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When Sarah Palin booked a flight to Europe, the French immediately surrendered.

calendar   Monday - August 31, 2009

It’s about 4:27pm here in the UK.  In a matter of hours, Germany will invade Poland. It’s 1939.

The anniversary of the war that slaughtered untold millions will begin in approx. 13 hours.
Once again I have some entries from the diary of Count Ciano, who was Mussolini’s Foreign Minister and his son-in-law.

Count Ciano was executed on the orders of the Duce, after Ciano voted against Mussolini and the war in the council. He was killed in 1943.

AUGUST 30, 1939

image

My first thought today is the memory of my father.  He would have been sixty three years old if an unfair death had not stopped the beating of his great heart.  May God welcome him and may his generous soul be always near me.

The situation has again grown worse.  The British answer does not close the door to future negociations, but it does not give, nor could it give, the Germans all they ask for.  News reaches us of general mobilization in Warsaw, and it is not the kind of news to calm our nerves. I continue and multiply my contacts with the English.

Our population is more and more openly anti-German and against the war.

AUGUST 31, 1939

An ugly awakening. I am cabled at nine informing me the situation is desperate and that unless something new comes up there will be war in a few hours.  I go quickly to the Palazzo Venezia.  We must find a new solution.  In agreement with The Duce I telephone Halifax to tell him the Duce can intervene with Hitler only if he can bring a big prize:  Danzig.  Empty handed he can do nothing.  On his part, Lord Halifax asks me to bring pressure on Berlin, so that certain procedural difficulties may be overcome and direct contacts established between Germany and Poland.

Halifax sends word that our proposal regarding Danzig cannot be adopted.  The sky is becoming darker and darker.

I receive Francois-Poncet. The conversation is without purpose and, therefore, vague and indefinate.  The wish for peace is repeated on both sides.  He seeks to learn what our attitude will be, but I make no reply.  He is romantic, sad, nostalgic.  I should also add that he is sincere.

I see the Duce again. As a last resort, let us propose to France and Great Britain a conference on September 5, for the purpose of reviewing those clauses of the Treaty of Versailles which disturb European life.  I warmly support the proposal, if for no other reason than because it will widen the distance between us and Hitler, who wants no conferences and has said so many times. 

From Berlin there arrives the German communique summarizing all that has happened in the last few days, including the proposals made to Poland.  These are very moderate, but there is something obscure in the whole German attitude.  The proposals are set forth, but at the same time it is stated that they are no longer open to discussion. 
Hitler’s program as it was announced to me at the Berghof is being applied point by point.
The Duce thinks negotiation is still possible.  I do not, for I see in the communique a clarion call to war.
At midnight we are informed that newspapers are being distributed free in Berlin with the headline,
“Poland Refuses!  Attack About to Begin.”

(in fact, it does. at 5:25am, Sept. 1st.1939)

some further reading from Time, December 25, 1939

See More Below The Fold

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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 08/31/2009 at 02:12 PM   
Filed Under: • History •  
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