Commissar for the Supervision of Intellectual and Ideological Education of the Nazi Party
Almost four weeks have elapsed since the war began.
I have struggled with periostitis in my ankle for almost 1 1/2 months, hobbled on September 1 only to the Reichstag and in the evening to the Führer, then stayed home until a short time ago. So I have been on the sidelines of the immediate events—and would not have been enlisted in them even if things had been different, because today the Führer's sphere in decisive measure is constituted of men different from those of the Kampfzeit. Nonetheless, I have been kept steadily informed, have spoken with many, and have been able to reflect more deliberately about my sentiments and those of others. Thus some things may be recorded here so that I can read them in the light of future times with a nod or with amazement, as a reflection of decisive days in German history.
When I entered the Reichstag, I met Göring, who was waiting for the Führer, in the lobby area. We moved a little to one side. He said: You know that Mussolini has declined to join in. I: Yes, I am aware of his letters. Göring: Just this morning he repeated his statement. I: I am unable to give a well-founded opinion about today's decision. I only have the feeling that people have studiously underestimated England; in the last few years, people simply have not spoken with England in the way one speaks with a world power. See more
G.: I fought like a lion last night to have the decision delayed for another 24 hours, so that the 16 points could have an effect. Ribbentrop had seen that the Führer spoke decisively with Henderson, and his small mind believed he needed to reinforce this again. Henderson complained that Ribbentrop read him the proposals too quickly. Then I did something I was not allowed to do: I read them slowly to him once again, on the telephone. Otherwise people could say we had made the proposals only for the purpose of distraction...
The report of the death of the NCO was confirmed.
Drove to Headquarters, 4th Army; Kluge was beside himself over the order to withdraw the troops but arranged everything in an orderly, rational manner.
Drove to the frontier guard in Preussenfeld and to the customs post at the border; all quiet.
Also nothing out of the ordinary in Oberst Büchs’ frontier guard sector [subsequently the 2nd Frontier Guard Detachment from 1 September to 24 October 1939] in Krajenke. See more
In the evening a telex arrived from the Army Command asking how we envisioned the operation if it was to be carried out on the sixth day of mobilization at the earliest.
The diplomats are negotiating - but with warm cannon! The English fleet is in blockade positions in the North Sea.
The first good joke has happened: inmates of the Kaiserbad Sanator my quarters [HQ Army Group North], suspect a spy in every harmless passer-by. Today four sanitorium patients fell upon a man messing about in the garden, took him into custody in spite of his loud protests, and locked him up. The alleged "spy" turned out to be a plainclothesman from my headquarters!
England's hopes for a prolongation of the negotiations have fortunately not been fulfilled: the pact with Moscow was quickly signed. A far-reaching decision, whose consequences cannot be foreseen. Historically: just as Sparta and Athens by turns called on the Persians for help, England and Germany are turning to the Soviet Union today. The English were the first to attempt ruthlessly to set the Soviets against us; what could the Führer do, given the existing situation, but block this attempt by means of a sudden about-face. As I now learn, what happened was that the Führer wrote Stalin a letter with a proposal, to which there was a very gracious reply ...
Came the news of the German-Soviet nonaggression pact. Despite all my aversion to diaries, I wish to record my initial impression.
Recognition of the easing of the foreign policy situation: cessation of the threat from the Russian air fleet in the German-Polish conflict, relief of the strain on the Baltic, supply of raw materials, etc.
The Soviets are said to have already marked down names of a delegation for the Nuremberg Parteitag.