Franklin D. Roosevelt

Message to President Moszicki of Poland

August 24, 1939

His Excellency
Ignace Moszicki,
President of the Polish Republic,
Warsaw, Poland

The manifest gravity of the existing crisis imposes an urgent obligation upon all to examine every possible means which might prevent the outbreak of general war.

With this in mind, I feel justified in suggesting that certain possible avenues of solution be considered.

The controversy between the Government of Poland and the Government of the German Reich might be made the subject of direct discussion between the two Governments.

Should this prove impossible or not feasible, a second avenue might be that of submission of the issues to arbitration.

A third method might be conciliation through a disinterested third party, in which case it would seem appropriate that the parties avail themselves of the services of one of the traditionally neutral States, or a disinterested Republic of the Western Hemisphere wholly removed from the area and issues of the present crisis. Should you determine to attempt solution by any of these methods, you are assured of the earnest and complete sympathy of the United States and of its people. During the exploration of these avenues, I appeal to you, as I have likewise appealed to the Government of the German Reich, to agree to refrain from any positive act of hostility.

Both Poland and Germany being sovereign Governments, it is understood, of course, that upon resort to any one of the alternatives I suggest, each nation will agree to accord complete respect to the independence and territorial integrity of the other.

It is, I think, well known to you that speaking on behalf of the United States I have exerted and will continue to exert every influence in behalf of peace. The rank and file of the population of every nation, large and small, want peace. They do not seek military conquest. They recognize that disputes, claims, and counter claims will always arise from time to time between nations, but that all such controversies without exception can be solved by peaceful procedure if the will on both sides exists so to do.

I have addressed a communication in similar sense to the Chancellor of the German Reich.

King Victor Emmanuel replied on August 30, 1939 as follows:

"I am grateful to you for your interest. I have immediately transmitted your message to my Government. As is known to all, there has been done and there is being done by us whatever is possible to bring about a peace with justice.


The following reply was received from the German Charge in the United States, Hans Thomsen, on August 31, 1939:


"By order of my Government, I wish to use your kind intermediary for the purpose of stating to the President of the United States that his messages of August 25 and 26 addressed to the German Fuehrer and Reich Chancellor have been greatly appreciated by the latter.

"The German Fuehrer and Reich Chancellor has also, on his side, left nothing untried for the purpose of settling the dispute between Germany and Poland in a friendly manner. Even at the last hour he accepted an offer from the Government of Great Britain to mediate in this dispute. Owing to the attitude of the Polish Government, however, all these endeavors have remained without result.

"Accept [etc.]


Franklin D. Roosevelt, Message to President Moszicki of Poland Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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