The Holocaust Historiography Project

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The aggressive war phase of the case against the Nazi conspirators is, in the view of the American prosecution, the heart of the case. Everything else in this case, however dramatic, however sordid, however shocking and revolting to the common instinct of civilized peoples, is incidental or subordinate to, the fact of aggressive war.

All the dramatic story of what went on in Germany in the early phases of the conspiracy — the ideologies used, the techniques of terror used, the suppressions of human freedom employed in the seizure of power, and even the concentration camps and the crimes against humanity, the persecutions, tortures and murders committed — all these things would have had little international juridical significance except for the fact that they were the preparation for the commission of aggressions against peaceful neighboring peoples. Even the aspects of the case involving “war crimes” in the strict sense are merely the inevitable, proximate result of the wars of aggression launched and waged by these conspirators, and of the kind of warfare they waged. It was total war, the natural result of the totalitarian party-dominated state that waged it; it was atrocious war, the natural result of the doctrines, designs and purposes of the Nazi conspirators.

The substantive rule of law which is controlling on this part of the case is stated in Article 6 of the Charter of the International Military Tribunal, which, so far as is pertinent here, reads as follows:

“Article 6. The Tribunal established by the Agreement referred to in Article 1 hereof for the trial and punishment of the major war criminals of the European Axis countries shall have the power to try and punish persons who, acting in the interests of the European Axis countries, either as individuals or as members of organizations, committed any of the following crimes.

“The following acts, or any of them, are crimes coming within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal for which there shall be individual responsibility:

“(a) Crimes against peace: namely, planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression, or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances, or participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the foregoing * * *”


“Leaders, organizers, instigators and accomplices participating in the formulation or execution of a common plan or conspiracy to commit any of the foregoing crimes are responsible for all acts performed by any persons in execution of such plan.”

Five important principles are contained in these portions of the Charter:

(1) The Charter imposes “individual responsibility” for acts constituting “crimes against peace";

(2) The term “Crimes against peace” embraces planning, preparation, initiation, or waging of illegal war;

(3) The term “Crimes against peace” also embraces participation in a common plan or conspiracy to commit illegal war;

(4) An illegal war consists of either a war of aggression, or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements, or assurances; (these two kinds of illegal war might not necessarily be the same; it will be sufficient for the prosecution to show either that the war was aggressive irrespective of breach of international treaties, agreements or assurances, or that the war was in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances irrespective of whether or not it was a war of aggression; but the American prosecution will undertake to establish that the wars planned, prepared, initiated, and waged by the Nazi conspirators were illegal for both reasons);

(5) Individual criminal responsibility of a defendant is imposed by the Charter not merely by reasons of direct, immediate participation in the crime. It is sufficient to show that a defendant was a leader, an organizer, instigator, or accomplice who participated either in the formulation or in the execution of a common plan or conspiracy to commit crimes against peace. In this connection, the Charter declares that the responsibility of conspirators extends not only to their own acts but also to all acts performed by any persons in execution of the conspiracy.

It is familiar law in the United States that if two or more persons set out to rob a bank in accordance with a criminal scheme to that end, and in the course of carrying out their scheme one of the conspirators commits the crime of murder, all the participants in the planning and execution of the bank robbery are guilty of murder, whether or not they had any other personal participation in the killing. this is a simple rule of law declared in the charter. All the parties to a common plan or conspiracy are the agents of each other and each is responsible as principal for the acts of all the others as his agents.

The documentary evidence assembled on this aggressive war aspect of the case will show the following: (1) the conspiratorial nature of the planning and preparation which underlay the Nazi aggressions already known to history; (2) the deliberate premeditation which preceded those acts of aggression; (3) the evil motives which led to the attacks; (4) the individual participation of named persons in the Nazi conspiracy for aggression; (5) the deliberate falsification of the pretexts claimed by the Nazi aggressors as they arose for their criminal activities.

The critical period between the Nazi seizure of power and the initiation of the first war of aggression was very short. This critical period of illegal preparation and scheming, which ultimately set the whole world aflame, covered 6 years, from 1933 to 1939. Crowded into these 6 short years is the making of tragedy for mankind.

A full understanding of these 6 years, and the 6 years of war that followed, requires that this period be divided into phases that reflect the development and execution of the Nazi master plan. These phases may be said to be six. The first was primarily preparatory, although it did involve overt acts. That phase covers roughly the period from 1933 to 1936. In that period the Nazi conspirators, having acquired government control of Germany by the middle of 1933, turned their attention toward utilization of that control for foreign aggression. Their plan at this stage was to acquire military strength and political bargaining power to be used against other nations. In this they succeeded.

The second phase of their aggression was shorter. As the conspiracy gained strength it gained speed. During each phase the conspirators succeeded in accomplishing more and more in less and less time until toward the end of the period, the rate of acceleration of their conspiratorial movement was enormous. The second phase of their utilization of control for foreign aggression involved the actual seizure and absorption of Austria and Czechoslovakia, in that order. By March 1939 they had succeeded in this phase.

The third phase may be measured in months rather than years, from March to September 1939. The previous aggression being successful and having been consummated without the necessity of resorting to actual war, the conspirators had obtained much desired resources and bases and were ready to undertake further aggressions by means of war, if necessary. By September 1939 war was upon the world.

The fourth phase of the aggression consisted of expanding the war into a general European war of aggression. By April 1941 the war which had theretofore involved Poland, the United Kingdom, and France, had been expanded by invasions into Scandinavia and into the Low Countries and into the Balkans.

In the next phase the Nazi conspirators carried the war eastward by invasion of the territory of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The sixth phase consisted of collaboration with and instigation of their Pacific ally, Japan, and precipitated the attack on the United States at Pearl Harbor.

The essential elements of the crime of aggressive war can be made out by a mere handful of captured German documents. These documents will leave no reasonable doubt concerning the aggressive character of the Nazi war or concerning the conspiratorial premeditation of that war. After the corpus of the crime has been demonstrated in this way, the documentary evidence will be discussed in subsequent sections, in a more or less chronological and detailed presentation of the relevant activities of the conspirators from 1933 to 1941.

Each of the ten documents which will be discussed in this section has been selected to establish the basic facts concerning a particular phase of the development of the Nazi conspiracy for aggression. Each document has met three standards of selection: each is conspiratorial in nature; each is believed to have been hitherto unknown to history; and each is self-contained and tells its own story.

A. 1933 to 1936.

The period of 1933 to 1936 was characterized by an orderly, planned sequence of preparation for war. The essential objective of this period was the formulation and execution of the plan to re-arm and re-occupy and fortify the Rhineland, in violation of the treaty of Versailles and other treaties, in order to acquire military strength and political bargaining powers to be used against other nations.

A secret speech of Hitler’s delivered to all supreme commanders on 23 November 1939, at 1200 hours, is sufficient to characterize this phase of the Nazi conspiracy (789-PS}. The report of the speech was found in the OKW files captured at Flensberg.

Hitler spoke as follows:

“November 23, 1939, 1200 hours. Conference with the Fuehrer, to which all Supreme Commanders are ordered. The Fuehrer gives the following speech:

“The purpose of this conference is to give you an idea of the world of my thoughts, which takes charge of me, in the face of future events, and to tell you my decisions. The building up of our armed forces was only possible in connection with the ideological [weltanschaulich] education of the German people by the Party.

“When I started my political task in 1919, my strong belief in final success was based on a thorough observation of the events of the day and the study of the reasons for their occurrence. Therefore, I never lost my belief in the midst of setbacks which were not spared me during my period of struggle. Providence has had the last word and brought me success. On top of that, I had a clear recognition of the probable course of historical events, and the firm will to make brutal decisions. The first decision was in 1919 when I after long internal conflict became a politician and took up the struggle against my enemies. That was the hardest of all decisions. I had, however, the firm belief that I would arrive at my goal. First of all, I desired a new system of selection. I wanted to educate a minority which would take over the leadership. After 15 years I arrived at my goal, after strenuous struggles and many setbacks. When I came to power in 1933, a period of the most difficult struggle lay behind me. Everything existing before that had collapsed. I had to reorganize everything beginning with the mass of the people and extending it to the armed forces. First reorganization of the interior, I undertook the second task: to release Germany from its international ties. Two particular characteristics are to be pointed out: secession from the League of Nations and denunciation of the disarmament conference. It was a hard decision. The number of prophets who predicted that it would lead to the occupation of the Rhineland was large, the number of believers was very small. I was supported by the nation, which stood firmly behind me, when I carried out my intentions. After that the order for rearmament. here again there were numerous prophets who predicted misfortunes, and only a few believers. In 1935 the introduction of compulsory armed service. After that militarization of the Rhineland, again a process believed to be impossible at that time. The number of people who put trust in me was very small. Then beginning of the fortification of the whole country especially in the west.

“One year later, Austria came. This step also was considered doubtful. It brought about a considerable reinforcement of the Reich. The next step was Bohemia, Moravia and Poland. This step also was not possible to accomplish in one campaign. First of all, the western fortification had to be finished. It was not possible to reach the goal in one effort. It was clear to me from the first moment that I could not be satisfied with the Sudeten-German territory. That was only partial solution. The decision to march into Bohemia was made. Then followed the erection of the Protectorate, and with that basis for the action against Poland was laid, but I wasn’t quite clear at that time whether I should start first against the east and then in the west, or vice-versa". (789-PS)

There are some curious antitheses of thought in that speech, as in most of Adolf Hitler’s speeches. In one sentence he combines guidance by providence with the making of “brutal decisions.” He constantly speaks of how very few people were with him, and yet the mass of the German people were with him. But he does give a brief summary of this early period: the organization of the mass of the people, the extension of organization to the armed forces, and the various “brutal decisions” that were made.

A top secret letter dated 24 June 1935, from General von Blomberg to the Supreme Commanders of the Army, Navy, and Air Forces demonstrates the preparations for war in which the Nazi conspirators were engaged during this period. Attached to that letter is a copy of a secret Reich Defense law of 21 May 1935, on the Council for the Defense of the Reich (2261-PS). These documents were captured in the OKW files at Fechenheim. Von Blomberg’s letter reads as follows:

“In the appendix I transmit one copy each of the law for the defense of the Reich of the 21 May 1935, and of a decision of the Reich Cabinet of 21 May 1935 concerning the Reich’s Defense Council. The publication of the Reich’s defense law is temporarily suspended by order of the Fuehrer and Reich Chancellor.

“The Fuehrer and the Reichschancellor has nominated the President of the directorate of the Reichsbank, Dr. Schacht to be 'Plenipotentiary-General for war economy'.

“I request that the copies of the Reich’s defense law needed within the units of the armed forces be ordered before 1 July 1935 at armed forces office (L) where it is to be established with the request that the law should only be distributed down to Corps Headquarters outside of the Reich ministry of war.

“I point out the necessity of strictest secrecy once more.” (2261-PS)

Underneath von Blomberg’s signature is an endorsement, “Berlin, 3 September 1935; No. 1820/35 L. Top Secret II a. To Defense-Economic Group G-3, copy transmitted (signed) Jodl.” (2261-PS)

Attached to this letter is the statute referred to as the Reich’s Defense Law of 21 May 1935, enacted by the Reich cabinet. The law covers in detail preparations for a state of defense, mobilization, and appointment of the Plenipotentiary-General for War Economy (Schacht) with plenipotentiary authority for the economic preparation of the war. Part III provides for penalties. The law is signed, “The Fuehrer and Reichschancellor, Adolf Hitler; the Reichsminister of War, von Blomberg; the Reichsminister of the Interior, Frick.” At the bottom of it there is this note:

“Note on the law for the defense of the Reich of 21 May 1935.

“The publication of the law for the defense of the Reich of 21 May 1935 will be suspended. The law became effective 21 May 1935.

“The Fuehrer and Reichschancellor, Adolf Hitler.” (2261-PS)

Thus, although the publication itself stated the law was made public, and although the law became effective immediately, publication was suspended by Adolf Hitler.

There was also further attached to von Blomberg’s letter a copy of the decision of the Reichscabinet of 21 May 1935 on the Council for the Defense of the Realm. This decree deals largely with organization for economic preparation for the war. This law of May 1935 was the cornerstone of war preparations of the Nazi conspirators, and makes clear the relationship of Schacht to this preparation. (2261-PS)

B. Formulation and Execution of Plans to invade Austria and Czechoslovakia.

The next phase of aggression was the formulation and execution of plans to attack Austria and Czechoslovakia, in that order.

One of the most striking and revealing of all the captured documents which have come to hand is one which has come to be known as the Hossbach notes of a conference in the Reichs Chancellery on 5 November 1937 from 1615 to 2030 hours (386-PS). On the course of that meeting Hitler outlined to those present the possibilities and necessities of expanding their foreign policy, and requested, “That his statements be looked upon in the case of his death as his last will and testament.” The recorder of the minutes of this meeting, Colonel Hossbach, was the Fuhrer’s adjutant. Present at this conspiratorial meeting, among others, were Erich Raeder, Constantin von Neurath, and Hermann wilhelm Goering. The minutes of this meeting reveal a crystallization towards the end of 1937 in the policy of the Nazi regime. (386-PS). Austria and Czechoslovakia were to be acquired by force. They would provide “lebensraum” (living space) and improve Germany’s military position for further operations. While it is true that actual events unfolded themselves in a somewhat different manner than that outlined at this meeting, in essence the purposes stated at the meeting were carried out. These notes, which destroy any possible doubt concerning the Nazi’s premeditation of their crimes against peace, read as follows.:

“Berlin, 10 November 1937. Notes on the conference in the Reichskanzlei on 5 November 1937 from 1615 to 2030 hours.

“Present: The Fuehrer and Reich Chancellor;

“The Reichsminister for War, Generalfeldmarschall v. Blomberg;

“The C-in -C Army, Generaloberst Freiherr v. Fritsch;

“The C-in-C Navy, Generaladmiral Dr. H.C. Raeder;

“The C-in-C Luftwaffe, Generaloberst Goering;

“The Reichsminister for Foreign Affairs, Freiherr v. Neurath;

“Oberst Hossbach [the adjutant who took the minutes].

“The Fuehrer stated initially that the subject matter of today’s conference was of such high importance, that its detailed discussion would certainly in other states take place before the Cabinet in full session. However, he, the Fuehrer, had decided not to discuss this matter in the larger circle of the Reich Cabinet, because of its importance. His subsequent statements were the result of detailed deliberations and of the experiences of his four and a half years in government; he desired to explain to those present his fundamental ideas on the possibilities and necessities of expanding our foreign policy and in the interests of a far-sighted policy he requested that his statements be looked upon in the case of his death as his last will and testament.

“The Fuehrer then stated: The aim of German policy is the security and the preservation of the nation and its propagation. This is consequently a problem of space. The German nation comprises eighty-five million people, which, because of the number of individuals and the compactness of habitation, form a homogeneous European racial body, the like of which can not be found in any other country. On the other hand it justifies the demand for larger living space more than for any other nation. If there have been no political consequences to meet the demands of this racial body for living space then that is the result of historical development spread over several centuries and should this political condition continue to exist, it will represent the greatest danger to the preservation of the German nation at its present high level. An arrest of the deterioration of the German element in Austria and in Czechoslovakia is just as little possible as the preservation of the present state in Germany itself.

“Instead of growth, sterility will be introduced, and as a consequence, tensions of a social nature will appear after a number of years, because political and philosophical ideas are of a permanent nature only as long as they are able to produce the basis for the realization of the actual claim of existence of a nation. The German future is therefore dependent exclusively on the solution of the need for living space. Such a solution can be sought naturally only for a limited period, about one to three generations.

“Before touching upon the question of solving the need for living space, it must be decided whether a solution of the German position with a good future can be attained, either by way of an autarchy or by way of an increased share in universal commerce and industry.

“Autarchy: Execution will be possible only with strict National-Socialist State policy, which is the basis; assuming this can be achieved the results are as follows:

“A. In the sphere of raw materials, only limited, but not total autarchy can be attained:

“1. Wherever coal can be used for the extraction of raw materials autarchy is feasible.

“2. In the case of ores the position is much more difficult. Requirements in iron and light metals can be covered by ourselves. Copper and tin, however, can not.

“3. Cellular materials can be covered by ourselves as long as sufficient wood supplies exist. A permanent solution is not possible.

“4. Edible fats-possible.

“B. In the case of foods, the question of an autarchy must be answered with a definite No.

“The general increase of living standards, compared with thirty to forty years ago, brought about a simultaneous increase of the demand and an increase of personal consumption even among the produces, the farmers, themselves. The proceeds from the production increase in agriculture have been used for covering the increased demand, therefore they represent no absolute increase in production, participation in the world market could not be avoided.

“The considerable expenditure of foreign currency to secure food by import, even in periods when harvests are good, increases catastrophically when the harvest is really poor. The possibility of this catastrophe increases correspondingly to the increase in population, and the annual 560,000 excess in births would bring about an increased consumption in bread, because the child is a greater bread eater than the adult.

“Permanently to counter the difficulties of food supplies by lowering the standard of living and by rationing is impossible in a continent which had developed an approximately equivalent standard of living. As the solving of the unemployment problem has brought into effect the complete power of consumption, some small corrections in our agricultural home production will be possible, but not a wholesale alteration of the standard of food consumption. Consequently autarchy becomes impossible, specifically in the sphere of food supplies as well as generally.

“Participation in world economy. There are limits to this which we are unable to transgress. The market fluctuations would be an obstacle to a secure foundation of the German position; international commercial agreements do not offer any guarantee for practical execution. It must be considered on principle that since the World War (1914-18), as industrialization has taken place in countries which formerly exported food. We live in a period of economic empires, in which the tendency to colonies again approaches the condition which originally motivated colonization; in Japan and Italy economic motives are the basis of their will to expand, and economic need will also drive Germany to it. Countries outside the great economic empires have special difficulties in expanding economically.

“The upward tendency, which has been caused in world economy, due to armament competition, can never form a permanent basis for an economic settlement, and this latter is also hampered by the economic disruption caused by Bolshevism. There is a pronounced military weakness in those states who base their existence on export. As our exports and imports are carried out over those sea lanes which are dominated by Britain, it is more a question of security of transport than one of foreign currency, and this explains the great weakness in our food situation in wartime. The only way out, and one which may appear imaginary, is the securing of greater living space, an endeavor which at all times has been the cause of the formation of states and of movements of nations. It is explicable that this tendency finds no interest in Geneva and in satisfied states. Should the security of our food situation be our foremost thought, then the space required for this can only be sought in Europe, but we will not copy liberal capitalist policies which rely on exploiting colonies. It is not a case of conquering people, but of conquering agriculturally useful space. It would also be more to the purpose to seek raw material-producing territory in Europe directly adjoining the Reich and not overseas, and this solution would have to be brought into effect for one or two generations. What would be required at a later date over and above this must be left to subsequent generations. The development of great world-wide national bodies is naturally a slow process and the German people, with its strong racial root [Volksstamm] has for this purpose the most favorable foundations in the heart of the European Continent. The history of all times-Roman Empire, British Empire-has proved that every space expansion can only be effected by breaking resistance and taking risks. Even setbacks are unavoidable; neither formerly nor toady has space been found without an owner; the attacker always comes up against the proprietor.” (386-PS)

After this somewhat jumbled discussion of geopolitical economic theory and of the need for expansion and “lebensraum", Adolf Hitler, in these Hossbach notes, posed a question and proceeded to answer it:

“The question for Germany is where the greatest possible conquest could be made at lowest cost.

“German politics must reckon with its two hateful enemies, England and France, to whom a strong German colossus in the center of Europe would be intolerable. Both these states would oppose a further reinforcement of Germany, both in Europe and overseas, and in this opposition they would have the support of all parties. Both countries would view the building of German military strong points overseas as a threat to their overseas communications, as a security measure for German commerce, and retrospectively a strengthening of the German position in Europe.

“England is not in a position to cede any of her colonial possessions to us owing to the resistance which she experiences in the Dominions. After the loss of prestige which England has suffered owing to the transfer of Abyssinia to Italian ownership, a return of East Africa can no longer be expected. Any resistance on England’s part would at best consist in the readiness to satisfy our colonial claims by taking away colonies which at the present moment are not in British hands, for example, Angola. French favors would probably be of the same nature.

“A serious discussion regarding the return of colonies to us could be considered only at a time when England is in a state of emergency and the German Reich is strong and well armed. The Fuehrer does not share the opinion that the Empire is unshakeable.

“Resistance against the Empire is to be found less in conquered territories than amongst its competitors. The British Empire and the Roman Empire cannot be compared with one another in regard to durability; after the Punic Wars the latter did not have a serious political enemy. Only the dissolving effects which originated in Christendom, and the signs of age which creep into all states, made it possible for the Ancient Germans to subjugate Ancient Rome.

“Alongside the British Empire today a number of States exist which are stronger than it. The British Mother Country is able to defend its colonial possession only allied with other states and not by its own power. How could England alone, for example, defend Canada against attack by America, or its Far Eastern interests against an attack by Japan?

“The singling out of the British Crown as the bearer of Empire unity is in itself an admission that the universal empire cannot be maintained permanently by power politics. The following are significant pointers in this respect:

“(a) Ireland’s struggle for independence.

“(b) Constitutional disputes in India where England, by her half measures, left the door open for Indians at a later date to utilize the non-fulfillment of constitutional promises as a weapon against Britain.

“(c) The weakening of the British position in the Far East by Japan.

“(d) The opposition in the Mediterranean to Italy which -by virtue of its history, driven by necessity and led by a genius- expands its power position and must consequently infringe British interests to an increasing extent. The outcome of the Abyssinian War is a loss of prestige for Britain which Italy is endeavoring to increase by stirring up discontent in the Mohammedan World.

“It must be established in conclusion that the Empire cannot be held permanently by power politics by 45 million Britons, in spite of all the solidity of her ideals. The proportion of the populations in the Empire, compared with that of the Motherland, is nine to one, and it should act as a warning to us that if we expand in space, we must not allow the level of our population to become too low.

“France’s position is more favorable than that of England. The French Empire is better placed geographically, the population of its colonial possessions represents a potential military increase. But France is faced with difficulties of internal politics. At the present time only 10 per cent approximately of the nations have parliamentary governments, whereas 90 per cent of them have totalitarian governments. Nevertheless, we have to take the following into our political consideration as power factors:

“Britain, France, Russia and the adjoining smaller states.

“The German question can be solved only by way of force, and this is never without risk. The battles of Frederick the Great for sales, and Bismarck’s wars against Austria and France had been a tremendous risk and the speed of Prussian action in 1870 had prevented Austria from participating in the war. It we place the decision to apply force with risk at the head of the following expositions, then we are left to reply to the questions 'when' and 'how'. In this regard we have to decide upon three different cases.

“Case 1. Period 1943-45: After this we can only expect a change for the worse. The rearming of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force, as well as the formation of the Officers' Corps, are practically concluded.

“Our material equipment and armaments are modern; with further delay the danger of their becoming out-of-date will increase. In Particular the secrecy of 'special weapons' cannot always be safeguarded. Enlistment of reserves would be limited to the current recruiting age groups and an addition from older untrained groups would be no longer available.

“In comparison with the rearmament, which will have been carried out at the time by other nations, we shall decrease in relative power. Should we not act until 1943-45, then, dependent on the absence of reserves, any year could bring about the food crisis, for the countering of which we do not possess the necessary foreign currency. This must be considered as a 'point of weakness in the regime.' Over and above that, the world will anticipate our action and will increase counter-measures yearly. Whilst other nations isolate themselves we should be forced on the offensive.

“What the actual position would be in the years 1943-45 no one knows today. It is certain, however, that we can wait no longer.

“On the one side the large armed forces, with the necessity for securing their upkeep, the aging of the Nazi movement and of its leaders, and on the other side the prospect of a lowering of the standard of living and a drop in the birth rate, leaves us no other choice but to act. If the Fuehrer is still living, then it will be his irrevocable decision to solve the German space problem no later than 1943-45. The necessity for action before 1943-45 will come under consideration in cases 2 and 3.

“Case 2. Should the social tensions in France lead to an internal political crisis of such dimensions that it absorbs the French Army and thus renders it incapable for employment in war against Germany, then the time for action against Czechoslovakia has come.

“Case 3. It would be equally possible to act against Czechoslovakia if France should be so tied up by a war against another State that it cannot 'proceed' against Germany.

“For the improvement of our military political position it must be our first aim, in every case of entanglement by war, to conquer Czechoslovakia and Austria, simultaneously, in order to remove any threat from the flanks in case of a possible advance Westwards. In the case of a conflict with France it would hardly be necessary to assume that Czechoslovakia would declare war on the same day as France. However, Czechoslovakia’s desire to participate in the war will increase proportionally to the degree to which we are being weakened. its actual participation could make itself felt by an attach on Silesia, either towards the North or the West.

“Once Czechoslovakia is conquered-and a mutual frontier, Germany-Hungary is obtained-then a neutral attitude by Poland in a German-French conflict could more easily be relied upon. Our agreements with Poland remain valid only as long as Germany’s strength remains unshakeable; should Germany have any setbacks then an attack by Poland against East Prussian, perhaps also against Pomerania, and Silesia, must be taken into account.

“Assuming a development of the situation, which would lead to a planned attack on our part in the years 1943 to '45, then the behaviour of France, England, Poland and Russia would probably have to be judged in the following manner:

“The Fuehrer believes personally, that in all probability England and perhaps also France, have already silently written off Czechoslovakia, and that they have got used to the idea that this question would one day be cleaned up by Germany. The difficulties in the British Empire and the prospect of being entangled in another long-drawn-out European War, were decisive factors in the nonparticipation of England in a war against Germany. The British attitude would certainly not remain without influence on France’s attitude. An attack by France, without British support, is hardly probable assuming that its offensive would stagnate along our Western fortifications. Without England’s support, it would also not be necessary to take into consideration a march by France through Belgium and Holland, and this would also not have to be reckoned with by us in case of a conflict with France, as in every case it would have as a consequence, the enmity of Great Britain. Naturally we should in every case, have to bar our frontier during the operation of our attacks against Czechoslovakia and Austria. It must be taken into consideration here that Czechoslovakia’s defense measures will increase in strength from year to year, and that a consolidation of the inside values of the Austrian Army will also be effected in the course of years. Although the population of Czechoslovakia, in the first place is not a thin one, the embodiment of Czechoslovakia and Austria would nevertheless constitute the conquest of food for five to six million people, on the basis that a compulsory emigration of two million from Czechoslovakia, and of one million from Austria could be carried out. The annexation of the two States to Germany, militarily and politically, would constitute a considerable relief, owing to shorter and better frontiers, the freeing of fighting personnel for other purposes, and the possibility of reconstituting new armies up to a strength of about twelve Divisions, representing a new Division per one million population.

“No opposition to the removal of Czechoslovakia is expected on the part of Italy; however, it cannot be judged today what would be her attitude in the Austrian question, since it would depend largely on whether the Duce were alive at the time or not.

“The measure and speed of our action would decide Poland’s attitude. Poland will have little inclination to enter the war against a victorious Germany. with Russia in the rear.

“Military participation by Russia must be countered by the speed of our operations; it is a question whether this needs to be taken into consideration at all, in view of Japan’s attitude.

“Should Case 2 occur-paralyzation of France by a Civil War-then the situation should be utilized at any time for operations against Czechoslovakia, as Germany’s most dangerous enemy would be eliminated.

“The Fuehrer sees Case 3 looming near; it could develop from the existing tensions in the Mediterranean, and should it occur, he has firmly decided to make use of it any time, perhaps even as early as 1938.

“Following recent experiences in the course of events of the war in Spain, the Fuehrer does not see an early end to hostilities there. Taking into consideration the time required for past offensives by Franco, a further three years duration of war in within the bounds of possibility. On the other hand, from the German point of view a one hundred percent victory by Franco is not desirable; we are more interested in a continuation of the war and preservation of the tensions in the Mediterranean. Should Franco be in sole possession of the Spanish Peninsula, it would mean the end of Italian intervention and the presence of Italy on the Balearic Isles. As our interests are directed towards continuing the war in Spain, it must be the task of our future policy to strengthen Italy in her fight to hold on to the Balearic Isles. However, a solidification of Italian positions on the Balearic Isles cannot be tolerated either by France or by England and could lead to a war by France and England against Italy, in which case Spain, if entirely in white [Franco's] hands, could participate on the side of Italy’s enemies. A subjugation of Italy in such a war appears very unlikely. Additional raw materials could be brought to Italy via Germany. The Fuehrer believes that Italy’s military strategy would be to remain on the defensive against France on the Western frontier and carry out operations against France from Libya, against the North African French colonial possessions.

“As a landing of French-British troops on the Italian coast can be discounted, and as a French offensive via the Alps to Upper Italy would be extremely difficult, and would probably stagnate before the strong Italian fortifications, French lines of communication by the Italian fleet will to a great extent paralyze the transport of fighting personnel from North Africa to France, so that at its frontiers with Italy and Germany, France will have, at its disposal, solely the metropolitan fighting forces.

“If Germany profits from this war by disposing of the Czechoslovakian and the Austrian questions, the probability must be assumed that England-being at war with Italy-would not decide to commence operations against Germany. Without British support, a warlike action by France against Germany is not to be anticipated.

“The date of our attack on Czechoslovakia and Austria must be made independent of the course of the Italian-French-English war and would not be simultaneous with the commencement of military operations by these three States. The Fuehrer was also not thinking of military agreements with Italy, but in complete independence and by exploiting this unique favorable opportunity, he wishes to begin to carry out operations against Czechoslovakia. The attack on Czechoslovakia would have to take place with the speed of lightning [blitzartig schnell].

“Fieldmarshal von Blomberg and Generaloberst von Fritsch in giving their estimate on the situation, repeatedly pointed out that England and France must not appear as our enemies, and they stated that the war with Italy would not bind the French Army to such an extent that it would not be in a position to commence operations on our Western frontier with superior forces. Generaloberst von Fritsch estimated the French forces which would presumably be employed on the Alpine frontier against Italy to be in the region of twenty divisions, so that a strong French superiority would still remain on our Western frontier. The French would, according to German reasoning, attempt to advance into the Rhineland. We should consider the lead which France has got in mobilization, and quite apart from the very small value of our then existing fortifications-which was pointed out particularly by Generalfieldmarshal von Blomberg-the four motorized divisions which had been laid down for the West would be more or less incapable of movement. With regard to our offensive in a Southeasterly direction, Fieldmarshal von Blomberg drew special attention to the strength of the Czechoslovakian fortifications, the building of which had assumed the character of a Maginot Line and which would present extreme difficulties to our attack.

“Generaloberst von Fritsch mentioned that it was the purpose of a study which he had laid on for this winter to investigate the possibilities of carrying out operations against Czechoslovakia with special consideration of the conquest of the Czechoslovakian system of fortifications; the Generaloberst also stated that owing to the prevailing conditions, he would have to relinquish his leave abroad, which was to begin on the 10 November. This intention was countermanded by the Fuehrer, who gave as a reason that the possibility of the conflict was not to be regarded as being so imminent. In reply to statements by Generalfieldmarshal von Blomberg and Generaloberst von Fritsch regarding England and France’s attitude, the Fuehrer repeated his previous statements and said that he was convinced of Britain’s nonparticipation and that consequently he did not believe in military action by France against Germany. Should the Mediterranean conflict already mentioned, lead to a general mobilization in Europe, then we should have to commence operations against Czechoslovakia immediately. If, however, the powers who are not participating in the war should declare their disinterestedness, then Germany would, for the time being, have to side with this attitude.

“In view of the information given by the Fuehrer, Generaloberst Goering considered it imperative to think of a reduction or abandonment of our military undertaking in Spain. The Fuehrer agreed to this, insofar as he believed this decision should be postponed for a suitable date.

“The second part of the discussion concerned material armament questions.

“(Signed) Hossbach". (386-PS)

The record of what happened thereafter is well-known to history. The Anschluss with Austria, under military pressure from the Nazis, occurred in March 1938. Pressure on Czechoslovakia resulted in the Munich Pact of September 1938. That Pact was violated, and Czechoslovakia invaded by Germany on 15 March 1939.

Another captured document, a file kept by Colonel Schmundt, Hitler’s adjutant, reveals the truth concerning the deliberateness of the aggressions against Czechoslovakia (388-PS). The file was found in a cellar of the Platterhof at Obersalzberg, near Berchtesgaden. It consists of a work-file of originals and duplicates, incidental to the preparations for the annexation of Czechoslovakia. The German title is “Grundlagen zur Studie Gruen", (Basic Principles for “Case Green"), “Green” being a codeword for the aggression against Czechoslovakia. Item No. 2 in this file is dated 22 April 1938. It is a summary, prepared by Schmundt, the adjutant, of a discussion of 21 April 1938 between Hitler and Wilhelm Keitel. This item, like the other items in the file, relates to “Case Green". This meeting occurred within approximately one month following the successful annexation of Austria. In the carrying out of the conspiracy, it became necessary to revise the “Plan Green", to take into account changed conditions, as a result of the bloodless success against Austria. Item 2 reads:

“Berlin, 22 April 1938.

“Bases of the Dissertation on Gruen.

“Summary of discussion between Fuehrer and General Keitel of 21 April:

“A. Political Aspect.

“1. Strategic surprise attack out of a clear sky without any cause or possibility of justification has been turned down. As result would be: hostile world opinion which can lead to a critical situation. Such a measure is justified only for the elimination of the last opponent on the mainland.

“2. Action after a time of diplomatic clashes, which gradually come to a crisis and lead to war.

“3. Lightning-swift action as the result of an incident (for example, assassination of German ambassador in connection with an anti-German demonstration.)

“Military Conclusions.

“1. The preparations are to be made for the political possibilities (2 and 3). Case 2 is the undesired one since “Gruen” will have taken security measures.

“2. The loss of time caused by transporting the bulk of the divisions by rail-which is unavailable, but should be cut down as far as possible-must not impede a lightning-swift blow at the time of the action.

“3. 'separate thrusts' are to be carried out immediately with a view to penetrating the enemy fortification lines at numerous points and in a strategically favorable direction. The thrusts are to be worked out to the smallest detail (knowledge of roads, composition of the columns according to their individual tasks). Simultaneous attacks by the Army and Air Force.

“The Air Force is to support the individual columns (for example developers; sealing off installations at penetration points, hampering the bringing up of reserves, destroying signal communications traffic, thereby isolating the garrisons.)

“4. Politically, the first four days of military action are the decisive ones. If there are no effective military successes, a European crisis will certainly arise. Accomplished Facts must prove the senselessness of foreign military intervention, draw Allies into the scheme (division of spoils) and demoralize 'Gruen.'

“Therefore: bridging the time gap between first penetration and employment of the forces to be brought up, by a determined and ruthless thrust by a motorized army. (e.g. via Pilsen, Prague.)

“5. If possible, separation of transport movement'Rot'from 'Gruen'. ['Rot' was the code name for their then plan against the West.] A simultaneous strategic concentration 'Rot' can lead 'Rot' to undesired measures. On the other hand, it must be possible to put 'Case Rot' into operation at any time.

“C. Propaganda.

“1. Leaflets on the conduct of Germans in Czechoslovakia (Gruenland.)

“2. Leaflets with threats for intimidation of the Czechs (Gruenen).

[Initialed by Schmundt]” (388-PS)

Particular attention should be drawn to paragraph 3 of this document, under the heading “Political Aspect", which reads as follows:

“Lightning-swift action as the result of an incident (example: Assassination of German ambassador as an up-shot of an anti-German demonstration).” (388-PS)

The document as a whole establishes that the conspirators were planning the creation of an incident to justify to the world their own aggression against Czechoslovakia. It establishes that consideration was being given to assassinating the German ambassador at Prague to create the requisite incident.

C. Formulation and Execution of the Plan to Invade Poland.

The next phase of the aggression was the formulation and execution of the plan to attack Poland, resulting in the initiation of aggressive war in September 1939. Here again the careful and meticulous record keeping of Hitler’s adjutant, schmundt, has provided a document in his own handwriting which throws down the mask (L-79). The document consists of minutes of a conference held on 23 May 1939. The place of the conference was the Fuehrer’s Study in the New Reich Chancellery. Goering, Raeder and Keitel were present. The subject of the meeting was, “Indoctrination on the political situation and future aims.”

The authenticity and accuracy of Schmundt’s record of the meeting of 23 May 1939 has been admitted by Keitel in a pretrial interrogation. The minutes read as follows:

“Top Secret

“To be transmitted by officer only

“Minutes of a Conference on 23 May 39”

“Place: The Fuehrer’s Study, New Reich Chancellery.

“Adjutant on duty: Lt-Col. (G.S.) Schmundt.

“Present: The Fuehrer, Field-Marshal Goering, Grand-Admiral Raeder, Col-Gen. von Brauchitsch, Col-Gen. Keitel, Col-Gen. Milch, Gen, (Of Artillery) Halder, Gen. Bodenschatz. Rear-Adml. Schniewindt, Col. ((G. S.) Jeschonnek, Col. (G. S.) Warlimont, Lt-Col. (G.S) Schmundt, Capt.. Engel (Army), Lieut-Commd. Albrecht, capt. V. Below (Army).

“Subject: Indoctrination on the political situation and future aims.

“The Fuehrer defined as the purpose of the conference:

“1. Analysis of the situation.

“2. Definition of the tasks for the Armed Forces arising from the situation.

“3. Exposition of the consequences of those tasks.

“4. Ensuring the secrecy of all decisions and work resulting from these consequences.

“Secrecy is the first essential for success.

“The Fuehrer’s observations are given in systematized form below.

“Our present situation must be considered from two points of view:

“1. The actual development of events between 1933 and 1939;

“2. The permanent and unchanging situation in which Germany lies.

“In the period 1933-1939, progress was made in all fields.

Our military situation improved enormously.

“Our situation with regard to the rest of the world has remained the same.

“Germany had dropped from the circle of Great Powers. The balance of power had been effected without the participation of Germany.

“This equilibrium is disturbed when Germany’s demands for the necessities of life make themselves felt, and Germany reemerges as a Great Power. All demands are regarded as 'Encroachments'. The English are more afraid of dangers in the economic sphere than of the simple threat of force.

“A mass of 80 million people has solved the ideological problems. So, too, must the economic problems be solved. No German can evade the creation of the necessary economic conditions for this. The solution of the problems demands courage. The principle, by which one evades solving the problem by adapting oneself to circumstances, is inadmissible. Circumstances must rather be adapted to aims. This is impossible without invasion of foreign states or attacks upon foreign property.

“Living space, in proportion to the magnitude of the state, is the basis of all power. One may refuse for a time to face the problem, but finally it is solved one way or the other. The choice is between advancement or decline. In 15 or 20 years' time we shall be compelled to find a solution. No German statesman can evade the question longer than that.

“We are at present in a state of patriotic fervor, which is shared by two other nations: Italy and Japan.

“The period which lies behind us has indeed been put to good use. All measures have been taken in the correct sequence and in harmony with our aims.

“After 6 years, the situation is today as follows:

“The national-political unity of the Germans has been achieved, apart from minor exceptions. Further successes cannot be attained without the shedding of blood.

“The demarkation of frontiers is of military importance.

“The Pole is no 'supplementary enemy'. Poland will always be on the side of our adversaries. In spite of treaties of friendship, Poland has always had the secret intention of exploiting every opportunity to do us harm.

“Danzig is not the subject of the dispute at all. It is a question of expanding our living space in the East and of securing our food supplies, of the settlement of the Baltic problem. Food supplies can be expected only from thinly populated areas. over and above the natural fertility, thorough-going German exploitation will enormously increase the surplus.

“There is no other possibility for Europe.

“Colonies: Beware of gifts of colonial territory. This does not solve the food problem. Remember-blockade.

“If fate brings us into conflict with the West, the possession of extensive areas in the East will be advantageous. Upon record harvests we shall be able to rely even less in time of war than in peace.

“The population of nonGerman areas will perform no military service, and will be available as a source of labour.

“The Polish problem is inseparable from conflict with the West.

“Poland’s internal power of resistance to Bolshevism is doubtful. Thus Poland is of doubtful value as a barrier against Russia.

“It is questionable whether military success in the West can be achieved by a quick decision, questionable too is the attitude of Poland.

“The Polish government will not resist pressure from Russia. Poland sees danger in a German victory in the West, and will attempt to rob us of the victory.

“There is therefore no question of sparing Poland, and we are left with the decision:

“To attack Poland at the first suitable opportunity. [This sentence is underscored in the original German text.]

“We cannot expect a repetition of the Czech affair. There will be war. Our task is to isolate Poland. The success of the isolation will be decisive.

“Therefore, the Fuehrer must reserve the right to give the final order to attack. There must be no simultaneous conflict with the Western powers [France and England].

“If it is not certain that a German-Polish conflict will not lead to war in the West, then the fight must be primarily against England and France.

“Fundamentally therefore: conflict with Poland-beginning with an attack on Poland-will only be successful if the Western Powers keep out of it. If this is impossible, then it will be better to attack in the West and to settle Poland at the same time.

“The isolation of Poland is a matter of skillful politics.

“Japan is a weighty problem. Even if at first for various reasons her collaboration with us appears to be somewhat cool and restricted, it is nevertheless in Japan’s own interest to take the initiative in attacking Russia in good time.

“Economic relations with Russia are possible only if political relations have improved. A cautious trend is apparent in press comment. It is not impossible that Russia will show herself to be disinterested in the destruction of Poland. Should Russia take steps to oppose us, our relations with Japan may become closer.

“If there were an alliance of France, England and Russia against Germany, Italy and Japan, I would be constrained to attack England and France with a few annihilating blows. The Fuehrer doubts the possibility of a peaceful settlement with England. We must prepare ourselves for the conflict. England sees in our development the foundation of a hegemony which would weaken England. England is therefore our enemy, and the conflict with England will be a life-and-death struggle.

“What will this struggle be like? [This sentence is underscored in the German original.]

“England cannot deal with Germany and subjugate us with a few powerful blows. It is imperative for England that the war should be brought as near to the Ruhr basin as possible. French blood will not be spared (West Wall). The possession of the Ruhr basin will determine the duration of our resistance.

“The Dutch and Belgium air bases will be occupied by armed forces. Declarations of neutrality must be ignored. If England and France intend the war between Germany and Poland to lead to a conflict, they will support Holland and Belgium in their neutrality and make them build fortifications in order finally to force them into cooperation.

“Albeit under protest, Belgium and Holland will yield to pressure.

“Therefore, if England intends to intervene in the Polish war, we must occupy Holland with lightning speed. We must aim at securing a new defense line on Dutch soil up to the Zuider Zee.

“The war with England and France will be a life-and-death struggle.

“The idea that we can get off cheaply is dangerous; there is no such possibility. We must burn our boats, and it is no longer a question of justice or injustice, but of life or death for 80 million human beings.

“Question: Short or long war?

“Every country’s armed forces or government must aim at a short war. The government, however, must also be prepared for a war of 10-15 years' duration.

“History has always shown that the people have believed that wars would be short. In 1914, the opinion still prevailed that it was impossible to finance a long war. Even today this idea still persists in many minds. But on the contrary, every state will hold out as long as possible, unless it immediately suffers some grave weakening (e.g. Ruhr basin). England has similar weaknesses.

'England knows that to lose a war will mean the end of her world power.

“England is the driving force against Germany.

“Her strength lies in the following:

“1. The British themselves are proud, courageous, tenacious, firm in resistance and gifted as organizers. They know how to exploit every new development. They have the love of adventure and bravery of the Nordic race. Quality is lowered by dispersal. The German average is higher.

“2. World power in itself. It has been constant for 300 years. Extended by the acquisition of allies, this power is not merely something concrete, but must also be considered as a psychological force embracing the entire world. Add to this immeasurable wealth, with consequential financial credit.

“3. Geopolitical safety and protection by strong sea power and a courageous air force.

“England’s weakness:

“if in the World War I we had had two battleships and two cruisers more, and if the battle of Jutland had begun in the morning, the British fleet would have been defeated and England brought to her knees. It would have meant the end of this war. It was formerly not sufficient to defeat the fleet. Landings had to be made in order to defeat England. England could provide her own food supplies. Today that is no longer possible.

“The moment England’s food supply routes are cut, she is forced to capitulate. The import of food and fuel depends on the fleet’s protection.

“If the German Air Force attacks English territory, England will not be forced to capitulate in one day. but if the fleet is destroyed immediate capitulation will be the result.

“There is no doubt that a surprise attack can lead to a quick decision. I would be criminal, however, for the government to rely entirely on the element of surprise.

“Experience has shown that surprise may be nullified by-

“1. Disclosure outside the limit of the military circles concerned.

“2. Mere chance, which may cause the collapse of the whole enterprise.

“3. Human failings.

“4. Weather conditions.

“The final date for striking must be fixed well in advance. Beyond that time, the tension cannot be endured for long. It must be borne in mind that weather conditions can render any surprise intervention by Navy and Air Force impossible.

“This must be regarded as a most unfavorable basis of action.

“1. An effort must be made to deal the enemy a significant or the final decisive blow right at the start. Consideration of right and wrong or treaties do not enter into the matter. This will only be possible if we are not involved in a war with England on account of Poland.

“2. In addition to the surprise attack, preparation for a long war must be made, while opportunities on the continent for England are eliminated.

“The Army will have to hold positions essential to the Navy and Air Force. If Holland and Belgium are successfully occupied and held, and if France is also defeated, the fundamental conditions for a successful war against England will have been secured.

“England can then be blockaded from western France at close quarters by the Air Force, while the Navy with its submarines extend the range of the blockade.


“England will not be able to fight on the Continent:

“Daily attacks by the Air Force and Navy will cut all her life-lines:

“Germany will not bleed to death on land.

“Such strategy has been shown to be necessary by World War I and subsequent military operations. World War I is responsible for the following strategic considerations which are imperative-

“1. With a more powerful Navy at the outbreak of the War, or a wheeling movement by the Army towards the Channel ports, the end would have been different.

“2. A country cannot be brought to defeat by an air force.

It is impossible to attack all objectives simultaneously, and the lapse of time of a few minutes would evoke defense counter-measures.

“3. The unrestricted use of all resources is essential.

“4. Once the Army, in cooperation with the Air Force and Navy, has taken the most important positions, industrial production will cease in flow in to the bottomless pit of the Army’s battles, and can be diverted to benefit the Air Force and Navy.

“The Army must, therefore, be capable of taking these positions. Systematic preparation must be made for the attack.

“Study to this end is of the utmost importance.

“The aim will always be to force England to her knees.

“A weapon will only be of decisive importance in winning battles, so long as the enemy does not possess it.

“This applies to gas, submarines and the Air Force. It would be true of the latter, for instance, as long as the English Fleet had no available countermeasures; it will no longer be the case in 1940 and 1941. Against Poland, for example, tanks will be effective, as the Polish Army possesses no counter-measures.

“Where straightforward pressure is no longer considered to be decisive, its place must be taken by the elements of surprise and by masterly handling. * * *”


“1. Study of the entire problem.

“2. Study of the events.

“3. Study of the means needed.

“4. Study of the necessary training.

“Men with great powers of imagination and high technical training must belong to the staff, as well as officers with sober skeptic powers of understanding.

“Working principles:

“1. No one is to take part in this who does not have to know of it.

“2. No one can find out more than he must know.

“3. When must the person in question know it at the very latest? No one may know anything before it is necessary that he know it.

“On Goering’s question, the Fuehrer decided that:

“a. The armed forces determine what shall be built.

“b. In the shipbuilding program, nothing is to be changed.

“c. The armament programs are to be modeled on the years 1943 or 1944.

[Schmundt certified this text.]” (L-79)

These minutes demonstrate that the Nazi conspirators were proceeding in accordance with a plan. They demonstrate the cold-blooded premeditation of the assault on Poland. They demonstrate that the questions concerning Danzig, which the Nazis had agitated with Poland as a political pretext, were not true questions, but were false issues, issues agitated to conceal their motive of aggressive, expansion for food, and Lebensraum.

Just one week prior to the launching of the attack on Poland, Hitler made an address to his chief military commanders, at Obersalzberg, on 22 August 1939. [There reports of this meeting are available: (L-3; 798-PS and 1014-PS). The first of the three documents (L-3) was obtained through an American newspaperman, and purported to be original minutes of the Obersalzberg meeting, transmitted to the newspaperman by some other person. There was no proof of actual delivery to the intermediary by the person who took the notes. That document (L-3) therefore, merely served as an incentive to search for something better. The result was that two other documents (798-PS) and (1014-PS) were discovered in the OKW files at Flensberg. These two documents indicate that Hitler on that day made two speeches, one apparently in the morning and one in the afternoon. Comparison of those two documents with the first document (L-3) led to the conclusion that the first document was a slightly garbled merger of the two speeches, and therefore was not relied upon.]

On this day of 22 August 1939, Hitler addressed the supreme commanders of the three branches of the armed forces, as well as the commanding generals, (Oberbefehlshabers) as follows:

“I have called you together to give you a picture of the political situation, in order that you may have insight into the individual element on which I base my decision to act, and in order to strengthen your confidence. After this, we will discuss military details.

“It was clear to me that a conflict with Poland had to come sooner or later. I had already made this decision in Spring. [Apparently this referred to (L-79).] But I thought I would first turn against the West in a few years, and only afterwards against the East. But the sequence cannot be fixed. One cannot close one’s eyes even before a threatening situation. I wanted to establish an acceptable relationship with Poland, in order to fight first against the West, but this plan which was agreeable to me could not be executed, since essential points have changed.

“It became clear to me that Poland would attack us, in case of a conflict in the West.

“Poland wants access to the sea.

“The further development became obvious after the occupation of the Memel region, and it became clear to me that under the circumstances a conflict with Poland could arise at an inopportune moment.

“I enumerate as reasons for this reflections, first of all, two personal constitutions, my own personality, and that of Mussolini. Essentially, it depends on me, my existence, because of my political activity.

“Furthermore, the fact that probably no one will ever again have the confidence of the whole German people as I do. There will probably never again be a man in the future with more authority. My existence is, therefore, a factor of great value. But I can be eliminated at any time by a criminal or an idiot.

“The second personal factor is I1 Duce. His existence is also decisive. If something happens to him, Italy’s loyalty to the alliance will no longer be certain. The basic attitude of the Italian Court is against the Duce. Above all, the Court sees in the expansion of the empire a burden. The Duce is the man with the strongest nerves in Italy.

“The third factor, favorable for us is Franco. We can only ask benevolent neutrality from Spain, but this depends on Franco’s personality. He guarantees a certain uniformity and steadiness of the present system in Spain. We must take into account the fact that Spain does not as yet have a Fascist Party of our internal unity.

“On the other side, a negative picture, as far as decisive personalities are concerned. There is no outstanding personality in England or France.

“For us it is easy to make decisions. We have nothing to lose: we can only gain. Our economic situation is such, because of our restrictions, than we cannot hold out more than a few years. England’s stake in a war is unimaginable great. Our enemies have men who are below average. No personalities, no masters, no men of action.

“Besides the personal factor, the political situation is favorable for us; in the Mediterranean rivalry among Italy, France, and England; in the Orient tension, which leads to the alarming of the Mohammedan world.

“The English empire did not emerge from the last war strengthened. From a maritime point of view, nothing was achieved: Conflict between England and Ireland, the south African Union became more independent, concessions had to be made to India, England is in great danger, unhealthy industries. A British statesman can look into the future only with concern.

'France’s position has also deteriorated, particularly in the Mediterranean.

“Further favorable factors for us are these:

“Since Albania, there is an equilibrium of power in the Balkans. Yugoslavia carries the germ of collapse because of her internal situation.

Rumania did not grow stronger. She is liable to attack and vulnerable. She is threatened by Hungary and Bulgaria. Since Kemal’s death, Turkey has been ruled by small minds, unsteady weak men.

“All these fortunate circumstances will no longer prevail in two to three years. No one knows how long I shall live. Therefore conflict better now.

“The creation of Greater Germany was a great achievement politically but militarily it was questionable, since it was achieved through a bluff of the political leaders. It is necessary to test the military, if at all possible, not by general settlement, but by solving individual tasks.

“The relation to Poland has become unbearable. My Polish policy hitherto was in contrast to the ideas of the people. My propositions to Poland, the Danzig corridor, were disturbed by England’s intervention. Poland changed her tune towards us. The initiative cannot be allowed to pass to others. This moment is more favorable than in two to three years. An attempt on my life or Mussolini’s could only change the situation to our disadvantage. One cannot eternally stand opposite one another with cocked rifle. A suggested compromise would have demanded that we change our convictions and make agreeable gestures. They talked to us again in the language of Versailles. There was danger of losing prestige. Now the probability is still great that the West will not interfere. We must accept the risk with reckless resolution. A politician must accept a risk as much as a military leader. We are facing the alternative to strike or to be destroyed with certainty sooner or later.”

“Now it is also a great risk. Iron nerves, iron resolution.”

“We need not be afraid of a blockade. The East will supply us with grain, cattle, coal, lead and zinc. It is a big arm, which demands great efforts. I am only afraid that at the last minute some Schweinhund will make a proposal for mediation.”

“Goering answers with thanks to the Fuehrer and the assurance that the armed forces will do their duty.” (798-PS)

In his second speech on 22 August 1939 the Fuehrer had this to say:

“It may also turn out differently regarding England and France. One cannot predict it with certainty. I figure on a trade-barrier, not on blockade, and with severance of relations. Most iron determination on our side. Retreat before nothing. Everybody shall have to make a point of it that we were determined from the beginning to fight the western powers. Struggle for life or death. Germany has won every war as long as she was united. Iron, unflinching attitude of all superiors, greatest confidence, faith in victory, overcoming of the past by getting used to heaviest strain. A long period of peace would not do us any good. Therefore it is necessary to expect everything. Manly bearing. It is not machines that fight each other, but men. We have the better quality of men. Mental factors are decisive. The opposite camp has weaker people. In 1918, the Nation fell down because the mental prerequisites were not sufficient. Frederic the Great secured final success only through his mental power.

“Destruction of Poland in the foreground. The aim is elimination of living forces, not the arrival at a certain line. Even if war should break out in the West, the destruction of Poland shall be the primary objective. Quick decision because of the season.

“I shall give a propagandistic cause for starting the war, never mind whether it be plausible or not. The victor shall not be asked, later on, whether we told the truth or not. In starting and making a war, not the Right is what matters but Victory.

“Have no pity. Brutal attitude. 80,000,000 people shall get what is their right. Their existence has to be secured. The strongest has the Right. Greatest severity.

“Quick decision necessary. Unshakable faith in the German soldier. A crisis may happen only if the nerves of the leaders give way.

“First aim: advance to the Vistula and Narew. Our technical superiority will break the nerves of the Poles. Every newly created polish force shall again be broken at once. Constant war of attrition.

“New German frontier according to healthy principle. Possibly a protectorate as a buffer. Military operations shall not be influenced by these reflections. Complete destruction of Poland is the military aim. To be fast is the main thing. Pursuit until complete elimination.

“Conviction that the German Wehrmacht is up to the requirements. The start shall be ordered, probably by Saturday morning.” (1014-PS)

D. Expansion into General War of Aggression: Scandinavia, The Low Countries, The Balkans.

The aggressive war having been initiated in September 1939, and Poland having been defeated shortly after the initial assaults, the Nazi aggressors converted the war into a general war of aggression extending into Scandinavia, into the Low Countries, and into the Balkans. (under the division of the case agreed by the four Chief prosecutors, this phase of aggression was left for development to the British prosecuting staff, and is discussed in Sections 9, 10 and 11 of this Chapter, infra.)

E. Aggression Against the U.S.S.R.

The attack upon Russia was preceded with premeditation and deliberation. Just as, in the case of aggression against Czechoslovakia, the Nazis had a code name for the secret operation, “Case Green", so in the case of aggression against the Soviet Union, they had a code name, “Case Barbarossa". A secret directive, Number 21, issued from the Fuehrer’s Headquarters on 18 December 1940, relating to “Case Barbarossa,” was captured among the OKW files at Flensberg (446-PS). This directive was issued more than six months in advance of the attack. (Other evidence shows that the planning occurred even earlier.) This order, signed by Hitler and initialed by Jodl and Keitel, was issued in nine copies, of which we have the fourth. The directive reads:

“The German Armed Forces must be prepared to crush Soviet Russia in a quick campaign before the end of the war against England. (Case Barbarossa.)

“For this purpose the Army will have to employ all available units with the reservation that the occupied territories will have to be safeguarded against surprise attacks.

“For the Eastern campaign the Air force will have to free such strong forces for the support of the army that a quick completion of the ground operations may be expected and that damage of the eastern German territories will be avoided as much as possible. This concentration of the main effort in East is limited by the following reservation: That the entire battle and armament area dominated by us must remain sufficiently protected against enemy air attacks and that the attacks on England and especially the supply for them must not be permitted to break down. completion of the ground operations may be expected and that damage of the Eastern German territories will be avoided as much as possible. This concentration of the main That the entire battle and armament area dominated by us must remain sufficiently protected against enemy air attacks for them must not be permitted to break down.

“Concentration of the main effort of the navy remains unequivocally against England also during an Eastern campaign.

“If occasion arises I will order the concentration of troops for action against Soviet Russia eight weeks before the intended beginning of operations.

“Preparations requiring more time to start are-if this has not yet been done-to begin presently and are to be completed by 15 May 1941.

“Great caution has to be exercised that the intention of an attack will not be recognized.

“The preparations of the High command are to be made on the following basis:

“I. General Purpose:

“The mass of the Russian army in western Russia is to be destroyed in daring operations by driving forward deep wedges with tanks and the retreat of intact battle-ready troops into the wide spaces of Russia is to be prevented.

“In quick pursuit a (given) line is to be reached from where the Russian Air force will no longer be able to attack German Reich territory. The first goal of operations is the protection from Asiatic Russian from the general line Volga-archangelsk. In case of necessity, the last industrial area in the Urals left to Russia could be eliminated by the Luftwaffe.

In the course of these operations the Russian Baltic sea Fleet will quickly erase its bases and will no longer be ready to fight.

“Effective intervention by the Russian Air force is to be prevented through forceful blows at the beginning of the operations.” (446-PS)

Another secret document captured from the OKW files establishes the motive for the attack on the Soviet Union (2718-PS). It also establishes the full awareness of the Nazi conspirators of the crimes against Humanity which would result from their attack. The document is a memorandum of 2 May 1941 concerning the results of a discussion on that day with the State Secretaries concerning “Case Barbarossa.” The memorandum reads in part:

“Matter for Chief; 2 copies; first copy to files Ia. Second copy to General Schubert. May 2nd, 1941. Memorandum.

About the result of today’s discussion with the state Secretaries about Barbarossa.

“1. The war can only be continued if all armed forces are fed by Russia in the third year of war.

“2. There is no doubt that as a result many millions of people will be starved to death if we take out of the country the things necessary for us.” (2718-PS)

F. Collaboration with Japan: Precipitation of The Pearl Harbor Attack.

With the unleashing of the German aggressive war against the Soviet Union in June 1941, the Nazi conspirators and, in particular Ribbentrop, called upon the Eastern co-architect of the New Order, Japan, to attack in the rear. The Nazi’s incited and kept in motion a force reasonably calculated to result in an attack on the United States. For a time, they preferred that the United States not be involved in the conflict, due to military considerations. However, their incitement resulted in the attack on pearl Harbor, and long prior to that attack, they had assured the Japanese that they would declare War on the United States should a United States-Japanese conflict occur. It was in reliance on these assurances that the Japanese struck at Pearl Harbor.

These matters are disclosed in a document, captured from the files of the German Foreign Office, which consists of notes dated 4 April 1941, signed by Schmidt, regarding discussions between the Fuehrer and the Japanese Foreign Minister Matsuoka, in the presence of Ribbentrop (1881-PS). Pertinent parts of this document read as follows:

“Matsuoka then also expressed the request, that the Fuehrer should instruct the proper authorities in Germany to meet as broad-mindedly as possible the wishes of the Japanese Military Commission. Japan was in need of German help particularly concerning the U-boat warfare, which could be given by making available to them the latest experiences of the war as well as the latest technical improvements and inventions.

“Japan would do her utmost to avoid a war with the United States. In case that the country should decide to attack Singapore, the Japanese navy, of course, had to be prepared for a fight with the United states, because in that case America would probably side with Great Britain. He (Matsuoka) personally believed, that the United States could be restrained by diplomatic exertions from entering the war at the side of Great Britain. Army and Navy had, however, to count on the worse situation, that is war against America. They were of the opinion that such a war would extend for five years or longer and would take the form of guerilla warfare in the Pacific and would be fought out in the South Sea. For this reason the German experiences in her guerilla warfare are of the greatest value to Japan. It was a question how such a war would best be conducted and how all the technical improvements of submarine, in all details such as periscopes and such like, could best be exploited by Japan. “To sum up, Matsuoka requested that the Fuehrer should see to if that the proper German authorities would place at the disposal of the Japanese these developments and inventions concerning navy and army, which were needed by the Japanese.

“The Fuehrer promised this and pointed out that Germany too considered a conflict with the United States undesirable, but that it had already made allowance for such a contingency. In Germany’s one was of the opinion that America’s contribution depended upon the possibilities of transportation, and that this again is conditioned by the available tonnage. Germany’s war against tonnage, however, means a decisive weakening not merely against England, but also against America. Germany has made her preparations so that on American could land in Europe. She would conduct a most energetic fight against America with her U-boats and her Luftwaffe, and due to her superior experience, which would still have to be acquired by the United States, she would be vastly superior, and that quite apart form the fact, that the German soldier naturally ranks high above the American.

“In the further course of the discussion the Fuehrer pointed out, that Germany on her part would immediately take the consequences, if Japan would get involved with the United states. It did not matter with whom the United States would first get involved, if with Germany or with Japan. They would always try to eliminate one country at a time, not to come to and understanding with the other country subsequently. Therefore Germany would strike, as already mentioned, without delay in case of a conflict between Japan and America, because the strength of the tripartite powers lies in their joined action, their weakness would be if they would let themselves be beaten individually.

“Matsuoka once more repeated his request, that the Fuehrer might give the necessary instructions, in order that the proper German authorities would place at the disposal of the Japanese the latest improvements and inventions, which are of interest to them. Because the Japanese navy had to prepare immediately for a conflict with the United States.

“As regards Japanese-American relationship, Matsuoka explained further that he has always declared in his country, that sooner or later a war with the United States would be unavoidable, if Japan continued to drift along as at present. In his opinion this conflict would happen rather sooner than later. His argumentation went on, why should Japan, therefore, not decisively strike at the right moment and take the risk upon herself of a fight against America? Just thus would she perhaps avoid a war for generations, particularly if she gained predominance in the south seas. There are, to be sure, in Japan many who hesitate to follow those trends of thought. Matsuoka was considered in those circles a dangerous man with dangerous thought. He, however, stated that, if Japan continued to walk along her present part, one day she would have to fight anyway and that this would then be under less favorable circumstances than at present.

“The Fuehrer replied that he could well understand the situation of Matsuoka, because he himself was in similar situations (the clearing of the Rhineland, declaration of sovereignty of armed Forces). He too was of the opinion that he had to exploit favorable conditions and accept the risk of an anyhow unavoidable fight at a time when he himself was still young and full of vigor. How right he was in his attitude was proven by events. Europe now was free. He would not hesitate a moment instantly to reply to any widening of the war, be it by Russia, be it by America. Providence favored those who will not let dangers come to them, but who will bravely face them.

“Matsuoka replied, that the United States or rather their ruling politicians had recently still attempted a last mavoeuver towards Japan, by declaring that America would not fight Japan of account of China of the South Seas provided that Japan gave free passage to the consignment of rubber and tin to America to their place of destination. However, America would war against Japan the moment she felt that Japan entered the war with the intention to assist in the destruction of Great Britain. * * *

The Fuehrer commented on this, that this attitude of America did not mean anything but that the United States had the hope, that, as long as the British World Empire existed, one day they could advance against Japan together with Great Britain, whereas, in case of the collapse of the World Empire, they would be totally isolated and could not do anything against Japan.

“The Reich Foreign Minister interjected that the Americans precisely under all circumstances wanted to maintain the powerful position of England in East Asia, but that on the other hand it is proved by this attitude, to what extent she fears a joint action of Japan and Germany.

“Matsuoka continued that it seemed to him of importance to give to the Fuehrer an absolutely clear picture of the real attitude inside Japan. For this reason he also had to inform him regretfully of the fact that he (Matsuoka) in his capacity as Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs could not utter in Japan itself a single word of all that he had expounded before the Fuehrer and the Reich Foreign Minister regarding his plans. This would cause him serious damage in political and financial circles. Once before, he had committed the mistake, before he became Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs, to tell a close friend something about his intentions. It seems that the latter had spread these things and thus bought about all sorts of rumors, which he as Foreign Minister had to oppose energetically, though as a rule he always tells the truth. Under those circumstances he also could not indicate, how soon he could report on the questions discussed to the Japanese Premier or to the Emperor. He would have to study exactly and carefully in the first place the development in Japan, so as to make his decision-at a favorable moment, to make a clean breast of his proper plans towards the Prince Konoye and the Emperor. Then the decision would have to be made within a few days, because the plans would otherwise be spoiled by talk.

“Should he, Matsuoka, fail to carry out his intentions, that would be proof that he is lacking in influence, in power of conviction, and in tactical capabilities. However, should he succeed, it would prove that he had great influence in Japan. He himself felt confident that he would succeed.

“On his return, being questioned, he would indeed admit to the Emperor, the Premier and the Ministers for the Navy and the Army, that Singapore had been discussed; he would, however, state that it was only on a hypothetical basis.

“Besides this Matsuoka made the express request not to cable in the matter of Singapore because he had reason to fear that by cabling something might leak out. If necessary he would send a courier.

“The Fuehrer agreed and assured after all, that he could rest entirely assured of German reticence.

“Matsuoka replied he believed indeed in German reticence, but unfortunately could not say the same of Japan.

“The discussion was terminated after the exchange of some personal parting words.

“Berlin, the 4th of April 1941.

“(signed) SCHMIDT” (1881-PS)


Document Description Vol. Page

Charter of the International military Tribunal, Article 6 (a)… I 5

International Military Tribunal, Indictment Number 1, Sections IV (F): V…I 22,29

Note: A single asterisk (*) before a document indicates that the document was received in evidence at the Nurnberg trial. Double (**) before a document was referred to during the trial but was not formally received in evidence, for the reason given in parentheses following the description of the document. The USA series number, given in parentheses following e description of the document, is the official exhibit number assigned by court.

*386-PS Notes on a conference with Hitler in the Reich chancellery, Berlin, 5 November 1937, signed by Hitler’s adjutant, Hossbach, and dated 10 November 1937. (USA 25)..III 295

*388-PS File of papers on Case Green (the plan for the attack on Czechoslovakia), kept by Schmundt, Hitler’s adjutant, April-October 1938. (USA 26) …III 305

442-PS General Order No. 16 on the preparation of a landing operation against England, 16 July 1940, initialed by Jodl and Keitel…III 399

*446-PS Top Secret Fuehrer Order No. 21 signed by Hitler and initialed by Jodl, Warlimont and Keitel, 18 December 1940, concerning the Invasion of Russia (case Barbarossa). (USA 31)…III 407

*789-PS Speech of the Fuehrer at a conference, 23 November 1939, to which all Supreme Commanders were ordered. (USA 23)…572

*798-PS Hitler’s speech to Commanders-in-Chief, at Obersalzberg, 22 August 1939. (USA 29)… III 581

*1014-PS Hitler’s speech to Commanders-in-Chief, 22 August 1939. (USA 30)…IV 522

*1881-PS Notes on conference between Hitler and Matsuoka in presence of Ribbentrop in Berlin, 4 April 1941. (USA 33)… IV 522

*2261-PS Directive from Blomberg to Supreme Commanders of Army, Navy and Air Forces, 24 June 1935; accompanied by copy of Reich Defense Law of 21 May 1935 and copy of Decision of Reich Cabinet of 12 May 1935 on the Council for defense of the Reich. (USA 24)…IV 934

*2718-PS Memorandum “About the result of today’s discussion with State Secretaries about Barbarossa", 2 May 1941. (USA 32) …V 378

*D-660 Extracts from Hutchinson’s Illustrated edition of Mein Kampf. (GB 128)…VII 164

**L-3 Contents of Hitler’s talk to Supreme Commander and Commanding Generals, Obersalzberg, 22 August 1939. (USA 28) (Referred to but not offered in evidence) … VII 752

*L-79 Minutes of conference, 23 May 1939, “Indoctrination of the political situation and future aims". (USA 27)…VII 847


By 1933 the Nazi Party, the NSDAP, had reached very substantial proportions. At that time its plans called for the acquisition of political control of Germany. This was indispensable for consolidation, within the country, of all the internal resources and potentialities.

As soon as there was sufficient progress along this line of internal consolidation, the next step was to become disengaged from some of the external disadvantages of existing international limitations and obligations.

The restrictions of the Versailles Treaty were a bar to the development of strength in all the fields necessary if Germany were to make war. Although there had been an increasing amount of circumvention and violation from the very time that the Versailles Treaty came into effect, such operations under disguise and subterfuge could not attain proportions adequate for the objectives of the Nazis. To get the Treaty of Versailles out of the way was indispensable to the development of the extensive military power which they had to have for their purposes. It was as a part of same plan and for the same reason that Germany withdrew from the Disarmament Conference and from the League of Nations. It was impossible for the Nazis to carry out their plan on the basis of existing international obligations or on the basis of the orthodox kind of future commitments.

Every military and diplomatic operation undertaken by the Nazis was preceded by a plan of action and a careful coordination of all participating forces. At the same time each event was part of a long prepared plan of aggression. Each represented a necessary step in the preparation of aggression. Each represented a necessary step in the preparation of the schedule of aggressions which was subsequently carried out.

Three of the steps in preparation for aggression were first, the withdrawal from the Disarmament conference and the League of Nation; second, the institution of compulsory military service; and, third, the reoccupation of the demilitarized zone of the Rhineland. Each of these steps was progressively more serious in the matter of international relations. In each of these steps Germany anticipated the possibility of sanctions being applied by other countries, and, particularly, a strong military action from France with the possible assistance of England. However, the conspirators were determined that nothing less than a preventive war would stop them, and they also estimated correctly that on one or combination of big powers would undertake the responsibility for such a war. The withdrawal from the Disarmament Conference and from the league of Nations was, of course, conspiracy and the plan for aggression. The announcement action. It was a violation of the Versailles Treaty, but the Nazis got away with it, Then came outright military service was a more daring action. It was a violation the Versailles Treaty, but the Nazi got away with it, then came outright military defiance, with the occupation of the demilitarized zone of the Rhineland.

A. Planning to Overthrow the Versailles Treaty.

The determination and the plans of the Nazi conspirators to remove the restrictions of Versailles, started very early. This fact is confirmed by their own statements, their boasts of long planning and careful execution. Hitler, in his speech to all Supreme Commanders on 23 November 1939, stated that his primary goal was to wipe out Versailles (789-PS). And Jodl, as Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces, delivered and address after four years of war, on 7 November 1943, which he traced the development of German strength (L-172).an address after four years of war, on 7 November 1943, in which he traced the development of German strength(L-172). The seizure of power to him meant the restoration of fighting sovereignty, including conscription, occupation of the Rhineland, and rearmament, with special emphasis on modern armor and air forces. In his speech, entitled “ The Strategic Position at the Beginning of the 5th years of war,” General Jodl gave a retrospective summary of the war for the benefit of the Reich and Gau leaders. He stated:

“Introduction: Reichsleiter Bormann has requested me to give you a review today of the strategic position in the beginning of the 5th Year of War.

“I must admit that it was not without hesitation that I undertook this none too easy task. It is not possible to do it justice with a few generalities. It is not necessary to say openly what is. No one-the Fuehrer has ordered-may know more or be told more than he needs for his own immediate task, but I have no doubt at all in my mind, Gentlemen, but hat you need a great deal in order to be able to cope with your tasks. It is in your Gaus, after all, and among their inhabitants that all the enemy propaganda, the defeatism, and the malicious rumours concentrate, that try to find themselves a plan among our people. Up and down the country the devil of subversion strides. All the cowards are seeking a way out, or-as they call it-a political solution. They say, we must negotiate while there is still something in hand, and all these slogans are made use of to attack the natural sense of the people, that in this war there can only be a fight to the end. Capitulation is the end of the Nation, the end of Germany. Against this wave of enemy propaganda and cowardice you need more than force. You need to know the true situation and for this reason I believe that I am justified in giving you a perfectly open and uncolored account of the state of affairs. This is nor forbidden disclosure of secrets, but a weapon which may perhaps help you to fortify the morale of the people. For this war will not only be decided by the force of arms but by the will of the whole people. Germany was broken in 1918 not at the front but at home. Italy suffered not military defeat but morale defeat. She broke down internally. The result has been not the peace she expected but-through the cowardice of these criminal traitors-a fate thousand times harder than continuation of the war at our side would have brought to the Italian people. I can rely on you, Gentlemen, that since I give concrete figures and date concerning our own strength, you will treat these details as your secret; all the rest is at your disposal without restriction for application in your activities as leaders of the people.

“The necessity and objectives of this war were clear to all and everyone at the moment when we entered upon the War of Liberation of Greater Germany and by attacking parried the danger which menaced us both from Poland and from the Western powers. Our further incursions into Scandinavia, in the direction of the Mediterranean, and in that of Russia-these also aroused no doubts concerning the general conduct of the war so log as we were successful. It was not until more serious set-backs were encountered and our general situation began to become increasingly acute, that the German people began to ask itself whether perhaps we had not undertaken more than we could do and set out aims too high. To provide an answer to this questioning and to furnish you with certain points of view for use in your own explanatory activities is one of the main points of my present lecture. I shall divide it into three parts:

'I. A review of the most important development up to the present.

“II. Consideration of the present situation.

“III. The foundation of our morale and our confidence in victory.

“In view of my position as military advisor to the Fuehrer, I shall confine myself in my remarks to the problems of my own personal sphere of action, fully appreciating at the same time that in view of the protean nature of this war, I shall in this way be giving expression only to one side of events.

“I. Review

“1. The fact that the National Socialist movement and its struggle for internal power were the preparatory stage of the outer liberation from the bonds of the Dictate of Versailles is not one on which I need enlarge in this circle. I should like however to mention at this point how clearly all thoughtful regular soldiers realize what an important part has been played by the National Socialist movement in reawakening the will to fight [Wehrwillen] in nurturing fighting strength [Wehrkraft] and in rearming the German people. In spite of all the virtue inherent in it, the numerically small Reichswehr would never have been able to cope with this task, if only because of its own restricted radius of action. Indeed, what the Fuehrer aimed at-and has so happily been successful in bringing about-was the fusion of these two forces.

“2. The seizure of power in its turn has meant in the first place restoration of fighting sovereignty [Wehrhoheit-conscription, occupation of the Rhineland] and rearmament with special emphasis being laid on the creation of a modern armoured and air arm.

“3. The Austrian 'Anschluss' in its turn, brought with it not only the fulfillment of an old national aim but also had the effect both of reinforcing our fighting strength and of materially improving our strategic position. Whereas up till then the territory of Czechoslovakia had projected in a most menacing way right into Germany (a wasp waist in the direction of France and an air base for the Allies, in particular Russia), Czechoslovakia herself was now enclosed by pincers.

“Its own strategic position had now become so unfavorable that she was bound to fall a victim to any attack pressed home with rigour before effective aid from the West could be expected to arrive.

“This possibility of aid was furthermore made more difficult by the construction of the West Wall, which, in contra-distinction to the Maginot Line, was not a measure based on debility and resignation but one intended to afford rear cover for an active policy in the East.

“4. The bloodless solution of the Czech conflict in the autumn of 1938 and spring of 1939 and the annexation of Slovakia rounded off the territory of Greater Germany in such a way that it now became possible to consider the Polish problem on the basis of the more or less favourable strategic premises.

“This brings me to the actual outbreak of the present war, and the question which next arises is whether the moment for the struggle with Poland-in itself unavoidable-was favorably selected or not. The answer to this question is all the less in doubt since the opponent-after all, not inconsiderable in himself-collapsed unexpectedly quickly, and the Western Powers who were his friends, while they did declare war on us and form a second front, yet for the rest made no use of the possibilities open to them of snatching the initiative from our hands. Concerning the course of the Polish campaign, nothing further need be said beyond that it proved in a measure which made the whole world sit up and take notice a point which up till then had not been certain by any means; that is, the high state of efficiency of the young Armed Forces of Great Germany.” (L-172).

In this speech General Jodl identifies himself fully with the Nazi movement. His own words show that he was not a mere soldier. Insofar as he is concerned, his speech identifies the military with the political, it also shows the deliberation with which the Treaty of Versailles was abrogated by Germany and the demilitarized zone of the Rhineland was militarized and fortified.

In one of Adolf Hitler’s reviews of the six-year period between his ascendancy to power and the outbreak of hostilities, he not only admitted but boasted about the orderly and coordinated long-range planning. The minutes of conference of the Fuehrer kept by Schmundt, his adjutant, contain the following passage:

“In the period 1933-1939 progress was made in all fields. Our military system improved enormously.”

“The period which lies behind us has, indeed, been put to good use. All measures have been taken in the correct sequence and in harmony with our aims.” (L-79).

B. Economic and Financial Preparations for Aggressive War.

One of the most significant preparations for aggressive war is found in the Secret Reich Defense Law of 21 May 1935 (2261-PS). The law went into effect upon its passage. It stated at its outset that it was to be made public instant, but at the end of it Adolf Hitler signed the decree ordering that it be kept secret. General Thomas, who was in charge of War Armament Economy and for some time a high ranking member of the German High Command, refers to this law as the cornerstone of war preparations. He points out that, although the law was not made public until the outbreak of war, it was put into immediate execution as a program for preparations. These statements are made at page 25 of General Thomas' work, “A History of the German War and Armament Economy, 1923-1944.” (2853-PS).

This secret law remained in effect until 4 September 1939, at which time it was replaced by another secret defense law (2194-PS) revising the system of defense organization and directing more detailed preparations for the approaching status of “mobilization,” which was clearly an euphemism for war.

The covering letter, under which this second Reich Defense Law, was sent to the Ministry for Economy and Labor for Saxony in Dresden, on 6 December 1939, was classified Top Secret and read as follows:

“Transportation Section, attention of Construction Chief Counsellor Hirches, or representative in the office of the Reich Protector in Bohemia and Moravia, received Prague, 5 September 1939, No. 274.

“Inclosed please find a copy of the Reich Defense Law of 4 September 1938 and a copy each of the decrees of the Reich Minister of Transportation, dated 7 October 1938, RL 10.2212/38, top secret, and of 17 July 1939, RL / LV 1.2173/39, top secret. For your information and observance, by order, signed Kretzchmar. 3 inclosures completed to Dresden, 4 September 1939, signed Schneider 3 inclosures. Receipt for the letter of 4 September 1939, with 3 inclosures, signed 5 September, 1939, and returned to construction Counsellor Kretzchmar.” (2194-PS)

Thus the second secret Reich Defense Law was transmitted under top secret cover.

The general plan for the breach of the Treaty of Versailles and for the ensuing aggressions was carried out in four ways: (1) secret rearmament from 1933 to March 1935; (2) the training of military personnel (that includes secret or camouflage training); (3) production of munitions of war; (4) the building of an air force.

The facts of rearmament and of secrecy are self-evident from the events that followed. The significant phase of this activity lies in the fact that it was necessary in order to break the barriers of the Treaty of Versailles and of the Locarno Pact, and to make ready for aggressive wars which were to follow.

Those activities by their nature and extent, could only have been for aggressive purposes. The highest importance which the German government attached to the secrecy of the program is emphasized by the disguised methods of financing utilized both before and after the announcement of conscription, and the rebuilding of the army, on 16 March 1935.

The point is illustrated by an unsigned memorandum by Schacht dated 3 May 1935, entitled, “The Financing of the Armament program, “Finanzierung der Ruestung.” (1168-PS) It is not signed by Schacht, but in an interrogation on 16 October 1945, he identified it as being his memorandum. The memorandum reads as follows:

“Memorandum from Schacht to Hitler [identified by Schacht as Exhibit A, interrogation 16 October 1945, page 40] May 3, 1935.

“Financing of Armament. The following explanations are based upon the thought, that the accomplishment of the armament program with speed and in quantity is the problem of German politics, that everything else therefore should be subordinated to this purpose as long as the main purpose is not imperiled by neglecting all other questions. Even after Marcy 16, 1935, the difficulty remains that one cannot undertake the open propagandistic treatment of the German people for support of armament without endangering our position internationally (without loss to our foreign trade). The already nearly impossible financing of the armament program is rendered hereby exceptionally difficult.

“Another supposition must be also emphasized. The printing press can be used only for the financing of armament to such a degree, as permitted by maintaining of the money value. Every inflation increases the prices of foreign raw materials and increases the domestic prices, is therefore like a snail biting its own tail. The circumstance that our armament had to be camouflaged completely till March 16, 1935, and even since this date the camouflage had to be continued to a larger extent, making it necessary to use the printing press (bank note press) already at the beginning of the whole armament program, while it would have been natural, to start it (the printing press) at the final point of financing. In the portefeuille of the Reichsbank are segregated notes for this purpose, that is, armament, of 3,775 millions and 866 millions, altogether 4,641 millions, out of which the armament notes amount to Reichsmarks 2,374 millions, that is, of April 30, 1935. The Reichsbank has invested the amount of marks under its jurisdiction, but belonging to foreigners in blank notes of armament. Our armaments are also financed partly with the credits of our political opponents. Furthermore, 500 million Reichsmarks were used for financing of armament, which originated out of [Reichsanleihe], the federal loans, placed with savings banks. In the regular budget, the following amounts were provided. For the budget period 1933-34, Reichsmarks 750 millions; for the budget period 1934-35, Reichsmarks 1,100 millions; and for the budget period 1935-36, Reichsmarks 2,500 millions.

“The amount of deficits of the budget since 1928 increases after the budget 1935-36 to 5 to millions Reichsmarks. This total deficit is already financed at the present time by short term credits of the money market. If therefore reduces in advance the possibilities of utilization of the public market for the armament. The Minister of Finance [Reichsfinanzminister], correctly points out at the defense of the budget: As a permanent yearly deficit is an impossibility, as we cannot figure with security with increased tax revenues in amount balancing the deficit and any other previous debits, as on the other hand a balanced budget is the only secure basis for the impending great task of military policy. For all these reasons we have to put in motion a fundamental and conscious budget policy which solves the problem of armament financing by organic and planned reduction of other expenditures not only from the point of receipt, but also from the point of expenditure, that is, by saving.

“How urgent this question is, can be deduced from the following, that a large amount of task has been started by the state and party and which is now in process, all of which are not covered by the budget, but from contributions and credits, which have to be raised by industry in addition to the regular taxes.

“The existing of various budgets side by side, which serve more or less public tasks, is the greatest impediment for gaining a clear view over the possibilities of financing the armaments. A whole number of ministries and various branches of the party have their own budgets, and for this reason have possibilities of incomes and expenses, though based on the sovereignty of finance of the state, but not subject to the control of the Minister of Finance and therefore also not subject to the control of the cabinet. Just s in the sphere of politics the mush too far-reaching delegation of legislative powers to individuals brought about various states within the states, exactly in the same way the condition of the various branches of state and party, working side by side and against each other, has a devastating effect on the possibility of financing. If on this territory concentration and unified control is not introduced very soon, the solution of the already impossible task of armament financing is endangered.

“We have the following tasks:

“(1) A deputy is entrusted with finding all sources and revenues, which have its origin in contributions to the federal government, to the state and party and in profits of public and party enterprises.

“(2) Furthermore experts, entrusted by the Fuehrer, have to examine how these amounts were used and which of these amounts can in the future be withdrawn from their previous purpose.

“(3) The same experts have to examine the investments of all public and party organizations, to which extent this property can be used for the purpose of armament financing.

“(4) The federal Ministry of Finance is to be entrusted to examine the possibilities of increased revenues by way of new taxes or increasing of existing taxes.

“The up-to-date financing of armaments by the Reichsbank under existing political conditions was a necessity and the political success proved the correctness of this action. The other possibilities of armament financing have to be started now under any circumstances. For this purpose all absolutely non-essential expenditures for other purposes must not take place and the total financial strength of Germany, limited as it is, has to be concentrated for the one purpose of armament financing. Whether the problem of financing, as outlined in this program, succeeds, remains to be seen, but without such concentration, it will fail with absolute certainty.” (1168-PS)

C. Renunciation of Armament Provisions of Versailles Treaty.

21 May 1935 was a very important date in the Nazi calendar. It was on that date that the Nazis passed the secret Reich Defense Law (2261-PS). The secrecy of their armament operations had already reached the point beyond which they could no longer maintain successful camouflage. Since their program called for still further expansion, they unilaterally renounced the armament provisions of the Versailles Treaty on the same date, 21 May 1935. Hitler’s speech to the Reichstag on that day (2288-PS) was published in “Voelkischer Beobachter” under the heading “The Fuehrer Notifies the World of the Way to Real Peace.”

Hitler declared:

“1. The German Reich Government refuses to adhere to the Geneva Resolution of 17 May.

“The Treaty of Versailles was not broken by Germany unilaterally, but the well-known paragraphs of the dictate of Versailles were violated, and consequently invalidated, by those powers who could not make up their own disarmament requested of Germany with their own disarmament as agreed upon by Treaty.

“2. Because the other powers did not live up to their obligations under the disarmament program, the Government of the German Reich no longer considers it self bound to those articles, which are nothing but a discrimination against the German nation for an unlimited period of time, since, through them, Germany is being nailed down in a unilateral manner contrary to the spirit of the agreement.” (2288-PS)

In conjunction with other phases of planning and preparation for aggressive war, there ware various programs for direct and indirect training of a military nature. They included not only the training of military personnel, but also the establishment and training of other military organizations, such as the Police Force, which could be and were absorbed by the Army. The extent of this program for military training is indicated by Hitler’s boast of the expenditure of ninety billion Reichsmarks during the period 1933 to 1939, in the building up of the armed forces.

In a speech by Adolf Hitler delivered on 1 September, 1939, (2322-PS), which was published in the “Voelkischer Beobachter” under the heading “The Fuehrer announces the Battle for the Justice and Security of the Reich", the following passage occurred:

“For more than six years now, I have been engaged in building up the German Armed Forces. During this period more than ninety billion Reichsmarks were spent building up the Wehrmacht. Today, ours are the best-equipped armed forces in the world, and they are superior to those of 1914. My confidence in them can never be shaken.” (2322-PS)

The secret nature of this training program and the fact of its early development is illustrated by a report to Hess, in 1932, concerning the secret training flying personnel, as well as the early plans to build a military air force (1143-PS). This report was sent in a letter from Schickedantz to Rosenberg, for delivery to Hess. Apparently Schickedantz was very anxious that no one but Hess should get this letter, and therefore sent it to Rosenberg for personal delivery to Hess. The letter points out that the civilian pilots should be so organized as to enable their transfer into the military air force organization. The letter dated 20 October, 1932, reads:

“Dear Alfred [Rosenberg]: I am sending you enclosed a communication from the RWM forwarded to me by our confidential man (Vertrauensmann) which indeed is very interesting. I believe we will have to take some steps so that the matter will not be procured secretly for the Stahlhelm. This report is not known to anybody else. I intentionally did not inform even our tall friend.” [Rosenberg, in an interrogation on 5 October 1945, identified this “tall friend” as being Von Albensleben.] “I am enclosing an additional copy for Hess, and ask you to transmit the letter to Hess by messenger, as I do not want to write a letter to Hess for fear that it might be read somewhere. Mit bestem Gruss, Yours Amo.” (1143-PS)

Enclosed in the report is:

“Air Force Organization”

“Purpose: Preparation of material and training of personnel to provide for the case of the armament of the air force.

“Entire management as a civilian organization will be transferred to Col. Von Willberg, at present commander of Breslau, who, retaining his position in the Reichswehr, is going on leave of absence.

“(a) Organizing the pilots of civilian air lines in such a way as to enable their transfer to the air force organization.

“(b) Prospects to train crews for military flying. Training to be done within the organization for military flying of the Stahlhelm [steel helmet] which is being turned over to Col. Hanel, retired.

“All existing organizations for sport flying are to be used for military flying. Directions on kinds and tasks of military flying will be issued by this Stahlhelm organization will pay the military pilots 50 marks per hour fight. These are due to the owner of the plane in case he himself carries out the fight. They are to be divided in case of non-owners of the plane, between flight organization, proprietor and crew in the proportion of 10:20:20. Military flying is now paid better than flying for advertisement (40). We therefore have to expect that most proprietors of planes or flying associations will go over to the Stahlhelm organization. It must be achieved that equal conditions will be granted by the RWM, also the NSDAP organization.” (1143-PS)

D. Secret Rearmament

The program of rearmament and the objectives of circumventing and breaching the Versailles Treaty are forcefully shown by a number of Navy documents, showing the participation and cooperation of the German navy in this rearmament program which was secret at first. When it was deemed safe to say so, the Navy openly acknowledged that it had always been its objective to break the Versailles Treaty.

In 1937 the Navy High Command (OKM) published a secret book entitled, “The Fight of the Navy Against Versailles, 1919 to 1935", written by Sea Captain Schussler (C-156). The preface refers to the fight of the navy against the unbearable regulations of the peace treaty of Versailles. The table of contents includes a variety of navy activities, such as saving of coastal guns from destruction as required by Versailles; independent armament measures behind the back of the government and behind the back of the legislative bodies; resurrection of the U-boat arm; economic rearmament; and camouflaged rearmament from 1933 to the freedom from the restrictions in 1935. (C-156)

This book points out the significant effect of seizure of power by the Nazis in 1933 on increasing the size and determining the nature of the rearmament program. It also refers to the far reaching independence in the building and development of the navy, which was only hampered insofar as concealment of rearmament had to considered in compliance with the Versailles Treaty (C-156). With the restoration of what was called the military sovereignty of the Reich in 1935-the reoccupation of the demilitarized zone of the Rhineland-the external camouflage of rearmament was eliminated.

This book of the German navy bears the symbol of the Nazi Party, the Swastika in the spread eagle on the cover sheet, and it is headed “secret", underscored (C-156). Raeder has identified this book in an interrogation and explained that the Navy tried to fulfill the letter of the Versailles Treaty and at the same time to make progress in naval development. The following are pertinent extracts from the book:

“The object and aim of this memorandum under the heading 'Preface', is to draw a technically reliable picture based on documentary records and the evidence of those who took part in the fight of the Navy against the unbearable regulations of the peace treaty of Versailles. It shows that the Reich navy after the liberating activities of the Free Corps and of Scapa Flow did not rest, but found ways and means to lay with unquenchable enthusiasm, in addition to the building up of the 15,000-man navy, the basis for a greater development in the future, and so create by work of soldiers and technicians the primary condition for a later rearmament. It must also distinguish more clearly the services of these men, who, without being known in wide circles, applied themselves with extraordinary zeal in responsibility in the service of the fight against the peace treaty; thereby stimulated by the highest feeling of duty, they risked, particularly in the early days of their fight, themselves and their position unrestrainedly in the partially self-ordained task. This compilation makes it clearer, however that even such ideal and ambitious plans can be realized only to a small degree if the concentrated and united strength of the whole people is not behind the courageous activity of the soldier. Only when the Fuehrer had created the second and even more important condition for an effective rearmament in the coordination of the whole nation and in the fusion of the political, financial and spiritual power, could the work of the soldier find its fulfillment. The framework of this peace treaty, the most shameful known in world history, collapsed under the driving power of this united will. [signed] The Compiler". (C-156)

The summary of the contents indicated in the chapter titles is significant:

“I. First, defensive action against the execution of the Treaty of Versailles (from the end of the war to the occupation of the Ruhr, 1923).

“1. Saving of coastal guns from destruction to removal of artillery equipment and ammunition, hand and machine weapons. * * *

“3. Limitation of destruction in Heligoland.

“II. Independent armament measures behind the back of the Reich Government and of the legislative body (from 1923 to the Lomann case in 1927).

“1. An attempt to increase the personnel strength of the Reich Navy.

“2. Contributing to the strengthening of patriotism among the people.

“3. Activities of Captain Lohmann.

“4. Preparation for the resurrection of the German U-boat arm.

“5. Building up of the air force.

“6. Attempt to strengthen our mine arm (Die Mine).

“7. Economic rearmament.

“8. Miscellaneous measures.

“a. The Aerogeodetic, and;

“b. Secret evidence.

“III. Planned armament work countenance by the Reich government but behind the back of the legislative body from 1927 to the seizure of power, 1933.

“IV. Rearmament under the leadership of the Reich Government in camouflage (from 1933 to the freedom from restrictions, 1935).” (C-156)

The following is a passage from chapter IV:

“The unification of the whole nation which was combined with the taking over of power on 30 January 1933 was of the decisive influence on the size and shape of further rearmament.

“While the second chamber, Reichsrat, approached its dissolution and withdrew as a legislative body, the Reichstag assumed a composition which could only take a one-sided attitude toward the rearmament of the armed forces. The government took over the management of the rearmament program upon this foundation.

“Development of the Armed Forces.”

“This taking over of the management by the Reich Government developed for the armed forces in such a manner that the War Minister, General von Blomberg, and through him the three branches of the armed forces, received far reaching powers from the Reich Cabinet for the development of the armed forces. The whole organization of the Reich was included in this way. In view of these powers the collaboration of the former inspecting body in the management of the secret expenditure was from then on dispensed with. There remained only the inspecting duty of the accounting office of the German Reich.

“Independence of the Commander in Chief of the Navy”

“The commander-in-chief of the Navy, Admiral Raeder, honorary doctor, had received the help of a far-reaching independence in the building and development of the navy. This was only hampered insofar as the previous concealment of rearmament had to be continued in consideration of the Versailles Treaty. Besides the public budget there remained the previous special budget, which was greatly increased in view of the considerable credit for the provision of labor, which was made available by the Reich. Wide powers in the handling of these credits were given to the Director of the Budget Department of the navy, up to 1934 Commodore Schussler, afterwards Commodore Foerster. These took into consideration the increased responsibility of the Chief of the Budget.

“Declaration of Military Freedom”

“When the Fuehrer, relying upon the strength of the armed forces executed in the meanwhile, announced the restoration of the military sovereignty of the German Reich, the last-mentioned limitation on rearmament works namely, the external camouflage, was eliminated. Freed from all the shackles which have hampered our ability to move freely on and under water, on land and in the air for one and a half decades, and carried by the newly-awakened fighting spirit of the whole nation, the armed forces, and as part of it, the navy, can lead with full strength towards its completion the rearmament already under way with the goal of securing for the Reich its rightful position in the World.” (C-156)

An interrogation of Raeder concerning this book went as follows:

“Q. I have here a document, C-156, which is a photostatic copy of the work prepared by the High Command of the Navy, and covers the struggle of the Navy against the Versailles Treaty from 1919 to 1935. I ask you initially whether you are familiar with the work?

“A. I know this book. I read it once when it was edited.

“Q. Was that an official publication of the Germany navy?

“A. This Captain Schuessler, indicated there, was Commander in the Admiralty. Published by the OKM, which was an idea of these officers to put all these things together.

“Q. Do you recall the circumstances under which the authorization to here in the foreword.

“A. I think he told me that he would write such a book as he told us here in the foreword.

“Q. In the preparation of this work he had access to the official naval files, and based his work on the items contained therein?

“A. Yes, I think so. He would have spoken with other persons, and he would have had the files, which were necessary.

