740.0011 European War 1939/20325: Telegram

The Ambassador to the Polish Government in Exile ( Biddle ) to the Secretary of State

Polish Series 22. For the President, the Secretary and the Under Secretary. Supplementing my Polish Series No. 21, March 13, 5 [6] p.m. In presenting his views to you, Sikorski will probably put forth somewhat same arguments he expressed in formal letter he wrote Eden42 after his talks with latter and with me. The following are main points thereof:

1. He considered that Stalin’s pressure for an agreement on his imperialistic post-war demands at this stage indicated (a) his lack of confidence in capacity of Russian forces to capture territories envisaged in demands, and (b) an attempt to take psychological advantage of circumstances currently favorable to Russia and unfavorable to the Allies.

Sikorski did not overrate the significance of the latest Russian successes; so far there had been no decisive German defeat. While he believed Russia would not lose the war, she would be put to tremendous effort to hold Caucasus oil fields. Four-fifths of the German forces were now engaged on eastern front. They still held the key operational bases including Crimea. Hitler now headquartering in Kiev was massing powerful force to strike in direction Rostov, Krasnodarsky Kray.

2. Sikorski strongly protested against recognition of Stalin’s demands, emphasizing that to yield to Russian pressure at this moment, which might prove turning point for the Allies, would serve (a) to impair the faith of nations in the integrity of the Allies and in the justice of the cause for which they were fighting, (b) to undermine resistance within conquered countries and current efforts to bring about insurrections therein at the right moment, and (c) to strengthen Hitler’s hand in his hitherto ineffective efforts to organize crusade against Bolshevism.

Sikorski moreover believed it would unfavorably influence the attitude of all neutral countries and on Catholic communities throughout [Page 119] world; they must not be driven to face the choice between third Reich and Soviet Russia. At present they were facing only one dilemma: German bondage or freedom.

He furthermore believed it would work an evil effect in the United States and Latin America, thus weakening Anglo-American collaboration, hence the common war effort.

3. The Polish-Russian agreement and subsequent declaration43 which Sikorski had signed with Stalin had seemed to indicate latter had abandoned idea of world revolution; that he appreciated the solidarity of the Allies and their moral and material assistance.

Sikorski had therefore accepted these negotiations and postponed the question of compensation for wrongs inflicted on the Poles between 1939 and 1941. However, he ascribed Russian Government’s present proposals not to its former political realism, but to Komintern’s44 influence which had revived as result of Russian winter successes. Hence he no longer felt as previously that question of Poland’s eastern frontiers could be settled between himself and Stalin on basis of justice. He would therefore want the presence of British and ourselves at settlement.

4. The Polish nation in light of its past and continued sacrifices and suffering for the common cause had right to believe in a Poland stronger than that which opposed the Reich.

[
Biddle
]
  1. A copy of the letter was transmitted to the Department by Ambassador Biddle in his Polish Series despatch No. 131, March 18; not printed.
  2. The Declaration of Friendship and Mutual Assistance signed at Moscow, December 4, 1941; see footnote 26, p. 111.
  3. Third (Communist) International, founded in Moscow, March 1919, by the Bolsheviks.