|Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression Volume 1|
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In the early hours of the morning of 9 April 1940 Nazi Germany invaded Norway and Denmark. Those invasions constituted wars of aggression, and also wars in violation of international treaties, agreements, and assurances.
A. Treaties and Assurances Violated.
The invasions constituted violations of the Hague convention and of the Kellogg-Briand Pact. In addition there were specific agreements between German and Norway and Denmark. There was the Treaty of Arbitration and conciliation between Germany and Denmark, which was signed at Berlin on 2 June, 1926 (TC-17). The first Article of that treaty is in these terms:
"The Contracting Parties undertake to submit to the procedure of arbitration or conciliation, in conformity with the present Treaty, all disputes of any nature whatsoever which may arise between German and Denmark and which it has not been possible to settle within a reasonable period by diplomacy or to bring with the consent of both Parties before the permanent Court of International Justice.
"Disputes for the solution of which a special procedure has been laid down in other Conventions in force between the Contracting Parties shall be settled in accordance with the provisions of such Conventions." (TC-17)
The remaining Articles deal with the machinery for arbitration.
There was also the treaty of nonaggression between German and Denmark which was signed by Ribbentrop on 31 May 1939, ten weeks after the Nazi seizure of Czechoslovakia (TC-24). The preamble and Articles 1 and 2 read as follows:
"His Majesty the King of Denmark and Iceland and the Chancellor of the German Reich,
"Being firmly resolved to maintain peace between Denmark and German in all circumstances, have agreed to confirm this resolve by means of a treaty and have appointed as their Plenipotentiaries: His Majesty the King of Denmark and Iceland and the Chancellor of the German Reich.
"Article I: The Kingdom of Denmark and the German Reich shall in no case resort to war or to any other use of force on against the other.
"Should action of the kind referred to in Paragraph 1 be taken by a third Power against one of the Contracting Parties, the other Contracting party shall not support such action in any way.
"Article II: The Treaty shall come into force on the exchange of the instruments of ratification and shall remain in force for a period of ten years from that date." (TC-24)
The Treaty is dated 31 May 1939. At the bottom of the page there appears the signature of Ribbentrop. The invasion of Denmark by the Nazi forces less than a year after the signature of this treaty showed the utter worthlessness of treaties to which Ribbentrop put his signature.
With regard to Norway, Ribbentrop and the Nazi conspirators were party to a similar perfidy. Hitler gave an assurance to Denmark, Norway, and the Netherlands on 28 April 1939 (TC-30). That, of course, was after the annexation of Czechoslovakia had shaken the confidence of the world, and was presumably an attempt to Treaty to reassure the Scandinavian states. Hitler said:
"I have given binding declarations to a large number of States. None of these States can complain that even a trace by German. None of the Scandinavian statesmen, for example, can contend that a request has ever been put to them by the German Government or by the German public opinion which was incompatible with the sovereignty and integrity of their State.
"I was pleased that a number of European States availed themselves of these declarations by the German Government to express and emphasize their desire too for absolute neutrality. This applies to Holland, Belgium, Switzerland, Denmark, etc," (TC-30)
A further assurance was given by the Nazi Government on 2 September 1939, the day after the Nazi invasion of Poland. On that day an aide memoire was handed to the Norwegian Foreign Minister by the German Minister in Oslo. It reads:
"The German Reich Government is determined, in view of the friendly relations which exist between Norway and Germany, under no circumstances to prejudice the inviolability and integrity of Norway and to respect the territory of the Norwegian state. In making this declaration the Reich Government naturally expect, on its side, that Norway will observe an unimpeachable neutrality towards the Reich and will not tolerate any breaches of Norwegian neutrality by any third party which might occur. Should the attitude of the Royal Norwegian Government differ from this so that any such breach of neutrality by a third party recurs, the Reich Government would then obviously be compelled to safeguard the interests of the Reich in such a way as the resulting situation might dictate." (TC-31)
There followed a further German assurance to Norway in speech by Hitler on 6 October 1939 in which he said:
"Germany has never had any conflicts of interest or even points of controversy with the Northern States; neither has she any today. Sweden and Norway have both been offered nonaggression pacts by Germany and have both refused them solely because they do not feel themselves threatened in any way." (TC-31)
These treaties and assurances were the diplomatic background to the Nazi aggression on Norway and Denmark. These assurances (685964-46-48)were simply given to lull suspicion and cause the intended victims of Nazi aggression to be unprepared to meet the Nazi attack. For it is now known that as early as October 1939 the conspirators were Plotting the invasion of Norway, and that the most active conspirators in that plot were Raeder and Rosenberg.
B. Early Planning for Invasion.
The Norwegian invasion is in one respect not a typical Nazi aggression, in that Hitler had to be persuaded to embark upon it. The chief instruments of persuasion were Raeder and Rosenberg; Raeder because he thought Norway strategically important, and because he coveted glory for his Navy; Rosenberg because of his political connections in Norway, which he sought to develop. And in the Norwegian, Vidkun Quisling, Rosenberg found a very model of the Fifth Column agent.
