|Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression Volume 1|
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It might be thought, from the melancholy story of broken treaties and violated assurances, that Hitler and the Nazi Government did not even profess that it is necessary or desirable to keep the pledged word. Outwardly, however, the professions were very different. With regard to treaties, on the 18 October 1933, Hitler said, "Whatever we have signed we will fulfill to the best of our ability."
The reservation is significant-"Whatever we have signed."
But, on 21 May 1935, Hitler said, "The German Government will scrupulously maintain every treaty voluntarily signed, even though it was concluded before their accession to power and office."
On assurances Hitler was even more emphatic. In the same speech, the Reichstag Speech of 21 May 1935, Hitler accepted assurances as being of equal obligation, and the world at that time could not know that that meant of no obligation at all. What he actually said was,
"And when I now hear from the lips of a British statesman that such assurances are nothing and that the only proof of sincerity is the signature appended to collective pacts, I must ask Mr. Eden to be good enough to remember that it is a question of assurance in any case. It is sometimes much easier to sign treaties with the mental reservations that one will consider one's attitude at the decisive hour than to declare before an entire nation and with full opportunity one's adherence to a policy which serves the course of peace because it rejects anything which leads to war."
And then he proceeded with the illustration of his assurance to France.
In this connection the position of a treaty in German law should not be forgotten. The appearance of a treaty in the Reichsgesetzblatt makes it part of the statute law of Germany, so that a breach thereof is also a violation of German domestic law.
(This section deals with fifteen only of the treaties which Hitler and the Nazis broke. The remainder of the 69 treaties which the German Reich violated between 1933 and 1941 are dealt with in other sections of this chapter.)
A. Convention for the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes, signed at the Hague on the 29th of July, 1899.
The Hague Conventions are of course only the first gropings towards the rejection of the inevitability of war. They do not render the making of aggressive war a crime, but their milder terms were as readily broken as more severe agreements.
On 29 July, 1899, Germany, Greece, Serbia, and 25 other nations signed a convention (TC-1). Germany ratified the convention on 4 September 1900, Serbia on the 11 May 1901, Greece on the 4 April 1901.
By Article 12 of the treaty between the Principal Allied and Associated Powers and the Serb-Croat-Slovene State, signed at the St. Germaine-en-Laye on 10 September 1919, the new Kingdom succeeded to all the old Serbian treaties, and later changed its name to Yugoslavia.
The first two articles of this Hague Convention read:
"Article 1: With a view to obviating as far as possible recourse to force in the relations between states, the signatory powers agree to use their best efforts to insure the pacific settlement of International differences.
"Article 2: In case of serious disagreement or conflict, before an appeal to arms the signatory powers agree to have recourse, as far as circumstances allow, to the good offices or mediation of one or more friendly powers." (TC-1)
B. Convention for the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes, signed at the Hague on 18 October 1907.
This Convention (TC-2) was signed at the Hague by 44 nations, and it is in effect as to 31 nations, 28 signatories, and three adherents. For present purposes it is in force as to the United States, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, and Russia.
By the provisions of Article 91 it replaces the 1899 Convention as between the contracting powers. As Greece and Yugoslavia are parties to the 1899 convention and not to the 1907, the 1899 Convention is in effect with regard to them, and that explains the division of Countries in Appendix C.
The first article of this treaty reads:
"1: With a view to obviating as far as possible recourse to force in the relations between States, the contracting powers agree to use their best efforts to insure the pacific settlement of international differences." (TC-2)
C. Convention Relative to the Opening of Hostilities, signed at the Hague on 18 October 1907.
This Convention (TC-3) applies to Germany, Poland, Norway, Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Russia. It relates to a procedural step in notifying one's prospective opponent before opening hostilities against him. It appears to have had its immediate origin in the Russo-Japanese war of 1904, when Japan attacked Russia without any previous warning. It will be noted that it does not fix any particular lapse of time between the giving of notice and the commencement of hostilities, but it does seek to maintain an absolutely minimum standard of International decency before the outbreak of war.
The first article of this treaty reads:
"The contracting powers recognize that hostilities between them must not commence without a previous and explicit warning in the form of either a declaration of war, giving reasons, or an ultimatum with a conditional declaration of war." (TC-3)
D. Convention 5, Respecting the Rights and Duties of Neutral Powers and Persons in Case of War on Land, signed at the Hague on 18 October 1907.
Germany was an original signatory to this Convention (TC-4), and the treaty is in force as a result of ratification or adherence between Germany and Norway, Denmark, Belgium, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, the USSR, and the United States.
