Ribbentrop text justifying war against Soviet Union

June 21 1941
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BERLIN, June 21, 1941 (UP) - Following is the text of the German declaration by Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop:

"I have this morning received the Ambassador of the Soviet Union and informed him that in view of the threatening of the German frontiers by the armies of Russia, Germany has taken military measures of defense.

"When German in 1939 turned to the Soviet Union, she understood clearly that an understanding with a State that is sovereign is possible, but that this State was ruled by a party which belonged to the Communist International and aimed at the dissolution of civilization. So this was no small task. In spite of the conflict between National Socialism and Bolshevism, the Reich government undertook these steps.

"She started from the point of view that an understanding was the best guarantee against a further spread of Bolshevism and Jewry. She was strengthened in this view by the fact that certain tendencies in Russia seemed to indicate that this might be possible. The reception which the German step found in Russia seemed to confirm this.

"That led to the signing of the two agreements in 1939. This contained the obligation not to attack each other and secondly not to interfere in respective spheres of interest. Finland, the Baltic countries, part of Poland and part of Rumania were declared the Russian sphere. Germany has fulfilled the treaties with the Soviet Union. In addition, through the destruction of Poland, she has helped the Soviet Union greatly.

"We hoped to come to good-neighborly relations. But soon it was apparent that the German Government had deceived itself. The Comintern has increased its activity through and also against Germany.

"In order not openly to break the treaties they altered their methods. They spoke of imperialist war. In view of the great defense activity of German police, they used roundabout ways. The OGPU commissar systematically trained German Communists for the disintegration of Germany. The Soviet Russia diplomats and consular agents aided greatly in this. The radio also proves that the Comintern was working against Germany. We are in possession of a great number of documents proving this and also sabotage acts.

"No less than 16 German ships have been attacked by sabotage. Germans were utilized by the OGPU, and even the Russian Ambassador in Berlin did not hesitate to use his extra-territoriality for espionage. All this showed beyond doubt that Russia was carrying on espionage and sabotage in Germany.

"At the same time, Communists were carrying on anti-German propaganda outside Germany, throughout Europe. Communist leaflets distributed in Rumania said Germany was the great danger.

"A Communist meeting was held in one city at which the entire eastern portion of Europe was called a Russian protectorate. In Yugoslavia they used nationalist slogans. In Slovakia there was particularly active and open propaganda for inclusion of that country into Soviet Russia. In France, Belgium and Holland they were equally active.

"In the General government (Poland) the same incitement was carried on to prevent Germany from creating a stable order in Europe.

"In Bulgaria they agitated for a guarantee pact with Russia. In Rumania they incited an attempt at a coup d'etat on January 25, 1941. With regard to Yugoslavia, the German government has come into possession of documents which prove clearly that Russia instigated the coup d'etat. In November, 1940, Russians declared to the Yugoslavs that they would deliver all necessary arms on only one condition - that Yugoslavia maintain an attitude inimical to Germany.

"Under Cvetkovich, the delivery of arms was delayed while they agitated for a coup d'etat. The leader of the coup is today still in Moscow agitating against Germany. The Soviet government repeatedly assured us that she did not intend to interfere in German affairs and that she wanted to collaborate with Germany for the true interests of the people and bring an end to the war.

"These declarations, in view of the above-mentioned facts were shown up as deliberate falsifications. All interventions failed to bring the Soviets to adopt a loyal attitude. The thesis of Lenin, repeated in 1939 expressly, according to which pacts can be made with all countries for their destruction, is also relevant to the pacts of 1939. Russia only intended to defeat Germany and to weaken the non-Bolshevist States in order to be able to beat them at the proper time.

"The Soviet Russian government has continued its old two-faced Bolshevist policy. Bolshevist activity in Europe already cannot leave a doubt about Russian intentions. Russia declared in Moscow to the German foreign minister that Russia did not intend to interfere with German interests. But they had only one goal - to advance towards the west with military power wherever possible. This was introduced by pacts with the Baltic States and erection of military bases there.

"The next move was Finland. When Finland declined the Russian demands, the Soviet government formed the government of Kuusinen, and marched into Finland. In the peace, Finland had to cede part of her eastern provinces, which were immediately bolshevized. Then Russia advanced against the Baltic States. Germany conceded all this in order to preserve peace. After the ultimatum of June 15, the troops marched. Soon, Lithuania and Estonia were conquered.

"At the same time, throughout the Northern Russian territory, the first strong concentrations of Red troops were undertaken.

"In the Moscow treaties it was not stated expressly that no political agitation beyond the frontiers should be made and that there should be exclusively peaceful reconstruction. Nevertheless, the German government has proof that the Russians soon engaged in Bolshevik propaganda.

