Sunday, May 10, 2015

ADSS 1.30 Notes from Sec State: German complaints against L'Osservatore

 ADSS 1.30. Notes of the Secretariat of State

Reference: AES 2368/39

Location and date: Vatican, 06.05.1939

Summary statement: German Embassy complaint against L’Osservatore Romano

Language: Italian


M. Menshausen (1), Counsellor of the German Embassy at the Holy See, has complained to the Secretariat of Ste (05.05.1939) “the Osservatore Romano (page 6 – 29 April 1939, at the end of the article) had incorrectly reported Chancellor’s Hitler’s speech and had wrongly stated that the Treat with Poland had been denounced on account of the refusal of the offer made to Poland. It is not right.  See speech.  It was denounced because Poland had made other agreements. A correction would be appreciated”. (2)

On this subject we note:
It is true that, according to the German text of the speech, Hitler said that the treaty with Poland had been denounced on account of the new pact of mutual assistance signed by Poland with Great Britain.

But it is not true to affirm that L’Osservatore Romano in the above-mentioned article said that “the treaty with Poland had been denounced on account of the refusal of the offers made to Poland (under Nos. 1,2,3,4,5, that is “to acknowledge all economical rights of Poland in Danzig …”)

To convince oneself of this, one must read the passage of the Osservatore Romano (underlined in red).  It says that the denunciation of the Treaty with Poland is the consequence of the conclusion of the new pact of mutual assistance between Poland and Great Britain.  This is the obvious meaning of the article, and only by stretching the text would it be possible to make the Osservatore Romano say (which would not conform with the Chancellor’s statement on the subject) that the Treaty was denounced also because” the Polish Government not only rejected the proposal, but, under pressure of a deceitful campaign of world excitement, they had felt compelled to call men to arms, which Germany has not recalled one soldier.

We may point out that the Osservatore Romano uses quotation marks when reporting the Führer’s words regarding the causes of the denunciation of the Treaty with Poland.

M. Menhausen’s complaint against Osservatore Romano is therefore unjustified and the paper does not have to publish a correction.

This should be mentioned to M. Menhausen at the first opportunity.

(1) Fritz Menhausen (1885-1958), Counsellor of the German Embassy to the Holy See 1936-45.
(2) L’Osservatore Romano (29.04.1939) reported in the late news under the heading “Hitler’s speech at the Reichstag today” a summary of Hitler’s speech on 28.04.1939.

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