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Part of Private Archives

On 30 September 1936, the League of Nations Council decided to appoint S. Lester as Deputy Secretary-General, in replacement of Pablo de Azcarate, although his appointment as High Commissioner in Danzig had been prolonged till October, 1937. S. Lester was to take up new responsibilities in February 1938.

S. Lester's departure from Danzig caused consternation among the opponents of the Nazi regime, and satisfaction among the Nazis, who regarded S. Lester as an obstacle to the establishment of a totalitarian State in Danzig, it was mainly a victory for A. Forster, the Nazi district leader and A. Greiser, the President of the Danzig Senate.

S. Lester succeeded P. Azcarate, who resigned the post of Under Secretary-General to become Spanish Ambassador in London.

September 1936, S. Lester appointed League of Nations Under Secretary-General, a position previously held by Ascarati, of Spain. S. Lester's appointment will take effect when his successor in Danzig is announced. By the appointment S. Lester became the second highest official at Geneva and will be in charge whenever Joseph A.C. Avenol, Secretary-General, is absent.

5 October 1936: the Council considered the position of the High Commissioner in Danzig. The Council asked Poland to take up matter on their behalf, i.e. abandon all formal attempt to hold up Danzig Constitution. Poland did not act. Nazi Government liquidated opposition press, abolished opposition Parties, arrested or forced out opposition leaders.

The Council reluctantly decided to maintain pretence (F. Walters) and to appoint a new High Commissioner in February 1937.

S. Lester placed in a special envelope, marked "Secret-Private Diary" his notes and some letters-copies for a crucial period July-December 1936. This envelope was mislaid but found many years later, after the rest of his papers (perhaps in the early eighties). Its contents have now been incorporated in the general collection of S. Lester papers, chronologically.

19 November 1935
Pp 274/1/25-26 · Document · 1935.11.19
Part of Private Archives

Gauleiter (Regional Leader) A. Forster, from Nazi Party; his speech in the presence of Arthur Greiser, President of the Danzig Senate.

Document · 1935
Part of Private Archives

Most of the Danzig questions were subject of discussion between the Danzig Senate and S. Lester, therefore S. Lester had to refer some Danzig matters to the League of Nations Council as the authority charged with the protection of the Constitution, League of Nations Council's recommendations to bring back Danzig life into accord with the Constitution and to bring a change in the Government's policy, many declarations of open hostility to the Danzig constitutional principles, Danzig was not a National Socialist State; Danzig elections principal object was to seek to amend the Constitution, but more than 40% of the voters expressed their opposition to the National Socialist policy and their confidence in the League of Nations through the numerous petitions they addressed to the High Commissioner to protect their rights, cooperation between the Senate and the High Commissioner necessary to avoid to call upon the Council; S. Lester's appeal to A. Greiser and his colleagues of the Senate: having failed to get the necessary mandate to propose changes in the Constitution, they had to put an end to systematic actions against its principles.

19 December 1935
Pp 274/1/43-45 · Document · 1935.12.19
Part of Private Archives

Von Radovitz, German Consul General, re A. Forster and A. Greiser; death of Mrs. Barton "the Queen of Geneva": Geneva parties; resignation of Sir Samuel Hoare; Anglo-French proposals.

1 January 1936
Pp 274/1/53 · Document · 1936.01.01
Part of Private Archives

Official calls: A. Greiser, President of the Danzig Senate; Papee, Polish Minister; Nederbragt, Harbour President.

3 January 1936
Pp 274/1/53-56 · Document · 1936.01.03
Part of Private Archives

State Shooting Party, on the invitation of A. Greiser, President of the Danzig Senate.

11 January 1936
Pp 274/1/57-59 · Document · 1936.01.11
Part of Private Archives

Dinner with A. Greiser, President of the Danzig Senate, and principal Danzig officials; Count and Countess von Kayserling: talk on Danzig situation; conversation with von Radovitz about A. Greiser's and A. Forster's attitude vis-à-vis the League of Nations.

14 January 1936
Pp 274/1/59-61 · Document · 1936.01.14
Part of Private Archives

Dinner with A. Greiser, conversation with the German Consul General von Radowitz, A. Greiser's speech, call from K. Papee, Polish Minister.