Diplomatic stance of neutral nations to 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop occupations

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Viktor.S
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Diplomatic stance of neutral nations to 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop occupations

Post by Viktor.S » 08 Apr 2020 10:43

Hello everyone,

I'd like some help filling the gaps concerning the diplomatic stance of the neutral European nations during WW2 toward the German-Soviet occupations of Poland under Molotov-Ribbentrop. So far I only have:

Ireland: Recognised the Polish government-in-exile and maintained relations through a consulate in Dublin. This recognition extended after the war until 1957, after many other countries had already switched recognition to the Polish People's Republic.

Sweden: ?

Switzerland: ?

Portugal: ?

Spain: ?

Liechtenstein: ?

Vatican: ?

Thanks.

casimiro
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Re: Diplomatic stance of neutral nations to 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop occupations

Post by casimiro » 09 Apr 2020 00:01

After the German-Russian occupation of Poland in 1939, the Vatican continued diplomatic relations with the Polish government-in-exile. When Italy entered the war, the Polish ambassador to the Vatican, Casimir Papee, moved into Vatican City.

Viktor.S
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Re: Diplomatic stance of neutral nations to 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop occupations

Post by Viktor.S » 09 Apr 2020 09:12

casimiro wrote:
09 Apr 2020 00:01
After the German-Russian occupation of Poland in 1939, the Vatican continued diplomatic relations with the Polish government-in-exile. When Italy entered the war, the Polish ambassador to the Vatican, Casimir Papee, moved into Vatican City.
Thank you. Do you know how long the Vatican recognised the government-in-exile (rather than the puppet Soviet-backed PPR)?

Sid Guttridge
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Re: Diplomatic stance of neutral nations to 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop occupations

Post by Sid Guttridge » 09 Apr 2020 10:35

The Vatican City State continued to recognize the Polish government-in-exile until 1958.

The Vatican City State followed a policy of not recognizing regime changes in time of war. As a result, it even continued to recognize the largely Orthodox Yugoslav government-in-exile and declined to give de jure diplomatic recognition to Pavelic's avowedly ultra-Catholic Ustasa Croat state. When Pavelic visited the Vatican in 1941, Pius XII met him as a private individual, not as visiting head of state.

Liechtenstein was represented abroad by the Swiss diplomatic service.

I would suspect that de Valera's very Catholic Eire might have followed the Vatican's lead regarding Poland.

Cheers,

Sid
Last edited by Sid Guttridge on 09 Apr 2020 10:44, edited 2 times in total.

Viktor.S
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Re: Diplomatic stance of neutral nations to 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop occupations

Post by Viktor.S » 09 Apr 2020 10:42

Sid Guttridge wrote:
09 Apr 2020 10:35
The Vatican City State followed a policy of not recognizing regime changes in time of war. As a result, it even continued to recognize the Yugoslav government-in-exile during the war and declined to give de jure diplomatic recognition to Pavelic's avowedly ultra-Catholic Ustasa Croat state. When Pavelic visited the Vatican in 1941, Pius XII met him as a private individual, not as visiting head of state.
Thank you Sid for that information.
Sid Guttridge wrote:
09 Apr 2020 10:35
Liechtenstein was represented abroad by the Swiss diplomatic service.
So do you know what Switzerland's diplomatic stance was to this issue?

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Re: Diplomatic stance of neutral nations to 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop occupations

Post by OpanaPointer » 09 Apr 2020 11:24

The US was officially neutral at that time.
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Re: Diplomatic stance of neutral nations to 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop occupations

Post by Viktor.S » 09 Apr 2020 11:41

OpanaPointer wrote:
09 Apr 2020 11:24
The US was officially neutral at that time.
True, as were other countries (like the Baltic states). But I'm asking here only about countries that remained neutral through the war.

Sid Guttridge
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Re: Diplomatic stance of neutral nations to 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop occupations

Post by Sid Guttridge » 09 Apr 2020 12:01

Hi Viktor S,

I don't know Switzerland's position, only that Liechtenstein's was linked to it.

Liechtenstein's rulers had a particular problem as far more of their land and wealth was in Czecholslovakia than in Liechtenstein itself. As a result, Liechtenstein never formally broke relations with the Czechoslovak government. However, the royal family continued to operate it Czech estates, farms and forests under German wartime rule and, as a consequence, the post-war Czechoslovak government confiscated them all.