The early stages of the Nazi conspiracy to invade Norway are disclosed in a letter which Raeder wrote on 10 January 1944 to Admiral Assmann, the official German Naval historian (C-66). It is headed "Memorandum for Admiral Assmann for his own in formation; not to be used for publications." The first part deals with "Barbarossa" (the plan to invade Russia). The next part is headed "(b) Weseruebung," which was the code name for the invasion of Norway and Denmark. The following is a pertinent passage from the letter:
"During the weeks preceding the report on the 10th of October 1939, I was in correspondence with Admiral Carls, who, in a detailed letter to me, first pointed out the importance of an occupation of the Norwegian coast by Germany. I passed this letter on to C/SKI (the Chief of Staff of the Navel War Staff) for their information and prepared some notes based no this letter for my report to the Fuehrer, which I made on the 10th of October 1939, since my opinion was identical with that of Admiral Carls, while at that time the SKI was more dubious about the matter. In these notes, I stressed the disadvantages which an occupation of nr by the British would have for us-control of the approaches to the Baltic, outflanking of our naval operations and of air attacks on Britain, pressure on Sweden. I also stressed the advantages for us of the occupation of occupation of the Norwegian coast-outlet to the North Atlantic, no possibility of a British mine barrier, as in the year 1917-18. naturally at the time, only the coast and bases were considered; I included Narvik, though Admiral Carls, in the course of our correspondence thought that Narvik could be excluded. The Fuehrer saw at once the significance of the Norwegian problem; he asked me to leave the notes and stated that he wished to consider the question himself." (C-66)
This report of Raeder shows that the evolution of this Nazi campaign against Norway affords a good example of the participation of the German High Command in the Nazi conspiracy to attack inoffensive neighbors.
Before this report of October 1939 was made to the Fuehrer, Raeder sought a second opinion on the Norwegian invasion. On 3 October 1939, he made out a questionnaire headed, "Gaining of Bases in Norway (extract from War Diary)" (C-122). It reads:
"The Chief of the Naval War Staff considers it necessary that the Fuehrer be informed as soon as possible of the opinions of the Naval War Staff on the possibilities of extending the operational base to the North. It must be ascertained whether it is possible to gain bases in Norway under the combined pressure of Russia and Germany, with the aim of improving our strategic and operational position. The following questions must be given consideration:
"(a) What places in Norway can be considered as bases?
"(b) Can bases be gained by military force against Norway's will, if it is impossible to carry this out without fighting?
"(c) What are the possibilities of defense after the occupation?
"(d) Will the harbors have to be developed completely as bases, or have they already advantages suitable for supply position?"
("F.O.U.-boats" [a reference to Doenitz] "already considers such harbors extremely useful as equipment and supply bases for Atlantic U-boats to call at temporarily.")
"(e) What decisive advantages would exist for the conduct of the war at sea in gaining bases in North Denmark, e.g. Skagen?" (C-122)
A memorandum written by Doenitz on Norwegian bases presumably relates to the questionnaire of Raeder, which was in circulation about that time. Doenitz's document is headed, "Flag officer Submarines, Operations Division," and is marked "Most Secret." The subject is "Base in Norway." Then there are set out "suppositions", "advantages and disadvantages", and then "conclusions". The last paragraph (III) reads:
"The following is therefore proposed:
"(1) Establishment of a base in Trondheim, including:
"a. Possibility of supplying fuel, compressed air, oxygen, provisions.
"b. Repair opportunities for overhaul work after an encounter.
"c. Good opportunities for accommodating U-boat crews.
"d. Flak protection, L.A. armament, petrol and M/S units.
"Secondly, establishment of the possibility of supplying fuel in Narvik as an alternative." (C-5)
In October 1939 Hitler was merely considering the Norwegian aggression and had not yet committed himself to it. Raeder persevered in pressing his point of view with regard to Norway, and at this stage he found a powerful ally in Rosenberg.
C. Use of the Fifth Column: Quisling.
The Nazi employment of traitors and the stimulation of treachery as a political weapon are now proven historical facts. Should further proof be required, it is found in a "Brief Report on Activities of the Foreign Affairs Bureau of the Party (Aussenpolitisches Amt der NSDAP) from 1933 to 1943" (007-PS). This was Rosenberg's Bureau. The report reads:
"When the Foreign Affairs Bureau (Aussenpolitische Amt) was established on the 1st of April 1933, the Fuehrer directed that it should not be expanded to a large bureaucratic agency, but should rather develop its effectiveness through initiative and suggestions.
"Corresponding to the extraordinarily hostile attitude adopted by the Soviet Government in Moscow from the beginning, the newly-established Bureau devoted particular attention to internal conditions in the Soviet Union, as well as to the effects of Word Bolshevism primarily in other European countries. It entered into contact with the most variegated groups inclining towards National Socialism in combatting Bolshevism, focussing its main attention on Nations and States bordering on the Soviet Union; on the other hand, those Nations and states constituted an Insulating Ring encircling the Bolshevist neighbor; on the other hand they were the laterals of German living space and took up a flanking position towards the Western Powers, especially Great Britain. In order to wield the desired influence by one means or another, the Bureau was compelled to use the most varying methods, taking into consideration the completely different living conditions, the ties of blood, intellect and history of the movements observed by the Bureau in those counties. "In Scandinavia an outspokenly procedure-Anglo-Saxon attitude, based on economic consideration, had become progressively more dominant after the Word War of 1914-18. There the Bureau put the entire emphasis on influencing general cultural relations with the Nordic peoples. For this purpose it took the Nordic Society in Luebeck under its protection. The Reich conventions of this society were attended by may outstanding personalities, especially from Finland. While there were no openings for purely political cooperation in Sweden and Denmark, an association based on Greater Germanic ideology was found in Norway. Very close relations were established with its founder, which led to further consequences." (007-PS)
There follows an account of the activity of Rosenberg's Bureau in various parts of the world. The last paragraph of the main body of the report reads in part:
"With the outbreak of war, the Bureau was entitled to consider its task as terminated. The exploitation of the many personal connections in many lands can be resumed under a different guise." (007-PS)
The Annex to the report shows what the "exploitation of personal connections" involved. Annex One to the document is headed, "To Brief Report on Activities of the Foreign Affairs Bureau of the Nazi Party from 1933 to 1943." The subheading is "The Political Preparation of the Military Occupation of Norway During the War Years 1939-1940". The annex reads:
"As previously mentioned, of all political groupings in Scandinavia, only 'Nasjonal Samling', led in Norway by the former Minister of War and Major of the Reserve, Vidkun Quisling, deserved serious political attention. This was a fighting political group, possessed by the idea of a Greater Germanic Community. Naturally, all ruling powers were hostile and attempted to prevent, by any means, its success liaison with quisling and attentively observed the attacks he conducted with tenacious energy on the middle class, which had been taken in tow by the English.
