THE HIDDEN SIDE OF THE BALKAN PACT
The protocols which are reproduced here appeared in the Revue Parlementaire (Paris) 1st
May, 1934. Two days later M. Pozzi was summoned to Quai D' Orsay to give an explanation of
his unsolicited initiative. After being severely reprimanded for having published these
secret protocols, he was advised by the Government (Doumergue- Barthou) that as he had
taken upon himself the responsibility of publishing documents which did not concern him,
and which might trouble the peace of Europe, the Government (i.e., Barthou) "did not
consider itself responsible for his hide."
The signing, on 9th February, 1934., of the Pact by which Bucharest, Ankara, Athens and
Belgrade reciprocally "guaranteed their frontiers" has been greeted, by that
part of the Press which takes its cue from official circles in Belgrade and Prague, as a
great historic act, a decisive guarantee for peace in the Balkans.
For having refused to participate in this Pact, Bulgaria has once again been accused of
the most heinous designs against the peace of Europe. The real truth is far otherwise.
Never, since the days of April 1914 when the Russian military party and the Pan-Serbs
of the Narodna Odbrana collaborated in the preparation for the assassination at Sarajevo,
has peace been more directly and immediately menaced than it has been since the signing of
the Balkan Pact. Never has a more audacious manoeuvre been attempted and achieved to
realise ambitions of conquest and of war.
The Balkan Pact proclaims the pacific intentions of the four signatories. All the
chancelleries of Europe have received the text of this Pact and approved it. They have
received and approved a shadow.
The only text which counts, and which no chancellery has received nor will ever
officially receive, is that of the two secret protocols in which the signatories of the
Pact have stated the real objectives of their "pacific and pacifying" entente.
The first protocol was signed at Athens on 9th February, 1934, immediately before the
signing of the Pact, by Messrs. Rustu, Maximos, Titulesco and Yevtich, ministers of
Foreign Affairs of Turkey, Greece, Roumania and Yugoslavia.
It is conceived as follows :
"At the moment of proceeding to the signing of the Balkan Pact, the four ministers
of Foreign Affairs of Turkey, Greece, Roumania and Yugoslavia have considered it necessary
to stipulate as follows the tenor of engagements assumed by their countries and to
stipulate expressly that these details constitute an integral part of the Pact."
Article 1. Any country will be considered as an aggressor who has committed one of the
acts of aggression foreseen by Article 2 of the Convention of London dated 3rd and 4th
Article 2. The Balkan Pact is not directed against any Power. Its aim is to guarantee
the security of the Balkan frontiers against any aggression on the part of a Balkan State:
Article 3. Nevertheless, if one of the High Contracting Parties is victim of an
aggression on the part of any other non-Balkan Power and if a Balkan State participates in
this aggression, either simultaneously or subsequently, the Balkan Pact or Alliance will
produce its full effect with regard to such Balkan State.
Article 4. The High Contracting Parties engage themselves to conclude conventions
appropriate to the aims pursued by the Balkan Pact of Alliance. The negotiation of these
conventions will start within a period of six months.
Article 5. The Balkan Pact of Alliance not being in contradiction to anterior
engagements, all anterior engagements as well as all conventions depending upon anterior
treaties (engagements and treaties which moreover are public) produce their full effect.
Article 6. The expression of the preamble of the Pact : "Firmly decided to insure
the respect of stipulated engagements already existent" includes for the High
Contracting Parties, the respect of treaties existing between the Balkan States to which
one or several of the High Contracting Parties are signatories.
Article 7. The Balkan Pact of Alliance is a defensive instrument ; consequently the
obligations proceeding from the Balkan Pact cease to exist for the High Contracting
Parties in respect of any High Contracting Party which should become an aggressor (as
determined by Article 2 of the London Conventions) against any other country.
Article 8. The High Contracting Parties are agreed that the present territorial
disposition of the Balkans is to be regarded as final. The duration of the Pact will be
fixed by the High Contracting Parties during or after the two years following the signing
of the Pact. During these two years no repudiation of the Pact shall be possible. The
duration of the Pact shall be fixed for a minimum of five years. If at the expiration of
the two years following the signing of the Pact no duration has been fixed, the Balkan
Pact of Alliance shall automatically be considered to have a legal duration of five years.
