4 AUGUST 1939, Page 1


RECENT developments at Danzig lend themselves to either of two interpretations. Since it is of the essence of Herr Hitler's policy to keep his potential opponents always guessing what his next move may be, the concentra- tion of German Press attacks on Danzig may quite well be designed to divert attention from contemplated moves else- where, perhaps against Hungary or Rumania. But it is more likely that Danzig is still being used as the chief counter in the " war of nerves," which Poland, as things are turn- ing out, is facing with admirable restraint and resolution. There is some doubt, indeed, how long the ordinary Danzig citizen, who depends for his living on trade—very largely trade with Poland—can stand the complete militarisation of the Free Qty, and the interruption of trade due to the Nazis' attack on the Polish customs officials and the decision by Poland, as a measure of retaliation, to withdraw the officials whose authorisation enabled a large margarine factory and the herring industry of Danzig to send their products into Poland free of duty. The Danzig Senate has threatened to counter this move by opening the frontier between Danzig and East Prussia, an illegal measure which would necessitate immediate action by Poland. Herr Hitler pretty clearly wants to turn Danzig into a nuisance which Poland's allies will decline to fight about. The more firmly they support Poland, whose attitude is studiously unprovoca- tive, the less likely will the Nazis be to take any irrevocable step.

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