"From the beginning, it appeared probable that without revolutionary events, which would stir the population from their former attitude, no successful progress of Nasjonal Samling was to be expected. During the winter 1938-1939, Quisling was privately visited by a member of the Bureau.
"When the political situation in Europe came to a head in 1939, Quisling made an appearance at the convention of the Nordic Society in Luebeck in June. He expounded his conception of the situation, and his apprehensions concerning Norway. He emphatically drew attention to the geopolitically decisive importance of Norway in the Scandinavian area, and to the advantages that would accrue to the power dominating the Norwegian coast in case of a conflict between the Greater German Reich and Great Britain.
"Assuming that his statement would be of special interest to the Marshal of the Reich Goering for aero-strategical reasons, Quisling was referred to State Secretary Koerner by the Bureau. The Staff Director of the Bureau handed the Chief of the Reich Chancellery a memorandum for transmission to the Fuehrer." (007-PS)
This document is another illustration of the close interweaving between the political and military leadership of the Nazi State. Raeder, in his report to Admiral Assmann, admitted his collaboration with Rosenberg (C-66). The second paragraph of the Raeder report, headed "Weseruebung," reads as follows:
"In the further developments, I was supported by Commander Schreiber, Naval Attaché in Oslo and the M-Chief personally-in conjunction with the Rosenberg Organization. Thus, we got in touch with Quisling and Hagelin, who came to Berlin at the beginning of December and were taken to the Fuehrer by me-with the approval of Reichsleiter Rosenberg." (C-66)
The details of the manner in which Raeder made contact personally with Quisling are not clear. In a report from Rosenberg to Raeder, however, the full extent of Quisling's preparedness for treachery and his potential usefulness to the Nazi aggressors was reported and disclosed to Raeder. The second paragraph of this report reads as follows:
"The reasons for a coup, on which Quisling made a report would be provided by the fact that the Storthing (the Norwegian Parliament) had, in defense of the constitution, passed a resolution prolonging its own life which is to become operative on January 12th. Quisling still retains in his capacity as a long-standing officer and a former Minister of War, the closest relations with the Norwegian Army. He a short time previously from the Commanding Officer in Narvik, Colonel Sunlo. In this letter, Colonel Sunlo frankly lays emphasis on the fact that, if things went on as they were going at present, Norway was finished." (C-65)
Then came the details of a plot to overthrow the Government of Norway by the traitor Quisling, in collaboration with Rosenberg:
"A plan has been put forward which deals with the possibility of a coup, and which provides for a number of selected Norwegians to be trained in Germany with all possible speed for such a purpose, being allotted their exact tasks, and provided with experienced and die-hard National Socialists, who are practiced in such operations. These trained men should then proceed with all speed to Norway, where details would then require to be further discussed. Some important centers in Oslo would have to be taken over immediately, and at the same time the German Fleet, together with suitable contingents of the German Army, would go into operation when summoned specially by the new Norwegian Government in a specified bay at the approaches to Oslo. Quisling has no doubts that such a coup, having been carried out with instantaneous success-would immediately bring him the approval of those sections of the Army with which he at present has connections, and thus it goes without saying that he has never discussed a political fight with them. As far as the King is concerned, he believes that he would respect it as an accomplished fact. * * *
"Quisling gives figures of the number of German troops required which accord with German calculations." (C-65)
Subsequent developments are indicated in a report by Raeder of his meeting with Hitler on 12 December 1939 at 1200 hours, in the presence of Keitel, Jodl and Puttkammer, who at this time was adjutant to Hitler. The report is headed "Norwegian Question", and the first sentence reads:
"C-in-C Navy" (Raeder) "has received Quisling and Hagelin. Quisling creates the impression of being reliable." (C-64)
There then follows, in the next two paragraphs, a statement of Quisling's views. The fourth paragraph reads:
"The Fuehrer thought of speaking to Quisling personally so that he might form an impression of him. He wanted to see Rosenberg once more beforehand, as the latter has known Quisling for a long while. C-in-c Navy" [Raeder] "suggests should obtain permission to make plans with Quisling for the preparation and carrying out of the occupation.
"(a) By peaceful means; that is to say, German forces summoned by Norway, or
"(b) To agree to do so by force." (C-64)
It was at a meeting on 12 December that Raeder made the above report to Hitler.
Raeder's record of these transactions reports the next event:
"Thus, we got in touch with Quisling and Hagelin, who came to Berlin at the beginning of December and were taken to the Fuehrer by me, with the approval of Reichsleiter Rosenberg." (C-66)
A note at the bottom of the page states:
"At the crucial moment, R" (presumably Rosenberg) "hurt his foot, so that I visited him in his house on the morning of the 14th of December." (C-66)
That is Raeder's note, and it indicates the extent of his contact in this conspiracy.
The report continues:
"On the grounds of the Fuehrer's discussion with Quisling and Hagelin on the afternoon of the 14th of December, the Fuehrer gave the order that the preparations for the Norwegian operation were to be made by the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces.
"Until that moment, the Naval War Staff had taken no part in the development of the Norwegian question, and continued to be somewhat skeptical about it. The preparations, which were undertaken by Captain Kranke in the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces, were founded, however, on a memorandum of the Naval War Staff." (C-66)
Raeder's note referring to the "crucial" moment was an appropriate one, for on the same day that it was written, 14 December, Hitler gave the order that preparations for the Norwegian operation were to be begun by the Supreme Command of the Armed Force.