Article 1 reads:
"The territory of neutral powers is inviolable." (TC-4)
A point arises on this Convention. Under Article 20, the provisions of the present Convention do not apply except between the contracting powers, and then only if all the belligerents are parties to the Convention.
As Great Britain and France entered the war within two days of the outbreak of the war between Germany and Poland, and one of these powers had not ratified the Convention, it is arguable that its provisions did not apply to the Second World War.
Since there are many more important treaties to be considered, the charge will not be pressed that this treaty was likewise breached. The terms of Article 1 are cited merely as showing the state of International opinion at the time, and as an element in the aggressive character of the war.
E. Treaty of Peace between the Allies and the Associated powers of Germany, signed at Versailles on 28 June 1919.
Part I of this treaty (TC-5 thru TC-10) contains the Covenant of the League of Nations, and part II sets the boundaries of Germany in Europe. These boundaries are described in detail. Part II makes no provision for guaranteeing these boundaries. Part III, Articles 31 to 117, contains the political clauses for Europe. In it, Germany guarantees certain territorial boundaries in Belgium, Luxembourg, Austria, Czechoslovakia, France, Poland, Memel, Danzig etc.
This treaty is interwoven with the next, which is the Treaty of Restoration of Friendly Relations between the United States and Germany. Parts I, II, and III of the Versailles Treaty are not included in the United States Treaty. Parts IV, V, VI, VIII, IX, X, XI, XII, XIV, and XV are all repeated verbatim in the United States Treaty from the Treaty of Versailles. This case is concerned with Part V, which are the military, naval, and air clauses. Parts VII and XIII are not included in the United States Treaty.
(1) Territorial Guarantees.
(a) The Rhineland. The first part with which this case is concerned is Articles 42 to 44 dealing with the Rhineland (TC-5). These are repeated in the Locarno Treaty. They read as follows:
"Article 42: Germany is forbidden to maintain or construct any fortifications either on the left bank of the Rhine or on the right bank to the west of a line drawn 50 kilometers to the east of the Rhine.
"Article 43: In the area defined above the maintenance and the assembly of armed forces, either permanently or temporarily, and military maneuvers of any kind, as well as the upkeep of all permanent works for mobilization, are in the same way forbidden.
"Article 44: In case Germany violates in any manner whatever the provisions of Articles 42 and 43, she shall be regarded as committing a hostile act against the powers signatory of the present treaty and as calculated to disturb the peace of the world."
(The speech by Hitler on 7 March 1936, giving his account of the breach of this treaty (2289-PS), is discussed in Section 2, supra.)
(b) Austria. The next part of the Treaty deals with Austria:
"Article 80: Germany acknowledges and will respect strictly the independence of Austria within the frontiers which may be fixed in a treaty between that State and the principal Allied and Associated powers; she agrees that this independence shall be inalienable, except with the consent of the Council of the League of Nations." (TC-6)
(The proclamation of Hitler dealing with Austria (TC-47), is discussed in Section 3 supra.)
(c) Memel. Germany also gave guarantee with respect to Memel:
"Germany renounces, in favor of the principal Allied and Associated powers, all rights and title over the territories included between the Baltic, the Northeastern frontier of East Prussia as defined in Article 28 of Part II (Boundaries of Germany) of the present treaty, and the former frontier between Germany and Russia. Germany undertakes to accept the settlement made by principal Allied and Associated powers in regard to these territories, particularly insofar as concerns the nationality of inhabitants." (TC-8)
The formal document by which Germany incorporated Memel into the Reich, reads as follows:
"The transfer Commissioner for the Memel territory, Gauleiter und Oberpraesident Erich Koch, effected on 3 April 1939, during a conference at Memel, the final incorporation of the late Memel territory into the National Socialist Party Gau of East Prussia and into the state administration of the East Prussian Regierungsbezirk of Grunbinnen." (TC-53-A)
(d) Danzig. Article 100 of the treaty relates to Danzig:
"Germany renounces, in favor of the principal Allied and Associated powers, all rights and title over the territory comprised within the following limits * * * (The limits are set out and are described in a German map attached to the Treaty.) (TC-9)
(e) Czechoslovakia. In Article 81, Germany made pledges regarding Czechoslovakia:
"Germany, in conformity with the action already taken by the Allied and Associated Powers, recognizes the complete independence of the Czechoslovak State, which will include the autonomous territory of the Ruthenians to the South of the Carpathians. Germany hereby recognizes the frontiers of this State as determined by the principal Allied and Associated powers and other interested states." (TC-7)
Captured minutes of the German Foreign Office record in detail the conference between Hitler and President Hacha, and Foreign Minister Chvalkowsky of Czechoslovakia, at which Goering and Keitel were present (2798-PS). The agreement subsequently signed by Hitler and Ribbentrop for Germany, and by Dr. Hacha and Dr. Chvalkowsky for Czechoslovakia, reads as follows:
"Text of the Agreement between the Fuehrer and Reichs Chancellor Adolf Hitler and the president of the Czechoslovak State, Dr. Hacha.
