28 Nov. 45

I shall read from it and at the same time, hand to the interpreter reading the German, a marked copy of a German translation. I might read one sentence from the first paragraph:

"I called on Von Neurath, Minister of Foreign Affairs, on May 18 and had a long talk on the general European situation.

"Von Neurath said that it was the policy of the German Government to do nothing active in foreign affairs until the Rhineland had been 'digested.'

"He explained that he meant until the German fortifications had been constructed on the French and Belgian frontiers, the German Government would do everything possible to prevent, rather than encourage, an outbreak by the Nazis in Austria and would pursue a quiet line with regard to Czechoslovakia. 'As soon as our fortifications are constructed and the countries of Central Europe realize that France cannot enter German territory, all these countries will begin to feel very differently about their foreign policies and a new constellation will develop."'

I skip then two paragraphs.

"Von Neurath then stated that no understanding had been reached between Germany and Italy, and admitted that the demonstrations of friendship between Germany and Italy were mere demonstrations without basis in reality. He went on to say that at the present time he could see no way to reconcile the conflicting interests of Germany and Italy in Austria. He said that there were three chief reasons why the German Government was urging the Austrian Nazis to remain quiet at the present time:

"The first was that Mussolini had today the greater part of his army mobilized on the Austrian border, ready to strike, and that he would certainly strike if he should have a good excuse.

"The second reason for urging Austrian Nazis to remain quiet for the present was that the Nazi movement was growing stronger daily in Austria The youth of Austria was turning more and more towards the Nazis, and the dominance of the Nazi Party in Austria was inevitable and only a question of time."

The third reason was that until the German fortifications had been constructed on the French border, an involvement of Germany in war with Italy might lead to a French attack on Germany.

But if Germany was not yet ready for open conflict in Austria, her diplomatic position was vastly improved over 1934, a fact