740.0011 European War 1939/3552: Telegram

The Minister in Rumania (Gunther) to the Secretary of State

254. My 237, May 27, 7 p.m. The Chief of Military Intelligence is reliably reported to me as being less anxious regarding the Russian menace. In view of increased Russian effectives (see my 251, June 4, noon and previous24) and intense activity in the direction of the Polish-Rumanian frontier this is unexpected. I therefore questioned [Page 473] a high official of the Foreign Office as to what had happened to allay Rumanian apprehension and he replied that Molotov had very recently said to the Rumanian Minister at Moscow that he was considering appointing a Minister to Rumania in a week or two. This is the first time Molotov has been anything but vague as to when this event might take place.

I was informed by the same official that von Schulenburg recently asked Molotov the reason for the augmentation of Russian forces based on Lwow, Kiev and Odessa and that Molotov replied that it was for defense. As it is certainly not likely that Rumania would attack Russia this was rather pointed.

Last Friday another high official of the Foreign Office stated to Hibbard25 that in his personal opinion the situation regarding the involvement of Rumania in the present war had greatly improved. In support of this thesis he talked of the old Turkish policy of maintaining quiet in the Balkans by playing one large power against another. He felt that such a point had not been reached, Italy having stated that any movement in the Balkans would involve Italy whereas Russia had issued a similar warning. Germany had assumed the role of mediator between the two and had informed them that under the circumstances the best policy was to leave the Balkans alone. He felt therefore that for the time being there would be peace in Rumania.

  1. Telegram No. 251 not printed; but see the Minister’s previous telegrams Nos. 226, May 23, 10 p.m.; 237, May 27, 7 p.m.; and 240, May 28, 3 p.m., pp. 466, 468, and 469, respectively.
  2. Frederick P. Hibbard, First Secretary of Legation in Rumania.