President Roosevelt's Campaign To Incite War in Europe:
The Secret Polish Documents
Major ceremonies were held in 1982 to mark the one hundredth anniversary of the birth of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. With the exceptions of Washington and Lincoln, he was glorified and eulogized as no other president in American history. Even conservative President Ronald Reagan joined the chorus of applause. In early 1983, newspapers and television networks remembered the fiftieth anniversary of Roosevelt's inauguration with numerous laudatory tributes.
And yet, with each passing year more and more new evidence comes to light which contradicts the glowing image of Roosevelt portrayed by the mass media and politicians.
The Path To War
While the Polish documents alone are conclusive proof of Roosevelt's treacherous campaign to bring about world war, it is fortunate for posterity that a substantial body of irrefutable complementary evidence exists which confirms the conspiracy recorded in the dispatches to Warsaw.
The secret policy was confirmed after the war with the release of a confidential diplomatic report by the British Ambassador to Washington, Sir Ronald Lindsay. During his three years of service in Washington, the veteran diplomat had developed little regard for America's leaders. He considered Roosevelt an amiable and impressionable lightweight, and warned the British Foreign Office that it should not tell William Bullitt anything beyond what it wouldn't mind reading later in an American newspaper.
On 19 September 1938 -- that is, a year before the outbreak of war in Europe -- Roosevelt called Lindsay to a very secret meeting at the White House. At the beginning of their long conversation, according to Lindsay's confidential dispatch to London, Roosevelt "emphasized the necessity of absolute secrecy. Nobody must know I had seen him and he himself would tell nobody of the interview. I gathered not even the State Department." The two discussed some secondary matters before Roosevelt got to the main point of the conference. "This is the very secret part of his communication and it must not be known to anyone that he has even breathed a suggestion." The President told the Ambassador that if news of the conversation was ever made public, it could mean his impeachment. And no wonder. What Roosevelt proposed was a cynically brazen but harebrained scheme to violate the U.S. Constitution and dupe the American people.
The President said that if Britain and France "would find themselves forced to war" against Germany, the United States would ultimately also join. But this would require some clever maneuvering. Britain and France should impose a total blockade against Germany without actually declaring war and force other states (including neutrals) to abide by it. This would certainly provoke some kind of German military response, but it would also free Britain and France from having to actually declare war. For propaganda purposes, the "blockade must be based on loftiest humanitarian grounds and on the desire to wage hostilities with minimum of suffering and the least possible loss of life and property, and yet bring the enemy to his knees." Roosevelt conceded that this would involve aerial bombardment, but "bombing from the air was not the method of hostilities which caused really great loss of life."
The important point was to "call it defensive measures or anything plausible but avoid actual declaration of war." That way, Roosevelt believed he could talk the American people into supporting war against Germany, including shipments of weapons to Britain and France, by insisting that the United States was still technically neutral in a non-declared conflict. "This method of conducting war by blockade would in his [Roosevelt's] opinion meet with approval of the United States if its humanitarian purpose were strongly emphasized," Lindsay reported.
The American Ambassador to Italy, William Phillips, admitted in his postwar memoirs that the Roosevelt administration was already committed to going to war on the side of Britain and France in late 1938. "On this and many other occasions," Phillips wrote, "I would like to have told him [Count Ciano, the Italian Foreign Minister] frankly that in the event of a European war, the United States would undoubtedly be involved on the side of the Allies. But in view of my official position, I could not properly make such a statement without instructions from Washington, and these I never received."
Carl J. Burckhardt, the League of Nations High Commissioner to Danzig, reported in his postwar memoirs on a remarkable conversation held at the end of 1938 with Anthony Drexel Biddle, the American Ambassador to Poland. Biddle was a rich banker with close ties to the Morgan financial empire. A thoroughgoing internationalist, he was an ideological colleague of President Roosevelt and a good friend of William Bullitt. Burckhardt, a Swiss professor, served as High Commissioner between 1937 and 1939.
