.
Molotoff's second question: That Russia again felt menaced by Finland. Russia was determined not to tolerate this. Was Germany ready not to give any aid to Finland and above all immediately to withdraw German relief troops marching through to Kirkenes?
My answer: Germany continued to have absolutely no political interests in Finland. A fresh war by Russia against the small Finnish people could not, however, be regarded any longer by the German Government as tolerable, all the more so as we could never believe Russia to be threatened by Finland. Under no circumstances did we want another theatre of war to arise in the Baltic.
Molotoff's third question: Was Germany prepared to agree that Russia give a guarantee to Bulgaria and send Soviet Russian troops to Bulgaria for this purpose in connection with which he-Molotoff-was prepared to state that the Soviets did not intend on that account, for example, to depose the King?
My answer: Bulgaria was a sovereign State and I had no knowledge that Bulgaria had ever asked Soviet Russia for any kind of guarantee such as Rumania had requested from Germany. Moreover, I would have to discuss the matter with my allies.
Molotoff's fourth question: Soviet Russia required free passage through the Dardenelles under all circumstances and for her protection also demanded occupation of a number of important bases on the Dardenelles and Bosphorus. Was Germany in agreement with this or not?
My answer: Germany was prepared at all times to agree to alteration of the Statute of Montreux in favor of the Black Sea States. Germany was not prepared to agree to Russia's taking possession of bases on the Straits.
National Socialists! Here I adopted the only attitude that I could adopt as the responsible leader of the German Reich but also as the representative of European culture and civilization and conscious of my responsibility.
The consequence was to increase in Soviet Russia the activity directed against the Reich, above all, however, the immediate commencement of undermining the new Rumanian State from within and an attempt to remove the Bulgarian Government by propaganda.
With the help of the confused and immature leaders of the Rumanian Legion (Iron Guard) a coup d'etat was staged in Rumania whose aim was to overthrow Chief of State General Antonescu and produce chaos in the country so as to remove all legal power of the government and thus the precondition for an implement of the German guarantee.
I nevertheless still believed it best to remain silent.
Immediately after the failure of this undertaking, renewed reinforcement of concentrations of Russian troops on Germany's eastern frontier took place. Panzer detachments and parachutists were transferred in continually increasing numbers to dangerous proximity to the German frontier. German fighting forces and the German nation know that until a few weeks ago not a single tank or mechanized division was stationed on our eastern frontier.
If any final proof was required for the coalition meanwhile formed between England and Soviet Russia despite all diversion and camouflage, the Yugoslav conflict provided it.
While I made every effort to undertake a final attempt to pacify the Balkans and in sympathetic cooperation with Il Duce invited Yugoslavia to join the Tripartite Pact, England and Soviet Russia in a joint conspiracy organized that coup d'etat which in one night removed the then government which had been ready to come to agreement.
For we can today inform the German nation that the Serb Putsch against Germany did not take place merely under the British, but primarily under Soviet Russian auspices. As we remained silent on this matter also, the Soviet leaders now went still one step further. They not only organized the Putsch, but a few days later also concluded that well-known friendship pact with the Serbs in their will to resist pacification of the Balkans and incite them against Germany.
And this was no platonic intention: Moscow demanded mobilization of the Serb Army.
Since even now I still believe it better not to speak, those in power in the Kremlin went still further: The Government of the German Reich today possesses documentary evidence which proves that Russia, in order finally to bring Serbia into the war, gave her a promise to supply her via Salonika with arms, aircraft, munitions and other war materials against Germany.
And this happened almost at the very moment when I myself advised Japanese Foreign Minister Matsuoka that eased tension with Russia always was in hope, thereby to serve the cause of peace.
Only the rapid advance of our incomparable divisions to Skoplie as well as the capture of Salonika itself frustrated the aims of this Soviet Russian-Anglo-Saxon plot. Officers of the Serb air force, however, fled to Russia and were there immediately received as allies.
The victory of the Axis Powers in the Balkans in the first instance thwarted the plan to involve Germany this Summer in months-long battles in Southeastern Europe while meantime steadily completing the alignment of Soviet Russian armies and increasing their readiness for war in order, finally, together with England and supported by American supplies anticipated, to crush the German Reich and Italy.
Thus Moscow not only broke but miserably betrayed the stipulations of our friendly agreement. All this was done while the rulers in the Kremlin, exactly as in the case of Finland and Rumania, up to the last moment pretended peace and friendship and drew up an ostensibly innocent démenti.
Although until now I was forced by circumstances to keep silent again and again, the moment has now come when to continue as a mere observer would not only be a sin of omission but a crime against the German people-yes, even against the whole of Europe.
Today something like 160 Russian divisions are standing at our frontiers. For weeks constant violations of this frontier have taken place, not only affecting us but from the far north down to Rumania.
Russian airmen consider it sport nonchalantly to overlook these frontiers, presumably to prove to us that they already feel themselves masters of these territories.
During the night of June 17 to June 18 Russian patrols again penetrated into the Reich's territory and could only be driven back after prolonged firing. This has brought us to the hour when it is necessary for us to take steps against this plot devised by the Jewish Anglo-Saxon warmongers and equally the Jewish rulers of the Bolshevist center in Moscow.
