Worm in the Apple
German Traitors and Other Influences
That Pushed the World Into War:

The little-known story of the men who destroyed Adolf Hitler's Germany

Friedrich Lenz

9. Ten leading personalities
comment on the question of war guilt (Part 2)

But let us also give some leading "neutrals" the opportunity to set out their observations. We will begin with none less than the famous Swedish scholar,

7. Sven Hedin in his book Amerika im Kampf der Kontinente:

"But once the great turning point had come in Germany's fate, the democrats fell upon her again; they did not understand that it was they themselves who, through their short-sightedness, had brought about this turning point. They had broken promises, and then accused the new German state leadership of breach of contract because it is always easier to shift the blame onto someone else than to take responsibility oneself. All of the suggestions that Germany made for the safeguarding of peace were either rejected or ignored, until Germany grew tired of seeking trustful co-operation with the other powers. Germany began to throw off her fetters herself, and to create a national arsenal for herself that would equal that of her neighbors, who had never complied with their disarmament obligations in the first place.

Hitler"All the Führer's solemn avowals that he wanted peace despite Germany's recovering strength were simply deemed to be lies. On May 21, 1935, Adolf Hitler said in the Reichstag: 'Any war first of all devours the nation's very best... By raising the birth rate, a healthy social policy can bless its nation with more children of its own in the course of a very few years than a war could conquer and gain in foreigners. No! National-Socialist Germany wants peace, out of profound ideological conviction.' Nobody can deny that this is a true and convincing program for peace.

"If the victors of the First World War had at that time, 1935, taken Adolf Hitler's suggestions and his publicly proclaimed offers seriously, or at least deigned to negotiate with him, the new World War could have been avoided. An entire generation of men in the best years of their lives and countless innocent civilians could have been saved, and hundreds of millions of people around the world could have been put to a better use than the attempt to destroy Western culture. But the voices of freedom had to be ignored; the preference was for the death knell whose ominous peal announced 'too late', time and again, to the same peoples and nations who, now as before in World War One, as though they were bewitched by evil powers, gladly sacrificed everything for the one goal of Germany's destruction - Germaniam esse delendam.

"The roots of this unhappy development lie in the fact that the heirs of the Treaty of Versailles never realized that the seizure of power by Adolf Hitler and the NSDAP was something fundamentally different than one of the usual changes of government. It was not a matter of a stronger party relieving a weaker one of power; it was the arrival of a revolutionary Movement with a total claim to power. Born of the experience that Germany could never expect outside help for national recovery, but could only ever depend on her own strength of will, and resolved to achieve the return to power under any circumstances, the government of Adolf Hitler took the place of a weak, internally divided Parliament torn between 32 different parties and an equally weak government dependent on this inconsistent Parliament and without stable roots even among the people.

"If this revolutionary novelty had been recognized as such, and if efforts had been made to enter into negotiations with the National-Socialist government, the latter would doubtless have been willing; Adolf Hitler's various peace offers prove that. In those years he focused so emphatically on the accomplishment of his ideas in the domestic realm and on the unification of the German people that he would certainly have been ready to make a reconciliation with the German people, desired by the others, the foundation of his foreign policy.

"However, all of Adolf Hitler's offers were arrogantly rejected, and deemed dishonest, sight-unseen. They were only ever regarded as a threat, never as the attempt of a long-humbled nation to rejoin the community of the other great nations as their peer and equal. Offense was taken at various details of the German government, and the intent - that which was great and good in the new Germany - was disregarded. Instead of dispensing only negative criticism that benefitted no-one, one ought rather to have considered that reconciliation that Germany herself wanted; much would then have resolved itself in Germany's domestic affairs as well.

"The Second World War by no means began on September 1, 1939, when German troops crossed the Polish border. It was born of the First World War, at that hour at the latest when the representatives of thirty-two nations gathered in the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles to endorse a document that was touted as peace treaty without being one.

"The events prior to September 1, 1939 included: the German-Polish Treaty of January 26, 1934; the Munich Agreement of September 1938; the Anglo-French promissory Guarantee to Poland which induced this bedazzled nation to risk ignoring Hitler's generous offer of August 29, 1939 for a peaceful resolution of the German-Polish dispute. This offer was so important and its refusal so incomprehensible that I will quote its 16 points in the following [abridged for length, retaining context; -author]:

    1. Due to its purely German character as well as the unanimous desire of its population, the Free City of Danzig will return to the German Reich immediately.

