|Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression Volume 1|
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A. Treaties Breached.
In addition to the general treaties involved-The Hague Convention in respect of the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes (TC-2) ; other Hague Conventions of 1907 (TC-3; TC-4) ; the Versailles Treaty (TC-9) in respect of the Free City of Danzig; and the Kellogg-Briand Pact (TC-19)-two specific agreements were violated by the German attack on Poland. These were the Arbitration Treaty between Germany and Poland, signed at Locarno on 16 October 1925, and the Declaration of Non-Aggression which was entered into between Germany and Poland on 26 January 1934.
The German-Polish Arbitration Treaty (TC-15) declares in the preamble and Articles 1 and 2:
"The president of the German Empire and the President of the Polish Republic:
"Equally resolved to maintain peace between Germany and Poland by assuring the peaceful settlement of differences which might arise between the two countries;
"Declaring that respect for the rights established by treaty or resulting from the law of nations is obligatory for international tribunals;
"Agreeing to recognize that the rights of a State cannot be modified save with its consent;
"And considering that sincere observance of the methods of peaceful settlement of international disputes permits of resolving, without recourse to force, questions which may become the cause of division between States;
"Have decided. . ."
"Article 1: All disputes of every kind between Germany and Poland with regard to which the Parties are in conflict as to their respective rights, and which it may not be possible to settle amicably by the normal methods of diplomacy, shall be submitted for decision either to an arbitral tribunal or to the Permanent Court of International Justice, as laid down hereafter."
"Article 2: Before any resort is made to arbitral procedure before the Permanent Court of International Justice, the dispute may, by agreement between the Parties, be submitted, with a view to amicable settlement, to a permanent international commission, styled the Permanent Conciliation Commission, constituted in accordance with the present Treaty." (TC-15)
Thereafter the treaty goes on to lay down the procedure for arbitration and for conciliation. Germany, however, in September 1939 attacked and invaded Poland without having first attempted to settle its disputes with Poland by peaceful means.
The second specific treaty, the German-Polish Declaration of 26 January 1934, reads in part:
"The German Government and the Polish Government consider that the time has come to introduce a new era in the political relations between Germany and Poland by a direct understanding between the States. They have therefore decided to establish by the present declaration a basis for the future shaping of those relations.
"The two Governments assume that the maintenance and assurance of a permanent peace between their countries is an essential condition for general peace in Europe."
"The declaration shall remain in effect for a period of ten years counting from the day of exchange of instruments of ratification. In case it is not denounced by one of the two governments six months before the expiration of that period of time, it shall continue in effect but can then be denounced by either government at a time of six months and at any time in advance." (TC-21)
B. German Intentions Before March 1939.
It has been previously shown that the actions against Austria and Czechoslovakia were in themselves part of the preparation for further aggression. Even at that time, before the Germans had seized the whole of Czechoslovakia, they were perfectly prepared to fight England, Poland, and France, if necessary, to achieve those aims. They appreciated the whole time that they might well have to do so. Furthermore, although not until after March 1939, did they commence upon their immediate and specific preparations for a specific war against Poland, nevertheless, they had for a considerable time before had it in mind specifically to attack Poland once Czechoslovakia was completely theirs.
During this period also-and this happens throughout the whole story of the Nazi regime in Germany-as afterwards, while they were making their preparations and carrying out their plans, they were giving to the outside world assurance after assurance so as to lull them out of any suspicion of their real object.
When the agreement with Poland was signed in January 1934, Hitler had this to say:
"When I took over the Government on the 30th of January, the relations between the two countries seemed to me more than unsatisfactory. There was a danger that the existing differences which were due to the Territorial Clauses of the Treaty of Versailles and the mutual tension resulting therefrom would gradually crystallize into a state of hostility which, if persisted, might too easily acquire the character of a dangerous traditional enmity."
"In the spirit of this Treaty the German Government is willing and prepared to cultivate economic relations with Poland in such a way that here, too, the state of unprofitable suspicion can be succeeded by a period of useful cooperation. It is a matter of particular satisfaction to us that in this same year the National Socialist Government of Danzig has been enabled to effect a similar clarification of its relations with its Polish neighbor." (TC-70)
That was in 1934. Three years later, again on 30 January, speaking in the Reichstag, Hitler said:
"By a series of agreements we have eliminated existing tension and thereby contributed considerably to an improvement in the European atmosphere. I merely recall an agreement with Poland which has worked out to the advantage of both sides. True statesmanship will not overlook reality but consider them. The Italian nation and the new Italian state are realities. The German nation and the German Reich are equally realities, and to my own fellow citizens I would say that the Polish nation and the Polish state have also become a reality." (2368-PS)
That was on 30 January 1937.
On 24 June 1937, a "Top Secret Order (C-175) was issued by the Reich Minister for War and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, signed "Von Blomberg". There is the notation at the top, "Written by an Officer. Outgoing documents in connection with this matter and dealing with it in principle are to be written by an officer." With it is enclosed a Directive for the Unified Preparation for War of the Armed Forces, to come into force on 1 August 1937. The enclosed directive is divided into Part 1, "General Guiding Principle"; Part 2, "Likely Warlike Eventualities"; Part 3, "Special Preparations". The substance of the document justifies the supposition that Germany need not consider an attack from any side.
The second paragraph states:
"* * * The intention to unleash a European war is held just as little by Germany. Nevertheless, the politically fluid world situation, which does not preclude surprising incidents, demands a continuous preparedness for war of the German Armed Forces.
"To counter attacks at any time, and to enable the military exploitation of politically favorable opportunities should they occur." (C-175)
The preparations which are to be made are then set forth:
"* * * The further working on mobilization without public announcement in order to put the Armed Forces in a position to begin a war suddenly and by surprise both as regards strength and time."
"Special preparations are to be made for the following eventualities: Armed intervention against Austria; warlike entanglement with Red Spain." (C-175)
Another passage shows clearly how they appreciated at that time that their actions against Austria and Czechoslovakia might well involve them in war.
"* * * England, Poland, Lithuania take part in a war against us." (C-175)
Part 2 of this directive, dealing with "Probable warlike eventualities-Concentrations," states:
"1. War on two fronts with focal point in the West.
"Suppositions. In the West France is the opponent. Belgium may side with France, either at once or later or not at all. It is also possible that France may violate Belgium's neutrality if the latter is neutral. She will certainly violate that of Luxembourg." (C-175)
Part 3, which deals in part with "Special Case-Extension Red-Green," declares:
"The military political starting point used as a basis for concentration plans Red and Green can be aggravated if either England, Poland or Lithuania join on the side of our opponents. Thereupon our military position would be worsened to an unbearable, even hopeless, extent. The political leaders will therefore do everything to keep these countries neutral, above all England and Poland." (C-175)
The date of this order is June 1937, and it seems clear that at that date, anyway, the Nazi Government appreciated the likelihood, if not the probability, of fighting England and Poland and France, and were prepared to do so. On 5 November 1937, Hitler held his conference in the Reichschancellery, the minutes of which, referred to as the Hossbach notes, contain the remarks made by Hitler in respect of England, Poland, and France:
"The Fuehrer then stated: 'The aim of German policy is the security and preservation of the nation and its propagation. This is consequently a problem of space'" (386-PS)
Hitler then went on to discuss what he described as "participation in world economy", and declared:
"The only way out, and one which may appear imaginary, is the securing of greater living space, an endeavor which at all times has been the cause of the formation of states and movements of nations." (386-PS)
"The history of all times, Roman Empire, British Empire, has proved that every space expansion can only be effected by breaking resistance and taking risks. Even setbacks are unavoidable. Neither formerly nor today has space been found without an owner. The attacker always comes up against the proprietor." (386-PS)
On the same day as this Hossbach meeting in the Reichschancellery was taking place, a communiqué was being issued as a result of the Polish ambassador's audience with Hitler (TC-73 No. 33). In the course of this conversation, the communiqué stated:
"It was confirmed that Polish-German relations should not meet with difficulty because of the Danzig question." (TC-73 No. 33)
On 2 January 1938, some unknown person wrote a memorandum for the Fuehrer. This document is headed, "Very Confidential-Personal Only", and is entitled "Deduction on the report, German Embassy, London, regarding the future form of Anglo-German relations." It states in part:
"With the realization that Germany will not tie herself to a status quo in Central Europe, and that sooner or later a military conflict in Europe is possible, the hope of an agreement will slowly disappear among Germanophile British politicians, insofar as they are not merely playing a part that has been given to them. Thus the fateful question arises: Will Germany and England eventually be forced to drift into separate camps and will they march against each other one day? To answer this question, one must realize the following:
"Change of the status quo in the east in the German sense can only be carried out by force. So long as France knows that England, which so to speak has taken on a guarantee to aid France against Germany, is on her side, France's fighting for her eastern allies is probable in any case, always possible, and thus with it war between Germany and England. This applies then even if England does not want war. England, believing she must attend her borders on the Rhine, would be dragged in automatically by France. In other words, peace or war between England and Germany rests solely in the hands of France, who could bring about such a war between Germany and England by way of a conflict between Germany and France. It follows therefore that war between Germany and England on account of France can be prevented only if France knows from the start that England's forces would not be sufficient to guarantee their common victory. Such a situation might force England, and thereby France, to accept a lot of things that a strong Anglo-France coalition would never tolerate.
"This position would arise for instance if England, through insufficient armament or as a result of threats to her empire by a superior coalition of powers, e. g., Germany, Italy, Japan, thereby tying down her military forces in other places, would not be able to assure France of sufficient support in Europe."
The writer goes on to discuss the possibility of a strong partnership between Italy and Japan, and then reaches a summary:
"Paragraph five: Therefore, conclusions to be drawn by us.
"1. Outwardly, further understanding with England in regard to the protection of the interests of our friends.
"2. Formation under great secrecy, but with whole-hearted tenacity of a coalition against England, that is to say, a tightening of our friendship with Italy and Japan; also the winning over of all nations whose interests conform with ours directly or indirectly.
"Close and confidential cooperation of the diplomats of the three great powers towards this purpose. Only in this way can we confront England be it in a settlement or in war. England is going to be a hard, astute opponent in this game of diplomacy.
"The particular question whether in the event of a war by Germany in central Europe France and thereby England would interfere, depends on the circumstances and the time at which such a war commences and ceases, and on military considerations which cannot be gone into here." (TC-75)
Whoever it was who wrote that document, appears to have been on a fairly high level, because he concludes by saying, "I should like to give the Fuehrer some of these viewpoints verbally." (TC-75)
On 20 February 1938, Hitler spoke in the Reichstag. In that speech he said:
"In the fifth year following the first great foreign political agreement with the Reich, it fills us with sincere gratification to be able to state that in our relations with the state with which we had had perhaps the greatest difference, not only has there been a 'detente,' but in the course of the years there has been a constant improvement in relations. This good work, which was regarded with suspicion by so many at the time, has stood the test, and I may say that since the League of Nations finally gave up its continual attempts to unsettle Danzig and appointed a man of great personal attainments as the new commissioner, this most dangerous spot from the point of view of European peace has entirely lost its menacing character. The Polish State respects the national conditions in this state, and both the city of Danzig and Germany respect Polish rights. And so the way to an understanding has been successfully paved, an understanding which beginning with Danzig has today, in spite of the attempts of certain mischief-makers, succeeded in finally taking the poison out of the relations between Germany and Poland and transforming them into a sincere, friendly cooperation.
"To rely on her friendships, Germany will not leave a stone unturned to save that ideal which provides the foundation for the task which is ahead of us-peace." (2357-PS)
A memorandum dated 2 May 1938, and entitled, "Organizational Study 1950," originated in the office of the Chief of the Organizational Staff of the General Staff of the Air Force. Its purpose was said to be: "The task is to search, within a framework of very broadly-conceived conditions, for the most suitable type of organization of the Air Force." (L-43). The result gained is termed, "Distant Objective." From this is deduced the goal to be reached in the second phase of the process, which is called, "Final Objective 1942." This in turn yields what is considered the most suitable proposal for the reorganization of the staffs of the Air Force Group Commands, Air Gaus, Air Divisions, etc. (L-43)
The Table of Contents is divided into various sections. Section I is entitled, "Assumptions." In connection with the heading "Assumption I, frontier of Germany", a map is enclosed (Chart No. 10). The map shows that on 2 May 1938 the Air Force was in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Austria, and Hungary, all of which are shown as within the boundaries of the Reich.
The following is a pertinent extract from the memorandum:
"Consideration of the principles of organization on the basis of the assumptions for war and peace made in Section 1:
"1. Attack Forces: Principal adversaries: England, France, and Russia." (L-43)
The study then goes on to show all the one hundred forty-four Geschwader employed against England, very much concentrated in the Western half of the Reich; that is to say, they must be deployed in such a way that by making full use of their range, they can reach all English territory down to the last corner. Under the paragraph "Assumption" double heading 2, the "Organization of Air Force in peacetime" is shown and seven group commands are indicated: (1) Berlin; (2) Brunswick; (3) Munich; (4) Vienna; (5) Budapest; (6) Warsaw; and (7) Koenigsberg. (L-43)
Finally, the study declares:
"The more the Reich grows in area and the more the Air Force grows in strength, the more imperative it becomes, to have locally bound commands * * *" (L-43)
The original of this document is signed by an officer who is not at the top rank in the German Air Force, and the inferences that can be drawn from it should therefore not be over-emphasized. At least, however, it shows the lines upon which the General Staff of the Air Force were thinking at that time.
