760C.62/620: Telegram

The Ambassador in France (Bullitt) to the Secretary of State

1034. The Counselor of the German Embassy who returned to Paris a few days ago from Berlin said to Wilson4 this noon that his Government had determined to settle definitively the question of Danzig before the summer was over. He remarked that it was a pity that Beck had refused the proposal made to him by Hitler when he visited Berchtesgaden last January for the reincorporation of Danzig in the Reich and a “narrow” corridor across the Corridor.5

The German Counselor said that he was at a loss to understand why Beck had turned down this offer. Wilson remarked that it was doubtless because the Poles had no desire to have the same fate befall them as had befallen the Czechs. The German Counselor said that this was absurd and that Hitler’s offer had been made in good faith in an effort to settle the last serious problem affecting Germany in Europe. Wilson said that what might have seemed a reasonable proposal last December, of course, would seem something quite different after the event of March 15.6 The Counselor said that he must admit that this was undoubtedly the view generally held in other countries.

Upon inquiry as to exactly how Hitler intended to settle the Danzig problem before the summer was over the German Counselor professed ignorance. Wilson remarked that it was generally believed that the German plan was about as follows: a vote by the Danzig Senate for incorporation in the Reich which would be followed by the entry of Polish troops into Danzig. Germany would then go to the defense of Danzig and would make war upon Poland believing that Great Britain and France would fail to fulfill their pledges of assistance to Poland on the ground that Poland had committed the act of aggression. The German Counselor said that it was a fact that his Government [Page 192] was convinced that if events should take place in the matter [manner?] outlined Great Britain and France would refuse to assist Poland and Germany would be left to deal with Poland alone.

At the close of the conversation the German Counselor reiterated his statement that the Führer would “settle” Danzig before the end of the summer.

  1. Edwin C. Wilson, Counselor of Embassy in France.
  2. For German proposal made to Colonel Beck on January 5, 1939, see German White Book, doc. No. 200, p. 205.
  3. German occupation of Czechoslovakia; for correspondence regarding the situation, see pp. 34 ff.