"The Fuehrer and Reichs Chancellor today received in Berlin, at their own request, the president of the Czechoslovak State, Dr. Hacha, and the Czechoslovak Foreign Minister, Dr. Chvalkowsky, in the presence of Herr Von Ribbentrop, the Foreign Minister of the Reich. At this meeting the serious situation which had arisen within the previous territory of Czechoslovakia owing to the events of recent weeks, was subjected to a completely open examination. The conviction was unanimously expressed on both sides that the object of all their efforts must be to assure quiet, order and peace in this part of Central Europe. The President of the Czechoslovak State declared that, in order to serve this end and to reach a final pacification, he confidently placed the fate of the Czech people and of their country in the hands of the Fuehrer of the German Reich. The Fuehrer accepted this declaration and expressed his decision to assure to the Czech people, under the protection of the German Reich, the autonomous development of their national life in accordance with their special characteristics. In witness whereof this document is signed in duplicate." (TC-49)
Hitler's proclamation to the German people, dated 15 March 1939, reads as follows:
"Proclamation of the Fuehrer to the German people, 15 March 1939.
"To the German People:
"Only a few months ago Germany was compelled to protect her fellow-countrymen, living in well-defined settlements, against the unbearable Czechoslovakian terror regime; and during the last weeks the same thing has happened on an ever-increasing scale. This is bound to create an intolerable state of affairs within an area inhabited by citizens of so many nationalities.
"These national groups, to counteract the renewed attacks against their freedom and life, have now broken away from the Prague Government. Czechoslovakia has ceased to exist.
"Since Sunday at many places wild excesses have broken out, amongst the victims of which are again many Germans. Hourly the number of oppressed and persecuted people crying for help is increasing. From areas thickly populated by German-speaking inhabitants, which last autumn Czechoslovakia was allowed by German generosity to retain, refugees robbed of their personal belongings are streaming into the Reich.
"Continuation of such a state of affairs would lead to the destruction of every vestige of order in an area in which Germany is vitally interested particularly as for over one thousand years it formed a part of the German Reich.
"In order definitely to remove this menace to peace and to create the conditions for a necessary new order in this living space, I have to-day resolved to allow German troops to march into Bohemia and Moravia. They will disarm the terror gangs and the Czechoslovakian forces supporting them, and protect the lives of all who are menaced. Thus they will lay the foundations for introducing a fundamental reordering of affairs which will be in accordance with the 1,000-year old history and will satisfy the practical needs of the German and Czech peoples". (TC-50)
A footnote contains an order of the Fuehrer to the German armed forces of the same date, in which they are told to march in to safeguard lives and property of all inhabitants and not to conduct themselves as enemies, but as an instrument for carrying out the German Reich Government's decision. (TC-50)
Next came the decree establishing the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. (TC-51)
In a communication from Foreign Minister Halifax to Sir Neville Henderson, British Ambassador in Berlin, the British Government protested against these actions:
"Foreign Office, March 17, 1939:
"Please inform German Government that His Majesty's Government desire to make it plain to them that they cannot but regard the events of the past few days as a complete repudiation of the Munich Agreement and a denial of the spirit in which the negotiators of that Agreement bound themselves to cooperate for a peaceful settlement.
"His Majesty's Government must also take this occasion to protest against the changes effected in Czechoslovakia by German military action, which are, in their view, devoid of any basis of legality." (TC-52)
The French Government also made a protest on the same date:
"* * * The French Ambassador has the honor to inform the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Reich of the formal protest made by the government of the French Republic against the measures which the communication of Count de Welzeck records.
"The government of the Republic consider, in fact, that in face of the action directed by the German Government against Czechoslovakia, they are confronted with a flagrant violation of the letter and the spirit of the agreement signed at Munich on September 9, 1938.
"The circumstances in which the agreements of March 15 have been imposed on the leaders of the Czechoslovak Republic do not, in the eyes of the Government of the Republic, legalize the situation registered in that agreement.
"The French Ambassador has the honor to inform His Excellency, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Reich, that the Government of the Republic can not recognize under these conditions the legality of the new situation created in Czechoslovakia by the action of the German Reich." (TC-53)
(2) Armament Limitations. Part V of the Treaty, containing Military, Naval and Air Clauses reads as follows:
"In order to render possible the initiation of a general limitation of the armaments of all nations, Germany undertakes strictly to observe the military, naval and air clauses which follow.