“Q. Do you know whether before the work was published, a draft of it was circulated among the officers in the Admiralty for comment?

“A. No, I don’t think so. Not before it was published. I saw it only when it was published.

“Q. Was it circulated freely after its publication?

“A. It was a secret object. I think the upper commands in the Navy had knowledge of it.

“Q. It was not circulated outside of the naval circles?


“Q. What then is your opinion concerning the comments contained in the work regarding the circumventing of the provisions of the Versailles Treaty?

“A. I don’t remember very exactly what is in here. I can only remember that the Navy had always the object to fulfill the word of the Versailles Treaty, but wanted to have some advantages. But the flying men were exercised one year before they went into the Navy. Quite young men. So that the word of the Treaty of Versailles was filled. They didn’t belong to the Navy, as long as they were exercised in flying, and the submarines were developed but not in Germany, and not in the Navy, but in Holland. There was a civil bureau, and in Spain there was an Industrialist; in Finland, too, and they were built much later when we began to act with the English government about the Treaty of thirty-five to one-hundred, because we could see that then the Treaty of Versailles would be destroyed by such a treaty with England, and so in order to keep the word of Versailles, we tried to fulfill the word of Versailles, but tried to have advantages.

“Q. Would the fair statement be that the Navy High Command was interested in avoiding the limited provisions of the Treaty of Versailles regarding the personnel and limits of armaments, but would it attempt to fulfill the letter of the treaty, although actually avoiding it?

“A. That was their endeavor".

Raeder had his explanations:

“Q. Why was such a policy adopted?

“A. We were much menaced in the first years after the first war by danger that the Poles would attack East Prussia and so we tried to strengthen a little our very, very weak forces in this way, and so all our efforts were directed to the aim to have a little more strength against the Poles, if they would attack us; it was nonsense to them of the attacking the Poles in this state, and for the Navy a second aim was to have some defense against the entering of French forces into the Ostsee, or East Sea, because we knew the French had intentions to sustain the Poles from ships that came into the Ostsee Goettinger, and so the Navy was a defense against the attack by the Poles, and against the entrance of French shipping into an Eastern Sea. quite defensive aims.

“Q. When did the fear of attack from Poles first show itself in official circles in Germany would you say?

“A. When the first years they took Wilma. In the same minute we thought that they would come to East Prussia. I don’t know exactly the year, because those judgments were the judgments of the German government ministers, of the Army and Navy Ministers, Groner and Noske.

“Q. Then those views in your opinion were generally held existing perhaps as early as 1919 or 1920, after the end of the First World War?

“A. Oh, but the whole situation was very, very uncertain, and about those years in the beginning, I can not give you a very exact thing, because I was then two years in the Navy archives to write a book about the war, and how the cruisers fought in the first war. Two years, so I was not with these things.”

The same kind of aims and purposes are reflected in the table of contents of a history of the German Navy, 1919 to 1939, found in captured official files of the German Navy (C-17). Although a copy of the book itself has not been found, the project was written by Oberst Scherff, Hitler’s special military historian. The table of contents however, is available. It refers by numbers to groups of documents and notes in the documents, which evidently were intended as working material for the basis of the chapters to be written in accordance with the table of contents. The title of its table of contents fairly establishes the navy planning and preparations that were to get the Versailles Treaty out of the way, and to rebuild the navy strength necessary for war. Some of the headings in the table of contents read:

“Part A (1919-The year of Transition.)

“Chapter VII.

First efforts to circumvent the Versailles Treaty and to limit its effects.

“Demilitarization of the administration, incorporation of naval offices in civil ministries, etc. Incorporation of greater sections of the German maritime observation station and the sea-mark system in Heligoland and Kiel, of the Ems-Jade-Canal, etc. into the Reich Transport Ministry up to 1934;

“Noskos' proposal of 11.8.1919 to incorporate the Naval Construction Department in the Technical High School, Berlin;

“Formation of the “Naval Arsenal Kiel".

“(b) The saving from destruction of coastal fortifications and guns.

“1. North Sea. Strengthening of fortifications with new batteries and modern guns between the signing and the taking effect of the Versailles Treaty; dealings with the Control Commission-information, drawings, visits of inspection, result of efforts.”

“2. Baltic. Taking over by the Navy of fortresses Pilau and Swinemunde;

“Salvage for the Army of one-hundred and eighty-five movable guns and mortars there.

“3. The beginnings of coastal air defense.

“Part B (1920-1924. The Organizational New Order)

Chapter V.

“The Navy

“Fulfillment and avoidance of the Versailles Treaty

“Foreign Countries

“(a) The inter-allied Control Commissions

“(b) Defense measures against the fulfillment of the Versailles Treaty and independent arming behind the back of the Reich Government and the legislative bodies.

“1. Dispersal of artillery gear and munitions, of hand and automatic weapons.

“2. Limitation of demolition work in Heligoland.

“3. Attempt to strengthen personnel of the navy, from 1923.

“4. The activities of Captain Lohmann (founding of numerous associations at home and abroad, participations, formation of “sports” unions and clubs, interesting the film industry in naval recruitment).

“5. Preparation for re-establishing the German U-boat arm since 1920. (Projects and deliveries for Japan, Holland, Turkey, Argentine and Finland. Torpedo testing.)

“6. Participation in the preparation for building of the Luftwaffe (preservation of aerodromes, aircraft construction, teaching of courses, instruction of midshipmen in anti-air raid defense, training of pilots).

“7. Attempt to strengthen the mining branch.

Part C (1925-1932. Replacement of Tonnage) Chapter IV.

“The Navy, The Versailles Treaty, Foreign Countries.

“(a) The activities of the Inter-allied Control Commissions (up to 31.1.27; discontinuance of the activity of the Naval Peace Commission)

“Independent armament measures behind the back of the Reich Government and legislative bodies up to the Lohmann case.

“1. The activities of Captain Lohmann (continuation), their significance as a foundation for the rapid reconstruction work from 1935.

“2. Preparation for the re-strengthening of the German U-boat arm from 1925 (continuation), the merit of Lohmann in connection with the preparation for rapid construction in 1925, relationship to Spain, Argentine, Turkey: the first post war U-boat construction of the German Navy in Spain since 1927; 250 to specimen in Finland, preparation for rapid assembly; electric torpedo; training of U-boat personnel abroad in Spain and Finland. Formation of U-boat school in 1932 disguised as an anti-U-boat school.

“3. Participation in the preparation for the reconstruction of the Luftwaffe (continuation). Preparations for a Naval Air Arm, Finance Aircraft Company Sevra, later Luftdienst CMRH; Naval Flying School Warnemunde; Air Station List, training of sea cadet candidates, Military tactical questions “Air Defense Journeys", technical development, experimental station planning, trials, flying boat development DOX etc., catapult aircraft, arming, engines ground organization, air-craft torpedoes, the Deutchland Flight 1925 and the Seaplane Race 1926.

“4. Economic re-armament ("the Tebeg"- Technical Advice and Supply Company as a disguised Naval Office abroad for inv4estigating the position of raw materials for industrial capacity and other War economic questions.)

“5. Various measures. (The NV Aerogeodetic Company-secret investigations.)

“(c) Planned armament work with the tacit approval of the Reich government, but behind the backs of the legislative bodies (1928 to the taking over of power.)

“1. The effect of the Lohmann case on the secret preparations; winding up of works which could not be advocated; re-sumption and carrying on of other work.

“2. Finance question. ("Black Funds” and the Special Budget).

“3. The Labor Committee and its objectives

“(d) The Question of Marine Attaches (The continuation under disguise; open re-appointment 1939-1933)

“(e)The question of Disarmament of the Fleet abroad and in Germany (The Geneva Disarmament Conference 1927; the London Naval Treaty of 1930; the Anglo-French-Italian Agreement 1931. The League of Nations Disarmament Conference 1932).

“Part D (1933-1939. The Germany Navy during the Military Freedom Period)

“I. National Socialism and the question of the Fleet and of prestige at sea.

“II. Incorporation of the navy in the National Socialist State.”

“III. The Re-armament of the Navy under the Direction of the Reich Government in a Disguised Way.” (C-17)

The policy development of the navy is also reflected from the financial side. The planned organization of the navy budget for armament measures was based on a co-ordination of military developments and political objectives. Military political development was accelerated after the withdrawal from the League of Nations. (C-17)

A captured document, entitled “Chef der Marineleitung, Berlin, 12 May 1934,” and marked “Secret Commando Matter,” discusses the “Armament Plan (A.P.) for the 3rd Armament Phase.” (C-153). This document, which bears the facsimile signature of Raeder at the end, speaks of war tasks, war and operational plans, armament target, etc., and shows that it was distributed to many of the High Command of the Navy. Dated 12 May 1934, it shows that a primary objective was readiness for a war without any alert period. The following are pertinent extracts:

* * * “The planned organization of armament measures is necessary for the realization of the target; this again requires a coordinated and planned expenditure in peace time. This organization of financial measures over a number of years according to the military viewpoint is found in the armament program and provides

“a. for the military leaders a sound basis for their operational considerations and

“b. for the political leaders a clear picture of what may be achieved with the military means available at a given time.”

“All theoretical and practical A-preparations are to be drawn up with a primary view to readiness for a war without any alert period.” (C-153)

The conspiratorial nature of these Nazi plans and preparations long before the outbreak of hostilities is illustrated in many other ways. Thus, in 1934, Hitler instructed Raeder to keep secret the U-Boat construction program; also the actual displacement and speed of certain ships. Work on U-Boats had been going on, as already indicated, in Holland, Spain, and Finland.

Secrecy was equally important then because of the pending naval negotiations with England. The subject was discussed in a conversation between Raeder and Adolf Hitler in June 1934. The record of that conversation (C-189) is not signed by Raeder, but in an interrogation on 8 November 1945, Raeder admitted that (C-189) was a record of this conversation, and that it was in his handwriting, though he did not sign his name at the end. The report is headed, “Conversation with the Fuehrer in June 1934 on the occasion of the resignation of the Commanding Officer of the Karlsruhe.” It reads:

“1. Report by the C-in-C Navy concerning displacement of D. E. (defensive weapons).

“Fuehrer’s instructions: No mention must be made of a displacement of 25-26,000 tons, but only of improved 10,000-ton (ships). Also, the speed over 26 nautical miles may be stated.

“2. C-in-C Navy expresses the opinion that later on the Fleet must anyhow be developed to oppose England, that therefore from 1936 onwards, the large ships must be armed with 35 c.m. guns (Like the King George Class).

“3. The Fuehrer demands to keep the construction of the U-Boats completely secret. Plebiscite also in consideration of the Saar.” (C-189)

In order to continue the increase in navy strength, as planned, more funds were needed than the navy had available. Hitler therefore proposed to put funds of the Labor Front at the disposal of the navy. This appears from another Raeder memorandum of a conversation between Raeder with Hitler, on 2 November 1934 (C-190). this report, again, is not signed, but it was found in Raeder’s personal file and seems clearly his memorandum. It is headed: “Conversation with the Fuehrer on 2.11.34 at the time of the announcement by the Commanding Officer of the “Emden". It reads:

“1. When I mentioned that the total funds to be made available for the armed forces for 1935 would presumably represent only a fraction of the required sum, and that therefore it was possible that the navy might be hindered in its plans, he replied that he did not think the funds would be greatly decreased. He considered it necessary that the navy be speedily increased by 1938 with the deadlines mentioned. In case of need, he will get Dr. Ley to put 120-150 million from the Labor Front at the disposal of the navy, as the money would still benefit the workers. Later in a conversation with Minister Goering and myself, he went on to say that he considered it vital that the navy be increased as planned, as no war could be carried on if the navy was not able to safeguard the ore imports from Scandinavia.

“2. Then, when I mentioned that it would be desirable to have six U-Boats assembled at the time of the critical situation in the first quarter of 1935, he stated that he would keep this point in mind, and tell me when the situation demanded that the assembling should commence.” (C-190)

Then there is an asterisk and a note at the bottom:

“The order was not sent out. The first boats were launched in the middle of June 35 according to plan.” (C-190)

The development of the armament industry by the use of foreign markets was a program encouraged by the navy, so that this industry would be able to supply the requirements of the navy in case of need. A directive of Raeder, dated 31 January 1933, and classified “Secret Commando Mater,” requires German industry to support the armament of the navy (C-29). It provides:


“General directions for support given by the German Navy to the German Armament Industry

“The effects of the present economic depression have led here and there to the conclusion that there are no prospects of an active participation of the German Armament Industry abroad, even if the Versailles terms are no longer kept. There is no profit in it and it is therefore not worth promoting. Furthermore, the view has been taken that the increasing “self-sufficiency” would in any case make such participation superfluous.

“However obvious these opinions may seem, formed because of the situation as it is today, I am nevertheless forced t make the following contradictory corrective points:

“a. The economic crisis and its present effects must perforce be overcome sooner or later. Though equality of rights in war politics is not fully recognized today, it will, by the assimilation of weapons, be achieved at some period, at least to a certain extent,

“b. The consequent estimation of the duties of the German Armament Industry lies mainly in the Military-political sphere. It is impossible for this industry to satisfy, militarily and economically, the growing demands made of it by limiting the deliveries to our own armed forces. Its capacity must therefore be increased by the delivery of supplies to foreign countries over and above our own requirements.

“c. Almost every country is working to the same end today, even those which, unlike Germany, are not tied down by restrictions. Britain, France, North America, Japan, and especially Italy are making supreme efforts to ensure markets for their armament industries. The use of their diplomatic representations, of the propaganda voyages of their most modern ships and vessels, of sending missions and also of the guaranteeing of loans and insurance against deficits are not merely to gain commercially advantageous order for their armament industries, but first and foremost to expand their output from the point of view of military policy.

“d. It is just when the efforts to do away with the restrictions imposed on us have succeeded, that the German Navy has an ever-increasing and really vital interest in furthering the German Armament Industry and preparing the way for it in every direction in the competitive battle against the rest of the world.

“e. If, however the German Armament Industry is to be able to compete in foreign countries, it must inspire the confidence of its purchasers. The condition for this is that secrecy for our own ends be not carried too far. The amount of material to be kept secret under all circumstances in the interest of the defence of the country is comparatively small. I would like to issue a warning against the assumption that, at the present stage of technical development in foreign industrial states, a problem of vital military importance which we perhaps have solved, has not been solved there. Solutions arrived at today, which may become known, if divulged to a third person by naturally always possible indiscretion, have often been already superseded by new and better solutions on our part, even at that time or at any rate after the copy has been made. It is of greater importance that we should be technically well to the fore in any really fundamental matters, than that less important points should be kept secret unnecessarily and excessively.

“f. To conclude: I attach particular importance to guaranteeing the continuous support of the industry concerned by the navy, even after the present restrictions have been relaxed. If the purchasers are not made confident that something special is being offered them, the industry will not be able to stand up to the competitive battle and therefore will not be able to supply to requirements of the German Navy in case of need.” (C-29)

This surreptitious rearmament, in violation of treaty obligations, starting even before the Nazi came into power, is illustrated by a 1932 order of Raeder, chief of the naval command, addressed to the main naval command, regarding the concealed construction of torpedo tubes in E-Boats (C-141). He ordered that torpedo tubes be removed and stored in the naval arsenal but be kept ready for immediate refitting. By using only the number permitted under the Treaty, at a given time, and by storing them after satisfactory testing, the actual number of operationally effective E-Boats was constantly increased.

This German order for the concealed armament of E-Boats, issued by Raeder on 10 February 1932, provides:

“In view of our treaty obligations and the Disarmament Conference steps must be taken to prevent the 1st E-Boat-Half-Flotilla, which in a few months will consist of exactly similar newly built (E)-Boats, from appearing openly as a formation of torpedo-carrying boats as it is not intended to count these E-Boats against the number of torpedo-carrying boats allowed us.

“I therefore order:

“1. S2-S5, will be commissioned in the shipyard Luerssen, Vegesack without armament, and will be fitted with easily removable cover-sheet-metal on the spaces necessary for torpedo-tubes. The same will be arranged by T.M.I. [Inspectorate of Torpedoes and Mining] in agreement with the naval arsenal, for the Boat 'S1' which will dismantle its torpedo-tubes, on completion of the practice shooting, for fitting on another boat.

“2. The torpedo-tubes of all S-Boats will be stored in the naval arsenal ready for immediate fitting. During the trial runs the torpedo-tubes will be taken on board one after the other for a short time to be fitted and for practice shooting so that only one boat at a time carries torpedo armament. For public consumption its boat will be in service for the purpose of temporary trials by the T.V.A. [Technical Research Establishment].

“It should not anchor together with the other, unarmed boats of the Half-Flotilla because of the obvious similarity of type. The duration of firing, and consequently the lengthy of time the torpedo-tubes are aboard, is to be as short as possible.

“3. Fitting the torpedo-tubes on all E-Boats is intended as soon as the situation of the political control allows it.” (C-141)

Along similar lines the navy was also carrying on the concealed preparation of auxiliary cruisers, under the disguised designation of Transport Ships O. The preparations under this order were to be completed by 1 April 1935. At the very time of construction of these ships as commercial sips, plans were made for their conversion. This was the result of a Top Secret order from the command office of the navy, dated 12 March 1934, and signed in draft by Groos. This order bears the seal of the Reichministerium, Marineleitung, over the draft signature. It provides:

“Subject: Preparation of Auxiliary Cruisers.

“It is intended to include in the Establishment Organization 35 (AG-Aufstellungsgliederung) a certain number of auxiliary cruisers which are intended for use in operations on the high seas.

“In order to disguise the intention and all the preparations the ships will be referred to as “Transport Ships O". It is requested that in future this designation only will be uses.

“The preparations are to be arranged so that they can be completed by 1.4.35.” (C-166)

In the official navy files, notes were kept year by year, from 1927 to 1940, on the reconstruction of the German Navy. One of these notes discloses that the displacement of the battleship “Scharnhorst-Gneisenau” was actually greater than the tonnage which had been notified to the British under the treaty obligations:

“The true displacement of the battleship “Scharnhorst-Gneisenau' and 'F/G' exceeds by 20 percent in both cases the displacement reported to the British.” (C-23)

There is annexed to this document a table with reference to different ships, and two columns, headed “Displacement by Type"; one column reads “Actual Displacement,” and the other, “Notified Displacement.” The actual displacement of the “Scharnhorst” is thus shown to be 31,300 tons, although the notified displacement was only 26,000 tons. On the “F/G” actual was 41,700, wile notified was 46,850. And so on down the list. (C-23).

In these notes there also occurs the statements,

In a clear cut program for the construction, the Fuehrer and Reich Chancellor has set the navy the task of carrying out the aims of his foreign police.” (C-23)

The German Navy constantly planned and committed violations of armament limitation, and with characteristic German thoroughness had prepared superficial pretexts to explain away these violations. Following a conference with the Chief of “A” section [the military department of the Navy], an elaborate survey list was prepared and compiled, giving a careful list of the quantity and type of German naval armament and ammunition on hand under manufacture or construction (C-32). A statement of the justification or defense that might be used was included in those instances where the Versailles Treaty was violated or its allotment has been exceeded. The list contained 30 items under “Material Measures” and 14 items under “Measures of Organization.” The variety of details covered necessarily involved several sources within the navy, which must have realized their significance.

This Top Secret document, which is headed “A Survey Report of German Naval Armament after Conferences with Chief of “A” Section, dated 9 September 1933,” contains three columns, one header “Measure,” one headed “Material Measures, Details,” and the third headed “Remarks.” The “Remarks” contain the pretext or justification for explaining away the violations of the treaty. The following are examples:

“1. Exceeding the permitted number of mines.” Then figures are given. “Remarks: Further mines are in part ordered, in part being delivered.” (C-32)

“Number 2. Continuous storing of guns from the North Sea are for Baltic artillery batteries.” The remarks column reads, “Justification: Necessity for over-hauling. Cheaper repairs.” (C-32)

“Number 6. Laying gun-platforms in the Keil area.” Remarks: “The offense over and above that in serial number 3 lies in the fact that all fortifications are forbidden in the Kiel area. This justification will make it less severe; pure defense measures.” (C-32)

“Number 7. Exceeding the calibre permitted for coastal batteries.” Remarks: “possible justification is that, though the calibre is larger, the number of guns is less.” (C-32)

“Number 8. Arming of mine-sweepers.” Remarks: “The guns are taken from the fleet reserve stores, have been temporarily installed only for training purposes. All nations arm their mine-sweeping forces (equality of rights).” (C-32)

“Number 13. Exceeding the number of machine guns, et cetera, permitted.” Remarks: “Can be made light of.” (C-32)

“Number 18. Construction of U-boat parts.” Remarks: “Difficult to detect. If necessary can be denied.” (C-32)

“Number 20. Arming of fishing vessels.” Remarks: “For warning shots. Make little of it.” And so on throughout the list (C-32). This document must have been used as a guide for negotiators who were attending the Disarmament Conference, as to the position that they might take.

E. Withdrawal From the Disarmament Conference and the League of Nations: Building of the Air Force.

At this point, on 14th October 1933, Germany withdrew from the International Disarmament Conference and from the League of Nations. The Nazis took this opportunity to break away from the international negotiations and to take an aggressive position on an issue which would not be serious enough to provoke reprisal from other countries. At the same time, Germany attached so much importance to this action that it considered the possibility of the application of sanctions by other countries. In anticipation of the probable nature of such sanctions and the countries which might apply them, plans wee made for armed resistance on land, at sea, and in the air. Military preparations were ordered in a directive from the Reichsminister for Defense (von Blomberg) to the head of the Army High Command (Fritsch), the head of the Navy High Command, (Raeder), and the Reichsminister for Air, (Goering) (C-140). This directive, dated 25 October 1933, 11 days after the withdrawal from the Disarmament Conference and the League of Nations, provides:

“1. The enclosed directive gives the basis for preparation of the armed forces in the case of sanctions being applied against Germany.

“2. I request the chiefs of the Army and Navy High Command and the Reichsminister for Air to carry out the preparations in accordance with the following points:

“(a) Strictest secrecy. It is of the utmost importance that no facts become known to the outside world from which preparation for resistance against sanctions can be inferred or which is incompatible with Germany’s existing obligations in the sphere of foreign policy regarding the demilitarized zone. If necessary, the preparations must take second place to this necessity.” (C-140)

One of the immediate consequences of this action was that following the withdrawal from the League of Nations, Germany’s armament program was still further increased. As it was ordered on 12 May, 1934:

“5. Owing to the speed of military political development since Germany quitted Geneva and based on the progress of the army, the new A-Plan will only be drawn up for a period of two years. The third A phase lasts accordingly from 1.4.34 to 31.3.36.” (C-153)

On 10 Marcy 1935, Goering announced that Germany was building a military air force. At page 1830 of Das Archiv it is stated:

“The Reich Minister for Aviation, General of the Airmen, Goering, in his talk with the special correspondent of the Daily Mail, Ward Price, expressed himself on the subject of the German Air Force.

“General Goering said:

“In the extension of our national defense [Sicherheit], it was necessary, as we repeatedly told the world, to take care of defense in the air. As far as that is concerned, I restricted myself to those measures absolutely necessary. The guiding line of my actions was, not the creation of an aggressive force which would threaten other nations, but merely the completion of a military aviation which would be strong enough to repel, at any time, attacks on Germany.”

“In conclusion, the correspondent asked whether the German Air Force will be capable of repelling attacks on Germany. General Goering replied to that exactly as follows:

“The German Air Force is just as passionately permeated with the will to defend the Fatherland to the last as it is convinced, on the other hand, that it will never be employed to threaten the peace of other nations.” (2292-PS)

Since they had gone as far as they could on rearmament and the secret training of personnel, the next step necessary to the conspirators' program for aggressive war was a large-scale increase in military strength. This could no longer be done under disguise and camouflage, and would have to be known to the world. Accordingly, on 16 March 1935, there was promulgated a law for universal military service, in violation of Article 173 of the Versailles Treaty. That law appeared in the Reichsgesetzblatt, Title I, Vol. I, 1935, page 369. The text of the law itself provides:

“In this sprit the German Reich Cabinet has today passed the following law:

“Law for the Organization of the Armed Forces of March 16, 1935.

“The Reich Cabinet has passed the following law which is herewith promulgated:

“Section 1.

“Service in the Armed Forces is based upon compulsory military duty.

“Section 2.

“In peace time, the German Army, including the police troops transferred to it, is organized into: 12 Corps and 36 Divisions.

“Section 3.

“The Reich Minister of War is charged with the duty of submitting immediately to the Reich Ministry detailed laws on compulsory military duty.” (1654-PS)

The law is signed first by the Fuehrer and Reich Chancellor Adolf Hitler, and then by many other officials, including von Neurath, Frick, Schacht, Goering, Hess, and Frank. (1654-PS)

F. Assurances.

As a part of their program to weaken resistance in other states, the Nazis followed a policy of making false assurances, thereby tending to create confusion and a false sense of security. Thus, on 21 May 1935, the same date on which Germany renounced the armament provisions of the Versailles Treaty, Hitler announced the intent of the German Government to respect the territorial limitations of the Versailles and Locarno Treaties. In his speech in the Reichstag on that date Hitler stated:

“Therefore, the Government of the German Reich shall absolutely respect all other articles pertaining to the cooperation [zasammenleben] of the various nations including territorial agreements; revisions which will be unavoidable as time goes by it will carry out by way of a friendly understanding only.

“The Government of the German Reich has the intention not to sign any treaty which it believes not to be able to fulfill. However, it will live up to every treaty signed voluntarily even if it was composed before this government took over. Therefore, it will in particular adhere to all the allegations under the Locarno Pact as long as the other partners of the pact also adhere to it.” (2288-PS)

For convenient reference, the territorial limitations in the Locarno and Versailles Treaties, include the following:

Article 1 of the Rhine Pact of Locarno, 16 October 1925, provides:

“The High Contracting parties, collectively and severally, guarantee, in the manner provided in the following Articles: the maintenance of the territorial status quo, resulting from the frontiers between Germany and Belgium and between Germany and France and the inviolability of the said frontiers, as fixed by, or in pursuance of the Treaty of Peace, signed at Versailles, on June 28, 1919, and also the observance of the stipulation of Articles 42 and 43 of the said Treaty, concerning the demilitarized zone.”

That has reference, of course, to the demilitarized zone of the Rhineland.

Article 42 of the Versailles Treaty, 28 June 1919, provides:

“Germany is forbidden to maintain or construct any fortifications either no the left bank of the Rhine or on the right bank, to the west of the line drawn 50 kilometers to the east of the Rhine.”

Article 43 provides:

“In the area defined above, the maintenance and the assembly of armed forces, either permanently or temporarily and military maneuvers of any kind, as well as the upkeep of all permanent works for mobilization, are in the same way forbidden.”

G. Reoccupation of the Rhineland.

The demilitarized zone of the Rhineland was a sore spot with the Nazis ever since its establishment after World War I. Not only was this a blow to their increasing pride, but it was a bar to any effective strong position which Germany might want to take on any vital issues. In the event of any sanctions against Germany, in the form of military action, the French and other powers would get well into Germany east of the Rhine, before any German resistance could even be put up. Therefore, any German plans to threaten or breach international obligations, or for any kind of aggression, required the preliminary reoccupation and refortification of this open Rhineland territory. Plans and preparations for the reoccupation of the Rhineland started very early.

A Document apparently signed in the handwriting of von Blomberg, deals with what is called “Operation Schulung", meaning schooling or training (C-139). It is dated 2 May 1935 and refers to prior staff discussions on the subject. It is addressed to the Chief of the Army Command, who at that time was Fritsch; the Chief of the Navy High Command (Raeder); and the Reich Minister for Air (Goering). The document does not use the name “Rhineland” and does not, in terms, refer to it. It seems clear, however, that it was a plan for the military reoccupation of the Rhineland, in violation of the Treaty of Versailles and the Rhine Pact of Locarno. The first part, headed “Secret Document,” provides:

“For the operation, suggested in the last staff talks of the Armed Forces, I lay down the Code name Schulung [training].

“The supreme direction of the operation 'Schulung' rests with the Reich Minister of Defense as this is a joint undertaking of the three services.

“Preparations for the operation will begin forthwith according to the following directives:

“1. General

“1. The operation must, on issue of the code word 'Carry out Schulung,' be executed by a surprise blow at lightning speed. Strictest secrecy is necessary in the preparations and only the very smallest number of officers should be informed and employed in the drafting of reports, drawing, etc., and these officers only in person.

“2. There is no time for mobilization of the forces taking part. These will be employed in their peace-time strength and with their peace-time equipment.

“3. The preparation for the operation will be made without regard to the present inadequate state of our armaments. Every improvement of the state of our armaments will make possible a greater measure of preparedness and thus result in better prospects of success.” (C-139)

The rest of the order deals with military details. There are certain points in this order which are inconsistent with any theory that it was merely a training order, or that it might have been defensive in nature. The operation was to be carried out as a surprise blow at lightning speed. The air forces were to provide support for the attack. There was to be reinforcement by the East Prussian division. Furthermore, since this order is dated 2 May 1935, which is about 6 weeks after the promulgation of the Conscription Law of 16 March 1935, it could hardly have been planned as a defensive measure against any expected sanctions which might have been applied by reason of the passage of the Conscription Law.

The actual reoccupation of the Rhineland did not take place until 7 March, 1936, and this early plan (C-139) necessarily underwent revision to suit changed conditions and specific objectives. That the details of this particular plan were not ultimately the ones that were carried out in reoccupying the Rhineland does not detract from the fact that as early as 2 May 1935, the Germans had already planned that operation, not merely as a staff plan but as a definite operation. It was evidently not on their timetable to carry out the operation so soon, if it could be avoided. But they were prepared to do so if necessary.

It is significant to note the date of this order is the same as the date of the signing of the Franco-Russian Pact, which the Nazis later asserted as their excuse for the Rhineland reoccupation.

The military orders on the basis of which the Rhineland reoccupation was actually carried into execution on 7 March 1936, were issued on 2 March 1936 by the War Minister and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, von Blomberg. They were addressed to the Commander-in-Chief of the Navy (Raeder), and the Air Minister and C-in-C of the Air Force (Gering) (C-159). That order, classified “Top Secret", in the original bears Raeder’s initial in green pencil, with a red pencil note, “To be submitted to the C-in-C of the Navy".

The first part of the Order reads:

“Supreme Command of the Navy:

“1. The Fuehrer and Reich Chancellor has made the following decision:

“By reason of the Franco-Russian alliance, the obligations accepted by Germany in the Locarno Treaty, as far as they apply to Articles 42 and 43 of the Treaty of Versailles, which referred to the demilitarized zone, are to be regarded as obsolete.

“2. Sections of the army and air force will therefore be transferred simultaneously in a surprise move to garrisons of the demilitarized zone. In this connection, I issue the following orders: * * *” (C-159)

There follow detailed orders for the military operation.

The order for Naval cooperation was issued on 6 March 1936, in the form of an order on behalf of the Reich Minister for War, von Blomberg, signed by Keitel, and addressed to the Commander-in-Chief of the Navy (Raeder) (C-194). The order set out detailed instructions for the Commander-in-Chief of the Fleet and the admirals commanding the Baltic and North Sea. The short covering letter is as follows:

“To: C-in-C Navy:

“The Minister has decided the following after the meeting:

“1. The inconspicuous air reconnaissance in the German bay, not over the line Texel-Doggerbank, from midday on Z-Day onward, has been approved. C-in-C air force will instruct the air command VI from midday 7 March to hold in readiness single reconnaissance aircraft to be at the disposal of the C-in-C fleet.

“2. The Minister will reserve the decision to set up a U-Boat reconnaissance on line, until the evening of 7 March. The immediate transfer of U-Boats from Keil to Wilhelmshaven has been approved.

“3. The proposed advance measures for the most part exceed Degree of Emergency A and therefore are out of the question as the first counter-measures to be taken against military preparations of neighboring states It is far more essential to examine the advance measures included in Degree of Emergency A, to see whether one or other of the especially conspicuous measures could not be omitted.” (C-194)

The re-occupation and fortification of the Rhineland was carried out on 7 March 1936. For the historical emphasis of this occasion, Hitler made a momentous speech on the same day, in which he declared:

“Men of the German Reichstag! Frances has replied to the repeated friendly offers and peaceful assurances made by Germany by infringing the Reich pack through a military alliance with the Soviet Union exclusive directed against Germany. In this manner, however, the Locarno Rhine Pact has lost its inner meaning and ceased in practice to exist. Consequently, Germany regards herself, for her part, as no longer bound by this dissolved treaty. The German government are now constrained to face the new situation created by this alliance, a situation which is rendered more acute by the fact that the Franco-Soviet treaty has been supplemented by a Treaty of Alliance between Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union exactly parallel in form. In accordance with the fundamental right of nation to secure its frontiers and ensure its possibilities of defense, the German government have today restored the full and unrestricted sovereignty of Germany in the demilitarized zone of the Rhineland.” (2289-PS)

The German reoccupation of the demilitarized zone of the Rhineland caused extensive international repercussions. As a result of the protests lodged with the League of Nations, the Council of the League made an investigation and announced the following finding, which is published in the League of Nations monthly summary, March, 1936, Volume 16, Page 78. [It is also quoted in the American Journal of International Law, page 487 (1936)]:

“That the German government has committed a breach of Article 43 of the Treaty of Versailles, by causing on Marcy 7, 1936, military forces to enter and establish themselves in the demilitarized zone, referred to in Article 42 and the following articles of that Treaty, and in the Treaty of Locarno. At the same time, on March 7, 1936, the Germans reoccupied the Rhineland in flagrant violation of the Versailles and Locarno Treaties. They again tried to allay the fears of other European powers and lead them into a false sense of security by announcing to the world 'we have no territorial demands to make in Europe.”

The Las phrase occurred in Hitler’s Speech on 7 March 1936:

“We have no territorial claims to make in Europe. We know above all that all the tensions resulting either from false territorial settlements or from the disproportion of the numbers of inhabitants to their living space cannot, in Europe, be solved by war. (2289-PS)

The existence of prior plans and preparations for the re-occupation and fortification of the Rhineland is indisputable. The method and sequence of these plans and their accomplishments are clearly indicative of the increasingly aggressive character of the Nazi objectives, international obligations and considerations of humanity notwithstanding.

The Nazi conspirators were determined, as these documents have shown, to use whatever means were necessary to abrogate and overthrow the Treaty of Versailles and its restrictions upon the military armament and activity of Germany. In this process, they conspired and engaged in secret armament and training, the secret production of munitions of war, and they built up an air force. They withdrew from the International Disarmament Conference and the League of Nations on 14 October 1933. They instituted universal military service on 16 March 1935. On 21 May 1935 they falsely announced that they would respect the territorial limitations of Versailles and Locarno. On March 7 1936 they reoccupied and fortified the Rhineland and at the same time, falsely announced that they had no territorial demands in Europe.

The accomplishment of all these objectives, particularly the repudiation of the Versailles Treaty restrictions, opened the gates for the numerous aggressions which were to follow.


Document Description Vol. Page

Charter of the International Military Tribunal, Article 6 (a) …I 5

International Military Tribunal, Indictment Number 1, Section IV (F) 1,2; V ..I 22,29

Note: A single asterisk (*) before a document indicates that the document was received in evidence at the Nurnberg trial. A double asterisk (**) before a document number indicates that the document was referred to during the trial but was not formally received in evidence, for the reason given in parentheses following the description of the document. The USA series number, given in parentheses following the description of the document, is the official exhibit number assigned by the court.

*789-PS Speech of the Fuehrer at a conference, 23 November 1939, to which all Supreme Commanders were ordered. (USA 23) … III 572

*1143-PS Letter from Schickendanz to Rosenberg, 20 October 1932, for personal transmission to Hess concerning organization of Air Force. (USA 40) …III 806

*1168-Ps Unsigned Schacht memorandum to Hitler, 3 May 1935, concerning the financing of the armament program. (USA 37) …III 827

*1639-A-PS Mobilization book for the Civil Administration, 1939 Edition, issued over signature of Keitel. (USA 777) …IV 143

**1654-PS Law of 16 March 1935 reintroducing universal military conscription. 1935 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 369. (Referred to but not offered in evidence) …IV 163

*2194-PS Top secret letter from Ministry for Economy and Labor, Saxony, to Reich Protector in Bohemia and Moravia, enclosing copy of 1938 Secret Defense Law of 4 September 1938. (USA 36) … IV 843

*2261-PS Directive from Blomberg to supreme Commanders of Army, Navy and Air Forces, 24 June 1935; accompanied by copy of Reich Defense Law 21 May 1935 and copy of Decision of Reich Cabinet of 12 May 1935 on the Council for defense of the Reich. (USA 24) …IV 934

*2288-PS Adolf Hitler’s speech before the Reichstag, published in Voelkischer Beobachter, Southern Germany Special Edition, No. 142a, 22 May 1935. (USA 38) …IV 993

*2289-PS Hitler’s speech in the Reichstag, 7 March 1936, published in Voelkischer Beobachter, Berlin Edition, No. 68, 8 March 1936. (USA 56) … IV 994

*2292-PS Interview of Goering by representative of London Daily Mail, concerning the German Air Force, from German report in The Archive, March 1935, p. 1830. (USA 52) …IV 995

*2322-PS Hitler’s speech before the Reichstag, 1 September 1939. (USA 39) …IV 1026

*2353-PS Extracts from General Thomas' Basic Facts for History of German War and Armament Economy. (USA 35) ..IV 1071

2907-PS Notes of conferences of Reich Minister on 12 September 1933, 13 October 1933, and 14 October 1933 …IV 572

*3054-PS “The Nazi Plan", script of a motion picture composed of captured German film. (USA 167) …IV 801

*3308-PS Affidavit by Paul Otto Gustav Schmidt, 28 November 1945. (GB 288) …V 1100

*3474-PS Manuscript notes by Bodenschatz on conference of German Air Forces leaders, 2 December 1936. (USA 580) …VI 199

*3575-PS Memorandum, 19 November 1938, concerning meeting of Reich Defense Council. (USA 781) …VI 267

3581-PS Letter from Minister of Interior to Minister of Propaganda Goebbels, 20 July 1934, concerning unauthorized press releases about military affairs …VI 278

3585-PS Letter from Chief of Staff of Army (von Fritsch) to Minister of War, 8 October 1934, enclosing memorandum signed by Brauchitsch 29 September 1934, on military situation in East Prussia …VI 279

3586-PS Directive to Counter Intelligence units, 16 October 1934, directing that new troop units which may be activated should be listed in telephone books only under camouflage designations …VI 281

3587-PS Memorandum from Beck, 14 November 1934, forbidding public use of designation “General Staff” …VI 282

C-17 Extracts from History of the German Navy 1919-1939. (USA 42) …VI 819

*C-23 Unsigned documents found in official Navy files containing notes year by year from 1927 to 1940 on reconstruction of the German Navy, and dated 18 February 1938, 8 March 1938, September 1938. (USA 49) …VI 827

*C-29 Directive of 31 January 1933 by Raeder for German Navy to support the armament industry. (USA 46) …VI 830

*C-32 Survey report of German Naval Armament after conference with Chief of “A” Section, 9 September 1933. (USA 50) …VI 833

*C-135 Extract from history of war organization and of the scheme for mobilization. (GB 213) …VI 946

*C-139 Directive for operation “Schulung” signed by Blomberg, 2 May 1935. (USA 53) …VI 951

*C-140 Directive for preparations in event of sanctions, 25 October 1935, signed by Blomberg. (USA 51) …VI 952

*C-141 Order for concealed armament of E-boats, 10 February 1932, signed by Raeder. (USA 47) …VI 955

*C-153 Naval Armament Plan for the 3rd Armament Phase, signed by Raeder, 12 May 1934. (USA 43) …VI 967

*C-156 Concealed Rearmament under Leadership of Government of Reich, from “Fight of the Navy against Versailles 1919-1935". (USA 41) …VI 970

*C-159 Order for Rhineland occupation signed by Blomberg, 2 March 1936.(USA 54) …VI 974

*C-166 Order from Command Office of Navy, 12 March 1934, signed in draft by Groos, concerning preparation of auxiliary cruisers. (USA 48) …VI 977

*C-175 OKW Directive for Unified Preparation for War 1937-1938, with covering letter from von Blomberg, 24 June 1937. (USA 69) …VI 1006

*C-189 Conversation with the Fuehrer in June 1934 on occasion of resignation of Commanding Officer of “Karlsruhe". (USA 44) …VI 1017

*C-190 Memorandum of conversation with Hitler on financing Naval rearmament and assembling six submarines, 2 November 1934. (USA 45) …VI 1018

*C-194 Orders by Keitel and Commander-in-Chief of Navy, 6 March 1936, for Navy cooperation in Rhineland occupation. (USA 55) …VI 1019

*EC-177 Minutes of second session of Working Committee of the Reich Defense held on 26 April 1933. (USA 390) …VII 328

*EC-404 Minutes of conference of Sixth Session of Working Committee of Reichs Defense Council, held on 23 and 24 January 1934. (USA 764) …VII 443

*EC-405 Minutes of Tenth Meeting of Working Committee of Reichs Defense Council, 26 June 1935. (GB 160) …VII 450

*EC-406 Minutes of Eleventh Meeting of Reichs Defense Council, 6 December 1935. (USA 772) …VII 455

*EC-407 Minutes of Twelfth Meeting of Reich Defense Council, 14 May 1936. (GB 247) …VII 462

*L-79 Minutes of conference, 23 May 1939, “Indoctrination on the political situation and future aims". (USA 27) …VII 847

*L-172 “The Strategic Position at the Beginning of the 5th Year of War", a lecture delivered by Jodl on 7 November 1943 at Munich to Reich and Gauleiters. (USA 34) … VII 920

*TC-44 Notice by German government of existence of German Air Force, 9 March 1935. (GB 11) …VIII 386

TC-45 Proclamation to German People of 16 March 1935 …VIII 388

TC-46 German memorandum to Signatories of Locarno Pact reasserting full German sovereignty over Rhineland, 7 March 1936 … VIII 394

Statement VII The Development of German Naval Policy — 1933-1939 by Erich Raeder, Moscow, fall 1945 …VIII 684

Statement XIV Hungarian Relations with Germany Before and During the War by Nicholas Horthy Jr., Nurnberg, 22 February 1946 … VIII 756


A. The Events Leading up to the Autumn of 1937 and the Strategic Position of the National Socialists in Austria.

(1) The National Socialist Aim of Absorption of Austria. In order to understand more clearly how the Nazi conspirators proceeded after the meeting in the Reichschancellery on 5 November 1937, at which Hitler laid plans for the conquest of Austria and Czechoslovakia (386-PS), it is advisable to review the steps which had already been taken in Austria by the National Socialists of both Germany and Austria. The position which the Nazis had reached by the Fall of 1937 made it possible for them to complete their absorption of Austria much sooner and with less cost than was contemplated in this meeting.

The acquisition of Austria had long been a central aim of the German National Socialists. On the first page of Mein Kampf, Hitler had written, “German-Austria must return to the great German National Socialists. On the first page of Mein Kampf, Hitler had written, “German-Austria must return to the great German mother-land.” He continued by stating that its purpose, of having common blood in a common Reich, could not be satisfied by a more economic union. This aim was regarded as a serious program which the Nazis were determined to carry out.

This fact is borne out by an affidavit executed in Mexico City Ambassador in Mexico City (1760-PS). Mr. Messersmith was Consul General of the United States of America in Berlin from 1930 to the late Spring of 1934. He was then made American Minister In Vienna, where he stayed until 1937. In this affidavit he states that the nature of his work brought him into frequent contact with German Government officials, many of whom were, on most occasions, amazingly frank in their conversations, and made no concealment of their aims.

In particular, Mr. Messersmith states that he had contact with the following twenty governmental officials, among others: Hermann Goering, General Milch, Hjalmar Schacht, Hans Frank, Wilhelm Frick, Count Schwerin von Krosigk, Josef Goebbels, Richard Walter Darre, Robert Ley, Hans Heinrich Lammers, Otto Meissner, Franz von Papen, Walter Funk, General Wilhelm Keitel, Admiral Erich von Raeder, Admiral Karl Doenitz, Dr. Behle, Dr. Stuckart, Gustav Krupp von Bohlen, and Dr. Davidson. Mr. Messersmith further states that in addition to this contact with officials of the Government he maintained contact with individuals in all parties in Germany in order to keep himself and the Government informed of political developments in Germany.

With regard to the Austrian matter, he states that from the very beginning of the Nazi Party he was told by both high and secondary government officials in Germany that incorporation of Austria into Germany was both a political and economic necessity and that this incorporation was going to be accomplished “by whatever means were necessary.” He further states:

“I can assert that it was fully understood by everyone in Germany who had any knowledge whatever of what was going on that Hitler and the Nazi Government were irrevocably committed to this end and the only doubt which ever existed in conversations or statements to me was 'how' and 'when.'” (1760-PS).

As Mr. Messersmith relates, at the beginning of the Nazi regime in 1933 Germany was too weak to make open threats of force against any country. It developed a policy of securing its aims in Austria in the same manner as in Germany — by obtaining a foothold in the Cabinet, particularly in the Ministry of Interior which controls the police, and quickly eliminating the opposition elements. Mr. Messersmith states that throughout his opposition elements. Mr. Messersmith states that throughout his stay in Austria he was told on any number of occasions by high officials of the Austrian Government, including Chancellor Dollfuss, Chancellor Schuschnigg, and President Miklas, that the German Government kept up constant pressure upon the Austrian Government to appoint ministers with Nazi orientation.

(2) Pressure Used, Including Terror and Intimidation, Culminating in the Unsuccessful Putsch of 25 July 1934. To achieve their end the Nazis used various pressures. They used economic pressure. The law of 24 March 1933 imposed a prohibitive 1,000 reichsmark penalty on trips to Austria, thus bringing hardship to Austria, which relied heavily on its tourist trade (Reichsgesetzblatt 1933, I, 311). The Nazis used propaganda. And they used terroristic acts, primarily bombings.

Mr. Messersmith’s affidavit (1760-PS) goes into some detail with respect to these means. Although they were committed by National Socialists in Australia, high Nazi officials in Germany admitted to Mr. Messersmith that they were instigating and directing these waves of terror in Austria. They made no effort to conceal their use of terror in Austria. They made no effort to conceal their use of terror, which they justified on the ground that terror was a necessary instrument to impose the will of the party not only in Germany but in other countries. Mr. Messersmith recalls specifically that General Milch of the Air Force stated that the terrorism in Austria was being directed by the Nazi Party in Berlin.

Mr. Messersmith points out that all these outrages were a common occurrence. They had peaks and distinct periods, one in mid- 1933 and another in early 1934. He points out that the wave of outrages in May and June 1934 diminished markedly for a few days during the meeting of Hitler and Mussolini in Venice, in mid-June 1934. (At that time Mussolini was strongly supporting the Austrian Government and interested in its independence.) Mr. Messersmith’s affidavit quotes extensively from dispatches sent from the American Legation in Vienna to the State Department during this period. These dispatches indicate that the terror was often directed at Catholic Churches and institutions, and at railways and tourist centers.

Mr. Messersmith also recalls that in addition, the Nazis maintained a threat of violent action against Austria through the “Austrian Legion.” This was a para-military force of several thousand men, armed by the Nazis in Germany, and stationed in Germany near the Austrian border. It included Austrian Nazis who fled from Austria after committing crimes.

These terroristic activities of the Nazis in Austria continued until July 25, 1934. On that day members of the NSDAP attempted a revolutionary putsch and killed Chancellor Dollfuss. A message from Mr. Hadow, of the British Legation in Vienna, to Sir John Simon contains details of the putsch (2985-PS). The official version of events given verbally by the Austrian Government to the diplomatic Corps, as set forth in this document, stated that approximately a hundred men attempting the putsch seized the Federal Chancellery. Chancellor Dollfuss was wounded in trying to escape, being shot twice at close quarters. The Radio Building in the center of the town was overwhelmed, and the announcer was compelled to broadcast the news that Dollfuss had resigned and Doctor Rintelen had taken his place as Chancellor.

Although the putsch failed, the insurgents kept control of the Chancellery Building and agreed to give it up only after they had a safe-conduct to the German border. The insurgents contacted the German Minister, Dr. Reith, by telephone, and subsequently had private negotiations with him in the building. At about 7:00 p.m. they yielded the building, but Chancellor Dollfuss died abut 6:00 p.m., not having had the services of a doctor.

The German Government denied all complicity in the putsch and assassination. Hitler removed Dr. Reith as Minister on the grounds that he had offered a safe-conduct to the rebels without making inquiry of the German Government, and had thus without any reason dragged the German Reich into an internal Austrian affair. This statement appears in the letter which Hitler sent to Franz von Papen on the 26th day of July 1934. (2799-PS)

Although the German Government denied any knowledge or complicity in this putsch, there is ample basis for the conclusion that the German Nazis bear responsibility for the events. Light is shed on this matter in the extensive record of the trial of the Austrian Nazi, Planetta, and others who were convicted for the murder, and in the Austrian Brown Book issued after July 25. Mr. Messersmith’s affidavit offers further evidence:

“The events of the Putsch of July 25, 1934, are too well known for me to repeat them in this statement. I need say here only that there can be no doubt that the Putsch was ordered and organized by the Nazi officials from Germany through their organization in Austria made up of German Nazis and Austrian Nazis. Dr. Reith, the German Minister in Vienna, was fully familiar with all that was going to happen and that was being planned. The German Legation was located directly across the street from the British Legation and the Austrian secret police kept close watch on the persons who entered the German Legation. The British had their own secret service in Vienna at the time and they also kept a discreet surveillance over people entering the German Legation. I was told by both British and Austrian officials that a number of the men who were later found guilty by the Austrian Courts of having been implicated in the Putsch had frequented the German Legation. In addition, I personally followed very closely the activities Dr. Reith and I never doubted on the basis of all my information that Dr. Reich was in close touch and constant touch with the Nazi agents in Austria; these agents being both German and Austrian. Dr. Reith could not have been unfamiliar with the Putsch and the details in connection therewith. I recall too very definitely from my conversations with the highest officials of the Austrian Government after the Putsch, their informing me that Dr. Reith had been in touch with von Rintelen, who it had been planned by the Nazis was to succeed Chancellor Dollfuss had the Putsch been successful.

“It may be that Dr. Reith was himself not personally sympathetic with the plans for the Putsch but there is no question that he was fully familiar with all these plans and must have given his assent thereto and connived therein.

“As this Putsch was so important and was definite attempt to overthrow the Austrian Government and resulted in the murder of the Chancellor of Austria, I took occasion to verify at the time for myself various other items of evidence indicating that the Putsch was not only made with the knowledge of the German Government but engineered by it. I found and verified that almost a month before the Putsch, Goebbels told Signor Cerruti, the Italian Ambassador in Berlin, that there would be a Nazi Government in Vienna in a month. (1760-PS)

Mr. William Dodd, Ambassador of the United States to Germany, published in 1941 his Diary, covering the years 1933-1938 (2832-PS). The diary contains an entry for July 26, 1934, which makes the following observations. First, Ambassador Dodd noted that in February, 1934, Ernst Hanfstaengl had silence Theodor Habicht, the German agent in Munich who had been agitating for annexation of Austria. On 18 June, in Venice, Hitler was reported to have promised Mussolini to leave Austria alone.

Mr. Dodd further states:

“On Monday, July 23, after repeated bombings in Austria by Nazis, a boat loaded with explosives was seized on Lake Constance by the Swiss police. It was a shipment of German bombs and shells to Austria from some arms plant. That looked ominous to me, but events of the kind had been so common that I did not report it to Washington.

“Today evidence came to my desk that last night, as late as eleven o'clock, the government issued formal statements to the newspapers rejoicing at the fall of Dollfuss and proclaiming the Greater Germany that must follow. The German Minister in Vienna had actually helped to form the new Cabinet. He had, as we now know, exacted a promise that the gang of Austrian Nazi murderers should be allowed to go into Germany undisturbed. But it was realized about 12 o'clock that, although Dollfuss was dead, the loyal Austrians had surrounded the government palace and prevented the organization of a new Nazi regime. They held the murderers prisoners. The German Propaganda Ministry therefore forbade publication of the news sent out an hour before and tried to collect all the releases that had been distributed. A copy was brought to me today by a friend.

“All the German papers this morning lamented the cruel murder and declared that it was simply an attack of discontented Austrians, not Nazis. News from Bavaria shows that thousands of Austrian Nazis lining for a year in Bavaria on German support had been active for ten days before, some getting across the border contrary to law, all drilling and making ready to return to Austria. The German Propagandist of annexing the ancient realm of the Hapsburgs to the Third Reich, in spite of all the promises of Hitler to silence him. But now that the drive has failed and the assassins are in prison in Vienna, the German Government denounces all who say there was any support from Berlin.

“I think it will be clear one day that millions of dollars and many arms have been pouring into Austria since the spring of 1933. Once more the whole world is condemning the Hitler regime. No people in all modern History has been quite so unpopular as Nazi Germany. This stroke completes the picture. I expect to read a series of bitter denunciations in the American papers when they arrive about ten days from now.” (2832-PS)

In connection with the German Government’s denial of any connection with the putsch and the murder of Dollfuss, the letter of appointment which Hitler wrote to Vice-Chancellor von Papen on 26 July 1934 is significant. This letter appears in a standard German reference work, Dokumente der Deutschen Politik, II, Pae 83 (2799-PS). (In considering the letter the report widespread at the time should be recalled, that von Papen narrowly missed being purged on 30 June, 1944, along with Ernst Roehm and others.) The letter reads as follows:

“26 July 1934

“Dear Mr. von Papen

“As a result of the events in Vienna I am compelled to suggest to the Reichs President the removal of the German Minister to Vienna, Dr. Rieth, from his post, because he, at the suggestion of Austrian Federal Ministers and the Austrian rebels respectively consented to an agreement made by both these parties concerning the safe conduct and retreat of the rebels to Germany without making inquiry of the German Reich Government. Thus the Minister has dragged the German Reich into an internal Austrian affair without any reason.

“The assassination of the Austrian Federal Chancellor which was strictly condemned and regretted by the German Government has made the situation in Europe, already fluid, more acute, without any fault of ours. Therefore, it is my desire to bring about if possible an easing of the general situation, and especially to direct the relations with the German Austrian State, which have been so strained for a long time, again into normal and friendly channels.

“For this reason, I request you, dear Mr. von Papen, to take over this important task, just because you have possessed and continue to possess my most complete and unlimited confidence ever since we have worked together in the Cabinet-"Therefore, I have suggested to the Reichs President that you, upon leaving the Reich-Cabinet and upon release from the office of Commissioner for the Saar, be called on special mission to the post of the German Minister in Vienna for a limited period of time. In this position you will be directly subordinated to me.

“Thanking you once more for all that you have at one time done for the coordination of the Government of the National Revolution and since then together with us for Germany, I remain,

Yours, very sincerely,

Adolf Hitler.”

Four years later, on July 25, 1938, after the Anschluss with Austria, German officials no longer expressed regrets over the death of Dollfuss. They were eager and willing to reveal what the world already knew-that they were identified wit and sponsors of the murder of the former Chancellor. A dispatch from the American Consul General in Vienna to the Secretary of State, dated July 26, 1938, relates to the Nazis' celebration of the murder of Dollfuss, held on July 24 and July 25, 1938, four years after the event. It states:

“The two high points of the celebration were the memorial assembly on the 24th at Klagenfurt, capital of the province of Carinthia, where in 1934 the Vienna Nazi revolt found its widest response, and the march on the 25th to the former Federal Chancellery in Vienna by the surviving members of the S.S. Standarte 89, which made the attack on the Chancellery in 1934 — a reconstruction of the crime, so to say.

“The assembled thousands at Klagenfurt were addressed by the Fuehrer’s deputy, Rudolf Hess, in the presence of the families of the 13 National Socialists who were hanged for their part in the July putsch. The Klagenfurt memorial celebration was also made the occasion for the solemn swearing in of the seven recently appointed Gauleiters of the Ostmark. “From the point of view of the outside world, the speech of Reichs Minister Hess was chiefly remarkable for the fact that after devoting the first half of his speech to the expected praise of the sacrifices of the men, women and youths of Austria in the struggle for a greater Germany, he then launched into a defense of the occupation of Austria and an attack on the 'lying foreign press' and on those who spread the idea of a new war. The world was fortunate, declared Hess, that Germany’s leader was a man who would not allow himself to be provoked. 'The Fuehrer does what is necessary for his people in sovereign calm. * * * and labors for the peace of Europe' even though provocateurs, 'completely ignoring the deliberate threat to peace of certain small stated,' deceitfully claim that he is a menace to the peace of Europe.

“The march on the former Federal Chancellery, now the Reichsstatthalterei, followed the exact route and time schedule of the original attack. The marchers were met at the Chancellery by the Reichsstatthalter Seyss-Inquart, who addressed them and unveiled a memorial tablet. From the Reichsstatthalterei the Standarte marched to the old RAVAG broadcasting center from which false news of the resignation of Dollfuss had been broadcast, and there unveiled a second memorial tablet. Steinhusl, the present Police President of Vienna, is a member of the S. S. Standarte 89". (L-273)

The original plaque is now rubble. But a photograph of it was found in The National Library in Vienna. [The photograph was offered in evidence at the trial. See 2968-PS.] The plaque reads: “154 German men of 89 SS Standarte stood up here for Germany on July 26, 1934. Seven found death at the hands of the hangman". The words chosen for this marble tablet, and it may be presumed that they were words chosen carefully, reveal clearly that the men involved were not mere malcontent Austrian revolutionaries, but were regarded as German men, were members of a para-military organization, who stood up here “for Germany.” In 1934 Hitler repudiated Dr. Reith because he “dragged the German Reich into an internal Austrian affair without any reason". In 1938 Nazi Germany proudly identified itself with this murder, took credit for it, and took responsibility for it.

(3) The Program Culminating in the Pact of July 11, 1936. In considering the activities of the Nazi conspirators in Austria between 25 July 1934 and November 1937, there is a distinct intermediate point, the Pact of 11 July 1936. accordingly, developments in the two-year period, July 1934 to July 1936, will first be reviewed.

(a) Continued Aim of Elimination Austria’s Independence -Conversation and Activities of von Papen. The Nazi conspirators pretended to respect the independence and sovereignty of Austria, notwithstanding the aim of Anschluss stated in Mein Kampf. But in truth and in fact they were working from the very beginning to destroy the Austrian State.

A dramatic recital of the position of von Papen in this regard is provided in Mr. Messersmith’s affidavit. It states

“When I did call on von Papen in the German Legation, he greeted me with 'Now you are in my Legation and I can control the conversation.' In the baldest and most cynical manner he then proceeded to tell me that all of Southeastern Europe, to the borders of Turkey, was Germany’s natural hinterland, and that he had been charged with the mission of facilitating German economic and political control over all this region for Germany. He blandly and directly said that getting control of Austria was to be the first step. e definitely stated that he was in Austria to undermine and weaken the Austrian Government and from Vienna to work towards the weakening of the Governments in the other states to the South and Southeast. He said that he intended to use his reputation as a good catholic to gain influence with certain Austrians, such as Cardinal Innitzer, towards that end. He said that he was telling me this because the German Government was bound on this objective of getting this control of Southeastern Europe and there was nothing which could stop it and that our own policy and that of France and England was not realistic.

“The circumstances were such, as I was calling on him in the German Legation, that I had to listen to what he had to say although I already knew what his instructions were. I was nevertheless shocked to have him speak so baldly to me and when he finished I got up and told him how shocked I was to hear the accredited representative of a supposedly friendly state to Austria admit that he was proposing to engage in activities to undermine and destroy that Government to which he was accredited. He merely smiled and said, of course, not be talking to others so clearly about his conversation as it is characteristic of the absolute frankness and directness with which high Nazi officials spoke of their objectives.”

“On the surface, however, German activities consisted principally of efforts to win the support of prominent and influential men through insidious efforts of all kinds, including the use of the German Diplomatic Mission in Vienna and its facilities and personnel. Von Papen as German Minister entertained frequently and on a lavish scale. He approached almost every member of the Austrian Cabinet, telling them, as several of them later informed me, that Germany was bound to prevail in the long run and that they should join the winning side if they wished to enjoy positions of power and influence under German control. Of course, openly and outwardly he gave solemn assurance that Germany would respect Austrian independence and that all that she wished to do was to get rid of elements in the Austrian Government like the Chancellor, Schuschnigg and Starhemberg as head of the Heimwehr and others, and replace them by a few 'nationally-minded' Austrians, which of course meant Nazis. The whole basic effort of von Papen was to bring about Anschluss.

“In early 1935, the Austrian Foreign Minister, Berger-Waldenegg, informed me that in the course of a conversation with von Papen, the latter had remarked 'Yes, you have your French and English friends now and you can have your independence a little longer'. The Foreign Minister, of course, told me this remark in German but the foregoing is an accurate translation. The Foreign Minister told me that he had replied to von Papen 'I am glad to have from your own lips your own opinion which agrees with what your Chief has just said in the Saar and which you have taken such pains to deny.'

“Von Papen undoubtedly achieved some successes, particularly with men like Glaise-Horstenau and others who had long favored the 'Grossdeutschum' idea, but who nevertheless had been greatly disturbed by the fate of the Catholic Church. Without conscience or scruple, von Papen exploited his reputation and that of his wife as ardent and devout Catholics to overcome the fears of these Austrians in this respect.” (1760-PS)

(b) Continued Existence of Nazi Organizations with a Program of Armed Preparedness. The wiles of von Papen represented only one part of the total program of the Nazi conspiracy. At the same time Nazi activities in Austria, forced underground during this period, were carried on.

Mr. Messersmith’s affidavit discloses the following: The Nazi organization work. An informant furnished the Austrian Government with a memorandum of a meeting of Austrian Nazi chiefs held in Bavaria, September, 1934. The memorandum shows that they agreed to prepare for new terroristic acts, to proceed brutally against persons cooperating with the Schuschnigg Government when the next action against the Government took place, and to appear disposed to negotiate but to arm for the struggle. A copy of this memorandum was furnished to Mr. Messersmith. At the same time the Austrian Legion was kept in readiness in Germany. This large, organized hostile group constituted a continuing menace for Austria. (1760-PS)

The fact of the reorganization of the Nazi party in Austria is corroborated by a report of one of the Austrian Nazis, Rainer (812-PS). (812-PS contains three parts. First there is a letter dated 22 August 1939 from Rainer, then Gauleiter at Salzburg, to Seyss-Inquart, then Reich Minister. That letter encloses a letter dated 6 July 1939, written by Rainer to Reich Commissioner and Gauleiter Josef Buerckel. In that letter, in turn, Rainer inclosed a report on the events in the NSDAP of Austria from 1933 to 11 March 1938, the day before the invasion of Austria.)

The letter from Rainer to Buerckel indicates that he was asked to prepare a short history of the role of the party. He states that after the Anschluss Hitler and the general public gave Seyss-Inquart alone credit for effecting the Anschluss. It is Rainer’s belief that credit belongs to the entire Party, the leaders of which had to remain underground. And so Rainer writes his report to show that the Party as a whole is entitled to “the glory which was excessively ascribed to one person, Dr. Seyss-Inquart".

Apparently Seyss-Inquart heard from Buerckel what Rainer said, and wrote to Rainer asking for an explanation. To avoid misunderstanding, Rainer prepared for Seyss-Inquart a copy of his letter to Buerckel and is report.

The Rainer report tells of the disorganization of the Nazi party in Austria and of its reconstitution. The second and third paragraphs of the report state:

“Thus the first stage of battle commenced which ended with the July rising of 1934. The decision for the July rising was right, the execution of it was faulty. The result was a complete destruction of the organization; the loss of entire groups of fighters through imprisonment or flight into the 'Alt-Reich'; and with regard to the political relationship of Germany to Austria, a formal acknowledgment of the existence of the Austrian State by the German Government. With the telegram to PAPEN, instructing him to reinstitute normal relationships between the two states, the Fuehrer had liquidated the first stage of the battle; and a new method of political penetration was to begin. By order of the Fuehrer the Landesleitung Munich was dissolved, and the party in Austria was left to its own resources.

“There was no acknowledged leader for the entire party in Austria. New leaderships were forming in the nine Gaus. The process was again and again interrupted by the interference of the police; there was no liaison between the formations, and frequently there were two, three or more rival leaderships. The first evident, acknowledged speaker of almost all the Gaus in Autumn 1934 was engineer REINTHALLER (already appointed Landesbauernfeuhrer (leader of the country’s farmers) by Hess). He endeavored to bring about a political appeasement by negotiations with the government, with the purpose of giving the NSDAP legal status again, thus permitting its political activities. Simultaneously Reinthaller started the reconstruction of the illegal political organization, at the head of which he had placed engineer NEUBACHER.: (812-PS)

(c) Secret Contacts Between German Officials, Including Papen, and the Austrian Nazis: the Use by the Austrian Nazis of “Front” Personalities. Two cardinal factors about the Nazi organization in Austria should be borne in mind. First, although the Fuehrer had on the surface cast the Austrian Nazis adrift, in fact German officials, including Papen, maintained secret contact with the Austrian Nazis, in line with Hitler’s desires. German officials consulted and gave advice and support to the organization of the Austrian Nazis. In the second place, the Austrian Nazis remained an illegal organization, organizing for the eventual use of force in an “emergency.” But in the meanwhile they deemed it expedient to act behind “front” personalities, such as Seyss-Inquart, who had no apparent taint of illegality.

Mr. Messersmith relates in his affidavit that he obtained a copy of a document outlining this Nazi program.

“For two years following the failure of the July 25 Putsch, the Nazis remained relatively quiet in Austria. Very few terroristic act occurred during the remainder of 1934 and as I recall in 1935 and most of 1936; this inactivity was in accordance with directives from Berlin as direct evidence to that effect, which came to my knowledge at that time, proved. Early in January, the Austrian Foreign Minister, Berger-Waldenegg, furnished me a document which I considered accurate in all respects and which stated:

“The German Minister here, von Papen, on the occasion of his last visit to Berlin, was received three times by Chancellor Hitler for fairly long conversations, and he also took this opportunity to call on Schacht and von Neurath. In these conversations the following instructions were given to him:

'During the next two years nothing can be undertaken which will give Germany external political difficulties. On this ground, everything must be avoided which could awaken the appearance of Germany interfering in the internal affairs of Austria. Chancellor Hitler will, therefore, also for this reason not endeavor to intervene in the present prevailing difficult crisis in the National Socialist Party in Austria, although he is convinced that order could be brought into the Party at once through a word from him. This word, however, he will, for foreign political reasons, give all the less, as he is convinced that the, for him, desirable ends may be reached also in another way. Naturally, Chancellor Hitler declared to the German Minister here, this does not indicate any disinterestedness in the idea of Austria’s independence. Also, before everything, Germany cannot for the present withdraw Party members in Austria, and must, therefore, in spite of the very real exchange difficulties, make every effort to bring help to the persecuted National Socialist sufferers in Austria. As a result, Minister of Commerce Schacht finally gave the authorization that from then on 200,000 marks a month were to be set aside for this end (support of National Socialists in Austria). the control and the supervision of this monthly sum was to be entrusted to Engineer Reinthaller, who, through the fact that he alone had control over the money, would have a definite influence on the Party followers. In this way it would be possible to end most quickly and most easily the prevailing difficulties and division in the Austrian National Socialist Party.

'The hope was also expressed t Herr von Papen that the recently authorized foundation of German “Ortsgruppen” of the National Socialist Party in Austria (made up of German citizens in Austria) would be so arranged as not to give the appearance that Germany is planning to interfere in Austrian internal affairs.'” (1760-PS)

The report of Gauleiter Rainer to Reichskommissar Buercikel in July 1939, outlines the further history of the party and the leadership squabbles following the retirement of Reinthaller. In referring to the situation in 1935, he mentions some of the contacts with the Reich Government in the following terms:

“In August some further arrest took place, the victims of which were, apart from the Gauleaders, also Globocnik and Rainer. SCHATTENFROH then claimed, because of an instruction received from the imprisoned LEOPOLD, to have been made deputy country leader. A group led by engineer RAFFELSBERGER had at this time also established connections with departments of the Alt-Reich (Ministry of Propaganda, German Racial Agency, etc.) and made an attempt to formulate a political motto in the form of a program for the fighting movement of Austria.” (812-PS)

The Rainer report sets forth the situation a little later in 1936:

“The principles of the construction of the organization were: The organization is the bearer of the illegal fight and the trustee of the idea to create a secret organization, in a simple manner, and without compromise, according to the principle of organization an elite to be available to the illegal land-party council upon any emergency. besides this, all political opportunities should be taken and all legal people and legal chances should be used without revealing any ties with the illegal organization. Therefore, cooperation between the illegal party organization and the legal political aides was anchored at the top of the party leadership. All connections with the party in Germany were kept secret in accordance with the orders of the Fuehrer. These said that the German state should officially be omitted from the creation of an Austrian NSDAP; and that auxiliary centers for propaganda, press, refugees, welfare, etc. should be established in the foreign countries bordering Austria.

“Hinterleitner already contacted the lawyer Seyss-Inquart, who had connections with Dr. Wachter which originated from Seyss-Inquart’s support of the July uprising. On the other side Seyss-Inquart’s support of the July uprising. On the other side Seyss-Inquart had a good position in the legal field and especially well-established relations with Christian-Social politicians. Dr. Seyss-Inquart came from the ranks of the 'Styrian Heimatschutz' and became a party member when the entire 'Styrian Heimatschutz' was incorporated into the NSDAP. Another personality who had a good position in the legal field was Col. Glaise-Horstenau who had contacts with both sides. The agreement of 11 July 1936 was strongly influenced by the activities of these two persons. Papen mentioned Glaise-Horstenau to the Fuehrer as being a trusted person.” (812-PS)

The Rainer report thus discloses the dual tactics of the Austrian Nazis during this period of keeping quiet and awaiting developments. They were maintaining their secret contacts with Reich officials, and using “front” personalities such as Glaise-Horstenau and Seyss-Inquart. The Nazis made good use of such figures, who were more discreet in their activities and could be referred to as “Nationalists". They presented, supported, and obtained consideration of demands which could not be negotiated by out-and-out Nazis like Captain Leopold. Seyss-Inquart did not hold any public office until January 1937, when he was made Councillor of State. But Rainer, describing him as a trustworthy member of the Party through the ranks of the Styrian-Heimatschutz, points him out as one who strongly influenced the agreement of 11 July 1936.

That the Nazis, but not the Austrian Government, did well to trust Seyss-Inquart, is indicated by a letter, dated 14 July 1939, addressed to Field Marshal Goering (2219-PS). The letter ends with the “Heil Hitler” close and is not signed, but it was undoubtedly written by Seyss-Inquart. It was found among Seyss-Inquart’s personal files. On the first page of the letter there appears a note in ink, not indicated in the partial English translation, reading: “Air Mail. 15 July, 1515 hours, Berlin, brought to Goering’s office.”

The main text of the letter consists of a plea for intercession in behalf of one Muehlmann, who unfortunately got in Buerckel’s bad graces. An extract from the letter, which shows Seyss-Inquart as one whose loyalty to Hitler and the aims of the Nazi conspiracy led him to fight for the Anschluss with all the means at his disposal, reads:

At Present In Vienna, 14 July 1939 “To the General Field Marshal


“If I may add something about myself, it is the following: I know that I am not of an active fighting nature, unless final decisions are at stake. At this time of pronounced activism (Aktivismus) this will certainly be regarded as a fault in my personality. Yet I know that I cling with unconquerable tenacity to the goal in which I believe. That is Greater Germany (Grossdeutschland) and the FUEHRER. And if some people are already tired out from the struggle and some have been killed in the fight, I am still around somewhere and ready to go into action. This, after all, was also the development until the year 1938. Until July 1934 I conducted myself as a regular member of the party. And if I had quietly, in whatever form, paid my membership dues the first one, according to a receipt, I paid in December 1931. I probably would have been an undisputed, comparatively old fighter and party member of Austria, but I would not have done any more for the union. I told myself in July 1934 that we must fight this clerical regime on its own ground in order to give the Fuehrer a chance to use whatever method he desires. I told myself that this Austria was worth a mass. I have stuck to this attitude with an iron determination because I and my friends had to fight against the whole political church, the Freemasonry, the Jewry, in short, against everything in Austria. The slightest weakness which we might have displayed would undoubtedly have led to our political annihilation; it would have deprived the Fuehrer of the means and tools to carry out his ingenious political solution for Austria, as became evident in the days of March 1938. I have been fully conscious of the fact that I am following a path which is not comprehensible to the masses and also not to my party comrades. I followed it calmly and would without hesitation follow it again because I am satisfied that at one point I could serve the FUEHRER as a tool in his work, even though my former attitude even now gives occasion to very worthy and honorable party comrades to doubt my trustworthiness. I have never paid attention to such things because I am satisfied with the opinion which the GUEHRER and the men close to him have of me.” (2219-PS)

A letter from Papen to Hitler dated 27 July 1935 shows how Papen thought the doctrines of National Socialism could be used to effect the aim of Anschluss. It consists of a report entitled “Review and Outlook, One Year after the Death of Chancellor Dollfuss.” After reviewing the success that the Austrian Government had had in establishing Dollfuss as a martyr and his principles as the patriotic principles of Austria, Papen stated:

“National Socialism must and will overpower the new Austrian ideology. If today it is contended in Austria that the NSDAP is only a centralized Reich German party and therefore unable to transfer the spirit of thought on National Socialism to groups of people of a different political makeup, the answer must be that the national revolution in Germany could not have been brought about in a different way. But when the creation of the people’s community in the Reich will be completed, National socialism could, in a much wider sense that this is possible through the present party organization-at least apparently-, certainly become the rallying point for all racially German units beyond the borders. Spiritual progress in regard to Austria cannot be achieved today with any centralized tendency. If this recognition would once and for all be stated clearly from within the Reich, then it would easily become possible to effect a break-through into the front of the New Austria. A Nurnberg Party Day designated as 'The German Day' as in old times and the proclamation of a national socialistic peoples' front, would be a stirring event for all beyond the borders of the reich. Such attacks would win us also the particularistic Austrian circles, whose spokesman, the legitimistic Count Dubsky wrote in his pamphlet about the 'Anschluss': The Third Reich will be with Austria, or it will not be at all. National Socialism must win it or it will perish, if it is unable to solve this task * * *.” (2248-PS)

Other reports from Papen to Hitler, hereinafter mentioned, show that he maintained covert contact with the National Socialist groups in Austria. From the very start of his mission Papen was thinking of ways and means of using the principle of National Socialist for “National Germans” outside the borders of Germany. Papen was working for Anschluss, and although he preferred to use the principles of National Socialist rather than rely on the party organization, he was prepared to defend the party organization as a necessary means of establishing those principles in the German Reich.

(d) Assurances and Reassurances. The German government did more than keep up a pretense of noninterference with Austrian groups. It employed the psychological inducement of providing assurances that it had no designs on Austria’s independence. If Austria could but hope for the execution of those assurances, she could find her way clear to the granting of concessions, and obtain relief from the economic and internal pressures.

A letter from Papen, while in Berlin, to Hitler, dated 17 May 1935, indicated that a forthright, credible statement by Germany reassuring Austria would be most useful for German diplomatic purposes and the improvement of relationships between Austria and German groups in Austria (2247-PS). Papen had a scheme for pitting Schuschnigg and his Social-Christian forces against Starhemberg, the Vice-Chancellor of Austria, who was backed by Mussolini. He hoped to persuade Schuschnigg to ally his forces with the NSDAP in order to emerge victorious over Starhemberg. Papen indicated that he obtained this idea from Captain Leopold, leader of the illegal National Socialists. His letter states in part:

“ * * * I suggest that we take an active part in this game. The fundamental idea should be to pit Schuschnigg and his Christian-social Forces, who are opposed to a home front dictatorship, against Starhemberg. The possibility of thwarting the measures arranged between Mussolini and Starhemberg should be afforded to him, in such way that he would submit the offer to the government of a definitive German-Austrian compromise of interests. According to the convincing opinion of the leader of the NSDAP in Austria, Capt. Leopold, the totalitarian principle of the NSDAP in Austria must be replaced in the beginning by a combination of that part of the Christian-elements which favors the Greater Germany idea and the NSDAP. If Germany recognizes the national independence of Austria and guarantees full freedom to the Austrian national opposition, then as a result of such a compromise the Austrian government would be formed in the beginning by a coalition of these forces. A further consequence of this step would be the possibility of the participation of Germany in the Danube pact, which would take the sting out of its acuteness due to the settlement of relations between Germany and Austria. Such a measure would have a most beneficial influence on the European situation and especially on our relationship will hardly be determined to follow such a pattern, that he will rather in all probability immediately communicate our offer to our opponents. Of course, one should first of all explore the possibility of setting Schuschnigg against Starhemberg through the use of 'Go betweens'. The possibility exists. If Mr. Schuschnigg finally says 'No' and makes our offer known in Rome, then the situation would not be any worse but, on the contrary, the efforts of the Reich government to make peace with Austria would be revealed — without prejudice to other interests. Therefore even in the case of refusal this last attempt would be an asset. I consider it completely possible, that in view of the far spread dislike of the Alpine countries of the pro-Italian course and in view of the sharp tensions within the federal government (Bundesregierung), Mr. Schuschnigg will grasp this last stras — always under the supposition that the offer could not be interpreted as a trap by the opponents, but that it bears all the mark of an actually honest compromise with Austria. Assuming success of this step, we would again establish our active intervention in Central European politics, which, as opposed to the French-Czech and Russian political maneuvers, would be a tremendous success, both morally and practically. Since there are 2 weeks left to accomplish very much work in the way of explorations and Conferences, an immediate decision is necessary. The Reich Army Minister (Reichswehrminister) shares the opinion presented above and the Reich Foreign Minister (Reichsaussenminister) wanted to discuss it with you my Fuehrer.

(Signed) Papen". (2247-PS)

In other words, Papen wanted a strong assurance and credible assurance, of Austria’s independence. As he put it, Germany had nothing to lose with what it could always call a mere effort at peace. And she might be able to convince Schuschnigg to establish an Austrian coalition government with the NSDAP. If she did this, she would vastly strengthen her position in Europe. Finally, Papen urged haste.

Exactly four days later (21 May 1935) in a Reichstag address Hitler responded to Papen’s suggestion, asserting:

“Germany neither intends nor wishes to interfere in the internal affairs of Austria, to annex Austria or to conclude an Anschluss". (TC-26)

Despite this assurance, Papen suggested and Hitler announced, for a complexity of reasons, a policy completely at variance with their intentions, which had been and continued to be to interfere in Austria’s internal affairs and to conclude and Anschluss.

(e) Temporary Continuance of a Quiet Pressure Policy. On 1 May 1936 Hitler branded as a lie any statement that tomorrow or the day after Germany would fall upon Austria. His words were published in the Voelkische-Boebachter, SD, 2-3 May 1936, p. 2. (2367-PS)

If Hitler meant what he said, it was only in the most literal and misleading sense that he would not fall upon Austria “tomorrow or the day after". For the conspirators well knew that the successful execution of their purpose required for a while longer the quiet policy they had been pursuing in Austria.

A memorandum of a conversation which occurred when William Bullitt, American Ambassador to France, called upon von Neurath, German Minister for Foreign Affairs, on 18 May 1936, recounts von Neurath’s explanation why Germany was trying to prevent rather than encourage an outbreak by the Nazis in Austria (L-150). The Nazis were growing stronger in Austria, anyway, in view of their appeal to the young people. And the German Government was doing nothing active in foreign affairs until the Rhineland, reoccupied two months before, had been “digested", and until fortifications were constructed on the French frontier. Finally, Italy still had a conflicting interest in Austria, and Germany wished to avoid any involvement with Italy.

(f) The agreement of 11 July 1936. But if Germany was not yet ready for open conflict in Austria, its diplomatic position was vastly improved over 1934, a fact which influenced Austria’s willingness to make concessions to Germany and come to terms. As Mr. Messersmith points out, Italy, formerly a protector of Austria, had embarked on her Abyssinian adventure, and this, together with the refortification of the Rhineland, strengthened Germany’s position (1760-PS). This weakening of Austria helped pave the way for the Pact of 11 July 1936. (TC-22)

The formal part of the agreement of July 11, 1936, between the German Government and the Government of the Federal State of Austria, looks like a great triumph for Austria. It contains a confusing provision to the effect that Austria, in its policy, especially with regard to Germany, will regard herself as a German state. But the other two provisions clearly state that Germany recognizes the full sovereignty of Austria, and that it regards the inner political order of Austria (including the question of Austrian National Socialist) as an internal concern of Austria upon which it will exercise neither direct nor indirect influence.

But there was much more substance to the day’s events. Mr. Messersmith’s summary, as set forth in his affidavit, is more revealing:

“Even more important than the terms of the agreement published in the official communiqué, was the contemporaneous informal understanding, the most important provisions of which were, that Austria would (1) appoint a number o f individuals enjoying the Chancellor’s confidence but friendly to Germany to positions in the cabinet; (2) would devise means to give the 'national opposition' a role in the political life of Austria and within the framework of the Patriotic Front, and (3) would amnesty all Nazis save those convicted of the most serious offenses. This amnesty was duly announced by the Austria Government and thousands of Nazis were released, and the first penetration of the Deutsche Nationaler into the Austrian Government was accomplished by the appointment of Dr. Guido Schmidt as Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, and of Dr. Edmund Glaise-Horstenau as Minister Without Portfolio". (1760-PS)

These and other provisions of the secret part of the Agreement of July 11 are set forth briefly and in general terms in an affidavit by Kurt Schuschnigg, former Chancellor of Austria, dated November 19, 1945 (2994-PS). By two of those provisions Austria agreed to permit Nazi organizations on Austrian soil, and also use of the swastika and singing of the Horst Wessel song — all for German subjects. On its credit side, Austria was to get repeal of the 1,000 mark barrier on tourist trade, and in general tourist trade between the two countries was to resume.

In view of the strategy and tactics of the Nazis, these were substantial concessions made by Austria t obtain Germany’s diplomatic, formal assurance of Austrian independence and nonintervention in Austrian internal affairs. The release of imprisoned Nazis to the community presented potential police problems. And as Mr. Messersmith pointed out in a 1934 dispatch, quoted in his affidavit, any prospect that the National Socialist might come to power would make it more difficult to obtain effective police and judicial action against the Nazis for fear of reprisals by the future Nazi Government against those taking action against Nazis even in the line of duty (1760-PS). The preservation of internal peace in Austria was thus dependent upon Germany’s living up to its obligations under the Accord.

(4) Germany’s Continuing Program of Weakening the Austrian Government.

(a) Germany’s Instructions to the Austria National Socialists Concerning Future Plans. In the pact of 11 July 1936 Germany agreed not to influence directly or indirectly the internal affairs of Austria, including the matter of Austrian National Socialist. On 16 July 1936, just five days later, Hitler violated that provision. The report of Gauleiter Rainer to Reich Commissioner Buerckel states:

“ * * * At that time the Fuehrer wished to see the leaders of the party in Austria in order to tell them his opinion on what Austrian National-Socialist should do. Meanwhile Hinterleitner was arrested, and Dr. Rainer became his successor and leader of the Austrian party. On 16 July 1936, Dr. Rainer and Globocnik visited the Fuehrer at the 'Obersalzberg' where they received a clear explanation of the situation and the wishes of the Fuehrer. On 17 July 1936, all illegal Gauleiters met in Anif near Salzburg, where they received a complete report from Rainer on the statement of the Fuehrer and his political instructions for carrying out the fight. At the same conference the Gauleiters received organizational instructions from Globocnik and Hiedler.”

“Upon the proposal of Globocnik, the Fuehrer named Lt. Gen. (Gruppenfuehrer) Keppler as chief of the mixed commission which was appointed, in accordance with the state treaty of 11 July 1936,to supervise the correct execution of the agreement. At the same time Keppler was given full authority by the Fuehrer for the party in Austria. After Keppler was unsuccessful in his efforts to cooperate with Leopold, he worked together with Dr. Rainer, Globocnik, Reinthaller as leader of the peasans, Kaltenbrunner as leader of the SS, and Dr. Jury as deputy-leader of the Austrian party, as well as with Glaise-Horstenau and Seyss-Inquart.” (812-PS)

A new strategy was developed for the Austrian Nazis. Mr. Messersmith describes it briefly in his affidavit:

“The sequel of the agreement was the only one which could have been expected in view of all the facts and previous recorded happenings. Active Nazi operations in Austria were resumed under the leadership of a certain Captain Leopold, who it was known definitely was in frequent touch with Hitler. The Nazi program was now to form an organization through which the Nazis could carry on their operations openly and with legal sanction in Austria. There were formed in Austria several organizations which had a legal basis but which were simply a device by which the Nazis in Austria could organize, and later seek inclusion as a unit in the Patriotic Front. The most important of these was the Ostmarkischer Verein, the sponsor of which was the Minister of the Interior Glaise-Horstenau. Through the influence of Glaise-Horstenau and the pro-Nazi Neustadter-Sturmer, this organization was declared legal by the Courts. I made specific mention of the foregoing because it shows the degree to which the situation in Austria had disintegrated as a result of the underground and open Nazi activities directed from Germany.” (1760-PS)

A report from Papen to Hitler dated 1 September 1936 indicates Papen’s strategy after 11 July 1936 for destroying Austria’s independence. Papen had taken a substantial step forward with the agreement of July 11. Incidentally, after that agreement he was promoted from Minister to Ambassador. Now his tactics were developed in the following terms, as explained in the last three paragraphs of his letter of September 1:

“ * * * The Progress of normalizing relations with Germany at the present time is obstructed by the continued persistence of the Ministry of Security, occupied by the old anti-National Socialist officials. Changes in personnel are therefore of utmost importance. But they are definitely not to be expected prior to the conference on the abolishing of the Control of Finances (Finanzkontrolle) at Geneva. The Chancellor of the League has informed Minister de Glaise-Horstenau, of his intention, to offer him the portfolio of the Ministry of the Interior. As a guiding principle (Marschroute) I recommend on the tactical side, continued, patient psychological treatment, with slowly intensified pressure directed at changing the regime. The proposed conference on economic relations, taking place at the end of October, will be a very useful tool for the realization of some of our projects. In discussion with government officials as well as with leaders of the illegal party (Leopold and Schattenfroh) who conform completely with the agreement of July 11. I am trying to direct the next developments in such a manner to aim at corporative representation of the movement in the fatherland front (Vaterlaendischen Front) but nevertheless refraining from putting National-Socialist in important positions for the time being. However such positions are to be occupied only by personalities, having the support and the confidence of the movement. I have a willing collaborator in this respect in Minister Glaise-Horstenau.

(Signature) Papen”


To recapitulate, this report of von Papen, discloses the following plans:

1. obtaining a change in personnel in Ministry of Security in due course;

2. obtaining corporative representation of the Nazi movement in the Fatherland Front;

3. not putting avowed National-Socialist in important positions yet, but using “nationalist” personalities;

4. using economic pressure, and “patient psychological treatment, with slowly intensified pressure directed at changing the regime.”

(b) Nazi Demands and Demonstrations. The Nazi demanded even more open recognition. In January 1937 Captain Leopold submitted a memorandum of demands. They are listed in Mr. Messersmith’s affidavit (1760-PS). They were not formally received by the Austrian cabinet, but they were known to and considered by the Cabinet. They included the following demands:

(1) An amnesty for all punishments or privations suffered for National Socialist or National activity or sympathy; (2) equal treatment for National Socialist, including freedom of political activity and cultural activity; (3) abolition of laws and sanctions used by the Government against Nazi activity. The memorandum advocated cooperation on the basis of political principles including: A broadening of the Patriotic Front; changes in the Cabinet; an alliance with the Reich; common racial stock as a political aim; the application of anti-Semitic measures; and an early plebiscite on Anschluss.

Mr. Messersmith’s affidavit also state that these demands, and Leopold’s petition for a nationalistic party, were supported by frequent demonstrations and much propaganda work. As early as 29 July 1936, when the Olympic Torch was carried through Vienna, there were violent Nazi disorders. From that time on there were frequent arrests for distributing illegal literature or staging illegal demonstrations. (1760-PS)

(c) Schuschnigg’s Concessions. Gauleiter Rainer’s historical review points out that due to the activities of the Reich officials and the Austrians who acted as the Nazi “fronts", it was possible to obtain the appointment of Seyss-Inquart as Staatsrat (Councillor of State) in July, 1937. (812-PS)

Schuschnigg’s affidavit mentions the Olympic Torch incident, and in addition the demonstration of the illegal Nazis at the time of the visit of von Neurath to Vienna in February 1937. Schuschnigg also points our other examples of the pressure increasingly exerted by Germany on Austria. One of his main reasons for entering into the July 11 agreement was to eliminate Germany’s 1,000 mark penalty on tourists to Austria. The penalty was removed, but Germany made it illegal for a tourist to bring more than 5 marks out of the country. And German buyers of cattle and wood purchased only from Austrian Nazis. (2294-PS)

Schuschnigg further reports that the incidents and pressure culminated in the so-called Tavs Plan, discovered by the Austrian police in November, 1937, containing instructions for unrest to break out among the Nazis at a prearranged time. The German Government would submit an ultimatum that National-Socialist must be brought into the Government or the German Army would invade. (2994-PS)

It may be recalled that during this period Schuschnigg made concessions. He appointed Seyss-Inquart as councillor of State in July, 1937. He had previously appointed a “Committee of Seven” to discuss with him the desires of the national opposition. He played a delaying game, presumably in the hope that a change in the foreign situation would provide him with external support.

B. Germany’s Diplomatic Preparations for Conquest.

The program of the Nazi conspiracy aimed at weakening Austria externally and internally, by removing its support from without as well as by penetrating within. This program was of the utmost significance, since the events of 25 July 1934 inside Austria were overshadowed by the fact that Mussolini had brought his troops to the Brenner Pass and poised the there as a strong protector of his northern neighbor.

Accordingly, interference in the affairs of Austria, and steady increase in the pressure needed to acquire control over that country, required removal of the possibility that Italy or any other country would come to Austria’s aid. But the program of the conspiracy for the weakening and isolation of Austria was integrated with its foreign policy program in Europe generally.

The Nazi conspirators' diplomatic preparation for war is described in a second affidavit of George S. Messersmith (2385-PS), which may be summarized as follows: In 1933 the Nazis openly acknowledged the ambition to expand the territorial borders of the Reich to include Austria and Czechoslovakia. As for the other countries of Southeast Europe, the professed objective was stated at that time not in terms of territorial acquisition but rather in terms of political and economic control. And the stated objectives were not limited to Southeast Europe, for important Nazis even in 1933 were stating their desire for the Ukraine as the granary of Germany.

When they came to power, the Nazis had two principal objectives. They wanted to establish their power in Germany. And they wanted to rearm and establish Germany’s armed power. They wanted peace until they were ready. But they wanted to acquire the ability to carry out their program in Europe by force if necessary, although preferably by a threat of force. They accordingly embarked upon their vast rearmament program. It proceeded very rapidly. Goering and General Milch often said to Messersmith or in his presence that the Nazis were concentrating on air power in their rearmament, as the weapon of terror most likely to give Germany a dominant position and the weapon which could be developed most rapidly.

In addition to material preparation for war, there was preparation for war in the psychological sense. Throughout Germany youth of all ages could be observed in military exercises and field maneuvers.

Moreover, as Mr. Messersmith also observes,

“Military preparation and psychological preparation were coupled with diplomatic preparation designed to so disunite and isolate their intended victims as to render them defenseless against German aggression.” (2385-PS)

In 1933 the difficulties facing Germany in the political and diplomatic field loomed large. France was the dominant military power on the continent. She had woven a system of mutual assistance in the West and in the East. The Locarno Pact of 1938, supplemented by the Franco-Belgian alliance, guaranteed the territorial status quo in the West. Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, and Rumania were allied in the Little Entente and each in turn was united with France by mutual assistance pacts. Since 1922, France and Poland had likewise been allied against external aggression. Italy had made plain her special interest in Austrian independence.

Nazi Germany launched a vigorous diplomatic campaign to break up the existing alliances and understandings, to create divisions among the members of the Little entente and the other eastern European powers.

Specifically, Nazi Germany countered these alliances with promises of economic gain for cooperating with Germans. To some of these countries she offered extravagant promises of territorial and economic rewards. She offered Carinthia, in Austria, to Yugoslavia. She offered part of Czechoslovakia to Hungary and part of Poland. She offered Yugoslav territory to Hungary at the same time that she was offering land in Hungary to Yugoslavia.

As Mr. Messersmith states in his affidavit:

“Austria and Czechoslovakia were the first on the German program of aggression. As early as 1934, Germany began to woo neighbors of these countries with promises of a share in the loot. To Yugoslavia in particular they offered Carinthia. Concerning the Yugoslav reaction, I reported at the time:

'* * * The major factor in the internal situation in the last week has been the increase in tension with respect to the Austrian Nazi refugees in Yugoslavia. * * *

There is very little doubt but that Goering, when he made his trip to various capitals in Southeastern Europe about six months ago, told the Yugoslavs that they would get a part of Carinthia, when a National Socialist Government came into power in Austria. * * * The Nazi seed sown in Yugoslavia has been sufficient to cause trouble and there are undoubtedly a good many people there who look with a great deal of benevolence on those Nazi refugees who went to Yugoslavia in the days following July 25.'

“Germany made like promises of territorial gains to Hungary and to Poland in order to gain their cooperation or at least there acquiescence in the proposed dismemberment of Czechoslovakia. As I learned from my diplomatic colleagues in Vienna, von Papen and von Mackensen in Vienna and in Budapest in 1935, were spreading the idea of division of Czechoslovakia, in which division Germany was to get Bohemia, Hungary to get Slovakia, and Poland the rest. This did not deceive any of these countries for they knew that the intention of Nazi Germany was to take all.

“The Nazi German Government did not hesitate to make inconsistent promises when it suited its immediate objectives. I recall the Yugoslav Minister in Vienna saying to me in 1934 or 1935, that Germany had made promises to Hungary of Yugoslav territory while at the same time promising to Yugoslav territory while at the same time promising to Yugoslavs portions of Hungarian territory. The Hungarian Minister in Vienna later gave me the same information.

“I should emphasize here in this statement that the men who made these promises were not only the died-in-the-wool Nazis but more conservative Germans who already had begun to willingly lend themselves to the Nazi program. In an official despatch to the Department of State from Vienna dated October 10, 1935, I wrote as follows:

'* * * Europe will not get away from the myth that Neurath, Papen and Mackensen are not dangerous people and that they are “diplomats of the old school.” They are in fact servile instruments of the regime and just because the outside world looks upon them as harmless, they are able to work more effectively. They are able to sow discord just because they propagate the myth that they are not in sympathy with the regime.'” (2385-PS)

In other words, Nazi Germany was able to promote these division and increase its own aggressive strength by using as its agents in making these promises men who on outward appearances were merely conservative diplomats. It is true that Nazis openly scoffed at any notion of international obligations. It is true that the real trump in Germany’s hand was its rearmament and more than that its willingness to go to war. And yet the attitude of the various countries was not influenced by those considerations alone. Schuschnigg laid great stress upon, and was willing to go to some lengths to obtain, an assurance of independence. All these countries found it possible to believe apparently substantial personages, like von Neurath, for example. They were led to rely on the assurances given, which seemed more impressive since the diplomats making them were represented as men who were not Nazis and would not stoop to go along with the base designs of the Nazis.

Germany’s approach toward Great Britain and France was in terms of limited expansion as the price of peace. They signed a naval limitations treaty with England and discussed a Locarno Air Pact. In the case of both France and England, they limited their statement of intentions and harped on fears of Communism and war.