"Then the Soviets pushed into the Balkans. On June 24, the German Government was informed that Russia was determined to solve the Bessarabian question by force, and also to take Bukovina, which never had belonged to Russia and had never been mentioned in Russia. The German Government saw that this would lead to disturbances of the economic and social life there and was detrimental to Germany. The German Government advised the Rumanians to give in, in order to preserve peace, and Soviet guarantees of life and property. Russia proceeded to bolshevise and ruin all these areas.

"Through the expansion of Russia toward the Balkans, the territorial problems in this area were brought into motion. Hungary demanded territory and a crisis arose. War threatened. Germany asked the two states to come to Vienna, in order to preserve peace, and acted as arbitrator. The Rumanian Government was asked to guarantee against further conquest. Nevertheless, Russia protested.

"From that time onward, it became clearer and clearer that Russia was working against Germany. Cripps (Sir Stafford Cripps, British Ambassador to Russia) was reported to be successful in Russia, and the Soviets made preparations everywhere. Documents found in Rumania on September 17, 1940, confirmed this. These showed that Russia would be reorganizing her forces until August 1941, on the basis of her experiences. This is probably also the date before which no change in Russian policy can be expected.

"Nevertheless, Germany made the greatest efforts for peace. The German Foreign Minister directed a letter to the Russian government which made it clear that the tri-partite pact was not directed against Russia. It was desired to bring into concrete form our common friendship. Thus, Molotov (Russian Foreign Commissar Vlacheslav Molotov) was asked to come to Berlin.

"In Berlin, Molotov put up the following demands:

"1-The Soviet Union desires to give guarantees to Bulgaria, similar to the pacts of assistance of other countries.

"2-The Soviet Union demands a treaty with Turkey for Soviet bases on the Bosporus and the Dardanelles, on the basis of a long lease. Germany and Italy were to join in the pressure against Turkey.

"3-Finland was threatening Russia again, and the Soviet Union was asking for more concessions in Finland.

"Germany was unable to accept these demands. The consequence was that Russia was more and more openly working against Germany. In January 1940, this attitude found the first diplomatic expression. The Russian ambassador stated that Bulgarian territory was the safety zone of Russia and protested against German penetration. Germany thereupon made a statement of the reasons for penetration, pointing out that it was at war with Britain and Greece, but Germany had no intention to occupy the straits and thus was not threatening Russia.

"After the operations had been ended, Germany would withdraw her troops, Russia was assured. Nevertheless, Russia immediately addressed Bulgaria in a way inimical to Germany. The German government found its explanation in the closer and closer collaboration of Russia and England. Cripps visited Ankara with the object of drawing Russia into war by way of the Balkans.

"Already, for a long time, Russia had instigated and armed Yugoslavia. Sumner Welles (United States undersecretary of state who toured European capitals last year) was obviously very satisfied on April 6 after long discussions with the Soviet ambassador, and thought the Yugoslav pact might possibly be of greatest importance. There were several reasons to assume that it was more than a mere pact of friendship. Thus the Soviet Union was already trying to stab Germany in the back, in conjunction with England.

"By supporting the Yugoslav military and instigating Turkey to draw up troops, by herself drawing up troops and trying to come to closer relations with Rumania, the Russians acted against Germany. The British diplomacy, together with Americans, made the same efforts. Germany was to be attacked from three sides. Only, thanks to Antonescu (Rumanian Premier Ion Antonescu), the realist policy of the Turks, and the immediate move of the German forces foiled this plan. The instigators fled to Russia and Egypt, where they are continuing their work.

"In vain the Soviet Government tried a number of times to cloak her intentions. Until the last moment, she maintained economic collaboration with Germany and tried to picture herself to the world as neutral, or even friendly to Germany. These maneuvers could not deceive anyone.

"The policy was accompanied by a concentration of all available forces from north to south on a long front. Today, these troops are estimated at more than 22 divisions. The Russians were approaching the frontier more and more, while Germany did not give any reason for such action.

"Today, not less than 160 divisions are massed against Germany on the Russian side. This shows that the Russian supreme command can at any time undertake aggressive action against the German frontier. The news from England and the negotiations of Cripps, as well as the appeal of the former Soviet enemy, Lord Beaverbrook, and the attitude of the United States prove clearly what fate they want to mete out to Germany.

"Therefore, the German government declares:

"In conflict with all her obligations, the Soviet Union has turned against Germany and increased her anti-German measures since the outbreak of the war. All her armies are ready on the German frontier. Thus she has broken her treaties with Germany. In deadly enmity, National Socialism and Bolshevism stand opposite each other. The Fuehrer thus gave every command to meet this threat with all available means. In the coming struggle, the German people know that they are not only defending their home country, but they are fighting for civilization and the future of Europe."

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