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Title: Trial of the Major War Criminals Before the International Military Tribunal: Nuremberg 14 November 1945-1 October 1946 (Vol. 3)

Date of first publication: 1947

Author: various

Date first posted: Feb. 22, 2017

Date last updated: Feb. 22, 2017

Faded Page eBook #20170225

This ebook was produced by: Larry Harrison, Cindy Beyer & the online Distributed Proofreaders Canada team at http://www.pgdpcanada.net



TRIAL

OF

THE MAJOR WAR CRIMINALS

 

BEFORE

 

THE INTERNATIONAL

MILITARY TRIBUNAL

 

NUREMBERG

14 NOVEMBER 1945-1 OCTOBER 1946

 

 

 

PUBLISHED AT NUREMBERG, GERMANY

1947


This volume is published in accordance with the

direction of the International Military Tribunal by

the Secretariat of the Tribunal, under the jurisdiction

of the Allied Control Authority for Germany.


VOLUME III

 

 


 

OFFICIAL TEXT

 

IN THE

 

ENGLISH LANGUAGE

 


 

 

 

PROCEEDINGS

 

1 December 1945 — 14 December 1945


CONTENTS

Tenth Day, Saturday, 1 December 1945,
Morning Session1
  
Eleventh Day, Monday, 3 December 1945,
Morning Session35
Afternoon Session64
  
Twelfth Day, Tuesday, 4 December 1945,
Morning Session91
Afternoon Session120
  
Thirteenth Day, Wednesday, 5 December 1945,
Morning Session152
Afternoon Session178
  
Fourteenth Day, Thursday, 6 December 1945,
Morning Session209
Afternoon Session241
  
Fifteenth Day, Friday, 7 December 1945,
Morning Session272
Afternoon Session303
  
Sixteenth Day, Monday, 10 December 1945,
Morning Session335
Afternoon Session367
  
Seventeenth Day, Tuesday, 11 December 1945,
Morning Session400
Afternoon Session402
  
Eighteenth Day, Wednesday, 12 December 1945,
Morning Session415
Afternoon Session447
  
Nineteenth Day, Thursday, 13 December 1945,
Morning Session477
Afternoon Session512
  
Twentieth Day, Friday, 14 December 1945,
Morning Session542
Afternoon Session571

TENTH DAY
Saturday, 1 December 1945

Morning Session

THE PRESIDENT (Lord Justice Sir Geoffrey Lawrence): I will begin the session by reading the judgment of the Tribunal upon the application made by counsel for the Defendant Hess.

The Tribunal has given careful consideration to the motion of counsel for the defense of the Defendant Hess, and it had the advantage of hearing full argument upon it both from the Defense and the Prosecution. The Tribunal has also considered the very full medical reports, which have been made on the condition of the Defendant Hess, and has come to the conclusion that no grounds whatever exist for a further examination to be ordered.

After hearing the statement of the Defendant Hess in Court yesterday, and in view of all the evidence, the Tribunal is of the opinion that the Defendant Hess is capable of standing his trial at the present time, and the motion of the Counsel for the Defense is, therefore, denied, and the Trial will proceed.

Now the witness under examination should come back to the witness box.

[Erwin Lahousen resumed the stand.]

MR. G. D. ROBERTS (Leading Counsel for the United Kingdom): May it please the Tribunal, Sir David Maxwell-Fyfe yesterday said he had no questions to ask this witness. He has now requested me very shortly to cross-examine this witness on one incident mentioned in the Indictment, namely, the murder of 50 R.A.F. officers who escaped from Stalag Luft 3 in March of 1944.

THE PRESIDENT: You said to “cross-examine”?

MR. ROBERTS: I realize that this is a matter which falls in the part of the Indictment which is being dealt with by the prosecutors for the U.S.S.R. My Lord, I have mentioned that matter to General Rudenko, who with his usual courtesy and kindness, has said that he has no objection to my asking some questions on that matter.

THE PRESIDENT: Very well, Mr. Roberts.

MR. ROBERTS: Much obliged.

[Turning to the witness.] Might I ask you this? Do you know anything of the circumstances of the death of 50 R.A.F. officers in March 1944, who had escaped from Stalag Luft 3 at Sagan and were recaptured?

ERWIN LAHOUSEN (Witness): No, I have nothing to say because at that time I was on the Eastern front, as commander of my regiment, and no longer had any contact with my former duties.

MR. ROBERTS: Did you hear of the matter from any of your fellow officers?

LAHOUSEN: No, I heard nothing about it whatsoever.

MR. ROBERTS: You can’t assist the Court at all with the matter?

LAHOUSEN: No, not at all.

DR. EGON KUBUSCHOK (Counsel for Defendant Von Papen): Witness, you stated yesterday that you were the intimate friend and collaborator of Admiral Canaris. Since I can no longer address my question directly to Admiral Canaris, I ask you to answer the following questions for me: Did Admiral Canaris know of Defendant Von Papen’s attitude toward Hitler’s war policies, and how did Admiral Canaris express himself to you on this point?

LAHOUSEN: First, I should like to make a slight correction on the question addressed to me. I never asserted that I was the intimate friend of Canaris. Pieckenbrock was a friend of Canaris, whereas I was merely one of his confidants. From this relationship, however, I recall that Von Papen’s and Canaris’ attitude toward the matter which the Counsel has just brought up, was a negative one.

DR. KUBUSCHOK: Was this negative attitude only toward the war policy, or was it also toward all the violent methods used in the execution of such a policy?

LAHOUSEN: According to my recollection I have to answer this question in the affirmative, judging from a conversation between Admiral Canaris and Von Papen, during the visit of the latter in Berlin at which I was present.

DR. KUBUSCHOK: Did you know that Von Papen told Canaris that there could be no resistance against Hitler’s aggressive policies from political quarters, but that such resistance would have to be sought among the ranks of the military?

LAHOUSEN: In this connection, that is to say, in the direct connection as it is now being presented, I personally cannot say anything. In other words, I personally was not an ear witness at any conversation between Canaris and Von Papen during which this matter was brought up, and I cannot recall today whether Canaris ever told me anything regarding such conversations with Von Papen. It is quite possible, however, but I cannot recall it and consequently my oath as witness does not permit me to make any statement other than the one I have made.

DR. KUBUSCHOK: Witness, do you conclude from this that Canaris believed that Von Papen purposely continued to hold an exposed political office in order to exercise a mitigating influence?

LAHOUSEN: I believe so, though I have no tangible proof from any of his statements. But that is my impression, from what I still recollect today.

DR. OTTO NELTE (Counsel for Defendant Keitel): My client has requested me to ask you the following questions: How long have you known Canaris and Pieckenbrock?

LAHOUSEN: I have known Canaris and Pieckenbrock since 1937 through my previous activity in the Austrian Intelligence Department.

DR. NELTE: At that time were there any relations of a military nature between yourself and the Abwehr, which was being run by Admiral Canaris?

LAHOUSEN: Not only did such connections exist with the Austrian intelligence, but the Austrian Federal Army and the German Wehrmacht maintained it that time an absolutely legal and purely military exchange of information—legal in the sense that this exchange and collaboration of military intelligence was carried on with the knowledge of the Austrian authorities. To state it clearly, this was a purely military collaboration for exchanging intelligence on countries bordering upon Austria.

DR. NELTE: May I ask if this contact between you and Canaris was also of a personal nature, in other words I want to determine how the Austrian Army felt about the question of the Anschluss?

LAHOUSEN: This and similar questions, that is to say, all questions of a political nature, particularly the question of the Anschluss or the very intense illegal Nazi activities, at that time, had to be and were completely ignored. It was generally agreed between Count Marogna, the official liaison man—he also was executed after the 20th of July—and Canaris and Generaloberst Beck that this line should be taken.

DR. NELTE: Do I understand you wish to imply that this personal contact did not mean that the Austrian General Staff officers gave information on everything regarding their attitude to the idea of the Anschluss, or that they were willing or able to give this information?

LAHOUSEN: This personal contact started on the day when I saw Canaris for the first time, while I was still an Austrian officer. It was in the offices of the Federal Ministry of Defense, where Canaris was with the Chief of the Austrian General Staff.

THE PRESIDENT: Would you please repeat the question?

DR. NELTE: I asked the witness to what extent a personal contact existed between the officers of the German General Staff or the Abwehr and the officers of the Intelligence Section or the Austrian General Staff for the purpose of determining the feelings about the Anschluss.

LAHOUSEN: First of all, there was no such personal contact in the sense that the word is used here. The contact which actually did take place—and there are witnesses in this room who can confirm this statement: Von Papen must be informed thoroughly of this—took place on a single day, during which I never spoke with Canaris alone, but always in the presence of my superior officers. In any case, no questions relating to the Anschluss and no political questions on Austrian internal problems were discussed there. Naturally I myself did not raise any, and Canaris expressly refrained from doing so.

DR. NELTE: What was your job in the Abwehr Office II?

LAHOUSEN: In the Abwehr Section II, which I took over at the beginning of 1939—I described it yesterday, and I am willing to repeat it, if you wish—this particular job had no special name. Actually my task was to carry out various undertakings and actions, which I can define very precisely: Nuisance activity, acts of sabotage, or prevention of sabotage and nuisance activity, or in general those types of activities that are carried out by Kommandos. All these activities were carried out in agreement with, and conformed to, the military demands of the Armed Forces Operations Staff or the General Staff.

DR. NELTE: Who generally gave you your orders regarding co-ordinating these activities with the military activities?

LAHOUSEN: My immediate chief, Canaris, usually gave me orders concerning the whole of my activity.

DR. NELTE: I was referring to the office, whether they came from the OKH or the OKW?

LAHOUSEN: They did not come from the OKW as a rule. Usually they came by way of the OKW represented by the Chief of the OKW, Keitel, or the chief of the Wehrmacht Operations Staff; and when the General Staff or the Air Force Operations Staff were interested in any undertaking, the orders, as far as I can remember, were also transmitted by way of the Armed Forces Operations Staff, and the representatives of the three Armed Forces, that is, the Army, Air Force, and Navy, appointed to it. All these orders came through the same channels to the Canaris Foreign Intelligence Department (Ausland Abwehr) which transmitted those concerning my activities to me for necessary action.

DR. NELTE: Are you now describing the official channels through which you received the orders? Were the orders issued by the Army or the Armed Forces Operations Staff? Or did the Army give the orders for transmission by way of the High Command of the Armed Forces?

LAHOUSEN: Actually, speaking of myself, in questions of this kind, regarding matters which concerned my department, I had dealings only with my immediate superior, Canaris; and the superior of Canaris at that time was the OKW under Keitel, and he was in touch with the gentlemen of the Armed Forces Operational Staff, and now and then with the members of the General Staff of the Army. I could mention specific cases from memory. But in general the procedure was such as I described it.

DR. NELTE: Is it true that Keitel, as the Chief of the OKW, at first every year, and then from 1943 on, at regular and shorter intervals, spoke to the office and department chiefs of the OKW; and on such occasions made a point of telling them that anyone who believed that something was being asked of him which his conscience would not allow him to carry out should tell him, Keitel, about it personally?

LAHOUSEN: It is true that the Chief of the OKW did several times address the circle just mentioned. I cannot recall any exact words of his which could be interpreted in such a way as to mean that one could take the risk, in cases about which I testified yesterday, of speaking with him so openly and frankly as myself and others, that is, witnesses still alive, could speak to Canaris at any time. I definitely did not have that impression, whatever the meaning might have been which was given to his words at that time.

DR. NELTE: Do I understand you correctly to mean that in principle you do not wish to challenge the fact that Keitel actually said these words?

LAHOUSEN: I can neither challenge it, nor can I add anything to it, because I have no exact recollection of it. I do recall that these addresses or conferences took place, and it is quite possible that the Chief of the OKW at that time might have used those words. I can only add what I have already said.

DR. NELTE: Is it true that on several occasions, you, in the company of Admiral Canaris, as well as alone, had audience with the Chief of the OKW, in order to discuss with him plans or undertakings of a delicate nature, which were in the purview of your official duties?

LAHOUSEN: Yes, I said a great deal about that yesterday; and I do not feel I have the right to talk about such things unless I was there personally.

DR. NELTE: I had the impression yesterday that in many respects you were acting as a mouthpiece for Admiral Canaris, who used you as a mentor for the entries in his diary. Was that your testimony?

LAHOUSEN: The impression is completely fallacious. I am not a mouthpiece, and am now, as I was then, completely independent inwardly in what I say. I have never allowed myself, nor shall I ever allow myself, to become the mouthpiece for any conception, or to make any statements that are contrary to my inner convictions and to my conscience.

DR. NELTE: You misunderstood me if you believe that I used the word “mouthpiece” derogatorily. I simply wanted to bring out the fact that yesterday you made frequent references to the remarks in Canaris’ diary, that is to the remarks of Canaris quoted by you.

LAHOUSEN: Yes, I did so in those cases where the matter discussed affected Canaris. He himself cannot testify, since he is dead. Just because I know a great deal about this, and because my information is exact, I felt it my duty to say what I know.

DR. NELTE: Did Keitel ever ask questions or order any inquiries to be made about the political views of the officers in the Intelligence Department? Did he ever ask whether there were any National Socialists in the departments of the intelligence service?

LAHOUSEN: At the afore-mentioned periodical meetings he asked this question and others of this nature in an unmistakable way, and he left no doubt that in an office such as the OKW he could not tolerate any officers who did not believe in the idea of final victory, or who did not give proof of unswerving loyalty to the Führer and much more besides.

DR. NELTE: Could these statements be taken to mean that he demanded obedience in the military sense, or do you think he was speaking from a political point of view?

LAHOUSEN: Of course, he was speaking from a military point of view, but no less clearly from the political aspect, for it was not admissible to make any distinction between the two. The Wehrmacht was to form a single whole—the National Socialistic Wehrmacht. Here he touched upon the root problem.

DR. NELTE: You believe, therefore, that the basic attitude was really the military one, also in the OKW?

LAHOUSEN: The basic attitude was, or should have been, National Socialistic, and not military. In other words, first and foremost National Socialistic, and everything else afterwards.

DR. NELTE: You said “should have been.”

LAHOUSEN: Yes, because it actually was not the case.

DR. NELTE: Quite so. You mean, therefore, that in the first place it was military and not National Socialistic.

LAHOUSEN: It should have been a purely military one, according to our conception, but according to the point of view put forward by the Chief of the OKW at that time—whether he received an order in this sense I am not in a position to say, as I was not there—the basic attitude should be one of absolute obedience in a National Socialistic sense.

DR. NELTE: Do you know anything about the attitude of the generals to this problem?

LAHOUSEN: Of course, I do, because immediately after such conferences, as have been mentioned here, a lively exchange of opinions took place on this subject and a large number of those who were present—I could name them and some of them are present—resented that fact that the words addressed to them had this strong political flavor, and were couched in this “higher level language” (Sprachregelung von oben) as we used to call it, and contained so little that was relevant and purely military, let alone anything else.

DR. NELTE: Yesterday, when discussing the meeting that took place in the Führer’s train, on the 12th September of 1939, you said, regarding the communication of the Chief of the OKW to you, that the Defendant Keitel addressed himself to you, or rather to the gentlemen present; and said that these measures had been determined between the Führer and Göring. He, Keitel, had no influence on them. The Führer and Göring telephoned frequently to one another. Sometimes he knew something about it; sometimes he knew nothing. Is that what you said?

LAHOUSEN: That is correct. I made a record of everything that was said in my presence; and I repeated it here because it is true.

DR. NELTE: May I ask whether the remark, “Sometimes I find out something about it, sometimes I do not,” relates to a concrete, specific case, or was that a general rule?

LAHOUSEN: That was to be understood as a general statement, to the best of my recollection.

DR. NELTE: At this conference in the Führer’s train on the 12th of September 1939, did you first of all speak about the transmission of the political aims which, according to you, came from Ribbentrop. Did I understand you correctly?

LAHOUSEN: That is correct.

DR. NELTE: And you said that the Defendant Keitel transmitted these aims to those who were present. Now, what I am not clear about is whether this referred to the order regarding the bombardment of Warsaw from the air. Did I understand rightly?

LAHOUSEN: Yes, as regards the air bombardment of Warsaw, to the best of my recollection and from what is recorded in the notes, I can only say in this connection, the same as when the question of shootings in Poland came up, that Canaris took the initiative by provoking a discussion on this subject—I no longer remember how he did this—and then pointing out the terrible political repercussions that this would have, especially abroad.

DR. NELTE: The Defendant Keitel is anxious that I should put the question to you, whether, when this order for the bombing of Warsaw was made known he did not stress the fact that this was to be put into effect only if the fortress of Warsaw did not surrender after the demand made by the bearer of the flag of truce, and even then only after an opportunity to evacuate the city had been given to the civilian population and the diplomats.

LAHOUSEN: I cannot recall the precise words he used but according to my knowledge of the situation at that time it is quite possible, indeed probable, that the Chief of the OKW, Keitel, did make this remark.

DR. NELTE: Do you know that the Commander-in-Chief of the army at that time, Von Brauchitsch, and the Chief of the OKW, Keitel, before the Polish War began, categorically objected to the use of Gestapo and SD Kommandos, maintaining that these were unbearable in the Wehrmacht, and in this connection asked for Hitler’s concurrence and received it?

LAHOUSEN: No, I did not know that, and could not have known it because of my subordinate position at that time. Please do not overrate the importance of my position at that time.

DR. NELTE: As we are also concerned here with taking cognizance of a document, which, I take it, was transmitted to all departments and sections of the OKW, I thought you might remember. They were the so-called directives, were they not? And these directives, mentioned in connection with the campaign against Poland, in contrast to what happened later . . .

THE PRESIDENT: I think you were going a little bit too fast.

DR. NELTE: I said that in connection with these military actions, the decrees and directives were always transmitted to the various offices of the OKW in the form of carbon copies—I mean the offices which were in any way concerned. I thought, therefore . . .

LAHOUSEN: Yes, but these were things which did not concern my particular department, I stress the word “particular,” I did not even see them.

DR. NELTE: As later on in the conversation you were drawn into the discussion on these questions—it is true you did stress that you did not know the actual wording of the orders . . .

LAHOUSEN: Orders which I did not see and read. Of course, I knew a great many things, because I came to hear of them.

DR. NELTE: For that reason, I want to ask you whether you recall that the Gestapo and SD had interfered behind the advance in connection with Poland, contrary to the intentions expressed in the orders of the military leaders?

LAHOUSEN: I cannot recall that today. I can only refer to what I heard and what is recorded in the files on this matter, namely, the remark of Hitler’s, which was passed down by Keitel, who was chief at that time, and which was to the effect, that if the armed forces objected to these measures, the armed forces as well as the high command—that is apparently what you mean—would have to put up with it if the Gestapo and the SS went ahead with these things. That is all I can tell you. I know that because I was present at these discussions.

DR. NELTE: During this conversation, were you not told that General Blaskowitz—in other words, the Army—had made a complaint about the methods of the SS and the SD?

LAHOUSEN: Whether or not this question was brought up at this conference, I cannot recall. I can hardly assume that it was brought up, because otherwise this question would have been recorded in the notes of that conference, particularly since the complaint came from General Blaskowitz, whose attitude in such matters was quite clear and well known. But apart from this conversation in the Führer’s train, I do recall something about the matter just mentioned, that is, the objections raised by Blaskowitz. I cannot say today how these objections were made, whether in writing or by word of mouth, neither do I know the occasion on which they were made. While I do remember the substance of the matter, I cannot recall whether it came up for discussion at the meeting where I was present.

DR. NELTE: What appears to me to be important in this matter, is the fact that the Wehrmacht, the troops, really did protest, or at least refused . . .

LAHOUSEN: That the Armed Forces did object, is, of course, quite evident.

DR. NELTE: That is what I wanted to know. Who gave the order . . .

LAHOUSEN: One moment, please. When I say “the Armed Forces,” I mean the masses of common soldiers, the ordinary simple men. Of course, there were in these Armed Forces other men whom I wish to exclude. I do not wish to be misunderstood. The concept “Armed Forces” does not include everybody, but it does include the mass of simple men with natural feelings.

DR. NELTE: When using the term “Wehrmacht” I only wanted to bring out the contrast between the broad masses of the soldiers and the SS and SD, and I think we are agreed on this.

LAHOUSEN: I think we have ample and fairly conclusive proof of this contract in the conditions prevailing and the methods used at that time, which in that form and scope were then for the first time shown openly enough to become apparent to the broad masses of the Wehrmacht—quite apart from anything I can say about it in this short, extremely short exposition.

DR. NELTE: Who gave the order regarding the collaboration with the Ukrainian group? You spoke yesterday . . .

LAHOUSEN: Yes, I have to go back somewhat farther. First of all I must say that this group was composed of citizens from various countries, that is, Hungarians, Czechs, and afterwards Polish citizens, who because of their attitude of opposition, had emigrated or gone to Germany. I cannot say who gave the order for the collaboration, because at the time when these things happened—it was some time back, I remember quite clearly it was in 1938 or even earlier—I was not even working in the Amt Ausland Abwehr and was not in touch with the Department, which I did not take over until the beginning of 1939. It was already on a firm footing when I took it over.

In this connection I must add, since it was also touched upon yesterday, that these Ukrainians, at least the majority of them, had no ties whatsoever with Germany. I can say definitely that a large proportion of these people with whom the Amt Ausland Abwehr had contact at that time were in German concentration camps, and that some of these people were fighting for their country in Soviet partisan groups. That is a fact.

DR. NELTE: Did Admiral Canaris not tell you that the Chief of the OKW, Keitel, when informed by the SS of the demand for Polish uniforms and military equipment, had given the clear order that the Abteilung Abwehr should have nothing to do with this game?

LAHOUSEN: As I stated yesterday, this matter was handled very mysteriously and secretly also in our circle. Not only myself, but the others also, knew absolutely nothing about the game which was being played until after it actually happened. The War Diary of the Department makes this very clear. It records that one day, quite suddenly, like a bolt from the blue, a demand was received, by order of Canaris, for so and so many uniforms for an undertaking known as “Himmler”. My amazement and my enquiry as to how Himmler came to have anything to do with an undertaking which required Polish uniforms is also recorded in the War Diary, not by me, but by the officer who kept this diary. In reply I was merely told that these articles of equipment would be picked up by a certain person on a certain day, and no further explanation was given. And there the matter ended. Of course, when the name of Himmler was mentioned, besides being mysterious, the thing immediately began to appear suspicious to us. By us, I mean everybody who had to do with it in the course of his duty, right down to the ordinary sergeant, who, of course, had to procure these uniforms by some means or other and deliver them to a certain Hauptsturmführer SS—the name is recorded in the War Diary. These people had their misgivings. That was a thing which could not be forbidden.

DR. NELTE: Yesterday you also made statements about the treatment of prisoners of war. In what way was Abwehr II concerned with prisoner-of-war questions?

LAHOUSEN: That is quite simple. Abwehr II was naturally very interested in an objective way that prisoners of war should be treated as well and as decently as possible, and the same applies to any intelligence service in the world. That was all.

DR. NELTE: Do I understand you to mean that Abwehr II, as a department, was not concerned with prisoner-of-war questions?

LAHOUSEN: It had absolutely nothing to do with prisoner-of-war questions.

DR. NELTE: Yesterday you spoke about the problem of the treatment of prisoners of war in connection with a conference that took place, if I remember rightly, at the end of July 1941?

LAHOUSEN: Yes, at this conference I did not represent only my section, but the whole Amt Ausland Abwehr, that is to say—for general questions of international law and military political questions, that is, those questions which to the greatest extent generally concerned foreign countries, and the intelligence sections. Department III which dealt with espionage was practically interested—because after all, the officers affiliated with it were in the prisoner-of-war camps. Naturally, from the point of view of my section it was important to be informed about those matters—and that my section was only interested within the frame of the entire problem, that people should not be killed off, but treated decently, quite apart from any of the other considerations which were mentioned.

DR. NELTE: You said yesterday that the prisoner-of-war camps in the operations zone of the Eastern sector were under the OKW. Is that correct?

LAHOUSEN: Yes, what I said about prisoner-of-war camps yesterday I knew from the conference with Reinecke, and not from any knowledge of the orders themselves, which I had neither seen nor read. At this conference I was able to obtain a clear idea of the prisoner-of-war question owing to the presence of Reinecke, the chief of the prisoner-of-war department, who represented his own department and the OKW, and I repeated everything I remembered about this.

DR. NELTE: What I was really asking was about the limitation of the jurisdictions.

LAHOUSEN: Yes.

DR. NELTE: Do you know that in the Army Operational Zone the army on operations was responsible for the care of prisoners of war?

LAHOUSEN: Yes.

DR. NELTE: And that the OKW became responsible for their care only when the prisoners of war arrived in Germany?

LAHOUSEN: Yes, I repeated what I knew about the matter at the time from what I had heard. This was that the General Staff of the Army had made all preparations to bring these people back, and Hitler then authorized the OKW to hold this up, and the OKW was then held responsible by the General Staff for the consequences. What happened after that I do not know and have no right to judge. I can only repeat what I saw and heard.

DR. NELTE: I thought that yesterday you expressed the conjecture that the prisoners were not brought back owing to an order from Hitler.

LAHOUSEN: I did not express a conjecture. I simply repeated what I heard at the time and what I know. It might, of course, have been wrong.

DR. NELTE: Heard from whom?

LAHOUSEN: I heard this from the people with whom I was in daily contact, that is, at the daily situation conferences, at which Canaris, the department chiefs, and other people who came there to report were present. I heard it there, and a great deal was said about this matter. I have always made this clear since my first interrogation. I told Reinecke to his face that what he himself said about this question at the time . . .

DR. NELTE: That has nothing to do with my question.

LAHOUSEN: I understand your question perfectly. I only want to make it quite clear how I came yesterday to say what I did—to examine how far this applies according to the actual, organizational and other divisions . . .

DR. NELTE: But you know that in principle the OKW had charge of prisoners of war only in Germany?

LAHOUSEN: There is no question about that.

DR. NELTE: How could it happen that the Abwehr office adopted the attitude you defined yesterday regarding the question of enemy commando activities? You were supposed to deal with these things from the German side, but you—that is, your department—were not officially concerned with the handling of these things?

LAHOUSEN: No, not immediately concerned. The Amt Ausland had something to do with these things because somehow it received intelligence of any order that was under consideration, even before it was put into shape, and certainly as soon as it was drawn up. The order in question had, of course, a bearing on an essential point of international law, and the Ausland section of the Abwehr department—or rather the “Sachbearbeiter” (expert) as he was called—was naturally concerned with it. As a matter of fact, my department was directly concerned with these things for reasons which I have already explained, because it might turn out that persons for whom I was responsible might be directly affected.

DR. NELTE: Did the department which dealt with international law in the Amt Ausland Abwehr ever put its official attitude in writing?

LAHOUSEN: As I pointed out yesterday, I wrote a contribution on the subject, from the point of view of my section, which was transmitted to Canaris and was to be part of the long document. I only learned what use was made of it from what Bürckner said at the time, and which was that his department passed the thing on in this manner, either in writing or verbally, as a protest or counter remonstrance, at any rate pointing out the dangers. This happened a second time, and again I cannot say in what form, whether verbally or in writing or vice versa—the first time in writing and then verbally—after executions had already taken place, and because I had again started to make myself heard because of the executions that had already taken place. That was the logical development.

DR. NELTE: You also said something yesterday about putting a distinguishing mark on Russian prisoners by branding. Did it become known to you that such a scheme, as brought out in this question, was cancelled by a telephoned order from the Chief of the OKW, who had gone to the Führer’s headquarters for this purpose, and that it was only because of a regrettable, a terrible misunderstanding, that a few copies of this order were issued?

LAHOUSEN: No, I do not know about this, because, generally speaking, I only heard of the things which happened in the Amt Ausland Abwehr, that is, from Canaris’ section downwards, if I was directly concerned with them. What happened on the higher levels, that is, from Canaris upwards, was and could only be known to me if I was in some way connected with it.

DR. NELTE: You yourself did not see the order?

LAHOUSEN: Which order are you referring to?

DR. NELTE: The one concerning the branding of Russian prisoners.

LAHOUSEN: No. As in the case of the Commando Order and others, I attended only the very lively discussion of this question, and with regard to the branding of Russian prisoners I remember Canaris mentioning that a doctor had furnished a written report on how this could be done most efficiently.

DR. NELTE: You stated yesterday that Admiral Canaris had said that the Defendant Keitel had given the order to do away with General Weygand?

LAHOUSEN: Yes.

DR. NELTE: The Defendant Keitel denies that. He now asks whether you ever saw any document or written proof of this order. He wants to know the origin of any statement which concerned General Weygand.

LAHOUSEN: This order was not given in writing, but it came to me because I was supposed to put it into execution, that is, not I, but my department. It came up through Canaris, in that circle which I have so often described, and which means that it was known only to a few. I was brought into the matter through a talk which Canaris gave at Keitel’s office in the OKW and at which I was present. Keitel had already addressed me on the matter. I recorded this in my personal notes and I mentioned the date. After all, such a thing was not an everyday occurrence, at least not to me. It was 23 December 1940.

DR. NELTE: Do you not remember the actual wording of the question that Defendant Keitel was supposed to have asked?

LAHOUSEN: Of course I cannot remember the precise wording; the incident happened too long ago. I remember the gist very well. What he meant was, “What has been done in this matter? How do things stand?”

DR. NELTE: You said yesterday that you gave an evasive answer.

LAHOUSEN: I said yesterday that I could not remember exactly how I worded my answer but I certainly did not say what I had said in the presence of Canaris, namely, “I would not think of executing such a murderous order; my section and my officers are not an organization of murderers. Anything but that.” What I probably said to Keitel was something about how difficult the matter was, or any evasive answer that I may have thought of.

DR. NELTE: If the Chief of the OKW had ordered such an action on his own initiative or on higher orders, this would, because of the high rank of General Weygand, have amounted to an act of state. You did not tell us yesterday whether after December 23, 1940 anything transpired in this matter, that is to say, whether the Chief of the OKW took up this question again.

LAHOUSEN: No, I did not say anything about that yesterday, but I frequently mentioned during the interrogations that after that the Chief of the OKW did nothing more about it. Canaris’ attitude made it obvious that nothing further had been heard of it, for in the hierarchy of commands which for me was authoritative, he would have had to transmit orders to me. On the other hand, the information which I received in the Giraud matter was authoritative.

DR. NELTE: We shall come to that presently. It is extraordinary that if an act of state, such as the murder of General Weygand, had been ordered, nothing more should have been heard of it. Can you explain this?

LAHOUSEN: I can only explain it in the light of the construction which not only I myself, but also the others, put on the matter at that time. The situation at that time was very agitated; events followed each other very rapidly and something happened all the time, and we assumed—I shall come back to why we assumed it—that this matter and the importance attached to it had been superseded by some more important military or political event, and that it had receded into the background.

DR. NELTE: Do you wish to say anything else?

LAHOUSEN: Yes. I wish to state that what I am saying now has a certain bearing on the inner development of the Giraud affair. We—that is, Canaris, myself, and the others—who knew about this when the matter started, had hoped that it would take the same course as the Weygand affair; that is, that the matter would be dropped. Whether the order had been given by Keitel, or Hitler or Himmler, it would have been shelved when it came to Canaris and to me. In our circles it would have been relatively easy to intercept it or to divert it. That was what we hoped when the Giraud affair came up, as we had seen what actually had happened in the Weygand affair. Whether that was right or wrong I cannot judge. This is the explanation.

DR. NELTE: For a less important matter your argument might be plausible, but in such an important matter as the Weygand case it does not seem to me to hold water. But even if it had been so, had the intention to do away with Weygand existed in any quarters and for any reason, how do you explain the fact that Weygand, who later was taken to Germany and housed in a villa, lived undisturbed and honored and met with no harm? It would have been understandable if the order to eliminate him had been seriously expressed in any quarters, that it should have been carried out on this occasion.

LAHOUSEN: I can only answer to this that the attitude towards personalities in public life, whether at home or abroad, varied a great deal. There were high personalities who at one moment were in great favor and thought of very highly, and at the next moment were to be found in a concentration camp.

DR. NELTE: Now regarding the Giraud case, you stated that Admiral Canaris said in your presence and the presence of others that General Giraud was to be done away with on orders from higher quarters.

LAHOUSEN: Yes. That it is so is borne out by the remark that Pieckenbrock made, and which I remember very well, that Herr Keitel should tell these things to Herr Hitler once and for all.

DR. NELTE: So according to the communication made to you by Admiral Canaris, it was not an order of Keitel’s but an order of Hitler’s.

LAHOUSEN: As far as we knew in the Abwehr office, it was Keitel who gave the order to Canaris. I can only assume this in view of an order Hitler made to this effect I do not know who actually gave this order, because I had no insight into the hierarchy of command beyond Canaris. It was, as far as I was concerned, an order from Canaris—an order which I could discuss immediately with him, in the same way as I can discuss it here.

DR. NELTE: You yourself did not hear this order?

LAHOUSEN: No, I personally did not hear it. I never said I did.

DR. NELTE: But you mentioned that later Keitel spoke to you about this matter?

LAHOUSEN: The procedure was the same as in the case of Weygand.

DR. NELTE: Do you remember whether any precise or positive expression such as “killing,” “elimination,” or something similar was used on this occasion?

LAHOUSEN: The word generally used was “elimination” (umlegen).

DR. NELTE: What I mean is whether in this connection such a word was used by the Defendant Keitel in addressing you?

LAHOUSEN: Yes, of course—when I gave my report, the notes of which I have, together with the date, just as in the Weygand case. For reasons unknown to me, the Giraud affair was apparently carried further than the Weygand affair, for Canaris and I could determine the different stages in its development.

DR. NELTE: You did not answer my question. What did the Defendant Keitel say to you in this instance, when you were present at the occasion of a report by Canaris and the question of Giraud was brought up? What did he say?

LAHOUSEN: The same thing: “How does the matter stand?” And by “matter” he clearly meant Giraud’s elimination, and that was the very subject we discussed under similar conditions in the Weygand affair.

DR. NELTE: That is your opinion, but that is not the fact on which you have to give evidence. I wish to find out from you what Keitel actually said to you. When speaking to you or in your presence, did he use the expression “dispose of” or “eliminate”?

LAHOUSEN: I cannot remember the expression he used, but it was perfectly clear what it was all about. Whatever it was, it was not a question of sparing Giraud’s life or imprisoning him. They had had the opportunity to do that while he was in occupied territory.

DR. NELTE: That is what I want to speak about now. You are familiar with the fact that after Giraud’s flight and his return to Unoccupied France, a conference took place in Occupied France.

LAHOUSEN: Yes, I heard of that.

DR. NELTE: Ambassador Abetz had a talk with General Giraud which dealt with the question of his voluntary return to confinement. You know that?

LAHOUSEN: Yes, I heard of that.

DR. NELTE: Then you probably also know that at that time the local military commander immediately called up the Führer’s headquarters by way of Paris. It was believed that an important communication was to be made; namely, that Giraud was in Occupied France and could be taken prisoner?

LAHOUSEN: I know about this in its broad outline.

DR. NELTE: Then you know also that the OKW—that is to say in this case, Keitel—then decided that this should not happen.

LAHOUSEN: No, that I do not know.

DR. NELTE: But you do know that General Giraud returned to Unoccupied France without having been harmed?

LAHOUSEN: Yes, I do know that.

DR. NELTE: Well, in that case, the answer to my previous question is self-apparent.

LAHOUSEN: I speak the truth when I say I do not know. I could not have known unless they had talked about it in my presence.

DR. NELTE: Well, it is so, and the facts prove it to be so. Did you know that General Giraud’s family lived in Occupied France?

LAHOUSEN: No, I did not know that.

DR. NELTE: I thought the Abwehr division was entrusted with surveillance of this region?

LAHOUSEN: No, you are mistaken—certainly not my department. I do not know whether another department was in charge of that.

DR. NELTE: The question was asked simply to prove that the family did not suffer because General Giraud escaped and later refused to return to captivity. I have one more question which you may be able to answer.

LAHOUSEN: I beg your pardon. May I return, please, to the question of Giraud?

DR. NELTE: This question also has to do with General Giraud.

LAHOUSEN: Very well.

DR. NELTE: Do you know that one day your chief, Canaris, received by special courier a letter from Giraud in which Giraud asked whether he might return to France? Do you know that?

LAHOUSEN: No. No, I do not know about it. Perhaps I was not in Berlin at the time. I was not always in Berlin.

DR. NELTE: I am aware of that. I thought it might be mentioned in the diary.

LAHOUSEN: No, I did not keep the diary. I simply made additions to it so far as my particular department was concerned, but I was not familiar with the diary in its entirety.

DR. NELTE: Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will adjourn now for 10 minutes.

[A recess was taken.]

FLOTTENRICHTER OTTO KRANZBUEHLER (Counsel for Defendant Dönitz): I would like to make a motion in connection with the technical side of the proceedings. In the course of the proceedings, many German witnesses will be heard. It is important that the Tribunal should know exactly what the witnesses say. During the hearing of this witness I have tried to compare what the witness actually said with the English translation. I think I can state that in many essential points the translation did not entirely correspond to the statement of the witness. I would, therefore, like to suggest that German stenographers take down directly the statements of the witness in German so that Defense Counsel will have an opportunity of comparing what the witness actually says with the English translation and, if necessary, of making an application for the correction of the translation. That is all.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, Mr. Justice Jackson.

MR. JUSTICE ROBERT H. JACKSON (Chief of Counsel for the United States): I just want to inform the Court and Counsel, in connection with the observation that has just been made, that that has been anticipated and that every statement of the witness is recorded in German, so that if any question arises, if Counsel addresses a motion to it, the testimony can be verified.

THE PRESIDENT: Is that German record available to Defendants’ Counsel?

MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: I don’t think it is. It is not, so far as I know. It would not be available unless there were some occasion for it.

THE PRESIDENT: It is transcribed, I suppose?

MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: I don’t know how far that process is carried. I will consult the technicians and advise about it, but I know that it is preserved. The extent of my knowledge now is that it is preserved in such a form that, if a question does arise, it can be accurately determined by the Tribunal, so that if they call attention to some particular thing, either the witness can correct it or we can have the record produced. It would not be practicable to make the recording available without making reproducing machines available. While I am not a technician in that field, I would not think it would be practicable to place that at their disposal.

THE PRESIDENT: Wouldn’t it be practicable to have a transcription made of the shorthand notes in German and, within the course of one or two days after the evidence has been given, place that transcription in the Defendants’ Counsel room?

MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: I think that is being done. I think perhaps Colonel Dostert can explain just what is being done better than I can, because he is the technician in this field. I am sure that no difficulty need arise over this matter of correct translations.

COLONEL LEON DOSTERT (Chief of Interpreters): Your Honors, the reports of the proceedings are taken down in all four languages and every word spoken in German is taken down in German by German court stenographers. The notes are then transcribed and can be made available to Defense Counsel. Moreover, there is a mechanical recording device which registers every single word spoken in any language in the courtroom, and in case of doubt about the authenticity of the reporters’ notes, we have the further verification of the mechanical recording, so that Defense Counsel should have every opportunity to check the authenticity of the translation.

MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: I am advised further by Colonel Dostert that 25 copies of the German transcript are being delivered to the defendants each day.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Mr. President, I was not informed that the German testimony is being taken down in shorthand in German. I assumed that the records handed over to us were translations. If German shorthand notes are being taken in the court, I withdraw my motion.

THE PRESIDENT: I think we shall get on faster if the Defendants’ Counsel, before making motions, inquire into the matters about which they are making the motions.

DR. FRITZ SAUTER (Counsel for Defendant Ribbentrop): I would like to ask a few questions of the witness.

Witness, you previously stated that at some time an order was given, according to which, Russian prisoners of war were to be marked in a certain manner and that this order had been withdrawn by the Defendant Keitel. You did say that, did you not?

LAHOUSEN: Yes, I said that I have knowledge that there was this purpose.