German people! At this moment a march is taking place that, as regards extent, compares with the greatest the world hitherto has seen. United with their Finnish comrades, the fighters of the victory of Narvik are standing in the Northern Arctic. German divisions commanded by the conqueror of Norway, in cooperation with the heroes of Finnish freedom, under their marshal, are protecting Finnish soil.
Formations of the German Eastern Front extend from East Prussia to the Carpathians. German and Rumanian soldiers are united under Chief of State Antonescu from the banks of the Pruth along the lower reaches of the Danube to the shores of the Black Sea. The task of this front, therefore, no longer is the protection of single countries, but the safeguarding of Europe and thereby the salvation of all.
I therefore decided today again to lay the fate and future of the German Reich and our people in the hands of our soldiers.
May God help us especially in this fight!
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Berlin, June 22, 1941
[New York Times, June 23, 1941]
When in the Summer of 1939 the Reich Government, motivated by a desire to achieve adjustment of interests between Germany and the U.S.S.R., approached the Soviet Government, they were aware of the fact that it was no easy matter to reach an understanding with a State that on one hand claimed to belong to a community of individual nations with rights and duties resulting therefrom, yet on the other hand was ruled by a party that, as a section of the Comintern, was striving to bring about world revolution-in other words, the very dissolution of these individual nations.
The German Government, putting aside their serious misgivings occasioned by this fundamental difference between political aims of Germany and Soviet Russia and by the sharp contrast between diametrically opposed conceptions of National Socialism and Bolshevism, made the attempt.
They were guided by the idea that the elimination of the possibility of war, which would result from an understanding between Germany and Russia, and safeguarding of the vital necessities of the two people, between whom friendly relations had always existed, would offer the best guarantee against further spreading of the Communist doctrine of international Jewry over Europe.
This belief was strengthened by the fact that certain happenings in Russia itself and certain measures of international scope undertaken by the Russian Government allowed it to be assumed that departure from these doctrines and former methods of causing disintegration among foreign nations appeared possible.
The reception accorded in Moscow to the German démarche and the readiness of the Soviet Government to conclude a pact of friendship with Germany appeared to confirm this change of attitude.
Thus, on Aug. 23, 1939, a non-aggression pact was concluded, while on Sept. 28, 1939, a frontier and friendship agreement was signed by the two States. The essence of these agreements consisted of:
1. Reciprocal engagement on the part of both States not to attack one another and to live on peaceful and neighborly terms, and
2. Delimitation of spheres of interest-the German Reich renouncing all influence in Finland, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania and Bessarabia while territories of the former Polish State as far as the line formed by the Narew, Bug and San (rivers) were to be incorporated into Russia according to the desire of the Soviets.
The Reich Government, in the pact immediately following conclusion of the non-aggression pact with Russia, effected a fundamental change in their policy toward the Soviet Union. The German Government faithfully adhered in both letter and spirit to the treaties concluded with the Soviet Union.
In addition to this they had, through the conquest of Poland, by shedding German blood, gained for the Soviet Union the greatest success in foreign politics that it had achieved since coming into existence. This was only possible by reason of Germany's friendly policy toward Russia and the overwhelming victories of German forces.
Not unreasonably, the Reich Government therefore felt entitled to expect that the attitude of the Soviet Union toward the German Reich would be of the same nature, especially since, during the negotiations that were conducted in Moscow by Herr von Ribbentrop, Reich Minister for Foreign Affairs, and also on other occasions, the Soviet Government had repeatedly expressed the view that these treaties would form the basis for permanent adjustment of German-Soviet Russian interests and that the two peoples, each respecting the regime of the other and prepared to abstain from any interference in internal affairs of the other partner, could reach permanent good neighborly relations.
Unfortunately it soon was to become evident that the German Government had been quite mistaken in this assumption.
In actual fact the Comintern resumed its activities in every sphere very soon after conclusion of the German-Russian treaties. This was true not only of Germany herself, but also as applied to States friendly to Germany, to neutral States and to such European territory as was occupied by German troops. In order to avoid openly infringing the treaties methods were changed and camouflage was applied more painstakingly and with greater cunning.
It obviously was thought necessary in Moscow to counteract the effect of conclusion of the pact with National Socialist Germany by continually pillorying Germany's alleged "imperialistic war."
Strict and effective preventive measures adopted by German police compelled the Comintern to seek to conduct their subversive activities and their intelligence work in Germany by devious routes, making use of centers established for that purpose in neighboring countries.
For this purpose former German Communist agents were employed to foment sedition and to arrange for acts of sabotage in Germany. OGPU Commissar Kryloff was in charge of systematic courses of training with this object in view. Apart from this, intensive subversive activities were carried on in territories occupied by Germany, more particularly in the protectorate [Bohemia-Moravia] and occupied France, but also Norway, Holland, Belgium, etc.
Soviet Russian representatives, notably the Consul General at Prague, rendered valuable assistance in this connection. Assiduous intelligence service maintained by means of wireless transmitters and receiving stations afforded absolute proof of the activities of the Comintern directed against the German Reich. There also is comprehensive documentary evidence consisting of witnesses' statements and correspondence concerning all subversive activity and reconnoitering carried on by the Comintern.
In addition to this sabotage groups were formed, which maintained their own laboratories for the manufacture of incendiary and high-explosive bombs for the purpose of committing acts of sabotage. Attempts of this kind were made, for example, against no fewer than sixteen German ships.
