Messersmith, G.S., Vienna. To William Phillips, Washington.

Messersmith, George S. (George Strausser), 1883-1960.
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Special Collections, University of Delaware Library
Germany presented Europe with fait accompli by occupying Rhineland; seems clear Hitler had encouragement from Mussolini; now is time for France and England to take firm stand; they would have backing of all Europe except Italy and possibly Poland and Hungary; Germany not yet prepared for war, and better to risk brief successful war now than delay and face catastrophic war later; if action is taken now U.S. may remain out of it, but if delayed and conflict grows to larger proportions, U.S. almost certain to be drawn in; occupation of Rhineland may be desperation measure to increase Party prestige, which is at low ebb because of hopeless financial situation; fate of Austria entirely dependent upon external action; in speech at Karlsruh Hitler said occupation was only symbolic and that only 20,000 of Reichswehr had gone in; well known that occupying forces number at least 50,000.
Messersmith, George S. (George Strausser), 1883-1960.