DR. SAUTER: This is interesting from the point of view of the Defendant Ribbentrop, and I would like to hear from you whether you know about this matter. Ribbentrop maintains that when he heard about the order to brand Russian prisoners of war, he, in his capacity as Reich Foreign Minister, went immediately to the Führer’s headquarters to inform General Field Marshal Keitel of this order, and pointed out to him that he, Ribbentrop, in his capacity as Foreign Minister, as well as in his capacity as the guarantor of international law, objected to such treatment of Russian prisoners of war.

I would be interested to know, Witness, whether in your circle something was said as to who drew Keitel’s attention to this order and asked him to retract it?

LAHOUSEN: I was not informed of that and I only knew, as I said yesterday, that there had been this intention, but it was not carried out.

DR. SAUTER: Then I have another question.

Witness, you spoke yesterday about some remarks of the Defendant Ribbentrop, especially one statement to the effect that an uprising should be staged in Poland—not in Russia—and that all Polish farm houses should go up in flames and all Jews should be killed. That, roughly, was how the statement ran.

LAHOUSEN: Yes.

DR. SAUTER: Now, later on, I believe, in answering a question of one of the Russian prosecutors, you amplified your statement by mentioning an order of the Defendant Ribbentrop. I would now like to know whether you really meant to say that it was an order from Ribbentrop to a military department?

LAHOUSEN: No.

DR. SAUTER: Just a minute please, so that you can answer both questions together.

I would also like to remind you that yesterday, when this matter was first discussed, you spoke of a directive which, I believe, your superior officer had, as you said, received from Ribbentrop?

LAHOUSEN: No, the Chief of the OKW received it, not my superior officer, who was Canaris. I would like to repeat it, in order to clarify this matter. It was a matter that came up for discussion on the 12th of September 1939 in the Führer’s train. These meetings took place in the following sequence with respect to time and locality: At first a short meeting took place between the Reich Foreign Minister Ribbentrop and Canaris in his coach.

DR. SAUTER: Were you present?

LAHOUSEN: I was present at that meeting. General political questions regarding Poland and the Ukrainians in Poland were discussed. I do not know anything more about this meeting, which was the first.

After that there was another meeting in the coach of Keitel, who was then Chief of the OKW, and in the course of this meeting Keitel summarized and commented on the general political directives issued by Ribbentrop. He then mentioned several possible solutions for the handling of the Polish problem from the point of view of foreign policy—this can happen, or something else can happen; it is quite possible. In this connection he said:

“You, Canaris, have to promote an uprising with the aid of the Ukrainian organizations which are working with you and which have the same objectives, namely, the Poles and the Jews.”

And then a third discussion, or rather, a very brief remark at the end of a very short conversation between the Foreign Minister Ribbentrop and Canaris was made in connection with this subject, after the intention had been made quite clear. It was about how the uprising was to be carried out and what was to happen. I remember this so well, because he demanded that the farm houses must burn. Canaris discussed the matter with me in detail later on and referred to this remark.

That is what happened, as I have described it. This was the sequence: Directives from the High Command to Keitel; then passed on by Keitel to Canaris at this meeting; then repeated to Canaris in the form of a remark which I remember so well because it contained the words about farm houses in flames, which is rather an unusual thing to say.

THE PRESIDENT: It would assist the Tribunal if one question at a time were asked and if the witnesses would answer “yes” or “no” to the question asked, and explain, if they must, afterwards. But questions and answers should be put as shortly as possible and only one question should be asked at a time.

DR. SAUTER: Now, witness, something else has struck me.

THE PRESIDENT: You heard what I said did you? Do you understand it?

DR. SAUTER: [Continuing.] Yesterday you said that these remarks of Ribbentrop are not in the diary, if I understood you correctly.

LAHOUSEN: No, this is not from the diary but has a connection with Canaris’ diary, by means of which I can make this remark.

DR. SAUTER: You said yesterday that this remark struck you as being rather surprising.

LAHOUSEN: Yes.

DR. SAUTER: And today you said that General Blaskowitz also made some striking statements. You also mentioned, however, that these statements of Blaskowitz were not entered in the diary.

LAHOUSEN: No.

DR. SAUTER: Now, it occurs to me—and I would like you to answer this question: Why, if this remark of the Defendant Ribbentrop surprised you, was it not entered in the diary?

LAHOUSEN: Regarding Blaskowitz, I have to say—or rather—repeat the following:

I said that I did not hear the Blaskowitz matter mentioned in this connection during the meeting, and I cannot assume that this subject came up concurrently, otherwise it would have been entered in these notes. It may be, of course, that the Blaskowitz matter was discussed at a time when I was not there. I have only put down what I heard or what Canaris told me to enter in the record.

DR. SAUTER: But did you yourself hear that from Ribbentrop?

LAHOUSEN: Yes, but the substance was not altered. Whether one speaks of extermination, elimination, or the burning of farms, they all amount to terroristic measures.

DR. SAUTER: Did Von Ribbentrop really talk of killing Jews? Are you sure you remember that?

LAHOUSEN: Yes, I definitely remember that, because Canaris talked not only to me, but also to others in Vienna about this matter and called me time and again as a witness.

DR. SAUTER: You heard that too?

LAHOUSEN: That did not settle the matter, but these words of Ribbentrop’s were frequently discussed.

DR. SAUTER: Witness, something else. You have told us about murderous designs on which you or your department or other officers were employed or which you were charged to carry out. Did you report these to any police station as the law required? May I point out that according to German law failure to report intended crimes is punishable with imprisonment or in serious cases with death.

LAHOUSEN: Well, when you talk about German law, I cannot follow you. I am not a lawyer, but just an ordinary man.

DR. SAUTER: As far as I know, that is also punishable according to Austrian law.

LAHOUSEN: At that time Austrian law, as far as I know, was no longer valid.

DR. SAUTER: In other words, you never reported the intended crime, either as a private person or as an official?

LAHOUSEN: I should have had to make a great many reports—about 100,000 projected murders, of which I knew and could not help but know. You can read about them in the records—and about shootings and the like—of which of necessity I had knowledge, whether I wanted to know or not, because, unfortunately, I was in the midst of it.

DR. SAUTER: It is not a matter of shootings which had taken place and could no longer be prevented, but rather a matter of intended murder at a time when perhaps it could have been prevented.

LAHOUSEN: I can only answer: Why did the person who received this order at first hand not do the same thing? Why did he not denounce Hitler for instance?

DR. SAUTER: You, as a general of the German Wehrmacht, should have asked Hitler . . .

LAHOUSEN: I am sorry, you overestimate my rank, I had only been a general in the German Wehrmacht since the first of January 1945, that is, only for 4 months. At that time I was lieutenant colonel and later colonel of the General Staff, not in the General Staff.

DR. SAUTER: But in 1938, immediately after Hitler’s attack on Austria, you at once made a request to be taken into the German Wehrmacht by Hitler.

LAHOUSEN: I did not make a request, and I did not have to do this. Wherever I was in the service, I was known for my special services. I was not a stranger. With the knowledge of the Austrian Government and also, in a restricted sense, with the knowledge of the German authorities (that is, of certain persons) I was working for the Austrian Government in a matter which exclusively concerned things outside the scope of Austrian internal policy. I co-operated with the Wehrmacht, as well as with the Italian and Hungarian Governments with the knowledge of the Austrian Government and the competent authorities. There were matters of politics which were not my domain.

DR. SAUTER: But I believe, Witness, your memory deceives you, because immediately after Hitler’s attack on Austria, you called on the General Staff in Berlin and there you tried to get a commission in the German Wehrmacht, and you now deny this. You also filled in and signed a questionnaire, in which you declared your complete allegiance to the Greater German Reich and to Adolf Hitler; and shortly afterwards you took the oath of allegiance to Adolf Hitler.

LAHOUSEN: Yes, of course, I did it just as everybody else who was in the position of being transferred from one office and capacity to another.

DR. SAUTER: Before, you said you did not apply for this appointment, and I have information to the contrary: That you, in the company of two or three other officers were the first to go to Berlin with the sole purpose of asking the Chief of the German General Staff Beck to take you into the German Army.

LAHOUSEN: I am very glad that you mention this subject, because it allows me to make my position perfectly clear. It was not necessary for me to make an application for my future position in the German Wehrmacht. I was known because of my military activities, just as any military attaché is known in the country where he is accredited.

Moreover, I can easily explain why my rise in office was so rapid. I have said that my activities and my co-operation with the Austrian Military Intelligence Service, which were not determined by me but by my superior Austrian office, were at that time directed against the neighboring country of Czechoslovakia. Czechoslovakia was the country that was next on the list after Austria. Therefore, it was natural that my later chief, Canaris, who knew me from my former position, was very interested in having me promoted in his department. He put in a word for me, and so did Colonel General Beck, whom I was visiting. Other people also know this; and I have now told everything that General Beck told me at that time.

DR. SAUTER: Then it is true, you did go to Berlin and apply to be transferred into the German Wehrmacht, which you at first denied?

LAHOUSEN: No, that is not true, I did not apply. Others made the request. I can even say that I did not go there: I flew there. Canaris, who knew me not only in my military capacity but also in regard to my personal attitude (just as Marogna had known me and just as Colonel General Beck, who was informed about me by Canaris), made the request for me. I myself did not apply, but others applied for me, for reasons which only later became clear to me, because they knew my personal attitude, just as my Austrian comrades—they were necessarily few—knew about this and about me. That is how things stood.

DR. SAUTER: I have no other questions to ask this witness.

THE PRESIDENT: Before the cross-examination I wish to announce that there will be no public session of the Tribunal this afternoon.

DR. OTTO STAHMER (Counsel for Defendant Göring): I am counsel for the Defendant Göring, and I would like to address a few questions to the witness.

Witness, if I understood you correctly, you said yesterday that it was Canaris’ personal conviction that his failure to prevent the attack on Poland would mean the end of Germany and a great misfortune for us. A triumph of the system would mean an even greater disaster, and it was the purpose of General Canaris to prevent this. Did I understand you correctly?

LAHOUSEN: Yes, except for one point: Not that he had not been successful in preventing it, but that it was not possible to prevent it. Canaris had no way of knowing this . . .

DR. STAHMER: Is it known to you that Admiral Canaris, in the first years of the war, had very active sabotage organizations behind the enemy front and that he personally worked very hard for these organizations?

LAHOUSEN: Naturally I knew about that, and I have fully informed the American authorities who were interested in this subject.

DR. STAHMER: But how is that possible? This would not be in conformity with his inner political beliefs.

LAHOUSEN: This is explained by the fact that in the circle in which he was active he could never say what he really thought, and thousands of others could not do so either—what I said is a truth without saying. The essential thing is not what he said, or what he had to say in order to follow a purpose; but what he did and how he did it. This I know and others know it, too.

DR. STAHMER: This is not a question of what he said, but of what he actually did. He not only proposed such measures, but also applied himself to their execution—is that true?

LAHOUSEN: Ostensibly he had, of course, to remain within the limits of his office, in order to keep his position. That was the important thing, that he should remain in this position, to prevent in 1939 the thing that actually happened in 1944: that Himmler should take things in hand. I place before you these two men, one against the other: Canaris and Himmler—and I think I need hardly tell you what Canaris was striving for when he (Canaris) took part—ostensibly took part in these activities.

DR. STAHMER: You mentioned the name of Himmler, in this connection, I would like to ask the following question:

Is it known to you that Admiral Canaris, during the first years of the war, laid great stress on his good relations with the SS and the necessity for close co-operation with the SS, so much so, that the Defendant Göring had to advise him to be more independent of the SS in his military functions?

THE PRESIDENT: You are going too quickly and I do not think you are observing what I said just now, that it will help the Tribunal if you will ask one question at a time.

DR. STAHMER: I will put my question briefly; did the witness know that Admiral Canaris, during the first years of the war, had good connections with the SS and recognized the necessity for close co-operation with the formation, and never failed to stress this?

LAHOUSEN: Yes, this is known to me. I also know why.

DR. STAHMER: And why?

LAHOUSEN: So that he might be in a position to see and to know and keep himself informed of everything these people were doing, and be able to intervene wherever and whenever possible.

DR. STAHMER: Was it the duty of your organization, or the duty of Canaris’ department to pass on important enemy intelligence to the military leadership in good time?

LAHOUSEN: I do not understand what the office of Canaris has to do with this?

DR. STAHMER: Your section of the office of Canaris?

LAHOUSEN: Yes, of course, the Department I.

DR. STAHMER: Now, according to my information, your office did not pass on to the military departments concerned information of the Anglo-American landing in North Africa. Is that true?

LAHOUSEN: I do not know. Please do not make me responsible for the department. This is a question which could easily be answered by Colonel Pieckenbrock, but not by me.

DR. STAHMER: Regarding the Case “Rowehl,” you said yesterday that a colonel of the Air Force, Rowehl, had formed a special squadron, which had the tasks of making reconnaissance flights over Poland, England, and the southeast sector prior to the Polish campaign. Is that true?

LAHOUSEN: Yes.

DR. STAHMER: You also said that Colonel Rowehl went to see Admiral Canaris to report on the results of these flights and to submit photographs. Is that true?

LAHOUSEN: Yes. How should I have known about it otherwise? I did not invent it.

DR. STAHMER: I did not say that. How did Colonel Rowehl come to report to Admiral Canaris about this?

LAHOUSEN: I believe I mentioned yesterday, that this was a function of the Amt Ausland Abwehr, Abteilung I.

DR. STAHMER: Have you yourself seen the photographs that were taken over England?

LAHOUSEN: Yes, I have seen them.

DR. STAHMER: When and where were these pictures shown to you?

LAHOUSEN: In the office of Canaris they were shown to me. I had nothing to do with them in an official way. I happened to be present at the time. I was interested in seeing what was going on.

DR. STAHMER: What did these photographs show?

LAHOUSEN: I have forgotten the details. They were photographs taken from airplanes.

DR. STAHMER: The photographs were not shown to you officially?

LAHOUSEN: No, the photographs were not shown to me officially, I was merely an interested spectator on this occasion, as I have just told you.

DR. STAHMER: Did Rowehl give any written reports about these flights to the Amt?

LAHOUSEN: I do not know.

DR. STAHMER: You do not know? You also said that Rowehl’s squadron made flights from Budapest?

LAHOUSEN: Yes.

DR. STAHMER: Do you know that from your own experience or from some other information?

LAHOUSEN: I know it through personal investigation. The date is entered in the War Diary kept by the section. At that time I was in Budapest, and I was asked to attend the conferring of a citation in Budapest.

DR. STAHMER: That was before the Polish campaign?

LAHOUSEN: Yes.

DR. STAHMER: And why were these flights carried out from Budapest?

LAHOUSEN: I do not know. I said that yesterday. A gentleman of the Air Force would have to answer that.

DR. RUDOLF DIX (Counsel for Defendant Schacht): Witness, do you know Captain Strünck from the Abwehr?

LAHOUSEN: I would like you to tell me something more than the name. The name alone does not mean anything to me. Give me a few points that will refresh my memory.

DR. DIX: He is a lawyer who was a reserve officer with the Abwehr. I do not know in which department, but I would say it was in the department of Pieckenbrock. However, if you do not know him I will not question you any further.

LAHOUSEN: If he was with Pieckenbrock I do not know him. I knew a few. Is Strünck still alive?

DR. DIX: No, he is no longer living.

LAHOUSEN: Was he executed?

DR. DIX: He suffered the same death as Canaris and Oster. For the information of the Court, I should like to add that I asked this question because I named Strünck as a witness and the Court has admitted him as such. I wish to take this opportunity—but if you do not know him I will not continue questioning you.

LAHOUSEN: When I asked whether he is still alive, I seemed to recall that this man, together with others whom I knew very well, might have been killed, but I cannot be more definite on this point.

DR. HEINZ FRITZ (Counsel for Defendant Fritzsche): I would like to ask the witness a few questions.

Witness, do you know that the Defendant Fritzsche, when in May 1942 he was transferred to the 6th Army as a soldier and there heard for the first time of the existence of an order for executions, recommended to the Commander-in-Chief of the 6th Army, Paulus, that he should have this order suspended within the jurisdiction of his army and have this decision made known by leaflets to be dropped over the Russian front?

THE PRESIDENT: Be careful only to ask one question at a time. You have just asked three or four questions at once.

DR. FRITZ: Yes, Sir. Is it known to you that Fritzsche gave Paulus the advice to rescind the order for his army sector?

LAHOUSEN: That order had already been given to his army. Will you kindly give me the approximate date?

DR. FRITZ: That was during the Russian campaign, as I mentioned yesterday. Most of these things occurred in May 1942.

LAHOUSEN: No. I do not know anything about this in connection with Fritzsche. In connection with the name Reichenau, which was mentioned before, I do remember a conversation between Reichenau and Canaris at which I was present. It made a great impression on me. During this conversation, and in this circle, where there were several other gentlemen present, Reichenau held quite different ideas and judged things quite differently from what I had expected of him. Apart from that, I do not know anything about this particular question.

DR. FRITZ: Also nothing concerning the fact that Paulus had rescinded the order within the sector of his army?

LAHOUSEN: No, not in connection with the name Paulus, but in general I believe, as I also stated yesterday, that several army commanders, whose names are no longer in my memory today, or whose names have been recorded, were mentioned by me.

DR. KURT KAUFFMANN (Counsel for Defendant Kaltenbrunner): Do you know Mr. Kaltenbrunner?

LAHOUSEN: Kaltenbrunner? I met Kaltenbrunner only once in my life, and that was on a day that will always remain in my memory. It was also the first meeting between Canaris and Kaltenbrunner. It took place in Munich in the Regina Hotel, and it was on the day when two young people, a student and his sister, were arrested and executed. They had distributed leaflets in the auditorium of the University of Munich. I read the contents of the leaflets, and I remember, among other things, that they contained an appeal to the Wehrmacht.

I can easily reconstruct that day. It was the first and last time that I saw Kaltenbrunner, with whose name I was familiar. Of course, Kaltenbrunner mentioned this subject to Canaris, who was completely shattered because of what had happened that day and was still under the painful impression—and thank God there are still witnesses available who can testify to this. When discussing the matter Kaltenbrunner was very much to the point, but at the same time he was quite cynical about it. That is the only thing I can tell you about this matter.

DR. KAUFFMANN: Kaltenbrunner claims that Himmler retained full executive powers for himself, while he was only in charge of the intelligence service. Is this borne out by the conversation that you just mentioned?

LAHOUSEN: I would like you to know what bearing that has on the Kaltenbrunner-Himmler matter—the struggle for power which was taking place in the SS. I have merely described this event. I can give you the names of the people present, who like myself were very much impressed for the reasons which I have mentioned.

HERR GEORG BÖHM (Counsel for the SA): You were asked yesterday whether the orders regarding the treatment of Soviet prisoners of war were known to the leaders of the SA and other organizations, and your answer was that these orders must have been known to them. I would now like to ask you who these leaders were at the time and what were their names?

LAHOUSEN: Who they were and what their names were, I do not know. I also stated explicitly yesterday why I said so. They must have been known to them and to a large circle through the execution of these orders, and, of course, through the return of the wounded. The German people must have learned about them.

HERR BÖHM: In other words, it was only an opinion of yours, but in no way a fact-based on personal observation?

LAHOUSEN: No, it was not. I personally never had anything to do with any SA leader. I never had anything to do with them, and I do not think any one of them knows me well.

HERR BÖHM: Could you make a statement on this, that is, whether the orders which were mentioned yesterday were given to the formations of the SA?

LAHOUSEN: Would you kindly formulate that question again?

HERR BÖHM: Could you make another statement as to whether the contents of these orders, which were discussed yesterday, were sent to the formations of the SA through official channels?

LAHOUSEN: No, not through official channels, but in the way I have previously indicated; in other words, members of the SA who were also in the Wehrmacht could see actually what happened out there, and when they came back they spoke about it, the same as anyone else. It was only in this connection . . .

HERR BÖHM: Is it known to you whether members of the SA had anything at all to do with the handling of prisoners of war?

LAHOUSEN: When members of the SA were in the Wehrmacht, yes.

HERR BÖHM: Did you make any personal observations in this connection?

LAHOUSEN: No, I never said that. I said I had already talked about the SA.

HERR BÖHM: I asked you which leaders of the SA formations knew about them, and you answered that they should have known about them.

LAHOUSEN: I said the leaders of these organizations came to know about them in this way.

HERR BÖHM: And today I ask you whether the individual formations of the SA had received these orders.

LAHOUSEN: I can only repeat what I said yesterday, and I think I was very clear on the subject, in other words, how these orders were issued. I myself did not read these orders, but I know the effects they had.

HERR BÖHM: I can imagine myself how this happened, but I asked you whether you know anything about how these orders reached the SA?

LAHOUSEN: No.

HERR BÖHM: You do not know? Do you know anything from your own personal observations about members of the SA being employed for the supervision of prisoner-of-war camps?

LAHOUSEN: Yes, because from my personal observations, once when I was on my way to the Army Group North, I caught an SA man who was kicking a Russian prisoner of war and I pulled him up about it. I think that is mentioned somewhere in my records, and also an episode about an Arbeitsdienst man.

HERR BÖHM: Did you report any of these incidents through the proper channels? Did you see to it that the leaders of this organization were informed about them?

LAHOUSEN: I reported it to my superior officer, or it was mentioned in my report on my visit either orally or in writing. There were discussions on this and similar incidents.

HERR BÖHM: Have you got anything in your records?

LAHOUSEN: Yes.

HERR BÖHM: Will you please submit it?

LAHOUSEN: I am looking it up. This is about the Arbeitsdienst man, this document.

HERR BÖHM: It is not about the SA man?

LAHOUSEN: No.

HERR BÖHM: Then you cannot submit anything in answer to my question?

LAHOUSEN: I do not have it here. I would have to look it up.

HERR BÖHM: Do you think you might find some records?

LAHOUSEN: I would have to have an opportunity of going through the whole of the material which is in the hands of the American authorities to find this one.

HERR BÖHM: I will ask the Court that you be given this opportunity.

I would also like to inquire whether you were ever able to observe that members of the SA whom you ascertained were employed on supervisory duties, ever took any measures which were in line with the orders against Soviet soldiers.

LAHOUSEN: No, not personally.

HERR BÖHM: Thank you.

DR. STAHMER: I would like to ask the Court for a fundamental ruling on whether the defendant also has the right personally to ask the witness questions. According to the German text of the Charter, Paragraph 16, I believe this is permissible.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will consider the point you have raised and will let you know later.

MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: The United States Prosecution would desire to be heard, I am sure, if there were any probability of that view being taken by the Tribunal.

THE PRESIDENT: Perhaps we had better hear you now, Mr. Justice Jackson.

MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Well, I think it is very clear that these provisions are mutually exclusive. Each defendant has the right to conduct his own defense or to have the assistance of counsel. Certainly this would become a performance rather than a trial if we go into that sort of thing. In framing this Charter, we anticipated the possibility that some of these defendants, being lawyers themselves, might conduct their own defenses. If they do so, of course they have all the privileges of counsel. If they avail themselves of the privileges of counsel, they are not, we submit, entitled to be heard in person.

DR. STAHMER: I would like to point out once more that Paragraph 16 (e), according to my opinion, speaks very clearly for my point of view. It says that the defendant has the right, either personally or through his counsel, to present evidence, and according to the German text it is clear that the defendant has the right to cross-examine any witness called by the Prosecution. According to the German text there reference can be made only to the defendant—with respect to terms as well as to the contents. In my opinion it is made clear that the defendant has the right to cross-examine any witness called by the Prosecution.

THE PRESIDENT: Does any other German counsel, defendant’s counsel, wish to cross-examine the witness?

DR. ROBERT SERVATIUS (Counsel for Defendant Sauckel): I would only like to point out that in the written forms given to us by the Court, the defendant, as well as his counsel can make a motion. A place is left for two signatures on the questionnaire. I conclude, therefore, that the defendant himself has the right to speak on the floor.

THE PRESIDENT: What I asked was whether any other defendant’s counsel wished to cross-examine the witness.

[Herr Böhm approached the lectern.]

THE PRESIDENT: What is it? Would you put the earphones on, please, unless you understand English. What is it you want to ask now? You have already cross-examined the witness.

HERR BÖHM: Yes, I have cross-examined him, but he has given me to understand that he made a report about an incident which occurred during one of his visits of inspection, and that he has some written notes. As I am not yet able to release the witness, I should like to move that the Prosecution allow to be placed at the disposal of the witness any available notes or reports on the observations made by him at the time, so that he may find the evidence he wants.

THE PRESIDENT: I think you must conclude your cross-examination now.

HERR BÖHM: Certainly.

THE PRESIDENT: The Court thinks it would be better if you want to make any further application with reference to this witness, that you should make it in writing later.

HERR BÖHM: Yes.

THE PRESIDENT: Then, as no other defendant’s counsel wishes to cross-examine the witness, the Tribunal will now retire for the purpose of considering the question raised by Dr. Stahmer as to whether a defendant has the right to cross-examine as well as his own counsel.

[A recess was taken.]

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal has carefully considered the question raised by Dr. Stahmer, and it holds that defendants who are represented by counsel have not the right to cross-examine witnesses. They have the right to be called as witnesses themselves and to make a statement at the end of the Trial.

Do the Prosecutors wish to ask any questions of this witness in re-examination?

COLONEL JOHN HARLAN AMEN (Associate Trial Counsel for the United States): Just one question, your Lordship.

THE PRESIDENT: Let the witness come back here.

THE MARSHAL (Colonel Charles W. Mays): He was taken away.

THE PRESIDENT: Taken away?

THE MARSHAL: That’s right. He was taken away by some captain who brought him here for the Trial. They have sent after him now.

THE PRESIDENT: Do you know how far he has been taken away?

THE MARSHAL: No, Sir, I do not. I will find out immediately.

THE PRESIDENT: Colonel Amen, are the questions that you wish to ask of sufficient importance for the Tribunal to wait for this witness or for him to be recalled on Monday?

COL. AMEN: I don’t believe so, Your Lordship.

THE PRESIDENT: Very well then. The Tribunal will adjourn, and it will be understood that in the future no witness will be removed whilst he is under examination, from the precincts of this Court except on the orders of the Tribunal.

COL. AMEN: I do not know how that happened Your Lordship, I understood he was still here.

[The Tribunal adjourned until 3 December 1945 at 1000 hours.]


ELEVENTH DAY
Monday, 3 December 1945

Morning Session

THE PRESIDENT: I call on the prosecutor for the United States.

SIDNEY S. ALDERMAN (Associate Trial Counsel for the United States): May it please the Tribunal, it occurs to me that perhaps the Tribunal might be interested in a very brief outline of what might be expected to occur within the next week or two weeks in this Trial.

I shall immediately proceed with the aggressive war case, to present the story of the rape of Czechoslovakia. I shall not perhaps be able to conclude that today.

Sir Hartley Shawcross, the British chief prosecutor, has asked that he be allowed to proceed tomorrow morning with his opening statement on Count Two and I shall be glad to yield for that purpose, with the understanding that we shall resume on Czechoslovakia after that.

Thereafter, the British prosecutor will proceed to present the aggressive warfare case as to Poland, which brought France and England into the war. Thereupon the British prosecutor will proceed with the expansion of aggressive war in Europe, the aggression against Norway and Denmark, against Holland, Belgium, and Luxembourg, against Yugoslavia and Greece. And in connection with those aggressions the British prosecutor will present to the Tribunal the various treaties involved and the various breaches of treaties involved in those aggressions.

That, as I understand it, will complete the British case under Count Two and will probably take the rest of this week.

Then it will be necessary for the American prosecuting staff to come back to Count One to cover certain portions which have not been covered, specifically, persecution of the Jews, concentration camps, spoliation in occupied territories, the High Command, and other alleged criminal organizations, particularly evidence dealing with individual responsibility of individual defendants.

Roughly, I would anticipate that that would carry through the following week—two weeks. However, that is a very rough estimate.

Thereupon, the French chief prosecutor will make his opening statement and will present the evidence as to Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes under Counts Three and Four as to Western Occupied countries.

Following that, the Russian chief prosecutor will make his opening statement and will present corresponding evidence regarding War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity in the Eastern countries.

That, in very rough outline, is what we have in mind to present.

I turn now to the third section in the detailed chronological presentation of the aggressive war case: Aggression against Czechoslovakia. The relevant portions of the Indictment are set forth in Subsection 3, under Section IV (F), appearing at Pages 7 and 8 of the printed English text of the Indictment.

This portion of the Indictment is divided into three parts:

(a) The 1936-38 phase of the plan; that is, the planning for the assault both on Austria and Czechoslovakia.

(b) The execution of the plan to invade Austria; November 1937 to March 1938.

(c) The execution of the plan to invade Czechoslovakia; April 1938 to March 1939.

On Thursday, last, I completed the presentation of the documents on the execution of the plan to invade Austria. Those documents are gathered together in a document book which was handed to the Tribunal at the beginning of the Austrian presentation.

The materials relating to the aggression against Czechoslovakia have been gathered in a separate document book, which I now submit to the Tribunal and which is marked “Document Book 0.”

The Tribunal will recall that in the period 1933 to 1936 the defendants had initiated a program of rearmament, designed to give the Third Reich military strength and political bargaining power to be used against other nations. You will recall also that beginning in the year 1936 they had embarked on a preliminary program of expansion which, as it turned out, was to last until March 1939. This was intended to shorten their frontiers, to increase their industrial and food reserve, and to place them in a position, both industrially and strategically, from which they could launch a more ambitious and more devastating campaign of aggression.

At the moment—in the early spring of 1938—when the Nazi conspirators began to lay concrete plans for the conquest of Czechoslovakia, they had reached approximately the half-way point in this preliminary program.

The preceding autumn, at the conference in the Reich Chancellery on November 5, 1937, covered by the Hossbach minutes, Hitler had set forth the program which Germany was to follow. Those Hossbach minutes, you will recall, are contained in Document 386-PS as United States Exhibit Number 25, which I read to the Tribunal in my introductory statement a week ago today.

“The question for Germany,” the Führer had informed his military commanders at that meeting, “is where the greatest possible conquest can be made at the lowest cost.”

At the top of his agenda stood two countries, Austria and Czechoslovakia.

On March 12, 1938 Austria was occupied by the German Army, and on the following day it was annexed to the Reich. The time had come for a redefinition of German intentions regarding Czechoslovakia. A little more than a month later two of the conspirators, Hitler and Keitel, met to discuss plans for the envelopment and conquest of the Czechoslovak State.

Among the selected handful of documents which I read to the Tribunal in my introduction a week ago to establish the corpus of the crime of aggressive war was the account of this meeting on 21 April 1938. This account is Item 2 in our Document Number 388-PS, as United States Exhibit Number 26.

The Tribunal will recall that Hitler and Keitel discussed the pretext which Germany might develop to serve as an excuse for a sudden and overwhelming attack. They considered the provocation of a period of diplomatic squabbling which, growing more serious, would lead to an excuse for war. In the alternative—and this alternative they found to be preferable—they planned to unleash a lightning attack as the result of an incident of their own creation.

Consideration, as we alleged in the Indictment and as the document proved, was given to the assassination of the German Minister at Prague to create the requisite incident.

The necessity of propaganda to guide the conduct of Germans in Czechoslovakia and to intimidate the Czechs was recognized. Problems of transport and tactics were discussed, with a view to overcoming all Czechoslovak resistance within 4 days, thus presenting the world with a fait accompli and forestalling outside interventions.

Thus, in mid-April 1938, the designs of the Nazi conspirators to conquer Czechoslovakia had already readied the stage of practical planning.

Now all of that occurred, if the Tribunal please, against a background of friendly diplomatic relations. This conspiracy must be viewed against that background. Although they had, in the fall of 1937, determined to destroy the Czechoslovak State, the leaders of the German Government were bound by a treaty of arbitration and assurances freely given, to observe the sovereignty of Czechoslovakia. By a formal treaty signed at Locarno on 16 October 1925—Document TC-14, which will be introduced by the British prosecutor—Germany and Czechoslovakia agreed, with certain exceptions, to refer to an arbitral tribunal or to the Permanent Court of International Justice matters of dispute. I quote, they would so refer:

“All disputes of every kind between Germany and Czechoslovakia with regard to which the parties are in conflict as to their respective rights, and which it may not be possible to settle amicably by the normal methods of diplomacy.”

And the preamble to this treaty stated:

“The President of the German Reich and the President of the Czechoslovak Republic equally resolved to maintain peace between Germany and Czechoslovakia 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 divisions between states, have decided to embody in a treaty their common intention in this respect.”

That ends the quotation.

Formal and categoric assurances of their good will towards Czechoslovakia were both coming from the Nazi conspirators as late as March 1938. On March 11 and 12, 1938, at the time of the annexation of Austria, Germany had a considerable interest in inducing Czechoslovakia not to mobilize. At this time the Defendant Göring assured Masaryk, the Czechoslovak Minister in Berlin, on behalf of the German Government that German-Czech relations were not adversely affected by the development in Austria and that Germany had no hostile intentions towards Czechoslovakia. As a token of his sincerity, Defendant Göring accompanied his assurance with the statement, “Ich gebe Ihnen mein Ehrenwort (I give you my word of honor).”

At the same time, the Defendant Von Neurath, who was handling German foreign affairs during Ribbentrop’s stay in London, assured Masaryk, on behalf of Hitler and the German Government, that Germany still considered herself bound by the Arbitration Convention of 1925.

These assurances are contained in Document TC-27, another of the series of documents which will be presented to the Tribunal by the British prosecutor under Count Two of the Indictment.

Behind the screen of these assurances the Nazi conspirators proceeded with their military and political plans for aggression. Ever since the preceding fall it had been established that the immediate aim of German policy was the elimination both of Austria and of Czechoslovakia. In both countries the conspirators planned to undermine the will to resist by propaganda and by Fifth Column activities, while the actual military preparations were being developed.

The Austrian operation, which received priority for political and strategic reasons, was carried out in February and March 1938. Thenceforth the Wehrmacht planning was devoted to “Fall Grün” (Case Green), the designation given to the proposed operation against Czechoslovakia.

The military plans for Case Green had been drafted in outline from as early as June 1937. The OKW top-secret directive for the unified preparation of the Armed Forces for war—signed by Von Blomberg on June 24, 1937, and promulgated to the Army, Navy, and Luftwaffe for the year beginning July 1, 1937,—included, as a probable war-like eventuality for which a concentrated plan was to be drafted, Case Green, “War on two fronts, with the main struggle in the southeast.”

This document—our Number C-175, Exhibit USA-69—was introduced in evidence as part of the Austrian presentation and is an original carbon copy, signed in ink by Von Blomberg. The original section of this directive dealing with the probable war against Czechoslovakia—it was later revised—opens with this supposition. I read from the bottom of Page 3 of the English translation of this directive, following the heading II, and Subparagraph (1) headed “Suppositions”:

“The war in the East can begin with a surprise German operation against Czechoslovakia in order to parry the imminent attack of a superior enemy coalition. The necessary conditions to justify such an action politically, and in the eyes of international law must be created beforehand.”

After detailing possible enemies and neutrals in the event of such action, the directive continues as follows:

“(2) The task of the German Armed Forces”—and that much is underscored—“is to make their preparations in such a way that the bulk of all forces can break into Czechoslovakia quickly, by surprise, and with the greatest force, while in the West the minimum strength is provided as rear-cover for this attack.


“The aim and object of this surprise attack by the German Armed Forces should be to eliminate from the very beginning and for the duration of the war, the threat by Czechoslovakia to the rear of the operations in the West, and to take from the Russian Air Force the most substantial portion of its operational base in Czechoslovakia. This must be done by the defeat of the enemy armed forces and the occupation of Bohemia and Moravia.”

The introduction to this directive sets forth as one of its guiding principles the following statement—and I now read from Page 1 of the English translation, that is, the third paragraph following Figure 1:

“Nevertheless, the politically fluid world situation, which does not preclude surprising incidents, demands constant preparedness for war on the part of the German Armed Forces:”—and then—“(a) to counterattack at any time; (b) to make possible the military exploitation of politically favorable opportunities should they occur.”

This directive ordered further work on the plan for “mobilization without public announcement.” I quote:

“. . . in order to put the Armed Forces in a position to be able to begin a sudden war which will take the enemy by surprise, in regard to both strength and time of attack.”

This is, of course, a directive for staff planning, but the nature of the planning and the very tangible and ominous developments which resulted from it, give it a significance that it would not have in another setting.

Planning along the lines of this directive was carried forward during the fall of 1937 and the winter of 1937-38. On the political level, this planning for the conquest of Czechoslovakia received the approval and support of Hitler in the conference with his military commanders on 5 November 1937, reported in the Hossbach minutes, to which I have frequently heretofore referred.

In early March 1938, before the march into Austria, we find the Defendants Ribbentrop and Keitel concerned over the extent of the information about war aims against Czechoslovakia to be furnished to Hungary. On 4 March 1938, Ribbentrop wrote to Keitel, enclosing for General Keitel’s confidential cognizance the minutes of a conference with Sztojay, the local Hungarian Ambassador, who had suggested an interchange of views. This is Document 2786-PS, a photostat of the original captured letter, which I now offer in evidence as Exhibit USA-81. In his letter to Keitel, Ribbentrop said:

“I have many doubts about such negotiations. In case we should discuss with Hungary possible war aims against Czechoslovakia, the danger exists that other parties as well would be informed about this. I would greatly appreciate it if you would notify me briefly whether any commitments were made here in any respect. With best regards and Heil Hitler.”

At the 21 April meeting between Hitler and Keitel, the account of which I read last week and alluded to earlier this morning (Document 388-PS, Item 2), specific plans for the attack on Czechoslovakia were discussed for the first time. This meeting was followed, in the late spring and summer of 1938, by a series of memoranda and telegrams advancing Case Green (Fall Grün). Those notes and communications were carefully filed at Hitler’s headquarters by the very efficient Colonel Schmundt, the Führer’s military adjutant, and were captured by American troops in a cellar at Obersalzberg, near Berchtesgaden. This file, which is preserved intact, bears out Number 388-PS, and is United States Exhibit Number 26. We affectionately refer to it as “Big Schmundt”—a large file. The individual items in this file tell more graphically than any narrative the progress of the Nazi conspirators’ planning to launch an unprovoked and brutal war against Czechoslovakia. From the start the Nazi leaders displayed a lively interest in intelligence data concerning Czechoslovakian armament and defense. With the leave of the Tribunal I shall refer to some of these items in the Big Schmundt file without reading them. The documents to which I refer are Item 4 of the Schmundt file, a telegram from Colonel Zeitzler, in General Jodl’s office of the OKW, to Schmundt at Hitler’s headquarters.

THE PRESIDENT: Are you proposing not to read them?

MR. ALDERMAN: I hadn’t intended to read them in full, unless that may be necessary.

THE PRESIDENT: I am afraid we must adhere to our decision.

MR. ALDERMAN: If the Tribunal please, I should simply wish to refer to the title or heading of Item 12, which is headed, “Short Survey of Armament of the Czech Army,” dated Berlin, 9 June 1938, and initialed “Z” for Zeitzler, and Item 13, “Questions of the Führer,” dated Berlin, 9 June 1938, and classified “Most Secret.” I should like to read four of the questions which Hitler wanted authoritative information about, as shown by that document, and I read indicated questions on Pages 23, 24, 25, and 26 of Item 13 of Document 388-PS.

Question 1: Hitler asked about armament of the Czech Army. I don’t think it necessary to read the answers. They are detailed answers giving information in response to these questions posed by Hitler.

“Question 2: How many battalions, et cetera, are employed in the West for the construction of emplacements?


“Question 3: Are the fortifications of Czechoslovakia still occupied in unreduced strength?


“Question. 4: Frontier protection in the West.”

As I say, those questions were answered in detail by the OKW and initialed by Colonel Zeitzler of Jodl’s staff.

As a precaution against French and British action during the attack on Czechoslovakia, it was necessary for the Nazi conspirators to rush the preparation of fortification measures along the western frontier in Germany. I refer you to Item 8, at Page 12 of the Big Schmundt file, a telegram presumably sent from Schmundt in Berchtesgaden to Berlin, and I quote from this telegram. It is, as I say, Item 8 of the Schmundt file, Page 12 of Document 388-PS: “Inform Colonel General Von Brauchitsch and General Keitel.” And then, skipping a paragraph: “The Führer repeatedly emphasized the necessity of pressing forward greatly the fortification work in the West.”