The Germans very heavily persecuted the Polish Catholic Church, as it was integral to Polish national identity, which they were trying to expunge. As the Catholic church hierarchy in occupied Poland was dismantled by the Nazis, the Vatican City State transferred responsibility for overseeing Poland to its Nuncio (Papal ambassador) in Berlin, Eugenio Orsenigo. However, he had already been rather passive in protecting German Catholics and was completely unable to act on behalf of the Poles because the Nazis maintained that their Concordat with the Vatican in 1933 did not apply to territory acquired by Germany after that date, (including German-speaking acquisitions like Austria).

Cheers,

Sid

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Re: Diplomatic stance of neutral nations to 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop occupations

Post by OpanaPointer » 09 Apr 2020 17:09

Viktor.S wrote:
09 Apr 2020 11:41
OpanaPointer wrote:
09 Apr 2020 11:24
The US was officially neutral at that time.
True, as were other countries (like the Baltic states). But I'm asking here only about countries that remained neutral through the war.
The belligerent nations would have received formal declarations of neutrality from the countries you mentioned. If the US received copies they would be found in FRUS. (Google that term for links. The Wisconsin collection is friendliest to me.)
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Re: Diplomatic stance of neutral nations to 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop occupations

Post by Viktor.S » 09 Apr 2020 17:11

OpanaPointer wrote:
09 Apr 2020 17:09
The belligerent nations would have received formal declarations of neutrality from the countries you mentioned. If the US received copies they would be found in FRUS. (Google that term for links. The Wisconsin collection is friendliest to me.)
I think you misunderstood me, I'm asking about the diplomatic attitude of the neutral nations (that remained neutral through the war) toward the Molotov-Ribbentrop occupation of Poland, for example if they issued any diplomatic statements or recognised the dissolution of Poland or the existence of the Polish government-in-exile.

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Ironmachine
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Re: Diplomatic stance of neutral nations to 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop occupations

Post by Ironmachine » 09 Apr 2020 17:53

Regarding Spain, the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact was a total surprise, and was not well received by the goverment, but nothing could be done because maintaining a good relationship with Germany was vital for Spain. The invasion of Poland was viewed with particular concern as it could mean the beginning of an European war which Spain was not ready to manage, and the advance of the Soviet border was even more worrying for the Spanish government. Again no visible signs could be made against Germany but there were feelings of sympathy and support towards Poland. There were even some Spanish attempts for mediation between Germany and Poland, but it was a failure. The weakness of Spain and its dependence on Germany and Italy prevented any other reaction. However, the Polish government-in-exile was recognized and maintained a diplomatic representation in Madrid.
For a much more detailed explanation, see the article España ante la invasión alemana y soviética de Polonia en septiembre de 1939 by Bartosz Kaczorowski, in Cuadernos de Historia Contemporánea (2013), vol. 35, 177-192, available in this link:https://revistas.ucm.es/index.php/CHCO/ ... 2654/40533
It's in Spanish, but an online translator should be enough to understand it. If you have any translation problem, I can help you.
Regards.

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Re: Diplomatic stance of neutral nations to 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop occupations

Post by Viktor.S » 09 Apr 2020 18:38

Thank you Ironmachine for that information on Spain, very interesting to see they recognised the (Allied-aligned) government-in-exile despite Spain's Axis leanings during the period.

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Re: Diplomatic stance of neutral nations to 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop occupations

Post by GregSingh » 10 Apr 2020 12:47

The more you let yourself to go, the less others will let you to go.
F.Nietzsche

Sid Guttridge
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Re: Diplomatic stance of neutral nations to 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop occupations

Post by Sid Guttridge » 10 Apr 2020 13:42

Hi Greg Singh,

Are you sure the latter isn't just a list of the dates countries recognized the Communist Polish government, which is not quite the same thing as withdrawing recognition of the Polish government in exile?

I ask because the Vatican withdrew recognition of the government-in-exile in 1958, but only recognized the Communist government in 1972.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Ironmachine
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Re: Diplomatic stance of neutral nations to 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop occupations

Post by Ironmachine » 10 Apr 2020 18:23

Sid Guttridge wrote:Are you sure the latter isn't just a list of the dates countries recognized the Communist Polish government, which is not quite the same thing as withdrawing recognition of the Polish government in exile?
I ask because the Vatican withdrew recognition of the government-in-exile in 1958, but only recognized the Communist government in 1972
Well, for what's worth and AFAIK, the date for Spain in that list is really the date of withdrawal of recognition of the Polish government-in-exile (though sometimes I have seen the year 1969, not 1968).
The problem with the Vatican may be that 1958 was not the date in which the Vatican withdrew its recognition of the Polish government-in-exile, but the date in which diplomatic provileges for the envoys of that goverment were withdrawn, but the government itself was still recognized (or something like that, I have read this version of the matter in some sources).

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