Espionage was another field of activity. Thus repatriation of Germans from Soviet Russia was utilized for the purpose of gaining the services of these Germans for ends of the OGPU by the most reprehensible means. Not only men but women too were victims of shameless extortion and were forced to enter the service of the OGPU.
Even the Soviet Russian Embassy in Berlin, headed by M. Kobuloff, Counselor of the Embassy, did not shrink from unscrupulous abuse of the rights of extraterritoriality for espionage purposes. M. E. Mokhoff, member of the Russian Consulate at Prague, was at the head of another Russian espionage organization, which had ramifications throughout the protectorate.
Further instances in which the police were able to take action in good time provided clear, unequivocable evidence of these extensive Soviet Russian machinations. The whole of the evidence proves irrefutably that Soviet Russia was engaged against Germany in the political, military and economic spheres in large-scale subversive activities, acts of sabotage, terror and espionage in preparation for war.
As to activities by Russia in European countries outside Germany, they extended to almost all European states that are friendly to or are occupied by Germany. Thus in Rumania, for example, Communist propaganda in the form of pamphlets of Russian origin represented Germany as being responsible for all local troubles in order to create an anti-German atmosphere
The same thing had been evident in Yugoslavia since the Summer of 1940. Pamphlets there incited the people to protest against the Cvetkovitch regime, which was "hobnobbing with the imperialistic governments in Berlin and Rome." At a meeting of Communist party functionaries in Zagreb the whole of Southeastern Europe from Slovakia to Bulgaria was described as a Russian protectorate that would come into being after Germany's hoped for military decline.
In the Soviet Legation at Belgrade, German troops discovered documentary evidence of the Soviet Russian origin of this propaganda.
Whereas Communist propaganda in Yugoslavia sought to make use of nationalist catch-words, in Hungary it was effective chiefly among the Ruthenian population, to whom it held out hopes of coming liberation through Soviet Russia.
Anti-German propaganda was particularly active in Slovakia, where the propaganda was openly carried on in favor of annexation of that country by Soviet Russia.
In Finland the notorious "Association for Peace and Friendship With the Soviet Union" actively cooperated with the Petroskoi broadcasting station, attempting to bring about disintegration of this country and at the same time carried on activities of a marked anti-German nature.
In France, Belgium and Holland agitation was directed against the German armies of occupation. A similar campaign was conducted in the Government General [Poland], cloaked by national Pan-Slavistic propaganda.
Scarcely had Greece been occupied by the German and Italian Armies when Soviet Russian propaganda commenced there too.
All this is evidence of a campaign systematically carried out in every country by the U.S.S.R. against Germany's endeavor to establish a sound order in Europe.
Parallel with this there was directed propaganda designed to counteract measures of German policy, taking the form of denunciation of these measures as anti-Russian and attempting to win over various countries to side with Soviet Russia against Germany.
In Bulgaria there was agitation against adherence to the Tripartite Pact and in favor of a guarantee pact with Russia. In Rumania attempts were made at infiltration into the Iron Guard and suborning its leaders, including Groza, a Rumanian who started the Putsch of Jan. 23, 1941, and behind whom Bolshevist agents of Moscow stood as wire-pullers. Indisputable proofs of this are held by the Reich Government.
In regard to Yugoslavia the Reich Government has come in possession of documents according to which a Yugoslav delegate named Georgevitch gained the impression from a conversation with Molotoff [Vyacheslaff M. Molotoff, Russian Foreign Commissar], in Moscow early in May, 1940, that Germany was being regarded there as a mighty foe of tomorrow.
Soviet Russia's attitude to requests for arms made by Serbian military circles left even less doubt. In November, 1940, the Chief of the Soviet Russian General Staff declared to the Yugoslav military attaché: "We will give you everything you ask for immediately." The prices to be paid and the mode of payment were left to the discretion of the Belgrade Government and only one condition was made-secrecy as far as Germany was concerned.
When the Cvetkovitch government subsequently approached the Axis powers Moscow began to delay deliveries of munitions, and this was briefly communicated to the Yugoslav military attaché by the Soviet Russian War Ministry.
The staging of the Belgrade Putsch of March 27 of this year formed the climax to these conspiracies against the Reich by Serbian plotters and Anglo-Russian agents. The Serbian leader of this Putsch and the head of the "Black Hand," M. Simitch, is still today in Moscow, displaying there great activity against the Reich on closest cooperation with Soviet Russian propaganda officers.
The foregoing examples provide only a glimpse of the enormously varied propaganda activities which the U.S.S.R. is conducting against Germany throughout Europe. In order to furnish the outside world with a comprehensive survey of the activities of Soviet Russian authorities in this direction since the conclusion of the pacts between Germany and Russia and to enable the public to judge for themselves, the Reich Government will publish the extensive material at their disposal.
In general, the Reich Government note the following:
At the conclusion of the pacts with Germany, the Soviet Government repeatedly made the unequivocal declaration that they did not intend to interfere, either directly or indirectly, in German affairs.
On conclusion of the pact of friendship they solemnly stated they would collaborate with Germany in order to bring an end, in accordance with the true interests of all peoples, of the war existing between Germany on one hand and Great Britain on the other, and to achieve this aim as soon as possible.