In making these various promises, Germany was untroubled by notions of the sanctity of international obligations. High ranking Nazis, including Goering, Frick, and Frank, openly stated to Mr. Messersmith that Germany would observe her international undertakings only so long as it suited Germany’s interests to do so. As Mr. Messersmith states in his affidavit:

“High ranking Nazis with whom I had to Maintain official contact, particularly men such as Goering, Goebbels, Ley, Frick, Frank, Darre and others, repeatedly scoffed at my position as to the binding character of treaties and openly stated to me that Germany would observe her international undertakings only so long as it suited Germany’s interests to do so. Although these statements were openly made to me as they were, I am sure, made to others, these Nazi leaders were not really disclosing any secret for on many occasions they expressed the same ideas publicly.” (2385-PS)

France and Italy worked actively in Southeastern Europe to counter Germany’s moves. France made attempts to promote an East Locarno Pact and to foster an economic accord between Austria and the other Danubian powers. Italy’s effort was to organize an economic bloc of Austria, Hungary, and Italy.

But Germany foiled these efforts by redoubling its promises of loot, by continuing its armament, and by another significant stratagem. The Nazis stirred up internal dissensions to disunite and weaken their intended victims. They supported the Austrian Nazis and the Heinlein Party in Czechoslovakia. they probed what Goebbels called the “sore spots.” In Yugoslavia they played on the differences between the Croats and the Serbs, and in particular played on the fear of the restoration of the Hapsburgs in Austria, a fear which was very real in Yugoslavia. In Hungary, Poland, and Rumania they stirred up other fears and hatreds. These measures had considerable effect in preventing these countries from joining any which were opposed to German designs.

The Nazis consolidated their power in Germany very quickly. The German people became increasingly imbued with the Nazi military spirit. Within Germany, resistance to the Nazis disappeared. Army officers, including many who originally aided the Nazis with the limited objective of restoring the German Army, increasingly became imbued with aggressive designs as they saw how remarkably their power was growing.

The power of Nazi Germany outside the borders of the Reich increased correspondingly. Other countries feared its military might. Important political leaders in Yugoslavia, in Hungary, and in Poland became convinced that the Nazi regime with Germany. These countries became apathetic toward the development of Anschluss with Austria and cooperative toward the dismemberment of Czechoslovakia. Mr. Messersmith’s despatches from Europe to the State Department, setting out the developments in these countries, are included in his second affidavit. (2385-PS)

As for Italy, Germany’s initial objective was to sow discord between Yugoslavia and Italy, by promising Yugoslavia Italian territory, particularly Trieste. This was to prevent France from reaching agreement with them and to block an East Locarno Pact. As Mr. Messersmith states:

“While Italy openly opposed efforts at Anschluss with Austria in 1934, Italian ambitions in Abyssinia provided Germany with the opportunity to sow discord between Italy and France and England, and to win Italy over to acceptance of Germany’s program in exchange for German support of Italy’s plans in Abyssinia.” (2385-PS)

That paved the way for the Austro-German declaration of 11 July 1936. And in the fall of 1936, Germany extended the hand of friendship and common purpose to Italy in an alliance-the Rome-Berlin Axis. This, together with Germany’s alliance with Japan, put increasing pressure on England and increased the relative strength of Germany.

And so, by means of careful preparation in the diplomatic field, among others, the Nazi conspirators had woven a position for themselves so that they could seriously consider plans for war and outline a time-table. That time-table was developed in the conference with Hitler in the Reichschancellery on 5 November 1937. (386-PS)

C. Crystallization of the Plan to Wage Aggressive War in Europe and to Seize Austria and Czechoslovakia.

At the meeting of the conspirators in the Reichschancellery on 5 November 1937, the Fuehrer insisted that Germany should have more space in Europe (386-PS). It was concluded that the space required must be taken by force, three different cases were outlined as possibilities, and it was decided that the problem would have to be solved before the period 1943 to 1945. The nature of a war in the near future was envisaged, specifically against Austria and Czechoslovakia. Hitler said that for the improvement of Germany’s military political position the first aim of the Nazis in every case of entanglement by war must be to conquer Czechoslovakia and Austria simultaneously, in order to remove any threat from the flanks in case of a possible advance Westwards. Hitler then calculated that the conquest of Czechoslovakia and Austria would constitute the conquest of food for from five to six million people, assuming that the comprehensive emigration of one million from Austria could be carried out. He further pointed out that the annexation of the two states to Germany would constitute a considerable relief, both militarily and politically, since they would provide shorter and better frontiers, would free fighting personnel for other purposes, and would make possible the reconstitution of new armies. (386-PS)

The minutes of this meeting reveal a crystallization in the policy of the Nazi conspirators. It had always been their aim to acquire Austria. At the outset a revolutionary Putsch was attempted, using the personnel of the Austrian Nazis, but that failed. The next period was one of surface recognition of the independence of Austria and the use of devious means to strengthen the position of the Nazis internally in Austria. Now, however, it became clear that the need for Austria, in the light of the larger aggressive purposes of the Nazi conspirators, was sufficiently great to warrant the use of force in order to obtain Austria with the desired speed. The Nazis were, in fact, able to secure Austria, after having weakened it internally and removed from it the support of other nations, merely by setting the German military machine in motion and making a threat of force. The German armies were able to cross the border and secure the country without the necessity of firing a shot. Careful planning for war and the readiness to use war as an instrument of political action made it possible in the end for the Nazis to master Austria without having to fight for it.

The German High Command had previously considered preparations against Austria. On 24 June 1937 the Reich Minister for War and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, General von Blomberg, issued a Top Secret Directive (C-175). The importance of this directive, establishing a unified preparation of the Armed Forces for war, is indicated by the fact that the carbon copy received by the Commander-in-Chief of the Navy was one of only four copies. This directive from General von Blomberg stated that the general political situation indicated that Germany need not consider an attack from any side, and also that Germany did not intend to unleash a European war. It then stated, in point 1:

“Nevertheless the politically fluid world situation, which does not preclude surprising incidents, demands a continuous preparedness for war of the German Armed Forces.

“a. to counter attacks at any time

“b. to enable the military exploitation of politically favorable opportunities should they occur.” (C-175)

The directive then indicated that there would be certain preparations of a general nature for war.

“2. The preparations of a general nature include:

“a. The permanent preparedness for mobilization of the German Armed Forces, even before the completion of rearmament and full preparedness for war.

“b. The further working on 'Mobilization without public announcement' in order to put the Armed Forces in a position to begin a war suddenly and by surprise both as regards strength and time.” (C-175)

The directive finally indicated, in Part 3, that there might be special preparation for war in Austria:

“Armed intervention in Austria in the event of her restoring the Monarchy.

“The object of this operation will be to compel Austria by armed force to give up a restoration.

“Making use of the domestic political divisions of the Austrian people, the march in will be made in the general direction of Vienna and will break any resistance.” (C-175)

This plan is indicated in the document as having been superseded by new and more detailed plans following the meeting of November 5, 1937.

The plans of the conspirators were further revealed in two conversations held by William Bullitt, United States Ambassador to France with Schacht and with Goering in November, 1937. Both Schacht and Goering told Bullitt that Germany was determined to annex Austria. Goering Further added that there could be no final solution of the Sudeten-German question other than inclusion in the Reich. (L-151)

D. Pressure and Threats Resulting in Further Concessions:

Berchtesgaden, 12 February 1938.

Chancellor Schuschnigg states in an affidavit (2995-PS) that in 1938 von Papen suggested to him that he should meet Hitler at Berchtesgaden. After several discussions Schuschnigg agreed to go, provided three conditions were met:

(1) He must be invited by Hitler.

(2) He must be previously informed of the precise agenda and assured that the agreement of 11 July 1936 would be maintained.

(3) There was to be an agreement in advance that the communiqué to be published at the end of the meeting would affirm the 11 July 1936 agreement.

Von Papen brought back word from Hitler inviting Schuschnigg and agreeing with these conditions, particularly the maintenance of the July 1936 treaty. (2995-PS)

The official German communiqué of this conference between Hitler and Schuschnigg at Obersalzberg on 12 February 1938 was calm (2461-PS). The communiqué stated that the unofficial meeting was caused by the mutual desire to clarify by personal conversations the questions relating to the relationship between the German Reich and Austria. The communiqué listed, as among those present, Schuschnigg and his Foreign Minister Schmidt, Hitler and his Foreign Minister Ribbentrop, and von Papen. The communiqué concluded: “Both statesmen are convinced that the measures taken by them constitute at the same time an effective contribution toward the peaceful development of the European situation.” (2461-PS). A similar communiqué was issued by the Austrian Government.

In fact, as a result of the conference great concessions were obtained by the German Government from Austria. The principal concessions are contained in the official Austrian communiqué dated 16 February 1938 (2464-PS). The communiqué announced a reorganization of the Austrian Cabinet, including the appointment of Seyss-Inquart to the position of Minister of Security and Interior. In addition, announcement was made of a general political amnesty to Nazis convicted of crimes. (2464-PS)

Two days later, on 18 February 1938, another concession was divulged in the official German and Austrian communiqué concerning the equal rights of Austrian National Socialists in Austria (2469-PS). The communiqué announced that pursuant to the Berchtesgaden conference, the Austrian National Socialists would be taken into the Fatherland Front, the single legal political party of Austria.

Schuschnigg’s affidavit on his Berchtesgaden visit on February 12, 1938 (2995-PS) points out that considerable pressure was brought to bear on him at the Berghof. Several Generals-Keitel, Sperrle, and Reichenau, names which were omitted from the formal communiqué later issued-were present on his arrival. The conference started with a two-hour conference between Schuschnigg and Hitler alone. Hitler made no precise demands but attacked Schuschnigg violently. In the words of the affidavit:

“I furthermore state and affirm that, immediately after arriving at the Berghof, I commenced a conference with Hitler. Hitler and I were alone for two hours. Hitler attacked in a violent manner the politics of Austria, both of the past and present. He furthermore informed me that he, Hitler, had 'decided to bring the Austrian question to a solution so-or-so, even if he had to immediately use military force.' At no time during the first two hours of our conversation did Hitler ever make any precise demands or requests of me, but spent the whole of the two hours accusing me and menacing me as a traitor to Austrian politics. Especially he informed me that, according to his knowledge, Austria could no longer reckon with any assistance from other European Powers, and that Austria now stood alone in the world. He furthermore added -'Schuschnigg, you now have the chance to put your name alongside the names of other famous German leaders, such as Goering, Hess, Frick, Epp, Goebbels, and others.' * * * “. (2995-PS)

After Hitler’s violent threats, Schuschnigg had discussions of a calmer nature with von Ribbentrop and von Papen. They talked soothingly and comfortingly to Schuschnigg but reached the same conclusion, that he should yield to German demands, which in practical effect meant Nazi control of the Government of Austria.

“I furthermore state and affirm that I was next called before Joachim von Ribbentrop with my Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Guido Schmidt, and, in the presence of Franz von Papen, Ribbentrop exhibited to me a typewritten draft containing the conditions and demands made by Hitler upon me and Austria. He furthermore added that Hitler has informed me, Ribbentrop, 'that these demands that I now offer to you are the final demands of the Fuehrer and that he, Hitler, is not prepared to further discuss them'. He further stated that, 'you must accept the whole of these demands herein contained'. Ribbentrop then advised me to accept the demands at once. I protested, and referred him to my previous agreements with von Papen, made prior to coming to Berchtesgaden, and made it clear to Ribbentrop that I was not prepared to be confronted with such unreasonable demands as he had then and there placed before me. Von Papen, still present, apologized and informed me that he, von Papen, was entirely surprised and not at all informed about the aims of the Fuehrer as here laid down. He further stated, and informed me, that he, von Papen, could only offer his advice and that he should now accede to, and sign, these demands. He furthermore informed me that I could be assured that Hitler would take care that, if I signed these demands and acceded to them, that from that time on Germany would remain loyal to this Agreement and that there would be no further difficulties for Austria.” (2995-PS)

Finally, after obtaining some minor concessions from Ribbentrop, Schuschnigg met with Hitler again. This time Hitler not only put pressure upon Schuschnigg, but also, upon learning that the approval of President Miklas of Austria was necessary, indicated clearly to Schuschnigg that military action would follow if Miklas did not approve the agreement. In the words of Schuschnigg’s affidavit:

“I further state and say, that I then went before Hitler again. Hitler was very excited and informed me that he would make a final test with Austria, and stated further: 'that you must fulfill the conditions of the demands made by me on you within three days, or else I will order the march into Austria.' I replied: 'I am not able to take over the obligation to fulfill your demands, for I am only the Chancellor of Austria, and that obligation you attempt to place upon me is the duty only of the Federal President, Miklas; I am only able to sign the draft and, when I arrive in Vienna, to present it to the Federal President'. Hitler then flung open the door and yelled 'Keitel'. At the same time, Hitler asked me to wait outside. Keitel then came in to Hitler. After twenty minutes or more I was again called before Hitler and, when before him, he, Hitler, informed me as follows: 'For the first time in my life, I have changed my mind. You must sign the demands that I have made upon you, then report them to the Federal President, Miklas, and within three days from now Austria must fulfill the Agreement, otherwise things will take their natural course'. I then agreed to sign the demands and, while waiting in Hitler’s private room, he, Hitler, in an entirely changed mood, said to Franz von Papen, who was also present, 'Herr von Papen, through your assistance I was appointed Chancellor of Germany and thus the Reich was saved from the abyss of communism. I will never forget that'. Papen replied: 'Ja, wohl, Mein Fuehrer'.

“I furthermore say and affirm that I, in the presence of Ribbentrop, Guido Schmidt, von Papen, and Hitler, signed the demands, and retained a copy for the Austrian Government.

“I further state and affirm that, on the way back to Vienna from Berchtesgaden, Franz von Papen accompanied me and my party. Between the Berghof and Berchtesgaden, von Papen informed me as follows: 'Now, you have your own impression of how excited the Fuehrer can get, but that happens very seldom, and I am convinced that the next time you meet him, you will have an amicable conversation with him.'” (2995-PS)

The pressure put on Schuschnigg at Berchtesgaden is also disclosed in von Papen’s notes on his last meeting with Schuschnigg, on 26 February 1938, the last two paragraphs of which read:

“I then introduced into the conversation the widespread opinion that he had acted under 'brutal pressure' in Berchtesgaden. I myself had been present and been able to state that he had always and at every point had complete freedom of decision. The Chancellor replied he had actually been under considerable moral pressure, he could not deny that. he had made notes on the talk which bore that out. I reminded him that despite this talk he had not seen his way clear to make any concessions, and I asked him whether without the pressure he would have been ready to make the concessions he made late in the evening. He answered: 'To be honest, no!' It appears to me of importance to record this statement.” (1544-PS)

For diplomatic purposes von Papen, who had been at Berchtesgaden, kept up the pretense that there had been no pressure. But General Jodl, writing the account of current events for his diary, was more candid. This hand-written diary discloses not only the pressure at Berchtesgaden but also the fact that for some days thereafter, General Keitel and Admiral Canaris worked out a scheme for shamming military pressure, in order to coerce President Miklas into ratifying the agreement. And so the Nazi conspirators kept up the military pressure, with threats of invasion, for some days after the Berchtesgaden conference, in order to produce the desired effect on Miklas. (1780-PS)

The following entries, for Feb. 11-Feb. 14 were made in Jodl’s diary:

“11 February:

“In the evening and on 12 February General K. with General V. Reichenau and Sperrle at the Obersalzberg. Schuschnigg together with G. Schmidt are again being put under heaviest political and military pressure. At 2300 hours Schuschnigg signs protocol.

“13 February:

“In the afternoon General K. asks Admiral C. and myself to come to his apartment. He tells us that the Fuehrer’s order is to the effect that military pressure by shamming military action should be kept up until the 15th. Proposals for these deceptive maneuvers are drafted and submitted to the Fuehrer by telephone for approval.

“14 February:

“At 2:40 o'clock the agreement of the Fuehrer arrives. Canaris went to Munich to the Counter-Intelligence office VII and initiates the different measures.

“The effect is quick and strong. In Austria the impression is created that Germany is undertaking serious military preparations.” (1780-PS)

The proposals for deceptive maneuvers mentioned by Jodl were signed by Keitel. Underneath his signature appeared a pencilled note that the Fuehrer approved the proposals. Among the rumors which Keitel proposed for the intimidation of Austria were the following:

“1. To take no real preparatory measures in the Army or Luftwaffe. No troop movements or redeployments.

“2. Spread false, but quite credible news, which may lead to the conclusion of military preparations against Austria.

“a. Through V-men (V-Maenner) in Austria,

“b. through our customs personnel (staff) at the frontier,

“c. through travelling agents.

“3. Such news could be:

“a. Furloughs are supposed to have been barred in the Sector of the VII A.K.

“b. (Rolling Stock) is being assembled in Munich, Augsburg, and Regensburg.

“c. Major General Muff, the Military Attaché in Vienna has been called for a conference to Berlin. (As a matter of fact, this is the case).

“d. The Police Stations located at the frontier of Austria, have called up reinforcements.

“e. Custom officials report about the imminent maneuvers of the Mountain Brigade (Gebirgsbrigade) in the region of Freilassing, Reichenhall and Berchtesgaden.” (1775-PS)

The pattern of intimidation and rumor was effective, for in due course, as is shown in the communiqués already referred to, President Miklas ratified the Berchtesgaden agreement, which foreshadowed a National Socialist Austria.

E. Events Culminating in the German Invasion on 12 March 1938.

(1) The Plebiscite. The day after his appointment as Minister of the Interior, Seyss-Inquart flew to Berlin for a conference with Hitler. (2484-PS)

On 9 March 1938, three weeks after Seyss-Inquart had been put in charge of the police, Schuschnigg announced that he would hold a plebiscite throughout Austria on the following Sunday, 13 March 1938. The question was: “Are you for an independent and social, a Christian, German and united Austria?” A “yes” answer to this question was clearly compatible with the agreement made by the German Government on 11 July 1936, and carried forward at Berchtesgaden on 12 February 1938. Moreover, for a long while the Nazis had been demanding a plebiscite on the question of Anschluss. But the Nazis apparently appreciated the likelihood of a strong “yes” vote on the question put by Schuschnigg, and they could not tolerate the possibility of such a vote of confidence in the Schuschnigg Government. They took this occasion to overturn the Austrian Government.

Although the Plebiscite was not announced until the evening of 9 March, the Nazi Organization received word about it earlier in the day. It was determined by the Nazis that they had to ask Hitler what to do about the situation, and that they would prepare a letter of protest against the Plebiscite from Seyss-Inquart to Schuschnigg, and that pending Hitler’s approval, Seyss-Inquart would pretend to negotiate with Schuschnigg about details of the plebiscite.

In the words of Gauleiter Rainer’s report to Reichscommissioner Buerckel:

“The Landesleitung received word about the planned plebiscite through illegal information services, on 9 March 1938 at 10 a. m. At the session which was called immediately after wards, Seyss-Inquart explained that he had known about this for only a few hours, but that he could not talk about it because he had given his word to keep silent on this subject. But during the talks he made us understand that the illegal information we received was based on truth, and that in view of the new situation, he had been cooperating with the Landesleitung from the very first moment. Klausner, Jury, Rainer, Globocnik and Seyss-Inquart were present at the first talks which were held at 10 a. m. There it was decided that first, the Fuehrer had to be informed immediately; secondly, the opportunity for the Fuehrer to intervene must be given to him by way of an official declaration made by Minister Seyss-Inquart to Schuschnigg; and thirdly, Seyss-Inquart must negotiate with the government until clear instructions and orders were received from the Fuehrer. Seyss-Inquart and Rainer together composed a letter to Schuschnigg, and only one copy of it was brought to the Fuehrer by Globocnik, who flew to him on the afternoon of 9 March 1938.” (812-PS)

(2) Germany’s Preparation for the Use of Force. When news of the Plebiscite reached Berlin, it started a tremendous amount of activity. Hitler was determined not to tolerate the plebiscite. Accordingly, he called his military advisers and ordered preparation for the march into Austria. He made diplomatic preparations by explaining in a letter to Mussolini the reasons why he was going to march into Austria. In the absence of von Ribbentrop, who was temporarily detained in London, von Neurath took over the affairs of the Foreign Office again.

The terse and somewhat disconnected notes in General Jodl’s diary give a vivid account of the activity in Berlin. The entry for the 10th of March 1938 reads:

“By surprise and without consulting his ministers, Schuschnigg ordered a plebiscite for Sunday, 13, March, which should bring strong majority for the Legitimists in the absence of plan or preparation.

“Fuehrer is determined not to tolerate it. The same night, march 9 to 10, he calls for Goering. General v. Reichenau is called back from Cairo Olympic Committee. General v. Schebert is ordered to come, as well as Minister Glaise Horstenau, who is with the District leader (Gauleiter) Buerckel in the Palatinate. General Keitel communicates the facts at 1:45. He drives to the Reichskanzlei at 10 o'clock. I follow at 10:15, according to the wish of General v. Viebahn, to give him the old draft.

“Prepare case Otto.

“1300 hours: General K informs Chief of Operational Staff (and) Admiral Canaris. Ribbentrop is being detained in London. Neurath takes over the Foreign Office.

“Fuehrer wants to transmit ultimatum to the Austrian Cabinet. A personal letter is dispatched to Mussolini and the reasons are developed which force the Fuehrer to take action.

“1830 hours: Mobilization order is given to the Command of the 8th Army (Corps Area 3) 7th and 13th Army Corps; without reserve Army.” (1780-PS)

In a directive of the Supreme High Command of the Armed Forces, dated 11 March 1938 and initialed by Jodl and Keitel, Hitler stated his mixed political and military intentions:

“1. If these measures prove unsuccessful, I intend to invade Austria with armed forces to establish constitutional conditions and to prevent further outrages against the pro-German population.

“4. The forces of the Army and Air Force detailed for this operation must be ready for invasion and/or ready for action on the 12th of March 1938 at the latest from 1200 hours.

“I reserve the right to give permission for crossing and flying over the frontier, and to decide the actual moment for invasion.

“5. The behavior of the troops must give the impression that we do not want to wage war against our Austrian brothers. It is in our interest that the whole operation shall be carried out without any violence but in the form of a peaceful entry welcomed by the population. Therefore any provocation is to be avoided. If, however, resistance is offered it must be broken ruthlessly by force of arms.” (C-102)

An implementing directive of 11 March 1938 issued by Jodl provided further:

“If Czechoslovakian troops or militia units are encountered in Austria, they are to be regarded as hostile.

“The Italians are everywhere to be treated as friends especially as Mussolini has declared himself uninterested in the solution of the Austrian Question". (C-103)

The military preparations for invasion were complete.

(3) The Events of 11 March in Austria. The events of 11 March 1938 in Austria are available in three separate accounts. Although these accounts differ in some minor details, they afford each other almost complete corroboration with regard to the way in which the German Government deprived Austria of its sovereignty.

The first account is contained in a third affidavit executed by Schuschnigg (2996-PS). Schuschnigg first states that he had been discussing the plebiscite with Seyss-Inquart, and that Seyss-Inquart had made some procedural objections but in general indicated his general willingness to support the plebiscite. Schuschnigg went to bed on March 10 thinking the plebiscite would be a success. But on the morning of March 11 he was told that traffic from Germany had stopped, and that German Army forces were moving to the border. After 10 a. m. Seyss-Inquart came to Schuschnigg’s office with Glaise-Horstenau. Glaise-horstenau had just come from Berlin and reported that Hitler was in a rage. (2996-PS)

Schuschnigg’s affidavit then relates the three ultimatums presented by the German Government:

“Seyss-Inquart was then and there called to the telephone and, upon his return, read to me from a scrap of paper which he held in his hand, the contents of a telephone call which he alleged was just then received by him from Goering in Berlin. The contents as he read it to me was as follows: 'The Chancellor must revoke the proposed plebiscite within the time of one hour, and after three or four weeks, Austria must oblige herself to carry out a plebiscite concerning the Anschluss according to the SAAR status, otherwise the German Army is ordered to pass the Austrian frontier'.

“I further state and say that after informing the Federal President of this demand made on Austria by Germany, we decided to recall the Plebiscite, and thereupon I informed Seyss-Inquart and Glaise-Horstenau of our intentions.

“Seyss-Inquart said that he would go to the telephone and inform Goering in Berlin concerning the decision of the Austrian Government, at that time made. In a few minutes, he, Seyss-Inquart, returned to my office, and informed me further, as follows:

'I have had a telephone conversation with Goering, and Goering has ordered me to inform the Federal Chancellor Schuschnigg, as follows:

'"The situation can only be saved for Austria when Schuschnigg resigns as the Chancellor of Austria within two hours and Seyss-Inquart is appointed as the new Chief of the Austrian Government; if Seyss-Inquart does not inform me, Goering, within two hours, I, Goering, will suppose that you are hindered from doing so'".

“I then reported to the Federal President the new developments, and, after some conversation with him and other members of the Government, I decided to resign. The Federal President reluctantly accepted my resignation at 3:30 p. m. on the afternoon of the 11th of March 1938. He expressed himself unwilling to appoint Seyss-Inquart as the Federal Chancellor — he therefore asked me to continue my duties as caretaker Chancellor until he had decided who would succeed me as Federal Chancellor. I accepted and remained as 'caretaker Chancellor' from 3:30 p. m., 11 March 1938 until about 11:30 p. m. the same night, when Seyss-Inquart was appointed to the position of Federal Chancellor.

“I further state and say that at about 3:30 p. m. on the afternoon of 11 March 1938, the Foreign Office of the Austrian Government contacted the Embassy of Germany in Vienna, to ascertain if the demands that had been then and there made by Goering on Austria were the official demands of the German Government. The Military Attaché of Germany in Vienna, one Lieutenant General Muff, came before the Austrian Federal President, and repeated the contents of the German ultimatums that had previously been delivered to us by Seyss-Inquart.

“I furthermore state and say, that the Federal President, at about 7:30 or 8:00 o'clock p. m. on the night of 11 March 1938 ordered me, as caretaker Chancellor, to broadcast the events of the day and to protest against the demands made on Austria during that day by Germany. Furthermore, to inform the world that Austria had been forced to give in to those demands of Germany through superior force * * *.” (2996-PS)

The report from Gauleiter Rainer to Reichscommissioner Buerckel also discusses the events of March 11. In general, Rainer’s report corroborates Schuschnigg’s affidavit. (812-PS)

Another document recalls vividly the events of 11 March 1938. This document, which was found in a building of the courtyard of the German Air Ministry, is a binder containing typed transcripts of some 27 telephone conversations, held in Goering’s office in the Air Ministry on 11 March 1938 and up to 14 March 1938. Most of the conversations were conducted by Goering, although at least one was held by Hitler (2949-PS). (For purposes of convenience these telephone calls are marked with an identifying letter, running from A through Z and then beginning again with AA).

The first group of conversations took place between Field Marshal Goering, who was identified as F., and Seyss-Inquart, who was identified as S. The transcript is in part in the language of these two persons and is in part a summary of the actual conversations. At 2:45 p. m. the following conversation occurred:

“F: How do you do, doctor. My brother-in-law, is he with you?

“S: No.

“Thereupon the conversation took approximately the following turn:

“F: How are things with you? Have you resigned, or do you have any news?

“S. The Chancellor has cancelled the elections for Sunday, and therefore he has put S. and the other gentleman in a difficult situation. Besides having called off the elections, extensive precautionary measures are being ordered, among others curfew at 8 p. m.

“F: Replied that in his opinion the measures taken by chancellor Schuschnigg were not satisfactory in any respect. At this moment he could not commit himself officially. F. will take a clear stand very shortly. In calling off the elections, he could see a postponement only, not a change for the present situation which had been brought about by the behavior of the Chancellor Schuschnigg in breaking the Berchtesgaden agreement.

“Thereupon a conversation took place between F. and the Fuehrer. Afterwards F. phoned again S. This conversation was held at 15:05.

“F: Told S. that Berlin did not agree whatsoever with the decision made by Chancellor Schuschnigg since he did not enjoy any more the confidence of our government because he had broken the Berchtesgaden agreement, and therefore further confidence in his future actions did not exist. Consequently, the National Minister, S. and the others, are being requested to immediately hand in their resignation to the Chancellor, and also to ask the Chancellor to resign. F. added that if after a period of one hour no report had come through the assumption would be made that S. would no more be in the position to phone. That would mean that the gentlemen had handed in their resignations. S. was then told to send the telegram to the Fuehrer as agreed upon. As a matter of course, an immediate commission by the Federal President for S. to form a new cabinet would follow Schuschnigg’s resignation.” (2949-PS, Part A)

Thus Goering told Seyss-Inquart that it was not enough for Schuschnigg to cancel the election. And twenty minutes later he telephoned Seyss-Inquart to state that Schuschnigg must resign. When informed at about an hour later that Schuschnigg had resigned, he pointed out that in addition it was necessary to have Seyss-Inquart at the head of the Cabinet.

An hour later Goering phoned Dombrowski at the German Embassy in Vienna. He was concerned that the Nazi Party and all its formations should be legalized promptly:

“Goering: Now to go on. The Party has definitely been legalized?

“Dombrowski: But that is * * * it isn’t necessary to even discuss that.

“Goering: With all of its organizations.

“Dombrowski: With all of its organizations within this country.

“Goering: In uniform?

“Dombrowski: In uniform.

“Goering: Good.

“Dombrowski: calls attention to the fact that the SA and SS have already been on duty for one-half hour which means everything is all right.” (2949-PS, Part C)

In addition Goering stated that the Cabinet must be formed by 7:30 p. m., and he transmitted instructions, to be delivered to Seyss-Inquart, as to who should be appointed to the cabinet:

“Goering: Yes, and by 7:30 he also must talk with the Fuehrer and as to the Cabinet, Keppler will bring you the names. One thing I have forgotten, fishbeck must have the Department of Economy and Commerce.

“Dombrowski: That’s understood.

“Goering: Kaltenbrunner is to have the Department of Security and Bahr is to have the armed forces. The Austrian Army is to be taken by Seyss-Inquart himself and you know all about the Justice Department.

“Dombrowski: Yes, yes.

“Goering: Give me the name.

“Dombrowski: Well, your brother-in-law. Isn’t that right?

“Goering: Yes?

“Dombrowski: Yes.

“Goering: That’s right and then also Fishbeck.” (2949-PS, Part C)

About twenty minutes later, at 5:26 p. m., Goering received the news that Miklas was refusing to appoint Seyss-Inquart as Chancellor. He issued instructions for an ultimatum to be delivered to Miklas. The telephone conversation between Goering and Seyss-Inquart went as follows:

“G: Now remember the following: You go immediately together with Lt. General Muff and tell the Federal President that if the conditions which are known to you are not accepted immediately, the troops who are already stationed at and advancing to the frontier will march in tonight along the whole line, and Austria will cease to exist. Lt. General Muff should go with you and demand to be admitted for conference immediately. Please, do inform us immediately about Miklas' position. Tell him, there is no time now for any joke. Just through the false report we received before action was delayed, but now the situation is that tonight the invasion will begin from all the corners of Austria. The Invasion will be stopped and the troops will be held at the border only if we are informed by 7:30 that Miklas has entrusted you with the Federal Chancellorship. (There follows a sentence which is broken up) M. does not matter whatever it might be, the immediate restoration of the Party with all its organizations (again interruption) and then call out all the National Socialists all over the country. They should now be in the streets. So remember, report must be given till 7:30. Lt. General Muff is supposed to come along with you. I shall inform him immediately. If Miklas could not understand it in 4 hours, we shall make him understand it now in 4 minutes.” (2949-PS, Part E)

An hour later, at 6:28 p. m. Goering had an extensively interrupted telephone conversation with Keppler and Muff and Seyss-Inquart. When told that Miklas had refused to appoint Seyss-Inquart, Goering replied:

“Goering: Well, then Seyss-Inquart has to dismiss him; just go upstairs again and just tell him plainly that SI shall call on the national Socialists guard, and in 5 minutes the troops will march in by my order". (2949-PS, Part H)

After an interruption, Seyss-Inquart came to the telephone and informed Goering that Miklas was still sticking to his old viewpoint, although a new person had gone in to talk to him and there might be definite word in about ten minutes. The conversation proceeded as follows:

“G: Listen, so I shall wait a few more minutes, till he comes beck, then you inform me via Blitz conversation in the Reich Chancellery-as usually, but it has to be done fast. I hardly can justify it as a matter of fact. I am not entitled to do so; if it cannot be done, then you have to take over the power; all right?

“S. But if he threatens?

“G. Yes.

“S. Well, I see, then we shall be ready (antreten).

“G. Call me via Blitz.” (2949-PS, Part h)

It is plain that Goering and Seyss-Inquart had agreed on a plan for Seyss-Inquart to take over power if Miklas remained obdurate. The plan involved both the use of the National Socialist forces in Austria and invasion by German troops.

Later that night, at about 8:00 o'clock, Goering and Seyss-Inquart had another conversation. This was after the ultimatum had expired. Seyss-Inquart informed Goering that Miklas was still refusing to name Seyss-Inquart as Chancellor. The conversation then proceeded as follows:

“G: O.K. I shall give the order to march in and then you make sure that you get the power. Notify the leading people about the following which I shall tell you now! Everyone who offers resistance or organizes resistance, will immediately be subjected to our court-martial, the court-martial of our invading troops. Is that clear?

“S: Yes.

“G: Including leading personalities, it doesn’t make any difference.

“S: Yes, they have given the order, not to offer any resistance.

“G: Yes, it does not matter: The Federal President did not authorize you, and that also can be considered as resistance.

“S: Yes.

“G: Well, now you are officially authorized.

“S: Yes.

“G: Well, good luck, Heil Hitler.” (2949-PS, Part 1)

Another historical event-the famous telegram which Seyss-Inquart sent to the German Government requesting it to send troops into Austria to help put down disorder-was discussed over the telephone. A conversation held at 8:48 between Goering and Keppler proceeded as follows:

“G: Well, I do not know yet. Listen: The main thing is, that Inquart takes over all powers of the Government, that he keeps the radio stations occupied.

“K: Well, we represent the Government now.

“G: Yes, that’s it. You are the Government. Listen carefully: The following telegram should be sent here by Seyss-Inquart. Take the notes:

'The provisional Austrian Government which after the dismissal of the Schuschnigg Government, consider it its task to establish peace and order in Austria, sends to the German Government the urgent request, to support it in its task and to help it to prevent bloodshed. For this purpose it asks the German Government to send German Troops as soon as possible'.

“K: Well, SA and SS are marching through the streets, but everything is quiet. Everything has collapsed with the professional groups (?)” (2949-PS, Part L)

And a few minutes later the conversation continued as follows:

“G: Then our troops will cross the border today.

“K: Yes.

“G: Well, and he should send the telegram as soon as possible.

“K: Will send the telegram to SI in the office of the Federal Chancery.

“G: Please, show him the text of the telegram and do tell him that we are asking him-well, he does not even have to send the telegram-all he needs to do is to say: agreed.

“K: Yes.

“G: Either call me at the Fuehrer’s or at my place. Well, good luck. Heil Hitler!” (2949-PS, Part L)

It will be recalled that in the first conversation (Part A), held at 3:05 p. m., Goering had requested Seyss-Inquart to send the telegram agreed upon. But now the matter was so urgent that Goering dictated the exact wording of the telegram over the telephone.

And an hour later, at 9:54 p.m., a conversation between Dr. Dietrich in Berlin and Keppler in Vienna went as follows:

“D: I need the telegram urgently.

“K: Tell the General Field Marshal that Seyss-Inquart agrees.

“D: This is marvelous. Thank you.

“K: Listen to the radio. News will be given.

“D: Where?

“K: From Vienna.

“D: So Seyss-Inquart agrees?

“K: Jawohl!” (2949-PS, Part m)

(4) The Order to Invade Austria. Communications with Austria were now suspended. But the German military machine had been set in motion. A Directive, dated 11 March 1938 at 2045 hours, from Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, initialed by General Jodl and signed by Hitler, ordered the invasion of Austria because of its failure to comply with the German ultimatum. The directive reads:

“Re: Operation Otto

“Directive No. 2

“1. The demands of the German ultimatum to the Austrian government have not been fulfilled.

“2. The Austrian Armed Forces have been ordered to withdraw in front of the entry of German troops and to avoid fighting.

“The Austrian Government has ceased to function of its own accord.

“3. To avoid further bloodshed in Austrian towns, the entry of the German Armed Forces into Austria will commence, according to directive No. 1, at daybreak on 12.3.

“I expect the set objectives to be reached by exerting all forces to the full, as quickly as possible.

(signed) ADOLF HITLER” (C-182)

(5) Communications with Rome-Avoidance of Disaster. But at the very time that Hitler and Goering had embarked on this military undertaking, they still had a question mark in their minds-Italy. Italy had massed forces on the Italian-Austrian border on the occasion of the 25 July 1934 putsch. Italy had traditionally been the political protector of Austria.

At 10:25 p.m. that evening, however, Hitler heard from Prince Philip of Hessen, his Ambassador at Rome, that he had just returned from the Palazzo Venezia, and Mussolini had accepted the whole affair in a very friendly manner. The telephone conversation went thus:

“H: I have just come back from Palazzo Venezia. The (Hessen) Duce accepted the whole thing in a very-friendly manner. He sends you his regards. He had been informed from Austria, Schuschnigg gave him the news. He had then said it would be a complete impossibility. It would be a bluff, such a thing could not be done. So he was told that it was unfortunately arranged thus and it could not be changed any more. Then Mussolini said that Austria would be immaterial to him.

“F: Then, please, tell Mussolini, I will never forget him for (Fuehrer) this.

“H: Yes.

“F: Never, never, never, whatever happens. I am still ready to make a quite different agreement with him.

“H: Yes, I told him that, too.

“F: As soon as the Austrian affair has been settled, I shall be ready to go with him through thick and thin, nothing matters.

“H: Yes, my Fuehrer.

“F: Listen, I shall make any agreement-I am no longer in fear of the terrible position which would have existed militarily in case we had gotten into a conflict. You may tell him that I do thank him ever so much, never, never shall I forget that.

“H: Yes, my Fuehrer.

“F: I will never forget it, whatever will happen. If he should ever need any help or be in any danger, he can be convinced that I shall stick to him whatever might happen, even if the whole world were against him.

“H: Yes, my Fuehrer.” (2949-PS, Part N)

It will be recalled that Jodl referred in his diary (1780-PS) to the letter which Hitler sent to Mussolini. In this letter, dated 11 March 1938, after stating that Austria had been declining into anarchy, Hitler wrote: “I have decided to reestablish order in my Fatherland, order and tranquility, and to give to the popular will the possibility of settling its own fate in unmistakable fashion openly and by its own decision.” He stated that this was only an act of self-defense, that he had no hostile intentions toward Italy. (2510-PS)

After the invasion, when in Linz, Austria, Hitler communicated his gratitude to Mussolini once more, this time by telegraph:

“Mussolini, I will never forget you for this.” (2467-PS)

(6) The Appointment of Seyss-Inquart as Chancellor. Late in the evening of March 11, President Miklas appointed Seyss-Inquart as Chancellor. The radio announcement of Seyss-Inquart’s appointment was made at 11:15 p.m. (2465-PS)

(7) Later Communications with London-Misleading Explanations. On Sunday, 13 March 1938, the day after the invasion, Goering, who had been left in charge of the Reich by Hitler, telephoned Ribbentrop in London. Their conversation disclosed the way in which the Nazis soothed and misled other nations:

“G: As you know the Fuehrer has entrusted me with the administration of the current government procedures (Fuehrung der Regierungsgeschaft). And therefore I wanted to inform you. There is overwhelming joy in Austria, that you can hear over the radio.

“R: Yes, it is fantastic, isn’t it?

“G: Yes, the last march into the Rhineland is completely overshadowed. The Fuehrer was deeply moved, when he talked to me last night. You must remember it was the first time that he saw his homeland again. now, I mainly want to talk about political things. Well, this story we had given an ultimatum, that is just foolish gossip. From the very beginning the National Socialist ministers and the representatives of the people (Volksreferenten) have presented the ultimatum. Later on, more and more prominent people of the Movement Party participated, and as a natural result, the Austrian National Socialist ministers asked us to back them up, so they would not be completely beaten up against and be subjected to terror and civil war. Then we told them we would not allow Schuschnigg to provoke a civil war, under no circumstances. Whether by Schuschnigg’s direct order, or with consent the Communists and the Reds had been armed, and were already making demonstrations, which were photographed with “Heil Moskau” and so on; naturally, all these facts caused some danger for Wiener-Neustadt. Then you have to consider that Schuschnigg made his speeches, telling them the Fatherland Front (Vaterlandische Front) would fight to its last man; one could not know that they would capitulate like that and therefore Seyss-Inquart who already had taken over the government asked us to march in immediately. Before we had already marched up to the frontier since we could not know whether there would be a civil war or not. These are the actual facts which can be proved by documents.* * *”

“G: No, no, I think so, too. Only, I did not know if you spoke already to these people. I want that you once more, — but no — not at all once more, — but generally speaking — tell the following to Halifax and Chamberlain: It is not correct that Germany has given any ultimatum. This is a lie by Schuschnigg, because the ultimatum was presented to him by S-I, Glaise-Horstenau and Jury. Furthermore, it is not true that we have presented an ultimatum to the Federal President, but it also was given by the others and as far as I know just a military attaché came along, asked by S-I, because of a technical question; he was supposed to ask whether in case S-I would ask for the support of German troops, Germany would grant this request. Furthermore, I want to state that S-I asked us expressly by phone as by telegram to send troops because he did not know about the situation in Wiener-Neustadt, Vienna, and so on; because arms had been distributed there. And then he could not know how the Fatherland Front might react since they always had had such a big mouth.

“R: Mr. Goering, tell me, how is the situation in Vienna, is everything settled yet?

“G: Yes. Yesterday I landed hundreds of airplanes with some companies, in order to secure the airfield and they were received with joy. Today the advance unit of the 17 division marches in, together with the Austrian troops. Also I want to point out that the Austrian troops did not withdraw but that they got together and fraternized immediately with the German troops, wherever they were stationed.” (2949-PS, Part W)

In view of the previous conversations, these are interesting explanations-that the ultimatum was made by Seyss-Inquart alone and not by Goering; that Lt. Gen. Muff, the military attaché, came along merely to answer a technical question; and that Seyss-Inquart asked expressly by telephone and by telegram for troops. But perhaps this conversation can best be understood in light of the actual physical scene of time and place:

“G: Well, do come! I shall be delighted to see you.

“R: I shall see you this afternoon.

“G: The weather is wonderful here. Blue sky. I am sitting here on my balcony-all covered with blankets-in the fresh air, drinking my coffee. Later on I have to drive in, I have to make the speech, and the birds are twittering, and here and there I can hear over the radio the enthusiasm, which must be wonderful over there.

“R: That is marvelous.” (2949-PS, Part W)

The British Foreign Office had protested the tactics employed by the German Government. In a letter dated 12 March 1938 Ambassador Neville Henderson, at the British Embassy, Berlin, wrote to Lord Halifax, Foreign Minister, as follows:

“My Lord,

“With reference to your telegram No. 79 of March 11th, I have the honor to transmit to Your Lordship herewith a copy of a letter which I addressed to Baron von Neurath in accordance with the instructions contained therein and which was delivered on the same evening.

“The French Ambassador addressed a similar letter to Baron von Neurath at the same time.” (3045-PS)

The enclosure was the note of March 11th from the British Embassy to Von Neurath and it reads as follows:

“Dear Reich Minister,

“My Government are informed that a German ultimatum was delivered this afternoon at Vienna demanding inter alia, the resignation of the Chancellor and his replacement by the Minister of the Interior, a new Cabinet of which two-thirds of the members were to be National Socialists, and the readmission of the Austrian Legion to the country with the duty of keeping order in Vienna.

“I am instructed by my Government to represent immediately to the German Government that if this report is correct, H.M.G. in the U.K. feel bound to register a protest in the strongest terms against such use of coercion backed by force against an independent State in order to create a situation incompatible with its national independence.

“As the German Minister for Foreign Affairs has already been informed in London, such action is found to produce the greatest reactions of which it is impossible to foretell the issues.” (3045-PS)

Von Neurath wrote a letter of response dated 12 March 1938. He first objected to the fact that the British Government was undertaking the role of protector of Austria’s independence:

“In the name of the German Government I must point out here that the Royal British Government has no right to assume the role of a protector of Austria’s independence. In the course of diplomatic consultations on the Austrian question, the German Government never left any doubt with the Royal British Government that the formation of relations between Germany and Austria could not be considered anything but the inner concern of the German people and that it did not affect third Power.” (3287-PS)

Then, in response to the assertions regarding Germany’s ultimatum, Von Neurath set out what he stated to be the true version of events:

“* * * Instead, the former Austrian Chancellor announced, on the evening of the 9th of March, the surprising and arbitrary resolution, decided on by himself, to hold an election within a few days which, under the prevailing circumstances, and especially according to the details provided for the execution of the election, could and was to have the sole purpose of oppressing politically the predominant majority of the population of Austria. As could have been foreseen, this procedure, being a flagrant violation of the agreement of Berchtesgaden, led to a very critical point in Austria’s internal situation. It was only natural that the members of the then Austrian Cabinet who had not taken part in the decision for an election protested very strongly against it. Therefore, a crisis of the Cabinet occurred in Vienna which, on the 11th of March, resulted in the resignation of the former Chancellor and in the formation of a new Cabinet. It is untrue that the Reich used forceful pressure to bring about this development. Especially the assertion which was spread later by the former Chancellor, that the German Government had presented the Federal President with a conditional ultimatum, is a pure invention; according to the ultimatum he had to appoint a proposed candidate as Chancellor and to form a Cabinet conforming to the proposals of the German Government, otherwise the invasion of Austria by German troops was held in prospect. The truth of the matter is that the question of sending military or police forces from the Reich was only brought up when the newly formed Austrian Cabinet addressed a telegram, already published by the press, to the German Government, urgently asked for the dispatch of German troops as soon as possible in order to restore peace and in order to avoid bloodshed. Faced with the immediately threatening danger of a bloody civil war in Austria, the German Government then decided to comply with the appeal addressed to it.

“This being the state of affairs, it is impossible that the attitude of the German Government, as asserted in your letter, could lead to some unforeseeable reactions. A complete picture of the political situation is given in the proclamation which, at noon today, the German Reich Chancellor has addressed to the German people. Dangerous reactions to this situation can take place only if eventually a third party should try to exercise its influence, contrary to the peaceful intentions and legitimate aims of the German Government on the shaping of events in Austria, which would be incompatible with the right of self-government of the German people.” (3287-PS)

In light of the documents already adverted to, this version of events given by von Neurath is palpably untrue.

F. The Invasion and Absorption of Austria.

(1) The Invasion and Immediate Events: Control of Austria in Fact. In accordance with the directive of March 11 (C-182), the German Army crossed the Austrian border at daybreak on 12 March 1938. Hitler issued a proclamation to the German people announcing and purporting to justify the invasion (TC-47). The British Government and the French Government filed protests.

The German Government and the Austrian National Socialists swiftly secured their grip on Austria. Seyss-Inquart welcomed Hitler at Linz and they both expressed their joy over events of the day. Seyss-Inquart in his speech declared Article 88 of the Treaty of St. Germain inoperative. (2485-PS)

A telegram from the American Legation in Vienna to the Secretary of State, on 12 March 1938, gave a picture of what was happening in Vienna:

“Secretary of State,


70, March 12, noon.

“Numerous German bombers flying over Vienna dropping leaflets 'National Socialist Germany greets its possession National Socialist Austria and its new government in true indivisible union'.

“Continual rumors small German troop movements into Austria and impending arrival Austrian legion.

“SS and SA in undisputed control in Vienna.

“Police wear swastika arm bands. Schuschnigg and Schmidt rumored arrested.

“Himmler and Hess here.

WILEY” (L-292)

(2) Statutes of Consolidation: Control of Austria in Law. The law-making machine was put to work on the task of consolidation. First, Miklas was caused to resign as President (2466-PS). Seyss-Inquart became both Chancellor and President. He then signed a Federal Constitutional Law of 13 March 1938, for the Reunion of Austria with the German Reich, which in turn was incorporated into the Reich Statute of Reunion passed the same day (2307-PS). This Federal Constitutional Law declared Austria to be a province of the German Reich.

By annexing Austria into the German Reich, Germany violated Article 80 of the Treaty of Versailles, which provides:

“Germany acknowledges and will respect the independence of Austria within the Frontier which may be fixed in a treaty between that State and the principle Allied and Associated Powers; she agrees that this independence shall be inalienable, * * *”

Similarly, the Austrian invasion violated Article 88 of the Treaty of St. Germain, which provides:

“The independence of Austria is inalienable otherwise than with the consent of the Council of the League of Nations. Consequently Austria undertakes in the absence of the consent of the said Council to abstain from any act which might directly or indirectly or by any means whatever compromise her independence, particularly, and until her admission to membership of the League of Nations, by participation in the affairs of another Power.”

This basic constitutional law provided for a plebiscite to be held on 10 April 1938, concerning the question of reunion. But this was a mere formality. The plebiscite could only confirm the union. It could not undo Germany’s union with and control over Austria. To illustrate the way in which legal consolidation was swiftly assured, with Austria occupied by troops, it is not necessary to do more than review some of the statutes passed within the month. Hitler placed the Austrian Federal Army under his command and required all members of the Army to take an oath of allegiance to Hitler as their Supreme Commander (2936-PS). Public officials of the Province of Austria were required to take an oath of office swearing obedience to Hitler, Fuehrer of the German Reich and People; Jewish officials, as defined, were not permitted to take the oath. (2311-PS)

Hitler and Frick signed a decree applying to Austria various Reich laws, including the law of 1933 against formation of new parties and the 1933 law for the preservation of unity of party and state (2310-PS). Hitler, Frick, and Goering ordered that the Reich Minister of the Interior be the central authority for carrying out the reunion of Austria with the German Reich. (1060-PS)

In connection with Germany’s extensive propaganda campaign to ensure acceptability of the German regime, Goebbels established a Reich Propaganda Office in Vienna (2935-PS). The ballot, addressed to soldiers of the former Austrian Army as “German soldier", asked the voters whether they agreed with the “accomplishment” and “ratification” on March 13, 1938, of the reuniting of Austria with Germany (1659-PS). The groundwork was fully laid before the holding of the plebiscite “for German men and women of Austria” promised in the basic law of March 13. (2307-PS)

(3) The Importance of Austria in Further Aggressions. Germany’s desire to consummate the Anschluss with Austria, and its determination to execute that aim in the way and at the time that it did (with threat of military force, quickly, and despite political risks), was due to the importance of Austria in its further plans of aggression. The conference of the conspirators held on November 5, 1937, which laid plans for aggressive war in Europe, outlined as objectives in Austria the conquest of food, through expulsion of a million people, and an increase in fighting strength in part through the improvement in frontier. (386-PS)

Austria yielded material resources. Moreover she provided ready cash, taken from the Jews and from the Austrian Government. One of the first orders passed after the Anschluss was an order signed by Hitler, Frick, Schwerin von Krosigk, and Schacht, for the transfer to the Reich of the assets of the Austrian National Bank. (2313-PS)

Austria yielded human resources. Three months after Anschluss, there was enacted a decree requiring 21-year-old men to report for active military service. (1660-PS)

And the acquisition of Austria improved the military strategic position of the German Army. In a lecture delivered by General Jodl, Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces, on 7 November 1943, at Munich, to the Gauleiters, Jodl reviewed the situation in 1938:

“The Austrian 'Anschluss' in its turn, brought with it not only the fulfillment of an old national aim but also had the effect both of reinforcing our fighting strength and of materially improving our strategic position. Whereas up till then the territory of Czechoslovakia had projected in a most menacing way right into Germany (a wasp waist in the direction of France and an air base for the Allies, in particular Russia), Czechoslovakia herself was now enclosed by pincers. Its own strategic position had now become so unfavorable that she was bound to fall a victim to any attack pressed home with rigor before effective aid from the WEST could be expected to arrive.” (L-172)

The Nazi conspirators were now ready to carry out the second part of their second phase of their aggressions. Czechoslovakia was next.


Document Description Vol. Page

Charter of the International Military Tribunal, Article 6 (a)… I 5

International Military Tribunal, Indictment Number 1, Sections IV (F) 3 (a, b); V… I 23-24,29

Note: A single asterisk (*) before a document indicates that the document was received in evidence at the Nurnberg trial. A double asterisk (**) before a document number indicates that the document was referred to during the trial but was not formally received in evidence, for the reason given in parentheses following the description of the document. The USA series number, given in parentheses following the description of the document, is the official exhibit number assigned by the court.

*386-PS Notes on a conference with Hitler in the Reich Chancellery, Berlin, 5 November 1937, signed by Hitler’s adjutant, Hossbach, and dated 10 November 1937. (USA 25)… III 295

*812-PS Letter from Rainer to Seyss-Inquart, 22 August 1939 and report from Gauleiter Rainer to Reichskommissar Gauleiter Buerckel, 6 July 1939 on events in the NSDAP of Austria from 1933 to 11 March 1938. (USA 61)… III 586

**1060-PS Order pursuant to law concerning Reunion of Austria with German Reich, 16 March 1938. 1938 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 249. (Referred to but not offered in evidence.)…III 717

*1544-PS Von Papen’s notes, 26 February 1938, on his parting visit with Chancellor Schuschnigg. (USA 71)… IV 103

**1659-PS Second Order concerning Plebiscite and Election for the Greater German Reichstag of 24 March 1938. 1938 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 303. (Referred to but not offered in evidence.)… IV 170

1660-PS Decree for registration for active service in Austria in the year 1938 of 16 'June 1938. 1938 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 631… IV 171

*1760-PS Affidavit of George S. Messersmith, 28 August 1945. (USA 57)… IV 305

*1775-PS Propositions to Hitler by OKW, 14 February 1938. (USA 73)… IV 357

*1780-PS Excerpts from diary kept by General Jodl, January 1937 to August 1939. (USA 72)… IV 360

*2219-PS Excerpt from letter from Seyss-Inquart to Goering, 14 July 1939. (USA 62)… IV 854

*2246-PS Report of von Papen to Hitler, 1 September 1936, concerning Danube situation. (USA 67)… IV 930

*2247-PS Letter from von Papen to Hitler, 17 may 1935, concerning intention of Austrian government to arm. (USA 64)… IV 930

*2248-PS Report of von Papen to Hitler, 27 July 1935, concerning National Socialism in Austria. (USA 63)… IV 932

*2307-PS Law concerning reunion of Austria with German Reich, 13 March 1938. 1938 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 237. (GB 133)… IV 997

**2310-PS First Decree of Fuehrer and Reich Chancellor concerning Introduction of German Reich Law into Austria, 15 March 1938. 1938 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 247. (Referred to but not offered in evidence.)… IV 1004

**2311-PS Decree of Fuehrer and Reich Chancellor concerning Administration of the Oath to Officials of Province of Austria, 15 March 1938. 1938 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 245. (Referred to but not offered in evidence.)… IV 1005

**2313-PS Order for Transfer of Austrian National Bank to Reichsbank, 17 March 1938. 1938 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 254. (Referred to but not offered in evidence.)… IV 1006

**2367-PS Hitler’s speech of 1 May 1936, published in Voelkischer Beobachter, Southern German edition, 2-3 May 1936. (Referred to but not offered in evidence.)… IV 1101

*2385-PS Affidavit of George S. Messer-smith, 30 August 1945. (USA 68)… V 23

*2461-PS Official German communiqué of meeting of Hitler and Schuschnigg, 12 February 1938, published in Documents of German Politics, 1939, Vol. VI, Part 1. (GB 132)… V 206

*2463-PS Telegram from Seyss-Inquart to Hitler, 11 March 1938, published in Documents of German Politics, 1939, Vol. VI, Part 1. (USA 703)… V 207

**2464-PS Official Austrian communiqué of the reorganization of the Austrian Cabinet and general political amnesty, 16 February 1938, published in Documents of German Politics, 1939, Vol. VI, Part 1. (Referred to but not offered in evidence.)… V 208

**2465-PS Announcement of appointment of Seyss-Inquart as Federal Chancellor, 11 March 1938, published in Documents of German Politics, 1938, Vol. VI, Part 1. (Referred to but not offered in evidence.)… V 209

**2466-PS Official communiqué of resignation of Austrian President Miklas, 13 March 1938, published in Documents of German Politics, 1939, Vol. VI, Part 1. (Referred to but not offered in evidence.)… V 209

2467-PS Hitler’s telegram to Mussolini from Linz, 13 March 1938, published in Documents of German Politics, 1939, Vol. VI, Part 1… V 210

**2469-PS Official German and Austrian communiqué concerning equal rights of Austrian National Socialists in Austria, 18 February 1938, published in Documents of German Politics, 1939, Vol. VI, Part 1. (Referred to but not offered in evidence.)… V 210

**2484-PS Official German communiqué of visit of Austrian Minister Seyss-Inquart to Hitler, Berlin, 17 February 1938, published in Documents of German Politics, 1939, Vol. VI, Part 1. (Referred to but not offered in evidence.)… V 234

**2485-PS Address by Federal Chancellor Seyss-Inquart from Balcony of City Hall at Linz, 12 March 1938, published in Documents of German Politics, Vol. VI, Part 1, p. 144-145. (Referred to but not introduced in evidence.)… V 234

2510-PS Hitler letter to Mussolini, 11 March 1938, published in Documents of German Politics, Vol. VI, Part 1, pp. 135-7, No. 24… V 244

**2799-PS Letter from Hitler to von Papen, 26 July 1934, published in Documents of German Politics, Vol. II, p. 83, No. 38. (Referred to but not offered in evidence.)… V 441

2831-PS Letter from Office of Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of German Government to Reich Chancellery, inclosing report on Political situation in Austria, 14 January 1937… V 498

*2832-PS Entry for July 26, 1934 from Ambassador Dodd’s diary. (USA 58)… V 500

2909-PS Affidavit of August Eigruber, 9 November 1945… V 578

**2935-PS Order concerning establishment of Reich Propaganda Office in Vienna, 31 March 1938. 1938 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 350. (Referred to but not offered in evidence.)… V 604

**2936-PS Instruction of the Fuehrer and Reich Chancellor, concerning the Austrian Federal Army, 13 March 1938, published in Documents of German Politics, 1938, Vol. VI, Part 1, p. 150. (Referred to but not offered in evidence.)… V 604

*2949-PS Transcripts of telephone calls from Air Ministry, 11-14 March 1938. (USA 76)… V 628

*2968-PS Memorandum from U.S. Army officer concerning plaque erected in Austrian Chancellery in memoriam to killers of Dollfuss. (USA 60)… V 677

2985-PS Telephone message of Mr. Hadow, British Legation, Vienna, to Sir John Simon, 26 July 1934… V 687

**2994-PS Affidavit of Kurt von Schuschnigg, former Chancellor of Austria, concerning Austrian-German Treaty of 11 July 1936. (USA 66) (Objection to admission in evidence upheld)… V 703

2995-PS Affidavit of Kurt von Schuschnigg, former Chancellor of Austria, concerning his visit to Berchtesgaden on 12 February 1938… V 709

2996-PS Affidavit of Kurt von Schuschnigg, former Chancellor of Austria, concerning events of 11 March 1938… V 713

*3045-PS Letter, 12 March 1938, to British Embassy enclosing letter from Henderson to Halifax, 11 March 1938. (USA 127)… V 765

*3054-PS “The Nazi Plan", script of a motion picture composed of captured German film. (USA 167)… V 801

3062-PS Memorandum found in Goering’s office, 19 November 1936, concerning Guido Schmidt, Foreign Minister of Austria under Schuschnigg… V 868

*3254-PS The Austrian Question, 1934-1938, by Seyss-Inquart, 9 September 1945. (USA 704)… V 961

*3270-PS Goering’s speech on 27 March in Vienna, published in Documents of German Politics, Vol. VI, Part 1, p. 183. (USA 703)… V 1047

*3271-PS Letter from Seyss-Inquart to Himmler, 19 August 1939. (USA 700)… V 1047

*3287-PS Letter from von Neurath to Henderson, 12 March 1938. (USA 128)… V 1090

*3308-PS Affidavit by Paul Otto Gustav Schmidt, 28 November 1945. (GB 288)… V 1100

3390-PS Letter from Seyss-Inquart to Keppler, 25 October 1937… VI 105

3392-PS Letter from Seyss-Inquart to Keppler, 3 September 1937… VI 109

3395-PS Letter from Seyss-Inquart to Keppler, 3 September 1937… VI 113

*3396-PS Letter from Seyss-Inquart to Dr. Jury. (USA 889)… VI 114

*3397-PS Letter from Keppler to Seyss-Inquart, 8 January 1938. (USA 702)… VI 115

3400-PS Minutes of meeting of German Association, 28 December 1918, and Constitution and By-Laws thereof found in personal files of Seyss-Inquart for period of 1918 to 1943… VI 118

*3425-PS Voluntary statement made by Seyss-Inquart with advice of counsel, 10 December 1945. (USA 701)… VI 124

3467-PS Law on Limitation of travel to Republic Austria 29 May 1933. 1933 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, No. 57, p. 311… VI 169

*3471-PS Letter from Keppler to Bodenschatz, 21 February 1938, with enclosures noting activity of Leopold as leader of Austrian Nazis and possible appointment of Klausner as his successor. (USA 583)… VI 195

*3472-PS Letter from Keppler to Goering, 9 February 1938, requesting that Leopold be forbidden to negotiate with Schuschnigg except with approval of Reich authorities. (USA 582)… VI 196

*3473-PS Letter from Keppler to Goering, 6 January 1938, giving details of Nazi intrigue in Austria. (USA 581)… VI 197

3574-PS Filing notice regarding discussion between Chief of CI and Chief of Foreign CI on 31 January 1938, 2 February 1938, signed Canaris… VI 265

3576-PS Letter from Keppler to Goering, 19 February 1938, with enclosure reporting on situation in Austria as of 18 February… VI 271

3577-PS Letter presumably from Buerkel to Goering, dated Vienna, 26 March 1938, concerning Aryanization of Jewish-held business in Austria and disposition of resulting funds… VI 275

*C-102 Document signed by Hitler relating to operation “Otto", 11 March 1938. (USA 74)… VI 911

*C-103 Directive signed by Jodl, 11 March 1938, on conduct towards Czech or Italian troops in Austria. (USA 75)… VI 913

*C-175 OKW Directive for Unified Preparation for War 1937-1938, with covering letter from von Blomberg, 24 June 1937. (USA 69)… VI 1006

*C-182 Directive No. 2 from Supreme Commander Armed forces, initialed Jodl, 11 March 1938. (USA 77)… VI 1017

*L-150 Memorandum of conversation between Ambassador Bullitt and von Neurath, German Minister for Foreign Affairs, 18 May 1936. (USA 65)… VII 890

*L-151 Report from Ambassador Bullitt to State Department, 23 November 1937, regarding his visit to Warsaw. (USA 70)… VII 894

*L-172 “The Strategic Position at the Beginning of the 5th Year of War", a lecture delivered by Jodl on 7 November 1943 at Munich to Reich and Gauleiters. (USA 34)…VII 920

*L-273 Report of American Consul General in Vienna to Secretary of State, 26 July 1938, concerning anniversary of assassination of Chancellor Dollfuss. (USA 59)… VII 1094

L-281 Text of Schuschnigg radio address of 11 March 1938, contained in telegram from American Legation in Vienna to the Secretary of State, 11 March 1938…VII 1096

L-291 Telegram from American Embassy Berlin to Secretary of State, 11 March 1938, concerning Austrian situation… VII 1097

*L-292 Telegram of American Consul General in Vienna to Secretary of State, 12 March 1938, concerning propaganda dropped over Vienna. (USA 78)… VII 1098

L-293 Telegram from American Legation in Vienna to Secretary of State, 12 March 1938… VII 1098

*TC-22 Agreement between Austria and German Government and Government of Federal State of Austria, 11 July 1936. (GB 20)… VIII 369

*TC-26 German assurance to Austria, 21 May 1935, from Documents of German Politics, Part III, p. 94. (GB 19)… VIII 376

TC-47 Hitler’s Proclamation of Invasion of Austria, 12 March 1938… VIII 398

Affidavit H Affidavit of Franz Halder, 22 November 1945… VIII 643

**Chart No. 11 Aggressive Action 1938-39. (Enlargement displayed to Tribunal.)… VIII 780

**Chart No. 12 German Aggression. (Enlargement displayed to tribunal.)… VIII 781

**Chart No. 13 Violations of Treaties, Agreements and Assurances. (Enlargement displayed to Tribunal.)… VIII 782


A. Development of the Nazi Program of Aggression.

In the period 1933-1936 the conspirators had initiated a program of rearmament designed to give the Third Reich military strength and political bargaining power to be power to be used against other nations. Furthermore, beginning in the year 1936 they had embarked on a preliminary program of expansion which, as it turned out, was to last until March 1939. This program was intended to shorten Germany’s frontiers, to increase its industrial and food reserves, and to place it in a position, both industrially and strategically, from which the Nazis could launch a more ambitious and more devastating campaign of aggression. At the moment, in the early spring of 1938, when the Nazi conspirators first began to lay concrete plans for the conquest of Czechoslovakia they had reached approximately the halfway point in this preliminary program.

The preceding autumn, at the conference in the Reichs Chancellery on 5 November 1937, Hitler had set forth the program which Germany was to follow. The events of this conference are contained in the so-called Hossbach minutes. The question for Germany, as the Fuehrer had informed his military commanders at this meeting, is where the greatest possible conquest can be made at the lowest cost (386-PS). At the top of his agenda stood two countries: Austria and Czechoslovakia. On 12 March 1938 Austria was occupied by the German Army, and on the following day it was annexed to the Reich. The time had come for a redefinition of German intentions toward Czechoslovakia.

A little more than a month later Hitler and Keitel met to discuss plans for the envelopment and conquest of the Czechoslovak State. On 21 April 1938, Hitler and Keitel discussed the pretexts which Germany might develop to serve as an excuse for a sudden and overwhelming attack. They considered the provocation of a period of diplomatic squabbling which, growing more serious, would lead to the excuse for war. In the alternative, and this alternative they found to be preferable, they planned to unleash a lightning attack as the result of an “incident” of their own creation. Consideration was given to the assassination of the German Ambassador at Prague to create the requisite incident. The necessity of propaganda to guide the conduct of Germans in Czechoslovakia and to intimidate the Czechs was recognized. Problems of transport and tactics were discussed with a view to overcoming all Czechoslovak resistance within four days, thus presenting the world with a fait accompli and forestalling outside intervention. (388-PS, Item 2)

Thus in mid-April 1938 the designs of the Nazi conspirators to conquer Czechoslovakia had already reached the stage of practical planning.

B. The Background of Friendly Diplomatic Relations.

This conspiracy must be viewed against a background of amicable German-Czech diplomatic relations. Although they had in the fall of 1937 determined to destroy the Czechoslovak State, the leaders of the German government were bound by a treaty of arbitration and by assurances freely given to observe the sovereignty of Czechoslovakia. By a formal treaty signed at Locarno on 16 October 1925, Germany and Czechoslovakia agreed, with certain exceptions, to refer to an arbitral tribunal or to the Permanent Court of International Justice,

“* * * all disputes of every kind between Germany and Czechoslovakia with regard to which the parties are in conflict as to their respective rights, and which it may not be possible to settle amicably by the normal methods of diplomacy. * * * “ (TC-14)

The preamble of this treaty stated:

“The President of the German Empire and the President of the Czechoslovak Republic; equally resolved to maintain peace between Germany and Czechoslovakia by assuring the peaceful settlement of differences which might arise between the two countries; declaring that respect for the rights established by treaty or resulting from the law of nations is obligatory for international tribunals; agreeing to recognize that the rights of a State cannot be modified save with its consent; and considering that sincere observance of the methods of peaceful settlement of international disputes permits of resolving, without recourse to force, questions which may become the cause of division between States; have decided to embody in a treaty their common intentions in this respect. * * * “ (TC-14)

Formal and categoric assurances of their good will toward Czechoslovakia were forthcoming from the Nazi conspirators as late as March 1938. On 11 and 12 March 1938, at the time of the annexation of Austria, Germany had a considerable interest in inducing Czechoslovakia not to mobilize. At this time Goering assured M. Mastny, the Czechoslovak Minister in Berlin, on behalf of the German Government that German-Czech relations were not adversely affected by the developments in Austria and that Germany had no hostile intentions toward Czechoslovakia. As a token of his sincerity Goering accompanied his assurance with the statement: “Ich gebe Ihnen mein Ehrenwort” ("I give you my word of honor") (TC-27). At the same time von Neurath, who was handling German foreign affairs during Ribbentrop’s stay in London, assured M. Mastny on behalf of Hitler and the German government that Germany still considered herself bound by the Arbitration Convention of 1925 (TC-27).

C. Planning for Aggression.

Behind the screen of these assurances the Nazi conspirators proceeded with their military and political plans for aggression. Ever since the preceding fall it had been established that the immediate aim of German policy was the elimination of Austria and Czechoslovakia. In both countries the Nazi conspirators planned to undermine the will to resist by propaganda and by fifth column activities, while the actual military preparations were being developed. The Austrian operation, which received priority for political and strategic reasons, was carried out in February and March 1938. Thenceforth Wehrmacht planning was devoted to Case Green (Fall Gruen), the designation given to the operation against Czechoslovakia.

The military plans for Case Green had been drafted in outline form as early as June 1937. The OKW top secret “Directive for the Unified Preparation of the Armed Forces for War", signed by von Blomberg on 24 June 1937 and promulgated to the Army, Navy, and Luftwaffe for the year beginning 1 July 1937, included as a probable warlike eventuality, for which a concentration plan was to be drafted, Case Green ("War on two fronts with the main struggle in the southeast") (C-175). The original section of this directive dealing with the “probable war” against Czechoslovakia-it was later revised-opens with this supposition:

“The war in the east can begin with a surprise German operation against Czechoslovakia in order to parry the imminent attack of a superior enemy coalition. The necessary conditions to justify such an action politically and in the eyes of international law must be created beforehand.” (C-175)

After detailing possible enemies and neutrals in the event of such action, the directive continues as follows:

“2. The task of the German Armed Forces is to make their preparations in such a way that the bulk of all forces can break into Czechoslovakia quickly, by surprise, and with the greatest force, while in the West the minimum strength is provided as rear cover for this attack.

“The aim and object of this surprise attack by the German Armed Forces should be to eliminate from the very beginning, and for the duration of the war, the threat by Czechoslovakia to the rear of the operations in the West, and to take from the Russian Air Force the most substantial portion of its operational base in Czechoslovakia. This must be done by the defeat of the enemy armed forces and the occupation of Bohemia and Moravia.” (C-175)

The introduction to this directive sets forth as one of its guiding principles the following statement:

“The politically fluid world situation, which does not preclude surprising incidents, demands constant preparedness for war on the part of the German Armed Forces * * * to make possible the military exploitation of politically favorable opportunities should they occur.” (C-175)

It ordered further work on the plan for mobilization without public announcement “in order to put the Armed Forces in a position to be able to begin a war suddenly which will take the enemy by surprise both as regards strength and time of attack.” (C-175). This directive is, of course, a directive for staff planning. But the nature of the planning, and the very tangible and ominous developments which resulted from it, give it a significance that it would not have in another setting.

Planning along the lines of this directive was carried forward during the fall of 1937 and the winter of 1937-1938. On the political level this planning for the conquest of Czechoslovakia received the approval and support of Hitler in the conference with his military commanders-in-chief on 5 November 1937 (386-PS). in early March 1938, before the march into Austria, Ribbentrop and Keitel were concerned over the extent of the information about war aims against Czechoslovakia to be furnished to Hungary. On 4 March 1938 Ribbentrop wrote to Keitel, enclosing for Keitel’s confidential cognizance the minutes of a conference with Sztojay, the Hungarian ambassador to Germany, who had suggested an interchange of views (2786-PS). An acknowledgment of the receipt of this letter was signed by Keitel on 5 March. In his letter to Keitel, Ribbentrop said:

“I have many doubts about such negotiations. In case we should discuss with Hungary possible war aims against Czechoslovakia, the danger exists that other parties as well would be informed about this. I would greatly appreciate it if you would notify me briefly whether any commitments were made here in any respect.” (2786-PS)

D. Development of Specific Plans.

At the 21 April meeting between Hitler and Keitel, specific plans for the attack on Czechoslovakia were discussed for the first time (388-PS, Item 2). This meeting was followed in the late spring and summer of 1938 by a series of memoranda and telegrams advancing Case Green. These notes and communications were carefully filed at Hitler’s headquarters by Major Schmundt, the Fuehrer’s military adjutant, and were captured by American troops in a cellar at Obersalzberg, Hitler’s headquarters, near Berchtesgaden. This file, preserved intact, is document (388-PS).

The individual items in this file tell more graphically than any narrative the progress of the Nazi conspirators' planning to launch an unprovoked war against Czechoslovakia. From the start the Nazi leaders displayed a lively interest in intelligence data concerning Czechoslovak armament and defense. This interest is reflected in Item 4 of the Schmundt file, a telegram from Colonel Zeitzler in General Jodl’s office of the OKW to Schmundt at Hitler’s headquarters; Item 12, Short survey of Armament of the Czech Army, dated Berlin 9 June 1938 and initialed “Z” for Zeitzler; and Item 13, Questions of the Fuehrer, dated Berlin, 9 June 1938 and classified “Most Secret". The following are four of the questions on which Hitler wanted authoritative information:

“Question 1: Armament of the Czech Army?

“Question 2: How many battalions, etc., are employed in the West for the construction of emplacements?

“Question 3: Are the fortifications of Czechoslovakia still occupied in unreduced strength?

“Question 4: Frontier protection in the West?” (388-PS, Item 13)

These questions were answered in detail by the OKW and initialed by Colonel Zeitzler of Jodl’s staff.

As a precaution against French and British action during the attack on Czechoslovakia, it was necessary for the Nazi conspirators to rush the preparation of fortification measures along the western frontier of Germany. A telegram, presumably sent from Schmundt in Berchtesgaden to Berlin, read in part as follows:

“Inform Colonel General von Brauchitsch and General Keitel: * * * The Fuehrer repeatedly emphasized the necessity of pressing forward greatly the fortification work in the west.” (388-PS, Item 8)

In May, June, July, and August of 1938 conferences between Hitler and his political and military advisers resulted in the issuance of a series of constantly revised directives for the attack. It was decided that preparations for X-day, the day of the attack, should be completed no later than 1 October.

On the afternoon of 28 May 1938 Hitler called a conference of his principal military and political advisers in the winter garden of the Reichs Chancellery in Berlin. This conference was the occasion on which Hitler made known to the inner circle of the Nazi conspirators the outlines of his plan to attack Czechoslovakia and issued the necessary instructions. The meeting is described in an affidavit of Fritz Wiedemann, who at that time was Hitler’s adjutant:

“FRITZ WIEDEMANN, being first duly sworn, deposes and says as follows:

“From the month of January 1935 to January 1939 I served as adjutant to Hitler. In this time my duties were to handle correspondence and complaints addressed to the Fuehrer’s office. Occasionally I attended conferences held by the Fuehrer.

“I recall that on the afternoon of 28 May 1938 Hitler called a conference in the winter garden of the Reichs Chancellery of all the people who were important, from the Foreign Office, the Army, and the Command Staffs. Those present at this conference, as I recall, included Goering, Ribbentrop, von Neurath, General Back, Admiral Raeder, General Keitel, and General von Brauchitsch. On this occasion Hitler made the following statement: 'It is my unshakable will that Czechoslovakia shall be wiped off the map.' Hitler then revealed the outlines of the plan to attack Czechoslovakia. Hitler addressed himself to the Generals, saying: 'So, we will first tackle the situation in the East. Then I will give you three to four years' time, and then we will settle the situation in the West.' The situation in the West was meant to be the war against England and France.

“I was considerably shaken by these statements, and on leaving the Reichs Chancellery I said to Herr von Neurath: 'Well, what do you say to these revelations?' Neurath thought that the situation was not so serious as it appeared and that nothing would happen before the spring of 1939.

“/s/ Fr. Wiedemann.” (3037-PS)

In the months after the occupation of the Sudetenland Hitler made no secret of this meeting. In a speech before the Reichstag on 30 January 1939, Hitler spoke as follows:

“On account of this intolerable provocation which had been aggravated by a truly infamous persecution and terrorization of our Germans there, I had resolved to solve once and for all, and this time radically, the Sudeten German question. On May 28 I ordered (1) that preparations should be made for military action against this state by October 2. I ordered (2) the immense and accelerated expansion of our defensive front in the West.” (2360-PS)

Hitler also referred to this conference in his meeting with President Hacha on 15 March 1939. (2798-PS)

Two days after this conference, on 30 May 1938, Hitler issued the revised military directive for Case Green. This directive is Item 11 in the Schmundt file (388-PS). Entitled “Two front war with main effort in the Southeast,” this directive replaced the corresponding section, Part 2, Section II, of the “Directive for Unified Preparation for War” promulgated by von Blomberg on 24 June 1937 (C-175). This directive represented a further development of the ideas for political and military action discussed by Hitler and Keitel in their conference on 21 April. It is an expansion of a rough draft submitted by Keitel to Hitler on 20 May, which may be found as Item 5 in the Schmundt file (388-PS). It was signed by Hitler. Only five copies were made. Three copies were forwarded with a covering letter from Keitel to General von Brauchitsch for the Army, to Raeder for the Navy, and to Goering for the Luftwaffe. In his covering memorandum Keitel noted that its execution must be assured “as from 1 October 1938 at the latest". (388-PS, Item 11)

This document, which is the basic directive under which the Wehrmacht carried out its planning for Case Green, reads as follows:

“1. Political Prerequisites.

“It is my unalterable decision to smash Czechoslovakia by military action in the near future. It is the job of the political leaders to await or bring about the politically and militarily suitable moment.

“An inevitable development of conditions inside Czechoslovakia or other political events in Europe creating a surprisingly favorable opportunity and one which may never come again may cause me to take early action.

“The proper choice and determined and full utilization of a favorable moment is the surest guarantee of success. Accordingly the preparations are to be made at once.

“2. Political Possibilities for the Commencement of the Action.

“The following are necessary prerequisites for the intended invasion:

“a. suitable obvious cause and, with it

“b. sufficient political justification,

“c action unexpected by the enemy, which will find him prepared to the least possible degree.

“From a military as well as a political standpoint the most favorable course is a lightning-swift action as the result of an incident through which Germany is provoked in an unbearable way for which at least part of world opinion will grant the moral justification of military action.

“But even a period of tension, more or less preceding a war, must terminate in sudden action on our part-which must have the elements of surprise as regards time and extent-before the enemy is so advanced in military preparedness that he cannot be surpassed.

“3. Conclusions for the Preparation of “Fall Gruen".

a. For the Armed War it is essential that the surprise element as the most important factor contributing to success be made full use of by appropriate preparatory measures already in peace-time and by an unexpectedly rapid course of the action. Thus it is essential to create a situation within the first four days which plainly demonstrates, to hostile nations eager to intervene, the hopelessness of the Czechoslovakian military situation and which at the same time will give nations with territorial claims on Czechoslovakia an incentive to intervene immediately against Czechoslovakia. In such a case, intervention by Poland and Hungary against Czechoslovakia may be expected, especially if France-due to the obvious pro-German attitude of Italy-fears, or at least hesitates, to unleash a European war by intervening against Germany. Attempts by Russia to give military support to Czechoslovakia mainly by the Air Force are to be expected. If concrete successes are not achieved by the land operations within the first few days, a European crisis will certainly result. This knowledge must give commanders of all ranks the impetus to decided and bold action.

“b. The Propaganda War must on the one hand intimidate Czechoslovakia by threats and soften her power of resistance, on the other hand issue directions to national groups for support in the Armed War and influence the neutrals into our way of thinking. I reserve further directions and determination of the date.

“4. Tasks of the Armed Forces.

“Armed Forces Preparations are to be made on the following basis:

“a. The mass of all forces must be employed against Czechoslovakia.

“b. For the West, a minimum of forces are to be provided as rear cover which may be required, the other frontiers in the East against Poland and Lithuania are merely to be protected, the Southern frontiers to be watched.

“c. The sections of the army which can be rapidly employed must force the frontier fortifications with speed and decision and must break into Czechoslovakia with the greatest daring in the certainty that the bulk of the mobile army will follow them with the utmost speed. Preparations for this are to be made and timed in such a way that the sections of the army which can be rapidly employed cross the frontier at the appointed time at the same time as the penetration by the Air Force before the enemy can become aware of our mobilization.

“For this, a timetable between Army and Air Force is to be worked out in conjunction with OKW and submitted to me for approval.

“5. Missions for the branches of the Armed Forces.

“a. Army: The basic principle of the surprise attack against Czechoslovakia must not be endangered by the inevitable time required for transporting the bulk of the field forces by rail nor the initiative of the Air Force be wasted. Therefore it is first of all essential to the army that as many assault columns as possible be employed at the same time as the surprise attack by the Air Force. These assault columns-the composition of each, according to their tasks at that time-must be formed with troops which can be employed rapidly owing to their proximity to the frontier or to motorization and to special measures of readiness. It must be the purpose of these thrusts to break into the Czechoslovakian fortification lines at numerous points and in a strategically favorable direction, to achieve a breakthrough or to break them down from the rear. For the success of this operation, cooperation with the Sudeten German frontier population, with deserters from the Czechoslovakian army, with parachutists or airborne troops and with units of the sabotage service will be of importance. The bulk of the army has the task of frustrating the Czechoslovakian plan of defense, of preventing the Czechoslovakian army from escaping into Slovakia, of forcing a battle, of beating the Czechoslovakian army and of occupying Bohemia and Moravia speedily. To this end a thrust into the heart of Czechoslovakia must be made with the strongest possible motorized and armored units using to the full the first successes of the assault columns and the effects of the Air Force operations. The rear cover provided for the West must be limited in numbers and quality to the extent which suits the present state of fortifications. Whether the units assigned this will be transported to the Western frontier immediately or held back for the time being will be decided in my special order. Preparations must however, be made to enable security detachments to be brought up to the Western frontier even during the strategic concentration 'Gruen'. Independent of this, a first security garrison must be improvised from the engineers at present employed in constructing fortifications and from formations of the Labor Corps. The remaining frontiers as well as East Prussia, are to be only weakly protected. But, always depending on the political situation, the transfers by sea, of a part or even the bulk of the active forces of East Prussia, into the Reich must be taken into account.

“b. Air Force. While leaving a minimum of defensive forces in the West, the Air Force is to be employed in bulk in a surprise attack against Czechoslovakia. The frontier is to be flown over at the same time as it is crossed by the first section of the Army * * *.” (388-PS, Item 11)

After detailed instructions for action by the Luftwaffe and by the Navy the directive continues as follows:

“In war economy it is essential that in the field of the armament industry a maximum-deployment of forces is made possible through increased supplies. In the course of operations, it is of value to contribute to the reinforcement of the total war-economic strength by rapidly reconnoitering and restarting important factories. For this reason the sparing of Czechoslovakian industrial and works installations-insofar as military operations permit-can be of decisive importance to us.” (388-PS, Item 11)

In other words, the Nazi conspirators, four months before the date of their planned attack, were already looking forward to the contribution which the Czech industrial plant would make to the Nazi war economy. The last paragraph of this directive reads as follows:

“All preparations for sabotage and insurrection will be made by OKW. They will be made, in agreement with and according to the requirement of the branches of the Armed Forces, so that their effects accord with the operations of the Army and Air Force.


“Certified copy

“(Signed) Zeitzler

“Oberstleutnant on the General Staff.”

(388-PS, Item 11)

Three weeks later, on 18 June 1938, a draft for a new directive was prepared and initialed by Keitel. It does not supersede the 30 May directive. It reads, in part:

“The immediate aim is a solution of the Czech problem by my own, free decision; this stands in the foreground of my political intentions. I am determined to use to the full every favorable political opportunity to realize this aim.”

“However, I will decide to take action against Czechoslovakia only if I am firmly convinced as in the case of the occupation of the demilitarized zone and the entry into Austria that France will not march and therefore England will not intervene.”

“The directives necessary for the prosecution of the war itself will be issued by me form time to time.”

“K [Initialed by Keitel]

“Z [Initialed by Zeitzler]”

(388-PS, Item 14)

The second and third parts of this directive contain general directions for the deployment of troops and for precautionary measures in view of the possibility that, during the execution of Case Green, France or England might declare war on Germany. Six pages of complicated schedules which follow this draft in the original have not been translated into English. These schedules, which constitute Item 15 in the Schmundt file (388-PS), give a time table of specific measures for the preparation of the Army, Navy, and Luftwaffe for the contemplated action.

Corroboration for the documents in the Schmundt file is found in three entries in General Jodl’s diary written in the spring of 1938 (1780-PS). Although the first entry is not dated, it appears to have been written several months after the annexation of Austria:

“After annexation of Austria, the Fuehrer mentions that there is no hurry to solve the Czech question because Austria has to be digested first. Nevertheless preparations for Case Green will have to be carried out energetically; they will have to be newly prepared on the basis of the changed strategic position because of the annexation of Austria. State of preparations (see memorandum L I a of 19 April) reported to the Fuehrer on 21 April.

“The intention of the Fuehrer not to touch the Czech problem as yet is changed because of the Czech strategic troop concentration of 21 May, which occurs without any German threat and without the slightest cause for it.

“Because of Germany’s self restraint, its consequences lead to a loss of prestige of the Fuehrer, which he is not willing to take once more. Therefore, the new order is issued for 'green' on 30 May.”

“23 May:

“Major Schmundt reports ideas of the Fuehrer. Further conferences, which gradually reveal the exact intentions of the Fuehrer take place with the Chief of the Armed Forces High Command (OKW) on 28 May, 3 and 9 June, see enclosures. (War Diary L).”

“30 May:

“The fuehrer signs directive Green, where he states his final decision to destroy Czechoslovakia soon and thereby initiates military preparation all along the line. The previous intentions of the Army must be changed considerably in the direction of an immediate break-through into Czechoslovakia right on D-Day (X-Tag), combined with aerial penetration by the Air Force. Further details are derived from directive for strategic concentration of the army. The whole contrast becomes acute once more between the Fuehrer’s intuition that we must do it this year and the opinion of the Army that we cannot do it as yet, as most certainly the Western Powers will interfere and we are not as yet equal to them.” (1780-PS)

E. Luftwaffe Participation in Early Planning for Case Green.

During the spring and summer of 1938 the Luftwaffe was also engaged in planning in connection with the forthcoming Case Green and the further expansion of the Reich. A Top Secret Document, dated 2 June 1938, was issued by Air Group Command 3 and entitled “Plan Study 1938: Instruction for Deployment and Combat: Case Red.” (R-150). This is another staff plan, this time for mobilization and employment of the Luftwaffe in the event of war with France. It is given significance by the considerable progress, at this date, in planning for the attack on Czechoslovakia. Various possibilities under which war with France may occur are noted: all of them are predicated on the assumption of a German-Czech conflict:

“France will

“a either interfere in the struggle between the Reich and Czechoslovakia in the course of 'Case Green', or

“b start hostilities simultaneously with Czechoslovakia.

“c It is possible but not likely that France will begin the fight, while Czechoslovakia still remains aloof.”

“Regardless of whether France enters the war as a result of 'Case Green' or whether she makes the opening move of the war simultaneously with Czechoslovakia, in any case the mass of the German offensive formations will, in conjunction with the Army, first deliver the decisive blow against Czechoslovakia.” (R-150)

By midsummer direct and detailed planning for Case Green was being carried out by the Luftwaffe. In early August, at the direction of the Luftwaffe General Staff, the German Air Attaché in Prague reconnoitered the Freudenthal area of Czechoslovakia, south of Upper Silesia, for suitable landing grounds. This action is disclosed by a report of the Luftwaffe General Staff. Intelligence Division, dated 12 August 1938 (1536-PS). This was a Top Secret document, for General Officers only, of which only two copies were made. Attached as an enclosure was the report of Major Moericke, the German air attaché in Prague, dated 4 August 1938. The first four paragraphs of the enclosure read:

“I was ordered by the General Staff of the Air Force to reconnoiter the land in the region Freudenthal/Freihermersdorf for landing possibilities.

“For this purpose I obtained private lodgings in Freudenthal with the manufacturer Macholdt, through one of my trusted men in Prague.

“I had specifically ordered this man to give no details about me to M, particularly about my official position.

“I used my official car (Dienst Pkw) for the journey to Freudenthal, taking precautions against being observed.” (1536-PS)

By 25 August the imminence of the attack on Czechoslovakia compelled the issuance by the Luftwaffe of a detailed intelligence memorandum entitled “Extended Case Green,” which consisted of an estimate of possible action by the Western Powers during the attack on Czechoslovakia (375-PS). This Top Secret memorandum of the Intelligence Section of the Luftwaffe General Staff is dated at Berlin, 25 August 1938. Based on the assumption that Great Britain and France will declare war on Germany during Case Green, this study contains an estimate of the strategy and air strength of the Western Powers as of 1 October 1938, the target date for Case Green. The first two sentences read as follows:

“The basic assumption is that France will declare war during the Case Green. It is presumed that France will only decide upon war if active military assistance by Great Britain is definitely assured.” (375-PS)

F. Negotiations with Italy and Hungary about Case Green.

Knowledge of pending action against Czechoslovakia was not confined to a close circle of high officials of the Reich. During the summer Germany’s allies, Italy and Hungary, were apprised by one means or another of the plans of the Nazi conspirators. A captured document from German Foreign Office files contains a confidential memorandum of a conversation with the Italian ambassador, Attolico, in Berlin on 18 July 1938 (2800-PS). At the bottom is a handwritten note, headed “For the Reichsminister {Ribbentrop} only.” This note reads:

“Attolico added that we had made it unmistakably clear to the Italians what our intentions are regarding Czechoslovakia. He also knew the appointed time well enough so that he could take perhaps a two months' holiday now which he could not do later on.

“Giving an idea of the attitude of other governments Attolico mentioned that the Roumanian government had refused to grant application for leave to its Berlin Minister.” (2800-PS)

A month later Mussolini sent a message to Berlin, asking that he be told the date on which Case Green would take place. The German response is outlined in a German Foreign Office note on a conversation with Ambassador Attolico, signed “R” (for Ribbentrop) and dated 23 August 1938:

“On the voyage of the 'Patria' Ambassador Attolico explained to me that he had instructions to request the notification of a contemplated time for German action against Czechoslovakia from the German government.

“In case the Czechs should again cause a provocation against Germany, Germany would march. This would be tomorrow, in six months or perhaps in a year. However, I could promise him, that the German government, in case of an increasing gravity of the situation or as soon as the Fuehrer made his decision, would notify the Italian Chief of Government as rapidly as possible. In any case, the Italian government will be the first one who will receive such a notification.

“23 Aug 1938

“R (initial).” (2791-PS)

Four days later Attolico again asked to be notified of the date of the pending attack. The conversation is recorded in another German Foreign Office Memorandum:

“Ambassador Attolico paid me a visit today at 12 o'clock to communicate the following:

“He had received another written instruction from Mussolini asking that Germany communicate in time the probable date of action against Czechoslovakia. Mussolini asked for such notification, as Mr. Attolico assured me, in order 'to be able to take in due time the necessary measures on the French frontier.'

“Berlin, 27 August 1938


“N. B. I replied to Ambassador Attolico, just as on his former demarche, that I could not impart any date to him, that, however, in any case Mussolini would be the first one to be informed of any decision.

“Berlin, 2 September 1938.” (2792-PS)

Hungary, which borders Czechoslovakia to the southeast, was from the first considered to be a possible participant in Case Green. It will be recalled that in early March 1938 Keitel and Ribbentrop had exchanged letters on the question of bringing Hungary into the Nazi planning (2786-PS). At that time the decision was in the negative. But by mid-August 1938 the Nazi conspirators were attempting to persuade Hungary to join in the attack.

From August 21st to 26th Admiral Horthy and some of his ministers visited Germany. Admiral Horthy witnessed the launching of the Prince Eugen and conferred with Hitler. There were discussions of the Czechoslovak question. A captured German Foreign Office document, signed by von Weizsacker, records the conversations between Hitler and Ribbentrop and a Hungarian delegation consisting of Horthy, Imredy, and Kanya aboard the S. S. Patria on 23 August 1938 (2796-PS). In this conference Ribbentrop inquired about the Hungarian attitude in the event of a German attack on Czechoslovakia and suggested that such an attack would prove to be a good opportunity for Hungary. The Hungarians, with the exception of Horthy, who wished to put the Hungarian intention to participate on record, proved reluctant to commit themselves. Thereupon Hitler emphasized Ribbentrop’s statement, and said:

“Whoever wanted to join the meal would have to participate in the cooking as well.” (2796-PS)

Von Weizsacker’s memorandum reads as follows:

“Von Ribbentrop inquired what Hungary’s attitude would be if the Fuehrer would carry out his decision to answer a new Czech provocation by force. The reply of the Hungarians presented two kinds of obstacles: The Yugoslavian neutrality must be assured if Hungary marches towards the North and perhaps the East. Moreover, the Hungarian rearmament had only been started and 1 or 2 more years' time for its development should be allowed.

“Von Ribbentrop then explained to the Hungarians that the Yugoslavs would not dare to march while they were between the pincers of the Axis Powers. Rumania alone would therefore not move. England and France would also remain tranquil. England would not recklessly risk her Empire. She knew our newly acquired power. In reference to time, however, for the above-mentioned situation, nothing definite could be predicted since it would depend on Czech provocation. Von Ribbentrop repeated that whoever desires revision must exploit the good opportunity and participate.

“The Hungarian reply thus remained a conditional one. Upon the question of von Ribbentrop, what purpose the desired General Staff conferences were to have, not much more was brought forward than the Hungarian desire of a mutual inventory of military material and preparedness for the Czech conflict. The clear political basis for such a conference-the time of Hungarian intervention-was not obtained.

“In the meantime, more positive language was used by von Horthy in his talk with the Fuehrer. He wished not to hide his doubts with regard to the English attitude, but he wished to put Hungary’s intention to participate on record. The Hungarian Ministers were and remained, even later, more skeptical since they feel more strongly about the immediate danger for Hungary with its unprotected flanks.

“When von Imredy had a discussion with the Fuehrer in the afternoon, he was very relieved when the Fuehrer explained to him, that, in regard to the situation in question, he demanded nothing of Hungary. He himself would not know the time. Whoever wanted to join the meal would have to participate in the cooking as well. Should Hungary wish conferences of the General Staffs, he would have no objections.” (2796-PS)

By the third day of the conference the Germans were able to note that in the event of a German-Czech conflict Hungary would be sufficiently armed for participation on 1 October. Another captured German Foreign Office Memorandum reports a conversation between Ribbentrop and Kanya on 25 August 1938. The last paragraph of this memorandum states:

“Concerning Hungary’s military preparedness in case of a German-Czech conflict von Kanya mentioned several days ago that his country would need a period of one to two years in order to develop adequately the armed strength of Hungary. During today’s conversation von Kanya corrected this remark and said that Hungary’s military situation was much better. His country would be ready, as far as armaments were concerned, to take part in the conflict by October 1st of this year.” (2797-PS)

The signature to this document is not clear, but it appears to be that of von Weizsacker.