On the 26 August 1938, when Ribbentrop had become Foreign Minister succeeding von Neurath, a document was addressed to him as "The Reich Minister, via the State Secretary." The document reads as follows:
"The most pressing problem of German policy, the Czech problem, might easily, but must not lead to a conflict with the Entente. Neither France nor England are looking for trouble regarding Czechoslovakia. Both would perhaps leave Czechoslovakia to herself, if she should, without direct foreign interference and through internal signs of disintegration, due to her own faults, suffer the fate she deserves. This process, however, would have to take place step by step and would have to lead to a loss of power in the remaining territory by means of a plebiscite and an annexation of territory.
"The Czech problem is not yet politically acute enough for any immediate action, which the Entente would watch inactively, and not even if this action should come quickly and surprisingly. Germany cannot fix any definite time and this fruit could be plucked without too great a risk. She can only prepare the desired developments.
"For this purpose the slogan emanating from England at present of the right for autonomy of the Sudeten-Germans, which we have intentionally not used up to now, is to be taken up gradually. The international conviction that the choice of nationality was being withheld from these Germans will do useful spadework, notwithstanding the fact that the chemical process of dissolution of the Czech form of states may or may not be finally speeded up by the mechanical means as well. The fate of the actual body of Czechoslovakia, however, would not as yet be clearly decided by this, but would nevertheless be definitely sealed.
"This method of approach towards Czechoslovakia is to be recommended because of our relationship with Poland. It is unavoidable that the German departure from the problems of boundaries in the southeast and their transfer to the east and northeast must make the Poles sit up. The fact [is] that after the liquidation of the Czech question, it will be generally assumed that Poland will be the next in turn.
"But the later this assumption sinks in in international politics as a firm factor the better. In this sense, however, it is important for the time being, to carry on the German policy, under the well known and proved slogans of 'the right to autonomy' and 'Racial unity'. Anything else might be interpreted as pure imperialism on our part and create the resistance to our plan by the Entente at an earlier date and more energetically, than our forces could stand up to." (TC-76)
That was on 26 August 1938, just as the Czech crisis was leading up to the Munich settlement. While at Munich, a day or two before the Munich agreement was signed, Herr Hitler made a speech. On 26 September he said:
"I assured him, moreover, and I repeat it here, that when this problem is solved there will be no more territorial problems for Germany in Europe." (TC-29)
A letter from Admiral Carl, dated some time in September, with no precise date, and entitled "Opinion on the 'Draft Study of Naval Warfare against England'," stated as follows:
"There is full agreement with the main theme of the study."
"If according to the Fuehrer's decision Germany is to acquire a position as a world power who needs not only sufficient colonial possessions but also secure naval communications and secure access to the ocean." (C-23)
That, then, was the position at the time of the Munich agreement in September 1938. The gains of Munich were not, of course, so great as the Nazi Government had hoped and intended. As a result, the conspirators were not prepared straight away to start any further aggressive action against Poland or elsewhere. But with the advantages that were gained by the seizure of Czechoslovakia, it is obvious now that they intended and had taken the decision to proceed against Poland so soon as Czechoslovakia had been entirely occupied. As Jodl and Hitler said on subsequent occasions, Czechoslovakia was only setting the stage for the attack on Poland.
It is known now form what Hitler said in talking to his military commanders at a later date, that, in his own words, from the first he never intended to abide by the Munich agreement, but that he had to have the whole of Czechoslovakia. As a result, although not ready to proceed in full force against Poland, after September 1938 they did at once begin to approach the Poles on the question of Danzig until the whole of Czechoslovakia had been taken in March. Immediately after the Sudetenland had been occupied, preliminary steps were taken to stir up trouble with Poland, which would and was to eventually lead to the Nazi excuse or justification for their attack on that country.
The earlier discussions between the German and Polish governments on the question of Danzig, which commenced almost immediately after the Munich crisis in September 1938, began as cautious and friendly discussions, until the remainder of Czechoslovakia had finally been seized in March of the following year. A document taken from the Official Polish White Book, gives an account of a luncheon which took place at the Grand Hotel, Berchtesgaden, on 25 October, where Ribbentrop had discussions with M. Lipski, the Polish ambassador to Germany. The report states:
"In a conversation on 24 October, over a luncheon at the Grand Hotel, Berchtesgaden, at which M. Hewel was present, M. von Ribbentrop put forward a proposal for a general settlement of issues (Gesamtloesung) between Poland and Germany. This included the reunion of Danzig with the Reich, while Poland would be assured the retention of railway and economic facilities there. Poland would agree to the building of an extra-territorial motor road and railway line across Pomorze. In exchange M. von Ribbentrop mentioned the possibility of an extension of the Polish-German Agreement by twenty-five years and a guarantee of Polish-German frontiers."
"Finally, I said that I wished to warn M. von Ribbentrop that I could see no possibility of an agreement involving the reunion of the Free City with the Reich. I concluded by promising to communicate the substance of this conversation to you." (TC-73 No. 44)
It seems clear that the whole question of Danzig, as indeed Hitler himself said, was no question at all. Danzig was raised simply as an excuse, a justification, not for the seizure of Danzig but for the invasion and seizure of the whole of Poland. As the story unfolds it will become ever more apparent that that is what the Nazi conspirators were really aiming at, only providing themselves with some kind of crisis which would afford some kind of justification for attacking Poland.
Another document taken from the Polish White Book (TC-73 No. 45) sets out the instructions that Mr. Beck, the Polish Foreign Minister, gave to Mr. Lipski to hand to the German government in reply to the suggestions put forward by Ribbentrop at Berchtesgaden on 24 October. The first part reviews the history of Polish-German relationship and emphasizes the needs of Poland in respect to Danzig. Paragraph 6 of the document states:
"In the circumstances, in the understanding of the Polish government, the Danzig question is governed by two factors: the right of the German population of the city and the surrounding villages to freedom of life and development; and the fact that in all matters appertaining to the Free City as a port it is connected with Poland. Apart from the national character of the majority of the population, everything in Danzig is definitely bound up with Poland." (TC-73 No. 45)
The document then sets out the guarantees to Poland under the statute, and continues as follows:
"Taking all the foregoing factors into consideration, and desiring to achieve the stabilization of relations by way of a friendly understanding with the government of the German Reich, the Polish government proposes the replacement of the League of Nations guarantee and its prerogatives by a bi-lateral Polish-German Agreement. This agreement should guarantee the existence of the Free City of Danzig so as to assure freedom of national and cultural life to its German majority, and also should guarantee all Polish rights. Notwithstanding the complications involved in such a system, the Polish government must state that any other solution, and in particular any attempt to incorporate the Free City into the Reich, must inevitably lead to a conflict. This would not only take the form of local difficulties, but also would suspend all possibility of Polish-German understanding in all its aspects.
"In face of the weight and cogency of these questions, I am ready to have final conversations personally with the governing circles of the Reich. I deem it necessary, however, that you should first present the principles to which we adhere, so that my eventual contact should not end in a breakdown, which would be dangerous for the future." (TC-73 No. 45)
The first stage in those negotiations had been entirely successful from the German point of view. The Nazis had put forward a proposal, the return of the City of Danzig to the Reich, which they might well have known would have been unacceptable. It was unacceptable and the Polish government had warned the Nazi government that it would be. The Poles had offered to enter into negotiations, but they had not agreed, which is exactly what the German government had hoped for. They had not agreed to the return of Danzig to the Reich. The first stage in producing the crisis had been accomplished.
Shortly afterwards, within a week or so, and after the Polish government had offered to enter into discussions with the German government, another top secret order was issued by the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces, signed by Keitel (C-137). Copies went to the OKH, OKM, and OKW. The order is headed "First Supplement to Instruction dated 21 October 1938," and reads:
"The Fuehrer has ordered: Apart from the three contingencies mentioned in the instructions of 21 October 1938, preparations are also to be made to enable the Free State of Danzig to be occupied by German troops by surprise.
"The preparations will be made on the following basis: Condition is quasi-revolutionary occupation of Danzig, exploiting a politically favorable situation, not a war against Poland." (C-137)
The remainder of Czechoslovakia had not yet been seized, and therefore the Nazis were not yet ready to go to war with Poland. But Keitel's order shows how the German government answered the Polish proposal to enter into discussions.
On 5 January 1939 Mr. Beck had a conversation with Hitler. (TC-73 No. 48). Ribbentrop was also present. In the first part of that conversation, of which that document is an account, Hitler offered to answer any questions. He said he had always followed the policy laid down by the 1934 agreement. He discussed the question of Danzig and emphasized that in the German view it must sooner or later return to Germany. The conversation continued:
"Mr. Beck replied that the Danzig question was a very difficult problem. He added that in the Chancellor's suggestion he did not see any equivalent for Poland, and that the whole of Polish opinion, and not only people thinking politically but the widest spheres of Polish society, were particularly sensitive on this matter.
"In answer to this the Chancellor stated that to solve this problem it would be necessary to try to find something quite new, some new form, for which he used the term "Korperschaft,' which on the one hand would safeguard the interests of the German population, and on the other the Polish interests. In addition, the Chancellor declared that the Minister could be quite at ease, there would be no faits accomplis in Danzig and nothing would be done to render difficult the situation of the Polish Government." (TC-73 No. 48)
It will be recalled that in the previous document discussed (C-137) orders had already been issued for preparations to be made for the occupation of Danzig by surprise. Yet some six weeks later Hitler assured the Polish Foreign Minister that there would be no fait accompli and that he should be quite at his ease.
On the day after the conversation between Beck and Hitler, Beck and Ribbentrop conferred, as follows:
"Mr. Beck asked M. Von Ribbentrop to inform the Chancellor that whereas previously, after all his conversations and contacts with German statesmen, he had been feeling optimistic, today for the first time he was in a pessimistic mood. Particularly in regard to the Danzig question, as it had been raised by the Chancellor, he saw no possibility whatever of agreement."
"In answer M. Von Ribbentrop once more emphasized that Germany was not seeking any violent solution. The basis of their policy towards Poland was still a desire for the further building up of friendly relations. It was necessary to seek such a method of clearing away the difficulties as would respect the rights and interests of the two parties concerned." (TC-73 No. 49)
Ribbentrop apparently was not satisfied with that one expression of good faith. On the 25th of the same month, January 1939, he was in Warsaw and made another speech, of which the following is a pertinent extract:
"In accordance with the resolute will of the German National Leader, the continual progress and consolidation of friendly relations between Germany and Poland, based upon the existing agreement between us, constitute an essential element in German foreign policy. The political foresight, and the principles worthy of true statesmanship, which induced both sides to take the momentous decision of 1934, provide a guarantee that all other problems arising in the course of the future evolution of events will also be solved in the same spirit, with due regard to the respect and understanding of the rightful interests of both sides. Thus Poland and Germany can look forward to the future with full confidence in the solid basis of their mutual relations." (2530-PS)
Hitler spoke in the Reichstag on 30 January 1939, and gave further assurances of the good faith of the German Government. (TC-73 No. 57)
In March 1939 the remainder of Czechoslovakia was seized and the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia was set up. That seizure, as was recognized by Hitler and Jodl, had immensely strengthened the German position against Poland. Within a week of the completion of the occupation of Czechoslovakia heat was beginning to be applied on Poland.
On 21 March M. Lipski, the Polish ambassador, saw Ribbentrop. The nature of the conversation was generally very much sharper than that of the discussion between Ribbentrop and Beck a little time back at the Grand Hotel, Berchtesgaden:
"I saw M. Von Ribbentrop today. He began by saying he had asked me to call on him in order to discuss Polish-German relations in their entirety.
"He complained about our Press, and the Warsaw students' demonstrations during Count Ciano's visit."
"Further, M. von Ribbentrop referred to the conversation at Berchtesgaden between you and the Chancellor, in which Hitler put forward the idea of guaranteeing Poland's frontiers in exchange for a motor road and the incorporation of Danzig in the Reich. He said that there had been further conversations between you and him in Warsaw on the subject, and that you had pointed out the great difficulties in the way of accepting these suggestions. He gave me to understand that all this had made an unfavorable impression on the Chancellor, since so far he had received no positive reaction whatever on our part to his suggestions. M. von Ribbentrop had had a talk with the Chancellor only yesterday. He stated that the Chancellor was still in favor of good relations with Poland, and had expressed a desire to have a thorough conversation with you on the subject of our mutual relations. M. von Ribbentrop indicated that he was under the impression that difficulties arising between us were also due to some misunderstanding of the Reich's real aims. The problem needed to be considered on a higher plane. In his opinion our two States were dependent on each other."
"I [Lipski] stated that now, during the settlement of the Czechoslovakian question, there was no understanding whatever between us. The Czech issue was already hard enough for the polish public to swallow, for, despite our disputes with the Czechs they were after all a Slav people. But in regard to Slovakia the position was far worse. I emphasized our community of race, language and religion, and mentioned the help we had given in their achievement of independence. I pointed out our long frontier with Slovakia. I indicated that the polish man in the street could not understand why the Reich had assumed the protection of Slovakia, that protection being directed against Poland. I said emphatically that this question was a serious blow to our relations.
"Ribbentrop reflected a moment, and then answered that this could be discussed.
"I promised to refer to you the suggestion of a conversation between you and the Chancellor. Ribbentrop remarked that I might go to Warsaw during the next few days to talk over this matter. He advised that the talk should not be delayed, lest the Chancellor should come to the conclusion that Poland was rejecting all his offers.