In the light of the above mentioned facts, which have continually become more apparent during the further course of the war, these Soviet Russian agreements and declarations were revealed as being intentionally misleading and deceptive. Nor did the advantages accruing from Germany's friendly attitude cause the Soviet Government to adopt a loyal attitude toward Germany.
On the contrary, the Reich Government have been forced to observe that conclusion of the pacts in 1939 was yet another instance of the application of Lenin's thesis, as expressly reaffirmed in October, 1939, in "instructions for the Communist party in Slovakia," stating that "pacts may be concluded with certain other countries if they further the interests of the Soviet Government and help render the opponent innocuous."
The conclusion of these pacts of friendship was, accordingly, for the Soviet Government only a tactical manoeuvre. The real aim was to reach agreements which were advantageous to Russia, thus simultaneously preparing for future action.
The leading idea remained the weakening of non-bolshevist states in order to be in a position to disintegrate them more easily and, when the time came, break them up. In a Russian document discovered after the capture of Belgrade in the Soviet Legation there, this object was expressed with stark brutality in the following words:
"The U.S.S.R. will not wait until the opportune moment occurs. Axis powers have further dissipated their forces and the U.S.S.R. will consequently strike a sudden blow against Germany."
The Soviet Government have not heeded the voice of the Russian people, who sincerely wished to live in peace and friendship with the German people, but have continued in the old bolshevist policy of duplicity and, by so doing, have assumed a heavy burden of responsibility.
If the Soviet Union's subversive propaganda carried out in Germany and the rest of Europe leaves no room for doubt as to its attitude toward Germany, then the policy of the Soviet Government toward Germany in the military sphere and in the fields of foreign politics, even since the conclusion of pacts between Germany and Russia, makes matters even clearer.
In Moscow, on the occasion of the delineation of spheres of interest, the Soviet Government declared to the German Minister of Foreign Affairs that it did not intend to occupy, bolshevize or annex any states situated within their sphere of interest, other than territories of the former Polish State, which were at that time in a state of disintegration.
In actual fact, however, as the course of events has shown, the policy of the Soviet Union during the whole time was exclusively directed toward one object-namely, that of extending Moscow's military power wherever the possibility offered in the area between the Arctic Ocean and the Black Sea, and of furthering bolshevism in Europe.
Development of this policy was marked by the following stages:
1. It was initiated by the formulation of so-called assistance pacts with Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania in October and November, 1939, and by establishment of military bases in those countries.
2. The next Soviet Russian move was against Finland, when Soviet Russian demands, acceptance of which would have meant the end of the sovereignty of an independent Finnish State, were rejected by the Finnish Government. The Soviet Government was responsible for the formation of the Kusinin Communist puppet government, and, when the Finnish people refused to recognize this government, an ultimatum was presented to Finland. The Red Army was subsequently marching in at the end of November, 1939. By the Finnish-Russian peace concluded in March, Finland was obliged to surrender part of her southeastern provinces immediately.
3. A few months later-in July, 1940-the Soviet Union took action against the Baltic States. Under terms of the first Moscow pact Lithuania belonged to the German sphere of interest.
In the second pact, at the desire of the Soviet Union, the German Government relinquished their interests in a greater part of Lithuania in favor of the Soviet Union for the sake of peace, although they did so with heavy heart. A strip of this territory still remained within the German sphere of interest.
Following upon an ultimatum delivered on June 15, the whole of Lithuania, including that part which had remained within the German sphere of interest, was occupied by the Soviet Union without notification of the German Government so that the U.S.S.R. now extended right up to the entire eastern frontier of East Prussia.
When subsequently Germany was approached on this question the German Government, after difficult negotiations and in order to make a further effort toward reaching a friendly settlement, ceded this part of Lithuania also to the Soviet Union.
A short time afterward Latvia and Estonia were likewise occupied by military force, procedure which constituted gross abuse of the pacts of assistance concluded with these states.
Contrary to the express assurance given by Moscow, all Baltic States were then Bolshevized and summarily annexed by the Soviet Government a few weeks after occupation.
Simultaneously with the annexation, the Red Army was for the first time concentrated in force throughout the whole of the northern sector of the Soviet Russian buttress directed toward Europe.
It goes almost without saying that the economic pacts between Germany and these States, which, according to the Moscow agreements were not to be affected, were unilaterally canceled by the Soviet Government.
4. In the pacts of Moscow it had been expressly agreed in connection with the delimitation of interest in former Polish territories that no kind of political agitation was to take place beyond the frontiers marking these zones of interest, but that activity of occupation authorities on either side was to be restricted exclusively to peaceful development of these territories.
The German Government possesses irrefutable proof that in spite of these agreements the Soviet Union very soon after occupation of the territory not only permitted anti-German propaganda for consumption in the Government-General of Poland but, in point of fact, sponsored it parallel with Bolshevist propaganda in the same region. Strong Russian garrisons were also transferred to these territories immediately after the occupation.
5. While the German Army still was fighting in the west against France and Britain, the Soviet Union advanced in the Balkans. Although the Soviet Government had declared during the Moscow negotiations they would never make the first move toward achieving settlement of the Bessarabian question, the German Government was informed on June 24, 1940, by the Soviet Government that they now were resolved to settle the Bessarabian question by force.