These accounts of the German-Hungarian conference are corroborated by General Jodl’s diary. The entry for 21-26 August reads as follows:

“21-26 August:

“Visit to Germany of the Hungarian Regent (Reichsverweser). Accompanied by the Prime minister, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Honored Minister v. Raatz.

“They arrive with the idea that in the course of a great war, after a few years, and with the help of German troops, the old state of Hungary can be reestablished. They leave with the understanding that we have neither demands from, nor claims against them, but that Germany will not stand for a second provocation by Czechoslovakia, even if it should be tomorrow. If they want to participate at that moment, it is up to them.

“Germany, however, will never play the role of arbitrator between them and Poland. The Hungarians agree; but they believe that, when the issue arises, a period of 48 hours would be indispensable to them to find out Yugoslavia’s attitude.” (1780-PS)

The upshot of the talks with the Hungarians proved to be a staff conference on 6 September. Jodl’s diary entry for that day states:

“6 September:

“Chief of General Staff, General of Artillery Halder, has a conference with the Hungarian Chief of General Staff Fischer.

“Before that he is briefed by me on the political attitude of the Fuehrer-especially his order not to give any hint on the exact moment. The same with OQI, General v. Stuelpnagel.” (1780-PS)

G. Final Preparations for the Attack.

The setting in which these events took place was that of the Munich Pact and the international crisis which led to it. As this crisis was developing in August and September 1938, frantic efforts were being made by the statesmen of the world to preserve the peace of the world. These statesmen, unfortunately, were unaware of the plans and designs of the Nazi conspirators.

The documents captured by Allied troops reveal the hitherto unknown story underlying the Pact of Munich. These papers reveal the fraud and deceit practiced by the Nazi conspirators in negotiating the Pact of Munich as a stepping-stone toward further aggression. The hope for peace which came with the Munich Pact, which later turned out to be a snare and a deceit, was a trap carefully set by the Nazi conspirators. The nature of the trap is indicated by the events of the weeks just preceding the Munich agreement.

With a 1 October target date set for Case Green, there was a noticeable increase in the tempo of the military preparations in late August and September. Actual preparations for the attack on Czechoslovakia were well under way. The agenda of the Nazi conspirators were devoted to technical details: the timing of X-day, questions of mobilization, questions of transport and supply.

On 26 August Jodl initialed a memorandum entitled “Timing of the X-Order and the Question of Advance Measures” (388-PS, Item 17). This memorandum demonstrates clearly the complicity of the OKW and of Keitel and Jodl, in the fabrication of an incident as an excuse for war. It reveals the character of the attack that Germany was preparing to launch. The memorandum reads as follows:


“The Luftwaffe’s endeavor to take the enemy air forces by surprise at their peace-time airports justifiably leads them to oppose measures taken in advance of the X-order and to the demand that the X-order itself be given sufficiently late on X minus 1 to prevent the fact of Germany’s mobilization becoming known to Czechoslovakia on that day.

“The army’s efforts are tending in the opposite direction. It intends to let OKW initiate all advance measures between X minus 3 and X minus 1, which will contribute to the smooth and rapid working of the mobilization. With this in mind OKW also demands that the X order be given not later than 1400 on X minus 1.

“To this the following must be said:

“Operation (Aktion) Green will be set in motion by means of an 'incident' in Czechoslovakia which will give Germany provocation for military intervention. The fixing of the exact time for this incident is of the utmost importance.

“It must come at a time when weather conditions are favorable for our superior air forces to go into action and at an hour which will enable authentic news of it to reach us on the afternoon of X minus 1.

“It can then be spontaneously answered by the giving of the X order at 1400 on X minus 1.

“On X minus 2 the Navy, Army and Air Force will merely receive an advance warning.

“If the Fuehrer intends to follow this plan of action, all further discussion is superfluous.

“For then no advance measures may be taken before X minus 1 for which there is not an innocent explanation as we shall otherwise appear to have manufactured the incident. orders for absolutely essential advance measures must be given in good time and camouflaged with the help of the numerous maneuvers and exercises.

“Also, the question raised by the Foreign Office as to whether all Germans should be called back in time from prospective enemy territories must in no way lead to the conspicuous departure from Czechoslovakia of any German subjects before the incident.

“Even a warning of the diplomatic representatives in Prague is impossible before the first air attack, although the consequences could be very grave in the event of their becoming victims of such an attack (e. g., death of representatives of friendly or confirmed neutral powers.)

“If, for technical reasons, the evening hours should be considered desirable for the incident, then the following day cannot be X day, but it must be the day after that.

“In any case we must act on the principle that nothing must be done before the incident which might point to mobilization, and that the swiftest possible action must be taken after the incident. (X-Fall)

“It is the purpose of these notes to point out what a great interest the Wehrmacht has in the incident and that it must be informed of the Fuehrer’s intentions in good time-in so far as the Abwehr Section is not also charged with the organization of the incident.

“I request that the Fuehrer’s decision be obtained on these points.

“J [Jodl] 26/8.”

(388-PS, Item 17)

In handwriting at the bottom of the page are the notes of Schmundt, Hitler’s adjutant. These reveal that the memorandum was submitted to Hitler on 30 August; that Hitler agreed to act along these lines; and that Jodl was so notified on 31 August.

On 3 September Keitel and von Brauchitsch met with Hitler at the Berghof. Again Schmundt kept notes of the conference (388-PS, Item 18). The first three paragraphs of these minutes state:

“Gen. Ob. v. Brauchitsch: Reports on the exact time of the transfer of the troops to 'exercise areas' for 'Gruen'. Field units to be transferred on 28 Sept. From here will then be ready for action. When X Day becomes known, field units carry out exercises in opposite directions.

“Fuehrer: Has objection. Troops assemble field units a 2-day march away. Carry out camouflage exercises everywhere.

“?: OKH must know when X-day is by 1200 noon, 27 September.” (388-PS, Item 18)

During the remainder of the conference Hitler gave his views on the strategy the German armies should employ and the strength of the Czech defenses they would encounter. He spoke of the possibility of “drawing in the Heinlein people.” The situation in the West still troubled him. Schmundt noted:

“The Fuehrer gives orders for the development of the Western fortifications; improvement of advance positions around Aachen and Saarbrucken. Construction of 300 to 400 battery positions (1600 artillery pieces.)” (388-PS, Item 18)

Five days later General Stulpnagel asked Jodl for written assurance that the OKH would be informed five days in advance about the pending action. In the evening Jodl conferred with Luftwaffe generals about the coordination of ground and air operations at the start of the attack. The 8 September entry in General Jodl’s diary states:

“8 September:

“General Stulpnagel OQI asks for written assurance that the Army High Command will be informed five days in advance if the plan is to take place. I agree and add that the overall meteorological situation can be estimated to some extent only for two days in advance, and that therefore the plans may be changed up to this moment (D-day-2) (X-2 TAGE).

“General Stulpnagel mentions that for the first time he wonders whether the previous basis of the plan is not being abandoned. It presupposed that the Western Powers would not interfere decisively. It gradually seems as if the Fuehrer would stick to his decision even though he may no longer be of this opinion. It must be added that Hungary is at least moody and that Italy is reserved.

“I must admit that I am worrying too, when comparing the change of opinion about political and military potentialities, according to directives of 24 June, 5 Nov 37, 7 Dec 37, 30 May 38, with the last statements.

“In spite of that one must be aware of the fact that the other nations will do everything they can to apply pressure to us. We must pass this test of nerves, but because only very few people know the art of withstanding this pressure successfully, the only possible solution is to inform only a very small circle of officers of news that causes us anxiety, and not to have it circulate through anterooms as heretofore. “1800 hours to 2100 hours: Conference with Chief of Army High Command and Chief of General Staff of the Air Force (present were Jeschonnek, Kammhuber, Sternburg and myself).

“We agree about the promulgation of the D-Day order (X-Befehl), (X-1, 4 o'clock) and preannouncement to the Air Force (D-Day-1, X-1 day, 7 o'clock). The 'Y time' has yet to be examined; some formations have an approach flight of one hour.” (1780-PS)

Late on the evening of the following day, 9 September, Hitler met with Keitel and Generals von Brauchitsch and Halder at Nurnberg. Dr. Todt, the construction engineer, later joined the conference, which lasted from 10 in the evening until 3:30 the following morning. Schmundt’s minutes are Item 19 in his file (388-PS). In this meeting General Halder reviewed the missions assigned to four of the German armies being committed to the attack: the 2d, 10th, 12th, and 14th. With his characteristic enthusiasm for military planning, Hitler then delivered a soliloquy on strategic considerations which should be taken into account as the attack developed. The discussions proceeded as follows:

“General Oberst v. Brauchitsch: Employment of motorized divisions was based on the difficult rail situation in Austria and the difficulties in getting other divisions (ready to march) into the area at the right time. In the West vehicles will have to leave on the 20th of Sept. if X-Day remains as planned. Workers leave on the 23d, by relays. Specialist workers remain according to decision by Army Command 2.

“The Fuehrer: Doesn’t see why workers have to return home as early as X-11. Other workers and people are also on the way on mobilization day. Also the RR cars, they will stand around unnecessarily later on.

“General Keitel: Workers are not under the jurisdiction of district commands (Bezirks Kdos.) in the West. Trains must be assembled.

“v. Brauchitsch: 235,000 men RAD (Labour Service) will be drafted. 96 Construction Bns will be distributed (also in the east). 40,000 trained laborers stay in the West.” (388-PS, Item 19)

From this date forward the Nazi conspirators were occupied with the intricate planning required before the attack. On 11 September Jodl conferred with a representative of the Propaganda Ministry about methods of refuting German violations of International Law and exploiting those of the Czechs. The 11 September entry in the Jodl diary reads as follows:

“11 September:

“In the afternoon conference with Secretary of State Jahnke from the Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda on imminent common tasks.

“The joint preparations for refutation (Wiederlegung) of our own violations of international law, and the exploitation of its violations by the enemy, were considered particularly important.” (1780-PS)

This discussion developed into a detailed study compiled by Section L, Jodl’s section of the OKW (C-2). Seven copies of this captured document were prepared and distributed on 1 October 1938 to the OKH, the OKM, the Luftwaffe, and the Foreign Office. In this study anticipated violations of International Law in the invasion of Czechoslovakia are listed and counter-propaganda suggested for the use of the propaganda agencies. This document is presented in a tabular form, in which possible incidents are listed in the left-hand column. In the second column are given specific examples of the incidents; in the third and fourth columns the position to be taken toward these incidents under International Law and under the laws of warfare is set forth; the fifth column, which is blank, is reserved for the explanation to be offered by the Propaganda Minister. The first 10 hypothetical incidents, for which justification must be found, and which are listed in column b of the table are as follows:

“1a. In an air-raid on Prague the British Embassy is destroyed.

“2. Englishmen or Frenchmen are injured or killed.

“3. The hradschin is destroyed in an air raid on Prague.

“4. On account of a report that the Czechs have used gas, the firing of gas projectiles in ordered.

“5. Czech civilians, not recognizable as soldiers, are caught in the act of sabotage (destruction of important bridges, destruction of foodstuffs and fodder) are discovered looting wounded or dead soldiers and thereupon shot.

“6. Captured Czech soldiers or Czech civilians are detailed to do road work or to load munitions.

“7. For military reasons it is necessary to requisition billets, food stuffs and fodder from the Czech population. As a result the latter suffer from want.

“8. Czech population is, for military reasons, compulsorily evacuated to the rear area.

“9. Churches are used for military accommodation.

“10. In the course of their duty, German aircraft fly over Polish territory where they are involved in an air battle with Czech aircraft.” (C-2)

From Nurnberg, on 10 September, Hitler issued an order bringing the Reichsarbeitsdienst, the German labor service, under the OKW. This top secret order, of which 25 copies were made, provides as follows:

“1. The whole RAD organization comes under the command of the Supreme Command of the Army effective 15 September.

“2. The Chief of OKW decides on the first commitments of this organization in conjunction with the Reichs Labor Leader (Reichsarbeitsfuehrer) and on assignments from time to time to the Supreme Commands of the Navy, Army and Air Force. Where questions arise with regard to competency he will make a final decision in accordance with my instructions.

“3. For the time being this order is to be made known only to the departments and personnel immediately concerned.

“(signed) ADOLF HITLER.”

(388-PS, Item 20)

Four days later, on 14 September, Keitel issued detailed instructions for the employment of specific RAD units. This order is Item 21 in the Schmundt file. A further order issued by Jodl on 16 September specified RAD units which would receive military training. This is Item 24 in the Schmundt file. (388-PS)

Two entries in Jodl’s diary give further indications of the problems of the OKW in this period of mid-September, just two weeks before the anticipated X-day. The entries for 15 and 16 September read as follows:

“15 September:

“In the morning conference with Chief of Army High Command and Chief of General Staffs of Army and Air Forces; the question was discussed what could be done if the Fuehrer insists on advancement of the date, due to the rapid development of the situation.

“16 September:

“General Keitel returns from the Berghof at 1700 hours. He graphically describes the results of the conference between Chamberlain and the Fuehrer. The next conference will take place on the 21st or 22nd in Godesberg.

“With consent of the Fuehrer, the order is given in the evening by the Armed Forces High Command to the Army High Command and to the Ministry of Finance, to line up the VGAD along the Czech border.

“In the same way, an order is issued to the railways to have the empty rolling stock kept in readiness clandestinely for the strategic concentrations of the Army, so that it can be transported starting 28 September.” (1780-PS)

The order to the railroads to make rolling stock available which General Jodl referred to appears as Item 22 in the Schmundt file. In this order Keitel told the railroads to be ready by 28 September but to continue work on the western fortifications even after 20 September in the interest of camouflage. The first and fourth paragraphs of this order provide:

“The Reichsbahn must provide trains of empty trucks in great numbers by September 28 for the carrying out of mobilization exercises. This task now takes precedence over all others.”

“However, in accordance with the Fuehrer’s directive, every effort should be made to continue to supply the materials in as large quantities as feasible even after 20 September 1938, and this for reasons of camouflage as well as in order to continue the important work of the Limes.” (388-PS, Item 22)

The penultimate stage of the aggression began on 18 September. From that day until the 28th a series of orders were issued advancing preparations for the attack. These orders are included in the Schmundt file (388-PS). On the 18th the commitment schedule for the five participating armies-the 2d, 8th, 10th, 12th, and 14th-was set forth (388-PS, Item 26). Hitler approved the secret mobilization of five divisions in the west to protect the German rear during Case Green (388-PS, Item 31). Further discussions were held between the Army and the Luftwaffe about the time of day for the attack. Conference notes initialed by Jodl and dated 27 September reveal the difference in views. These notes are Item 54 in the Schmundt file. The first three paragraphs read:


“As a matter of principle, every effort should be made for a coordinated attack by Army and Air Forces on X Day.

“The Army wishes to attack at dawn, i.e., about 0615. It also wishes to conduct some limited operations in the previous night, which however, would not alarm the entire Czech front.

“Air Force’s time of attack depends on weather conditions. These could change the time of attack and also limit the area of operations. The weather of the last few days, for instance, would have delayed the start until between 0800 and 1100 due to low ceiling in Bavaria.” (388-PS, Item 54)

A satisfactory solution appears to have been arrived at. The last two paragraphs read:

“Thus it is proposed:

“Attack by the Army-independent of the attack by the air force-at the time desired by the Army (0615) and permission for limited operations to take place before then, however, only to an extent that will not alarm the entire Czech front.

“The Luftwaffe will attack at a time most suitable to them.

(J)” (388-PS, Item 54)

On the same day, 27 September, Keitel sent a most secret memorandum to Hess and the Reichsfuehrer SS, Himmler, for the guidance of Nazi Party officials. This memorandum is Item 32 in the Schmundt file. It directs the Party officials and organizations to comply with the demands of the Army during the secret mobilization in such matters as turning over equipment and facilities. The first four paragraphs of this message read:

“As a result of the political situation the Fuehrer and Chancellor has ordered mobilization measures for the Armed Forces, without the political situation being aggravated by issuing the mobilization (X) order or corresponding codewords.

“Within the framework of these mobilization measures it is necessary for the Armed Forces authorities to issue demands to the various Party authorities and their organizations, which are connected with the previous issuing of the mobilization order, the advance measures or special code names.

“The special situation makes it necessary that these demands be met (even if the code word has not been previously issued) immediately and without being referred to higher authorities.

“OKW requests that subordinate offices be given immediate instructions to this effect so that the mobilization of the Armed Forces can be carried out according to plan.” (388-PS, Item 32)

Two additional entries from Jodl’s diary reveal the extent to which the Nazi conspirators carried forward their preparations for attack even during the period of the negotiations which culminated in the Munich Agreement. The entries for 26 and 27 September read:

“26 September:

“Chief of the Armed Forces High Command, acting through the Army High Command, has stopped the intended approach march of the advance units to the Czech border, because it is not yet necessary and because the Fuehrer does not intend to march in before the 30th in any case. Order to approach towards the Czech frontier need be given on the 27th only.

“In the evening of the 26th, fixed radio stations of Breslau, Dresden and Vienna are put at the disposal of the Reich Ministry for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda for interference with possible Czech propaganda transmissions. “Question by Foreign office whether Czechs are to be allowed to leave and cross Germany. Decision from Chief of the Armed Forces High Command: yes.

“1515 hours: The Chief of the Armed Forces High Command informs General Stumpf about the result of the Godesberg conversations and about the Fuehrer’s opinion. In no case will X day be before the 30th.

“It is important that we do not permit ourselves to be drawn into military engagements because of false reports, before Prague replied.

“A question of Stumpf about Y hour results in the reply that on account of the weather situation, a simultaneous intervention of the Air Force and Army cannot be expected. The Army needs the dawn, the Air Force can only start later on account of frequent fogs.

“The Fuehrer has to make a decision for the commander in chief who is to have priority.

“The opinion of Stumpf is also that the attack of the Army has to proceed. The Fuehrer has not made any decision as yet about commitment against Prague.

“2000 hours: The Fuehrer addresses the people and the world in an important speech at the Sportspalast.

“27 September:

“1320 hours: The Fuehrer consents to the first wave of attack being advanced to a line from where they can arrive in the assembly area by 30 September.” (1780-PS)

The order referred to by General Jodl in the last entry was also recorded by the faithful Schmundt. It appears as Item 33 of the file. It is the order which brought the Nazi armies to the jumping-off point for unprovoked aggression:



“At 1300 September 27 the Fuehrer and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces ordered the movement of the assault units from their exercise areas to their jumping-off points.

“The assault units (about 21 reinforced regiments, or 7 divisions,) must be ready to begin the action against 'Gruen' on September 30, the decision having been made one day previously by 1200 noon.” (388-PS, Item 33)

There follows a pencil note by schmundt:

“This order was conveyed to General Keitel at 1320 through Major Schmundt.” (388-PS, Item 33)

H. The campaign Within Czechoslovakia.

The military preparations for aggression against Czechoslovakia had not been carried out in vacuum. They had been preceded by a skillfully conceived campaign designed to promote civil disobedience to the Czechoslovak State. Using the techniques they had already developed in other ventures, the Nazi conspirators over a period of years used money, propaganda, and force to undermine Czechoslovakia. In this program the Nazis focused their attention on the persons of German descent living in the Sudetenland, a mountainous area bounding Bohemia and Moravia on the north, west, and south.

The Czechoslovak government’s official report for the prosecution and trial of German major war criminals, entitled “German Crimes Against Czechoslovakia,” shows the background of the subsequent Nazi intrigue. (998-PS; 3061-PS)

Nazi agitation in Czechoslovakia dated from the earliest days of the NSDAP. In the years following the First World War a German National Socialist Workers Party (DNSAP), which maintained close contact with Hitler’s NSDAP, was active in the Sudetenland. In 1932, ring-leaders of the Sudeten Volksport, an organization corresponding to the Nazi SA, openly endorsed the 21 points of Hitler’s program, the first of which demanded the union of all Germans in a Greater Germany. Soon thereafter they were charged with planning armed rebellion on behalf of a foreign power and were sentenced for conspiracy against the Czech Republic. Late in 1933 the National Socialist Party of Czechoslovakia forestalled its dissolution by voluntary liquidation, and several of its chiefs escaped across the frontier. For a year thereafter Nazi activity in Czechoslovakia continued underground. (998-PS; 3061-PS)

On 1 October 1934, with the approval and at the urging of the Nazi conspirators, Konrad Heinlein, an instructor of gymnastics, established the “German Home Front” (Deutsche Heimatfront), which the following spring became the Sudeten German Party (Sudeten-deutsche Partei — SDP). Profiting from the experience of the Czech National Socialist Party, Heinlein denied any connection with the German Nazis. He rejected pan-Germanism, and professed his respect for individual liberties and his loyalty to “honest democracy” and to the Czech state. His party, none-the-less, was built on the basis of the Nazi Fuehrerprinzip, and he became its Fuehrer. By 1937, when the power of Hitler’s Germany had become manifest, Heinlein and his followers were striking a more aggressive note, demanding, without definition, “complete Sudeten autonomy". The SDP laid proposals before the Czech Parliament which would, in substance, have created a state within a state. (998-PS; 3061-PS)

After the annexation of Austria in March 1938 the Henleinists, who were now openly organized after the Nazi model, intensified their activity. Undisguised anti-semitic propaganda started in the Heinlein press; the campaign against “bolshevism” was intensified; terrorism in the Heinlein-dominated communities increased. A storm troop organization, patterned and trained on the principles of the Nazi SS, was established, known as the FS (Freiwilliger Selbstschutz, or Voluntary Vigilantes). On 24 April 1938, in a speech to the Party Congress in Karlovy Vary, Heinlein came into the open with his “Karlsbad Program". In this speech, which echoed Hitler in tone and substance, Heinlein asserted the right of the Sudeten Germans to profess “German political philosophy", which, it was clear, meant National Socialism. (998-PS; 3061-PS)

As the summer of 1938 wore on, the Heinleinists used every technique of the Nazi Fifth Column. As summarized in the Czech official report, these included:

(1) Espionage. Military espionage was conducted by the SDP, the FS, and by other members of the German minority on behalf of Germany. Czech defenses were mapped, and information on Czech troop movements was furnished to the German authorities.

(2) Nazification of German Organizations in Czechoslovakia. The Henleinists systematically penetrated the whole life of the German population of Czechoslovakia. Associations and social and cultural centers gradually underwent “Gleichschaltung", i.e., “purification". by the SDP. Among the organizations conquered by the Henleinists were sport societies, rowing clubs, associations of ex-service men, and choral societies. The Henleinists were particularly interested in penetrating as many business institutions as possible and in bringing over to their side the directors of banks, the owners or directors of factories, and the managers of commercial firms. In the case of Jewish ownership or direction they attempted to secure the cooperation of the clerical and technical staffs of the institution.

(3) German Direction and leadership. The Henleinists maintained permanent contact with the Nazi officials designated to direct operations within Czechoslovakia. meetings in Germany at which Henleinists were exhorted and instructed in Fifth Column activity were camouflaged by being held in conjunction with Saenger Feste (choral festivals), gymnastic shows and assemblies, and commercial gatherings such as the Leipzig Fair. Whenever the Nazi conspirators needed incidents for their war of nerves, it was the duty of the Henleinists to supply them.

(4) Propaganda. Disruptive and subversive propaganda was beamed at Czechoslovakia in German broadcasts and was echoed in the German press. Goebbels called Czechoslovakia a “nest of Bolshevism” and spread the false report of “Russian troops and airplanes” centered in Prague. Under direction from the Reich the Heinleinists maintained whispering propaganda in the Sudetenland, which contributed to the mounting tension and to the creation of incidents. Illegal Nazi literature was smuggled from Germany and widely distributed in the border regions. The Heinlein press more or less openly espoused Nazi ideology to the German population.

(5) Murder and Terrorism. The Nazi conspirators provided the Heinleinists, and particularly the FS, with money and arms with which to provoke incidents and to maintain a state of permanent unrest. Gendarmes, customs officers, and other Czech officials were attacked. A boycott was established against Jewish lawyers, doctors, and tradesmen. The Henleinists terrorized the non-Heinlein population, and the Nazi Gestapo crossed into border districts to carry Czechoslovak citizens across the border to Germany. In several cases political foes of the Nazis were murdered on Czech soil. Nazi agents murdered Professor Theodor Lessing in 1933 and the engineer Formis in 1935. Both men were anti-Nazis who had escaped from Germany after Hitler came to power and had sought refuge in Czechoslovakia. (998-PS; 3061-PS)

Some time afterwards, when there was no longer need for pretense and deception, Konrad Heinlein made a clear and frank statement of the mission assigned to him by the Nazi conspirators. This statement was made in a lecture by Konrad Heinlein quoted on page 29 of “Four Fighting Years", a publication of the Czechoslovak Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In this lecture, delivered by Heinlein on 4 March 1941 in the Auditorium of the University of Vienna under the auspices of the Wiener Verwaltungsakadamie, he discussed the “fight for the liberation of the Sudetens” in the following terms:

“National Socialism soon swept over us Sudeten Germans. Our struggle was of a different character from that in Germany. Although we had to behave differently in public we were, of course, secretly in touch with the National Socialist revolution in Germany so that we might be a part of it. The struggle for Greater Germany was waged on Sudeten soil, too. This struggle could be waged only by those inspired by the spirit of National Socialism, persons who were true followers of our Fuehrer, whatever their outward appearance. Fate sought me out to be the leader of the national group in its final struggle. When * * * in autumn, 1933, the leaders of the NSDAP asked me to take over the political leadership of the Sudeten Germans, I had a difficult problem to solve. Should the National Socialist Party continue to be carried on illegally or should the movement, in the interest of the self-preservation of the Sudeten Germans and in order to prepare their return to the Reich, wage its struggle under camouflage and by methods which appeared quite legal to the outside world? For us Sudeten Germans only the second alternative seemed possible, for the preservation of our national group was at stake. It would certainly have been easier to exchange this hard and mentally exhausting struggle for the heroic gesture of confessing allegiance to National Socialism and entering a Czechoslovak prison. But it seemed more than doubtful whether by this means we could have fulfilled the political task of destroying Czechoslovakia as a bastion in the alliance against the German Reich.” (2863-PS.)

I. Evidence Implicating Nazi Conspirators in Czechoslovak Agitation.

The foregoing account of Nazi intrigue in Czechoslovakia is the outline of this conspiracy as it had been pieced together by the Czechoslovak government early in the summer of 1945. Since then captured documents and other information made available since the defeat of Germany have clearly and conclusively demonstrated the implication, which hitherto could only be deduced, of the Nazi conspirators in the Sudetenland agitation.

A telegram sent from the German Legation in Prague on 16 March 1938 to the Foreign Office in Berlin, presumably written by the German Minister, Eisenlohr, proves conclusively that the Heinlein movement was an instrument of the Nazi conspirators (3060-PS). The Heinlein party, it appears from this telegram, was directed from Berlin and from the German Legation in Prague. It could have no policy of its own; even the speeches of its leaders had to be coordinated with the German authorities. This telegram reads as follows:

“Rebuff to Frank has had a salutary effect. Have thrashed out matters with Heinlein, who recently had shunned me, and with Frank separately and received following promises;

“1. The line of German Foreign Policy as transmitted by the German legation is exclusively decisive for policy and tactics of the Sudeten German Party. My directives are to be complied with implicitly.

“2. Public speeches and the press will be coordinated uniformly with my approval. The editorial staff of “Zeit” (Time) is to be improved.

“3. Party leadership abandons the former intransigent line which in the end might lead to political complications and adopts a line of gradual promotion of Sudeten German interests. The objectives are to be set in every case with my participation and to be promoted by parallel diplomatic action. Laws for the protection of nationalities (Volksschutzgesetze) and 'territorial autonomy' are no longer to be stressed.

“4. If consultations with Berlin agencies are required or desired before Heinlein issues important statements on his program, they are to be applied for and prepared through the Mission.

“5. All information of the Sudeten German Party for German agencies is to be transmitted through the legation.

“6. Heinlein will establish contact with me every week, and will come to Prague at any time if requested.

“I now hope to have the Sudeten German Party under firm control, as this is more than ever necessary for coming developments in the interest of foreign policy. Please inform ministries concerned and Mittelstelle (Central Office for Racial Germans) and request them to support this uniform direction of the Sudeten German Party.” (3060-PS)

The dressing-down administered by Eisenlohr to Heinlein had the desired effect. The day after the telegram was dispatched from Prague, Heinlein addressed a humble letter to Ribbentrop, asking an early personal conversation (2789-PS). This letter, dated 17 March 1938, and captured in the German Foreign Office files, states:

“Most honored Minister of Foreign Affairs:

“In our deeply felt joy over the fortunate turn of events in Austria we feel it our duty to express our gratitude to all those who had a share in this new grand achievement of our Fuehrer.

“I beg you, most honored Minister, to accept accordingly the sincere thanks of the Sudeten Germans herewith.

“We shall show our appreciation to the Fuehrer by doubled efforts in the service of the Greater German policy.

“The new situation requires a reexamination of the Sudeten German policy. For this purpose I beg to ask you for the opportunity for a very early personal talk.

“In view of the necessity of such a clarification I have postponed the Nation-wide Party Congress, originally scheduled for 26th and 27th of March, 1938, for 4 weeks.

“I would appreciate if the Minister, Dr. Eisenlohr, and one of my closest associates would be allowed to participate in the requested talks.

“Heil Hitler,

“Loyally yours,

“/s/ Konrad Heinlein.” (2789-PS)

This letter makes it clear that Heinlein was quite aware that the seizure of Austria made possible the adoption of a new policy toward Czechoslovakia. It also reveals that he was already in close enough contact with Ribbentrop and the German minister in Prague to feel free to suggest “early personal” talk.

Ribbentrop was not unreceptive to Heinlein’s suggestion. The conversations Heinlein had proposed took place in the Foreign office in Berlin on 29 March 1938. The previous day Heinlein had conferred with Hitler himself. The captured German Foreign Office notes of the conference on 29 March read as follows:

“The Reichsminister started out by emphasizing the necessity to keep the conference which had been scheduled strictly a secret; he then explained, in view of the directives which the Fuehrer himself had given to Konrad Heinlein personally yesterday afternoon that there were two questions which were of outstanding importance for the conduct of policy of the Sudeten German Party * * *”

The aim of the negotiations to be carried out by the Sudeten German party with the Czechoslovakian Government is finally this: to avoid entry into the Government by the extension and gradual specification of the demands to be made. It must be emphasized clearly in the negotiations that the Sudeten German Party alone is the party to the negotiations with the Czechoslovakian Government, not the Reich Cabinet (Reichsregierung). The Reich Cabinet itself must refuse to appear toward the Government in Prague or toward London and Paris as the advocate or peacemaker of the Sudeten German demands. It is a self-evident prerequisite that during the impending discussion with the Czechoslovak Government the Sudeten Germans would be firmly controlled by Konrad Heinlein, would maintain quiet and discipline, and would avoid indiscretions. The assurances already given by Konrad Heinlein in this connection were satisfactory.

“Following these general explanations of the Reich Minister the demands of the Sudeten German Party from the Czechoslovak Government as contained in the enclosure were discussed and approved in principle. For further cooperation, Konrad Heinlein was instructed to keep in the closest possible touch with the Reichminister and the Head of the Central Office for Racial Germans (mit dem leiter der Volksdeutschen Mittelstelle), as well as the German Minister in Prague, as the local representative of the Foreign Minister. The task of the German Minister in Prague would be to support the demands of the Sudeten German Party as reasonable, not officially, but in more private talks with the Czechoslovak politicians without exerting any direct influence on the extent of the demands of the Party.

“In conclusion there was a discussion whether it would be useful if the Sudeten German Party would cooperate with other minorities in Czechoslovakia, especially with the Slovaks. The Foreign Minister decided that the Party should have the discretion to keep a loose contact with other minority groups if the adoption of a parallel course by them might appear appropriate.

“Berlin, 29 March 1938.

“R [Initial]” (2788-PS)

Not the least interesting aspect of this secret meeting is the list of those who attended. Konrad Heinlein, his principal deputy, Karl Hermann Frank, and two others represented the Sudeten German Party. Professor Haushofer and SS Obergruppenfuehrer Lorenz represented the Volksdeutsche Mittelstelle, the Central office for Racial Germans. The Foreign Office was represented by a delegation of eight. These eight included Ribbentrop, who presided at the meeting and did most of the talking, von Mackensen, Weiszacker, and Minister Eisenlohr from the German legation at Prague. (2788-Ps)

In May Heinlein came to Berlin for more conversations with the Nazi conspirators. At this time the plans for Case Green, the attack on Czechoslovakia, were already on paper, and it may be assumed that Heinlein was briefed on the role he was to play during the summer months. The entry for 22 May 1938 in General Jodl’s diary reads as follows:

“22 May: Fundamental conference between the Fuehrer and K. Heinlein” (see enclosure). (1780-PS)

The enclosure, unfortunately, is missing.

It will be recalled that in his speech in Vienna, Heinlein had admitted that he had been selected by the Nazi conspirators in the fall of 1933 to take over the political leadership of the Sudeten Germans (2863-PS). The foregoing documents show conclusively the nature of Heinlein’s mission. They demonstrate that Heinlein’s policy, his propaganda, even his speeches were controlled by Berlin. Furthermore, from the year 1935 the Sudeten German Party had been secretly subsidized by the German Foreign Office. A secret memorandum, captured in the German Foreign Office files, signed by Woermann and dated Berlin, 19 August 1938, was occasioned by the request of the Heinlein Party for additional funds. This memorandum reads:


“The Sudeten German Party has been subsidized by the Foreign Office regularly since 1935 with certain amounts, consisting of a monthly payment of 15,000 Marks; 12,000 Marks of this are transmitted to the Prague Legation for disbursement, and 3000 Marks are paid out to the Berlin representation of the party (Bureau Buerger). In the course of the last few months the tasks assigned to the Bureau Buerger have increased considerably due to the current negotiations with the Czech Government. The number of pamphlets and maps which are produced and disseminated has risen; the propaganda activity in the press has grown immensely; the expense accounts have increased especially because due to the necessity for continuous good information, the expenses for trips to Prague, London, and Paris (including the financing of travels of Sudeten German deputies and agents) have grown considerably heavier. Under these conditions the Bureau Buerger is no longer able to get along with the monthly allowance of 3000 Marks if it is to do everything required. Therefore, Mr. Buerger has applied to this office for an increase of this amount, from 3000 Marks to 5500 Marks monthly, In view of the considerable increase in the business transacted by the Bureau, and of the importance which marks the activity of the Bureau in regard to the cooperation with the Foreign Office, this desire deserves the strongest support.

“Herewith submitted to the Dep: Pers(onnel) with a request for approval. It is requested to increase the payments with retroactive effect from 1 August.*

“Berlin, 19 August 1938

/s/ Woermann

“Volksdeutsche Mittelstelle (Central Office for Racial Germans) will be informed by the Political Dept. [handwritten marginal note].” (3059-PS; also 3061-PS)

As the military preparations to attack Czechoslovakia moved forward in the late summer and early fall of 1938, the Nazi command made good use of Heinlein and his followers. About the first of August the Air Attaché at the German Legation in Prague, Major Moericke, acting on instructions from Luftwaffe headquarters in Berlin, visited the Sudeten German leader in Freudenthal. With his assistance, and in the company of the local leader of the FS (the Heinlein equivalent of the SS), he reconnoitered the surrounding countryside to select possible airfield sites for German use. The FS leader, a Czech reservist then on leave, was in the uniform of the Czech army — a fact which, the attaché noted, served as excellent camouflage.

The Air Attaché’s report reads in part as follows:

“The manufacturer M. is head of the Sudeten German Glider Pilots in Freudenthal and said to be absolutely reliable by my trusted men. My personal impression fully confirmed this judgment. No hint of my identity was made to him, although I had the impression that M. knew who I was.

“At my request, with which he complied without any question, M. travelled with me over the country in question. We used M.’s private car for the trip.

“As M. did not know the country around Beneschau sufficiently well, he took with him the local leader of the FS, a Czech reservist of the Sudeten German Racial Group, at the time on leave. He was in uniform. For reasons of camouflage I was entirely in agreement with this — without actually saying so.

“As M., during the course of the drive, observed that I photographed large open spaces out of the car, he said 'Aha, so you're looking for airfields!' I answered that we supposed that, in the case of any serious trouble, the Czechs would put their airfields immediately behind the line of fortifications and that I had the intention of looking over the country from that point of view.” (1536-PS)

In the latter part of the Air Attaché’s report reference is made to the presence of reliable agents and informers (V-Leute) apparently drawn from the ranks of the Heinlein Party in this area. It was indicated that these agents were in touch with the Abwehrstelle, the intelligence office in Breslau. (1536-PS)

In September, when the propaganda campaign was reaching its height, the Nazis were not satisfied with playing merely on the Sudeten demands for autonomy. They attempted to use the Slovaks as well. On 19 September the Foreign Office in Berlin sent the following telegram to the German Legation in Prague:

“Please inform deputy Kundt, at Konrad Heinlein’s request, to get into touch with the Slovaks at once and induce them to start their demands for autonomy tomorrow.

“(signed) ALTENBURG” (2858-PS)

Kundt was Heinlein’s representative in Prague.

As the harassed Czech government sought to stem the disorder in the Sudetenland, the German Foreign Office turned to threatening diplomatic tactics in a deliberate effort to increase the tension between the two countries. Four telegrams from the Foreign Office in Berlin to the Legation in Prague, dispatched between the 16th and 24th of September 1938, are self-explanatory. The first telegram is dated 16 September:

“Tonight 150 subjects of Czechoslovakia of Czech blood were arrested in Germany. This measure is an answer to the arrest of Sudeten Germans since the Fuehrer’s speech of 12 September. I request you to ascertain the number of Sudeten-Germans arrested since 12 September as extensively as possible. The number of those arrested there is estimated conservatively at 400 by the Gestapo. Cable report.

“Woermann.” (2855-PS)

The second telegram is dated 17 September. The first two paragraphs read:

“I. Request to inform the local government immediately of the following:

“The Reich Government has decided that:

“(a) Immediately as many Czech subjects of Czech descent, Czech-speaking Jews included, will be arrested in Germany as Sudeten Germans have been in Czechoslovakia since the beginning of the week.

“(b) If any Sudeten Germans should be executed pursuant to a death sentence on the basis of martial law, an equal number of Czechs will be shot in Germany.” (2854-PS)

The third telegram was sent on 24 September:

“According to information received here Czechs have arrested 2 German frontier-policemen, seven customs-officials and 30 railway-officials. As countermeasure all the Czech staff in Marschegg were arrested. We are prepared to exchange the arrested Czech officials for the German officials. Please approach Government there and wire result.

“(signed) WOERMANN” (2853-PS)

On the same day the fourth telegram was dispatched. The last paragraph read:


“Yielding of the Czech hostages arrested here for the prevention of the execution of any sentences passed by military courts against Sudeten-Germans is, of course, out of question.

“WOERMANN” (2856-PS)

In the latter half of September Heinlein devoted himself and his followers wholeheartedly to preparation for the coming German attack. About 15 September, after Hitler’s provocative Nurnberg speech in which he accused “this Benes” of “torturing” and planning the “extermination” of the Sudeten Germans, Heinlein and Karl Hermann Frank, one of his principal deputies, fled to Germany to avoid arrest by the Czech government. In Germany Heinlein broadcast over the powerful Reichssender radio station his determination to lead the Sudeten Germans “home to the Reich” and denounced “the Hussite Bolshevik criminals of Prague". From his headquarters in a castle at Dondorf, outside Bayreuth, he kept in close touch with the leading Nazi conspirators, including Hitler and Himmler. He directed activities along the border and began the organization of the Sudeten German Free Corps, an auxiliary military organization. These events are set forth in the Czechoslovak official report. (998-PS; 3061-PS)

Heinlein’s activities were carried on with the advice and assistance of the Nazi leaders. Lt. Col. Koechling was assigned to Heinlein in an advisory capacity to assist with the Sudeten German Free Corps. In a conference with Hitler on the night of 17 September Koechling received far-reaching military powers. At this conference the purpose of the Free Corps was frankly stated: the “maintenance of disorder and clashes". Item 25, of the Schmundt file (388-PS), a telegram labeled Most Secret reads as follows:

“Last night conference took place between Fuehrer and Oberstleutnant Koechling. Duration of conference 7 minutes. Lt. Col. Koechling remains directly responsible to OKW. He will be assigned to Konrad Heinlein in an advisory capacity. He received far-reaching military plenary powers from the Fuehrer. The Sudeten German Free Corps remains responsible to Konrad Heinlein alone. Purpose: Protection of the Sudeten Germans and maintenance of disturbances and clashes. The Free Corps will be established in Germany. Armament only with Austrian weapons. Activities of Free Corps to begin as soon as possible.” (388-PS, Item 25)

General Jodl’s diary gives a further insight into the position of the Heinlein Free Corps. At this time the Free Corps was engaged in active skirmishing along the Czech border, furnishing incidents and provocation in the desired manner. Jodl’s entries for 19 and 20 September 1938 state:

“19 September:

“Order is given to the Army High Command to take care of the Sudeten German Free Corps.

“20 September:

“England and France have handed over their demands in Prague, the contents of which are still unknown. The activities of the Free Corps start assuming such an extent that they may bring about, and already have brought about consequences harmful to the plans of the Army. (Transferring rather strong units of the Czech Army to the proximity of the border.) By checking with Lt. Col. Koechling, I attempt to lead these activities into normal channels.

“Toward the evening the Fuehrer also takes a hand and gives permission to act only with groups up to 12 men each, after the approval of the Corps HQ.” (1780-PS)

A report from Heinlein’s staff, which was filed in Hitler’s headquarters, boasted of the offensive operations of the Free Corps in the following terms:

“Since 19 Sept. — in more than 300 missions — the Free Corps has executed its task with an amazing spirit of attack and with a willingness often reaching a degree of unqualified self-sacrifice. The result of the first phase of its activities: more than 1500 prisoners, 25 MG’s and a large amount of other weapons and equipment, aside from serious losses in dead and wounded suffered by the enemy.” (388-PS, Item 30)

In this document the word “attack” was subsequently crossed out, and the word “defense” substituted. Similarly “the enemy” was changed to read “the Czech terrorists".

In his headquarters in the castle at Dondorf, Heinlein was in close touch with Admiral Canaris of the Intelligence Division of the OKW and with the SS and SA. The liaison officer between the SS and Heinlein was Oberfuehrer Gottlob Berger, who in later years became prominent in the SS command. An affidavit executed by Berger reads as follows:

“I, GOTTLOB BERGER, under oath and being previously sworn, make the following statement:

“1. In the fall of 1938 I held the rank and title of Oberfuehrer in the SS. In mid-September I was assigned as SS Liaison Officer with Konrad Heinlein’s Sudeten German Free Corps at their headquarters in the castle of Dondorf outside Bayreuth. In this position I was responsible for all liaison between the Reichsfuehrer SS Himmler and Heinlein and, in particular, I was delegated to select from the Sudeten Germans those who appeared to be eligible for membership in the SS or Vt (Verfuegungs Truppe). In addition to myself, Liaison Officers stationed with Heinlein included an Obergruppenfuehrer from the NSKK, whose name I have forgotten, and Obergruppenfuehrer Max Juettner, from the SA. In addition, Admiral Canaris, who was head of the OKW Abwehr, appeared at Dondorf nearly every two days and conferred with Heinlein.

“2. In the course of my official duties at Heinlein’s headquarters I became familiar with the composition and activities of the Free Corps. Three groups were being formed under Heinlein’s direction: One in the Eisenstein area, Bavaria; one in the Bayreuth area; one in the Dresden area; and possibly a fourth group in Silesia. These groups were supposedly composed of refugees from the Sudetenland who had crossed the border into Germany, but they actually contained Germans with previous service in the SA and NSKK (Nazi Motor Corps) as well. These Germans formed the skeleton of the Free Corps. On paper the Free Corps had a strength of 40,000 men. I do not know its actual strength, but I believe it to be considerably smaller than the paper figure. The Corps was armed with Manlicher-Schoenauer rifles from Army depots in Austria. It was my understanding that about 18,000 rifles were issued to men under Heinlein’s command. In addition, small numbers of machine guns*, hand grenades, and 2 captured antitank guns were placed at Heinlein’s disposal. Part of the equipment furnished to Heinlein, mostly haversacks, cooking utensils, and blankets, were supplied by the SA.

“3. In the days preceding the conclusion of the four-power pact at Munich I heard of numerous occasions on which the Heinlein Free Corps was engaged in skirmishes with Czech patrols along the border of the Sudetenland. These operations were under the direction of Heinlein, who went forward from his Headquarters repeatedly in order to take direct command of his men.

“The facts stated above are true; this declaration is made by me voluntarily and without compulsion; after reading over this statement I have signed and executed the same.

“(Signed) Gottlob Berger” (3036-PS)

Heinlein and his Free Corps were also acting in collaboration with the SD, (Sicherheitsdienst) Himmler’s intelligence organization. An affidavit executed by Alfred Helmut Naujocks, a member of the SD, reads as follows:

“I ALFRED HELMUT NAUJOCKS, being first duly sworn, depose and state as follows:

“1. In September 1938 I was working in Amt III of the SD. (The department which was then called Amt III later became Amt VI). In the course of my work I traveled between Berlin, Hof and Munich.

“2. While in Hof, which is on the Czech border, I paid repeated visits to the SD Service Department, that is, Intelligence Office, which has been established there. This Service Department had the task of collecting all political intelligence emanating from the Czechoslovak border districts and passing it on to Berlin. Continuous day and night teleprinter communications had been established from Hofdirect to Amt III of the SD in Berlin. To the best of my recollection the head of the Hof office was Daufeldt. The head of Amt III in Berlin at this time was Jost and his assistant was Filbert.

“* (Rifles and machine guns were of doubtful serviceability due to inferior ammunition).”

“3. The bulk of the intelligence we collected came from Heinlein Free Corps, which had its headquarters in a castle at Dondorf, outside Bayreuth; the distance between Hof and Bayreuth is not very great, and we had daily access to all intelligence received by the Free Corps. There was a continuous liaison maintained with Czech territory by runners. Exploitation of this Intelligence was carried out every day in Berlin and was placed before Heydrich and Himmler.

“4. I remember that the Free Corps made continuous complaints that they had not received sufficient supply of arms. Negotiations by letter and teleprint message went on for a number of days with Berlin until it became quite a nuisance. After that arms were supplied from the army, but I believe it was only a small quantity.

“5. Hof was the center for all intelligence collected by the SD on the Czechoslovak question. The SD had agents all along the border in every town. The names of these agents were reported to Hof, and two motor cars toured the border every day to collect the intelligence which had been unearthed. In addition, I remember that two or three companies of the SS-Totenkopf units were stationed in the neighborhood of Asch.

“The facts stated above are true: this declaration is made by me voluntarily and without compulsion; after reading over this statement I have signed and executed the same at Nurnberg, Germany this 20th day of November 1945.

“(signed) Alfred Helmut Naujocks.” (3029-PS)

Offensive operations along the Czechoslovak border were not confined to skirmishes carried out by the Free Corps. Two SS Totenkopf battalions were operating across the border in Czech territory near Asch. Item 36 in the Schmundt file (388-PS), an OKW most secret order signed by Jodl and dated 28 September, states:

“Those SS-Totenkopf units now operating in the Asch Promontory (I and II Bn of Oberbayern Regiment) will come under the C in C Army only when they return to German Reich territory, or when the Army crosses the German-Czech frontier.” (388-PS, Item 36)

According to the 25 September entry in General Jodl’s diary these SS Totenkopf battalions were operating in this area on direct orders from Hitler. (1780-PS)

As the time for X-day approached, the disposition of the Free Corps became a matter of dispute. On 26 September Himmler issued an order to the Chief of Staff of the Sudeten German Free Corps directing that the Free Corps come under control of the Reichsfuehrer SS in the event of German invasion of Czechoslovakia (388-PS, Item 37). On 28 September Keitel directed that as soon as the German Army crosses the Czech border the Free Corps will take orders from the OKH. In this most secret order of the OKW Keitel discloses that Heinlein’s men are already operating in Czechoslovak territory:

“For the Heinlein Free Corps and units subordinate to this the principle remains valid, that they receive instructions direct from the Fuehrer and that they carry out their operations only in conjunction with the competent general staff corps. The advance units of the Free Corps will have to report to the local commander of the frontier guard immediately before crossing the frontier.

“Those units remaining forward of the frontier should-in their own interests-get into communication with the frontier guard as often as possible.

“As soon as the army crosses the Czech border the Heinlein Free Corps will be subordinate to the OKH. Thus it will be expedient to assign a sector to the Free Corps even now which can be fitted into the scheme of army boundaries later.” (388-PS, Item 34)

On 30 September, when it became clear that the Munich settlement would result in a peaceful occupation of the Sudetenland, Keitel ordered that the Free Corps Heinlein in its present composition be placed under command of Himmler:

“1. Attachment of Heinlein Free Corps:

“The Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces has just ordered that the Heinlein Free Corps in its present composition be placed under command of Reichsfuehrer-SS and Chief of German Police.

“It is therefore at the immediate disposal of OKH as field unit for the invasion, but is to be later drawn in like the rest of the police forces for police duties in agreement with the Reichsfuehrer SS.” (388-PS, Item 38)

J. Occupation of the Sudetenland under the Terms of the Munich Agreement.

Under the threat of war by the Nazi conspirators, and with war in fact about to be launched, the United Kingdom and France concluded a pact with Germany and Italy at Munich on the night of 29 September 1938. This treaty provided for the cession of the Sudetenland by Czechoslovakia to Germany. Czechoslovakia was required to acquiesce. (TC-23)

On 1 October 1938 German troops began the occupation of the Sudetenland.

During the conclusion of the Munich Pact the Wehrmacht had been fully deployed for attack, awaiting only the word of Hitler to begin the assault. With the cession of the Sudetenland new orders were issued. On 30 September Keitel promulgated Directive #1 on “Occupation of territory separated from Czechoslovakia” (388-PS, Item 39). This directive contained a time table for the occupation of sectors of former Czech territory between 1 and 10 October and specified the tasks of the German armed forces. The fourth and fifth paragraphs provided:

“2. The Armed Forces will have the following tasks:

“The present degree of mobilized preparedness is to be maintained completely, for the present also in the West. Order for the rescinding of measures taken is held over.

“The entry is to be planned in such a way that it can easily be converted into operation 'Gruen'.” (388-PS, Item 39)

It contained one further provision about the Heinlein forces:

“Heinlein Free Corps. All combat action on the part of the Volunteer Corps must cease as from 1st October.” (388-PS, Item 39)

The Schmundt file contains a number of additional secret OKW directives giving instructions for the occupation of the Sudetenland and showing the scope of the preparations of the OKW. Directives specifying the occupational area of the army and the units under its command; arranging for communications facilities, exchange facilities, supply, and propaganda; and giving instructions to the civil departments of the government were issued over Keitel’s signature on 30 September (388-PS, Items 40, 41, 42). By 10 October von Brauchitsch was able to report to Hitler that German troops had reached the demarcation line and that the order for the occupation of the Sudetenland had been fulfilled. The OKW requested Hitler’s permission to rescind Case Green, to withdraw troops from the occupied area and to relieve the OKH of executive powers in the Sudeten German area as of 15 October. (388-PS, Items 46, 47, 49)

On 18 October, in a formal letter to the Commander-in-Chief of the Army, Col. Gen. von Brauchitsch, Hitler announced that the civil authorities would take over responsibility for the Sudeten German territory on 21 October and that the OKH would be relieved of executive powers as of that date (388-PS, Item 51). On the same date additional demobilization of the forces in the Sudetenland was ordered by Hitler and Keitel. Three days later the OKW requested Hitler’s consent to the reversion of the RAD from the control of the armed forces. (388-PS, Items 52, 53)

As the German forces entered the Sudetenland Heinlein’s Sudetendeutsche Partei was merged with the NSDAP of Hitler. The two men who had fled to Hitler’s protection in mid-September, Heinlein and Karl Hermann Frank, were appointed Gauleiter and Deputy Gauleiter, respectively, of the Sudetengau. In the parts of the Czechoslovak Republic that were still free the Sudetendeutsche Partei constituted itself as the National-Sozialistische Deutsche Arbeiter-Partei in der Tschechoslovakei (NSDAP in Czechoslovakia) under the direction of Kundt, another of Heinlein’s deputies. These events are set forth in the Czechoslovak official report. (998-PS; 3061-PS)

The stage was now prepared for the next move of the Nazi conspirators.

K. Planning for the Conquest of the Remainder of Czechoslovakia.

With the occupation of the Sudetenland and the inclusion of the German-speaking Czechs within the Greater Reich it might have been expected that the Nazi conspirators would be satisfied. Thus far in the Nazi program of aggression the conspirators had used as a pretext for their conquests the union of the Volksdeutsche, the people of German descent, with the Reich. Now, after Munich, substantially all the Volksdeutsche in Czechoslovakia had been returned to German rule. On 26 September, at the Sportspalast in Berlin, Hitler spoke these words:

“And now we are confronted with the last problem which must be solved and which will be solved. It is the last territorial claim which I have to make in Europe, but it is a claim from which I will not swerve, and which I will satisfy God willing.”

“I have little to explain. I am grateful to Mr. Chamberlain for all his efforts, and I have assured him that the German people want nothing but peace; but I have also told him that I cannot go back beyond the limits of our patience.

“I assured him, moreover, and I repeat it here, that when this problem is solved there will be no more territorial problems for Germany in Europe. And I further assured him that from the moment when Czechoslovakia solves its other problems, that is to say when the Czechs have come to an arrangement with their other minorities peacefully and with our oppression, I will no longer be interested in the Czech State. And that as far as I am concerned I will guarantee. We don’t want any Czechs at all.” (2358-PS)

Yes no more than two weeks later Hitler and Keitel were preparing estimates of the military forces required to break Czechoslovak resistance in Bohemia and Moravia. Item 48 of the Schmundt file is a top secret telegram sent by Keitel to Hitler’s headquarters on 11 October 1938 in answer to four questions which Hitler had propounded to the OKW. These were the questions:

“Question 1: What reinforcements are necessary in the present situation to break all Czech resistance in Bohemia and Moravia?

“Question 2: How much time is required for the regrouping or moving up of new forces?

“Question 3: How much time will be required for the same purpose if it is executed after the intended demobilization and return measures?

“Question 4: How much time would be required to achieve the state of readiness of October 1st?” (388-PS, Item 48)

Whereupon, in the same telegram, Keitel reported to Hitler the considered answers of the OKW and the Luftwaffe.

On 21 October, the same day on which the administration of the Sudetenland was handed over to the civilian authorities, a directive outlining plans for the conquest of the remainder of Czechoslovakia was signed by Hitler and initialed by Keitel. In this Top secret Order, of which 10 copies were made, the Nazi conspirators, only three weeks after the winning of the Sudetenland, were already looking forward to new conquests:

“The future tasks for the Armed Forces and the preparations for the conduct of war resulting from these tasks will be laid down by me in a later Directive.

“Until this Directive comes into force the Armed Forces must be prepared at all times for the following eventualities:

“1. The securing of the frontiers of Germany and the protection against surprise air attacks.

“2. The liquidation of the remainder of Czechoslovakia.

“3. The occupation of the Memelland.”

“It must be possible to smash at any time the remainder of Czechoslovakia if her policy should become hostile towards Germany.

“The preparations to be made by the Armed Forces for this contingency will be considerably smaller in extent than those for 'Gruen'; they must, however, guarantee a continuous and considerably higher state of preparedness, since planned mobilization measures have been dispensed with. The organization, order of battle and state of readiness of the units earmarked for that purpose are in peace-time to be so arranged for a surprise assault that Czechoslovakia herself will be deprived of all possibility of organized resistance. The object is the swift occupation of Bohemia and Moravia and the cutting off of Slovakia. The preparations should be such, that at the same time 'Grenzsicherung West' (the measures of frontier defense in the West) can be carried out.

“The detailed mission of Army and Air Force is as follows:

“a. Army

“The units stationed in the vicinity of Bohemia-Moravia and several motorized divisions are to be earmarked for a surprise type of attack. Their number will be determined by the forces remaining in Czechoslovakia; a quick and decisive success must be assured. The assembly and preparations for the attack must be worked out. Forces not needed will be kept in readiness in such a manner that they may be either committed in securing the frontiers or sent after the attack army.

“b. Air Force

“The quick advance of the German Army is to be assured by an early elimination of the Czech Air Force.

“For this purpose the commitment in a surprise attack from peace-time bases has to be prepared. Whether for this purpose still stronger forces may be required can only be determined from the development of the military situation in Czechoslovakia. At the same time a simultaneous assembly of the remainder of the offensive forces against the West must be prepared.” (C-136)

This order was signed by Hitler and authenticated by Keitel. It was distributed to the OKH, to Goering’s Luftwaffe, and to Raeder at Navy headquarters.

Two months later, on 17 December 1938, Keitel issued an appendix to the original order stating that by command of the Fuehrer preparations for the liquidation of Czechoslovakia are to continue. Distribution of this Top Secret order was the same as for the 21 October order. The order provides:


“Reference 'Liquidation of the Rest of Czechoslovakia' the Fuehrer has given the following additional order:

“The preparations for this eventuality are to continue on the assumption that no resistance worth mentioning is to be expected.

“To the outside world too it must clearly appear that it is merely an action of pacification and not a warlike undertaking.

“The action must therefore be carried out by the peace time Armed Forces only, without reinforcements from mobilization. The necessary readiness for action, especially the ensuring that the most necessary supplies are brought up, must be effected by adjustment within the units.

“Similarly the units of the Army detailed for the march must, as a general rule, leave their stations only during the night prior to the crossing of the frontier, and will not previously form up systematically on the frontier. The transport necessary for previous organization should be limited to the minimum and will be camouflaged as much as possible. Necessary movements, if any, of single units and particularly of motorized forces, to the troop-training areas situated near the frontier, must have the approval of the Fuehrer.

“The Air Force should take action in accordance with the similar general directives.

“For the same reasons the exercise of executive power by the Supreme Command of the Army is laid down only for the newly occupied territory and only for a short period.

“Chief of the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces.



This particular copy of the order, an original carbon signed in ink by Keitel, was the one sent to the OKM, the German naval headquarters. It bears the initials of Fricke, head of the Operational Division of the Naval War Staff, of Schniewind, Chief of Staff of the Naval War Staff, and of Raeder.

As the Wehrmacht moved forward with plans for what it clearly considered would be an easy victory, the Foreign Office played its part. In a discussion of means of improving German-Czech relations with the Czechoslovak Foreign Minister, Chvalkovsky, in Berlin on 21 January 1939, Ribbentrop urged upon the Czech government a “quick reduction” in the size of the Czech army. The captured German Foreign Office notes of this discussion bear the following footnote, in Ribbentrop’s handwriting:

“I mentioned to Chvalkovsky especially that a quick reduction in the Czech army would be decisive in our judgment.” (2795-PS)

L. Extension of Fifth Column Activity

As in the case of Austria and the Sudetenland, the Nazi conspirators did not intend to rely on the Wehrmacht alone to accomplish their calculated objective of “liquidating” Czechoslovakia. With the German minority separated from Czechoslovakia, they could no longer use the cry, “home to the Reich.” One sizeable minority, the Slovaks, remained within the Czechoslovak State. The Czechoslovak Government had made every effort to conciliate Slovak extremists in the months after the cession of the Sudetenland. Autonomy had been granted to Slovakia, with an autonomous cabinet and parliament at Bratislava. Nonetheless, despite these concessions, it was in Slovakia that the Nazi conspirators found men ready to take their money and do their bidding. The following picture of Nazi operations in Slovakia is based on the Czechoslovak official report. (998-PS; 3061-PS)

Nazi propaganda and “research” groups had long been interested in maintaining close connections with the Slovak autonomist opposition. When Bela Tuka, who later became Prime Minister of the puppet state of Slovakia, was tried for espionage and treason in 1929, the evidence established that he had already established connections with Nazi groups within Germany. Prior to 1938 Nazi aides were in close contact with Slovak traitors living in exile and were attempting to establish more profitable contacts in the semi-fascist Slovak Catholic Peoples Party of Monsignor Andrew Hlinka. Out of sympathy with the predominantly anti-clerical government in Prague, some Catholic elements in Slovakia proved willing to cooperate with the Nazis. In February and July 1938 the leaders of the Heinlein movement conferred with top men of Father Hlinka’s party and agreed to furnish one another with mutual assistance in pressing their respective claims to autonomy. This understanding proved useful in the September agitation when, at the proper moment, the Foreign Office in Berlin wired the Heinlein leader, Kundt, in Prague to tell the Slovaks to start their demands for autonomy. (See 2858-PS.)

By this time, mid-summer 1938, the Nazis were in direct contact with figures in the Slovak autonomist movement and had paid agents among the higher staff of Father Hlinka’s party. These agents undertook to render impossible any understanding between the Slovak autonomists and the Slovak parties in the government at Prague. Franz Karmasin, later to become Volksgruppenfuehrer, had been appointed Nazi leader in Slovakia and professed to be serving the cause of Slovak autonomy while on the Nazi pay roll. On 22 November the Nazis indiscreetly wired Karmasin to collect his money at the German Legation in person. The telegram, sent from the German Legation at Prague to Bratislava (Pressburg), reads as follows:

“Delegate kundt asks to notify State Secretary Karmasin that he would appreciate it if he could personally draw the sum which is being kept for him at the treasury of the embassy.

“HENCKE” (2859-PS)

Karmasin proved to be extremely useful to the Nazi cause. A captured memorandum of the German Foreign Office, dated Berlin, 29 November 1939-eight months after the conquest of Czechoslovakia-throws a revealing light both on Karmasin and on the German Foreign Office:

“On the question of payments to KARMASIN

“Karmasin receives 30,000 Marks for the VDA (Peoples' League for Germans Abroad) until 1 April 1940; from then on 15,000 Marks monthly.

“Furthermore, the Central Office for Racial Germans (Volksdeutsche Mittelstelle) has deposited 300,000 marks for Karmasin with the German Mission in Bratislava (Pressburg) on which he could fall back in an emergency.

“Furthermore, Karmasin has received money from Reich Minister Seyss-Inquart; for the present it has been impossible to determine what amounts had been involved, and whether the payments will continue.

“Therefore it appears that Karmasin has been provided with sufficient money; thus one could await whether he would put up new demands himself.

“Herewith presented to the Reich Foreign Minister.

“/s/ WOERMANN” (2794-PS).

This document shows the complicity of the German Foreign Office in the subsidization of illegal organizations abroad. More important, it shows that the Germans still considered it necessary to supply their under-cover representatives in Pressburg with substantial funds even after the declaration of the so-called independent State of Slovakia.

Some time in the winter of 1938-1939 Goering conferred with Durcansky and Mach, two leaders in the Slovak extremist group, who were accompanied by Karmasin. The Slovaks told Goering of their desire for what they called “independence,” with strong political, economic, and military ties to Germany. They promised that the Jewish problem would be solved as it had been in Germany and that the Communist Party would be prohibited. The notes of the meeting report that Goering considered that the Slovak efforts towards independence were to be supported, although his motives were scarcely altruistic. The undated minutes of this conversation between Goering and Durcansky, captured among the files of the German Foreign Office, are jotted down in somewhat telegraphic style:

“To begin with DURKANSKY (Deputy Prime Minister) reads out declaration. Contents: Friendship for the Fuehrer; gratitude, that through the Fuehrer autonomy has become possible for the SLOVAKS. The SLOVAKS never want to belong to HUNGARY. The SLOVAKS want full independence with strongest political, economic and military ties to Germany. BRATISLAVA to be capital. The execution of the plan only possible if the army and police are SLOVAK. “An independent SLOVAKIA to be proclaimed at the meeting of the first SLOVAK Diet. In the case of a plebiscite the majority would favour a separation from PRAGUE. Jews will vote for Hungary. The area of the plebiscite to be up to the MARCH, where a large SLOVAK population lives.

“The Jewish problem will be solved similarly to that in Germany. The Communist party to be prohibited.

“The Germans in SLOVAKIA do not want to belong to Hungary but wish to stay in SLOVAKIA.

“The German influence with the SLOVAK Government considerable; the appointment of a German Minister (member of the cabinet) has been promised.

“At present negotiations with HUNGARY are being conducted by the SLOVAKS. The CZECHS are more yielding towards the Hungarians than the SLOVAKS.

“The Fieldmarshal considers; that the SLOVAK negotiations towards independence are to be supported in a suitable manner. Czechoslovakia without Slovakia is still more at our mercy.

“Air bases in Slovakia are of great importance for the German Air Force for use against the East.” (2801-PS)

In mid-February 1939 a Slovak delegation journeyed to Berlin. It consisted of Tuca, one of the Slovaks with whom the Germans had been in contact, and Karmasin, the paid representative of the Nazi conspirators in Slovakia. They conferred with Hitler and Ribbentrop in the Reichs Chancellery in Berlin on Sunday, 12 February 1939. The captured German Foreign Office minutes of that meeting read as follows:

“After a brief welcome Tuca thanks the Fuehrer for granting this meeting. He addresses the Fuehrer with 'My Fuehrer' and he voices the opinion that he, though only a modest man himself, might well claim to speak for the Slovak nation. The Czech courts and prison gave him the right to make such a statement. He states that the Fuehrer had not only opened the Slovak question but that he had been also the first one to acknowledge the dignity of the Slovak nation. The Slovakian people will gladly fight under the leadership of the Fuehrer for the maintenance of European civilization. Obviously future association with the Czechs had become an impossibility for the Slovaks from a moral as well as economic point of view.” (2790-PS)

It is noteworthy that Tuca addressed Hitler as “My Fuehrer". During this meeting the Nazi conspirators apparently were successful in planting the idea of insurrection with the Slovak delegation. The final sentence of this document, spoken by Tuca, is conclusive:

“I entrust the fate of my people to your care.” (2790-PS)

It is apparent from these documents that in mid-February 1939 the Nazis had a well-disciplined group of Slovaks at their service, many of them drawn from the ranks of Father Hlinka’s party. Flattered by the personal attention of such men as Hitler and Ribbentrop, and subsidized by German representatives, these Slovaks proved willing tools in the hands of the Nazi conspirators.

In addition to the Slovaks, the Nazi conspirators made use of the few Germans still remaining within the mutilated Czech republic. Kundt, Heinlein’s deputy who had been appointed leader of this German minority, created as many artificial “focal points of German culture” as possible. Germans from the districts handed over to Germany were ordered from Berlin to continue their studies at the German University in Prague and to make it a center of aggressive Naziism. With the assistance of German civil servants, a deliberate campaign of Nazi infiltration into Czech public and private institutions was carried out, and the Henleinists gave full cooperation with Gestapo agents from the Reich who appeared on Czech soil. The Nazi “political activity” was designed to undermine and to weaken Czech resistance to the commands from Germany. In the face of continued threats and duress on both diplomatic and propaganda levels, the Czech government was unable to take adequate measures against these trespasses on its sovereignty. (998-PS; 3061-PS)

In early March, with the date for the invasion of Czechoslovakia already close at hand, fifth column activity moved into its final phase. In Bohemia and Moravia the FS, Heinlein’s equivalent of the SS, were in touch with the Nazi conspirators in the Reich and laid the groundwork for the events of 14 and 15 March. An article by SS-Gruppenfuehrer Karl Hermann Frank, published in Boehmen and Maehren, the official periodical of the Reichs Protector of Bohemia and Moravis, March 1941, pate 79, reveals with considerable frankness the functions which the FS and SS served and the pride the Nazi conspirators took in the activities of these organizations:

“The SS on March 15, 1939

“A modern people and a modern state are today unthinkable without political troops. To these are allotted the special task of being the advance guard of the political will and the guarantor of its unity. This is especially true of the German folk-groups, which have their home in some other people’s state. Accordingly the Sudeten German Party had formerly also organized its political troop, the Voluntary Vigilantes (Freiwilliger Selbstschutz), called 'FS' for short. This troop was trained essentially in accordance with the principles of the SS, so far as these could be used in this region at that time. That troop was likewise assigned here the special task of protecting the homeland; actively, if necessary. It stood up well in its first test in this connection, wherever in the fall crisis of 1938 it had to assume the protection of the homeland, arms in hand.

“After the annexation of the Sudeten Gau, the tasks of the FS were transferred essentially to the German student organizations as compact troop formations in Prague and Brunn, aside from the isolated German communities which remained in the second republic. This was also natural because many active students from the Sudeten Gau were already members of the FS. The student organizations then had to endure this test, in common with other Germans, during the crisis of March 1939 * * * “

“In the early morning hours of March 15, after the announcement of the planned entry of German troops in various localities, German men had to act in some localities in order to assure a quiet course of events, either by assumption of the police authority, as for instance in Brunn, or by corresponding instruction of the police president, etc. In some Czech offices, men had likewise, in the early hours of the morning, begun to burn valuable archives and the material of political files. It was also necessary to take measures here in order to prevent foolish destruction * * *. How significant the many-sided and comprehensive measures were considered by the competent German agencies, follows from the fact that many of the men either on March 15 itself or on the following days were admitted into the SS with fitting acknowledgment, in part even though the Reichsfuehrer SS himself or through SS Group Leader Heydrich. The activities and deeds of these men were thereby designated as accomplished in the interest of the SS.

“Immediately after the corresponding divisions of the SS had marched in with the first columns of the German Army and had assumed responsibility in the appropriate sectors, the men here placed themselves at once at their further disposition and became valuable auxiliaries and collaborators. * * *” (2826-PS)

The background of the German intrigue in Slovakia is outlined in two British diplomatic despatches (D-571, D-572) and excerpts from despatches sent by M. Coulondre, the French Ambassador in Berlin to the French Foreign Office between 13 and 18 March 1939, and published in the French Yellow Book. (2943-PS)

In Slovakia the long-anticipated crisis came on 10 March. On that day the Czechoslovakian government dismissed those members of the Slovak Cabinet who refused to continue negotiations with Prague, among them Prime Minister Tiso and Durcansky. Within 24 hours the Nazis seized upon this act of the Czech government as an excuse for intervention. On the following day, 11 March, a strange scene was enacted in Bratislava, the Slovak capital. It is related in the report of the British Minister in Prague to the British government:

“Herr Buerckel, Herr Seyss-Inquart and five German generals came at about 10 P.M. on the evening of Saturday, the 11th March, into a Cabinet meeting in progress at Bratislava, and told the Slovak Government that they should proclaim the independence of Slovakia. When M. Sidor (the prime Minister) showed hesitation, Herr Buerckel took him on one side and explained that Herr Hitler had decided to settle the question of Czecho-Slovakia definitely. Slovakia ought, therefore, to proclaim her independence because Herr Hitler would otherwise disinterest himself in her fate. M. Sidor thanked Herr Buerckel for this information, but said that he must discuss the situation with the Government at Prague.” (D-571)

Events were now moving rapidly. Durcansky, one of the dismissed ministers, escaped with Nazi assistance to Vienna, where the facilities of the German broadcasting station were placed at his disposal. Arms and ammunition were brought from German Offices in Engerau, across the Danube, into Slovakia where they were used by the FS and the Hlinka Guard to create incidents and disorder of the type required by the Nazis as an excuse for military action. The situation at Engerau is described in an affidavit of Alfred Helmut Naujocks:

“I, ALFRED HELMUT NAUJOCKS, being first duly sworn, depose and state as follows-

“1. From 1934 to 1941 I was a member of the SD. In the winter of 1939 I was stationed in Berlin, working in Amt VI, Chief Sector South East. Early in March, four or five days before Slovakia declared its independence, Heydrich, who was chief of the SD, ordered me to report to Nebe, the chief of the Reich Criminal Police. Nebe had been told by Heydrich to accelerate the production of explosives which his department was manufacturing for the use of certain Slovak groups. These explosives were small tins weighing approximately 500 grams.

“2. As soon as forty or fifty of these explosives had been finished, I carried them by automobile to a small village called Engerau, just across the border from Pressburg in Slovakia. The Security Police had a Service Department in this village for the handling of SD activities. I turned over the explosives to this office and found there a group of Slovaks, including Karmasin, Mach, Tuka and Durcansky. In fact, three of these people then present later became ministers in the new Slovak government. I was informed that the explosives were to be turned over to the Hlinka Guards across the border in Slovakia and were to be used in incidents designed to create the proper atmosphere for a revolution.

“3. I stayed in Engerau for a day and a half and then returned to Berlin.

“4. One or two weeks later I met in Berlin the same Slovak delegation, including Mach, Tuka, Durcansky and Karmasin, which I had seen in Engerau. They had flown to Berlin for a conference with Goering. Heydrich asked me to look after them and to report to him what developed during the conference with Goering. I reported this conference in detail to Heydrich. It dealt principally with the organization of the new Slovak state. My principal recollection of the conference is that the Slovaks hardly got a word in because Goering was talking all the time.

“The facts stated above are true; this declaration is made by me voluntarily and without compulsion; after reading over the statement I have signed and executed the same at NURNBERG, Germany this 20th day of November 1945.

“(Signed) Alfred Helmut Naujocks



At this time the German press and radio launched a violent campaign against the Czechoslovak government. And, significantly, an invitation from Berlin was delivered in Bratislava. Tiso, the dismissed prime minister, was summoned by Hitler to an audience in the German capital. A plane was awaiting him in Vienna. (998-PS; 3061-PS; 2943-PS)

M. Occupation of Czechoslovakia Under Threat of Military Force.

At this point, in the second week of March 1939, preparations for what the Nazi leaders liked to call the “liquidation” of Czechoslovakia were progressing with a gratifying smoothness. The military, diplomatic, and propaganda machinery of the Nazi conspirators was moving in close coordination. As during Case Green of the preceding summer, the Nazi conspirators had invited Hungary to participate in the attack. It appears from a letter Admiral Horthy, the Hungarian Regent, wrote to Hitler on 13 March 1939, which was captured in the German Foreign Office files, that Horthy was flattered by the invitation:

“Your Excellency,

“My sincere thanks.

“I can hardly tell you how happy I am because this Head Water Region-I dislike using big words-is of vital importance to the life of Hungary.

“In spite of the fact that our recruits have only been serving for 5 weeks we are going into this affair with eager enthusiasm. The dispositions have already been made. On Thursday, the 16th of this month, a frontier incident will take place which will be followed by the big blow on Saturday.

“I shall never forget this proof of friendship and your Excellency may rely on my unshakeable gratitude at all times.

“Your devoted friend.

“(Signed) HORTHY”

“Budapest. 13.3.1939.” (2816-PS)

From this letter it may be inferred that the Nazi conspirators had already informed the Hungarian government of their plans for military action against Czechoslovakia. As it turned out, the timetable was advanced somewhat.

On the diplomatic level Ribbentrop was active. On 13 March, the same day on which Horthy wrote his letter, Ribbentrop sent a cautionary telegram to the German minister in Prague, outlining the course of conduct he should pursue during the coming diplomatic pressure:

“Telegram in secret code

“With reference to telephone instructions given by Kordt today.

“In case you should get any written communication from President HACHA, please do not make any written or verbal comments or take any other action on them but pass them on here by cipher telegram. Moreover, I must ask you and the other members of the Embassy to make a point of not being available if the Czech government wants to communicate with you during the next few days.

“(Signed) RIBBENTROP". (2815-PS)

On the afternoon of 13 March, Monsignor Tiso, accompanied by Durcansky and by Karmasin, the local Nazi leader, arrived in Berlin in response to the summons from Hitler. Late that afternoon Tiso was received by Hitler in his study in the Reichs Chancellery and was presented with an ultimatum. Two alternatives were given him: either to declare the independence of Slovakia or to be left, without German assistance, to the mercies of Poland and Hungary. This decision, Hitler said, was not a question of days, but of hours. The captured German Foreign Office minutes of this meeting between Hitler and Tiso on 13 March show that in the inducements Hitler held out to the Slovaks Hitler displayed his customary disregard for truth:

“* * * now he [Hitler] had permitted minister Tiso to come here in order to make this question clear in a very short time. Germany had no interests east of the Carpathian mountains. it was indifferent to him what happened there. the question was whether Slovakia wished to conduct her own affairs or not. he did not wish for anything from Slovakia. he would not pledge his people or even a single soldier to something which was not in any way desired by the Slovak people. he would like to secure final confirmation as to what Slovakia really wished. he did not wish that reproaches should come from Hungary that he was preserving something which did not wish to be preserved at all. he took a liberal view of unrest and demonstration in general, but in this connection, unrest was only an outward indication of interior instability. he would not tolerate it, and he had for that reason permitted Tiso to come in order to hear his decision. it was not a question of days, but of hours. he had stated at that time that if Slovakia wished to make herself independent he would support this endeavor and even guarantee it. he would stand by his word so long as Slovakia would make it clear that she wished for independence. if she hesitated or did not wish to dissolve the connection with Prague, he would leave the destiny of Slovakia to the mercy of events, for which he was no longer responsible. in that case he would only intercede for German interests and those did not lie east of the Carpathians. Germany had nothing to do with Slovakia. she had never belonged to Germany.

“The Fuehrer asked the Reich Foreign Minister if he had any remarks to add. The Reich Foreign Minister also emphasized for his part the conception that in this case a decision was a question of hours not of days. He showed the Fuehrer a message he had just received which reported Hungarian troop movements on the Slovak frontiers. The Fuehrer read this report, mentioned it to Tiso, and expressed the hope that Slovakia would soon decide clearly for herself.” (2802-PS)

Those present at this meeting included Ribbentrop, Keitel, State Secretary Dietrich, State Secretary Keppler, and Minister of State Meissner.

While in Berlin, the Slovaks also conferred separately with Ribbentrop and with other high Nazi officials. Ribbentrop solicitously handed Tiso a copy, already drafted in Slovak, of the law proclaiming the independence of Slovakia. On the night of 13 March a German plane was placed at Tiso’s disposal to carry him home. On 14 March, pursuant to the wishes of the Nazi conspirators, the Diet of Bratislava proclaimed the independence of Slovakia.

With Slovak extremists, acting at Nazi bidding, in open revolt against the Czechoslovak government, the Nazi leaders were now in a position to move against Prague. On the evening of 14 March, at the suggestion of the German Legation in Prague M. Hacha, the president of the Czechoslovak republic, and M. Chvalkovsky, his foreign minister, arrived in Berlin. The atmosphere in which they found themselves was hostile. Since the preceding weekend the Nazi press had accused the Czechs of using violence against the Slovaks and especially against members of the German minority and citizens of the Reich. Both press and radio proclaimed that the lives of Germans were in danger, that the situation was intolerable and that it was necessary to smother as quickly as possible the focus of trouble which Prague had become in the heart of Europe.

After midnight on the 15 March, at 1:15 in the morning, Hacha and Chvalkovsky were ushered into the Reichs Chancellery. They found there Hitler, von Ribbentrop, Goering, Keitel, and other high Nazi officials. The captured German Foreign Office account of this meeting furnishes a revealing picture of Nazi behaviour and tactics. It must be remembered that this account of the conference of the night of March 14-15 comes from German sources, and must be read as an account biased by its source.

Hacha opened the conference. He was conciliatory, even humble. He thanked Hitler for receiving him and said he knew that the fate of Czechoslovakia rested in the Fuehrer’s hands. Hitler replied that he regretted that he had been forced to ask Hacha to come to Berlin, particularly because of the great age of the President. (Hacha was then in his seventies.) But this journey, Hitler told the President, could be of great advantage to his country, because “it was only a matter of hours until Germany would intervene.” The conference proceeded as follows, with Hitler speaking:

“Slovakia was a matter of indifference to him. If Slovakia had kept closer to Germany, it would have been an obligation to Germany, but he was glad that he did not have this obligation now. He had no interests whatsoever in the territory east of the Lower Carpathian Mts. Last autumn he had not wanted to draw the final consequences because he had believed that it was possible to live together. But even at that time, and also later in his conversations with Chvalkovsky, he made it clear that he would ruthlessly smash this state if Benes' tendencies were not completely revised. Chvalkovsky understood this and asked the Fuehrer to have patience. The Fuehrer saw this point of view, but the months went by without any change. The new regime did not succeed in eliminating the old one psychologically. He observed this from the press, mouth to mouth propaganda, dismissals of Germans and many other things which, to him, were a symbol of the whole situation. At first he had not understood this but when it became clear to him he drew his conclusions because, had the development continued in this way, the relations with Czechoslovakia would in a few years have become the same as six months ago. Why did Czechoslovakia not immediately reduce its army to a reasonable size? Such an army was a tremendous burden for such a state because it only makes sense if it supports the foreign political mission of the State. Since Czechoslovakia no longer has a foreign political mission, such an army is meaningless. He enumerates several examples which proved to him that the spirit in the army had not changed. This symptom convinced him that the army would be a severe political burden in the future. Added to this were the inevitable development of economic necessities and, further, the protests from national groups which could no longer endure life as it was.

“Last Sunday, therefore, for me the die was cast. I summoned the Hungarian envoy and notified him that I was withdrawing my [restraining] hands from that country. We were now confronted with this fact. He had given the order to the German troops to march into Czechoslovakia and to incorporate Czechoslovakia into the German Reich. He wanted to give Czechoslovakia fullest autonomy and a life of her own to a larger extent than she ever had enjoyed during Austrian rule. Germany’s attitude towards Czechoslovakia will be determined tomorrow and the day after tomorrow and depends on the attitude of the Czechoslovakian people and the Czechoslovakian military towards the German troops. He no longer trusts the government. He believes in the honesty and straight forwardness of Hacha and Chvalkovsky but doubts that the government will be able to assert itself in the entire nation. The German Army had already started out today, and at one barracks where resistance was offered, it was ruthlessly broken; another barracks had given in at the deployment of heavy artillery.

“At 6 o'clock in the morning the German army would invade Czechoslovakia from all sides and the German air force would occupy the Czech airfields. There existed two possibilities. The first one would be that the invasion of the German troops would lead to a battle. In this case the resistance will be broken by all means with physical force. The other possibility is that the invasion of the German troops occurs in bearable form. In that case it would be easy for the Fuehrer to give Czechoslovakia at the new organization of Czech life a generous life of her own, autonomy and a certain national liberty.

“We witnessed at the moment a great historical turning point. He would not like to torture and de-nationalize the Czechs. He also did not do all that because of hatred but in order to protect Germany. If Czechoslovakia in the fall of last year would not have yielded, the Czech people would have been exterminated. Nobody could have prevented him from doing that. It was his will that the Czech people should live a full national life and he believed firmly that a way could be found which would make far-reaching concessions to the Czech desires. If fighting would break out tomorrow, the pressure would result in counter-pressure. One would annihilate one another and it would then not be possible any more for him to give the promised alleviations. Within two days the Czech army would not exist any more. Of course, Germans would also be killed and this would result in a hatred which would force him because of his instinct of self-preservation not to grant autonomy any more. The world would not move a muscle. He felt pity for the Czech people when he read the foreign press. It gave him the impression expressed in a German proverb: 'The Moor has done his duty, the Moor may go.'

“That was the state of affairs. There were two courses open to Germany, a harder one which did not want any concessions and wished in memory of the past that Czechoslovakia would be conquered with blood, and another one, the attitude of which corresponded with his proposals stated above.

“That was the reason why he had asked Hacha to come here. This invitation was the last good deed which he could offer to the Czech people. If it would come to a fight, the bloodshed would also force us to hate. But the visit of Hacha could perhaps prevent the extreme. Perhaps it would contribute to finding a form of construction which would be much more far-reaching for Czechoslovakia than she could ever have hoped for in old Austria. His aim was only to create the necessary security for the German people.

“The hours went past. At 6 o'clock the troops would march in. He was almost ashamed to say that there was one German division to each Czech battalion. The military action was no small one, but planned with all generosity. He would advise him now to retire with Chvalkovsky in order to discuss what should be done.” (2798-PS)

In reply to this long harangue, Hacha, according to the German minutes, said that he agreed that resistance would be useless. He expressed doubt that he would be able to issue the necessary orders to the Czech Army in the four hours left to him before the German Army crossed the Czech border. He asked if the object of the invasion was to disarm the Czech Army. If so, that might be arranged. Hitler replied that his decision was final, that it was well known what a decision of the Fuehrer meant. He turned to the circle of Nazi conspirators surrounding him, which included Goering, Ribbentrop, and Keitel, for their support. The only possibility of disarming the Czech Army, Hitler said, was by the intervention of the German Army. At this point Hacha and Chvalkovsky retired from the room. (2798-PS)

A dispatch from the British Ambassador, Sir Nevile Henderson, published in the British Blue Book, describes a conversation with Goering in which the events of this early morning meeting are set forth (2861-PS). Dispatch No. 77 in the French Yellow Book from M. Coulondre, the French Ambassador, gives another well-informed version of this same midnight meeting (2943-PS). The following account of the remainder of this meeting is drawn from these two sources, as well as from the captured German minutes (2787-PS). (Cf. also 3061-PS.)

When President Hacha left the conference room in the Reichs Chancellery, he was in such a state of exhaustion that he needed medical attention from a physician who was on hand for that purpose. It appears that he was given an injection to sustain him during the ordeal. When the two Czechs returned to the room the Nazi conspirators again told them of the power and invincibility of the Wehrmacht. They reminded him that in three hours, at 6 in the morning, the German Army would cross the border. Goering boasted of what the German Wehrmacht would do if Czech forces resisted the invading Germans. If German lives were lost, Goering said, his Luftwaffe would blast half Prague into ruins in two hours. And that, Goering said, would be only the beginning. Under this threat of imminent and merciless attack by land and air, the President of Czechoslovakia at 4:30 in the morning signed the document with which the Nazi conspirators confronted him. This Declaration of 15 March 1939 reads:

“the President of the Czechoslovak State * * * entrusts with entire confidence the destiny of the Czech people and the Czech country to the hands of the Fuehrer of the German Reich.” (TC-49)

While the Nazi officials were threatening and intimidating the representatives of the Czech government, the Wehrmacht had in some areas already crossed the Czech border. The Czech industrial centres of Maehrisch-Ostrau and Witkowitz, close to the Silesian and Polish borders, were occupied by German troops and SS units during the early evening of 14 March. An article in the German military magazine, the Wehrmacht, of 29 March 1939 describes the movement of German troops during the occupation:

“From Silesia, Saxony and Northern Bavaria and the Ostmark, seven Army Corps moved on the morning of March 15 past the former Czech border. On the evening of March 14 parts of the VIII Army Corps and the SS Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler, under the command of the Commanding General of the VIII Army Corps, had already occupied the industrial centers of Witkowitz and Maehrisch Ostrau.

“The troops of Army Group 3 under the command of General of Infantry Blaskowitz were to take Bohemia under their protection, while the troops of Army Group 5 under General of Inf. List were given the same mission for Moravia.

“For this purpose parts of the Air Force (particularly reconnaissance planes and antiaircraft artillery) as well as parts of the SS Verfuegungstruppen were placed at the disposal of the two army groups.

“On the evening of March 14, the march order was received by the troops. On March 15 at 6 A. M. the columns moved past the border and then moved on with utmost precision. * * *” (3571-PS)

(Other descriptions of the military movements of 14 and 15 March are contained in documents 2860-PS, 3618-PS, and 3619-PS.)

At dawn on 15 March German troops poured into Czechoslovakia from all sides. Hitler issued an order of the day to the armed Forces and a proclamation to the German people, which stated succinctly, “Czechoslovakia has ceased to exist.” (TC-51)

On the following day, in direct contravention of Article 81 of the Treaty of Versailles, Czechoslovakia was formally incorporated into the German Reich under the name of the “Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia.” This decree, signed in Prague on 16 March 1939 by Hitler, Lammers, Frick, and Ribbentrop, commenced with this declaration:

“The Bohemian-Moravian countries belonged for a millennium to the living space of the German people.” (TC-51)

The remainder of the decree sets forth in bleak detail the extent to which Czechoslovakia henceforth was to be subjugated to Germany. A German Protector was to be appointed by the Fuehrer for the so-called Protectorate. The German Government assumed charge of their foreign affairs and of their customs and their excise. It was specified that German garrisons and military establishments would be maintained in the Protectorate. (TC-51)

At the same time the extremist leaders in Slovakia, who at German insistence had done so much to undermine the Czech State, found that the independence of their week-old state was in fact qualified. A Treaty of Protection between Slovakia and the Reich was signed in Vienna on 18 March and by Ribbentrop in Berlin on 23 March (1439-PS). A secret protocol to this treaty was also signed in Berlin on 23 March by Ribbentrop for Germany, and by Tuka and Durcansky for Slovakia (2793-PS). The first four articles of this treaty provide:

“The German Government and the Slovak Government have agreed, after the Slovak State has placed itself under the protection of the German Reich, to regulate by treaty the consequences resulting from this fact. For this purpose the undersigned representatives of the two governments have agreed on the following provisions.

“ARTICLE 1. The German Reich undertakes to protect the political independence of the State of Slovakia and the integrity of its territory.

“ARTICLE 2. For the purpose of making effective the protection undertaken by the German Reich, the German armed forces shall have the right, at all times, to construct military installations and to keep them garrisoned in the strength they deem necessary, in an area delimited on its western side by the frontiers of the State of Slovakia, and on its eastern side by a line formed by the eastern rims of the Lower Carpathians, the White Carpathians and the Javornik Mountains. “The Government of Slovakia will take the necessary steps to assure that the land required for these installations shall be conveyed to the German armed forces. Furthermore the Government of Slovakia will agree to grant exemption from custom duties for imports from the Reich for the maintenance of the German troops and the supply of military installations.

“Military sovereignty will be assumed by the German armed forces in the zone described in the first paragraph of this Article.

“German citizens who, on the basis of private employment contracts, are engaged in the construction of military installations in the designated zone shall be subject to German jurisdiction.

“ARTICLE 3. The Government of Slovakia will organize its military forces in close agreement with the German armed forces.

“ARTICLE 4. In accordance with the relationship of protection agreed upon, the Government of Slovakia will at all times conduct its foreign affairs in close agreement with the German Government.” (1439-PS)

The secret protocol provided for close economic and financial collaboration between Germany and Slovakia. Mineral resources and subsoil rights were placed at the disposal of the German government. Article I, Paragraph 3, provided:

“(3) Investigation, development and utilization of the Slovak natural resources. In this respect the basic principle is that insofar as they are not needed to meet Slovakia’s own requirements, they should be placed in first line at Germany’s disposal. The entire soil research (Bodenforschung) will be placed under the Reich agency for soil-research (Reichsstelle fuer Bodenforschung). The government of the Slovak State will soon start an investigation to determine whether the present owners of concessions and privileges have fulfilled the industrial obligations prescribed by law and it will cancel concessions and privileges in cases where these duties have been neglected.” (2793-PS)

In their private conversations the Nazi conspirators gave abundant evidence that they considered Slovakia a puppet State, in effect a German possession. A memorandum of information given by Hitler to von Brauchitsch on 25 March 1939 deals in the main with problems arising from recently occupied Bohemia and Moravia and Slovakia. It states in part:

“Col. Gen. Keitel shall inform Slovak Government via Foreign Office that it would not be allowed to keep or garrison armed Slovak units (Hlinka Guards) on this side of the border formed by the river Waag. They shall be transferred to the new Slovak territory. Hlinka Guards should be disarmed.

“Slovak shall be requested via Foreign Office to deliver to us against payment any arms we want and which are still kept in Slovakia. This request is to be based upon agreement these millions should be used which we will pour anyhow into Slovakia.

“Czech Protectorate.

“H. Gr. [translator’s note: probably Army groups] shall be asked again whether the request shall be repeated again for the delivery of all arms within a stated time limit and under. the threat of severe penalties.

“We take all war material of former Czechoslovakia without paying for it. The guns bought by contract before 15 February though shall be paid for.

“Bohemia-Moravia have to make annual contributions to the German treasury. Their amount shall be fixed on the basis of the expenses earmarked formerly for the Czech Army.” (R-100)

The German conquest of Czechoslovakia in direct contravention of the Munich agreement was the occasion for formal protests from the British (TC-52) and French (TC-53) governments, both dated 17 March 1939. On the same day, 17 March 1939, the Acting Secretary of State of the United States issued a statement which read in part as follows:

“* * * This Government, founded upon and dedicated to the principles of human liberty and of democracy, cannot refrain from making known this country’s condemnation of the acts which have resulted in the temporary extinguishment of the liberties of a free and independent people with whom, from the day when the Republic of Czechoslovakia attained its independence, the people of the United States have maintained specially close and friendly relations.” (2862-PS)

N. The Importance of Czechoslovakia in Future Aggressions.

With Czechoslovakia in German hands, the Nazi conspirators had accomplished the program they had set for themselves in the meeting in Berlin on 5 November 1937 (386-PS). This program of conquest had been intended to shorten Germany’s frontiers, to increase its industrial and food reserves, and to place it in a position, both industrially and strategically, from which the Nazis could launch more ambitious and more devastating campaigns of aggression. In less than a year and a half this program had been carried through to the satisfaction of the Nazi leaders.

Of all the Nazi conspirators perhaps Goering was the most aware of the economic and strategic advantages which would accrue from the possession of Czechoslovakia. The Top Secret minutes of a conference with Goering in the Air Ministry, held on 14 October 1938 just two weeks after the occupation of the Sudetenland reports a discussion of economic problems. At this date Goering’s remarks were somewhat prophetic:

“The Sudetenland has to be exploited with all the means. General field Marshal Goering counts upon a complete industrial assimilation of the Slovakia. Czechia and Slovakia would become German dominions. Everything possible must be taken out. The Oder-Danube Canal has to be speeded up. Searches for oil and ore have to be conducted in Slovakia, notably by State Secretary Keppler.” (1301-PS, Item 10)

In the summer of 1939, after the incorporation of Bohemia and Moravia into the Reich, Goering again revealed the great interest of the Nazi leaders in the Czechoslovak economic potential. The minutes dated Berlin, 27 July 1939, and signed Mueller, of a conference two days earlier between Goering and a group of officials from the OKW and from other agencies of the German government concerned with war production, read as follows:

“1. In a rather long statement the Field Marshal explained that the incorporation of Bohemia and Moravia into the German economy had taken place, among other reasons, to increase the German war potential by exploitation of the industry there. Letters, such as the decree of the Reich Minister for Economics S 10 402/39 of 10 July 39 as well as a letter with similar meaning to the JUNKERS firm, which might possibly lower the kind and extent of the armament measures in the Protectorate, are contrary to this principle. If it is necessary to issue such directives, this should be done only with his consent. In any case, he insists, in agreement with the directive by Hitler, that the war potential of the Protectorate is definitely to be exploited in part or in full and is to be directed towards mobilization as soon as possible. * * *” (R-133)

In addition to strengthening the Nazi economic potential for war, the conquest of Czechoslovakia provided the Nazis with new bases from which to wage their next war of aggression, the attack on Poland. It will be recalled that the minutes of the conference between Goering and a pro-Nazi Slovak delegation in the winter of 1938-39 state Goering’s conclusions as follows:

“Air bases in Slovakia are of great importance for the German Air Force for use against the East.” (2801-PS)

In a conference between Goering, Mussolini, and Ciano on 15 April 1939, one month after the conquest of Czechoslovakia, Goering told his junior partners in the Axis of the progress of German preparations for war. He compared the strength of Germany with the strength of England and France. He mentioned the German occupation of Czechoslovakia in these words:

“However, the heavy armament of Czechoslovakia shows, in any case, how dangerous this country could have been, even after Munich, in the event of a serious conflict. Because of Germany’s action the situation of both Axis countries was ameliorated, among other reasons because of the economic possibilities which result from the transfer to Germany of the great production capacity (armament potential) of Czechoslovakia. That contributes toward a considerable strengthening of the axis against the Western powers. Furthermore, Germany now need not keep ready a single division for protection against that country in case of a bigger conflict. This, too, is an advantage by which both axis countries will, in the last analysis, benefit.”

