EUROPE: Last Words

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May 5. In Warsaw Foreign Minister Josef Beck said to his Parliament: "I hear demands for annexation of Danzig. . . . I get no reply to our proposal ... of a common guarantee of the existence and rights of the Free City. . .. We have given to the German Reich all railway facilities, we have allowed its citizens to travel without customs or passport formalities from the Reich to East Prussia. . . . But we have . . . no grounds whatever for restricting our sovereignty on our own territory. . . . We in Poland do not know the conception of peace at any price."

June 8. Great Britain sent an emissary to Moscow.

August 5. Although the conversations in Moscow seemed to make scant headway, Britain and France together sent a military mission to discuss plans for mutual defense with the Soviet Army.

August 21. At midnight the German press suddenly announced that Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop would go to Moscow to negotiate an anti-aggression pact with the Soviet Union.

August 23. From Berlin British Ambassador Sir Nevile Henderson flew to Berchtesgaden with a note from Mr. Chamberlain saying: "War between our two peoples would be the greatest calamity that could occur. . . . I cannot see that there is anything in the questions arising between Germany and Poland which could not . . . be resolved without the use of force. . . ."

The Fzig, the Corridor, a protectorate over Poland. Then he retired to write out his answer. It was handed to Sir Nevile later in the day: "Your Excellency informs me . . . that you will be obliged to render assistance to Poland. . . . I . . . assure you that it can make no change in the determination of the Reich Government. . . . I have all my life fought for Anglo-German friendship. The attitude adopted by British diplomacy . . . has, however, convinced me of the futility of such an attempt."

August 24. Hitler flew back to his Chancellery from Berchtesgaden; Ribbentrop, the Soviet agreement signed and sealed, flew home from Moscow.

August 25. In London Great Britain, to make her meaning clear, signed a treaty with Poland making official her ironclad promise of military aid to Poland. In Berlin Hitler sent for the British and French Ambassadors. To Sir Nevile he said (as quoted by the British White Paper from Sir Nevile's notes): "Poland's actual provocations have become intolerable. . . . War between England and Germany could at best bring some profit to Germany but none at all to England. The F then also be ready to accept a reasonable limitation of armaments."

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