6 Dec. 45


"I first want to thank you for your last attempt at a mediation. I would have been ready to accept, but only under condition that there would be a possibility to give me certain guarantees that the conference would be successful. Because for the last 2 days the German troops are engaged in an extraordinarily rapid advance in Poland, it would have been impossible to devaluate the bloody sacrifices made thereby by diplomatic intrigues. Nevertheless, I believe that a way could have been found if England would not have been determined to wage war under all circumstances. I have not given in to the English because, Duce, I do not believe that peace could have been maintained for more than one-half a year or a year. Under these circumstances I thought that, in spite of everything, the present moment was better for resistance. At present the superiority of the German Armed Forces in Poland is so overwhelming in all the fields that the Polish Army will collapse in a very short time. I doubt whether this fast success could have been achieved in 1 or 2 years. England and France would have armed their allies to such an extent that the crushing technical superiority of the German Armed Forces could not have become so apparent any more. I am aware, Duce, that the fight which I enter is one for life and death. My own fate does not play any role in it at all. But I am also aware that one cannot avoid such a struggle permanently and that one has to choose, after cold deliberation, the moment for resistance in such a way that the probability of success is guaranteed; and I believe in this success, Duce, with the firmness of a rock. Recently you have given me the kind assurance that you think you will be able to help me in a few fields. I acknowledge this in advance, with sincere thanks. But I believe also — even if we march now over different roads — that fate will finally join us. If the National Socialistic Germany were destroyed by the Western Democracies, the Fascist Italy would also have to face a grave future. I was personally always aware of this community of the future of our two governments and I know that you, Duce, think the same way. To the situation in Poland, I would like to make the brief remark that we lay aside, of course, all unimportant things, that we do not waste any man on unimportant tasks, but direct all on acts in the light of great operational considerations. The northern Polish Army, which is in the Corridor, has already been completely encircled by our action. It will be either wiped out or will surrender. Otherwise, all operations proceed according to plan. The daily