“* * * the action taken by Germany in Czechoslovakia is to be viewed as an advantage for the axis in case Poland should finally join the enemies of the axis powers. Germany could then attack this country from 2 flanks and would be within only 25 minutes flying distance from the new polish industrial center which had been moved further into the interior of the country, nearer to the other Polish industrial districts, because of its proximity to the border. Now by the turn of events it is located again in the proximity of the border.” (1874-PS)

The absorption of the Sudetenland, effected on 1 October 1938, in practical effect destroyed Czechoslovakia as a military power. The final conquest of Czechoslovakia came on 15 March 1939. This conquest had been the intention and aim of the Nazi leaders during the preparations for Case Green in the summer of 1938, and had been forestalled only by the Munich agreement. With Czechoslovakia, less than six months after the Munich agreement, securely in German hands, the Nazi conspirators had achieved their objective. Bohemia and Moravia were incorporated into the Reich, shortening German frontiers and adding the Czech manufacturing plant to the German war potential. The puppet state of Slovakia, conceived in Berlin and independent only in name, had been set up to the east of Moravia. In this state, which outflanked Poland to the south, the Nazi army, under the terms of the treaty drafted by Ribbentrop. took upon itself the establishment of bases and extensive military installations. From this state in September 1939 units of the German Army did, in fact, carry out the attack on Poland.

Logic and premeditation are patent in each step of the German aggression. Each conquest of the Nazi conspirators was deliberately planned as a stepping stone to new and more ambitious aggression. The words of Hitler in the conference in the Reichs Chancellery on 23 May 1939, when he was planning the Polish campaign, are significant,

“The period which lies behind us has indeed been put to good use. All measures have been taken in the correct sequence and in harmony with our aims.” (L-79)

It is appropriate to refer to two other speeches of the Nazi leaders. In his lecture at Munich on 7 November 1943 Jodl spoke as follows:

“The bloodless solution of the Czech conflict in the autumn of 1938 and spring of 1939 and the annexation of Slovakia rounded off the territory of Greater Germany in such a way that it now became possible to consider the Polish problem on the basis of more or less favourable strategic premises.” (L-172)

In the speech to his military commanders on 23 November 1939, Hitler described the process by which he had rebuilt the military power of the Reich:

“The next step was Bohemia, Moravia and Poland. This step also was not possible to accomplish in one campaign. First of all, the western fortifications had to be finished. It was not possible to reach the goal in one effort. It was clear to me from the first moment that I could not be satisfied with the Sudeten-German territory. That was only a partial solution. The decision to march into Bohemia was made. Then followed the erection of the Protectorate and with that the basis for the action against Poland was laid.” (789-PS)


Document Description Vol. Page

Charter of the International Military Tribunal, Article 6 (a)… I 5

International Military Tribunal, Indictment Number 1, Sections IV (F) 3 (a, c); V… I 22,29

Note: A single asterisk (*) before a document indicates that the document was received in evidence at the Nurnberg trial. A double asterisk (**) before a document number indicates that the document was referred to during the trial but was not formally received in evidence, for the reason given in parentheses following the description of the document. The USA series number, given in parentheses following the description of the document, is the official exhibit number assigned by the court.

*375-PS Case Green with wider implications, report of Intelligence Division, Luftwaffe General Staff, 25 August 1938. (USA 84)… III 280

*386-PS Notes on a conference with Hitler in the Reich Chancellery, Berlin, 5 November 1937, signed by Hitler’s adjutant, Hossbach, and dated 10 November 1937. (USA 25)… III 295

*388-PS File of papers on Case Green (the plan for the attack on Czechoslovakia), kept by Schmundt, Hitler’s adjutant, April-October 1938. (USA 26)… III 305

*789-PS Speech of the Fuehrer at a conference, 23 November 1939, to which all Supreme Commanders were ordered. (USA 23)… III 572

*998-PS “German Crimes Against Czechoslovakia". Excerpts from Czechoslovak Official Report for the prosecution and trial of the German Major War Criminals by the International Military Tribunal established according to Agreement of four Great Powers of 8 August 1945. (USA 91)… III 656

*1301-PS File relating to armament including minutes of conference with Goering at the Air Ministry, 14 October 1938, concerning acceleration of rearmament. (USA 123)… III 868

*1439-PS Treaty of Protection between Slovakia and the Reich, signed in Vienna 18 March 1939. 1939 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 606. (GB 135)… IV 18

*1536-PS Report of Luftwaffe General Staff, Intelligence Division, 12 August 1938, on reconnaissance by German Air Attaché at Prague for airfields in Czechoslovakia, enclosing report of the Air Attaché, Major Moericke, 4 August 1938. (USA 83)… IV 96

*1780-PS Excerpts from diary kept by General Jodl, January 1937 to August 1939. (USA 72)… IV 360

*1874-PS Notes on conference between Goering, Mussolini and Ciano, 15 April 1939. (USA 125)… IV 518

2358-PS Speech by Hitler in Sportspalast, Berlin, 26 September 1938, from Voelkischer Beobachter, Munich Edition, 27 September 1938… IV 1100

*2360-PS Speech by Hitler before Reichstag, 30 January 1939, from Voelkischer Beobachter, Munich Edition, 31 January 1939. (GB 134)… IV 1101

*2786-PS Letter from Ribbentrop to Keitel, 4 March 1938. (USA 81)… V 419

*2788-PS Notes of conference in the Foreign Office between Ribbentrop, Konrad Heinlein, K. H. Frank and others on program for Sudeten agitation, 29 March 1938. (USA 95)… V 422

*2789-PS Letter from Konrad Heinlein to Ribbentrop, 17 March 1938. (USA 94)… V 424

*2790-PS German Foreign Office minutes of conference between Hitler, Ribbentrop, Tuca and Karmasin, 12 February 1939. (USA 110)… V 425

*2791-PS German Foreign Office minutes of conversation between Ribbentrop and Attolico, the Italian Ambassador, 23 August 1938. (USA 86)… V 426

*2792-PS German Foreign Office minutes of conversations between Ribbentrop and Attolico, 27 August 1938 and 2 September 1938. (USA 87)… V 426

*2793-PS Confidential protocol concerning economic and financial collaboration between the German Reich and State of Slovakia. (USA 120)… V 427

*2794-PS German Foreign Office memorandum on payments to Karmasin, 29 November 1939. (USA 108)… V 429

*2795-PS Handwritten postscript by Ribbentrop to German Foreign Office notes of Ribbentrop-Chvalkovsky conversation, 21 January 1939. (USA 106)… V 430

*2796-PS German Foreign Office notes on conversations between Hitler, Ribbentrop and von Weizsacker and the Hungarian Ministers Imredy and von Kanya, 23 August 1938. (USA 88)… V 430

*2797-PS German Foreign Office memorandum of conversation between Ribbentrop and von Kanya, 25 August 1938. (USA 89)… V 432

*2798-PS German Foreign Office minutes of the meeting between Hitler and President Hacha of Czechoslovakia, 15 March 1939. (USA 118; GB 5) … V 433

*2800-PS German Foreign Office notes of a conversation with Attolico, the Italian Ambassador, 18 July 1938. (USA 85) … v 442

*2801-ps Minutes of conversation between Goering and Slovak Minister Durkansky (probably late fall or early winter 1938-39). (USA 109) … v 442

*2802-PS German Foreign Office notes of conference on 13 March 1939 between Hitler and Monsignor Tiso, prime Minister of Slovakia. (USA 117)… V 443

*2815-PS Telegram from Ribbentrop to the German Minister in Prague, 13 March 1939. (USA 116)… V 451

*2816-PS Letter from Horthy, the Hungarian Regent, to Hitler, dated Budapest, 13 March 1939. (USA 115)… V 451

*2826-PS The SS on March 15, 1939, an article by SS-Gruppenfuehrer K. H. Frank, in magazine Bohemia and Moravia, May 1941, p. 179. (USA 111)… V 472

*2853-PS Telegram from German foreign Office to German Legation in Prague, 24 September 1938. (USA 100)… V 521

*2854-PS Telegram from German Foreign Office to German Legation in Prague, 17 September 1938. (USA 99)… V 521

*2855-PS Telegram from German Foreign Office to German Legation in Prague, 16 September 1938. (USA 98)… V 522

*2856-PS Telegram from German Foreign Office to German Legation in Prague, 24 September 1938. (USA 101)… V 522

*2858-PS Telegram from German Foreign Office to German Legation in Prague, 19 September 1938. (USA 97)… V 523

*2859-PS Telegram from German Legation, Prague, to Consulate at Bratislava, 22 November 1938. (USA 107)… V 523

*2860-PS Document No. 10 in the British Blue Book. Speech by Lord Halifax in the House of Lords, 20 March 1939. (USA 119)… V 523

*2861-PS Document No. 12 in the British Blue Book. Dispatch from Sir Nevile Henderson to British Foreign Office, 28 May 1939, relating details of conversation with Goering. (USA 119)… V 524

*2862-PS Document No. 126 in Peace and War. Statement by Acting Secretary of State Sumner Welles, 17 March 1939. (USA 122)… V 525

**2863-PS Lecture by Konrad Heinlein, delivered in Vienna, 4 March 1941. Quoted in “Four Fighting Years", Czechoslovak Ministry of Foreign Affairs, London, 1943, pp. 29-30. (Referred to but not offered in evidence.) (USA 92)… V 525

2906-PS German Foreign Office minutes of meeting between Hitler and Chvalkovsky, the Czechoslovak Foreign Minister, 21 January 1939… V 571

*2943-PS Documents Numbers 55, 57, 62, 65, 66, 73, 77 and 79 in the French Yellow Book. Excerpts from eight dispatches from M. Coulondre, the French Ambassador in Berlin, to the French foreign Office, between 13 and 18 March 1939. (USA 114)… V 608

**3029-PS Affidavit of Alfred Naujocks, 20 November 1945, on activities of the SD along the Czechoslovak border during September 1938. (USA 103) (Objection to admission in evidence upheld.)… V 738

3030-PS Affidavit of Alfred Naujocks, 20 November 1945, on relationship between the SD and pro-Nazi Slovak groups in March 1939… V 739

**3036-PS Affidavit of Gottlob Berger in the composition and activity of the Heinlein Free Corps in September 1938. (Objection to admission in evidence upheld.) (USA 102)… V 742

3037-PS Affidavit of Fritz Wiedemann, 21 November 1945, on the meeting between Hitler and his principal advisers in Reichs Chancellery on 28 May 1938… V 743

*3054-PS “The Nazi Plan", script of a motion picture composed of captured German film. (USA 167)… V 801

*3059-PS German Foreign Office memorandum, 19 August 1938, on payments to Heinlein’s Sudeten German Party between 1935 and 1938. (USA 96)… V 855

*3060-PS Dispatch from German Minister in Prague to Foreign Office in Berlin about policy arrangements with Heinlein, 16 March 1938. (USA 93)… V 856

*3061-PS Supplement No. 2 to the Official Czechoslovak Report entitled “German Crimes Against Czechoslovakia” (document 998-PS). (USA 126)… V 857

3571-PS Report of U.S. Military Attaché, Berlin, including an article in magazine Wehrmacht, 29 March 1939, describing occupation of Bohemia and Moravia by German troops… VI 264

3618-PS Report of U.S. Military Attaché in Berlin, 20 March 1939, concerning occupation of Czechoslovakia… VI 389

3619-PS Report of U.S. Military Attaché in Berlin, 19 April 1939, concerning occupation of Czechoslovakia… VI 398

3638-PS Memorandum of Ribbentrop, 1 October 1938, concerning his conversation with Ciano about the Polish demands made on Czechoslovakia… VI 400

*3842-PS Statement of Fritz Mundhenke, 7 March 1946, concerning the activities of Kaltenbrunner and SS in preparation for occupation of Czechoslovakia. (USA 805)… VI 778

*C-2 Examples of violations of International Law and proposed counter propaganda, issued by OKW, 1 October 1938. (USA 90)… VI 799

*C-136 OKW Order on preparations for war, 21 October 1938, signed by Hitler and initialed by Keitel. (USA 104)… VI 947

*C-138 Supplement of 17 December 1938, signed by Keitel, to 21 October Order of the OKW. (USA 105)… VI 950

*C-175 OKW Directive for Unified Preparation for War 1937-1938, with covering letter from von Blomberg, 24 June 1937. (USA 69)… VI 1006

*D-571 Official report of British Minister in Prague to Viscount Halifax, 21 March 1939. (USA 112)… VII 88

*D-572 Dispatch from Mr. Pares, British Consul in Bratislava to Mr. Newton, 20 March 1939, describing German support of Slovak separatists. (USA 113)… VII 90

*L-79 Minutes of conference, 23 May 1939, “Indoctrination on the political situation and future aims". (USA 27)… VII 847

*L-172 “The Strategic Position at the Beginning of the 5th Year of War", a lecture delivered by Jodl on 7 November 1943 at Munich to Reich and Gauleiters. (USA 34)… VII 920

*R-100 Minutes of instructions given by Hitler to General von Brauchitsch on 25 March 1939. (USA 121)… VIII 83

*R-133 Notes on conference with Goering in Westerland on 25 July 1939, signed Mueller, dated Berlin 27 July 1939. (USA 124)… VIII 202

*R-150 Extracts from Luftwaffe Group Command Three Study on Instruction for Deployment and Combat “Case Red", 2 June 1938. (USA 82)… VIII 268

*TC-14 Arbitration Treaty between Germany and Czechoslovakia, signed at Locarno, 16 October 1925. (GB 14)… VIII 325

*TC-23 Agreement between Germany, the United Kingdom, France and Italy, 29 September 1938. (GB 23)… VIII 370

*TC-27 German assurances to Czechoslovakia, 11 and 12 March 1938, as reported by M. Masaryk, the Czechoslovak Minister to London to Viscount Halifax. (GB 21)… VIII 377

*TC-49 Agreement with Czechoslovakia, 15 March 1939, signed by Hitler, von Ribbentrop, Hacha and Chvalkovsky, from Documents of German Politics, Part VII, pp. 498-499. (GB 6)… VIII 402

*TC-50 Proclamation of the Fuehrer to the German people and Order of the Fuehrer to the Wehrmacht, 15 March 1939, from Documents of German Politics, Part VII, pp. 499-501. (GB 7)… VIII 402

*TC-51 Decree establishing the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, 16 March 1939. (GB 8)… VIII 404

*TC-52 Formal British protest against the annexation of Czechoslovakia in violation of the Munich Agreement, 17 March 1939. (GB 9)… VIII 407

*TC-53 Formal French protest against the annexation of Bohemia and Moravia in violation of the Munich Agreement, 17 March 1939. (GB 10)… VIII 407

Affidavit H Affidavit of Franz Halder, 22 November 1945… VIII 643

**Chart No. 11 Aggressive Action 1938-39. (Enlargement displayed to Tribunal.)… VIII 780

**Chart No. 12 German Aggression. (Enlargement displayed to Tribunal.)… VIII 781

**Chart No. 13 Violations of Treaties, Agreements and Assurances. (Enlargement displayed to Tribunal.)… VIII 782


The following address, opening the British presentation of the case under Count II of the Indictment, was delivered by Sir Hartley Shawcross, K.C., M.P., British Attorney General and Chief Prosecutor for the United Kingdom, before the Tribunal on 4 December 1945.


On an occasion to which reference has already been made Hitler, the Leader of the Nazi Conspirators who are now on trial before you, said in reference to their warlike plans:

“I shall give a propagandist cause for starting the war, never mind whether it be true or not. The victor shall not be asked later on whether we tell the truth or not. In starting and making a war not the right is what matters but victory-the strongest has the right.” (1014-PS)

The British Empire has twice been victorious in wars which have been forced upon it within the space of one generation but it is precisely because we realize that victory is not enough; that might is not necessarily right; that lasting peace and the rule of International Law is not to be achieved by the strong arm alone, that the British Nation is taking part in this trial. There are those who would perhaps say that these wretched men should have been dealt with summarily without trial by “executive action"; that their personal power for evil broken, they should be swept aside into oblivion without this elaborate and careful investigation as to the part they played in plunging the world in war. Vae Victis. Let them pay the penalty of defeat. But that is not the view of the British Empire or of the British Government. Not so would the Rule of Law be raised and strengthened on the international as well as the municipal plane; not so would future generations realize that right is not always on the side of the big battalions; not so would the world be made aware that the waging of aggressive war is not only a dangerous venture but a criminal one. Human memory is short. Apologists for defeated nations are sometimes able to play upon the sympathy and magnanimity of their victors so that the true facts, never authoritatively recorded, become obscured and forgotten. One has only to recall the circumstances following the last world war to see the dangers to which, in the absence of any authoritative judicial pronouncement a tolerant or a credulous people is exposed. With the passage of time the former tend to discount, perhaps because of their very horror, the stories of aggression and atrocity which may be handed down; the latter, misled by fanatical and dishonest propagandists, come to believe that it was not they but their opponents who were guilty of what they would themselves condemn. And so we believe that this Tribunal, acting, as we know it will act notwithstanding its appointment by the victorious powers, with complete and judicial objectivity, will provide a contemporary touchstone and an authoritative and impartial record to which future historians may turn for truth and future politicians for warning. From this record all generations shall know not only what our generation suffered but also that our suffering was the result of crimes against the laws of peoples which the peoples of the world enforced and will continue in the future to uphold by international cooperation, not based merely on military alliances but firmly grounded in the rule of law.

Nor, though this procedure and this Indictment of individuals may be novel, is there anything new in the principles which by this prosecution we seek to enforce. Ineffective though, alas, the sanctions proved themselves to be, the Nations of the world had, as it will be my purpose to show, sought to make aggressive war an international crime, and although previous tradition has sought to punish States rather than individuals, it is both logical and right that if the act of waging war is itself an offense against International Law those individuals who shared personal responsibility for bringing such wars about should answer personally for the course into which they lead their states. Again, individual war crimes have long been regarded by International Law as triable by the Courts of those States whose nationals have been outraged at least so long as a state of war persists. It would indeed be illogical in the extreme if those who, although they may not with their own hands have committed individual crimes, were responsible for systematic breaches of the laws of war affecting the nationals of many States should escape. So also in regard to crimes against humanity. The right of humanitarian intervention on behalf of the rights of man trampled upon by the State in a manner shocking the sense of mankind has long been considered to form part of the law of Nations. Here, too, the Charter merely develops a pre-existing principle. If murder, raping and robbery are indictable under the ordinary municipal laws of our countries shall those who differ only from the common criminal by the extent and systematic nature of their offenses escape accusation?

It is, as I shall show, the view of the British Government that in these matters the Tribunal will apply to individuals not the law of the victor but the accepted principles of international usage in a way which will, if anything can, promote and fortify the rule of International Law and safeguard the future peace and security of this war-stricken world.

By agreement between the Chief Prosecutors it is my task on behalf of the British Government and of the other States associated on this Prosecution to present the case on Count 2 of the Indictment and to show how these Defendants in conspiracy with each other and with persons not now before this Tribunal planned and waged a war of aggression in breach of the Treaty obligations by which, under International Law Germany, as other States, had sought to make such wars impossible.

That task falls into two parts. The first is to demonstrate the nature and the basis of the Crime against peace which, under the Charter of this Tribunal, is constituted by waging wars of aggression and in violation of Treaties. The second is to establish beyond doubt that such wars were waged by these Defendants.

As to the first, it would no doubt be sufficient to say this. It is not incumbent upon the Prosecution to prove that wars of aggression and wars in violation of International Treaties are, or ought to be, International Crimes. The Charter of this Tribunal has prescribed that they are crimes and that the Charter is the statute and the law of this Court. Yet, though that is the clear and mandatory law governing the jurisdiction of this Tribunal, we feel that we should not be fully discharging our task in the abiding interest alike of international justice and morality unless we showed the position of that provision of the Charter against the whole perspective of International Law. For just as some old English Statutes were substantially declaratory of the Common Law, so this Charter substantially declares and creates a jurisdiction in respect of what was already the Laws of Nations.

Nor is it unimportant to emphasize that aspect of the matter lest there be some, now or hereafter, who might allow their judgment to be warped by plausible catchwords or by an uninformed and distorted sense of justice towards these Defendants. It is not difficult to be misled by such phrases as that resort to war in the past has not been a crime; that the power to resort to war is one of the prerogatives of the sovereign State; that the Charter in constituting wars of aggression a crime has imitated one of the most obnoxious doctrines of National Socialist jurisprudence, namely post factum legislation; that the Charter is in this respect reminiscent of Bills of Attainder-and that these proceedings are no more than a measure of vengeance, subtly concealed in the garb of judicial proceedings which the Victor wreaks upon the Vanquished. These things may sound plausible-yet they are not true. It is, indeed, not necessary to doubt that some aspects of the Charter bear upon them the imprint of significant and salutary novelty. But it is our submission and conviction, which we affirm before this Tribunal and the world that fundamentally the provision of the Charter which constitutes such wars as these Defendants joined in waging and in planning a crime is not in any way an innovation. That provision does no more than constitute a competent jurisdiction for the punishment of what not only the enlightened conscience of mankind but the Law of Nations itself constituted an International Crime before this Tribunal was established and this Charter became part of the public law of the world.

So first let this be said. Whilst it may be true that there is no body of international rules amounting to law in the Justinian sense of a rule imposed by a sovereign upon a subject obliged to obey it under some definite sanction, yet for fifty years or more the people of the world, striving perhaps after that ideal of which the poet speaks:

When the War Drums throb no longer

And the Battle Flags are furled,

In the Parliament of Man,

The federation of the World

have sought to create an operative system of rules based on the consent of nations to stabilize international relations, to avoid war taking place at all and to mitigate the results of such wars as took place. The first such treaty was of course the Hague Convention of 1899 for the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes. This was, indeed, of little more than precatory effect and we attach no weight to it for the purpose of this case, but it did establish agreement that in the event of serious disputes arising between the signatory powers, they would so far as possible submit to mediation. That Convention was followed in 1907 by another Convention reaffirming and slightly strengthening what had previously been agreed. These early conventions fell indeed very far short of outlawing war or of creating any binding obligation to arbitrate. I shall certainly not ask you to say any crime was committed by disregarding them. But at least they established that the contracting powers accepted the general principle that if at all possible war should be resorted to only if mediation failed.

Although these Conventions are mentioned in the Indictment I do not rely on them save to show the historical development of the law. It is unnecessary, therefore, to argue about their effect, for their place has been taken by more effective instruments. They were the first steps.

There were, of course, other individual agreements between particular States which sought to preserve the neutrality of individual countries as, for instance, that of Belgium, but those agreements were, in the absence of any real will to comply with them, entirely inadequate to prevent the first World War in 1914.

Shocked by the occurrence of that catastrophe the Nations of Europe, not excluding Germany, and of other parts of the World came to the conclusion that in the interests of all alike a permanent organization of the Nations should be established to maintain the peace. And so the Treaty of Versailles was prefaced by the Covenant of the League of Nations.

I say nothing at this moment of the general merits of the various provisions of the Treaty of Versailles. They have been criticized, some of them perhaps justly, and they were made the subject of much warlike propaganda in Germany. But it is unnecessary to enquire into the merits of the matter, for however unjust one might for this purpose assume the Treaty to be, it contained no kind of excuse for the waging of war to secure an alteration in its terms. For not only was it a settlement by agreement of all the difficult territorial questions which had been left outstanding by the war itself but it established the League of Nations which, if it had been loyally supported, could so well have resolved those international differences which might otherwise have led, as they did lead, to war. It set up in the Council of the League, in the Assembly and in the Permanent Court of International Justice, a machine not only for the peaceful settlement of international disputes but also for the ventilation of all international questions by frank and open discussion. At the time the hopes of the world stood high. Millions of men in all countries-perhaps even in Germany-had laid down their lives in what they believed and hoped to be a war to end war. Germany herself entered the League and was given a permanent seat on the Council, on which, as in the Assembly, German Governments which preceded that of the Defendant Von Papen in 1932 played their full part. In the years from 1919 to 1932 despite some minor incidents in the heated atmosphere which followed the end of the war, the peaceful operation of the League continued. Nor was it only the operation of the League which gave good ground for hope that at long last the rule of law would replace that of anarchy in the international field.

The Statesmen of the world deliberately set out to make wars of aggression an international Crime. These are no new terms, invented by the Victors to embody in this Charter. They have figured prominently in numerous treaties, in governmental pronouncements and in declarations of Statesmen in the period preceding the Second World War. In treaties concluded between the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and other States-such as Persia (1 October 1927), France (2 May 1935), China (21 August 1937)-the Contracting Parties undertook to refrain from any act of aggression whatsoever against the other Party. In 1933 the Soviet Union became a party to a large number of treaties containing a detailed definition of aggression. The same definition appeared in the same year in the authoritative Report of the Committee on Questions of Security set up in connection with the Conference for the Reduction and the Limitation of Armaments. But States went beyond commitments to refrain from wars of aggression and to assist States victims of aggression. They condemned wars of aggression. Thus in the Anti-War Treaty of Non-Aggression and conciliation of 10 October 1933, a number of American States-subsequently joined by practically all the States of the American Continent and a number of European countries-the Contracting Parties solemnly declared that “they condemned wars of aggression in their mutual relations or in those of other States.” That Treaty was fully incorporated into the Buenos Aires Convention of December 1936 signed and ratified by a large number of American countries, including the United States of America. Previously, in February 1928, the Sixth Pan-American conference adopted a Resolution declaring that as “war of aggression constitutes a crime against the human species * * * all aggression is illicit and as such is declared prohibited.” In September 1927 the Assembly of the League of Nations adopted a resolution affirming the conviction that “a war of aggression can never serve as a means of settling international disputes and is, in consequence, an international crime” and declaring that “all wars of aggression are, and shall always be, prohibited.” The first Article of the Draft Treaty for Mutual Assistance of 1923 reads: “The High Contracting Parties, affirming that aggressive war is an international crime, undertake the solemn engagement not to make themselves guilty of this crime against any other nation.” In the Preamble to the Geneva Protocol of 1924 it was stated that “offensive warfare constitutes an infraction of solidarity and an international crime.” These instruments remained unratified, for various reasons, but they are not without significance or instruction.

These repeated condemnations of wars of aggression testified to the fact that, with the establishment of the League of Nations and with the legal developments which followed it, the place of war in International Law had undergone a profound change. War was ceasing to be the unrestricted prerogative of sovereign States. The Covenant of the League did not totally abolish the right of war. It left certain gaps which probably were larger in theory than in practice. In effect it surrounded the right of war by procedural and substantive checks and delays which, if the Covenant had been observed, would have amounted to an elimination of war not only between Members of the League, but also, by virtue of certain provisions of the Covenant, in the relations of non-Members. Thus the Covenant restored the position as it existed at the dawn of International Law, at the time when Grotius was laying the foundations of the modern law of nations and established the distinction, accompanied by profound legal consequences in the sphere of neutrality, between just and unjust wars.

Neither was that development arrested with the adoption of the covenant. The right of war was further circumscribed by a series of treaties-numbering nearly one thousand-of arbitration and conciliation embracing practically all the nations of the world. The so-called Optional Clause of Article 36 of the Statute of the Permanent Court of International Justice which conferred upon the Court compulsory jurisdiction with regard to most comprehensive categories of disputes and which constituted in effect the most important compulsory treaty of arbitration in the postwar period, was widely signed and ratified. Germany herself signed it in 1927; her signature was renewed and renewed, for a period of five years, by the National-Socialist Government in July 1933. (Significantly, that ratification was not renewed on the expiration of its validity in March 1938.) Since 1928 a considerable number of States signed and ratified the General Act for the pacific Settlement of International Disputes which was designed to fill the gaps left by the Optional Clause and the existing treaties of arbitration and conciliation.

All this vast network of instruments of pacific settlement testified to the growing conviction that war was ceasing to be the normal and legitimate means of settling international disputes. The express condemnation of wars of aggression, which has already been mentioned, supplied the same testimony. But there was more direct evidence pointing in that direction. The Treaty of Locarno of 16th October 1925, to which I will refer later and to which Germany was a party, was more than a treaty of arbitration and conciliation in which the parties undertook definite obligations with regard to the pacific settlement of disputes that might arise between them. It was, subject to clearly specified exceptions of self-defense in certain contingencies, a more general undertaking in which the parties agreed that “they will in no case attack or invade each other or resort to war against each other". This constituted a general renunciation of war and was so considered to be in the eyes of jurists and of the public opinion of the world. For the Locarno Treaty was not just one of the great number of arbitration treaties concluded at that time. It was regarded as the corner stone of the European settlement and of the new legal order in Europe in partial, voluntary and generous substitution for the just rigours of the Treaty of Versailles. With it the term “outlawry of war” left the province of mere pacifist propaganda. It became current in the writings on international law and in official pronouncements of governments. No jurist of authority and no statesman of responsibility would have associated himself, subsequent to the Locarno Treaty, with the plausible assertion that, at least as between the parties, war had remained an unrestricted right of sovereign States.

But although the effect of the Locarno Treaty was limited to the parties to it, it had a wider influence in paving the way towards that most fundamental and truly revolutionary enactment in modern international law, namely, the General Treaty for the Renunciation of War of 27 August 1928, known also as the pact of Paris, or the Kellogg-Briand pact, or the Kellogg Pact. That Treaty-a most deliberate and carefully prepared piece of international legislation-was binding in 1939 upon more than sixty nations, including Germany. It was-and has remained-the most widely signed and ratified international instrument. It contained no provision for its termination, and was conceived as the corner-stone of any future international order worthy of that name. It is fully part of international law as it stands today, and has in no way been modified or replaced by the Charter of the United Nations. It is right, in this solemn hour in the history of the world when the responsible leaders of a State stand accused of a premeditated breach of this great Treaty which was-and remains-a source of hope and faith for mankind, to set out in detail its two operative Articles and its Preamble:

“The Preamble

“The President of the German Reich, * * *

“Deeply sensible of their solemn duty to promote the welfare of mankind;

“Persuaded that the time has come when a frank renunciation of war as an instrument of national policy should be made to the end that the peaceful and friendly relations now existing between their peoples may be perpetuated;

“Convinced that all changes in their relations with one another should be sought only by pacific means and be the result of a peaceful and orderly progress, and that any signatory Power which shall hereafter seek to promote its national interests by resort to war should be denied the benefits furnished by this Treaty;

“Hopeful that, encouraged by their example, all the other nations of the world will join in this humane endeavour and by adhering to the present Treaty as soon as it comes into force bring their peoples within the scope of its beneficent provisions, thus uniting civilized nations of the world in a common renunciation of war as an instrument of their national policy;

“Article I

“The High Contracting Parties solemnly declare in the names of their respective peoples that they condemn recourse to war for the solution of international controversies, and renounce it as an instrument of national policy in their relations with one another.

“Article II

“The High Contracting Parties agree that the settlement or solution of all disputes or conflicts of whatever nature or of whatever origin they may be, which may arise among them, shall never be sought except by pacific means.”

In that General Treaty for the Renunciation of War practically the entire civilized world abolished war as a legally permissible means of enforcing the law and of changing it. The right of war was no longer of the essence of sovereignty. Whatever the position may have been in 1914 or in 1918 (and it is not necessary to discuss it) no International lawyer of repute, no responsible Statesman, no soldier concerned with the legal use of Armed Forces could doubt that with the Pact of Paris on the Statute Book a war of aggression was contrary to positive International Law. Nor have the repeated violations of the pact of the Axis Powers in any way affected its validity. Let this be firmly and clearly stated. Those very breaches, except to the cynic and the malevolent, have added to its strength; they provoked the sustained wrath of people angered by the contemptuous disregard of the great Statute and determined to vindicate its provisions. The Pact of Paris is the Law of Nations. This Tribunal will enforce it.

Let this also be said. The Pact of Paris was not a clumsy enactment likely to become a signpost for the guilty. It did not enable Germany to go to war against Poland and yet rely, as against Great Britain and France, on any immunity from warlike action because of the provisions of the Pact of Paris. For that Pact laid down expressly in its Preamble that no State guilty of a violation of its provisions may invoke its benefits. When on the outbreak of the Second World War Great Britain and France communicated to the League of Nations the fact that a state of war existed between them and Germany as from 3 September, 1939, they declared that by committing an act of aggression against Poland Germany had violated her obligations assumed not only towards Poland but also towards other signatories of the Pact of Paris. A violation of the Pact in relation to one signatory was an attack upon all the other signatories and they were fully entitled to treat it as such. This point is to be emphasized lest any of the defendants should seize upon the letter of the Particulars of Count Two of the Indictment and maintain that it was not Germany who initiated war with the United Kingdom and France on 3 September 1939. The declaration of war came from the United Kingdom and France; the act of war and its commencement came from Germany in violation of the fundamental enactment to which she was a party.

The General Treaty for the Renunciation of War, the great constitutional instrument of an international society awakened to the deadly dangers of another Armageddon, did not remain an isolated effort soon to be forgotten in the turmoil of recurrent international crises. It became, in conjunction with the Covenant of the League of Nations or independently of it, the starting point for a new orientation of governments in matters of peace, war and neutrality. It is of importance to quote some of these statements and declarations. In 1929, His Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom said, in connection with the question of conferring upon the Permanent Court of International Justice jurisdiction with regard to the exercise of belligerent rights in relation to neutral States:

“* * * But the whole situation * * * rests, and International Law on the subject has been entirely built up, on the assumption that there is nothing illegitimate in the use of war as an instrument of national policy, and, as a necessary corollary, that the position and rights of neutrals are entirely independent of the circumstances of any war which may be in progress. Before the acceptance of the Covenant, the basis of the law of neutrality was that the rights and obligations of neutrals were identical as regards both belligerents, and were entirely independent of the rights and wrongs of the dispute which had led to the war, or the respective position of the belligerents at the bar of world opinion.

“* * * Now it is precisely this assumption which is no longer valid as regards states which are members of the League of Nations and parties to the Peace Pact. The effect of those instruments, taken together, is to deprive nations of the right to employ war as an instrument of national policy, and to forbid the states which have signed them to give aid or comfort to an offender. As between such states, there has been in consequence a fundamental change in the whole question of belligerent and neutral rights. The whole policy of His Majesty’s present Government (and, it would appear, of any alternative government) is based upon a determination to comply with their obligations under the Covenant of the League and the Peace Pact. This being so, the situation which we have to envisage in the event of a war in which we were engaged is not one in which the rights and duties of belligerents and neutrals will depend upon the old rules of war and neutrality, but one in which the position of the members of the League will be determined by the Covenant and the Pact. * * *” (Memorandum on the Signature of His Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom of the Optional Clause of the Statute, Misc. No. 12 (1929), Cmd. 3452, p. 9).

Chief of Counsel for the United States referred in his opening speech before this Tribunal to the weighty pronouncement of Mr. Stimson, the Secretary of State, in which, in 1932, he gave expression to the drastic change brought about in International Law by the Pact of Paris. It is convenient to quote the relevant passage in full:

“War between nations was renounced by the signatories of the Briand-Kellogg Treaty. This means that it has become illegal throughout practically the entire world. It is no longer to be the source and subject of rights. It is no longer to be the principle around which the duties, the conduct, and the rights of nations revolve. It is an illegal thing. Hereafter when two nations engage in armed conflict either one or both of them must be wrongdoers-violators of this general treaty law. We no longer draw a circle about them and treat them with the punctilios of the duelist’s code. Instead we denounce them as law-breakers.”

Nearly ten years later, when numerous independent States lay prostrate, shattered or menaced in their very existence before the impact of the war machine of the Nazi State, the Attorney-General of the United States-subsequently a distinguished member of the highest tribunal of that great country-gave weighty expression to the change which had been effected in the law as the result of the General Treaty for the Renunciation of War. He said on 27 March 1941:

“* * * The Kellogg-Briand pact of 1928, in which Germany, Italy and Japan covenanted with us, as well as with other nations, to renounce war as an instrument of policy, made definite the outlawry of war and of necessity altered the dependent concept of neutral obligations.

“* * * The Treaty for the Renunciation of War and the Argentine Anti-War Treaty deprived their signatories of the right of war as an instrument of national policy or aggression and rendered unlawful wars undertaken in violation of their provisions. In consequence, these treaties destroyed the historical and juridical foundations of the doctrine of neutrality conceived as an attitude of absolute impartiality in relation to aggressive wars. * * *

“It follows that the state which has gone to war in violation of its obligations acquires no right to equality of treatment from other states, unless treaty obligations require different handling of affairs. It derives no rights from its illegality.

“* * * In flagrant cases of aggression where the facts speak so unambiguously that world opinion takes what may be the equivalent of judicial notice, we may not stymie International Law and allow these great treaties to become dead letters. Intelligent public opinion of the world which is not afraid to be vocal and the action of the American States has made a determination that the Axis Powers are the aggressors in the wars today which is an appropriate basis in the present state of international organization for our policy. * * *”

There is thus no doubt that by the time the National-Socialist State had embarked upon the preparation of the war of aggression against the civilized world and by the time it had accomplished that design, aggressive war had, in virtue of the Pact of Paris and of other treaties, become illegal beyond all uncertainty and doubt. It is on that Universal Treaty that count 2 is principally based.

The Prosecution has deemed it necessary-indeed imperative-to establish beyond all possibility of doubt, at what may appear to be excessive length, that only superficial learning or culpable sentimentality can assert that there is any significant element of retroactive law in the determination of the authors of the Charter to treat aggressive war as conduct which International Law has prohibited and stigmatized as criminal. We have traced the progressive limitation of the right of war, the renunciation and condemnation of wars of aggression, and, above all, the total prohibition and condemnation of all war conceived as an instrument of national policy. What statesman or politician in charge of the affairs of a nation could doubt, from 1928 onwards, that aggressive war, that all war-except in self-defense, or for the collective enforcement of the law, or against a State which has itself violated the Pact of Paris-was unlawful and outlawed? What statesman or politician embarking upon such war could reasonably and justifiably count upon an immunity other than that by a successful outcome of the criminal venture? What more decisive evidence of a prohibition laid down by positive International Law could any lawyer desire than that which has been adduced here?

There are, it is true, some small town lawyers who deny the existence of any International Law. Indeed, as I have said, the rules of the law of Nations may not satisfy the Justinian test of being imposed by a sovereign. But the legal regulation of International Relations rests upon quite different juridical foundations. It depends upon consent, but upon consent which cannot be withdrawn by unilateral action. In the International field the source of law is not the command of a sovereign but the treaty agreement binding upon every state which has adhered to it. It is indeed true-and the recognition of its truth today by all the great Powers of the World is vital to our future peace-that as M. Litvinoff once said, and as Great Britain fully accepts, “Absolute Sovereignty and entire liberty of action only belong to such states as have not undertaken International obligations. Immediately a state accepts International obligations it limits its sovereignty".

Yet it may be argued that although war had been outlawed and forbidden it was not criminally outlawed and forbidden. International Law, it may be said, does not attribute criminality to states, still less to individuals. But can it really be said on behalf of these Defendants that the offense of these aggressive wars, which plunged millions of peoples to their deaths, which by dint of war crimes and crimes against humanity brought about the torture and extermination of countless thousands of innocent civilians; which devastated cities; which destroyed the amenities, nay the most rudimentary necessities of civilization in many countries, which has brought the world to the brink of ruin from which it will take generations to recover-will it seriously be said that such a war is only an offense, only an illegality, only a matter of condemnation and not a crime justiciable by any Tribunal? No Law worthy of the name can permit itself to be reduced to an absurdity. Certainly the Great Powers responsible for this Charter have refused to allow it. They drew the inescapable consequences from the renunciation, prohibition, and condemnation of war which had become part of the law of Nations. They refused to reduce justice to impotence by subscribing to the outworn doctrines that the sovereign state can commit no crime and that no crime can be committed by individuals on its behalf. Their refusal so to stultify themselves has decisively shaped the law of this Tribunal.

If this be an innovation, it is innovation long overdue-a desirable and beneficent innovation fully consistent with justice, with commonsense and with the abiding purposes of the law of Nations. But is it indeed so clear an innovation? Or is it no more than the logical development of the law? There was indeed a time when International lawyers used to maintain that the liability of a State was, because of its sovereignty, limited to contractual responsibility. International tribunals have not accepted that view. They have repeatedly affirmed that a State can commit a tort; that it may be guilty of trespass, of a nuisance, of negligence. They have gone further. They have held that a State may be bound to pay what are in effect penal damages for failing to provide proper conditions of security to aliens residing within their territory. In a recent case decided in 1935 between the United States and Canada an arbitral commission, with the concurrence of its American member, decided that the United States were bound to pay what amounted to penal damages for an affront to Canadian sovereignty. On a wider plane the Covenant of the League of Nations, in providing for sanctions, recognized the principle of enforcement of the law against collective units such enforcement to be, if necessary, of a penal character. There is thus nothing startlingly new in the adoption of the principle that the State as such is responsible for its criminal acts. In fact, save for the reliance on the unconvincing argument of sovereignty, there is in law no reason why a State should not be answerable for crimes committed on its behalf. In a case decided nearly one hundred years ago Dr. Lushington, a great English Admiralty judge, refused to admit that a State cannot be a pirate. History, very recent history, does not warrant the view that a State cannot be a criminal. On the contrary, the immeasurable potentialities for evil inherent in the State in this age of science and organization would seem to demand imperatively means of repression of criminal conduct even more drastic and more effective than in the case of individuals. In so far therefore as the Charter has put on record the principle of the criminal responsibility of the State it must be applauded as a wise and far-seeing measure of international legislation.

Admittedly, the conscience shrinks from the rigours of collective punishment, which fall upon the guilty and the innocent alike-although, it may be noted, most of those innocent victims would not have hesitated to reap the fruits of the criminal act if it had been successful. Humanity and justice will find means of mitigating any injustice of collective punishment. Above all, much hardship can be obviated by making the punishment fall upon the individuals directly responsible for the criminal conduct of the state. It is here that the Powers who framed the Charter took a step which justice, sound legal sense and an enlightened appreciation of the good of mankind must acclaim without cavil or reserve. The Charter lays down expressly that there shall be individual responsibility for the crimes, including the crime against the peace, committed on behalf of the State. The state is not an abstract entity. Its rights and duties are the rights and duties of men. Its actions are the actions of men. It is a salutory principle of the law that politicians who embark upon a war of aggression should not be able to seek immunity behind the intangible personality of the State. It is a salutory legal rule that persons who, in violation of the law, plunge their own and other countries into an aggressive war, do so with a halter round their necks.

To say that those who aid and abet, who counsel and procure a crime are themselves criminals is a commonplace in our own municipal jurisprudence. Nor is the principle of individual international responsibility for offenses against the law of nations altogether new. It has been applied not only to pirates. The entire law relating to war crimes-as distinguished from the crime of war-is based on that principle. The future of International Law and, indeed, of the world, depends on its application in a much wider sphere-in particular in that of safeguarding the peace of the world. There must be acknowledged not only, as in the Charter of the United Nations, fundamental human rights, but also, as in the Charter of this Tribunal, fundamental human duties. Of these none is more vital or more fundamental than the duty not to vex the peace of nations in violation of the clearest legal prohibitions and undertakings. If this is an innovation, then it is one which we are prepared to defend and to justify. It is not an innovation which creates a new crime. International Law had already, before the Charter was adopted, constituted aggressive war a criminal act.

There is therefore in this respect no substantial retroactivity in the provisions of the Charter. It merely fixes the responsibility for a crime, clearly established as such by positive law, upon its actual perpetrators. It fills a gap in international criminal procedure. There is all the difference between saying to a man: “You will now be punished for an act which was not a crime at the time you committed it", and telling him: “You will now pay the penalty for conduct which was contrary to law and a crime when you executed it though, owing to the imperfection of international machinery, there was at that time no court competent to pronounce judgment against you.” If that be retroactivity, we proclaim it to be most fully consistent with that higher justice which, in the practice of civilized States, has set a definite limit to the retroactive operation of laws. Let the defendants and their protagonists complain that the Charter is in this as in other matters an ex parte fiat of the victor. These victors, composing as they do the overwhelming majority of the nations of the world, represent also the world’s sense of justice which would be outraged if the crime of war, after this second World War, were to remain unpunished. In thus interpreting, declaring and supplementing the existing law they are content to be judged by the verdict of history. securus judicat orbis terrarum. In so far as the Charter of this Tribunal introduces new law, its authors have established a precedent for the future-a precedent operative against all, including themselves. In essence that law, rendering recourse to aggressive war an international crime, had been well established when the Charter was adopted. It is only by way of corruption of language that it can be described as a retroactive law.

There remains the question, with which it will not be necessary to detain the Tribunal for long, whether these wars launched by Germany and her leaders in violation of treaties, agreements or assurances, were also wars of aggression. A war of aggression is one which is resorted to in violation of the international obligation not to have recourse to war or, in cases in which war is not totally renounced, when it is resorted to in disregard of the duty to utilize the procedure of pacific settlement which a State has bound itself to observe. There was indeed, in the period between the two World Wars, a divergence of view among jurists and statesmen whether it was preferable to attempt in advance a legal definition of aggression or to leave to the States concerned and to the collective organs of the international community freedom of appreciation of the facts in any particular situation that might arise. Those holding the latter view urged that a rigid definition might be abused by an unscrupulous State to fit in with its aggressive design; they feared, and the British Government was for a time among those who thought so, that an automatic definition of aggression might become “a trap for the innocent and sign-post for the guilty". Others held that in the interest of certainly and security a definition of aggression, like a definition of any crime in municipal law, was proper and useful; they urged that the competent international organs, political and judicial, could be trusted to avoid any particular case a definition of aggression which might lead to obstruction or to an absurdity. In May 1933 the Committee on Security Questions of the disarmament Conference proposed a definition of aggression on the following lines:

“The aggressor in an international conflict shall, subject to the agreements in force between the parties to the dispute, be considered to be that State which is the first to commit any of the following actions:

“(1) declaration of war upon another state;

“(2) invasion by its armed forces, with or without a declaration of war, of the territory of another State;

“(3) attack by its land, naval, or air forces, with or without a declaration of war, on the territory, vessels, or aircraft of another State;

“(4) naval blockade of the coasts or ports of another State;

“(5) provision of support to armed bands formed in its territory which have invaded the territory of another State, or refusal, notwithstanding the request of the invaded State, to take in its own territory all the measures in its power to deprive those bands of all assistance or protection.”

The various treaties concluded in 1933 by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and other States followed closely that definition. So did the Draft Convention submitted in 1933 by His Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom to the Disarmament Conference.

However, it is unprofitable to elaborate here the details of the problem or of the definition of aggression. This Tribunal will not allow itself to be deflected from its purpose by attempts to ventilate in this Court what is an academic and, in the circumstances, an utterly unreal controversy as to what is a war of aggression. There is no definition of aggression, general or particular, which does not cover abundantly and irresistibly and in every material detail the premeditated onslaught by Germany upon the territorial integrity and the political independence of so many States.

This then being the law-that the peoples of the world by the Pact of Paris had finally outlawed war and made it criminal-let us turn to the facts and see how these Defendants under their Leader and with their associates destroyed the high hopes of mankind and sought to revert to international anarchy. And first in general terms let this be said, for it will be established beyond doubt by the documents. From the moment Hitler became Chancellor in 1933, with the Defendant Von Papen as Vice Chancellor, and with the Defendant Von Neurath as his Foreign Minister, the whole atmosphere of the world darkened. The hopes of the people began to recede. Treaties seemed no longer matters of solemn obligation, but were entered into with complete cynicism as a means for deceiving other States of Germany’s war-like intentions. International Conferences were no longer to be used as a means for securing pacific settlements but as occasions for obtaining by blackmail demands which were eventually to be enlarged by war. The World came to know the War of Nerves, the diplomacy of the fait accompli, of blackmail and bullying.

In October 1933 Hitler told his Cabinet that as the proposed Disarmament Convention did not concede full equality to Germany, “It would be necessary to torpedo the Disarmament Conference. It was out of the question to negotiate: Germany would leave the Conference and the League". And on the 21st October 1933 she did so, and by so doing struck a deadly blow at the fabric of security which had been built up on the basis of the League Covenant. From that time on the record of their foreign policy became one of complete disregard of all international obligations and certainly not least of those solemnly concluded by themselves. As Hitler had expressly avowed, “Agreements are kept only so long as they serve a certain purpose” (789-PS). He might have added that often the purpose was only to lull an intended victim into a false sense of security. So patent, indeed, did this eventually become that to be invited by the Defendant Ribbentrop to enter into a nonaggression pact with Germany was almost a sign that Germany intended to attack the state concerned. Nor was it only the formal treaty which they used and violated as circumstances made expedient. These defendants are charged, too, with breaches of the less formal assurances which, in accordance with diplomatic usage Germany gave to neighboring states. To-day with the advance of science the world has been afforded means of communication and intercourse hitherto unknown, and as Hitler himself expressly recognized, International relations no longer depend upon treaties alone. The methods of diplomacy change. The Leader of one Nation can speak to the Government and peoples of another. But though the methods change the principles of good faith and honesty, established as the fundamentals of civilized society, both in the national and the International spheres, remain. It is a long time since it was said that we are part, one of another. And if to-day the different states are more closely connected and thus form part of a World Society more than ever before, so also more than ever before is there that need of good faith between them.

Let us see further how these Defendants, Ministers and High Officers of the Nazi Government individually and collectively comported themselves in these matters.


In the early hours of the 1st September 1939 under manufactured and, in any event, inadequate, pretexts, the armed Forces of the German Reich invaded Poland along the whole length of her Frontiers and thus launched upon the world the war which was to bring down so many of the pillars of our civilization. It was a breach of the Hague Conventions (TC-2). It was a breach of the Treaty of Versailles which had established the Frontiers between Germany and Poland. And however much Germany disliked that Treaty-although Hitler had stated that he would respect its territorial provisions-she was certainly not free to break it by unilateral action. It was a breach of the Arbitration Treaty between Germany and Poland concluded at Locarno on 16th October 1925 (TC-15). By that Treaty Germany and Poland expressly agreed to refer any matters of dispute not capable of settlement by ordinary diplomatic machinery to the decision of an Arbitral Tribunal or of the Permanent Court of International Justice. But that is not all. It was also a breach of a more recent and, in view of the repeated emphasis laid on it by Hitler himself, a more important engagement into which Nazi Germany had entered. On the 26th January 1934 the German and Polish Governments had signed a ten year Pact of Nonaggression (TC-21). It was, as the signatories stated, to introduce “a new era in the political relations between Poland and Germany". It was stated in the text of the pact itself that “the maintenance and guarantee of lasting Peace between the two countries is an essential prerequisite for the general peace of Europe". The two Governments therefore agreed to base their mutual relations on the principles laid down in the Pact of Paris of 1928. They declared that

“In no circumstances * * * will they proceed to the application of force for the purpose of reaching a decision in such disputes". (TC-21)

That declaration and agreement was to remain in force for at least ten years and thereafter would remain valid unless it was denounced by either Government six months before the expiration of the ten years, or subsequently a denunciation, with six months notice took place.

Both at the time of its signature and during the following four years Hitler spoke of the German-Polish Agreement publicly as though it were a corner-stone of his foreign policy. By entering into it he persuaded many people that his intentions were genuinely pacific, for the re-emergence of an independent Poland had cost Germany much territory and had separated East Prussia from the Reich. That Hitler should of his own accord enter into friendly relations with Poland; that in his speeches on foreign policy he should proclaim his recognition of Poland’s right to an exit to the sea, and the necessity for Germans and poles to live side by side in amity-these facts seemed to the world convincing proof that Hitler had no “revisionist” aims which would threaten the peace of Europe, and that he was even genuinely anxious to put an end to the age-old hostility between the Teuton and the Slav. If his professions were genuine his policy excluded a renewal of the Drang nach Osten and thereby would contribute to the stability of Europe. We shall have occasion enough to see how little truth these pacific professions contained. The history of the fateful years from 1934 to 1939 shows quite clearly that the Germans used this Treaty, as they used other Treaties, merely as an instrument of policy for furthering their aggressive aims. It is clear from the documents now presented to the Tribunal that these five years fall into two distinct phases in the realization of aggressive aims which always underlay the Nazi policy. There was first the period from the Nazi assumption of power in 1933 until the autumn of 1937. That was the preparatory period. During that time there occurred the breaches of the Versailles and Locarno Treaties, the feverish rearmament of Germany, the reintroduction of conscription, the reoccupation and remilitarization of the Rhineland, and all the other necessary preparatory measures for future aggression with which my United States colleagues have already so admirably dealt. During that time they lulled Poland into a false sense of security. Not only Hitler, but also the Defendant Goering and the Defendant Ribbentrop made statements approbating the Pact. In 1935 Goering was saying that “the pact was not planned for a period of ten years but forever: there need not be the slightest fear that it would not be continued.” Even though Germany was steadily building up the greatest war machine that Europe had ever known, and although, by January 1937, the German military position was so secure that Hitler could refer openly to his strong Army, he took pains also to say at the time that “by a series of agreements we have eliminated existing tensions and thereby contributed considerably to an improvement in the European atmosphere. I merely recall the agreement with Poland which has worked out to the advantage of both sides. * * *” (2368-PS). And so it went on-abroad protestations of pacific intentions-at home “guns before butter".

In 1937, however, this preparatory period drew to a close and Nazi policy moved from general preparation for future aggression to specific planning for the attainment of certain specific aggressive aims. Two documents in particular mark this change.

The first of these was an important “Directive for unified preparation for War” issued on June 29, 1937, by the Reich-Minister for War (von Blomberg) and C-in-C of the Armed Forces (C-175). This document is important, not only for its military directions, but for the appreciation it contained of the European situation and for the revelation it provides of the Nazi attitude towards it.

“The general political position", von Blomberg stated, “justifies the supposition that Germany need not consider an attack from any side. Grounds for this are, in addition to the lack of desire for war in almost all Nations, particularly the Western Powers, the deficiencies in the preparedness for war of a number of States, and of Russia in particular". (C-175)

He added, it is true, “The intention of unleashing an European War is held just as little by Germany". And it may be that that phrase was carefully chosen, for Germany hoped to conquer the world in detail: to fight on one front at a time, not to unleash a general European conflict. But, he went on, “the politically fluid world situation, which does not preclude surprising incidents, demands a continuous preparedness for war of the German Armed Forces (a) to counter attack at any time (yet he had just said that there was no fear of any attack) and (b) to enable the military exploitation of politically favorable opportunities should they occur". That phrase is no more than a euphemistic description of aggressive war. It reveals the continued adherence of the German military leaders to the doctrine that military might, and if necessary war, should be an instrument of policy-the doctrine explicitly condemned by the Kellogg pact, to which Germany had adhered. The document goes on to set out the general preparations necessary for a possible war in the mobilization period 1937/1938. The document is evidence at least for this-that the leaders of the German Armed Forces had it in mind to use the military strength which they were building up for aggressive purposes. “No reason"-they say-"to anticipate attack from any side * * * there is a lack of desire for war". Yet they prepare to “exploit militarily favorable opportunities".

Still more important as evidence of the transition to planned aggression is the record of the important conference which Hitler held at the Reichs Chancellery on November 5, 1937, at which von Blomberg, Reich Minister for War, von Fritsch, C-in-C of the Army, Goering, C-in-C of the Luftwaffe, Raeder, C-in-C of the Navy and von Neurath, then the Reich Minister for Foreign Affairs, were present. The minutes of that conference have already been put in evidence (386-PS). I refer to them now to emphasize those passages which make apparent the ultimate intention to wage an aggressive war. As will be remembered, the burden of Hitler’s argument at that conference was that Germany required more territory in Europe. Austria and Czechoslovakia were specifically envisaged. But Hitler realized that the process of conquering these two countries might well bring into operation the treaty obligations of Great Britain and France. He was prepared to take the risk.

“The history of all times: Roman Empire, British Empire, has proved that every space expansion can only be effected by breaking resistance and taking risks. Even setbacks are unavoidable: neither formerly nor today has space been found without an owner. The attacker always comes up against the proprietor. The question for Germany is where the great possible conquest can be made at the lowest possible cost". (386-PS)

In the course of his address to that Conference Hitler had foreseen and discussed the likelihood that Poland would be involved if the aggressive expansionist aims which he put forward brought about a general European war in the course of their realization by Germany. When, therefore, on that very day Hitler assured the Polish Ambassador of the value of the 1934 Pact it can only be concluded that its real value in Hitler’s eyes was that of keeping Poland quiet until Germany had acquired such a territorial and strategic position that Poland would no longer be a danger to her.

That view is confirmed by the events which followed. At the beginning of February 1938 the change from Nazi preparation for aggression to active aggression itself took place. It was marked by the substitution of Ribbentrop for Neurath as Foreign Minister, and of Keitel for Blomberg as head of OKW. Its first fruits were the bullying of Schuschnigg at Berchtesgaden on February 12, 1938, and the forcible absorption of Austria in March. Thereafter the Green Plan (Fall Gruen) for the destruction of Czechoslovakia was steadily developed-the plan partially foiled, or of which the final consummation was at least delayed, by the Munich Agreement.

With these developments of Nazi aggression my United States colleagues have already dealt. But it is obvious that the acquisition of these two countries, and of their resources in manpower and in the production of munitions of war, immensely strengthened the position of Germany as against Poland. It is, therefore, not surprising that, just as the defendant Goering assured the Czechoslovak Minister in Berlin, at the time of the Nazi invasion of Austria that Hitler recognized the validity of the German-Czechoslovak Arbitration Treaty of 1925, and that Germany had no designs against Czechoslovakia herself-"I give you my word of honor” said Goering-so also continued assurances should be given during 1938 to Poland in order to keep that country from interfering with the Nazi aggression on Poland’s neighbors.

Thus, on the 20th February 1938 on the eve of his invasion of Austria, Hitler, referring to the fourth anniversary of the Polish Pact, permitted himself to say this to the Reichstag:

“* * * and so a way to a friendly understanding has been successfully paved, an understanding which beginning with Danzig has today succeeded in finally taking the poison out of the relations between Germany and Poland and transforming them into a sincere friendly cooperation. Relying on her friendships, Germany will not leave a stone unturned to save that ideal which provides the foundation for the task ahead of us-Peace". (2357-PS)

Still more striking are the cordial references to Poland in Hitler’s speech in the Sportpalast at Berlin on the 26 September 1938. He then said:

“The most difficult problem with which I was confronted was that of our relations with Poland. There was a danger that Poles and Germans would regard each other as hereditary enemies. I wanted to prevent this. I know well enough that I should not have been successful if Poland had had a democratic constitution. For these democracies which indulge in phrases about peace are the most bloodthirsty war agitators. In Poland there ruled no democracy, but a man: and with him I succeeded, in precisely twelve months, in coming to an agreement which, for ten years in the first instance, entirely removed the danger of a conflict. We are all convinced that this agreement will bring lasting pacification. We realize that here are two peoples which must live together and neither of which can do away with the other. A people of 33 millions will always strive for an outlet to the sea. A way for understanding, then, had to be found, and it will be ever further extended. Certainly things were hard in this area. * * * But the main fact is that the two Governments, and all reasonable and clear-sighted persons among the two peoples and in the two countries, possess the firm will and determination to improve their relations. It was a real work of peace, of more worth than all the chattering in the League of Nations Palace at Geneva".

Thus flattery of Poland preceded the annexation of Austria and renewed flattery of Poland preceded the projected annexation of Czechoslovakia. The realities behind these outward expressions of goodwill are clearly revealed in the documents relating to Fall Gruen, which are already before the Tribunal. They show Hitler as fully aware that there was risk of Poland, England and France being involved in war to prevent the German annexation of Czechoslovakia, and that this risk though realized was also accepted. On the 25th August top secret orders to the German Air Force in regard to the operations to be conducted against England and France if they intervened pointed out that, as the French-Czechoslovak Treaty provided for assistance only in the case of “unprovoked” attack, it would take a day or two for France and England to decide whether legally the attack was unprovoked or not. A blitzkrieg accomplishing its aims before effective intervention became possible was the object to be aimed at.

On the same day an Air Force memorandum on future organization was issued to which was attached a map on which the Baltic States, Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Poland are all shown as part of Germany and preparations for expanding the Air force “as the Reich grows in area", as well as dispositions for a two front war against France and Russia are discussed (L-43; Chart No. 10). And on the following day von Ribbentrop is being minuted about the reaction of Poland towards the Czechoslovak problem:

“The fact that after the liquidation of the Czech question it will be generally assumed that Poland will be next in turn” is recognized but, it is stated, “the later this assumption sinks in, the better". (TC-76)

I will pause at the date of the Munich Agreement for a moment and ask the Tribunal to consider what the evidence of documents and historical facts shows up to that time. It has made undeniable the fact both of Nazi aggressiveness and of active aggression. Not only does the Conference of 1937 reveal Hitler and his associates deliberately considering the acquisition of Austria and Czechoslovakia, if necessary by war, but the first of those operations had been carried through in March 1938 and a large part of the second, under threat of war, though without actual need for its initiation, in September of the same year. More ominous still, Hitler had revealed his adherence to his old doctrines of Mein Kampf, those essentially aggressive to the exposition of which in Mein Kampf long regarded as the Bible of the Nazi Party we shall draw attention. He is in pursuit of Lebensraum and he means to secure it by threats of force or, if they fail, by force, by aggressive war.

So far actual warfare has been avoided because of the love of peace, the lack of preparedness, the patience or the cowardice-which you will-of the democratic Powers. But, after Munich, the questions which filled the minds of all thinking people with acute anxiety was, “Where will this end? Is Hitler now satisfied, as he declares he is? Or will his pursuit of Lebensraum lead to further aggressions, even if he has to make an openly aggressive war to secure it?”

It was in relation to the remainder of Czechoslovakia and to Poland that the answer to these questions was to be given. So far no direct and immediate threat to Poland had been made. The two documents from which I have just quoted (L-43; TC-76) show that high officers of the defendant Goering’s Air Staff already regarded the extension of the Reich and, it would appear, the destruction and absorption of Poland as a foregone conclusion. They were already anticipating, indeed, the last stage of Hitler’s policy stated in Mein Kampf, war to destroy France and to secure Lebensraum in Russia. And the writer of the Minute to Ribbentrop already took it for granted that, after Czechoslovakia, Poland would be attacked. More impressive than these two documents is the fact that, as I have said, the record of the Conference of November 5, 1937, shows that war with Poland, if she should dare to attempt to prevent German aggression against Czechoslovakia, had been coolly contemplated and that the Nazi leaders were ready to take the risk. So also had the risk of war with England and France under the same circumstances been considered and accepted. Such a war would, of course, have been an aggressive war on Nazi Germany’s part. For to force one State to take up arms to defend another against aggression in order to fulfill treaty obligations is to initiate aggressive war against the first State.

Yet it remains true that until Munich the decision for direct attack upon Poland and her destruction by aggressive war had apparently not as yet been taken by Hitler and his associates. It is to the transition from the intention and preparation of initiating an aggressive war, evident in regard to Czechoslovakia, to the actual initiation and waging of aggressive war against Poland that I now pass. That transition occupies the eleven months from October 1, 1938 to the actual attack on Poland on September 1, 1939.

Within six months of the signature of the Munich Agreement the Nazi Leaders had occupied the remainder of Czechoslovakia, which by that agreement they had indicated their willingness to guarantee. On March 14th, 1939, the aged and infirm President of the “Rump” of Czechoslovakia, Hacha, and his foreign Minister, Chvalkowsky, were summoned to Berlin. At a meeting held between 1.15 and 2.15 a.m. in the small hours of the 15th March in the presence of Hitler and the defendants Ribbentrop, Goering, and Keitel, they were bullied and threatened and informed bluntly that Hitler “had issued the order for the German troops to march into Czechoslovakia, and for the incorporation of this country into the German Reich". It was made quite clear to them that resistance would be useless and would be crushed “by force of arms with all available means". It was thus that the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia was set up and that Slovakia was turned into a German satellite, though nominally independent, state. By their own unilateral action, on pretexts which had no shadow of validity, without discussion with the Governments of any other country, without mediation and in direct contradiction of the sense and spirit of the Munich Agreement, the Germans acquired for themselves that for which they had been planning in September of the previous year, and indeed much earlier, but which at that time they had felt themselves unable completely to secure without too patent an exhibition of their aggressive intentions. Aggression achieved whetted the appetite for aggression to come. There were protests. England and France sent diplomatic notes. Of course there were protests. The Nazis had clearly shown their hand. Hitherto they had concealed from the outside world that their claims went beyond incorporating into the Reich persons of German Race living in bordering territory. Now for the first time, in defiance of their own solemn assurances to the contrary, non-German territory had been seized. This acquisition of the whole of Czechoslovakia, together with the equally illegal occupation of Memel on the 22nd March, resulted in an immense strengthening of the German position, both politically and strategically, as Hitler had anticipated it would when he discussed the matter at his conference on November 5th, 1937. (386-PS)

Long before the consummation by the Nazi Leaders of their aggression against Czechoslovakia, however, they had already begun to make demands upon Poland. On October 25th, 1938, that is to say within less than a month of Hitler’s reassuring speech about Poland already quoted and of the Munich Agreement itself, M. Lipski, the Polish Ambassador in Berlin, reported to M. Beck, the Polish Foreign Minister, that at a luncheon at Berchtesgaden the day before (October 24th) the defendant Ribbentrop had put forward demands for the reunion of Danzig with the Reich and for the building of an extra-territorial motor road and railway line across Pomorze, that is, the province which the Germans called the Corridor. From that moment onwards until the Polish Government had made it plain, during a visit of the defendant Ribbentrop to Warsaw which ended on January 27th, 1939, that they would not consent to hand over Danzig to German Sovereignty negotiations on these German demands continued. Even after Ribbentrop’s return Hitler thought it worth while in his Reichstag Speech on January 30th, 1939 to say-

“We have just celebrated the fifth anniversary of the conclusion of our nonaggression pact with Poland. There can scarcely be any difference of opinion today among the true friends of peace as to the value of this agreement. One only needs to ask oneself what might have happened to Europe if this agreement, which brought such relief, had not been entered into five years ago. In signing it, the great Polish marshal and patriot rendered his people just as great a service as the leaders of the National-Socialist State rendered the German people. During the troubled months of the past year the friendship between Germany and Poland has been one of the reassuring factors in the political life of Europe".

That utterance, however, was the last friendly word from Germany to Poland and the last occasion upon which the Nazi Leader mentioned the German-Polish Agreement with approbation. During February 1939 silence fell upon German demands. But as soon as the final absorption of Czechoslovakia had taken place, and Germany had also absorbed Memel, Nazi pressure upon Poland was at once renewed. In two conversations between himself and the defendant Ribbentrop, held on March 21st and March 26th respectively (Polish white Book Number 61 and Number 63), German demands upon Poland were renewed and further pressed. In view of the fate which had overtaken Czechoslovakia and of the grave deterioration in her strategical position towards Germany it is not surprising that the Polish Government took alarm at these developments. Nor were they alone in this. The events of March 1939 had at last convinced both the English and French Governments that the Nazi designs of aggression were not limited to men of German race and that the spectre of European war resulting from further aggressions by Nazi Germany had not been exorcised by the Munich Agreement.

As a result, therefore, of the concern of Poland, England, and France at the events in Czechoslovakia and at the newly applied pressure on Poland, conversations between the English and Polish Governments had been taking place, and, on 31st March, 1939, Mr. Neville Chamberlain, speaking in the House of Commons, stated that His Majesty’s Government had given an assurance to help Poland in the event of any action which clearly threatened Polish independence and which the Polish Government accordingly considered it vital to resist (TC-72 No. 17). On 6th April 1939 an Anglo-Polish communiqué stated that the two countries were prepared to enter into an Agreement of a permanent and reciprocal character to replace the present temporary and unilateral assurance given by His Majesty’s Government. (TC-72, No. 18)

The justification for such concern is not difficult to find. With the evidence which we now have of what was happening within the councils of the German Reich and its armed forces during these months it is manifest that the German Government were intent on seizing Poland as a whole, that Danzig-as Hitler was to say himself a month later-"was not the subject of the dispute at all". The Nazi Government was intent upon aggression and the demands and negotiations in respect of Danzig were merely a cover and excuse for further domination.

As far back as September 1938 plans for aggressive war against Poland, England, and France were well in hand. While Hitler, at Munich, was telling the world that the German people wanted peace and that, having solved the Czechoslovakian problem. Germany had no more territorial problems in Europe, the staffs of his armed forces were already preparing plans. On the 26th September 1938 he had said:

“We have given guarantees to the States in the West. We have assured all our immediate neighbours of the integrity of their territory as far as Germany is concerned. That is no mere phrase. It is our sacred will. We have no interest whatever in a breach of the peace. We want nothing from these peoples.”

The world was entitled to rely upon these assurances. International cooperation is impossible unless one can assume good faith in the leaders of the various States. But within two months of that solemn and considered undertaking, Hitler and his confederates were preparing for the seizure of Danzig. To recognize these assurances, these pledges, these diplomatic moves as the empty frauds they were, one must go back to enquire what was happening within the inner councils of the Reich from the time of the Munich Agreement.

Written some time in September 1938 is an extract from a file on the Reconstruction of the German Navy (C-23). Under the heading “Opinion on the Draft Study of Naval Warfare against England” it is stated:

“1. If, according to the Fuehrer’s decision Germany is to acquire a position as a world power, she needs not only sufficient colonial possessions but also secure naval communications and secure access to the ocean.

“2. Both requirements can only be fulfilled in opposition to Anglo-French interests and would limit their position as world powers. It is unlikely that they can be achieved by peaceful means. The decision to make Germany a world power, therefore, forces upon us the necessity of making the corresponding preparations for war.

“3. War against England means at the same time war against the Empire, against France, probably against Russia as well and a large number of countries overseas, in fact, against half to one-third of the world.

“It can only be justified and have a chance of success if it is prepared economically as well as politically and militarily and waged with the aim of conquering for Germany an outlet to the ocean.” (C-23)

Here is something which is both significant and new. Until this date the documents in our possession disclose preparations for war against Poland, England, and France purporting at least to be defensive measures to ward off attacks which might result from the intervention of those powers in the preparatory aggression of Germany in central Europe. Hitherto aggressive war against Poland, England, and France has been contemplated only as a distant objective. Now, for the first time, we find a war of conquest by Germany against France and England openly recognized as the future aim, at least of the German Navy.

On the 24th November 1938 an Appendix was issued by Keitel to a previous order of the Fuehrer. In this Appendix there are set out the future tasks for the armed forces and the preparation for the conduct of the war which would result from those tasks.

“The Fuehrer has ordered that besides the three eventualities mentioned in the previous Directive preparations are also to be made for the surprise occupation by German troops of the Free State of Danzig.

“For the preparation the following principles are to be borne in mind-the primary assumption is the lightning seizure of Danzig by exploiting a favorable political situation and not war with Poland * * *. Troops which are going to be used for this purpose must not be held at the same time for the seizure of Memel-land, so that both operations can take place simultaneously should such necessity arise.” (C-137)

Thereafter, as the evidence which has already been produced has shown, final preparations for the invasion of Poland were taking place. On the 3d April 1939, three days before the issue of the Anglo-Polish communiqué, Keitel issued to the High Command of the Armed Forces a Directive in which it was stated that the Directive for the uniform preparation of war by the armed forces in 1939-40 was being re-issued, and that the part concerning Danzig would be issued in the middle of April. The basic principles were to remain the same as in the previous Directive. Attached to this document were the orders “Fall Weiss", the code name for the proposed invasion of Poland. Preparations for that invasion were to be made in such a way that the operation could be carried out at any time from the 1st September 1939 onwards. (C-120)

On the 11th April Hitler issued his Directive for the uniform preparations of war by the armed forces 1939-40. In it he says:

“I shall lay down in a later Directive future tasks of the armed forces and the preparations to be made in accordance with these for the conduct of war. Until that Directive comes into force the armed forces must be prepared for the following eventualities:

“1. Safeguarding of the frontiers.

“2. “Fall Weiss".

“3. The annexation of danzig.”

In an Annex to that document headed “Political Hypotheses and Aims” it is stated that quarrels with Poland should be avoided. Should Poland, however, change her present policy and adopt a threatening attitude towards Germany, a final settlement would be necessary, notwithstanding the pact with Poland. The Free City of Danzig was to be incorporated into Germany at the outbreak of the conflict at the latest. The policy aims to limit the war to Poland and this is considered possible with the internal crisis in France and resulting British restraint.

The wording of this document does not directly involve the intention of immediate aggression. It is a plan of attack “if Poland changes her policy and adopts a threatening attitude". But the picture of Poland, with her inadequate armaments, threatening Germany is ludicrous enough and the real aim emerges in the sentence “The aim is then to destroy Polish military strength and to create, in the East, a situation which satisfies the requirements of defense"-a sufficiently vague phrase to cover designs of any magnitude. Even now the evidence does not suffice to prove that the actual decision to attack Poland has been taken. But all preparations are being set in train in case that decision is reached.

It was within three weeks of the date of this last document that Hitler addressed the Reichstag (April 28th, 1939). In his speech he repeated the German demands already made to Poland and proceeded to denounce the German-Polish Agreement of 1934. Leaving aside for the moment the warlike preparations for aggression, which Hitler had set in train behind the scenes, I will ask the Tribunal to consider the nature of the denunciation of an Agreement to which, in the past, Hitler had professed to attach so high an importance.

In the first place Hitler’s denunciation was per se ineffectual, since the text of the Agreement made no provision for its denunciation by either Party until six months before the expiration of the ten years for which it was concluded. No denunciation could be legally affective, therefore, until June or July 1943, and Hitler was speaking on April 28th 1939-more than five years too soon!

In the second place Hitler’s actual attack on Poland when it came on September 1st, 1939, was made before the expiration of the six months period after denunciation required by the Agreement before such a denunciation became operative. In the third place the grounds for his denunciation of the Agreement stated by Hitler in his speech to the Reichstag are entirely specious. However one reads its terms it is impossible to accept the view that the Anglo-Polish guarantee of mutual assistance against aggression could render the Pact null and void. If that were so then certainly the Pacts already entered into by Hitler with Italy and Japan had already invalidated it, and Hitler might have spared his breath. But the truth is that the text of the German-Polish Agreement contains nothing whatever to support Hitler’s contention.

Why then did Hitler make this trebly invalid attempt to denounce his own pet diplomatic child? Is there any other possible answer but that, the Agreement having served its purpose, the grounds which he put forward were chosen merely in an effort to provide Germany with some justification for the aggression on which she was intent.

For Hitler sorely needed some kind of justification, some apparently decent excuse, since nothing had happened, or was likely to happen, from the Polish side to provide him with it. So far he had made demands upon his Treaty partner which Poland, as a sovereign State had every right to refuse. If dissatisfied with that refusal Hitler was bound, under the terms of the Agreement itself, to “seek a settlement through other peaceful means, without prejudice to the possibility of applying those methods of procedure, in case of necessity, which are provided for such a case in the other agreements between them that are in force"-a reference, it can only be supposed, to the German-Polish Arbitration Treaty signed at Locarno in 1925.

The very fact, therefore, that as soon as the Nazi leader cannot get what he wants, but is not entitled to, from Poland by merely asking for it, and that, on his side, he made no further effort to settle the dispute “by peaceful means” in accordance with the terms of the Agreement and of the Kellogg Pact, to which the Agreement pledged both Parties, in itself creates a strong presumption of aggressive intentions against Hitler and his associates. That presumption becomes a certainty when the documents to which I shall now refer are studied.

On 10th May Hitler issued an order for the capture of economic installations in Poland and on 16th May the Defendant Raeder, as Commander in Chief of the Navy, issued a memorandum setting out the Fuehrer’s instructions to prepare for the operation “Fall Weiss” at any time from the 1st September 1939. (C-120)

But the decisive document is the record of the Conference held by Hitler on May 23d, 1939 with various high-ranking officers, including the defendants Goering, Raeder, and Keitel. Hitler then stated that the solution of the economic problems could not be found without invasion of foreign States and attacks on foreign property.

“Danzig is not the subject of the dispute at all: it is a question of expanding our living space in the East * * *. There is therefore no question of sparing Poland, and we are left with the decision: to attack Poland at the earliest opportunity. We cannot expect a repetition of the Czech affair. There will be war. Our task is to isolate Poland. The success of this isolation will be decisive. The isolation of Poland is a matter of skillful politics.” (L-79)

He anticipated the possibility that war with England and France might result. But a two front war was to be avoided if possible. Yet England was recognized as the most dangerous enemy. “England is the driving force against Germany * * * the aim will always be to force England to her knees.” More than once he repeated that the war with England and France would be a life and death struggle. All the same, he concluded, “We shall not be forced into war but we shall not be able to avoid one.”

On the 14th June, 1939, General Blaskowitz, then Commander in Chief of the 3d Army Group, issued a detailed battle plan for the “Fall Weiss” (2327-PS). The following day Von Brauchitsch issued a memorandum in which it was stated that the object of the impending operating was to destroy the Polish Armed Forces. “High Policy demands"-he said-"that the war should be begun by heavy surprise blows in order to achieve quick results (C-126). The preparations proceeded apace. On the 22d June Keitel submitted a preliminary time table for the operation which Hitler seems to have approved and suggested that the scheduled manouevre must be camouflaged “in order not to disquiet the population". On the 3d July Brauchitsch wrote to Raeder urging that certain preliminary naval moves should be abandoned in order not to prejudice the surprise of the attack. On the 12th and 13th August Hitler and Ribbentrop had a conference with Ciano, the Italian Foreign Minister.

At the beginning of the conversation Hitler emphasized the strength of the German position, of its western and eastern fortifications and of the strategic and other advantages that they held in comparison with those of England, France, and Poland.

“Since the poles through their whole attitude had made it clear that in any case in the event of a conflict they would stand on the side of the enemies of Germany and Italy, a quick liquidation at the present moment could only be of advantage for the unavoidable conflict with the Western democracies. If a hostile Poland remained on Germany’s Eastern frontier, not only would the eleven East Prussian divisions be tied down, but also further contingents would be kept in Pomerania and Silesia. This would not be necessary in the event of a previous liquidation. Generally speaking, the best thing to happen would be for the neutrals to be liquidated one after the other. This process could be carried out more easily if on every occasion one partner of the Axis covered the other while it was dealing with an uncertain neutral. Italy might well regard Yugoslavia as a neutral of this kind.”

Ciano was for postponing the operation. Italy was not ready-she believed that a conflict with Poland would develop into a general European war. Mussolini was convinced that conflict with the Western democracies was inevitable but he was making plans for a period two or three years ahead. But the Fuehrer said that the Danzig question must be settled one way or the other by the end of August. “He had, therefore, decided to use the occasion of the next Polish provocation in the form of an ultimatum.” On the 22d August Hitler called his Supreme Commanders together at Obersalzberg and gave the order for the attack: in the course of what he said he made it clear that the decision to attack had in fact been made not later than the previous spring. He would give a spurious cause for starting the war (1014-PS; L-3). At that time the attack was timed for the early hours of the 26th August. On the day before the British Government, in the hope that Hitler might still be reluctant to plunge the world into war, and in the belief that a formal treaty would impress him more than the informal assurances which had been given previously, entered into an agreement for mutual assistance with Poland, embodying the previous assurances. It was known to Hitler that France was bound by the Franco-Polish Treaty of 1921, and by the Guarantee Pact signed at Locarno in 1925 to intervene in Poland’s aid in case of aggression. For moment Hitler hesitated. Goering and Ribbentrop agree that it was this Anglo-Polish Treaty which led him to call off, or rather postpone the attack. Perhaps he hoped that there was still some chance of repeating, after all, what he had called the Czech affair. If so, his hopes were short-lived.

On the 27th August Hitler accepted Mussolini’s decision not at once to come into the war, but asked for propaganda support and a display of military activities to create uncertainty in the minds of the Allies. Ribbentrop on the same day said that the Armies were marching.

In the meantime, of course, and particularly in the last month, desperate attempts had been made by the Western Powers to avert war. You will have details of them in evidence. Of the intervention of the Pope. Of President Roosevelt’s message. Of the offer by Mr. Chamberlain to do our utmost to create the conditions in which all matters in issue could be the subject of free negotiations and to guarantee the resultant decisions. This and all the other efforts of honest men to avoid the horror of a European war were predestined to failure. The Germans were determined that the day for war had come. On the 31st August Hitler issued a top secret order for the attack to commence in the early hours of the 1st September. The necessary frontier incidents duly occurred-was it for these that Keitel had been instructed by Hitler to supply Heydrich with Polish uniforms?-and thus, without a declaration of war, without even giving the Polish Government an opportunity of seeing Germany’s final demands the Nazi troops invaded Poland. On the 3d September, Hitler sent a telegram to Mussolini thanking him for his intervention but pointing out that the war was inevitable and that the most promising moment had to be picked after cold deliberation (1831-PS). And so Hitler and his Confederates now before this Tribunal began the first of their wars of aggression for which they had prepared so long and so thoroughly. They waged it so fiercely that within a few weeks Poland was overrun.

On the 23d November 1939 Hitler reviewed the situation to his military Commanders and in the course of his speech he said this:

“One year later Austria came; this step was also considered doubtful. It brought about a tremendous reinforcement of the Reich. The next step was Bohemia, Moravia, and Poland. This step also was not possible to accomplish in one campaign. First of all the Western fortifications had to be finished * * *. Then followed the creation of the Protectorate and with that the basis of action against Poland was laid. But I wasn’t quite clear at that time whether I should start first against the East and then in the West or vice versa. The decision came to fight with Poland first. One might accuse me of wanting to fight again and again. In struggle, I see the fate of all human beings.” (789-PS)

He was not sure when to attack first. But that sooner or later he would attack was never in doubt, and he had been warned not only by the British and French Prime Ministers but even by his confederate Mussolini that an attack on Poland would bring England and France into the war. He chose what he considered the opportune moment-and he struck.

In these circumstances the intent to wage war against England and France, and to precipitate it by an attack on Poland, is not to be denied. Here was defiance of the most solemn treaty obligations: here was neglect of the most pacific assurances. Here was aggression, naked and unashamed, which was indeed to arouse the horrified and heroic resistance of all civilized peoples but which was to tear down many of the pillars of our civilization.

Once started upon the active achievement of their plan to secure the domination of Europe, if not of the world, the Nazi Government proceeded to attack other countries, as occasion offered. The first actually to be invaded after the attack on Poland were Denmark and Norway.

On the 9th April 1940 the German Armed Forces invaded Norway and Denmark without warning, without any declaration of war. It was a breach of the Hague Convention of 1907. It was a breach of the Convention of Arbitration and Conciliation between Germany and Denmark dated 2d June, 1926. It was, of course, a breach of the Briand-Kellogg pact of 1928. It was a violation of the Nonaggression Treaty between Germany and Denmark made on the 31st May 1939. And it was a breach of the most explicit assurances which had been given. After his annexation of Czechoslovakia had shaken the confidence of the world, Hitler attempted to reassure the Scandinavian States. On the 28th April, 1939, he affirmed that he had never made any request to them which was incompatible with their sovereignty and independence. On the 31st May, 1939, he signed a nonaggression Pact with Denmark.

On the 2d September, the day after he had invaded Poland and seized Danzig, he again expressed his determination to observe the inviolability and integrity of Norway in an aide memoire which was handed to the Norwegian Foreign Minister by the German Minister in Oslo on that day. (TC-31)

A month later, on the 6th October 1939, he said in a public speech:

“Germany has never had any conflicts of interest or even points of controversy with the Northern States, neither has she any to-day. Sweden and Norway have both been offered nonaggression pacts by Germany and have both refused them solely because they do not feel themselves threatened in any way.”

When the invasion of Norway and Denmark had already begun in the early morning of the 9th April, a German memorandum was handed to the Governments of those countries attempting to justify the German action. Various allegations against the Governments of the invaded countries were made. It was said that Norway had been guilty of breaches of neutrality. It was said that she had allowed and tolerated the use of her territorial waters by Great Britain. It was said that Britain and France were making plans themselves to invade and occupy Norway and that the Government of that country was prepared to acquiesce in such an event.

I do not propose to argue the question whether or not those allegations were true or false. That question is irrelevant to the issue before this Court. Even if the allegations were true (and they were patently false), they would afford no conceivable justification for the action of invading without warning, without declaration of war and without any attempt at mediation or conciliation. Aggressive war is none the less aggressive war because the State which wages it believes that other states may take similar action. The rape of a nation is not justified because it is thought she may be raped by another. Nor even in selfdefense are warlike measures justified except after all means of mediation have failed and force is actually being exercised against the State concerned.

In actual fact, with the evidence which we now possess it is clear that the invasion of these countries was undertaken for quite different purposes, that it had been planned long before any question of breach of neutrality or occupation of Norway by England could ever have occurred. It is clear also that the assurances repeated again and again throughout the year 1939 were made for no other purpose than to lull suspicion in those countries and to prevent them taking steps to resist the attack against them which was under active preparation.

For some years, Rosenberg, in his capacity of Chief of the Foreign Affairs Bureau (APA) of the NSDAP, had interested himself in the promotion of fifth column activities in Norway, and close relationship was established with the “Nasjonal Samling", a political group headed by the now notorious traitor, Vidkun Quisling (007-PS). During the winter of 1938/39, APA was in contact with Quisling and later Quisling conferred with Hitler, Raeder, and Rosenberg. In August 1939 a special 14 day course was held at the school of the office of Foreign Relations in Berlin for 25 followers whom Quisling had selected to attend. The plan was to send a number of selected and “reliable” men to Germany for a brief military training in an isolated camp. These were to be area and language specialists to German special troops who were taken to Oslo on coal barges to undertake political action in Norway. The object was a coup in which Quisling would seize his leading opponents in Norway, including the King, and prevent all military resistance from the beginning. Simultaneously Germany was making military preparations. On the 2d September, 1939, Hitler had assured Norway of his intention to respect her neutrality, and on 6th October he said that the Scandinavian States were not menaced in any way, yet on 3d October 1939 Raeder was pointing out that the occupation of bases, if necessary by force, would greatly improve the strategic and economic position (1546-PS). On the 9th October Doenitz was recommending Trondheim as the main base with Narvik as an alternative base for fuel supplies. Rosenberg was reporting shortly afterwards on the possibility of a coup d'etat by Quisling immediately supported by German military and naval forces. On the 12th December 1939 Raeder advised Hitler, in the presence of Keitel and Jodl, that if Hitler was favourably impressed by Quisling, OKW should prepare for the occupation of Norway, if possible with Quisling’s assistance, but if necessary entirely by force. Hitler agreed but there was a doubt whether action should be taken against the Low Countries or Scandinavia first. Weather conditions delayed the march against the Low Countries. In January instructions were given to the Germany Navy for the attack on Norway, and on March 1st, 1940, a Directive for the occupation was issued by Hitler. The general objective was not said to be to prevent occupation by English Forces but in vague and general terms to prevent British encroachment in Scandinavia and the Baltic and “to guarantee our ore bases in Sweden and give our Navy and Air Force a wider start line against Britain.” But the Directive went on:

“* * * on principle we will do our utmost to make the operation appear as a peaceful occupation the object of which is the military protection of the Scandinavian States * * * it is important that the Scandinavian States as well as the Western opponents should be taken by surprise by our measures. * * * In case the preparations for embarkation can no longer be kept secret the leader and the troops will be deceived with fictitious objectives.”

The form and success of the invasion are well known. In the early hours of the 9th April 7 cruisers, 14 destroyers, and several torpedo boats and other small craft carried advance elements of 6 divisions totalling about 10,000 men, forced an entry and landed troops in the outer Oslo Fjord, Kristiansand, Stavanger, Bergen, Trondheim, and Narvik. A small number of troops were also landed at Arendal and Egersund on the southern coast. In addition airborne troops were landed on aerodromes near Oslo and Stavanger. The German attack came as a surprise and all the invaded towns along the coast were captured according to plan with only slight losses. Only the plan to capture the King and members of the Government and the Parliament failed. Brave as the resistance was that was hurriedly organized throughout the country, nothing could be done in the face of the long-planned surprise attack and on 10 June military resistance ceased. So was another act of aggression brought to completion.

Almost exactly a month after the attack on Norway, on the 10th May 1940 the German Armed Forces, repeating what had been done 25 years before, streamed into Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg according to plan-the plan that is, of invading without warning and without declaration of War.

What was done was of course a breach of the Hague Convention of 1907, and is so charged. It was a violation of the Locarno Agreement and Arbitration Convention with Belgium of 1925 which the Nazi Government affirmed in 1935, only illegally to repudiate it two years later. By that agreement all questions incapable of settlement by ordinary diplomatic means were to be settled by arbitration. You will see the comprehensive terms of these agreements. It was a breach of the Treaty of Arbitration and Conciliation signed between Germany and the Netherlands on the 20th May 1926; it was a violation of the similar Treaty with Luxembourg on the 11th September 1929. It was a breach of the Briand-Kellogg Pact. But those Treaties had not perhaps derived in the minds of the Nazi rulers of Germany any added sanctity from the fact that they had been solemnly concluded by the Governments of pre-Nazi Germany.

Let us consider the specific assurances and undertakings which the Nazi Rulers themselves gave to the States which lay in the way of their plans against France and England and which they always intended to attack. Not once, not twice, but eleven times the clearest assurances were given to Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg. On those assurances solemnly and formally expressed, those countries were entitled to rely. In respect of their breach these Defendants are charged. On the 30th January, 1937 Hitler said:

“As for the rest, I have more than once expressed the desire and the hope of entering into similar good and cordial relations with our neighbours. Germany has, and here I repeat this solemnly, given the assurance time and time again, that, for instance, between her and France there cannot be any humanly conceivable points of controversy. The German Government has further given the assurance to Belgium and Holland that it is prepared to recognize and to guarantee the inviolability and neutrality of these territories.”

After Hitler had remilitarized the Rhineland and had repudiated the Locarno Pact, England and France sought to reestablish the position of security for Belgium which Hitler’s action had threatened. They, therefore, themselves gave to Belgium on the 24th April 1937, a specific guarantee that they would maintain in respect of Belgium, undertakings of assistance which they had entered into with her both under the Locarno Pact and the Covenant of the League of Nations. On the 13th October 1937 the German Government also made a declaration assuring Belgium of its intention to recognize the inviolability and integrity of that country.

It is, perhaps, convenient to deal with the remaining assurances as we review the evidence which is available as to the preparations and intentions of the German Government prior to their invasion of Belgium on the 10th May 1940.

As in the case of Poland, as in the case of Norway and Denmark, so also here the dates speak for themselves.

As early as August 1938 steps were being made to utilize the Low Countries as defense bases for decisive action in the West in the event of France and England opposing Germany in its aggression upon Czechoslovakia.

In an air force letter dated 25th August 1938 which deals with the action to be taken if England and France should interfere in the operation against Czechoslovakia, it is stated:

“It is not expected for the moment that other States will intervene against Germany. The Dutch and the Belgian area assumes in this connection much more importance for the prevention of the war in Western Europe than during the world war. This mainly is an advance base for the air war.” (375-PS)

In the last paragraph of that order it is stated “Belgium and the Netherlands when in German hands represent an extraordinary advantage in the prosecution of the air war against Great Britain as well as against France.” (375-PS)

That was in august 1938. Eight months later (on the 28th April 1939) Hitler is declaring again, “I was pleased that a number of European states availed themselves of this declaration by the German Government to express and emphasize their desire to have absolute neutrality.”

A month later, on the 23d May, 1939, Hitler held the conference in the Reich Chancellery, to Which we have already referred. The Minutes of that meeting report Hitler as saying:

“The Dutch and Belgian air bases must be occupied by armed force. Declarations of neutrality must be ignored. If England and France enter the war between Germany and Poland they will support Holland and Belgium in their neutrality. * * * Therefore, if England intends to intervene in the Polish war, we must occupy Holland with lightning speed. We must aim at securing new defense lines on Dutch soil up to the Zuyder Zee". (L-79)

Even after that he was to give his solemn declarations that he would observe Belgian neutrality. On the 26th August 1939 when the crisis in regard to Danzig and Poland was reaching its climax, declarations assuring the Governments concerned of the intention to respect their neutrality were handed by the German Ambassadors to the King of the Belgians, the Queen of the Netherlands, and to the Government of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg in the most solemn form. But to the Army-"If Holland and Belgium are successfully occupied and held"-It was said-"a successful war against England will be secured.”

On the 1st September Poland was invaded, and two days later England and France came into the War against Germany in pursuance of the treaty obligation already referred to. On the 6th October Hitler renewed his assurances of friendship to Belgium and Holland. But on the 9th October, before any kind of accusation had been made by the German Government of breaches of neutrality by Belgium, the Netherlands, or Luxembourg, Hitler issued a directive for the conduct of the war.

In that directive he stated:

“1. If it becomes evident in the near future that England and France acting under her leadership, are not disposed to end the war, I am determined to take firm and offensive action without letting much time elapse.

“2. A long waiting period results not only in the ending of the advantage to the Western Powers, of Belgium and perhaps also of Dutch neutrality, but also strengthens the military power of our enemies to an increasing degree, causes confidence of the neutrals in German final victory to wane, and does not help to bring Italy to our aid as brothers-in-arms.

“3. I therefore issue the following orders for the further conduct of military operations:

“(a) Preparations should be made for offensive action on the Northern flank of the Western front crossing the area of Luxembourg, Belgium and Holland. This attack must be carried out as soon and as forcefully as possible.

“(b) The object of this attack is to defeat as many strong sections of the French Fighting Army as possible, and her ally and partner in the fighting, and at the same time to acquire as great an area of Holland, Belgium and Northern France as possible, to use as a base offering good prospects for waging aerial and sea warfare against England and to provide ample coverage for the vital district of the Ruhr.”

Nothing could state more clearly or more definitely the object behind the invasion of these countries than that document.

On the 15th October 1939 Keitel wrote a most secret letter concerning Fall Gelb, which was the code name for the operation against the Low Countries. In it he stated:

“The protection of the Ruhr area by moving A/C reporting service and the air defense as far forward as possible in the area of Holland is significant for the whole conduct of the war. The more Dutch territory we occupy the more effective can the defense of the Ruhr area be made. This point of view must determine the choice of objectives of the army even if the army and navy are not directly interested in such territorial gain. It must be the object of the army’s preparations, therefore, to occupy on receipt of a special order the territory of Holland in the first instance in the area of the Grebbe-Marse line. It will depend on the military and political attitude of the Dutch as well as on the effectiveness of their flooding, whether objects can and must be further extended.” (C-62)

The operation had apparently been planned to take place at the beginning of November. We have in our possession a series of 17 letters dated from 7th November until the 9th May postponing almost from day to day the D-day of the operation, so that by the beginning of November all the major plans and preparations had been made. (C-72)

On the 10th January 1940 a German aeroplane force landed in Belgium. In it was found the remains of a half-burnt operation order setting out considerable details of the Belgian landing grounds that were to be captured (TC-58). Many other documents have been found which illustrate the planning and preparation for this invasion in the latter half of 1939 and early 1940, but they carry the matter no further, and they show no more clearly than the evidence to which I have already referred, the plans and intention of the German Governments and its armed forces.

On the 10th May 1940 at about 0500 hours in the morning the German invasion of Belgium, Holland, and Luxembourg began.

Once more the forces of aggression marched on. Treaties, assurances, the rights of Sovereign States meant nothing. Brutal force, covered by as great an element of surprise as the Nazis could secure, was to seize that which was deemed necessary for striking the mortal blow against England, the main Enemy. The only fault of these unhappy countries was that they stood in the path of the German invader. But that was enough.