At the expiry of these five years, or at the expiry of whatever further period may have
been agreed upon by the High Contracting Parties for its duration, the Balkan Pact of
Alliance will be automatically renewed, by tacit consent, for a period equal to that for
which it has been previously in force, unless one of the High Contracting Parties gives
notice of its desire to terminate its agreement one year prior to such expiry. In no case,
however, is a repudiation valid prior to the year preceding the day of the expiry of the
Article 9. The High Contracting Parties will inform one another reciprocally as soon as
the ratification confirming the Balkan Pact of Alliance has taken place according to the
legislation of each country involved.
In this long rigmarole, two points are note- worthy : Article 1 and Article 4.. Article
1 expressly aims at Bulgaria. The London Conventions provide for the different forms of
aggression of which a country may be guilty. The conventions designate as an act of
aggression the presence of armed bands upon the territory of an aggrieved State which are
gathered together to carry out, or to prepare for, incursions upon the territory of the
Now, Yugoslavia has not ceased to accuse Bulgaria of tolerating, of favouring even,
" the presence on her territory" of Macedonian revolutionary organisations which
were in conflict with the Yugoslav forces of occupation in South Serbia, that is to say,
in annexed Bulgarian Macedonia.
The reason for the Secret Protocols to the Balkan Pact will be understood by those who
understand the bellicose intentions of Belgrade as exposed in this book.
Ten times, since 1918, Belgrade has been on the point of attacking her Bulgarian
neighbour in order to "settle the question." Each time, either as a result of
the intervention of France, or for fear of a conflict with Italy, the "police
operation" against Sofia and Petritch has been adjourned.
The occasion sought by the Pan-Serb dictatorship to "break the back" of
Bulgaria with a great show of legality is provided henceforth by Article 1 of the Pact of
Athens. Since 9th February, 1934., a Yugoslav military operation against Bulgaria would be
rendered quite legitimate by any alleged Macedonian band which should cross the frontier
and clash with the Yugoslav police forces. That day, by the application of the London
Conventions, Bulgaria will be considered as being the real aggressor and the Pact will
come into play, even though Bulgaria is really the aggrieved.
The consequences of such an event have been minutely provided for and organised by what
Article 4. of the Protocol calls, by a sinister euphemism, "conventions appropriate
to the aims pursued by the Pact."
These conventions lead to a second secret Protocol annexed to the Pact. It was drawn up
and signed on 17th March, 1934., at Belgrade, in the office of M. Yevtitch, Yugoslav
minister of Foreign Affairs, by the ministers of Greece, Turkey and Roumania, and in the
presence of the general staff of the Yugoslav army and of the accredited delegates from
the general staffs of Turkey, Roumania and Greece. A few days before, at Athens, a first
agreement had been concluded, after two days of negotiations, between the chief of the
Turk general staff and his Greek colleague. Preliminary accords had been agreed upon
between Roumania and Yugoslavia at the end of February, in the course of three consecutive
meetings held at Belgrade. The first one, at the Presidency of the Council, in the
presence of the Commandant of the military staff of King Alexander; the other two at the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
This second secret Protocol is conceived in this manner :
"The representatives of Turkey, Greece, Roumania and Yugoslavia, expressly
designated for this purpose by their respective governments, have agreed and agree upon
the following articles in application of Articles 2 and 4 of the Protocol of the Balkan
Pact signed at Athens, 9th February, I934:
Article 1. The High Contracting Parties recognise and declare by common accord that if
the Bulgarian Government, after an ultimatum delivered by such of the High Contracting
Parties as are directly interested, should refuse to destroy the armed organisations which
do not cease to invade the territory of the High Contracting Parties ; or if the Bulgarian
Government declare themselves unable to proceed to this destruction, application shall be
made of the dispositions of Article 2 of the London Convention of 3rd and 4th July, 1933.
Article 2. The High Contracting Parties recognise and declare by common accord that in
this eventuality the Balkan Pact is to produce its full effects, and they thereupon
conclude and decide as follows :
Article 3. In the forty-eight hours following the expiration of an ultimatum
originating from one or several of the High Contracting Parties, these High Contracting
Parties will proceed with their respective military forces, and under the conditions
indicated in the following article, to the occupation of all or of a part of the Bulgarian
Article 4. This occupation will cease immediately after the total destruction of the
organisations enumerated in Article 1. It may be prolonged only in the case that the
population of the occupied regions should manifest, by means of a plebiscite or otherwise,
their desire of incorporation into one or several of the High Contracting Parties.
Article 5. If a non-Balkan Power joins the Bulgarian aggression either simultaneously
or subsequently, as defined in Article I of the present Protocol, the Balkan Pact of
Alliance shall produce its full effects with regard to this Power.