"Finally, I asked whether he could tell me anything about his conversation with the Foreign Minister of Lithuania.
"Ribbentrop answered vaguely that he had seen Mr. Urbszys on the latter's return from Rome, and they had discussed the Memel question, which called for a solution." (TC-73 No. 61)
That conversation took place on 21 March. The world soon learned what the solution to Memel was. On the next day German armed forces marched in.
As a result of these events, considerable anxiety was growing both in the government of Great Britain and the Polish government, and the two governments therefore had been undertaking conversations between each other. On 31 March, the Prime Minister, Mr. Chamberlain, spoke in the House of Commons. He explained the results of the conversations that had been taking place between the British and Polish Governments:
"As the House is aware, certain consultations are now proceeding with other governments. In order to make perfectly clear the position of His Majesty's government in the meantime before those consultations are concluded, I now have to inform the House that during that period, in the event of any action which clearly threatened Polish independence, and which the Polish government accordingly considered it vital to resist with their national forces, His Majesty's government would feel themselves bound at once to lend the Polish government all support in their power. They have given the Polish government an assurance to this effect.
"I may add that the French government have authorized me to make it plain that they stand in the same position in this matter as do His Majesty's Government." (TC-72 No. 17)
On 6 April, a week later, a formal communiqué was issued by the Anglo-Polish governments, which repeated the assurance the Prime Minister had given a week before, and in which Poland assured Great Britain of her support should Great Britain be attacked. (TC-72 No. 18)
The anxiety and concern that the governments of Poland and Great Britain were feeling at that time appears to have been justified. During the same week, on 3 April, an order, signed by Keitel, emanated from the High Command of the Armed Forces. It is dated Berlin, 3 April 1939. The subject is "Directive for the Armed Forces 1939/40." The order reads:
"Directive for the uniform preparation of war by the Armed Forces for 1939/40 is being reissued.
"Part I (Frontier Defense) and Part III (Danzig) will be issued in the middle of April. Their basic principles remain unchanged.
"Part II 'Fall Weiss' [the code name for the operation against Poland] is attached herewith. The signature of the Fuehrer will be appended later.
"The Fuehrer has added the following Directives to 'Fall Weiss':
"1. Preparations must be made in such a way that the operations can be carried out at any time from 1st September 1939 onwards.
"2. The High Command of the Armed Forces has been directed to draw up a precise time-table for 'Fall Weiss' and to arrange by conferences the synchronized timings between the three branches of the armed forces.
"3. The plan of the branches of the Armed Forces and the details for the time-table must be submitted to the OKW by the 1st of may, 1939." (C-120)
This order was distributed to the OKH, OKM, and OKW.
Another document, dated 11 April, and signed by Hitler, is annexed. It reads:
"I shall lay down in a later directive the future tasks of the Armed Forces and the preparations to be made in accordance with these for the conduct of the war.
"Until that directive comes into force, the Armed Forces must be prepared for the following eventualities:
"I. Safeguarding the frontiers of the German Reich, and protection against surprise air attacks.
"II. 'Fall Weiss'.
"III. The annexation of Danzig.
"Annex IV contains regulations for the exercise of military authority in East Prussia in the event of a warlike development." (C-120)
Again, copies of that document went to the OKH, OKM, and OKW. Annex I to this order, which concerns the safeguarding of the frontiers of the German Reich, declares:
"* * * Legal Basis: It should be anticipated that a state of Defense or State of War, as defined in the Reichdefense law of the 4th of September 1938, will not be declared. All measures and demands necessary for carrying out a mobilization are to be based on the laws valid in peacetime." (C-120)
The statement of the Prime Minister in the House of Commons, followed by the Anglo-Polish communiqué of 6 April, was seized upon by the Nazi Government to urge on the crisis which they were developing in Danzig between themselves and Poland.
On 28 April the German government issued a memorandum in which they alleged that the Anglo-Polish declaration was incompatible with the 1934 Agreement between Poland and Germany, and that as a result of entering into or by reason of entering into that agreement, Poland had unilaterally renounced the 1934 agreement. The following are pertinent passages from that memorandum:
"The German government have taken note of the Polish-British declaration regarding the progress and aims of the negotiations recently conducted between Poland and Great Britain. According to this declaration there had been concluded between the Polish government and the British government a temporary understanding to be released shortly by a permanent agreement which will provide for the giving of mutual assistance by Poland and Great Britain in the event of the independence of one of the two states being directly or indirectly threatened." (TC-72 No. 14)
The memorandum goes on to set out in the next three paragraphs the history of German friendship towards Poland. It continues:
"* * * The agreement which has now been concluded by the Polish government with the British government is in such obvious contradiction to these solemn declarations of a few months ago that the German government can take note only with surprise and astonishment of such a violent reversal of Polish policy.
"Irrespective of the manner in which its final formulation may be determined by both parties, the new Polish-British agreement is intended as a regular Pact of Alliance, which, by reason of its general sense and of the present state of political relations, is directed exclusively against Germany.
"From the obligation now accepted by the Polish government, it appears that Poland intends, in certain circumstances, to take an active part in any possible German-British conflict, in the event of aggression against Germany, even should this conflict not affect Poland and her interests. This is a direct and open blow against the renunciation of all use of force contained in the 1934 declaration."
"The Polish government, however, by their recent decision to accede to an alliance directed against Germany have given it to be understood that they prefer a promise of help by a third power to the direct guarantee of peace by the German government. In view of this, the German government are obliged to conclude that the Polish government do not at present attach any importance to seeking a solution of German-Polish problems by means of direct, friendly discussion with the German government. The Polish government have thus abandoned the path traced out in 1934 to the shaping of German-Polish relations." (TC-72 No. 14)
All this would sound very well, if it had not been for the fact that orders for the invasion of Poland had already been issued and the Armed Forces had been told to draw up a precise timetable.
The memorandum goes on to set out the history of the last negotiations and discussions. It sets out the demands of the 21st which the German government had made for the return of Danzig, the autobahn, and the railway. It mentions the promise by Germany of the twenty-five year guarantee, and continues:
"The Polish government did not avail themselves of the opportunity offered to them by the German government for a just settlement of the Danzig question; for the final safeguarding of Poland's frontiers with the Reich and thereby for permanent strengthening of the friendly, neighbourly relations between the two countries. The Polish government even rejected German proposals made with this object.
"At the same time the Polish government accepted, with regard to another state, political obligations which are not compatible either with the spirit, the meaning or the text of the German-Polish declaration of the 26 of January, 1934. Thereby, the Polish government arbitrarily and unilaterally rendered this declaration null and void." (TC-72 No. 14)
In the last paragraph the German government says, that nevertheless, they are prepared to continue friendly relations with Poland.
On the same day that memorandum was issued, 28 April, Hitler made a speech in the Reichstag, in which he repeated, in effect, the terms of the memorandum. He repeated the demands and offers that Germany made in March, and went on to say that the Polish government have rejected his offer. He expressed his disappointment:
"I have regretted greatly this incomprehensible attitude of the Polish government. But that alone is not the decisive fact. The worst is that now Poland, like Czechoslovakia, a year ago, believes under the pressure of a lying international campaign, that it must call up troops although Germany, on her part, has not called up a single man and had not thought of proceeding in any way against Poland. As I have said, this is, in itself, very regrettable and posterity will one day decide whether it was really right to refuse the suggestion made this once by me. This, as I have said, was an endeavor on my part to solve a question which intimately affects the German people, by a truly unique compromise and to solve it to the advantage of both countries. According to my conviction, Poland was not a giving party in this solution at all, but only a receiving party, because it should be beyond all doubt, that Danzig will never become Polish. The intention to attack on the part of Germany, which was merely invented by the International press, led, as you know, to the so-called guarantee offer, and to an obligation on the part of the Polish government for mutual assistance. * * *" (TC-72 No. 13)
The speech demonstrates how completely dishonest was everything that the German government was saying at that time. Hitler, who may very well have had a copy of the orders for "Fall Weiss" in his pocket as he spoke, announced publicly, that the intention to attack by Germany was an invention of "the International Press."
In answer to that memorandum and that speech, the Polish government issued a memorandum on 5 May. It sets out the objectives of the 1934 agreement to renounce the use of force and to carry on friendly relationship between the two countries; to solve difficulties by arbitration and other friendly means. The Polish government states its awareness of the difficulties about Danzig and declares that it has long been ready to carry out discussions. The Polish government sets out again its part of the recent discussions. The Polish government states that it communicated its views to the German government on 26 March, and that it then proposed joint guarantees by the Polish and German governments of the City of Danzig, based on the principles of freedom for the local population in internal affairs. The Poles stated their preparedness to examine the possibilities of a motor road and railway facilities. They received no reply to those proposals. The Polish position is summarized in one sentence:
"It is clear that negotiations in which one State formulates demands and the other is to be obliged to accept those demands unaltered are not negotiations in the spirit of the declaration of 1934 and are incompatible with the vital interests and dignity of Poland" (TC-72 No. 16).
The Polish government proceeds to reject the German accusation that the Anglo-Polish agreement is incompatible with the 1934 German-Polish agreement. It states that Germany herself has entered into similar agreements with other nations, and lastly it announces that it is still willing to entertain a new pact with Germany, should Germany wish to do so. (TC-72 No. 16)
The German answer was contained in a letter from the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, is signed by Hitler, and dated 10 May (C-120). Copies went to the various branches of the OKW, and with them apparently were enclosed "Instructions for the economic war and the protection of our own economy."
Not only were military preparations being carried out throughout these months and weeks, but economic and every other kind of preparation was being made for war at the earliest moment.
This period of preparation, up to May 1939, concluded with the conference in the Reichschancellery on 23 May. The report of this meeting is known as the Schmundt Minutes (L-79). In his address to the conference Hitler cried out for lebensraum and said that Danzig was not the dispute at all. It was a question of expanding their living room in the east, and he said that the decision had been taken to attack Poland.
Goering, Raeder and Keitel, among many others, were present. The following is a significant paragraph:
"If there ware an alliance of France, England and Russia against Germany, Italy and Japan, I would be constrained to attack England and France with a few annihilating blows. The Fuehrer doubts the possibility of a peaceful settlement with England." (L-79)
So that, not only has the decision been taken definitely to attack Poland, but almost equally definitely to attack England and France.
C. Final Preparations: June-September 1939
(1) Final Preparations of the Armed Forces. A precise timetable for the attack had been called for. On 22 June 1939 it was ready. It provided as follows:
"The Supreme Command of the Armed Forces has submitted to the Fuehrer and Supreme Commander a 'preliminary timetable' for 'Fall Weiss' based on the particulars so far available from the Navy, Army and Air Force. Details concerning the days preceding the attack and the start of the attack were not included in this timetable.
"The Fuehrer and the Supreme Commander is, in the main, in agreement with the intentions of the Navy, Army and Air Force and made the following comments on individual points:-
"1. In order not to disquiet the population by calling up reserves on a larger scale than usual for the maneuvers scheduled for 1939, as is intended, civilian establishments, employers or other private persons who make enquiries should be told that men are being called up for the autumn maneuvers and for the exercise units it is intended to form for these maneuvers.
"It is requested that directions to this effect be issued to subordinate establishments." (C-126)
All this became relevant later, when the German government made allegations of mobilization on the part of the Poles. This order shows that in June the Germans were mobilizing, only doing so secretly. The order continues:
"For reasons of security the clearing of hospitals in the area of the frontier which the Supreme Command of the Army proposed should take place from the middle of July, must not be carried out." (C-126)
The order is signed by Keitel.
A short letter, dated 2 August, which is attached to that order, reads in part:
"Attached are Operational Directions for the employment of U-Boats which are to be sent out to the Atlantic, by way of precaution, in the event of the intention to carry out 'Fall Weiss' remaining unchanged. F.O. U-Boats [Doenitz] is handing in his Operation Orders by 12 August." (C-126)
Another letter, dated 27 July, contains orders for the Air and Sea Forces for the occupation of the German Free City of Danzig.
"The Fuehrer and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces has ordered the reunion of the German Free State of Danzig with the Greater German Reich. The Armed Forces must occupy the Danzig Free State immediately in order to protect the German population. There will be no hostile intention on the part of Poland so long as the occupation takes place without the force of arms." (C-30)
The letter then sets out how the occupation is to be effected. All this again becomes more relevant in the subsequent discussion of the diplomatic action of the last few days before the war, when Germany was making specious offers for the settlement of the question by peaceful means. This letter is evidence that the decision had been taken, and that nothing would change that decision. During July, right up to the time of the war, steps were being taken to arm the population of Danzig and to prepare them to take part in the coming occupation.
The reports which were coming back almost daily during this period from Mr. Shepherd, British Consul-General in Danzig, to the British Foreign Minister, and published in the British Blue Book, show the kind of thing that was happening. The report dated 1 July 1939 reads as follows:
"Yesterday morning four German army officers in mufti arrived here by night express from Berlin to organize Danzig Heimwehr.
"All approaches to hills and dismantled fort, which constitute a popular public promenade on western fringe of the city, have been closed with barbed wire and 'verboten' notices.
"The walls surrounding the shipyards bear placards: 'Comrades keep your mouths shut lest you regret consequence.'