On the 6th April 1941 German armed forces invaded Greece and Yugoslavia. Again the blow was struck without warning and with the cowardice and deceit which the World now fully expected from the self-styled “Herrenvolk". It was a breach of the Hague Convention of 1899. It was a breach of the Pact of Paris of 1928. It was a breach of a specific assurance given by Hitler on the 6th October 1939.

“Immediately after the completion of the Anschluss", he said, “I informed Yugoslavia that, from now on, the frontier with this country will also be an unalterable one and that we only desire to live in Peace and Friendship with her". (TC-43)

But the plan for aggression against Yugoslavia had, of course, been in hand well before that. In the aggressive action eastward towards the Ukraine and the Soviet territories security of the Southern flank and the lines of communication had already been considered.

The history of events leading up to the invasion of Yugoslavia by Germany is well known. At 3 o'clock on the morning of the 28th October 1940 a 3-hour ultimatum had been presented by the Italian Government to the Greek Government and the presentation of this ultimatum was followed by the aerial bombardment of Greek provincial towns and the advance of Italian troops into Greek territory. The Greeks, not prepared for such an assault, were at first forced to withdraw. Later the Italian advance was first checked, then driven towards the Albanian frontier, and by the end of 1940 the Italian Army had suffered severe reverses at Greek hands.

Of German intentions there is the evidence of what occurred when, on 12th August 1939, Hitler held his meeting with Ciano.

You will remember Hitler said:

“Generally speaking, the best thing to happen would be for the neutrals to be liquidated one after the other. This process could be carried out more easily if on every occasion one partner of the Axis covered the other while it was dealing with an uncertain neutral. Italy might well regard Yugoslavia as a neutral of this kind.” (TC-77)

Later again on the second day of the conversation, 13th August, he said:

“In general, however, from success by one of the Axis partners not only strategical but also psychological strengthening of the other partner and also of the whole Axis would ensue. Italy carried through a number of successful operations in Abyssinia, Spain and Albania and each time against the wishes of the Democratic Entente. These individual actions have not only strengthened Italian local interests but have also reinforced her general position. The same was the case with German action in Austria and Czechoslovakia. * * * The strengthening of the Axis by these individual operations was of the greatest importance for the unavoidable clash with the Western Powers.”

Once again we see the same procedure being followed. That meeting had taken place on the 12/13th August, 1939. Less than two months later, on 6 October 1939 Hitler was giving his assurance to Yugoslavia that Germany only desired to live in peace and friendship with the Yugoslav State, the liquidation of which by his Axis partner he had himself suggested.

On the 28th October 1940 the Italians presented a 3 hour ultimatum to Greece and commenced war against her. Eventually the advance was checked, then driven back, and the Italians suffered considerable reverses at Greek hands.

We have an undated letter from Hitler to Mussolini which must have been written about the time of the Italian aggression against Greece. (2762-PS)

“Permit me at the beginning of this letter to assure you that within the last 14 days my heart and my thoughts have been more than ever with you. Moreover, Duce, be assured of my determination to do everything on your behalf which might ease the present situation for you. * * * When I asked you to receive me in Florence, I undertook the trip in the hope of being able to express my views prior to the beginning of the threatening conflict with Greece, about which I had only received general information. First, I wanted to request you to postpone the action, if possible until a more favorable time of year, at all events, however, until after the American presidential election. But in any case, however, I wanted to request you, duce, not to undertake this action without a previous lightning-like occupation of Crete and, for this purpose, I also wanted to submit to you some practical suggestions in regard to the employment of a German parachute division and a further airborne division. * * * Yugoslavia must become disinterested, if possible, however from our point of view interested in cooperating in the liquidation of the Greek question. Without assurances from Yugoslavia, it is useless to risk any successful operation in the Balkans. * * * Unfortunately I must stress the fact that waging war in the Balkans before March is impossible. Hence it would also serve to make any threatening influence upon Yugoslavia of no purpose, since the Serbian General Staff is well aware of the fact that no practical action could follow such a threat before March. Here Yugoslavia must, if at all possible, be won over by other means and other ways.”

On the 12th November in his Top Secret Order No. 18 Hitler ordered the OKH to make preparations to occupy Greece and Bulgaria if necessary. Approximately 10 divisions were to be used in order to prevent Turkish intervention. To shorten the time the German divisions in Rumania were to be increased.

On the 13th December 1940 Hitler issued an order to OKW, OKL, OKH, OKM and General Staff on the operation Marita, which was the invasion of Greece. In that order it is stated that the invasion of Greece is planned and is to commence as soon as the weather becomes advantageous. Further orders were issued on the 13th December and 11th January. (448-PS; 1541-PS)

On the 28th January Hitler saw Mussolini. Jodl, Keitel, and Ribbentrop were present at the meeting and it is from Jodl’s notes of what took place that we know that Hitler stated that one of the purposes of German troop concentrations in Rumania was for use in his plan for the operation against Greece.

On the 1st March 1941 German troops entered Bulgaria and moved towards the Greek frontier. In the face of this threat of an attack on Greece by German as well as Italian forces British forces were landed in Greece on the 3d March in accordance with the declaration which had been given by the British Government on the 13th April 1939 that Great Britain would feel bound to give Greece and Rumania respectively all the support in her power in the event of either country becoming the victim of aggression and resisting such aggression. Already the Italian aggression had made this pledge operative.

On the 25th March 1941 Yugoslavia joined the 3-Power Pact which had already been signed by Germany, Italy, and Japan. The preamble of the Pact stated that the 3 Powers would stand side by side and work together.

On the same day Ribbentrop wrote two notes to the Yugoslav Prime Minister assuring him of Germany’s full intention to respect the sovereignty and independence of his country. That declaration was yet another example of the treachery employed by German diplomacy. We have seen already the preparations that had been made. We have seen Hitler’s efforts to tempt the Italians into an aggression against Yugoslavia. We have seen in January his orders for his own preparation to invade Yugoslavia and Greece and now on the 25th March he is signing a pact with that country and his Foreign Minister is writing assurances of respect for her sovereignty and territorial integrity.

As a result of the signing of that Pact the anti-Nazi element in Yugoslavia immediately accomplished a coup d'etat and established a new Government. Thereupon the decision was taken to invade immediately and on the 27th March, two days after the 3-Power Pact had been signed by Yugoslavia, Hitler issued instructions that Yugoslavia was to be invaded and used as a base for the continuance of the combined German and Italian offensive against Greece. (C-127)

Following this, further deployment and other instructions for the action Marita were issued by Von Brauchitsch on the 30th March 1941. (R-95)

It is stated that “the orders issued with regard to the operation against Greece remain valid so far as not affected by this order. On the 5th April, weather permitting, the Air Forces are to attack troops in Yugoslavia, while simultaneously the attack of the 12th Army begins against both Yugoslavia and Greece” (R-95). As we now know, the invasion actually commenced in the early hours of the 6th April.

Treaties, Pacts, Assurances-obligations of any kind-are brushed aside and ignored wherever the aggressive interests of Germany are concerned.

I turn now to the last act of aggression in Europe with which these Nazi conspirators are charged-the attack upon Russia. In August 1939 Germany although undoubtedly intending to attack Russia at some convenient opportunity, sufficiently deceived the Russian Government to secure a pact of non-aggression between them. It followed, therefore, that when Belgium and the Low Countries were occupied and France collapsed in June 1940, England-although with the inestimably valuable moral and economic support of the United States of America-was left alone as the sole representative of Democracy in the face of the forces of aggression. Only the British Empire stood between Germany and the achievement of her aim to dominate the Western world. Only the British Empire-only England as its citadel. But it was enough. The first, and possibly the decisive, military defeat which the enemy sustained was in the campaign against England, and that defeat had a profound influence on the future course of the war. On the 16th July 1940 Hitler issued to Keitel and Jodl a Directive for the invasion of England. It started off by stating-and Englishmen will be forever proud of it-that

“Since England, despite her militarily hopeless situation, shows no signs of willingness to come to terms, I have decided to prepare a landing operation against England and if necessary to carry it out. The aim is * * * to eliminate the English homeland as a base for the carrying on of the war against Germany. The preparations for the entire operation must be completed by mid-August.” (442-PS)

But the first essential condition for that plan was “that the English Air Force must morally and actually be so far overcome that it does not any longer show any considerable aggressive force against the German attack.” (442-PS)

The German Air Force made the most strenuous efforts to realize that condition, but, in one of the most splendid pages of our history, it was decisively defeated. And although the bombardment of England’s towns and villages was continued throughout that dark winter of 1940-41 the enemy decided in the end that England was not to be subjugated by these means, and accordingly Germany turned back to the East, the first major aim achieved.

On the 22d June 1941, German Armed Forces invaded Russia-without warning, without declaration of war. It was a breach of the Hague Conventions; it was a violation of the Pact of Paris of 1928: it was in flagrant contradiction of the Treaty of nonaggression which Germany and Russia had signed on the 23d August 1939.

But that Treaty, perhaps more blatantly than any other, was made without any intention of being observed and only for the purpose of assisting the German Government to carry out their aggressive plans against the Western democracies before eventually turning east in their own good time.

Hitler himself in referring to the Agreement said agreements were only to be kept as long as they served a purpose. Ribbentrop was more explicit. In an interview with the Japanese Ambassador in Berlin on 23d February 1941 he made it clear that the object of the Agreement had merely been to avoid a two front war. (1834-PS)

In contrast to what Hitler and Ribbentrop were planning within the councils of Germany, we know what they were saying to the rest of the world.

On the 19th July Hitler spoke in the Reichstag:

“In these circumstances I consider it proper to negotiate as a first priority a sober definition of interests with Russia. It would be made clear once and for all what Germany believes she must regard as her sphere of interest to safeguard her future and, on the other hand, what Russia considers important for her existence.

“From the clear delineation of the sphere of interest on either side, there followed the new regulation of Russo-German relations. Any hope that now at the end of the term of the agreement a new Russo-German tension could arise is childish. Germany has taken no step which would lead her outside her sphere of interest, nor has Russia. But England’s hope, to achieve an amelioration of her own position through the engineering of some new European crisis, is, in so far as it is concerned with Russo-German relations, an illusion.

“British statesmen perceive everything somewhat slowly, but they too will learn to understand this in course of time.”

Yet it was not many months after that that the arrangements for attacking Russia were put in hand. Raeder gives us the probable reasons for this sudden decision in a note to Admiral Assmann.

“The fear that control of the air over the Channel in the Autumn of 1940 could no longer be attained, a realization which the Fuehrer no doubt gained earlier than the Naval War Staff, who were not so fully informed of the true results of air raids on England (our own losses), surely caused the Fuehrer, as far back as August and September, to consider whether, even prior to victory in the West, an Eastern campaign would be feasible with the object of first eliminating our last serious opponent on the continent. The Fuehrer did not openly express this fear, however, until well into September.”

He may not have told the Navy of his intentions until later in September, but by the beginning of that month he had undoubtedly spoken of them to Jodl.

Dated 6th September 1940 we have a directive of the OKW signed by Jodl: “Directions are given, for the occupation forces in the east to be increased in the following weeks. For security reasons this should not create the impression in Russia that Germany is preparing for an Eastern offensive.” Directives are given to the German Intelligence Service pertaining to the answering of questions by the Russian intelligence Service. “The total strength of the German troops in the East to be camouflaged by frequent changes in this area. The impression is to be created that the bulk of the troops in the south have moved whilst the occupation in the north is only very small.” (1229-PS)

Thus we see the beginning of the operations.

On the 12th November 1940 Hitler issued a directive signed by Jodl in which he stated that the political task to determine the attitude of Russia had begun, but without reference to the result of preparations against the East, which had been ordered orally before it could be carried out.

On the same day Molotov visited Berlin. At the conclusion of conversations between himself and the German Government a communiqué was issued in the following terms:

“The exchange of ideas took place in an atmosphere of mutual trust and led to a mutual understanding on all important questions interesting Germany and the Soviet Union.”

It is not to be supposed that the USSR would have taken part in those conversations or agreed to that communiqué if it had been realized that on the very day orders were being given for preparations to be made for the invasion of Russia and that the order for the operation “Barbarossa” was in preparation. Four days later that order was issued-"the German armed forces have to be ready to defeat Soviet Russia in a swift campaign before the end of the War against Great Britain” (446-PS). And later in the same instruction,

“All orders which shall be issued by the High Commanders in accordance with this instruction have to be clothed in such terms that they may be taken as measures of precaution in case Russia should change her present attitude towards ourselves.” (446-PS)

Keeping up the pretense of friendliness on the 10th January, 1941-after the plan Barbarossa for the invasion of Russia had been decided upon-the German-Russo frontier treaty was signed. On the 3d February 1941 Hitler held a conference, attended by Keitel and Jodl, at which it was provided that the whole operation was to be camouflaged as if it was part of the preparations for the “Seelowe” as the plan for invasion of England was called. By March 1941 the plans were sufficiently advanced to include provision for dividing the Russian territory into 9 separate States to be administered under Reich commissars under the general control of Rosenberg. At the Same time detailed plans for the Economic exploitation of the country were made under the supervision of Goering, to whom the responsibility was delegated by Hitler. You will hear something of the details of these plans. It is significant that on the 2d May 1941 a conference of the State Secretaries on the Plan Barbarossa noted:

“1. The war can only be continued if all armed forces are fed out of Russia in the third year of the war.

“2. There is no doubt that as a result many millions of people will be starved to death if we take out of the country the things necessary for us.”

But this apparently created no concern. The plan Oldenberg, as the scheme for economic organization was called, went on. By the 1st May the D date of the operation was fixed. By the 1st June preparations were virtually complete and an elaborate time table was issued. It was estimated that although there would be heavy frontier battles, lasting perhaps 4 weeks, after that no serious opposition was to be expected.

On the 22d June at 3.30 in the morning the German Armies marched again. As Hitler said in his Proclamation:

“I have decided to give the fate of the German People and of the Reich and of Europe again into the hands of our soldiers.”

The usual false pretexts were of course given. Ribbentrop stated on the 28th June that the step was taken because of the threatening of the German frontiers by the Red Army. It was untrue and Ribbentrop knew it was untrue. On the 7th June his Ambassador in Moscow was reporting to him that “All observations show that Stalin and Molotov who are alone responsible for Russian foreign policy are doing everything to avoid a conflict with Germany". The staff records which you will see make it clear that the Russians were making no military preparations and that they were continuing their deliveries under the Trade Agreement to the very last day. The truth was, of course, that the elimination of Russia as a political opponent and the incorporation of the Russian territory in the German Lebensraum had long been one of the cardinal features of Nazi policy, subordinated latterly for what Jodl called diplomatic reasons.

And so, on the 22d June, the Nazi armies were flung against the Power with which Hitler had so recently sworn friendship and Germany embarked on that last act of aggression which, after long and bitter fighting, was eventually to result in Germany’s own collapse.


This then is the case against these Defendants, as amongst the rulers of Germany, under Count 2 of this Indictment. It may be said that many of the documents which have been referred to were in Hitler’s name, that the orders were Hitler’s orders, that these men were mere instruments of Hitler’s will. But they were the instruments without which Hitler’s will could not be carried out. And they were more than that. These men were no mere willing tools, although they would be guilty enough if that had been their role. They are the men whose support had built Hitler up into the position of power he occupied: they are the men whose initiative and planning perhaps conceived and certainly made possible the acts of aggression made in Hitler’s name, and they are the men who enabled Hitler to build up the Army, Navy and Air Force by which these treacherous attacks were carried out, and to lead his fanatical followers into peaceful countries to murder, to loot and to destroy. They are the men whose cooperation and support made the Nazi Government of Germany possible. The Government of a totalitarian country may be carried on without the assistance of representatives of the people. But it cannot be carried on without any assistance at all. It is no use having a leader unless there are also people willing and ready to serve their personal greed and ambition by helping and following him. The dictator who is set up in control of the destinies of his country does not depend upon himself alone either in acquiring power or in maintaining it. He depends upon the support and backing which lesser men, themselves lusting to share in dictatorial power, anxious to bask in the adulation of their leader, are prepared to give. In the Criminal Courts, where men are put upon their trial for breaches of the municipal laws, it not infrequently happens that of a gang indicted together in the Dock, one has the master mind, the leading personality. But it is no excuse for the common thief to say “I stole because I was told to steal"; for the murderer to plead “I killed because I was asked to kill". These men are in no different position for all that it was nations they sought to rob, whole peoples they tried to kill, “The warrant of no man excuseth the doing of an illegal act.” Political loyalty, military obedience are excellent things. But they neither require nor do they justify the commission of patently wicked acts. There comes a point where a man must refuse to answer to his leader if he is also to answer to his conscience. Even the common soldier, serving in the ranks of his Army is not called upon to obey illegal orders. But these men were no common soldiers: they were the men whose skill and cunning, whose labour and activity made it possible for the German Reich to tear up existing treaties, to enter into new ones and to flout them, to reduce international negotiations and diplomacy to a hollow mockery, to destroy all respect for and effect in International Law and finally to march against the peoples of the world to secure that domination in which as arrogant members of their self-styled master race they professed their belief. If the crimes were in one sense the crimes of Nazi Germany, they also are guilty as the individuals who aided, abetted, counselled, procured and made possible the commission of what was done.

The sum total of the crime these men have committed-so awful in its comprehension-has many aspects. Their lust and sadism, their deliberate slaughter and the degradation of so many millions of their fellow creatures that the imagination reels incomprehensively, are but one side only of this matter. Now that an end has been put to this nightmare and we come to consider how the future is to be lived, perhaps their guilt as murderers and robbers is of less importance and of less effect to future generations of mankind than their crime of fraud-the fraud by which they placed themselves in a position to do their murder and their robbery. This is the other aspect of their guilt. The story of their “diplomacy", founded upon cunning, hypocrisy and bad faith, is a story less gruesome but no less evil and deliberate. And should it be taken as a precedent of behaviour in the conduct of international relations, its consequences to mankind will no less certainly lead to the end of civilized society. Without trust and confidence between Nations, without the faith that what is said is meant and what is undertaken will be observed, all hope of peace and of security is dead. The Governments of the United Kingdom and the British Commonwealth, of the USA, of the USSR, and of France, backed by and on behalf of every other peace-loving Nation of the world, have therefore joined to bring the inventors and perpetrators of this Nazi conception of international relationship before the bar of this Tribunal.

They do so that these Defendants may be punished for their crimes. They do so also that their conduct may be exposed in its naked wickedness. And they do so in the hope that the conscience and good sense of all the world will see the consequences of such conduct and the end to which inevitably it must always lead. Let us once again restore sanity and with it also the sanctity of our obligations towards each other.


Hitler’s Mein Kampf, which became the Nazi statement of faith, gave to the conspirators adequate foreknowledge of the unlawful aims of the Nazi leadership. It was not only Hitler’s political testament; by adoption it became theirs.

Mein Kampf may be described as the blueprint of the Nazi aggression. Its whole tenor and content demonstrate that the Nazi pursuit of aggressive designs was no mere accident arising out of an immediate political situation in Europe and the world. Mein Kampf establishes unequivocally that the use of aggressive war to serve German aims in foreign policy was part of the very creed of the Nazi party.

A great German philosopher once said that ideas have hands and feet. It became the deliberate aim of the conspirators to see to it that the idea, doctrines, and policies of Mein Kampf should become the active faith and guide for action of the German nation, and particularly of its malleable youth. From 1933 to 1939 an extensive indoctrination in the ideas of Mein Kampf was pursued in the schools and universities of Germany, as well as in the Hitler Youth, under the direction of Baldur von Schirach, and in the SA and SS, and amongst the German population as a whole, by the agency of Rosenberg.

A copy of Mein Kampf was officially presented by the Nazis to all newly married couples in Germany. [A copy of Mein Kampf (D-660) submitted by the prosecution to the tribunal contains the following dedication on the fly-leaf:

“To the newly married couple, Friedrich Rosebrock and Else Geborene Zum Beck, with best wishes for a happy and blessed marriage. Presented by the Communal Administration on the occasion of their marriage on the 14th of November, 1940. For the Mayor, the Registrar.”

This copy of Mein Kampf, which was the 1945 edition, contains the information that the number of copies published to date amount to 6,250,000.]

As a result of the efforts of the conspirators, this book, blasphemously called “The Bible of the German people,” poisoned a generation and distorted the outlook of a whole people. For as the SS General von dem Bach-Zelewski testified before the Tribunal, [on 7 January 1946] if it is preached for years, as long as ten years, that the Slav peoples are inferior races and that the Jews are subhuman, then it must logically follow that the killing of millions of these human beings is accepted as a natural phenomenon. From Mein Kampf the way leads directly to the furnaces of Auschwitz and the gas chambers of Maidanek.

What the commandments of Mein Kampf were may be indicated by quotations from the book which fall into two main categories. The first category is that of general expression of Hitler’s belief in the necessity of force as the means of solving international problems. The second category is that of Hitler’s more explicit declarations on the policy which Germany should pursue.

Most of the quotations in the second category come from the last three chapters-13, 14, and 15-of Part II of Mein Kampf, in which Hitler’s views on foreign policy were expounded. The significance of this may be grasped from the fact that Part II of Mein Kampf was first published in 1927, less than two years after the Locarno Pact and within a few months of Germany’s entry into the League of Nations. The date of the publication of these passages, therefore, brands them as a repudiation of the policy of international cooperation embarked upon by Stresseman, and as a deliberate defiance of the attempt to establish, through the League of Nations, the rule of law in international affairs.

The following are quotations showing the general view held by Hitler and accepted and propagated by the conspirators concerning war and aggression generally. On page 556 of Mein Kampf, Hitler wrote:

“The soil on which we now live was not a gift bestowed by Heaven on our forefathers. But they had to conquer it by risking their lives. So also in the future our people will not obtain territory, and therewith the means of existence, as a favour from any other people, but will have to win it by the power of a triumphant sword.”

On page 145, Hitler revealed his own personal attitude toward war. Of the years of peace before 1914 he wrote:

“Thus I used to think it an ill-deserved stroke of bad luck that I had arrived too late on this terrestrial globe, and I felt chagrined at the idea that my life would have to run its course along peaceful and orderly lines. As a boy I was anything but a pacifist and all attempts to make me so turned out futile.”

On page 162 Hitler wrote of war in these words:

“In regard to the part played by humane feeling, Moltke stated that in time of war the essential thing is to get a decision as quickly as possible and that the most ruthless methods of fighting are at the same time the most humane. When people attempt to answer this reasoning by highfalutin talk about aesthetics, etc., only one answer can be given. It is that the vital questions involved in the struggle of a nation for its existence must not be subordinated to any aesthetic considerations.”

Hitler’s assumption of an inevitable law of struggle for survival is linked up in Chapter II of Book I of Mein Kampf, with the doctrine of Aryan superiority over other races and the right of Germans in virtue of this superiority to dominate and use other peoples for their own ends. The whole of Chapter II of Mein Kampf is dedicated to this “master race” theory and, indeed, many of the later speeches of Hitler were mainly repetitive of Chapter II.

On page 256, the following sentiments appear:

“Had it not been possible for them to employ members of the inferior race which they conquered, the Aryans would never have been in a position to take the first steps on the road which led them to a later type of culture; just as, without the help of certain suitable animals which they were able to tame, they would never have come to the invention of mechanical power, which has subsequently enabled them to do without these beasts. For the establishment of superior types of civilization the members of inferior races formed one of the most essential prerequisites.”

In a later passage in Mein Kampf, at page 344, Hitler applies these general ideas to Germany:

“If in its historical development the German people had possessed the unity of herd instinct by which other people have so much benefited, then the German Reich would probably be mistress of the globe to-day. World history would have taken another course, and in this case no man can tell if what many blinded pacifists hope to attain by petitioning, whining and crying may not have been reached in this way; namely, a peace which would not be based upon the waving of olive branches and tearful misery-mongering of pacifist old women, but a peace that would be guaranteed by the triumphant sword of a people endowed with the power to master the world and administer it in the service of a higher civilization.”

These passages emphasize clearly Hitler’s love of war and scorn of those whom he described as pacifists. The underlying message of this book, which appears again and again, is, firstly, that the struggle for existence requires the organization and use of force; secondly, that the Aryan-German is superior to other races and has the right to conquer and rule them; thirdly, that all doctrines which preach peaceable solutions of international problems represent a disastrous weakness in a nation that adopts them. Implicit in the whole of the argument is a fundamental and arrogant denial of the possibility of any rule of law in international affairs.

It is in the light of these general doctrines of Mein Kampf that the more definite passages should be considered, in which Hitler deals with specific problems of German foreign policy. The very first page of the book contains a remarkable forecast of Nazi policy:

“German-Austria must be restored to the great German Motherland. And not, indeed on any grounds of economic calculation whatsoever. No, no. Even if the union were a matter of economic indifference, and even if it were to be disadvantageous from the economic standpoint, still it ought to take place. People of the same blood should be in the same Reich. The German people will have no right to engage in a colonial policy until they shall have brought all their children together in one State. When the territory of the Reich embraces all the Germans and finds itself unable to assure them a livelihood, only then can the moral right arise, from the need of the people, to acquire foreign territory. The plough is then the sword; and the tears of war will produce the daily bread for the generations to come.”

Hitler, at page 553, declares that the mere restoration of Germany’s frontiers as they were in 1914 would be wholly insufficient for his purposes:

“In regard to this point I should like to make the following statement: To demand that the 1914 frontiers should be restored is a glaring political absurdity that is fraught with such consequences as to make the claim itself appear criminal. The confines of the Reich as they existed in 1914 were thoroughly illogical; because they were not really complete, in the sense of including all the members of the German nation. Nor were they reasonable, in view of the geographical exigencies of military defense. They were not the consequence of a political plan which had been well considered and carried out, but they were temporary frontiers established in virtue of a political struggle that had not been brought to a finish; and indeed, they were partly the chance result of circumstances.”

In further elaboration of Nazi policy, Hitler does not merely denounce the Treaty of Versailles; he desires to see a Germany which is a world power with territory sufficient for a future German people of a magnitude which he does not define. On page 554 he declares:

“For the future of the German nation the 1914 frontiers are of no significance * * *”

“We National Socialists must stick firmly to the aim that we have set for our foreign policy, namely, that the German people must be assured the territorial area which is necessary for it to exist on this earth. And only for such action as is undertaken to secure those ends can it be lawful in the eyes of God and our German posterity to allow the blood of our people to be shed once again. Before God, because we are sent into this world with the commission to struggle for our daily bread, as creatures to whom nothing is donated and who must be able to win and hold their position as lord of the earth only through their own intelligence and courage.

“And this justification must be established also before our German posterity, on the grounds that for each one who has shed his blood the life of a thousand others will be guaranteed to posterity. The territory on which one day our German peasants will be able to bring forth and nourish their sturdy sons will justify the blood of the sons of the peasants that has to be shed today. And the statesmen who will have decreed this sacrifice may be persecuted by their contemporaries, but posterity will absolve them from all guilt for having demanded this offering from their people.”

At page 557 Hitler writes:

“Germany will either become a world power or will not continue to exist at all. But in order to become a world power, it needs that territorial magnitude which gives it the necessary importance today and assures the existence of its citizens.”

“We must take our stand on the principles already mentioned in regard to foreign policy, namely, the necessity of bringing our territorial area into just proportion with the number of our population. From the past we can learn only one lesson, and that is that the aim which is to be pursued in our political conduct must be twofold, namely: (1) the acquisition of territory as the objective of our foreign policy and (2) the establishment of a new and uniform foundation as the objective of our political activities at home, in accordance with our doctrine of nationhood.”

Now, these passages from Mein Kampf raise the question, where did Hitler expect to find the increased territory beyond the 1914 boundaries of Germany? To this Hitler’s answer is sufficiently explicit. Reviewing the history of the German Empire from 1871 to 1918, he wrote, on page 132:

“Therefore, the only possibility which Germany had of carrying a sound territorial policy into effect was that of acquiring new territory in Europe itself. Colonies cannot serve this purpose so long as they are not suited for settlement by Europeans on a large scale. In the nineteenth century it was no longer possible to acquire such colonies by peaceful means. Therefore, any attempt at such colonial expansion would have meant an enormous military struggle. Consequently it would have been more practical to undertake that military struggle for new territory in Europe, rather than to wage war for the acquisition of possessions abroad.

“Such a decision naturally demanded that the nation’s undivided energies should be devoted to it. A policy of that kind, which requires for its fulfillment every ounce of available energy on the part of everybody concerned, cannot be carried into effect by half measures or in a hesitant manner. The political leadership of the German Empire should then have been directed exclusively to this goal. No political step should have been taken in response to other considerations than this task and the means of accomplishing it. Germany should have been alive to the fact that such a goal could have been reached only by war, and the prospect of war should have been faced with calm and collected determination. The whole system of alliances should have been envisaged and valued from that standpoint.

“If new territory were to be acquired in Europe it must have been mainly at Russia’s cost, and once again the new German Empire should have set out on its march along the same road as was formerly trodden by the Teutonic Knights, this time to acquire soil for the German plough by means of the German sword and thus provide the nation with its daily bread.”

To this program of expansion in the East Hitler returns again, at the end of Mein Kampf. After discussing the insufficiency of Germany’s pre-war frontiers, he again points the path to the East and declares that the Drang nach Osten, the drive to the East, must be resumed:

“Therefore we National Socialists have purposely drawn a line through the line of conduct followed by pre-war Germany in foreign policy. We put an end to the perpetual Germanic march towards the South and West of Europe and turn our eyes towards the lands of the East. We finally put a stop to the colonial and trade policy of pre-war times and pass over to the territorial policy of the future. But when we speak of new territory in Europe today we must principally think of Russia and the border states subject to her.”

Hitler was shrewd enough to see that his aggressive designs in the East might be endangered by a defensive alliance between Russia, France, and perhaps England. His foreign policy, as outlined in Mein Kampf, was to detach England and Italy from France and Russia and to change the attitude of Germany towards France from the defensive to the offensive.

On page 570 of Mein Kampf he wrote:

“As long as the eternal conflict between France and Germany is waged only in the form of a German defense against the French attack, that conflict can never be decided, and from century to century Germany will lose one position after another. If we study the changes that have taken place, from the twelfth century up to our day, in the frontiers within which the German language is spoken, we can hardly hope for a successful issue to result from the acceptance and development of a line of conduct which has hitherto been so detrimental for us.

“Only when the Germans have taken all this fully into account will they cease from allowing the national will-to-live to wear itself out in merely passive defense; but they will rally together for a last decisive contest with France. And in this contest the essential objective of the German nation will be fought for. Only then will it be possible to put an end to the eternal Franco-German conflict which has hitherto proved so sterile.

“Of course it is here presumed that Germany sees in the suppression of France nothing more than a means which will make it possible for our people finally to expand in another quarter. Today there are eighty million Germans in Europe. And our foreign policy will be recognized as rightly conducted only when, after barely a hundred years, there will be 250 million Germans living on this continent, not packed together as the coolies in the factories of another Continent but as tillers of the soil and workers whose labour will be a mutual assurance for their existence.”

Mein Kampf, taken in conjunction with the facts of Nazi Germany’s subsequent behavior towards other countries, shows that from the very first moment that they attained power, and indeed long before that time, Hitler and his confederates were engaged in planning and fomenting aggressive war.

Events have proved that Mein Kampf was no mere literary exercise to be treated with easy indifference, as unfortunately it was treated for so long. It was the expression of a fanatical faith in force and fraud as the means to Nazi dominance in Europe, if not in the whole world. In accepting and propagating the jungle philosophy of Mein Kampf, the Nazi conspirators deliberately set about to push civilization over the precipice of war.


It might be thought, from the melancholy story of broken treaties and violated assurances, that Hitler and the Nazi Government did not even profess that it is necessary or desirable to keep the pledged word. Outwardly, however, the professions were very different. With regard to treaties, on the 18 October 1933, Hitler said, “Whatever we have signed we will fulfill to the best of our ability.”

The reservation is significant-"Whatever we have signed.”

But, on 21 May 1935, Hitler said, “The German Government will scrupulously maintain every treaty voluntarily signed, even though it was concluded before their accession to power and office.”

On assurances Hitler was even more emphatic. In the same speech, the Reichstag Speech of 21 May 1935, Hitler accepted assurances as being of equal obligation, and the world at that time could not know that that meant of no obligation at all. What he actually said was,

“And when I now hear from the lips of a British statesman that such assurances are nothing and that the only proof of sincerity is the signature appended to collective pacts, I must ask Mr. Eden to be good enough to remember that it is a question of assurance in any case. It is sometimes much easier to sign treaties with the mental reservations that one will consider one’s attitude at the decisive hour than to declare before an entire nation and with full opportunity one’s adherence to a policy which serves the course of peace because it rejects anything which leads to war.”

And then he proceeded with the illustration of his assurance to France.

In this connection the position of a treaty in German law should not be forgotten. The appearance of a treaty in the Reichsgesetzblatt makes it part of the statute law of Germany, so that a breach thereof is also a violation of German domestic law.

(This section deals with fifteen only of the treaties which Hitler and the Nazis broke. The remainder of the 69 treaties which the German Reich violated between 1933 and 1941 are dealt with in other sections of this chapter.)

A. Convention for the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes, signed at the Hague on the 29th of July, 1899.

The Hague Conventions are of course only the first gropings towards the rejection of the inevitability of war. They do not render the making of aggressive war a crime, but their milder terms were as readily broken as more severe agreements.

On 29 July, 1899, Germany, Greece, Serbia, and 25 other nations signed a convention (TC-1). Germany ratified the convention on 4 September 1900, Serbia on the 11 May 1901, Greece on the 4 April 1901.

By Article 12 of the treaty between the Principal Allied and Associated Powers and the Serb-Croat-Slovene State, signed at the St. Germaine-en-Laye on 10 September 1919, the new Kingdom succeeded to all the old Serbian treaties, and later changed its name to Yugoslavia.

The first two articles of this Hague Convention read:

“Article 1: With a view to obviating as far as possible recourse to force in the relations between states, the signatory powers agree to use their best efforts to insure the pacific settlement of International differences.

“Article 2: In case of serious disagreement or conflict, before an appeal to arms the signatory powers agree to have recourse, as far as circumstances allow, to the good offices or mediation of one or more friendly powers.” (TC-1)

B. Convention for the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes, signed at the Hague on 18 October 1907.

This Convention (TC-2) was signed at the Hague by 44 nations, and it is in effect as to 31 nations, 28 signatories, and three adherents. For present purposes it is in force as to the United States, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, and Russia.

By the provisions of Article 91 it replaces the 1899 Convention as between the contracting powers. As Greece and Yugoslavia are parties to the 1899 convention and not to the 1907, the 1899 Convention is in effect with regard to them, and that explains the division of Countries in Appendix C.

The first article of this treaty reads:

“1: With a view to obviating as far as possible recourse to force in the relations between States, the contracting powers agree to use their best efforts to insure the pacific settlement of international differences.” (TC-2)

C. Convention Relative to the Opening of Hostilities, signed at the Hague on 18 October 1907.

This Convention (TC-3) applies to Germany, Poland, Norway, Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Russia. It relates to a procedural step in notifying one’s prospective opponent before opening hostilities against him. It appears to have had its immediate origin in the Russo-Japanese war of 1904, when Japan attacked Russia without any previous warning. It will be noted that it does not fix any particular lapse of time between the giving of notice and the commencement of hostilities, but it does seek to maintain an absolutely minimum standard of International decency before the outbreak of war.

The first article of this treaty reads:

“The contracting powers recognize that hostilities between them must not commence without a previous and explicit warning in the form of either a declaration of war, giving reasons, or an ultimatum with a conditional declaration of war.” (TC-3)

D. Convention 5, Respecting the Rights and Duties of Neutral Powers and Persons in Case of War on Land, signed at the Hague on 18 October 1907.

Germany was an original signatory to this Convention (TC-4), and the treaty is in force as a result of ratification or adherence between Germany and Norway, Denmark, Belgium, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, the USSR, and the United States.

Article 1 reads:

“The territory of neutral powers is inviolable.” (TC-4)

A point arises on this Convention. Under Article 20, the provisions of the present Convention do not apply except between the contracting powers, and then only if all the belligerents are parties to the Convention.

As Great Britain and France entered the war within two days of the outbreak of the war between Germany and Poland, and one of these powers had not ratified the Convention, it is arguable that its provisions did not apply to the Second World War.

Since there are many more important treaties to be considered, the charge will not be pressed that this treaty was likewise breached. The terms of Article 1 are cited merely as showing the state of International opinion at the time, and as an element in the aggressive character of the war.

E. Treaty of Peace between the Allies and the Associated powers of Germany, signed at Versailles on 28 June 1919.

Part I of this treaty (TC-5 thru TC-10) contains the Covenant of the League of Nations, and part II sets the boundaries of Germany in Europe. These boundaries are described in detail. Part II makes no provision for guaranteeing these boundaries. Part III, Articles 31 to 117, contains the political clauses for Europe. In it, Germany guarantees certain territorial boundaries in Belgium, Luxembourg, Austria, Czechoslovakia, France, Poland, Memel, Danzig etc.

This treaty is interwoven with the next, which is the Treaty of Restoration of Friendly Relations between the United States and Germany. Parts I, II, and III of the Versailles Treaty are not included in the United States Treaty. Parts IV, V, VI, VIII, IX, X, XI, XII, XIV, and XV are all repeated verbatim in the United States Treaty from the Treaty of Versailles. This case is concerned with Part V, which are the military, naval, and air clauses. Parts VII and XIII are not included in the United States Treaty.

(1) Territorial Guarantees.

(a) The Rhineland. The first part with which this case is concerned is Articles 42 to 44 dealing with the Rhineland (TC-5). These are repeated in the Locarno Treaty. They read as follows:

“Article 42: Germany is forbidden to maintain or construct any fortifications either on the left bank of the Rhine or on the right bank to the west of a line drawn 50 kilometers to the east of the Rhine.

“Article 43: In the area defined above the maintenance and the assembly of armed forces, either permanently or temporarily, and military maneuvers of any kind, as well as the upkeep of all permanent works for mobilization, are in the same way forbidden.

“Article 44: In case Germany violates in any manner whatever the provisions of Articles 42 and 43, she shall be regarded as committing a hostile act against the powers signatory of the present treaty and as calculated to disturb the peace of the world.”

(The speech by Hitler on 7 March 1936, giving his account of the breach of this treaty (2289-PS), is discussed in Section 2, supra.)

(b) Austria. The next part of the Treaty deals with Austria:

“Article 80: Germany acknowledges and will respect strictly the independence of Austria within the frontiers which may be fixed in a treaty between that State and the principal Allied and Associated powers; she agrees that this independence shall be inalienable, except with the consent of the Council of the League of Nations.” (TC-6)

(The proclamation of Hitler dealing with Austria (TC-47), is discussed in Section 3 supra.)

(c) Memel. Germany also gave guarantee with respect to Memel:

“Germany renounces, in favor of the principal Allied and Associated powers, all rights and title over the territories included between the Baltic, the Northeastern frontier of East Prussia as defined in Article 28 of Part II (Boundaries of Germany) of the present treaty, and the former frontier between Germany and Russia. Germany undertakes to accept the settlement made by principal Allied and Associated powers in regard to these territories, particularly insofar as concerns the nationality of inhabitants.” (TC-8)

The formal document by which Germany incorporated Memel into the Reich, reads as follows:

“The transfer Commissioner for the Memel territory, Gauleiter und Oberpraesident Erich Koch, effected on 3 April 1939, during a conference at Memel, the final incorporation of the late Memel territory into the National Socialist Party Gau of East Prussia and into the state administration of the East Prussian Regierungsbezirk of Grunbinnen.” (TC-53-A)

(d) Danzig. Article 100 of the treaty relates to Danzig:

“Germany renounces, in favor of the principal Allied and Associated powers, all rights and title over the territory comprised within the following limits * * * (The limits are set out and are described in a German map attached to the Treaty.) (TC-9)

(e) Czechoslovakia. In Article 81, Germany made pledges regarding Czechoslovakia:

“Germany, in conformity with the action already taken by the Allied and Associated Powers, recognizes the complete independence of the Czechoslovak State, which will include the autonomous territory of the Ruthenians to the South of the Carpathians. Germany hereby recognizes the frontiers of this State as determined by the principal Allied and Associated powers and other interested states.” (TC-7)

Captured minutes of the German Foreign Office record in detail the conference between Hitler and President Hacha, and Foreign Minister Chvalkowsky of Czechoslovakia, at which Goering and Keitel were present (2798-PS). The agreement subsequently signed by Hitler and Ribbentrop for Germany, and by Dr. Hacha and Dr. Chvalkowsky for Czechoslovakia, reads as follows:

“Text of the Agreement between the Fuehrer and Reichs Chancellor Adolf Hitler and the president of the Czechoslovak State, Dr. Hacha.

“The Fuehrer and Reichs Chancellor today received in Berlin, at their own request, the president of the Czechoslovak State, Dr. Hacha, and the Czechoslovak Foreign Minister, Dr. Chvalkowsky, in the presence of Herr Von Ribbentrop, the Foreign Minister of the Reich. At this meeting the serious situation which had arisen within the previous territory of Czechoslovakia owing to the events of recent weeks, was subjected to a completely open examination. The conviction was unanimously expressed on both sides that the object of all their efforts must be to assure quiet, order and peace in this part of Central Europe. The President of the Czechoslovak State declared that, in order to serve this end and to reach a final pacification, he confidently placed the fate of the Czech people and of their country in the hands of the Fuehrer of the German Reich. The Fuehrer accepted this declaration and expressed his decision to assure to the Czech people, under the protection of the German Reich, the autonomous development of their national life in accordance with their special characteristics. In witness whereof this document is signed in duplicate.” (TC-49)

Hitler’s proclamation to the German people, dated 15 March 1939, reads as follows:

“Proclamation of the Fuehrer to the German people, 15 March 1939.

“To the German People:

“Only a few months ago Germany was compelled to protect her fellow-countrymen, living in well-defined settlements, against the unbearable Czechoslovakian terror regime; and during the last weeks the same thing has happened on an ever-increasing scale. This is bound to create an intolerable state of affairs within an area inhabited by citizens of so many nationalities.

“These national groups, to counteract the renewed attacks against their freedom and life, have now broken away from the Prague Government. Czechoslovakia has ceased to exist.

“Since Sunday at many places wild excesses have broken out, amongst the victims of which are again many Germans. Hourly the number of oppressed and persecuted people crying for help is increasing. From areas thickly populated by German-speaking inhabitants, which last autumn Czechoslovakia was allowed by German generosity to retain, refugees robbed of their personal belongings are streaming into the Reich.

“Continuation of such a state of affairs would lead to the destruction of every vestige of order in an area in which Germany is vitally interested particularly as for over one thousand years it formed a part of the German Reich.

“In order definitely to remove this menace to peace and to create the conditions for a necessary new order in this living space, I have to-day resolved to allow German troops to march into Bohemia and Moravia. They will disarm the terror gangs and the Czechoslovakian forces supporting them, and protect the lives of all who are menaced. Thus they will lay the foundations for introducing a fundamental reordering of affairs which will be in accordance with the 1,000-year old history and will satisfy the practical needs of the German and Czech peoples". (TC-50)

A footnote contains an order of the Fuehrer to the German armed forces of the same date, in which they are told to march in to safeguard lives and property of all inhabitants and not to conduct themselves as enemies, but as an instrument for carrying out the German Reich Government’s decision. (TC-50)

Next came the decree establishing the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. (TC-51)

In a communication from Foreign Minister Halifax to Sir Neville Henderson, British Ambassador in Berlin, the British Government protested against these actions:

“Foreign Office, March 17, 1939:

“Please inform German Government that His Majesty’s Government desire to make it plain to them that they cannot but regard the events of the past few days as a complete repudiation of the Munich Agreement and a denial of the spirit in which the negotiators of that Agreement bound themselves to cooperate for a peaceful settlement.

“His Majesty’s Government must also take this occasion to protest against the changes effected in Czechoslovakia by German military action, which are, in their view, devoid of any basis of legality.” (TC-52)

The French Government also made a protest on the same date:

“* * * The French Ambassador has the honor to inform the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Reich of the formal protest made by the government of the French Republic against the measures which the communication of Count de Welzeck records.

“The government of the Republic consider, in fact, that in face of the action directed by the German Government against Czechoslovakia, they are confronted with a flagrant violation of the letter and the spirit of the agreement signed at Munich on September 9, 1938.

“The circumstances in which the agreements of March 15 have been imposed on the leaders of the Czechoslovak Republic do not, in the eyes of the Government of the Republic, legalize the situation registered in that agreement.

“The French Ambassador has the honor to inform His Excellency, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Reich, that the Government of the Republic can not recognize under these conditions the legality of the new situation created in Czechoslovakia by the action of the German Reich.” (TC-53)

(2) Armament Limitations. Part V of the Treaty, containing Military, Naval and Air Clauses reads as follows:

“In order to render possible the initiation of a general limitation of the armaments of all nations, Germany undertakes strictly to observe the military, naval and air clauses which follow.

“Section 1. Military Clauses. Effectives and Cadres of the German Army * * *”

“Article 159. The German military forces shall be demobilized and reduced as prescribed hereinafter.

“Article 160. By a date which must not be later than March 31, 1920, the German Army must not comprise more than seven divisions of infantry and three divisions of cavalry.

“After that date, the total number of effectives in the army of the States constituting Germany must not exceed 100,000 men, including officers and establishments of depots. The army shall be devoted exclusively to the maintenance of order within the territory and to the control of the frontier.

“The total effective strength of officers, including the personnel of staffs, whatever their composition, must not exceed 4,000.”

(2) “Divisions and Army Corps headquarters staffs, shall be organized in accordance with Table Number 1 annexed to this Section. The number and strength of units of infantry, artillery, engineers, technical services and troops laid down in the aforesaid table constitute maxima which must not be exceeded.”

“The maintenance or formation of forces differently grouped or of other organizations for the command of troops or for preparation for war is forbidden.

“The great German General Staff and all similar organizations shall be dissolved and may not be reconstituted in any form.” (TC-10)

Article 163 provides the steps by which the reduction will take place. Chapter 2 which deals with armament, provides that up till the time at which Germany is admitted as a member of the League of Nations, the armaments shall not be greater than the amount fixed in table Number 11. In other words, Germany agrees that after she has become a member of the League of Nations, the armaments fixed in the said table shall remain in force until they are modified by the Council of the League of Nations. Furthermore, she hereby agrees strictly to observe the decisions of the Council of the League on this subject. (TC-10)

Article 168 reads:

“The manufacture of arms, munitions or any war material shall only be carried out in factories or works, the location of which shall be communicated to and approved by the governments of the principal Allied and Associated Powers, and the number of which they retain the right to restrict. * * *” (TC-10)

Article 173, under the heading “Recruiting and Military training", deals with one matter, the breach of which is of great importance:

“Universal compulsory military service shall be abolished in Germany. The German Army may only be reconstituted and recruited by means of voluntary enlistment.” (TC-10)

The succeeding articles deal with the method of enlistment in order to prevent a quick rush through the army of men enlisted for a short time.

Article 180 provides:

“All fortified works, fortresses and field works situated in German territory to the west of a line drawn 50 kilometers to the east of the Rhine shall be disarmed and dismantled. * * *” (TC-10)

Article 181 contains naval limitations:

“After a period of two months from the coming into force of the present Treaty the German naval forces in commission must not exceed:

Six battleships of the Deutschland or Lothringen type

Six light cruisers

Twelve destroyers

Twelve torpedo boats

or an equal number of ships constructed to replace them as provided in Article 190.

“No submarines are to be included.

“All other warships, except where there is provision to the contrary in the present Treaty, must be placed in reserve or devoted to commercial purposes.” (TC-10)

Article 183 limits naval personnel to fifteen thousand, including officers and men of all grades and corps.

Article 191 provides:

“The construction or acquisition of any submarines, even for commercial purposes, shall be forbidden in Germany.” (TC-10)

Article 198, the first of the Air Clauses, commences:

“The armed forces of Germany must not include any military or naval air forces.” (TC-10)

The formal statement made at the German Air Ministry about the reinauguration of the Air Corps is reproduced in TC-44. The public proclamation of compulsory military service is contained in TC-45.

F. Treaty between the United States and Germany Restoring Friendly Relations.

The purpose of this treaty (TC-11) was to complete the official cessation of hostilities between the United States of America and Germany; it also incorporated certain parts of the Treaty of Versailles. The relevant portion is Part 5, which repeats the clauses of the Treaty of Versailles which have been discussed immediately above.

G. Treaty of Mutual Guarantee between Germany, Belgium, France, Great Britain, and Italy, done at Locarno, 16 October 1925.

Several treaties were negotiated at Locarno; they all go together and are to a certain extent mutually dependent. At Locarno, Germany negotiated five treaties: (a) the Treaty of mutual Guarantee between Germany, Belgium, France, great Britain, and Italy (TC-12); (b) the Arbitration Convention between Germany and France; (c) the Arbitration Convention between Germany and Belgium; (d) the Arbitration Treaty between Germany and Poland; and (e) an Arbitration Treaty between Germany and Czechoslovakia.

Article 10 of the Treaty of Mutual Guarantee (TC-12) provided that it should come into force as soon as ratifications were deposited at Geneva in the archives of the League of Nations, and as soon as Germany became a member of the League of Nations. The ratifications were deposited on 14 September 1926, and Germany became a member of the League of Nations.

The two arbitration conventions and the two arbitration treaties provided that they shall enter into force under the same conditions as the Treaty of Mutual Guarantee. (Article 21 of the arbitration conventions and Article 22 of the arbitration treaties.)

The most important of the five agreements is the Treaty of Mutual Guarantee (TC-12). One of the purposes was to establish in perpetuity the borders between Germany and Belgium, and Germany and France. It contains no provision for denunciation or withdrawal therefrom and provides that it shall remain in force until the Council of the League of Nations decides that the League of Nations ensures sufficient protection to the parties to the Treaty-an event which never happened-in which case the Treaty of Mutual Guarantee shall expire one year later.

The general scheme of the treaty of mutual guarantee is that Article 1 provides that the parties guarantee three things: the border between Germany and France, the border between Germany and Belgium, and the demilitarization of the Rhineland.

Article 2 provides that Germany and France, and Germany and Belgium agree that they will not attack or invade each other, with certain inapplicable exceptions; and Article 3 provides that Germany and France, and Germany and Belgium agree to settle all disputes between them by peaceful means. (TC-12)

The first important violation of the Treaty of Mutual Guarantee appears to have been the entry of German troops into the Rhineland on 7 March 1936. The day after, France and Belgium asked the League of Nations Council to consider the question of the German reoccupation of the Rhineland and the purported repudiation of the treaty. On 12 March, after a protest from the British Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Belgium, France, Great Britain, and Italy recognized unanimously that the reoccupation was a violation of this treaty. On 14 March, the League Council duly and properly decided that reoccupation was not permissible and that the Rhineland clauses of the pact were not voidable by Germany because of the alleged violation by France in the Franco-Soviet Mutual Assistance Pact.

That is the background to the treaty. The relevant articles are 1, 2, and 3, already mentioned; 4, which provides for the bringing of violations before the Council of the League, as was done; and 5, which deals with the clauses of the Versailles Treaty already mentioned. It provides:

“The provisions of Article 3 of the present Treaty are placed under the guarantee of the High Contracting Parties as provided by the following stipulations:

“If one of the Powers referred to in Article 3 refuses to submit a dispute to peaceful settlement or to comply with an arbitral or judicial decision and commits a violation of Article 2 of the present Treaty or a breach of Article 42 or 43 of the Treaty of Versailles, the provisions of Article 4 of the present Treaty shall apply.” (TC-12)

That is the procedure requiring reference to the League in the case of a flagrant breach or of more stringent action.

It may be recalled that Hitler had promised that the German Government would scrupulously maintain their treaties voluntarily signed, even though they were concluded before Hitler’s accession to power. No one has ever argued that Stresemann was in any way acting involuntarily when he signed this Locarno Pact on behalf of Germany, along with the other representatives. (The signature is not in Stresemann’s name, but by Herr Hans Luther.) This treaty, which repeats the violated provisions of the Versailles Treaty, was freely entered into and binds Germany in that regard. article 8 deals with the preliminary enforcement of the treaty by the League:

“The present Treaty shall be registered at the League of Nations in accordance with the Covenant of the League. It shall remain in force until the Council, acting on a request of one or other of the High Contracting Parties notified to the other signatory powers three months in advance, and voting at least by a two-thirds majority, decides that the League of Nations ensures sufficient protection to the High Contracting parties; the treaty shall cease to have effect on the expiration of a period of one year from such decision.” (TC-12)

Thus, in signing this Treaty, the German representative clearly placed the question of repudiation or violation of the treaty in the hands of others. Germany was at the time a member of the League, and a member in the Council of the League. Germany left the question of repudiation or violations to the decision of the League.

H. Arbitration treaty between Germany and Czechoslovakia, signed at Locarno in October 1925.

Article I is the governing clause of this treaty (TC-14). It provides:

“All disputes of every kind between Germany and Czechoslovakia with regard to which the Parties are in conflict as to their respective rights, and which it may not be possible to settle amicably by the normal methods of diplomacy, shall be submitted for decision either to an arbitral tribunal, or to the permanent Court of International Justice as laid down hereafter. It is agreed that the disputes referred to above include, in particular, those mentioned in Article 13 of the Covenant of the League of Nations. This provision does not apply to disputes arising out of or prior to the present Treaty and belonging to the past. Disputes for the settlement of which a special procedure is laid down on other conventions in force between the High Contracting Parties, shall be settled in conformity with the provisions of those Conventions.”

This treaty was registered with the Secretariat of the League in accordance with Article 22, the second sentence of which shows that the Treaty was entered into and its terms in force under the same conditions as the treaty of Mutual Guarantee. (TC-12)

This is the Treaty to which President Benes unsuccessfully appealed during the crisis in the Autumn of 1938.

I. Arbitration Convention Between Germany and Belgium, signed at Locarno, October 1925.

(This treaty, TC-13, is discussed in Section 10 of this chapter dealing with the invasion of Belgium Netherlands and Luxembourg.)

J. Arbitration Treaty Between Germany and Poland, signed at Locarno, 16 October 1925.

(This treaty, TC-15, is discussed in Section 8 of this chapter dealing with the invasion of Poland.)

K. Declaration of the Assembly of the League of Nations of 24 September 1927.

Germany had become a member of the League of Nations on 10 September 1926, a year before this Declaration was made.

The importance of this Declaration is not only its effect on International Law, but to the fact that it was unanimously adopted by the Assembly of the league of Nations, of which Germany was a free and active member at the time. Referring to the unanimous adoption of the Declaration, M. Sokal, the Polish Rapporteur, had this to say:

“The Committee was of opinion that, at the present juncture, a solemn resolution passed by the Assembly, declaring that wars of aggression must never be employed as a means of settling disputes between States, and that such wars constitute an international crime, would have a salutary effect on public opinion, and would help to create an atmosphere favorable to the League’s future work in the matter of security and disarmament.

“While recognizing that the draft resolution does not constitute a regular legal instrument, which would be adequate in itself and represent a concrete contribution towards security, the Third Committee unanimously agreed as to its great moral and educative value.” (TC-18)

M. Sokal then asked the Assembly to adopt the draft resolution, the terms of which show what so many nations, including Germany, had in mind at that time. The resolution recited that the Assembly-

“* * * recognizing the solidarity which unites the community of nations, being inspired by a firm desire for the maintenance of general peace, being convinced that a war of aggression can never serve as a means of settling international disputes, and in consequence an international crime; considering that the solemn renunciation of all wars of aggression would tend to create an atmosphere of general confidence calculated to facilitate the progress of the work undertaken with a view to disarmament:

“Declares: 1. That all wars of aggression are and shall always be prohibited.

“2. That every pacific means must be employed to settle disputes of every description, which may arise between States. “That the Assembly declares that the States Members of the League are under an obligation to conform to these principles.” (TC-18)

The fact of the solemn renunciation of war was taken in the form of a roll call, and the President announced that:

“All the delegations having pronounced in favour of the declaration submitted by the third Committee, I declare it unanimously adopted.” (TC-18)

L. The Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928.

(This treaty, TC-19, is discussed in Sir Hartley Shawcross’s opening address for great Britain, to be found in Section 5, supra.)

M. Assurances.

(1) Austria. On 21 May 1935 Hitler made a speech containing this assurance:

“Germany neither intends nor wishes to interfere in the domestic affairs of Austria, to annex Austria, or to attach that country to her. The German people and the German Government have, however, the very comprehensible desire, arising out of the simple feeling of solidarity due to a common national descent, that the right to self-determination should be guaranteed not only to foreign nations, but to the German people everywhere.

“I myself believe that no regime which is not anchored in the people, supported by the people, and desired by the people, can exist permanently.” (TC-26)

Similarly, in the Agreement between the German Government and the Government of the Federal State of Austria, on July 11, 1936, paragraph one stated as follows:

“The German Government recognizes the full sovereignty of the Federal State of Austria in the sense of the pronouncements of the German Leader and Chancellor of the 21st may, 1935.” (TC-22)

(2) Czechoslovakia. The German Assurance to Czechoslovakia is contained in the letter from M. Jan Masaryk to Viscount Halifax on the date of 12 March 1938 (TC-27). The first paragraph shows that Field Marshall Goering used the expression “Ich gebe Ihnen Mein Ehrenwort.” that means, “I give my word of honor.” The third paragraph shows that Goering had asked that there would not be a mobilization of the Czechoslovak Army.

The fourth paragraph reads:

“M. Mastny was in a position to give him definite and binding assurances on this subject, and today he spoke with Baron von Neurath, who, among other things, assured him on behalf of Herr Hitler that Germany still considers herself bound by the German-Czechoslovak Arbitration Convention concluded at Locarno in October 1925.” (TC-27)

So that in 1935 baron von Neurath was speaking on behalf of Germany on an agreement voluntarily concluded. Had there been the slightest doubt of that question, von Neurath gave the assurance on behalf of Hitler that Germany still considered itself bound by the German-Czechoslovakia Arbitration Convention on the 12 march 1938, six months before Dr. Benes made a hopeless appeal to it before the crisis in the Army in 1938.

Czechoslovakia’s difficult position is set out in the pregnant last paragraph:

“They can not however fail to view with great apprehension the sequel of events in Austria between the date of the bilateral agreement between Germany and Austria, 11 July 1936, and yesterday, 11 March 1938.” (TC-27)

On 26 September 1938, Hitler made an assurance to Czechoslovakia which contains important points as to the alleged German policy of getting Germans together in the Reich, for which the Nazi conspirators had purported to request a considerable time:

“I have a little to explain. I am grateful to Mr. Chamberlain for all his efforts, and I have assured him that the German people want nothing but peace; but I have also told him that I can not go back beyond the limits of our patience.” (TC-28)

(This occurred between the Godesberg Treaty and the Munich Pact).

“I assured him, moreover, and I repeat it here, that when this problem is solved there will be no more territorial problems for Germany in Europe. And I further assured him that from the moment when Czechoslovakia solves its other problems, that is to say, when the Czechs have come to an arrangement with their other minorities peacefully, and without oppression, I will no longer be interested in the Czech State. And that, as far as I am concerned, I will guarantee it. We don’t want any Czechs. But I must also declare before the German people that in the Sudeten German problem my patience is now at an end. I made an offer to Herr Benes which was no more than the realization of what he had already promised. He now has peace or war in his hands. Either he will accept this offer and at length give the Germans their freedom, or we will get this freedom for ourselves.” (TC-28)

The Munich Agreement of 29 September 1938 (TC-23) was signed by Hitler, later by Mr. Chamberlain, Mr. Daladier, and Mussolini. It is largely a procedural agreement by which the entry of German troops into Sudeten-Deutsche territory is regulated. That is shown by the preliminary clause:

“Germany, the United Kingdom, France and Italy, taking into consideration the agreement which has been already reached in principle for the cession to Germany of the Sudeten German territory have agreed on the following terms and conditions governing the said cession and the measures consequent thereon, and by this agreement they each hold themselves responsible for the steps necessary to secure fulfillment.” (TC-23)

Article 4 states that “The occupation by stages of the predominantly German territory by German troops will begin on 1 October.” The four territories are marked on the attached map. Article 6 provides that “The final determination of the frontiers will be carried out by the international commission.” (TC-23)

The agreement provides also for various rights of option and release from the Czech forces of Sudeten Germans (TC-23). That was what Hitler was asking for in the somewhat rhetorical passage previously referred to (TC-28).

There is an annex to the Munich Agreement which is most significant:

“Annex to the Agreement:

“His Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom and the French Government have entered into the above Agreement on the basis that they stand by the offer contained in Paragraph 6 of the Anglo-French Proposal of the 19th September, relating to an international guarantee of the new boundaries of the Czechoslovak State against unprovoked aggression.

“When the question of the Polish and Hungarian minorities in Czechoslovakia has been settled Germany and Italy, for their part, will give a guarantee to Czechoslovakia.” (TC-23)

The provision concerns “the Polish and Hungarian minorities,” not the question of Slovakia. That is why that the German action of the 15th of March was a flagrant violation of the letter and spirit of that Agreement. (For fuller discussion see Section 4 of this Chapter relating to aggression against Czechoslovakia.)


Document Description Vol. Page

Charter of the International Military. Tribunal, Article 6 (a)… I 5

International Military Tribunal, Indictment Number 1, Sections V; VI; Appendix C… I 29,30,73

Note: A single asterisk (*) before a document indicates that the document was received in evidence at the Nurnberg trial. A double asterisk (**) before a document number indicates that the document was referred to during the trial but was not formally received in evidence, for the reason given in parentheses following the description of the document. The USA series number, given in parentheses following the description of the document, is the official exhibit number assigned by the court.

*2289-PS Hitler’s speech in the Reichstag, 7 March 1936, published in Voelkischer Beobachter, Berlin Edition, No. 68, 8 March 1936. (USA 56)… IV 994

*2798-PS German Foreign Office minutes of the meeting between Hitler and President Hacha of Czechoslovakia, 15 March 1939. (USA 118; GB 5)… V 433

*TC-1 Hague Convention for Pacific Settlement of International Disputes signed at The Hague, 29 July 1899. (GB 1)… VIII 273

*TC-2 Hague Convention (1) for Pacific Settlement of International Disputes-1907. (GB 2)… VIII 276

*TC-3 Hague Convention (3) Relative to opening of Hostilities. (GB 2)… VIII 279

*TC-4 Hague Convention (5) Respecting Rights and Duties of Neutral Powers and Persons in War on Land. (GB 2)… VIII 282

*TC-5 Versailles Treaty, Article 42-44. (GB 3)… VIII 288

*TC-6 Versailles Treaty, Section VI, Article 80, Austria. (GB 3)… VIII 289

*TC-7 Versailles Treaty, Section VII, Article 81, Czecho-Slovak State. (GB 3)… VIII 289

*TC-8 Versailles Treaty, Section X, Article 99, Memel. (GB 3)… VIII 289

*TC-9 Versailles Treaty, Section XI, Article 100, Free City of Danzig. (GB 3)… VIII 290

*TC-10 Versailles Treaty, Part V, Military, Naval and Air Clauses. (GB 3)… VIII 291

*TC-11 Treaty between the United States and Germany restoring friendly relations, 25 August 1921. (USA 12)… VIII 308

*TC-12 Treaty of Mutual Guarantee between Germany, Belgium, France, Great Britain and Italy, done at Locarno, 16 October 1925. (GB 13)… VIII 313

*TC-13 Arbitration Convention between Germany and Belgium at Locarno, 16 October 1925. (GB 15)… VIII 320

*TC-14 Arbitration Treaty between Germany and Czechoslovakia, signed at Locarno, 16 October 1925. (GB 14)… VIII 325

*TC-15 Arbitration Treaty between Germany and Poland at Locarno, 16 October 1925. (GB 16)… VIII 331

*TC-18 Declaration concerning wars of aggression; resolution of 3rd Committee of League of Nations, 24 September 1927. (GB 17)… VIII 357

*TC-19 Kellogg-Briand Pact at Paris. 1929 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part II, No. 9, pp. 97-101. (GB 18)… VIII 359

*TC-21 German-Polish Declaration, 26 January 1934. (GB 24)… VIII 368

*TC-22 Agreement between Austria and German Government and Government of Federal State of Austria, 11 July 1936. (GB 20)… VIII 369

*TC-23 Agreement between Germany, the United Kingdom, France and Italy, 29 September 1938. (GB 23)… VIII 370

*TC-25 Non-aggression Treaty between Germany and USSR and announcement of 25 September 1939 relating to it. (GB 145)… VIII 375

*TC-26 German assurance to Austria, 21 May 1935, from Documents of German Politics, Part III, p. 94. (GB 19)… VIII 376

*TC-27 German assurances to Czechoslovakia, 11 and 12 March 1938, as reported by M. Masaryk, the Czechoslovak Minister to London to Viscount Halifax. (GB 21)… VIII 377

*TC-28 German assurance to Czechoslovakia, 26 September 1938, from Documents of German Politics, Part VI, pp. 345-346. (GB 22)… VIII 378

*TC-44 Notice by German government of existence of German Air Force, 9 March 1935. (GB 11)… VIII 386

TC-45 Proclamation to German People of 16 March 1935… VIII 388

TC-46 German memorandum to Signatories of Locarno Pact reasserting full German sovereignty over Rhineland, 7 March 1936… VIII 394

TC-47 Hitler’s Proclamation of Invasion of Austria, 12 March 1938… VIII 398

*TC-49 Agreement with Czechoslovakia, 15 March 1939, signed by Hitler, von Ribbentrop, Hacha and Chvalkovsky, from Documents of German Politics, Part VII, pp. 498-499. (GB 6)… VIII 402

*TC-50 Proclamation of the Fuehrer to the German people and Order of the Fuehrer to the Wehrmacht, 15 March 1939, from Documents of German Politics, Part VII, pp. 499-501. (GB 7)… VIII 402

*TC-51 Decree establishing the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, 16 March 1939. (GB 8)… VIII 404

*TC-52 Formal British protest against the annexation of Czechoslovakia in violation of the Munich Agreement, 17 March 1939. (GB 9)… VIII 407

*TC-53 Formal French protest against the annexation of Bohemia and Moravia in violation of the Munich Agreement, 17 March 1939. (GB 10)… VIII 407

*TC-53-A Marginal note to decree of final incorporation of Memel with German Reich, 23 March 1939, from Documents of German Politics, Part VII, p. 552. (GB 4)… VIII 408

*TC-54 Proclamation of the Fuehrer to German Armed Forces, 1 September 1939. (GB 73)…VIII 408

*TC-54-A “Danzig’s return to the Reich", from Documents of German Politics, Part VII, p. 575. (GB 73)… VIII 409

TC-62 German declaration of war on U.S.A., 11 December 1941, from Documents of German Politics, Part IV, p. 497…VIII 432

**Chart No. 13 Violations of Treaties, Agreements and Assurances. (Enlargement displayed to Tribunal.)… VIII 782


A. Treaties Breached.

In addition to the general treaties involved-The Hague Convention in respect of the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes (TC-2) ; other Hague Conventions of 1907 (TC-3; TC-4) ; the Versailles Treaty (TC-9) in respect of the Free City of Danzig; and the Kellogg-Briand Pact (TC-19)-two specific agreements were violated by the German attack on Poland. These were the Arbitration Treaty between Germany and Poland, signed at Locarno on 16 October 1925, and the Declaration of Non-Aggression which was entered into between Germany and Poland on 26 January 1934.

The German-Polish Arbitration Treaty (TC-15) declares in the preamble and Articles 1 and 2:

“The president of the German Empire and the President of the Polish Republic:

“Equally resolved to maintain peace between Germany and Poland by assuring the peaceful settlement of differences which might arise between the two countries;

“Declaring that respect for the rights established by treaty or resulting from the law of nations is obligatory for international tribunals;

“Agreeing to recognize that the rights of a State cannot be modified save with its consent;

“And considering that sincere observance of the methods of peaceful settlement of international disputes permits of resolving, without recourse to force, questions which may become the cause of division between States;

“Have decided…”

“Article 1: All disputes of every kind between Germany and Poland with regard to which the Parties are in conflict as to their respective rights, and which it may not be possible to settle amicably by the normal methods of diplomacy, shall be submitted for decision either to an arbitral tribunal or to the Permanent Court of International Justice, as laid down hereafter.”

“Article 2: Before any resort is made to arbitral procedure before the Permanent Court of International Justice, the dispute may, by agreement between the Parties, be submitted, with a view to amicable settlement, to a permanent international commission, styled the Permanent Conciliation Commission, constituted in accordance with the present Treaty.” (TC-15)

Thereafter the treaty goes on to lay down the procedure for arbitration and for conciliation. Germany, however, in September 1939 attacked and invaded Poland without having first attempted to settle its disputes with Poland by peaceful means.

The second specific treaty, the German-Polish Declaration of 26 January 1934, reads in part:

“The German Government and the Polish Government consider that the time has come to introduce a new era in the political relations between Germany and Poland by a direct understanding between the States. They have therefore decided to establish by the present declaration a basis for the future shaping of those relations.

“The two Governments assume that the maintenance and assurance of a permanent peace between their countries is an essential condition for general peace in Europe.”

“The declaration shall remain in effect for a period of ten years counting from the day of exchange of instruments of ratification. In case it is not denounced by one of the two governments six months before the expiration of that period of time, it shall continue in effect but can then be denounced by either government at a time of six months and at any time in advance.” (TC-21)

B. German Intentions Before March 1939.

It has been previously shown that the actions against Austria and Czechoslovakia were in themselves part of the preparation for further aggression. Even at that time, before the Germans had seized the whole of Czechoslovakia, they were perfectly prepared to fight England, Poland, and France, if necessary, to achieve those aims. They appreciated the whole time that they might well have to do so. Furthermore, although not until after March 1939, did they commence upon their immediate and specific preparations for a specific war against Poland, nevertheless, they had for a considerable time before had it in mind specifically to attack Poland once Czechoslovakia was completely theirs.

During this period also-and this happens throughout the whole story of the Nazi regime in Germany-as afterwards, while they were making their preparations and carrying out their plans, they were giving to the outside world assurance after assurance so as to lull them out of any suspicion of their real object.

When the agreement with Poland was signed in January 1934, Hitler had this to say:

“When I took over the Government on the 30th of January, the relations between the two countries seemed to me more than unsatisfactory. There was a danger that the existing differences which were due to the Territorial Clauses of the Treaty of Versailles and the mutual tension resulting therefrom would gradually crystallize into a state of hostility which, if persisted, might too easily acquire the character of a dangerous traditional enmity.”

“In the spirit of this Treaty the German Government is willing and prepared to cultivate economic relations with Poland in such a way that here, too, the state of unprofitable suspicion can be succeeded by a period of useful cooperation. It is a matter of particular satisfaction to us that in this same year the National Socialist Government of Danzig has been enabled to effect a similar clarification of its relations with its Polish neighbor.” (TC-70)

That was in 1934. Three years later, again on 30 January, speaking in the Reichstag, Hitler said:

“By a series of agreements we have eliminated existing tension and thereby contributed considerably to an improvement in the European atmosphere. I merely recall an agreement with Poland which has worked out to the advantage of both sides. True statesmanship will not overlook reality but consider them. The Italian nation and the new Italian state are realities. The German nation and the German Reich are equally realities, and to my own fellow citizens I would say that the Polish nation and the Polish state have also become a reality.” (2368-PS)

That was on 30 January 1937.

On 24 June 1937, a “Top Secret Order (C-175) was issued by the Reich Minister for War and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, signed “Von Blomberg". There is the notation at the top, “Written by an Officer. Outgoing documents in connection with this matter and dealing with it in principle are to be written by an officer.” With it is enclosed a Directive for the Unified Preparation for War of the Armed Forces, to come into force on 1 August 1937. The enclosed directive is divided into Part 1, “General Guiding Principle"; Part 2, “Likely Warlike Eventualities"; Part 3, “Special Preparations". The substance of the document justifies the supposition that Germany need not consider an attack from any side.

The second paragraph states:

“* * * The intention to unleash a European war is held just as little by Germany. Nevertheless, the politically fluid world situation, which does not preclude surprising incidents, demands a continuous preparedness for war of the German Armed Forces.

“To counter attacks at any time, and to enable the military exploitation of politically favorable opportunities should they occur.” (C-175)

The preparations which are to be made are then set forth:

“* * * The further working on mobilization without public announcement in order to put the Armed Forces in a position to begin a war suddenly and by surprise both as regards strength and time.”

“Special preparations are to be made for the following eventualities: Armed intervention against Austria; warlike entanglement with Red Spain.” (C-175)

Another passage shows clearly how they appreciated at that time that their actions against Austria and Czechoslovakia might well involve them in war.

“* * * England, Poland, Lithuania take part in a war against us.” (C-175)

Part 2 of this directive, dealing with “Probable warlike eventualities-Concentrations,” states:

“1. War on two fronts with focal point in the West.

“Suppositions. In the West France is the opponent. Belgium may side with France, either at once or later or not at all. It is also possible that France may violate Belgium’s neutrality if the latter is neutral. She will certainly violate that of Luxembourg.” (C-175)

Part 3, which deals in part with “Special Case-Extension Red-Green,” declares:

“The military political starting point used as a basis for concentration plans Red and Green can be aggravated if either England, Poland or Lithuania join on the side of our opponents. Thereupon our military position would be worsened to an unbearable, even hopeless, extent. The political leaders will therefore do everything to keep these countries neutral, above all England and Poland.” (C-175)

The date of this order is June 1937, and it seems clear that at that date, anyway, the Nazi Government appreciated the likelihood, if not the probability, of fighting England and Poland and France, and were prepared to do so. On 5 November 1937, Hitler held his conference in the Reichschancellery, the minutes of which, referred to as the Hossbach notes, contain the remarks made by Hitler in respect of England, Poland, and France:

“The Fuehrer then stated: 'The aim of German policy is the security and preservation of the nation and its propagation. This is consequently a problem of space'” (386-PS)

Hitler then went on to discuss what he described as “participation in world economy", and declared:

“The only way out, and one which may appear imaginary, is the securing of greater living space, an endeavor which at all times has been the cause of the formation of states and movements of nations.” (386-PS)

“The history of all times, Roman Empire, British Empire, has proved that every space expansion can only be effected by breaking resistance and taking risks. Even setbacks are unavoidable. Neither formerly nor today has space been found without an owner. The attacker always comes up against the proprietor.” (386-PS)

On the same day as this Hossbach meeting in the Reichschancellery was taking place, a communiqué was being issued as a result of the Polish ambassador’s audience with Hitler (TC-73 No. 33). In the course of this conversation, the communiqué stated:

“It was confirmed that Polish-German relations should not meet with difficulty because of the Danzig question.” (TC-73 No. 33)

On 2 January 1938, some unknown person wrote a memorandum for the Fuehrer. This document is headed, “Very Confidential-Personal Only", and is entitled “Deduction on the report, German Embassy, London, regarding the future form of Anglo-German relations.” It states in part:

“With the realization that Germany will not tie herself to a status quo in Central Europe, and that sooner or later a military conflict in Europe is possible, the hope of an agreement will slowly disappear among Germanophile British politicians, insofar as they are not merely playing a part that has been given to them. Thus the fateful question arises: Will Germany and England eventually be forced to drift into separate camps and will they march against each other one day? To answer this question, one must realize the following:

“Change of the status quo in the east in the German sense can only be carried out by force. So long as France knows that England, which so to speak has taken on a guarantee to aid France against Germany, is on her side, France’s fighting for her eastern allies is probable in any case, always possible, and thus with it war between Germany and England. This applies then even if England does not want war. England, believing she must attend her borders on the Rhine, would be dragged in automatically by France. In other words, peace or war between England and Germany rests solely in the hands of France, who could bring about such a war between Germany and England by way of a conflict between Germany and France. It follows therefore that war between Germany and England on account of France can be prevented only if France knows from the start that England’s forces would not be sufficient to guarantee their common victory. Such a situation might force England, and thereby France, to accept a lot of things that a strong Anglo-France coalition would never tolerate.

“This position would arise for instance if England, through insufficient armament or as a result of threats to her empire by a superior coalition of powers, e. g., Germany, Italy, Japan, thereby tying down her military forces in other places, would not be able to assure France of sufficient support in Europe.”

The writer goes on to discuss the possibility of a strong partnership between Italy and Japan, and then reaches a summary:

“Paragraph five: Therefore, conclusions to be drawn by us.

“1. Outwardly, further understanding with England in regard to the protection of the interests of our friends.

“2. Formation under great secrecy, but with whole-hearted tenacity of a coalition against England, that is to say, a tightening of our friendship with Italy and Japan; also the winning over of all nations whose interests conform with ours directly or indirectly.

“Close and confidential cooperation of the diplomats of the three great powers towards this purpose. Only in this way can we confront England be it in a settlement or in war. England is going to be a hard, astute opponent in this game of diplomacy.

“The particular question whether in the event of a war by Germany in central Europe France and thereby England would interfere, depends on the circumstances and the time at which such a war commences and ceases, and on military considerations which cannot be gone into here.” (TC-75)

Whoever it was who wrote that document, appears to have been on a fairly high level, because he concludes by saying, “I should like to give the Fuehrer some of these viewpoints verbally.” (TC-75)

On 20 February 1938, Hitler spoke in the Reichstag. In that speech he said:

“In the fifth year following the first great foreign political agreement with the Reich, it fills us with sincere gratification to be able to state that in our relations with the state with which we had had perhaps the greatest difference, not only has there been a 'detente,' but in the course of the years there has been a constant improvement in relations. This good work, which was regarded with suspicion by so many at the time, has stood the test, and I may say that since the League of Nations finally gave up its continual attempts to unsettle Danzig and appointed a man of great personal attainments as the new commissioner, this most dangerous spot from the point of view of European peace has entirely lost its menacing character. The Polish State respects the national conditions in this state, and both the city of Danzig and Germany respect Polish rights. And so the way to an understanding has been successfully paved, an understanding which beginning with Danzig has today, in spite of the attempts of certain mischief-makers, succeeded in finally taking the poison out of the relations between Germany and Poland and transforming them into a sincere, friendly cooperation.

“To rely on her friendships, Germany will not leave a stone unturned to save that ideal which provides the foundation for the task which is ahead of us-peace.” (2357-PS)

A memorandum dated 2 May 1938, and entitled, “Organizational Study 1950,” originated in the office of the Chief of the Organizational Staff of the General Staff of the Air Force. Its purpose was said to be: “The task is to search, within a framework of very broadly-conceived conditions, for the most suitable type of organization of the Air Force.” (L-43). The result gained is termed, “Distant Objective.” From this is deduced the goal to be reached in the second phase of the process, which is called, “Final Objective 1942.” This in turn yields what is considered the most suitable proposal for the reorganization of the staffs of the Air Force Group Commands, Air Gaus, Air Divisions, etc. (L-43)

The Table of Contents is divided into various sections. Section I is entitled, “Assumptions.” In connection with the heading “Assumption I, frontier of Germany", a map is enclosed (Chart No. 10). The map shows that on 2 May 1938 the Air Force was in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Austria, and Hungary, all of which are shown as within the boundaries of the Reich.

The following is a pertinent extract from the memorandum:

“Consideration of the principles of organization on the basis of the assumptions for war and peace made in Section 1:

“1. Attack Forces: Principal adversaries: England, France, and Russia.” (L-43)

The study then goes on to show all the one hundred forty-four Geschwader employed against England, very much concentrated in the Western half of the Reich; that is to say, they must be deployed in such a way that by making full use of their range, they can reach all English territory down to the last corner. Under the paragraph “Assumption” double heading 2, the “Organization of Air Force in peacetime” is shown and seven group commands are indicated: (1) Berlin; (2) Brunswick; (3) Munich; (4) Vienna; (5) Budapest; (6) Warsaw; and (7) Koenigsberg. (L-43)

Finally, the study declares:

“The more the Reich grows in area and the more the Air Force grows in strength, the more imperative it becomes, to have locally bound commands * * *” (L-43)

The original of this document is signed by an officer who is not at the top rank in the German Air Force, and the inferences that can be drawn from it should therefore not be over-emphasized. At least, however, it shows the lines upon which the General Staff of the Air Force were thinking at that time.

On the 26 August 1938, when Ribbentrop had become Foreign Minister succeeding von Neurath, a document was addressed to him as “The Reich Minister, via the State Secretary.” The document reads as follows:

“The most pressing problem of German policy, the Czech problem, might easily, but must not lead to a conflict with the Entente. Neither France nor England are looking for trouble regarding Czechoslovakia. Both would perhaps leave Czechoslovakia to herself, if she should, without direct foreign interference and through internal signs of disintegration, due to her own faults, suffer the fate she deserves. This process, however, would have to take place step by step and would have to lead to a loss of power in the remaining territory by means of a plebiscite and an annexation of territory.

“The Czech problem is not yet politically acute enough for any immediate action, which the Entente would watch inactively, and not even if this action should come quickly and surprisingly. Germany cannot fix any definite time and this fruit could be plucked without too great a risk. She can only prepare the desired developments.

“For this purpose the slogan emanating from England at present of the right for autonomy of the Sudeten-Germans, which we have intentionally not used up to now, is to be taken up gradually. The international conviction that the choice of nationality was being withheld from these Germans will do useful spadework, notwithstanding the fact that the chemical process of dissolution of the Czech form of states may or may not be finally speeded up by the mechanical means as well. The fate of the actual body of Czechoslovakia, however, would not as yet be clearly decided by this, but would nevertheless be definitely sealed.

“This method of approach towards Czechoslovakia is to be recommended because of our relationship with Poland. It is unavoidable that the German departure from the problems of boundaries in the southeast and their transfer to the east and northeast must make the Poles sit up. The fact [is] that after the liquidation of the Czech question, it will be generally assumed that Poland will be the next in turn.

“But the later this assumption sinks in in international politics as a firm factor the better. In this sense, however, it is important for the time being, to carry on the German policy, under the well known and proved slogans of 'the right to autonomy' and 'Racial unity'. Anything else might be interpreted as pure imperialism on our part and create the resistance to our plan by the Entente at an earlier date and more energetically, than our forces could stand up to.” (TC-76)

That was on 26 August 1938, just as the Czech crisis was leading up to the Munich settlement. While at Munich, a day or two before the Munich agreement was signed, Herr Hitler made a speech. On 26 September he said:

“I assured him, moreover, and I repeat it here, that when this problem is solved there will be no more territorial problems for Germany in Europe.” (TC-29)

A letter from Admiral Carl, dated some time in September, with no precise date, and entitled “Opinion on the 'Draft Study of Naval Warfare against England',” stated as follows:

“There is full agreement with the main theme of the study.”

“If according to the Fuehrer’s decision Germany is to acquire a position as a world power who needs not only sufficient colonial possessions but also secure naval communications and secure access to the ocean.” (C-23)

That, then, was the position at the time of the Munich agreement in September 1938. The gains of Munich were not, of course, so great as the Nazi Government had hoped and intended. As a result, the conspirators were not prepared straight away to start any further aggressive action against Poland or elsewhere. But with the advantages that were gained by the seizure of Czechoslovakia, it is obvious now that they intended and had taken the decision to proceed against Poland so soon as Czechoslovakia had been entirely occupied. As Jodl and Hitler said on subsequent occasions, Czechoslovakia was only setting the stage for the attack on Poland.

It is known now form what Hitler said in talking to his military commanders at a later date, that, in his own words, from the first he never intended to abide by the Munich agreement, but that he had to have the whole of Czechoslovakia. As a result, although not ready to proceed in full force against Poland, after September 1938 they did at once begin to approach the Poles on the question of Danzig until the whole of Czechoslovakia had been taken in March. Immediately after the Sudetenland had been occupied, preliminary steps were taken to stir up trouble with Poland, which would and was to eventually lead to the Nazi excuse or justification for their attack on that country.

The earlier discussions between the German and Polish governments on the question of Danzig, which commenced almost immediately after the Munich crisis in September 1938, began as cautious and friendly discussions, until the remainder of Czechoslovakia had finally been seized in March of the following year. A document taken from the Official Polish White Book, gives an account of a luncheon which took place at the Grand Hotel, Berchtesgaden, on 25 October, where Ribbentrop had discussions with M. Lipski, the Polish ambassador to Germany. The report states:

“In a conversation on 24 October, over a luncheon at the Grand Hotel, Berchtesgaden, at which M. Hewel was present, M. von Ribbentrop put forward a proposal for a general settlement of issues (Gesamtloesung) between Poland and Germany. This included the reunion of Danzig with the Reich, while Poland would be assured the retention of railway and economic facilities there. Poland would agree to the building of an extra-territorial motor road and railway line across Pomorze. In exchange M. von Ribbentrop mentioned the possibility of an extension of the Polish-German Agreement by twenty-five years and a guarantee of Polish-German frontiers.”

“Finally, I said that I wished to warn M. von Ribbentrop that I could see no possibility of an agreement involving the reunion of the Free City with the Reich. I concluded by promising to communicate the substance of this conversation to you.” (TC-73 No. 44)

It seems clear that the whole question of Danzig, as indeed Hitler himself said, was no question at all. Danzig was raised simply as an excuse, a justification, not for the seizure of Danzig but for the invasion and seizure of the whole of Poland. As the story unfolds it will become ever more apparent that that is what the Nazi conspirators were really aiming at, only providing themselves with some kind of crisis which would afford some kind of justification for attacking Poland.

Another document taken from the Polish White Book (TC-73 No. 45) sets out the instructions that Mr. Beck, the Polish Foreign Minister, gave to Mr. Lipski to hand to the German government in reply to the suggestions put forward by Ribbentrop at Berchtesgaden on 24 October. The first part reviews the history of Polish-German relationship and emphasizes the needs of Poland in respect to Danzig. Paragraph 6 of the document states:

“In the circumstances, in the understanding of the Polish government, the Danzig question is governed by two factors: the right of the German population of the city and the surrounding villages to freedom of life and development; and the fact that in all matters appertaining to the Free City as a port it is connected with Poland. Apart from the national character of the majority of the population, everything in Danzig is definitely bound up with Poland.” (TC-73 No. 45)

The document then sets out the guarantees to Poland under the statute, and continues as follows:

“Taking all the foregoing factors into consideration, and desiring to achieve the stabilization of relations by way of a friendly understanding with the government of the German Reich, the Polish government proposes the replacement of the League of Nations guarantee and its prerogatives by a bi-lateral Polish-German Agreement. This agreement should guarantee the existence of the Free City of Danzig so as to assure freedom of national and cultural life to its German majority, and also should guarantee all Polish rights. Notwithstanding the complications involved in such a system, the Polish government must state that any other solution, and in particular any attempt to incorporate the Free City into the Reich, must inevitably lead to a conflict. This would not only take the form of local difficulties, but also would suspend all possibility of Polish-German understanding in all its aspects.

“In face of the weight and cogency of these questions, I am ready to have final conversations personally with the governing circles of the Reich. I deem it necessary, however, that you should first present the principles to which we adhere, so that my eventual contact should not end in a breakdown, which would be dangerous for the future.” (TC-73 No. 45)

The first stage in those negotiations had been entirely successful from the German point of view. The Nazis had put forward a proposal, the return of the City of Danzig to the Reich, which they might well have known would have been unacceptable. It was unacceptable and the Polish government had warned the Nazi government that it would be. The Poles had offered to enter into negotiations, but they had not agreed, which is exactly what the German government had hoped for. They had not agreed to the return of Danzig to the Reich. The first stage in producing the crisis had been accomplished.

Shortly afterwards, within a week or so, and after the Polish government had offered to enter into discussions with the German government, another top secret order was issued by the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces, signed by Keitel (C-137). Copies went to the OKH, OKM, and OKW. The order is headed “First Supplement to Instruction dated 21 October 1938,” and reads:

“The Fuehrer has ordered: Apart from the three contingencies mentioned in the instructions of 21 October 1938, preparations are also to be made to enable the Free State of Danzig to be occupied by German troops by surprise.

“The preparations will be made on the following basis: Condition is quasi-revolutionary occupation of Danzig, exploiting a politically favorable situation, not a war against Poland.” (C-137)

The remainder of Czechoslovakia had not yet been seized, and therefore the Nazis were not yet ready to go to war with Poland. But Keitel’s order shows how the German government answered the Polish proposal to enter into discussions.

On 5 January 1939 Mr. Beck had a conversation with Hitler. (TC-73 No. 48). Ribbentrop was also present. In the first part of that conversation, of which that document is an account, Hitler offered to answer any questions. He said he had always followed the policy laid down by the 1934 agreement. He discussed the question of Danzig and emphasized that in the German view it must sooner or later return to Germany. The conversation continued:

“Mr. Beck replied that the Danzig question was a very difficult problem. He added that in the Chancellor’s suggestion he did not see any equivalent for Poland, and that the whole of Polish opinion, and not only people thinking politically but the widest spheres of Polish society, were particularly sensitive on this matter.

“In answer to this the Chancellor stated that to solve this problem it would be necessary to try to find something quite new, some new form, for which he used the term “Korperschaft,' which on the one hand would safeguard the interests of the German population, and on the other the Polish interests. In addition, the Chancellor declared that the Minister could be quite at ease, there would be no faits accomplis in Danzig and nothing would be done to render difficult the situation of the Polish Government.” (TC-73 No. 48)

It will be recalled that in the previous document discussed (C-137) orders had already been issued for preparations to be made for the occupation of Danzig by surprise. Yet some six weeks later Hitler assured the Polish Foreign Minister that there would be no fait accompli and that he should be quite at his ease.

On the day after the conversation between Beck and Hitler, Beck and Ribbentrop conferred, as follows:

“Mr. Beck asked M. Von Ribbentrop to inform the Chancellor that whereas previously, after all his conversations and contacts with German statesmen, he had been feeling optimistic, today for the first time he was in a pessimistic mood. Particularly in regard to the Danzig question, as it had been raised by the Chancellor, he saw no possibility whatever of agreement.”

“In answer M. Von Ribbentrop once more emphasized that Germany was not seeking any violent solution. The basis of their policy towards Poland was still a desire for the further building up of friendly relations. It was necessary to seek such a method of clearing away the difficulties as would respect the rights and interests of the two parties concerned.” (TC-73 No. 49)

Ribbentrop apparently was not satisfied with that one expression of good faith. On the 25th of the same month, January 1939, he was in Warsaw and made another speech, of which the following is a pertinent extract:

“In accordance with the resolute will of the German National Leader, the continual progress and consolidation of friendly relations between Germany and Poland, based upon the existing agreement between us, constitute an essential element in German foreign policy. The political foresight, and the principles worthy of true statesmanship, which induced both sides to take the momentous decision of 1934, provide a guarantee that all other problems arising in the course of the future evolution of events will also be solved in the same spirit, with due regard to the respect and understanding of the rightful interests of both sides. Thus Poland and Germany can look forward to the future with full confidence in the solid basis of their mutual relations.” (2530-PS)

Hitler spoke in the Reichstag on 30 January 1939, and gave further assurances of the good faith of the German Government. (TC-73 No. 57)

In March 1939 the remainder of Czechoslovakia was seized and the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia was set up. That seizure, as was recognized by Hitler and Jodl, had immensely strengthened the German position against Poland. Within a week of the completion of the occupation of Czechoslovakia heat was beginning to be applied on Poland.

On 21 March M. Lipski, the Polish ambassador, saw Ribbentrop. The nature of the conversation was generally very much sharper than that of the discussion between Ribbentrop and Beck a little time back at the Grand Hotel, Berchtesgaden:

“I saw M. Von Ribbentrop today. He began by saying he had asked me to call on him in order to discuss Polish-German relations in their entirety.

“He complained about our Press, and the Warsaw students' demonstrations during Count Ciano’s visit.”

“Further, M. von Ribbentrop referred to the conversation at Berchtesgaden between you and the Chancellor, in which Hitler put forward the idea of guaranteeing Poland’s frontiers in exchange for a motor road and the incorporation of Danzig in the Reich. He said that there had been further conversations between you and him in Warsaw on the subject, and that you had pointed out the great difficulties in the way of accepting these suggestions. He gave me to understand that all this had made an unfavorable impression on the Chancellor, since so far he had received no positive reaction whatever on our part to his suggestions. M. von Ribbentrop had had a talk with the Chancellor only yesterday. He stated that the Chancellor was still in favor of good relations with Poland, and had expressed a desire to have a thorough conversation with you on the subject of our mutual relations. M. von Ribbentrop indicated that he was under the impression that difficulties arising between us were also due to some misunderstanding of the Reich’s real aims. The problem needed to be considered on a higher plane. In his opinion our two States were dependent on each other.”

“I [Lipski] stated that now, during the settlement of the Czechoslovakian question, there was no understanding whatever between us. The Czech issue was already hard enough for the polish public to swallow, for, despite our disputes with the Czechs they were after all a Slav people. But in regard to Slovakia the position was far worse. I emphasized our community of race, language and religion, and mentioned the help we had given in their achievement of independence. I pointed out our long frontier with Slovakia. I indicated that the polish man in the street could not understand why the Reich had assumed the protection of Slovakia, that protection being directed against Poland. I said emphatically that this question was a serious blow to our relations.

“Ribbentrop reflected a moment, and then answered that this could be discussed.

“I promised to refer to you the suggestion of a conversation between you and the Chancellor. Ribbentrop remarked that I might go to Warsaw during the next few days to talk over this matter. He advised that the talk should not be delayed, lest the Chancellor should come to the conclusion that Poland was rejecting all his offers.

“Finally, I asked whether he could tell me anything about his conversation with the Foreign Minister of Lithuania.

“Ribbentrop answered vaguely that he had seen Mr. Urbszys on the latter’s return from Rome, and they had discussed the Memel question, which called for a solution.” (TC-73 No. 61)

That conversation took place on 21 March. The world soon learned what the solution to Memel was. On the next day German armed forces marched in.

As a result of these events, considerable anxiety was growing both in the government of Great Britain and the Polish government, and the two governments therefore had been undertaking conversations between each other. On 31 March, the Prime Minister, Mr. Chamberlain, spoke in the House of Commons. He explained the results of the conversations that had been taking place between the British and Polish Governments:

“As the House is aware, certain consultations are now proceeding with other governments. In order to make perfectly clear the position of His Majesty’s government in the meantime before those consultations are concluded, I now have to inform the House that during that period, in the event of any action which clearly threatened Polish independence, and which the Polish government accordingly considered it vital to resist with their national forces, His Majesty’s government would feel themselves bound at once to lend the Polish government all support in their power. They have given the Polish government an assurance to this effect.

“I may add that the French government have authorized me to make it plain that they stand in the same position in this matter as do His Majesty’s Government.” (TC-72 No. 17)

On 6 April, a week later, a formal communiqué was issued by the Anglo-Polish governments, which repeated the assurance the Prime Minister had given a week before, and in which Poland assured Great Britain of her support should Great Britain be attacked. (TC-72 No. 18)

The anxiety and concern that the governments of Poland and Great Britain were feeling at that time appears to have been justified. During the same week, on 3 April, an order, signed by Keitel, emanated from the High Command of the Armed Forces. It is dated Berlin, 3 April 1939. The subject is “Directive for the Armed Forces 1939/40.” The order reads:

“Directive for the uniform preparation of war by the Armed Forces for 1939/40 is being reissued.

“Part I (Frontier Defense) and Part III (Danzig) will be issued in the middle of April. Their basic principles remain unchanged.

“Part II 'Fall Weiss' [the code name for the operation against Poland] is attached herewith. The signature of the Fuehrer will be appended later.

