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Documents on Germany, 1944-1959 : background documents on Germany, 1944-1959, and a chronology of political developments affecting Berlin, 1945-1956
(1959)

Address by the Polish Foreign Minister (Rapacki), on disarmament, October 2, 1957,   pp. 214-220 PDF (3.2 MB)


Page 217

DOCUMENTS ON GERMANY, 1944-59
133. The Polish delegation will, of course, present its views on the
disarmament question at greater length in the First Committee. In
my comments here, I should like especially to stress the importance
of the question for the most vital interests of Poland. So far as we are
concerned, armaments are primarily related to the situation in Europe,
in the territory of Germany on Poland's borders. The remilitariza-
tion of the Federal Republic of Germany and the concentration of arms
and troops on its territory constitute a policy which is very dangerous
to the cause of peace in Europe and in the world. It is all the more
dangerous because we are dealing with a State in which militarist and
"revanchist" trends have by no means disappeared and exert a con-
siderable influence. Western Germany must not be allowed to be-
come an atomic powder-keg in the middle of Europe.
134. We understand the legitimate aspirations of the German
people for unification and we support them in the best interests of the
whole of Europe. The example of our relations with the German
Democratic Republic shows that the Polish people is capable of main-
taining good-neighbourly relations with the German people. We
know that there is also a large sector of public opinion in the Federal
Republic of Germany in favour of good relations with Poland. But
the process of reunification of Germany as a peace-loving, democratic
State can only develop in an atmosphere of relaxed international ten-
sion, disarmament, growing feelings of security on the part of Ger-
many's neighbours, and by a rapprochement and understanding be-
tween the two German States. It cannot thrive in an atmosphere of
tension, of "revanchist" demands for arms, and certainly not in
the
spirit of certain statements which practically advocate absorption of
the German Democratic Republic by the Federal Republic and the
North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
135. Existing tensions are being aggravated by revisionist claims
concerning our western frontier. That frontier is final, inviolable
and not open to bargaining. Any statesman with a sense of realities
surely realizes that. It would be a good thing for the diplomats of
the countries which wish to maintain friendly relations with Poland
to draw the proper conclusions.
136. We are against the dividing of Europe into opposing military
blocs. Our views regarding the North Atlantic Treaty are well known.
Every Polish citizen judges NATO primarily in relation to its policy
in the German question. In the face of the danger which Western
Germany'sarmaments within NATO represent for our country and
for other European countries, Poland and its allies were forced to con-
clude the Warsaw Treaty, which safeguards our country's security
until such time as an effective system of collective security is estab-
lished instead of the present division of Europe. We want such a
system and will help to achieve it to the best of our ability. Until a
system of collective security is created in Europe. we will support
even partial solutions directed towards the same ultimate objective.
We will support them whether they are part of a larger plan or the
subject of separate agreements. Accordingly, we have felt and we
still feel that it would be useful to set up limited and controlled arma-
ments zones in Europe. Thus far, no progress has been made in that
direction. On the contrary, there are plans afoot to equip the West
German army with nuclear weapons. If these plans are carried out,
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