28 Nov. 45

Germany idea and the NSDAP. If Germany recognizes the national independence of Austria and guarantees full freedom to the Austrian national opposition, then, as a result of such a compromise, the Austrian Government would be formed in the beginning by a coalition of these forces.... A further consequence of this step would be the possibility of the participation of Germany in the Danube Pact, which would take the sting out of its acuteness due to the settlement of relations between Germany and Austria. Such a measure would have a most beneficial influence on the European situation, and especially on our relationship with England.

"One may object that Schuschnigg will hardly be determined to follow such a pattern, that he will rather in all probability immediately communicate our offer to our opponents.

"Of course, one should first of all explore the possibility of setting Schuschnigg against Starhemberg through the use of go-betweens. The possibility exists. If Herr Schuschnigg finally says 'no' and makes our offer known in Rome, then the situation would not be any worse, but on the contrary, the efforts of the Reich Government to make peace with Austria would be revealed, without prejudice to other interests. Therefore, even in the case of refusal this last attempt would be an asset. I consider it completely possible, that in view of the farspread dislike in the Alpine countries of the pro-Italian course, and in view of the sharp tensions between the Federal Government"--Bundesregierung--" Herr Schuschnigg will grasp this last straw, always under the supposition that the offer could not be interpreted as a trap by the opponents, but that it bears all the marks of an actually honest compromise with Austria.

"Assuming success of this step we would again establish our active intervention in central European politics, which, as opposed to the French, Czech, and Russian political maneuvers, would be a tremendous success, both morally and practically.

"Since there are 2 weeks left to accomplish very much work in the way of explorations and conferences, an immediate decision is necessary.

"The Reich Army Minister"--Reichswehrminister--"shares the opinion presented above, and the Reich Foreign Minister" --Reichsaussenminister--"wants to discuss it with you, my Führer."

--Signed-- "Papen."