740.0011 European War 1939/516: Telegram

The Minister in Yugoslavia (Lane) to the Secretary of State

288. One official German source states that Russia is being permitted to occupy two-thirds of Poland for the following reasons:

It permits economy of force in German divisions needed to occupy Poland.
It renders British claims of a war aim to restore Poland more difficult of fulfillment. By occupying substantially only that part of Poland which has a German population Hitler can argue that his action was not motivated by conquest but by racial attachment to the [Page 451] Reich. To restore the other two-thirds of Poland England must deal with Russia. England and France are thus forced in a position where they must consider seriously a declaration of war against Russia. Germany desires to have them declare war on Russia.
It whets Russia’s appetite for conquest and makes more probable her participation as an active military ally of Germany. Up to the present time Russia has committed herself with reservations; the Germans want combined action of Russian air and submarine forces.

Repeat[ed] to Paris.