Friday, June 5, 2015

ADSS 1.40 Orsenigo to Maglione: German reply to peace proposal

 ADSS 1.40 Cesare Orsenigo, Germany, to Luigi Maglione, Sec State.

Reference: Telegram 323 (AES 2391/39)

Location and date: Berlin, 12.05.1939.

Summary statement: German government’s reply to peace proposals.  Germany waits for a Polish response to new proposals.

Language: Italian


Today the Secretary of State at the Foreign Ministry (1) called me up to tell me that the Foreign Minister, back from Italy after having spoken with M. Ciano about the Holy Father’s proposal, was sorry to be unable to speak to me, because unwell, but hoped to be able to receive me in a couple of days. (2)

In the meantime the Secretary of State repeated to me more or less what the Chancellor had told me in Berchtesgaden, namely that there was no danger of immediate war, adding that the outstanding issues, especially between Germany and Poland, had not yet been cleared.

This last phrase could be explained by the news, received confidentially from a private person, according to which Germany had made new proposals to Poland regarding Danzig and the Corridor and was awaiting a reply. (3)

(1) Ernst von Weizsacker (1882-1951), Secretary of State to Foreign Office 1938-43.  Afterwards German Ambassador to the Holy See 1943-45.
(2) Joachim von Ribbentrop (1893-1946), German Foreign Minister 1938-45; Galeazzo Ciano (1903-1944), Italian Foreign Minister 1936-43.  See DGFP, Series D, Volume 6, n372, pp 399-400.
(3) The New York Times reported on 07.05.1939 “Herr Hitler says ‘Yes’ and Colonel Beck says ‘No”; There rests demand of Nazi Germany for incorporation of Danzig into the territory of Third Reich.  Poles to get plebiscite plan.” The Polish government rejected Hitler’s proposals.

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