No. 2-8: Exerpts of Hitler's Speeches on German-Polish Peace, 1935-1939
ww2dbaseReichstag Speech, May 21, 1935.
"We recognize, with the understanding and the heartfelt friendship of true Nationalists, the Polish State as the home of a great, nationally-conscious people."
"The German Reich and, in particular, the present German Government, have no other wish than to live on friendly and peaceable terms with all neighbouring States."
Reichstag Speech, March 7, 1936.
"I would like the German people to learn to see in other nations historical realities which a visionary may well like to wish away, but which cannot be wished away. I should like them to realise that it is unreasonable to try and bring these historical realities into opposition with the demands of their vital interests and to their understandable claims to live. I would therefore like the German people to understand the inner motives of National Socialist foreign policy, which finds it painful that the outlet to the sea of a people of 35 millions is situated on territory formerly belonging to the Reich, but which recognises that it is unreasonable and impossible to deny a State of such a size as this any outlet to the sea at all.... It is possible that politicians, particularly by invoking might, may carry out such violations of national interests; but the more frequently this happens, the greater becomes the pressure for an outlet of the excited and constrained powers and energies."
Reichstag Speech, January 30, 1937.
"By a series of agreements we have removed existing tensions and thereby contributed considerably to an improvement in the European atmosphere. I merely recall our agreement with Poland, which has worked out to the advantage of both sides .... And to my own fellow-citizens I would say that the Polish nation and the Polish State have also become a reality .... The peoples of these States (i.e., Italy, Poland and the Balkan States) desire to live and they will live."
Reichstag Speech, February 20, 1938.
"It fills us, in the fifth year following the first great foreign political agreement of the Reich, with sincere gratification to be able to establish that in our relationship to the State with which we had perhaps the greatest differences, not only has there been a détente, but that in the course of these years a constant improvement in relations has taken place. I know perfectly well that this was above all attributable to the circumstance that at the time there was no Western parliamentarism in Warsaw, but a Polish field-marshal, who as an eminent personality felt the significance, so important to Europe, of such a Germano-Polish détente. This good work, which had been doubted by so many at the time, has meanwhile stood the test, and I may say that, since the League of Nations finally gave up its perpetual attempts to unsettle Danzig and appointed in the new commissioner a man of great personal attainments, this most dangerous spot from the point of view of European peace has entirely lost its menacing character. The Polish State respects the national conditions in this State, and both the city of Danzig and Germany respect Polish rights. And so the way to a friendly understanding has been successfully paved, an understanding which, starting from Danzig, has to-day succeeded in spite of the attempts of certain mischief-makers in finally taking the poison out of the relations between Germany and Poland and transforming them into a sincere, friendly co-operation."
Speech at Nuremberg, September 14, 1938.
"In Poland a great patriot and a great statesman was ready to make an accord with Germany; we immediately proceeded to action and completed an agreement which was of greater importance to the peace of Europe than all the chattering in the temple of the League of Nations at Geneva."
Speech in the Sportpalast, September 26, 1938.
"The most difficult problem with which I was confronted was that of our relations with Poland. There was a danger that Poles and Germans would regard each other as hereditary enemies. I wanted to prevent this. I know well enough that I should not have been successful if Poland had had a democratic Constitution. For these democracies which indulge in phrases about peace are the most bloodthirsty war agitators. In Poland there ruled no democracy, but a man; and with him I succeeded, in precisely twelve months, in coming to an agreement which, for ten years in the first instance, entirely removed the danger of a conflict. We are all convinced that this agreement will bring lasting pacification. We realise that here are two peoples which must live together and neither of which can do away with the other. A people of 33 millions will always strive for an outlet to the sea. A way for understanding, then, had to be found; it has been found; and it will be ever further extended. Certainly things were hard in this area. The nationalities and small national groups frequently quarrelled among themselves. But the main fact is that the two Governments, and all reasonable and clear-sighted persons among the two peoples and in the two countries, possess the firm will and determination to improve their relations. It was a real work of peace, of more worth than all the chattering in the League of Nations Palace at Geneva."
Reichstag Speech, January 30, 1939.
"We have just celebrated the fifth anniversary of the conclusion of our non-aggression pact with Poland. There can scarcely be any difference of opinion to-day among the true friends of peace with regard to the value of this agreement. One only needs to ask oneself what might have happened to Europe if this agreement, which brought such relief, had not been entered into five years ago. In signing it, this great Polish marshal and patriot rendered his people just as great a service as the leaders of the National Socialist State rendered the German people. During the troubled months of the past year the friendship between Germany and Poland was one of the reassuring factors in the political life of Europe." ww2dbase
Source: The British War Bluebook; courtesy of Yale Law School Avalon Project
Added By: C. Peter Chen
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James Forrestal, Secretary of the Navy, 23 Feb 1945