740.0011 European War 1939/4091: Telegram

The Chargé in the Soviet Union (Thurston) to the Secretary of State

731. A Tass13 communiqué has just been issued stating that rumors have been published in American, British, French, Japanese, and Turkish papers to the effect that the Soviet Union has concentrated 100 to 150 divisions on the Lithuanian-German frontier; that this concentration was due to the displeasure of the Soviet Union at the German successes in the west; that it expresses a worsening of Soviet-German relations; and that it is aimed at putting pressure on Germany. It states that Tass is empowered to declare that these ridiculous rumors do not correspond with realities, and that there are not more than 18 or 20 divisions in the three Baltic States; not concentrated on the Lithuanian-German frontier but distributed throughout three States for the purpose of guaranteeing the mutual assistance pact[s].14

The communiqué concludes as follows:

“In responsible Soviet circles it is considered that the disseminators of these rumors have as their aim to cast a shadow on Soviet-German relations. But these gentlemen give out their vague wishes as actualities. They obviously are not capable of understanding the self-evident fact that the friendly relations established between the Soviet Union and Germany as a result of the conclusion of a nonaggression pact are unshakeable by any rumors or trivial propaganda because they are based not on transitory motives but on the fundamental state interests of the Soviet Union and Germany.”

  1. Telegraph Agency of the Soviet Union; official communications agency of the Soviet Government.
  2. For correspondence regarding the pressure put upon the Baltic States by the Soviet Union in 1939 to conclude pacts of mutual assistance, see Foreign Relations, The Soviet Union, 1933–1939, pp. 934 ff.