Rosenberg's report on the activities of his organization deals with further meetings between Quisling and the Nazi chiefs in December. The extract reads:
"Quisling was granted a personal audience with the Fuehrer on 16 December, and once more on 18 December. In the course of this audience the Fuehrer emphasized repeatedly that he personally would prefer a completely neutral attitude of Norway, as well as of the whole of Scandinavia. He did not intend to enlarge the theatre of war and to draw still other nations into the conflict. * * *"
"Should the enemy attempt to extend the war however, with the aim of achieving further throttling and intimidation of the Greater German Reich, he would be compelled to gird himself against such an undertaking. In order to counterbalance increasing enemy propaganda activity, he promised Quisling financial support of his movement, which is based on Greater German ideology. Military exploitation of the question now raised was assigned to the special military staff, which transmitted special missions to Quisling. Reichsleiter Rosenberg was to take over political exploitation. Financial expenses were to be defrayed by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs [Ribbentrop's organization], the Minister for Foreign Affairs [Ribbentrop] being kept continuously informed by the Foreign Affairs Bureau [Rosenberg's organization]. "Chief of Section Scheidt was charged with maintaining liaison with Quisling. In the course of further developments he was assigned to the Naval Attaché in Oslo. Orders were given that the whole matter be handled with strictest secrecy." (007-PS)
Here again is a further indication of the close link between the Nazi politicians and the Nazi service chiefs.
D. Operational Planning
The information available on the events of January 1940 is not full, but it is clear that the agitation of Raeder and Rosenberg bore fruit. An order signed by Keitel, dated 27 January 1940, marked "Most Secret, five copies; reference, Study 'N'", (an earlier code name for the Weseruebung preparations) and classified "Access only through an officer," stated:
"C-in-C of the Navy [Raeder] has a report on this * * *
"The Fuehrer and Supreme Commander of the Armed Force wishes that Study 'N' should be further worked on under my direct and personal guidance, and in the closest conjunction with the general war policy. For these reasons the Fuehrer has commissioned me to take over the direction of further preparations.
"A working staff has been formed at the Supreme Command of the Armed Force Headquarters for this purpose, and this represents at the same time the nucleus of future operational staff."
"All further plans will be made under the cover name 'Weseruebung.'" (C-63)
The importance of that document, to the signature of Keitel upon it, and to the date of this important decision, is this: Prior to this date, 27 January 1940, the planning of the various aspects of the invasion of Norway and Denmark had been confined to a relatively small group, whose aim had been to persuade Hitler of the desirability of undertaking the operation. The issuance of this directive of Keitel's on 27 January 1940, was the signal that the Supreme Command of the German Armed Force, the OKW, had accepted the proposition of the group that was pressing for the Norwegian adventure, and had turned the combined resources of the German military machine to the task of producing practical and coordinated plans for the Norwegian operation. From January onward the operational planning for the invasion of Norway and Denmark was started through the normal channels.
Certain entries in the diary of Jodl reveal how the preparations progressed (1809-PS). The entry for 6 February commences:
"New idea: Carry out 'H' [Hartmundt, another code word for the Norwegian and Danish invasion] and Weser Exercise only and guarantee Belgium's neutrality for the duration of the war." (1809-PS)
The entry for 21 February reads:
"Fuehrer has talked with General von Falkenhorst, and charges him with preparation of 'Weser Exercise.' Falkenhorst accepts gladly. Instructions issued to the three branches of the armed forces." (1809-PS)
The entry for 28 February reads:
"I propose, first to the Chief of OKW and then to the Fuehrer that Case Yellow [the code name for the invasion of the Netherlands] and Weser Exercise [the invasion of Norway and Denmark] must be prepared in such a way that they will be independent of one another as regards both time and forces employed. The Fuehrer completely agrees, if this is in any way possible." (1809-PS)
It will be observed that the new idea of 6 February, that the neutrality of Belgium might be preserved, had been abandoned by 28 February.
The entry for 29 February reads;
"Fuehrer also wishes to have a strong task force in Copenhagen and a plan, elaborated in detail, showing how individual coastal batteries are to be captured by shock troops. Warlimont, Chef Landesverteidigung, instructed to make out immediately the order of the Army, Navy, and Air Force, and Director of Armed Forces to make out a similar order regarding the strengthening of the staff." (1809-PS)
Then came Hitler's order to complete the preparations for the invasion of Norway and Denmark (C-174). It Bears the date of 1 March 1940, and reads as follows:
"The Fuehrer and Supreme commander of the Armed Forces, Most Secret.
"Directive for Fall Weseruebung.
"The development of the situation in Scandinavia requires the making of all preparations for the occupation of Denmark and Norway by a part of the German Armed Forces-Fall Weseruebung. This operation should prevent British encroachment on Scandinavia and the Baltic; further, it should guarantee our ore base in Sweden and give our Navy and Air Force a wider start line against Britain.
"In view of our military and political power in comparison with that of the Scandinavian States, the force to be employed in the Fall Weseruebung will be kept as small as possible. The numerical weakness will be balanced by daring actions and surprise execution. On principle we will do our utmost to make the operation appear as a peaceful occupation, the object of which is the military protection of the neutrality of the Scandinavian States. Corresponding demands will be transmitted to the Governments at the beginning of the occupation. If necessary, demonstrations by the Navy and the Air Force will provide the necessary emphasis. If, in spite of this, resistance should be met with, all military means will be used to crush it."
"I put in charge of the preparations and the conduct of the operation against Denmark and Norway the commanding General of the 21st Army Corps, General von Falkenhorst. * * *"
"The crossing of the Danish border and the landings in Norway must take place simultaneously. I emphasize that the operations must be prepared as quickly as possible. In case the enemy seizes the initiative against Norway, we must be able to apply immediately our own counter-measures.
