Monday, June 1, 2009

Hitler tells Paul Yugoslav border is safe

Both images Marlene A Eilers Koenig Collection

June 1, 1939

At a gala dinner honoring the Prince Regent of Yugoslavia and his wife, Princess Olga, German Chancellor Adolf Hitler "guaranteed Yugoslavia's borders" during an exchange of toasts.

The Chancellor is entertaining his guests "royally" during the five-day State Visit. He said that "we see a happy occasion for a frank and friendly exchange of views that I am convinced can bring only benefits to our peoples and States. Hitler stressed the importance of a friendship between Germany and Yugoslavia. "I believe in this all the more since a solidly founded and trustful relationship of Germany toward Yugoslavia -- now that through historic events e have become neighbors with common borders established for all time -- will not only secure a permanent peace between our two peoples and countries but beyond that will provide an element of calm for our jittery continent."

Prince Paul noted Herr Hitler's respect for the Yugoslavia's border with the Reich. "My visit is a demonstration of the determined will of the Yugoslav people to live and work together with the German people in an atmosphere of peace and friendship. For that reason I am very happy that once more in the words of your Excellency are found solemnly expressed assurances that the great German Reich also desires the establishment and strengthening of friendly cooperation with Yugoslavia in that it intends to recognize her freedom and independence, as well as the same frontiers that have joined us as last neighbors since last year."

According to the New York Times, Prince Paul is the first royal head of state to pay a visit to "Greater Germany". Prince Paul and Princess Olga "arrived in Berlin this afternoon and were received with all the honors due their rank and all the pomp that has become characteristic of the National Socialist regime."
Herr Hitler, who accompanied by Field Marshall Hermann Goering, Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop and other ministers in his government, and "surrounded by a vast military display," greeted his royal visitors at the Lehtre station. Frau von Goering, "acting as first lady of the land," presented Princess Olga with a bouquet of flowers.

The couple were taken to Bellevue Palace, which is official guest house of the Third Reich.

Prince Paul is one of three regents for King Peter II, 15, who succeeded to the throne in 1934, following the assassination of his father, King Alexander. The regency will end on September 6, 1941 which will be King Peter's 18th birthday.

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