26 Nov. 45

"France's position has also deteriorated, particularly in the Mediterranean.

"Further favorable factors for us are these:

"Since Albania, there is an equilibrium of power in the Balkans. Yugoslavia carries the germ of collapse because of her internal situation.

"Rumania did not grow stronger. She is liable to attack and vulnerable. She is threatened by Hungary and Bulgaria. Since Kemal's death Turkey has been ruled by small minds, unsteady weak men.

"All these fortunate circumstances will no longer prevail in 2 or 3 years. No one knows how long I shall live. Therefore conflict better now.

"The creation of Greater Germany was a great achievement politically, but militarily it was questionable, since it was achieved through a bluff of the political leaders. It is necessary to test the military, if at all possible, not by general settlement, but by solving individual tasks.

"The relation to Poland has become unbearable. My Polish policy hitherto was in contrast to the ideas of the people. My propositions to Poland, the Danzig corridor, were disturbed by England's intervention. Poland changed her tune towards us. The initiative cannot be allowed to pass to the others. This moment is more favorable than in 2 to 3 years. An attempt on my life or Mussolini's would change the situation to our disadvantage. One cannot eternally stand opposite one another with cocked rifle. A suggested compromise would have demanded that we change our convictions and make agreeable gestures. They talked to us again in the language of Versailles. There was danger of losing prestige. Now the probability is still great that the West will not interfere. We must accept the risk with reckless resolution. A politician must accept a risk as much as a military leader. We are facing the alternative to strike or be destroyed with certainty sooner or later."--We skip two paragraphs.--

"Now it is also a great risk. Iron nerves, iron resolution...."

A long discussion follows which I think it is unnecessary to read, and then towards the end, four paragraphs from the bottom, I resume:

"We need not be afraid of a blockade. The East will supply us with grain, cattle, coal, lead, and zinc. It is a big aim, which demands great efforts. I am only afraid that at the