"It is most important that the Scandinavian States as well as the Western opponents should be taken by surprise by our measures. All preparations, particularly those of transport and of readiness, drafting and embarkation of the troops, must be made with this factor in mind.
"In case the preparations for embarkation can no longer be kept secret, the leaders and the troops will be deceived with fictitious objectives." (C-174)
The section on "The Occupation of Denmark" which is given the code name of "Weseruebung Sued", provides:
"The task of Group XXI: Occupation by surprise of Jutland and of Fuenen immediately after occupation of Seeland.
"Added to this, having secured the most important places, the Group will break through as quickly as possible from Fuenen to Skagen and to the east coast." (C-174)
There then follow other instructions with regard to the operation.
The section on "The Occupation of Norway", given the code name of "Weseruebung Nord", Provides:
"The task of the Group XXI: Capture by surprise of the most important places on the coast by sea and airborne operations.
"The Navy will take over the preparation and carrying out of the transport by sea of the landing troops. * * * The Air Force, after the occupation has been completed, will ensure air defense and will make use of Norwegian bases for air warfare against Britain." (C-174)
Whilst these preparations were being made, and just prior to the final decision of Hitler, reports were coming in through Rosenberg's organization from Quisling. The third paragraph in Annex I, the section dealing with Norway, has this information:
"Quisling's reports, transmitted to his representative in Germany, Hagelin, and dealing with the possibility of intervention by the Western Powers in Norway with tacit consent of the Norwegian Government, became more urgent by January. These increasingly better substantiated communications were in sharpest contrast to the views of the German Legation in Oslo, which relied on the desire for neutrality of the then Norwegian Nygardszvold Cabinet, and was convinced of that Government's intention and readiness to defend Norway's neutrality. No one in Norway knew that Quisling's representative for Germany maintained closest relations to him; he therefore succeeded in gaining a foothold within governmental circles of the Nygardszvold cabinet and in listening to the cabinet members' views. Hagelin transmitted what he had heard to the Bureau [Rosenberg's bureau], which conveyed the news to the Fuehrer through Reichsleiter Rosenberg. During the night of the 16th to 17th of February, English destroyers attacked the German steamer 'Altmark' in Jessingjord. * * *" (007-PS)
(That is a reference to the action by the British destroyer Cossack against the German naval auxiliary vessel Altmark, which was carrying three hundred British prisoners, captured on the high seas, to Germany through Norwegian territorial waters. The position of the British delegation with regard to that episode is that the use that was being made by the Altmark of Norwegian territorial waters was in fact a flagrant abuse in itself of Norwegian neutrality, and that the action taken by H.M.S Cossack, which was restricted to rescuing the three hundred British prisoners on board, no attempt being made to destroy the Altmark or to capture the armed guards on board her, was fully justified under international law.)
The Rosenberg report continues:
"The Norwegian Government's reaction to this question permitted the conclusion that certain agreements had been covertly arrived at between the Norwegian Government and the Allies. Such assumption was confirmed by reports of Section Scheidt, who in turn derived his information from Hagelin and Quisling. But even after this incident the German Legation in Oslo championed the opposite view, and went on record as believing in the good intentions of the Norwegian." (007-PS)
And so the Nazi Government preferred the reports of the traitor Quisling to the considered judgment of German diplomatic representatives in Norway. The result of the receipt of reports of that kind was the Hitler decision to invade Norway and Denmark. The culminating details in the preparations for the invasion are again found in Jodl's diary. The entry for 3 March relates:
"The Fuehrer expressed himself very sharply on the necessity of a swift entry into N [Norway] with strong forces.
"No delay by any branch of the armed forces. Very rapid acceleration of the attack necessary." (1809-PS)
The last entry for 3 March reads:
"Fuehrer decides to carry out 'Weser Exercise' before case 'Yellow' with a few days interval." (1809-PS)
Thus, the important issue of strategy which had been concerning the German high Command for some time had been concerning the German High Command for some time had been decided by this date, and the fate of Scandinavian was to be sealed before the fate of the Low Country. It will be observed from those entries of 3 March that by that date Hitler had become an enthusiastic convert to the idea of aggression against Norway.
The entry in Jodl's diary for 5 March reads:
"Big conference with the three commanders-in-chief about 'Weser Exercise.' Field Marshal in a rage because not consulted till now. Won't listen to anyone and wants to show that all preparations so far made are worthless.
"Result: (a) Stronger forces to Narvik.
"(b) Navy to leave ships in the ports (Hipper of Luetzow in Trondheim).
"(c) Christiansand can be left out at first.
"(d) Six divisions envisaged for Norway.
"(e) A foothold to be gained immediately in Copenhagen." (1809-PS)
The entry for 13 March in one of the most remarkable in the documentation of this case.
"Fuehrer does not give order yet for 'W' [Weser Exercise].
He is still looking for an excuse." (1809-PS)
The entry of the next day, 14 March, shows a similar preoccupation on the part of Hitler with the search for an excuse for this aggression. It reads:
"English keep vigil in the North Sea with fifteen to sixteen submarines; doubtful whether reason to safeguard own operations or prevent operations by Germans. Fuehrer has not yet decided what reason to give for 'Weser Exercise.'" (1809-pS)
The entry for 21 March reads:
"Misgivings of Task Force 21 [Falkenhorst's Force, detailed to conduct the invasion] about the long interval between taking up readiness positions at 05.30 hours and close of diplomatic negotiations. Fuehrer rejects any earlier negotiations, as otherwise calls for help go out to England and America. If resistance is put up it must be ruthlessly broken. The political plenipotentiaries must emphasize the military measures taken, and even exaggerate them." (1809-PS)
The entry of 28 March reads:
"Individual naval officers seem to be lukewarm concerning the Weser Exercise and need a stimulus. Also Falkenhorst and the other two commanders are worrying about matters which are none of their business. Franke sees more disadvantages than advantages.