"Master of British steamer 'High Commissioner Wood' whilst he was roving Koenigsberg from 28th June to 30th June, observed considerable military activity, including extensive shipment of camouflaged covered lorries and similar material by small coasting vessels. On 28th June four medium-sized steamers, loaded with troops, lorries, field kitchens, etc., left Koenigsberg, ostensibly returning to Hamburg after maneuvers, but actually proceeding to Stettin." (TC-71)
And again, as another example, the report dated 10 July states:
"The same informant, whom I believe to be reliable, advises me that on 8th July he personally saw about thirty military lorries with East Prussian license numbers on the Bischofsberg, where numerous field kitchens had been placed along the hedges. There were also eight large anti-aircraft guns in position, which he estimated as being of over 3-inch caliber, and three six-barreled light anti-aircraft machine guns. There were about 500 men drilling with rifles, and the whole place is extensively fortified with barbed wire." (TC-71).
On 12 and 13 August, when preparations were practically complete, Hitler and Ribbentrop at last disclosed their intentions to their allies, the Italians. It will be recalled that one of the passages in Hitler's speech on 23 May, in regard to the proposed attack on Poland, had said, "Our object must be kept secret even from the Italians and the Japanese." (L-79). Now, when the preparations were complete, Hitler disclosed his intentions to his Italian comrades in the hope that they would join him. Ciano was surprised at Hitler's attempt to persuade the Italians to come into the war with him. He had no idea, as he said, of the urgency of the matter, and they are not prepared. He therefore tried to dissuade Hitler from starting off until the Duce could have a little more time to prepare himself. (TC-77)
The minutes of that meeting show quite clearly the German intention to attack England and France ultimately, if not at the same time as Poland. In trying to show the strength of Germany and its certainty of winning the war as a means of persuading the Italians to come in, Hitler declared:
"At sea, England had for the moment no immediate reinforcements in prospect. Some time would elapse before any of the ships now under construction could be taken into service. As far as the land army was concerned, after the introduction of conscription 60,000 men had been called to the colors. If England kept the necessary troops in her own country she could send to France, at the most, two infantry divisions and one armored division. For the rest she could supply a few bomber squadrons but hardly any fighters since, at the outbreak of war, the German Air Force would at once attack England and the English fighters would be urgently needed for the defense of their own country.
"With regard to the position of France, the Fuehrer said that in the event of a general war, after the destruction of Poland-which would not take long-Germany would be in a position to assemble hundreds of divisions along the West Wall and France would then be compelled to concentrate all her available forces from the Colonies, from the Italian frontier and elsewhere on her own Maginot Line, for the life and death struggle which would then ensue. The Fuehrer also thought that the French would find it no easier to overrun the Italian fortifications than to overrun the West Wall. Here Count Ciano showed signs of extreme doubt. The polish Army was most uneven in quality. Together with a few parade divisions, there were large numbers of troops of less value. Poland was very weak in anti-tank and anti-aircraft defense and at the moment neither France nor England could help her in this respect.
"If, however, Poland were given assistance by the Western powers, over a longer period, she could obtain these weapons and German superiority would thereby be diminished. In contrast to the fanatics of Warsaw and Cracow, the population of their areas was different. Furthermore, it was necessary to consider the position of the Polish State. Out of 34 million inhabitants, one and one-half million were German, about four million were Jews, and nine million Ukrainians, so that genuine Poles were much less in number than the total population and, as already said, their striking power was not to be valued highly. In these circumstances Poland could be struck to the ground by Germany in the shortest time.
"Since the Poles, through their whole attitude, had made it clear that in any case in the event of a conflict they would stand on the side of the enemies of Germany and Italy, a quick liquidation at the present moment could only be of advantage for the unavoidable conflict with the Western Democracies. if a hostile Poland remained on Germany's eastern frontier, not only would the eleven East Prussian divisions be tied down, but also further contingents would be kept in Pomerania and Silesia. This would not be necessary in the event of a previous liquidation."
"Coming back to the Danzig question, the Fuehrer said that it was impossible for him now to go back. He had made an agreement with Italy for the withdrawal of the Germans from South Tyrol, but for this reason he must take the greatest care to avoid giving the impression that this Tyrolese withdrawal could be taken as a precedent for other areas. Furthermore, he had justified the withdrawal by pointing to a general easterly and northeasterly direction of a German policy. The east and northeast, that is to say the Baltic countries, had been Germany's undisputed sphere of influence since time immemorial, as the Mediterranean had been an appropriate sphere for Italy. For economic reasons also, Germany needed the foodstuffs and timber from these eastern regions." (TC-77)
Now the truth of this matter appears. It is not the persecution of German minorities on the Polish frontiers, but economic reasons-the need for foodstuffs and timber from Poland. The minutes of the Italo-German meeting continue:
"In the case of Danzig, German interests were not only material, although the city had the greatest harbour in the Baltic. Danzig was a Nurnberg of the North, an ancient German city awakening sentimental feelings for every German, and the Fuehrer was bound to take account of this psychological element in public opinion. To make a comparison with Italy, Count Ciano should suppose that Trieste was in Yugoslav hands and that a large Italian minority was being treated brutally on Yugoslav soil. It would be difficult to assume that Italy would long remain quiet over anything of this kind.
"Count Ciano, in replying to the Fuehrer's statement, first expressed the great surprise on the Italian side over the completely unexpected seriousness of the position. Neither in the conversations in Milan nor in those which took place during his Berlin visit had there been any sign from the German side that the position with regard to Poland was so serious. On the contrary, Ribbentrop had said that in his opinion the Danzig question would be settled in the course of time. On these grounds, the Duce, in view of his conviction that a conflict with the Western Powers was unavoidable, had assumed that he should make his preparations for this event; he had made plans for a period of two or three years. If immediate conflict were unavoidable, the Duce, as he had told Ciano, would certainly stand on the German side, but for various reasons he would welcome the postponement of a general conflict until a later time.
"Ciano then showed, with the aid of a map, the position of Italy in the event of a general war. Italy believed that a conflict with Poland would not be limited to that country but would develop into a general European war." (TC-77)
Thereafter, Ciano tried to dissuade Hitler from any immediate action. He argued further:
"For these reasons the Duce insisted that the Axis Powers should make a gesture which would reassure people of the peaceful intentions of Italy and Germany." (TC-77)
The Fuehrer's answer was clear:
"The Fuehrer answered that for a solution of the Polish problem no time should be lost; the longer one waited until the autumn, the more difficult would military operations in Eastern Europe become. From the middle of September, weather conditions made air operations hardly possible in these areas, while the condition of the roads, which were quickly turned into a morass by the autumn rains, would be such as to make them impossible for motorized forces. From September to May, Poland was a great marsh and entirely unsuited for any kind of military operations. Poland could, however, occupy Danzig in September and Germany would not be able to do anything about it since they obviously could not bombard or destroy the place." (TC-77)
The Germans could not possibly bombard or destroy any place such as Danzig where there happened to be Germans living. The discussion continued:
"Ciano asked how soon, according to the Fuehrer's view, the Danzig question must be settled. The Fuehrer answered that this settlement must be made one way or another by the end of August. To the question of Ciano's as to what solution the Fuehrer proposed, Hitler answered that Poland must give up political control of Danzig, but that Polish economic interests would obviously be reserved and that Polish general behavior must contribute to a general lessening of the tension. He doubted whether Poland was ready to accept this solution since, up to the present, the German proposals had been refused. The Fuehrer had made this proposal personally to Beck at his visit to Obersalzberg. They were extremely favorable to Poland. In return for the political surrender of Danzig, under a complete guarantee of Polish interests and the establishment of a connection between East Prussia and the Reich, Germany would have given a frontier guarantee, a 25-year pact of friendship and the participation of Poland in influence over Slovakia. Beck had received the proposal with the remark that he was willing to examine it. The plain refusal of it came only as a result of English intervention. The general Polish aims could be seen clearly from the press. They wanted the whole of East Prussia, and even proposed to advance to Berlin." (TC-77)
The meeting was held over that night, and it continued on the following day:
"The Fuehrer had therefore come to two definite conclusions:
(1) in the event of any further provocation, he would immediately attack; (2) if Poland did not clearly and plainly state her political intention, she must be forced to do so."
"As matters now stand, Germany and Italy would simply not exist further in the world through lack of space; not only was there no more space, but existing space was completely blockaded by its present possessors; they sat like misers with their heaps of gold and deluded themselves about their riches. The Western Democracies were dominated by the desire to rule the world and would not regard Germany and Italy as their class. This psychological element of contempt was perhaps the worst thing about the whole business. It could only be settled by a life and death struggle which the two Axis partners could meet more easily because their interests did not clash on any point.
"The Mediterranean was obviously the most ancient domain for which Italy had a claim to predominance. The Duce himself had summed up the position to him in the words that Italy already was the dominant power in the Mediterranean. On the other hand, the Fuehrer said that Germany must take the old German road eastwards and that this road was also desirable for economic reasons, and that Italy had geographical and historical claims to permanency in the Mediterranean. Bismarck had recognized it and had said as much in his well-known letter to Mazzini. The interests of Germany and Italy went in quite different directions and there never could be a conflict between them.
"Ribbentrop added that if the two problems mentioned in yesterday's conversations were settled, Italy and Germany would have their backs free for work against the West. The Fuehrer said that Poland must be struck down so that for 50 years she would be incapable of fighting. In such a case, matters in the West could be settled.
"Ciano thanked the Fuehrer for his extremely clear explanation of the situation. He had, on his side, nothing to add and would give the Duce full details. He asked for more definite information on one point in order that the Duce might have all the facts before him. The Duce might indeed have to make no decision because the Fuehrer believed that the conflict with Poland could be localized on the basis of long experience. He-Ciano-quite saw that so far the Fuehrer had always been right in his judgment of the position. If, however, Mussolini had no decision to make, he had to take certain measures of precaution, and therefore Ciano would put the following question:
"The Fuehrer had mentioned two conditions under which he would take Poland (1) if Poland were guilty of serious provocation, and (2) if Poland did not make her political position clear. The first of these conditions depended on the decision of the Fuehrer, and German reaction could follow it in a moment. The second condition required certain decisions as to time. Ciano therefore asked what was the date by which Poland must have satisfied Germany about her political condition. He realized that this date depended upon climatic conditions.
"The Fuehrer answered that the decision of Poland must be made clear at the latest by the end of August. Since, however, the decisive part of military operations against Poland could be carried out within a period of 14 days and the final liquidation would need another four weeks, it could be finished at the end of September or the beginning of October. These could be regarded as the dates. It followed, therefore, that the last dates on which he could begin to take action was the end of August.
"Finally, the Fuehrer assured Ciano that since his youth he had favored German-Italian cooperation, and that no other view was expressed in his books. He had always thought that Germany and Italy were naturally suited for collaboration, since there were no conflicts of interest between them. He was personally fortunate to live at a time in which, apart from himself, there was one other statesman who would stand out great and unique in history; that he could be this man's friend was for him a matter of great personal satisfaction, and if the hour of common battle struck, he would always be found on the side of the Duce." (TC-77)
(2) Economic Preparations. If the military preparations were throughout this period nearing their completion, at the same time the economists had not been idle. A letter dated 25 August 1939, from Funk to the Fuehrer, reads:
"I thank you sincerely and heartily for your most friendly and kind wishes on the occasion of my birthday. How happy and how grateful to you we ought to be for being granted the favor of experiencing these overwhelmingly great and world-changing times and taking part in the mighty events of these days.
"The information given to me by Field Marshal Goering, that you, my Fuehrer, yesterday evening approved in principle the measures prepared by me for financing the war and for shaping the relationship between wages and prices and for carrying through emergency sacrifices, made me deeply happy. I hereby report to you with all respect that I have succeeded by means of precautions taken during the last few months, in making the Reichsbank internally so strong and externally so unassailable, that even the most serious shocks in the international money and credit market cannot affect us in the least. In the meantime I have quite inconspicuously changed into gold all the assets of the Reichsbank and of the whole of German economy abroad which it was possible to lay hands on. Under the proposals I have prepared for a ruthless elimination of all consumption which is not of vital importance and of all public expenditure and public works which are not of importance for the war effort, we will be in a position to cope with all demands on finance and economy, without any serious shocks. I have considered it my duty as the General Plenipotentiary for Economy appointed by you to make this report and solemn promise to you, my Fuehrer. "Heil my Fuehrer /signed/ Walter Funk." (699-PS)
It is difficult in view of that letter to see how Funk can claim that he did not know of the preparations and of the intentions of the German government to wage war.
(3) The Obersalzberg Speech. On 22 August 1939, Hitler addressed his commanders in chief at Obersalzberg. (1014-PS). At this date preparations were complete. In the course of his speech Hitler declared:
"Everybody shall have to make a point of it that we were determined from the beginning to fight the Western powers."
"Destruction of Poland in the foreground. The aim is elimination of living forces, not the arrival at a certain line. Even if war should break out in the West, the destruction of Poland shall be the primary objective."
"I shall give a propagandistic cause for starting the war-never mind whether it be plausible or not. The victor shall not be asked later on whether we told the truth or not. In starting and making a war, not the Right is what matters but Victory."
"It was clear to me that a conflict with Poland had to come sooner or later. I had already made this decision in spring, but I thought that I would first turn against the West in a few years, and only afterwards against the East." (1014-PS)
These passages emphasize the intention of the Nazi government not only to conquer Poland but ultimately, in any event, to wage aggressive war against the Western Democracies.
In another significant passage, Hitler stated:
"We need not be afraid of a blockade. The East will supply us with grain, cattle, coal, lead and zinc. It is a big arm, which demands great efforts. I am only afraid that at the last minute some Schweinehund will make a proposal for mediation.
