LITHUANIAN QUARTERLY JOURNAL OF ARTS AND SCIENCES
Volume 21, No.4 - Winter 1975
Editors of this issue: Antanas Klimas, Thomas Remeikis, Bronius Vaskelis
Copyright © 1975 LITUANUS Foundation, Inc.
FROM A LITHUANIAN ARCHIVE
Correspondence and Conversations
IV. VACLOVAS SIDZIKAUSKAS ON THE EARLY YEARS OF LITHUANIAN DIPLOMACY
ALFRED ERICH SENN
University of Wisconsin Madison
Vaclovas Sidzikauskas (1893-1973) was one of Lithuania's first diplomats and one of its most prominent. At the time of the collapse of the Tsarist regime in Russia, he was a student in Russia, and two years later, as a student in Switzerland, he was enlisted in the nascent diplomatic service by Jurgis Šaulys. He soon became chief of the mission in Bern, and in 1922 he moved to . Berlin, where he represented Lithuania until 1931. During the 1920s he frequently participated in meetings of the League of Nations. From 1931 to 1934 he served in London, and then he retired from the diplomatic life and worked for Shell Oil Company in Lithuania. In the emigration after World War II, he headed the Committee for a Free Lithuania and was active in many other Lithuanian organizations.
I first met Mr. Sidzikauskas after I had read his review of my book The Emergence of Modern Lithuania. (The review appeared in Draugas on August 8, 1959.) I made an appointment with him at the office of the Committee for a Free Lithuania, and since I was then living in Newark, N. J., I went back to see him frequently. Although we disagreed more than once, he had a great influence on the preparation of my study The Great Powers, Lithuania and the Vilna Question.
Our discussions were always rambling affairs. I would come in armed with questions, possibly even with a manuscript, and he would offer his comments. Eventually I decided to record a talk with him, and on May 23, 1961, with his approval, I brought a tape recorder to his office. What follows is a transcript of that recording. We spoke in Lithuanian; the translation is mine.
The conversation began even before I had the recorder working, with a discussion of the formation of the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry. Having just completed an article on this topic (published in Slavic Review, vol. 21, pp. 500-507), I had some specific questions concerning some personalities such as Mykolas Sleževičius and Alfred Tyszkiewicz, onetime Lithuanian envoy in London. As the recording started, we were already discussing Tyszkiewicz's work.
* * *
AS: He argued with [Eric] Drumond, and so on... VS: He was a man with education, a reputation, and a name, "Tyszkiewicz." But there was such a, tendency with us: they fostered intrigues; they forced him to give up his duties. This was a mistake.
AS: And [Tomas] Naruševičius replaced him. VS: This comes from the history of our relations with the Poles. To what degree could such a man of Polish culture, a boyar, a count, be loyal to represent Lithuania, especially if a dispute should arise with Poland? Would he take the necessary position? I thought yes, it was good to have just such a person.
[/ then explained the nature of my manuscript on Lithuanian diplomacy, and I resumed the discussion by asking about Jurgis Šaulys:]
AS: Can one say that Šaulys was a publicist?
VS: Yes. For a while he edited a newspaper in Vilnius, and he was active in publishing.
AS: I couldn't find any other occupation for him. I have worked in his archives, and I not know what he did for a living.
VS: You see, he studied a long time in a seminary in Kaunas, but before receiving holy orders, he was caught reading a Lithuanian work, while the seminary was run by Poles. He was called in by the rector and told that he apparently had no calling. They asked him to leave. Then the so-called progressive society became interested in him, and they [Felicija] Bortkevičienė and others made it possible for him, as an ex-cleric, to continue his studies in Bern, Switzerland. There, for many years, he studied economics and other social sciences and wrote a thesis on the finance policies of [Egor] Kankrin [Finance Minister under Tsar Nicholas I], He received his doctorate, returned to Vilnius, took part in the Lithuanian press, edited some newspapers, and worked in a bank. Such was his whole career. His political work began later. During the war he remained in Vilnius; he did not emigrate to Russia. He worked with [Antanas] Smetona, with [Steponas] Kairys, and others. And so he got into Lithuanian affairs; at the [Vilnius] conference [in 1917] he was elected to the Taryba, and he came to express himself quite actively. Since he had studied in Switzerland, he knew foreign languages. He was an able, serious person, and he emerged strongly in the formation of the government, at the conference in Vilnius, in the Taryba, in various delegations, and so on. Later he was brought, very early, into the diplomatic service. But of course he was mostly known for his publicistic work.