Article 6. No repudiation of the present is possible during the two years following its
signature by the High Contracting Parties. This signature being equivalent to
ratification, the High Contracting Parties assume reciprocally and formally the engagement
to exempt the present accord from the habitual ratifications according to the legislation
of each country.
The proof of the authenticity of these two documents (whose exceptional gravity I need
not stress) is given by two facts.
For the past two months M. Venizelos, the greatest statesman of Greece, whom none could
accuse of being in the pay of Bulgaria, has con- ducted the most violent campaign against
the Balkan Pact and its secret annexes. Why? Because he was acquainted, and without a
doubt by the same channel as I, with the contents of these secret annexes, and he is
Two months ago the English minister at Athens, (London having just received an
extra-diplomatic communication of the first secret Protocol), expressed to the Greek
Government the "regrets and apprehensions" that the signing of the Balkan Pact
caused the Foreign Office. Fifteen days ago, by a new step of an almost comminatory
nature, the British Government advised the Greek Government of its opposition to the Pact
" even going as far as to threaten it with the publication of the secret Protocols
The documents which you have just read have been communicated to me from two different
sources at a few hours' interval. First by a diplomatic attaché at one of the great
legations at Belgrade, and second by a Yugoslav government official who thinks, as do some
of his colleagues, that the best way to serve his country is by betraying the governments
who are leading her to destruction by vile interest or mad ambition.
Belgrade need not try to dispute the authenticity of these documents, for it knows by
experience that my documentation is always irrefutable, and that I leave to her agents,
direct or indirect, the lies which characterise so many of their statements.
THE BLACK HAND IN EUROPE
A SINISTER echo of the Balkan drama was played out in our London Office during the
November of 1934.. We had been approached by Woislav Maximus Petrovitch, an ex.-attaché
to the Serbian Legation in London, who desired to publish a book which he was then engaged
Petrovitch was the author of several very well-known Serbian grammars, and the author
of a book published by Harrap before the War which, through the efforts of Mr. George
Harrap, succeeded in getting the English Press to use the word " Serbia "
instead of " Servia." (See Mr. George Harrap's memoirs.)
Petrovitch was preparing a small book on the history of the Sarajevo incident in the
light of his knowledge of the Serbian Black Hand. We gave him a corner in our office and
thereto he brought all his papers, which included letters from many important British and
foreign personages, summonses to the Palace at Belgrade, and an assortment of Balkan
orders and official appointments which stamped him as a rolling stone in diplomacy.
We never found out Petrovitch's reason for having left his country, but we know that he
was opposed to the dictatorship there. He had written against it in the English Press and
never ceased from recounting the horrors reserved for those who were out of favour with
He was obviously very much hated by those in power in Belgrade, and he alleged that
several attempts had been made upon his life-even here in England. We discredited these
reports at the time, and yet several weeks later, when it began to be known that
Petrovitch was thinking of publishing a book about the Black Hand, a violent campaign was
instituted against him. Mysterious voices would ring him up at his lodgings in
Pimlico(These have been confirmed by his landlady and several other people in the house. )
and threaten him with immediate death if he did not desist from his denunciation of the
dictatorship. Petrovitch's nerves became so bad that it was only humane to take him into
the country and hide him. From this retreat he only emerged because of an assurance from
the police that he was quite safe-which they promptly demonstrated by asking him to leave
the country within a short time of his return. It was then that Petrovitch, caught between
the Home Office request for his removal, and his own fear of falling into the hands of the
Serbian torturers, ran out of our office and went to his death.
He gassed himself in a room in Old Compton Street on 24th November, 1934., after having
taken whisky and drugs to fortify himself against the horror of his deed. At the inquest
he was described as a dangerous alien, and it was alleged that he was connected with the
men who had shot King Alexander at Marseilles. Nothing could be further from the truth.
His death caused a sensation. The London, provincial and Continental Press was full of
the story of the drama. Meantime the Yugoslav Legation in London was not idle. The
editorial department of a famous London paper received four telephone messages one
afternoon all of which were calculated to blacken Petrovitch's name.
From the moment of his death Petrovitch's half finished manuscript remained as he had
left it. The mode of his death left us no option but to lock it away as part of the offal
On 1st December, 1934., a letter was received from Paris which caused us to retrieve
Petrovitch's papers from the safe to which they had been consigned. This letter was
addressed from La Maison des Journalistes, and read, in part, as follows :
I read with the greatest interest the article in the Daily Mail of 27th November, Paris
Edition, concerning the death of the Serb patriot as a result of threats made to him on
the telephone. It is only one of the long series of crimes committed and to be committed
by the Pan-Serb terrorist organisation, the Narodna Odbrana. And it is regrettable that
the great mass of people are almost totally unaware of the existence of this organisation
which bears the direct responsibility for the Great War.
