Played a key role in brokering the Pact of Steel with Fascist Italy and the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact with the Soviet Union.
Stalin gave in our honor a big banquet to which all members of the Politburo were invited. Rising from our delegation along the huge staircase of the former royal palace, where the reception was held, I, to my surprise, saw a big picture, on which Tsar Alexander II was depicted with his peasants after the abolition of serfdom. Along with other impressions, it seemed to be a sign that the Stalinist Moscow had begun to evolve the thesis of the world revolution in a more conservative direction. The film “Peter the Great”, which was on the Moscow screens then, could also be interpreted in this direction.
We sat in a large central box and admired the excellent musical performance and the unique charm of Russian ballet. I have often heard that the current opera and ballet art in Russia is not inferior to that which existed in tsarist times. Prima ballerina, who came for us from Leningrad, danced superbly. (I remembered the time of a quarter-century ago — even before World War I, when I saw the unforgettable Anna Pavlova in my New York friends' house and admired this extraordinary woman.) I wanted to personally thank the ballerina, but Count Schulenburg advised: this can be perceived with displeasure. I sent her flowers, hoping that in the Kremlin this would not cause unpleasant consequences.
The government of the USSR will not prevent German citizens and other people of German origin residing in the areas of his interests if they are willing to move to Germany or to areas of German interests. It agrees that this resettlement will be carried out by representatives of the German Government in agreement with the competent local authorities and that the property rights of the displaced persons will not be affected.
The German Government assumes a corresponding commitment regarding persons of Ukrainian or Belarusian origin living in the areas of its interests.
German-Soviet Treaty of Friendship and the border between the USSR and Germany.
The government of the USSR and the German government establish as a border between mutual state interests on the territory of the former Polish state, which is plotted on the attached map and will be described in more detail in the additional protocol.
Both sides recognize the border of mutual state interests established in Article I as final and will eliminate any interference by third powers in this decision. See more
The necessary reorganization of public administration will be effected in the areas west of the line specified in article I by the Government of the German Reich, in the areas east of this line by the Government of the U.S.S.R.
The Government of the German Reich and the Government of the U.S.S.R. regard this settlement as a firm foundation for a progressive development of the friendly relations between their peoples.
Secret Additional Protocol:
The undersigned Plenipotentiaries at the conclusion of the Soviet-German border treaty and friendship stated their agreement in the following:
Both sides will not allow any Polish agitation in their territories that acts on the territory of another country. They will eliminate the germs of such agitation on their territories and will inform each other about the measures that are expedient for this.
We flew to Moscow to resolve issues arising from the Soviet entry into Poland. We received a friendly, almost cordial welcome from Stalin and Molotov.
We definitely expect to have beaten the Polish Army decisively in a few weeks. We should then keep the territory that was fixed at was a German sphere of interest under military occupation.
We should naturally, however, for military reasons, have to continue to take action against such Polish military forces as are at that time located in the Polish territory belonging to the Russian sphere of interest.
Please discuss this at once with Molotov and see if the Soviet Union does not consider it desirable for Russian forces to move at the proper time against Polish forces in the Russian sphere of interest and, for their part, to occupy this territory. In our estimation this would be not only a relief for us, but also be in the sense of the Moscow agreements, and in the Soviet interest as well.
Please inform the State Department, in suitable form, that President Roosevelt's messages of August 25 and 26 have been fully appreciated by the Führer. The Führer has, for his part, left no stone unturned in order to settle the German-Polish question in an amicable manner, and, in particular, has even at the eleventh hour accepted a British offer of mediation. All these attempts have been unsuccessful, however, owing to the Polish Government's attitude. Please take all particulars regarding this from today's official DNB communiqué and make use of them accordingly.
I must again point out that the secret additional protocol signed in Moscow on August 23, together with any possible drafts, is to be kept most strictly secret. All your officials and staff who up to the present have received knowledge of it must be specially pledged to secrecy, and must confirm this pledge with their personal signature. No other persons are to be informed in any way of the existence or contents of the document.
Shortly after noon, I received through one official of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs a report on the ratification of the Anglo-Polish treaty, which was signed on April 6, but without giving it an official form. I hurried with this message to the Imperial Chancellery to induce the Fuhrer to stop the military measures already taken, I went to him with the words that the ratification of the Anglo-Polish treaty on guarantees means, if he comes out against Poland, “war with England” and therefore “the order the statement of troops must be immediately suspended. " See more
The Fuhrer took the message I excitedly delivered without objection; he himself gave the impression of a man struck by this news. After a short reflection, he informed me that the Italian ambassador told him in the morning: Italy would not consider a military conflict with Poland a situation that obliges it to fulfill its allied obligations.
Please advise the Führer at once that the first three-hour conference with Stalin and Molotov has just ended. At the discussion-which, moreover, proceeded in a direction favourable to us-it transpired that the decisive point for the final result is the demand of the Russians that we recognize the ports of Libau and Windau as being within their sphere of interest. I should be grateful for confirmation before 8 o'clock German time that the Führer is in agreement. The signing of a secret protocol on the delimitation of mutual spheres of interest in the whole eastern area is contemplated, for which I declared myself ready in principle.
M. Stalin was surely less frightened by the Anti-Comintern Pact than the City of London and the English shopkeepers. What the German people thought of this matter was evident from a joke which had originated with the Berliners, well known for their wit and humour, and which had been going the rounds for several months, namely “Stalin will yet join the Anti-Comintern Pact himself".
Anti-Comintern Pact was basically directed not against the Soviet Union but against the Western democracies. He knew. and was able to infer from the tone of the Russian press, that the Soviet Government fully recognized this fact.
While Germany had available an annual class of more than 300,000 soldiers, France could muster only 150,000 recruits annually. The West Wall was five times as strong as the Maginot Line. If France attempted to wage war with Germany, she would certainly be conquered.
England had recently put out a new feeler which was connected with certain allusions to 1914. It was a matter of a typically English, stupid manoeuvre. The Reich Foreign Minister had proposed to the Führer to inform the British that every hostile British act, in case of a German-Polish conflict, would be answered by a bombing attack on London.