In May, June, July, and August of 1938 conferences between Hitler and his political and military advisors resulted in the issuance of a series of constantly revised directives for the attack on Czechoslovakia. It was decided that preparations for X-Day, the day of the attack, should be completed no later than 1 October. I now invite the attention of the Tribunal to the more important of these conferences and directives.

On 28 May 1938 Hitler called a conference of his principal advisors. At this meeting he gave the necessary instructions to his fellow conspirators to prepare the attack on Czechoslovakia. This fact Hitler later publicly admitted. I now refer and invite the notice of the Tribunal to Document 2360-PS, a copy of the Völkischer Beobachter of 31 January 1939. In a speech before the Reichstag the preceding day, reported in this newspaper, reading now from Document 2360-PS, Hitler spoke as follows:

“On account of this intolerable provocation which had been aggravated by a truly infamous persecution and terrorization of our Germans there, I have determined to solve once and for all, and this time radically, the Sudeten-German question. On 28 May I ordered first: That preparation should be made for military action against this state by 2 October. I ordered second: The immense and accelerated expansion of our defensive front in the West.”

Two days after this conference, on 30 May 1938, Hitler issued the revised military directive for Case Green. This directive is Item 11 in the Big Schmundt file, Document 388-PS. It is entitled, “Two-front War, with Main Effort in the Southeast,” and this directive replaced the corresponding section, Part 2, Section II, of the previous quote, “Directive for Unified Preparation for War,” which had been promulgated by Von Blomberg on 26 June 1937, which I have already introduced in evidence as our Document C-175, United States Exhibit Number 69. This revised directive represented a further development of the ideas for political and military action discussed by Hitler and Keitel in their conference on 21 April. It is an expansion of the rough draft submitted by the Defendant Keitel to Hitler on 20 May, which may be found as Item 5 in the Schmundt file. It was signed by Hitler. Only five copies were made. Three copies were forwarded with a covering letter from Defendant Keitel to General Von Brauchitsch for the Army, to Defendant Raeder for the Navy, and to Defendant Göring for the Luftwaffe. In his covering memorandum Keitel noted that its execution must be assured—I quote: “As from 1 October 1938 at the latest.” I now read from this document, which is the basic directive under which the Wehrmacht carried out its planning for Case Green, a rather lengthy quotation from the first page of Item 11, Page 16 of the English version:

“1. Political prerequisites. It is my unalterable decision to smash Czechoslovakia by military action in the near future. It is the job of the political leaders to await or bring about the politically and militarily suitable moment.


“An inevitable development of conditions inside Czechoslovakia or other political events in Europe, creating a surprisingly favorable opportunity and one which may never come again, may cause me to take early action.


“The proper choice and determined and full utilization of a favorable moment is the surest guarantee of success. Accordingly the preparations are to be made at once.


“2. Political possibilities for the commencement of the action. The following are necessary prerequisites for the intended invasion:


“a. Suitable obvious cause and with it, b. sufficient political justification, c. action unexpected by the enemy, which will find him prepared in the least possible degree.


“From a military as well as a political standpoint the most favorable course is a lightning-swift action as the result of an incident through which Germany is provoked in an unbearable way for which at least part of world opinion will grant the moral justification of military action.


“But even a period of tension, more or less preceding a war, must terminate in sudden action on our part, which must have the elements of surprise as regards time and extent, before the enemy is so advanced in military preparedness that he cannot be surpassed.


“3. Conclusions for the preparation of Fall Grün.


“a. For the ‘armed war’ it is essential that the surprise element, as the most important factor contributing to success, be made full use of by appropriate preparatory measures, already in peacetime and by an unexpectedly rapid course of the action. Thus it is essential to create a situation within the first 2 or 3 days which plainly demonstrates to hostile nations, eager to intervene, the hopelessness of the Czechoslovakian military situation and which, at the same time, will give nations with territorial claims on Czechoslovakia an incentive to intervene immediately against Czechoslovakia. In such a case, intervention by Poland and Hungary against Czechoslovakia may be expected, especially if France—due to the obvious pro-German attitude of Italy—fears, or at least hesitates, to unleash a European war by intervening against Germany. Attempts by Russia to give military support to Czechoslovakia mainly by the Air Force are to be expected. If concrete successes are not achieved by the land operations within the first few days, a European crisis will certainly result. This knowledge must give commanders of all ranks the impetus to decided and bold action.


“b. The Propaganda War must on the one hand intimidate Czechoslovakia by threats and wear down her power of resistance; on the other hand issue directions to national groups for support in the ‘armed war’ and influence the neutrals into our way of thinking. I reserve further directions and determination of the date.


“4. Tasks of the Armed Forces. Armed Forces preparations are to be made on the following basis:


“a. The mass of all forces must be employed against Czechoslovakia.


“b. For the West, a minimum of forces are to be provided as rear cover which may be required, the other frontiers in the East against Poland and Lithuania are merely to be protected, the southern frontiers to be watched.


“c. The sections of the Army which can be rapidly employed must force the frontier fortifications with speed and decision and must break into Czechoslovakia with the greatest daring in the certainty that the bulk of the mobile army will follow them with the utmost speed. Preparations for this are to be made and timed in such a way that the sections of the army which can be rapidly employed cross the frontier at the appointed time, at the same time as the penetration by the Air Force, before the enemy can become aware of our mobilization. For this, a timetable between Army and Air Force is to be worked out in conjunction with OKW and submitted to me for approval.


“5. Missions for the branches of the Armed Forces.


“a. Army. The basic principle of the surprise attack against Czechoslovakia must not be endangered nor the initiative of the Air Force be wasted by the inevitable time required for transporting the bulk of the field forces by rail. Therefore it is first of all essential to the Army that as many assault columns as possible be employed at the same time as the surprise attack by the Air Force. These assault columns—the composition of each, according to their tasks at that time—must be formed with troops which can be employed rapidly owing to their proximity to the frontier or to motorization and to special measures of readiness. It must be the purpose of these thrusts to break into the Czechoslovakian fortification lines at numerous points and in a strategically favorable direction, to achieve a break-through, or to break them down from the rear. For the success of this operation, co-operation with the Sudeten-German frontier population, with deserters from the Czechoslovakian Army, with parachutists or airborne troops and with units of the sabotage service will be of importance. The bulk of the army has the task of frustrating the Czechoslovakian plan of defense, of preventing the Czechoslovakian army from escaping . . .”

THE PRESIDENT: Is it necessary to read all this detail?

MR. ALDERMAN: I was just worried about not getting it into the transcript.

THE PRESIDENT: It seems to me that this is all detail, that before you pass from the document you ought to read the document on Page 15, which introduces it and which gives the date of it.

MR. ALDERMAN: I think so. It is a letter dated:

“Berlin, 30 May 1938; copy of the fourth copy; Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces; most secret; access only through officer; written by an officer. Signed Keitel; distributed to C-in-C Army, C-in-C Navy, C-in-C Air Force.


“By order of the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, Part 2, Section II, of the directive on the unified preparations for war of the Armed Forces dated 24 June 1937, (Ob. d. W)”—with some symbols, including “Chefsache” (top secret)—“(two-front war with main effort on the Southeast—strategic concentration Green) is to be replaced by the attached version. Its execution must be assured as from 1 October 1938 at the latest. Alterations in other parts of the directives must be expected during the next week.


“By order of Chief of the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces, signed, Keitel.


“Certified a true copy, Zeitzler, Oberstleutnant on the General Staff.”

In line with the suggestion of the presiding Justice, I shall omit the detailed instructions which are set out for action by the Luftwaffe and by the Navy, and I turn next to the last paragraph of the directive, which will be found on Page 19 of the English version:

“In war economy it is essential that in the field of the armament industry a maximum deployment of forces is made possible through increased supplies. In the course of operations, it is of value to contribute to the reinforcement of the total war—economic strength—by rapidly reconnoitering and restarting important factories. For this reason the sparing of Czechoslovakian industrial and factory installations, insofar as military operations permit, can be of decisive importance to us.”

In other words, the Nazi conspirators, 4 months before the date of their planned attack, were already looking forward to the contribution which the Czech industrial plant would make to further Nazi war efforts and economy.

And the final paragraph of this directive, Paragraph 7, on Page 19:

“All preparations for sabotage and insurrection will be made by OKW. They will be made, in agreement with, and according to, the requirement of the branches of the Armed Forces, so that their effects accord with the operations of the Army and Air Force as to time and locality.


“Signed Adolf Hitler.


“Certified a true copy, Zeitzler, Oberstleutnant on the General Staff.”

Three weeks later, on 18 June 1938, a draft for a new directive was prepared and initialed by the Defendant Keitel. This is Item 14 at Pages 27 to 32 of the Big Schmundt file. It did not supersede the 30 May directive. I shall read the third and fifth paragraphs on Page 28 of the English translation, and the last paragraph on Page 29:

“The immediate aim is a solution of the Czech problem by my own free decision; this stands in the foreground of my political intentions. I am determined as from 1 October 1938 to use to the full every favorable political opportunity to realize this aim.”

Then skipping a paragraph:

“However, I will decide to take action against Czechoslovakia only if I am firmly convinced, as in the case of the occupation of the demilitarized zone and the entry into Austria, that France will not march and therefore England will not intervene.”

And then skipping to the last paragraph on the 29th page:

“The directives necessary for the prosecution of the war itself will be issued by me from time to time.”


“K”—initial of Keitel, and—“Z”—initial of Zeitzler.

The second and third parts of this directive contain general directions for the deployment of troops and for precautionary measures in view of the possibility that during the execution of the Fall Grün (or Case Green) France or England might declare war on Germany. Six pages of complicated schedules which follow this draft in the original have not been translated into English. These schedules, which constitute Item 15 in the Schmundt file, give a timetable of specific measures for the preparation of the Army, Navy, and Luftwaffe for the contemplated action.

Corroboration for the documents in the Schmundt file is found in General Jodl’s diary, our Document Number 1780-PS and United States Exhibit Number 72, from which I quoted portions during the Austrian presentation. I now quote from three entries in this diary written in the spring of 1938. Although the first entry is not dated it appears to have been written several months after the annexation of Austria, and here I read under the heading on Page 3 of the English translation:

“Later undated entry:


“After annexation of Austria the Führer mentions that there is no hurry to solve the Czech question, because Austria had to be digested first. Nevertheless, preparations for Case Green will have to be carried out energetically. They will have to be newly prepared on the basis of the changed strategic position because of the annexation of Austria. State of preparation, see Memorandum L-1-A of 19 April, reported to the Führer on 21 April.


“The intention of the Führer not to touch the Czech problem as yet will be changed because of the Czech strategic troop concentration of 21 May, which occurs without any German threat and without the slightest cause for it. Because of Germany’s self-restraint the consequences lead to a loss of prestige for the Führer, which he is not willing to take once more. Therefore, the new order is issued for Green on 30 May.”

And then the entry, 23 May:

“Major Schmundt reports ideas of the Führer. . . . Further conferences, which gradually reveal the exact intentions of the Führer, take place with the Chief of the Armed Forces High Command (OKW) on 28 May, 3 and 9 June,—see inclosures (War Diary).”

Then the entry of 30 May:

“The Führer signs directive Green, where he states his final decision to destroy Czechoslovakia soon and thereby initiates military preparation all along the line. The previous intentions of the Army must be changed considerably in the direction of an immediate break-through into Czechoslovakia right on D-Day”—X-Tag—“combined with aerial penetration by the Air Force.


“Further details are derived from directive for strategic concentration of the Army. The whole contrast becomes acute once more between the Führer’s intuition that we must do it this year, and the opinion of the Army that we cannot do it as yet, as most certainly the Western Powers will interfere and we are not as yet equal to them.”

During the spring and summer of 1938 the Luftwaffe was also engaged in planning in connection with the forthcoming Case Green and the further expansion of the Reich.

I now offer in evidence Document R-150, as United States Exhibit 82. This is a top-secret document dated 2 June 1938, issued by Air Group Command 3, and entitled “Plan Study 1938, Instruction for Deployment and Combat, ‘Case Red.’ ”

“Case Red” is the code name for action against the Western Powers if need be. Twenty-eight copies of this document were made, of which this is number 16. This is another staff plan, this time for mobilization and employment of the Luftwaffe in the event of war with France. It is given significance by the considerable progress by this date of the planning for the attack on Czechoslovakia.

I quote from the second paragraph on Page 3 of the English translation, referring to the various possibilities under which war with France may occur. You will note that they are all predicated on the assumption of a German-Czech conflict.

“France will either (a) interfere in the struggle between the Reich and Czechoslovakia in the course of Case Green, or (b) start hostilities simultaneously with Czechoslovakia. (c) It is possible but not likely that France will begin the fight while Czechoslovakia still remains aloof.”

And then, reading down lower on the page under the heading “Intention”:

“Regardless of whether France enters the war as a result of Case Green or whether she makes the opening move of the war simultaneously with Czechoslovakia, in any case the mass of the German offensive formations will, in conjunction with the Army, first deliver the decisive blow against Czechoslovakia.”

By mid-summer direct and detailed planning for Case Green was being carried out by the Luftwaffe. In early August, at the direction of the Luftwaffe General Staff, the German Air Attaché in Prague reconnoitered the Freudenthal area of Czechoslovakia south of Upper Silesia for suitable landing grounds.

I offer in evidence Document 1536-PS as Exhibit USA-83, a report of the Luftwaffe General Staff, Intelligence Division, dated 12 August 1938. This was a top-secret document for general officers only, of which only two copies were made.

Attached as an enclosure was the report of Major Moericke, the German Attaché in Prague, dated 4 August 1938. I quote the first four paragraphs of the enclosure:

“I was ordered by the General Staff of the Air Force to reconnoiter the land in the region Freudenthal-Freihermersdorf . . .”

THE PRESIDENT: Page 3 of the document?

MR. ALDERMAN: Yes. “. . . for landing possibilities.

“For this purpose I obtained private lodgings in Freudenthal with the manufacturer Macholdt, through one of my trusted men in Prague.


“I had specifically ordered this man to give no details about me to Macholdt, particularly about my official position.


“I used my official car (Dienst Pkw) for the journey to Freudenthal taking precautions against being observed.”

By 25 August the imminence of the attack on Czechoslovakia compelled the issuance by the Luftwaffe of a detailed intelligence memorandum, entitled “Extended Case Green”; in other words, an estimate of possible action by the Western Powers during the attack on Czechoslovakia.

I now offer this document in evidence, Number 375-PS as Exhibit USA-84. This is a top-secret memorandum of the Intelligence Section of the Luftwaffe, General Staff, dated Berlin, 25 August 1938. Based on the assumption that Great Britain and France would declare war on Germany during Case Green, this study contains an estimate of the strategy and air strength of the Western Powers as of 1 October 1938, the target date for Case Green. I quote the first two sentences of the document. That is under the heading “Initial Political Situation”:

“The basic assumption is that France will declare war during the Case Green. It is presumed that France will decide upon war only if active military assistance by Great Britain is definitely assured.”

Now, knowledge of the pending or impending action against Czechoslovakia was not confined to a close circle of high officials of the Reich and the Nazi Party. During the summer Germany’s allies, Italy and Hungary, were apprised by one means or another of the plans of the Nazi conspirators. I offer in evidence Document 2800-PS as Exhibit USA-85. This is a captured document from the German Foreign Office files, a confidential memorandum of a conversation with the Italian Ambassador Attolico, in Berlin on 18 July 1938. At the bottom is a handwritten note headed “For the Reichsminister only”, and the Reichsminister was the Defendant Ribbentrop. I now read this note. I read from the note the third and fourth paragraphs:

“Attolico added that we had made it unmistakably clear to the Italians what our intentions are regarding Czechoslovakia. He also knew the appointed time well enough so that he could take perhaps a 2 months’ holiday now which he could not do later on.


“Giving an idea of the attitude of other governments, Attolico mentioned that the Romanian Government had refused to grant application for leave to its Berlin Minister.”

THE PRESIDENT: Would this be a convenient time to break off for 10 minutes?

MR. ALDERMAN: Yes, Sir.

[A recess was taken.]

MR. ALDERMAN: May it please the Tribunal, a month later Mussolini sent a message to Berlin asking that he be told the date on which Case Green would take place. I offer in evidence Document Number 2791-PS as Exhibit USA-86, a German Foreign Office note on a conversation with Ambassador Attolico. This note is signed “R” for Ribbentrop and dated 23 August 1938. I now read two paragraphs from this memorandum:

“On the voyage of the Patria Ambassador Attolico explained to me that he had instructions to request the notification of a contemplated time for German action against Czechoslovakia from the German Government.


“In case the Czechs should again cause a provocation against Germany, Germany would march. This would be tomorrow, in 6 months, or perhaps in a year. However, I could promise him that the German Government, in case of an increasing gravity of the situation or as soon as the Führer made his decision, would notify the Italian Chief of Government as rapidly as possible. In any case, the Italian Government will be the first one who will receive such a notification.”

THE PRESIDENT: You did not tell us what the initial was, did you?

MR. ALDERMAN: The initial “R” for Ribbentrop, and the date 23 August 1938.

Four days later Attolico again asked to be notified of the date of the pending attack. I offer Document Number 2792-PS as Exhibit USA-87—another German Foreign Office memorandum, and from that document I read three paragraphs under the heading “R. M. 251.”

“Ambassador Attolico paid me a visit today at 12 o’clock to communicate the following:


“He had received another written instruction from Mussolini asking that Germany communicate in time the probable date of action against Czechoslovakia. Mussolini asked for such notification, as Mr. Attolico assured me, in order ‘to be able to take in due time the necessary measures on the French frontier.’ Berlin, 27 August 1938; ‘R’ ”—for Ribbentrop, and then:


“N. B. I replied to Ambassador Attolico, just as on his former démarche, that I could not impart any date to him; that, however, in any case Mussolini would be the first one to be informed of any decision. Berlin, 2 September 1938.”

Hungary, which borders Czechoslovakia to the southeast, was from the first considered to be a possible participant in Case Green. You will recall that in early March 1938 Defendants Keitel and Ribbentrop had exchanged letters on the question of bringing Hungary into the Nazi plan. At that time the decision was in the negative, but by mid-August 1938 the Nazi conspirators were attempting to persuade Hungary to join in the attack.

From August 21 to 26 Admiral Horthy and some of his ministers visited Germany. Inevitably there were discussions of the Czechoslovak question. I now offer Document 2796-PS as Exhibit USA-88. This is a captured German Foreign Office account signed by Von Weizsäcker of the conversations between Hitler and Ribbentrop and a Hungarian Delegation consisting of Horthy, Imredy, and Kanya aboard the S. S. Patria on 23 August 1938. In this conference Ribbentrop inquired about the Hungarian attitude in the event of a German attack on Czechoslovakia and suggested that such an attack would prove to be a good opportunity for Hungary.

The Hungarians, with the exception of Horthy, who wished to put the Hungarian intention to participate on record, proved reluctant to commit themselves. Thereupon Hitler emphasized Ribbentrop’s statement and said that whoever wanted to join the meal would have to participate in the cooking as well. I now quote from this document the first two paragraphs:

“While in the forenoon of the 23rd of August the Führer and the Regent of Hungary were engaged in a political discussion, the Hungarian Ministers Imredy and Kanya were in conference with Von Ribbentrop. Von Weizsäcker also attended the conference.


“Von Kanya introduced two subjects for discussion: Point 1, the negotiations between Hungary and the Little Entente; and 2, the Czechoslovakian problem.”

Then I skip two paragraphs and read the fifth paragraph:

“Von Ribbentrop inquired what Hungary’s attitude would be if the Führer would carry out his decision to answer a new Czech provocation by force. The reply of the Hungarians presented two kinds of obstacles: The Yugoslavian neutrality must be assured if Hungary marches towards the north and perhaps the east; moreover, the Hungarian rearmament had only been started and one to two more years time for its development should be allowed.


“Von Ribbentrop then explained to the Hungarians that the Yugoslavs would not dare to march while they were between the pincers of the Axis Powers. Romania alone would therefore not move. England and France would also remain tranquil. England would not recklessly risk her empire. She knew our newly acquired power. In reference to time, however, for the above-mentioned situation, nothing definite could be predicted since it would depend on Czech provocation. Von Ribbentrop repeated that, ‘Whoever desires revision must exploit the good opportunity and participate.’


“The Hungarian reply thus remained a conditional one. Upon the question of Von Ribbentrop as to what purpose the desired General Staff conferences were to have, not much more was brought forward than the Hungarian desire of a mutual inventory of military material and preparedness for the Czech conflict. The clear political basis for such a conflict—the time of a Hungarian intervention—was not obtained.


“In the meantime, more positive language was used by Von Horthy in his talk with the Führer. He wished not to hide his doubts with regard to the English attitude, but he wished to put on record Hungary’s intention to participate. The Hungarian Ministers were, and remained even later, more skeptical since they feel more strongly about the immediate danger for Hungary with its unprotected flanks.


“When Von Imredy had a discussion with the Führer in the afternoon he was very relieved when the Führer explained to him that in regard to the situation in question he demanded nothing of Hungary. He himself would not know the time. Whoever wanted to join the meal would have to participate in the cooking as well. Should Hungary wish conferences of the General Staffs he would have no objections.”

I think perhaps that sentence, “Whoever wanted to join the meal would have to participate in the cooking as well,” is perhaps as cynical a statement as any statesman has ever been guilty of.

By the third day of the conference the Germans were able to note that, in the event of a German-Czech conflict, Hungary would be sufficiently armed for participation on 1 October. I now offer in evidence Document Number 2797-PS as Exhibit USA-89, another captured German Foreign Office memorandum of a conversation between Ribbentrop and Kanya on 25 August 1938. You will note that the English mimeographed translation bears the date 29 August. That is incorrect; it should read 25 August. I read the last paragraph from that document, or the last two:

“Concerning Hungary’s military preparedness in case of a German-Czech conflict Von Kanya mentioned several days ago that his country would need a period of one to two years in order to develop adequately the armed strength of Hungary.


“During today’s conversation Von Kanya corrected this remark and said that Hungary’s military situation was much better. His country would be ready, as far as armaments were concerned, to take part in the conflict by October 1 of this year.”—Signed with an illegible signature which probably is that of Weizsäcker.

The account of the German-Hungarian conference again finds its corroboration in General Jodl’s diary, Document Number 1780-PS, from which I have already several times read. The entry in that diary for 21 to 26 August on Page 4 of the English version of the document reads as follows:

“Visit to Germany of the Hungarian Regent. Accompanied by the Prime Minister, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the War Minister Von Raatz.


“They arrived with the idea that in the course of a great war after a few years, and with the help of German troops, the old State of Hungary can be re-established. They leave with the understanding that we have neither demands from them nor claims against them, but that Germany will not stand for a second provocation by Czechoslovakia, even if it should be tomorrow. If they want to participate at that moment, it is up to them.


“Germany, however, will never play the role of arbitrator between them and Poland. The Hungarians agree; but they believe that when the issue arises a period of 48 hours would be indispensable to them to find out Yugoslavia’s attitude.”

The upshot of the talks with the Hungarians proved to be a staff conference on 6 September.

I quote again from Jodl’s diary, the entry for 6 September, beginning at the end of that same page:

“Chief of General Staff, General of Artillery Halder, has a conference with the Hungarian Chief of General Staff Fischer. Before that he is briefed by me on the political attitude of the Führer, especially his order not to give any hint on the exact moment. The same with OAI, General Von Stülpnagel.”

It is somewhat interesting to find a high-ranking general giving a briefing on such political matters.

Then we come to final actual preparations for the attack. With a 1 October target date set for Case Green, there was a noticeable increase in the tempo of the military preparations in late August and September. Actual preparations for the attack on Czechoslovakia were well under way. The agenda of the Nazi conspirators was devoted to technical details, the timing of “X-days,” questions of mobilization, questions of transport and supplies.

On 26 August the Defendant Jodl initialed a memorandum entitled, “Timing of the X-Order and the Question of Advance Measures.” This is Item 17 at Pages 37 and 38 of the English translation of the Schmundt file on Case Green, our Number 388-PS.

I should like to invite the special attention of the Tribunal to this memorandum. It demonstrates beyond the slightest doubt the complicity of the OKW and of Defendant Keitel and Jodl in the shameful fabrication of an incident as an excuse for war. It reveals in bare outline the deceit, the barbarity, the completely criminal character of the attack that Germany was preparing to launch.

I ask leave to read this document in full:

“Chief Section L; for chiefs only; written by General Staff officer; top secret; note on progress of report; Berlin, 24 August 1938; access only through officer; 1 copy.


“Timing of the X-Order and the Question of Advance Measures.


“The Luftwaffe’s endeavor to take the enemy air forces by surprise at their peacetime airports justifiably leads them to oppose measures taken in advance of the X-Order and to demand that the X-Order itself be given sufficiently late on X minus 1 to prevent the fact of Germany’s mobilization becoming known to Czechoslovakia on that day.


“The Army’s efforts are tending in the opposite direction. It intends to let OKW initiate all advance measures between X minus 3 and X minus 1 which will contribute to the smooth and rapid working of the mobilization. With this in mind OKH also demands that the X-Order be given to the Army not later than 1400 on X minus 1.


“To this the following must be said:


“ ‘Operation Green’ ”—or Aktion Grün—“will be set in motion by means of an ‘incident’ in Czechoslovakia which will give Germany provocation for military intervention. The fixing of the exact time for this incident is of the utmost importance.”—I call special attention to that sentence—“The fixing of the exact time for this incident is of the utmost importance.


“It must come at a time when the over-all meteorological conditions are favorable for our superior air forces to go into action and at an hour which will enable authentic news of it”—news of this prepared incident—“to reach us on the afternoon of X minus 1.


“It can then be spontaneously answered by the giving of the X-Order at 1400 on X minus 1.


“On X minus 2 the Navy, Army, and Air Force will merely receive an advance warning.


“If the Führer intends to follow this plan of action, all further discussion is superfluous.


“For then no advance measures may be taken before X minus 1 for which there is not an innocent explanation as we shall otherwise appear to have manufactured the incident. Orders for absolutely essential advance measures must be given in good time and camouflaged with the help of numerous maneuvers and exercises.


“Also, the question raised by the Foreign Office as to whether all Germans should be called back in time from prospective enemy territories must in no way lead to the conspicuous departure from Czechoslovakia of any German subjects before the incident.


“Even a warning of diplomatic representatives in Prague is impossible before the first air attack, although the consequences could be very grave in the event of their becoming victims of such an attack (that is the death of representatives of friendly or confirmed neutral powers).


“If, for technical reasons, the evening hours should be considered desirable for the incident, then the following day cannot be X-Day, but it must be the day after that.


“In any case we must act on the principle that nothing must be done before the incident which might point to mobilization, and that the swiftest possible action must be taken after the incident (X-Fall).


“It is the purpose of these notes to point out what a great interest the Wehrmacht has in the incident and that it must be informed of the Führer’s intentions in good time—insofar as the Abwehr Section is not also charged with the organization of the incident.


“I request that the Führer’s decision be obtained on these points.”—Signed—“J”—(Jodl).

In handwriting, at the bottom of the page of that document, are the notes of the indefatigable Schmundt, Hitler’s adjutant. These reveal that the memorandum was submitted to Hitler on August 30; that Hitler agreed to act along these lines, and that Jodl was so notified on 31 August. There follows Jodl’s initials once more.

On 3 September Keitel and Von Brauchitsch met with Hitler at the Berghof. Again Schmundt kept notes of the conference. These will be found as Item 18 at Pages 39 and 40 of the Document Number 388-PS. I shall read the first three short paragraphs of these minutes:

“Colonel General Von Brauchitsch reports on the exact time of the transfer of the troops to ‘exercise areas’ for ‘Grün’. Field units to be transferred on 28 September. From here will then be ready for action. When X-Day becomes known field units carry out exercises in opposite directions.


“Führer has objection. Troops assemble field units a 2-day march away. Carry out camouflage exercises everywhere.”—Then there is a question mark.—“OKH must know when X-Day is by 1200 noon, 27 September.”

You will note that Von Brauchitsch reported that field troops would be transferred to the proper areas for Case Green on 28 September and would then be ready for action. You will also note that the OKH must know when X-Day is by 12 noon on 27 September.

During the remainder of the conference Hitler gave his views on the strategy the German armies should employ and the strength of the Czech defenses they would encounter. He spoke of the possibility, and I quote, “of drawing in the Henlein people.” The situation in the West still troubled him. Schmundt further noted, and here I read the final sentence from Page 40 of the English transcript:

“The Führer gives orders for the development of the Western fortifications: Improvement of advance positions around Aachen and Saarbrücken; construction of 300 to 400 battery positions (1600 artillery pieces). He emphasizes flanking action.”

Five days later General Stülpnagel asked Defendant Jodl for written assurance that the OKH would be informed 5 days in advance about the impending action. In the evening Jodl conferred with Luftwaffe generals about the co-ordination of ground and air operations at the start of the attack. I now read the 8 September entry in General Jodl’s diary, Page 5 of the English translation of Document 1780-PS.

“General Stülpnagel, OAI, asks for written assurance that the Army High Command will be informed 5 days in advance if the plan is to take place. I agree and add that the over-all meteorological situation can be estimated to some extent only for 2 days in advance and that therefore the plans may be changed up to this moment (X-Day minus 2)”—or as the German puts it—“X-2 Tag.”


“General Stülpnagel mentions that for the first time he wonders whether the previous basis of the plan is not being abandoned. It presupposed that the Western Powers would not interfere decisively. It gradually seems as if the Führer would stick to his decision, even though he may no longer be of this opinion. It must be added that Hungary is at least moody and that . . . Italy is reserved.”

Now, this is Jodl talking:

“I must admit that I am worrying, too, when comparing the change of opinion about political and military potentialities, according to directives of 24 June ’37, 5 November ’37, 7 December ’37, 30 May 1938, with the last statements. In spite of that, one must be aware of the fact that the other nations will do everything they can to apply pressure on us. We must pass this test of nerves, but because only very few people know the art of withstanding this pressure successfully, the only possible solution is to inform only a very small circle of officers of news that causes us anxiety, and not to have it circulate through anterooms as heretofore.


“1800 hours to 2100 hours: Conference with Chief of High Command of Armed Forces and Chief of General Staff of the Air Force. (Present were General Jeschonnek, Kammhuber, Sternburg, and myself). We agree about the promulgation of the X-Day order”—X-Befehl—“(X-1, 4 o’clock) and pre-announcement to the Air Force (X-Day minus 1”—X minus 1 day—“7 o’clock). The ‘Y’ time has yet to be examined; some formations have an approach flight of one hour.”

Late on the evening of the following day, 9 September, Hitler met with Defendant Keitel and Generals Von Brauchitsch and Halder at Nuremberg. Dr. Todt, the construction engineer, later joined this conference, which lasted from 10 in the evening until 3:30 the following morning. Schmundt’s minutes on this conference are Item 19 in the large Schmundt file, on Pages 41 to 43 of Document 388-PS.

In this meeting General Halder reviewed the missions assigned to four of the German armies being committed to the attack, the 2d, the 10th, the 12th and the 14th German Armies. With his characteristic enthusiasm for military planning, Hitler then delivered a soliloquy on strategic considerations, which should be taken into account as the attack developed. I shall quote only four paragraphs, beginning with the summary of General Von Brauchitsch’s remarks, on the bottom of Page 42:

“General Oberst Von Brauchitsch: ‘Employment of motorized divisions was based on the difficult rail situation in Austria and the difficulties in getting other divs’ ”—that is for divisions—“ ‘ready to march into the area at the right time. In the West vehicles will have to leave on the 20th of September, if X-Day remains as planned. Workers leave on the 23d, by relays. Specialist workers remain according to decision by Army Command II.’


“The Führer: ‘Does not see why workers have to return home as early as X-11. Other workers and people are also on the way on mobilization day. Also the railroad cars will stand around unnecessarily later on.’


“General Keitel: ‘Workers are not under the jurisdiction of district commands in the West. Trains must be assembled.’


“Von Brauchitsch: ‘235,000 men RAD (Labor Service) will be drafted, 96 construction battalions will be distributed (also in the East). 40,000 trained laborers stay in the West.’ ”

From this day forward the Nazi conspirators were occupied with the intricate planning which is required before such an attack. On 11 September Defendant Jodl conferred with a representative of the Propaganda Ministry about methods of refuting German violations of international law and of exploiting those of the Czechs. I read the 11 September entry in the Jodl diary at Page 5 of the English translation of 1780-PS:

“In the afternoon conference with Secretary of State Hahnke, for the Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda on imminent common tasks. These joint preparations for refutation”—Widerlegung—“of our own violations of international law, and the exploitation of its violations by the enemy, were considered particularly important.”

This discussion developed into a detailed study compiled by Section L, that is, Jodl’s section of the OKW.

I now offer in evidence Document C-2 as Exhibit USA-90, which is a carbon copy of the original, signed in pencil. Seven copies of this captured document, as it shows on its face, were prepared and distributed on 1 October 1938 to the OKH, the OKM, the Luftwaffe, and the Foreign Office.

In this study anticipated violations by Germany of international law in connection with the invasion of Czechoslovakia are listed and counterpropaganda suggested for the use of the propaganda agencies. It is a highly interesting top-secret document and with a glance at the original you can see the careful form in which the study of anticipated violations of international law and propagandists refutations thereof were set out.

The document is prepared in tabular form, in which the anticipated instances of violation of international law are listed in the left hand column. In the second column are given specific examples of the incidents. In the third and fourth column the position to be taken toward these incidents, in violation of international law and in violation of the laws of warfare, is set forth.

The fifth column, which in this document unfortunately is blank, was reserved for the explanations to be offered by the Propaganda Minister. I first quote from the covering letter:

“Enclosed is a list drawn up by Section L of the OKW, of the violations of international law which may be expected on the part of fighting troops.


“Owing to the short time allowed for the compilation, Columns c-1 and c-2 had to be filled in directly therefore, for the time being.


“The branches of the Armed Forces are requested to send in an opinion so that a final version may be drawn up.


“The same is requested of the Foreign Office.


“The Chief of the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces.


“By order”—signed—“Bürckner.”

I am sorry that I perhaps cannot take the time to read extensively from this document. I shall confine myself to reading the first 10 hypothetical incidents for which justification must be found from the second column, Column b of the table:

“First: In an air raid on Prague the British Embassy is destroyed.


“Second: Englishmen or Frenchmen are injured or killed.


“Third: The Hradschin is destroyed in an air raid on Prague.


“Fourth: On account of a report that the Czechs have used gas, the firing of gas projectiles is ordered.


“Fifth: Czech civilians, not recognizable as soldiers, are caught in the act of sabotage (destruction of an important bridge, destruction of foodstuffs and fodder) are discovered looting wounded or dead soldiers and thereupon shot.


“Sixth: Captured Czech soldiers or Czech civilians are detailed to do road work or to load munitions, and so forth.


“Seventh: For military reasons it is necessary to requisition billets, foodstuffs, and fodder from the Czech population. As a result, the latter suffer from want.


“Eighth: Czech population is, for military reasons, compulsorily evacuated to the rear area.


“Ninth: Churches are used for military accommodations.


“Tenth: In the course of their duty, German aircraft fly over Polish territory where they are involved in an air battle with Czech aircraft.”

From Nuremberg on the 10th of September, Hitler issued an order bringing the Reichsarbeitsdienst (the German Labor Service) under the OKW. This top-secret order . . .

THE PRESIDENT: Are you passing from that document now?

MR. ALDERMAN: Yes.

THE PRESIDENT: Would you read the classification with reference to gas?

MR. ALDERMAN: Perhaps I should, Sir.

THE PRESIDENT: It is number 4.

MR. ALDERMAN: Incident number 4?

THE PRESIDENT: Yes.

MR. ALDERMAN: Well, number 4 was the supposed incident. “On account of a report that the Czechs have used gas, the firing of gas projectiles is ordered.” Under the column, “Attitude of International Law Group”:

“According to the declaration agreed to in June 1925 by 40 states, including Czechoslovakia, the employment of poison gases, chemical warfare agents, and bacteriological substances is expressly forbidden. Quite a number of states made the reservation to this declaration on the prohibition of gas warfare.”

Then, under the column headed “Justification by the Laws of War”:

“If the assertion, that the opponent—in this case the Czechs—used a prohibited gas in warfare, is to be believed by the world, it must be possible to prove it. If that is possible, the firing of gas projectiles is justified, and it must be given out in public that it can be proved that the enemy was the first to violate the prohibition. It is therefore particularly important to furnish this proof. If the assertion is unfounded or only partially founded, the gas attack is to be represented only as the need for carrying out a justified reprisal, in the same way as the Italians did in the Abyssinian war. In this case, however, the justification for such harsh reprisals must also be proved.”

From Nuremberg on the 10th of September, Hitler issued an order bringing the Reichsarbeitsdienst (the German Labor Service) under the OKW . . .

THE PRESIDENT: There is another short passage which seems to be material.

MR. ALDERMAN: I was very much tempted to read the whole document.

THE PRESIDENT: The justification of number 10.

MR. ALDERMAN: Number 10 was, “In course of their duty, German aircraft fly over Polish territory where they are involved in an air battle with Czech aircraft.”

Under the heading, “Attitude of the International Law Group”:

“According to Article 1 of the Fifth Hague Convention of 18 October 1907, the territory of neutral powers is not to be violated. A deliberate violation by flying over this territory is a breach of international law if the neutral powers have declared an air barrier for combat aircraft. If German planes fly over Polish territory this constitutes a violation of international law, provided that this action is not expressly permitted.”

Now, under the heading, “Justification by the Laws of War,” is this:

“An attempt at denials should first be made; if this is unsuccessful a request for pardon should be made (on the grounds of miscalculation of position) to the Polish Government and compensation for damage guaranteed.”

I had referred to an order issued by Hitler on 10 September 1938 from Nuremberg, bringing the German Labor Service under the OKW. This top-secret order, of which 25 copies were made, is Item 20 in the Schmundt file, Page 44. I will read that order:

“1. The whole RAD organization comes under the command of the Supreme Command of the Army effective 15 September.


“2. The Chief of OKW decides on the first commitments of this organization in conjunction with the Reich Labor Leader (Reichsarbeitsführer) and on assignments from time to time to the Supreme Commands of the Navy, Army, and Air Force. Where questions arise with regard to competency he will make a final decision in accordance with my instructions.


“3. For the time being this order is to be made known only to the departments and personnel immediately concerned.


“Signed, Adolf Hitler.”

Four days later, on 14 September, Defendant Keitel issued detailed instructions for the employment of specific RAD units. This order is Item 21 in the Schmundt file, at Page 45 in the English translation. I do not think I need read the order.

There is another order issued by the Defendant Jodl on 16 September, Item 24, at Page 48 in the Schmundt file. I think I need only read the heading or title of that:

“Subject: Employment of Reich Labor Service for maneuvers with Wehrmacht. Effective 15 September the following units will be trained militarily under direction of the Commander-in-Chief of the Army.”

Two further entries in the Defendant Jodl’s diary give further indications of the problems of the OKW in this period of mid-September, just 2 weeks before the anticipated X-Day.

I now read the answers for the 15th and 16th September, at Pages 5 and 6 of the English translation of the Jodl diary.

“15 September: In the morning, conference with Chief of Army High Command and Chief of General Staffs of Army and Air Force, the question was discussed as to what could be done if the Führer insists on advancement of the date, due to the rapid development of the situation.


“16 September: General Keitel returns from the Berghof at 1700 hours. He graphically describes the results of the conference between Chamberlain and the Führer. The next conference will take place on the 20th or 21st in Godesberg.


“With consent of the Führer, the order is given in the evening by the Armed Forces High Command, to the Army High Command, and to the Ministry of Finance, to line up the v.G.a.D. along the Czech border.”—That I understand to have reference to the reinforced border guard.


“In the same way, an order is issued to the railways to have empty rolling stock kept in readiness, clandestinely; for the strategic concentrations of the Army, so that it can be transported starting 28 September.”