AS: What languages did [Juozas] Puryckis know?
VS: In addition to Lithuanian, Puryckis knew Polish, French, and German. He studied in Fribourg; therefore he knew both German and French relatively well.
AS: In the fall of 1920, after Želigowski's attack on Vilnius, [Augustinas] Voldemaras was in Geneva at the League of Nations, and he agreed to holding a plebiscite. As I understand it from the proceedings of the Constituent Assembly, Voldemaras made this agreement without instructions from Kaunas. Therefore he was removed from this post, and at the beginning of 1921 [Ernestas] Galvanauskas represented Lithuania.
VS: But not for that reason; there were other reasons too. If I am not mistaken, it was at Spa. According to Voldemaras, at a meeting of the League Council, someone said that he understood that Lithuania would have nothing against a consultation of the inhabitants [of the Vilnius region]. Voldemaras then agreed, because he thought that the person who had spoken I forget, the British representative or whoever had arranged the matter with Puryckis as Foreign Minister or with the government. Anyway, he agreed, and he brought us the plebiscite to resolve the question of Vilnius. In this he had acted without authorization, but the government did not object. We went on to the organization of the plebiscite. Naturally, we demanded that the plebiscite be organized just so.
AS: But I understand that public opinion in Kaunas was very much against it. I believe that [Mykolas] Krupavičius and Sleževičius even spoke of bringing Voldemaras to court.
VS: Yes, well you see there were criticisms that he had acted without authorization. And of course there was a principle: you cannot make your capital the object of a plebiscite. This is a question of principle. This was not a matter of not trusting the inhabitants, but in principle we could not have doubts or make the capital of Lithuania the object of a plebiscite. This criticism was made of him. But since it was done, the government did not disavow it but rather went on with the organization of that plebiscite: how it should be; how the Poles should withdraw; the administration; the international army which should come from different countries there were all sorts of contingencies; Switzerland even refused to let them pass; and so on. The Lithuanians agreed to some of these, but they were opposed to the basic idea. Yet there was an obligation. It was impossible to agree on the procedures of the plebiscite, how to organize it so that it would be a true expression of the will of the inhabitants and not just a poll as the Poles wanted, whereby the Polish administration would withdraw from a district and there would then be a poll, and then again. We said that this would not be a plebiscite but just pressure from the Polish administration. Nothing came of the plebiscite; the plebiscite had to be rejected. Them came the question of direct talks with [Paul] Hymans in the chair as the rapporteur, and from this came the other proposal to resolve the Vilnius question, the Hymans project.
AS: In 1921 the Foreign Ministry finally received its formal organization from the Constituent Assembly. In the fall of 1921 Puryckis said that there was still no permanent representative in Berlin because the proper person had not been found. When did you go there?
VS: Puryckis was the representative in Berlin. When he was named Foreign Minister, [Viktoras] Gailius was left there as charge d'affaires, and so there was no representative. This continued until June 1922, when I was named permanent representative in Berlin.
AS: Until when did you remain?
VS: I was there until the end of October 1931, almost ten years.
AS: I have found that Berlin was about the most important post in Lithuania's relations with the West.