It was stated at the same time that Soviet claims also extended to Bukovina, that is to say, territory which was ancient Austrian crown land, had never belonged to Russia and had, moreover, not ever been mentioned at the time of the Moscow negotiations.
The German Ambassador to Moscow declared to the Soviet Government their decision had come as a complete surprise to the German Government and that it would seriously affect Germany's economic interest in Rumania and lead to disruption of the life of a large German settlement there as well as of the German element in Bukovina. Molotoff replied that the matter was one of extreme urgency and that the Soviet Union expected to be apprised of the German Government's attitude with regard to this question within twenty-four hours.
In spite of this brusque action against Rumania, the German Government once more intervened in favor of the Soviet Union in order to preserve peace and maintain their friendship with that country.
They advised the Rumanian Government, who had appealed to Germany for help, to yield and recommended to them to surrender Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina to Soviet Russia. The affirmative answer of the Rumanian Government was communicated to the Soviet Government by Germany, together with the Rumanian Government's request to be granted sufficient time for evacuation of these large areas and the safeguarding of lives and property of the inhabitants.
Once more, however, the Soviet Government presented an ultimatum to Rumania, and, before its expiration, began to occupy parts of Bukovina on June 28, and immediately afterward the whole of Bessarabia as far as the Danube. Those territories were also immediately annexed by the Soviet Union, bolshevized and thus literally reduced to ruin.
By occupying and bolshevizing entire spheres of interest in Eastern Europe and in the Balkans accorded to the U.S.S.R. by the Reich Government during the Moscow negotiations, the Soviet Government plainly and irrefutably acted contrary to the Moscow agreements.
In spite of this, the Reich Government continued to maintain an absolutely loyal attitude toward the U.S.S.R. They refrained from intervention in the Finnish war and in the Baltic question. They supported the attitude of the Soviet Government against the Rumanian Government in the Bessarabian question, and reconciled themselves, albeit with heavy heart, to the state of affairs created by the Soviet Government.
Furthermore, in order to eliminate as far as possible any divergences between the two States from the very outset, the Reich government set to work on a large-scale resettlement scheme, whereby all Germans in areas occupied by the U.S.S.R. were brought back to Germany. The Reich Government felt that more convincing proof of their desire to come to a lasting peace with the U.S.S.R. could scarcely be given.
As a result of Russia's advance toward the Balkans, territorial problems in this region came up for discussion. In the Summer of 1940, Rumania and Hungary appealed to Germany to effect settlement of their territorial disputes after these divergencies, fostered by British agents, had resulted in a serious crisis at the end of August.
War was imminent between Rumania and Hungary. Germany, who had repeatedly been requested by Hungary and Rumania to mediate in their quarrel, desired to maintain peace in the Balkans and, together with Italy, invited the two States to confer at Vienna, where, at their request, she proclaimed the Vienna arbitration award of Aug. 30, 1940.
This defined the new frontier between Hungary and Rumania and, in order to enable the Rumanian Government to justify before their people territorial sacrifices which they made and to eliminate any quarrels in this area for the future, Germany and Italy undertook to guarantee the remaining Rumanian State.
As Russian aspirations in this area had been satisfied, this guarantee could never be taken as directed against Russia. The Soviet Union nevertheless complained and stated that, contrary to former declarations according to which its aspirations in the Balkans had been satisfied by occupation of Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina, it had further interests in Balkan questions, though for the time being those were not further defined.
Soviet Russia's anti-German policy began from that time to become steadily more apparent. The Reich Government kept on receiving more and more definite news, according to which negotiations which had been carried on for some time in Moscow by British Ambassador Cripps were developing favorably. The Reich Government at the same time came into possession of proof of the Soviet Union's intensive military preparations in every sphere.
These proofs are, among other things, confirmed by a report recently found in Belgrade by the Yugoslav military attaché to Moscow, dated Feb. 17, 1940, which reads literally: "According to information received from Soviet sources, armaments for the air force, tank corps and artillery in accordance with experiences of the present war are in full progress and will, in the main, have been completed by August, 1941. This probably also constitutes a time limit before which no appreciable changes in the Soviet's foreign policy can be expected."
Despite the unfriendly attitude of the U.S.S.R. over the Balkan question, Germany made a fresh effort to come to an understanding with the Soviet Union: the Reich Minister of Foreign Affairs, in a letter to Stalin, gave a comprehensive survey of the policy of the Reich Government since the negotiations in Moscow. The letter referred in particular to the following points:
When the Tripartite Pact between Germany, Italy and Japan was concluded it was unanimously agreed this pact in no sense was directed against the Soviet Union, but that friendly relations of the three powers and their treaties with the U.S.S.R. should remain completely unaffected by the pact. This was also placed on record in the Tripartite Pact of Berlin.
At the same time the letter expressed the desire and hope that it might prove possible jointly to clarify still further friendly relations with the U.S.S.R. desired by the signatories to the Tripartite Pact and to give such relations concrete form. In order to discuss these questions more fully, the Reich Minister of Foreign Affairs invited Molotoff to visit Berlin.
During Molotoff's visit to Berlin the Reich Government was forced to the conclusion that the U.S.S.R. was inclined toward genuinely friendly cooperation with the signatories of the Tripartite Pact and with Germany in particular, provided the latter were prepared to pay the price demanded by the Soviet Union. This price was to take the shape of further penetration of the Soviet Union into North and Southeast Europe.
