Józef Lipski

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Józef Lipski (c. 1934)

Józef Lipski (5 June 1894 – 1 November 1958) was a Polish diplomat and Ambassador to Nazi Germany from 1934 to 1939. Lipski played a key role in the foreign policy of the Second Polish Republic.


Lipski trained as a lawyer, and joined the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1925.

One of his first assignments in 1934 was work on the German–Polish Non-Aggression Pact.[1]

Lipski's discussion with Adolf Hitler in October 1938 on the German plans to expel European Jews to Africa, is seen as characteristic of the antisemitic discourse in Poland under the colonels' regime,[2] Lispki responding enthusiastically to Hitler's suggestions with "if he can find such a solution we will erect him a beautiful monument in Warsaw".[2][3][4]

Lipski met with German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop at Berchtesgaden, Hitler's mountain retreat, on 24 October 1938. Ribbentrop demanded that Poland agree to the German annexation of the Free City of Danzig; Lipski refused.[5] According to AJP Taylor,[6] just days before the German invasion of Poland, Lipski refused to get out of bed, despite the urging of British diplomats, to meet with von Ribbentrop to hear Germany's latest demands of Poland. The anecdote illustrates the attitude of Józef Beck towards Hitler's tactic of making demands and raising the stakes: Poland would not play that game. Under British pressure to negotiate a solution to the Danzig crisis, Lipski eventually phoned to ask for an interview with Ribbentrop on 31 August 1939, but upon learning that Lipski would be present only as an ambassador, rather than as a plenipotentiary, the meeting was refused. Poland was invaded the next day. According to Taylor, the Germans were aware of Lipski's limited negotiating authority.[6]

During the Second World War, Lipski fought as a volunteer (Polish 1st Grenadiers Division in France) and later joined the General Staff of the Polish Armed Forces in the West. In 1951 Lipski moved to the USA and represented the Polish Government in Exile.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Feigue Cieplinski, "Poles and Jews: the Quest for Self-Determination, 1919-1934 Archived 2002-09-18 at the Wayback Machine," Binghamton Journal of History, fall 2002, last accessed 2 June 2006.
  2. ^ a b Small Nations in Times of Crisis and Confrontation, Yohanan Cohen, page 70, State University of New York Press
  3. ^ Cymet, David. "Polish state antisemitism as a major factor leading to the Holocaust." Journal of Genocide Research 1.2 (1999): 169-212.
  4. ^ No Way Out: The Politics of Polish Jewry 1935-1939, Emanuel Melzer, page 143, Hebrew Union College Press
  5. ^ Richard Overy, The Road to War, MacMillan London: 1989
  6. ^ a b AJP Taylor, The Origins of the Second World War, London: 1961


  • Diplomat in Berlin, 1933-1939: Papers and Memoirs of Jozef Lipski, Ambassador of Poland, by Jozef Lipski, edited by Waclaw Jedrzejewicz. Columbia University Press, New York 1968.

External links[edit]