"Section 1. Military Clauses. Effectives and Cadres of the German Army * * *"
"Article 159. The German military forces shall be demobilized and reduced as prescribed hereinafter.
"Article 160. By a date which must not be later than March 31, 1920, the German Army must not comprise more than seven divisions of infantry and three divisions of cavalry.
"After that date, the total number of effectives in the army of the States constituting Germany must not exceed 100,000 men, including officers and establishments of depots. The army shall be devoted exclusively to the maintenance of order within the territory and to the control of the frontier.
"The total effective strength of officers, including the personnel of staffs, whatever their composition, must not exceed 4,000."
(2) "Divisions and Army Corps headquarters staffs, shall be organized in accordance with Table Number 1 annexed to this Section. The number and strength of units of infantry, artillery, engineers, technical services and troops laid down in the aforesaid table constitute maxima which must not be exceeded."
"The maintenance or formation of forces differently grouped or of other organizations for the command of troops or for preparation for war is forbidden.
"The great German General Staff and all similar organizations shall be dissolved and may not be reconstituted in any form." (TC-10)
Article 163 provides the steps by which the reduction will take place. Chapter 2 which deals with armament, provides that up till the time at which Germany is admitted as a member of the League of Nations, the armaments shall not be greater than the amount fixed in table Number 11. In other words, Germany agrees that after she has become a member of the League of Nations, the armaments fixed in the said table shall remain in force until they are modified by the Council of the League of Nations. Furthermore, she hereby agrees strictly to observe the decisions of the Council of the League on this subject. (TC-10)
Article 168 reads:
"The manufacture of arms, munitions or any war material shall only be carried out in factories or works, the location of which shall be communicated to and approved by the governments of the principal Allied and Associated Powers, and the number of which they retain the right to restrict. * * *" (TC-10)
Article 173, under the heading "Recruiting and Military training", deals with one matter, the breach of which is of great importance:
"Universal compulsory military service shall be abolished in Germany. The German Army may only be reconstituted and recruited by means of voluntary enlistment." (TC-10)
The succeeding articles deal with the method of enlistment in order to prevent a quick rush through the army of men enlisted for a short time.
Article 180 provides:
"All fortified works, fortresses and field works situated in German territory to the west of a line drawn 50 kilometers to the east of the Rhine shall be disarmed and dismantled. * * *" (TC-10)
Article 181 contains naval limitations:
"After a period of two months from the coming into force of the present Treaty the German naval forces in commission must not exceed:
Six battleships of the Deutschland or Lothringen type
Six light cruisers
Twelve torpedo boats
or an equal number of ships constructed to replace them as provided in Article 190.
"No submarines are to be included.
"All other warships, except where there is provision to the contrary in the present Treaty, must be placed in reserve or devoted to commercial purposes." (TC-10)
Article 183 limits naval personnel to fifteen thousand, including officers and men of all grades and corps.
Article 191 provides:
"The construction or acquisition of any submarines, even for commercial purposes, shall be forbidden in Germany." (TC-10)
Article 198, the first of the Air Clauses, commences:
"The armed forces of Germany must not include any military or naval air forces." (TC-10)
The formal statement made at the German Air Ministry about the reinauguration of the Air Corps is reproduced in TC-44. The public proclamation of compulsory military service is contained in TC-45.
F. Treaty between the United States and Germany Restoring Friendly Relations.
The purpose of this treaty (TC-11) was to complete the official cessation of hostilities between the United States of America and Germany; it also incorporated certain parts of the Treaty of Versailles. The relevant portion is Part 5, which repeats the clauses of the Treaty of Versailles which have been discussed immediately above.
G. Treaty of Mutual Guarantee between Germany, Belgium, France, Great Britain, and Italy, done at Locarno, 16 October 1925.
Several treaties were negotiated at Locarno; they all go together and are to a certain extent mutually dependent. At Locarno, Germany negotiated five treaties: (a) the Treaty of mutual Guarantee between Germany, Belgium, France, great Britain, and Italy (TC-12); (b) the Arbitration Convention between Germany and France; (c) the Arbitration Convention between Germany and Belgium; (d) the Arbitration Treaty between Germany and Poland; and (e) an Arbitration Treaty between Germany and Czechoslovakia.
Article 10 of the Treaty of Mutual Guarantee (TC-12) provided that it should come into force as soon as ratifications were deposited at Geneva in the archives of the League of Nations, and as soon as Germany became a member of the League of Nations. The ratifications were deposited on 14 September 1926, and Germany became a member of the League of Nations.
