The Holocaust Historiography Project

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Translation of document 3638-PS

                                      Berlin, 1 October 1938

RM 256

This forenoon, I had a telephone conversation with Ciano,
following the Polish ultimatum to Czechoslovakia and the
news that the French, English and Italian ambassadors in
Warsaw, appealing to the Munich Pact, had taken emphatic
steps to hinder military intervention by Poland. Ciano said
that he had not commissioned the Italian Ambassador in
Warsaw to take steps, but that he had directed him to convey
to the Polish Foreign Minister in the form of a conversation
that the Italian government does not expect Poland to take
arms merely because of the few days which might be involved.

I thereupon presented our conception to Ciano and told him
that on the basis of our experience with the treatment of
the Sudeten Germans, we had great sympathy and understanding
for the Polish point of view.  I said that 240,000 Germans
have already been expelled from the Sudetenland. In Poland
200,000 people are involved who have, in part, already
undergone a similar fate or are awaiting it. We are informed
about the terrible circumstances in the Teschen area. He,
Ciano, would understand why under the above circumstances we
did not use the same language in Warsaw as Italy.

I thereupon at the same time declared the following to the
Polish Ambassador regarding the step undertaken by our
Ambassador in Warsaw toward the Polish Foreign Minister
Beck:

1. We have a complete understanding of the Polish point of
view;

2. We hoped that military intervention would not become
necessary; the prerequisite appears to be that Prague should
immediately accommodate itself to the Polish demands and in
the shortest possible time meet the wishes of the Poles;

3. In case of an armed conflict between Poland and
Czechoslovakia, it is self-understood that we would take a
favorable attitude;

4. Should the Soviet Union take military action against
Poland, which I deem impossible, an entirely new situation
would arise in the whole Czechoslovakian question as far as
Germany is concerned.

                                         Signed: Ribbentrop.