Briefing Book Paper
Introductory Statement Concerning Germany’s Eastern Frontier
The Inter-Divisional Committees on Germany and on Russia and Poland1 have recommended that Germany should be required to cede Upper Silesia, East Prussia and the portion of Pomerania east of the Kreuz–Dramburg line and that the remainder of German territory east of the Oder, and the territory between the Oder and the Neisse, should remain in German possession.
For the purposes of this present series of summary recommendations the eastern frontier of Germany has been divided into the six segments discussed on the following pages.
Two underlying documents (H–160 and CAC–341)2 have attempted to analyze the character of this whole frontier problem and to make as reasonable a recommendation for settlement as could be devised, given the complexity of the factors which need to be taken into consideration.
It has been recognized, however, that these recommendations represent a judgment of what appears to be the most desirable solution and not as an unbending resolution on the part of this Government. Patently it would be out of the question for us to say that we would accept only the frontier line here suggested and would have nothing to do with a frontier moved farther to the West. The position here taken rests on the thought that this Government should counsel [Page 751] against, and express grave reluctance to approve, a line west of the one recommended. If the Polish and Soviet Governments press insistently, and if they are supported by the British Government, we shall have no recourse but to agree to the cession of the area east of the Oder. It is believed, however, that this Government should refuse to sanction at this Conference the transfer to Poland of the territory between the Oder and the Neisse.
- Regarding these two interdivisional committees, see Notter, Postwar Foreign Policy Preparation, 1939–1945, p. 177.↩
- Not printed. These memoranda, prepared in the Department of State and dated, respectively, January 1 and January 4, 1945, were not included in the Briefing Book.↩
- See articles 27 (paragraph 7), 28, and 87 of the Treaty of Versailles, in Foreign Relations, The Paris Peace Conference, 1919, vol. xiii, pp. 127–128, 132, 208.↩
- See ibid., p. 231.↩
- See articles 100 and 102 of the Treaty of Versailles, Foreign Relations, The Paris Peace Conference, 1919, vol. xiii, pp. 251, 253.↩
- See ibid., p. 250.↩
- See ibid., pp. 212–215.↩
- During Churchill’s conversations at Moscow in October 1944. See Foreign Relations, The Conferences at Malta and Yalta, 1945, p. 203; Toynbee and Toynbee, eds., Survey of International Affairs, 1939–1946: The Realignment of Europe, pp. 184, 186; Rozek, Allied Wartime Diplomacy, pp. 275, 277, 287.↩