VS: It was the most important post. Everything went through Berlin. Berlin was a very important post. One, because Germany was our biggest neighbor. Also for our economic relations. Thirdly, for our conflict with Poland. There was in fact a triangle, Berlin - Kaunas - Moscow, directed against Warsaw. In this way, Berlin had great meaning for us.
[At this point, I read sections of my manuscript to Mr. Sidzikauskas and asked for his reaction. In regard to my description of diplomatic missions, he suggested, "For Moscow, you can also say that it was for 'implementation of the peace treaty.' " (See my article, p .507.)]
AS: Now for the Hymans project. I am working mostly on the Vilnius question, and I am slowly making my way through its history. What were the pressures form the Entente for the acceptance of the Hymans project? VS: The first pressure was in the League of Nations. When Hymans recommended that we be accepted in order to create an impression, that question was raised with Hymans reporting in a plenary session of the League of Nations. A great appeal was made that this project should be' accepted. And second, Lithuania was admitted to the League of Nations so as to create an atmosphere in which Lithuania should accept the Hymans project. As for any special pressure, from London or Paris or anywhere else, there was none, since the Poles were also against the Hymans project. Both sides rejected the Hymans project, both the Poles and the Lithuanians. Galvanauskas and I suggested accepting the Hymans project more for tactical reasons: first, we knew that the Poles would not accept it. Therefore we said that whoever accepts the proposal of the League of Nations would have a better posture; we would have all the advantages of the Covenant. That was the first reason, and secondly, we said that one way or another, the territorial question was decided in Lithuania's favor: Vilnius would be a canton in a Lithuanian state. We thought that with time a Lithuanian majority would develop. We looked optimistically at the potential of our people and at the advantages tactical, political, and diplomatic which such an acceptance would give us. Therefore we thought that for tactical reasons, we should, with certain reservations, accept. But the atmosphere in the land was against it, especially after the bomb attempt against Galvanauskas. The government dared not accept, and rejected it. The Poles also rejected it, and so the project was rejected by both sides, a rare happening.
AS: Last year I read in the Soviet Dokumenty vneshnei politiki, the fourtfh Volume, which has correspondence between Kaunas and Moscow, that the Lithuanians asked the Russians to oppose the Hymans project so that it would be easier to say no to Hymans. Was that so?
VS: I could not say that myself. We can only establish that in the documents. It is possible that, when the government decided to reject the project, we tried to cooperate or to have the support of Moscow. Moscow, comparatively, supported us in this conflict with the Poles.
AS: I read in a history of Poland by Stanislaw Mackiewicz, & Polish journalist, that [Eustachy] Sapieha [the Foreign Minister of Poland] wrote the first Hymans project. Did it really come from Hymans and [Paul] Monteux?
VS: It seems to me that Hymans and Monteux, as Political Director of the League of Nations, wrote it. I don't think that Sapieha wrote it. I doubt it. This is new to me; I don't think that Sapieha wrote it.
AS: What did the Lithuanians really think they could get from the Hymans talks when they began? Did they enter into the talks just because they saw nothing else, or did they really expect something?
VS: You see when the question of the plebiscite could not be realized, and it had to be dropped, then direct talks were proposed under the chairmanship of Hymans. We could not refuse... [end or reel]
AS: You said that you could not refuse.
VS: Since we could not reach an agreement on the plebiscite, we demanded that the League of Nations, that is to say, the League Council, put its decision into force, namely, to require that Želigowski and the Poles withdraw from Vilnius. When they could not put this into force, because of the opposition of the Poles, the question was what to do. It was suggested in this situation to try direct talks between the Lithuanians and the Poles, but since this was difficult for them, Hymans, who was the rapporteur for the question in the League of Nations, was offered as the mediator and chairman for such talks. In this way these talks were agreed upon, and they took place in Brussels. That was Hymans's capital. Galvanauskas and others represented us in these talks, and you know the whole course of these talks, which met twice. Since no agreement was possible, Hymans thought that he, as rapporteur, would offer his own resolution of this question, take this to a plenum of he Council of the League of Nations, win approval, and try to impose a resolution on both sides. This was the result of the failure to reach agreement in the direct talks. This is how the Hymans project came into being.
