740.0011 European War 1939/3761: Telegram

The Minister in Finland (Schoenfeld) to the Secretary of State

261. The Prime Minister told me this afternoon that notwithstanding Molotov’s emphatic statement to him of intention of Soviet Union to keep out of the present war, important military leaders in Russia have lately expressed the conviction that the Soviet Union will be at war with Germany within a year. He believed present conversations between Lithuania and the Soviet Government30 were definitely related to this conviction. In reply to my inquiry as to how eventual conflict between Russia and Germany might affect Finland, the Prime Minister told me he had instructed Finnish diplomatic representatives positively not to enter upon any discussion on that topic under any circumstances. He mentioned in this relation existence of a supposedly official German map, of which I have no doubt Department is informed, greatly extending to the eastward the territory of Finland, but gave me to understand that Finnish Government is refraining scrupulously from intimating any political ambitions in any quarter.

  1. For correspondence on the occupation of the Baltic States and their incorporation into the Soviet Union, see pp. 357 ff.