    2. The region of the so-called Corridor... will decide the question of its affiliation with Germany or Poland.

    3. Towards this end, a plebiscite will be held in this region. Entitled to participate in this plebiscite are: all Germans who were resident in this region on January 1, 1918 or who had been born there by this date; similarly, all Poles, Kashubes etc. who were resident in this region on, or born there by, said date.... To ensure an objective plebiscite, this region, like the Saarland, will be placed under the supervision of an international Committee, to be set up immediately and to consist of representatives of the Four Great Powers of Italy, the Soviet Union, France and England....

    4. The Polish port of Gdingen, being Polish sovereign territory, is excluded from the region in question....

    5. In order to ensure sufficient time for the very extensive preparations required to carry out a fair plebiscite, said plebiscite will not be held before twelve months from the present date.

    6. In order to ensure that during this time Germany and Poland will have unrestricted access to East Prussia and the sea respectively, roads and rail lines will be established which will facilitate free transit traffic....

    7. The simple majority of the votes cast will determine the region's affiliation.

    8. In order to ensure Germany's free and unhindered trade with her province of Danzig-East Prussia as well as Poland's access to the sea, the following measures shall be initiated subsequent to the plebiscite, regardless of its outcome: should the territory under vote go to Poland, Germany will receive an extraterritorial traffic zone... for purposes of the construction of a Reich Autobahn [superhighway] as well as of a four-track railway line. The roads and rail line will be constructed in such a way that extant Polish traffic arteries... are either over- or underpassed... If the vote turns out in favor of Germany, Poland will be granted the same rights to extraterritorial road and rail connections with its port of Gdingen as would be granted to Germany in the reverse case.

    9. In case of the Corridor's return to the German Reich, the Reich shall be willing to participate in a population exchange with Poland, to such an extent as the Corridor is able to facilitate.

    10. Any special rights which Poland may wish to have with respect to the port of Danzig will be negotiated on a basis of reciprocity, with Germany receiving similar and equal rights with respect to the port of Gdingen.

    11. In order to eliminate any sense of threat from or to either side in this territory, Danzig and Gdingen would take on the character of strictly commercial cities, that is, without any military installations or fortifications.

    12. The peninsula of Hela, which would go either to Poland or to Germany, depending on the results of the vote, would also be demilitarized in any case.

    13. Since the government of the German Reich has severe grievances with respect to the Polish treatment of minorities, and since the Polish government in turn also believes it has grounds for complaints against Germany, both parties shall agree to have these grievances submitted to an internationally constituted team of investigators....

    14. To reassure the Germans remaining in Poland as well as the Poles remaining in Germany that they will not be left with an international lack of rights, and in particular to ensure that they cannot be called upon to perform actions or to render services conflicting with their national sentiments, Germany and Poland will agree to safeguard the rights of the minorities on both sides by comprehensive and binding agreements....

    15. In the event of an agreement based on these propositions, Germany and Poland agree to order and carry out the immediate demobilization of their armed forces.

    16. Any further measures necessary within the context of the preceding agreement will be mutually negotiated between Germany and Poland.

"The annals of recent diplomatic history will hardly yield any document matching this proposal in restraint, accommodation, and sympathy for the needs of another country.24 That Poland nevertheless did not even consider it worth acknowledging can only be explained by the fact, since come to light, that this country relied not only on its European friends, Great Britain and France, but primarily on the support of the United States. Roosevelt had granted such support via his Ambassadors in Warsaw and Paris.

"In London it was alleged that the German offers were dispatched so late that the government at Warsaw did not have time to reply. The German invasion of Poland, it was claimed, followed so quickly on the heels of this offer that said offer appears not to have been meant seriously at all.

"This allegation is a lie. In its evening edition of August 31, 1939, the London Daily Telegraph, a newspaper sympathizing with the Foreign Office, reported on debates held in the British Cabinet. This report mentioned that the British Ambassador in Berlin, Sir Neville Henderson, had been informed by the Reich Foreign Minister of the German offers for a peaceful settlement of the German-Polish conflict. He had immediately passed them on to London, since in an August 28, 1939 memo to the German government the British government had declared itself willing to assume the role of mediator. The London Cabinet had passed the German memo on to Warsaw, and after receiving it, the Polish government ordered general mobilization.

