Friday, December 18, 2015

ADSS 1.142 Cortesi to Maglione: situation worsens in Poland

ADSS 1.142 Filippo Cortesi, Poland, to Luigi Maglione, Sec State.

Reference: Telegram 36 (AES 5733/39)

Location and date: Warsaw, rec’d Rome 28.08.1939.

Summary statement: The situation is worsening. A last chance for peace could be found in a guarantee for the minorities.

Language: Italian


Press speaks of extremely grace situation: mobilisation around (?) Germany believed (?) excessive (?) … Germans and military planes penetrate here and there on the Polish frontier causing bloody conflicts … Polish Consulate seized, international trains … Poznan diplomatic circles do not see what could still save the peace. (1)

Head of Propaganda Section of the Prime Minister delivers today, 21.00hrs … speech, which will be broadcast in French, English and German, saying, “We are not persecuting German subjects (?)” (2)

I have submitted my idea: Holy See to ask German and Polish Governments what steps they think necessary to guarantee condition of minorities in respective countries.  I think this could give some satisfaction to Germany.

(1) The Brisbane Courier Mail reported on 28.08.1939 that border clashes had left both Germans and Poles dead.  The newspaper reported that there had been a series of incidents along the German-Polish border as well as from the Slovak-Polish border.

(2) Poland’s government issued almost daily announcements in an attempt to counter German claims of Polish atrocities against Germans in Poland. “The Polish Government is obliged to protest solemnly against the German Government using untrue information in its diplomatic gamble regarding the alleged terrorisation of the German minority.  This untrue information is being deliberately used to mislead international opinion and foreign Governments … pure invention.” Courier Mail, 30.08.1939, p3.

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