The two arbitration conventions and the two arbitration treaties provided that they shall enter into force under the same conditions as the Treaty of Mutual Guarantee. (Article 21 of the arbitration conventions and Article 22 of the arbitration treaties.)
The most important of the five agreements is the Treaty of Mutual Guarantee (TC-12). One of the purposes was to establish in perpetuity the borders between Germany and Belgium, and Germany and France. It contains no provision for denunciation or withdrawal therefrom and provides that it shall remain in force until the Council of the League of Nations decides that the League of Nations ensures sufficient protection to the parties to the Treaty-an event which never happened-in which case the Treaty of Mutual Guarantee shall expire one year later.
The general scheme of the treaty of mutual guarantee is that Article 1 provides that the parties guarantee three things: the border between Germany and France, the border between Germany and Belgium, and the demilitarization of the Rhineland.
Article 2 provides that Germany and France, and Germany and Belgium agree that they will not attack or invade each other, with certain inapplicable exceptions; and Article 3 provides that Germany and France, and Germany and Belgium agree to settle all disputes between them by peaceful means. (TC-12)
The first important violation of the Treaty of Mutual Guarantee appears to have been the entry of German troops into the Rhineland on 7 March 1936. The day after, France and Belgium asked the League of Nations Council to consider the question of the German reoccupation of the Rhineland and the purported repudiation of the treaty. On 12 March, after a protest from the British Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Belgium, France, Great Britain, and Italy recognized unanimously that the reoccupation was a violation of this treaty. On 14 March, the League Council duly and properly decided that reoccupation was not permissible and that the Rhineland clauses of the pact were not voidable by Germany because of the alleged violation by France in the Franco-Soviet Mutual Assistance Pact.
That is the background to the treaty. The relevant articles are 1, 2, and 3, already mentioned; 4, which provides for the bringing of violations before the Council of the League, as was done; and 5, which deals with the clauses of the Versailles Treaty already mentioned. It provides:
"The provisions of Article 3 of the present Treaty are placed under the guarantee of the High Contracting Parties as provided by the following stipulations:
"If one of the Powers referred to in Article 3 refuses to submit a dispute to peaceful settlement or to comply with an arbitral or judicial decision and commits a violation of Article 2 of the present Treaty or a breach of Article 42 or 43 of the Treaty of Versailles, the provisions of Article 4 of the present Treaty shall apply." (TC-12)
That is the procedure requiring reference to the League in the case of a flagrant breach or of more stringent action.
It may be recalled that Hitler had promised that the German Government would scrupulously maintain their treaties voluntarily signed, even though they were concluded before Hitler's accession to power. No one has ever argued that Stresemann was in any way acting involuntarily when he signed this Locarno Pact on behalf of Germany, along with the other representatives. (The signature is not in Stresemann's name, but by Herr Hans Luther.) This treaty, which repeats the violated provisions of the Versailles Treaty, was freely entered into and binds Germany in that regard. article 8 deals with the preliminary enforcement of the treaty by the League:
"The present Treaty shall be registered at the League of Nations in accordance with the Covenant of the League. It shall remain in force until the Council, acting on a request of one or other of the High Contracting Parties notified to the other signatory powers three months in advance, and voting at least by a two-thirds majority, decides that the League of Nations ensures sufficient protection to the High Contracting parties; the treaty shall cease to have effect on the expiration of a period of one year from such decision." (TC-12)
Thus, in signing this Treaty, the German representative clearly placed the question of repudiation or violation of the treaty in the hands of others. Germany was at the time a member of the League, and a member in the Council of the League. Germany left the question of repudiation or violations to the decision of the League.
H. Arbitration treaty between Germany and Czechoslovakia, signed at Locarno in October 1925.
Article I is the governing clause of this treaty (TC-14). It provides:
"All disputes of every kind between Germany and Czechoslovakia with regard to which the Parties are in conflict as to their respective rights, and which it may not be possible to settle amicably by the normal methods of diplomacy, shall be submitted for decision either to an arbitral tribunal, or to the permanent Court of International Justice as laid down hereafter. It is agreed that the disputes referred to above include, in particular, those mentioned in Article 13 of the Covenant of the League of Nations. This provision does not apply to disputes arising out of or prior to the present Treaty and belonging to the past. Disputes for the settlement of which a special procedure is laid down on other conventions in force between the High Contracting Parties, shall be settled in conformity with the provisions of those Conventions."
