The Minister in Austria (Messersmith) to the Under Secretary Of State (Phillips), [Extract], VIENNA, February 8, 1935.


DEAR MR. PHILLIPS:

There is no use in having any illusions as to what Hitler and the Party want. They have their eyes on Memel, Alsace-Lorraine and the Eastern frontier. They nourish just as strongly the hope to get the Ukraine for the surplus German population and to get the fertile lands which Germany "must have". Austria is a definite objective, with absorption or hegemony over the whole of Southeastern Europe definite policy. As long as Hitler and National Socialism remain in power in Germany, Europe will have to deal with these aspirations, pacts or no pacts. With the present regime out of the way the danger is lessened and the field of ambition more restricted, but it would be illusory to believe that the danger of Germany to European peace is definitely eliminated. The only thing that can hold Germany in line is a concert of the powers so close and definite that Germany policy will be reoriented. The danger to Europe can still be averted, for the German people, although warlike, have shown themselves docile under strong leadership. Probably in no other country in Europe could a Government have done with its people what this present one has done with Germany in the past two years. Germany can be led into being a good neighbor and into being a bad one, depending on her Government.

Cordially and sincerely yours,

G. S. MESSERSMITH


Source: U.S., Department of State, Publication 1983, Peace and War: United States Foreign Policy, 1931-1941 (Washington, D.C.: U.S., Government Printing Office, 1943, pp. 247-248.


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