"The political arm is set farther. A beginning has been made for the destruction of England's hegemony. The way is open for the soldier, after I have made the political preparations."
"Goering answers with thanks to the Fuehrer and the assurance that the armed forces will do their duty." (798-PS)
(4) Diplomatic Preparations: Provoking the Crisis. On 23 August 1939, the Danzig Senate passed a decree whereby Gauleiter Forster was appointed head of the State of the Free City of Danzig, a position which did not exist under the statute setting up the constitution of the Free City. (TC-72 No. 62). That event was, of course, aimed at stirring up feeling in the Free City at that time.
At the same time, Frontier incidents were being manufactured by the Nazi Government with the aid of the SS. The affidavit of General Lahousen (Affidavit A) refers to the provision of Polish uniforms to the SS Forces for these purposes, so that dead Poles could be found lying about on the German side of the frontier. Three short reports found in the British Blue Book corroborate this affidavit. They are reports from the British ambassador in Warsaw.
The first of them is dated 26 August, and reads:
"Series of incidents again occurred yesterday on German frontier.
"Polish patrol met party Germans one kilometre from East Prussian frontier near Pelta. Germans opened fire. Polish patrol replied, killing leader, whose body is being returned.
"German bands also crossed Silesian frontier near Szczyglo, twice near Rybnik and twice elsewhere, firing shots and attacking blockhouses and customs posts with machine guns and hand grenades. Poles have protested vigorously to Berlin.
"Gazeta Polska, in inspired leader, today says these are more than incidents. They are clearly prepared acts of aggression of para-military disciplined detachments supplied with regular army's arms, and in one case it was a regular army detachment. Attacks more or less continuous.
"These incidents did not cause Poland to forsake calm and strong attitude of defence. Facts spoke for themselves and acts of aggression came from German side. This was best answer to ravings of German press.
"Ministry for Foreign Affairs state uniformed German detachment has since shot Pole across frontier and wounded another." (TC-72 No. 53)
The next report is dated the same date, 26 August and reads:
"Ministry for Foreign Affairs categorically deny story recounted by Herr Hitler to French Ambassador that twentyfour Germans were recently killed at Lodz and eight at Bielsko. Story is without any foundation whatever." (TC-72 No. 54)
The report of the next day, 27 August, reads as follows:
"So far as I can judge, German allegations of mass ill-treatment of German minority by Polish authorities are gross exaggeration, if not complete falsification.
"2. There is no sign of any loss of control of situation by Polish civil authorities. Warsaw, and so far as I can ascertain, the rest of Poland is still completely calm.
"3. Such allegations are reminiscent of Nazi propaganda methods regarding Czechoslovakia last year.
"4. In any case it is purely and simply deliberate German provocation in accordance with fixed policy that has since March [when the rest of Czechoslovakia was seized] exacerbated feeling between the two nationalities. I suppose this has been done with object (a) creating war spirit in Germany (b) impressing public opinion abroad (c) provoking either defeatism or apparent aggression in Poland.
"5. It has signally failed to achieve either of the two latter objects.
"6. It is noteworthy that Danzig was hardly mentioned by Herr Hitler.
"7. German treatment of Czech Jews and Polish minority is apparently negligible factor compared with alleged sufferings of Germans in Poland where, be it noted, they do not amount to more than 10 per cent of population in any commune.
"8. In face of these facts it can hardly be doubted that, if Herr Hitler decided on war, it is for the sole purpose of destroying Polish independence.
"9. I shall lose no opportunity of impressing on Minister for Foreign Affairs necessity of doing everything possible to prove that Herr Hitler's allegations regarding German minority are false." (TC-72 No. 55)
Further corroboration of General Lahousen's affidavit is contained in a memorandum of a conversation between the writer and Keitel. That conversation with Keitel took place on 17 August, and went as follows:
"I reported my conference with Jost to Keitel. He said that he would not pay any attention to this action, as the Fuehrer had not informed him, and had only let him know that we were to furnish Heydrich with Polish uniforms. He agrees that I instruct the General Staff. He says that he does not think much of actions of this kind. However, there is nothing else to be done if they have been ordered by the Fuehrer, that he could not ask the Fuehrer how he had planned the execution of this special action. In regard to Dirschau, he has decided that this action would be executed only by the Army." (795-PS)
That was the position at the end of the third week in August 1939. On 22 August the Russian-German Non-aggression Pact was signed in Moscow. The orders to invade Poland were given immediately after the signing of that treaty, and the H-hour was actually to be in the early morning of 25 of August.
(5) Pleas for peace. On the same date, 22 August, news reached England that the German-Russian agreement was being signed. The significance of that pact from a military point of view as to Germany was obvious, and the British government immediately made their position clear in one last hope, that the German government might possibly think better. The Prime Minister wrote to Hitler as follows:
"Your Excellency will have already heard of certain measures taken by His Majesty's Government, and announced in the press and on the wireless this evening.
"These steps have, in the opinion of His Majesty's Government, been rendered necessary by the military movements which have been reported from Germany, and by the fact that apparently the announcement of a German-Soviet Agreement is taken in some quarters in Berlin to indicate that intervention by Great Britain on behalf of Poland is no longer a contingency that need be reckoned with. No greater mistake could be made. Whatever may prove to be the nature of the German-Soviet Agreement, it can not alter Great Britain's obligation to Poland, which His Majesty's Government have stated in public repeatedly and plainly, and which they are determined to fulfill.
"It has been alleged that, if His Majesty's Government had made their position clear in 1914, the great catastrophe would have been avoided. Whether or not there is any force in that allegation, His Majesty's Government are resolved that on this occasion there shall be no such tragic misunderstanding.
"If the case should arise, they are resolved, and prepared, to employ without delay all the forces at their command, and it is impossible to foresee the end of hostilities once engaged, It would be a dangerous illusion to think that, if war once starts, it will come to an early end even if a success on any one of the several fronts on which it will be engaged should have been secured." (TC-72 No. 56).
The Prime Minister therefore urged the German government to try to solve the difficulty without recourse to the use of force. He suggested that a truce should be declared while direct discussions between the two governments, Polish and German, might take place. Prime Minister Chamberlain concluded:
"At this moment I confess I can see no other way to avoid a catastrophe that will involve Europe in war. In view of the grave consequences to humanity, which may follow from the action of their rulers, I trust that Your Excellency will weigh with the utmost deliberation the considerations which I have put before you." (TC-72 No. 56).
On the following day, 23 August, Hitler replied to Prime Minister Chamberlain. He started off by saying that Germany has always sought England's friendship, and went on to say that Germany, "like every other State, possesses certain definite interests which it is impossible to renounce." The letter continued as follows:
"Germany was prepared to settle the questions of Danzig, and of the Corridor by the method of negotiation on the basis of a proposal of truly unparalleled magnanimity. The allegations disseminated by England regarding a German mobilization against Poland, the assertion of aggressive designs towards Roumania, Hungary, etc., as well as the so-called guarantee declarations, which were subsequently given, had, however, dispelled Polish inclination to negotiate on a basis of this kind which would have been tolerable for Germany also.
"The unconditional assurance given by England to Poland that she would render assistance to that country in all circumstances regardless of the causes from which a conflict might spring, could only be interpreted in that country as an encouragement thenceforward to unloosen, under cover of such a charter, a wave of appalling terrorism against the one and a half million German inhabitants living in Poland.
"The atrocities which then have been taking place in that country are terrible for the victims, but intolerable for a great power such as the German Reich, which is expected to remain a passive onlooker during these happenings. Poland has been guilty of numerous breaches of her legal obligations towards the Free City of Danzig, has made demands in the character of ultimata, and has initiated a process of economic strangulation."
"Germany will not tolerate a continuance of the persecution of the Germans."
"The German Reich government has received information to the effect that the British government has the intention to carry out measures of mobilization which, according to the statements contained in your own letter, are clearly directed against Germany alone. This is said to be true of France as well. Since Germany has never had the intention of taking military measures other than those of a defensive character against England, or France, and, as has already been emphasized, has never intended, and does not in the future intend, to attack England, or France, it follows that this announcement, as confirmed by you, Mr. Prime Minister, in your own letter, can only refer to a contemplated act of menace directed against the Reich. I, therefore, inform your Excellency that in the event of these military announcements being carried into effect, I shall order immediate mobilization of the German forces."
"The question of the treatment of European problems on a peaceful basis is not a decision which rests on Germany, but primarily on those who since the crime committed by the Versailles dictate have stubbornly and consistently opposed any peaceful revision. Only after a change of spirit on the part of the responsible powers can there be any real change in the relationship between England and Germany. I have all my life fought for Anglo-German friendship; the attitude adopted by British diplomacy-at any rate up to the present-has, however, convinced me of the futility of such an attempt. Should there be any change in this respect in the future, nobody could be happier than I." (TC-72 No. 60).
On 25 August the formal Anglo-Polish Agreement of Mutual Assistance was signed in London. Each government undertook to give assistance to the other in the event of aggression against either by any third power. (TC-73 No. 91)
A few days later the French Prime Minister Daladier addressed a letter to Hitler, which reads as follows:
"The French ambassador in Berlin has informed me of your personal communication * * *.
"In the hours in which you speak of the greatest responsibility which two heads of the governments can possibly take upon themselves, namely, that of shedding the blood of two great nations, who long only for peace and work, I feel I owe it to you personally, and to both our peoples to say that the fate of peace still rests in your hands.
"You cannot doubt what are my own feelings towards Germany, nor France's peaceful feelings towards your nation. No Frenchman has done more than myself to strengthen between our two nations not only peace, but also sincere cooperation in their own interests, as well as in those of Europe and of the whole world. Unless you credit the French people with lower sense of honor, than I credit the German Nation with; you cannot doubt that France loyally fulfills her obligations towards other powers, such as Poland, which as I am fully convinced, wants to live in peace with Germany.
"These two convictions are fully compatible.
"Till now there has been nothing to prevent a peaceful solution of the international crisis, with all honor and dignity for all nations, if the same will for peace exists on all sides.
"Together with the good will of France I proclaim that of all her allies. I take it upon myself to guarantee Poland's readiness, which she has always shown to submit to the mutual application of a method of open settlement, as it can be imagined between the governments of two sovereign nations. With the clearest conscience I can assure you that among the differences which have arisen between Germany and Poland over the question of Danzig, there is not one which could not be submitted to such a method, the purpose of reaching a peaceful and just solution.
"Moreover, I can declare on my honor that there is nothing in France's clear and loyal solidarity with Poland and her allies, which could in any way prejudice the peaceful attitude of my country. This solidarity has never prevented us, and does not prevent us today, from keeping Poland in the same friendly state of mind.
"In so serious an hour, I sincerely believe that no highminded human being could understand it, if a war of destruction was started without a last attempt being made to reach a peaceful settlement between Germany and Poland. Your desire for peace could in all certainty work for this aim, without any prejudice to German honor. I, who desire good harmony between the French and the German people, and who am on the other hand bound to Poland by bonds of friendship, and by a promise, am prepared, as head of the French government, to do everything an upright man can do to bring this attempt to a successful conclusion.
"You and I were in the trenches in the last war. You know, as I do, what horror and condemnation the devastations of that war have left in the conscience of the peoples; without any regard to its outcome. The picture I can see in my mind's eye of your outstanding role as the leader of the German people on the road of peace, towards the fulfillment of its task in the common work of civilization, leads me to ask for a reply to this suggestion.
"If French and German blood should be shed again, as it was shed 25 years ago, in a still longer and more murderous war, then each of the two nations will fight, believing in its own victory. But the most certain victors will be-destruction and barbarity." (TC-78)
On 27 August Hitler replied to M. Daladier's letter of 26 August. The sense of it was very much the same as that which he wrote to the British prime Minister in answer to the letter which he had received from him earlier in the week. (TC-79)
After the letters from Chamberlain and Daladier, the German Government could no longer be in any doubt as to the position of both the British and French Governments in the event of German aggression against Poland. But the pleas for peace did not end there. On 24 August president Roosevelt wrote to both Hitler and to the President of the Polish Republic (TC-72 No. 124).
His letter stated in part:
"In the message which I sent to you on the 14th April, I stated that it appeared to me that the leaders of great nations had it in their power to liberate their peoples from the disaster that impended, but that unless the effort were immediately made with good will on all sides to find a peaceful and constructive solution to existing controversies, the crisis which the world was confronting must end in catastrophe. Today that catastrophe appears to be very near at hand indeed.
"To the message which I sent you last April I have received no reply, but because my confident belief that the cause of world peace-which is the cause of humanity itself-rises above all other considerations, I am again addressing myself to you, with the hope that the war which impends and the consequent disaster to all peoples may yet be averted.
"I therefore urge with all earnestness-and I am likewise urging the president of the Republic of Poland-that the Government of Germany and Poland agree by common accord to refrain from any positive act of hostility for a reasonable stipulated period, and that they agree, likewise by common accord, to solve the controversies which have arisen between them by one of the three following methods:
"First, by direct negotiation;
"Second, by the submission of these controversies to an impartial arbitration in which they can both have confidence;
"Third, that they agree to the solution of these controversies through the procedure of conciliation." (TC-72 No. 124).
Hitler's answer to that letter was the order to his armed forces to invade Poland on the following morning. The reply to Mr. Roosevelt's letter from the President of the Polish Republic, however, was an acceptance of the offer to settle the differences by any of the peaceful methods suggested. (TC-72 No. 126)
On 25 August, no reply having been received from the German Government, President Roosevelt wrote again:
"I have this hour received from the President of Poland a reply to the message which I addressed to your Excellency and to him last night."