This treaty was registered with the Secretariat of the League in accordance with Article 22, the second sentence of which shows that the Treaty was entered into and its terms in force under the same conditions as the treaty of Mutual Guarantee. (TC-12)
This is the Treaty to which President Benes unsuccessfully appealed during the crisis in the Autumn of 1938.
I. Arbitration Convention Between Germany and Belgium, signed at Locarno, October 1925.
(This treaty, TC-13, is discussed in Section 10 of this chapter dealing with the invasion of Belgium Netherlands and Luxembourg.)
J. Arbitration Treaty Between Germany and Poland, signed at Locarno, 16 October 1925.
(This treaty, TC-15, is discussed in Section 8 of this chapter dealing with the invasion of Poland.)
K. Declaration of the Assembly of the League of Nations of 24 September 1927.
Germany had become a member of the League of Nations on 10 September 1926, a year before this Declaration was made.
The importance of this Declaration is not only its effect on International Law, but to the fact that it was unanimously adopted by the Assembly of the league of Nations, of which Germany was a free and active member at the time. Referring to the unanimous adoption of the Declaration, M. Sokal, the Polish Rapporteur, had this to say:
"The Committee was of opinion that, at the present juncture, a solemn resolution passed by the Assembly, declaring that wars of aggression must never be employed as a means of settling disputes between States, and that such wars constitute an international crime, would have a salutary effect on public opinion, and would help to create an atmosphere favorable to the League's future work in the matter of security and disarmament.
"While recognizing that the draft resolution does not constitute a regular legal instrument, which would be adequate in itself and represent a concrete contribution towards security, the Third Committee unanimously agreed as to its great moral and educative value." (TC-18)
M. Sokal then asked the Assembly to adopt the draft resolution, the terms of which show what so many nations, including Germany, had in mind at that time. The resolution recited that the Assembly-
"* * * recognizing the solidarity which unites the community of nations, being inspired by a firm desire for the maintenance of general peace, being convinced that a war of aggression can never serve as a means of settling international disputes, and in consequence an international crime; considering that the solemn renunciation of all wars of aggression would tend to create an atmosphere of general confidence calculated to facilitate the progress of the work undertaken with a view to disarmament:
"Declares: 1. That all wars of aggression are and shall always be prohibited.
"2. That every pacific means must be employed to settle disputes of every description, which may arise between States. "That the Assembly declares that the States Members of the League are under an obligation to conform to these principles." (TC-18)
The fact of the solemn renunciation of war was taken in the form of a roll call, and the President announced that:
"All the delegations having pronounced in favour of the declaration submitted by the third Committee, I declare it unanimously adopted." (TC-18)
L. The Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928.
(This treaty, TC-19, is discussed in Sir Hartley Shawcross's opening address for great Britain, to be found in Section 5, supra.)
(1) Austria. On 21 May 1935 Hitler made a speech containing this assurance:
"Germany neither intends nor wishes to interfere in the domestic affairs of Austria, to annex Austria, or to attach that country to her. The German people and the German Government have, however, the very comprehensible desire, arising out of the simple feeling of solidarity due to a common national descent, that the right to self-determination should be guaranteed not only to foreign nations, but to the German people everywhere.
"I myself believe that no regime which is not anchored in the people, supported by the people, and desired by the people, can exist permanently." (TC-26)
Similarly, in the Agreement between the German Government and the Government of the Federal State of Austria, on July 11, 1936, paragraph one stated as follows:
"The German Government recognizes the full sovereignty of the Federal State of Austria in the sense of the pronouncements of the German Leader and Chancellor of the 21st may, 1935." (TC-22)
(2) Czechoslovakia. The German Assurance to Czechoslovakia is contained in the letter from M. Jan Masaryk to Viscount Halifax on the date of 12 March 1938 (TC-27). The first paragraph shows that Field Marshall Goering used the expression "Ich gebe Ihnen Mein Ehrenwort." that means, "I give my word of honor." The third paragraph shows that Goering had asked that there would not be a mobilization of the Czechoslovak Army.
The fourth paragraph reads:
"M. Mastny was in a position to give him definite and binding assurances on this subject, and today he spoke with Baron von Neurath, who, among other things, assured him on behalf of Herr Hitler that Germany still considers herself bound by the German-Czechoslovak Arbitration Convention concluded at Locarno in October 1925." (TC-27)
So that in 1935 baron von Neurath was speaking on behalf of Germany on an agreement voluntarily concluded. Had there been the slightest doubt of that question, von Neurath gave the assurance on behalf of Hitler that Germany still considered itself bound by the German-Czechoslovakia Arbitration Convention on the 12 march 1938, six months before Dr. Benes made a hopeless appeal to it before the crisis in the Army in 1938.