M. Henri Pozzi, in his book, La Guerre Revient, an appalling expose of the situation of
the national minorities in the Balkans and in Central Europe, tried heroically to call to
the attention of the French people the dangers to which France and all Europe were
exposing themselves should France continue to finance and support these criminal and
ambitious political parties of the Little Entente, and especially of Yugoslavia. But in
vain. Political and financial interests controlling the French Press smothered the book by
lies, fantasies and silence. The book has not received the attention it merits. The French
Governments continue their foreign policy which is inevitably leading France to another
war. King Alexander has been assassinated. M. Pozzi had warned the French people and the
French Government that the King was to be assassinated, by whom and why. And in publishing
the secret Protocols of the Balkan Pact of Alliance he had the courage to denounce the
criminal ambitions of Belgrade to dismember Bulgaria. His only recompense was a reprimand
and a threat which he received 3rd May, 1934., at the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs
(under the ministry of the late Louis Barthou). He was advised that as he had assumed the
responsibility of publishing documents and facts which did not concern him, the Government
(Doumergue- Barthou) did not consider themselves " responsible for his hide."
M. Pozzi is still among the living-to the surprise of some of his intimate friends.
It is your intention, I believe, to publish the manuscript which the Serb patriot left
in your hands before falling a victim to the Narodna Odbrana. (By the way, this incident
was systematically hushed up in the French Press.) I hope you will publish M. Pozzi's book
so that England may learn, before it is too late, what an unconditional military alliance
will cost, unless France changes her foreign policy.
I am sure that M. Pozzi's book, War is Coming Again, will be of great interest to you
and will substantially corroborate the manuscript given to you by the Serb. My sincere
hope is that the people of England may read this book. I feel certain that the
simultaneous publication of these two manuscripts will awaken the English people to the
great peril that is weighing upon them and Europe.
As the book was written before the coup d'etat in Bulgaria and the assassination of
King Alexander, M. Pozzi has authorised me to inform you that he will add a chapter
embracing these events and forming an up-to-date conclusion.
M. Pozzi is of an old French family, a Protestant. His great-grandfather was deputy for
the Dordagne department at the time of the Revolution. One of his uncles, Professor S.
Pozzi, was Senator and President of the Academy of Medicine. Another, Professor A. Pozzi,
was mayor and Deputy of Rheims. His first cousin, Jean Pozzi, is French ambassador in
Persia. His mother was English, a direct descendant of Hampden, and a graduate from
Cambridge. One of his English uncles was the late Lord Nevill of Dunedin, bishop of New
Zealand. He has been for nearly thirty years a member of the French and English
Intelligence Services in the Balkans and Central Europe ; ten years in charge of the
Balkan Secret Service of Le Temps, and was one of the confidential men of Glemenceau
during the War, and is by far the best qualified man on the Continent to discuss this
critical question. La Guerre Revient has been translated into Italian, Bulgarian,
Hungarian and German. The book is prohibited in the Little Entente, Greece and Turkey, and
in Yugoslavia; any government official or employee apprehended reading the book is given
five years of hard labour. Needless to say, M. Pozzi is Public Enemy ,Number One in the
Little Entente, Greece and Turkey.
We replied to this letter with all due caution, and eventually received the promised
copy of M. Henri Pozzi s book La Guerre Revient which is presented to you in the preceding
The book is such a remarkable confirmation of much of Petrovitch's story that we have
felt bound to produce a resume of Petrovitch's original manuscript as an appendix to this
book. The two manuscripts taken together are a remark- able revelation concerning the
state of affairs in the Balkans to-day, and Petrovitch's unfinished story is very
interesting in the light of the conclusions which M. Pozzi draws from his experiences in
Whilst we repose the utmost confidence in M. Pozzi's story, we cannot, naturally,
regard M. Petrovitch's manuscript as being anything more than an interesting personal
sidelight on the Balkan question which, by its similarity to M. Pozzi's book, is rendered
of some possible historical value.
In the light of M. Pozzi's revelation of the methods used by Belgrade against those of
its subjects who do not please, we are not surprised that M. Petrovitch preferred suicide
in England to the " welcome " which undoubtedly awaited him in Serbia.
N.B. -M Pozzi, who has read the proofs of this book, declares that there is nothing
fictitious about Petrovitch's claims and that he has evidence of an even more sensational