"In the evening the Fuehrer visits the map room and roundly declares tat he won't stand for the nary clearing out of the Norwegian ports right away. Narvik, Trondheim and Oslo will have to remain occupied by naval forces." (1809-PS)
The entry for 2 April reads:
"Commanders-in-chief of the Air Force, Commanders-in-chief of the Navy, and general von Falkenhorst with the Fuehrer. All confirm preparations completed. Fuehrer orders carrying out of the Weser Exercise for April 9th." (1809-PS)
From the large number of operation orders that were issued in connection with the aggression against Norway and Denmark, two may be cited to illustrate the extent of the secrecy and deception that was used by the conspirators in the course of that aggression. The first dated 4 April 1940, reads in part:
"* * * The barrage-breaking vessels (Sperrbrechers) will penetrate inconspicuously, and with lights on, into Oslo Fjord, disguised as merchant steamers.
"Challenge from coastal signal stations and lookouts are to be answered by the deceptive use of the name of English steamers. I lay particular stress on the importance of not giving away the operation before zero hour." (C-115)
An order for reconnaissance forces, dated 24 March 1940, entitled "Behavior during entrance into the harbor," reads in part:
"The disguise as British craft must be kept up as long as possible, All challenges in Morse by Norwegian ships will be answered in English. In answer to questions a text with something like the following content will be chosen:
"Calling at Bergen for a short visit; no hostile intent.
"Challenges to be answered with name of British warships:
"Karl Peters.....................................H.M.S. Halcyon
"E-boats.........................................British motor torpedo boats
"Arrangements are to be made enabling British war flags to be illuminated. Continual readiness for making smoke." (C-115)
An order dated 24 March 1940, classified "Most Secret," provides:
"Following is laid down as guiding principle should one of our own units find itself compelled to answer the challenge of passing craft. To challenge in case of the 'Koeln' H.M.S. Cairo. Then to order to stop: (1) Please repeat last signal. (2) Impossible to understand your signal. In case of a warning shot: Stop firing. British ship. Good friend. In case of an inquiry as to destination and purpose: Gong Bergen. Chasing German steamers." (C-115)
Doenitz's order in connection with this operation is headed "Top Secret, Operation Order 'Hartmut.' "
"Occupation of Denmark and Norway. This order comes into force on the codeword 'Hartmut.' With its coming into force the orders hitherto valid for the boats taking part lose their validity.
"The day and hour are designated as 'Weser-Day' and 'Weser-Hour', and the whole operation is known as "Weseruebung'.
"The operation ordered by the codeword has its objective the rapid surprise landing of troops in Norway. Simultaneously Denmark will be occupied from the Baltic and from the land side. * *
* The naval force will as they enter the harbor fly the British flag until the troops have landed, except presumably at Narvik." (C-151)
E. Nazi Justification of Invasion.
On 9 April 1940 the Nazi onslaught on the unsuspecting and almost unarmed people of Norway and Denmark was launched. When the invasions had already begun, a German memorandum was handed to the governments of Norway and Denmark attempting to justify the German action (TC-55). That memorandum alleges that England and France were guilty in their maritime warfare of breaches of international law; that Britain and France are making plans themselves to invade and occupy Norway; and that the government of Norway was prepared to acquiesce in such a situation. The memorandum further states:
"The German troops therefore do not set foot on Norwegian soil as enemies. The German High Command does not intend to make use of the points occupied by German troops as bases for operations against England, so long as it is not forced to do so by measures taken by England and France. German military operations aim much more exclusively at protecting the north against proposed occupation of Norwegian strong points by English-French forces." (TC-55)
In connection with that statement it may be recalled that in his operation order on 1 March Hitler had given orders to the Air Force to make use of Norwegian bases for air warfare against Britain. That was on 1 March. And this is the memorandum which was produced as an excuse on 9 April. The last two paragraphs of the German memorandum to Norway and Denmark are a classic Nazi combination of diplomatic hypocracy and military threat:
"The Reich Government thus expects that the Royal Norwegian Government and the Norwegian people will respond with understanding to the German measures and offer no resistance to it. Any resistance would have to be and would be broken by all possible means by the German forces employed, and would therefore lead only to absolutely useless bloodshed. The royal Norwegian Government is therefore requested to take all measures with the greatest speed to ensure that the advance of the German troops can take place without friction and difficulty. In the spirit of the good German-Norwegian relations that have always existed, the Reich Government declares to the Royal Norwegian Government that German has no intention of infringing by her measures the territorial integrity and political independence of the Kingdom of Norway now or in the future." (TC-55)
What the Nazis meant by "protection of the kingdom of Norway" was shown by their conduct on 9 April.
A report by the Commander in Chief of the Royal Norwegian Forces states:
"* * * The Germans, considering the long lines of communications and the treat of the British Navy, clearly understood the necessity of complete surprise and speed in the attack. In order to paralyze the will of the Norwegian people to defend their country and at the same time to prevent allied intervention it was planned to capture all the more important towns along the coast simultaneously. Members of the Government and Parliament and other military and civilian people occupying important positions were to be arrested before organized resistance could be put into effect and the King was to be forced to form a new government with Quisling as the head."
"The German attack came as a surprise and all the invaded towns along the coast were captured according to plan with only slight losses. In the Oslofjord, however, the cruiser 'Blucher', carrying General Engelbrecht and parts of his division, technical staffs and specialists who were to take over the control of Oslo, was sunk. The plan to capture the King and members of the Government and Parliament failed in spite of the surprise of the attack; resistance was organizes throughout the country." (TC-56)
What happened in Denmark is described in a memorandum prepared by the Royal Danish Government (D-628). An extract form it reads:
"Extracts from the Memorandum concerning Germany's attitude towards Denmark before and during the occupation, prepared by the Royal Danish Government.