Czechoslovakia's difficult position is set out in the pregnant last paragraph:
"They can not however fail to view with great apprehension the sequel of events in Austria between the date of the bilateral agreement between Germany and Austria, 11 July 1936, and yesterday, 11 March 1938." (TC-27)
On 26 September 1938, Hitler made an assurance to Czechoslovakia which contains important points as to the alleged German policy of getting Germans together in the Reich, for which the Nazi conspirators had purported to request a considerable time:
"I have a little to explain. I am grateful to Mr. Chamberlain for all his efforts, and I have assured him that the German people want nothing but peace; but I have also told him that I can not go back beyond the limits of our patience." (TC-28)
(This occurred between the Godesberg Treaty and the Munich Pact).
"I assured him, moreover, and I repeat it here, that when this problem is solved there will be no more territorial problems for Germany in Europe. And I further assured him that from the moment when Czechoslovakia solves its other problems, that is to say, when the Czechs have come to an arrangement with their other minorities peacefully, and without oppression, I will no longer be interested in the Czech State. And that, as far as I am concerned, I will guarantee it. We don't want any Czechs. But I must also declare before the German people that in the Sudeten German problem my patience is now at an end. I made an offer to Herr Benes which was no more than the realization of what he had already promised. He now has peace or war in his hands. Either he will accept this offer and at length give the Germans their freedom, or we will get this freedom for ourselves." (TC-28)
The Munich Agreement of 29 September 1938 (TC-23) was signed by Hitler, later by Mr. Chamberlain, Mr. Daladier, and Mussolini. It is largely a procedural agreement by which the entry of German troops into Sudeten-Deutsche territory is regulated. That is shown by the preliminary clause:
"Germany, the United Kingdom, France and Italy, taking into consideration the agreement which has been already reached in principle for the cession to Germany of the Sudeten German territory have agreed on the following terms and conditions governing the said cession and the measures consequent thereon, and by this agreement they each hold themselves responsible for the steps necessary to secure fulfillment." (TC-23)
Article 4 states that "The occupation by stages of the predominantly German territory by German troops will begin on 1 October." The four territories are marked on the attached map. Article 6 provides that "The final determination of the frontiers will be carried out by the international commission." (TC-23)
The agreement provides also for various rights of option and release from the Czech forces of Sudeten Germans (TC-23). That was what Hitler was asking for in the somewhat rhetorical passage previously referred to (TC-28).
There is an annex to the Munich Agreement which is most significant:
"Annex to the Agreement:
"His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom and the French Government have entered into the above Agreement on the basis that they stand by the offer contained in Paragraph 6 of the Anglo-French Proposal of the 19th September, relating to an international guarantee of the new boundaries of the Czechoslovak State against unprovoked aggression.
"When the question of the Polish and Hungarian minorities in Czechoslovakia has been settled Germany and Italy, for their part, will give a guarantee to Czechoslovakia." (TC-23)
The provision concerns "the Polish and Hungarian minorities," not the question of Slovakia. That is why that the German action of the 15th of March was a flagrant violation of the letter and spirit of that Agreement. (For fuller discussion see Section 4 of this Chapter relating to aggression against Czechoslovakia.)
Document Description Vol. Page
Charter of the International Military. Tribunal, Article 6 (a)....... I 5
International Military Tribunal, Indictment Number 1, Sections V; VI; Appendix C....... I 29,30,73
Note: A single asterisk (*) before a document indicates that the document was received in evidence at the Nurnberg trial. A double asterisk (**) before a document number indicates that the document was referred to during the trial but was not formally received in evidence, for the reason given in parentheses following the description of the document. The USA series number, given in parentheses following the description of the document, is the official exhibit number assigned by the court.
