VOL. 174 No. 5180

LONDON, AUGUST 19th, 1939



THE AIMS OF THE AXIS An Editorial on the Divergent Interests of Germany and Italy

ALTO ADIGE OR SUDTIROL ? Our Central European Correspondent writes on the Transfer of Population from Italy to Germany

CARDINAL NEWMAN AT OXFORD An Account, using some Unpublished Sources, by Henry Tristram, Cong. Orat.


By Peter Eden Full List o f Contents on page 232.

THE WORLD WEEK BY WEEK The Independence of Poland

Herr Forster, the Danzig Gauleiter, has been to Berchtesgaden, and gone home and made a speech. Herr Henlein was doing precisely the same nearly a year ago, but the parallel between the anxieties of last year and those of the present is not complete. Last year the acquisition o f the Sudetendeutschland was presented as the sole objective o f the German clamour, and it was not until March th a t the truth was made clear to the whole world, th a t the campaign for the Sudetendeutschland was but a preliminary to the seizure o f Prague. This year it is hardly worth while for the Germans to pretend that they only want Danzig, or to obscure the design for a new partition o f Poland. The Czechs a year ago were cretins and dwarfs and toads, and the Germans could not think o f having them within the frontiers o f the Reich. But Marshal Goering’s National Zeitung is talking already o f the partition of Poland, which “ in 1939 is what it was in 1762, a blot on the world’s civilization, a danger to E u rope’s peace, and a disaster for its own inhabitants.”

Danzig is in the headlines, but it is in Slovakia and the south-east th a t German troops are concentrating. Poland is the country which can complain o f encirclement, by German troops in Memel and East Prussia, in Bohemia, Moravia, and Slovakia, by increasing German pressure on Hungary and increasing German agitation in the Polish Ukraine. “ Danzig is but a detail in the programme o f general revisionism ,” writes the Hungarian Government journal, Hetfae; and were th a t not so there would be no crisis. In a week or two there will be ready for use the great new harbour and port which the Germans have built on the Pomeranian coast a t Stolpmiinde, which might serve them as well as Gdynia might serve the Poles. The German population o f Danzig could be moved to populate Stolpmiinde as easily as the Germans were moved out o f the Alto Adige. There is no reason why Danzig should not be scorned by Germans and Poles alike, except that, as the National Zeitung points out, the time for a new partition of Poland has come, and the first blow must come not only in Silesia and the south, but in the Corridor. Hence the new pontoon bridge across the Vistula a t Kasemarkt, which for the first time makes it possible to move troops from East Prussia into Danzig territory without crossing Polish territory. The first permanent bridge across the Vistula is a t Tczew, and could be blown up at five m inutes’ notice by the Polish garrison o f that town. The German Plan

The German plan, then, requires the occupation of Danzig as a preliminary to the occupation o f Pomorze, but visualizes the south as the chief theatre o f operations. It is o f the first importance, if the Germans are to be persuaded not to dismember Poland, as a t Munich they were persuaded to abandon, if only temporarily, the dismemberment o f Czecho-Slovakia, that we should be aware o f the situation as a whole, and not regard the question o f Danzig, which is but an emphasized aspect o f the situation, and one which alone would be relatively easy to solve, as if it was the be-all and the end-all o f the present tension. The truth is that the Nazi chiefs have decided th a t the time has come for a complete reconsideration o f the existing order in Eastern and Central Europe. I t is th a t decision and its implications which were discussed in the Salzburg conversations. According to Dr. Goebbels’