AS: Finally, in January 1923, when the Council of the League of Nations decided to dissolve the "no man's land" and to draw a line of demarcation I think you were there the Lithuanians asked that the Allies establish the eastern frontiers of Poland. As I find it, you raised that question first in a session of the Council. VS: That is, to dissolve the neutral zone because all sorts of disorders were occurring, and they thought that they had to put an end to this and to draw a line of demarcation, to dissolve the neutral zone. In the name of the government I was then representing Lithuania before the Council, and I opposed this dissolution. I insisted that the neutral zone, its existence, symbolized the failure to resolve the Vilnius question. It also symbolized the duty of the League of Nations to resolve the question in accordance with its earlier resolutions. I also said that if the earlier resolutions of the League of Nations were put into force, if Želigowski and the Poles withdrew, then we could deal with the essence of the problem. The Conference of Ambassadors should do this under certain conditions. First that it be preceded by the fulfillment of the decisions of the League of Nations, that Želigowski and the Poles withdraw, and so on. But if this was not done, then nothing. So when I opposed the dissolution of the neutral zone, [Renė] Viviani attacked me vigorously, and he read to me the whole Sixteenth Article of the Covenant, threatened us with sanctions because I said that we could not be responsible for the results and that we would oppose this with all means it they should do this. Viviani read to me the whole Sixteenth Article; [Arthur] Balfour tried to act as a mediator. Despite all our protests, they decided to dissolve the neutral zone and to introduce a line of demarcation. Why? Largely because this was in the shadow of the events in Klaipėda. Lithuania was already in Klaipeda. The fate of Klaipėda could be nothing other than to belong to Lithuania, and it was reckoned that this was a blow to the Poles Polish politicians had wanted a sort of condominium in Klaipėda. There was a tendency in the West to give the Poles some sort of compensation in Vilnius, and this dissolution of the neutral zone should lead to a stabilization of the situation. I knew that very well, and therefore I opposed it in every way. Nevertheless it was done.
AS: Under the Hymans project would both Lithuania and Poland have remained members of the League of Nations?
VS: Certainly. Both would have been members of the League of Nations. That is clear. It was simply a matter of resolving the problem through a cantonal system modeled after Switzerland, to make Vilnius a separate canton with two languages. AS: In either October or November 1921, when the Hynmans project was still being considered in Kaunas, there was a meeting of foreign representatives of Lithuania. Were you there? Naruševičius was there, [Oscar Milosz-] Milašius, I think Šaulys came from Italy. Were you there?
VS: We had a number of such meetings of diplomatic representatives. Especially under [Vladas] Jurgutis, when he was Foreign Minister.
AS: Jurgutis was not in office yet; Puryckis was still Foreign Minister.
VS: If Jurgutis was not there, I could not say. AS: I learned from the šaulys archive that after the September meeting of the League of Nations when the resolution was passed in the General Assembly on the admission of Lithuania, there was such a meeting in Kaunas.
VS: I cannot remember well. I was then in Kaunas. There was a big meeting; Galvanauskas and I were invited to speak. We spoke; it was a noisy meeting. After that there was the blast against Galvanauskas. Then in 1922 they decided to reject the plan. AS: The attempt on Galvanauskas's life came after that meeting; then that would be in November, because the attempt took place in December.
VS: Then this meeting at which Galvanauskas and I gave reports took place in November.
AS: Was there sentiment for the project, apart from what you have told me that you and Galvanauskas thought that politically... VS: There was no such sentiment; there were only tactical or mostly political considerations in the question. But purely emotionally, so to speak, the public was against it; it feared, it distrusted the introduction of the Polish language in the canton of Vilnius; it was against all those planned conferences with Poland. The reaction against these things Was more emotional. AS: What was the Puryckis affair?