“The Fuehrer has added the following Directives to 'Fall Weiss':

“1. Preparations must be made in such a way that the operations can be carried out at any time from 1st September 1939 onwards.

“2. The High Command of the Armed Forces has been directed to draw up a precise time-table for 'Fall Weiss' and to arrange by conferences the synchronized timings between the three branches of the armed forces.

“3. The plan of the branches of the Armed Forces and the details for the time-table must be submitted to the OKW by the 1st of may, 1939.” (C-120)

This order was distributed to the OKH, OKM, and OKW.

Another document, dated 11 April, and signed by Hitler, is annexed. It reads:

“I shall lay down in a later directive the future tasks of the Armed Forces and the preparations to be made in accordance with these for the conduct of the war.

“Until that directive comes into force, the Armed Forces must be prepared for the following eventualities:

“I. Safeguarding the frontiers of the German Reich, and protection against surprise air attacks.

“II. 'Fall Weiss'.

“III. The annexation of Danzig.

“Annex IV contains regulations for the exercise of military authority in East Prussia in the event of a warlike development.” (C-120)

Again, copies of that document went to the OKH, OKM, and OKW. Annex I to this order, which concerns the safeguarding of the frontiers of the German Reich, declares:

“* * * Legal Basis: It should be anticipated that a state of Defense or State of War, as defined in the Reichdefense law of the 4th of September 1938, will not be declared. All measures and demands necessary for carrying out a mobilization are to be based on the laws valid in peacetime.” (C-120)

The statement of the Prime Minister in the House of Commons, followed by the Anglo-Polish communiqué of 6 April, was seized upon by the Nazi Government to urge on the crisis which they were developing in Danzig between themselves and Poland.

On 28 April the German government issued a memorandum in which they alleged that the Anglo-Polish declaration was incompatible with the 1934 Agreement between Poland and Germany, and that as a result of entering into or by reason of entering into that agreement, Poland had unilaterally renounced the 1934 agreement. The following are pertinent passages from that memorandum:

“The German government have taken note of the Polish-British declaration regarding the progress and aims of the negotiations recently conducted between Poland and Great Britain. According to this declaration there had been concluded between the Polish government and the British government a temporary understanding to be released shortly by a permanent agreement which will provide for the giving of mutual assistance by Poland and Great Britain in the event of the independence of one of the two states being directly or indirectly threatened.” (TC-72 No. 14)

The memorandum goes on to set out in the next three paragraphs the history of German friendship towards Poland. It continues:

“* * * The agreement which has now been concluded by the Polish government with the British government is in such obvious contradiction to these solemn declarations of a few months ago that the German government can take note only with surprise and astonishment of such a violent reversal of Polish policy.

“Irrespective of the manner in which its final formulation may be determined by both parties, the new Polish-British agreement is intended as a regular Pact of Alliance, which, by reason of its general sense and of the present state of political relations, is directed exclusively against Germany.

“From the obligation now accepted by the Polish government, it appears that Poland intends, in certain circumstances, to take an active part in any possible German-British conflict, in the event of aggression against Germany, even should this conflict not affect Poland and her interests. This is a direct and open blow against the renunciation of all use of force contained in the 1934 declaration.”

“The Polish government, however, by their recent decision to accede to an alliance directed against Germany have given it to be understood that they prefer a promise of help by a third power to the direct guarantee of peace by the German government. In view of this, the German government are obliged to conclude that the Polish government do not at present attach any importance to seeking a solution of German-Polish problems by means of direct, friendly discussion with the German government. The Polish government have thus abandoned the path traced out in 1934 to the shaping of German-Polish relations.” (TC-72 No. 14)

All this would sound very well, if it had not been for the fact that orders for the invasion of Poland had already been issued and the Armed Forces had been told to draw up a precise timetable.

The memorandum goes on to set out the history of the last negotiations and discussions. It sets out the demands of the 21st which the German government had made for the return of Danzig, the autobahn, and the railway. It mentions the promise by Germany of the twenty-five year guarantee, and continues:

“The Polish government did not avail themselves of the opportunity offered to them by the German government for a just settlement of the Danzig question; for the final safeguarding of Poland’s frontiers with the Reich and thereby for permanent strengthening of the friendly, neighbourly relations between the two countries. The Polish government even rejected German proposals made with this object.

“At the same time the Polish government accepted, with regard to another state, political obligations which are not compatible either with the spirit, the meaning or the text of the German-Polish declaration of the 26 of January, 1934. Thereby, the Polish government arbitrarily and unilaterally rendered this declaration null and void.” (TC-72 No. 14)

In the last paragraph the German government says, that nevertheless, they are prepared to continue friendly relations with Poland.

On the same day that memorandum was issued, 28 April, Hitler made a speech in the Reichstag, in which he repeated, in effect, the terms of the memorandum. He repeated the demands and offers that Germany made in March, and went on to say that the Polish government have rejected his offer. He expressed his disappointment:

“I have regretted greatly this incomprehensible attitude of the Polish government. But that alone is not the decisive fact. The worst is that now Poland, like Czechoslovakia, a year ago, believes under the pressure of a lying international campaign, that it must call up troops although Germany, on her part, has not called up a single man and had not thought of proceeding in any way against Poland. As I have said, this is, in itself, very regrettable and posterity will one day decide whether it was really right to refuse the suggestion made this once by me. This, as I have said, was an endeavor on my part to solve a question which intimately affects the German people, by a truly unique compromise and to solve it to the advantage of both countries. According to my conviction, Poland was not a giving party in this solution at all, but only a receiving party, because it should be beyond all doubt, that Danzig will never become Polish. The intention to attack on the part of Germany, which was merely invented by the International press, led, as you know, to the so-called guarantee offer, and to an obligation on the part of the Polish government for mutual assistance. * * *” (TC-72 No. 13)

The speech demonstrates how completely dishonest was everything that the German government was saying at that time. Hitler, who may very well have had a copy of the orders for “Fall Weiss” in his pocket as he spoke, announced publicly, that the intention to attack by Germany was an invention of “the International Press.”

In answer to that memorandum and that speech, the Polish government issued a memorandum on 5 May. It sets out the objectives of the 1934 agreement to renounce the use of force and to carry on friendly relationship between the two countries; to solve difficulties by arbitration and other friendly means. The Polish government states its awareness of the difficulties about Danzig and declares that it has long been ready to carry out discussions. The Polish government sets out again its part of the recent discussions. The Polish government states that it communicated its views to the German government on 26 March, and that it then proposed joint guarantees by the Polish and German governments of the City of Danzig, based on the principles of freedom for the local population in internal affairs. The Poles stated their preparedness to examine the possibilities of a motor road and railway facilities. They received no reply to those proposals. The Polish position is summarized in one sentence:

“It is clear that negotiations in which one State formulates demands and the other is to be obliged to accept those demands unaltered are not negotiations in the spirit of the declaration of 1934 and are incompatible with the vital interests and dignity of Poland” (TC-72 No. 16).

The Polish government proceeds to reject the German accusation that the Anglo-Polish agreement is incompatible with the 1934 German-Polish agreement. It states that Germany herself has entered into similar agreements with other nations, and lastly it announces that it is still willing to entertain a new pact with Germany, should Germany wish to do so. (TC-72 No. 16)

The German answer was contained in a letter from the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, is signed by Hitler, and dated 10 May (C-120). Copies went to the various branches of the OKW, and with them apparently were enclosed “Instructions for the economic war and the protection of our own economy.”

Not only were military preparations being carried out throughout these months and weeks, but economic and every other kind of preparation was being made for war at the earliest moment.

This period of preparation, up to May 1939, concluded with the conference in the Reichschancellery on 23 May. The report of this meeting is known as the Schmundt Minutes (L-79). In his address to the conference Hitler cried out for lebensraum and said that Danzig was not the dispute at all. It was a question of expanding their living room in the east, and he said that the decision had been taken to attack Poland.

Goering, Raeder and Keitel, among many others, were present. The following is a significant paragraph:

“If there ware an alliance of France, England and Russia against Germany, Italy and Japan, I would be constrained to attack England and France with a few annihilating blows. The Fuehrer doubts the possibility of a peaceful settlement with England.” (L-79)

So that, not only has the decision been taken definitely to attack Poland, but almost equally definitely to attack England and France.

C. Final Preparations: June-September 1939

(1) Final Preparations of the Armed Forces. A precise timetable for the attack had been called for. On 22 June 1939 it was ready. It provided as follows:

“The Supreme Command of the Armed Forces has submitted to the Fuehrer and Supreme Commander a 'preliminary timetable' for 'Fall Weiss' based on the particulars so far available from the Navy, Army and Air Force. Details concerning the days preceding the attack and the start of the attack were not included in this timetable.

“The Fuehrer and the Supreme Commander is, in the main, in agreement with the intentions of the Navy, Army and Air Force and made the following comments on individual points:-

“1. In order not to disquiet the population by calling up reserves on a larger scale than usual for the maneuvers scheduled for 1939, as is intended, civilian establishments, employers or other private persons who make enquiries should be told that men are being called up for the autumn maneuvers and for the exercise units it is intended to form for these maneuvers.

“It is requested that directions to this effect be issued to subordinate establishments.” (C-126)

All this became relevant later, when the German government made allegations of mobilization on the part of the Poles. This order shows that in June the Germans were mobilizing, only doing so secretly. The order continues:

“For reasons of security the clearing of hospitals in the area of the frontier which the Supreme Command of the Army proposed should take place from the middle of July, must not be carried out.” (C-126)

The order is signed by Keitel.

A short letter, dated 2 August, which is attached to that order, reads in part:

“Attached are Operational Directions for the employment of U-Boats which are to be sent out to the Atlantic, by way of precaution, in the event of the intention to carry out 'Fall Weiss' remaining unchanged. F.O. U-Boats [Doenitz] is handing in his Operation Orders by 12 August.” (C-126)

Another letter, dated 27 July, contains orders for the Air and Sea Forces for the occupation of the German Free City of Danzig.

It provides:

“The Fuehrer and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces has ordered the reunion of the German Free State of Danzig with the Greater German Reich. The Armed Forces must occupy the Danzig Free State immediately in order to protect the German population. There will be no hostile intention on the part of Poland so long as the occupation takes place without the force of arms.” (C-30)

The letter then sets out how the occupation is to be effected. All this again becomes more relevant in the subsequent discussion of the diplomatic action of the last few days before the war, when Germany was making specious offers for the settlement of the question by peaceful means. This letter is evidence that the decision had been taken, and that nothing would change that decision. During July, right up to the time of the war, steps were being taken to arm the population of Danzig and to prepare them to take part in the coming occupation.

The reports which were coming back almost daily during this period from Mr. Shepherd, British Consul-General in Danzig, to the British Foreign Minister, and published in the British Blue Book, show the kind of thing that was happening. The report dated 1 July 1939 reads as follows:

“Yesterday morning four German army officers in mufti arrived here by night express from Berlin to organize Danzig Heimwehr.

“All approaches to hills and dismantled fort, which constitute a popular public promenade on western fringe of the city, have been closed with barbed wire and 'verboten' notices.

“The walls surrounding the shipyards bear placards: 'Comrades keep your mouths shut lest you regret consequence.'

“Master of British steamer 'High Commissioner Wood' whilst he was roving Koenigsberg from 28th June to 30th June, observed considerable military activity, including extensive shipment of camouflaged covered lorries and similar material by small coasting vessels. On 28th June four medium-sized steamers, loaded with troops, lorries, field kitchens, etc., left Koenigsberg, ostensibly returning to Hamburg after maneuvers, but actually proceeding to Stettin.” (TC-71)

And again, as another example, the report dated 10 July states:

“The same informant, whom I believe to be reliable, advises me that on 8th July he personally saw about thirty military lorries with East Prussian license numbers on the Bischofsberg, where numerous field kitchens had been placed along the hedges. There were also eight large anti-aircraft guns in position, which he estimated as being of over 3-inch caliber, and three six-barreled light anti-aircraft machine guns. There were about 500 men drilling with rifles, and the whole place is extensively fortified with barbed wire.” (TC-71).

On 12 and 13 August, when preparations were practically complete, Hitler and Ribbentrop at last disclosed their intentions to their allies, the Italians. It will be recalled that one of the passages in Hitler’s speech on 23 May, in regard to the proposed attack on Poland, had said, “Our object must be kept secret even from the Italians and the Japanese.” (L-79). Now, when the preparations were complete, Hitler disclosed his intentions to his Italian comrades in the hope that they would join him. Ciano was surprised at Hitler’s attempt to persuade the Italians to come into the war with him. He had no idea, as he said, of the urgency of the matter, and they are not prepared. He therefore tried to dissuade Hitler from starting off until the Duce could have a little more time to prepare himself. (TC-77)

The minutes of that meeting show quite clearly the German intention to attack England and France ultimately, if not at the same time as Poland. In trying to show the strength of Germany and its certainty of winning the war as a means of persuading the Italians to come in, Hitler declared:

“At sea, England had for the moment no immediate reinforcements in prospect. Some time would elapse before any of the ships now under construction could be taken into service. As far as the land army was concerned, after the introduction of conscription 60,000 men had been called to the colors. If England kept the necessary troops in her own country she could send to France, at the most, two infantry divisions and one armored division. For the rest she could supply a few bomber squadrons but hardly any fighters since, at the outbreak of war, the German Air Force would at once attack England and the English fighters would be urgently needed for the defense of their own country.

“With regard to the position of France, the Fuehrer said that in the event of a general war, after the destruction of Poland-which would not take long-Germany would be in a position to assemble hundreds of divisions along the West Wall and France would then be compelled to concentrate all her available forces from the Colonies, from the Italian frontier and elsewhere on her own Maginot Line, for the life and death struggle which would then ensue. The Fuehrer also thought that the French would find it no easier to overrun the Italian fortifications than to overrun the West Wall. Here Count Ciano showed signs of extreme doubt. The polish Army was most uneven in quality. Together with a few parade divisions, there were large numbers of troops of less value. Poland was very weak in anti-tank and anti-aircraft defense and at the moment neither France nor England could help her in this respect.

“If, however, Poland were given assistance by the Western powers, over a longer period, she could obtain these weapons and German superiority would thereby be diminished. In contrast to the fanatics of Warsaw and Cracow, the population of their areas was different. Furthermore, it was necessary to consider the position of the Polish State. Out of 34 million inhabitants, one and one-half million were German, about four million were Jews, and nine million Ukrainians, so that genuine Poles were much less in number than the total population and, as already said, their striking power was not to be valued highly. In these circumstances Poland could be struck to the ground by Germany in the shortest time.

“Since the Poles, through their whole attitude, had made it clear that in any case in the event of a conflict they would stand on the side of the enemies of Germany and Italy, a quick liquidation at the present moment could only be of advantage for the unavoidable conflict with the Western Democracies. if a hostile Poland remained on Germany’s eastern frontier, not only would the eleven East Prussian divisions be tied down, but also further contingents would be kept in Pomerania and Silesia. This would not be necessary in the event of a previous liquidation.”

“Coming back to the Danzig question, the Fuehrer said that it was impossible for him now to go back. He had made an agreement with Italy for the withdrawal of the Germans from South Tyrol, but for this reason he must take the greatest care to avoid giving the impression that this Tyrolese withdrawal could be taken as a precedent for other areas. Furthermore, he had justified the withdrawal by pointing to a general easterly and northeasterly direction of a German policy. The east and northeast, that is to say the Baltic countries, had been Germany’s undisputed sphere of influence since time immemorial, as the Mediterranean had been an appropriate sphere for Italy. For economic reasons also, Germany needed the foodstuffs and timber from these eastern regions.” (TC-77)

Now the truth of this matter appears. It is not the persecution of German minorities on the Polish frontiers, but economic reasons-the need for foodstuffs and timber from Poland. The minutes of the Italo-German meeting continue:

“In the case of Danzig, German interests were not only material, although the city had the greatest harbour in the Baltic. Danzig was a Nurnberg of the North, an ancient German city awakening sentimental feelings for every German, and the Fuehrer was bound to take account of this psychological element in public opinion. To make a comparison with Italy, Count Ciano should suppose that Trieste was in Yugoslav hands and that a large Italian minority was being treated brutally on Yugoslav soil. It would be difficult to assume that Italy would long remain quiet over anything of this kind.

“Count Ciano, in replying to the Fuehrer’s statement, first expressed the great surprise on the Italian side over the completely unexpected seriousness of the position. Neither in the conversations in Milan nor in those which took place during his Berlin visit had there been any sign from the German side that the position with regard to Poland was so serious. On the contrary, Ribbentrop had said that in his opinion the Danzig question would be settled in the course of time. On these grounds, the Duce, in view of his conviction that a conflict with the Western Powers was unavoidable, had assumed that he should make his preparations for this event; he had made plans for a period of two or three years. If immediate conflict were unavoidable, the Duce, as he had told Ciano, would certainly stand on the German side, but for various reasons he would welcome the postponement of a general conflict until a later time.

“Ciano then showed, with the aid of a map, the position of Italy in the event of a general war. Italy believed that a conflict with Poland would not be limited to that country but would develop into a general European war.” (TC-77)

Thereafter, Ciano tried to dissuade Hitler from any immediate action. He argued further:

“For these reasons the Duce insisted that the Axis Powers should make a gesture which would reassure people of the peaceful intentions of Italy and Germany.” (TC-77)

The Fuehrer’s answer was clear:

“The Fuehrer answered that for a solution of the Polish problem no time should be lost; the longer one waited until the autumn, the more difficult would military operations in Eastern Europe become. From the middle of September, weather conditions made air operations hardly possible in these areas, while the condition of the roads, which were quickly turned into a morass by the autumn rains, would be such as to make them impossible for motorized forces. From September to May, Poland was a great marsh and entirely unsuited for any kind of military operations. Poland could, however, occupy Danzig in September and Germany would not be able to do anything about it since they obviously could not bombard or destroy the place.” (TC-77)

The Germans could not possibly bombard or destroy any place such as Danzig where there happened to be Germans living. The discussion continued:

“Ciano asked how soon, according to the Fuehrer’s view, the Danzig question must be settled. The Fuehrer answered that this settlement must be made one way or another by the end of August. To the question of Ciano’s as to what solution the Fuehrer proposed, Hitler answered that Poland must give up political control of Danzig, but that Polish economic interests would obviously be reserved and that Polish general behavior must contribute to a general lessening of the tension. He doubted whether Poland was ready to accept this solution since, up to the present, the German proposals had been refused. The Fuehrer had made this proposal personally to Beck at his visit to Obersalzberg. They were extremely favorable to Poland. In return for the political surrender of Danzig, under a complete guarantee of Polish interests and the establishment of a connection between East Prussia and the Reich, Germany would have given a frontier guarantee, a 25-year pact of friendship and the participation of Poland in influence over Slovakia. Beck had received the proposal with the remark that he was willing to examine it. The plain refusal of it came only as a result of English intervention. The general Polish aims could be seen clearly from the press. They wanted the whole of East Prussia, and even proposed to advance to Berlin.” (TC-77)

The meeting was held over that night, and it continued on the following day:

“The Fuehrer had therefore come to two definite conclusions:

(1) in the event of any further provocation, he would immediately attack; (2) if Poland did not clearly and plainly state her political intention, she must be forced to do so.”

“As matters now stand, Germany and Italy would simply not exist further in the world through lack of space; not only was there no more space, but existing space was completely blockaded by its present possessors; they sat like misers with their heaps of gold and deluded themselves about their riches. The Western Democracies were dominated by the desire to rule the world and would not regard Germany and Italy as their class. This psychological element of contempt was perhaps the worst thing about the whole business. It could only be settled by a life and death struggle which the two Axis partners could meet more easily because their interests did not clash on any point.

“The Mediterranean was obviously the most ancient domain for which Italy had a claim to predominance. The Duce himself had summed up the position to him in the words that Italy already was the dominant power in the Mediterranean. On the other hand, the Fuehrer said that Germany must take the old German road eastwards and that this road was also desirable for economic reasons, and that Italy had geographical and historical claims to permanency in the Mediterranean. Bismarck had recognized it and had said as much in his well-known letter to Mazzini. The interests of Germany and Italy went in quite different directions and there never could be a conflict between them.

“Ribbentrop added that if the two problems mentioned in yesterday’s conversations were settled, Italy and Germany would have their backs free for work against the West. The Fuehrer said that Poland must be struck down so that for 50 years she would be incapable of fighting. In such a case, matters in the West could be settled.

“Ciano thanked the Fuehrer for his extremely clear explanation of the situation. He had, on his side, nothing to add and would give the Duce full details. He asked for more definite information on one point in order that the Duce might have all the facts before him. The Duce might indeed have to make no decision because the Fuehrer believed that the conflict with Poland could be localized on the basis of long experience. He-Ciano-quite saw that so far the Fuehrer had always been right in his judgment of the position. If, however, Mussolini had no decision to make, he had to take certain measures of precaution, and therefore Ciano would put the following question:

“The Fuehrer had mentioned two conditions under which he would take Poland (1) if Poland were guilty of serious provocation, and (2) if Poland did not make her political position clear. The first of these conditions depended on the decision of the Fuehrer, and German reaction could follow it in a moment. The second condition required certain decisions as to time. Ciano therefore asked what was the date by which Poland must have satisfied Germany about her political condition. He realized that this date depended upon climatic conditions.

“The Fuehrer answered that the decision of Poland must be made clear at the latest by the end of August. Since, however, the decisive part of military operations against Poland could be carried out within a period of 14 days and the final liquidation would need another four weeks, it could be finished at the end of September or the beginning of October. These could be regarded as the dates. It followed, therefore, that the last dates on which he could begin to take action was the end of August.

“Finally, the Fuehrer assured Ciano that since his youth he had favored German-Italian cooperation, and that no other view was expressed in his books. He had always thought that Germany and Italy were naturally suited for collaboration, since there were no conflicts of interest between them. He was personally fortunate to live at a time in which, apart from himself, there was one other statesman who would stand out great and unique in history; that he could be this man’s friend was for him a matter of great personal satisfaction, and if the hour of common battle struck, he would always be found on the side of the Duce.” (TC-77)

(2) Economic Preparations. If the military preparations were throughout this period nearing their completion, at the same time the economists had not been idle. A letter dated 25 August 1939, from Funk to the Fuehrer, reads:

“My Fuehrer!

“I thank you sincerely and heartily for your most friendly and kind wishes on the occasion of my birthday. How happy and how grateful to you we ought to be for being granted the favor of experiencing these overwhelmingly great and world-changing times and taking part in the mighty events of these days.

“The information given to me by Field Marshal Goering, that you, my Fuehrer, yesterday evening approved in principle the measures prepared by me for financing the war and for shaping the relationship between wages and prices and for carrying through emergency sacrifices, made me deeply happy. I hereby report to you with all respect that I have succeeded by means of precautions taken during the last few months, in making the Reichsbank internally so strong and externally so unassailable, that even the most serious shocks in the international money and credit market cannot affect us in the least. In the meantime I have quite inconspicuously changed into gold all the assets of the Reichsbank and of the whole of German economy abroad which it was possible to lay hands on. Under the proposals I have prepared for a ruthless elimination of all consumption which is not of vital importance and of all public expenditure and public works which are not of importance for the war effort, we will be in a position to cope with all demands on finance and economy, without any serious shocks. I have considered it my duty as the General Plenipotentiary for Economy appointed by you to make this report and solemn promise to you, my Fuehrer. “Heil my Fuehrer /signed/ Walter Funk.” (699-PS)

It is difficult in view of that letter to see how Funk can claim that he did not know of the preparations and of the intentions of the German government to wage war.

(3) The Obersalzberg Speech. On 22 August 1939, Hitler addressed his commanders in chief at Obersalzberg. (1014-PS). At this date preparations were complete. In the course of his speech Hitler declared:

“Everybody shall have to make a point of it that we were determined from the beginning to fight the Western powers.”

“Destruction of Poland in the foreground. The aim is elimination of living forces, not the arrival at a certain line. Even if war should break out in the West, the destruction of Poland shall be the primary objective.”

“I shall give a propagandistic cause for starting the war-never mind whether it be plausible or not. The victor shall not be asked later on whether we told the truth or not. In starting and making a war, not the Right is what matters but Victory.”

“It was clear to me that a conflict with Poland had to come sooner or later. I had already made this decision in spring, but I thought that I would first turn against the West in a few years, and only afterwards against the East.” (1014-PS)

These passages emphasize the intention of the Nazi government not only to conquer Poland but ultimately, in any event, to wage aggressive war against the Western Democracies.

In another significant passage, Hitler stated:

“We need not be afraid of a blockade. The East will supply us with grain, cattle, coal, lead and zinc. It is a big arm, which demands great efforts. I am only afraid that at the last minute some Schweinehund will make a proposal for mediation.

“The political arm is set farther. A beginning has been made for the destruction of England’s hegemony. The way is open for the soldier, after I have made the political preparations.”

“Goering answers with thanks to the Fuehrer and the assurance that the armed forces will do their duty.” (798-PS)

(4) Diplomatic Preparations: Provoking the Crisis. On 23 August 1939, the Danzig Senate passed a decree whereby Gauleiter Forster was appointed head of the State of the Free City of Danzig, a position which did not exist under the statute setting up the constitution of the Free City. (TC-72 No. 62). That event was, of course, aimed at stirring up feeling in the Free City at that time.

At the same time, Frontier incidents were being manufactured by the Nazi Government with the aid of the SS. The affidavit of General Lahousen (Affidavit A) refers to the provision of Polish uniforms to the SS Forces for these purposes, so that dead Poles could be found lying about on the German side of the frontier. Three short reports found in the British Blue Book corroborate this affidavit. They are reports from the British ambassador in Warsaw.

The first of them is dated 26 August, and reads:

“Series of incidents again occurred yesterday on German frontier.

“Polish patrol met party Germans one kilometre from East Prussian frontier near Pelta. Germans opened fire. Polish patrol replied, killing leader, whose body is being returned.

“German bands also crossed Silesian frontier near Szczyglo, twice near Rybnik and twice elsewhere, firing shots and attacking blockhouses and customs posts with machine guns and hand grenades. Poles have protested vigorously to Berlin.

“Gazeta Polska, in inspired leader, today says these are more than incidents. They are clearly prepared acts of aggression of para-military disciplined detachments supplied with regular army’s arms, and in one case it was a regular army detachment. Attacks more or less continuous.

“These incidents did not cause Poland to forsake calm and strong attitude of defence. Facts spoke for themselves and acts of aggression came from German side. This was best answer to ravings of German press.

“Ministry for Foreign Affairs state uniformed German detachment has since shot Pole across frontier and wounded another.” (TC-72 No. 53)

The next report is dated the same date, 26 August and reads:

“Ministry for Foreign Affairs categorically deny story recounted by Herr Hitler to French Ambassador that twentyfour Germans were recently killed at Lodz and eight at Bielsko. Story is without any foundation whatever.” (TC-72 No. 54)

The report of the next day, 27 August, reads as follows:

“So far as I can judge, German allegations of mass ill-treatment of German minority by Polish authorities are gross exaggeration, if not complete falsification.

“2. There is no sign of any loss of control of situation by Polish civil authorities. Warsaw, and so far as I can ascertain, the rest of Poland is still completely calm.

“3. Such allegations are reminiscent of Nazi propaganda methods regarding Czechoslovakia last year.

“4. In any case it is purely and simply deliberate German provocation in accordance with fixed policy that has since March [when the rest of Czechoslovakia was seized] exacerbated feeling between the two nationalities. I suppose this has been done with object (a) creating war spirit in Germany (b) impressing public opinion abroad (c) provoking either defeatism or apparent aggression in Poland.

“5. It has signally failed to achieve either of the two latter objects.

“6. It is noteworthy that Danzig was hardly mentioned by Herr Hitler.

“7. German treatment of Czech Jews and Polish minority is apparently negligible factor compared with alleged sufferings of Germans in Poland where, be it noted, they do not amount to more than 10 per cent of population in any commune.

“8. In face of these facts it can hardly be doubted that, if Herr Hitler decided on war, it is for the sole purpose of destroying Polish independence.

“9. I shall lose no opportunity of impressing on Minister for Foreign Affairs necessity of doing everything possible to prove that Herr Hitler’s allegations regarding German minority are false.” (TC-72 No. 55)

Further corroboration of General Lahousen’s affidavit is contained in a memorandum of a conversation between the writer and Keitel. That conversation with Keitel took place on 17 August, and went as follows:

“I reported my conference with Jost to Keitel. He said that he would not pay any attention to this action, as the Fuehrer had not informed him, and had only let him know that we were to furnish Heydrich with Polish uniforms. He agrees that I instruct the General Staff. He says that he does not think much of actions of this kind. However, there is nothing else to be done if they have been ordered by the Fuehrer, that he could not ask the Fuehrer how he had planned the execution of this special action. In regard to Dirschau, he has decided that this action would be executed only by the Army.” (795-PS)

That was the position at the end of the third week in August 1939. On 22 August the Russian-German Non-aggression Pact was signed in Moscow. The orders to invade Poland were given immediately after the signing of that treaty, and the H-hour was actually to be in the early morning of 25 of August.

(5) Pleas for peace. On the same date, 22 August, news reached England that the German-Russian agreement was being signed. The significance of that pact from a military point of view as to Germany was obvious, and the British government immediately made their position clear in one last hope, that the German government might possibly think better. The Prime Minister wrote to Hitler as follows:

“Your Excellency.

“Your Excellency will have already heard of certain measures taken by His Majesty’s Government, and announced in the press and on the wireless this evening.

“These steps have, in the opinion of His Majesty’s Government, been rendered necessary by the military movements which have been reported from Germany, and by the fact that apparently the announcement of a German-Soviet Agreement is taken in some quarters in Berlin to indicate that intervention by Great Britain on behalf of Poland is no longer a contingency that need be reckoned with. No greater mistake could be made. Whatever may prove to be the nature of the German-Soviet Agreement, it can not alter Great Britain’s obligation to Poland, which His Majesty’s Government have stated in public repeatedly and plainly, and which they are determined to fulfill.

“It has been alleged that, if His Majesty’s Government had made their position clear in 1914, the great catastrophe would have been avoided. Whether or not there is any force in that allegation, His Majesty’s Government are resolved that on this occasion there shall be no such tragic misunderstanding.

“If the case should arise, they are resolved, and prepared, to employ without delay all the forces at their command, and it is impossible to foresee the end of hostilities once engaged, It would be a dangerous illusion to think that, if war once starts, it will come to an early end even if a success on any one of the several fronts on which it will be engaged should have been secured.” (TC-72 No. 56).

The Prime Minister therefore urged the German government to try to solve the difficulty without recourse to the use of force. He suggested that a truce should be declared while direct discussions between the two governments, Polish and German, might take place. Prime Minister Chamberlain concluded:

“At this moment I confess I can see no other way to avoid a catastrophe that will involve Europe in war. In view of the grave consequences to humanity, which may follow from the action of their rulers, I trust that Your Excellency will weigh with the utmost deliberation the considerations which I have put before you.” (TC-72 No. 56).

On the following day, 23 August, Hitler replied to Prime Minister Chamberlain. He started off by saying that Germany has always sought England’s friendship, and went on to say that Germany, “like every other State, possesses certain definite interests which it is impossible to renounce.” The letter continued as follows:

“Germany was prepared to settle the questions of Danzig, and of the Corridor by the method of negotiation on the basis of a proposal of truly unparalleled magnanimity. The allegations disseminated by England regarding a German mobilization against Poland, the assertion of aggressive designs towards Roumania, Hungary, etc., as well as the so-called guarantee declarations, which were subsequently given, had, however, dispelled Polish inclination to negotiate on a basis of this kind which would have been tolerable for Germany also.

“The unconditional assurance given by England to Poland that she would render assistance to that country in all circumstances regardless of the causes from which a conflict might spring, could only be interpreted in that country as an encouragement thenceforward to unloosen, under cover of such a charter, a wave of appalling terrorism against the one and a half million German inhabitants living in Poland.

“The atrocities which then have been taking place in that country are terrible for the victims, but intolerable for a great power such as the German Reich, which is expected to remain a passive onlooker during these happenings. Poland has been guilty of numerous breaches of her legal obligations towards the Free City of Danzig, has made demands in the character of ultimata, and has initiated a process of economic strangulation.”

“Germany will not tolerate a continuance of the persecution of the Germans.”

“The German Reich government has received information to the effect that the British government has the intention to carry out measures of mobilization which, according to the statements contained in your own letter, are clearly directed against Germany alone. This is said to be true of France as well. Since Germany has never had the intention of taking military measures other than those of a defensive character against England, or France, and, as has already been emphasized, has never intended, and does not in the future intend, to attack England, or France, it follows that this announcement, as confirmed by you, Mr. Prime Minister, in your own letter, can only refer to a contemplated act of menace directed against the Reich. I, therefore, inform your Excellency that in the event of these military announcements being carried into effect, I shall order immediate mobilization of the German forces.”

“The question of the treatment of European problems on a peaceful basis is not a decision which rests on Germany, but primarily on those who since the crime committed by the Versailles dictate have stubbornly and consistently opposed any peaceful revision. Only after a change of spirit on the part of the responsible powers can there be any real change in the relationship between England and Germany. I have all my life fought for Anglo-German friendship; the attitude adopted by British diplomacy-at any rate up to the present-has, however, convinced me of the futility of such an attempt. Should there be any change in this respect in the future, nobody could be happier than I.” (TC-72 No. 60).

On 25 August the formal Anglo-Polish Agreement of Mutual Assistance was signed in London. Each government undertook to give assistance to the other in the event of aggression against either by any third power. (TC-73 No. 91)

A few days later the French Prime Minister Daladier addressed a letter to Hitler, which reads as follows:

“The French ambassador in Berlin has informed me of your personal communication * * *.

“In the hours in which you speak of the greatest responsibility which two heads of the governments can possibly take upon themselves, namely, that of shedding the blood of two great nations, who long only for peace and work, I feel I owe it to you personally, and to both our peoples to say that the fate of peace still rests in your hands.

“You cannot doubt what are my own feelings towards Germany, nor France’s peaceful feelings towards your nation. No Frenchman has done more than myself to strengthen between our two nations not only peace, but also sincere cooperation in their own interests, as well as in those of Europe and of the whole world. Unless you credit the French people with lower sense of honor, than I credit the German Nation with; you cannot doubt that France loyally fulfills her obligations towards other powers, such as Poland, which as I am fully convinced, wants to live in peace with Germany.

“These two convictions are fully compatible.

“Till now there has been nothing to prevent a peaceful solution of the international crisis, with all honor and dignity for all nations, if the same will for peace exists on all sides.

“Together with the good will of France I proclaim that of all her allies. I take it upon myself to guarantee Poland’s readiness, which she has always shown to submit to the mutual application of a method of open settlement, as it can be imagined between the governments of two sovereign nations. With the clearest conscience I can assure you that among the differences which have arisen between Germany and Poland over the question of Danzig, there is not one which could not be submitted to such a method, the purpose of reaching a peaceful and just solution.

“Moreover, I can declare on my honor that there is nothing in France’s clear and loyal solidarity with Poland and her allies, which could in any way prejudice the peaceful attitude of my country. This solidarity has never prevented us, and does not prevent us today, from keeping Poland in the same friendly state of mind.

“In so serious an hour, I sincerely believe that no highminded human being could understand it, if a war of destruction was started without a last attempt being made to reach a peaceful settlement between Germany and Poland. Your desire for peace could in all certainty work for this aim, without any prejudice to German honor. I, who desire good harmony between the French and the German people, and who am on the other hand bound to Poland by bonds of friendship, and by a promise, am prepared, as head of the French government, to do everything an upright man can do to bring this attempt to a successful conclusion.

“You and I were in the trenches in the last war. You know, as I do, what horror and condemnation the devastations of that war have left in the conscience of the peoples; without any regard to its outcome. The picture I can see in my mind’s eye of your outstanding role as the leader of the German people on the road of peace, towards the fulfillment of its task in the common work of civilization, leads me to ask for a reply to this suggestion.

“If French and German blood should be shed again, as it was shed 25 years ago, in a still longer and more murderous war, then each of the two nations will fight, believing in its own victory. But the most certain victors will be-destruction and barbarity.” (TC-78)

On 27 August Hitler replied to M. Daladier’s letter of 26 August. The sense of it was very much the same as that which he wrote to the British prime Minister in answer to the letter which he had received from him earlier in the week. (TC-79)

After the letters from Chamberlain and Daladier, the German Government could no longer be in any doubt as to the position of both the British and French Governments in the event of German aggression against Poland. But the pleas for peace did not end there. On 24 August president Roosevelt wrote to both Hitler and to the President of the Polish Republic (TC-72 No. 124).

His letter stated in part:

“In the message which I sent to you on the 14th April, I stated that it appeared to me that the leaders of great nations had it in their power to liberate their peoples from the disaster that impended, but that unless the effort were immediately made with good will on all sides to find a peaceful and constructive solution to existing controversies, the crisis which the world was confronting must end in catastrophe. Today that catastrophe appears to be very near at hand indeed.

“To the message which I sent you last April I have received no reply, but because my confident belief that the cause of world peace-which is the cause of humanity itself-rises above all other considerations, I am again addressing myself to you, with the hope that the war which impends and the consequent disaster to all peoples may yet be averted.

“I therefore urge with all earnestness-and I am likewise urging the president of the Republic of Poland-that the Government of Germany and Poland agree by common accord to refrain from any positive act of hostility for a reasonable stipulated period, and that they agree, likewise by common accord, to solve the controversies which have arisen between them by one of the three following methods:

“First, by direct negotiation;

“Second, by the submission of these controversies to an impartial arbitration in which they can both have confidence;


“Third, that they agree to the solution of these controversies through the procedure of conciliation.” (TC-72 No. 124).

Hitler’s answer to that letter was the order to his armed forces to invade Poland on the following morning. The reply to Mr. Roosevelt’s letter from the President of the Polish Republic, however, was an acceptance of the offer to settle the differences by any of the peaceful methods suggested. (TC-72 No. 126)

On 25 August, no reply having been received from the German Government, President Roosevelt wrote again:

“I have this hour received from the President of Poland a reply to the message which I addressed to your Excellency and to him last night.”

The Polish reply is then set out.

“Your Excellency has repeatedly publicly stated that the aims and objects sought by the German Reich were just and reasonable.

“In his reply to my message the president of Poland has made it plain that the Polish Government is willing, upon the basis set forth in my message, to agree to solve the controversy which has arisen between the Republic of Poland and the German Reich by direct negotiation or the process of conciliation.

“Countless human lives can yet be saved and hope may still be restored that the nations of the modern world may even now construct the foundation for a peaceful and happier relationship, if you and the Government of the German Reich will agree to the pacific means of settlement accepted by the Government of Poland. All the world prays that Germany, too, will accept.” (TC-72 No. 127)

But Germany would not accept those proposals, nor would it pay heed to the Pope’s appeal on the same date, 24 August (TC-72 No. 139). It is an appeal in similar terms. There was yet a further appeal from the Pope on 31 August:

“The Pope is unwilling to abandon hope that pending negotiations may lead to a just pacific solution such as the whole world continues to pray for.” (TC-72 No. 141).

Those negotiations, on the last days of August, to which the Pope referred as “pending negotiations", were unhappily, completely bogus negotiations insofar as Germany was concerned. They were put forward simply as an endeavor to dissuade England, either by threat or by bribe, from meeting her obligations to Poland. The final German “offers” were no offers in the accepted sense of the word. There was never any intention behind them of entering into discussions, negotiation, arbitration, or any other form of peaceful settlement with Poland. They were merely an attempt to make it easier to seize and conquer Poland than it would likely be if England and France were to observe the obligations they had undertaken.

(6) Events of the Last Week in August, 1939. This was the progress of those last negotiations: On 22 August the German-Soviet Pact was signed. On 24 August, orders were given to the German armies to march the following morning. After those orders had been given, the news apparently reached the German Government that the British and polish Governments had signed a formal pact of non-aggression and of mutual assistance. Up until that time, the position was that the British prime Minister had made a statement in the House of Commons and a joint communiqué had been issued, on 6 April, that the two nations would in fact assist one another if either were attacked; but no formal agreement had been signed.

Now, on 24 August, after the orders to march had been given by Hitler, the news came that such a formal document had been signed. The invasion was thereupon postponed for the sole purpose of making one last effort to keep England and France out of the war-not to cancel the war, but solely to keep England and France out of it. On 25 August, having postponed the invasion, Hitler issued a verbal communiqué to Sir Neville Henderson, the British ambassador in Berlin, which was a mixture of bribe and threat, and with which he hoped to persuade England to keep out.

On 28 August, Sir Neville Henderson handed the British Government’s reply to that communiqué to Hitler. That reply stressed that the differences ought to be settled by agreement. The British Government put forward the view that Danzig should be guaranteed, and that any agreement reached should be guaranteed by other powers. Whether or not these proposals would have been acceptable or unacceptable to Germany are of no great matter. For once it had been made clear-as it was in the British Government’s reply of 28 August-that England would not be put off assisting Poland in the event of German aggression, the German Government had no concern with further negotiation but was concerned only to afford itself some kind of justification and to prevent itself from appearing too blatantly to turn down all the appeals to reason that were being put forward.

On 29 August, at 7:15 p. m. in the evening, Hitler handed to Sir Neville Henderson the German Government’s answer to the British Government’s reply of the 28th. It seems quite clear that the whole object of this letter was to put forward something which was quite unacceptable. Hitler agreed to enter into direct conversations as suggested by the British Government, but he demanded that those conversations must be based upon the return to the Reich, of Danzig and also of the whole of the Corridor.

It will be recalled that hereto, even when he had alleged that Poland had renounced the 1934 agreement, Hitler had put forward as his demands the return of Danzig alone, Plus the arrangement for an extra-territorial Autobahn and railroad running through the Corridor to East Prussia. That demand was unacceptable at that time. To make quite certain of refusal, Hitler now demanded the whole of the Corridor. There was no question of an Autobahn or railway. The whole territory must become German.

Even so, to make doubly certain that the offer would not be accepted, Hitler stated: “On those terms I am prepared to enter into discussion, but to do so, as the matter is urgent, I expect a plenipotentiary with full powers from the Polish Government to be here in Berlin by midnight tomorrow night, the 30th of August.”

This offer was made at 7:15 p. m. on the evening of the 29th. That offer had to be transmitted, first, to London; and from London to Warsaw; and from Warsaw the Polish Government had to give authority to their Ambassador in Berlin. So that the timing made it quite impossible, if indeed it were possible, to get authority to the Polish Ambassador in Berlin by midnight the following night. It allowed Poland no opportunity for discussing the matters at all. As Sir Neville Henderson described it, the offer amounted to an ultimatum.

At midnight on 30 August, at the time by which the Polish Plenipotentiary was expected to arrive, Sir Neville Henderson handed a further message to Ribbentrop in reply to the message that had been handed to him the previous evening. Ribbentrop read out in German a two- or three-page document which purported to be the German proposal to be discussed at the discussions between them and the Polish Government. He read it out quick?? in German. He refused to hand a copy of it to the British Ambassador. He passed no copy of it at all to the Polish Ambassador. So that there was no kind of possible chance of the Poles ever having before them the proposals which Germany was so graciously and magnanimously offering to discuss.

On the following day, 31 August, Mr. Lipski, the Polish Ambassador, saw Ribbentrop, and could get no further than to be asked whether he came with full powers. When he replied that he did not, Ribbentrop said that he would put the position before the Fuehrer. But, in actual fact, it was much too late to put any position to the Fuehrer by that time, because on 31 August Hitler had already issued his Directive No. 1 for the conduct of war, in which he laid down H-Hour as being a quarter to five the following morning, 1 September. And on the evening of 31 August, at 9 o'clock, the German radio broadcast the proposals which Ribbentrop had read out to Sir Neville Henderson the night before, saying that these were the proposals which had been made for discussion, but that as no Polish Plenipotentiary had arrived to discuss them, the German Government assumed that they were turned down. That broadcast at 9 o'clock on the evening of 31 August was the first that the Poles had ever heard of the proposal, and it was the first that the British Government or its representatives in Berlin knew about them, other than what had been heard when Ribbentrop had read them out and refused to give a written copy on the evening of the 30th.

After that broadcast, at 9:15-perhaps while the broadcast was still in its course-a copy of those proposals was handed to Sir Neville Henderson for the first time.

This summary of events during that last week of August 1939 is based upon the contents of several documents which will now be alluded to.

In a pre-trial interrogation on 29 August 1945, Goering was asked the question:

“When the negotiations of the Polish Foreign Minister in London brought about the Anglo-Polish Treaty at the end of March or the beginning of April, was it not fairly obvious that a peaceful solution was impossible?” (TC-90)

This was Goering’s answer:

“Yes, it seemed impossible according to my conviction, but not according to the convictions of the Fuehrer. When it was mentioned to the Fuehrer that England had given her guarantee to Poland, he said that England was also guaranteeing Rumania, but then when the Russians took Bessarabia nothing happened, and this made a big impression on him. I made a mistake here. At this time Poland only had the promise of a guarantee. The guarantee itself was only given shortly before the beginning of the war. On the day when England gave her official guarantee to Poland the Fuehrer called me on the telephone and told me that he had stopped the planned invasion of Poland. I asked him then whether this was just temporary or for good. He said, 'No, I will have to see whether we can eliminate British intervention.' So then I asked him, 'Do you think that it will be any different within four or five days?' At this same time-I don’t know whether you know about that, Colonel-I was in connection with Lord Halifax by a special courier outside the regular diplomatic channels to do everything to stop war with England. After the guarantee I held an English declaration of war inevitable. I already told him in the Spring of 1939 after occupying Czechoslovakia, I told him that from now on if he tried to solve the Polish question he would have to count on the enmity of England. 1939, that is after the Protectorate.” (TC-90)

The interrogation of Goering proceeded as follows:

“Question: 'Is it not a fact that preparations for the campaign against Poland were originally supposed to have been completed by the end of August 1939?'

“Answer: 'Yes.'

“Question: 'And that the final issuance of the order for the campaign against Poland came some time between the 15th and 20th of August 1939 after the signing of the treaty with Soviet Russia.” [The dates obviously are wrong].

“Answer: 'Yes, that is true.'

“Question: 'Is it not also a fact that the start of the campaign was ordered for the 25th of August, but on the 24th of August in the afternoon it was postponed until September the 1st in order to await the results of new diplomatic maneuvers with the English Ambassador?'

“Answer: 'Yes.'” (TC-90)

In this interrogation Goering purported not to have wanted war with England. It will be recalled, however, that after the speech of Hitler on 22 August to his commanders-in-chief, Goering got up and thanked the Fuehrer for his exhortation and assured him that the armed forces would play their part. (798-PS)

Hitler’s verbal communiqué, as it is called in the British Blue Book, which he handed to Sir Neville Henderson on 25 August, after he had heard of the signing of the Anglo-Polish agreement, in an endeavor to keep England from aiding Poland, commences by stating Hitler’s desire to make one more effort to prevent war. In the second paragraph he asserts again that Poland’s provocations were unbearable:

“Germany was in all circumstances determined to abolish these Macedonian conditions on her eastern frontier and, what is more, to do so in the interests of quiet and order, but also in the interests of European peace.

“The problem of Danzig and the Corridor must be solved. The British Prime Minister had made a speech which was not in the least calculated to induce any change in the German attitude. At the most, the result of this speech could be a bloody and incalculable war between Germany and England. Such a war would be bloodier than that of 1914 to 1918. In contrast to the last war, Germany would no longer have to fight on two fronts. Agreement with Russia was unconditional and signified a change in foreign policy of the Reich which would last a very long time. Russia and Germany would never again take up arms against each other. Apart from this, the agreements reached with Russia would also render Germany secure economically for the longest period of war.” (TC-72 No. 68)

Then comes the bribe.

“The Fuehrer declared the German-Polish problem must be solved and will be solved. He is however prepared and determined after the solution of this problem to approach England once more with a large, comprehensive offer. He is a man of great decisions, and in this case also he will be capable of being great in his action. And then magnanimously he accepts the British Empire and is ready to pledge himself personally for its continued existence and to place the power of the German Reich at its disposal on condition that his colonial demands, which are limited, should be negotiated by peaceful means. * * *” (TC-72 No. 68)

Again Hitler stressed irrevocable determination never to enter into war with Russia. He concluded as follows:

“If the British Government would consider these ideas a blessing for Germany and also for the British empire, a peace might result. If it rejects these ideas there will be war. In no case will Great Britain emerge stronger; the last war proved it. The Fuehrer repeats that he himself is a man of ad infinitum decisions by which he is bound, and that this is his last offer.” (TC-72 No. 68)

The British Government was not of course aware of the real object that lay behind that message, and, taking it at its face value, wrote back on 28 August saying that they were prepared to enter into discussions. They agreed with Hitler that the differences must be settled, as follows:

“In the opinion of His Majesty’s Government a reasonable solution of the differences between Germany and Poland could and should be effected by agreement between the two countries on lines which would include the safeguarding of Poland’s essential interests, and they recall that in his speech of the 28th of April the German Chancellor recognized the importance of these interests to Poland.

“But as was stated by the Prime Minister in his letter to the German Chancellor of the 22nd of August, His Majesty’s Government consider it essential for the success of the discussions which would precede the agreement that it should be understood beforehand that any settlement arrived at would be guaranteed by other powers. His Majesty’s Government would be ready if desired to make their contribution to the effective operation of such a guarantee.”

“His Majesty’s Government have said enough to make their own attitude plain in the particular matters at issue between Germany and Poland. They trust that the German Chancellor will not think that, because His Majesty’s Government are scrupulous concerning their obligations to Poland, they are not anxious to use all their influence to assist the achievement of a solution which may command itself both to Germany and to Poland.” (TC-72 No. 74)

That reply knocked the German hopes on the head. The Nazis had failed despite their tricks and their bribes to dissuade England from observing her obligations to Poland, and it was now only a matter of getting out of their embarrassment as quickly as possible and saving face as much as possible.

In his interview with Hitler, Sir Neville Henderson emphasized the British attitude that they were determined in any event to meet their obligations to Poland. The interview concluded as follows:

“In the end I asked him two straight questions: Was he willing to negotiate direct with the Poles? and Was he ready to discuss the question of any exchange of population? He replied in the affirmative as regards the latter. There I have no doubt that he was thinking at the same time of a rectification of frontiers. As regards to the first, he said he could not give me an answer until after he had given the reply of His Majesty’s Government the careful consideration which such a document deserved. In this connection he turned to Ribbentrop and said, 'We must summon Field Marshal Goering to discuss it with him.'” (TC-72 No. 75)

The German reply, as outlined before, was handed to Sir Neville Henderson at 7.15 P.M. on 29 August. The reply sets out the suggestion submitted by the British Government in a previous note, and goes on to say that the German Government is prepared to enter into discussion on the basis that the whole of the Corridor as well as Danzig shall be returned to the Reich. The reply continues:

“The demands of the German Government are in conformity with the revision of the Versailles Treaty in regard to this territory which has always been recognized as being necessary; viz., return of Danzig and the Corridor to Germany, the safeguarding of the existence of the German national group in the territories remaining to Poland.” (TC-72 No. 78)

It is only just now, as I emphasized before, that the right to the Corridor has been “recognized” for so long. On 28 April, Hitler demands consisted only of Danzig, the Autobahn, and the railway. But now Hitler’s aim was to manufacture justification and to put forth proposals which under no circumstances could either Poland or Great Britain accept. The note states:

“The British Government attach importance to two considerations: (1) that the existing danger of an imminent explosion should be eliminated as quickly as possible by direct negotiation, and (2) that the existence of the Polish State, in the form in which it would then continue to exist. should be adequately safeguarded in the economic and political sphere by means of international guarantees.

“On this subject, the German Government makes the following declaration:

“Though skeptical as to the prospects of a successful outcome, they are nevertheless prepared to accept the English proposal and to enter into direct discussions. They do so, as has already been emphasized, solely as the result of the impression made upon them by the written statement received from the British Government that they too desire a pact of friendship in accordance with the general lines indicated to the British Ambassador.”

“For the rest, in making these proposals the German Government have never had any intention of touching Poland’s vital interests of questioning the existence of an independent polish State. The German Government, accordingly, in these circumstances agree to accept the British Government’s offer of their good offices in securing the despatch to Berlin of a Polish Emissary with full powers. They count on the arrival of this Emissary on Wednesday, the 30th August, 1939.

“The German Government will immediately draw up proposals for a solution acceptable to themselves and will, if possible, place these at the disposal of the British Government before the arrival of the Polish negotiators.” (TC-72 No. 78)

That was at 7:15 in the evening of 29 August. As previously explained, insufficient time was allowed for the Polish Emissary to reach Berlin by midnight the following night.

Sir Neville Henderson’s account of his interview on the evening of 29 August summarizes what took place then:

“I remarked that this phrase sounded like an ultimatum, but after some heated remarks both Herr Hitler and Herr von Ribbentrop assured me that it was only intended to stress urgency of the moment when the two fully mobilized armies were standing face to face.” (TC-72 No. 79)

Again the British Government replied and Sir Neville Henderson handed this reply to Ribbentrop at the famous meeting on midnight of 30 August, at the time the Polish Emissary had been expected. The reply stated that the British Government reciprocated the desire for improved relations. It stressed again that it cannot sacrifice its interest to other friends in order to obtain an improvement in the situation. It understood that the German Government accepts the condition that the settlement should be subject to international guarantee. The British Government makes a reservation as to the demands that the Germans put forward in their last letter, and is informing the polish Government immediately. Lastly, the British understand that the German Government is drawing up the proposals. (TC-72 No.89)

Sir Neville Henderson gave this account of that interview at midnight on 30 August:

“I told Herr von Ribbentrop this evening that His Majesty’s Government found it difficult to advise Polish Government to accept procedure adumbrated in German Reply, and suggested that he should adopt normal contact, i.e., that when German proposals were ready to invite Polish Ambassador to call and to hand him Proposals for transmission to his Government with a view to immediate opening of negotiations. I added that if basis afforded prospect of settlement His Majesty’s Government could be counted upon to do their best in Warsaw to temporize negotiations.

“Herr von Ribbentrop’s reply was to produce a lengthy document which he read out in German aloud at top speed. Imagining that he would eventually hand it to me I did not attempt to follow too closely the sixteen or more articles which it contained. Though I cannot therefore guarantee accuracy the main points were: * * *”

“When I asked Herr von Ribbentrop for text of these proposals in accordance with undertaking the German reply of yesterday, he asserted that it was now too late as Polish representative had not arrived in Berlin by midnight.

“I observed that to treat matter in this way meant that request for Polish representative to arrive in Berlin on 30th August constituted in fact, an ultimatum in spite of what he and Herr Hitler had assured me yesterday. This he denied, saying that idea of an ultimatum was figment of my imagination. Why then I asked could he not adopt normal procedure and give me copy of proposals and ask Polish Ambassador to call on him, just as Herr Hitler had summoned me a few days ago, and hand them to him for communication to Polish Government. In the most violent terms Herr von Ribbentrop said that he would never ask the Ambassador to visit him. He hinted that if Polish Ambassador asked him for interview it might be different. I said that I would naturally inform my Government so at once. Whereupon he said while those were his personal Views he would bring all that I had said to Herr Hitler’s notice. It was for chancellor to decide.

“We parted on that note, but I must tell you that Herr von Ribbentrop’s demeanor during an unpleasant interview was aping Herr Hitler at his worst. He inveighed incidentally against Polish mobilization, but I retorted that it was hardly surprising since Germany had also mobilized as Herr Hitler himself had admitted to me yesterday.” (TC-72 No. 92)

Henderson of course did not know at that time that Germany had also given the orders to attack Poland some days before. On the following day, 31 August, at 6:30 in the evening, M. Lipski, the Polish Ambassador, had an interview with Ribbentrop. This is M. Lipski’s account of the conversation:

“I carried out my instructions. M. von Ribbentrop asked if I had special plenipotentiary powers to undertake negotiations. I said no. He then asked whether I had been informed that on London’s suggestion the German Government had expressed their readiness to negotiate directly with a delegate of the Polish Government, furnished with the requisite full powers, who was to have arrived on the preceding day, August 30. I replied that I had no direct information on the subject. In conclusion M. von Ribbentrop repeated that he had thought I would be empowered to negotiate. He would communicate my demarche to the Chancellor.” (TC-73 No. 112)

But it was too late. The orders had already been given on that day to the German Army to invade. A “Most Secret order” signed by Hitler, described as his “Direction No. 1 for the conduct of the war,” dated 31 August 1939, reads in part:

“Now that all the political possibilities of disposing by peaceful means of a situation of the Eastern Frontier which is intolerable for Germany are exhausted, I have determined on a solution by force.

“The attack on Poland is to be carried out in accordance with the preparations made for 'Fall Weiss', with the alterations which result, where the Army is concerned, from the fact that it has in the meantime almost completed its dispositions. “Allotment of tasks and the operational target remain unchanged.

“Date of attack-1 September 1939

“Time of attack-04:45 [inserted in red pencil]

“This time also applies to the operation at Gdynia, Bay of Danzig and the Dirschau Bridge.

“In the West it is important that the responsibility for the opening of hostilities should rest unequivocally with England and France. At first purely local action should be taken against insignificant frontier violations.” (C-126)

That evening, 31 August, at nine o'clock, the German radio broadcast the terms of the German proposals about which they were willing to enter into discussions with the Polish Government. The proposals were set out at length. By this time, neither Sir Neville Henderson nor the Polish Government Nor their Ambassador had yet been given their written copy of them. This is a document which seems difficult to explain other than as an exhibition or an example of hypocrisy. The second paragraph states:

“Further, the German Government pointed out that they felt able to make the basic points regarding the offer of an understanding available to the British Government by the time the Polish negotiator arrived in Berlin.”

The manner in which they did that has been shown. The German Broadcast continued, that instead of the arrival of an authorized Polish personage, the first answer the Government of the Reich received to their readiness for an understanding was the news of the polish mobilization; and that only toward 12 o'clock on the night of 30 August 1939 did they receive a somewhat general assurance of British readiness to help towards the commencement of negotiations. The fact that the Polish negotiator expected by the Reich did not arrive, removed the necessary conditions for informing His Majesty’s Government of the views of the German Government as regards the possible basis for negotiation. Since His Majesty’s Government themselves had pleaded for direct negotiations between Germany and Poland, the German minister for Foreign Affairs, Ribbentrop, gave the British Ambassador on the occasion of the presentation of the last British note, precise information as to the text of the German proposals which will be regarded as a basis for negotiation in the event of the arrival of the Polish Plenipotentiary. The Broadcast. The Broadcast thereafter went on to set out the Nazi version of the story of the negotiations over the last few days. (TC-73 No. 113)

On 1 September, when his armies were already crossing the Polish frontier, Hitler issued this proclamation to his Armed Forces:

“The Polish Government, unwilling to establish good neighborly relations as aimed at by me, wants to force the issue by way of arms.

“The Germans in Poland are being persecuted with bloody terror and driven from their homes. Several acts of frontier violation which cannot be tolerated by a great power show that Poland is no longer prepared to respect the Reich’s frontiers. To put an end to these mad acts I can see no other way but from now onwards to meet force with force.

“The German Armed Forces will with firm determination take up the struggle for the honor and the vital rights of the German people.

“I expect every soldier to be conscious of the high tradition of the eternal German soldierly qualities and to do his duty to the last.

“Remember always and in any circumstances that you are the representatives of National Socialist Greater Germany. “Long live our people and the Reich.” (TC-54)

So that at last Hitler had kept his word to his generals. He had afforded them their propagandistic justification, and at that time, anyway, it did not matter what people said about it afterwards.

“The view shall not appear, asked later on, whether we told the truth or not. Might is what counts-or victory is what counts and not right.” (1014-PS)

On that day, 1 September, when news came of this invasion of Polish ground, the British Government, in accordance with their treaty obligations, sent an ultimatum to the German Government, in which it stated:

“I am accordingly to inform your Excellency that unless the German Government are prepared to give His Majesty’s Government satisfactory assurances that the German Government have suspended all aggressive action against Poland and are prepared promptly to withdraw their forces from Polish territory, His Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom will without hesitation fulfill their obligations to Poland.” (TC-72 No. 110)

At 9 o'clock on 3 September the British Government handed a final ultimatum to the German Minister of Foreign Affairs. It read in part:

“* * * Although this communication was made more than twenty-four hours ago, no reply has been received but German attacks upon Poland have been continued and intensified. I have accordingly the honor to inform you that, unless not later than eleven o'clock, British Summer Time, today 3d September, satisfactory assurances to the above effect have been given by the German Government, and have reached His Majesty’s Government in London, a state of war will exist between the two countries as from that hour.” (TC-72 No. 118)

And so it was that at 11 o'clock on 3 September a state of war existed between Germany and England and between Germany and France. The plans, preparations, intentions, and determination to carry out this assault upon Poland which had been going on for months, for years before, had come to fruition despite all appeals to peace, all appeals to reason. It mattered not what anybody but the German Government had in mind or whatever rights anybody else but the German nation thought they had. If there is any doubt left about this matter, two more documents remain for consideration. Even now, on 3 September, Mussolini offered some chance of peace. At 6:30 hours on 3 September Mussolini sent a telegram to Hitler:

“The Italian Ambassador handed to the State secretary at the Duce’s order following copy for the Fuehrer and Reich Chancellor and for the Reich Minister for Foreign Affairs: “Italy sends the information, leaving, of course, every decision to the Fuehrer, that it still has a chance to call a conference with France, England and Poland on following basis: 1. Armistice which would leave the Army Corps where they are at present. 2. Calling the conference within two or three days. 3. Solution of the Polish-German controversy which would be certainly favorable for Germany as matters stand today.

“This idea which originated from the Duce has its foremost exponent in France.

“Danzig is already German and Germany is holding already securities which guarantee most of her demands. Besides, Germany has had already its 'moral satisfaction.' If it would accept the plan for a conference, it will achieve all her aims and at the same time prevent a war which already today has the aspect of being universal and of extremely long duration.” (1831-PS)

Perhaps even Mussolini did not appreciate what all Germany’s aims were, for his offer was turned down in the illuminating letter which Hitler was to write in reply:


“I first want to thank your for you last attempt at mediation. I would have been ready to accept, but only under condition, that there would be a possibility to give me certain guarantees that the conference would be successful. Because, for the last two days the German troops are engaged in an extraordinarily rapid advance in Poland. It would have been impossible to devaluate the bloody sacrifices made thereby by diplomatic intrigues. Nevertheless, I believe that a way could have been found, if England would not have been determined to wage war under all circumstances. I have not given in to the English, because, Duce, I do not believe that peace could have been maintained for more than one-half year or one year. Under these circumstances, I thought that, in spite of everything, the present moment was better for resistance. At present, the superiority of the German armed forces in Poland is so overwhelming in all fields that the Polish Army will collapse in a very short time. I doubt whether this fast success could be achieved in one or two years. England and France would have armed their allies, to such an extent that the crushing technical superiority of the German Armed Forces could not have become so apparent anymore. I am aware, Duce, that the fight which I enter, is one for life and death. My own fate does not play any role in it at all. But I am also aware that one cannot avoid such a struggle permanently and that one has to choose after cold deliberation the moment for resistance in such a way that the probability of the success is guaranteed and I believe in this success, Duce, with the firmness of a rock. Recently you have given me the kind assurance that you think you will be able to help me in a few fields. I acknowledge this in advance with sincere thanks. But I believe also-even if we march now over different roads-that fate will finally join us. If the National Socialist Germany were destroyed by the Western democracies, the Fascist Italy would also have to face a grave future. I was personally always aware of this community of the future of our two governments and I know that you, Duce, think the same way. To the situation in Poland, I would like to make the brief remark that we lay aside, of course, all unimportant things, that we do not waste any man in unimportant tasks, but direct all on acts in the light of great operational considerations. The Northern Polish Army which is the Corridor, has already been completely encircled by our action. It will be either wiped out or will surrender. Otherwise, all operations proceed according to plan. The daily achievements of the troops are far beyond all expectations. The superiority of our air force is complete, although scarcely one-third of it is in Poland. In the West I will be on the defensive. France can here sacrifice its blood first. Then the moment will come when we can confront the enemy also there with the full power of the nation. Accept my thanks, Duce, for all your assistance which you have given to me in the past and I ask you not to deny it to me in the future.” (1831-PS)


Document Description Vol. Page

Charter of the International Military Tribunal, Article 6(a)… I 5

International Military Tribunal, Indictment Number 1, Sections IV(F)4; V… I 2629

Note: A single asterisk (*) before a document indicates that the document was received in evidence at the Nurnberg trial. A double asterisk (**) before a document number indicates that the document was referred to during the trial but was not formally received in evidence, for the reason given in parentheses following the description of the document. The USA series number, given in parentheses following the description of the document, is the official exhibit number assigned by the court.

*386-PS Notes on a conference with Hitler in the Reich Chancellery, Berlin, 5 November 1937, signed by Hitler’s adjutant, Hossbach, and dated 10 November 1937. (USA 25)… III 295

*388-PS File of papers on Case Green (the plan for the attack on Czechoslovakia), kept by Schmundt, Hitler’s adjutant, April-October 1938. (USA 26)… III 305

*699-PS Letter from Funk to Hitler, 25 August 1939, reporting on economic affairs. (GB 49)… III 509

*789-PS Speech of the Fuehrer at a conference, 23 November 1939, to which all Supreme Commanders were ordered. (USA 23)… III 572

*795-PS Keitel’s conference, 17 August 1939, concerning giving Polish uniforms to Heydrich. (GB 54)… III 580

*798-PS Hitler’s speech to Commanders-in-Chief, at Obersalzberg, 22 August 1939. (USA 29)… III 581

*1014-PS Hitler’s speech to Commanders-in-Chief, 22 August 1939. (USA 30)… III 665

*1639-A-PS Mobilization book for the Civil Administration, 1939 Edition, issued over signature of Keitel. (USA 777)… IV 143

*1780-PS Excerpts from diary kept by General Jodl, January 1937 to August 1939. (USA 72)… IV 360

1796-PS Notes to the War Diary from March 1939 to January 1940… IV 370

1822-PS Telegram from Minister of Foreign Affairs in Rome to Minister of Foreign Affairs in Berlin, 25 august 1939, concerning conference with Mussolini and Ciano… IV 459

1823-PS Hitler reply to Mussolini, 27 August 1939, concerning attitude of Italy in conference of 25 August 1939… IV 462

1828-PS Memorandum handed to German Foreign Office by Count Magistrate in Rome, 7 August 1939… IV 463

*1831-PS Correspondence between Hitler and Mussolini, September 1939. (GB 75)… IV 463

1832-PS Telephone report of Reich Minister for Foreign Affairs in Rome, 27 August 1939… IV 468

1889-PS Account of conference of Fuehrer and Italian Ambassador Attolico, 31 August 1939… IV 528

*2327-PS Two top secret memoranda, 14 June 1939, concerning operation “Fall Weiss". (USA 539)… 1035

*2357-PS Speech by Hitler before Reichstag, 20 February 1938, published in Documents of German Politics, Part VI,1,pp.50-52. (GB 30)… IV 1099

*2368-PS Hitler’s speech before Reichstag, 30 January 1937, published in Documents of German Politics, Part VI,2,p.42. (GB 26)… IV 1102

*2530-PS Ribbentrop’s speech in Warsaw, 25 January 1939, published in Voelkischer Beobachter, 1 February 1939. (GB 36)… V 267

*2751-PS Affidavit of Alfred Naujocks, 20 November 1945. (USA 482)… V 390

2817-PS Telegram from German Embassy, Rome, to Ribbentrop, concerning answer of Duce to Hitler’s second letter, 27 August 1939… V 452

*2818-PS Secret additional protocol to the Friendship and Alliance Pact between Germany and Italy. (GB 292)… V 453

2834-PS letter from Mussolini to Fuehrer, 25 August 1939… V 502

*2835-PS German Foreign Office memorandum on conversation between Ribbentrop and the Duce, 10 March 1940. (GB 291)… V 502

*2846-PS Affidavit of Edwin Lahousen, 13 November 1945… V 507

*2897-PS Telegram from German Ambassador in Tokyo, Ott, to Ribbentrop, 13 July 1941. (USA 156)… V 566

*3054-PS “The Nazi Plan", script of a motion picture composed of captured German film. (USA 167)… V 801

*C-23 Unsigned documents found in official Navy files containing notes year by year from 1927 to 1940 on reconstruction of the German Navy, and dated 18 February 1938, 8 March 1938, September 1938. (USA 49)… VI 827

*C-30 Air-Sea Forces Orders for Occupation Danzig, 27 July 1939. (GB 46)… VI 831

*C-120 Directives for Armed Forces 1939-40 for “Fall Weiss", operation against Poland. (GB 41)… VI 916

*C-126 Weiss” and directions for secret mobilization. (GB 45)… VI 932

*C-137 Keitel’s appendix of 24 November 1938 to Hitler Order of 21 October 1938. (GB 33)… VI 949

*C-142 Intention of the Army High Command and Orders, signed by Brauchitsch. (USA 538)… VI 956

*C-172 Order No. 1 for “Fall weiss” signed by Doenitz. (GB 189)… 1002

*C-175 OKW Directive for Unified preparation for War 1937-1938, with covering letter from von Blomberg, 24 June 1937. (USA 69)… VI 1006

*D-738 Memorandum on second conference between German Foreign Minister with Hungarian Prime and Foreign Minister on 1 May 1939. (GB 290)… VII 193

*L-43 Air Force “Organizational Study 1950", 2 may 1938. (GB 29) (See Chart No. 10.)… VII 788

*L-79 Minutes of conference, 23 May 1939, “Indoctrination on the political situation and future aims". (USA 27)… VII 847

*L-172 “The Strategic Position at the Beginning of the 5th year of War", a lecture delivered by Jodl on 7 November 1943 at Munich to Reich and Gauleiters. (USA 34)… VIII 920

*R-100 Minutes of instructions given by Hitler to General von Brauchitsch on 25 March 1939. (USA 121)… VIII 83

*TC-2 Hague Convention (1) for Pacific Settlement of International Disputes-1907. (GB 2)… VIII 276

*TC-3 Hague Convention (3) Relative to opening of Hostilities. (GB 2)… VIII 279

*TC-9 Versailles Treaty, Section XI, Article 100, Free City of Danzig. (GB 3)… VIII 290

*TC-15 Arbitration Treaty between Germany and Poland at Locarno, 16 October 1925. (GB 16)… VIII 331

*TC-18 Declaration Concerning wars of aggression; resolution of 3rd Committee of League of Nations, 24 September 1927. (GB 17)… VIII 357

*TC-19 Kellogg-Briand Pact at Paris. 1929 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part II, No.9,pp.97-101. (GB 18)… VIII 359

*TC-21 German-Polish Declaration, 26 January 1934. (GB 24)… VIII 368

*TC-28 German assurance to Czechoslovakia, 26 September 1938, from Documents of German Politics, Part VI,pp.345-346. (GB 22)… VIII 378

*TC-29 German assurances to Poland, 26 September 1938, from Documents of German Politics, Part VI,p.336. (GB 32)… VIII 378

*TC-53-A Marginal note to decree of final incorporation of Memel with German Reich, 23 March 1939, from Documents of German Politics, Part VII,p.552. (GB 4)… VIII 408

*TC-54 Proclamation of the Fuehrer to German Armed Forces, 1 September 1939. (GB 73)… VIII 408

*TC-70 Hitler’s Reichstag Speech concerning agreement with Poland, 30 January 1934, from Voelkischer Beobachter, 31 January 1934. (GB 25)… VIII 433

*TC-71 Reports of British Consul in Danzig, July 1939. (GB 47)… VIII 434

*TC-72 No. 13 British Blue Book. Hitler’s Reichstag speech, 28 April 1939. (GB 43)… VIII 438

*TC-72 No. 14 British Blue Book. German memorandum renouncing 1934 agreement, 28 April 1939. (GB 42)… VIII 441

*TC-72 No. 16 British Blue Book. Polish Government’s reply, 5 May 1939, to 28 April memo. (GB 44)… VIII 445

*TC-72 No. 17 British Blue Book. British Prime Minister’s statement in House of Commons, 31 March 1939. (GB 39)… VIII 450

*TC-72 No. 18 British Blue Book. Anglo-Polish communiqué issued 6 April 1939. (GB 40)… VIII 450

*TC-72 No. 53 British Blue Book. Report of British Ambassador, Warsaw, 26 August 1939. (GB 51)… VIII 451

*TC-72 No. 54 British Blue Book. Report of British Ambassador, Warsaw, 26 August 1939. (GB 52)… VIII 452

*TC-72 No. 55 British Blue Book. Report of British Ambassador, Warsaw, 27 August 1939. (GB 53)… VIII 452

*TC-72 No. 56 British Blue Book. British Prime Minister’s letter to Hitler, 22 August 1939. (GB 55)… VIII 453

*TC-72 No. 60 British Blue Book. Hitler’s reply to British Prime minister, 23 August 1939. (GB 56)… VIII 455

*TC-72 No. 62 British Blue Book. Danzig Senate Decree appointing Forster Head of State, 23 August 1939. (GB 50)… VIII 457

*TC-72 No. 68 British Blue Book. Hitler’s verbal communiqué to Sir Neville Henderson, 25 August 1939. (GB 65)… VIII 458

*TC-72 No. 74 British Blue Book. British Government’s reply, 28 August 1939, to Hitler’s message of 25 August. (GB 66)… VIII 460

*TC-72 No. 75 British Blue Book. Hitler and Sir N. Henderson conversation, 28 August 1939. (GB 67)… VIII 463

*TC-72 No. 78 British Blue Book. Hitler’s reply to British Government, 29 August 1939. (GB 68)… VIII 466

*TC-72 No. 79 British Blue Book. Hitler and Sir N. Henderson conversation, 29 August 1939. (GB 69)… VIII 469

*TC-72 No. 89 British Blue Book. British Government’s reply, 30 August 1939, to German communication of 29 August. (GB 70)… VIII 470

*TC-72 No. 92 British Blue Book. Ribbentrop and Sir N. Henderson conversation, midnight 30 August 1939. (GB 71)… VIII 472

*TC-72 No. 110 British Blue Book. British Government’s ultimatum, 1 September 1939. (GB 74)… VIII 473

TC-72 No. 113 British Blue Book. Copy German proposals handed to Sir N. Henderson 9:15 P.M., 31 August 1939… VIII 474

TC-72 No. 118 British Blue Book. British Government’s final ultimatum, 3 September 1939… VIII 474

*TC-72 No. 124 British Blue Book. President Roosevelt’s appeal to Hitler, 24 August 1939. (GB 59)… VIII 475

*TC-72 No. 126 British Blue Book. President Moscicki’s reply to President Roosevelt, 25 August 1939. (GB 60)… VIII 476

*TC-72 No. 127 British Blue Book. President Roosevelt’s second appeal to Hitler, 25 August 1939. (GB 61)… VIII 447

*TC-72 No. 139 British Blue Book. The Pope’s appeal, 24 August 1939. (GB 62)… VIII 477

*TC-72 No. 141 British Blue Book. The Pope’s appeal, 31 August 1939. (GB 63)… VIII 480

*TC-73 No. 33 Polish White Book. German-Polish communiqué, 5 November 1937. (GB 27)… VIII 480

*TC-73 No. 44 Polish White Book. Lipski, Ribbentrop luncheon, conversation, 24 October 1938. (GB 27-A)… VIII 483

*TC-73 No. 45 Polish White book. Beck’s instructions to Lipski, 31 October 1938. (GB 27-B)… VIII 484

*TC-73 No. 48 Polish White Book. Beck and Hitler conversation, 5 January 1939. (GB 34)… VIII 486

*TC-73 No. 49 Polish White Book. Beck and Ribbentrop conversation, 6 January 1939. (GB 35)… VIII 488

*TC-73 No. 57 Polish White Book. Hitler’s Reichstag speech, 30 January 3939. (GB 37)… VIII 488

*TC-73 No. 61 Polish White Book. Ribbentrop and Lipski conversation, 21 March 1939. (GB 38)… VIII 489

*TC-73 No. 91 Polish White Book. Anglo-Polish Agreement, 25 August 1939. (GB 57)… VIII 492

*TC-73 No. 112 Polish White Book. Ribbentrop-Lipski conversation, 31 August 1939. (GB 72)… VIII 494

*TC-73 No. 113 Polish White Book. German broadcast 9 P.M. 31 August 1939… VIII 495

*TC-75 Memo for the Fuehrer, 2 January 1938, concerning Anglo-German relations. (GB 28)… VIII 513

*TC-76 Note for Reich minister, 26 August 1938. (GB 31)… VIII 515

*TC-77 Memorandum of conversation between Hitler, Ribbentrop and Ciano, 12 August 1939. (GB 48)… VIII 516

*TC-78 French Prime Minister’s letter to Hitler, 26 August 1939. (GB 58)… VIII 529

*TC-79 Hitler’s reply to French Prime Minister, 27 August 1939. (GB 58)… VIII 531

*TC-90 Goering’s interrogation, 29 August 1945. (GB 64)… VIII 534

*TC-91 Ribbentrop’s interrogation, 29 August 1945. (GB 276)… VIII 535

Affidavit A Affidavit of Erwin Lahousen, 21 January 1946, substantially the same as his testimony on direct Examination before the International Military Tribunal at Nurnberg 30 November and 1 December 1945… VIII 587

*Chart No. 10 1938 Proposals for Luftwaffe Expansion 1938-1950. (L-43; GB 29)… VIII 779

**Chart No. 12 German Aggression. (Enlargement displayed to Tribunal.)… VIII 781

**Chart No. 13 Violations of Treaties, Agreements and Assurances. (Enlargement displayed to Tribunal.)… VIII 782


In the early hours of the morning of 9 April 1940 Nazi Germany invaded Norway and Denmark. Those invasions constituted wars of aggression, and also wars in violation of international treaties, agreements, and assurances.

A. Treaties and Assurances Violated.

The invasions constituted violations of the Hague convention and of the Kellogg-Briand Pact. In addition there were specific agreements between German and Norway and Denmark. There was the Treaty of Arbitration and conciliation between Germany and Denmark, which was signed at Berlin on 2 June, 1926 (TC-17). The first Article of that treaty is in these terms:

“The Contracting Parties undertake to submit to the procedure of arbitration or conciliation, in conformity with the present Treaty, all disputes of any nature whatsoever which may arise between German and Denmark and which it has not been possible to settle within a reasonable period by diplomacy or to bring with the consent of both Parties before the permanent Court of International Justice.

“Disputes for the solution of which a special procedure has been laid down in other Conventions in force between the Contracting Parties shall be settled in accordance with the provisions of such Conventions.” (TC-17)

The remaining Articles deal with the machinery for arbitration.

There was also the treaty of nonaggression between German and Denmark which was signed by Ribbentrop on 31 May 1939, ten weeks after the Nazi seizure of Czechoslovakia (TC-24). The preamble and Articles 1 and 2 read as follows:

“His Majesty the King of Denmark and Iceland and the Chancellor of the German Reich,

“Being firmly resolved to maintain peace between Denmark and German in all circumstances, have agreed to confirm this resolve by means of a treaty and have appointed as their Plenipotentiaries: His Majesty the King of Denmark and Iceland and the Chancellor of the German Reich.

“Article I: The Kingdom of Denmark and the German Reich shall in no case resort to war or to any other use of force on against the other.

“Should action of the kind referred to in Paragraph 1 be taken by a third Power against one of the Contracting Parties, the other Contracting party shall not support such action in any way.

“Article II: The Treaty shall come into force on the exchange of the instruments of ratification and shall remain in force for a period of ten years from that date.” (TC-24)

The Treaty is dated 31 May 1939. At the bottom of the page there appears the signature of Ribbentrop. The invasion of Denmark by the Nazi forces less than a year after the signature of this treaty showed the utter worthlessness of treaties to which Ribbentrop put his signature.

With regard to Norway, Ribbentrop and the Nazi conspirators were party to a similar perfidy. Hitler gave an assurance to Denmark, Norway, and the Netherlands on 28 April 1939 (TC-30). That, of course, was after the annexation of Czechoslovakia had shaken the confidence of the world, and was presumably an attempt to Treaty to reassure the Scandinavian states. Hitler said:

“I have given binding declarations to a large number of States. None of these States can complain that even a trace by German. None of the Scandinavian statesmen, for example, can contend that a request has ever been put to them by the German Government or by the German public opinion which was incompatible with the sovereignty and integrity of their State.

“I was pleased that a number of European States availed themselves of these declarations by the German Government to express and emphasize their desire too for absolute neutrality. This applies to Holland, Belgium, Switzerland, Denmark, etc,” (TC-30)

A further assurance was given by the Nazi Government on 2 September 1939, the day after the Nazi invasion of Poland. On that day an aide memoire was handed to the Norwegian Foreign Minister by the German Minister in Oslo. It reads:

“The German Reich Government is determined, in view of the friendly relations which exist between Norway and Germany, under no circumstances to prejudice the inviolability and integrity of Norway and to respect the territory of the Norwegian state. In making this declaration the Reich Government naturally expect, on its side, that Norway will observe an unimpeachable neutrality towards the Reich and will not tolerate any breaches of Norwegian neutrality by any third party which might occur. Should the attitude of the Royal Norwegian Government differ from this so that any such breach of neutrality by a third party recurs, the Reich Government would then obviously be compelled to safeguard the interests of the Reich in such a way as the resulting situation might dictate.” (TC-31)

There followed a further German assurance to Norway in speech by Hitler on 6 October 1939 in which he said:

“Germany has never had any conflicts of interest or even points of controversy with the Northern States; neither has she any today. Sweden and Norway have both been offered nonaggression pacts by Germany and have both refused them solely because they do not feel themselves threatened in any way.” (TC-31)

These treaties and assurances were the diplomatic background to the Nazi aggression on Norway and Denmark. These assurances (685964-46-48)were simply given to lull suspicion and cause the intended victims of Nazi aggression to be unprepared to meet the Nazi attack. For it is now known that as early as October 1939 the conspirators were Plotting the invasion of Norway, and that the most active conspirators in that plot were Raeder and Rosenberg.

B. Early Planning for Invasion.

The Norwegian invasion is in one respect not a typical Nazi aggression, in that Hitler had to be persuaded to embark upon it. The chief instruments of persuasion were Raeder and Rosenberg; Raeder because he thought Norway strategically important, and because he coveted glory for his Navy; Rosenberg because of his political connections in Norway, which he sought to develop. And in the Norwegian, Vidkun Quisling, Rosenberg found a very model of the Fifth Column agent.

The early stages of the Nazi conspiracy to invade Norway are disclosed in a letter which Raeder wrote on 10 January 1944 to Admiral Assmann, the official German Naval historian (C-66). It is headed “Memorandum for Admiral Assmann for his own in formation; not to be used for publications.” The first part deals with “Barbarossa” (the plan to invade Russia). The next part is headed “(b) Weseruebung,” which was the code name for the invasion of Norway and Denmark. The following is a pertinent passage from the letter:

“During the weeks preceding the report on the 10th of October 1939, I was in correspondence with Admiral Carls, who, in a detailed letter to me, first pointed out the importance of an occupation of the Norwegian coast by Germany. I passed this letter on to C/SKI (the Chief of Staff of the Navel War Staff) for their information and prepared some notes based no this letter for my report to the Fuehrer, which I made on the 10th of October 1939, since my opinion was identical with that of Admiral Carls, while at that time the SKI was more dubious about the matter. In these notes, I stressed the disadvantages which an occupation of nr by the British would have for us-control of the approaches to the Baltic, outflanking of our naval operations and of air attacks on Britain, pressure on Sweden. I also stressed the advantages for us of the occupation of occupation of the Norwegian coast-outlet to the North Atlantic, no possibility of a British mine barrier, as in the year 1917-18. naturally at the time, only the coast and bases were considered; I included Narvik, though Admiral Carls, in the course of our correspondence thought that Narvik could be excluded. The Fuehrer saw at once the significance of the Norwegian problem; he asked me to leave the notes and stated that he wished to consider the question himself.” (C-66)

This report of Raeder shows that the evolution of this Nazi campaign against Norway affords a good example of the participation of the German High Command in the Nazi conspiracy to attack inoffensive neighbors.

Before this report of October 1939 was made to the Fuehrer, Raeder sought a second opinion on the Norwegian invasion. On 3 October 1939, he made out a questionnaire headed, “Gaining of Bases in Norway (extract from War Diary)” (C-122). It reads:

“The Chief of the Naval War Staff considers it necessary that the Fuehrer be informed as soon as possible of the opinions of the Naval War Staff on the possibilities of extending the operational base to the North. It must be ascertained whether it is possible to gain bases in Norway under the combined pressure of Russia and Germany, with the aim of improving our strategic and operational position. The following questions must be given consideration:

“(a) What places in Norway can be considered as bases?

“(b) Can bases be gained by military force against Norway’s will, if it is impossible to carry this out without fighting?

“(c) What are the possibilities of defense after the occupation?

“(d) Will the harbors have to be developed completely as bases, or have they already advantages suitable for supply position?”

("F.O.U.-boats” [a reference to Doenitz] “already considers such harbors extremely useful as equipment and supply bases for Atlantic U-boats to call at temporarily.")

“(e) What decisive advantages would exist for the conduct of the war at sea in gaining bases in North Denmark, e.g. Skagen?” (C-122)

A memorandum written by Doenitz on Norwegian bases presumably relates to the questionnaire of Raeder, which was in circulation about that time. Doenitz’s document is headed, “Flag officer Submarines, Operations Division,” and is marked “Most Secret.” The subject is “Base in Norway.” Then there are set out “suppositions", “advantages and disadvantages", and then “conclusions". The last paragraph (III) reads:

“The following is therefore proposed:

“(1) Establishment of a base in Trondheim, including:

“a. Possibility of supplying fuel, compressed air, oxygen, provisions.

“b. Repair opportunities for overhaul work after an encounter.

“c. Good opportunities for accommodating U-boat crews.

“d. Flak protection, L.A. armament, petrol and M/S units.

“Secondly, establishment of the possibility of supplying fuel in Narvik as an alternative.” (C-5)

In October 1939 Hitler was merely considering the Norwegian aggression and had not yet committed himself to it. Raeder persevered in pressing his point of view with regard to Norway, and at this stage he found a powerful ally in Rosenberg.

C. Use of the Fifth Column: Quisling.

The Nazi employment of traitors and the stimulation of treachery as a political weapon are now proven historical facts. Should further proof be required, it is found in a “Brief Report on Activities of the Foreign Affairs Bureau of the Party (Aussenpolitisches Amt der NSDAP) from 1933 to 1943” (007-PS). This was Rosenberg’s Bureau. The report reads:

“When the Foreign Affairs Bureau (Aussenpolitische Amt) was established on the 1st of April 1933, the Fuehrer directed that it should not be expanded to a large bureaucratic agency, but should rather develop its effectiveness through initiative and suggestions.

“Corresponding to the extraordinarily hostile attitude adopted by the Soviet Government in Moscow from the beginning, the newly-established Bureau devoted particular attention to internal conditions in the Soviet Union, as well as to the effects of Word Bolshevism primarily in other European countries. It entered into contact with the most variegated groups inclining towards National Socialism in combatting Bolshevism, focussing its main attention on Nations and States bordering on the Soviet Union; on the other hand, those Nations and states constituted an Insulating Ring encircling the Bolshevist neighbor; on the other hand they were the laterals of German living space and took up a flanking position towards the Western Powers, especially Great Britain. In order to wield the desired influence by one means or another, the Bureau was compelled to use the most varying methods, taking into consideration the completely different living conditions, the ties of blood, intellect and history of the movements observed by the Bureau in those counties. “In Scandinavia an outspokenly procedure-Anglo-Saxon attitude, based on economic consideration, had become progressively more dominant after the Word War of 1914-18. There the Bureau put the entire emphasis on influencing general cultural relations with the Nordic peoples. For this purpose it took the Nordic Society in Luebeck under its protection. The Reich conventions of this society were attended by may outstanding personalities, especially from Finland. While there were no openings for purely political cooperation in Sweden and Denmark, an association based on Greater Germanic ideology was found in Norway. Very close relations were established with its founder, which led to further consequences.” (007-PS)

There follows an account of the activity of Rosenberg’s Bureau in various parts of the world. The last paragraph of the main body of the report reads in part:

“With the outbreak of war, the Bureau was entitled to consider its task as terminated. The exploitation of the many personal connections in many lands can be resumed under a different guise.” (007-PS)

The Annex to the report shows what the “exploitation of personal connections” involved. Annex One to the document is headed, “To Brief Report on Activities of the Foreign Affairs Bureau of the Nazi Party from 1933 to 1943.” The subheading is “The Political Preparation of the Military Occupation of Norway During the War Years 1939-1940". The annex reads:

“As previously mentioned, of all political groupings in Scandinavia, only 'Nasjonal Samling', led in Norway by the former Minister of War and Major of the Reserve, Vidkun Quisling, deserved serious political attention. This was a fighting political group, possessed by the idea of a Greater Germanic Community. Naturally, all ruling powers were hostile and attempted to prevent, by any means, its success liaison with quisling and attentively observed the attacks he conducted with tenacious energy on the middle class, which had been taken in tow by the English.

“From the beginning, it appeared probable that without revolutionary events, which would stir the population from their former attitude, no successful progress of Nasjonal Samling was to be expected. During the winter 1938-1939, Quisling was privately visited by a member of the Bureau.

“When the political situation in Europe came to a head in 1939, Quisling made an appearance at the convention of the Nordic Society in Luebeck in June. He expounded his conception of the situation, and his apprehensions concerning Norway. He emphatically drew attention to the geopolitically decisive importance of Norway in the Scandinavian area, and to the advantages that would accrue to the power dominating the Norwegian coast in case of a conflict between the Greater German Reich and Great Britain.

“Assuming that his statement would be of special interest to the Marshal of the Reich Goering for aero-strategical reasons, Quisling was referred to State Secretary Koerner by the Bureau. The Staff Director of the Bureau handed the Chief of the Reich Chancellery a memorandum for transmission to the Fuehrer.” (007-PS)

This document is another illustration of the close interweaving between the political and military leadership of the Nazi State. Raeder, in his report to Admiral Assmann, admitted his collaboration with Rosenberg (C-66). The second paragraph of the Raeder report, headed “Weseruebung,” reads as follows:

“In the further developments, I was supported by Commander Schreiber, Naval Attaché in Oslo and the M-Chief personally-in conjunction with the Rosenberg Organization. Thus, we got in touch with Quisling and Hagelin, who came to Berlin at the beginning of December and were taken to the Fuehrer by me-with the approval of Reichsleiter Rosenberg.” (C-66)

The details of the manner in which Raeder made contact personally with Quisling are not clear. In a report from Rosenberg to Raeder, however, the full extent of Quisling’s preparedness for treachery and his potential usefulness to the Nazi aggressors was reported and disclosed to Raeder. The second paragraph of this report reads as follows:

“The reasons for a coup, on which Quisling made a report would be provided by the fact that the Storthing (the Norwegian Parliament) had, in defense of the constitution, passed a resolution prolonging its own life which is to become operative on January 12th. Quisling still retains in his capacity as a long-standing officer and a former Minister of War, the closest relations with the Norwegian Army. He a short time previously from the Commanding Officer in Narvik, Colonel Sunlo. In this letter, Colonel Sunlo frankly lays emphasis on the fact that, if things went on as they were going at present, Norway was finished.” (C-65)

Then came the details of a plot to overthrow the Government of Norway by the traitor Quisling, in collaboration with Rosenberg:

“A plan has been put forward which deals with the possibility of a coup, and which provides for a number of selected Norwegians to be trained in Germany with all possible speed for such a purpose, being allotted their exact tasks, and provided with experienced and die-hard National Socialists, who are practiced in such operations. These trained men should then proceed with all speed to Norway, where details would then require to be further discussed. Some important centers in Oslo would have to be taken over immediately, and at the same time the German Fleet, together with suitable contingents of the German Army, would go into operation when summoned specially by the new Norwegian Government in a specified bay at the approaches to Oslo. Quisling has no doubts that such a coup, having been carried out with instantaneous success-would immediately bring him the approval of those sections of the Army with which he at present has connections, and thus it goes without saying that he has never discussed a political fight with them. As far as the King is concerned, he believes that he would respect it as an accomplished fact. * * *

“Quisling gives figures of the number of German troops required which accord with German calculations.” (C-65)

Subsequent developments are indicated in a report by Raeder of his meeting with Hitler on 12 December 1939 at 1200 hours, in the presence of Keitel, Jodl and Puttkammer, who at this time was adjutant to Hitler. The report is headed “Norwegian Question", and the first sentence reads:

“C-in-C Navy” (Raeder) “has received Quisling and Hagelin. Quisling creates the impression of being reliable.” (C-64)

There then follows, in the next two paragraphs, a statement of Quisling’s views. The fourth paragraph reads:

“The Fuehrer thought of speaking to Quisling personally so that he might form an impression of him. He wanted to see Rosenberg once more beforehand, as the latter has known Quisling for a long while. C-in-c Navy” [Raeder] “suggests should obtain permission to make plans with Quisling for the preparation and carrying out of the occupation.

“(a) By peaceful means; that is to say, German forces summoned by Norway, or

“(b) To agree to do so by force.” (C-64)

It was at a meeting on 12 December that Raeder made the above report to Hitler.

Raeder’s record of these transactions reports the next event:

“Thus, we got in touch with Quisling and Hagelin, who came to Berlin at the beginning of December and were taken to the Fuehrer by me, with the approval of Reichsleiter Rosenberg.” (C-66)

A note at the bottom of the page states:

“At the crucial moment, R” (presumably Rosenberg) “hurt his foot, so that I visited him in his house on the morning of the 14th of December.” (C-66)

That is Raeder’s note, and it indicates the extent of his contact in this conspiracy.

The report continues:

“On the grounds of the Fuehrer’s discussion with Quisling and Hagelin on the afternoon of the 14th of December, the Fuehrer gave the order that the preparations for the Norwegian operation were to be made by the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces.

“Until that moment, the Naval War Staff had taken no part in the development of the Norwegian question, and continued to be somewhat skeptical about it. The preparations, which were undertaken by Captain Kranke in the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces, were founded, however, on a memorandum of the Naval War Staff.” (C-66)

Raeder’s note referring to the “crucial” moment was an appropriate one, for on the same day that it was written, 14 December, Hitler gave the order that preparations for the Norwegian operation were to be begun by the Supreme Command of the Armed Force.

Rosenberg’s report on the activities of his organization deals with further meetings between Quisling and the Nazi chiefs in December. The extract reads:

“Quisling was granted a personal audience with the Fuehrer on 16 December, and once more on 18 December. In the course of this audience the Fuehrer emphasized repeatedly that he personally would prefer a completely neutral attitude of Norway, as well as of the whole of Scandinavia. He did not intend to enlarge the theatre of war and to draw still other nations into the conflict. * * *”

“Should the enemy attempt to extend the war however, with the aim of achieving further throttling and intimidation of the Greater German Reich, he would be compelled to gird himself against such an undertaking. In order to counterbalance increasing enemy propaganda activity, he promised Quisling financial support of his movement, which is based on Greater German ideology. Military exploitation of the question now raised was assigned to the special military staff, which transmitted special missions to Quisling. Reichsleiter Rosenberg was to take over political exploitation. Financial expenses were to be defrayed by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs [Ribbentrop’s organization], the Minister for Foreign Affairs [Ribbentrop] being kept continuously informed by the Foreign Affairs Bureau [Rosenberg’s organization]. “Chief of Section Scheidt was charged with maintaining liaison with Quisling. In the course of further developments he was assigned to the Naval Attaché in Oslo. Orders were given that the whole matter be handled with strictest secrecy.” (007-PS)

Here again is a further indication of the close link between the Nazi politicians and the Nazi service chiefs.

