Alleged War Guilt: Former German Ambassador to Poland, Hans-Adolf von Moltke, Shows Foreign Journalists Archival Materials from Warsaw as "Proof" of Poland's Responsibility for the War (Fall 1939)
Nazi propaganda presented the attack on Poland as a defensive measure. But in actuality, the SS, acting on Hitler's instructions, had staged a series of "Polish provocations" on the night of August 31/September 1, 1939. These included the alleged Polish attack on the Silesian radio station in Gleiwitz (now Gliwice). In his Reichstag speech on the morning of the September 1st invasion, Hitler declared that Polish government had been opposing a peaceful solution to the conflict over Danzig and the Polish Corridor for months, and that it had also been systematically terrorizing the region's German population. According to Hitler, Germany's decision to break off negotiations had prompted Poland to respond with fourteen violent border violations during the night of August 31/September 1, 1939. Emphasizing his love of peace, Hitler announced that Germany would no longer tolerate Polish warmongering. Bombs had to be met with bombs, and poison gas with poison gas. In this photograph, the former German ambassador to Poland, Hans-Adolf von Moltke, shows foreign journalists archival material from Warsaw as "proof" of Poland's responsibility for the war.
Hans-Adolf von Moltke (1884-1943) was a member of Germany’s legendary Moltke family. His family tree included Helmuth von Moltke (1800-1891), Chief of the Prussian General Staff under Bismarck, and Helmuth Johannes Ludwig von Moltke (1848-1916), who held the same post under Kaiser Wilhelm II. Ambassador Moltke was also a second cousin to Count Helmuth James von Moltke (1907-1945), the founder of the Nazi resistance group known by the Gestapo as the Kreisau Circle [Kreisauer Kreis]. Helmuth James von Moltke was executed in January 1945 for his alleged involvement in the July 20th plot against Hitler.
© Bildarchiv Preußischer Kulturbesitz