VS: There was a famine in Russia. Some flour was being sent and such, and this was legal. Then there was a certain man with Puryckis, and they sent a wagon of sugar. This was exposed. This had been done under diplomatic pouch with Puryckis's knowledge. How much Puryckis participated materially, how interested he was, I cannot say. The fact is that it was done with his knowledge, without the permission of the government, by him personally, and there was the suspicion that he could get financial gain form it. Whether this was true or not, I could not slay. It seems to me that this was later blown up out of proportion. But of itself, the matter was unpleasant, and it seems to me that Puryckis should not have been involved in such a thing. AS: And therefore Jurgutis...
VS: And therefore he had to withdraw from the cabinet of ministers. Jurgutis succeeded him.
AS: What was Jurgutis's background?
VS: Jurgutis had studied in Munich. He was a professor in a seminary. He was a member of the Seimas and was active in foreign affairs. Therefore he became Foreign Minister.
AS: As I read in the proceedings of the Constituent Assembly, he was always the reporter in foreign affairs. VS: He was very interested in such matters. He had such an educational background; he had studied in Munich. It was not so easy in Lithuania to find qualified persons who also knew foreign languages. Since he was in the Seimas and interested himself in foreign affairs, he was a natural choice.
[Again I read a section of my manuscript concerning problems of recruiting personnel for the foreign service, and Mr. Sidzikauskas expressed agreement with my account.]
AS: When you reviewed my book, you said that I had overvalued [the work of Juozas] Gabrys. What did you mean?
VS: This is a question of how to evaluate Gabrys personally, Gabrys was a big bluffer. He was not a serious person. He had certain merits. He was instrumental in a display in Paris during the period of the national Renaissance. He also wrote a handbook, a book about Lithuanian literature. In a word, he had certain merits. But it seems to me, insofar as I got to know him in Switzerland, that he vacillated. He turned in both directions, toward the French and toward the Germans. And this demoralized him. He wanted to play the leading role in Lithuania, that is with Fr. [Konstantinas] Olšauskis and with others, but especially by himself. He attempted to portray the Taryba, that is Smetona, Šaulys, and others, as German agents. Since he had been in Paris, then in Switzerland, from the Entente point of view he should be more acceptable. There was a certain competition; he wanted to take over leadership in the government. He did not succeed since he had no base, and he resented this. What other forces were operative there, those old ties of his with the Germans and with the French, it is hard to say. Therefore he went off on his own path. In my opinion, he was not serious. I had several meetings and arguments with him in Geneva. I was one of those who wanted to help him. While I was in Kaunas at the beginning of 1919, Gabrys came and was supposed to participate in a coup. There was an order to arrest him, but he fled. He vanished from Lithuania. He was in opposition to the government. When I was representative in Switzerland, I straightened this question out. I obtained a Lithuanian passport for him. I obtained permission for him to travel to Lithuania. I tried to soothe him in this way, because at that time he was publishing a little newspaper, La Lithuanie Independante, six numbers, which reviled Lithuania against [Vladas] Daumantas, who was in Bern before me, against Smetona, against independent Lithuania. As for all those matters before his death, proclaiming himself president, prime minister, etc., this was not serious. Therefore I consider that he was not a reliable source, except where there is documentary support.
AS: Yes, I understand this, but I do not think that I gave Gabrys too much credit. Yet he was an important person. He was the most important person in Paris with contacts in the French Foreign Ministry. He came to Lithuania with [Colonel A.] Reboul, and he had a certain significance since he had come with the French.
VS: [Gabriel] Padovani was his special friend. Of course he did some good work during the war when he organized the Congress of Nationalities; he published a map of Europe which was even used at the peace conference. He had certain merits. But he went downward. His ambition was too great. Therefore I do not believe it useful to rely on him too much.
