On this day: The German–Polish Non-Aggression Pact

January 26 1934: A deal with the Nazis

By Jennifer Lipman, January 26, 2011

Just a year after Adolf Hitler was chosen as chancellor of Germany, Poland became the first state to form such an alliance with the Nazi administration. Anxious over rising tension between the Nazis and the Soviets, fearful of becoming too reliant on other European powers such as France, Poland’s leaders took a gamble on Germany.

The pact, planned to last ten years, was said at the time to be the moment of “a new era in Polish-German political relations." It involved direct discussion on anything concerning “mutual relations” and called for disputes to be resolved “on the basis of mutual agreement”.

Ostensibly about maintaining and guaranteeing peace between the two countries, the deal was framed as though the pact represented “an essential pre-condition for the general peace of Europe”.

According to the agreement: “The guarantee of peace created by these principles will facilitate the great task of both Governments of finding a solution for problems of political, economic and social kinds, based on a just and fair adjustment of the interests of both parties.

“Both Governments are convinced that the relations between their countries will in this manner develop fruitfully, and will lead to the establishment of a neighbourly relationship which will contribute to the well-being not only of both their countries, but of the other peoples of Europe as well.”

As history reminds, the pact was not to be. On April 28 1938 the Nazis removed Germany from it and on September 1 1939 they invaded Poland, putting aside any notion of peaceful and neighbourly behaviour.

What the JC: Apparently encouraged by a new pact bewteen Poland and Germany, a large number of agents of German firms have invaded Poland with a view to re-establishing trading connections with firms in Poland. The agents of the Geramn firms are making determined attempts to break the Jewish boycott of German goods, and are posing as friends of the Jews, and are telling Jewish firms that the persecution in Germany has ceased.

See more from the JC archives here.

    Last updated: 9:46am, January 26 2011