760C.62/535: Telegram

The Ambassador in Poland (Biddle) to the Secretary of State

88. For the President and the Secretary.

1. Referring to my No. 85, April 24, 9 p.m., Poland’s resistance to Germany’s demands as declared in Hitler’s speech79 represents [Page 177] not a stand in terms of technicalities but in principle to protect the dignity and equilibrium of the system of Europe. To my mind Poland’s acceptance under current conditions of terms expressed by Hitler would undoubtedly destroy the spirit of resistance created by Britain’s, France’s and Poland’s conception of an anti-aggression front. In fact this conception represents the first and only sign of calling a halt to the hypnotic effect of the boa constrictor tactics of Axis diplomacy.

It is obvious that Hitler is exerting his utmost towards circumventing the real purpose of Poland’s resistance, as well as the French backed position of London as the bilateral pivot of an anti-aggression front.

It is well to bear in mind however that Poland would be willing at the proper time to discuss with Germany a solution however [upon an?] equitable basis. In other words if Poland submitted to Hitler’s terms under the present circumstances I [it?] would sell Europe short.

  1. For extract from Hitler’s speech to the Reichstag, April 28, 1939, regarding Poland, see Polish White Book, doc. No. 75, p. 77.