The order to the railroads to make rolling stock available, to which General Jodl referred, appears as Item 22, at Page 47 of the Schmundt file. In this order the Defendant Keitel told the railroads to be ready by 28 September but to continue work on the Western fortifications even after 20 September in the interest of camouflage. I quote the first four paragraphs of this order:

“The Reichsbahn (the railroads) must provide trains of empty trucks in great numbers by September 28 for the carrying out of mobilization exercises. This task now takes precedence over all others.


“Therefore the trainloads for the limes job”—I understand the “limes job” to have reference to defense fortification in the West—“will have to be cut down after September 17 and those goods loaded previous to this date unloaded by September 20.


“The Supreme Command of the Army (Fifth Division of the Army General Staff) must issue further orders after consultation with the authorities concerned.


“However, in accordance with the Führer’s directive, every effort should be made to continue to supply the materials in as large quantities as feasible, even after 20 September 1938, and this for reasons of camouflage as well as in order to continue the important work on the limes.”

The penultimate stage of the aggression begins on 18 September. From that date until the 28th a series of orders was issued advancing preparations for the attack. These orders are included in the Schmundt file and I shall not take the time of the Tribunal by attempting to read all of it.

On the 18th the commitment scheduled for the five participating Armies, the 2d, 8th, 10th, 12th, and 14th, was set forth. That is Item 26 in the Schmundt file at Page 50 of the English translation. Hitler approved the secret mobilization of five divisions in the West to protect the German rear during Case Green, and I refer to Item 31 in the Schmundt file at Page 13—I beg your pardon, it is Page 55, I had a misprint. I might refer to that. It is a “most-secret” order, Berlin, 27 September 1938, 1920 hours; 45 copies of which this is the 16th:

“The Führer has approved the mobilization, without warning, of the five regular West divisions (26th, 34th, 36th, 33d, and 35th). The Führer and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces has expressly reserved the right to issue the order for employment in the fortification zone and the evacuation of this zone by the workers of the Todt organization.


“It is left to the OKH to assemble as far as possible, first of all the sections ready to march and, subsequently, the remaining sections of the divisions in marshalling areas behind the Western fortifications.”—Signed—“Jodl.”

THE PRESIDENT: I think this would be a good time to adjourn.

We will meet again at 2 o’clock.

[A recess was taken until 1400 hours.]


Afternoon Session

MR. ALDERMAN: May it please the Tribunal, my attention has been called to the fact that I misread a signature on one of the documents to which I adverted this morning. It is Item 31 of the Schmundt minutes. I read the name “Jodl” as being the signature on that item. I should have read Keitel.

In the course of presenting details of the documents which are being offered in evidence, I think it would be well to pause for a moment, and recall the setting in which these facts took place. The world will never forget the Munich Pact, and the international crisis which led to it. As this crisis was developing in August and September of 1938, and frantic efforts were being made by the statesmen of the world to preserve the peace of the world, little did they know of the evil plans and designs in the hearts and the minds of these conspirators.

What is being presented to the Tribunal today is the inside story, in their own words, underlying the Pact of Munich. We are now able to spread upon the pages of history the truth concerning the fraud and deceit practiced by the Nazi conspirators in achieving for their own ends, the Pact of Munich as a stepping stone towards further aggression. One cannot think back without living again through the dread of war, the fear of war, the fear of world disaster, which seized all peace-loving persons. The hope for peace which came with the Munich Pact was, we now see, a snare and a deceit—a trap, carefully set by the defendants on trial. The evil character of these men who were fabricating this scheme for aggression and war is demonstrated by their own documents.

Further discussions were held between the Army and the Luftwaffe about the time of day at which the attack should be launched. Conference notes initialed by the Defendant Jodl, dated 27 September, reveal the difference in views. These notes are Item 54, at Page 90 in the translation of Document 388-PS. I shall read these first three paragraphs as follows: The heading is:

“Most secret; for chiefs only; only through officers.


“Conference notes; Berlin, 27 September 1938; 4 copies, first copy. To be filed Grün.


“Co-ordinated Time of Attack by Army and Air Force on X-Day.


“As a matter of principle, every effort should be made for a co-ordinated attack by Army and Air Forces on 1 X-Day.


“The Army wishes to attack at dawn, that is, about 0615. It also wishes to conduct some limited operations in the previous night, which however, would not alarm the entire Czech front.


“Air Force’s time of attack depends on weather conditions. These could change the time of attack and also limit the area of operations. The weather of the last few days, for instance, would have delayed the start until between 0800 and 1100 due to low ceiling in Bavaria.”

Then I’ll skip to the last two paragraphs on Page 91:

“Thus it is proposed:


“Attack by the Army—independent of the attack by the Air Force—at the time desired by the Army (0615), and permission for limited operations to take place before then; however, only to an extent that will not alarm the entire Czech front.


“The Luftwaffe will attack at a time most suitable to them.”

The initial at the end of that order is “J” meaning, I think clearly, Jodl.

On the same date, 27 September, the Defendant Keitel sent a most-secret memorandum to the Defendant Hess, and the Reichsführer SS, Himmler, for the guidance of Nazi Party officials. This memorandum is Item 32 in the Schmundt files at Page 56 of the English translation. I read the first four paragraphs of this message.

“As a result of the political situation the Führer and Chancellor has ordered mobilization measures for the Armed Forces, without the political situation being aggravated by issuing the mobilization (X) order, or corresponding code words.


“Within the framework of these mobilization measures it is necessary for the Armed Forces authorities to issue demands to the various Party authorities and their organizations, which are connected with the previous issuing of the mobilization order, the advance measures or special code names.


“The special situation makes it necessary that these demands be met (even if the code word has not been previously issued) immediately and without being referred to higher authority.


“OKW requests that subordinate offices be given immediate instructions to this effect, so that the mobilization of the Armed Forces can be carried out according to plan.”

Then I skip to the last paragraph:

“The Supreme Command of the Armed Forces further requests that all measures not provided for in the plans which are undertaken by Party organizations or Police units, as a result of the political situation, be reported in every case and in plenty of time to the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces. Only then can it be guaranteed that these measures can be carried out in practice.


“The Chief of the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces, Keitel.”

Two additional entries from the Defendant Jodl’s diary reveal the extent to which the Nazi conspirators carried out all of their preparations for an attack, even during the period of negotiations which culminated in the Munich Agreement. I quote the answers in the Jodl diary for 26 and 27 September, from Page 7 of the translation of Document 1780-PS. 26 September . . .

THE PRESIDENT: Have you got in mind the dates of the visits of Mr. Chamberlain to Germany, and of the actual agreement? Perhaps you can give it later on.

MR. ALDERMAN: I think it will be covered later, yes.

THE PRESIDENT: Very well.

MR. ALDERMAN: The agreement of the Munich Pact was the 29th of September, and this answer then was 3 days before the Pact, the 26th of September:

“Chief of the Armed Forces High Command, acting through the Army High Command, has stopped the intended approach march of the advance units to the Czech border, because it is not yet necessary and because the Führer does not intend to march in before the 30th in any case. Order to approach towards the Czech frontier need be given on the 27th only.


“Fixed radio stations of Breslau, Dresden and Vienna are put at the disposal of the Reich Ministry for Popular Enlightenment and Propaganda for interference with possible Czech propaganda transmissions.


“Question by Ausland whether Czechs are to be allowed to leave and cross Germany. Decision from Chief of the Armed Forces High Command: ‘Yes.’


“1515 hours: The Chief of the Armed Forces High Command informs General Stumpf about the result of the Godesberg conversations and about the Führer’s opinion. In no case will X-Day be before the 30th.


“It is important that we do not permit ourselves to be drawn into military engagements because of false reports, before Prague replies.


“A question of Stumpf about Y-Hour results in the reply that on account of the weather situation, a simultaneous intervention of the Air Force and Army cannot be expected. The Army needs the dawn, the Air Force can only start later on account of frequent early fogs.


“The Führer has to make a decision as to which of the Commanders-in-Chief is to have priority.


“The opinion of Stumpf is also that the attack of the Army has to proceed. The Führer has not made any decision as yet about commitment against Prague.


“2000 hours: The Führer addresses the people and the world in an important speech at the Sportpalast.”

Then the entry on 27 September:

“1320 hours: The Führer consents to the first wave of attack being advanced to a line from where they can arrive in the assembly area by 30 September.”

The order referred to by General Jodl was also recorded by the faithful Schmundt, which appears as Item 33 at Page 57 of the file. I’ll read it in its entirety. It is the order which brought the Nazi Army to a jumping-off point for the unprovoked and brutal aggression:

“28.9.38.; most secret; memorandum.


“At 1300 hours 27 September the Führer and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces ordered the movement of the assault units from their exercise areas to their jumping-off points.


“The assault units (about 21 reinforced regiments, or seven divisions) must be ready to begin the action against Grün on 30 September, the decision having been made 1 day previously by 1200 noon.


“This order was conveyed to General Keitel at 1320 through Major Schmundt”—pencil note by Schmundt.

At this point, with the Nazi Army poised in a strategic position around the borders of Czechoslovakia, we shall turn back for a moment to examine another phase of the Czech aggression. The military preparations for action against Czechoslovakia had not been carried out in vacuo.

They had been preceded by a skillfully conceived campaign designed to promote civil disobedience in the Czechoslovak State. Using the techniques they had already developed in other uncontested ventures underhandedly, the Nazi conspirators over a period of years used money, propaganda, and force to undermine Czechoslovakia. In this program the Nazis focused their attention on the persons of German descent living in the Sudetenland, a mountainous area bounding Bohemia and Moravia on the northwest and south. I now invite the attention of the Tribunal to Document Number 998-PS and offer it in evidence as an exhibit.

This exhibit is entitled, “German Crimes Against Czechoslovakia” and is the Czechoslovak Government’s official report for the prosecution and trial of the German major war criminals. I believe that this report is clearly included within the provisions of Article 21, of the Charter, as a document of which the Court will take judicial notice. Article 21 provides:

“The Tribunal shall not require proof of facts of common knowledge but shall take judicial notice thereof. It shall also take judicial notice of official governmental documents and reports of the United Nations, including the accounts and documents of the committees set up in the various Allied countries for the investigation of war crimes and the records and findings of military or other tribunals of any of the United Nations.”

Since, under that provision, the Court will take judicial notice of this governmental report by the Czech Government, I shall, with the leave of the Tribunal, merely summarize Pages 9 to 12 of this report to show the background of the subsequent Nazi intrigue within Czechoslovakia.

Nazi agitation in Czechoslovakia dated from the earliest days of the Nazi Party. In the years following the first World War, a German National Socialist Workers Party (DNSAP), which maintained close contact with Hitler’s NSDAP, was activated in the Sudetenland. In 1932, ringleaders of the Sudeten Volkssport, an organization corresponding to the Nazi SA or Sturmabteilung, openly endorsed the 21 points of Hitler’s program, the first of which demanded the union of all Germans in a greater Germany. Soon thereafter, they were charged with planning armed rebellion on behalf of a foreign power and were sentenced for conspiracy against the Czech Republic.

Late in 1933, the National Socialist Party of Czechoslovakia forestalled its dissolution by voluntary liquidation and several of its chiefs escaped across the border into Germany. For a year thereafter, Nazi activity in Czechoslovakia continued underground.

On 1 October 1934, with the approval and at the urging of the Nazi conspirators, an instructor of gymnastics, Konrad Henlein, established the German Home Front or Deutsche Heimatfront, which, the following spring became the Sudeten German Party (SDP). Profiting from the experiences of the Czech National Socialist Party, Henlein denied any connection with the German Nazis. He rejected pan-Germanism and professed his respect for individual liberties and his loyalty to honest democracy and to the Czech State. His party, nonetheless, was built on the basis of the Nazi Führerprinzip, and he became its Führer.

By 1937, when the powers of Hitler’s Germany had become manifest, Henlein and his followers were striking a more aggressive note, demanding without definition, “complete Sudeten autonomy”. The SDP laid proposals before the Czech Parliament which would in substance, have created a state within a state.

After the annexation of Austria by Germany in March 1938, the Henleinists, who were now openly organized after the Nazi model, intensified their activities. Undisguised anti-Semitic propaganda started in the Henlein press.

The campaign against Bolshevism was intensified. Terrorism in the Henlein-dominated communities increased. A storm-troop organization, patterned and trained on the principles of the Nazi SS was established, known as the FS, Freiwilliger Selbstschutz (or Voluntary Vigilantes).

On 24 April 1938, in a speech to the Party Congress in Karlovy Vary, Henlein came into the open with what he called his Karlsbad Program. In this speech, which echoed Hitler in tone and substance, Henlein asserted the right of the Sudeten Germans to profess German political philosophy which, it was clear, meant National Socialism.

As the summer of 1938 wore on, the Henleinists used every technique of the Nazi Fifth Column. As summarized in Pages 12 to 16 of the Czech Government official report, these techniques included:

(a) Espionage. Military espionage was conducted by the SDP, the FS, and by other members of the German minority on behalf of Germany. Czech defenses were mapped and information on Czech troop movements was furnished to the German authorities.

(b) Nazification of German organizations in Czechoslovakia. The Henleinists systematically penetrated the whole life of the German population of Czechoslovakia. Associations and social cultural centers regularly underwent “Gleichschaltung”, that is purification, by the SDP. Among the organizations conquered by the Henleinists were sports societies, rowing clubs, associations of ex-service men, and choral societies. The Henleinists were particularly interested in penetrating as many business institutions as possible and bringing over to their side the directors of banks, the owners or directors of factories, and the managers of commercial firms. In the case of Jewish ownership or direction, they attempted to secure the cooperation of the clerical and technical staffs of the institutions.

(c) German direction and leadership. The Henleinists maintained permanent contact with the Nazi officials designated to direct operations within Czechoslovakia. Meetings in Germany, at which Henleinists were exhorted and instructed in Fifth Column activity, were camouflaged by being held in conjunction with “Sänger Feste” (or choral festivals), gymnastic shows, and assemblies, and commercial gatherings such as the Leipzig Fair. Whenever the Nazi conspirators needed incidents for their war of nerves, it was the duty of the Henleinists to supply them.

(d) Propaganda. Disruptive and subversive propaganda was beamed at Czechoslovakia in German broadcasts and was echoed in the German press. Goebbels called Czechoslovakia a “nest of Bolshevism” and spread the false report of Russian troops and airplanes centered in Prague. Under direction from the Reich, the Henleinists maintained whispering propaganda in the Sudetenland which contributed to the mounting tension and to the creation of incidents. Illegal Nazi literature was smuggled from Germany and widely distributed in the border regions. The Henlein press, more or less openly, espoused Nazi ideology before the German population in the Sudetenland.

(e) Murder and terrorism. Nazi conspirators provided the Henleinists, and particularly the FS, with money and arms with which to provoke incidents and to maintain a state of permanent unrest. Gendarmes, customs officers, and other Czech officials were attacked. A boycott was established against Jewish lawyers, doctors, and tradesmen.

The Henleinists terrorized the non-Henlein population and the Nazi Gestapo crossed into the border districts to carry Czechoslovak citizens across the border into Germany. In several cases, political foes of the Nazis were murdered on Czech soil. Nazi agents murdered Professor Theodor Lessing in 1933, and engineer Formis in 1935. Both men were anti-Nazis who had escaped from Germany after Hitler came to power and had sought refuge in Czechoslovakia.

Sometime afterwards, when there was no longer need for pretense and deception, Konrad Henlein made a clear and frank statement of the mission assigned to him by the Nazi conspirators. I offer in evidence Document Number 2863-PS, an excerpt from a lecture by Konrad Henlein quoted in the book Four Fighting Years, a publication of the Czechoslovak Ministry of Foreign Affairs; and I quote from Page 29. This book has been marked for identification Exhibit USA-92, but without offering it in evidence, I ask the Tribunal to take judicial notice of it. I shall read from Page 29. This lecture was delivered by Henlein on 4 March 1941, in the auditorium of the University of Vienna, under the auspices of the Wiener Verwaltungsakademie. During a thorough search of libraries in Vienna and elsewhere, we have been unable to find a copy of the German text. This text, this volume that I have here, is an English version. The Vienna newspapers the following day carried only summaries of the lecture. This English version, however, is an official publication of the Czech Government and is, under the circumstances, the best evidence that we can produce of the Henlein speech.

In this lecture on “The Fight for the Liberation of the Sudetens” Henlein said:

“National Socialism soon swept over us Sudeten Germans. Our struggle was of a different character from that in Germany. Although we had to behave differently in public we were, of course, secretly in touch with the National Socialist revolution in Germany so that we might be a part of it. The struggle for Greater Germany was waged on Sudeten soil, too. This struggle could be waged only by those inspired by the spirit of National Socialism, persons who were true followers of our Führer, whatever their outward appearance. Fate sought me out to be the leader of the national group in its final struggle. When in the autumn of 1933, the leader of the NSDAP asked me to take over the political leadership of the Sudeten Germans, I had a difficult problem to solve. Should the National Socialist Party continue to be carried on illegally or should the movement, in the interest of the self-preservation of the Sudeten Germans and in order to prepare their return to the Reich, wage its struggle under camouflage and by methods which appeared quite legal to the outside world? For us Sudeten Germans only the second alternative seemed possible, for the preservation of our national group was at stake. It would certainly have been easier to exchange this hard and mentally exhausting struggle for the heroic gesture of confessing allegiance to National Socialism and entering a Czechoslovak prison. But it seemed more than doubtful whether, by this means, we could have fulfilled the political task of destroying Czechoslovakia as a bastion in the alliance against the German Reich.”

The account of Nazi intrigue in Czechoslovakia which I have just presented to the Tribunal is the outline of this conspiracy as it had been pieced together by the Czechoslovak Government early this summer. Since then, captured documents and other information made available to us since the defeat of Germany have clearly and conclusively demonstrated the implication, which hitherto could only be deduced, of the Nazi conspirators in the agitation in the Sudetenland.

I offer in evidence Document Number 3060-PS, Exhibit USA-93. This is the original, handwritten draft of a telegram sent from the German Legation in Prague on 16 March 1938 to the Foreign Minister in Berlin. It is presumably written by the German Minister Eisenlohr. It proves conclusively that the Henlein movement was an instrument, a puppet of the Nazi conspirators. The Henlein party, it appears from this document, was directed from Berlin and from the German Legation in Prague. It could have no policy of its own. Even the speeches of its leaders had to be co-ordinated with the German authorities.

I will read this telegram:

“Prague, 16 March 1938.


“Foreign (Office), Berlin; (cipher cable—secret); No. 57 of 16 March.


“With reference to cable order No. 30 of 14 March.


“Rebuff to Frank has had a salutary effect. Have thrashed out matters with Henlein, who recently had shunned me, and with Frank separately and received following promises:


“1. The line of German foreign policy as transmitted by the German Legation is exclusively decisive for policy and tactics of the Sudeten German Party. My directives are to be complied with implicitly.


“2. Public speeches and the press will be co-ordinated uniformly with my approval. The editorial staff of Zeit”—Time—“is to be improved.


“3. Party leadership abandons the former intransigent line, which in the end might lead to political complications, and adopts a line of gradual promotion of Sudeten German interests. The objectives are to be set in every case with my participation and to be promoted by parallel diplomatic action. Laws for the protection of nationalities (Volksschutzgesetze) and territorial autonomy are no longer to be stressed.


“4. If consultations with Berlin agencies are required or desired before Henlein issues important statements on his program, they are to be applied for and prepared through the Legation.


“5. All information of the Sudeten German Party for German agencies is to be transmitted through the Legation.


“6. Henlein will establish contact with me every week, and will come to Prague at any time if requested.


“I now hope to have the Sudeten German Party under firm control, as this is more than ever necessary for coming developments in the interest of foreign policy. Please inform Ministries concerned and Mittelstelle (Central Office for Racial Germans) and request them to support this uniform direction of the Sudeten German Party.”

The initials are illegible.

The dressing down administered by Eisenlohr to Henlein had the desired effect. The day after the telegram was dispatched from Prague, Henlein addressed a humble letter to Ribbentrop, asking an early personal conversation.

I offer in evidence Document Number 2789-PS as Exhibit USA-94. This is the letter from Konrad Henlein to Defendant Ribbentrop, captured in the German Foreign Office files, dated 17 March 1938.

“Most honored Minister of Foreign Affairs:


“In our deeply felt joy over the fortunate turn of events in Austria we feel it our duty to express our gratitude to all those who had a share in this new grand achievement of our Führer.


“I beg you, most honored Minister, to accept accordingly the sincere thanks of the Sudeten Germans herewith.


“We shall show our appreciation to the Führer by doubled efforts in the service of the Greater German policy.


“The new situation requires a re-examination of the Sudeten German policy. For this purpose I beg to ask you for the opportunity of a very early personal talk.


“In view of the necessity of such a clarification I have postponed the nation-wide Party Congress, originally scheduled for 26th and 27th of March 1938, for 4 weeks.


“I would appreciate it if the Ambassador, Dr. Eisenlohr, and two of my closest associates would be allowed to participate in the requested talks.

“Heil Hitler. Loyally yours”—signed—“Konrad Henlein.”

You will note that Henlein was quite aware that the seizure of Austria made possible the adoption of a new policy towards Czechoslovakia. You will also note that he was already in close enough contact with Ribbentrop and the German Minister in Prague to feel free to suggest early personal talks.

Ribbentrop was not unreceptive to Henlein’s suggestion. The conversations Henlein had proposed took place in the Foreign Office in Berlin on the 29th of March 1938. The previous day Henlein had conferred with Hitler himself.

I offer in evidence Document Number 2788-PS as Exhibit USA-95, captured German Foreign Office notes of the conference on the 29th of March. I read the first two paragraphs:

“In this conference the gentlemen enumerated in the enclosed list participated.


“The Reich Minister started out by emphasizing the necessity to keep the conference which had been scheduled strictly a secret. He then explained, in view of the directives which the Führer himself had given to Konrad Henlein personally yesterday afternoon, that there were two questions which were of outstanding importance for the conduct of policy of the Sudeten German Party.”

I will omit the discussion of the claims of the Sudeten Germans and resume the minutes of this meeting in the middle of the last paragraph of the first page of the English translation, with the sentence beginning, “The aim of the negotiations.”

“The aim of the negotiations to be carried out by the Sudeten German Party with the Czechoslovakian Government is finally this: To avoid entry into the Government by the extension and gradual specification of the demands to be made. It must be emphasized clearly in the negotiations that the Sudeten German Party alone is the party to the negotiations with the Czechoslovakian Government, not the Reich Cabinet. The Reich Cabinet itself must refuse to appear toward the government in Prague or toward London and Paris as the advocate or pacemaker of the Sudeten German demands. It is a self-evident prerequisite that during the impending discussion with the Czechoslovak Government the Sudeten Germans should be firmly controlled by Konrad Henlein, should maintain quiet and discipline, and should avoid indiscretions. The assurances already given by Konrad Henlein in this connection were satisfactory.


“Following these general explanations of the Reichsminister, the demands of the Sudeten German Party from the Czechoslovak Government, as contained in the enclosure, were discussed and approved in principle. For further co-operation, Konrad Henlein was instructed to keep in the closest possible touch with the Reichsminister and the head of the Central Office for Racial Germans, as well as the German Minister in Prague, as the local representative of the Foreign Minister. The task of the German Minister in Prague would be to support the demand of the Sudeten German Party as reasonable—not officially, but in more private talks with the Czechoslovak politicians, without exerting any direct influence on the extent of the demands of the Party.


“In conclusion, there was a discussion whether it would be useful if the Sudeten German Party would co-operate with other minorities in Czechoslovakia, especially with the Slovaks. The Foreign Minister decided that the Party should have the discretion to keep a loose contact with other minority groups if the adoption of a parallel course by them might appear appropriate.


“Berlin, 29 March 1938,


“R”—for Ribbentrop.

Not the least interesting aspect of this secret meeting is the list of those who attended: Konrad Henlein; his principal deputy, Karl Hermann Frank; and two others represented the Sudeten German Party. Professor Haushofer, the geopolitician, and SS Obergruppenführer Lorenz represented the Volksdeutsche Mittelstelle (the Central Office for Racial Germans). The Foreign Office was represented by a delegation of eight. These eight included Ribbentrop, who presided at the meeting and did most of the talking; Von Mackensen; Weizsäcker and Minister Eisenlohr from the German Legation at Prague.

In May, Henlein came to Berlin for more conversations with the Nazi conspirators. At this time the plans for Case Green, for the attack on the Czechs, were already on paper, and it may be assumed that Henlein was briefed on the role he was to play during the summer months.

I again quote from General Jodl’s diary, Document 1780-PS, the entry for 22 May 1938: “Fundamental conference between the Führer and K. Henlein (see enclosure).” The enclosure unfortunately is missing from Jodl’s diary.

The Tribunal will recall that in his speech in Vienna Henlein had admitted that he had been selected by the Nazi conspirators in the fall of 1933 to take over the political leadership of the Sudeten Germans. The documents I have just read show conclusively the nature of Henlein’s mission. They demonstrate that Henlein’s policy, his propaganda, even his speeches, were controlled by Berlin.

I will now show that from the year 1935 the Sudeten German Party was secretly subsidized by the German Foreign Office. I offer in evidence Document 3059-PS as Exhibit USA-96, another secret memorandum captured in the German Foreign Office file.

This memorandum, signed by Woermann and dated Berlin, 19 August 1938, was occasioned by the request of the Henlein Party for additional funds. I read from that document:

“The Sudeten German Party has been subsidized by the Foreign Office regularly since 1935 with certain amounts, consisting of a monthly payment of 15,000 marks; 12,000 marks of this are transmitted to the Prague Legation for disbursement and 3,000 marks are paid out to the Berlin representation of the Party (Bureau Bürger). In the course of the last few months the tasks assigned to the Bureau Bürger have increased considerably due to the current negotiations with the Czech Government. The number of pamphlets and maps which are produced and disseminated has risen; the propaganda activity in the press has grown immensely; the expense accounts have increased especially because due to the necessity for continuous good information, the expenses for trips to Prague, London, and Paris (including the financing of travels of Sudeten German deputies and agents) have grown considerably heavier. Under these conditions the Bureau Bürger is no longer able to get along with the monthly allowance of 3,000 marks if it is to do everything required. Therefore Herr Bürger has applied to this office for an increase of this amount from 3,000 marks to 5,500 marks monthly. In view of the considerable increase in the business transacted by the bureau, and of the importance which marks the activity of the bureau in regard to the co-operation with the Foreign Office, this desire deserves the strongest support.


“Herewith submitted to the personnel department with a request for approval. Increase of payments with retroactive effect from 1 August is requested.”—signed—“Woermann.”

Under this signature is a footnote:

“Volksdeutsche Mittelstelle”—Central Office for Racial Germans—“will be informed by the Political Department”—handwritten marginal note.

We may only conjecture what financial support the Henlein movement received from other agencies of the German Government.

As the military preparations to attack Czechoslovakia moved forward in the late summer and early fall, the Nazi command made good use of Henlein and his followers. About the 1st of August, the Air Attaché in the German Legation in Prague, Major Moericke, acting on instructions from Luftwaffe headquarters in Berlin, visited the Sudeten German leader in Freudenthal. With his assistance and in the company of the local leader of the FS, the Henlein equivalent of the SS, he reconnoitered the surrounding countryside to select possible airfield sites for German use. The FS leader, a Czech reservist then on leave, was in the uniform of the Czech Army, a fact which, as the Attaché noted, served as excellent camouflage.

I now read from the enclosure to Document 1536-PS, which I offered in evidence earlier and which bears United States Exhibit Number 83. I have already read the first four paragraphs of the enclosure:

“The manufacturer M. is the head of the Sudeten German Glider Pilots in Fr.”—that’s Freudenthal—“and said to be absolutely reliable by my trusted man. My personal impression fully confirmed this judgment. No hint of my identity was made to him, although I had the impression that M. knew who I was.


“At my request, with which he complied without any question, M. travelled with me over the country in question. We used M.’s private car for the trip.


“As M. did not know the country around Beneschau sufficiently well, he took with him the local leader of the FS, a Czech reservist of the Sudeten German Racial Group, at the time on leave. He was in uniform. For reasons of camouflage, I was entirely in agreement with this—without actually saying so.


“As M., during the course of the drive, observed that I photographed large open spaces out of the car, he said. ‘Aha, so you’re looking for airfields!’ I answered that we supposed that in the case of any serious trouble, the Czechs would put their airfields immediately behind the line of fortifications. I had the intention of looking over the country from that point of view.”

In the latter part of the Air Attaché’s report, reference is made to the presence of reliable agents and informers, which he called “V-Leute” (V-people), apparently drawn from the ranks of the Henlein party in this area. It was indicated that these agents were in touch with the “Abwehr Stelle” (the Intelligence Office) in Breslau.

In September, when the Nazi propaganda campaign was reaching its height, the Nazis were not satisfied with playing merely on the Sudeten demands for autonomy. They attempted to use the Slovaks as well. On the 19th of September the Foreign Office in Berlin sent a telegram to the German Legation in Prague. I offer the document in evidence, Number 2858-PS, Exhibit USA-97, another captured German Foreign Office document—a telegram:

“Please inform Deputy Kundt that Konrad Henlein requests to get in touch with the Slovaks at once and induce them to start their demands for autonomy tomorrow.”—signed—“Altenburg.”

Kundt was Henlein’s representative in Prague.

As the harassed Czech Government sought to stem the disorders in the Sudetenland, the German Foreign Office turned to threatening diplomatic tactics in a deliberate effort to increase the tension between the two countries. I offer in evidence Documents 2855-PS, 2854-PS, 2853-PS, and 2856-PS, as United States Exhibits respectively 98, 99, 100, and 101. Four telegrams from the Foreign Office in Berlin to the Legation in Prague were dispatched between the 16th and 24th of September 1938. They are self-explanatory. The first is dated 16 September.

“Tonight 150 subjects of Czechoslovakia of Czech blood were arrested in Germany. This measure is an answer to the arrest of Sudeten Germans since the Führer’s speech of 12 September. I request you to ascertain as soon as possible the number of Sudeten Germans arrested since 12 September as far as possible. The number of those arrested there is estimated conservatively at 400 by the Gestapo. Cable report.”

A handwritten note follows:

“Impossible for me to ascertain these facts as already communicated to the chargé d’affaires.”

The second telegram is dated September 17:

“Most urgent.


“I. Request to inform the local government immediately of the following:


“The Reich Government has decided that:


“(a) Immediately as many Czech subjects of Czech descent, Czech-speaking Jews included, will be arrested in Germany as Sudeten Germans have been in Czechoslovakia since the beginning of the week; (b) If any Sudeten Germans should be executed pursuant to a death sentence on the basis of martial law, an equal number of Czechs will be shot in Germany.”

The third telegram was sent on 24 September. I read it:

“According to information received here, Czechs have arrested two German frontier policemen, seven customs officials, and 30 railway officials. As counter measure all the Czech staff in Marschegg were arrested. We are prepared to exchange the arrested Czech officials for the German officials. Please approach Government there and wire result.”

On the same day the fourth telegram was dispatched, and I read the last paragraph:

“ ‘Confidential’. Yielding of Czech hostages arrested here for the prevention of the execution of any sentences passed by military courts against Sudeten Germans is, of course, out of question.”

In the latter half of September, Henlein devoted himself and his followers wholeheartedly to the preparations for the coming German attack. About 15 September, after Hitler’s provocative Nuremberg speech in which he accused Beneš of torturing and planning the extermination of the Sudeten Germans, Henlein and Karl Hermann Frank, one of his principal deputies, fled to Germany to avoid arrest by the Czech Government. In Germany Henlein broadcast over the powerful Reichsender radio station his determination to lead the Sudeten Germans home to the Reich and denounced what he called the Hussites-Bolshevist criminals of Prague. From his headquarters in a castle at Donndorf, outside Bayreuth, he kept in close touch with the leading Nazi conspirators, including Hitler and Himmler. He directed activities along the border and began the organization of the Sudeten German Free Corps, an auxiliary military organization. You will find these events set forth in the Czechoslovak official government report, 998-PS, which has already been offered as Exhibit USA-91.

Henlein’s activities were carried on with the advice and assistance of the German Nazi leaders. Lieutenant Colonel Köchling was assigned to Henlein in an advisory capacity to assist with the Sudeten German Free Corps. In a conference with Hitler on the night of September 17, Köchling received far-reaching military powers.

At this conference, the purpose of the Free Corps was frankly stated—the maintenance of disorder and clashes. I read from Item 25, a handwritten note labelled “most secret,” on Page 49 of the Schmundt file, Document 388-PS:

“Most secret. Last night conference took place between Führer and Lieutenant Colonel Köchling. Duration of conference 7 minutes. Lieutenant Colonel Köchling remains directly responsible to OKW. He will be assigned to Konrad Henlein in an advisory capacity. He received far-reaching military plenary powers from the Führer. The Sudeten German Free Corps remains responsible to Konrad Henlein alone. Purpose: Protection of the Sudeten Germans and maintenance of disturbances and clashes. The Free Corps will be established in Germany. Armament only with Austrian weapons. Activities of Free Corps to begin as soon as possible.”

THE PRESIDENT: Would that be a good place to break off for 10 minutes?

[A recess was taken.]

MR. ALDERMAN: May it please the Tribunal, General Jodl’s diary again gives a further insight into the position of the Henlein Free Corps. At this time, the Free Corps was engaged in active skirmishing along the Czech border, furnishing incidents and provocation in the desired manner. I quote from the entries in the Jodl diary, for the 19th and 20th September 1938, at Page 6 of the Document 1780-PS, which is Exhibit USA-72.

“19 September: Order is given to the Army High Command to take care of the Sudeten German Free Corps.


“20 September: England and France have handed over their demands in Prague, the contents of which are still unknown. The activities of the Free Corps start assuming such an extent that they may bring about, and already have brought about, consequences harmful to the plans of the Army. (Transferring rather strong units of the Czech Army to the proximity of the border.) By checking with Lieutenant Colonel Köchling, I attempt to lead these activities into normal channels.


“Toward the evening the Führer also takes a hand and gives permission to act only with groups up to 12 men each, after the approval of the corps headquarters.”

A report from Henlein’s staff, which was found in Hitler’s headquarters, boasted of the offensive operations of the Free Corps. It is Item 30 of the Schmundt file, Page 54 of Document 388-PS. I read the last two paragraphs:

“Since 19 September, in more than 300 missions, the Free Corps has executed its task with an amazing spirit of attack,”—now, that word “attack” was changed by superimposition to “defense”—“and with a willingness often reaching a degree of unqualified self-sacrifice. The result of the first phase of its activities: More than 1500 prisoners, 25 MG’s”—which I suppose means machine guns—“and a large amount of other weapons and equipment, aside from serious losses in dead and wounded suffered by the enemy.”—And there was superimposed in place of “enemy”, “the Czech terrorists.”

In his headquarters in the castle at Donndorf, Henlein was in close touch with Admiral Canaris of the Intelligence Division of the OKW and with the SS and the SA. The liaison officer between the SS and Henlein was Oberführer Gottlob Berger (SS).

I now offer in evidence Document 3036-PS as Exhibit USA-102, which is an affidavit executed by Gottlob Berger; and in connection with that affidavit, I wish to submit to the Tribunal that it presents, we think, quite a different question of proof from the Schuschnigg affidavits which were not admitted in evidence by the Court. Schuschnigg, of course, was a neutral and non-Nazi Austrian. He was not a member of this conspiracy, and I can well understand that the Court rejected his affidavit for these reasons.

This man was a Nazi. He was serving in this conspiracy. He has made this affidavit. We think the affidavit has probative value and should be admitted by the Tribunal under the pertinent provision of the Charter, which says that you will accept in evidence any evidence having probative value. We think it would be unfair to require us to bring here as a witness a man who would certainly be a hostile witness, who is to us a member of this conspiracy, and it seems to us that the affidavit should be admitted with leave to the defendants, if they wish, to call the author of the affidavit as their witness. I should have added that this man was a prominent member of the SS which is charged before you as being a criminal organization, and we think the document is perfectly competent in evidence as an admission against interest by a prominent member of the SS organization.

DR. STAHMER: Mr. President, the Defense objects to the use of this document. This document was drawn up as late as 22 November 1945, here in Nuremberg, and the witness Berger could, therefore, be brought to Court without any difficulty. We must insist that he be heard here on the subjects on which the Prosecution wishes to introduce his testimony. That would be the only way in which the Defense could have an opportunity of cross-examining the witness and thereby contribute to obtaining objective truth.

[Pause in the proceedings while the Tribunal consulted.]

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal upholds the objection and will not hear this affidavit. It is open to either the Prosecution or the defendants, of course, to call the man who made the affidavit. That is all I have to say. We have upheld your objection.

MR. ALDERMAN: If the Tribunal please, I had another affidavit by one Alfred Helmut Naujocks which, I take it, will be excluded under this same ruling, and which, therefore, I shall not offer.

THE PRESIDENT: If the circumstances are the same.

MR. ALDERMAN: Yes, I might merely refer to it for identification because it is in your document books.

THE PRESIDENT: Very well.

MR. ALDERMAN: It is Document 3029-PS.

THE PRESIDENT: Very well. That also will be rejected as evidence.

MR. ALDERMAN: Yes. Offensive operations along the Czechoslovakian border were not confined to skirmishes carried out by the Free Corps. Two SS-Totenkopf (Deathhead) battalions were operating across the border in Czech territory near Asch.

I quote now from Item 36 in the Schmundt file, an OKW most-secret order, signed by Jodl, and dated 28 September. This appears at Page 61 Of the Schmundt file:

“Supreme Command of the Armed Forces, Berlin, 28 September 1938; 45 copies, 16th copy; most secret.


“Subject: Four SS-Totenkopf battalions subordinate to the Commander-in-Chief Army.


“To: Reichsführer SS and Chief of the German Police (SS Central Office) (36th copy).


“By order of the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces the following battalions of the SS Deathhead organization will be under the command of the Commander-in-Chief of the Army with immediate effect.


“Second and Third Battalions of the 2d SS-Totenkopf Regiment Brandenburg at present in Brieg (Upper Silesia).


“First and Second Battalions of the 3d SS-Totenkopf Regiment Thuringia, at present in Radebeul and Kötzschenbroda near Dresden.


“Commander-in-Chief of the Army is requested to deploy these battalions for the West, (Upper Rhine) according to the Führer’s instructions.


“These SS-Totenkopf units now operating in the Asch promontory (I and II Battalions of the SS-Totenkopf Regiment Oberbayern) will come under the Commander-in-Chief of the Army only when they return to German Reich territory, or when the Army crosses the German-Czech frontier.


“It is requested that all further arrangements be made between Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Reichsführer SS (SS Central Office).


“For the Chief of the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces, Jodl.”

According to the 25 September entry in General Jodl’s diary, these SS-Totenkopf battalions were operating in this area on direct orders from Hitler. As the time X-Day approached, the disposition of the Free Corps became a matter of dispute.

On 26 September Himmler issued an order to the Chief of Staff of the Sudeten German Free Corps, directing that the Free Corps come under control of the Reichsführer SS in the event of German invasion of Czechoslovakia. This document is Item 37 in the Schmundt file, on Page 62.

On 28 September Defendant Keitel directed that as soon as the German Army crosses the Czech border, the Free Corps will take orders from the OKH. In this most-secret order of the OKW, Keitel discloses that Henlein’s men are already operating in Czechoslovak territory.

I read now from Item 34 of the Schmundt file on Page 58, the last three paragraphs of this most-secret order:

“For the Henlein Free Corps and units subordinate to it the principle remains valid, that they receive instructions direct from the Führer and that they carry out their operations only in conjunction with the competent corps headquarters. The advance units of the Free Corps will have to report to the local commander of the frontier guard immediately before crossing the frontier.


“Those units remaining forward of the frontier should, in their own interests, get into communication with the frontier guard as often as possible.


“As soon as the Army crosses the Czechoslovak border the Henlein Free Corps will be subordinate to the OKH. Thus it will be expedient to assign a sector to the Free Corps, even now, which can be fitted into the scheme of army boundaries later.”

