Franklin D. Roosevelt

A Second Letter to Chancellor Hitler

August 25, 1939

His Excellency

Adolf Hitler,

Chancellor of the German Reich,

Berlin, Germany

I have this hour received from the President of Poland a reply to the message which I addressed to Your Excellency and to him last night. The text of President Moszicki's reply is as follows:

I highly appreciate the most important and noble message which Your Excellency was good enough to address to me.

I would like to emphasize that the Polish Government always considered direct negotiations between governments as the most appropriate method of solving difficulties which may arise between states. We consider this method all the more fitting when adopted between neighboring countries. It was with this principle in view that Poland concluded pacts of non-aggression with Germany and the Union of Soviet Republics.

We consider likewise the method of conciliation through a third party as disinterested and impartial as Your Excellency to be a just and equitable method in the solution of controversies arising between nations.

While naturally wishing to avoid even the semblance of availing myself of this occasion to raise the points at issue I nevertheless consider it my duty to point out that in this crisis it is not Poland who is proffering any claims or demanding concessions from any other nation.

It is therefore only natural that Poland agrees to refrain from any positive act of hostility provided the other party also agrees to refrain from any such act direct or indirect.

In conclusion may I express my ardent wish that Your Excellency's appeal for peace may contribute towards general appeasement which the people of the world so sorely need to return once more to the blessed path of progress and civilization.

Your Excellency has repeatedly and publicly stated that the ends and the objectives sought by the German Reich were just and reasonable. In his reply to my message the President of Poland has made it plain that the Polish Government is willing, upon the basis set forth in my messages, to agree to solve the controversy which has arisen between the Republic of Poland and the German Reich by direct negotiation or through the process of conciliation.

Countless human lives can be yet saved and hope may still be restored that the nations of the modern world may even now construct a foundation for a peaceful and a happier relationship if you and the Government of the German Reich will agree to the pacific means of settlement accepted by the Government of Poland.

All the world prays that Germany, too, will accept.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, A Second Letter to Chancellor Hitler Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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