The following demands were made by Molotoff in Berlin and in subsequent diplomatic conversations with the German Ambassador in Moscow:
1. The Soviet Union desired to give a guarantee to Bulgaria and, above this, to conclude with her a pact of assistance on the same lines as those concluded with the Baltic states-i.e., providing for military bases.
At the same time Molotoff declared he did not wish to interfere with the internal regime of Bulgaria. A visit of Russian Commissar Soboleff to Sofia at that time was likewise undertaken with the object of realizing this intention.
2. The Soviet Union demanded an agreement in the form of a treaty with Turkey for the purpose of providing, on the basis of a long-time lease, a base, for Soviet land and naval forces on the Bosporus and in the Dardanelles. In case Turkey should not agree to this proposal, Germany and Italy were to cooperate with Russia in diplomatic steps to be undertaken to enforce compliance with this demand. These demands were aimed at the domination of the Balkans by the U.S.S.R.
3. The Soviet Union declares that once more it felt itself threatened by Finland and therefore demanded complete abandonment of Finland by Germany, which, in actual fact, would have amounted to occupation of this state and extermination of the Finnish people.
Germany naturally was unable to accept these Russian demands designated by the Soviet Government as a primary condition for cooperation with the signatories to the Tripartite Pact. Thus the latter's efforts to come to an understanding with the Soviet Union failed.
In consequence the attitude adopted by Germany was that the U.S.S.R. now had intensified a policy more openly directed against Germany and that its increasingly close cooperation with Britain was clearly revealed.
In January, 1941, this antagonistic attitude on the part of Russia first showed in the diplomatic sphere. When that month Germany adopted certain measures in Bulgaria against the landing of British troops in Greece the Russian Ambassador in Berlin pointed out in an official démarche that the Soviet Union regarded Bulgarian territory and the two straits as the security zone for the U.S.S.R. and that it could not remain a passive spectator of events taking place in these territories which amounted to a menace for the interests of such security. For this reason the Soviet Government issued a warning with regard to the appearance of German troops on Bulgarian territory or on that of either of the two straits.
Thereupon the Reich Government furnished the Soviet Government with exhaustive information about the causes and aims of their military measures in the Balkans.
They made it clear Germany would prevent, with every means of her power, any attempt on the part of Britain to gain a foothold in Greece, but that she had no intention of occupying the straits and would respect Turkish sovereignty and territory. The passage of German troops through Bulgaria could not be regarded as an encroachment on the Soviet Union's security interests; on the contrary, the Reich's Government believed they were serving Soviet interests by those operations. After carrying through her operations in the Balkans, Germany withdrew her troops from there.
Despite the declaration on the part of the Reich Government, the Soviet Government for their part published a declaration addressed to Bulgaria directly after the entry of German troops into that country which manifested a character clearly hostile to the German Reich and said in effect that the presence of German troops in Bulgaria was not conducive to the peace of the Balkans, but rather to war.
An explanation of this attitude was found by the Reich Government in incoming information, steadily increasing in volume, about growing collaboration between Soviet Russia and Britain. Even in the face of these facts, Germany remained silent.
Along the same lines was the assurance given in March, 1941, that Russia would not attack Turkey in event of the latter's joining in war on the Balkans. This, according to information in possession of the Reich Government, was the result of Anglo-Russian negotiations during the visit of the British Foreign Secretary in Ankara, who thereby aimed at drawing Russia closer to the British camp.
The aggressive policy of the Soviet Union toward the German Reich, which steadily was becoming more pronounced ever since this time, as well as the hitherto somewhat discreet political cooperation between the Soviet Union and Britain became, however, patent to the whole world on the outbreak of the Balkan crisis at the beginning of April.
It is today fully established that the Putsch instigated by Britain in Belgrade after Yugoslavia had joined the Tripartite Pact was started with the connivance of Soviet Russia. A long time before, in fact since Nov. 19, 1940, Russia had secretly assisted Yugoslavia in arming against the Axis powers. Documents which fell into the hands of the Reich Government after the occupation of Belgrade revealing every phase of these Russian deliveries of arms in Yugoslavia give decisive proof of this.
Once the Belgrade Putsch had succeeded Russia on April 5 concluded a friendly agreement with the illegal Serbian Government of General Simovitch which was to lend moral support to the Putschists and with its weight assist the growing Anglo-Yugoslav-Greek front.
Evident satisfaction was expressed on this occasion by American Under-Secretary of State Sumner Welles when he stated on April 6, 1941, after several conversations with the Soviet Ambassador in Washington that "the Russo-Yugoslav Pact might, under certain circumstances, be of the greatest importance. It is attracting interest in many quarters and there are grounds for assuming it will be more than a mere pact of friendship and non-aggression."
Thus, at the same time when German troops were being concentrated on Rumanian and Bulgarian territory against growing landings of British troops in Greece, the Soviet, now obviously in concerted action with the British, was attempting to stab Germany in the back by:
1. Giving Yugoslavia open political and secret military support.
2. Attempting to move Turkey to adopt an aggressive attitude toward Bulgaria and Germany by guaranteeing not to attack her and to concentrate her army in a very unfavorable strategic position in Thrace.