On 30 September, when it became clear that the Munich Settlement would result in a peaceful occupation of the Sudetenland, the Defendant Keitel ordered that the Free Corps Henlein, in its present composition, be placed under the command of Himmler.

I read from Item 38, at Page 63, of the Schmundt file:

“1. Attachment of the Henlein Free Corps. The Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces has just ordered that the Henlein Free Corps in its present composition be placed under command of Reichsführer SS and the Chief of German Police. It is therefore not at the immediate disposal of OKH as field unit for the invasion, but is to be later drawn in, like the rest of the police forces, for police duties in agreement with the Reichsführer SS.”

I have been able, if the Tribunal please, to ascertain the dates the Tribunal asked about before the recess.

The first visit of Chamberlain to Germany in connection with this matter was 15 September 1938. Chamberlain flew to Munich and arrived at 12:30 o’clock on 15 September. He went by train from Munich to Berchtesgaden, arriving at 1600 hours, by car to Berghof, arriving about at 1650, for three talks with Hitler. On 16 September Chamberlain returned by air to London.

The second visit was on 22 September. Chamberlain met with Hitler at Bad Godesberg at 1700 hours for a 3-hour discussion, and it was a deadlock. On 23 September discussions were resumed at 2230 hours. On 24 September Chamberlain returned to London.

The third visit was on 29 September. Chamberlain flew to Munich and the meeting of Chamberlain, Mussolini, Daladier, and Hitler took place at the Brown House at 1330 and continued until 0230 hours on 30 September 1938, a Friday, when the Munich Agreement was signed. Under the threat of war by the Nazi conspirators, and with war in fact about to be launched, the United Kingdom and France concluded the Munich Pact with Germany and Italy at that early morning hour of 30 September 1938. This Treaty will be presented by the British prosecutor. It is sufficient for me to say of it at this point that it was the cession of the Sudetenland by Czechoslovakia to Germany. Czechoslovakia was required to acquiesce.

The Munich Pact will be TC-23 of the British documents.

On 1 October 1938 German troops began the occupation of the Sudetenland. During the conclusion of the Munich Pact the Wehrmacht had been fully deployed for the attack, awaiting only the word of Hitler to begin the assault.

With the cession of the Sudetenland new orders were issued. On 30 September the Defendant Keitel promulgated Directive Number 1 on occupation of territory separated from Czechoslovakia. This is Item 39 at Page 64 of the Schmundt file. This directive contained a timetable for the occupation of sectors of former Czech territory between 1 and 10 October and specified the tasks of the German Armed Forces.

I read now the fourth and fifth paragraphs of that document:

“2. The present degree of mobilized preparedness is to be maintained completely, for the present also in the West. Order for the rescinding of measures taken, is held over.


“The entry is to be planned in such a way that it can easily be converted into operation Grün.”

It contains one other important provision about the Henlein forces, and I quote from the list under the heading “a. Army”:

“Henlein Free Corps. All combat action on the part of the Volunteer Corps must cease as from 1st October.”

The Schmundt file contains a number of additional secret OKW directives giving instructions for the occupation of the Sudetenland. I think I need not read them, as they are not essential to the proof of our case. They merely indicate the scope of the preparations of the OKW.

Directives specifying the occupational area of the Army, the units under its command, arranging for communication facilities, supply, and propaganda, and giving instructions to the various departments of the Government were issued over Defendant Keitel’s signature on 30 September. These are Items 40, 41, and 42 in the Schmundt file. I think it is sufficient to read the caption and the signature.

THE PRESIDENT: What page?

MR. ALDERMAN: Page 66 of the English version. This is the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, most secret:

“Special Orders Number 1 to Directive Number 1. Subject: Occupation of Territory Ceded by Czechoslovakia.”—Signature—“Keitel.”

Item 41 is on Page 70 of the Schmundt file.

“Supreme Command of the Armed Forces; most secret IV a. Most secret; subject: Occupation of Sudeten-German Territory.”—Signed—“Keitel.”

Item 42 in the Schmundt file is on Page 75, again most secret.

“Subject: Occupation of the Sudeten-German Area.”—Signed—“Keitel.”

By 10 October Von Brauchitsch was able to report to Hitler that German troops had reached the demarcation line and that the order for the occupation of the Sudetenland had been fulfilled. The OKW requested Hitler’s permission to rescind Case Green, to withdraw troops from the occupied area, and to relieve the OKH of executive powers in the Sudeten-German area as of 15 October. These are Items 46, 47, and 48 in the Schmundt file.

Item 46, which appears at Page 77, is a letter from Berlin, dated October 10, 1938, signed by Von Brauchitsch:

“My Führer:


“I have to report that the troops will reach the demarcation line as ordered, by this evening. Insofar as further military operations are not required, the order for the occupation of the country which was given to me will thus have been fulfilled. The guarding of the new frontier line will be taken over by the reinforced frontier supervision service in the next few days.


“It is thus no longer a military necessity to combine the administration of the Sudetenland with the command of the troops of the Army under the control of one person.


“I therefore ask you, my Führer, to relieve me, with effect from 15 October 1938, of the charge assigned to me: That of exercising executive powers in Sudeten-German Territory.


“Heil, my Führer, Von Brauchitsch.”

Item 47 of the Schmundt file, appearing on Page 78, is a secret telegram from the OKW to the Führer’s train, Lieutenant Colonel Schmundt:

“If evening report shows that occupation of Zone 5 has been completed without incident, OKW intends to order further demobilization.


“Principle: 1) To suspend operation Grün but maintain a sufficient state of preparedness on part of Army and Luftwaffe to make intervention possible if necessary. 2) All units not needed to be withdrawn from the occupied area and reduced to peacetime status, as population of occupied area is heavily burdened by the massing of troops.”

Skipping to below the OKW signature, this appears, at the left:

“Führer’s decision:


“1. Agreed.


“2. Suggestion to be made on the 13 October in Essen by General Keitel. Decision will then be reached.”

On the same date additional demobilization of the forces in the Sudetenland was ordered by Hitler and Defendant Keitel. Three days later the OKW requested Hitler’s consent to the reversion of the RAD (Labor Corps) from the control of the Armed Forces. These are Items 52 and 53 in the Schmundt file.

As the German forces entered the Sudetenland, Henlein’s Sudetendeutsche Partei was merged with the NSDAP of Hitler. The two men who had fled to Hitler’s protection in mid-September, Henlein and Karl Hermann Frank, were appointed Gauleiter and Deputy Gauleiter, respectively, of the Sudetengau. In the parts of the Czechoslovak Republic that were still free the Sudetendeutsche Partei constituted itself as the National Socialistic German Worker Party in Czechoslovakia, NSDAP in Czechoslovakia, under the direction of Kundt, another of Henlein’s deputies.

The Tribunal will find these events set forth in the Czechoslovak official report, Document 998-PS.

The stage was now prepared for the next move of the Nazi conspirators, the plan for the conquest of the remainder of Czechoslovakia. With the occupation of the Sudetenland and the inclusion of German-speaking Czechs within the Greater Reich, it might have been expected that the Nazi conspirators would be satisfied. Thus far in their program of aggression the defendants had used as a pretext for their conquests the union of the Volksdeutsche, the people of German descent, with the Reich. Now, after Munich, the Volksdeutsche in Czechoslovakia have been substantially all returned to German rule.

On 26 September, at the Sportpalast in Berlin, Hitler spoke to the world. I now refer and invite the notice of the Tribunal to the Völkischer Beobachter, Munich edition, special edition for 27 September 1938, in which this speech is quoted. I read from Page 2, Column 1, quoting from Hitler:

“And now we are confronted with the last problem which must be solved and will be solved. It is the last territorial claim” . . .

THE PRESIDENT: Is this document in our documents?

MR. ALDERMAN: No. I am asking the Court to take judicial notice of that.

THE PRESIDENT: Very well.

MR. ALDERMAN: It is a well-known German publication.

“It is the last territorial claim which I have to make in Europe, but it is a claim from which I will not swerve and which I will satisfy, God willing.” (Document Number 2358-PS.)

And further:

“I have little to explain. I am grateful to Mr. Chamberlain for all his efforts, and I have assured him that the German people want nothing but peace; but I have also told him that I cannot go back beyond the limits of our patience.”

This is Page 2, Column 1.

“I assured him, moreover, and I repeat it here, that when this problem is solved there will be no more territorial problems for Germany in Europe. And I further assured him that from the moment, when Czechoslovakia solves its other problems—that is to say, when the Czechs have come to an arrangement with their other minorities peacefully and without oppression—I will no longer be interested in the Czech State. And that, as far as I am concerned, I will guarantee it. We don’t want any Czechs!”

The major portion of the passage I have quoted will be contained in Document TC-28, which I think, will be offered by the British prosecutor.

Yet two weeks later Hitler and Defendant Keitel were preparing estimates of the military forces required to break Czechoslovak resistance in Bohemia and Moravia.

I now read from Item 48, at Page 82, of the Schmundt file. This is a top-secret telegram sent by Keitel to Hitler’s headquarters on 11 October 1938 in answer to four questions which Hitler had propounded to the OKW. I think it is sufficient merely to read the questions which Hitler had propounded:

“Question 1. What reinforcements are necessary in the situation to break all Czech resistance in Bohemia and Moravia?


“Question 2. How much time is requested for the regrouping or moving up of new forces?


“Question 3. How much time will be required for the same purpose if it is executed after the intended demobilization and return measures?


“Question 4. How much time would be required to achieve the state of readiness of 1 October?”

On 21 October, the same day on which the administration of the Sudetenland was handed over to the civilian authorities, a directive outlining plans for the conquest of the remainder of Czechoslovakia was signed by Hitler and initialed by the Defendant Keitel.

I now offer in evidence Document C-136 as Exhibit USA-104, a top-secret order of which 10 copies were made, this being the first copy, signed in ink by Keitel.

In this order, issued only 3 weeks after the winning of the Sudetenland, the Nazi conspirators are already looking forward to new conquests. I quote the first part of the body of the document:

“The future tasks for the Armed Forces and the preparations for the conduct of war resulting from these tasks will be laid down by me in a later directive. Until this directive comes into force the Armed Forces must be prepared at all times for the following eventualities:


“1) The securing of the frontiers of Germany and the protection against surprise air attacks.


“2) The liquidation of the remainder of Czechoslovakia.


“3) The occupation of the Memel.”

And then proceeding, the statement following Number 2:

“Liquidation of the remainder of Czechoslovakia: It must be possible to smash at any time the remainder of Czechoslovakia if her policy should become hostile towards Germany.


“The preparations to be made by the Armed Forces for this contingency will be considerably smaller in extent than those for Grün; they must, however, guarantee a continuous and considerably higher state of preparedness, since planned mobilization measures have been dispensed with. The organization, order of battle, and state of readiness of the units earmarked for that purpose are in peacetime to be so arranged for a surprise assault that Czechoslovakia herself will be deprived of all possibility of organized resistance. The object is the swift occupation of Bohemia and Moravia and the cutting off of Slovakia. The preparations should be such that at the same time ‘Grenzsicherung West’ ”—the measures of frontier defense in the West—“can be carried out.


“The detailed mission of Army and Air Force is as follows:


“a. Army: The units stationed in the vicinity of Bohemia-Moravia and several motorized divisions are to be earmarked for a surprise type of attack. Their number will be determined by the forces remaining in Czechoslovakia; a quick and decisive success must be assured. The assembly and preparations for the attack must be worked out. Forces not needed will be kept in readiness in such a manner that they may be either committed in securing the frontiers or sent after the attack army.


“b. Air Force: The quick advance of the German Army is to be assured by early elimination of the Czech Air Force. For this purpose the commitment in a surprise attack from peacetime bases has to be prepared. Whether for this purpose still stronger forces may be required can be determined from the development of the military-political situation in Czechoslovakia only. At the same time a simultaneous assembly of the remainder of the offensive forces against the West must be prepared.”

And then Part 3 goes on under the heading, “Annexation of the Memel District.”

It is signed by Adolf Hitler and authenticated by Defendant Keitel. It was distributed to the OKH, to Defendant Göring’s Luftwaffe, and to Defendant Raeder at Navy headquarters.

Two months later, on 17 December 1938, Defendant Keitel issued an appendix to the original order, stating that by command of the Führer preparations for the liquidation of Czechoslovakia are to continue.

I offer in evidence Document C-138 as Exhibit USA-105, and other captured OKW documents classified top secret.

Distribution of this order was the same as for the 21 October order. I shall read the body of this order.

“Corollary to Directive of 21. 10. 38.


“Reference: ‘Liquidation of the Rest of Czechoslovakia.’ The Führer has given the following additional order:


“The preparations for this eventuality are to continue on the assumption that no resistance worth mentioning is to be expected.


“To the outside world too it must clearly appear that it is merely an action of pacification, and not a warlike undertaking.


“The action must therefore be carried out by the peacetime Armed Forces only, without reinforcements from mobilization. The necessary readiness for action, especially the ensuring that the most necessary supplies are brought up, must be effected by adjustment within the units.


“Similarly the units of the Army detailed for the march in must, as a general rule, leave their stations only during the night prior to the crossing of the frontier, and will not previously form up systematically on the frontier. The transport necessary for previous organization should be limited to the minimum and will be camouflaged as much as possible. Necessary movements, if any, of single units and particularly of motorized forces, to the troop training areas situated near the frontier, must have the approval of the Führer.


“The Air Force should take action in accordance with the similar general directives.


“For the same reasons the exercise of executive power by the Supreme Command of the Army is laid down only for the newly occupied territory and only for a short period.”—Signed—“Keitel.”

I invite the attention of the Tribunal to the fact that this particular copy of this order, an original carbon signed in ink by Keitel, was the one sent to the OKM, the German Naval headquarters. It bears the initials of Fricke, head of the Operation Division of the naval war staff; Schniewind, Chief of Staff; and of Defendant Raeder.

As the Wehrmacht moved forward, with plans for what it clearly considered would be an easy victory, the Foreign Office played its part. In a discussion of means of improving German-Czech relations with the Czech Foreign Minister Chvalkovsky in Berlin on 31 January 1939, Defendant Ribbentrop urged upon the Czech Government a quick reduction in the size of the Czech Army. I offer in evidence Document 2795-PS as Exhibit USA-106, captured German Foreign Office notes of this discussion. I will read only the footnote, which is in Ribbentrop’s handwriting:

“I mentioned to Chvalkovsky especially that a quick reduction in the Czech Army would be decisive in our judgment.”

Does the Court propose sitting beyond 4:30?

THE PRESIDENT: No, I think not. The Tribunal will adjourn.

[The Tribunal adjourned until 4 December 1945 at 1000 hours.]


TWELFTH DAY
Tuesday, 4 December 1945

Morning Session

THE PRESIDENT: I will call on the Chief Prosecutor for Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

SIR HARTLEY SHAWCROSS (Chief Prosecutor for the United Kingdom): May it please the Tribunal, on an occasion to which reference has and will be made, Hitler, the leader of the Nazi conspirators who are now on trial before you, is reported as having said, in reference to their warlike plans:

“I shall give a propagandist cause for starting the war, never mind whether it be true or not. The victor shall not be asked later on whether he told the truth or not. In starting and making a war, not the right is what matters, but victory—the strongest has the right.”

The British Empire with its Allies has twice, within the space of 25 years, been victorious in wars which have been forced upon it, but it is precisely because we realize that victory is not enough, that might is not necessarily right, that lasting peace and the rule of international law is not to be secured by the strong arm alone, that the British nation is taking part in this Trial. There are those who would perhaps say that these wretched men should have been dealt with summarily without trial by “executive action”; that their power for evil broken, they should have been swept aside into oblivion without this elaborate and careful investigation into the part which they played in bringing this war about: Vae Victis! Let them pay the penalty of defeat. But that was not the view of the British Government. Not so would the rule of law be raised and strengthened on the international as well as upon the municipal plane; not so would future generations realize that right is not always on the side of the big battalions; not so would the world be made aware that the waging of aggressive war is not only a dangerous venture but a criminal one.

Human memory is very short. Apologists for defeated nations are sometimes able to play upon the sympathy and magnanimity of their victors, so that the true facts, never authoritatively recorded, become obscured and forgotten. One has only to recall the circumstances following upon the last World War to see the dangers to which, in the absence of any authoritative judicial pronouncement, a tolerant or a credulous people is exposed. With the passage of time the former tend to discount, perhaps because of their very horror, the stories of aggression and atrocity that may be handed down; and the latter, the credulous, misled by perhaps fanatical and perhaps dishonest propagandists, come to believe that it was not they but their opponents who were guilty of that which they would themselves condemn. And so we believe that this Tribunal, acting, as we know it will act notwithstanding its appointment by the victorious powers, with complete and judicial objectivity, will provide a contemporary touchstone and an authoritative and impartial record to which future historians may turn for truth, and future politicians for warning. From this record shall future generations know not only what our generation suffered, but also that our suffering was the result of crimes, crimes against the laws of peoples which the peoples of the world upheld and will continue in the future to uphold—to uphold by international co-operation, not based merely on military alliances, but grounded, and firmly grounded, in the rule of law.

Nor, though this procedure and this Indictment of individuals may be novel, is there anything new in the principles which by this prosecution we seek to enforce. Ineffective though, alas, the sanctions proved and showed to be, the nations of the world had, as it will be my purpose in addressing the Tribunal to show, sought to make aggressive war an international crime, and although previous tradition has sought to punish states rather than individuals, it is both logical and right that, if the act of waging war is itself an offense against international law, those individuals who shared personal responsibility for bringing such wars about should answer personally for the course into which they led their states. Again, individual war crimes have long been recognized by international law as triable by the courts of those states whose nationals have been outraged, at least so long as a state of war persists. It would be illogical in the extreme if those who, although they may not with their own hands have committed individual crimes, were responsible for systematic breaches of the laws of war affecting the nationals of many states should escape for that reason. So also in regard to Crimes against Humanity. The rights of humanitarian intervention on behalf of the rights of man, trampled upon by a state in a manner shocking the sense of mankind, has long been considered to form part of the recognized law of nations. Here too, the Charter merely develops a pre-existing principle. If murder, rapine, and robbery are indictable under the ordinary municipal laws of our countries, shall those who differ from the common criminal only by the extent and systematic nature of their offenses escape accusation?

It is, as I shall show, the view of the British Government that in these matters, this Tribunal will be applying to individuals, not the law of the victor, but the accepted principles of international usage in a way which will, if anything can, promote and fortify the rule of international law and safeguard the future peace and security of this war-stricken world.

By agreement between the chief prosecutors, it is my task, on behalf of the British Government and of the other states associated in this Prosecution, to present the case on Count Two of the Indictment and to show how these defendants, in conspiracy with each other, and with persons not now before this Tribunal, planned and waged a war of aggression in breach of the treaty obligations by which, under international law, Germany, as other states, has thought to make such wars impossible.

The task falls into two parts. The first is to demonstrate the nature and the basis of the Crime against Peace, which is constituted under the Charter of this Tribunal, by waging wars of aggression and in violation of treaties; and the second is to establish beyond all possibility of doubt that such wars were waged by these defendants.

As to the first, it would no doubt be sufficient just to say this. It is not incumbent upon the Prosecution to prove that wars of aggression and wars in violation of international treaties are, or ought to be, international crimes. The Charter of this Tribunal has prescribed that they are crimes and that the Charter is the statute and the law of this Court. Yet, though that is the clear and mandatory law governing the jurisdiction of this Tribunal, we feel that we should not be discharging our task in the abiding interest of international justice and morality unless we showed to the Tribunal, and indeed to the world, the position of this provision of the Charter against the general perspective of international law. For, just as in the experience of our country, some old English statutes were merely declaratory of the common law, so today this Charter merely declares and creates a jurisdiction in respect of what was already the law of nations.

Nor is it unimportant to emphasize that aspect of the matter, lest there may be some, now or hereafter, who might allow their judgment to be warped by plausible catchwords or by an uninformed and distorted sense of justice towards these defendants. It is not difficult to be misled by such criticisms as that resort to war in the past has not been a crime; that the power to resort to war is one of the prerogatives of the sovereign state; even that this Charter, in constituting wars of aggression a crime, has imitated one of the most obnoxious, doctrines of National Socialist jurisprudence, namely post factum legislation—that the Charter is in this respect reminiscent of bills of attainder—and that these proceedings are no more than a measure of vengeance, subtly concealed in the garb of judicial proceedings which the victor wreaks upon the vanquished. These things may sound plausible—yet they are not true. It is, indeed, not necessary to doubt that some aspects of the Charter bear upon them the imprint of significant and salutary novelty. But it is our submission and our conviction, which we affirm before this Tribunal and the world, that fundamentally the provision of the Charter which constitutes wars, such wars as these defendants joined in waging and in planning a crime, is not in any way an innovation. This provision of the Charter does no more than constitute a competent jurisdiction for the punishment of what not only the enlightened conscience of mankind but the law of nations itself had constituted an international crime before this Tribunal was established and this Charter became part of the public law of the world.

So first let this be said:

Whilst it may be quite true that there is no body of international rules amounting to law in the Austinian sense of a rule imposed by a sovereign upon a subject obliged to obey it under some definite sanction; yet for 50 years or more the people of the world, striving perhaps after that ideal of which the poet speaks:

“When the war drums throb no longer

And the battle flags are furled,

In the parliament of man,

The federation of the world”—

sought to create an operative system of rules based upon the consent of nations to stabilize international relations, to avoid war taking place at all and to mitigate the results of such wars as took place. The first treaty was of course the Hague Convention of 1899 for the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes. That Convention was, indeed, of no more than precatory effect, and we attach no weight to it for the purposes of this case, but it did establish agreement that, in the event of serious disputes arising between the signatory powers, they would as far as possible submit to mediation. That Convention was followed in 1907 by another convention reaffirming and slightly strengthening what had previously been agreed. These early conventions fell, indeed, very far short of outlawing war, or of creating any binding obligation to arbitrate. I shall certainly not ask the Tribunal to say any crime was committed by disregarding those conventions.

But at least they established that the contracting powers accepted the general principle that, if at all possible, war should be resorted to only if mediation failed.

Although these conventions are mentioned in this Indictment, I am not relying on them save to show the historical development of the law, and it is unnecessary, therefore, to argue about their precise effect, for the place which they once occupied has been taken by far more effective instruments. I mention them now merely for this, that they were the first steps towards that body of rules of law which we are seeking here to enforce.

There were, of course, other individual agreements between particular states, agreements which sought to preserve the neutrality of individual countries, as, for instance, that of Belgium, but those agreements were inadequate, in the absence of any real will to comply with them, to prevent the first World War in 1914.

Shocked by the occurrence of that catastrophe, the nations of Europe, not excluding Germany, and of other parts of the world, came to the conclusion that, in the interests of all alike, a permanent organization of the nations should be established to maintain the peace. And so the Treaty of Versailles was prefaced by the Covenant of the League of Nations.

Now, I say nothing at this moment of the general merits of the various provisions of the Treaty of Versailles. They have been criticized, some of them perhaps justly criticized, and they were certainly made the subject of much bellicose propaganda in Germany. But it is unnecessary to inquire into the merits of the matter, for, however unjust one might for this purpose assume the provisions of the Treaty of Versailles to have been, they contained no kind of excuse for the waging of war to secure an alteration in their terms. Not only was that treaty a settlement, by agreement, of all the difficult territorial questions which had been left outstanding by the war itself, but it established the League of Nations which, if it had been loyally supported, could so well have resolved those international differences which might otherwise have led, as indeed they eventually did lead, to war. It set up in the Council of the League, in the Assembly and in the Permanent Court of International Justice, a machine not only for the peaceful settlement of international disputes, but also for the frank ventilation of all international questions by open and free discussion. At that time, in those years after the last war, the hopes of the world stood high. Millions of men in all countries—perhaps even in Germany itself—had laid down their lives in what they hoped and believed was a war to end war. Germany herself entered the League of Nations and was given a permanent seat on the Council; and on that Council, as in the assembly of the League, German governments which preceded that of the Defendant Von Papen in 1932 played their full part. In the years from 1919 to that time in 1932, despite some comparatively minor incidents in the heated atmosphere which followed the end of the war, the peaceful operation of the League continued. Nor was it only the operation of the League which gave ground, and good ground, for hope that at long last the rule of law would replace anarchy in the international field.

The statesmen of the world deliberately set out to make wars of aggression an international crime. These are no new terms invented by the victors to embody in this Charter. They have figured, and they have figured prominently, in numerous treaties, in governmental pronouncements, and in the declarations of statesmen in the period preceding the second World War. In treaties concluded between the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and other states, such as Persia in 1927, France in 1935, China in 1937, the contracting parties undertook to refrain from any act of aggression whatever against the other party. In 1933 the Soviet Union became a party to a large number of treaties containing a detailed definition of aggression, and the same definition appeared in the same year in the authoritative report of the Committee on Questions of Security set up in connection with the Conference for the Reduction and Limitation of Armaments. But at this time states were going beyond commitments to refrain from wars of aggression and to assist states which were victims of aggression. They were condemning aggression in unmistakable terms. Thus in the Anti-War Treaty of Non-Aggression and Conciliation, which was signed on the 10th of October 1933, by a number of American states, subsequently joined by practically all the states of the American continents and a number of European countries as well, the contracting parties solemnly declared that “they condemn wars of aggression in their mutual relations or in those of other states.” And that treaty was fully incorporated into the Buenos Aires convention of December 1936, signed and ratified by a large number of American countries, including, of course, the United States. And previously, in 1928, the 6th Pan-American Conference had adopted a resolution declaring that, as “war of aggression constitutes a crime against the human species . . . all aggression is illicit and as such is declared prohibited.” A year earlier, as long ago as September 1927, the Assembly of the League of Nations adopted a resolution affirming the conviction that “a war of aggression can never serve as a means of settling international disputes and is, in consequence, an international crime” and going on to declare that “all wars of aggression are, and shall always be prohibited.”

The first article of the draft Treaty for Mutual Assistance of 1923 read in these terms:

“The High Contracting Parties, affirming that aggressive war is an international crime, undertake the solemn engagement not to make themselves guilty of this crime against any other nation.”

In the Preamble to the Geneva Protocol of 1924, it was stated that “offensive warfare constitutes an infraction of solidarity and an international crime.” These instruments that I have just last mentioned remained, it is true, unratified for various reasons, but they are not without significance or value.

These repeated declarations, these repeated condemnations of wars of aggression testified to the fact that with the establishment of the League of Nations, with the legal developments which followed it, the place of war in international law had undergone a profound change. War was ceasing to be the unrestricted prerogative of sovereign states. The Covenant of the League of Nations did not totally abolish the right of war. It left, perhaps, certain gaps which were possibly larger in theory than in practice. But in effect it surrounded the right of war by procedural and substantive checks and delays, which, if the Covenant had been faithfully observed, would have amounted to an elimination of war, not only between members of the League, but also, by reason of certain provisions of the Covenant, in the relations of non-members as well. And thus the Covenant of the League restored the position as it existed at the dawn of international law, at the time when Grotius was laying down the foundations of the modern law of nations and established the distinction, a distinction accompanied by profound legal consequences in the sphere, for instance, of neutrality, between a just war and an unjust war.

Nor was that development arrested with the adoption of the Covenant of the League. The right of war was further circumscribed by a series of treaties, numbering—it is an astonishing figure but it is right—nearly a thousand, of arbitration and conciliation embracing practically all the nations of the world. The so-called Optional Clause of Article 36 of the Statute of the Permanent Court of International Justice, the clause which conferred upon the Court compulsory jurisdiction in regard to the most comprehensive categories of disputes, and which constituted in effect by far the most important compulsory treaty of arbitration in the postwar period, was widely signed and ratified. Germany herself signed it in 1927 and her signature was renewed, and renewed for a period of 5 years by the Nazi government in July of 1933. (Significantly, that ratification was not again renewed on the expiration of its 5 years’ validity in March of 1938 by Germany). Since 1928 a considerable number of states signed and ratified the General Act for the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes which was designed to fill the gaps left by the Optional Clause and by the existing treaties of arbitration and conciliation.

And all this vast network of instruments of pacific settlement testified to the growing conviction throughout the civilized world that war was ceasing to be the normal or the legitimate means of settling international disputes. The express condemnation of wars of aggression, which I have already mentioned, supplies the same testimony. But there was, of course, more direct evidence pointing in the same direction. The Treaty of Locarno of the 16th October 1925, to which I shall have occasion to refer presently, and to which Germany was a party, was more than a treaty of arbitration and conciliation in which the parties undertook definite obligations with regard to the pacific settlement of disputes which might arise between them. It was, subject to clearly specified exceptions of self-defense in certain contingencies, a more general undertaking in which the parties to it agreed that “they would in no case attack or invade each other or resort to war against each other.” And that constituted a general renunciation of war, and it was so considered to be in the eyes of international jurists and in the public opinion of the world. The Locarno Treaty was not just another of the great number of arbitration treaties which were being concluded at this time. It was regarded as a kind of cornerstone in the European settlement and in the new legal order in Europe in partial, just, and indeed, generous substitution for the rigors of the Treaty of Versailles. And with that treaty, the term “outlawry of war” left the province of mere pacifist propaganda. It became current in the writings on international law and in the official pronouncements of governments. No one could any longer say, after the Locarno Treaty—no one could any longer associate himself with the plausible assertion that at all events, as between the parties to that treaty, war remained an unrestricted right of sovereign states.

But, although the effect of the Locarno Treaty was limited to the parties to it, it had wider influence in paving the way towards that most fundamental, that truly revolutionary enactment in modern international law, namely, the General Treaty for the Renunciation of War of 27 August 1928, the Pact of Paris, the Kellogg-Briand Pact. That treaty, a most deliberate and carefully prepared piece of international legislation, was binding in 1939 on more than 60 nations, including Germany. It was, and it has remained, the most widely signed and ratified international instrument. It contained no provision for its termination, and it was conceived, as I said, as the cornerstone of any future international order worthy of the name. It is fully part of international law as it stands today, and it has in no way been modified or replaced by the Charter of the United Nations. It is right, in this solemn hour in the history of the world, when the responsible leaders of a state stand accused of a premeditated breach of this great treaty which was, which remains, a source of hope and of faith for mankind, to set out in detail its two operative articles and its Preamble. Let me read them to the Tribunal—first the Preamble, and it starts like this:

“The President of the German Reich”—and the other states associated . . .

THE PRESIDENT: Shall we find it among the documents?

SIR HARTLEY SHAWCROSS: It will be put in. I don’t think you have it at the moment.

“The President of the German Reich . . . deeply sensitive of their solemn duty to promote the welfare of mankind; persuaded that the time has come when a frank renunciation of war as an instrument of international policy should be made to the end that the peaceful and friendly relations now existing between their peoples may be perpetuated; convinced that all changes in their relations with one another should be sought only by pacific means and be the result of a peaceful and orderly progress, and that any signatory power which shall hereafter seek to promote its national interests by resort to war, should be denied the benefits furnished by this Treaty; hopeful that, encouraged by their example, all the other nations of the world will join in this humane endeavor and by adhering to the present treaty as soon as it comes into force bring their peoples within the scope of its beneficent provisions, thus uniting civilized nations of the world in a common renunciation of war as an instrument of their national policy . . . .”

Then, Article I:

“The High Contracting Parties solemnly declare in the names of their respective peoples that they condemn recourse to war for the solution of international controversies and renounce it as an instrument of national policy in their relations with one another.”

And Article II:

“The High Contracting Parties agree that the settlement or solution of all disputes or conflicts of whatever nature or of whatever origin they may be, which may arise among them, shall never be sought except by pacific means.”

In that treaty, that General Treaty for the Renunciation of War, practically the whole civilized world abolished war as a legally permissible means of enforcing the law or of changing it. The right of war was no longer of the essence of sovereignty. Whatever the position may have been at the time of the Hague Convention, whatever the position may have been in 1914, whatever it may have been in 1918—and it is not necessary to discuss it—no international lawyer of repute, no responsible statesman, no soldier concerned with the legal use of armed forces, no economist or industrialist concerned in his country’s war economy could doubt that with the Pact of Paris on the statute book a war of aggression was contrary to international law. Nor have the repeated violations of the Pact by the Axis Powers in any way affected its validity. Let this be firmly and clearly stated. Those very breaches, except perhaps to the cynic and the malevolent, have added to the strength of the treaty; they provoked the sustained wrath of peoples angered by the contemptuous disregard of this great statute and determined to vindicate its provisions. The Pact of Paris is the law of nations. This Tribunal will declare it. The world must enforce it.

Let this also be said, that the Pact of Paris was not a clumsy instrument likely to become a kind of signpost for the guilty. It did not enable Germany to go to war against Poland and yet rely, as against Great Britain and France, on any immunity from warlike action because of the very provisions of the pact. For the pact laid down expressly in its preamble that no state guilty of a violation of its provisions might invoke its benefits. And when, on the outbreak of the second World War, Great Britain and France communicated to the League of Nations that a state of war existed between them and Germany as from the 3rd of September 1939, they declared that by committing an act of aggression against Poland, Germany had violated her obligations assumed not only towards Poland but also towards the other signatories of the pact. A violation of the pact in relation to one signatory was an attack upon all the other signatories and they were entitled to treat it as such. I emphasize that point lest any of these defendants should seize upon the letter of the particulars of Count Two of the Indictment and seek to suggest that it was not Germany who initiated war with the United Kingdom and France on 3 September 1939. The declaration of war came from the United Kingdom and from France; the act of war and its commencement came from Germany in violation of the fundamental enactment to which she was a party.

The General Treaty for the Renunciation of War, this great constitutional instrument of an international society awakened to the deadly dangers of another Armageddon, did not remain an isolated effort soon to be forgotten in the turmoil of recurrent international crises. It became, in conjunction with the Covenant of the League of Nations or independently of it, the starting point for a new orientation of governments in matters of peace, war, and neutrality. It is of importance, I think, to quote just one or two of the statements which were being made by governments at that time in relation to the effect of the pact. In 1929 His Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom said, in connection with the question of conferring upon the Permanent Court of International Justice jurisdiction with regard to the exercise of belligerent rights in relation to neutral states—and it illustrates the profound change which was being accepted as having taken place as a result of the Pact of Paris in international law:

“But the whole situation . . . . rests, and international law on the subject has been entirely built up, on the assumption that there is nothing illegitimate in the use of war as an instrument of national policy, and, as a necessary corollary, that the position and rights of neutrals are entirely independent of the circumstances of any war which may be in progress. Before the acceptance of the Covenant, the basis of the law of neutrality was that the rights and obligations of neutrals were identical as regards both belligerents, and were entirely independent of the rights and wrongs of the dispute which had led to the war, or the respective position of the belligerents at the bar of world opinion.”

Then the Government went on:

“Now it is precisely this assumption which is no longer valid as regards states which are members of the League of Nations and parties to the Peace Pact. The effect of those instruments, taken together, is to deprive nations of the right to employ war as an instrument of national policy, and to forbid the states which have signed them to give aid or comfort to an offender.”

This was being said in 1929, when there was no war upon the horizon.

“As between such states, there has been in consequence a fundamental change in the whole question of belligerent and neutral rights. The whole policy of His Majesty’s present Government (and, it would appear, of any alternative government) is based upon a determination to comply with their obligations under the Covenant of the League and the Peace Pact. This being so, the situation which we have to envisage in the event of a war in which we were engaged is not one in which the rights and duties of belligerents and neutrals will depend upon the old rules of war and neutrality, but one in which the position of the members of the League will be determined by the Covenant and by the Pact.”

The Chief Prosecutor for the United States of America referred in his opening speech before this Tribunal to the weighty pronouncement of Mr. Stimson, the Secretary of War, in which, in 1932, he gave expression to the drastic change brought about in international law by the Pact of Paris, and it is perhaps convenient to quote the relevant passage in full:

“War between nations was renounced by the signatories of the Kellogg-Briand Pact. This means that it has become illegal throughout practically the entire world. It is no longer to be the source and subject of rights. It is no longer to be the principle around which the duties, the conduct, and the rights of nations revolve. It is an illegal thing. Hereafter, when two nations engage in armed conflict, either one or both of them must be wrongdoers—violators of this general treaty law. We no longer draw a circle about them and treat them with the punctilios of the duelist’s code. Instead we denounce them as law-breakers.”

And nearly 10 years later, when numerous independent states lay prostrate, shattered or menaced in their very existence before the impact of the war machine of the Nazi State, the Attorney General of the United States, subsequently a distinguished member of the highest Tribunal of that great country, gave significant expression to the change which had been effected in the law as the result of the Pact of Paris in a speech for which the freedom-loving peoples of the world will always be grateful. On the 27th of March 1941—and I mention it now not as merely being the speech of a statesman, although it was certainly that, but as being the considered opinion of a distinguished lawyer,—he said this:

“The Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928, in which Germany, Italy and Japan covenanted with us, as well as with other nations, to renounce war as an instrument of policy, made definite the outlawry of war and of necessity altered the dependent concept of neutral obligations.


“The Treaty for the Renunciation of War and the Argentine Anti-War Treaty deprived their signatories of the right of war as an instrument of national policy or aggression and rendered unlawful wars undertaken in violation of these provisions. In consequence these treaties destroyed the historical and juridical foundations of the doctrine of neutrality conceived as an attitude of absolute impartiality in relation to aggressive wars . . . .


“It follows that the state which has gone to war in violation of its obligations acquires no right to equality of treatment from other states, unless treaty obligations require different handling of affairs. It derives no rights from its illegality.


“In flagrant cases of aggression where the facts speak so unambiguously that world opinion takes what may be the equivalent of judicial notice, we may not stymie international law and allow these great treaties to become dead letters. The intelligent public opinion of the world which is not afraid to be vocal, and the action of the American States, has made a determination that the Axis Powers are the aggressors in the wars today, which is an appropriate basis in the present state of international organizations for our policy.”

Thus, there is no doubt that by the time the National Socialist State of Germany had embarked upon the preparation of the war of aggression against the civilized world and by the time it had accomplished that design, aggressive war had become, in virtue of the Pact of Paris and the other treaties and declarations to which I have referred, illegal and a crime beyond all uncertainty and doubt. And it is on that proposition, and fundamentally on that universal treaty, the Kellogg-Briand Pact, that Count Two of this Indictment is principally based.

The Prosecution has deemed it necessary—indeed, imperative—to establish beyond all possibility of question, at what I am afraid may appear to be excessive length, that only superficial learning or culpable sentimentality can assert that there is any significant element of retroactivity in the determination of the authors of this Charter to treat aggressive war as conduct which international law has prohibited and stigmatized as criminal. We have traced the progressive limitation of the rights of war, the renunciation and condemnation of wars of aggression, and above all, the total prohibition and condemnation of all wars conceived as an instrument of national policy. What statesman or politician in charge of the affairs of nations could doubt, from 1928 onwards, that aggressive war, or that all war, except in self-defense or for the collective enforcement of the law, or against a state which had itself violated the Pact of Paris, was unlawful and outlawed? What statesman or politician embarking upon such a war could reasonably and justifiably count upon an immunity other than that of a successful outcome of the criminal venture? What more decisive evidence of a prohibition laid down by positive international law could any lawyer desire than that which has been adduced before this Tribunal?

There are, it is true, some small town lawyers who deny the very existence of any international law; and indeed, as I have said, the rules of the law of nations may not satisfy the Austinian test of being imposed by a sovereign. But the legal regulation of international relations rests upon quite different juridical foundations. It depends upon consent, but upon a consent which, once given, cannot be withdrawn by unilateral action. In the international field the source of law is not the command of a sovereign but the treaty agreement binding upon every state which has adhered to it. And it is indeed true, and the recognition of its truth today by all the great powers of the world is vital to our future peace—it is indeed true that, as M. Litvinov once said, and as Great Britain fully accepts:

“Absolute sovereignty and entire liberty of action only belong to such states as have not undertaken international obligations. Immediately a state accepts international obligations it limits its sovereignty.”