"On the 9th of April, 1940 at 4.20 hours the German Minister appeared at the private residence of the Danish Minister for Foreign Affairs accompanied by the Air Attaché of the Legation. The appointment had been made by a telephone call from the German Legation to the Secretary General of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs at 4.00 o'clock the same morning. The Minister said at once that Germany had positive proof that Great Britain intended to occupy bases in Denmark and Norway. Germany had to safeguard Denmark against this. For this reason German soldiers were now crossing the frontier and landing at various points in Zealand including the port of Copenhagen; in a short time German bombers would be over Copenhagen; their orders were not to bomb until further notice. It was now up to the Danes to prevent resistance as any resistance would have the most terrible consequences. Germany would guarantee Denmark's territorial integrity and political independence. Germany would not interfere with the internal government of Denmark, but wanted only to make sure of the neutrality of the country. For this purpose the presence of the German Wehrmacht in Denmark was required during the war.
"The Minister for Foreign Affairs declared in reply that the allegation concerning British plans to occupy Denmark was completely without foundation; there was no possibility of anything like that. The Minister for Foreign Affairs protested against the violation of Denmark's neutrality which according to the German Minister's statement was in progress. The Minister for Foreign Affairs declared further that he could not give a reply to the demands, which had to be submitted to the King and the Prime Minister, and further observed that the German Minister knew, as everybody else, that the Danish armed forces had orders to oppose violations of Denmark's neutrality so that fighting presumably already took place in reply the German Minster expressed that the matter was very urgent, not least to avoid air bombardment." (D-628)
What happened thereafter is described in dispatch from the British Minister in Copenhagen to the British Foreign Secretary (D-627). That dispatch reads:
"The actual events of the 9th April have been pieced together by members of my staff from actual eye-witnesses or from reliable information subsequently received and are given below. Early in the morning towards 5 o'clock three small German transports steamed into the approach to Copenhagen harbor, whilst a number of airplanes circled overhead. The northern battery, guarding the harbor approach, fired a warning shot at these planes when it was seen that they carried German markings. Apart from this, the Danes offered no further resistance, and the German vessels fastened alongside the quays in the Free Harbor. Some of these airplanes proceeded to drop leaflets over the town urging the population to keep calm and cooperate with the Germans. I enclose a specimen of this leaflet, which is written in a bastard Norwegian-Danish, a curiously un-German disregard of detail, together with a translation. Approximately 800 soldiers landed with full equipment, and marched to Kastellet, the old fortress of Copenhagen and now a barracks. The door was and rounded up all the Danish soldiers within, together with the womenfolk employed in the mess. The garrison offered no resistance, and it appears that they were taken completely by surprise. One officer tried to escape in a motor car, but his chauffeur was shot before they could get away. He died in hospital two days later. After seizing the barracks, a detachment was sent to Amalienborg, the King's place, where they engaged the Danish sentries on guard, wounding three one of them fatally. Meanwhile, a large fleet of bombers flew over the city at low altitudes."
"It has been difficult to ascertain exactly what occurred in Jutland. It is clear, however, that the enemy invaded Jutland from the south at dawn on the 9th April and were at first resisted by the Danish forces. Who suffered casualties. The chances of resistance were weakened by the extent to which the forces appear to have been taken by surprise. The chief permanent official of the Ministry of War, for instance, motored into Copenhagen on the morning of the 9 the April and drove blithely past a sentry who challenged him, in blissful ignorance that this was not one of is own men. It took a bullet, which passed through the lapels of his own men. It took a bullet, which passed through the lapels of his coat, to disillusion him." (D-627)
The German memorandum to the Norwegian and Danish governments spoke of the German desire to maintain the territorial integrity and political independence of those two small countries. Two documents indicate the kind of territorial integrity and political independence the Nazi conspirators contemplated for the victims of their aggression. An entry in Jodl's diary for 19 April reads:
"Renewed crisis. Envoy Braver is recalled: since Norway is at war with us, the task of the Foreign Office is finished. In the Fuehrer's opinion, force has to be used. It is said that Gauleiter Terboven will be given a post. Field Marshal [presumably a reference to Goering] is moving in the same direction. He criticizes as defects that we didn't take sufficiently energetic measures against the civilian population, that we could have seized electrical plant, that the Navy didn't supply enough troops. The Air Force can't do everything." (1809-PS)
It will be seen from that entry and the reference to Gauleiter Terboven that already by 19 April, rule by Gauleiters had replaced rule by Norwegians.
A memorandum dated 3 June 1940,signed by Fricke, at that date the head of the Operations Division of the German Naval War Staff, which was a key appointment in the very verve center of German naval operations, relates to questions of territorial expansion and bases (C-41). It reads:
"These problems are preeminently of a political character and comprise an abundance of questions of a political type, which it is not the Navy's province to answer, but they also materially affect the strategic possibilities open-according to the way in which this question is answered-according to the way in which this question is answered-for the subsequent use and operation of the Navy.
"It is too well known to need further mention that German's present position in the narrows of the Heligoland Bight and in the Baltic-bordered as it is by a whole series of States and under their influence-is an impossible one for the future of Greater Germany. If, over and above this, one extends these strategic possibilities to the point that Germany shall not continue to be cut off for all time from overseas by how or other an end shall be put to this state of affairs at the end of the war.
"The solution could perhaps be found among the following possibilities.
"1. The territories of Denmark, Norway and Northern France acquired during the course of the war continue to be so occupied and organized that they can in future be considered as German possessions.
"This solution will recommend itself for areas where the severity of the decision tells, and should tell, on the enemy and where a gradual 'Germanizing' of the territory appears practicable.
"2. The taking over and holding of areas which have no direct connection with Germany's main body, and which like the Russian solution in Hango, remain permanently as an enclave in the hostile State. Such areas might be considered possibly around Brest and Trondheim.
