Discussing Hitler

Discussing Hitler: Advisers of U.S. Diplomacy in Central Europe, 1934-41

Edited and introduced by FRANK Tibor
Copyright Date: 2003
Edition: NED - New edition, 1
Pages: 376
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  • Book Info
    Discussing Hitler
    Book Description:

    This book promises to illuminate the foreign policy of the Roosevelt administration during the rise of Hitler's Germany. It is based on the heretofore unpublished notes of J. F. Montgomery (1878-1954), U.S. ambassador ("Minister") to Hungary before World War II. In Budapest, Montgomery quickly made friends with nearly everyone who mattered in the critical years of Hitler's takeover and preparation for World War II. His circle included Admiral Horthy, the Regent of Hungary, subsequent prime ministers, foreign ministers, members of both houses of parliament, as well as fellow diplomats from all over Europe. In addition, as an avid player of golf and bridge, he had an active social life that was interconnected with a large circle of influential friends in the United States.

    eISBN: 978-615-5211-06-5
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. 1-4)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. 5-6)
    (pp. 7-8)
    (pp. 9-12)

    As a visiting professor of history, I taught at the University of California, Santa Barbara, on and off for the ten years between 1987 and 1997. Perhaps the most memorable experience of those years was Hungarian Spring 1991, a major cultural festival focusing on intellectual and artistic achievements in the early decades of the 20th century. Assisted by a group of local enthusiasts, I organized the festival as a symbol of Hungary’s spiritual renewal after long decades of Soviet domination, by way of remembering the rich 20th century spring in Hungary’s cultural history. Excellent people such as Yehudi Menuhin came...

    (pp. 13-70)
    FRANK Tibor

    According to Who Was Who in America, John Flournoy Montgomery, formerly U.S. Minister to Hungary, was born on September 20, 1878, in Sedalia, Missouri. The Montgomerys were Presbyterian and Anglo-Irish and claimed Norman and Huguenot descent. The minister was educated locally, graduating from the Ramsdell Academy in Sedalia. All his working life, apart from the years en poste in Budapest, was spent in the condensed milk industry. Between 1925 and 1933, and then again after 1941, he was the president of the International Milk Co. He was a Freemason.¹ He lived in Vermont, in a large home, with his wife,...

  6. List of the Confidential Conversations of U.S. Minister John F. Montgomery, Budapest 1934–1941
    (pp. 71-78)
  7. Conversations
    • 1934
      (pp. 79-82)

      The approach of the Parliamentary session, in which it is generally known that the much promised and much discussed secret ballot will be introduced,² has aroused considerable interest, and rumors of all kinds as to the character of the bill and its reception by Parliament are heard everywhere. Bethlen’s supporters are sure that he will defeat the bill and overturn the present Government; and Dr. Imrédy, Count Paul Teleki, Keresztes-Fischer, and most often Bethlen himself are prominently mentioned as Gömbös’ successor.

      Dr. Tibor Eckhardt, who is to handle the bill in Parliament, is quite certain that it will pass and...

    • 1935
      (pp. 83-108)

      Dr. Eckhardt said that Hungary’s report to the League of Nations is ready. It will be submitted to Mr. Eden before it is printed. Mr. de Kánya is leaving Wednesday night for Geneva, but does not want the fact known that he is going. Dr. Eckhardt is leaving tomorrow for Vienna, where he will deliver a lecture tomorrow night and will join Mr. de Kánya on the train. They will arrive in Geneva on Thursday night.

      The Hungarian report says that the Hungarian Government finds no responsibility, direct or indirect, on the part of any Hungarian official. It did find,...

    • 1936
      (pp. 109-129)

      Baron Apor said that Benes had a very difficult time being elected President of Czechoslovakia and was practically compelled to buy his election. One of his friends or supporters approached the leader of the Hungarian minority and asked what was demanded in return for their vote; after consulting with his party, Benes’ supporter was advised that they would want the constitution guaranteed, the peace treaty lived up to, and certain other material things such as school houses, etc. This was agreed to, and later the leader of the Hungarian minority was advised that although Benes as it turned out, didn’t...

    • 1937
      (pp. 130-169)

      In a recent conversation with Mr. de Kánya the Minister for Foreign Affairs, he told me that the Regent would make a state visit to Warsaw in the near future. He said that this was at the suggestion of the Polish Government, although it was very pleasing to the Hungarian Government to have the Regent make the visit. As both he and Madame Horthy made an excellent impression in Italy, and inasmuch as there is a certain amount of such visiting to be done, the Regent, although no politician, had shown that both he and Madame Horthy made splendid representatives...

    • 1938
      (pp. 170-221)

      I find that in Rumania there are two schools of thought in regard to Madame Lupescu.181 Everybody with whom I discussed the matter, with the exception of the Minister (Mr. Gunther),182 felt that she is a very important factor in the situation. One American newspaperman representing REUTER’S, Stevens by name,183 who has been there twenty-two years, told me that there wasn’t the slightest question in anyone’s mind that she was the one who received money on behalf of the King, and that anyone who wanted any favors was compelled to go to her and make their arrangements. He told me...

    • 1939
      (pp. 222-272)

      Baron Apor said he knew nothing about Ciano’s visit as he had been away, but he hadn’t made any inquiry. All he did know was that he had been told at the Foreign Office that the Italians didn’t expect to have any crisis with France, they were only trying to get some concessions. He said this was told him because he was going to Rome. Otherwise, he knew nothing. He assumed that Ciano was to help Hungarians at Berlin as Hungarian-German relations were very bad.

      Apor told me that he had never been considered for Foreign Minister by de Kanya,...

    • 1940
      (pp. 273-333)

      Count Teleki said he felt the Finnish situation329 was extraordinarily important, that if the Finns could be helped and Russia held off, it would have an important bearing psychologically in Germany and would have considerable effect upon the duration of the war. A Russian victory, he considered, would be disastrous because it would bolster that element in Germany headed by Ribbentrop which promised great things from Russia. A Russian defeat, or at least holding the Russians off until Fall, would correspondingly effect the situation and by the elimination of Ribbentrop and others strengthen the hands of the conservative element which...

    • 1941
      (pp. 334-336)

      Mr. Bardossy told me how sorry he was that I was leaving since we were old friends and he had hoped that we could work well together and he knew we would. I told him I understood that the Foreign Office had been instrumental in getting me home. He said he had heard the story, but, so far as he knew, there was no truth whatever in such a story. He said that he had made an investigation in the Foreign Office and if there was any request or intimation of that kind it did not appear on the records...

  8. Appendix
  9. Back Matter
    (pp. 375-375)