The Polish reply is then set out.
"Your Excellency has repeatedly publicly stated that the aims and objects sought by the German Reich were just and reasonable.
"In his reply to my message the president of Poland has made it plain that the Polish Government is willing, upon the basis set forth in my message, to agree to solve the controversy which has arisen between the Republic of Poland and the German Reich by direct negotiation or the process of conciliation.
"Countless human lives can yet be saved and hope may still be restored that the nations of the modern world may even now construct the foundation for a peaceful and happier relationship, if you and the Government of the German Reich will agree to the pacific means of settlement accepted by the Government of Poland. All the world prays that Germany, too, will accept." (TC-72 No. 127)
But Germany would not accept those proposals, nor would it pay heed to the Pope's appeal on the same date, 24 August (TC-72 No. 139). It is an appeal in similar terms. There was yet a further appeal from the Pope on 31 August:
"The Pope is unwilling to abandon hope that pending negotiations may lead to a just pacific solution such as the whole world continues to pray for." (TC-72 No. 141).
Those negotiations, on the last days of August, to which the Pope referred as "pending negotiations", were unhappily, completely bogus negotiations insofar as Germany was concerned. They were put forward simply as an endeavor to dissuade England, either by threat or by bribe, from meeting her obligations to Poland. The final German "offers" were no offers in the accepted sense of the word. There was never any intention behind them of entering into discussions, negotiation, arbitration, or any other form of peaceful settlement with Poland. They were merely an attempt to make it easier to seize and conquer Poland than it would likely be if England and France were to observe the obligations they had undertaken.
(6) Events of the Last Week in August, 1939. This was the progress of those last negotiations: On 22 August the German-Soviet Pact was signed. On 24 August, orders were given to the German armies to march the following morning. After those orders had been given, the news apparently reached the German Government that the British and polish Governments had signed a formal pact of non-aggression and of mutual assistance. Up until that time, the position was that the British prime Minister had made a statement in the House of Commons and a joint communiqué had been issued, on 6 April, that the two nations would in fact assist one another if either were attacked; but no formal agreement had been signed.
Now, on 24 August, after the orders to march had been given by Hitler, the news came that such a formal document had been signed. The invasion was thereupon postponed for the sole purpose of making one last effort to keep England and France out of the war-not to cancel the war, but solely to keep England and France out of it. On 25 August, having postponed the invasion, Hitler issued a verbal communiqué to Sir Neville Henderson, the British ambassador in Berlin, which was a mixture of bribe and threat, and with which he hoped to persuade England to keep out.
On 28 August, Sir Neville Henderson handed the British Government's reply to that communiqué to Hitler. That reply stressed that the differences ought to be settled by agreement. The British Government put forward the view that Danzig should be guaranteed, and that any agreement reached should be guaranteed by other powers. Whether or not these proposals would have been acceptable or unacceptable to Germany are of no great matter. For once it had been made clear-as it was in the British Government's reply of 28 August-that England would not be put off assisting Poland in the event of German aggression, the German Government had no concern with further negotiation but was concerned only to afford itself some kind of justification and to prevent itself from appearing too blatantly to turn down all the appeals to reason that were being put forward.
On 29 August, at 7:15 p. m. in the evening, Hitler handed to Sir Neville Henderson the German Government's answer to the British Government's reply of the 28th. It seems quite clear that the whole object of this letter was to put forward something which was quite unacceptable. Hitler agreed to enter into direct conversations as suggested by the British Government, but he demanded that those conversations must be based upon the return to the Reich, of Danzig and also of the whole of the Corridor.
It will be recalled that hereto, even when he had alleged that Poland had renounced the 1934 agreement, Hitler had put forward as his demands the return of Danzig alone, Plus the arrangement for an extra-territorial Autobahn and railroad running through the Corridor to East Prussia. That demand was unacceptable at that time. To make quite certain of refusal, Hitler now demanded the whole of the Corridor. There was no question of an Autobahn or railway. The whole territory must become German.
Even so, to make doubly certain that the offer would not be accepted, Hitler stated: "On those terms I am prepared to enter into discussion, but to do so, as the matter is urgent, I expect a plenipotentiary with full powers from the Polish Government to be here in Berlin by midnight tomorrow night, the 30th of August."
This offer was made at 7:15 p. m. on the evening of the 29th. That offer had to be transmitted, first, to London; and from London to Warsaw; and from Warsaw the Polish Government had to give authority to their Ambassador in Berlin. So that the timing made it quite impossible, if indeed it were possible, to get authority to the Polish Ambassador in Berlin by midnight the following night. It allowed Poland no opportunity for discussing the matters at all. As Sir Neville Henderson described it, the offer amounted to an ultimatum.
At midnight on 30 August, at the time by which the Polish Plenipotentiary was expected to arrive, Sir Neville Henderson handed a further message to Ribbentrop in reply to the message that had been handed to him the previous evening. Ribbentrop read out in German a two- or three-page document which purported to be the German proposal to be discussed at the discussions between them and the Polish Government. He read it out quick?? in German. He refused to hand a copy of it to the British Ambassador. He passed no copy of it at all to the Polish Ambassador. So that there was no kind of possible chance of the Poles ever having before them the proposals which Germany was so graciously and magnanimously offering to discuss.
On the following day, 31 August, Mr. Lipski, the Polish Ambassador, saw Ribbentrop, and could get no further than to be asked whether he came with full powers. When he replied that he did not, Ribbentrop said that he would put the position before the Fuehrer. But, in actual fact, it was much too late to put any position to the Fuehrer by that time, because on 31 August Hitler had already issued his Directive No. 1 for the conduct of war, in which he laid down H-Hour as being a quarter to five the following morning, 1 September. And on the evening of 31 August, at 9 o'clock, the German radio broadcast the proposals which Ribbentrop had read out to Sir Neville Henderson the night before, saying that these were the proposals which had been made for discussion, but that as no Polish Plenipotentiary had arrived to discuss them, the German Government assumed that they were turned down. That broadcast at 9 o'clock on the evening of 31 August was the first that the Poles had ever heard of the proposal, and it was the first that the British Government or its representatives in Berlin knew about them, other than what had been heard when Ribbentrop had read them out and refused to give a written copy on the evening of the 30th.
After that broadcast, at 9:15-perhaps while the broadcast was still in its course-a copy of those proposals was handed to Sir Neville Henderson for the first time.
This summary of events during that last week of August 1939 is based upon the contents of several documents which will now be alluded to.
In a pre-trial interrogation on 29 August 1945, Goering was asked the question:
"When the negotiations of the Polish Foreign Minister in London brought about the Anglo-Polish Treaty at the end of March or the beginning of April, was it not fairly obvious that a peaceful solution was impossible?" (TC-90)
This was Goering's answer:
"Yes, it seemed impossible according to my conviction, but not according to the convictions of the Fuehrer. When it was mentioned to the Fuehrer that England had given her guarantee to Poland, he said that England was also guaranteeing Rumania, but then when the Russians took Bessarabia nothing happened, and this made a big impression on him. I made a mistake here. At this time Poland only had the promise of a guarantee. The guarantee itself was only given shortly before the beginning of the war. On the day when England gave her official guarantee to Poland the Fuehrer called me on the telephone and told me that he had stopped the planned invasion of Poland. I asked him then whether this was just temporary or for good. He said, 'No, I will have to see whether we can eliminate British intervention.' So then I asked him, 'Do you think that it will be any different within four or five days?' At this same time-I don't know whether you know about that, Colonel-I was in connection with Lord Halifax by a special courier outside the regular diplomatic channels to do everything to stop war with England. After the guarantee I held an English declaration of war inevitable. I already told him in the Spring of 1939 after occupying Czechoslovakia, I told him that from now on if he tried to solve the Polish question he would have to count on the enmity of England. 1939, that is after the Protectorate." (TC-90)
The interrogation of Goering proceeded as follows:
"Question: 'Is it not a fact that preparations for the campaign against Poland were originally supposed to have been completed by the end of August 1939?'
"Question: 'And that the final issuance of the order for the campaign against Poland came some time between the 15th and 20th of August 1939 after the signing of the treaty with Soviet Russia." [The dates obviously are wrong].
"Answer: 'Yes, that is true.'
"Question: 'Is it not also a fact that the start of the campaign was ordered for the 25th of August, but on the 24th of August in the afternoon it was postponed until September the 1st in order to await the results of new diplomatic maneuvers with the English Ambassador?'
"Answer: 'Yes.'" (TC-90)
In this interrogation Goering purported not to have wanted war with England. It will be recalled, however, that after the speech of Hitler on 22 August to his commanders-in-chief, Goering got up and thanked the Fuehrer for his exhortation and assured him that the armed forces would play their part. (798-PS)
Hitler's verbal communiqué, as it is called in the British Blue Book, which he handed to Sir Neville Henderson on 25 August, after he had heard of the signing of the Anglo-Polish agreement, in an endeavor to keep England from aiding Poland, commences by stating Hitler's desire to make one more effort to prevent war. In the second paragraph he asserts again that Poland's provocations were unbearable:
"Germany was in all circumstances determined to abolish these Macedonian conditions on her eastern frontier and, what is more, to do so in the interests of quiet and order, but also in the interests of European peace.
"The problem of Danzig and the Corridor must be solved. The British Prime Minister had made a speech which was not in the least calculated to induce any change in the German attitude. At the most, the result of this speech could be a bloody and incalculable war between Germany and England. Such a war would be bloodier than that of 1914 to 1918. In contrast to the last war, Germany would no longer have to fight on two fronts. Agreement with Russia was unconditional and signified a change in foreign policy of the Reich which would last a very long time. Russia and Germany would never again take up arms against each other. Apart from this, the agreements reached with Russia would also render Germany secure economically for the longest period of war." (TC-72 No. 68)
Then comes the bribe.
"The Fuehrer declared the German-Polish problem must be solved and will be solved. He is however prepared and determined after the solution of this problem to approach England once more with a large, comprehensive offer. He is a man of great decisions, and in this case also he will be capable of being great in his action. And then magnanimously he accepts the British Empire and is ready to pledge himself personally for its continued existence and to place the power of the German Reich at its disposal on condition that his colonial demands, which are limited, should be negotiated by peaceful means. * * *" (TC-72 No. 68)
Again Hitler stressed irrevocable determination never to enter into war with Russia. He concluded as follows:
"If the British Government would consider these ideas a blessing for Germany and also for the British empire, a peace might result. If it rejects these ideas there will be war. In no case will Great Britain emerge stronger; the last war proved it. The Fuehrer repeats that he himself is a man of ad infinitum decisions by which he is bound, and that this is his last offer." (TC-72 No. 68)
The British Government was not of course aware of the real object that lay behind that message, and, taking it at its face value, wrote back on 28 August saying that they were prepared to enter into discussions. They agreed with Hitler that the differences must be settled, as follows:
"In the opinion of His Majesty's Government a reasonable solution of the differences between Germany and Poland could and should be effected by agreement between the two countries on lines which would include the safeguarding of Poland's essential interests, and they recall that in his speech of the 28th of April the German Chancellor recognized the importance of these interests to Poland.
"But as was stated by the Prime Minister in his letter to the German Chancellor of the 22nd of August, His Majesty's Government consider it essential for the success of the discussions which would precede the agreement that it should be understood beforehand that any settlement arrived at would be guaranteed by other powers. His Majesty's Government would be ready if desired to make their contribution to the effective operation of such a guarantee."
"His Majesty's Government have said enough to make their own attitude plain in the particular matters at issue between Germany and Poland. They trust that the German Chancellor will not think that, because His Majesty's Government are scrupulous concerning their obligations to Poland, they are not anxious to use all their influence to assist the achievement of a solution which may command itself both to Germany and to Poland." (TC-72 No. 74)
That reply knocked the German hopes on the head. The Nazis had failed despite their tricks and their bribes to dissuade England from observing her obligations to Poland, and it was now only a matter of getting out of their embarrassment as quickly as possible and saving face as much as possible.
In his interview with Hitler, Sir Neville Henderson emphasized the British attitude that they were determined in any event to meet their obligations to Poland. The interview concluded as follows:
"In the end I asked him two straight questions: Was he willing to negotiate direct with the Poles? and Was he ready to discuss the question of any exchange of population? He replied in the affirmative as regards the latter. There I have no doubt that he was thinking at the same time of a rectification of frontiers. As regards to the first, he said he could not give me an answer until after he had given the reply of His Majesty's Government the careful consideration which such a document deserved. In this connection he turned to Ribbentrop and said, 'We must summon Field Marshal Goering to discuss it with him.'" (TC-72 No. 75)
The German reply, as outlined before, was handed to Sir Neville Henderson at 7.15 P.M. on 29 August. The reply sets out the suggestion submitted by the British Government in a previous note, and goes on to say that the German Government is prepared to enter into discussion on the basis that the whole of the Corridor as well as Danzig shall be returned to the Reich. The reply continues:
"The demands of the German Government are in conformity with the revision of the Versailles Treaty in regard to this territory which has always been recognized as being necessary; viz., return of Danzig and the Corridor to Germany, the safeguarding of the existence of the German national group in the territories remaining to Poland." (TC-72 No. 78)
It is only just now, as I emphasized before, that the right to the Corridor has been "recognized" for so long. On 28 April, Hitler demands consisted only of Danzig, the Autobahn, and the railway. But now Hitler's aim was to manufacture justification and to put forth proposals which under no circumstances could either Poland or Great Britain accept. The note states:
"The British Government attach importance to two considerations: (1) that the existing danger of an imminent explosion should be eliminated as quickly as possible by direct negotiation, and (2) that the existence of the Polish State, in the form in which it would then continue to exist. should be adequately safeguarded in the economic and political sphere by means of international guarantees.