"3. The power of Greater Germany in the strategic areas acquired in this war should result in the existing population if these areas feeling themselves politically, economically and militarily to be completely dependent on Germany. If the following results are achieved-that expansion is undertaken (on a scale I shall describe later) by means of the military measures for occupation taken during the war, that French powers of resistance (popular unity, mineral resources, industry, Armed Forces) are so broken that a revival must be considered out of the question, that the smaller States such as the Netherlands, Denmark and Norway war forced into a dependence on us which will enable us in any circumstances and at any time easily to occupy these countries again, then in practice the same, but psychologically much more, will be achieved." (C-41)
Then Fricke recommends:
"The solution given in 3, therefore, appears to be the proper one, that is, to crush France, to occupy Belgium, part of North and East France, to allow the Netherlands, Denmark and Norway to exist on the basis indicated above."
"Time will show how far the outcome of the war with England will make an extension of these demands possible." (C-41)
The submission of the prosecution is that that and other documents which have been submitted tear apart the veil of Nazi pretense. These documents reveal the menace behind the good-will of Goering; the expose as fraudulent the diplomacy of Ribbentrop; they show the reality behind the ostensible political ideology of tradesmen in treason like Rosenberg; and finally and above all, they render sordid the professional status of Keitel and of Raeder.
Document Description Vol. Page
Charter of the international military Tribunal, Article 6(a)....... I 5
International Military Tribunal, Indictment Number 1, Sections IV (F) 5; V....... I 27,29
Note: A single asterisk (*) before a document indicates that the document was received in evidence at the Nurnberg trial. a Double asterisk (**) before a document number indicates that the document was referred to during the trial but was not formally received in evidence, for the reason given in parentheses following the description of the document. The USA series number, given in parentheses following the description of the document, is the official exhibit number assigned by the court.
*004-PS Report submitted by Rosenberg to Deputy of the Fuehrer, 15 June 1940, on the Political preparation of the Norway Action. (GB 140)......... III 19
*007-PS Report on activities of the Foreign Affairs Bureau from 1933 to 1943 signed Rosenberg. (GB 84)........ III 27
*957-PS Rosenberg's letter to Ribbentrop, 24 February 1940. (GB 139)...... III 641
*1546-PS Raeder memorandum, 9 April 1940, concerning occupation of Norway....... IV 104
*1809-PS Entries from Jodl's diary, February 1940 to May 1940. (GB 88)........ IV 377
*3054-PS "The Nazi Plan", script of a motion picture composed of captured German film. (USA 167)...... V 801
*3596-PS Covering memorandum and notes of conversation on 8 August 1940, between Chief Custodian of Army Archives GOES and Major-General Himer....... VI 299
*C-5 Memorandum to Supreme Command of the Navy by Doenitz, 9 October 1939, concerning base in Norway. (GB 83)...... VI 815
*C-41 Memorandum by Fricke, 3 June 1940, on questions of territorial expansion and bases. (GB 96)....... VI 868
*C-63 Keitel order on Preparation for "Weseruebung", 27 January 1940. (GB 87).......... VI 883
*C-64 Raeder's report, 12 December 1939, on meeting of Naval Staff with Fuehrer. (GB 86)...... VI 884
*C-65 Notes of Rosenberg to Raeder concerning visit of Quisling. (GB 85)...... VI 885
*C-66 Memorandum from Raeder to Assman, 10 January 1944, concerning "Barbarossa" and "Weseruebung". (GB 81)........ VI 887
*C-115 Naval deception and camouflage in invasion of Norway taken from file of naval operation orders for operation "Weseruebung". (GB 90)....... IV 914
*C-122 Extract from Naval War Diary. Questionnaire on Norway bases, 3 October 1939. (GB 82)...... VI 928
*C-151 Details for execution of operation "Weseruebung", 3 March 1940, signed by Doenitz. (GB 91)....... VI 965
*C-174 Hitler Order for operation "Weseruebung", 1 March 1940. (GB 89)......... VI 1003
*D-627 Dispatch from British Minister in Copenhagen to Foreign Secretary, 25 April 1940. (GB 95)......... VII 97
*D-628 Memorandum concerning Germany's attitude towards Denmark before and during occupation. (GB 94)....... VII 98
*D-629 Letter from Keitel to Ribbentrop, 3 April 1940. (GB 141).......... VII 99
*L-323 Entry in Naval War Diary concerning Operation "Weseruebung". (USA 541)....... VII 1106
*M-156 Year Book of the Ausland (Foreign) Organization of the NSDAP for 1942. (GB 284)........ VIII 49
*TC-17 Treaty of Arbitration and Conciliation between Germany and Denmark, signed at Berlin, 2 June 1926. (GB 76)....... VIII 346
*TC-24 Treaty of non-aggression between German Reich and Kingdom of Denmark, 31 May 1939. (GB 77)........ VIII 373
*TC-30 German assurance to Denmark, Norway, Belgium, and the Netherlands, 28 April 1939, from Documents of German Politics, Part VII, I, PP. 1939, 172-175. (GB 78)...... VIII 379
*TC-31 German assurance to Norway, 2 September 1939, (GB 79)........ VIII 380
*TC-32 German assurance to Norway, 6 October 1939, from Documents of German Politics, Vol. VII, p. 350. (GB 80)........ VIII
*TC-55 German ultimatum to Norway and Denmark, 9 April 1940, from Documents of German Politics, Part VIII, pp.21-31. (GB 92)..... VIII 410
*TC-56 German Plans for Invasion of Norway, 1 October 1945. (GB 93)...... VIII 414
**Chart No.12 German Aggression. (Enlargement displayed to Tribunal.)....... VIII 781
**Chart No.13 Violations of Treaties, Agreements and Assurances. (Enlargement displayed to Tribunal.)........ VIII 782