*2289-PS Hitler's speech in the Reichstag, 7 March 1936, published in Voelkischer Beobachter, Berlin Edition, No. 68, 8 March 1936. (USA 56)...... IV 994
*2798-PS German Foreign Office minutes of the meeting between Hitler and President Hacha of Czechoslovakia, 15 March 1939. (USA 118; GB 5)....... V 433
*TC-1 Hague Convention for Pacific Settlement of International Disputes signed at The Hague, 29 July 1899. (GB 1)....... VIII 273
*TC-2 Hague Convention (1) for Pacific Settlement of International Disputes-1907. (GB 2)....... VIII 276
*TC-3 Hague Convention (3) Relative to opening of Hostilities. (GB 2)....... VIII 279
*TC-4 Hague Convention (5) Respecting Rights and Duties of Neutral Powers and Persons in War on Land. (GB 2)....... VIII 282
*TC-5 Versailles Treaty, Article 42-44. (GB 3)....... VIII 288
*TC-6 Versailles Treaty, Section VI, Article 80, Austria. (GB 3)....... VIII 289
*TC-7 Versailles Treaty, Section VII, Article 81, Czecho-Slovak State. (GB 3)....... VIII 289
*TC-8 Versailles Treaty, Section X, Article 99, Memel. (GB 3)....... VIII 289
*TC-9 Versailles Treaty, Section XI, Article 100, Free City of Danzig. (GB 3)....... VIII 290
*TC-10 Versailles Treaty, Part V, Military, Naval and Air Clauses. (GB 3)....... VIII 291
*TC-11 Treaty between the United States and Germany restoring friendly relations, 25 August 1921. (USA 12)....... VIII 308
*TC-12 Treaty of Mutual Guarantee between Germany, Belgium, France, Great Britain and Italy, done at Locarno, 16 October 1925. (GB 13)....... VIII 313
*TC-13 Arbitration Convention between Germany and Belgium at Locarno, 16 October 1925. (GB 15)....... VIII 320
*TC-14 Arbitration Treaty between Germany and Czechoslovakia, signed at Locarno, 16 October 1925. (GB 14)....... VIII 325
*TC-15 Arbitration Treaty between Germany and Poland at Locarno, 16 October 1925. (GB 16)....... VIII 331
*TC-18 Declaration concerning wars of aggression; resolution of 3rd Committee of League of Nations, 24 September 1927. (GB 17)....... VIII 357
*TC-19 Kellogg-Briand Pact at Paris. 1929 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part II, No. 9, pp. 97-101. (GB 18)....... VIII 359
*TC-21 German-Polish Declaration, 26 January 1934. (GB 24)....... VIII 368
*TC-22 Agreement between Austria and German Government and Government of Federal State of Austria, 11 July 1936. (GB 20)....... VIII 369
*TC-23 Agreement between Germany, the United Kingdom, France and Italy, 29 September 1938. (GB 23)....... VIII 370
*TC-25 Non-aggression Treaty between Germany and USSR and announcement of 25 September 1939 relating to it. (GB 145)....... VIII 375
*TC-26 German assurance to Austria, 21 May 1935, from Documents of German Politics, Part III, p. 94. (GB 19)....... VIII 376
*TC-27 German assurances to Czechoslovakia, 11 and 12 March 1938, as reported by M. Masaryk, the Czechoslovak Minister to London to Viscount Halifax. (GB 21)....... VIII 377
*TC-28 German assurance to Czechoslovakia, 26 September 1938, from Documents of German Politics, Part VI, pp. 345-346. (GB 22)....... VIII 378
*TC-44 Notice by German government of existence of German Air Force, 9 March 1935. (GB 11)....... VIII 386
TC-45 Proclamation to German People of 16 March 1935....... VIII 388
TC-46 German memorandum to Signatories of Locarno Pact reasserting full German sovereignty over Rhineland, 7 March 1936....... VIII 394
TC-47 Hitler's Proclamation of Invasion of Austria, 12 March 1938....... VIII 398
*TC-49 Agreement with Czechoslovakia, 15 March 1939, signed by Hitler, von Ribbentrop, Hacha and Chvalkovsky, from Documents of German Politics, Part VII, pp. 498-499. (GB 6)....... VIII 402
*TC-50 Proclamation of the Fuehrer to the German people and Order of the Fuehrer to the Wehrmacht, 15 March 1939, from Documents of German Politics, Part VII, pp. 499-501. (GB 7)....... VIII 402
*TC-51 Decree establishing the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, 16 March 1939. (GB 8)....... VIII 404
*TC-52 Formal British protest against the annexation of Czechoslovakia in violation of the Munich Agreement, 17 March 1939. (GB 9)....... VIII 407
*TC-53 Formal French protest against the annexation of Bohemia and Moravia in violation of the Munich Agreement, 17 March 1939. (GB 10)....... VIII 407
*TC-53-A Marginal note to decree of final incorporation of Memel with German Reich, 23 March 1939, from Documents of German Politics, Part VII, p. 552. (GB 4)....... VIII 408
*TC-54 Proclamation of the Fuehrer to German Armed Forces, 1 September 1939. (GB 73).......VIII 408
*TC-54-A "Danzig's return to the Reich", from Documents of German Politics, Part VII, p. 575. (GB 73)....... VIII 409
TC-62 German declaration of war on U.S.A., 11 December 1941, from Documents of German Politics, Part IV, p. 497.......VIII 432
**Chart No. 13 Violations of Treaties, Agreements and Assurances. (Enlargement displayed to Tribunal.)....... VIII 782