M. Marshal, when I was obliged on Nov. 11, 1942, in
agreement with our ally, Italy, to decide to occupy the French southern
coast in order to ensure the defense of the Reich against the war forced
upon us at one time by France and England, I did it in the hope of introducing
clarification of internal conditions in your country, which is not only
in German and Italian but in French interests.
Looking back, I may be permitted once more to state
that it was not Germany in September, 1939, which declared war on France
or Britain, but that on the contrary I have scarcely permitted an occasion
to pass since taking over power to convert relations precisely between
Germany and France from the strain of the Versailles dictate into truly
In so doing Germany addressed no other demand to France
but the one not to reject the hand offered by Germany. It is to be regretted
that unscrupulous Anglo-Saxons and primarily Jewish wire-pullers succeeded
in interpreting every conciliatory gesture of the New Reich as a sign
of weakness and every peace offer later as proof of pending collapse.
While in the German Reich neither the government nor
any other quarters, either by speeches or through the press, addressed
to France demands, let alone requests, injuring French honor, French
inciters in Paris demanded dismemberment of the German Reich, enslavement
of the German people, removal of the foundations of our social legislation;
above all, however, complete restoration of the unrestricted right of
plunder by the Jewish race which had been pushed back into its proper
place in Germany.
It is known to me that you, yourself, M. Marshal,
were always ready to serve European cooperation. Just as they had done
it in the first days of September, 1939, so also after conclusion of
the Polish campaign those interested in European self-destruction and
in financial exploitation of the war shouted down this appeal to reason,
demanding continuation of the war at any price.
The conflict which your government of that time had
forced on the German Reich, and consequently on Germany's ally, Italy,
thus had to be decided by arms, since common sense did not prevail.
In spite of historic and unique victory I have done
nothing that might have offended French honor, and I demanded only guarantees
to make resumption of hostilities impossible under all circumstances.
Subsequently, too, no demand incompatible with French
honor has been put forward. You know, M. Marshal, that allegations circulated
by British or Americans, as warmongers chiefly responsible for this
war, that Germany intended to seize the French fleet, or that I intended
to demand handing over of the French fleet, were complete inventions
While the German Reich is still compelled to make
sacrifices for the war imposed upon the Reich by France, the French
people were able to live in peace, apart from sacrifices resulting from
land, sea and air attacks by France's former allies. At the same time
the Reich agreed gradually to release more than 700,000 of the 1,960,000
French war prisoners.
Such an attitude, I believe, is without precedent
in the history of war. Gradual failure of this process is merely due
to the regrettable fact that intransigent elements in your country again
and again succeeded in sabotaging genuine cooperation.
It was your own wish, M. Marshal, to speak to me at
the time in order to find and define possibilities of such collaboration.
I complied with this wish and discussions were carried on at Montoire,
which-as I was convinced-could have provided the basis for general lessening
of the strain.
It is to be regretted that those interested in the
war in France itself succeeded at the time in overthrowing this cooperation
only a few weeks later, giving a motive which must be also for me personally
I am compelled to state here that the assertion was
quite openly made that Napoleon's son had been brought by me to Paris
for the purpose of inviting you, and thus to be able to get you into
German hands. I must state now that you, M. Marshal, yourself, had time
and again requested to be able to settle down in Versailles and that
I always rejected this, pointing out that the rest of the world-and
if ever so much in the wrong would derive from such a step the assertion
that the French Government was under German power.
Although this was in direct and utter contrast to
my attitude on the occasion of the armistice I did not draw any consequences
therefrom because it was and is clear to me that there also are among
the French people millions of industrious workmen, peasants and citizens
who have nothing to do in their innermost self with these machinations
but themselves, too, only long for peace.
But I may state here once more, M. Marshal, that I
did not take the opportunity a single time to ask a member of the French
Government to come to me, but that all talks always took place by request
of the French Government itself. Also the two talks with Admiral Darlan
took place only on his explicit request and on your behalf, M. Marshal.
The landing of American and British troops in French
Northwest and North Africa, which, as it now becomes evident, took place
in agreement with numerous treacherous generals and officers, had removed
the preliminary condition on which the whole treaty was laid down in
the preamble of the Armistice and compelled Germany to carry out immediately
and in agreement with its allies the necessary security measures.