D. Operational Planning

The information available on the events of January 1940 is not full, but it is clear that the agitation of Raeder and Rosenberg bore fruit. An order signed by Keitel, dated 27 January 1940, marked “Most Secret, five copies; reference, Study 'N'", (an earlier code name for the Weseruebung preparations) and classified “Access only through an officer,” stated:

“C-in-C of the Navy [Raeder] has a report on this * * *

“The Fuehrer and Supreme Commander of the Armed Force wishes that Study 'N' should be further worked on under my direct and personal guidance, and in the closest conjunction with the general war policy. For these reasons the Fuehrer has commissioned me to take over the direction of further preparations.

“A working staff has been formed at the Supreme Command of the Armed Force Headquarters for this purpose, and this represents at the same time the nucleus of future operational staff.”

“All further plans will be made under the cover name 'Weseruebung.'” (C-63)

The importance of that document, to the signature of Keitel upon it, and to the date of this important decision, is this: Prior to this date, 27 January 1940, the planning of the various aspects of the invasion of Norway and Denmark had been confined to a relatively small group, whose aim had been to persuade Hitler of the desirability of undertaking the operation. The issuance of this directive of Keitel’s on 27 January 1940, was the signal that the Supreme Command of the German Armed Force, the OKW, had accepted the proposition of the group that was pressing for the Norwegian adventure, and had turned the combined resources of the German military machine to the task of producing practical and coordinated plans for the Norwegian operation. From January onward the operational planning for the invasion of Norway and Denmark was started through the normal channels.

Certain entries in the diary of Jodl reveal how the preparations progressed (1809-PS). The entry for 6 February commences:

“New idea: Carry out 'H' [Hartmundt, another code word for the Norwegian and Danish invasion] and Weser Exercise only and guarantee Belgium’s neutrality for the duration of the war.” (1809-PS)

The entry for 21 February reads:

“Fuehrer has talked with General von Falkenhorst, and charges him with preparation of 'Weser Exercise.' Falkenhorst accepts gladly. Instructions issued to the three branches of the armed forces.” (1809-PS)

The entry for 28 February reads:

“I propose, first to the Chief of OKW and then to the Fuehrer that Case Yellow [the code name for the invasion of the Netherlands] and Weser Exercise [the invasion of Norway and Denmark] must be prepared in such a way that they will be independent of one another as regards both time and forces employed. The Fuehrer completely agrees, if this is in any way possible.” (1809-PS)

It will be observed that the new idea of 6 February, that the neutrality of Belgium might be preserved, had been abandoned by 28 February.

The entry for 29 February reads;

“Fuehrer also wishes to have a strong task force in Copenhagen and a plan, elaborated in detail, showing how individual coastal batteries are to be captured by shock troops. Warlimont, Chef Landesverteidigung, instructed to make out immediately the order of the Army, Navy, and Air Force, and Director of Armed Forces to make out a similar order regarding the strengthening of the staff.” (1809-PS)

Then came Hitler’s order to complete the preparations for the invasion of Norway and Denmark (C-174). It Bears the date of 1 March 1940, and reads as follows:

“The Fuehrer and Supreme commander of the Armed Forces, Most Secret.

“Directive for Fall Weseruebung.

“The development of the situation in Scandinavia requires the making of all preparations for the occupation of Denmark and Norway by a part of the German Armed Forces-Fall Weseruebung. This operation should prevent British encroachment on Scandinavia and the Baltic; further, it should guarantee our ore base in Sweden and give our Navy and Air Force a wider start line against Britain.

“In view of our military and political power in comparison with that of the Scandinavian States, the force to be employed in the Fall Weseruebung will be kept as small as possible. The numerical weakness will be balanced by daring actions and surprise execution. On principle we will do our utmost to make the operation appear as a peaceful occupation, the object of which is the military protection of the neutrality of the Scandinavian States. Corresponding demands will be transmitted to the Governments at the beginning of the occupation. If necessary, demonstrations by the Navy and the Air Force will provide the necessary emphasis. If, in spite of this, resistance should be met with, all military means will be used to crush it.”

“I put in charge of the preparations and the conduct of the operation against Denmark and Norway the commanding General of the 21st Army Corps, General von Falkenhorst. * * *”

“The crossing of the Danish border and the landings in Norway must take place simultaneously. I emphasize that the operations must be prepared as quickly as possible. In case the enemy seizes the initiative against Norway, we must be able to apply immediately our own counter-measures.

“It is most important that the Scandinavian States as well as the Western opponents should be taken by surprise by our measures. All preparations, particularly those of transport and of readiness, drafting and embarkation of the troops, must be made with this factor in mind.

“In case the preparations for embarkation can no longer be kept secret, the leaders and the troops will be deceived with fictitious objectives.” (C-174)

The section on “The Occupation of Denmark” which is given the code name of “Weseruebung Sued", provides:

“The task of Group XXI: Occupation by surprise of Jutland and of Fuenen immediately after occupation of Seeland.

“Added to this, having secured the most important places, the Group will break through as quickly as possible from Fuenen to Skagen and to the east coast.” (C-174)

There then follow other instructions with regard to the operation.

The section on “The Occupation of Norway", given the code name of “Weseruebung Nord", Provides:

“The task of the Group XXI: Capture by surprise of the most important places on the coast by sea and airborne operations.

“The Navy will take over the preparation and carrying out of the transport by sea of the landing troops. * * * The Air Force, after the occupation has been completed, will ensure air defense and will make use of Norwegian bases for air warfare against Britain.” (C-174)

Whilst these preparations were being made, and just prior to the final decision of Hitler, reports were coming in through Rosenberg’s organization from Quisling. The third paragraph in Annex I, the section dealing with Norway, has this information:

“Quisling’s reports, transmitted to his representative in Germany, Hagelin, and dealing with the possibility of intervention by the Western Powers in Norway with tacit consent of the Norwegian Government, became more urgent by January. These increasingly better substantiated communications were in sharpest contrast to the views of the German Legation in Oslo, which relied on the desire for neutrality of the then Norwegian Nygardszvold Cabinet, and was convinced of that Government’s intention and readiness to defend Norway’s neutrality. No one in Norway knew that Quisling’s representative for Germany maintained closest relations to him; he therefore succeeded in gaining a foothold within governmental circles of the Nygardszvold cabinet and in listening to the cabinet members' views. Hagelin transmitted what he had heard to the Bureau [Rosenberg’s bureau], which conveyed the news to the Fuehrer through Reichsleiter Rosenberg. During the night of the 16th to 17th of February, English destroyers attacked the German steamer 'Altmark' in Jessingjord. * * *” (007-PS)

(That is a reference to the action by the British destroyer Cossack against the German naval auxiliary vessel Altmark, which was carrying three hundred British prisoners, captured on the high seas, to Germany through Norwegian territorial waters. The position of the British delegation with regard to that episode is that the use that was being made by the Altmark of Norwegian territorial waters was in fact a flagrant abuse in itself of Norwegian neutrality, and that the action taken by H.M.S Cossack, which was restricted to rescuing the three hundred British prisoners on board, no attempt being made to destroy the Altmark or to capture the armed guards on board her, was fully justified under international law.)

The Rosenberg report continues:

“The Norwegian Government’s reaction to this question permitted the conclusion that certain agreements had been covertly arrived at between the Norwegian Government and the Allies. Such assumption was confirmed by reports of Section Scheidt, who in turn derived his information from Hagelin and Quisling. But even after this incident the German Legation in Oslo championed the opposite view, and went on record as believing in the good intentions of the Norwegian.” (007-PS)

And so the Nazi Government preferred the reports of the traitor Quisling to the considered judgment of German diplomatic representatives in Norway. The result of the receipt of reports of that kind was the Hitler decision to invade Norway and Denmark. The culminating details in the preparations for the invasion are again found in Jodl’s diary. The entry for 3 March relates:

“The Fuehrer expressed himself very sharply on the necessity of a swift entry into N [Norway] with strong forces.

“No delay by any branch of the armed forces. Very rapid acceleration of the attack necessary.” (1809-PS)

The last entry for 3 March reads:

“Fuehrer decides to carry out 'Weser Exercise' before case 'Yellow' with a few days interval.” (1809-PS)

Thus, the important issue of strategy which had been concerning the German high Command for some time had been concerning the German High Command for some time had been decided by this date, and the fate of Scandinavian was to be sealed before the fate of the Low Country. It will be observed from those entries of 3 March that by that date Hitler had become an enthusiastic convert to the idea of aggression against Norway.

The entry in Jodl’s diary for 5 March reads:

“Big conference with the three commanders-in-chief about 'Weser Exercise.' Field Marshal in a rage because not consulted till now. Won’t listen to anyone and wants to show that all preparations so far made are worthless.

“Result: (a) Stronger forces to Narvik.

“(b) Navy to leave ships in the ports (Hipper of Luetzow in Trondheim).

“(c) Christiansand can be left out at first.

“(d) Six divisions envisaged for Norway.

“(e) A foothold to be gained immediately in Copenhagen.” (1809-PS)

The entry for 13 March in one of the most remarkable in the documentation of this case.

“Fuehrer does not give order yet for 'W' [Weser Exercise].

He is still looking for an excuse.” (1809-PS)

The entry of the next day, 14 March, shows a similar preoccupation on the part of Hitler with the search for an excuse for this aggression. It reads:

“English keep vigil in the North Sea with fifteen to sixteen submarines; doubtful whether reason to safeguard own operations or prevent operations by Germans. Fuehrer has not yet decided what reason to give for 'Weser Exercise.'” (1809-pS)

The entry for 21 March reads:

“Misgivings of Task Force 21 [Falkenhorst’s Force, detailed to conduct the invasion] about the long interval between taking up readiness positions at 05.30 hours and close of diplomatic negotiations. Fuehrer rejects any earlier negotiations, as otherwise calls for help go out to England and America. If resistance is put up it must be ruthlessly broken. The political plenipotentiaries must emphasize the military measures taken, and even exaggerate them.” (1809-PS)

The entry of 28 March reads:

“Individual naval officers seem to be lukewarm concerning the Weser Exercise and need a stimulus. Also Falkenhorst and the other two commanders are worrying about matters which are none of their business. Franke sees more disadvantages than advantages.

“In the evening the Fuehrer visits the map room and roundly declares tat he won’t stand for the nary clearing out of the Norwegian ports right away. Narvik, Trondheim and Oslo will have to remain occupied by naval forces.” (1809-PS)

The entry for 2 April reads:

“Commanders-in-chief of the Air Force, Commanders-in-chief of the Navy, and general von Falkenhorst with the Fuehrer. All confirm preparations completed. Fuehrer orders carrying out of the Weser Exercise for April 9th.” (1809-PS)

From the large number of operation orders that were issued in connection with the aggression against Norway and Denmark, two may be cited to illustrate the extent of the secrecy and deception that was used by the conspirators in the course of that aggression. The first dated 4 April 1940, reads in part:

“* * * The barrage-breaking vessels (Sperrbrechers) will penetrate inconspicuously, and with lights on, into Oslo Fjord, disguised as merchant steamers.

“Challenge from coastal signal stations and lookouts are to be answered by the deceptive use of the name of English steamers. I lay particular stress on the importance of not giving away the operation before zero hour.” (C-115)

An order for reconnaissance forces, dated 24 March 1940, entitled “Behavior during entrance into the harbor,” reads in part:

“The disguise as British craft must be kept up as long as possible, All challenges in Morse by Norwegian ships will be answered in English. In answer to questions a text with something like the following content will be chosen:

“Calling at Bergen for a short visit; no hostile intent.

“Challenges to be answered with name of British warships:

“Koeln…H.M.S. Cairo

“Koenigsberg…H.M.S. Calcutta

“Bromso…H.M.S. Faulkner

“Karl Peters…H.M.S. Halcyon

“Leopard…British destroyer

“Wolf…British destroyer

“E-boats…British motor torpedo boats

“Arrangements are to be made enabling British war flags to be illuminated. Continual readiness for making smoke.” (C-115)

An order dated 24 March 1940, classified “Most Secret,” provides:

“Following is laid down as guiding principle should one of our own units find itself compelled to answer the challenge of passing craft. To challenge in case of the 'Koeln' H.M.S. Cairo. Then to order to stop: (1) Please repeat last signal. (2) Impossible to understand your signal. In case of a warning shot: Stop firing. British ship. Good friend. In case of an inquiry as to destination and purpose: Gong Bergen. Chasing German steamers.” (C-115)

Doenitz’s order in connection with this operation is headed “Top Secret, Operation Order 'Hartmut.'”

“Occupation of Denmark and Norway. This order comes into force on the codeword 'Hartmut.' With its coming into force the orders hitherto valid for the boats taking part lose their validity.

“The day and hour are designated as 'Weser-Day' and 'Weser-Hour', and the whole operation is known as “Weseruebung'.

“The operation ordered by the codeword has its objective the rapid surprise landing of troops in Norway. Simultaneously Denmark will be occupied from the Baltic and from the land side. * *

* The naval force will as they enter the harbor fly the British flag until the troops have landed, except presumably at Narvik.” (C-151)

E. Nazi Justification of Invasion.

On 9 April 1940 the Nazi onslaught on the unsuspecting and almost unarmed people of Norway and Denmark was launched. When the invasions had already begun, a German memorandum was handed to the governments of Norway and Denmark attempting to justify the German action (TC-55). That memorandum alleges that England and France were guilty in their maritime warfare of breaches of international law; that Britain and France are making plans themselves to invade and occupy Norway; and that the government of Norway was prepared to acquiesce in such a situation. The memorandum further states:

“The German troops therefore do not set foot on Norwegian soil as enemies. The German High Command does not intend to make use of the points occupied by German troops as bases for operations against England, so long as it is not forced to do so by measures taken by England and France. German military operations aim much more exclusively at protecting the north against proposed occupation of Norwegian strong points by English-French forces.” (TC-55)

In connection with that statement it may be recalled that in his operation order on 1 March Hitler had given orders to the Air Force to make use of Norwegian bases for air warfare against Britain. That was on 1 March. And this is the memorandum which was produced as an excuse on 9 April. The last two paragraphs of the German memorandum to Norway and Denmark are a classic Nazi combination of diplomatic hypocracy and military threat:

“The Reich Government thus expects that the Royal Norwegian Government and the Norwegian people will respond with understanding to the German measures and offer no resistance to it. Any resistance would have to be and would be broken by all possible means by the German forces employed, and would therefore lead only to absolutely useless bloodshed. The royal Norwegian Government is therefore requested to take all measures with the greatest speed to ensure that the advance of the German troops can take place without friction and difficulty. In the spirit of the good German-Norwegian relations that have always existed, the Reich Government declares to the Royal Norwegian Government that German has no intention of infringing by her measures the territorial integrity and political independence of the Kingdom of Norway now or in the future.” (TC-55)

What the Nazis meant by “protection of the kingdom of Norway” was shown by their conduct on 9 April.

A report by the Commander in Chief of the Royal Norwegian Forces states:

“* * * The Germans, considering the long lines of communications and the treat of the British Navy, clearly understood the necessity of complete surprise and speed in the attack. In order to paralyze the will of the Norwegian people to defend their country and at the same time to prevent allied intervention it was planned to capture all the more important towns along the coast simultaneously. Members of the Government and Parliament and other military and civilian people occupying important positions were to be arrested before organized resistance could be put into effect and the King was to be forced to form a new government with Quisling as the head.”

“The German attack came as a surprise and all the invaded towns along the coast were captured according to plan with only slight losses. In the Oslofjord, however, the cruiser 'Blucher', carrying General Engelbrecht and parts of his division, technical staffs and specialists who were to take over the control of Oslo, was sunk. The plan to capture the King and members of the Government and Parliament failed in spite of the surprise of the attack; resistance was organizes throughout the country.” (TC-56)

What happened in Denmark is described in a memorandum prepared by the Royal Danish Government (D-628). An extract form it reads:

“Extracts from the Memorandum concerning Germany’s attitude towards Denmark before and during the occupation, prepared by the Royal Danish Government.

“On the 9th of April, 1940 at 4.20 hours the German Minister appeared at the private residence of the Danish Minister for Foreign Affairs accompanied by the Air Attaché of the Legation. The appointment had been made by a telephone call from the German Legation to the Secretary General of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs at 4.00 o'clock the same morning. The Minister said at once that Germany had positive proof that Great Britain intended to occupy bases in Denmark and Norway. Germany had to safeguard Denmark against this. For this reason German soldiers were now crossing the frontier and landing at various points in Zealand including the port of Copenhagen; in a short time German bombers would be over Copenhagen; their orders were not to bomb until further notice. It was now up to the Danes to prevent resistance as any resistance would have the most terrible consequences. Germany would guarantee Denmark’s territorial integrity and political independence. Germany would not interfere with the internal government of Denmark, but wanted only to make sure of the neutrality of the country. For this purpose the presence of the German Wehrmacht in Denmark was required during the war.

“The Minister for Foreign Affairs declared in reply that the allegation concerning British plans to occupy Denmark was completely without foundation; there was no possibility of anything like that. The Minister for Foreign Affairs protested against the violation of Denmark’s neutrality which according to the German Minister’s statement was in progress. The Minister for Foreign Affairs declared further that he could not give a reply to the demands, which had to be submitted to the King and the Prime Minister, and further observed that the German Minister knew, as everybody else, that the Danish armed forces had orders to oppose violations of Denmark’s neutrality so that fighting presumably already took place in reply the German Minster expressed that the matter was very urgent, not least to avoid air bombardment.” (D-628)

What happened thereafter is described in dispatch from the British Minister in Copenhagen to the British Foreign Secretary (D-627). That dispatch reads:

“The actual events of the 9th April have been pieced together by members of my staff from actual eye-witnesses or from reliable information subsequently received and are given below. Early in the morning towards 5 o'clock three small German transports steamed into the approach to Copenhagen harbor, whilst a number of airplanes circled overhead. The northern battery, guarding the harbor approach, fired a warning shot at these planes when it was seen that they carried German markings. Apart from this, the Danes offered no further resistance, and the German vessels fastened alongside the quays in the Free Harbor. Some of these airplanes proceeded to drop leaflets over the town urging the population to keep calm and cooperate with the Germans. I enclose a specimen of this leaflet, which is written in a bastard Norwegian-Danish, a curiously un-German disregard of detail, together with a translation. Approximately 800 soldiers landed with full equipment, and marched to Kastellet, the old fortress of Copenhagen and now a barracks. The door was and rounded up all the Danish soldiers within, together with the womenfolk employed in the mess. The garrison offered no resistance, and it appears that they were taken completely by surprise. One officer tried to escape in a motor car, but his chauffeur was shot before they could get away. He died in hospital two days later. After seizing the barracks, a detachment was sent to Amalienborg, the King’s place, where they engaged the Danish sentries on guard, wounding three one of them fatally. Meanwhile, a large fleet of bombers flew over the city at low altitudes.”

“It has been difficult to ascertain exactly what occurred in Jutland. It is clear, however, that the enemy invaded Jutland from the south at dawn on the 9th April and were at first resisted by the Danish forces. Who suffered casualties. The chances of resistance were weakened by the extent to which the forces appear to have been taken by surprise. The chief permanent official of the Ministry of War, for instance, motored into Copenhagen on the morning of the 9 the April and drove blithely past a sentry who challenged him, in blissful ignorance that this was not one of is own men. It took a bullet, which passed through the lapels of his own men. It took a bullet, which passed through the lapels of his coat, to disillusion him.” (D-627)

The German memorandum to the Norwegian and Danish governments spoke of the German desire to maintain the territorial integrity and political independence of those two small countries. Two documents indicate the kind of territorial integrity and political independence the Nazi conspirators contemplated for the victims of their aggression. An entry in Jodl’s diary for 19 April reads:

“Renewed crisis. Envoy Braver is recalled: since Norway is at war with us, the task of the Foreign Office is finished. In the Fuehrer’s opinion, force has to be used. It is said that Gauleiter Terboven will be given a post. Field Marshal [presumably a reference to Goering] is moving in the same direction. He criticizes as defects that we didn’t take sufficiently energetic measures against the civilian population, that we could have seized electrical plant, that the Navy didn’t supply enough troops. The Air Force can’t do everything.” (1809-PS)

It will be seen from that entry and the reference to Gauleiter Terboven that already by 19 April, rule by Gauleiters had replaced rule by Norwegians.

A memorandum dated 3 June 1940,signed by Fricke, at that date the head of the Operations Division of the German Naval War Staff, which was a key appointment in the very verve center of German naval operations, relates to questions of territorial expansion and bases (C-41). It reads:

“These problems are preeminently of a political character and comprise an abundance of questions of a political type, which it is not the Navy’s province to answer, but they also materially affect the strategic possibilities open-according to the way in which this question is answered-according to the way in which this question is answered-for the subsequent use and operation of the Navy.

“It is too well known to need further mention that German’s present position in the narrows of the Heligoland Bight and in the Baltic-bordered as it is by a whole series of States and under their influence-is an impossible one for the future of Greater Germany. If, over and above this, one extends these strategic possibilities to the point that Germany shall not continue to be cut off for all time from overseas by how or other an end shall be put to this state of affairs at the end of the war.

“The solution could perhaps be found among the following possibilities.

“1. The territories of Denmark, Norway and Northern France acquired during the course of the war continue to be so occupied and organized that they can in future be considered as German possessions.

“This solution will recommend itself for areas where the severity of the decision tells, and should tell, on the enemy and where a gradual 'Germanizing' of the territory appears practicable.

“2. The taking over and holding of areas which have no direct connection with Germany’s main body, and which like the Russian solution in Hango, remain permanently as an enclave in the hostile State. Such areas might be considered possibly around Brest and Trondheim.

“3. The power of Greater Germany in the strategic areas acquired in this war should result in the existing population if these areas feeling themselves politically, economically and militarily to be completely dependent on Germany. If the following results are achieved-that expansion is undertaken (on a scale I shall describe later) by means of the military measures for occupation taken during the war, that French powers of resistance (popular unity, mineral resources, industry, Armed Forces) are so broken that a revival must be considered out of the question, that the smaller States such as the Netherlands, Denmark and Norway war forced into a dependence on us which will enable us in any circumstances and at any time easily to occupy these countries again, then in practice the same, but psychologically much more, will be achieved.” (C-41)

Then Fricke recommends:

“The solution given in 3, therefore, appears to be the proper one, that is, to crush France, to occupy Belgium, part of North and East France, to allow the Netherlands, Denmark and Norway to exist on the basis indicated above.”

“Time will show how far the outcome of the war with England will make an extension of these demands possible.” (C-41)

The submission of the prosecution is that that and other documents which have been submitted tear apart the veil of Nazi pretense. These documents reveal the menace behind the good-will of Goering; the expose as fraudulent the diplomacy of Ribbentrop; they show the reality behind the ostensible political ideology of tradesmen in treason like Rosenberg; and finally and above all, they render sordid the professional status of Keitel and of Raeder.


Document Description Vol. Page

Charter of the international military Tribunal, Article 6(a)… I 5

International Military Tribunal, Indictment Number 1, Sections IV (F) 5; V… I 27,29

Note: A single asterisk (*) before a document indicates that the document was received in evidence at the Nurnberg trial. a Double asterisk (**) before a document number indicates that the document was referred to during the trial but was not formally received in evidence, for the reason given in parentheses following the description of the document. The USA series number, given in parentheses following the description of the document, is the official exhibit number assigned by the court.

*004-PS Report submitted by Rosenberg to Deputy of the Fuehrer, 15 June 1940, on the Political preparation of the Norway Action. (GB 140)… III 19

*007-PS Report on activities of the Foreign Affairs Bureau from 1933 to 1943 signed Rosenberg. (GB 84)… III 27

*957-PS Rosenberg’s letter to Ribbentrop, 24 February 1940. (GB 139)… III 641

*1546-PS Raeder memorandum, 9 April 1940, concerning occupation of Norway… IV 104

*1809-PS Entries from Jodl’s diary, February 1940 to May 1940. (GB 88)… IV 377

*3054-PS “The Nazi Plan", script of a motion picture composed of captured German film. (USA 167)… V 801

*3596-PS Covering memorandum and notes of conversation on 8 August 1940, between Chief Custodian of Army Archives GOES and Major-General Himer… VI 299

*C-5 Memorandum to Supreme Command of the Navy by Doenitz, 9 October 1939, concerning base in Norway. (GB 83)… VI 815

*C-41 Memorandum by Fricke, 3 June 1940, on questions of territorial expansion and bases. (GB 96)… VI 868

*C-63 Keitel order on Preparation for “Weseruebung", 27 January 1940. (GB 87)… VI 883

*C-64 Raeder’s report, 12 December 1939, on meeting of Naval Staff with Fuehrer. (GB 86)… VI 884

*C-65 Notes of Rosenberg to Raeder concerning visit of Quisling. (GB 85)… VI 885

*C-66 Memorandum from Raeder to Assman, 10 January 1944, concerning “Barbarossa” and “Weseruebung". (GB 81)… VI 887

*C-115 Naval deception and camouflage in invasion of Norway taken from file of naval operation orders for operation “Weseruebung". (GB 90)… IV 914

*C-122 Extract from Naval War Diary. Questionnaire on Norway bases, 3 October 1939. (GB 82)… VI 928

*C-151 Details for execution of operation “Weseruebung", 3 March 1940, signed by Doenitz. (GB 91)… VI 965

*C-174 Hitler Order for operation “Weseruebung", 1 March 1940. (GB 89)… VI 1003

*D-627 Dispatch from British Minister in Copenhagen to Foreign Secretary, 25 April 1940. (GB 95)… VII 97

*D-628 Memorandum concerning Germany’s attitude towards Denmark before and during occupation. (GB 94)… VII 98

*D-629 Letter from Keitel to Ribbentrop, 3 April 1940. (GB 141)… VII 99

*L-323 Entry in Naval War Diary concerning Operation “Weseruebung". (USA 541)… VII 1106

*M-156 Year Book of the Ausland (Foreign) Organization of the NSDAP for 1942. (GB 284)… VIII 49

*TC-17 Treaty of Arbitration and Conciliation between Germany and Denmark, signed at Berlin, 2 June 1926. (GB 76)… VIII 346

*TC-24 Treaty of non-aggression between German Reich and Kingdom of Denmark, 31 May 1939. (GB 77)… VIII 373

*TC-30 German assurance to Denmark, Norway, Belgium, and the Netherlands, 28 April 1939, from Documents of German Politics, Part VII, I, PP. 1939, 172-175. (GB 78)… VIII 379

*TC-31 German assurance to Norway, 2 September 1939, (GB 79)… VIII 380

*TC-32 German assurance to Norway, 6 October 1939, from Documents of German Politics, Vol. VII, p. 350. (GB 80)… VIII

*TC-55 German ultimatum to Norway and Denmark, 9 April 1940, from Documents of German Politics, Part VIII, pp.21-31. (GB 92)… VIII 410

*TC-56 German Plans for Invasion of Norway, 1 October 1945. (GB 93)… VIII 414

**Chart No.12 German Aggression. (Enlargement displayed to Tribunal.)… VIII 781

**Chart No.13 Violations of Treaties, Agreements and Assurances. (Enlargement displayed to Tribunal.)… VIII 782


The independence of Belgium, which for so many centuries was the cockpit of Europe, was guaranteed by the great European powers in 1839. that guarantee was observed for 75 years, until it was broken by the Germans in 1914, who brought all the horrors of war, and the even greater horrors of German occupation, to Belgium. History was to repeat itself in a still more catastrophic fashion some 25 years after, in 1940.

Among the applicable treaties are the Hague Convention of 1907 (TC-3; TC-4), the Locarno arbitration and Conciliation Convention of 1925, in which Belgium’s independence and neutrality were guaranteed by Germany; the Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928, by which all the Powers renounced recourse to war; and the Hague Convention of Arbitration and Conciliation May 1926 between Germany and the Netherlands (TC-16). Article I of the letter treaty provides:

“The contracting parties” (the Netherlands and the German Reich) “undertake to submit all disputes of any nature whatever which may arise between them which it has not been possible to settle by diplomacy, and which have not been referred to the Permanent Court of International Justice, to be dealt with by arbitration or conciliation as provided,” (TC-16)

Subsequent clauses deal with the machinery of conciliation. The last article, Article 21, provides that the convention shall be valid for ten years, and then shall remain in force for successive periods of five years until denounced by either party. And this treaty never was denounced by Germany at all.

The last of the applicable treaties, all of which belong to the days of the Weimar Republic, is the Treaty of arbitration and Conciliation between Germany and Luxembourg, executed at Geneva in 1829 (TC-20). The first few words of Article 1 are familiar:

“The contracting parties undertake to settle by peaceful means all disputes of any nature whatever which may arise between them and which it may not be possible to settle by diplomacy.” (TC-20)

Then follow clauses dealing with the machinery for peaceful settlement of disputes, which are in the common form.

Those were the treaty obligations between Germany and Belgium at the time when the Nazi Party came into power in 1933. Hitler adopted and ratified the obligations of Germany under the Weimer Republic with regard to the treaties which had been entered into. Nothing more occurred to alter the position of Belgium until March 1936. Germany reoccupied the Rhineland and announced the resumption of conscription. And Hitler, on 7 March 1936 purported in a speech to repudiate the obligations of the German Government under the Locarno Pact, the reason being given as the execution of the Franco-Soviet Pact of 1935. There was no legal foundation for this claim that Germany was entitled to renounce obligations under the Locarno Pact. But Belgium was left in the air, in the sense that it had itself entered into various obligations under the Locarno Pact in return for the liabilities which other nations acknowledge, and now one of those liabilities, namely, the liability of Germany to observe the Pact, had been renounced.

And so on 30 January 1937, perhaps because Hitler realized the position of Belgium and of the Netherlands, Hitler gave solemn assurance-he used the word “solemn"-which amounted to a full guarantee (TC-33). In April 1937, France and England released Belgium from her obligations under the Locarno Pact. Belgium gave guarantees of strict independence and neutrality, and France and England gave guarantees of assistance should Belgium be attacked. It was because of those facts that Germany, on 13 October 1937, gave a clear and unconditional guarantee to Belgium:

“I have the honor on behalf of the German Government to make the following communication to your Excellency: the German Government has taken cognizance with particular interest of the public declaration in which the Belgium Government defines the International position of Belgium. For its part, it has repeatedly given expressions, especially through the declaration made by the British and French Governments on the 24th of April 1937 * * *

“Since the conclusion of a treaty to replace the Treaty of Locarno may still take some time, and being desirous of strengthening the peaceful aspirations of the two countries, the German Government regards it as appropriate to define now its own attitude towards Belgium. To this end, it makes the following declaration: First, the German Government has taken note of the views which the Belgian Government has thought fit to express. That is to say, (a) of the policy of independence which it intends to exercise in full sovereignty; (b) of its determination to defend the frontiers of Belgium with all its forces against any aggression or invasion and to prevent Belgian territory from being used for purposes of aggression against another state as a passage or as a base of operation by land, by sea, or in the air, and to organize the defense of Belgium in an efficient manner to this purpose. Two: The German Government considers that the inviolability and integrity of Belgium are common interests of the Western Powers. It confirms its determination that in no circumstances will it impair this inviolability and integrity and that it will at all times respect Belgian territory except, of course, in the event of Belgium’s taking part in a military action directed against Germany in an armed conflict in which Germany is involved. The German Government, like the British and French Governments, is prepared to assist Belgium should she be subjected to an attack or to invasion. * * *” (TC-34)

The following reply was made:

“The Belgian Government has taken note with great satisfaction of the declaration communicated to it this day by the German Government warmly for this communication.” (TC-34)

Thus, in October 1937, Germany gave a solemn guarantee to this small nation of its peaceful aspiration towards her, and its assertion that the integrity of the Belgian frontier was a common interest between her and Belgium and the other Western Powers. Yet eighteen months afterwards Germany had violated that assurance.

That this declaration of October 1937 meant very little to the leaders and to the high command of Germany can be seen from a document which came into existence on 24 august 1938, at the time when the Czechoslovakia drama was unfolding, and when it was uncertain whether there would be war with the Western Powers. This top Secret document is addressed to the General Staff of the 5th section of the German Air Force, and deals with the subject, “Extended Case Green-Appreciation of the Situation with Special consideration of the Enemy,” Apparently some staff officer had been asked to prepare this appreciation. The last paragraph (No. H) reads:

“Requests to Armed Forces Supreme Command, Army and Navy. * * *

“Belgium and the Netherlands would, in German hands, represent an extraordinary advantage in the prosecution of the air war against Great Britain as well as against France. Therefore it is held to be essential to obtain the opinion of the Army as to the conditions under which an occupation of this area could be carried out and how long it would take, and in this case it would be necessary to reassess the commitment against Great Britain.” (375-PS)

It was apparently assumed by the staff officer who prepared this document, and assumed quite rightly, that the leaders of the German nation and the High Command would not pay the smallest attention to the fact that Germany had given her world not to invade Holland or Belgium. It was recommended as a militarily advantageous thing to do, with the knowledge that, if the commanders and the Fuehrer agreed with that view, treaties would be completely ignored,. Such was the honor of the German Government and of its leaders.

In March of 1939, the remainder of Czechoslovakia had been peacefully annexed, and the time had come for further guarantees. Assurances which were accordingly given to Belgium and the Netherlands on the 28th of April 1939 (TC-30). A guarantee was also made to Luxembourg in a speech by Hitler in the Reichstag, in which he dealt with a communication from Mr. Roosevelt, who was feeling a little uneasy as to Hitler’s intentions (TC-42-a). in “The Nazi Plan,” a motion picture shown to the Tribunal by the American prosecution (3054-PS), the delivery by Hitler of this part of this speech was shown. Hitler appeared in one of his jocular moods, as his words were greeted and delivered in a jocular vein. The film shows that Goering, who sits above Hitler in the Reichstag, appreciated very much the joke, the joke being this: That it is an absurd suggestion to make that Germany could possibly go to war with any of its neighbors.

In this speech Hitler declared:

“Finally Mr. Roosevelt demands the readiness to give him an assurance that the German fighting forces will not attack the territory or possessions of the following independent nations, and above all, that they will not march into them. And he goes onto name the following as the countries in question: Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Esthonia, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Holland, Belgium, Great Britain, Ireland, France, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Luxembourg, Poland, Hungary, Rumania, Yugoslavia, Russia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Iraq, Arabia, Syria, Palestine, Egypt, and Iran.

“Answer: I started off by taking the trouble to find out in the case of the countries listed, firstly, whether they feel themselves threatened, and secondly and particularly, whether this question Mr. Roosevelt has asked us was put as the result of a demarche by them or at least with their consent.

“The answer was a general negative, which in some cases took the form of a blunt rejection. Actually, the counter-question of mine could not be conveyed to some of the states and nations listed, since they are not at present in possession of their liberty (as for instance Syria), but are occupied by the military forces of democratic states, and therefore, deprived of all their rights.

“Thirdly, apart from that, all the states bordering on Germany have received much more binding assurances and, above all, much more binding proposals than Mr. Roosevelt asked of me in his peculiar telegram.” (TC-42-A)

Although that is sneering at Mr. Roosevelt, it is suggesting in the presence, among others, of Goering, as being quite absurd that Germany should nurture any warlike feeling against its neighbors. The hollow falsity of that declaration and of the preceding guarantee is shown by the minutes of Hitler’s conference of the 23rd of May (L-79). The first page shows that those present included the Fuehrer, Goering, Raeder, von Brauchitsch, Keitel, Warlimont (Jodl’s deputy), and various others. Thee purpose of the conference was an analysis of the situation, which proceeded in this fashion:

“What will this struggle be like?”

“The Dutch and Belgian air bases must be occupied by armed force. Declarations of neutrality must be ignored.”

“Therefore, if England intends to intervene in the Polish war, we must occupy Holland with lightning speed. We must aim at securing a new defense line on Dutch soil up to the Zuider Zee.” (L-79)

in Hitler’s speech on 22 August, the following passage occurred:

“Attack from the West from the Maginot Line: I consider this impossible.

“Another possibility is the violation of Dutch, Belgium, and Swiss neutrality. I have no doubts that all these states as well as Scandinavia will defend their neutrality by all available means. England and France will not violate the neutrality of these countries.” (798-PS)

Nevertheless, a further assurance was given by the Ambassador of Germany to the Belgian Government:

“In view of the gravity of the international situation, I am expressly instructed by the Head of the German Reich to transmit to Your Majesty the following communication:

“Though the German Government is at present doing everything in its power to arrive at a peaceful solution of the questions at issue between the Reich and Poland, it nevertheless desires to define clearly, here and now, the attitude which it proposes to adopt towards Belgium should a conflict in Europe become inevitable.

“The German Government is firmly determined to abide by the terms of the declaration contained in the German note of October 13, 1937. This provides in effect that Germany will in no circumstances impair the inviolability of Belgium and will at all times respect Belgium territory. The German Government renews this undertaking; however, in the expectation that the Belgium Government, for its part, will observe an attitude of strict neutrality and that Belgium will tolerate no violations on the part of a third power, but that, on the contrary, she will oppose it with all the forces at her disposal. It goes without saying hat if the Belgium Government were to adopt a different attitude, the German Government would naturally be compelled to defend its interests in conformity with the new situation thus created.” (TC-36)

It seems likely that the decision having been made to violate Belgian neutrality, those last words were put in to afford some excuse in the future.

A similar document assurance was communicated to Her Majesty the Queen of the Netherlands on the same day, 26 August 1939 TC-40). Likewise assurances were given to Luxembourg at the same time. It is in the same terms as the other two assurances, and amounts to a complete guarantee with the sting in the tail (TC-42). Poland was occupi9ed by means of a lightning victory, and in October 1939 German armed forces were free f or other tasks. The first step that was taken, so France as the Netherlands and Belgium are concerned, was a German assurance on 6 October 1939, as follows:


“Immediately after I had taken over the affairs of the state I tried to create friendly relations with Belgium. I renounced any revision or any desire for revision. The Reich has not made any demands which would in any way be likely to be considered in Belgium as a threat.” (TC-32)

A similar assurance was made to the Netherlands on the same day:

“The new Reich has endeavored to continue the traditional friendship with Holland. It has not taken over any existing differences between the two countries and has not created any new ones.” (TC-32)

The value of these pledges of Germany’s good faith is shown by an order issued o the very next day, 7 October. This order was from the commander-in-Chief of the Army, von Brauchitsch, and was addresses to various Army Groups. The third paragraph provided:

“The Dutch Border between Ems and Rhine is to be observed only.

“At the same time, Army Group B has to make all preparations according to special orders, for immediate invasion of Butch and Belgian territory, if the political situation so demands.” (2329-PS)

Two days later, on 9 October, Hitler directed that:

“Preparations should be made for offensive action on the northern flank of the Western Front crossing the area of Luxembourg, Belgium and Holland. This attack must be carried out as soon and as forcefully as possible. * * *”

“The object of this attack is to acquire as great an area of Holland, Belgium and Northern France as possible.” (C-62)

That document in signed by Hitler himself. It is addresses to the Supreme Commander of the Army Keitel; Navy, Raeder; and Air Minister and commander in Chief of the Air Force, Goering. On 15 October 1939, a supplementary order was issued from the Supreme command of the Armed Force. It was signed by Keitel in his familiar red pencil signature, and was addressed to Raeder, Goering, and the General Staff of the Army. It declared, in part:

“It must be the object of the Army’s preparations, therefore, to occupy-on receipt of a special order-the territory of Holland, in the first instance as far as the Grebbe-Mass line.” (C-62)

The second paragraph deals with the taking possession of the West Frisian Island.

It is that from that moment the decision to violate the neutrality of these three countries had been made. All that remained was to work out the details, to wait until the weather became favorable, and in the meantime, to give no hint that Germany’s word was about to be broken again. Otherwise, these small countries might have had some chance of combining with themselves and their neighbors.

Another Keitel directive, again sent to the Supreme commanders of the Army, Navy, and Air Forces, gives details of how the attack is to be carried out. The following are pertinent passages:

“Contrary to previously issued instructions, all action intended against Holland may be carried out without a special order which the general attack will start.

“The attitude of the Dutch armed forces cannot be anticipated ahead of time.”

“Wherever there is no resistance, the entry should carry the character of a peaceful occupation.”

“At first the Dutch area, including the West-Frisian islands situated just off the coast, for the present without Texel, is to be occupied up to the Grebbe-Mass line.”

“The 7th Airborne Division will be committed for the airborne operation only after the possession of bridges across the Albert Canal” (in Belgium) “has been assured.” (440-PS)

In addition to Belgium and Holland, the document, in paragraph (5) and (6)(b) mentions Luxembourg. The signature of Keitel is typed. It is authenticated by a staff officer.

A later order of 28 November 1939. over the signature of Keitel. In the usual red pencil, is addressed to the Army, Navy, and Air Force. It states tat if a quick break-through should fail north of Liege, other machinery for carrying out the attack will be used, paragraph 2 shows clearly that the Netherlands is to be violated. It speaks of “The occupation of Walcheren Island and thereby Flushing harbor, or of some other southern Dutch island especially valuable for our sea and air warfare,” and “b Taking of one or more Mass crossings between Namur and Dinant * * *.” (C-10)

From November until March of 1940 the High Command an the Fuehrer were waiting for favorable weather before A-Day, as they called it. That referred to the attack on Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands. The successive postponements are shown in a series of orders which range in date from 7 November 1939 until 9 May 1940, and which are all signed either by Keitel or by Jodl. (C-72)

On 10 January 1940, a German airplane made a forces landing in Belgium. The occupants endeavored to burn the orders of which they were in possession, but they were only partially successful. Among the papers which were captured is an order to the Commander of the Second Army Group, Air Force Group-Luftflotte-the Second Air Force Fleet, clearly for offensive action against France, Holland, and Belgium. It deals with the disposition (685964-46-50) of the Belgian Army. The Belgian Army covers the Liege-Antwerp Line. Then it deals with the disposition of the Dutch Army. The German Western Army is accordingly directing its attack between the North Sea and the Moselle, with the strongest Possible air-force support, through the Belgo-Luxembourg region. The rest consists of operational details as to the bombing of the various targets in Belgium and in Holland. (TC-58)

The nature of the Army’s planning is shown in the in the 1 February 1640 entry in Jodl’s diary, which reads in part as follows:

“1. Behavior of parachute units. In front of The Hague they have to be strong enough to break in if necessary by sheer brute force. The 7th division intends to drop units near the town.

“2. Political mission contrasts to some extent with violent action against the Dutch air force.” (1809-PS)

The entry for 2 February 1940 states that “landings can be made in the centre of The Hague.” On 26 February Jodl wrote:

“Fuehrer raises the question whether it is better to undertake the Weser Exercise before or after case 'yellow.'” On 3 March, he recorded the answer: “Fuehrer decides to carry out Weser Exercise before case 'Yellow', with a few days' interval.' And on May 8, tow days before the invasion, Jodl made this entry:

“Alarming news from Holland, cancelling of furloughs, evacuations, road-blocks, other mobilization measures; according to reports of the intelligence service the British have asked for permission to march in, but the Dutch have refused.” (1809-PS)

In other words, the Germans objected because the Dutch were actually making some preparation to resist their endeavor. Furthermore, the Dutch armies, according to the Germans' own intelligence reports, were still adhering properly to their neutrality.

At 4:30 a. m. on 10 May, the months of planning bore fruit, and Holland, Belgium, and Luxembourg were violently invaded with all the fury of modern warfare. No warning was given by Germany and no complaint was made by Germany of any breaches of neutrality before this action was taken.

After the invasion of each of the three countries was a fait accompli, the German Ambassador called upon representatives off the three Governments some hours later and handed them documents which were similar in each case, and which are described as memoranda or ultimatums. An account of what happened in Belgium is contained in an official Belgian report:

“From 4:30 information was received which left no shadow of doubt: the hour had struck. Aircraft were first reported in the east. At five o'clock came news of the bombing of two Netherlands aerodromes, the violation of the Belgian frontier, the landing of German soldiers at the Eben-Emael Fort, the bombing of the Jemelle station.”

“At 8:30 the German Ambassador came to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. When he entered the Minister’s room, he began to take a paper from his pocket. M. Spaak” [Belgian Foreign Minister] “stopped him 'I beg your pardon, Mr. Ambassador. I will speak first.' And in an indignant voice, he read the Belgian Government’s protest: 'Mr. Ambassador, the German Army has just attacked our country. This is the second time in twenty-five years that Germany has committed a criminal aggression against a neutral and loyal Belgium. What has just happened is perhaps even more odious than the aggression of 1914. No ultimatum, no note, no protest of any kind has ever been placed before the Belgian Government. It is through the attack itself that Belgium has learned that Germany has violated the undertakings given by her on October 13th, 1937, and renewed spontaneously at the beginning of the war. The action of aggression committed by Germany, for which there is no justification whatever, will deeply shock the conscience of the world. The German Reich will be held responsible by history. Belgium is resolved to defend herself. Her cause. Which is the cause of Right, cannot be vanquished'.”

“The Ambassador was then able to read the note he had brought: “I am instructed by the Government of the Reich, he said, 'to make the following declaration: In order to forestall the invasion of Belgium, Holland, and Luxembourg, for which Great Britain and France have been making preparations clearly aimed at Germany, the Government of the Reich is compelled to ensure the neutrality of the three countries mentioned by means of arms. For this purpose, the government of the Reich will bring up an armed force of the greatest size. So that resistance of any kind will be useless. The Government of the Reich guarantees Belgium’s European and colonial territory, assurance well as her dynasty, on condition that no resistance is offered. Should there be any resistance, Belgium will risk the destruction of her country and loss of her independence. It is therefore, in the interests of Belgium that the population be called upon to cease all resistance and that the authorities be given the necessary instructions to make contact with the German Military Command.”

“In the middle of this communication, M. Spaak, who had by his side the Secretary-General of the Department, interrupted the Ambassador: 'Hand me the document', he said. 'I should like to spare you so painful a task.' After studying the note, M. Spaak confined himself to pointing out that he had already replied by the protest he had just made. * * *” (TC-58)

The so-called ultimatum, which was delivered some hours after the invasion had started, read in part as follows:

“The Reich Government has for a long time had no doubts as to what was the chief aim of the British and French war policy. It consists of the spreading of the war to other countries, and of the misuse of their peoples as auxiliary and mercenary troops for England and France.

“The last attempt of this sort was the plan to occupy Scandinavia with the help of Norway, in order to set up a new front against Germany in this region. It was only Germany’s last minute action which upset the project. Germany has furnished documentary evidence of this before the eyes of the world.

“Immediately after the British-French action in Scandinavia miscarried, England and France took up their policy of war expansion in another direction. In this respect, while the retreat in flight of the British troops from Norway was still going on, the England Prime Minister announced that, as a result of the altered situation in Scandinavia, England was once more in a position to go ahead with the transfer of the full weight of her Navy to the Mediterranean, and that English and French units were already on the way to Alexandria. The Mediterranean now became the center of English-French war propaganda. This was partly to gloss over the Scandinavian defeat and the big loss of prestige before their own people and before the world, and partly to make to appear that the Balkans had been chosen for the next theater of war against Germany.

“In reality, however, this apparent shifting to the Mediterranean of English-French war policy had quite another purpose. It was nothing but a diversion manoeuvre in grand style, to deceive Germany as to the direction of the next English-French attack. For, as the Reich Government has long been ware, the true aim of England and France is the carefully prepared and now immediately imminent attack on Germany in the West, so to advance through Belgium and Holland to the region of the Ruhr.

“Germany has recognized and respected the inviolability of Belgium and Holland, it being of course understood that these two countries in the event of a war of Germany against England and France would maintain the strictest neutrality. “Belgium and the Netherlands have not fulfilled this condition.” (TC-57)

The so-called ultimatum goes on to complain of the hostile expressions in the Belgian and the Netherlands press, and to allege attempts by the British intelligence to bring a revolution into Germany with the assistance of Belgium and the Netherlands. Reference is made to military preparation of the two countries, and it is pointed out that Belgium has fortified the Belgian frontier. A complaint was made in regard to Holland, that British aircraft had flown over the Netherlands country. Other charges were made against the neutrality of these two countries, although no instances were given (TC-57). The document continued:

“In this struggle for existence forced upon the German people by England and France, the Reich Government is not disposed to await submissively the attack by England and France and to allow them to carry the war over Belgium and the Netherlands into German territory. It has therefore now issued the command to German troops to ensure the neutrality of these countries by all the military means at the disposal of the Reich.” (TC-57)

It is unnecessary, in view of the documents previously adverted to, to emphasize the falsity of that statement. It is now known that for months preparations had been made to violate the neutrality of these three countries. This document is merely saying, “The orders to do so have now been issued.”

A similar document, similar in terms altogether, was handed to the representatives of the Netherlands Government; and a memorandum was send to the Luxembourg Government, which enclosed with it a copy of the document handed to the Governments of Belgium and the Netherlands. The second paragraph of the latter declared:

“In defense against the imminent attack, the German troops have now received the order to safeguard the neutrality of these two countries * * *". (TC-60)

The protest of the Belgium Government against the crime which was committed against her is contained in TC-59.


Document Description Vol. Page

Charter of the International Military Tribunal, Article 6(a)…I 5

International Military Tribunal, Indictment Number 1, Sections IV (F) 5; V… I 2729

Note: A single asterisk (*) before a document indicates that the document was received in evidence at the Nurnberg trial. A double asterisk (**) before a document number indicates that the document was received to during the trial but was not formally received in evidence, for the reason given in parentheses following the description of the document. The USA series number, given in parentheses following the description of the document, is the official exhibit number assigned by the court.

*375-PS Case Green with wider implications, report of Intelligence Division, Luftwaffe general Staff, 25 August 1938. (USA 84)… III 280

*440-PS Directive No. 8 signed by Keitel, 20 November 1939, for the conduct of the war. (GB 107)… III 397

*798-PS Hitler’s speech to Commanders-in-Chief, at Obersalzberg, 22 August 1939. (USA 29)… III 581

*1809-PS Entries from Jodl’s diary, February 1940 to May 1940. (GB 88)… IV 377

*2329-PS Order by Commander in Chief of the Army, 7 October 1939. (GB 105)… IV 1037

*3054-PS “The Nazi Plan", script of a motion picture composed of captured German film. (USA 167)… V 801

*C-10 OKW directive, 28 November 1939, signed by Keitel, subject: Employment of 7th Flieger Division. (GB 1808)… VI 817

*C-62 Directive No. 6 on the conduct of war, signed by Hitler, 9 October 1939: directive by Keitel, 15 October 1939 on Fall “Gelb". (GB 106)… VI 880

*C-72 Orders postponing “A” day in the West, November 1939 to May 1940. (GB 109)… VI 893

*L-52 Memorandum and Directives for conduct of war in the West, 9 October 1939. (USA 540)… VII 800

*L-79 Minutes of conference, 23 May 1939, “indoctrination on the political situation and future aims". (USA 27)… VII 847

*TC-3 Hague Convention (3) Relative to opening of Hostilities. (GB 2)… VIII 279

*TC-4 Hague Convention (5) Respecting Rights and Duties of Neutral Powers and Persons in War on Land. (GB 2)… VIII 282

*TC-13 Arbitration Convention between Germany and Belgium at Locarno, 16 October 1925. (GB 15)… VIII 320

*TC-16 Convention of Arbitration and conciliation between Germany and the Netherlands, signed at The Hague, 20 May 1926. (GB 97)… VIII 337

*TC-19 Kellogg-Briand Pact at Paris. 1929 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part II, No. 9, pp.97-101. (GB 18)… VIII 359

*TC-20 Treaty of Arbitration and Conciliation between Germany and Luxembourg, signed at Geneva, 11 September 1929. (GB 98)… VIII 362

*TC-30 German assurance to Denmark, Norway, Belgium, and the Netherlands, 28 April 1939, from Documents of German Politics, Part VII, I, pp. 139, 172-175. (GB 78)… 379

*TC-32 German assurance to Norway, 6 October 1939, from documents of German Politics, Vol. VII, p.350. (GB 80)… VIII 381

*TC-33 German assurance to Belgium and the Netherlands, 30 January 1937, from Documents of German Politics, Part VI, pp.42-43. (GB 99)… VIII 381

*TC-34 German Declaration to the Belgian Minister of 13 October 1937. (GB 100)… VIII 381

*TC-36 Declaration made by Ambassador of Germany on 26 August 1939. (GB 102)… VIII 382

*TC-37 German assurance to Belgium, 6 October 1939, from Documents of German Politics, Vol. VII, p.351… VIII 383

*TC-40 Declaration of German Minister to the Netherlands, 26 August 1939. (GB 103)… VIII 383

*TC-41 German assurance to the Netherlands, 6 October 1939, from Documents of German Politics, Vol. VII, p.351… VIII 384

*TC-42 German assurance to Luxemburg, 26 August 1939. (GB 104)… VIII 384

*TC-42-A German assurance to Luxemburg, 28 April 1939. (GB 101)… VIII 385

*TC-57 German ultimatum to Belgium and the Netherlands, 9 May 1940, from Documents of German Politics, Part Viii, pp.142-150. (GB 112)… VIII 416

*TC-58 “Belgium, the official account of what happened 1939-1940". (GB 111)… VIII 421

*TC-58-A Secret instruction to the Commander of 2nd Luftflotte found in German Aeroplane of 10 January 1940. (GB 110)… VIII 423

*TC-59 Protest from Belgium, 10 May 1940, following German aggression. (GB 111)… VIII 429

*TC-60 German memorandum to Luxemburg, 9 May 1940, from Documents of German Politics, Part VIII, pp. 150-151. (GB 113)… VIII 431

Affidavit H Affidavit of Franz Halder, 22 November 1945… VIII 643

**Chart No.12 German Aggression. (Enlargement displayed to Tribunal.)… VIII 781

**Chart No.13 Violations of Treaties, Agreements and Assurances. (Enlargement displayed to Tribunal)… VIII 782


A. Treaties and Assurances Breached.

The invasions of Greece and of Yugoslavia by the Germans, which took place in the early hours of the morning of 6 April 1941, constituted direct breaches of The Hague convention of 1899 on the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes, and of the Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928. in the case of Yugoslavia, the invasion further constituted a breach of an express assurance by the Nazis.

The assurance was originally given in a German Foreign office release made in Berlin on 28 April 1938 (2719-PS), but was subsequently repeated by Hitler himself on 6 October 1939 in a speech he made in the Reichstag. The German Foreign Office release on 28 April 1938 reads, in part:

“Berlin, 28 April 1938. The State Secretary of the German Foreign Office to the German Diplomatic Representatives. “As a consequence of the reunion of Austria with the Reich, we have now new frontiers with Italy, Yugoslavia, Switzerland, by us as final and inviolable. On this point the following special declarations have been made:”

“3. Yugoslavia.

“The Yugoslav Government have been informed by authoritative German quarters that German policy has no aims beyond Austria, and that the Yugoslav frontier would in any case remain untouched. In his speech made at Graz on 3 April, the Fuehrer and Chancellor stated that, in regard to the reunion of Austria, Yugoslavia and Hungary had adopted the same attitude as Italy. We were happy to have frontiers there which relieved us of all anxiety about providing military protection for them.” (2719-PS)

In a speech made on the occasion of the dinner in honor of the Prince Regent of Yugoslavia on 1 June 1939, Hitler declared:

“The German friendship for the Yugoslav nation is not only a spontaneous one. It gained depth and durability in the midst of the tragic confusion of the world war. The German soldier then learned to appreciate and respect his extremely brave opponent. I believe that this feeling was reciprocated. This mutual respect finds confirmation in common political, cultural and economic interests. We therefore look upon your Royal Highness’s present visit as a living proof of the accuracy of our view, and at the same time on that account we derive from it the hope that German-Yugoslav friendship may continue further to develop in the future and to grow ever closer.

“In the presence of your Royal Highness, however, we also perceive a happy opportunity for a frank and friendly exchange of views which, and of this I am convinced, in this sense can only be fruitful to our two peoples and States. I believe this all the more because a firmly established reliable relationship of Germany to Yugoslavia, now that, owing to historical events, we have become neighbors with common boundaries fixed for all time, will not only guarantee lasting peace between our two peoples and countries, but can also represent an element of calm to our nerve-wracked continent. This peace is the goal of all who are disposed to perform really constructive work.” (TC-92)

As is now known this speech was made at the time when Hitler had already decided upon the European war. it occurred a week after the Reichschancellery conference recorded in the Schmundt note (L-79). The reference to “nerve-wracked continent” might perhaps be attributed to the war of nerves which Hitler had himself been conducting for many months. The German Assurance to Yugoslavia on 6 October 1939 was in these terms:

“Immediately after the completion of the Anschluss I informed Yugoslavia that, from now on, the frontier with this country would also be an unalterable one, and that we only desire to live in peace and friendship with her.” (TC-43)

B. Planning for Invasion: Collaboration with Italy and Bulgaria.

Despite the obligation of Germany under the convention of 1899, and the Kellogg-Briand Pact, and under the foregoing Assurance which I have read, the fate of both Greece and Yugoslavia had, as is now known, been sealed ever since the meeting between Hitler, Ribbentrop, and Ciano at Obersalzberg, 12 and 13 August 1939 (TC-77). The effect of the meeting was that Hitler and Ribbentrop, only two months after the dinner to the Prince Regent, were seeking to persuade Italy to make war on Yugoslavia at the same time that Germany was to commence hostilities against Poland, which Hitler had decided to do in the very near future. Ciano while evidently in entire agreement with Hitler and Ribbentrop as to the desirability of liquidating Yugoslavia, and while himself anxious to secure Salonika, stated that Italy was not yet ready for a general European war. Thus, despite all the persuasion which Hitler and Ribbentrop Exerted at the meeting, it became necessary for the Nazi conspirators to reassure their intended victim, Yugoslavia, since in fact Italy maintained its position and did not enter the war when Germany invaded Poland, and since the Germans themselves were not yet ready to strike in the Balkans. It was apparently for this reason that on 6 October, through Hitler’s speech, the Nazis repeated the assurance they had made in April 1938. It is a matter of history that after the defeat of the Allied armies in May and June 1940, the Italian Government declared war on France and that subsequently, at three o'clock in the morning on 28 October 1940, the Italian Minister at Athens presented the Greek Government with a 3 hour ultimatum, upon the expiration of which Italian troops were already invading the soil of Greece.

This event was reported by the British Minister at Athens in these words:

“The president of the council has assured himself an outstanding place in Greek history and, whatever the future may bring, his foresight in quietly preparing his country for war and his courage in rejecting without demur the Italian ultimatum when delivered in the small hours of that October morning, will surely obtain an honorable mention in the story of European statecraft. He means to fight until Italy is completely defeated and this reflects the purpose of the whole Greek nation.”

A letter from Hitler to Mussolini, which is undated but which-this is clear from the contents-must have been written shortly after the Italian invasion of Greece on 28 November 1940, contained these sentiments:

“Jugoslavia must become disinterested, if possible however from our point of view interested in cooperating in the liquidation of the Greek question. Without assurances from Jugoslavia, it is useless to risk any successful operation in the Balkans.

“Unfortunately, I must stress the fact that waging a war in the Balkans before March is impossible. Therefore, any threatening move towards Jugoslavia would be useless, since the impossibility of a materialization of such threats before March is well known to the Serbian general staff. Therefore, Jugoslavia must, if at all possible, be won over by other means and other ways.” (2762-PS)

It was at this time that Hitler was making his plans for the offensive in the Spring of 1941, which included the invasion of Greece from the north. It was an integral part of those plans that Yugoslavia should be induced to cooperate in them or at least to maintain a disinterested attitude towards the liquidation of the other Balkan States. These facts are disclosed in a “Top Secret Directive” issued from the Fuehrer’s Headquarters, signed by Hitler, initialed by Jodl, and dated 12 November 1940. This order reads, in part:

“Directive No. 18.

“The preparatory measures of Supreme HQ for the prosecution of the war in the near future are to be made along the following lines. * * *” (444-PS)

After sections dealing with operations against Gibraltar and an offensive against Egypt, the order continues:


“The commanders-in-chief of the Army will make preparations for occupying the Greek mainland north of the Aegean sea in case of need, entering through Bulgaria, and thus make possible the use of German air force units against targets in the eastern Mediterranean, in particular against those English air bases which are threatening the Rumanian oil area.

“In order to be able to face all eventualities and to keep Turkey in check, the use of an army group of an approximate strength of ten divisions is to be the basis for the planning and the calculations of deployment. It will not be possible to count on the railway, leading through Yugoslavia, for moving these forces into position.

“So as to shorten the time needed for the deployment, preparations will be made for an early increase in the German Army mission in Roumania, the extent of which must be submitted to me.

“The commander-in-chief of the air force will make preparations for the use of German Air Force units in the South East Balkans and for aerial reconnaissance on the southern border of Bulgaria, in accordance with the intended ground operations.” (444-PS)

the positions of the Italian invading forces in Greece in December 1940 may be summarized in the words in which the British Minister reported to Foreign Secretary Eden:

“The morale of the Greek Army throughout has been of the highest, and our own naval and land successes at Tarento and in the Western Desert have done much to maintain it. With relatively poor armaments and the minimum of equipment and modern facilities they have driven back or captured superior Italian forces more frequently than not at the point of the bayonet. The modern Greeks have thus shown that they are not unworthy of the ancient tradition of their country and that they, like their distant forbears, are prepared to fight against odds to maintain their freedom.”

In fact, the Italians were getting the worst of it, and it was time that Hitler came to the rescue with the order for the German attack on Greece.

This directive of 13 December 1940, which is Top Secret Directive number 20, dealing with Operation Marita, bears a distribution list which shows that copies went to the Commander of the Navy (Raeder), to the Commander of the Air Force (Goering), to the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces (Keitel), and to the command Staff (Jodl). The first two paragraphs state:

“The result of the battles in Albania is not yet decisive. Because of a dangerous situation in Albania it is doubly necessary that the British endeavour be foiled to create air bases under the protection of a Balkan front, which would be dangerous above all to Italy as well as to the Rumanian oil fields.

“My plan, therefore, is (a) to form a slowly increasing task force in Southern Rumania within the next months. (b) After the setting in of favorable weather, probably in March, to send the task force for the occupation of the Aegean North coast by way of Bulgaria, and if necessary to occupy the entire Greek mainland (Operation Marita). The support of Bulgaria is to be expected.” (1541-PS)

The next paragraph gives the forces for the operation, and paragraph 4 deals with the operation Marita itself. Paragraph 5 states:

“The Military preparations which will produce exceptional political results in the Balkans demand the exact control of all the necessary measures by the General Staff. The transport through Hungary and the arrival in Rumania will be reported step by step by the General Staff of the Armed Forces, and are to be explained at first as a strengthening of the German Army mission in Rumania.

“Consultations with the Rumanians or the Bulgarians which may point to our intentions as well as notification of the Italians are each subject to my consent, also the sending of scouting missions and advanced parties.” (1541-PS)

Another “Top Secret Directive” carries the plan a little farther. It deals with decisive action in support of the Italian forces in Tripoli and in Albania. The first short paragraph reads:

“The situation in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations demands for strategical political and psychological reasons German assistance, due to employment of superior forces by England against our allies.” (448-PS)

Paragraph three, after dealing with the forces to be transferred to Albania, sets out what the duties of the German forces will be:

“a. To serve in Albania for the time being as a reserve for an emergency case, should new crises arise there.

“b. To ease the burden of the Italian Army group when later attacking with the aim:

“To tear open the Greek defense front on a decisive point for a far-reaching operation.

“To open up the straits west of Salonika from the back in order to support thereby the frontal attack of list’s Army.” (448-PS)

That directive was signed by Hitler, and, as shown on the original, was initialed by both Keitel and Jodl. A copy went to Raeder, and the copy sent to Foreign intelligence presumably reached Ribbentrop.

A conference took place on 19 and 20 January between Keitel and the Italian General, Guzzoni. This was followed by a meeting between Hitler and Mussolini, at which Ribbentrop, Keitel, and Jodl were present. In the speech which the Fuehrer made on 20 January 1941, after the conference with the Italians, he declared:

“* * * The massing of troops in Roumania serves a threefold purpose:

“a. An operation against Greece.

“b. Protection of Bulgaria against Russia and Turkey.

“c. Safeguarding the guarantee to Roumania.

“Each of these tasks requires its own group of forces, altogether therefore very strong forces whose deployment far from our base requires a long time.

“Desirable that this deployment is completed without interference from the enemy. Therefore disclose the game as late as possible. The tendency will be to cross the Danube at the last possible moment and to line up for attack at the earliest possible moment.” (C-134)

At a conference between Field Marshal List and the Bulgarians, on 8 February, the following plans were discussed:

“Minutes of questions discussed between the representatives of the Royal Bulgarian General Staff and the German Supreme Command-General Field Marshal List-in connection with the possible movement of German troops through Bulgaria and their commitment against Greece and possibly against Turkey, if she should involve herself in the war.”

“* * * The Bulgarian and the German general staff will take all measures in order to camouflage the preparation of the operations and to assure in this way the most favorable conditions for the execution of the German operations as planned.

“The representatives of the two general staffs consider it to be suitable to inform their governments that it will be good to take the necessity of secrecy and surprise into consideration when the three-power treaty is signed by Bulgaria, in order to assure the success of the military operations.” (1746-PS)

A further top secret directive of 19 February sets the date for the Operation Marita (C-59). It states that the bridge across the Danube is to be begun on 28 February, the river crossed on 2 March, and the final orders to be issued on 26 February at the latest. On the original of this order the actual dates are filled in in the handwriting of Keitel.

The position of Bulgaria at this moment was this: Bulgaria adhered to the Three-Power Pact on 1 March 1941. On the same day the entry of German troops into Bulgaria began in accordance with the Plan Marita and associated directives already referred to. The landing of British troops in Greece on 3 March, in accordance with the guarantee given in the spring of 1939 by the British Government, may have accelerated the movement of the German forces. In any event, as has been shown, the invasion of Greece had been planned long beforehand and was already in progress at this time.

A short extract from a report by Raeder on an interview with Hitler, which the original shows took place in the presence of Keitel and Jodl at 1600 hours on 18 March, shows the ruthless nature of the German intentions:

“The C in C of the Navy asks for confirmation that the whole of Greece will have to be occupied even in the event of a peaceful settlement.

“Fuehrer: The complete occupation is a prerequisite of any settlement.” (C-167)

This report shows, it seems clear, that the Nazi conspirators, in accordance with their principle of liquidating any neutral which did not remain disinterested, had made every preparation by the end of January and were at this date in the process of moving the necessary troops to ensure the final liquidation of Greece, which was already at war with, and getting the better of, their Italian allies.

C. Lulling the unsuspecting Victim.

They were not yet, however, ready to deal with Yugoslavia, towards which their policy accordingly remained one of lulling the unsuspecting victim. On 25 March, in accordance with this policy, the adherence of Yugoslavia to the Three-Power Pact was secured. This adherence followed a visit on 15 February 1941 by the Yugoslav Premier Cvetkovic and the Foreign Minister Cinkar-Markvic to Ribbentrop at Salzburg and subsequently to Hitler at Berchtesgaden, after which these ministers were induced to sign the pact at Vienna on 25 March. On this occasion Ribbentrop wrote the two letters of assurance. The first made this guarantee:

“Notes of the Axis Governments to Belgrade.

“at the same time, when the protocol on the entry of Yugoslavia to the Tri-Partite Pact was signed, the governments of the Axis Powers sent to the Yugoslavian Government the following identical notes:

“'Mr. Prime Minister:

“'In the name of the German Government and at its behest, I have the honor to inform Your Excellency of the following:

“'On the occasion of the Yugoslavian entry today into the Tri-Partite Pact, the German Government confirms its determination to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Yugoslavia at all times.'” (2450-PS)

That letter was signed by Ribbentrop, who was present at the meeting in August 1939 when he and Hitler tried to persuade the Italians to invade Yugoslavia. It was in fact 11 days after this letter was written that the Germans did invade Yugoslavia, and two days after the letter was written that they issued the necessary order.

The second letter reads:

“Mr. Prime Minister:

“With reference to the conversations that occurred in connection with the Yugoslavian entry into the Tri-Partite Pact, I have the honor to confirm to Your Excellency herewith in the name of the Reich Cabinet [Reichsregierung], that in the agreement between the Axis powers and the Royal Yugoslavian Government, the governments of the Axis powers during this war will not direct a demand to Yugoslavia to permit the march or transportation of troops through Yugoslavian national territory.” (2450-PS)

The position at this stage, 25 March 1941, was therefore that German troops were already in Bulgaria moving towards the Greek frontier, while Yugoslavia had, to use Hitler’s own term in his letter to Mussolini, “become disinterested” in the cleaning up of the Greek question.

The importance of the adherence of Yugoslavia to the Three-Power Pact appears very clearly from an extract from the minutes of a meeting between Hitler and Ciano. The first paragraph states:

“The Fuehrer first expressed his satisfaction with Yugoslavia’s joining the Tri-Partite Pact and the resulting definition of her position. This is of special importance in view of the proposed military action against Greece, for, if one considers that for 350 to 400 kilometers the important line of communication through Bulgaria runs within 20 kilometers of the Yugoslav border, one can judge that with a dubious attitude of Yugoslavia an undertaking against Greece would have been militarily an extremely foolhardy venture.” (2765-PS)

Again, it is a matter of history that on the night of 26 March 1941, when the two Yugoslav ministers returned to Belgrade, General Simovic and his colleagues effected their removal by a coup d'etat, and Yugoslavia emerged on the morning of 27 March ready to defend, if need be, its independence.

D. Further Planning for Attack.

The Nazis reacted rapidly to this altered situation, and the immediate liquidation of Yugoslavia was decided on. A conference of Hitler and the German High Command on the situation in Yugoslavia took place on 27 March 1941. Those present included the Fuehrer; the Reich Marshall (Goering); Chief, OKW, (Keitel); and the Chief of the Wehrmacht Fuehrungstab, (Jodl). A report of the conference notes that “later on the following persons were added,” and among them is included Ribbentrop (1746-PS). Hitler’s statement proceeded as follows:

“The Fuehrer describes Yugoslavia’s situation after the coup d'etat. Statement that Yugoslavia was an uncertain factor in regard to the coming Marita action and even more in regard to the Barbarossa undertaking later on. Serbs and Slovenes were never pro-German.”

“The present moment is for political and military reasons favorable for us to ascertain the actual situation in the country and the country’s attitude toward us, for if the overthrow of the Government would have happened during the Barbarossa action, the consequences for us probably would have been considerably more serious.”

“The Fuehrer is determined, without waiting for possible loyalty declarations of the new government, to make all preparations in order to destroy Yugoslavia militarily and as a national unit. No Diplomatic inquiries will be made nor ultimatums presented. Assurances of the Yugoslav government, which cannot be trusted anyhow in the future will be taken note of. The attack will start as soon as the means and troops suitable for it are ready.

“It is important that actions will be taken as fast as possible. An attempt will be made to let the bordering states participate in a suitable way. An actual military support against Yugoslavia is to be requested of Italy, Hungary, and in certain respects of Bulgaria too. Roumania’s main task is the protection against Russia. The Hungarian and the Bulgarian ambassador have already been notified. During the day a message will still be addressed to the Duce.

“Politically, it is especially important that the blow against Yugoslavia is carried out with unmerciful harshness and that the military destruction is done in a lightning-like undertaking. In this way, Turkey would become sufficiently frightened and the campaign against Greece later on would be influenced in a favorable way. It can be assumed that the Croats will come to our side when we attack. A corresponding political treatment (autonomy later on) will be assured to them. The war against Yugoslavia should be very popular in Italy, Hungary and Bulgaria, as territorial acquisitions are to be promised to these states; the Adria coast for Italy, the Banat for Hungary, and Macedonia for Bulgaria.

“This plan assumes that we speed up the schedule of all preparations and use such strong forces that the Yugoslav collapse will take place within the shortest time.” (1746-PS)

Thus it appears that two days after Yugoslavia had signed the Tri-Partite Pact and the Nazis had given assurances, simply because there had been a coup d'etat and it was possible that the operations against Greece might be affected, the destruction of Yugoslavia was decided on without any question of taking the trouble to ascertain the views of the new Government.

The report of the meeting continues:

“5. The main task of the Air Force is to start as early as possible with the destruction of the Yugoslavian Air Force ground installations and to destroy the capital Belgrade in attacks by waves.” (1746-PS)

It is again a matter of history that the residential areas of Belgrade were bombed at 7 o'clock on the following Sunday morning, 6 April 1941.

At that same meeting of 27 March 1941 a tentative plan, drawn up by Jodl, was offered:

“In the event that the political development requires an armed intervention against Yugoslavia, it is the German intention to attack Yugoslavia in a concentric way as soon as possible, to destroy her armed forces, and to dissolve her national territory.” (1746-PS)

An order (Directive No. 25) was issued after the meeting of 27 March. The first paragraph reads:

“The military putsch in Yugoslavia has altered the political situation in the Balkans. Yugoslavia must, in spite of her protestations of loyalty, for the time being be considered as an enemy and therefore be crushed as speedily as possible.” (C-127)

As another result of the meeting, a telegram, containing a letter from Hitler to Mussolini, was forwarded to the German Ambassador in Rome by Hitler and Ribbentrop. It was written to advise Mussolini of the course decided on, and under the guise of somewhat fulsome language the Duce was given his orders. The first five paragraphs read:

“Duce, Events force me to give you, Duce, by this the quickest means, my estimation of the situation and the consequences which may result from it.

“(1) From the beginning I have regarded Yugoslavia as a dangerous factor in the controversy with Greece. Considered from the purely military point of view, German intervention in the war in Thrace would not be at all justified, as long as the attitude of Yugoslavia remains ambiguous and she could threaten the left flank of the advancing columns, on our enormous front.

“(2) For this reason I have done everything and honestly have endeavored to bring Yugoslavia into our community bound together by mutual interests. Unfortunately these endeavors did not meet with success, or they were begun too late to produce any definite result. Today’s reports leave no doubt as to the imminent turn in the foreign policy of Yugoslavia.

“(3) I don’t consider this situation as being catastrophic, but nevertheless a difficult one, and we on our part must avoid any mistake if we do not want in the end to endanger our whole position.

“(4) Therefore I have already arranged for all necessary measures in order to meet a critical development with necessary military means. The change in the deployment of our troops has been ordered also in Bulgaria. Now I would cordially request you, Duce, not to undertake any further operations in Albania in the course of the next few days. I consider it necessary that you should cover and screen the most important passes from Yugoslavia into Albania with all available forces.

“These measures should not be considered as designed for a long period of time, but as auxiliary measures designed to prevent for at least fourteen days to three weeks a crisis arising.

“I also consider it necessary, duce, that you should reinforce your forces on the Italian-Yugoslav front with all available means and with utmost speed.

“(5) I also consider it necessary, Duce, that everything which we do and order be shrouded in absolute secrecy and that only personalities who necessarily must be notified know anything about them. These measures will completely lose their value should they become known.” (1835-PS)

Hitler continues with a further emphasis on the importance of secrecy. An operational order (R-95) followed, which was signed by General von Brauchitsch, and which merely passed to the Armies the orders contained in Directive No. 25. (C-127)

E. Explanations.

The invasion of Greece and Yugoslavia took place in the morning of 6 April 1941. On that day Hitler issued a proclamation (TC-93). The following passage is an extract:

“From the beginning of the struggle it has been England’s steadfast endeavor to make the Balkans a theatre of war. British Diplomacy did, in fact, using the model of the World War, succeed in first ensnaring Greece by a guarantee offered to her, and then finally in misusing her for Britain’s purposes.

“The documents published today [the German 'White Book'] afford a glimpse of a practice which, in accordance with very old British recipes, is a constant attempt to induce others to fight and bleed for British interests.

“In the face of this I have always emphasized that:

“(1) The German people have no antagonism to the Greek people but that

“(2) We shall never, as in the World War, tolerate a power establishing itself on Greek territory with the object at a given time of being able to advance thence from the southeast into German living space. We have swept the northern flank free of the English; we are resolved not to tolerate such a threat in the south.”

“In the interests of a genuine consolidation of Europe it has been my endeavor since the day of my assumption of power above all to establish a friendly relationship with Yugoslavia. I have consciously put out of mind everything that once took place between Germany and Serbia. I have not only offered the Serbian people the hand of the German people, but in addition have made efforts as an honest broker to assist in bridging all difficulties which existed between the Yugoslav State and various Nations allied to Germany.” (TC-93)

One can only think that when he issued that proclamation Hitler must momentarily have forgotten the meeting with Ciano in August 1939, and the meeting with Ribbentrop and the others on 27 March, a few days earlier.

In a lecture delivered by Jodl on 7 November 1943, he sets out his views, two and a half years later on the action taken in April, 1941. in paragraph 11 he stated:

“What was, however, less acceptable was the necessity of affording our assistance as an Ally in the Balkans in consequence of the 'extra-turn' of the Italians against Greece. The attack, which they launched in the autumn of 1940 from Albania with totally inadequate means was contrary to all agreement but in the end led to a decision on our part which-taking a long view of the matter-would have become necessary in any case sooner or later. The planned attack on Greece from the North was not executed merely as an operation in aid of an ally. Its real purpose was to prevent the British from gaining a foothold in Greece and from menacing our Roumanian oil area from that country.” (L-172)

F. Summary.

To summarize: The invasion of Greece was decided on at least as early as November or December 1940 and was scheduled for the end of March or the beginning of April, 1941. No consideration was at any time given to any obligations under treaties or conventions which might make such invasion a breach of International Law. Care was taken to conceal the preparations so that the German Forces might have an unsuspecting victim.

In the meanwhile, Yugoslavia, although to be liquidated in due course, was clearly better left for a later stage. Every effort was made to secure her cooperation for the offensive against Greece, or at least to ensure that she would abstain from any interference.

The coup d'etat of General Simovic upset this plan and it was then decided that, irrespective of whether or not his Government had any hostile intentions towards Germany, or even of supporting the Greeks, Yugoslavia must be liquidated.

It was not worth while to the Nazis to take any steps to ascertain Yugoslavia’s intentions, for it would be so little trouble, now that the German troops were deployed, to destroy her militarily and as a national unit. Accordingly, in the early hours of Sunday morning, 6 April 1941, German troops marched into Yugoslavia without warning and into Greece simultaneously. The formality was observed of handing a note to the Greek Minister in Berlin, informing him that the German forces were entering Greece to drive out the British. M. Koryzis, the Greek Minister, in replying to information of the invasion from the German Embassy, replied that history was repeating itself and that Greece was being attacked by Germany in the same way as by Italy. Greece returned, he said, the same reply as it had given to the Italians in the preceding October.

G. The Pattern of Aggression.

There is one common factor which runs through the whole of the Nazi aggressions. It is an element in the Diplomatic technique of aggression, which was used with singular consistency, not only by the Nazis themselves, but also by their Italian friends. Their technique was essentially based upon securing the maximum advantage from surprise, even though only a few hours of unopposed military advance into the country of the unsuspecting victim could thus be secured. Thus, there was, of course, no declaration of war in the case of Poland.

The invasion of Norway and of Denmark began in the small hours of the night of April 8-9 1940, and was well under way as a military operation, before the Diplomatic explanations and excuses were presented to the Danish Foreign Minister, at 4:20 a. m. on the morning of the 9th, and to the Norwegian Minister, between half past four and five on that morning.

The invasion of Belgium, Luxembourg, and Holland began not later than five o'clock, in the small hours of 10 of May, 1940, while the formal ultimatum, delivered in each case with the Diplomatic excuses and explanations, was not presented until afterwards. In the case of Holland the invasion began between three and four in the morning. It was not until about six, when the Hague had already been bombed, that the German Minister asked to see M. van Kleffens. In the case of Belgium, where the bombing began at five, the German Minister did not see M. Spaak until eight. The invasion of Luxembourg began at four and it was at seven when the German Minister asked to see M. Beck.

Mussolini copied this technique. It was 3 o'clock on the morning of 28 October 1940 when his Minister in Athens presented a three hours ultimatum to General Metaxas.

The invasion of Greece and Yugoslavia, also, both began in the small hours of 6 April 1941. in the case of Yugoslavia no diplomatic exchange took place even after the event, but a proclamation was issued by Hitler at five o'clock that Sunday morning, some two hours before Belgrade was bombed. In the case of Greece, it was at twenty minutes past five that M. Koryzis was informed that German troops were entering Greek territory.

The manner in which this long series of aggressions was carried out is, in itself, further evidence of the essentially aggressive and treacherous character of the Nazi regime: to attack without warning at night to secure an initial advantage, and to proffer excuses or reasons afterwards. This is clearly the method of the State which has no respect for its own pledged word, nor for the rights of any people but its own.

It is impossible not to speculate whether this technique was evolved by the “honest broker” himself or by his honest clerk, Ribbentrop.


Document Description Vol. Page

Charter of the International Military Tribunal, Article 6(a)… I 5

International Military Tribunal, Indictment Number 1, Sections IV (F) 5; V… I 27,29

Note: A single asterisk (*) before a document indicates that the document was received in evidence at the Nurnberg trial. A double asterisk (**) before a document number indicates that the document was referred to during the trial but was not formally received in evidence, for the reason given in parentheses following the description of the document. The USA series number, given in parentheses following the description of the document, is the official exhibit number assigned by the court.

*444-PS Original Directive No. 18 from Fuehrer’s Headquarters signed by Hitler and initialed by Jodl, 12 November 1940, concerning plans for prosecution of war in Mediterranean Area and occupation of Greece. (GB 116)… III 403

*448-PS Hitler Order No. 22, initialed by Keitel and Jodl, 11 January 1941, concerning participation of German Forces in the Fighting in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations. (GB 118)… III 413

*1195-PS Keitel Order, 12 April 1941, for provisional directions for partition of Yugoslavia. (GB 144)… III 838

*1541-PS Directive No. 20, Operation Marita, 13 December 1940. (GB 117)… IV 101

*1746-PS Conference between German and Bulgarian Generals, 8 February 1941; speech by Hitler to German High Command on situation in Yugoslavia, 27 March 1941; plan for invasion of Yugoslavia, 28 March 1941. (GB 120)… IV 272

*1834-PS Report on conference between Ribbentrop and Oshima, 23 February 1941. (USA 129)… IV 469

*1835-PS Letter from Hitler to Mussolini, 28 March 1941. (GB 126)… IV 475

*1842-PS Meeting of Mussolini and Ribbentrop in Rome, 19 September 1940. (GB 143)… IV 477

*1871-PS Report on Hitler and Ciano meeting, 12 August 1939. (GB 142)… IV 508

*2450-PS Two letters from Ribbentrop to Prime Minister of Yugoslavia, as published in Voelkischer Beobachter, Munich Edition, 26 March 1941. (GB 123)… V 186

2719-PS German assurance to Yugoslavia; official announcement by German Foreign Office, 28 April 1938, to German Diplomatic Representatives, published in Documents of the Origin of War, 1939, No. 2, p.324… V 378

*2762-PS Letter from Hitler to Mussolini (probably early November 1940). (GB 115)… V 410

*2765-PS Extract from notes of conference between Hitler and Ciano in Vienna, 25 March 1941. (GB 124)… V 411

*2987-PS Entries in diary of Count Ciano. (USA 166)… V 689

*3054-PS “The Nazi Plan", script of a motion picture composed of captured German film. (USA 167)… V 801

*C-59 Order signed by Warlimont for execution of operation “Marita", 19 February 1941. (GB 121)… VI 879

*C-127 Extract from Directive No. 25 by Hitler, 27 March 1941. (GB 125)… VI 938

*C-134 Letter from Jodl enclosing memorandum on conference between German and Italian Generals on 19 January and subsequent speech by Hitler, 20 January 1941. (GB 119)… VI 939

C-147 Extracts from Directive No. 18, signed by Hitler, 12 November 1940… VI 957

*C-167 Report of meeting between Raeder and Hitler, 18 March 1941. (GB 122)… VI 977

*L-79 Minutes of conference, 23 May 1939, “Indoctrination on the political situation and future aims". (USA 27)… VII 847

*R-95 Army Order signed by von Brauchitsch, 30 March 1941, concerning deployment instructions for “Action 25” and supplementary instruction for action “Marita". (GB 127)… VIII 70

TC-43 German assurance to Yugoslavia, 6 October 1939, from Documents of German Politics, Vol. VII, p.352… VIII 386

*TC-77 Memorandum of conversation between Hitler, Ribbentrop and Ciano, 12 August 1939. (GB 48)… VIII 516

*TC-92 Hitler’s address at dinner for Prince Regent of Yugoslavia, 1 June 1939. (GB 114)… VIII 536

*TC-93 Proclamation of the Fuehrer to the German people, 6 April 1941, from Documents Concerning the Conflict with Yugoslavia and Greece. (GB 114)… VIII 537


A. Inception of the Plan.

The point of departure for the story of the aggression against the Soviet Union is the date, 23 August 1939. on that day-just a week before the invasion of Poland-the Nazi conspirators caused Germany to enter into the Treaty of Non-Aggression with the U.S.S.R. This Treaty (TC-25) contained two significant articles:

“Article 1: The two contracting parties undertake to refrain from any act of violence, any aggressive action, or any attack against one another, whether individually or jointly with other powers.”

“Article 5: Should disputes or conflicts arise between the contracting parties regarding questions of any kind whatsoever, the two partners would clear away these disputes or conflicts solely by friendly exchanges of views or if necessary by arbitration commission.” (TC-25)

The Treaty was signed for the U.S.S.R. by the Soviet Foreign Minister Molotov, and for the German Government by Ribbentrop. Its announcement came as somewhat of a surprise to the world, since it appeared to constitute a reversal of the previous trend of Nazi foreign policy. The explanation for this about face was provided, however, by Ribbentrop himself, in a discussion which he had with the Japanese Ambassador, Oshima, at Fuchel on 23 February 1941. A report of that conference was forwarded by Ribbentrop to certain German diplomats in the field for their strictly confidential and purely personal information (1834-PS). Ribbentrop told Oshima the reason for the Pact with the U.S.S.R. in the following words:

“Then when it came to war the Fuehrer decided on a treaty with Russia-a necessity for avoiding a two-front war. Perhaps this moment was difficult for Japan. The treaty was, however, in the interest of Japan For the Japanese empire was interested in as rapid a German victory as possible, which was assured by the treaty with Russia.” (1834-PS)

In view of this spirit of opportunism which motivated the Nazi Conspirators in entering into this solemn pledge of arbitration and nonaggression, it is not surprising to find that they regarded it, as they did all Treaties and Pledges, as binding on them only so long as it was expedient for them to do so. That they did so regard it is evident from the fact that, even while the campaign in the West was still in progress, they began to consider the possibility of launching a war of aggression against the U.S.S.R. In a speech to the Reichsleiters and Gauleiters at Munich in November 1943, Jodl admitted that:

“Parallel with all these developments realization was steadily growing of the danger drawing constantly nearer from the Bolshevik East-that danger which has been only too little perceived in Germany and latterly, for diplomatic reasons, had deliberately to be ignored. However, the Fuehrer himself has always kept this danger steadily in view and even as far back as during the western campaign had informed me of his fundamental decision to take steps against this danger the moment our military position made it at all possible.” (L-172)

At the time this statement was made, however, the Western Campaign was still in progress and so any action in the East necessarily had to be postponed for the time being. On 22 June 1940, however, the Franco-German armistice was signed at Compiegne and the campaign in the West, with the exception of the war against Britain, came to an end. The view that Germany’s key to political and economic dominance lay in the elimination of the U.S.S.R. as a political factor, and in the acquisition of lebensraum at her expense, had long been basic in Nazi ideology. This idea had never been completely forgotten, even while the war in the West was in progress. Now, flushed with the recent success of their arms and yet keenly conscious of both their failure to defeat Britain and the needs of their armies for food and raw materials, the Nazi conspirators began serious consideration of the means for achieving their traditional ambition by conquering the Soviet Union. The situation in which Germany now found herself made such action appear both desirable and practicable.

As early as August of 1940, General Thomas received a hint from Goering that planning for a campaign against the Soviet Union was already under way. Thomas at that time was the Chief of the Wirtschaft Rustung Amt, or Office for Economy and Armaments, of the OKW (Wi Rue Amt). General Thomas tells about receiving this information from Goering in his draft of a work entitled “Basic Facts For a History of German War and Armaments Economy,” which he prepared during the Summer of 1944 (2353-PS). On pages 313 to 315 of this work, Thomas discusses the Russo-German trade agreement of 1939 and relates that, since the Soviets were delivering quickly and well under this agreement and were requesting war materials in return, there was much pressure in Germany until early 1940 for increased delivery on the part of the Germans. However, at page 315 he has the following to say about the change of heart expressed by the German leaders in August of 1940:

“On August 14, the Chief of Wi Rue, during a conference with Reichmarshal Goering, was informed, that the Fuehrer desired punctual delivery to the Russians only till spring 1941. Later on we would have no further interest in completely satisfying the Russian demands. This allusion moved the Chief of Wi Rue to give priority to matters concerning Russian War Economy.” (2353-PS)

This statement will be referred to again later in the discussion of preparations for the economic exploitation of Soviet territory. At that time too, evidence will be presented that in November of 1940 Goering categorically informed Thomas that a campaign was planned against the U.S.S.R.

Preparations for so large an undertaking as an invasion of the Soviet union necessarily entailed, even this many months in advance of the date of execution, certain activity in the East in the way of construction projects and strengthening of forces. Such activity could not be expected to pass unnoticed by the Soviet intelligence service. Counterintelligence measures were obviously called for. In an OKW directive signed by Jodl and issued to the counter-Intelligence Service Abroad on 6 September 1940, such measures were ordered (1229-PS). this directive pointed out that the activity in the line for the counterintelligence people to take to disguise this fact. The text of the directive indicates, by necessary implication, the extent of the preparations already underway. It provides:

“The Eastern territory will be manned stronger in the weeks to come. By the end of October the status shown on the enclosed map is supposed to be reached.

“These regroupings must not create the impression in Russia that we are preparing an offensive in the East. On the other hand, Russia will realize that strong and highly trained German troops are stationed in the Government, in the Eastern provinces, and in the Protekterat; she should draw the conclusion that we can at any time protect our interests-especially on the Balkan-with strong forces against Russian seizure.

“For the work of our own intelligence service as well as for the answer to questions of the Russian intelligence service, the following directives apply:

“1. The respective total strength of the German troops in the East is to be veiled as far as possible by giving news about a frequent change of the army units there. This change is to be explained by movements into training camps, regroupings.

“2. The impression is to be created that the center of the massing of troops is in the Southern part of the Government, in the Protekterat and in Austria, and that the massing in the North is relatively unimportant.

“3. When it comes to the equipment situation of the units, especially of the armored divisions, things are to be exaggerated, if necessary.

“4. By suitable news the impression to be created that the antiaircraft protection in the East has been increased considerably after the end of the campaign in the West and that it continues to be increased with captured French material on all important targets.

“5. Concerning improvements on railroads, roads, airdromes, etc., it is to be stated that the work is kept within normal limits, is needed for the improvement of the newly won Eastern territories, and serves primarily economical traffic. “The supreme command of the Army (OKH) decides to what extent correct details, I. e., numbers of regiments, manning of garrisons, etc., will be made available to the defense for purposes of counter espionage.

“The Chief of the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces, by order of /signed/Jodl.” (1229-PS)

Early in November 1940 Hitler reiterated his previous orders and called for a continuation of preparations, promising further and more definite instructions as soon as this preliminary work produced a general outline of the army’s operational plans. This order was contained in a Top Secret directive from the Fuehrer’s Headquarters No. 18, dated 12 November 1940, signed by Hitler and initialed by Jodl (444-PS). The directive begins by saying that:

“The preparatory measures of Supreme Headquarters for the prosecution of the war in the near future are to be made along the following lines.” (444-PS)

It then outlines plans for the various theaters and the policy regarding relations with other countries and says regarding the U.S.S.R.:

“* * * 5. Russia

“Political discussions have been initiated with the aim of

clarifying Russia’s attitude for the time being. Irrespective of the results of these discussions, all preparations for the East which have already been verbally ordered will be continued.

“Instructions on this will follow, as soon as the general outline of the Army’s operational plans has been submitted to, and approved by me.” (444-PS)

On 5 December 1940 the Chief of the General Staff of the Army, at that time General Halder, reported to the Fuehrer concerning the progress of the plans for the coming operation against the U.S.S.R. A report of this conference with Hitler is set forth in a folder containing many documents, all labelled annexes and all bearing on Fall Barbarossa (1799-PS). This folder was discovered with the War Diary of the Wehrmacht Fuehrungsstab and was apparently an inclosure to that Diary. Annex No. 1, dated 5 December 1940, indicates the state which planning for this aggression had reached six and a half months before it occurred:

“Report to the Fuehrer on 5 December 1940.

“The Chief of the General Staff of the Army then reports about the planned operation in the East. He expanded at first on the geographic fundamentals. The main war industrial centers are in the Ukraine, in Moscow and in Leningrad.”

“The Fuehrer declares that he is agreed with the discussed operational plans and adds the following: The most important goal is to prevent that the Russians should withdraw on a closed front. The eastward advance should be combined until the Russian air force will be unable to attack the territory of the German Reich and, on the other hand, the German air force will be enabled to conduct raids to destroy Russian war industrial territories. In this way we should be able to achieve the annihilation of the Russian army and to prevent its regeneration.

“The first commitment of the forces should take place in such a way to make the annihilation of strong enemy units possible.”

“It is essential that the Russians should not take up positions in the rear again. The number of 130-140 Divisions as planned for the entire operation is sufficient.” (1799-PS)

B. Plan Barbarossa.

By 18 December 1940 the general outline of the army’s operational plans having been submitted to Hitler, the basic strategical directive to the High Commands of the Army, Navy, and Air forces for Barbarossa-Directive No. 21-was issued (446-PS). This directive marks the first time the plan to invade the U.S.S.R. was specifically referred to in an order, although the order was classified Top Secret. It also marked the first use of the code word Barbarossa to denote the operation against the Soviet Union. One of the most significant passages in that directive is the opening sentence:

“The German Armed Forces must be prepared to crush Soviet Russia in a quick campaign even before the end of the war against England. (Case Barbarossa).” (446-PS)

The directive continues:

“Preparations requiring more time to start are-if this has not yet been done-to begin presently and are to be completed not later than 15 May 1941.”

“Great caution has to be exercised that the intention of an attack will not be recognized.” (446-PS)

The directive then outlined the broad strategy on which the intended invasion was to proceed and the parts which the Army, Navy, and Air Forces were to play therein, and called for oral reports to Hitler by the Commanders-in-Chief. The directive concluded as follows:

“V. I am expecting the reports of the Commanders-in-Chief on their further plans based on this letter of instructions.

“The preparations planned by all branches of the Armed Forces are to be reported to me through the High Command, also in regard to their time.” (446-PS)

The directive is signed by Hitler and initialed by Jodl, Keitel, Warlimont, and one illegible signature.

It is perfectly clear both from the contents of the order itself as well as from its history, which has been outlined, that this directive was no mere staff planning exercise. It was an order to prepare for an act of aggression which was intended to occur and which actually did occur. The various services which received the order understood it as an order to prepare for action and did not view it as a hypothetical staff problem. This is plain from the detailed planning and preparation which they immediately undertook in order to implement the general scheme set forth in the basic directive.

C. Military Planning and preparation for the Implementation of Ba