In that way and that way alone lies the future peace of the world. Yet it may be argued that although war itself was outlawed and forbidden, it was not criminally outlawed and criminally forbidden. International law, it may be said, does not attribute criminality to states and still less to individuals. But can it really be said on behalf of these defendants that the offense of these aggressive wars, which plunged millions of people to their death, which by dint of War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity brought about the torture and extermination of countless thousands of innocent civilians, which devastated cities, which destroyed the amenities—nay, the most rudimentary necessities of civilization in many countries—which has brought the world to the brink of ruin from which it will take generations to recover—will it seriously be said by these defendants that such a war is only an offense, only an illegality, only a matter of condemnation perhaps sounding in damages, but not a crime justiciable by any Tribunal? No law worthy of the name can allow itself to be reduced to an absurdity in that way, and certainly the great powers responsible for this Charter were not prepared to admit it. They draw the inescapable conclusion from the renunciation, the prohibition, the condemnation of war which had become part of the law of nations, and they refuse to reduce justice to impotence by subscribing to the outworn doctrines that a sovereign state can commit no crime and that no crime can be committed on behalf of the sovereign state by individuals acting in its behalf. They refuse to stultify themselves, and their refusal and their decision has decisively shaped the law for this Tribunal.

If this be an innovation, it is an innovation long overdue—a desirable and beneficent innovation fully consistent with justice, fully consistent with common sense and with the abiding purposes of the law of nations. But is it indeed an innovation? Or is it no more than the logical development of the law? There was indeed a time when international lawyers used to maintain that the liability of the state, because of its sovereignty, was limited to a contractual responsibility. International tribunals have not accepted that view. They have repeatedly affirmed that a state can commit a tort; that it may be guilty of trespass, of nuisance, and of negligence. And they have gone further. They have held that a state may be bound to pay what are in effect penal damages. In a recent case decided in 1935 between the United States and Canada, an arbitral tribunal, with the concurrence of its American member, decided that the United States were bound to pay what amounted to penal damages for an affront to Canadian sovereignty. And on a wider plane, the Covenant of the League of Nations, in providing for sanctions, recognized the principle of enforcement of the law against collective units, such enforcement to be, if necessary, of a penal character. And so there is not anything startlingly new in the adoption of the principle that the state as such is responsible for its criminal acts. In fact, save for reliance on the unconvincing argument of sovereignty, there is in law no reason why a state should not be answerable for crimes committed on its behalf. A hundred years ago Dr. Lushington, a great English Admiralty judge, refused to admit that a state could not be a pirate. History—very recent history—does not warrant the view that a state cannot be a criminal. On the other hand, the immeasurable potentialities for evil, inherent in the state in this age of science and organization would seem to demand, quite imperatively, means of repression of criminal conduct even more drastic and more effective than in the case of individuals. And insofar, therefore, as this Charter has put on record the principle of the criminal responsibility of the state, it must be applauded as a wise and far-seeing measure of international legislation.

[A recess was taken.]

SIR HARTLEY SHAWCROSS: [Continuing.] I was saying before the recess that there could be no doubt about the principle of criminal responsibility on the part of the state which engaged in aggressive war.

Admittedly, the conscience shrinks from the rigors of collective punishment, which may fall upon the guilty and the innocent alike, although, it may be noted, most of these innocent victims would not have hesitated to reap the fruits of the criminal act if it had been successful. Humanity and justice will find means of mitigating any injustice in collective punishment. Above all, much hardship can be obviated by making the punishment fall upon the individuals who were themselves directly responsible for the criminal conduct of their state. It is here that the powers who framed this Charter took a step which justice, sound legal sense, and an enlightened appreciation of the good of mankind must acclaim without cavil or reserve. The Charter lays down expressly that there shall be individual responsibility for the crimes, including the crimes against the peace, committed on behalf of the state. The state is not an abstract entity. Its rights and duties are the rights and duties of men. Its actions are the actions of men. It is a salutary principle, a principle of law, that politicians who embark upon a particular policy—as here—of aggressive war should not be able to seek immunity behind the intangible personality of the state. It is a salutary legal rule that persons who, in violation of the law, plunge their own and other countries into an aggressive war should do so with a halter around their necks.

To say that those who aid and abet, who counsel and procure a crime are themselves criminals, is a commonplace in our own municipal law. Nor is the principle of individual international responsibility for offenses against the law of nations altogether new. It has been applied not only to pirates. The entire law relating to war crimes, as distinct from the crime of war, is based upon the principle of individual responsibility. The future of international law, and indeed, of the world itself, depends on its application in a much wider sphere, in particular, in that of safeguarding the peace of the world. There must be acknowledged not only, as in the Charter of the United Nations, fundamental human rights, but also, as in the Charter of this Tribunal, fundamental human duties, and of these none is more vital, none is more fundamental, than the duty not to vex the peace of nations in violation of the clearest legal prohibitions and undertakings. If this be an innovation, it is an innovation which we are prepared to defend and to justify, but it is not an innovation which creates a new crime. International law had already, before the Charter was adopted, constituted aggressive war a criminal act.

There is thus no substantial retroactivity in the provisions of the Charter. It merely fixes the responsibility for a crime already clearly established as such by positive law upon its actual perpetrators. It fills a gap in international criminal procedure. There is all the difference between saying to a man, “You will now be punished for what was not a crime at all at the time you committed it,” and in saying to him, “You will now pay the penalty for conduct which was contrary to law and a crime when you executed it, although, owing to the imperfection of the international machinery, there was at that time no court competent to pronounce judgment against you.” It is that latter course which we adopt, and if that be retroactivity, we proclaim it to be most fully consistent with that higher justice which, in the practice of civilized states, has set a definite limit to the retroactive operation of laws. Let the defendants and their protagonists complain that the Charter is in this matter an ex parte fiat of the victors. These victors, composing, as they do, the overwhelming majority of the nations of the world, represent also the world’s sense of justice, which would be outraged if the crime of war, after this second world conflict, were to remain unpunished. In thus interpreting, declaring, and supplementing the existing law, these states are content to be judged by the verdict of history. Securus judicat orbis terrarum. Insofar as the Charter of this Tribunal introduces new law, its authors have established a precedent for the future—a precedent operative against all, including themselves, but in essence that law, rendering recourse to aggressive war an international crime, had been well established when the Charter was adopted. It is only by way of corruption of language that it can be described as a retroactive law.

There remains the question, with which I shall not detain the Tribunal for long, whether these wars which were launched by Germany and her leaders in violation of treaties or agreements or assurances were also wars of aggression. A war of aggression is a war which is resorted to in violation of the international obligation not to have recourse to war, or, in cases in which war is not totally renounced, which is resorted to in disregard of the duty to utilize the procedure of pacific settlement which a state has bound itself to observe. There was, as a matter of fact, in the period between the two world wars, a divergence of opinion among jurists and statesmen whether it was preferable to attempt in advance a legal definition of aggression, or to leave to the states concerned and to the collective organs of the international community freedom of appreciation of the facts in any particular situation that might arise. Those holding the latter view argued that a rigid definition might be abused by an unscrupulous state to fit in with its aggressive design; they feared, and the British Government was for a time among those who took this view, that an automatic definition of aggression might become “a trap for the innocent and a signpost for the guilty.” Others held that in the interest of certainty and security a definition of aggression, like a definition of any crime in municipal law, was proper and useful. They urged that the competent international organs, political and judicial, could be trusted to avoid in any particular case a definition of aggression which might lead to obstruction or to an absurdity. In May of 1933 the Committee on Security Questions of the Disarmament Conference proposed a definition of aggression on these lines:

“The aggressor in an international conflict shall, subject to the agreements in force between the parties to the dispute, be considered to be that state which is the first to commit any of the following actions:


“(1) Declaration of war upon another state;


“(2) Invasion by its armed forces, with or without a declaration of war, of the territory of another state;


“(3) Attack by its land, naval, or air forces, with or without a declaration of war, on the territory, vessels, or aircraft of another state;


“(4) Naval blockade of the coasts or ports of another state;


“(5) Provision of support to armed bands formed in its territory which have invaded the territory of another state, or refusal; notwithstanding the request of the invaded state, to take in its own territory all the measures in its power to deprive those bands of all assistance or protection.”

The various treaties concluded in 1933 by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and other states followed closely that definition. So did the draft convention submitted in 1933 by His Majesty’s Government to the Disarmament Conference.

However, it is unprofitable to elaborate here the details of the problem or of the definition of aggression. This Tribunal will not allow itself to be deflected from its purpose by attempts to ventilate in this Court what is an academic and, in the circumstances, an utterly unreal controversy as to what is the nature of a war of aggression, for there is no definition of aggression, general or particular, which does not cover and cover abundantly and irresistibly in every detail, the premeditated onslaught by Germany on the territorial integrity and political independence of so many sovereign states.

This, then, being the law as we submit it to be to this Tribunal—that the peoples of the world by the Pact of Paris had finally outlawed war and made it criminal—I turn now to the facts to see how these defendants under their leader and with their associates destroyed the high hopes of mankind and sought to revert to international anarchy. First, let this be said, for it will be established beyond doubt by the documents which you will see, from the moment Hitler became Chancellor in 1933, with the Defendant Von Papen as Reich Chancellor, and with the Defendant Von Neurath as his Foreign Minister, the whole atmosphere of the world darkened. The hopes of the people began to recede. Treaties seemed no longer matters of solemn obligation but were entered into with complete cynicism as a means for deceiving other states of Germany’s warlike intentions. International conferences were no longer to be used as a means for securing pacific settlements but as occasions for obtaining by blackmail demands which were eventually to be enlarged by war. The world came to know the “war of nerves”, the diplomacy of the fait accompli, of blackmail and bullying.

In October 1933 Hitler told his Cabinet that as the proposed Disarmament Convention did not concede full equality to Germany, “It would be necessary to torpedo the Disarmament Conference. It was out of the question to negotiate: Germany would leave the Conference and the League”. On the 21st of October 1933 Germany did so, and by so doing struck a deadly blow at the fabric of security which had been built up on the basis of the League Covenant. From that time on the record of their foreign policy became one of complete disregard of international obligations, and indeed not least of those solemnly concluded by themselves. Hitler himself expressly avowed to his confederates, “Agreements are kept only so long as they serve a certain purpose.” He might have added that again and again that purpose was only to lull an intended victim into a false sense of security. So patent, indeed, did this eventually become that to be invited by the Defendant Ribbentrop to enter a non-aggression pact with Germany was almost a sign that Germany intended to attack the state concerned. Nor was it only the formal treaty which they used and violated as circumstances seemed to make expedient. These defendants are charged, too, with breaches of the less formal assurances which, in accordance with diplomatic usage, Germany gave to neighboring states. You will hear the importance which Hitler himself publicly attached to assurances of that kind. Today, with the advance of science, the world has been afforded means of communication and intercourse hitherto unknown, and as Hitler himself expressly recognized in his public utterances, international relations no longer depend upon treaties alone. The methods of diplomacy change. The leader of one nation can speak directly to the government and peoples of another, and that course was not infrequently adopted by the Nazi conspirators. But, although the methods change, the principles of good faith and honesty, established as the fundamentals of civilized society, both in the national and international spheres, remain unaltered. It is a long time since it was said that we are part one of another, and if today the different states are more closely connected and thus form part of a world society more than ever before, so also, more than before, is there that need for good faith and honesty between them.

Let us see how these defendants, ministers and high officers of the Nazi Government, individually and collectively comported themselves in these matters.

On the 1st of September 1939 in the early hours of the morning under manufactured and, in any event, inadequate pretexts, the Armed Forces of the German Reich invaded Poland along the whole length of her frontiers and thus launched the war which was to bring down so many of the pillars of our civilization.

It was a breach of the Hague Conventions. It was a breach of the Treaty of Versailles which had established the frontiers between Germany and Poland. And however much Germany disliked that treaty—although Hitler had expressly stated that he would respect its territorial provisions—however much she disliked it, she was not free to break it by unilateral action. It was a breach of the Arbitration Treaty between Germany and Poland concluded at Locarno on the 16th of October 1925. By that treaty Germany and Poland expressly agreed to refer any matters of dispute not capable of settlement by ordinary diplomatic machinery to the decision of an arbitral tribunal or of the Permanent Court of International Justice. It was a breach of the Pact of Paris. But that is not all. It was also a breach of a more recent and, in view of the repeated emphasis laid upon it by Hitler himself, in some ways a more important engagement into which Nazi Germany had entered with Poland. After the Nazi Government came into power, on the 26th of January 1934 the German and Polish Governments had signed a 10 year pact of non-aggression. It was, as the signatories themselves stated, to introduce a new era into the political relations between Poland and Germany. It was said in the text of the pact itself that “the maintenance and guarantee of lasting peace between the two countries is an essential prerequisite for the general peace of Europe.” The two governments therefore agreed to base their mutual relations on the principles laid down in the Pact of Paris, and they solemnly declared that:

“In no circumstances . . . will they proceed to the application of force for the purpose of reaching a decision in such disputes.”

That declaration and agreement was to remain in force for at least 10 years and thereafter it was to remain valid unless it was denounced by either Government 6 months before the expiration of the 10 years, or subsequently by 6 months’ notice. Both at the time of its signature and during the following 4 years Hitler spoke of the German-Polish agreement publicly as though it were a cornerstone of his foreign policy. By entering into it, he persuaded many people that his intentions were genuinely pacific, for the re-emergence of a new Poland and an independent Poland after the war had cost Germany much territory and had separated East Prussia from the Reich. And that Hitler should, of his own accord, enter into friendly relations with Poland—that in his speeches on foreign policy he should proclaim his recognition of Poland and of her right to an exit to the sea, and the necessity for Germans and Poles to live side by side in amity—these facts seemed to the world to be convincing proof that Hitler had no “revisionist” aims which would threaten the peace of Europe; that he was even genuinely anxious to put an end to the age-old hostility between the Teuton and the Slav. If his professions were, as embodied in the treaty and as contained in these declarations, genuine, his policy excluded a renewal of the “Drang nach Osten”, as it had been called, and was thereby going to contribute to the peace and stability of Europe. That was what the people were led to think. We shall have occasion enough to see how little truth these pacific professions in fact contained.

The history of the fateful years from 1934 to 1939 shows quite clearly that the Germans used this treaty, as they used other treaties, merely as an instrument of policy for furthering their aggressive aims. It is clear from the documents which will be presented to the Tribunal that these 5 years fall into two distinct phases in the realization of the aggressive aims which always underlay the Nazi policy. There was first the period from the Nazi assumption of power in 1933 until the autumn of 1937. That was the preparatory period. During that time there occurred the breaches of the Versailles and Locarno Treaties, the feverish rearmament of Germany, the reintroduction of conscription, the reoccupation and remilitarization of the Rhineland, and all those other necessary preparatory measures for future aggression which my American colleagues have already so admirably put before the Tribunal.

During that period—the preparatory period—Germany was lulling Poland into a false sense of security. Not only Hitler, but the Defendant Göring and the Defendant Ribbentrop made statements approbating the non-aggression pact. In 1935 Göring was saying that, “The pact was not planned for a period of 10 years but forever; there need not be the slightest fear that it would not be continued.” Even though Germany was steadily building up the greatest war machine that Europe had ever known, and although, by January 1937, the German military position was so strong and so secure that, in spite of the treaty breaches which it involved, Hitler could openly refer to his strong Army, he took pains, at the same time, to say—and again I quote—that:

“By a series of agreements we have eliminated existing tensions and thereby contributed considerably to an improvement in the European atmosphere. I merely recall the agreement with Poland which has worked out to the advantage of both sides.”

And so it went on: abroad, protestations of pacific intentions; at home, “guns before butter.”

In 1937 this preparatory period drew to a close and Nazi policy moved from general preparation for future aggression to specific planning for the attainment of certain specific aggressive aims. And there are two documents in particular which mark that change.

The first of these was called “Directive for Unified Preparation for War”; issued in June 1937—June 29, 1937—by the Reich Minister for War, who was then Von Blomberg, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. That document is important, not only for its military directions, but for the appreciation it contained of the European situation and for the revelation of the Nazi attitude towards it.

“The general political position”—Von Blomberg stated, and I am quoting from the document—“justifies the supposition that Germany need not consider an attack from any side. Grounds for this are, in addition to the lack of desire for war in almost all nations, particularly the Western Powers, the deficiencies in the preparedness for war of a number of states, and of Russia in particular.”

It is true, he added, “The intention of unleashing a European war is held just as little by Germany.” And it may be that that phrase was carefully chosen because, as the documents will show, Germany hoped to conquer Europe, perhaps to conquer the world in detail; to fight on one front at a time, against one power at a time, and not to unleash a general European conflict.

But Von Blomberg went on:

“The politically fluid world situation, which does not preclude surprising incidents, demands a continuous preparedness for war of the German Armed Forces (a) to counter attack at any time”—yet he had just said that there was no fear of any attack—and “(b)”—and I invite the Tribunal again to notice this phrase—“to enable the military exploitation of politically favorable opportunities, should they occur.”

That phrase is no more than a euphemistic description of aggressive war. It reveals the continued adherence of the German military leaders to the doctrine that military might, and if necessary war, should be an instrument of policy—the doctrine which had been explicitly condemned by the Kellogg Pact, which was renounced by the pact with Poland, and by innumerable other treaties.

The document goes on to set out the general preparations necessary for a possible war in the mobilization period of 1937-1938. It is evidence at least for this, that the leaders of the German Armed Forces had it in mind to use the military strength which they were building up for aggressive purposes. No reason, they say, to anticipate attack from any side—there is a lack of desire for war. Yet they prepare to exploit militarily favorable opportunities.

Still more important as evidence of the transition to planned aggression is the record of the important conference which Hitler held at the Reich Chancellery on the 5th of November 1937, at which Von Blomberg, Reich Minister for War; Von Fritsch, the Commander-in-Chief of the Army; Göring, Commander-in-Chief of the Luftwaffe; Raeder, the Commander-in-Chief of the Navy; and Von Neurath, then the Foreign Minister, were present. The minutes of that conference have already been put in evidence. I refer to them now only to emphasize those passages which make apparent the ultimate intention to wage an aggressive war. You will remember that the burden of Hitler’s argument at that conference was that Germany required more territory in Europe. Austria and Czechoslovakia were specifically envisaged. But Hitler realized that the process of conquering those two countries might well bring into operation the treaty obligations of Great Britain and of France. He was prepared to take the risk. You remember the passage:

“The history of all times: Roman Empire, British Empire has proved that every space expansion can be effected only 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. The question for Germany is where the greatest possible conquest can be made at the lowest possible cost.”

In the course of that conference Hitler had foreseen and discussed the likelihood that Poland would be involved if the aggressive expansionist aims which he put forward brought about a general European war in the course of their realization by the Nazi State. And when, therefore, on that very day on which that conference was taking place, Hitler assured the Polish Ambassador of the great value of the 1934 Pact with Poland, it can only be concluded that its real value in Hitler’s eyes was that of keeping Poland quiet until Germany had acquired such a territorial and strategic position that Poland was no longer a danger.

That view is confirmed by the events which followed. At the beginning of February of 1938 the change from Nazi preparation for aggression to active aggression itself took place. It was marked by the substitution of Ribbentrop for Neurath as Foreign Minister, and of Keitel for Blomberg as head of the OKW. Its first fruits were the bullying of Schuschnigg at Berchtesgaden on February 12, 1938 and the forcible absorption of Austria in March. Thereafter the Green Plan for the destruction of Czechoslovakia was steadily developed in the way which you heard yesterday—the plan partially foiled, or final consummation at least delayed, by the Munich Agreement.

With those aspects, those developments of Nazi aggression, my American colleagues have already dealt. But it is obvious that the acquisition of these two countries, their resources in manpower, their resources in the production of munitions of war, immensely strengthened the position of Germany as against Poland. And it is, therefore, perhaps not surprising that, just as the Defendant Göring assured the Czechoslovak Minister in Berlin, at the time of the Nazi invasion of Austria, that Hitler recognized the validity of the German-Czechoslovak Arbitration Treaty of 1925, and that Germany had no designs against Czechoslovakia herself—you remember, “I give you my word of honor,” the Defendant Göring said—just as that is not surprising, so also it is not perhaps surprising that continued assurances should have been given during 1938 to Poland in order to keep that country from interfering with the Nazi aggression on Poland’s neighbors.

Thus, on the 20th of February of 1938, on the eve of his invasion of Austria, Hitler, referring to the fourth anniversary of the Polish Pact, permitted himself to say this to the Reichstag—and I quote:

“. . . and so a way to a friendly understanding has been successfully paved, an understanding which, beginning with Danzig, has today in spite of the attempt of some mischief makers, succeeded in finally taking the poison out of the relations between Germany and Poland and transforming them into a sincere friendly co-operation . . . Relying on her friendships, Germany will not leave a stone unturned to save that ideal which provides the foundation for the task ahead of us—peace.”

Still more striking, perhaps, are the cordial references to Poland in Hitler’s speech in the Sportpalast at Berlin on the 26th of September 1938. He then said:

“The most difficult problem with which I was confronted was that of our relations with Poland. There was a danger that Poles and Germans would regard each other as hereditary enemies. I wanted to prevent this. I know well enough that I should not have been successful if Poland had had a democratic constitution. For these democracies which indulge in phrases about peace are the most bloodthirsty war agitators. In Poland there ruled no democracy, but a man. And with him I succeeded, in precisely 12 months, in coming to an agreement which, for 10 years in the first instance, removed in principle the danger of a conflict. We are all convinced that this agreement will bring lasting pacification. We realize that here are two peoples which must live together and neither of which can do away with the other. A people of 33 millions will always strive for an outlet to the sea. A way for understanding, then, had to be found, and it will be further extended. But the main fact is that the two governments, and all reasonable and clear-sighted persons among the two peoples within the two countries, possess the firm will and determination to improve their relations. It was a real work of peace, of more worth than all the chattering in the League of Nations palace at Geneva.”

And so flattery of Poland preceded the annexation of Austria and renewed flattery of Poland preceded the projected annexation of Czechoslovakia. The realities behind these outward expressions of good will are clearly revealed in the documents relating to the Fall Grün, which are already before the Tribunal. They show Hitler as fully aware that there was a risk of Poland, England, and France being involved in war to prevent the German annexation of Czechoslovakia and that this risk, although it was realized, was also accepted. On 25 August of 1938 top-secret orders to the German Air Force in regard to the operations to be conducted against England and France, if they intervened, pointed out that, as the French-Czechoslovak Treaty provided for assistance only in the event of an “unprovoked” attack, it would take a day or two for France and England, and I suppose for their legal advisors to decide whether legally the attack had been unprovoked or not, and consequently a Blitzkrieg, accomplishing its aims before there could be any effective intervention by France or England, was the object to be aimed at.

On the same day an Air Force memorandum on future organization was issued, and to it there was attached a map on which the Baltic States, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and Poland were all shown as part of Germany, and preparations for expanding the Air Force, and I quote, “as the Reich grows in area,” as well as dispositions for a two-front war against France and Russia, were discussed. And on the following day Von Ribbentrop was being minuted about the reaction of Poland towards the Czechoslovak problem. I quote: “The fact that after the liquidation of the Czechoslovakian question it will be generally assumed that Poland will be next in turn is not to be denied,” is recognized, but it is stated, “The later this assumption sinks in, the better.”

I will pause for a moment at the date of the Munich Agreement and ask the Tribunal to remind itself of what the evidence of documents and historical facts shows up to that day. It has made undeniable both the fact of Nazi aggressiveness and of active and actual aggression. Not only does that conference of 1937 show Hitler and his associates deliberately considering the acquisition of Austria and Czechoslovakia, if necessary by war, but the first of the operations had been carried through in March of 1938; and a large part of the second, under threat of war—a threat which as we now see was much more than a bluff—a threat of actual and real war, although without the actual need for its initiation, secured, as I said, a large part of the second objective in September of 1938. And, more ominous still, Hitler had revealed his adherence to the old doctrines of Mein Kampf—those essentially aggressive doctrines to the exposition of which in Mein Kampf, long regarded as the Bible of the Nazi Party, we shall draw attention in certain particular passages. Hitler is indicating quite clearly not only to his associates, but indeed to the world at this time, that he is in pursuit of Lebensraum and that he means to secure it by threat of force, or if threat of force fails, by actual force—by aggressive war.

So far actual warfare had been avoided because of the love of peace, the lack of preparedness, the patience, the cowardice—call it what you will—of the democratic powers; but after Munich the question which filled the minds of all thinking people with acute anxiety was “where will this thing end? Is Hitler now satisfied as he declared himself to be? Or is his pursuit of Lebensraum going to lead to future aggressions, even if he has to embark on open, aggressive war to secure it?”

It was in relation to the remainder of Czechoslovakia and to Poland that the answer to these questions was to be given. So far, up to the time of the Munich Agreement, no direct and immediate threat to Poland had been made. The two documents from which I have just quoted, show of course, that high officers of the Defendant Göring’s air staff already regarded the expansion of the Reich and, it would seem, the destruction and absorption of Poland, as a foregone conclusion. They were already anticipating, indeed, the last stage of Hitler’s policy as expounded in Mein Kampf—war to destroy France and to secure Lebensraum in Russia. And the writer of the minute to Ribbentrop already took it for granted that, after Czechoslovakia, Poland would be attacked. But more impressive than those two documents is the fact that, as I have said, at the conference of 5 November 1937, war with Poland, if she should dare to prevent German aggression against Czechoslovakia, had been quite coolly and calmly contemplated, and the Nazi leaders were ready to take the risk. So also had the risk of war with England and France under the same circumstances been considered and accepted. As I indicated, such a war would, of course, have been aggressive war on Germany’s part, and they were contemplating aggressive warfare. For to force one state to take up arms to defend another state against aggression, in other words, to fulfill its treaty obligations is undoubtedly to initiate aggressive warfare against the first state. But in spite of those plans, in spite of these intentions behind the scenes, it remains true that until Munich the decision for direct attack upon Poland and her destruction by aggressive war had apparently not as yet been taken by Hitler and his associates. It is to the transition from the intention and preparation of initiating aggressive war, evident in regard to Czechoslovakia, to the actual initiation and waging of aggressive war against Poland that I now pass. That transition occupies the 11 months from the 1st of October 1938 to the actual attack on Poland on the 1st of September 1939.

Within 6 months of the signature of the Munich Agreement the Nazi leaders had occupied the remainder of Czechoslovakia, which by that Agreement they had indicated their willingness to guarantee. On the 14th of March 1939 the aged and infirm president of the “rump” of Czechoslovakia, Hacha and his Foreign Minister were summoned to Berlin. At a meeting held between 1 o’clock and 2:15 in the small hours of the 15th of March in the presence of Hitler, of the Defendants Ribbentrop, Göring, and Keitel, they were bullied and threatened and even bluntly told that Hitler “had issued the orders for the German troops to move into Czechoslovakia and for the incorporation of Czechoslovakia into the German Reich.”

It was made quite clear to them that resistance would be useless and would be crushed “by force of arms with all available means,” and it was thus that the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia was set up and that Slovakia was turned into a German satellite, though nominally independent state. By their own unilateral action, on pretexts which had no shadow of validity, without discussion with the governments of any other country, without mediation, and in direct contradiction of the sense and spirit of the Munich Agreement, the Germans acquired for themselves that for which they had been planning in September of the previous year, and indeed much earlier, but which at that time they had felt themselves unable completely to secure without too patent an exhibition of their aggressive intentions. Aggression achieved whetted the appetite for aggression to come. There were protests. England and France sent diplomatic notes. Of course, there were protests. The Nazis had clearly shown their hand. Hitherto they had concealed from the outside world that their claims went beyond incorporating into the Reich persons of German race living in bordering territory. Now for the first time, in defiance of their solemn assurances to the contrary, non-German territory and non-German people had been seized. This acquisition of the whole of Czechoslovakia, together with the equally illegal occupation of Memel on the 22d of March 1939, resulted in an immense strengthening of the German positions, both politically and strategically, as Hitler had anticipated it would, when he discussed the matter at that conference in November of 1937.

But long before the consummation by the Nazi leaders of their aggression against Czechoslovakia, they had begun to make demands upon Poland. The Munich settlement achieved on the 25th of October 1938, that is to say within less than a month of Hitler’s reassuring speech about Poland to which I have already referred, and within, of course, a month of the Munich Agreement, M. Lipski, the Polish Ambassador in Berlin, reported to M. Beck, the Polish Foreign Minister, that at a luncheon at Berchtesgaden the day before, namely, on the 24th of October 1938, the Defendant Ribbentrop had put forward demands for the reunion of Danzig with the Reich and for the building of an extra-territorial motor road and railway line across Pomorze, the province which the Germans called “The Corridor”. From that moment onwards until the Polish Government had made it plain, as they did during a visit of the Defendant Ribbentrop to Warsaw in January 1939, that they would not consent to hand over Danzig to German sovereignty, negotiations on these German demands continued. And even after Ribbentrop’s return from the visit to Warsaw, Hitler thought it worthwhile, in his Reichstag speech on the 30th of January 1939, to say:

“We have just celebrated the fifth anniversary of the conclusion of our non-aggression pact with Poland. There can scarcely be any difference of opinion today among the true friends of peace as to the value of this agreement. One only needs to ask oneself what might have happened to Europe if this agreement, which brought such relief, had not been entered into 5 years ago. In signing it, the great Polish marshal and patriot rendered his people just as great a service as the leaders of the National Socialist State rendered the German people. During the troubled months of the past year, the friendship between Germany and Poland has been one of the reassuring factors in the political life of Europe.”

But that utterance was the last friendly word from Germany to Poland, and the last occasion on which the Nazi Leaders mentioned the German-Polish Agreement with approbation. During February 1939 silence fell upon German demands in relation to Poland. But as soon as the final absorption of Czechoslovakia had taken place and Germany had also occupied Memel, Nazi pressure upon Poland was at once renewed. In two conversations which he and the Defendant Ribbentrop held on the 21st of March and the 26th of March, respectively, with the Polish Ambassador, German demands upon Poland were renewed and were further pressed. And in view of the fate which had overtaken Czechoslovakia, in view of the grave deterioration in her strategical position towards Germany, it is not surprising that the Polish Government took alarm at the developments. Nor were they alone. The events of March 1939 had at last convinced both the English and the French Governments that the Nazi designs of aggression were not limited to men of German race, and that the specter of European war resulting from further aggressions by Nazi Germany had not, after all, been exorcised by the Munich Agreement.

As a result, therefore, of the concern of Poland and of England and of France at the events in Czechoslovakia, and at the newly applied pressure on Poland, conversations between the English and Polish Governments had been taking place, and, on the 31st of March 1939, Mr. Neville Chamberlain, speaking in the House of Commons, stated that His Majesty’s Government had given an assurance to help Poland in the event of any action which clearly threatened Polish independence and which the Polish Government accordingly considered it vital to resist. On the 6th of April 1939 an Anglo-Polish communiqué stated that the two countries were prepared to enter into an agreement of a permanent and reciprocal character to replace the present temporary and unilateral assurance given by His Majesty’s Government.

The justification for that concern on the part of the democratic powers is not difficult to find. With the evidence which we now have of what was happening within the councils of the German Reich and its Armed Forces during these months, it is manifest that the German Government were intent on seizing Poland as a whole, that Danzig—as Hitler himself was to say in time, a month later—“was not the subject of the dispute at all.” The Nazi Government was intent upon aggression and the demands and negotiations in respect to Danzig were merely a cover and excuse for further domination.

Would that be a convenient point to stop?

THE PRESIDENT: We will adjourn now until 2 o’clock.

[A recess was taken until 1400 hours.]


Afternoon Session

THE PRESIDENT: Before the Attorney General continues his opening statement, the Tribunal wishes me to state what they propose to do as to time of sitting for the immediate future. We think it will be more convenient that the Tribunal shall sit from 10:00 o’clock in the morning until 1:00 o’clock, with a break for 10 minutes in the middle of the morning; and that the Tribunal shall sit in the afternoon from 2:00 o’clock until 5:00 o’clock with a break for 10 minutes in the middle of the afternoon; and that there shall be no open sitting of the Tribunal on Saturday morning, as the Tribunal has a very large number of applications by the defendants’ counsel for witnesses and documents and other matters of that sort which it has to consider.

SIR HARTLEY SHAWCROSS: May it please the Tribunal, when we broke off I had been saying that the Nazi Government was intent upon aggression, and all that had been taking place in regard to Danzig—the negotiations, the demands that were being made—were really no more than a cover, a pretext and excuse for further domination.

As far back as September 1938 plans for aggressive war against Poland, England, and France were well in hand. While Hitler, at Munich, was telling the world that the German people wanted peace, and that having solved the Czechoslovakian problem, Germany had no more territorial problems in Europe, the staffs of his Armed Forces were already preparing their plans. On the 26th of September 1938 he had stated:

“We have given guarantees to the states in the West. We have assured all our immediate neighbors of the integrity of their territory as far as Germany is concerned. That is no mere phrase. It is our sacred will. We have no interest whatever in a breach of the peace. We want nothing from these peoples.”

And the world was entitled to rely on those assurances. International co-operation is utterly impossible unless one can assume good faith in the leaders of the various states and honesty in the public utterances that they make. But, in fact, within 2 months of that solemn and apparently considered undertaking, Hitler and his confederates were preparing for the seizure of Danzig. To recognize those assurances, those pledges, those diplomatic moves as the empty frauds that they were, one must go back to inquire what was happening within the inner councils of the Reich from the time of the Munich Agreement.

Written some time in September 1938 is an extract from a file on the reconstruction of the German Navy. Under the heading

“Opinion on the Draft Study of Naval Warfare against England,” this is stated:

“1. If, according to the Führer’s decision, Germany is to acquire a position as a world power, she needs not only sufficient colonial possessions but also secure naval communications and secure access to the ocean.


“2. Both requirements can be fulfilled only in opposition to Anglo-French interests and would limit their position as world powers. It is unlikely that they can be achieved by peaceful means. The decision to make Germany a world power, therefore, forces upon us the necessity of making the corresponding preparations for war.


“3. War against England means at the same time war against the Empire, against France, probably against Russia as well, and a large number of countries overseas, in fact, against one-third to one-half of the world.


“It can only be justified and have a chance of success”—and it was not moral justification which was being looked for in this document—“It can only be justified and have a chance of success if it is prepared economically as well as politically and militarily, and waged with the aim of conquering for Germany an outlet to the ocean.”

THE PRESIDENT: I think the Tribunal would like to know at what stage you propose to put the documents, which you are citing, in evidence.

SIR HARTLEY SHAWCROSS: Well, Sir, my colleagues, my American and my British colleagues, were proposing to follow up my own address by putting these documents in. The first series of documents, which will be put in by my noted colleague, Sir David Maxwell-Fyfe, will be the treaties.

THE PRESIDENT: I suppose that what you quote will have to be read again.

SIR HARTLEY SHAWCROSS: Well, I am limiting my quotations as far as I possibly can. I apprehend that technically you may wish it to be quoted again, so as to get it on the record when the document is actually put into evidence. But I think it will appear, when the documents themselves are produced, that there will be a good deal more in most of them than I am actually citing now.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes. Very well.

SIR HARTLEY SHAWCROSS: This document on naval warfare against England is something which is both significant and new. Until this date the documents in our possession disclose preparations for war against Poland, England, and France, purporting on the face of them at least to be defensive measures to ward off attacks which might result from the intervention of those states in the preparatory German aggressions in Central Europe. Hitherto aggressive war against Poland, England, and France has been contemplated only as a distant objective. Now, in this document for the first time, we find a war of conquest by Germany against France and England openly recognized as the future aim, at least of the German Navy.

On 24 November 1938 an appendix was issued by Keitel to a previous order of the Führer. In that appendix were set out the future tasks for the Armed Forces and the preparation for the conduct of the war which would result from those tasks.

“The Führer has ordered”—I quote—“that besides the three eventualities mentioned in the previous directive . . . preparations are also to be made for the surprise occupation by German troops of the Free State of Danzig.


“For the preparation the following principles are to be borne in mind.”—This is the common pattern of aggression—“The primary assumption is the lightning seizure of Danzig by exploiting a favorable political situation, and not war with Poland. Troops which are going to be used for this purpose must not be held at the same time for the seizure of Memel, so that both operations can take place simultaneously, should such necessity arise.”

Thereafter, as the evidence which is already before the Tribunal has shown, final preparations were taking place for the invasion of Poland. On the 3rd of April 1939, 3 days before the issue of the Anglo-Polish communiqué, the Defendant Keitel issued to the High Command of the Armed Forces a directive in which it was stated that the directive for the uniform preparation of war by the Armed Forces in 1939-40, was being re-issued and that part relating to Danzig would be out in April. The basic principles were to remain the same as in the previous directive. Attached to this document were the orders Fall Weiss, the code name for the proposed invasion of Poland. Preparation for that invasion was to be made, it was stated, so that the operation could be carried out at any time from the 1st of September 1939 onwards.

On the 11th of April Hitler issued his directive for the uniform preparation of the war by the Armed Forces, 1939-40, and in it he said:

“I shall lay down in a later directive future tasks of the Armed Forces and the preparations to be made in accordance with these for the conduct of war. Until that directive comes into force the Armed Forces must be prepared for the following eventualities:


“1. Safeguarding of the frontiers . . .


“2. Fall Weiss,


“3. The annexation of Danzig.”

Then, in an annex to that document which bore the heading “Political Hypotheses and Aims,” it was stated that quarrels with Poland should be avoided. But should Poland change her policy and adopt a threatening attitude towards Germany, a final settlement would be necessary, notwithstanding the Polish Pact. The Free City of Danzig was to be incorporated in the Reich at the outbreak of the conflict at the latest. The policy aimed at limiting the war to Poland, and this was considered possible at that time with the internal crises in France and resulting British restraint.

The wording of that document—and the Tribunal will study the whole of it—does not directly involve the intention of immediate aggression. It is a plan of attack “if Poland changes her policy and adopts a threatening attitude.” But the picture of Poland, with her wholly inadequate armaments, threatening Germany, now armed to the teeth, is ludicrous enough, and the real aim of the document emerges in the sentence—and I quote: “The aim is then to destroy Polish military strength and to create, in the East, a situation which satisfies the requirements of defense”—a sufficiently vague phrase to cover designs of any magnitude. But even at that stage, the evidence does not suffice to prove that the actual decision to attack Poland on any given date had yet been taken. All the preparations were being set in train. All the necessary action was being proceeded with, in case that decision should be reached.

It was within 3 weeks of the issue of that last document that Hitler addressed the Reichstag on the 28th of April 1939. In that speech he repeated the demands which had already been made upon Poland, and proceeded to denounce the German-Polish Agreement of 1934. Leaving aside, for the moment, the warlike preparations for aggression, which Hitler had set in motion behind the scenes, I will ask the Tribunal to consider the nature of this denunciation of an agreement to which, in the past, Hitler had attached such importance.

In the first place, of course, Hitler’s denunciation was per se ineffectual. The text of the agreement made no provision for its denunciation by either party until a period of 10 years had come to an end. No denunciation could be legally effective until June or July of 1943, and here was Hitler speaking in April of 1939, rather more than 5 years too soon.

In the second place, Hitler’s actual attack upon Poland, when it came on 1 September was made before the expiration of the 6 months’ period after denunciation required by the agreement before any denunciation could be operative. And in the third place, the grounds for the denunciation stated by Hitler in his speech to the Reichstag were entirely specious. However one reads its terms, it is impossible to take the view that the Anglo-Polish guarantee of mutual assistance against aggression could render the German-Polish Pact null and void, as Hitler sought to suggest. If that had been the effect of the Anglo-Polish assurances, then certainly the pacts which had already been entered into by Hitler himself with Italy and with Japan had already invalidated the treaty with Poland. Hitler might have spared his breath. The truth is, of course, that the text of the English-Polish communiqué, the text of the assurances, contains nothing whatever to support the contention that the German-Polish Pact was in any way interfered with.

One asks: Why then did Hitler make this trebly invalid attempt to denounce his own pet diplomatic child? Is there any other possible answer but this:

That the agreement having served its purpose, the grounds which he chose for its denunciation were chosen merely in an effort to provide Germany with some kind of justification—at least for the German people—for the aggression on which the German leaders were intent.

