Monday, January 25, 2016

ADSS 1.157 Tardini notes: Hitler's reply to Chamberlain

ADSS 1.157 Domenico Tardini, notes.

Reference: AES 6832/39

Location and date: Vatican, 30.08.1939

Summary statement: Osborne, UK Minister, called on Maglione with Hitler’s reply to Chamberlain. Maglione conveyed Pope’s satisfaction over Britain’s attitude towards the Holy See.

Language: Italian


At 17.45hrs the British Minister called on the Cardinal Secretary of State to convey to him the summary of Hitler’s reply to Chamberlain. (1) Here are the points:

1. Hitler appreciates and shares the wish for a friendly and cordial understanding between Germany and Great Britain. 

2. He thinks, however, this should be conditional on the prior settlement of the prior settlement of the various disputes that divide Germany and Poland.  Hitler requests:

a) that Danzig and the Corridor be returned to Germany;
b) that guarantees be provided in favour of German minorities in Poland.  As, however, the incidents grow in number and constitute an immediate risk of war, it would be necessary for Poland to send to Berlin, within 24 hours (that is today, Wednesday, 30 August) a negotiator will full powers.

His Eminence has taken this occasion to convey to H.E. the Minister the Holy Father’s gratification at the attitude of Great Britain towards the Holy See in present circumstances.

H.E. the Minister appreciated this communication very much and asked if he could convey it to Lord Halifax.  His Eminence willingly agree.

The British Minister fears that the Polish Minister for Foreign Affairs will not agree to go to Berlin. (2)

(1) D’Arcy Osborne (1884-1964), British Minister to the Holy See 1936-47. The text of Hitler’s reply was telephoned from Berlin on the night of 29-30.08.1939. DBFP, Series 3, Volume 7, n 502, pp 388-90.  Osborne sent a summary of Hitler’s reply (AES 6828/39), which is in turn summarised by Tardini.

(2) Jozef Beck (1894-1944), Polish Foreign Minister 1932-39.

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