"On this subject, the German Government makes the following declaration:
"Though skeptical as to the prospects of a successful outcome, they are nevertheless prepared to accept the English proposal and to enter into direct discussions. They do so, as has already been emphasized, solely as the result of the impression made upon them by the written statement received from the British Government that they too desire a pact of friendship in accordance with the general lines indicated to the British Ambassador."
"For the rest, in making these proposals the German Government have never had any intention of touching Poland's vital interests of questioning the existence of an independent polish State. The German Government, accordingly, in these circumstances agree to accept the British Government's offer of their good offices in securing the despatch to Berlin of a Polish Emissary with full powers. They count on the arrival of this Emissary on Wednesday, the 30th August, 1939.
"The German Government will immediately draw up proposals for a solution acceptable to themselves and will, if possible, place these at the disposal of the British Government before the arrival of the Polish negotiators." (TC-72 No. 78)
That was at 7:15 in the evening of 29 August. As previously explained, insufficient time was allowed for the Polish Emissary to reach Berlin by midnight the following night.
Sir Neville Henderson's account of his interview on the evening of 29 August summarizes what took place then:
"I remarked that this phrase sounded like an ultimatum, but after some heated remarks both Herr Hitler and Herr von Ribbentrop assured me that it was only intended to stress urgency of the moment when the two fully mobilized armies were standing face to face." (TC-72 No. 79)
Again the British Government replied and Sir Neville Henderson handed this reply to Ribbentrop at the famous meeting on midnight of 30 August, at the time the Polish Emissary had been expected. The reply stated that the British Government reciprocated the desire for improved relations. It stressed again that it cannot sacrifice its interest to other friends in order to obtain an improvement in the situation. It understood that the German Government accepts the condition that the settlement should be subject to international guarantee. The British Government makes a reservation as to the demands that the Germans put forward in their last letter, and is informing the polish Government immediately. Lastly, the British understand that the German Government is drawing up the proposals. (TC-72 No.89)
Sir Neville Henderson gave this account of that interview at midnight on 30 August:
"I told Herr von Ribbentrop this evening that His Majesty's Government found it difficult to advise Polish Government to accept procedure adumbrated in German Reply, and suggested that he should adopt normal contact, i.e., that when German proposals were ready to invite Polish Ambassador to call and to hand him Proposals for transmission to his Government with a view to immediate opening of negotiations. I added that if basis afforded prospect of settlement His Majesty's Government could be counted upon to do their best in Warsaw to temporize negotiations.
"Herr von Ribbentrop's reply was to produce a lengthy document which he read out in German aloud at top speed. Imagining that he would eventually hand it to me I did not attempt to follow too closely the sixteen or more articles which it contained. Though I cannot therefore guarantee accuracy the main points were: * * *"
"When I asked Herr von Ribbentrop for text of these proposals in accordance with undertaking the German reply of yesterday, he asserted that it was now too late as Polish representative had not arrived in Berlin by midnight.
"I observed that to treat matter in this way meant that request for Polish representative to arrive in Berlin on 30th August constituted in fact, an ultimatum in spite of what he and Herr Hitler had assured me yesterday. This he denied, saying that idea of an ultimatum was figment of my imagination. Why then I asked could he not adopt normal procedure and give me copy of proposals and ask Polish Ambassador to call on him, just as Herr Hitler had summoned me a few days ago, and hand them to him for communication to Polish Government. In the most violent terms Herr von Ribbentrop said that he would never ask the Ambassador to visit him. He hinted that if Polish Ambassador asked him for interview it might be different. I said that I would naturally inform my Government so at once. Whereupon he said while those were his personal Views he would bring all that I had said to Herr Hitler's notice. It was for chancellor to decide.
"We parted on that note, but I must tell you that Herr von Ribbentrop's demeanor during an unpleasant interview was aping Herr Hitler at his worst. He inveighed incidentally against Polish mobilization, but I retorted that it was hardly surprising since Germany had also mobilized as Herr Hitler himself had admitted to me yesterday." (TC-72 No. 92)
Henderson of course did not know at that time that Germany had also given the orders to attack Poland some days before. On the following day, 31 August, at 6:30 in the evening, M. Lipski, the Polish Ambassador, had an interview with Ribbentrop. This is M. Lipski's account of the conversation:
"I carried out my instructions. M. von Ribbentrop asked if I had special plenipotentiary powers to undertake negotiations. I said no. He then asked whether I had been informed that on London's suggestion the German Government had expressed their readiness to negotiate directly with a delegate of the Polish Government, furnished with the requisite full powers, who was to have arrived on the preceding day, August 30. I replied that I had no direct information on the subject. In conclusion M. von Ribbentrop repeated that he had thought I would be empowered to negotiate. He would communicate my demarche to the Chancellor." (TC-73 No. 112)
But it was too late. The orders had already been given on that day to the German Army to invade. A "Most Secret order" signed by Hitler, described as his "Direction No. 1 for the conduct of the war," dated 31 August 1939, reads in part:
"Now that all the political possibilities of disposing by peaceful means of a situation of the Eastern Frontier which is intolerable for Germany are exhausted, I have determined on a solution by force.
"The attack on Poland is to be carried out in accordance with the preparations made for 'Fall Weiss', with the alterations which result, where the Army is concerned, from the fact that it has in the meantime almost completed its dispositions. "Allotment of tasks and the operational target remain unchanged.
"Date of attack-1 September 1939
"Time of attack-04:45 [inserted in red pencil]
"This time also applies to the operation at Gdynia, Bay of Danzig and the Dirschau Bridge.
"In the West it is important that the responsibility for the opening of hostilities should rest unequivocally with England and France. At first purely local action should be taken against insignificant frontier violations." (C-126)
That evening, 31 August, at nine o'clock, the German radio broadcast the terms of the German proposals about which they were willing to enter into discussions with the Polish Government. The proposals were set out at length. By this time, neither Sir Neville Henderson nor the Polish Government Nor their Ambassador had yet been given their written copy of them. This is a document which seems difficult to explain other than as an exhibition or an example of hypocrisy. The second paragraph states:
"Further, the German Government pointed out that they felt able to make the basic points regarding the offer of an understanding available to the British Government by the time the Polish negotiator arrived in Berlin."
The manner in which they did that has been shown. The German Broadcast continued, that instead of the arrival of an authorized Polish personage, the first answer the Government of the Reich received to their readiness for an understanding was the news of the polish mobilization; and that only toward 12 o'clock on the night of 30 August 1939 did they receive a somewhat general assurance of British readiness to help towards the commencement of negotiations. The fact that the Polish negotiator expected by the Reich did not arrive, removed the necessary conditions for informing His Majesty's Government of the views of the German Government as regards the possible basis for negotiation. Since His Majesty's Government themselves had pleaded for direct negotiations between Germany and Poland, the German minister for Foreign Affairs, Ribbentrop, gave the British Ambassador on the occasion of the presentation of the last British note, precise information as to the text of the German proposals which will be regarded as a basis for negotiation in the event of the arrival of the Polish Plenipotentiary. The Broadcast. The Broadcast thereafter went on to set out the Nazi version of the story of the negotiations over the last few days. (TC-73 No. 113)
On 1 September, when his armies were already crossing the Polish frontier, Hitler issued this proclamation to his Armed Forces:
"The Polish Government, unwilling to establish good neighborly relations as aimed at by me, wants to force the issue by way of arms.
"The Germans in Poland are being persecuted with bloody terror and driven from their homes. Several acts of frontier violation which cannot be tolerated by a great power show that Poland is no longer prepared to respect the Reich's frontiers. To put an end to these mad acts I can see no other way but from now onwards to meet force with force.
"The German Armed Forces will with firm determination take up the struggle for the honor and the vital rights of the German people.
"I expect every soldier to be conscious of the high tradition of the eternal German soldierly qualities and to do his duty to the last.
"Remember always and in any circumstances that you are the representatives of National Socialist Greater Germany. "Long live our people and the Reich." (TC-54)
So that at last Hitler had kept his word to his generals. He had afforded them their propagandistic justification, and at that time, anyway, it did not matter what people said about it afterwards.
"The view shall not appear, asked later on, whether we told the truth or not. Might is what counts-or victory is what counts and not right." (1014-PS)
On that day, 1 September, when news came of this invasion of Polish ground, the British Government, in accordance with their treaty obligations, sent an ultimatum to the German Government, in which it stated:
"I am accordingly to inform your Excellency that unless the German Government are prepared to give His Majesty's Government satisfactory assurances that the German Government have suspended all aggressive action against Poland and are prepared promptly to withdraw their forces from Polish territory, His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom will without hesitation fulfill their obligations to Poland." (TC-72 No. 110)
At 9 o'clock on 3 September the British Government handed a final ultimatum to the German Minister of Foreign Affairs. It read in part:
"* * * Although this communication was made more than twenty-four hours ago, no reply has been received but German attacks upon Poland have been continued and intensified. I have accordingly the honor to inform you that, unless not later than eleven o'clock, British Summer Time, today 3d September, satisfactory assurances to the above effect have been given by the German Government, and have reached His Majesty's Government in London, a state of war will exist between the two countries as from that hour." (TC-72 No. 118)
And so it was that at 11 o'clock on 3 September a state of war existed between Germany and England and between Germany and France. The plans, preparations, intentions, and determination to carry out this assault upon Poland which had been going on for months, for years before, had come to fruition despite all appeals to peace, all appeals to reason. It mattered not what anybody but the German Government had in mind or whatever rights anybody else but the German nation thought they had. If there is any doubt left about this matter, two more documents remain for consideration. Even now, on 3 September, Mussolini offered some chance of peace. At 6:30 hours on 3 September Mussolini sent a telegram to Hitler:
"The Italian Ambassador handed to the State secretary at the Duce's order following copy for the Fuehrer and Reich Chancellor and for the Reich Minister for Foreign Affairs: "Italy sends the information, leaving, of course, every decision to the Fuehrer, that it still has a chance to call a conference with France, England and Poland on following basis: 1. Armistice which would leave the Army Corps where they are at present. 2. Calling the conference within two or three days. 3. Solution of the Polish-German controversy which would be certainly favorable for Germany as matters stand today.
"This idea which originated from the Duce has its foremost exponent in France.
"Danzig is already German and Germany is holding already securities which guarantee most of her demands. Besides, Germany has had already its 'moral satisfaction.' If it would accept the plan for a conference, it will achieve all her aims and at the same time prevent a war which already today has the aspect of being universal and of extremely long duration." (1831-PS)
Perhaps even Mussolini did not appreciate what all Germany's aims were, for his offer was turned down in the illuminating letter which Hitler was to write in reply:
"I first want to thank your for you last attempt at mediation. I would have been ready to accept, but only under condition, that there would be a possibility to give me certain guarantees that the conference would be successful. Because, for the last two days the German troops are engaged in an extraordinarily rapid advance in Poland. It would have been impossible to devaluate the bloody sacrifices made thereby by diplomatic intrigues. Nevertheless, I believe that a way could have been found, if England would not have been determined to wage war under all circumstances. I have not given in to the English, because, Duce, I do not believe that peace could have been maintained for more than one-half year or one year. Under these circumstances, I thought that, in spite of everything, the present moment was better for resistance. At present, the superiority of the German armed forces in Poland is so overwhelming in all fields that the Polish Army will collapse in a very short time. I doubt whether this fast success could be achieved in one or two years. England and France would have armed their allies, to such an extent that the crushing technical superiority of the German Armed Forces could not have become so apparent anymore. I am aware, Duce, that the fight which I enter, is one for life and death. My own fate does not play any role in it at all. But I am also aware that one cannot avoid such a struggle permanently and that one has to choose after cold deliberation the moment for resistance in such a way that the probability of the success is guaranteed and I believe in this success, Duce, with the firmness of a rock. Recently you have given me the kind assurance that you think you will be able to help me in a few fields. I acknowledge this in advance with sincere thanks. But I believe also-even if we march now over different roads-that fate will finally join us. If the National Socialist Germany were destroyed by the Western democracies, the Fascist Italy would also have to face a grave future. I was personally always aware of this community of the future of our two governments and I know that you, Duce, think the same way. To the situation in Poland, I would like to make the brief remark that we lay aside, of course, all unimportant things, that we do not waste any man in unimportant tasks, but direct all on acts in the light of great operational considerations. The Northern Polish Army which is the Corridor, has already been completely encircled by our action. It will be either wiped out or will surrender. Otherwise, all operations proceed according to plan. The daily achievements of the troops are far beyond all expectations. The superiority of our air force is complete, although scarcely one-third of it is in Poland. In the West I will be on the defensive. France can here sacrifice its blood first. Then the moment will come when we can confront the enemy also there with the full power of the nation. Accept my thanks, Duce, for all your assistance which you have given to me in the past and I ask you not to deny it to me in the future." (1831-PS)
Document Description Vol. Page
Charter of the International Military Tribunal, Article 6(a)........ I 5
International Military Tribunal, Indictment Number 1, Sections IV(F)4; V...... I 2629
Note: A single asterisk (*) before a document indicates that the document was received in evidence at the Nurnberg trial. A double asterisk (**) before a document number indicates that the document was referred to during the trial but was not formally received in evidence, for the reason given in parentheses following the description of the document. The USA series number, given in parentheses following the description of the document, is the official exhibit number assigned by the court.