Nine months before the outbreak of armed conflict, on 2 December 1938, Biddle told Burckhardt
with remarkable satisfaction that the Poles were ready to wage war over Danzig. They would counter the motorized strength of the German army with agile maneuverability. 'In April,' he [Biddle] declared, 'a new crisis would break out. Not since the torpedoing of the Lusitania [in 1915] had such a religious hatred against Germany reigned in America as today! Chamberlain and Daladier [the moderate British and French leaders] would be blown away by public opinion. This was a holy war!,The fateful British pledge to Poland of 31 March 1939 to go to war against Germany in case of a Polish-German conflict would not have been made without strong pressure from the White House.
On 14 March 1939, Slovakia declared itself an independent republic, thereby dissolving the state known as Czechoslovakia. That same day, Czechoslovak President Emil Hacha signed a formal agreement with Hitler establishing a German protectorate over Bohemia and Moravia, the Czech portion of the federation. The British government initially accepted the new situation, but then Roosevelt intervened.
In their nationally syndicated column of 14 April 1939, the usually very well informed Washington journalists Drew Pearson and Robert S. Allen reported that on 16 March 1939 Roosevelt had "sent a virtual ultimatum to Chamberlain" demanding that henceforth the British government strongly oppose Germany. According to Pearson and Allen, who completely supported Roosevelt's move, "the President warned that Britain could expect no more support, moral or material through the sale of airplanes, if the Munich policy continued." Chamberlain gave in and the next day, 17 March, ended Britain's policy of cooperation with Germany in a speech at Birmingham bitterly denouncing Hitler. Two weeks later the British government formally pledged itself to war in case of German-Polish hostilities.
Bullitt's response to the creation of the German protectorate over Bohemia and Moravia was to telephone Roosevelt and, in an "almost hysterical" voice, urge him to make a dramatic denunciation of Germany and immediately ask Congress to repeal the Neutrality Act.
In a confidential telegram to Washington dated 9 April 1939, Bullitt reported from Paris on another conversation with Ambassador Lukasiewicz. He had told the Polish envoy that although U.S. law prohibited direct financial aid to Poland, it might be possible to circumvent its provisions. The Roosevelt administration might be able to supply war planes to Poland indirectly through Britain. "The Polish Ambassador asked me if it might not be possible for Poland to obtain financial help and aeroplanes from the United States. I replied that I believed the Johnson Act would forbid any loans from the United States to Poland but added that it might be possible for England to purchase planes for cash in the United States and turn them over to Poland."
On 25 April 1939, four months before the outbreak of war, Bullitt called American newspaper columnist Karl von Wiegand, chief European correspondent of the International News Service, to the U.S. embassy in Paris and told him: "War in Europe has been decided upon. Poland has the assurance of the support of Britain and France, and will yield to no demands from Germany. America will be in the war soon after Britain and France enter it."
In a lengthy secret conversation at Hyde Park on 28 May 1939, Roosevelt assured the former President of Czechoslovakia, Dr. Edvard Benes, that America would actively intervene on the side of Britain and France in the anticipated European war.
In June 1939, Roosevelt secretly proposed to the British that the United States should establish "a patrol over the waters of the Western Atlantic with a view to denying them to the German Navy in the event of war." The British Foreign Office record of this offer noted that "although the proposal was vague and woolly and open to certain objections, we assented informally as the patrol was to be operated in our interests."
