Did Germany really want to start a world war?

Check out the following letters :

The Fuhrer's Letter in reply to the French Premier, August 27, 1939. wrote:Berlin, August 27, 1939

Your Excellency:

I appreciate the concern you have expressed. I have always been equally conscious of the grave responsibility place upon those who must decide the fate of nations. As an ex-soldier, I know as well as you do the horrors of war. This spirit and knowledge have guided me in a sincere endeavor to remove all causes of conflict between our two nations.

I once told the French people quite frankly that the return of the Saar territory would be the basis for the achievement of this aim. Once that territory was returned I immediately solemnly renounced any further claims which might affect France.

The German people approved of my attitude. As you were able to see for yourself when you were in Germany last, the German people, conscious of the way they themselves behaved, did not and still do not entertain any animosity or still less hatred against their former brave opponents. On the contrary; once peace was definitely established along our western frontier, there cam an increasing sympathy, at any rate on the part of the German nation -- a sympathy markedly demonstrated on many occasions.

The construction of the great western fortifications which have cost and will still cost many billion Marks, is documentary evidence that Germany has accepted and fixed the final frontier of the Reich. In doing so, the German people renounced two provinces which once belonged to the old German Reich, were later on regained at the price of many lives, and were finally defended at the price of still more lives.

Your Excellency will admit that this renunciation was not merely a gesture for tactical reasons but a decision confirmed by all our subsequent measures.

You cannot, Excellency, cite a single instance in which this final settlement of the German frontier in the West has ever been disputed by one line or word. I believed that by this renunciation and by this attitude every possible cause of conflict between our two nations, which might have led to a repetition of the tragic years of 1914 to 1918, had been eliminated.

This voluntary limitation of German claims in the West cannot however be regarded as an acceptance of the Dictate of Versailles in all other fields.

Year by year I have tried earnestly to achieve the revision of at least the most impossible and most unbearable of all the conditions of this Dictate through negotiation. This proved impossible. Many enlightened men of all nations believed and were convinced that revision was bound to come. Whatever objection may be raised against my methods, whatever fault may be found with them, it cannot be overlooked or denied that I succeeded without any more bloodshed in finding solutions which were in many cases satisfactory not only for Germany.

By the manner in which these solutions were accomplished, statesmen of other nations were relieved of their obligation, which they often found impossible to fulfill, of having to accept responsibility for this revision before their own people.

One thing I fee sure Your Excellency will admit, namely, that the revision was bound to come. The Dictate of Versailles was unbearable. No Frenchman with a sense of honor and certainly not you, M. Daladier, would have acted differently in a similar position than I did. I therefore tried to remove this most insane stipulation of the Dictate of Versailles. I made an offer to the Polish Government which actually shocked the German people.

No one but I could have dared to come forward with such a proposal. Therefore I could only make it once. I am firmly convinced that if Poland at that time had been advised to take a sensible course instead of being incited by a wild campaign of the British press against Germany, accompanied by rumors of German mobilization, then Europe would today be able to enjoy a state of profound peace for the next twenty-five years.

Actually, it was the lie about German aggression that excited public opinion in Poland; the Polish Government were handicapped in making necessary and clear decisions and, above all, their judgment on the extent of Poland's possibilities was clouded by the subsequent promise of a guarantee.

[The guarantee England made to Poland that England would come to Poland's defense if hostilities ensued. It was, as Hitler said, "a blank cheque for the Polish government to continue its abuse and oppression of the Germans caught in that 'country' -- Poland -- that was created at Versailles.]

The Polish Government rejected the proposals.

Firmly convinced that Britain and France would now fight for Poland, Polish public opinion began to raise demands which might best be described as sheer lunacy were they not so extraordinarily dangerous. At that time unbearable terrorism se in; physical and economic oppression of the more than one and a half millions of Germans living in the territories severed from the Reich. I do not intent to speak of the atrocities which have occurred.

Even in Danzig, the outrages committed by the Polish authorities fully created the impression that the city was apparently hopelessly delivered up to the arbitrary action of a power that is foreign to the national character of the city and its population.

May I ask you, M. Daladier, how you as a Frenchman would act if, by the unfortunate ending of a bravely-fought war, one of your provinces were separated by a corridor in the possession of an alien power, and a large city -- let us say Marseilles -- were prevented from bearing allegiance to France, while Frenchmen in this territory were being persecuted, beaten, maltreated and even murdered in a bestial manner.

You are a Frenchman, M. Daladier, and I therefore know how you would act. I am a German, M. Daladier, and you will not doubt my sense of honor and my sense of duty which make me act in exactly the same way.

If you had to face a calamity such as confronts us, would you, M. Daladier, understand how Germany, for no reason at all, could use her influence to ensure that such a corridor through France should remain?

That the stolen territories should not be returned, and that Marseilles should be forbidden to join France?

I certainly cannot imagine Germany fighting you for such a cause. I, for Germany, renounced our claim to Alsace-Lorraine in order to avoid further bloodshed. Still less would we shed blood in order to maintain such an injustice as I have pictured, which would be as intolerable for you as it would be meaningless for us.

My feelings on everything expressed in your letter, M. Daladier, are the same as yours. Perhaps we, as ex-soldiers, should readily understand each other on many points. Yet I would ask you to appreciate also this: namely, that no nation with a sense of honor can ever give up almost two million people and see them maltreated on its own frontiers.

I therefore formulated a clear demand: Danzig and the Corridor must return to Germany. The Macedonian conditions prevailing along our eastern frontier must cease. I see no possibility of persuading Poland, who deems herself safe from attack by virtue of the guarantees given to her, to agree to a peaceful solution.