AS: I agree, but I don't see where I gave him too much credence. Anyplace I cited him, I think I said it was his view. VS: But in some instances to quote him, or so to say to quote his opinion, was not always, in my opinion, prudent.
At this point our discussion turned to personal question relating to my impeding move to the University of Wisconsin, and our conversation soon ended. During the academic year of 1961 1962 I developed the format of my study The Great Powers, Lithuania and the Vilna Question. This basically involved reading newspapers, microfilmed copies of the archives of the German Foreign Ministry, and records of the Lithuanian Seimas. I wrote to Mr. Sidzikauskas several times with questions concerning the materials I was using, and he always responded quickly. Since the letters are essentially self-explanatory, I will not try to reconstruct my questions. His letters of February 1, 1962, and of April 16, 1962, were written in Lithuanian; his letter of July 23, 1962, in English.
February 14, 1962
I have received your monographic article "The Polish - Lithuanian War Scare, 1927," published in the Journal of Central European Affairs, October 1961. I am very sorry that I have not thanked you before. You see, I have gone through a great shock my wife died and that rather knocked me out of my routine and my work. Now that I have somewhat recovered, I will read it attentively and write my comments, if I have any.
I have looked at the "Instructions of the Lithuanian Government to the Delegation at the Brussels Conference," published in Komunistas in 1923, which you have sent me. While I have written many instructions, I deny responsibility for these. Knowing the position and the views of the Lithuanian Government at that time, I would dare say that here we have to do with apocryphal material. The Communists at that time liked to fabricate such documents. In the so-called instructions there are many things which, in my opinion, do not correspond either to the position or the way of thinking of the Lithuanian Government of that time. They mention a "union of Baltic states" which at that time did not exist at all. Similarly the considerations about the German threat, about the possible occupation of Lithuania, and about military union with Poland are most likely manufactured from whole cloth.
When I am in Washington, I will try to dig around in the archives of the Lithuanian Mission. If I find material or perhaps the text of instructions, I will write to you.
I am pleased by your indefatigable interest in the Lithuanian question. If there are any more questions in the future, please turn to me. It is and will be a pleasure to work with you and to exchange opinions.
With best wishes and high regards,
Chairman, Committee for a Free Lithuania
April, 16, 1962
Thank you very much for your letters of April 2 and 9. I will try to answer them in order.
1. General Silvestras Žukauskas was an officer of the Russian army, a division leader. His first wife was a Pole, and, I think, lived with their child in Poland. The second was of German origin. It is true that in April 1920 he went on vacation to Vilnius. Nevertheless, as far as I know, it was not true that he urged Pilsudski to take Kaunas. Having returned from Vilnius, he was again chief of the Lithuanian army, and he led the battles with Želigowski's forces. In Lithuania Gen. Žukauskas was then regarded more as Russified than as a Polonophile.
2. I do not mean that Baltic Union was an anachronism at the time of the talks with (Paul) Hymans, but only that such a union did not exist at that time. There were efforts to organize such a union, including also Finland and Poland. Lithuania's conflict with Poland prevented it.
While in Washington recently, I looked around in the Lithuanian Mission for the instruction about which you were concerned. Unfortunately there were no instructions there. Nevertheless that should not discourage you, when in Washington, from visiting our mission and rummaging in its archives. I will write to Mr. [Juozas] Rajeckas and ask him to permit you to do this.
