Dino Alfieri on the Situation in the General Government in 1943



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R. Embassy of Italy

Addressed to R. Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Very confidential

[Handwritten initials in red pencil:] M [Mussolini] V [visto = seen]

Berlin, 4th June 1943

Re: Situation in the General Governorate

Ref.: My Cable No. 8190/1374 of 28th May last

The Inspector of the Fasci in Germany, who has returned from a brief visit to Warsaw, has sent me the following report on the situation in the Generalgouvernement General Governorate:

“After the latest air-raids by the Bolsheviks, the town appears very much damaged. It is estimated that the German bombings, when Warsaw was conquered, damaged 15-20% of the buildings, and the damage inflicted by the Bolsheviks is estimated to be the same. This means that 30-40% of the buildings are almost totally destroyed, every couple of hundred meters one comes upon large open spaces covered with rubble. […]

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In the ghetto, a vast area right in the centre of town and separated from it only by a high wall built for this purpose, when German authorities requested that a few thousand Jews should be sent out to work in factories, the Jews refused to obey the order, saying that they had not heard again from the Jews that had previously left the ghetto, As we know, a war ensued that is still continuing. On the one side the Jews, of whom there are still perhaps about 15,000 and who have dug themselves in inside the ghetto, building underground bunkers up to thirty meters deep, powerfully armoured and equipped with heavy and light machine guns, who are supported and led by Bolsheviks sent from Moscow, and have huge stockpiles of food and ammunition that could last them for years of fighting. On the other, SS units who systematically and without needlessly endangering the lives of their soldiers advance from house to house, following even the sewers and the underground canals where fighting goes on, and subdue resistance. The Gestapo Chief told me that he expects to subdue all resistance within a few weeks.

In this climate, while the population is being bombarded from the sky, mined underground by the fighting within the ghetto and by the ghetto’s emissaries (Communists and Jews who have managed to leave the ghetto and are hiding in town) and forced on the ground to rely on the black market to survive among all kinds of threats, secret organizations of Communists and Jews flourish, as well as others by Polish nationalists, both of which try to prepare the revolt and for the time being want to cause terror among the ruling group.

The organizers warn the German rulers and those Poles that are believed to sympathize with them that they will be liquidated, and every day

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there are murders taking place in circumstances worthy of a crime thriller. I have seen Gestapo chiefs and Nazi party leaders, always in civilian clothes, going around with their revolver at the ready. I have noticed that when they have to go somewhere, they resort to stratagems to mislead those who might be following them. […]

During my stay in Warsaw I have contacted local leaders of the General Governorate, of the Nazi party, of the Gestapo, of Russian and Polish circles close to the German occupying authorities. […]

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These same people suggest that a solution might be found by transforming the struggle, which right now has taken on the character of an exclusively German struggle against Russia, thus endowing Stalin with a pedestal as Russia’s saviour, and having it revert, as the Duce had suggested, to its true essence: the struggle of Europe, led by the Axis, against Bolshevism.

For this struggle one could rely on the organization of some millions of Russians who would fight even more fanatically than Axis troops against the Bolsheviks to free their fatherland from Bolshevism. To this Russia military organization, the armed forces of the Axis ought to provide the structure and, most importantly, the reserves.

To make the military struggle of the Axis against Bolshevism feasible in this manner one would have to establish, as a fundamental prerequisite, the political conditions for the cooperation of all anti-Bolshevik Polish and Russia peoples on a political platform that might look like this: Russia to the RussiaPoland to the Poles, both obviously under the control of the Axis powers and their allies; war against Bolshevism; war against Jews; recognition of private property; a controlled freedom of trade.”

The Royal Ambassador



  • Updated 4 years ago
In March 1919, Benito Mussolini founded a movement called “Fasci di combattimento”, which became the Partito Nazionale Fascista (PNF) in November 1921. On 28 October 1922 he organised the “March on Rome”, following which King Vittorio Emanuele III of Savoy invited him to form a new government. Mussolini transformed the government into a dictatorship and then into a totalitarian state. After Italy left the League of Nations in 1937, the “Rome-Berlin Axis”, proclaimed in 1936, developed into a clo...

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