740.0011 European War 1939/359: Telegram

The Chargé in Germany (Kirk) to the Secretary of State

1291. My 1282, September 17, 11 a.m.49 Although Soviet representatives here have intimated that measures against the Poles might be undertaken (see my 1243, September 14, 5 p.m.49), they have consistently claimed that there have been no direct communications recently between Germany and Russia with respect to the fate of Poland. They now profess however that the Soviet Government does not feel that a common frontier with Germany would constitute as real a danger as a weak Polish buffer state which might prove to be a nucleus of intrigue against Russia on the part of both Germany and the democracies.

The same officials reflect the opinion hitherto expressed in German circles as to the speedy termination of the Polish campaign followed by an offer of peace to France through Italian channels50 which will be accepted by France and to which England will find itself coinciding with necessity of subscribing owing to the isolated position to which it will be forced and the failure to effect a successful blockade of Germany. They support the argument by pointing to the relative inactivity of the British and French on the west which they allege to be an indication that those two countries do not intend to fight.

It must be admitted that the opinions lately emanating from Soviet representatives here have not been of a consistency that would offer [Page 434] definite assurance either as to their sincerity or the extent of their knowledge of the actual policy of their Government. Throughout their conversations, however, they have never omitted to emphasize the importance, as an element of Soviet policy, of the security of the Union and of the defense of its territory and those who entertain the belief that the Soviet Government would refrain from engaging in an offensive military action involving the Union in a major conflict are inclined to explain the present movement of the Ked Army into Poland as a precautionary measure which was considered advisable in the face of the German advance and which was destined to produce a favorable reaction among the Russian people. Soviet representatives here have at no time indicated that the recent change in German-Soviet relations obviated the necessity of vigilance on the part of the Union towards Germany and they have not reinforced the portent of the altered relations by envisaging an inclusion of Japan in the German-Soviet combination dating from the non-aggression pact as was at one time mooted in certain German circles (see my 888, August 24, 4 p.m.51).

From a brief conversation at the War Ministry today the Assistant Military Attaché to this Embassy was given the impression that the Germans did not expect the Russian move into Poland to be effected at this particular moment but the officials at that Ministry confined their statements to an assertion that insofar as they were aware no military pact exists between Germany and Russia.

  1. Not printed.
  2. Not printed.
  3. For peace movements and proposals following the occupation of Poland, see pp. 499 ff.
  4. Not printed.