The Minister in the Netherlands (Emmet) to the Secretary of State

No. 191

Sir: Referring to the recent visit of Sir John Simon to Berlin, I have the honor to report that yesterday, while in conversation with Jhr. A. C. D. de Graeff, the Foreign Minister, he informed me that a few days ago he had gone to see Sir John Simon at Schiphol, the airport of Amsterdam, when the latter came down on his way through from Berlin to London.

The Foreign Minister told me that in his conversation with Sir John Simon that afternoon, the British statesman had said that Hitler had struck him as having none of the swashbuckling, arrogant, self-assertive qualities frequently attributed to him and characteristic of certain other European leaders. On the contrary, Hitler seemed to [Page 217] be rather retiring and bashful and of a certain mystic temperament,—the temperament of one who has a mission to perform in the world and who goes about doing it irrespective of consequences but in entire humility.

In addition, Sir John told Mr. de Graeff that Hitler seemed far more concerned with the Russian menace on the East, as exemplified by the large Russian army, than he did with affairs in Western Europe,—in fact he had expressed himself as rather unconcerned with affairs in Western Europe but thought that the East was a real danger spot, which would require action on the part of Germany.

It occurred to me that this conversation might prove of interest to the Department as there is some indication of Sir John Simon’s state of mind after the much discussed conversations.

Respectfully yours,

Grenville T. Emmet