Many years after the war, Georges Bonnet, the French Foreign Minister in 1939, confirmed Bullitt's role as Roosevelt's deputy in pushing his country into war. In a letter to Hamilton Fish dated 26 March 1971, Bonnet wrote: "One thing is certain is that Bullitt in 1939 did everything he could to make France enter the war." An important confirmation of the crucial role of Roosevelt and the Jews in pushing Britain into war comes from the diary of James V. Forrestal, the first U.S. Secretary of Defense. In his entry for 27 December 1945, he wrote:
Played golf today with [former Ambassador] Joe Kennedy. I asked him about his conversations with Roosevelt and [British Prime Minister] Neville Chamberlain from 1938 on. He said Chamberlain's position in 1938 was that England had nothing with which to fight and that she could not risk going to war with Hitler. Kennedy's view: That Hitler would have fought Russia without any later conflict with England if it had not been for [William] Bullitt's urging on Roosevelt in the summer of 1939 that the Germans must be faced down about Poland; neither the French nor the British would have made Poland a cause of war if it had not been for the constant needling from Washington. Bullitt, he said, kept telling Roosevelt that the Germans wouldn't fight; Kennedy that they would, and that they would overrun Europe. Chamberlain, he says, stated that America and the world Jews had forced England into the war. In his telephone conversations with Roosevelt in the summer of 1939, the President kept telling him to put some iron up Chamberlain's backside.When Ambassador Potocki was back in Warsaw on leave from his post in Washington, he spoke with Count Jan Szembek, the Polish Foreign Ministry Under-Secretary, about the growing danger of war. In his diary entry of 6 July 1939, Szembek recorded Potocki's astonishment at the calm mood in Poland. In comparison with the war psychosis that had gripped the West, Poland seemed like a rest home.
"In the West," the Ambassador told Szembek, "there are all kinds of elements openly pushing for war: the Jews, the super-capitalists, the arms dealers. Today they are all ready for a great business, because they have found a place which can be set on fire: Danzig; and a nation that is ready to fight: Poland. They want to do business on our backs. They are indifferent to the destruction of our country. Indeed, since everything will have to be rebuilt later on, they can profit from that as well."
On 24 August 1939, just a week before the outbreak of hostilities, Chamberlain's closest advisor, Sir Horace Wilson, went to Ambassador Kennedy with an urgent appeal from the British Prime Minister for President Roosevelt. Regretting that Britain had unequivocally obligated itself in March to Poland in case of war, Chamberlain now turned in despair to Roosevelt as a last hope for peace. He wanted the American President to "put pressure on the Poles" to change course at this late hour and open negotiations with Germany. By telephone Kennedy told the State Department that the British "felt that they could not, given their obligations, do anything of this sort but that we could." Presented with this extraordinary opportunity to possibly save the peace of Europe, Roosevelt rejected Chamberlain's desperate plea out of hand. At that, Kennedy reported, the Prime Minister lost all hope. "The futility of it all," Chamberlain had told Kennedy, "is the thing that is frightful. After all, we cannot save the Poles. We can merely carry on a war of revenge that will mean the destruction of all Europe."
Roosevelt liked to present himself to the American people and the world as a man of peace. To a considerable degree, that is still his image today. But Roosevelt cynically rejected genuine opportunities to act for peace when they were presented.
In 1938 he refused even to answer requests by French Foreign Minister Bonnet on 8 and 12 September to consider arbitrating the Czech-German dispute. And a year later, after the outbreak of war, a melancholy Ambassador Kennedy beseeched Roosevelt to act boldly for peace. "It seems to me that this situation may crystallize to a point where the President can be the savior of the world," Kennedy cabled on 11 September from London. "The British government as such certainly cannot accept any agreement with Hitler, but there may be a point when the President himself may work out plans for world peace. Now this opportunity may never arise, but as a fairly practical fellow all my life, I believe that it is entirely conceivable that the President can get himself in a spot where he can save the world ..."
But Roosevelt rejected out of hand this chance to save the peace of Europe. To a close political crony, he called Kennedy's plea "the silliest message to me that I have ever received." He complained to Henry Morgenthau that his London Ambassador was nothing but a pain in the neck: "Joe has been an appeaser and will always be an appeaser ... If Germany and Italy made a good peace offer tomorrow, Joe would start working on the King and his friend the Queen and from there on down to get everybody to accept it."
Infuriated at Kennedy's stubborn efforts to restore peace in Europe or at least limit the conflict that had broken out, Roosevelt instructed his Ambassador with a "personal" and "strictly confidential" telegram on 11 September 1939 that any American peace effort was totally out of the question. The Roosevelt government, it declared, "sees no opportunity nor occasion for any peace move to be initiated by the President of the United States. The people [sic] of the United States would not support any move for peace initiated by this Government that would consolidate or make possible a survival of a regime of force and aggression."