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.)
"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.
"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:
"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.
"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.
"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