740.0011 European War 1939/7530: Telegram

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

13. A responsible Foreign Office official told us this morning that we “could have no idea” of the effect of the President’s speeches of December 291 and January 3 [6]2 in this part of the world, particularly in Bulgaria which at the moment was in such an exposed position. He felt that the former conviction in that country that Germany was certain to be victorious had now given way to the belief that Germany cannot win. He hoped that we would “follow it up” since the President’s speeches were very “salutary” in Sofia.

In the absence of reliable information concerning Filoff’s3 visit to Vienna, he personally believed that if the Bulgarian Prime Minister did see Nazi leaders it was for the purpose of resisting German demands and explaining why they could not be met.

He considered the Balkan situation dangerous. With reference to Germany’s former assurances that she wanted peace in this region he said that German policy had completely changed and that she was now prepared to strike the moment she considered her vital interests in the Balkans were being jeopardized. Events in Rumania had shown what the German concept of “peace” was. In reply to a question he said that Yugoslavia has received no assurances from Germany for about a month.

  1. Department of State Bulletin, January 4, 1941, p. 3.
  2. Documents on American Foreign Relations (Boston, World Peace Foundation, 1941), vol. iii, p. 26.
  3. Bogdan Filoff, Bulgarian Prime Minister.