But not all the events which had led to this Anglo-American
action were known to me on Nov. 11. Today I know, and you, M. Marshal,
know it, too, that this occupation took place by explicit request of
those French elements who had once incited to war and who even today
have not yet disappeared in France from the atmosphere of public life
and, above all, military life.
That French generals and admirals broke their word
toward German quarters, and that innumerable times, is to be regretted
in itself. But that you, M. Marshal, must admit that even toward you
such generals and admirals and officers violate their oath of allegiance
forces me to come to the conclusion that agreements with these elements
are completely useless.
I transmit to you forthwith proofs that since the
marching in on Nov. 11, 1942, renewed solemn assurances were given,
and that in the form of word of honor, which were broken on the same
day by orders which now have been disclosed.
It is a fact that by his assurance that the French
Navy would fight in Toulon against any enemy attack the admiral deceived
Germany and Italy again. For while he had given this statement on Nov.
11 the order was issued on Nov. 12 on no account to fire against possible
landing of Anglo-American forces.
Numerous other violations of the armistice obligations
have been disclosed to us meanwhile. I am permitted to bring the following
to your notice now, M. Marshal:
Firstly: I am aware of the fact that you, M. Marshal,
have no part in these things and are therefore the chief sufferer.
Secondly: I must safeguard the interests of the nation
on which war has been forced and which for reasons of self-preservation
is compelled to fight those who brought about this war and who today
are continuing the war with the aim of destroying all of Europe, in
the service of a European, extra-European and Jewish-Anglo-Saxon clique.
Thirdly: I am compelled to continue the war on behalf
of the millions of people in my own and other countries who, freed from
the pressure of ruthless capitalist exploitation, are not willing to
become for all time the victims of international exploitation or of
definite annihilation as a nation.
Fourthly: The German people, in whose name I am addressing
this declaration to you, M. Marshal, does not hate the French people.
But I am determined, as its leader and representative, under no circumstances
to surrender Germany and beyond it the whole of Europe to chaos by tolerating
manipulations by those elements who caused this terrible war.
I shall therefore turn against those institutions
and, above all, those persons who want to prevent also in the future
every cooperation between the French and German people, who-already
once burdened with the heavy blood of guilt at the outbreak of war-now
apparently for a second time believe their time to have come for establishing
in the south of Europe an invasion gateway for the breaking in of extra-Continental
Fifthly: After having learned of the new breaches
of promise by French officers and admirals and their proved intention
to open to the Anglo-Jewish war criminals France as well as North Africa,
I have now, therefore given orders to occupy Toulon immediately, to
prevent the ships from leaving or to annihilate them and to break any
resistance if necessary with the utmost force.
This is no fighting against honor-loving French officers
and soldiers but against those war criminals for whom even now not enough
blood has flowed but who continually look for new possibilities of expanding
I have therefore given orders to demobilize all those
units of he French armed forces who, against orders of their own French
government, were incited by officers and provoked to commit active resistance
Sixth: Also these measures which the disloyal attitude
of your admirals and generals compelled me to take are directed, as
already mentioned, not against France, nor the French soldier as such.
It is my sincere hope-and I know that I am one with
my allies in this view-that it may be possible to restore an armed force
to the French State of which the officers at least will be obedient
to their own Head of State and thus give guarantee for conclusion of
any interstate agreements and treaties.
No matter how painful this may be to you at the moment,
realization that it is unthinkable that a State could exist without
disciplined and obedient armed forces should in the long run afford
some consolation and relief to you. Creation of a new army, navy and
air force, which will be willing to obey you unconditionally, will certainly
be in France's interest.
Before concluding this letter I wish to assure you
once more that the step which I am forced to make is not prejudicial
to cooperation with France, but is creating conditions for genuine cooperation.
In spite of Anglo-American assertions to the contrary,
it is my firm determination to help France recapture the colonies stolen
by the Anglo-Saxons with all means at the Reich's disposal. Neither
Germany nor Italy has any intention to destroy or annihilate the French
It is now in the hands of French authorities to accept
German measures which have become a definite necessity in such a way
that there is no further bloodshed, and that conditions at last are
created for genuine and successful cooperation profitable to all sides.
As far as the German action is concerned, Field Marshal
von Rundstedt is authorized to give all orders and conclude all agreements
which are necessary, and he will always be at your disposal, M. Marshal.
I conclude this letter by expressing the hope that
cooperation thus now is initiated from which we expect for France's
part nothing but loyalty and understanding for the common destiny of
Accept, M. Marshal, my expression of my personal devotion.