3. Kelias, Vilnius, 1925, [Jonas] Navakas, editor. After the elections for the Lithuanian Seimas in 1926, the Populists, the Social Democrats, and the national minorities formed a majority. Mykolas Sleževičius undertook the formation of a government. He offered me the post of Minister of Foreign Affairs, perhaps it was in May. Together with M. Sleževičius I decided that it would be mare useful for me to remain in Berlin and tat he should offer the post of Foreign Minister to P[etras] Klimas and E[r-nestos] Galvanauskas. After they had both refused, I agreed to take the post. That was the end of June or the beginning of July. Since, however, we had an important matter in the Council of the League of Nations in connection with the complaint of the Klaipėda parliament and I had to handle it, M. Sleževičius and I agreed that until my return from Geneva, i.e., at the end of October or the beginning of November, he would act temporarily as Minister of Foreign Affairs (in addition to being Premier and Minister of Justice), and I would feel more free in Geneva, not being Minister of Foreign Affairs. It was also agreed that at the end of September, i.e., while I was in Geneva, Prime Minister Sleževičius would go to Moscow to sign the non-aggression pact. When I returned from Geneva to Kaunas to take the post of Minister of Foreign Affairs, I found a changed situation there. There was great dissatisfaction with the policies for internal affairs and for education, and Social Democrats were in charge of these ministries. The Lithuanian Farmers' Party [Lietuvos Ūkininkų Partija], to which I belonged, set the changing of the Ministers of Internal Affairs and of Education as the condition for my entry into the government, tut that would mean the disruption of the coalition between the Populists and the Social Democrats. Unable to accept this condition, M. Sleževičius proposed that I enter the cabinet as having withdrawn from the Farmers' Party, as an independent, or, if I agreed, as a member of the Populists. I could not accept that proposal. Therefore M. Sleževičius had no other course but to remain as Minister of Foreign Affairs himself and to hand over the Ministry of Justice to someone else.
4. The meeting of Sleževičius with Lithuanian diplomats in Kaunas, mentioned in Kelias of June 25, 1926, in which I too participated, indeed took place. We discussed: (a) the action taken against Lithuania in the Council of the League of Nations concerning Klaipeda, and (b) the non-aggression pact with the Soviet Union.
5. When I was in Geneva in September - October 1926, I had a private meeting with the Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs, August Zaleski. I attempted to determine the possibility of an eventual normalization of Lithuanian - Polish relations. In the course of the conversation it became clear that, unfortunately, there was no such possibility. The question of a condominium was then in the air, but I could not now say whether, or in what form, Mr. Zaleski mentioned it. Such a resolution of the Vilnius Question was unacceptable to us.
I think that I have answered all your questions. If you have more in the future, do not hesitate to turn to me. I am looking forward to the "Development of the Lithuanian Foreign Office, 1918-1921."
With best wishes,
Chairman, Committee for a Free Lithuania
July 23, 1962
Dear Mr. Senn,
Please excuse me for the delay in answering your letter of June 27. Your letter arrived when I was in Chicago, where I spent about ten days. Later I had to go to Washington to attend inter alia Captive Nations Weak dinner, given by the ACEN.
Coming back to your letter, I have to say the following.
1. Complaints about the alleged rude treatment of Lithuanians by the German Legation in Kaunas (1923 -1924) are of no significance whatever and have no connection with my work in Berlin. The trifle incident you refer to was very soon smoothed.
2. The Polish assertion that Mr. [Jurgis] Baltrušaitis in Moscow had prepared the ground for the takeover of Klaipėda territory in his talks with Dr. Brockdorff - Rantzau and Tchitcherin, to the best of my knowledge is not true. What Mr. [Jonas] Budrys has in mind is, according to him, a suggestion made to Moscow through the USSR diplomatic representative in Kaunas to stage a military maneuver in the proximity of Polish border at the time of the events in Klaipėda. The reason of this suggestion was obvious. It was namely feared that Poland could eventually react to the uprising in Klaipėda by military intervention in Lithuania. So far as Germany was concerned, the events were prepared to some extent through unofficial channels. I, in my official capacity in Berlin, did not play any role in this matter before the events. It began with the events.
I am very glad to learn that you intend to be in New York at the end of July and the beginning of August. I still have no definite plans for my vacation, but it is quite probably that at the time you mention will be in New York. Please do not hesitate to call me. In the event you should not find me in the office, please leave a message. It will be a pleasure to chat with you.
With all my best greetings.
Chairman, Committee for a Free Lithuania