*386-PS Notes on a conference with Hitler in the Reich Chancellery, Berlin, 5 November 1937, signed by Hitler's adjutant, Hossbach, and dated 10 November 1937. (USA 25)...... III 295
*388-PS File of papers on Case Green (the plan for the attack on Czechoslovakia), kept by Schmundt, Hitler's adjutant, April-October 1938. (USA 26)....................... III 305
*699-PS Letter from Funk to Hitler, 25 August 1939, reporting on economic affairs. (GB 49)............ III 509
*789-PS Speech of the Fuehrer at a conference, 23 November 1939, to which all Supreme Commanders were ordered. (USA 23)..... III 572
*795-PS Keitel's conference, 17 August 1939, concerning giving Polish uniforms to Heydrich. (GB 54)...... III 580
*798-PS Hitler's speech to Commanders-in-Chief, at Obersalzberg, 22 August 1939. (USA 29)......... III 581
*1014-PS Hitler's speech to Commanders-in-Chief, 22 August 1939. (USA 30)......... III 665
*1639-A-PS Mobilization book for the Civil Administration, 1939 Edition, issued over signature of Keitel. (USA 777)...... IV 143
*1780-PS Excerpts from diary kept by General Jodl, January 1937 to August 1939. (USA 72)....... IV 360
1796-PS Notes to the War Diary from March 1939 to January 1940........ IV 370
1822-PS Telegram from Minister of Foreign Affairs in Rome to Minister of Foreign Affairs in Berlin, 25 august 1939, concerning conference with Mussolini and Ciano...... IV 459
1823-PS Hitler reply to Mussolini, 27 August 1939, concerning attitude of Italy in conference of 25 August 1939.......... IV 462
1828-PS Memorandum handed to German Foreign Office by Count Magistrate in Rome, 7 August 1939..... IV 463
*1831-PS Correspondence between Hitler and Mussolini, September 1939. (GB 75).......... IV 463
1832-PS Telephone report of Reich Minister for Foreign Affairs in Rome, 27 August 1939........... IV 468
1889-PS Account of conference of Fuehrer and Italian Ambassador Attolico, 31 August 1939........ IV 528
*2327-PS Two top secret memoranda, 14 June 1939, concerning operation "Fall Weiss". (USA 539)...... 1035
*2357-PS Speech by Hitler before Reichstag, 20 February 1938, published in Documents of German Politics, Part VI,1,pp.50-52. (GB 30)...... IV 1099
*2368-PS Hitler's speech before Reichstag, 30 January 1937, published in Documents of German Politics, Part VI,2,p.42. (GB 26)...... IV 1102
*2530-PS Ribbentrop's speech in Warsaw, 25 January 1939, published in Voelkischer Beobachter, 1 February 1939. (GB 36)...... V 267
*2751-PS Affidavit of Alfred Naujocks, 20 November 1945. (USA 482)..... V 390
2817-PS Telegram from German Embassy, Rome, to Ribbentrop, concerning answer of Duce to Hitler's second letter, 27 August 1939...... V 452
*2818-PS Secret additional protocol to the Friendship and Alliance Pact between Germany and Italy. (GB 292)....... V 453
2834-PS letter from Mussolini to Fuehrer, 25 August 1939....... V 502
*2835-PS German Foreign Office memorandum on conversation between Ribbentrop and the Duce, 10 March 1940. (GB 291)..... V 502
*2846-PS Affidavit of Edwin Lahousen, 13 November 1945........... V 507
*2897-PS Telegram from German Ambassador in Tokyo, Ott, to Ribbentrop, 13 July 1941. (USA 156)...... V 566
*3054-PS "The Nazi Plan", script of a motion picture composed of captured German film. (USA 167)....... V 801
*C-23 Unsigned documents found in official Navy files containing notes year by year from 1927 to 1940 on reconstruction of the German Navy, and dated 18 February 1938, 8 March 1938, September 1938. (USA 49)....... VI 827
*C-30 Air-Sea Forces Orders for Occupation Danzig, 27 July 1939. (GB 46)......... VI 831
*C-120 Directives for Armed Forces 1939-40 for "Fall Weiss", operation against Poland. (GB 41)....... VI 916
*C-126 Weiss" and directions for secret mobilization. (GB 45)...... VI 932
*C-137 Keitel's appendix of 24 November 1938 to Hitler Order of 21 October 1938. (GB 33)........ VI 949
*C-142 Intention of the Army High Command and Orders, signed by Brauchitsch. (USA 538)........ VI 956
*C-172 Order No. 1 for "Fall weiss" signed by Doenitz. (GB 189)............ 1002
*C-175 OKW Directive for Unified preparation for War 1937-1938, with covering letter from von Blomberg, 24 June 1937. (USA 69)....... VI 1006
*D-738 Memorandum on second conference between German Foreign Minister with Hungarian Prime and Foreign Minister on 1 May 1939. (GB 290)......... VII 193
*L-43 Air Force "Organizational Study 1950", 2 may 1938. (GB 29) (See Chart No. 10.)........ VII 788
*L-79 Minutes of conference, 23 May 1939, "Indoctrination on the political situation and future aims". (USA 27)........ VII 847
*L-172 "The Strategic Position at the Beginning of the 5th year of War", a lecture delivered by Jodl on 7 November 1943 at Munich to Reich and Gauleiters. (USA 34)....... VIII 920
*R-100 Minutes of instructions given by Hitler to General von Brauchitsch on 25 March 1939. (USA 121)..... VIII 83
*TC-2 Hague Convention (1) for Pacific Settlement of International Disputes-1907. (GB 2)......... VIII 276
*TC-3 Hague Convention (3) Relative to opening of Hostilities. (GB 2)......... VIII 279
*TC-9 Versailles Treaty, Section XI, Article 100, Free City of Danzig. (GB 3)............ VIII 290
*TC-15 Arbitration Treaty between Germany and Poland at Locarno, 16 October 1925. (GB 16)........ VIII 331
*TC-18 Declaration Concerning wars of aggression; resolution of 3rd Committee of League of Nations, 24 September 1927. (GB 17)........ VIII 357
*TC-19 Kellogg-Briand Pact at Paris. 1929 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part II, No.9,pp.97-101. (GB 18)......... VIII 359
*TC-21 German-Polish Declaration, 26 January 1934. (GB 24)........ VIII 368
*TC-28 German assurance to Czechoslovakia, 26 September 1938, from Documents of German Politics, Part VI,pp.345-346. (GB 22)....... VIII 378
*TC-29 German assurances to Poland, 26 September 1938, from Documents of German Politics, Part VI,p.336. (GB 32)......... VIII 378
*TC-53-A Marginal note to decree of final incorporation of Memel with German Reich, 23 March 1939, from Documents of German Politics, Part VII,p.552. (GB 4).......... VIII 408
*TC-54 Proclamation of the Fuehrer to German Armed Forces, 1 September 1939. (GB 73)......... VIII 408
*TC-70 Hitler's Reichstag Speech concerning agreement with Poland, 30 January 1934, from Voelkischer Beobachter, 31 January 1934. (GB 25)........... VIII 433
*TC-71 Reports of British Consul in Danzig, July 1939. (GB 47)......... VIII 434
*TC-72 No. 13 British Blue Book. Hitler's Reichstag speech, 28 April 1939. (GB 43)...... VIII 438
*TC-72 No. 14 British Blue Book. German memorandum renouncing 1934 agreement, 28 April 1939. (GB 42).... VIII 441
*TC-72 No. 16 British Blue Book. Polish Government's reply, 5 May 1939, to 28 April memo. (GB 44)....... VIII 445
*TC-72 No. 17 British Blue Book. British Prime Minister's statement in House of Commons, 31 March 1939. (GB 39)..... VIII 450
*TC-72 No. 18 British Blue Book. Anglo-Polish communiqué issued 6 April 1939. (GB 40)....... VIII 450
*TC-72 No. 53 British Blue Book. Report of British Ambassador, Warsaw, 26 August 1939. (GB 51)........ VIII 451
*TC-72 No. 54 British Blue Book. Report of British Ambassador, Warsaw, 26 August 1939. (GB 52).......... VIII 452
*TC-72 No. 55 British Blue Book. Report of British Ambassador, Warsaw, 27 August 1939. (GB 53)......... VIII 452
*TC-72 No. 56 British Blue Book. British Prime Minister's letter to Hitler, 22 August 1939. (GB 55)...... VIII 453
*TC-72 No. 60 British Blue Book. Hitler's reply to British Prime minister, 23 August 1939. (GB 56)....... VIII 455
*TC-72 No. 62 British Blue Book. Danzig Senate Decree appointing Forster Head of State, 23 August 1939. (GB 50)......... VIII 457
*TC-72 No. 68 British Blue Book. Hitler's verbal communiqué to Sir Neville Henderson, 25 August 1939. (GB 65)....... VIII 458
*TC-72 No. 74 British Blue Book. British Government's reply, 28 August 1939, to Hitler's message of 25 August. (GB 66)........ VIII 460
*TC-72 No. 75 British Blue Book. Hitler and Sir N. Henderson conversation, 28 August 1939. (GB 67)....... VIII 463
*TC-72 No. 78 British Blue Book. Hitler's reply to British Government, 29 August 1939. (GB 68)......... VIII 466
*TC-72 No. 79 British Blue Book. Hitler and Sir N. Henderson conversation, 29 August 1939. (GB 69)........ VIII 469
*TC-72 No. 89 British Blue Book. British Government's reply, 30 August 1939, to German communication of 29 August. (GB 70)...... VIII 470
*TC-72 No. 92 British Blue Book. Ribbentrop and Sir N. Henderson conversation, midnight 30 August 1939. (GB 71)......... VIII 472
*TC-72 No. 110 British Blue Book. British Government's ultimatum, 1 September 1939. (GB 74)......... VIII 473
TC-72 No. 113 British Blue Book. Copy German proposals handed to Sir N. Henderson 9:15 P.M., 31 August 1939.......... VIII 474
TC-72 No. 118 British Blue Book. British Government's final ultimatum, 3 September 1939......... VIII 474
*TC-72 No. 124 British Blue Book. President Roosevelt's appeal to Hitler, 24 August 1939. (GB 59)...... VIII 475
*TC-72 No. 126 British Blue Book. President Moscicki's reply to President Roosevelt, 25 August 1939. (GB 60)....... VIII 476
*TC-72 No. 127 British Blue Book. President Roosevelt's second appeal to Hitler, 25 August 1939. (GB 61)......... VIII 447
*TC-72 No. 139 British Blue Book. The Pope's appeal, 24 August 1939. (GB 62)..... VIII 477
*TC-72 No. 141 British Blue Book. The Pope's appeal, 31 August 1939. (GB 63).... VIII 480
*TC-73 No. 33 Polish White Book. German-Polish communiqué, 5 November 1937. (GB 27)........ VIII 480
*TC-73 No. 44 Polish White Book. Lipski, Ribbentrop luncheon, conversation, 24 October 1938. (GB 27-A)...... VIII 483
*TC-73 No. 45 Polish White book. Beck's instructions to Lipski, 31 October 1938. (GB 27-B)....... VIII 484
*TC-73 No. 48 Polish White Book. Beck and Hitler conversation, 5 January 1939. (GB 34)........ VIII 486
*TC-73 No. 49 Polish White Book. Beck and Ribbentrop conversation, 6 January 1939. (GB 35)....... VIII 488
*TC-73 No. 57 Polish White Book. Hitler's Reichstag speech, 30 January 3939. (GB 37)....... VIII 488
*TC-73 No. 61 Polish White Book. Ribbentrop and Lipski conversation, 21 March 1939. (GB 38)...... VIII 489
*TC-73 No. 91 Polish White Book. Anglo-Polish Agreement, 25 August 1939. (GB 57)..... VIII 492
*TC-73 No. 112 Polish White Book. Ribbentrop-Lipski conversation, 31 August 1939. (GB 72)........ VIII 494
*TC-73 No. 113 Polish White Book. German broadcast 9 P.M. 31 August 1939....... VIII 495
*TC-75 Memo for the Fuehrer, 2 January 1938, concerning Anglo-German relations. (GB 28).... VIII 513
*TC-76 Note for Reich minister, 26 August 1938. (GB 31)........ VIII 515
*TC-77 Memorandum of conversation between Hitler, Ribbentrop and Ciano, 12 August 1939. (GB 48).... VIII 516
*TC-78 French Prime Minister's letter to Hitler, 26 August 1939. (GB 58)....... VIII 529
*TC-79 Hitler's reply to French Prime Minister, 27 August 1939. (GB 58)........ VIII 531
*TC-90 Goering's interrogation, 29 August 1945. (GB 64)....... VIII 534
*TC-91 Ribbentrop's interrogation, 29 August 1945. (GB 276)...... VIII 535
Affidavit A Affidavit of Erwin Lahousen, 21 January 1946, substantially the same as his testimony on direct Examination before the International Military Tribunal at Nurnberg 30 November and 1 December 1945.......... VIII 587
*Chart No. 10 1938 Proposals for Luftwaffe Expansion 1938-1950. (L-43; GB 29).......... VIII 779
**Chart No. 12 German Aggression. (Enlargement displayed to Tribunal.)........ VIII 781
**Chart No. 13 Violations of Treaties, Agreements and Assurances. (Enlargement displayed to Tribunal.)....... VIII 782