3. Herself concentrating a strong force on the Rumanian frontier in Bessarabia and in Moldavia, and
4. The sudden attempt early in April of Vyshinski, Deputy Peoples' Commissar in the Foreign Commissariat, in his conversations with Gafencu, Rumanian Minister in Moscow, to inaugurate a policy of rapid rapprochement with Rumania in order to persuade that country to break away from Germany.
British diplomacy through the intermediary of the Americans was making efforts in the same direction in Bucharest.
According to the Anglo-Russian plan, German troops concentrated in Rumania and Bulgaria were to have been attacked from three sides, namely Bessarabia and Thrace and from the Serbian-Greek frontier.
It solely was due to the loyalty of General Antonescu's realistic policy, followed by the Turkish Government and, above all, to the rapid German initiative and decisive victories of the German Army, that this Anglo-Russian plan was frustrated.
According to information in the hands of the Reich Government, almost 200 Yugoslav aircraft carrying Soviet Russian and British agents as well as Serbian parachutists led by Simitch were flown off, partly to Russia-these officers are today serving in the Russian Army-and partly to Egypt. This fact alone throws a particularly characteristic light upon the close collaboration between Britain, Russia and Yugoslavia.
In vain the Soviet Government tried on various occasions to veil the real intentions underlying their policy. Besides maintaining economic relations with Germany even during the last stage, they adopted a succession of measures to deceive the world into thinking they were maintaining normal, even friendly, relations with Germany.
Instances of this, for example, are requests to leave that they addressed a few weeks ago to diplomatic representatives of Norway, Belgium, Greece and Yugoslavia, silence observed by the British press about German-Russian relations, acting under instructions of Sir Stafford Cripps, British Ambassador, who was in agreement with the Russian Government, and finally the dementi recently published by the Tass Agency in which relations between Germany and the Soviet Union were described as completely correct.
These attempts at camouflage, which stand in such flagrant contrast to the real policy of the Soviet Government, naturally did not succeed in deceiving the Reich Government.
The anti-German policy of the Soviet Government was accompanied in the military sphere by steadily increasing concentration of all available Russian armed forces on the long front extending from the Baltic to the Black Sea. Already at the time when Germany was deeply engaged in the west in the campaign against France and when only a few German detachments were stationed in the east, the Russian High Command began systematically to transfer large bodies of troops to their eastern frontiers with the Reich, marked mass movements being noticed along the East Prussian frontier and that of the Government-General, as also in Bukovina and Bessarabia, opposite Rumania.
Russian garrisons facing Finland continually were being reinforced. Constant transfers of more and more fresh Russian divisions from the Far East and the Caucasus to Western Russia were further measures of a similar kind. After the Soviet Government had declared originally that the Baltic area, for instance, would only be occupied by troops, they proceeded to concentrate in this area, after military occupation had been completed, masses of additional troops, their number today being estimated at twenty-two divisions.
It was obvious that Russian troops were advancing ever closer to the German frontier, although no military measures had been adopted on the German side which might justify such action on the part of the U.S.S.R. It is this action on the part of the Soviet Union which first compelled German armed forces to adopt counter-measures.
Various units of the Russian Army and Air Force moved closer and closer in the direction of the frontier and strong detachments of the air force were posted on airdromes along German boundaries. Since the beginning of April more frontier violations also have taken place and a steadily increasing number of incursions over Reich territory by Russian aircraft have been observed.
According to reports from the Rumanian Government, similar occurrences have been observed on the Rumanian frontier in the area of Bukovina and along Moldavia and the Danube.
Since the beginning of the current year the German High Command has repeatedly attracted attention of the Foreign Office to the steadily increasing menace which the Russian Army presents for Reich territory, emphasizing at the same time that only aggressive intentions could account for the troop concentrations. The communications from the German High Command will be published in detail.
If the slightest doubts about the aggressive intentions of this Russian concentration could still be entertained, they have been completely dispelled by news which reached the German High Command during the past few days.
Now that the Russian general mobilization is complete, no less than 160 divisions are concentrated facing Germany. Observations made during the past few days have shown that grouping of Russian troops, and especially of motorized and armored units, has been carried out in such a way as to allow the Russian High Command at any moment to make an aggressive advance on the German frontier at various points.
Reports about increased reconnaissance patrol activity as well as accounts received daily of incidents on the frontier and outpost skirmishes between the two armies complete the picture of an extremely strained military situation which may at any moment reach the breaking point.
News received today from England about negotiations by Sir Stafford Cripps, with the view of establishing still closer collaboration between the political and military leaders of Britain and the U.S.S.R., together with the appeal by Lord Beaverbrook, one-time enemy of the Soviet regime, to support Russia in the oncoming conflict by every available means and his exhortation to the United States to do the same, show unambiguously what kind of a fate it is desired to prepare for the German nation.
Summarizing the foregoing points the Reich Government wish therefore to make the following declaration:
Contrary to all engagements which they have undertaken in absolute contradiction to their solemn declarations, the Soviet Government have turned against Germany. They have:
1. Not only continued but, even since the outbreak of war, intensified subversive activities against Germany and Europe; they have
2. In continually increasing measure, developed their foreign policy in a tendency hostile to Germany; and they have
3. Massed their entire forces on the German frontier ready for action.
The Soviet Government have thus violated treaties and broken their agreements with Germany.
