6 Dec. 45

and German superiority would thereby be diminished. In contrast to the fanatics of Warsaw and Krakow, the population of their areas is indifferent. Furthermore, it was necessary to consider the position of the Polish State. Out of 34 million inhabitants, one and one-half million were German, about four million were Jews, and approximately nine million Ukrainians, so that genuine Poles were much less in number than the total population and, as already said, their striking power was to be valued variably. In these circumstances Poland could be struck to the ground by Germany in the shortest time.

"Since the Poles, through their whole attitude, had made it clear that in any case, in the event of a conflict, they would stand on the side of the enemies of Germany and Italy, a quick liquidation at the present moment could only be of advantage for the unavoidable conflict with the Western Democracies. If a hostile Poland remained on Germany's eastern frontier, not only would the 11 East Prussian divisions be tied down; but also further contingents would be kept in Pomerania and Silesia. This would not be necessary in the event of a previous liquidation."
The argument goes on on those lines.

I pass on to the next page, at the top of the page:

"Coming back to the Danzig question, the Führer said to Count Ciano that it was impossible for him to go back now. He had made an agreement with Italy for the withdrawal of the Germans from South Tyrol, but for this reason he must take the greatest care to avoid giving the impression that this Tyrolese withdrawal could be taken as a precedent for other areas. Furthermore, he had justified the withdrawal by pointing to a general easterly and northeasterly direction of a German policy. The east and northeast, that is to say the Baltic countries, had been Germany's undisputed sphere of influence since time immemorial, as the Mediterranean had been the appropriate sphere for Italy. For economic reasons also, Germany needed the foodstuffs and timber from these eastern regions."
Now we get the truth of this matter. It is not the persecution of German minorities on the Polish frontiers, but the economic reasons, the need for foodstuffs and timber from Poland:

"In the case of Danzig, German interests were not only material, although the city had the greatest harbor in the Baltic — the transshipment by tonnage was 40 percent of that of Hamburg — but Danzig was a Nuremberg of the north, an ancient German city awaking sentimental feelings for every