"The report of the Daily Telegraph caused great consternation in London, where the powers-that-be had decided - with Roosevelt's blessing - that the blame for the outbreak of war was to be laid at the German door, thus following the example of 1914. In the British Blue Book about the outbreak of the war, as well as in Sir Neville Henderson's memoirs Failure of a Mission, this intent was carried out. The Daily Telegraph's unintentional truthfulness was to be covered up by confiscating the evening edition in question; the editorial offices were persuaded to put out a second, late edition, from whose report about the Cabinet session was excised that remark which was so embarrassing to the British government - the remark about Poland's general mobilization after receipt of the German offers. However, the Foreign Office was unable to prevent some copies of the first evening edition of the Daily Telegraph from reaching some people who took an interest in the truth of the matter.

"Everyone remembers the extraordinarily rapid course of the German campaign against Poland. The troops and military assistance promised by those powers that had encouraged Polish resistance against Germany never materialized. Poland was betrayed by England, France and Roosevelt's America."

8. Per Engdahl, leader of the Swedish Revivalist Movement, in the periodical Nation Europa, issue 3/I:

"There were repeated attempts to place sole blame for the war on the German people, but an objective examination of the evidence fails to support such a claim.

"It is alleged, for example, that the German memo to Poland of the last week of August prior to the outbreak of war was not to be taken seriously. And this claim is supported by pointing out that on the occasion of the British Ambassador's visit at eight-thirty on Wednesday evening, Ribbentrop refused to reveal the text of said memo. What is not mentioned is the fact that two hours later, Göring's headquarters communicated the selfsame text, by telephone, to the British Diplomatic Secretary, and that the text was at the disposal of the British Foreign Office in London at two o'clock Thursday morning.25 What is also not mentioned is the fact that the Polish government, which received the text from London at six o'clock a.m., at noon that same day forbade its Ambassador in Berlin to enter into any discussions whatsoever about this memorandum, or even to admit that he had taken note of its contents."

9. The League of Nations Commissioner for Danzig, J. Burckhardt, a Swiss,

"...did not perceive the danger to world peace to lie in the clash of ideologies. In his view, this was only the screen behind which the conflict between thoroughly materialistic power interests took place. Accordingly, he saw the world's objection to Germany's resurgence as less a matter of dislike of National-Socialism than as the fear of predominance of the Reich, which would upset the European balance of power. If the German Social Democrats had anticipated Hitler's policies and had re-armed Germany, then all the Western nations would have risen up in a wave of anti-Marxism." (From L. v. Krosigk, Es geschah in Deutschland.)

10. Last but not least, here are the words of a Frenchman, Professor Dr. Maurice Bardèche, the author of Nuremberg or Europe:

"Diplomacy of earlier times would probably have tolerated the partition of Poland (after all, it would not have been the first time), and the world war would have been avoided. Were not the events of an annexation of Abyssinia or the liquidation of Czechoslovakia far less costly to mankind than a world war? Was it unjust? But what about the amputation of a quarter of Germany to the benefit of Slavic imperialism, and the horrible expulsion of millions of people who for years had been treated as even less than subhuman - was that fair? The statesmen of earlier days knew that concessions must be made to the unwritten laws of life. Would the partition of Poland have exposed us to any great danger? Is the danger which the democratic statesmen themselves have conjured up today not immensely greater? Is our situation not infinitely more hazardous? Who does not say today that the Europe of August 1939 was beautiful?"

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24I want to stress that Hitler's first offer of March 21, 1939 was even more favorable, and exactly in accord with the suggestions which Marshal Pilsudski himself had made in Versailles in 1918. These, however, were torpedoed at that time by the Polish chauvinists and the French. ...back...

25In actual fact, the talk between Ribbentrop and Henderson did not take place until four hours later, but this does not change the fact that the British Government already had the proposals by Thursday morning. And as though that had not been enough, Herr Theo Kordt, the ambassadorial aide, felt obliged to take it along to one of his secret consultations with Vansittart on Thursday evening (August 31). So there was plenty of time indeed to urge Poland to agree to negotiations on the basis of these proposals. - The German government was able to decode the telegram in which Poland, as early as Thursday at noon, ordered her Ambassador not to become involved in any discussions, and also not to accept any suggestions or proposals. ...back...

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Worm in the Apple
German Traitors and Other Influences That Pushed the World Into War:
The little-known story of the men who destroyed Adolf Hitler's Germany