And, of course, Hitler sorely needed some kind of justification, some apparently decent excuse, since nothing had happened, and nothing seemed likely to happen, from the Polish side, to provide him with any kind of pretext for invading Poland. So far he had made demands upon his treaty partner which Poland, as a sovereign state, had every right to refuse. If dissatisfied with that refusal, Hitler was bound, under the terms of the agreement itself, “To seek a settlement”—I am reading the words of the pact:

“To seek a settlement through other peaceful means, without prejudice to the possibility of applying those methods of procedure, in case of necessity, which are provided for such a case in the other agreements between them that are in force.”

And that presumably was a reference to the German-Polish Arbitration Treaty, signed at Locarno in 1925.

The very facts, therefore, that as soon as the Nazi leaders cannot get what they want but are not entitled to from Poland by merely asking for it and that, on their side, they made no further attempt to settle the dispute “by peaceful means”—in accordance with the terms of the agreement and of the Kellogg Pact, to which the agreement pledged both parties—in themselves constitute a strong presumption of aggressive intentions against Hitler and his associates. That presumption becomes a certainty when the documents to which I am about to call the attention of the Tribunal are studied.

On the 10th of May Hitler issued an order for the capture of economic installations in Poland. On the 16th of May the Defendant Raeder, as Commander-in-Chief of the Navy, issued a memorandum setting out the Führer’s instructions to prepare for the operation Fall Weiss at any time from the 1st of September.

But the decisive document is the record of the conference held by Hitler on the 23rd of May 1939, in conference with many high-ranking officers, including the Defendants Göring, Raeder, and Keitel. The details of the whole document will have to be read to the Tribunal later and I am merely summarizing the substantial effect of this part of it now. Hitler stated that the solution of the economic problems with which Germany was beset at first, could not be found without invasion of foreign states and attacks on foreign property. “Danzig”—and I am quoting:

“Danzig is not the subject of the dispute at all. It is a question of expanding our living space in the East. There is, therefore, no question of sparing Poland, and we are left with the decision to attack Poland at the earliest opportunity. We cannot expect a repetition of the Czech affair. There will be fighting. Our task is to isolate Poland. The success of this isolation will be decisive. The isolation of Poland is a matter of skillful politics.”

So he explained to his confederates. He anticipated the possibility that war with England and France might result, but a two-front war was to be avoided if possible. Yet England was recognized—and I say it with pride—as the most dangerous enemy which Germany had. “England,” he said, I quote, “England is the driving force against Germany . . . the aim will always be to force England to her knees.” More than once he repeated that the war with England and France would be a life and death struggle. “But all the same,” he concluded, “Germany will not be forced into war but she would not be able to avoid it.”

On the 14th of June 1939 General Blaskowitz, then Commander-in-Chief of the 3rd Army group, issued a detailed battle plan for the Fall Weiss. The following day Von Brauchitsch issued a memorandum in which it was stated that the object of the impending operation was to destroy the Polish Armed Forces. “High policy demands,” he said, “High policy demands that the war should be begun by heavy surprise blows in order to achieve quick results.” The preparations proceeded apace. On the 22d of June the Defendant Keitel submitted a preliminary timetable for the operation, which Hitler seems to have approved, and suggested that the scheduled maneuver must be camouflaged, “in order not to disquiet the population.” On the 3rd of July, Brauchitsch wrote to the Defendant Raeder urging that certain preliminary naval moves should be abandoned, in order not to prejudice the surprise of the attack. On the 12th and 13th of August Hitler and Ribbentrop had a conference with Ciano, the Italian Foreign Minister.

It was a conference to which the Tribunal will have to have regard from several points of view. I summarize now only one aspect of the matter: At the beginning of the conversation Hitler emphasized the strength of the German position, of Germany’s Western and Eastern Fortifications, and of the strategic and other advantages they held in comparison with those of England, France, and Poland. Now I quote from the captured document itself. Hitler said this:

“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 11 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.”

Then this:

“Generally speaking, the best thing to happen would be to liquidate the false neutrals one after the other. This process could be carried out more easily if on every occasion one partner of the Axis covered the other while it was dealing with an uncertain neutral. Italy might well regard Yugoslavia as a neutral of that kind.”

Ciano was for postponing the operation. Italy was not ready. She believed that a conflict with Poland would develop into a general European war. Mussolini was convinced that conflict with the Western Democracies was inevitable, but he was making plans for a period 2 or 3 years ahead. But the Führer said that the Danzig question must be disposed of, one way or the other, by the end of August. I quote: “He had, therefore, decided to use the occasion of the next political provocation which has the form of an ultimatum . . . .”

On the 22d of August Hitler called his Supreme Commanders together and gave the order for the attack. In the course of what he said he made it clear that the decision to attack had, in fact, been made not later than the previous spring. He would give a spurious cause for starting the war. And at that time the attack was timed to take place in the early hours of the 26th of August. On the day before, on the 25th of August, the British Government, in the hope that Hitler might still be reluctant to plunge the world into war, and in the belief that a formal treaty would impress him more than the informal assurances which had been given previously, entered into an agreement, an express agreement for mutual assistance with Poland, embodying the previous assurances that had been given earlier in the year. It was known to Hitler that France was bound by the Franco-Polish Treaty of 1921, and by the Guarantee Pact signed at Locarno in 1925 to intervene in Poland’s favor in case of aggression. And for a moment Hitler hesitated. The Defendants Göring and Ribbentrop, in the interrogations which you will see, have agreed that it was the Anglo-Polish Treaty which led him to call off, or rather postpone, the attack which was timed for the 26th. Perhaps he hoped that after all there was still some chance of repeating what he had called the Czech affair. If so, his hopes were short-lived. On the 27th of August Hitler accepted Mussolini’s decision not at once to come into the war; but he asked for propaganda support and for a display of military activity on the part of Italy, so as to create uncertainty in the minds of the Allies. Ribbentrop on the same day said that the armies were marching.

In the meantime, and, of course, particularly during the last month, desperate attempts were being made by the Western Powers to avert war. You will have details of them in evidence, of the intervention of the Pope, of President Roosevelt’s message, of the offer by the British Prime Minister to do our utmost to create the conditions in which all matters in issue could be the subject of free negotiations, and to guarantee the resultant decisions. But this and all the other efforts of honest men to avoid the horror of a European conflict were predestined to failure. The Germans were determined that the day for war had come. On the 31st of August Hitler issued a top-secret order for the attack to commence in the early hours of the 1st of September.

The necessary frontier incidents duly occurred. Was it, perhaps, for that, that the Defendant Keitel had been instructed by Hitler to supply Heydrich with Polish uniforms? And so without a declaration of war, without even giving the Polish Government an opportunity of seeing Germany’s final demands—and you will hear the evidence of the extraordinary diplomatic negotiations, if one can call them such, that took place in Berlin—without giving the Poles any opportunity at all of negotiating or arbitrating on the demands which Nazi Germany was making, the Nazi troops invaded Poland.

On the 3rd of September Hitler sent a telegram to Mussolini thanking him for his intervention but pointing out that the war was inevitable and that the most promising moment had to be picked after cold deliberation. And so Hitler and his confederates now before this Tribunal began the first of their wars of aggression for which they had prepared so long and so thoroughly. They waged it so fiercely that within a few weeks Poland was overrun.

On the 23rd of November 1939 Hitler reviewed the situation to his military commanders and in the course of what he said he made this observation:

“One year later Austria came; this step was also considered doubtful. It brought about an essential reinforcement of the Reich. The next step was Bohemia, Moravia, and Poland. This step also was not possible to accomplish in one move. First of all the Western Fortifications had to be finished . . . . Then followed the creation of the Protectorate, and with that the basis for action against Poland was laid. But I was not quite clear at the time whether I should start first against the East and then in the West, or vice versa . . . . The compulsion to fight with Poland came first. One might accuse me of wanting to fight again and again. In struggle, I see the fate of all beings.”

He was not sure where to attack first. But that sooner or later he would attack, whether it were in the East or in the West, was never in doubt. And he had been warned, not only by the British and French Prime Ministers but even by his confederate Mussolini, that an attack on Poland would bring England and France into the war. He chose what he thought was the opportune moment, and he struck.

Under these circumstances the intent to wage war against England and France, and to precipitate it by an attack on Poland, is not to be denied. Here was defiance of the most solemn treaty obligations. Here was neglect of the most pacific assurances. Here was aggression, naked and unashamed, which was indeed to arouse the horrified and heroic resistance of all civilized peoples, but which, before it was finished, was to tear down much of the structure of our civilization.

Once started upon the active achievement of their plan to secure the domination of Europe, if not of the world, the Nazi Government proceeded to attack other countries, as occasion offered. The first actually to be attacked, actually to be invaded, after the attack upon Poland, were Denmark and Norway.

On the 9th of April 1940 the German Armed Forces invaded Norway and Denmark without any warning, without any declaration of war. It was a breach of the Hague Convention of 1907. It was a breach of the Convention of Arbitration and Conciliation signed between Germany and Denmark on 2 June 1926. It was, of course, a breach of the Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928. It was a violation of the Non-Aggression Treaty between Germany and Denmark made on the 31st of May 1939. And it was a breach of the most explicit assurances which had been given. After his annexation of Czechoslovakia had shaken the confidence of the world, Hitler attempted to reassure the Scandinavian states. On the 28th of April 1939 he affirmed that he had never made any request to any of them which was incompatible with their sovereignty and independence. On the 31st of May 1939 he signed a non-aggression pact with Denmark.

On the 2d of September 1939, the day after he had invaded Poland and occupied Danzig, he again expressed his determination, so he said, to observe the inviolability and integrity of Norway in an aide-mémoire, which was handed to the Norwegian Foreign Minister by the German Minister in Oslo on that day.

A month later, in a public speech on the 6th of October 1939, 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 non-aggression pacts by Germany, and have both refused them, solely because they do not feel themselves threatened in any way.”

When the invasion of Denmark and Norway was already begun in the early morning of 9 April 1940, a German memorandum was handed to the governments of those countries attempting to justify the German action. Various allegations against the governments of the invaded countries were made. It was said that Norway had been guilty of breaches of neutrality. It was said that she had allowed and tolerated the use of her territorial waters by Great Britain. It was said that Britain and France were themselves making plans to invade and occupy Norway and that the Government of Norway was prepared to acquiesce in such an event.

I do not propose to argue the question whether or not these allegations were true or false. That question is irrelevant to the issues before this Court. Even if the allegations were true—and they were patently false—they would afford no conceivable justification for the action of invading without warning, without declaration of war, without any attempt at mediation or conciliation.

Aggressive war is none the less aggressive war because the state which wages it believes that other states might, in the future, take similar action. The rape of a nation is not justified because it is thought she may be raped by another. Nor even in self-defense are warlike measures justified except after all means of mediation have been tried and failed and force is actually being exercised against the state concerned.

But the matter is irrelevant because, in actual fact, with the evidence which we now possess, it is abundantly clear that the invasion of these two countries was undertaken for quite different purposes. It had been planned long before any question of breach of neutrality or occupation of Norway by England could ever have occurred. And it is equally clear that the assurances repeated again and again throughout 1939 were made for no other purpose than to lull suspicion in these countries, and to prevent them taking steps to resist the attack against them which was all along in active preparation.

For some years the Defendant Rosenberg, in his capacity as Chief of the Foreign Affairs Bureau—APA—of the NSDAP, had interested himself in the promotion of Fifth Column activities in Norway and he had established close relationship with the Nasjonal Samling, a political group headed by the now notorious traitor, Vidkun Quisling. During the winter of 1938-39, APA was in contact with Quisling, and later Quisling conferred with Hitler and with the Defendants Raeder and Rosenberg. In August 1939 a special 14-day course was held at the school of the Office of Foreign Relations in Berlin for 25 followers whom Quisling had selected to attend. The plan was to send a number of selected and “reliable” men to Germany for a brief military training in an isolated camp. These “reliable men” were to be the area and language specialists to German special troops who were taken to Oslo on coal barges to undertake political action in Norway. The object was a coup in which Quisling would seize his leading opponents in Norway, including the King, and prevent all military resistance from the beginning. Simultaneously with those Fifth Column activities Germany was making her military preparations. On the 2d of September 1939, as I said, Hitler had assured Norway of his intention to respect her neutrality. On 6 October he said that the Scandinavian states were not menaced in any way. Yet on the 3rd October the Defendant Raeder was pointing out that the occupation of bases, if necessary by force, would greatly improve the German strategic position. On the 9th of October Dönitz was recommending Trondheim as the main base, with Narvik as an alternative base for fuel supplies. The Defendant Rosenberg was reporting shortly afterwards on the possibility of a coup d’état by Quisling, immediately supported by German military and naval forces. On the 12th of December 1939 the Defendant Raeder advised Hitler, in the presence of the Defendants Keitel and Jodl, that if Hitler was favorably impressed by Quisling, the OKW should prepare for the occupation of Norway, if possible with Quisling’s assistance, but if necessary, entirely by force. Hitler agreed, but there was a doubt whether action should be taken against the Low Countries or against Scandinavia first. Weather conditions delayed the march on the Low Countries. In January 1940 instructions were given to the German Navy for the attack on Norway. On the 1st of March a directive for the occupation was issued by Hitler. The general object was not said to be to prevent occupation by English forces but, in vague and general terms, to prevent British encroachment in Scandinavia and the Baltic and “to guarantee our ore bases in Sweden and to give our Navy and Air Force a wider start line against Britain.” But the directive went on (and here is the common pattern):

“. . . 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 Scandinavian states . . . . It is important that the Scandinavian states as well as the western opponents should be taken by surprise by our measures . . . . In case the preparations for embarkation can no longer be kept secret, the leaders and the troops will be deceived with fictitious objectives.”

The form and success of the invasion are well known. In the early hours of the 9th of April, seven cruisers, 14 destroyers, and a number of torpedo boats and other small craft carried advance elements of six divisions, totalling about 10,000 men, forced an entry and landed troops in the outer Oslo Fjord, Kristiansand, Stavanger, Bergen, Trondheim, and Narvik. A small force of troops was also landed at Arendal and Egersund on the southern coast. In addition, airborne troops were landed near Oslo and Stavanger in airplanes. The German attack came as a complete surprise. All the invaded towns along the coast were captured according to plan and with only slight losses. Only the plan to capture the King and Parliament failed. But brave as was the resistance, which was hurriedly organized throughout the country—nothing could be done in the face of the long-planned surprise attack—and on the 10th of June military resistance ceased. So another act of aggression was brought to completion.

Almost exactly a month after the attack, on Norway, on the 10th of May 1940, the German Armed Forces, repeating what had been done 25 years before, streamed into Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg according to plan—a plan that is, of invading without warning and without any declaration of war.

What was done was, of course, a breach of the Hague Convention, and is so charged. It was a violation of the Locarno Agreement of 1925, which the Nazi Government affirmed in 1935, only illegally to repudiate it a couple of years later. By that agreement all questions incapable of settlement by ordinary diplomatic means were to be referred to arbitration. You will see the comprehensive terms of all those treaties. It was a breach of the Treaty of Arbitration and Conciliation signed between Germany and the Netherlands on the 20th of May 1926. It was a breach of a similar treaty with Luxembourg of 11 September 1929. It was a breach of the Kellogg-Briand Pact. But those treaties, perhaps, had not derived in the minds of the Nazi rulers of Germany any added sanctity from the fact that they had been solemnly concluded by the governments of pre-Nazi Germany. Let us then consider the specific assurances and undertakings which the Nazi rulers themselves gave to these states which lay in the way of their plans against France and England and which they had always intended to attack. Not once, not twice, but 11 times the clearest possible assurances were given to Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg. On those assurances, solemnly given and formally expressed, these countries were entitled to rely and did rely. In respect of the breach of those assurances these defendants are charged. On the 30th of January 1937, for instance, Hitler had said:

“As for the rest, I have more than once expressed the desire and the hope of entering into similar good and cordial relations with our neighbors. Germany has, and here I repeat this solemnly, given the assurance time and time again that, for instance, between her and France there cannot be any humanly conceivable points of controversy. The German Government has further given the assurance to Belgium and Holland that it is prepared to recognize and to guarantee the inviolability and neutrality of these territories.”

After Hitler had remilitarized the Rhineland and had repudiated the Locarno Pact, England and France sought to re-establish the position of security for Belgium which Hitler’s action had threatened. And they, therefore, gave to Belgium on the 24th of April 1937 a specific guarantee that they would maintain, in respect of Belgium, the undertakings of assistance which they had entered into with her both under the Locarno Pact and under the Covenant of the League. On the 13th of October 1937 the German Government also made a declaration assuring Belgium of its intention to recognize the integrity of that country.

It is, perhaps, convenient to deal with the remaining assurances as we review the evidence which is available as to the preparations and intentions of the German Government prior to their actual invasion of Belgium on the 10th of May 1940.

As in the case of Poland, as in the case of Norway and Denmark, so also here the dates speak for themselves.

As early as August of 1938 steps were being taken to utilize the Low Countries as bases for decisive action in the West in the event of France and England opposing Germany in the aggressive plan which was on foot at that time against Czechoslovakia.

In an Air Force letter dated the 25th of August 1938 which deals with the action to be taken if England and France should interfere in the operation against Czechoslovakia, it is stated:

“It is not expected for the moment that other states will intervene against Germany. The Dutch and the Belgian area assumes in this connection much more importance for the conduct of war in Western Europe than during the World War, mainly as advance base for the air war.”

In the last paragraph of that order it is stated:

“Belgium and the Netherlands, when in German hands, represent an extraordinary advantage in the prosecution of the air war against Great Britain as well as against France . . .”

That was in August 1938. Eight months later, on the 28th of April 1939, Hitler is declaring again:

“I was pleased that a number of European states availed themselves of this declaration by the German Government to express and emphasize their desire to have absolute neutrality.”

A month later, on the 23rd of May 1939, Hitler held that conference in the Reich Chancellery, to which I already referred. The minutes of that meeting report Hitler as saying:

“The Dutch and Belgian air bases must be occupied by armed forces. Declarations of neutrality cannot be considered of any value. If England and France want a general conflict on the occasion of the war between Germany and Poland they will support Holland and Belgium in their neutrality . . . . Therefore, if England intends to intervene at the occasion of the Polish war, we must attack Holland with lightning speed. It is desirable to secure a defense line on Dutch soil up to the Zuider Zee.”

Even after that he was to give his solemn declarations that he would observe the neutrality of these countries. On the 26th of August 1939, when the crisis in regard to Danzig and Poland was reaching its climax, on the very day he had picked for the invasion of Poland, declarations assuring the governments concerned of the intention to respect their neutrality were handed by the German Ambassadors to the King of the Belgians, the Queen of the Netherlands, and to the Government of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg in the most solemn form. But to the Army Hitler was saying:

“If Holland and Belgium are successfully occupied and held, a successful war against England will be secured.”

On the 1st of September Poland was invaded, and 2 days later England and France came into the war against Germany, in pursuance of the treaty obligations already referred to. On the 6th of October Hitler renewed his assurances of friendship to Belgium and Holland, but on the 9th of October, before any kind of accusation had been made by the German Government of breaches of neutrality, Hitler issued a directive for the conduct of the war. And he said this:

“1) If it becomes evident in the near future that England and France, acting under her leadership, are not disposed to end the war, I am determined to take firm and offensive action without letting much time elapse.


“2) A long waiting period results not only in the ending of Belgian and perhaps also of Dutch neutrality to the advantage of the Western Powers, but also strengthens the military power of our enemies to an increasing degree, causes confidence of the neutrals in final German victory to wane, and does not help to bring Italy to our aid as brothers-in-arms.


“3) I therefore issue the following orders for the further conduct of military operations:


“(a) Preparations should be made for offensive action on the northern flank of the Western Front crossing the area of Luxembourg, Belgium, and Holland. This attack must be carried out as soon and as forcefully as possible.


“(b) The object of this attack is to defeat as many strong sections of the French fighting army as possible, and her ally and partner in the fighting, and at the same time to acquire as great an area of Holland, Belgium, and northern France as possible, to use as a base offering good prospects for waging aerial and sea warfare against England and to provide ample coverage for the vital district of the Ruhr.”

Nothing could state more clearly or more definitely the object behind the invasion of these three countries than that document expresses it.

On the 15th of October 1939 the Defendant Keitel wrote a most-secret letter concerning “Fall Gelb” which was the name given to the operation against the Low Countries. In it he said that:

“The protection of the Ruhr area by moving aircraft reporting service and the air defense as far forward as possible in the area of Holland is significant for the whole conduct of the war. The more Dutch territory we occupy, the more effective can the defense of the Ruhr area be made. This point of view must determine the choice of objectives of the Army, even if the Army and Navy are not directly interested in such territorial gain. It must be the object of the Army’s preparations, therefore, to occupy, on receipt of a special order, the territory of Holland, in the first instance in the area of the Grebbe-Maas line. It will depend on the military and political attitude of the Dutch, as well as on the effectiveness of their flooding, whether objectives can and must be further extended.”

The Fall Gelb operation had apparently been planned to take place at the beginning of November 1939. We have in our possession a series of 17 letters, dated from 7th November until the 9th May postponing almost from day to day the D-Day of the operation, so that by the beginning of November all the major plans and preparations had in fact been made.

On the 10th of January 1940 a German airplane force-landed in Belgium. In it was found the remains of an operation order which the pilot had attempted to burn; setting out considerable details of the Belgian landing grounds that were to be captured by the Air Force. Many other documents have been found which illustrate the planning and preparation for this invasion in the latter half of 1939 and early 1940, but they carry the matter no further, and they show no more clearly than the evidence to which I have already referred, the plans and intention of the German Government and its Armed Forces.

On the 10th of May 1940 at about 0500 hours in the morning, the German invasion of Belgium, Holland, and Luxembourg began.

And so once more the forces of aggression moved on. Treaties, assurances, the rights of sovereign states meant nothing. Brutal force, covered by as great an element of surprise as the Nazis could secure, was to seize that which was deemed necessary for striking the mortal blow against England, the main enemy. The only fault of these three unhappy countries was that they stood in the path of the German invader, in his designs against England and France. That was enough, and they were invaded.

[A recess was taken.]

SIR HARTLEY SHAWCROSS: On the 6th of April 1941 German Armed Forces invaded Greece and Yugoslavia. Again the blow was struck without warning and with the cowardice and deceit which the world now fully expected from the self-styled “Herrenvolk”. It was a breach of the Hague Convention. It was a breach of the Pact of Paris. It was a breach of a specific assurance given by Hitler on the 6th of October 1939.

He had then said this:

“Immediately after the completion of the Anschluss, I informed Yugoslavia that from now on the frontier with this country will also be an unalterable one and that we desire only to live in peace and friendship with her.”

But the plan for aggression against Yugoslavia had, of course, been in hand well before that. In the aggressive action eastward towards the Ukraine and the Soviet territories, security of the southern flank and the lines of communication had already been considered by the Germans.

The history of the events leading up to the invasion of Yugoslavia by Germany is well known. At 3 o’clock in the morning of the 28th of October 1940 a 3-hour ultimatum had been presented by the Italian Government to the Greek Government, and the presentation of that ultimatum was immediately followed by the aerial bombardment of Greek provincial towns and the advance of Italian troops into Greek territory. The Greeks were not prepared. They were at first forced to withdraw. But later the Italian advance was at first checked, then driven towards the Albanian frontier, and by the end of 1940 the Italian Army had suffered severe reverses at Greek hands.

Of the German position in the matter there is, of course, the evidence of what occurred when, on the 12th of August 1939, Hitler had this meeting with Ciano.

You will remember that Hitler said then:

“Generally speaking, the best thing to happen would be to liquidate false neutrals one after the other. This process could be carried out more easily if, on every occasion, one partner of the Axis covered the other while it was dealing with an uncertain neutral. Italy might well regard Yugoslavia as a neutral of this kind.”

Then the conference went on and it met again on the 13th of August, and in the course of lengthy discussions, Hitler said this:

“In general, however, on success by one of the Axis partners, not only strategical but also psychological strengthening of the other partner and also of the whole Axis would ensue. Italy carried through a number of successful operations in Abyssinia, Spain, and Albania, and each time against the wishes of the democratic entente. These individual actions have not only strengthened Italian local interests, but have also . . . reinforced her general position. The same was the case with German action in Austria and Czechoslovakia . . . . The strengthening of the Axis by these individual operations was of the greatest importance for the unavoidable clash with the Western Powers.”

And so once again we see the same procedure being followed. That meeting had taken place on the 12th and the 13th of August of 1939. Less than 2 months later, Hitler was giving his assurance to Yugoslavia that Germany only desired to live in peace and friendship with her, with the state, the liquidation of which by his Axis partner, he had himself so recently suggested.

Then came the Italian ultimatum to Greece and war against Greece and the Italian reverse.

We have found, amongst the captured documents, an undated letter from Hitler to Mussolini which must have been written about the time of the Italian aggression against Greece:

“Permit me”—Hitler said—“at the beginning of this letter to assure you that within the last 14 days my heart and my thoughts have been more than ever with you. Moreover, Duce, be assured of my determination to do everything on your behalf which might ease the present situation for you. When I asked you to receive me in Florence, I undertook the trip in the hope of being able to express my views prior to the beginning of the threatening conflict with Greece, about which I had received only general information. First, I wanted to request you to postpone the action, if at all possible, until a more favorable time of the year, at all events until after the American presidential election. But in any case, however, I wanted to request you, Duce, not to undertake this action without a previous lightning-like occupation of Crete and, for this purpose, I also wanted to submit to you some practical suggestions in regard to the employment of a German parachute division and a further airborne division . . . Yugoslavia must become disinterested, if possible, however, from our point of view, interested in co-operating in the liquidation of the Greek question. Without assurances from Yugoslavia, it is useless to risk any successful operation in the Balkans . . . Unfortunately, I must stress the fact that waging a war in the Balkans before March is impossible. Hence it would also serve to make any threatening influence upon Yugoslavia of no purpose, since the Serbian General Staff is well aware of the fact that no practical action could follow such a threat before March. Hence, Yugoslavia must, if at all possible, be won over by other means and in other ways.”

On the 12th of November 1939, in his top-secret order, Hitler ordered the OKH to make preparations to occupy Greece and Bulgaria, if necessary. Apparently 10 divisions were to be used in order to prevent Turkish intervention. I think I said 1939; it should, of course, have been the 12th of November 1940. And to shorten the time, the German divisions in Romania were to be increased.

On the 13th of December Hitler issued an order to OKW, OKL, OKH, OKM, and the General Staff on the operation Marita, as the invasion of Greece was to be called. In that order it was stated that the invasion of Greece was planned and was to commence as soon as the weather was advantageous. A further order was issued on the 11th of January of 1941.

On the 28th of January of 1941 Hitler saw Mussolini. The Defendants Jodl, Keitel, and Ribbentrop were present at the meeting. We know about it from Jodl’s notes of what took place. We know that Hitler stated that one of the purposes of German troop concentrations in Romania was for use in the plan Marita against Greece.

On the 1st of March 1941 German troops entered Bulgaria and moved towards the Greek frontier. In the face of this threat of an attack on Greece by German as well as Italian forces, British troops were landed in Greece on the 3rd of March, in accordance with the declaration which had been given by the British Government on the 13th of April 1939; that Britain would feel bound to give Greece and Romania, respectively, all the support in her power in the event of either country becoming the victim of aggression and resisting such aggression. Already, of course, the Italian operations had made that pledge operative.

On the 25th of March of 1941, Yugoslavia, partly won over by the “other means and in other ways” to which Hitler had referred, joined the Three Power Pact which had already been signed by Germany, Italy, and Japan. The preamble of the pact stated that the three powers would stand side by side and work together.

On the same day the Defendant Ribbentrop wrote two notes to the Yugoslav Prime Minister assuring him of Germany’s full intention to respect the sovereignty and independence of his country. That declaration was just another example of the treachery employed by German diplomacy. We have already seen the preparations that had been made. We have seen Hitler’s attempts to tempt the Italians into an aggression against Yugoslavia. We have seen, in January, his own orders for preparations to invade Yugoslavia and then Greece. And now, on the 25th of March, he is signing a pact with that country and his Foreign Minister is writing assurances of respect for her sovereignty and territorial integrity.

As a result of the signing of that pact, the anti-Nazi element in Yugoslavia immediately accomplished a coup d’état and established a new government. And thereupon, no longer prepared to respect the territorial integrity and sovereignty of her ally, Germany immediately took the decision to invade. On the 27th of March, 2 days after the Three Power Pact had been signed, Hitler issued instructions that Yugoslavia was to be invaded and used as a base for the continuance of the combined German and Italian operation against Greece.

Following that, further deployment and instructions for the action Marita were issued by Von Brauchitsch on the 30th of March 1941.

It was said—and I quote:

“The orders issued with regard to the operation against Greece remain valid so far as not affected by this order . . . . On the 5th April, weather permitting, the Air Forces are to attack troops in Yugoslavia, while simultaneously the attack of the 12th Army begins against both Yugoslavia and Greece.”

And as we now know, the invasion actually commenced in the early hours of the 6th of April.

Treaties, pacts, assurances, obligations of any kind, are brushed aside and ignored wherever the aggressive interests of Germany are concerned.

I turn now to the last act of aggression in Europe—my American colleagues will deal with the position in relation to Japan—I turn now to the last act of aggression in Europe with which these Nazi conspirators are charged, the attack upon Russia.

In August of 1939 Germany, although undoubtedly intending to attack Russia at some convenient opportunity, concluded a treaty of non-aggression with the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. When Belgium and the Low Countries were occupied and France collapsed in June of 1940, England—although with the inestimably valuable moral and economic support of the United States of America—was left alone in the field as the sole representative of democracy in the face of the forces of aggression. At that moment only the British Empire stood between Germany and the achievement of her aim to dominate the Western World. Only the British Empire—and England as its citadel. But it was enough. The first, and possibly the decisive, military defeat which the enemy sustained was in the campaign against England; and that defeat had a profound influence on the future course of the war.

On the 16th of July of 1940 Hitler issued to the Defendants Keitel and Jodl a directive—which they found themselves unable to obey—for the invasion of England. It started off—and Englishmen will forever be proud of it—by saying that:

“Since England, despite her militarily hopeless situation, shows no signs of willingness to come to terms, I have decided to prepare a landing operation against England and if necessary to carry it out. The aim is . . . to eliminate the English homeland as a base for the carrying on of the war against Germany . . . . Preparations for the entire operation must be completed by mid-August.”

But the first essential condition for that plan was, I quote:

“. . . the British Air Force must morally and actually be so far overcome that it does not any longer show any considerable aggressive force against the German attack.”

The Defendant Göring and his Air Force, no doubt, made the most strenuous efforts to realize that condition, but, in one of the most splendid pages of our history, it was decisively defeated. And although the bombardment of England’s towns and villages was continued throughout that dark winter of 1940-41, the enemy decided in the end that England was not to be subjugated by these means, and, accordingly, Germany turned back to the East, the first major aim unachieved.

On the 22d of June 1941 German Armed Forces invaded Russia, without warning, without declaration of war. It was, of course, a breach of the usual series of treaties; they meant no more in this case than they had meant in the other cases. It was a violation of the Pact of Paris; it was a flagrant contradiction of the Treaty of Non-Aggression which Germany and Russia had signed on the 23rd of August a year before.

Hitler himself said, in referring to that agreement, that “agreements were only to be kept as long as they served a purpose.”

The Defendant Ribbentrop was more explicit. In an interview with the Japanese Ambassador in Berlin on the 23rd of February 1941, he made it clear that the object of the agreement had merely been, so far as Germany was concerned, to avoid a two-front war.

In contrast to what Hitler and Ribbentrop and the rest of them were planning within the secret councils of Germany, we know what they were saying to the rest of the world.

On the 19th of July, Hitler spoke in the Reichstag:

“In these circumstances”—he said—“I considered it proper to negotiate as a first priority a sober definition of interest with Russia. It would be made clear once and for all what Germany believes she must regard as her sphere of interest to safeguard her future and, on the other hand, what Russia considers important for her existence. From this clear delineation of the sphere of interest there followed the new regulation of Russian-German relations. Any hope that now, at the end of the term of the agreement, a new Russo-German tension could arise is childish. Germany has taken no step which would lead her outside her sphere of interest, nor has Russia. But England’s hope to achieve an amelioration of her own position through the engineering of some new European crisis, is, insofar as it is concerned with Russo-German relations, an illusion.

“English statesmen perceive everything somewhat slowly, but they too will learn to understand this in the course of time.”

The whole statement was, of course, a tissue of lies. It was not many months after it had been made that the arrangements for attacking Russia were put into hand. And the Defendant Raeder gives us the probable reason for the decision in a note which he sent to Admiral Assmann:

“The fear that control of the air over the Channel in the Autumn of 1940 could no longer be attained, a realization which the Führer no doubt gained earlier than the Naval War Staff, who were not so fully informed of the true results of air raids on England (our own losses), surely caused the Führer, as far back as August and September”—this was August and September of 1940—“to consider whether, even prior to victory in the West, an Eastern campaign would be feasible, with the object of first eliminating our last serious opponent on the Continent . . . . The Führer did not openly express this fear, however, until well into September.”

He may not have spoken to the Navy of his intentions until later in September, but by the beginning of that month he had undoubtedly told the Defendant Jodl about them.

Dated the 6th of September 1940, we have a directive of the OKW signed by the Defendant Jodl, and I quote:

“Directions are given for the occupation forces in the East to be increased in the following weeks. For security reasons”—and I quote—“this should not create the impression in Russia that Germany is preparing for an Eastern offensive.”

Directives are given to the German Intelligence Service pertaining to the answering of questions by the Russian Intelligence Service, and I quote:

“The respective strength of the German troops in the East is to be camouflaged by . . . frequent changes in this area . . . . The impression is to be created that the bulk of the troops is in the south of the Government General and that the occupation in the North is relatively small.”

And so we see the beginning of the operations.

On the 12th of November 1940 Hitler issued a directive, signed by the Defendant Jodl, in which it was stated that the political task to determine the attitude of Russia had begun, but that without reference to the result of preparations against the East, which had been ordered orally.

It is not to be supposed that the U.S.S.R. would have taken part in any conversations at that time if it had been realized that on the very day orders were being given for preparations to be made for the invasion of Russia, and that the order for the operation, which was called “Plan Barbarossa”, was in active preparation. On the 18th of December the order was issued, and I quote:

“The German Armed Forces have to be ready to defeat Soviet Russia in a swift campaign before the end of the war against Great Britain.”

And later, in the same instruction—and I quote again:

“All orders which shall be issued by the High Commanders in accordance with this instruction have to be clothed in such terms that they may be taken as measures of precaution in case Russia should change her present attitude towards ourselves.”

Germany kept up the pretense of friendliness and, on the 10th of January 1941, well after the Plan Barbarossa for the invasion of Russia had been decided upon, Germany signed the German-Russian Frontier Treaty. Less than a month later, on the 3rd of February of 1941, Hitler held a conference, attended by the Defendants Keitel and Jodl, at which it was provided that the whole operation against Russia was to be camouflaged as if it was part of the preparation for the “Plan Seelöwe”, as the plan for the invasion of England was described.

By March of 1941 plans were sufficiently advanced to include provision for dividing the Russian territory into nine separate states to be administered under Reich Commissars, under the general control of the Defendant Rosenberg; and at the same time detailed plans for the economic exploitation of the country were made under the supervision of the Defendant Göring, to whom the responsibility in this matter—and it is a serious one—had been delegated by Hitler.

You will hear something of the details of these plans. I remind you of one document which has already been referred to in this connection.

It is significant that on the 2d of May of 1941 a conference of State Secretaries took place in regard to the Plan Barbarossa, and in the course of that it was noted:

“1. The war can be continued only if all Armed Forces are fed out of Russia in the third year of the war.


“2. There is no doubt that, as a result, many millions of people will be starved to death if we take out of the country the things necessary for us.”

But that apparently caused no concern. The “Plan Oldenbourg”, as the scheme for the economic organization and exploitation of Russia was called, went on. By the 1st of May 1941, the D-Day of the operation had been fixed. By the 1st of June preparations were virtually complete and an elaborate timetable was issued. It was estimated that, although there would be heavy frontier battles, lasting perhaps 4 weeks, after that no serious opposition was to be expected.

On the 22d of June, at 3:30 in the morning, the German armies marched again. As Hitler said in his proclamation to them, “I have decided to give the fate of the German people and of the Reich and of Europe again into the hands of our soldiers.”

The usual false pretexts were, of course, given. Ribbentrop stated on the 28th of June that the step was taken because of the threatening of the German frontiers by the Red Army. It was a lie, and the Defendant Ribbentrop knew it was a lie.

On the 7th of June 1941 Ribbentrop’s own Ambassador in Moscow was reporting to him, and I quote, that, “All observations show that Stalin and Molotov, who are alone responsible for Russian foreign policy, are doing everything to avoid a conflict with Germany.” The staff records which you will see make it clear that the Russians were making no military preparations and that they were continuing their deliveries under the Trade Agreement to the very last day. The truth is, of course, that the elimination of Russia as a political opponent and the incorporation of the Soviet territory in the German Lebensraum had been one of the cardinal features of Nazi policy for a very long time, subordinated latterly for what the Defendant Jodl called diplomatic reasons.

And so, on the 22d of June, the Nazi armies were flung against the power with which Hitler had so recently sworn friendship, and Germany embarked upon that last act of aggression in Europe, which, after long and bitter fighting, was eventually to result in Germany’s own collapse.

That, then, is the case against these defendants, as amongst the rulers of Germany, under Count Two of this Indictment.

It may be said that many of the documents which have been referred to were in Hitler’s name, and that the orders were Hitler’s orders, and that these men were mere instruments of Hitler’s will. But they were the instruments without which Hitler’s will could not be carried out; and they were more than that. These men were no mere willing tools, although they would be guilty enough if that had been their role. They are the men whose support had built Hitler up into the position of power he occupied; these are the men whose initiative and planning often conceived and certainly made possible the acts of aggression done in Hitler’s name; and these are the men who enabled Hitler to build up the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, the war economy, the political philosophy, by which these treacherous attacks were carried out, and by which he was able to lead his fanatical followers into peaceful countries to murder, to loot, and to destroy. They are the men whose cooperation and support made the Nazi Government of Germany possible.

The government of a totalitarian country may be carried on without representatives of the people, but it cannot be carried on without any assistance at all. It is no use having a leader unless there are also people willing and ready to serve their personal greed and ambition by helping and following him. The dictator who is set up in control of the destinies of his country does not depend on himself alone either in acquiring power or in maintaining it. He depends upon the support and the backing which lesser men, themselves lusting to share in dictatorial power, anxious to bask in the adulation of their leader, are prepared to give.

In the criminal courts of our countries, when men are put on their trial for breaches of the municipal laws, it not infrequently happens that of a gang indicted together in the dock, one has the master mind, the leading personality. But it is no excuse for the common thief to say, “I stole because I was told to steal”, for the murderer to plead, “I killed because I was asked to kill.” And these men are in no different position, for all that it was nations they sought to rob, and whole peoples which they tried to kill. “The warrant of no man excuseth the doing of an illegal act.” Political loyalty, military obedience are excellent things, but they neither require nor do they justify the commission of patently wicked acts. There comes a point where a man must refuse to answer to his leader if he is also to answer to his conscience. Even the common soldier, serving in the ranks of his army, is not called upon to obey illegal orders. But these men were no common soldiers: They were the men whose skill and cunning, whose labor and activity made it possible for the German Reich to tear up existing treaties, to enter into new ones and to flout them, to reduce international negotiations and diplomacy to a hollow mockery, to destroy all respect for and effect in international law and, finally, to march against the peoples of the world to secure that domination in which, as arrogant members of their self-styled master race, they professed to believe.

If these crimes were in one sense the crimes of Nazi Germany, they also are guilty as the individuals who aided, abetted, counselled, procured, and made possible the commission of what was done.

The total sum of the crime these men have committed—so awful in its comprehension—has many aspects. Their lust and sadism, their deliberate slaughter and degradation of so many millions of their fellow creatures that the imagination reels, are but one side of this matter. Now that an end has been put to this nightmare, and we come to consider how the future is to be lived, perhaps their guilt as murderers and robbers is of less importance and of less effect to future generations of mankind than their crime of fraud—the fraud by which they placed themselves in a position to do their murder and their robbery. That is the other aspect of their guilt. The story of their “diplomacy”, founded upon cunning, hypocrisy, and bad faith, is a story less gruesome no doubt, but no less evil and deliberate. And should it be taken as a precedent of behavior in the conduct of international relations, its consequences to mankind will no less certainly lead to the end of civilized society.

