History & Manuscripts

Arquivo Gen. Morais Sarmento. CARTA extensa de Armindo Monteiro, datada de 15 de Abril de 1936.

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Arquivo Gen. Morais Sarmento. CARTA extensa de Armindo Monteiro. 1936, 15 Abril.

Manuscrito sobre papel; autógrafa; 3 ff.

A very interesting letter, which shows a reflection and keen awareness of the dilemmas and belligerent forces that Europe in the Second World War would face. Armindo Monteiro, then Minister of Foreign Affairs, addresses the Army Major General in a “private” manner, making comments about the imminent state of war in Europe. “Everyone feels that the possible diplomatic solutions are closing one after the other: and we really only see the solution that they will have, from near or far, to the catastrophe. And the worst thing is that, by a strange psychological evolution, the spirits are adapting to them”. And at the end of the letter, he presents a summary of the geo-strategic scenario then lived in Europe: “Everything that is happening around us today is extremely worrying. All the attention that the politician and the military pay to events can be said to be little. We are almost in front of chaos. The disagreement between France and England, which seems to be getting worse day by day, bodes ill; if it leads to the total bankruptcy of the League of Nations, Europe is left without a pivot. The old systems of diplomatic balance have collapsed. And only then, as a defense of peace, will remain the strength of each, the agreement of interests of some and the favor of circumstances. Not if, as for us, all this will be a big deal.” It should be noted that this awareness of the dangers of imbalances in the balance of power in Europe was not the exclusive property of the then Minister since “In recent councils the government has debated the problem at length – and with an exact sense of responsibilities”. We are, therefore, a long way from a government completely absorbed in the spring of 1936 by concerns about the dangers posed by neighboring Spain, as most historical syntheses make us understand. It is, therefore, an extraordinary document that attests to a broader vision of international relations in the government of the time.

 

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