Unless we are determined under the circumstances to solve the question one way or the other, I would despair of an honorable future for my country.

If fate decrees that our two peoples should fight one another once more over this question, it would be from different motives. I for my part, M. Daladier, would fight with my people for the reparation of an injustice, while the others would fight for its retention.

This is all the more tragic in view of the fact that many great men of your nation have long since recognized the folly of the solution found in 1919 and the impossibility of keeping it up for ever. I am fully conscious of the grave consequences which such a conflict would involve. But I think that Poland would suffer most, for whatever the issue of such a war, the Polish State of today would in any case be lost.

That our two peoples should now engage in another murderous war of destruction causes me as much pain as it does you, M. Daladier. Unfortunately, as stated earlier in my letter, I see no possibility open to us of influencing Poland to take a saner attitude and thus to remedy a situation which is unbearable for both the German people and the German Reich.

(signed) ADOLF HITLER.
The Fuhrer's Reply to the British Government handed to the British Ambassador on August 29, 1939, at 6:45 p. m. wrote:August 29, 1939.

The British Ambassador in Berlin has informed the British government of certain suggestions which I felt it incumbent upon me to put forward, in order:

1. to express once more the desire of the German Government for sincere Anglo-German understanding, cooperation and friendship;

2. to leave no room for doubt that such an understanding cannot be purchased at the expense of Germany's renunciation of her vital interests or even by the sacrifice of claims based just as much on general human rights as on the national dignity and honor of our nation.

It was with satisfaction that the German Government learned from the written reply of the British government and the verbal declarations of the British Ambassador, that the British government for their part also prepared to improve Anglo-German relations and to develop and to foster these in the spirit of the German suggestions.

The British government are likewise convinced that the removal of the tension between Germany and Poland, which has become intolerable, is indispensable if this hope is to be realized.

Since the autumn of 1938 and for the last time in March 1939, verbal and written proposals have been submitted to the Polish Government, which in consideration of the friendship then existing between Germany and Poland, might have let to a settlement of the questions under dispute which would have been acceptable to both parties.

The British government are aware that the Polish government saw fit to reject these proposals finally in March of this year. At the same time the Polish government made their rejection a pretext or an occasion for the adoption of military measures which have since then been continued on an ever-increasing scale. Poland had, in fact, mobilized as early as the middle of the month.

In connection with the mobilization, numerous incidents took place in the Free City of Danzig at the instigation of the Polish authorities, and demands of a more or less threatening character amounting to an ultimatum were addressed to the Free city of Danzig. The closing of the frontier, which was at first in the nature of a custom measure, was afterwards carried out on military lines and was extended to affect traffic with the object of bringing about the political disintegration and the economic ruin of the German community.

Furthermore, the large group of Germans living in Poland was subjected to atrocious and barbarous ill treatment and to other forms of persecution which resulted in some cases in the death by violence of many Germans domiciled there or in their deportation under the most cruel circumstances.

Such a situation is intolerable for a Great Power and has now forced Germany after months of inactive observation to undertake the necessary steps for the protection of her rightful interests. The German Government can only most seriously assure the British Government that that state of affairs has now been reached for which continued acquiescence or even inactive observation is no longer possible.

The demands of the German government imply a revision of the Treaty of Versailles in this area, a fact which was recognized as necessary from the very outset; they constitute the return of Danzig and the Polish Corridor to Germany and the safeguarding of the German minorities domiciled in those territories remaining in Polish possession.

the Reich Government note with satisfaction that the British Government are also convinced on principle that some solution must be found for the state of affairs which has now developed. They further consider they may assume that the British Government entertain no doubt on the fact that this is a state of affairs which can no longer be remedied in a matter of days or even weeks but for which perhaps only a few hours yet remain. For in view of the disorganized state of Poland we must at any moment be prepared for the possibility of events occurring which Germany could not possibly tolerate.

If the British Government still believe that these grave differences can be solved by direct negotiations, the Reich Government on their part regret at the outset that they are unable to share such an opinion. They have already tried to open up a way for peaceful negotiations of this nature, without meeting with the support of the Polish government, and only seeing their efforts rejected by the abrupt initiation of measures of a military character in accordance with the general development indicated above.

There are two factors which the British Government consider important:

1. to remove most speedily the imminent danger of a conflagration by means of direct negotiations, and

2. to give the necessary economic and political safeguards by means of international guarantees for the future existence of the remaining Polish State.

Despite their skeptical judgment of the prospects of such direct negotiations, the Reich Government are nevertheless prepared to accept the English proposal, and to enter into direct discussions. They do so solely because -- as already emphasized -- the written communication from the British Government, which they have received, gives them the impression that the latter also desire a friendly agreement along the lines indicated to their Ambassador, Sir Nevile Henderson.

The German Government desire in this way to give to the British Government and to the British people a proof of the sincerity of the German intention of arriving at a state of permanent friendship with Great Britain.

The Reich Government nevertheless feel bound to point out to the British Government that in the case of a reorganization of the territorial condition in Poland, the Reich Government are no longer in a position to take upon themselves any guarantees, or to participate in any guarantees, without the cooperation of the U.S.S.R.

The Reich Government in their proposals moreover never had the intentions of attacking vital Polish interests or of questioning the existence of an independent Polish state. Under these conditions, the Reich Government therefore agree to accept the proposed intermediation of the British Government to send to Berlin a Polish representative invested with plenipotentiary powers. They expect his arrival on Wednesday, August 30, 1939.

The Reich Government will immediately draft the proposals for a solution acceptable to them and, if possible, will make such proposals also available for the British government before the Polish negotiator arrives.