German territorial claims are growing by the hour. They no longer limit themselves to Gdansk. Hitler is pressing our government to send a representative to Berlin, equipped with the authority allowing him to cede part of our territory to Germany.
Thank God we have a strong army protecting the borders and allies who guaranteed these borders. Our Foreign Minister was clear in May when he declared his readiness to negotiate with the German Chancellor, pointing out however there are values more important to us than peace.
These words relayed the feelings of the whole nation.
On Sunday, a new incident occurred in Gdańsk. During the night, our motorboat and three customs inspectors went missing. Only at noon - after many endeavours – The Gdańsk Senate informed us that inspectors Gudakowski and Słowikowski, as well as the motorboat operator Górny, were arrested by the Gdańsk police due to the strong suspicion of them smuggling leaflets (they were guarding the access to the Schichau shipyard from the sea due to arms smuggling).
Much excitement in official Polish circles today. Conferences between Smigly-Rydz, Beck, and the generals. A Polish soldier has been shot on the Danzig frontier. Result: an order tonight instructing Polish troops to shoot anyone crossing the Danzig border on sight and without challenge. Lunch at Ambassador Biddle's. He is full of enthusiasm for his job and chockfull of good information, though I do not always agree with his conclusions. He is very pro-Polish, which is natural, and all right with me. Biddle is afraid the French and British are going to try appeasement again and suggests that Professor Burkhardt, the League High Commissioner in Danzig, and a Swiss, who saw Hitler at Berchtesgaden last week-end, may turn out to be another Runciman.
On declaration with regard to Burckhardt’s travel to Germany
Since Burckhardt’s trip features negotiations, today I declared to the ambassadors of Great Britain and France that the Polish government considered behaviour of the Secretary-General of the League of Nations improper because Mr. B. leads discussions on Danzig with the Reich’s government who is not a member of the league and other powers, behind the Polish government’s back. Due to the status of the Free City and the fact that Poland is a member of the League, our government should be informed about everything first. See more
I warn that in case of any attempts at trading our interests, I will definitely come out against Germany, the League and any allied Power which would have anything to do with it.
I give the aforementioned as a guideline for your discussions, Mr. Ambassador.
Information from Gdańsk – 2 customs inspectors were arrested and a motorboat was seized. I informed the prime minister and minister Beck.
A point about the Danzig situation: Hitler is not yet ready for a showdown. Otherwise, the Danzig Senate would not have backed down a week ago when, after informing Poland that the Polish customs officials in Danzig must cease their functions, it gave in to a Polish ultimatum and withdrew the order. But this may be only a temporary German setback.
According to foreign sources, Minister Ribbentrop was to send a letter to Minister Bonnet in which he clarified the Reich's position regarding the issue of Danzig and demanded the French government not interfere in the affairs of Eastern Europe belonging exclusively to Germany.
In a letter sent in mid-July of the current year, Minister von Ribbentrop, while discussing the decisive attitude of France regarding Gdańsk, strongly reprimands the French government for interfering in Eastern European affairs, stating that this is the domain of Germany, which is the only country that can regulate relations in this part of Europe. This means the Germans perceive all of Eastern Europe as their Lebensraum, and treat Gdańsk only as a springboard and pretext for dominating Europe. See more
This is the first official lowering of the intentions of the Reich in the light of its aggressive attitude towards Poland, and it clearly shows what is at stake: not Gdańsk, but hegemony, which no state has been able to achieve so far, as history teaches. It is clear that the fulfillment of German plans would leave England and France no longer defending just their political role, but defending their own territories.
The Gdańsk political police arrested for unknown reasons a Gdańsk citizen, employee of the Polish Railway, Polak Went, Polish national, employee of the Gdynia shipyard Jan Damaszke, and a Gdańsk citizen of Polish nationality Eugeniusz Aulich, a longtime member of the Polish commune of the Union of Poles in Gdańsk.
I did my broadcast to New York from Gdynia instead of Danzig. The Germans in Berlin wouldn't say yes or no. The Poles in Warsaw pitched in gallantly. Pleased at defeating Nazi efforts to silence me. I had planned to drive the twelve miles from Danzig to Gdynia, but my German chauffeur got cold feet, said we'd be shot at by the Poles in a Danzig car. I dashed down to the station and caught a train. A devil of a time finding the radio studio in Gdynia. No one knew where it was. It was not in the phone book. The telephone central didn't know. The army - the navy - the police - none knew. Finally, after I'd given up hope of broadcasting at all, we discovered it in the Post Office building. See more
The radiotelephone circuit with London, from where the talk was short-waved to New York, was completed only at the last minute. But reception, London said, was good. Chatted with two Polish radio engineers who had driven over from Thurn to do the broadcast. They were calm, confident. They said "We're ready. We will fight. We were born under German rule in this neighbourhood and we'd rather be dead than go through it again."
In “Der Elsaesser” Senator Henry Lemery publishes a significant article entitled "There is no compromise regarding Gdańsk". The author considers the rumours about the Polish-German arrangement regarding Gdańsk to be a maneuver of German propaganda aimed at weakening Poland's position. "It can be believed, writes the author, that Hitler, despite strong warnings from Poland, England and France, thinks that he will overcome all difficulties and obtain Gdańsk without a war. However, it would be blindness not realize that the obvious German tactics will not have any effect on the Polish divisions. See more
Any change in favor of Germany would settle German rule over the Vistula estuary and weaken Poland. There is no doubt that, on the day when Poland sees its vital interests threatened, it will take arms to defend itself. Poland is prudent but decisive. The Germans must give up Gdańsk or ... win a war."
I have more and more the feeling that Danzig is not the issue and I'm wasting my time here. The issue is the independence of Poland or German domination of it. I must push on to Warsaw. Have been on the phone to Berlin several times today. The Berlin radio people are stalling on facilities for my broadcast from here tomorrow. Will phone Polskie Radio in Warsaw to see if they have a microphone at Gdynia. I could do my talk from there. I don't like the idea of the Germans keeping me from talking altogether since I've come all this way and have something to say. The local Nazis very cool to me.
On Wednesday night the Polish border guard Ludwik Pieczychlebek, patrolling the border under Ruda Śląska, noticed three individuals slinking in from Germany to Polish territory. When the guard called them to stop, he was suddenly attacked from behind, hit on the head with a blunt instrument and knocked to the ground. A few men threw themselves on the guard attempting to snatch his rifle. One of the attackers put the revolver to his head, but the guard managed to grab the attacker's arm and twist it so the weapon fired at the head of the attacker, killing him on the spot.
The confrontational tone of the German press does not cease. The anti-Polish campaign is intensifying. Clear instructions as to the content to be used by German journalists are shown by nearly unanimous sentences and phrases in nearly the entire press, such as: “The Reich, in a few years, has peacefully extinguished a number of "embers of war" in Europe and can deal with this focal point (Danzig). Poland is overprotected” - writes the irate German press, not forgetting to bow to France and England, and impatiently appeals: “Western powers should understand as quickly as possible that by maintaining Poland they are playing with fire.”
Gdańsk Gauleiter Forster and his entourage arrived in Gdańsk yesterday after a two-day visit to Chancellor Hitler in Berchtesgaden.
The outcome of the talks between Chancellor Hitler and Forster has not been made public yet. In Gdańsk, however, it was announced that today, on Thursday, at 8 pm, a large protest meeting of the entire population of Gdańsk will be held on the Długi Rynek, and Forster will be giving a speech.