Bolshevist Moscow's hatred of National Socialism was stronger than its political wisdom.
Bolshevism is opposed to National Socialism in deadly enmity.
Bolshevist Moscow is about to stab National Socialist Germany in the back while she is engaged in a struggle for her existence.
Germany has no intention of remaining inactive in the face of this grave threat to her eastern frontier.
The Fuehrer has, therefore, ordered German forces to oppose this menace with all the might at their disposal.
In the coming struggle the German people are fully aware that they are called upon not only to defend their native land but to save the entire civilized world from the deadly dangers of bolshevism and clear the way for true social progress in Europe.
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Times, Thursday, May 1, 1941: Masses of
truck-borne infantry and new motorized
artillery were star attractions today in Soviet
Russia's traditional May Day parade in Red
Square, and Defense Commissar Semyon K.
Timoshenko told spectators that the Red Army
was mobilized against "accidents" and "tricks
of foreign enemies." [No doubt Stalin edited
the speech. In the reference to "accidents"
(since one might assume that Hitler himself was
too smart to order an attack on Russia) Stalin
was warning the German generals not to start
a war on their own initiative as in the case of
the Japanese generals who were known to
launch military offensives on the Asian
Continent without central government approval.
The "tricks of foreign governments" refers to
Stalin's suspicion that British agents were
attempting to incite a diversionary war between
Germany and Russia. ... Meanwhile, with
Europe in the bag, Hitler's undefeated and
confident soldiers, massing in millions on the
German-Soviet demarcation line, awaited the
approaching summer campaigning season.] ...
There were fewer foot soldiers than before and
less of the usual field artillery. Two mortars
mounted on trucks were among the new
machines that rumbled past the reviewing stand
at the base of Lenin's tomb. Also prominent
were youths of 14 to 17 in the silver-buttoned
black uniforms of the State labor reserve,
which was created last November. ... An
aerial procession of 300 warplanes concluded
the show, roaring through the clear blue skies
while tanks clanked along below. ... The
Soviet official news agency, Tass, said in its
report of the parade that an "especially strong
impression" was created by the dive-bombers
that plunged at enormous speed from high
altitudes toward the packed square. There
were great displays of aerial strength in 50
Soviet cities. ... Tass also said powerful long-
range guns participated for the first time in the
show and that the tanks were led across the
square by a great number of "land destroyers."
... The news agency reported about 2,000,000
persons took part in a five-hour demonstration
of "love and loyalty" to Joseph Stalin after the
military parade. ... The civilian paraders
carried large pictures of Soviet leaders and
banners emphasizing the Soviet "peace through
preparedness" theme. ... Among the diplomats
who watched was the German Ambassador,
Count Friedrich Werner von der Schulenburg,
who has just returned from consultations with
Adolf Hitler. ... Mr. Stalin and other notables
witnessed the spectacle. Marshal Timoshenko,
in the keynote speech opening the celebration
and in a special army order of the day,
expressed hope for the end of the war, "the
sooner the better," but warned: "The party,
the Soviet government, and our entire people
realize clearly that our country is in a capitalist
encirclement, that the international situation is
very tense and pregnant with all kinds of
surprises. Therefore the entire Soviet people
and the Red Army and Navy must be in a state
of fighting preparedness." ... Marshal
Timoshenko said the April 13 neutrality pact
with Japan was evidence that the Soviet Union
"keeps out of war and resists its extension,"
but he said that Russia was ready "to offer an
annihilating blow to any encroachment by
imperialists." ... He acclaimed Russia's
achievements during the past year and
emphasized Russia's steps taken to
reorganize her armed forces "in the light of
experience and modern warfare" at the behest
of Mr. Stalin. [The stated reorganization of
the Red Army "in the light of experience" was
a subtle warning to Hitler that lessons were
learned in the disastrous 1939/40 war with
Finland.] ... In the light of the international
situation, Marshal Timoshenko said, "the Red
Army must keep its powder dry and be in
constant mobilization and preparedness." The
marshal, who was named Defense Commissar
a year ago and charged with the task of
overhauling the army, called upon Soviet
workers to labor ceaselessly to help
"consolidate the defense capacity of the
country." "Every one of us must work
extensively and persistently to accomplish the
task with credit, so that the Red Army may
always be ready to defeat any enemy," he said.
He also said for the first time "the working
people of Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia,
Bessarabia, and Northern Bukovina [areas of
interest to Hitler but grabbed by Stalin in
1940] are celebrating May 1 freely and
joyously in the united family of peoples of the
great Soviet Union." [Those who were
unenthusiastic were being weeded out,
arrested, and sent to slave/death camps in
Siberia.] ... "During the past year," Marshal
Timoshenko said, "those young Soviet
republics have achieved notable successes.
Without landlords and capitalists they are
building a new life." ... The May Day
program ended tonight with dancing, band
concerts, and outdoor movies in streets hung
with red banners. ... The streets were bright
with red flags and banners emblazoned with
Communist party slogans, such as: "Long live
the foreign policy of the Soviet Government --
peace between peoples and security for our
country. Toilers of the Soviet Union -- don't
forget the capitalistic encirclement. Let's
strengthen infallibility in our socialistic
[Stay tuned for late breaking war bulletins.