The Holocaust Historiography Project

Translation of document 3704-PS

From 1919, and particularly from 1924, three critical
territorial questions occupied attention in Germany. These
were the questions of the Polish Corridor, the Ruhr, and

I myself, as well as the whole group of German staff
officers, believed that these three questions, outstanding
among which was the question of the Polish Corridor, would
have to be settled some day, if necessary by force of arms.
About 90% of the German people were of the same mind as the
officers on the Polish question. A war to wipe out the
desecration involved in the creation of the Polish Corridor
and to lessen the threat to separated East Prussia
surrounded by Poland and Lithuania was regarded as a sacred
duty though a sad necessity. This was one of the chief
reasons behind the partially secret rearmament which began
about ten years before Hitler came to power and was
accentuated under Nazi rule.

Before 1938-1939 the German generals were not opposed to
Hitler. There was no reason to oppose Hitler since he
produced the results which they desired. After this time
some generals began to condemn his methods and lost
confidence in the power of his judgment. However they failed
as a group to take any definite stand against him, although
a few of them tried to do so and as a result had to pay for
this with their lives or their positions.

Shortly before my removal from the post of Commander-in-
Chief of the Armed Forces in January 1938, Hitler asked me
to recommend a successor. I suggested Goering, who was the
ranking officer, but Hitler objected because of his lack of

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and diligence. I was replaced as Commander-in-Chief of the
Armed Forces by no officer, but Hitler personally took over
my function as Commander. Keitel was recommended by me as a
Chef de bureau. As far as I know he was never named
commander of the Armed Forces but was always merely a “Chief
of Staff” under Hitler and in effect conducted the
administrative functions of the Ministry of War. At my time
Keitel was not opposed to Hitler and therefore was qualified
to bring about a good understanding between Hitler and the
Armed Forces, a thing which I myself desired and had
furthered as Reichswehrminister and Reichskriegminister. To
do the opposite would have led to a civil war, for at that
time the mass of the German people supported Hitler. Many
are no longer willing to admit this. But it is the truth.

As I heard, Keitel did not oppose any of Hitler’s measures.
He became a willing tool in Hitler’s hands for every one of
his decisions.

He did not measure up to what might have been expected of him.

                                        [signed] v. BLOMBERG


Before me, Paul A. Neuland, Major, QMC, ASN O-385720, an
officer duly qualified to take oaths, appeared Field Marshal
Werner von Blomberg, to me known, who in my presence signed
the foregoing “Erklaerung” (statement) consisting of two
pages in the German language, and swore that the same was
true on the 7th day of November 1945.

                                    [signed] Paul A. Neuland
                                             PAUL A. NEULAND
                                                  Major, QMC