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Gallery » Danzig Report 96 - July, August, September 1997 » BACKGROUND: Last-Minute Moves

 

The Fuhrer and the German Government have . . .waited two days in vain for the arrival of a Polish negotiator with plenary powers.

In these circumstances, the German Government regard their proposals as having this time too been to all intents and purposes rejected, although they consider that these proposals, in the form in which they were made known to the British Government also, were more than loyal, fair and practical.

The Reich Government consider it timely to inform the public of the bases for negotiation which were communicated to the British Ambassador by Herr von Ribbentrop.
(Now they get down to business - Ed.]

The situation existing between the Reich and Poland is at the moment of such a kind that any further incident can lead to an explosion on the part of the military forces which have taken up their position on both sides. Any peaceful solution must be framed in such a way as to ensure that the events which lie at the root of this situation cannot be repeated on the next occasion offered, and that thus not only the East of Europe, but also other territories shall not be brought into such a state of tension. The causes of this development lie in: (1) the imposs ible delineation of frontiers, as fixed by the Versailles dictate; (2) the impossible treatment of minority in the ceded territories.

In making these proposals, the Reich Government are, therefore, actuated by the idea of finding a lasting solution which will remove the impossible situation created by frontier deline ation, which may assure to both parties their vitally important line of communications, which may . . . remove the minority problem... The Reich Government are content that in so doing it is essential that economic and physical damage done since 1918 should be exposed and repaired...

These considerations lead to the following practical proposals:--(Our bold type and underscores. - Ed.]

(1) The Free City of Danzig shall return to the German Reich in view of its purely German character, as well as of the unanimous will of its population;

(2) The territory of the so-called Corridor which extends from the Baltic Sea to the line Marienwerder-Graudenz-I{ulm-Bromberg and thence may run in a weste rly direction to Schönlanke, shall itself decide as to whether it shall belong to Germany or Poland;

(3) For this purpose a plebiscite shall take_place in this territory. The followi ng shall be entitled to vote: all Germans who were either domiciled in this territ ory on 1st January 1918, and similarly of Poles, Kashubes, &c. The Germans who were driven from this territory shall return to it in order to exercise their vote with a view to ensuring the extensive preparation necessary therefor. The above territory shall, as in the case of the Saar territory, be placed tinder the supervision of an international commission to be formed immediately, on which shall be represented the four Great Powers ---Italy, the Soviet Union, France and England. . . .The territory shall be evacuated within a period of the utmost brevity by the Polish armed forces, the Polish police and the Polish authorities;

(4) The Polish port of Gdynia . . shall be excluded from the above territory. The exact territory of this Polish port should be determined between Germany and Poland, and, if necessary, by an international committee of arbitration;

(5) With a view to assuring the necessary time for the execution of the extens ive work involved in carrying out of a just plebiscite, this plebiscite shall not take place before the expiry of twelve months;

(6) In order to guarantee unrestricted communication between Germany and East Prussia and between Poland and the sea during this period, roads and rail-

 

Danzig Report Vol. 1 - Nr. 96 - July - August - September - 1997, Page 19.


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