No. 62: Message from F. M. Shepherd to Halifax
ww2dbase----- The British War Bluebook No. 62 -----
From: F. M. Shepherd, Acting British Consul-General in Danzig
Sent: Saturday, 26 Aug 1939
To: Viscount Halifax, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
FOLLOWING is translation of decree of Senate dated 23rd August:-
"Decree: Article I.-Gauleiter of Danzig is Head of State ('Staatsoberhaupt') of the Free City of Danzig.
"Article 2.-This decree comes into force on 23rd August, 1939."
Following are translations of letters dated 24th August (a) from President of Senate to Herr Forster, and (b) of latter's reply:-
"(a) At its meeting yesterday the Senate passed a resolution according to which you have been declared Staatsoberhaupt of the Free City of Danzig as from yesterday. A copy of the certified resolution is enclosed. In addition, a legal decree has been prepared to-day and signed making the above-mentioned resolution of the Senate operative. By means of these two acts of the Government the Danzig Constitution has been altered in the above-mentioned sense. The Senate has authorized me to request you, Herr Gauleiter, to
accept this office forthwith in order in these difficult but wonderful last decisive days outwardly to give
expression to the unity between party and State, which has so often been stressed and which inwardly has always existed.
"(b) I have taken cognisance of the contents of your letter of the 24th instant and of the enclosed certified copy of the decree regarding the Staatsoberhaupt of the Free City of Danzig of 23rd August, 1939, and of the copy of the Senate's resolution of the 23rd August, 1939, which was also enclosed. It, of course, goes without saying that in my capacity as Leader of the N.S.D.A.P. of the Danzig district I am prepared in days which are so fateful for Danzig also to conduct the affairs of the State. With this decree promulgated on the 23rd August, 1939, a state of affairs is officially sanctioned which, since the accession to power by the National Socialists in 1933, has in practice been in force."
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