Without trust and confidence between nations, without the faith that what is said is meant and that what is undertaken will be observed, all hope of peace and security is dead. The Governments of the United Kingdom and the British Commonwealth, of the United States of America, of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and of France, backed by and on behalf of every other peace-loving nation of the world, have therefore joined to bring the inventors and perpetrators of this Nazi conception of international relationship before the bar of this Tribunal. They do so, so that these defendants may be punished for their crimes. They do so, also, that their conduct may be exposed in all its naked wickedness and they do so in the hope that the conscience and good sense of all the world will see the consequences of such conduct and the end to which inevitably it must always lead. Let us once again restore sanity and with it also the sanctity of our obligations towards each other.

THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Attorney, would it be convenient to the prosecutors from Great Britain to continue?

SIR HARTLEY SHAWCROSS: The proposal was that my friend, Mr. Sidney Alderman, should continue with the presentation of the case with regard to the final acts of aggression against Czechoslovakia and that that being done, my British colleagues would continue with the presentation of the British case. As the Tribunal will appreciate, Counts One and Two are in many respects complementary, and my American colleagues and ourselves are working in closest cooperation in presenting the evidence affecting those counts.

THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Alderman, would it be convenient for you to go on until 5 o’clock?

MR. ALDERMAN: Yes. May it please the Tribunal, it is quite convenient for me to proceed. I can but feel that it will be quite anticlimactic after the address which you just heard.

When the Tribunal rose yesterday afternoon, I had just completed an outline of the plans laid by the Nazi conspirators in the weeks immediately following the Munich Agreement. These plans called for what the German officials called “the liquidation of the remainder of Czechoslovakia.” You will recall that 3 weeks after Munich, on 21 October, the same day on which the administration of the Sudetenland was handed over to the civilian authorities, Hitler and Keitel had issued an order to the Armed Forces. This document is C-136, Exhibit USA-104.

In this order Hitler and Keitel ordered the beginning of preparations by the Armed Forces for the conquest of the remainder of Czechoslovakia. You will also recall that 2 months later, on 17 December, the Defendant Keitel issued an appendix to the original order directing the continuation of these preparations. This document is C-138, Exhibit USA-105, and both these documents have already been introduced.

Proceeding on the assumption that no resistance worth mentioning was to be expected, this order emphasized that the attack on Czechoslovakia was to be well camouflaged so that it would not appear to be a warlike action. “To the outside world,” it said, and I quote, “it must appear obvious that it is merely an action of pacification and not a warlike undertaking.”

Thus, in the beginning of 1939 the basic planning for military action against the mutilated Czechoslovak Republic had already been carried out by the German High Command.

I turn now to the underhand and criminal methods used by the Nazi conspirators to ensure that no resistance worth mentioning would, in fact, be met by the German Army. As in the case of Austria and the Sudetenland, the Nazi conspirators did not intend to rely on the Wehrmacht alone to accomplish their calculated objective of liquidating Czechoslovakia. With the German minority separated from Czechoslovakia, they could no longer use the cry, “Home to the Reich.” One sizable minority, the Slovaks, still remained within the Czechoslovak state.

I should mention at this point that the Czechoslovak Government had made every effort to conciliate Slovak extremists in the months after the cession of the Sudetenland. Autonomy had been granted to Slovakia, with an autonomous Cabinet and Parliament at Bratislava. Nevertheless, despite these concessions, it was in Slovakia that the Nazi conspirators found fertile ground for their tactics. The picture which I shall now draw of Nazi operations in Slovakia is based on the Czechoslovak official Government Report, Document Number 998-PS, already admitted in evidence as Exhibit USA-91, and of which the Court has already taken judicial notice.

Nazi propaganda and research groups had long been interested in maintaining close connection with the Slovak autonomist opposition. When Bela Tuka, who later became Prime Minister of the puppet state of Slovakia, was tried for espionage and treason in 1929, the evidence established that he had already established connections with Nazi groups within Germany. Prior to 1938 Nazi aides were in close contact with the Slovak traitors living in exile and were attempting to establish more profitable contacts in the semi-fascist Slovak Catholic People’s Party of Monsignor Andrew Hlinka. In February and July 1938 the leaders of the Henlein movement conferred with top men of Father Hlinka’s party and agreed to furnish one another with mutual assistance in pressing their respective claims to autonomy. This understanding proved useful in the September agitation when at the proper moment the Foreign Office in Berlin wired the Henlein leader, Kundt, in Prague to tell the Slovaks to start their demands for autonomy.

This telegram, our Document Number 2858-PS, Exhibit USA-97, has already been introduced in evidence and read.

By this time—midsummer 1938—the Nazis were in direct contact with figures in the Slovak autonomist movement and had paid agents among the higher staff of Father Hlinka’s party. These agents undertook to render impossible any understanding between the Slovak autonomists and the Slovak parties in the government at Prague.

Hans Karmasin, later to become Volksgruppenführer, had been appointed Nazi leader in Slovakia and professed to be serving the cause of Slovak autonomy while actually on the Nazi payroll. On 22 November the Nazis indiscreetly wired Karmasin to collect his money at the German Legation in Prague, and I offer in evidence Document 2859-PS as Exhibit USA-107, captured from the German Foreign Office files. I read this telegram which was sent from the German Legation at Prague to Pressburg:

“Delegate Kundt asks to notify State Secretary Karmasin he would appreciate it if he could personally draw the sum which is being kept for him at the treasury of the Embassy.”—signed—“Hencke.”

Karmasin proved to be extremely useful to the Nazi cause. Although it is out of its chronological place in my discussion, I should like now to offer in evidence Document 2794-PS, a captured memorandum of the German Foreign Office which I offer as Exhibit USA-108, dated Berlin, 29 November 1939.

This document, dated 8 months after the conquest of Czechoslovakia, throws a revealing light both on Karmasin and on the German Foreign Office, and I now read from this memorandum:

“On the question of payments to Karmasin.


“Karmasin receives 30,000 marks monthly from the VDA”—Peoples’ League for Germans Abroad—“until 1 April 1940; from then on 15,000 marks monthly.


“Furthermore, the Central Office for Racial Germans”—Volksdeutsche Mittelstelle—“has deposited 300,000 marks for Karmasin with the German Mission in Bratislava”—Pressburg—“on which he could fall back in an emergency.


“Furthermore, Karmasin has received money from Reich Minister Seyss-Inquart; for the present it has been impossible to determine what amounts had been involved, and whether the payments still continue.


“Therefore, it appears that Karmasin has been provided with sufficient money; thus one could wait to determine whether he would put up new demands himself.


“Herewith presented to the Reich Foreign Minister.”—signed—“Woermann.”

This document shows the complicity of the German Foreign Office in the subsidization of illegal organizations abroad. More important, it shows that the Germans still considered it necessary to supply their undercover representatives in Pressburg with substantial funds, even after the declaration of the so-called Independent State of Slovakia.

Sometime in the winter of 1938-39, the Defendant Göring conferred with Durkansky and Mach, two leaders in the Slovak extremist group, who were accompanied by Karmasin. The Slovaks told Göring of their desire for what they called independence, with strong political, economic, and military ties to Germany. They promised that the Jewish problem would be solved as it had been solved in Germany; that the Communist Party would be prohibited. The notes of the meeting report that Göring considered that the Slovak efforts towards independence were to be supported, but as the document will show, his motives were scarcely altruistic.

I now offer in evidence Document 2801-PS as Exhibit USA-109, undated minutes of a conversation between Göring and Durkansky. This document was captured among the files of the German Foreign Office.

I now read these minutes, which are jotted down in somewhat telegraphic style. To begin with:

“Durkansky (Deputy Prime Minister) reads out declaration. Contents: Friendship for the Führer; gratitude, that through the Führer, autonomy has become possible for the Slovaks: The Slovaks never want to belong to Hungary. The Slovaks want full independence with strongest political, economic, and military ties to Germany. Bratislava to be the capital. The execution of the plan only possible if the army and police are Slovak.


“An independent Slovakia to be proclaimed at the meeting of the first Slovak Diet. In the case of a plebiscite the majority would favor a separation from Prague. Jews will vote for Hungary. The area of the plebiscite to be up to the March, where a large Slovak population lives.


“The Jewish problem will be solved similarly to that in Germany. The Communist Party to be prohibited.


“The Germans in Slovakia do not want to belong to Hungary but wish to stay in Slovakia.


“The German influence with the Slovak Government considerable; the appointment of a German Minister (member of the Cabinet) has been promised.


“At present negotiations with Hungary are being conducted by the Slovaks. The Czechs are more yielding towards the Hungarians than the Slovaks.


“The Field Marshal”—that is Field Marshal Göring—“considers that the Slovak negotiations towards independence are to be supported in a suitable manner. Czechoslovakia without Slovakia is still more at our mercy.


“Air bases in Slovakia are of great importance for the German Air Force for use against the East.”

On 12 February a Slovak delegation journeyed to Berlin. It consisted of Tuka, one of the Slovaks with whom the Germans had been in contact, and Karmasin, the paid representative of the Nazi conspirators in Slovakia. They conferred with Hitler and the Defendant Ribbentrop in the Reich Chancellery in Berlin on Sunday, 12 February 1939.

I now offer in evidence Document 2790-PS as Exhibit USA-110, the captured German Foreign Office minutes of that meeting:

“After a brief welcome Tuka thanks the Führer for granting this meeting. He addresses the Führer with ‘My Führer’ and he voices the opinion that he, though only a modest man himself, might well claim to speak for the Slovak nation. The Czech courts and prison gave him the right to make such a statement. He states that the Führer had not only opened the Slovak question but that he had been also the first one to acknowledge the dignity of the Slovak nation. The Slovakian people will gladly fight under the leadership of the Führer for the maintenance of European civilization. Obviously future association with the Czechs had become an impossibility for the Slovaks from a moral as well as an economic point of view.”

Then skipping to the last sentence: “ ‘I entrust the fate of my people to your care.’ ”—addressing that to the Führer!

During the meeting the Nazi conspirators apparently were successful in planting the idea of insurrection with the Slovak delegation. I refer to the final sentence of the document, which I have just read, the sentence spoken by Tuka, “I entrust the fate of my people to your care.”

It is apparent from these documents that in mid-February 1939 the Nazis had a well-disciplined group of Slovaks at their service, many of them drawn from the ranks of Father Hlinka’s party. Flattered by the personal attention of such men as Hitler and the Defendant Ribbentrop and subsidized by German representatives, these Slovaks proved willing tools in the hands of the Nazi conspirators.

In addition to Slovaks, the conspirators made use of the few Germans still remaining within the mutilated Czechoslovak Republic. Kundt, Henlein’s deputy who had been appointed leader of this German minority, created as many artificial “focal points of German culture” as possible. Germans from the districts handed over to Germany were ordered from Berlin to continue their studies at the German University in Prague and to make it a center of aggressive Nazism.

With the assistance of German civil servants, a deliberate campaign of Nazi infiltration into Czech public and private institutions was carried out, and the Henleinists gave full co-operation to Gestapo agents from the Reich who appeared on Czech soil. The Nazi political activity was designed to undermine and to weaken Czech resistance to the commands from Germany.

In the face of continued threats and duress on both diplomatic and propaganda levels, the Czech Government was unable to take adequate measures against these trespassers upon its sovereignty.

I am using as the basis of my remarks the Czechoslovak official Government report, Document Number 998-PS.

In early March, with the date for the final march into Czechoslovakia already close at hand, Fifth Column activity moved into its final phase. In Bohemia and Moravia the FS, Henlein’s equivalent of the SS, were in touch with the Nazi conspirators in the Reich and laid the groundwork of the events of 14 and 15 March.

I now offer in evidence Document 2826-PS as Exhibit USA-111. This is an article by SS Group Leader Karl Hermann Frank, published in the publication Böhmen and Mähren, the official periodical of the Reich Protector of Bohemia and Moravia, edition May 1941, Page 179.

This is an article written by one of the Nazi leaders in Czechoslovakia at the moment of Germany’s greatest military successes. It is a boastful article and reveals with a frankness rarely found in the Nazi press both the functions which the FS and the SS served and the pride the Nazi conspirators took in the activities of these organizations. It is a long quotation.

THE PRESIDENT: Are you going on with this tomorrow, Mr. Alderman?

MR. ALDERMAN: Yes.

THE PRESIDENT: Will you take the whole day?

MR. ALDERMAN: No, not more than an hour and a half.

THE PRESIDENT: And after that the British prosecutors will go on?

MR. ALDERMAN: Yes.

[The Tribunal adjourned until 5 December 1945 at 1000 hours.]


THIRTEENTH DAY
Wednesday, 5 December 1945

Morning Session

MR. ALDERMAN: May it please the Tribunal, when the Tribunal rose yesterday afternoon, I had just offered in evidence Document 2826-PS, Exhibit USA-111. This was an article by SS Group Leader Karl Hermann Frank, published in Böhmen und Mähren (or Bohemia and Moravia), the official periodical of the Reich Protector of Bohemia and Moravia, the issue of March 1941, at Page 79. It is an article which reveals with considerable frankness the functions which the FS and SS had, and shows the pride which the Nazi conspirators took in the activities of these organizations. I read from that article, under the heading “The SS on March 15, 1939”:

“A modern people and a modern state are today unthinkable without political troops. To these are allotted the special task of being the advance guard of the political will and the guarantor of its unity. This is especially true of the German folk-groups, which have their home in some other people’s state. Accordingly the Sudeten German Party had formerly also organized its political troop, the Voluntary Vigilantes”—or, in German, “Freiwilliger Selbstschutz”, called FS for short.—“This troop was trained especially in accordance with the principles of the SS, so far as these could be used in this region at that time. The troop was likewise assigned here the special task of protecting the homeland actively, if necessary. It stood up well in its first test in this connection, wherever in the fall crisis of 1938 it had to assume the protection of the homeland, arms in hand.


“After the annexation of the Sudeten Gau the tasks of the FS were transferred essentially to the German student organizations as compact troop formations in Prague and Brünn, aside from the isolated German communities which remained in the Second Republic. This was also natural because many active students from the Sudeten Gau were already members of the SS. The student organizations then had to endure this test, in common with other Germans, during, the crisis of March 1939 . . . .


“In the early morning hours of 15 March, after the announcement of the planned entry of German troops, German men had to act in some localities in order to assure a quiet course of events, either by assumption of the police authority, as for instance in Brünn, or by corresponding instructions of the police president. In some Czech offices men had likewise, in the early hours of the morning, begun to burn valuable archives and the material of political files. It was also necessary to take measures here in order to prevent foolish destruction . . . . How significant the many-sided and comprehensive measures were considered by the competent German agencies follows from the fact that many of the men either on March 15 itself or on the following days were admitted into the SS with fitting acknowledgment, in part even through the Reich leader of the SS himself or through SS Group Leader Heydrich. The activities and deeds of these men were thereby designated as accomplished in the interest of the SS . . . .


“Immediately after the corresponding divisions of the SS had marched in with the first columns of the German Army and had assumed responsibility in the appropriate sectors, the men here placed themselves at once at their further disposition and became valuable auxiliaries and collaborators.”

I now ask the Court to take judicial notice under Article 21 of the Charter of three official documents. These are identified by us as Documents D-571, D-572, and 2943-PS. I offer them in evidence, respectively, D-571 as Exhibit USA-112; D-572, Exhibit USA-113; and 2943-PS, which is the French Official Yellow Book, at Pages 66 and 67, as Exhibit USA-114.

The first two documents are British diplomatic dispatches, properly certified to by the British Government, which gave the background of intrigue in Slovakia—German intrigue in Slovakia. The third document, 2943-PS or Exhibit USA-114, consists of excerpts from the French Yellow Book, principally excerpts from dispatches signed by M. Coulondre, the French Ambassador in Berlin, to the French Foreign Office between 13 and 18 March 1939. I expect to draw on these three dispatches rather freely in the further course of my presentation, since the Tribunal will take judicial notice of each of these documents, I think; and therefore, it may not be necessary to read them at length into the transcript. In Slovakia the long-anticipated crisis came on 10 March. On that day the Czechoslovakian Government dismissed those members of the Slovak Cabinet who refused to continue negotiations with Prague, among them Foreign Minister Tiso and Durcansky. Within 24 hours the Nazis seized upon this act of the Czechoslovak Government as an excuse for intervention. On the following day, March 11, a strange scene was enacted in Bratislava, the Slovak capital. I quote from Document D-571, which is USA-112. That is the report of the British Minister in Prague to the British Government.

“Herr Bürckel, Herr Seyss-Inquart, and five German generals came at about 10 o’clock in the evening of Saturday, the 11th of March, into a Cabinet meeting in progress in Bratislava and told the Slovak Government that they should proclaim the independence of Slovakia. When M. Sidor, the Prime Minister, showed hesitation, Herr Bürckel took him on one side and explained that Herr Hitler had decided to settle the question of Czechoslovakia definitely. Slovakia ought, therefore, to proclaim her independence, because Herr Hitler would otherwise disinterest himself in her fate. M. Sidor thanked Herr Bürckel for this information, but said that he must discuss the situation with the Government at Prague.”

A very strange situation that he should have to discuss such a matter with his own Government, before obeying instructions of Herr Hitler delivered by five German generals and Herr Bürckel and Herr Seyss-Inquart.

Events went on moving rapidly, but Durcansky, one of the dismissed ministers, escaped with Nazi assistance to Vienna, where the facilities of the German broadcasting station were placed at his disposal. Arms and ammunition were brought from German offices in Engerau across the Danube into Slovakia, where they were used by the FS and the Hlinka Guards to create incidents and disorder of the type required by the Nazis as an excuse for military action. The German press and radio launched a violent campaign against the Czechoslovak Government; and, significantly, an invitation from Berlin was delivered in Bratislava. Tiso, the dismissed Prime Minister, was summoned by Hitler to an audience in the German capital. A plane was awaiting him in Vienna.

At this point, in the second week of March 1939, preparations for what the Nazi leaders like to call the liquidation of Czechoslovakia were progressing with what to them must have been very satisfying smoothness. The military, diplomatic, and propaganda machinery of the Nazi conspirators was moving in close co-ordination. All during the process of the Fall Grün (or Case Green) of the preceding summer, the Nazi conspirators had invited Hungary to participate in this new attack. Admiral Horthy, the Hungarian Regent, was again greatly flattered by this invitation.

I offer in evidence Document 2816-PS as Exhibit USA-115. This is a letter the distinguished Admiral of Hungary, a country which, incidentally, had no navy, wrote to Hitler on 13 March 1939, and which we captured in the German Foreign Office files.

“Your Excellency, my sincere thanks.


“I can hardly tell you how happy I am because this headwater region—I dislike using big words—is of vital importance to the life of Hungary.”—I suppose he needed some headwaters for the non-existent navy of which he was admiral.


“In spite of the fact that our recruits have been serving for only 5 weeks we are going into this affair with eager enthusiasm. The dispositions have already been made. On Thursday, the 16th of this month, a frontier incident will take place which will be followed by the big blow on Saturday.”—He doesn’t like to use big words; “big blow” is sufficient.


“I shall never forget this proof of friendship, and Your Excellency may rely on my unshakeable gratitude at all times. Your devoted friend, Horthy.”

From this cynical and callous letter from the distinguished Admiral . . .

THE PRESIDENT: Was that letter addressed to the Hungarian Ambassador at Berlin?

MR. ALDERMAN: I thought it was addressed to Hitler, if the President please.

THE PRESIDENT: There are some words at the top which look like a Hungarian name.

MR. ALDERMAN: That is the letter heading. As I understand it, the letter was addressed to Adolf Hitler.

THE PRESIDENT: All right.

MR. ALDERMAN: And I should have said it was—it ended with the . . .

THE PRESIDENT: Is there anything on the letter which indicates that?

MR. ALDERMAN: Only the fact that it was found in the Berlin Foreign Office, and the wording of the letter and the address “Your Excellency.” We may be drawing a conclusion as to whom it was addressed; but it was found in the Berlin Foreign Office.

From that cynical and callous letter it may be inferred that the Nazi conspirators had already informed the Hungarian Government of their plans for further military action against Czechoslovakia. As it turned out the timetable was advanced somewhat. I would draw the inference that His Excellency, Adolf Hitler, informed his devoted friend Horthy of this change in good time.

On the diplomatic level the Defendant Ribbentrop was quite active. On 13 March, the same day on which Horthy wrote his letter, Ribbentrop sent a cautionary telegram to the German Minister in Prague outlining the course of conduct he should pursue during the coming diplomatic pressure. I offer in evidence Document 2815-PS as Exhibit USA-116. This is the telegram sent by Ribbentrop to the German Legation in Prague on 13 March.

“Berlin, 13 March 1939.


“Prague. Telegram in secret code.


“With reference to telephone instructions given by Kordt today. In case you should get any written communication from President Hacha, please do not make any written or verbal comments or take any other action on them, but pass them on here by cipher telegram. Moreover, I must ask you and the other members of the legation to make a point of not being available if the Czech Government wants to communicate with you during the next few days.”—Signed—“Ribbentrop.”

On the afternoon of 13 March Monsignor Tiso, accompanied by Durcansky and Herr Meissner and the local Nazi leader, arrived in Berlin in response to the summons from Hitler to which I have heretofore referred. Late that afternoon Tiso was received by Hitler in his study in the Reich Chancellery and presented with an ultimatum. Two alternatives were given him: Either declare the independence of Slovakia, or be left without German assistance to what were referred to as the emergence of Poland and Hungary. This decision Hitler said was not a question of days, but of hours. I now offer in evidence Document 2802-PS as Exhibit USA-117—again a document captured in the German Foreign Office—German Foreign Office minutes of the meeting between Hitler and Tiso on 13 March. I read the bottom paragraph on Page 2 and the top paragraph on Page 3 of the English translation. The first paragraph I shall read is a summary of Hitler’s remark. You will note that in the inducements he held out to the Slovaks Hitler displayed his customary disregard for the truth. I quote:

“Now he had permitted Minister Tiso to come here in order to make this question clear in a very short time. Germany had no interest east of the Carpathian mountains. It was indifferent to him what happened there. The question was whether Slovakia wished to conduct her own affairs or not. He did not wish for anything from Slovakia. He would not pledge his people, or even a single soldier, to something which was not in any way desired by the Slovak people. He would like to secure final confirmation as to what Slovakia really wished. He did not wish that reproaches should come from Hungary that he was preserving something which did not wish to be preserved at all. He took a liberal view of unrest and demonstration in general, but in this connection unrest was only an outward indication of interior instability. He would not tolerate it and he had for that reason permitted Tiso to come in order to hear his decision. It was not a question of days, but of hours. He had stated at that time that if Slovakia wished to make herself independent he would support this endeavor and even guarantee it. He would stand by his word so long as Slovakia would make it clear that she wished for independence. If she hesitated or did not wish to dissolve the connection with Prague, he would leave the destiny of Slovakia to the mercy of events for which he was no longer responsible. In that case he would only intercede for German interests, and those did not lie east of the Carpathians. Germany had nothing to do with Slovakia. She had never belonged to Germany.


“The Führer asked the Reich Foreign Minister”—the Defendant Ribbentrop—“if he had any remarks to add. The Reich Foreign Minister also emphasized for his part the conception that in this case a decision was a question of hours not of days. He showed the Führer a message he had just received which reported Hungarian troop movements on the Slovak frontiers. The Führer read this report, mentioned it to Tiso, and expressed the hope that Slovakia would soon decide clearly for herself.”

A most extraordinary interview. Germany had no interest in Slovakia; Slovakia had never belonged to Germany; Tiso was invited there. And this is what happened: Those present at that meeting included the Defendant Ribbentrop, the Defendant Keitel, State Secretary Dietrich, State Secretary Keppler, the German Minister of State Meissner. I invite the attention of the Tribunal to the presence of the Defendant Keitel on this occasion, as on so many other occasions, where purely political measures in furtherance of Nazi aggression were under discussion, and where apparently there was no need for technical military advice.

While in Berlin the Slovaks also conferred separately with the Defendant Ribbentrop and with other high Nazi officials, Ribbentrop very solicitously handed Tiso a copy, already drafted in Slovak language, of the law proclaiming the independence of Slovakia. On the night of the 13th a German plane was conveniently placed at Tiso’s disposal to carry him home. On 14 March, pursuant to the wishes of the Nazi conspirators, the Diet of Bratislava proclaimed the independence of Slovakia. With Slovak extremeness acting at the Nazi bidding in open revolt against the Czechoslovak Government, the Nazi leaders were now in a position to move against Prague. On the evening of the 14th, at the suggestion of the German Legation in Prague, M. Hacha, the President of the Czechoslovak Republic, and M. Chvalkowsky, his Foreign Minister, arrived in Berlin. The atmosphere in which they found themselves might be described as somewhat hostile. Since the preceding weekend, the Nazi press had accused the Czechs of using violence against the Slovaks, and especially against the members of the German minority and citizens of the Reich. Both press and radio proclaimed that the lives of Germans were in danger. Such a situation was intolerable. It was necessary to smother as quickly as possible the focus of trouble, which Prague had become, in the heart of Europe.—These peacemakers!

After midnight on the 15th, at 1:15 in the morning, Hacha and Chvalkowsky were ushered into the Reich Chancellery. They found there Adolf Hitler, the Defendants Ribbentrop, Göring, and Keitel and other high Nazi officials. I now offer in evidence Document 2798-PS as Exhibit USA-118. This document is the captured German Foreign Office account of this infamous meeting. It is a long document. Parts of it are so revealing and give so clear a picture of Nazi behavior and tactics that I should like to read them in full.

It must be remembered that this account of the fateful conference on the night of March 14-15 comes from German sources, and of course it must be read as an account biased by its source, or as counsel for the defendants said last week “a tendentious account”. Nevertheless, even without too much discounting of the report on account of its source, it constitutes a complete condemnation of the Nazis, who by pure and simple international banditry forced the dissolution of Czechoslovakia. And I interpolate to suggest that international banditry has been a crime against international law for centuries.

I will first read the headings to the minutes. In the English mimeographed version in the document books the time given is an incorrect translation of the original. It should read 0115 to 0215:

“Conversation between the Führer and Reich Chancellor and the President of Czechoslovakia, Hacha, in the presence of the Reich Foreign Minister, Von Ribbentrop, and of the Czechoslovakian Foreign Minister, Chvalkowsky, in the Reich Chancellery on 15 March 1939, 0115 to 0215 hours.”

Others present were General Field Marshal Göring, General Keitel, Secretary of the State Von Weizsäcker, Minister of the State Meissner, Secretary of the State Dietrich, Counselor of the Legation Hewel. Hacha opened the conference. He was conciliatory—even humble, though the President of a sovereign state. He thanked Hitler for receiving him and he said he knew that the fate of Czechoslovakia rested in the Führer’s hands. Hitler replied that he regretted that he had been forced to ask Hacha to come to Berlin, particularly because of the great age of the President. Hacha was then, I believe, in his seventies. But this journey, Hitler told the President, could be of great advantage to his country because, and I quote, “It was only a matter of hours until Germany would intervene.” I quote now from the top of Page 3 of the English translation. You will bear in mind that what I am reading are rough notes or minutes of what Adolf Hitler said:

“Slovakia was a matter of indifference to him. If Slovakia had kept closer to Germany it would have been an obligation to Germany, but he was glad that he did not have this obligation now. He had no interests whatsoever in the territory east of the Little Carpathian Mountains. He did not want to draw the final consequences in the autumn. . .”

THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Alderman, don’t you think you ought to read the last sentence on Page 2?

MR. ALDERMAN: Perhaps so; yes. The last sentence from the preceding page was:

“For the other countries Czechoslovakia was nothing but a means to an end. London and Paris were not in a position to really stand up for Czechoslovakia.


“Slovakia was a matter of indifference to him.”

Then I had read down to:

“But even at that time and also later in his conversations with Chvalkowsky he made it clear that he would ruthlessly smash this State if Beneš’ tendencies were not completely revised. Chvalkowsky understood this and asked the Führer to have patience.”—He often bragged of his patience.—“The Führer saw this point of view, but the months went by without any change. The new regime did not succeed in eliminating the old one psychologically. He observed this from the press, mouth-to-mouth propaganda, dismissals of Germans, and many other things which, to him, were a symbol of the total perspective.


“At first he had not understood this but when it became clear to him he drew his consequences because, had the development continued in this way, the relations with Czechoslovakia would in a few years have become the same as 6 months ago. Why did Czechoslovakia not immediately reduce its Army to a reasonable size? Such an army was a tremendous burden for such a state, because it only makes sense if it supports the foreign political mission of the state. Since Czechoslovakia no longer has a foreign political mission such an army is meaningless. He enumerated several examples which proved to him that the spirit in the Army had not changed. This symptom convinced him that the Army also would be a source of a severe political burden in the future. Added to this were the inevitable development of economic necessities, and, further, the protests of national groups which could no longer endure life as it was.”

I now interpolate, if the Tribunal please, to note the significance of that language of Adolf Hitler to the President of a supposed sovereign state and its Prime Minister, having in his presence General Field Marshal Göring, the Commander of the Air Force, and General Keitel. And continuing to quote:

“Thus it is that the die was cast on the past Sunday.”—This is still the language of Hitler.—“I sent for the Hungarian minister and told him that I am withdrawing my hands from this country. We were now confronted with this fact. He had given the order to the German troops to march into Czechoslovakia and to incorporate Czechoslovakia into the German Reich. He wanted to give Czechoslovakia fullest autonomy and a life of her own to a larger extent than she had ever enjoyed during Austrian rule. Germany’s attitude towards Czechoslovakia will be determined tomorrow, and the day after tomorrow, and depends on the attitude of the Czechoslovakian people and the Czechoslovakian military towards the German troops. He no longer trusts the Government. He believes in the honesty and straightforwardness of Hacha and Chvalkowsky, but doubts that the Government will be able to assert itself in the entire nation. The German Army had already started out today, and at one barracks where resistance was offered, it was ruthlessly broken; another barracks had given in at the deployment of heavy artillery.


“At 6 o’clock in the morning the German Army would invade Czechoslovakia from all sides and the German Air Force would occupy the Czech airfields. There existed two possibilities. The first one would be that the invasion of the German troops would lead to a battle. In this case the resistance will be broken by all means with physical force. The other possibility is that the invasion of the German troops occurs in bearable form. In that case, it would be easy for the Führer to give Czechoslovakia in the new organization of Czech life a generous life of her own, autonomy, and a certain national liberty.


“We witnessed at the moment a great historical turning-point. He would not like to torture and denationalize the Czechs. He also did not do all that because of hatred, but in order to protect Germany. If Czechoslovakia in the fall of last year would not have yielded”—I suppose that is a bad translation for “had not yielded”—“the Czech people would have been exterminated. Nobody could have prevented him from doing that. It was his will that the Czech people should live a full national life and he believed firmly that a way could be found which would make far-reaching concessions to the Czech desires. If fighting should break out tomorrow, the pressure would result in counter-pressure. One would annihilate another and it would then not be possible any more for him to give the promised alleviations. Within 2 days the Czech Army would not exist any more. Of course, Germans would also be killed and this would result in a hatred which would force him”—that is, Hitler—“because of his instinct of self-preservation, not to grant autonomy any more. The world would not move a muscle. He felt pity for the Czech people when he was reading the foreign press. It would leave the impression on him which could be summarized in a German proverb: ‘The Moor has done his duty, the Moor may go.’


“That was the state of affairs. There existed two trends in Germany, a harder one which did not want any concessions and wished, in memory to the past, that Czechoslovakia would be conquered with blood, and another one, the attitude of which corresponded with his just-mentioned suggestions.


“That was the reason why he had asked Hacha to come here. This invitation was the last good deed which he could offer to the Czech people. If it should come to a fight, the bloodshed would also force us to hate. But the visit of Hacha could perhaps prevent the extreme. Perhaps it would contribute to finding a form of construction which would be so far-reaching for Czechoslovakia as she could never have hoped for in the old Austria. His aim was only to create the necessary security for the German people.


“The hours went past. At 6 o’clock the troops would march in. He was almost ashamed to say that there was one German division to each Czech battalion. The military action was no small one, but planned with all generosity. He would advise him”—that is, Adolf Hitler advised poor old Hacha—“now to retire with Chvalkowsky in order to discuss what should be done.”

In his reply to this long harangue, Hacha, according to the German minutes, said that he agreed that resistance would be useless. He expressed doubt that he would be able to issue the necessary orders to the Czech Army, in the 4 hours left to him, before the German Army crossed the Czech border. He asked if the object of the invasion was to disarm the Czech Army. If so, he indicated that might possibly be arranged. Hitler replied that his decision was final; that it was well known what a decision of the Führer meant. He turned to the circle of Nazi conspirators surrounding him, for their support, and you will remember that the Defendants Göring, Ribbentrop, and Keitel were all present. The only possibility of disarming the Czech Army, Hitler said, was by the intervention of the German Army.

I read now one paragraph from Page 4 of the English version of the German minutes of this infamous meeting. It is the next to the last paragraph on Page 4.

“The Führer states that his decision was irrevocable. It was well known what a decision of the Führer meant. He did not see any other possibility for disarmament and asked the other gentlemen”—that is, including Göring, Ribbentrop, and Keitel—“whether they shared his opinion, which was answered in the affirmative. The only possibility to disarm the Czech Army was by the German Army.”

At this sad point, Hacha and Chvalkowsky retired from the room.

I now offer in evidence Document 2861-PS, an excerpt from the official British War Blue Book, at Page 24, and I offer it as Exhibit USA-119. This is an official document of the British Government, of which the Tribunal will take judicial notice under the provisions of Article 21 of the Charter. The part from which I read is a dispatch from the British Ambassador, Sir Nevile Henderson, describing a conversation with the Defendant Göring, in which the events of this early morning meeting are set forth.

“Sir N. Henderson to Viscount Halifax, Berlin, May 28, 1939.


“My Lord: I paid a short visit to Field Marshal Göring at Karinhall yesterday.”

Then I skip two paragraphs and begin reading with Paragraph 4. I am sorry, I think I better read all of those paragraphs:

“Field Marshal Göring, who had obviously just been talking to someone else on the subject, began by inveighing against the attitude which was being adopted in England towards everything German and, particularly, in respect of the gold held there on behalf of the National Bank of Czechoslovakia. Before, however, I had time to reply, he was called to the telephone and on his return did not revert to this specific question. He complained, instead, of British hostility in general, of our political and economic encirclement of Germany and the activities of what he described as the war party in England. . . .


“I told the Field Marshal that before speaking of British hostility, he must understand why the undoubted change of feeling towards Germany in England had taken place. As he knew quite well, the basis of all the discussions between Mr. Chamberlain and Herr Hitler last year had been to the effect that, once the Sudeten were allowed to enter the Reich, Germany would leave the Czechs alone and would do nothing to interfere with their independence. Herr Hitler had given a definite assurance to that effect in his letter to the Prime Minister of the 27th September. By yielding to the advice of his ‘wild men’ and deliberately annexing Bohemia and Moravia, Herr Hitler had not only broken his word to Mr. Chamberlain but had infringed the whole principle of self-determination on which the Munich Agreement rested.


“At this point, the Field Marshal interrupted me with a description of President Hacha’s visit to Berlin. I told Field Marshal Göring that it was not possible to talk of free will when I understood that he himself had threatened to bombard Prague with his airplanes, if Doctor Hacha refused to sign. The Field Marshal did not deny the fact but explained how the point had arisen. According to him, Doctor Hacha had from the first been prepared to sign everything but had said that constitutionally he could not do so without reference first to Prague. After considerable difficulty, telephonic communication with Prague was obtained and the Czech Government had agreed, while adding that they could not guarantee that one Czech battalion at least would not fire on German troops. It was, he said, only at that stage that he had warned Doctor Hacha that, if German lives were lost, he would bombard Prague. The Field Marshal also repeated, in reply to some comment of mine, the story that the advance occupation of Vitkovice had been effected solely in order to forestall the Poles who, he said, were known to have the intention of seizing this valuable area at the first opportunity.”

I also invite the attention of the Tribunal and the judicial notice of the Tribunal, to Dispatch Number 77, in the French Official Yellow Book, at Page 96 of the book, identified as our Document 2943-PS, appearing in the Document Book under that number, and I ask that it be given an identifying number, Exhibit USA-114. This is a dispatch from M. Coulondre, the French Ambassador, and it gives another well-informed version of this same midnight meeting. The account, which I shall present to the Court, of the remainder of this meeting is drawn from these two sources, the British Blue Book and the French Yellow Book. I think the Court may be interested to read somewhat further at large, in those two books, which furnish a great deal of the background of all of these matters.

When President Hacha left the conference room in the Reich Chancellery, he was in such a state of exhaustion that he needed medical attention from a physician who was conveniently on hand for that purpose, a German physician. When the two Czechs returned to the room, the Nazi conspirators again told them of the power and invincibility of the Wehrmacht. They reminded them that in 3 hours, at 6 in the morning . . .

THE PRESIDENT: You are not reading? I beg your pardon!

MR. ALDERMAN: I am not reading, I am summarizing.

THE PRESIDENT: Go on.

MR. ALDERMAN: They reminded them that in 3 hours, at 6 in the morning, the German Army would cross the border. The Defendant Göring boasted of what the Wehrmacht would do if the Czech forces dared to resist the invading Germans. If German lives were lost, Defendant Göring said, his Luftwaffe would blaze half of Prague into ruins in 2 hours and that, Göring said, would be only the beginning.

Under this threat of imminent and merciless attack by land and air, the aged President of Czechoslovakia at 4:30 o’clock in the morning, signed the document with which the Nazi conspirators confronted him and which they had already had prepared. This Document is TC-49, the declaration of 15 March 1939, one of the series of documents which will be presented by the British prosecutor, and from it I quote this, on the assumption that it will subsequently be introduced.

“The President of the Czechoslovakian State . . . entrusts with entire confidence the destiny of the Czech people and the Czech country to the hands of the Führer of the German Reich”—really a rendezvous with destiny.

While the Nazi officials were threatening and intimidating the representatives of the Czech Government, the Wehrmacht had in some areas already crossed the Czech border.

I offer in evidence Document 2860-PS, another excerpt from the British Blue Book, of which I ask the Court to take judicial notice. This is a speech by Lord Halifax, the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, from which I quote one passage:

“It is to be observed”—and the fact is surely not without significance—“that the towns of Mährisch-Ostrau and Vitkovice were actually occupied by German SS detachments on the evening of the 14th March, while the President and the Foreign Minister of Czechoslovakia were still on their way to Berlin and before any discussion had taken place.”

At dawn on March 15, German troops poured into Czechoslovakia from all sides. Hitler issued an order of the day to the Armed Forces and a proclamation to the German people, which stated distinctly, “Czechoslovakia has ceased to exist.”

On the following day, in contravention of Article 81 of the Treaty of Versailles, Czechoslovakia was formally incorporated into the German Reich under the name of “The Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia.” The decree is Document TC-51, another of the documents which the British Delegation will present to the Tribunal later in this week. It was signed in Prague on 16 March 1939, by Hitler, Lammers, and the Defendants Frick and Von Ribbentrop.

I should like to quote the first sentence of this decree, “The Bohemian and Moravian countries belonged for a millennium to the Lebensraum”—living space—“of the German people.” The remainder of the decree sets forth in bleak detail the extent to which Czechoslovakia henceforth was subjected to Germany. A German Protector was to be appointed by the German Führer for the so-called “Protectorate”—the Defendant Von Neurath. God deliver us from such protectors! The German Government assumed charge of their foreign affairs and of their customs and of their excises. It was specified that German garrisons and military establishments would be maintained in the Protectorate. At the same time the extremist leaders in Slovakia who, at German Nazi insistence, had done so much to undermine the Czech State, found that the independence of their week-old state was itself, in effect, qualified.

I offer in evidence Document 1439-PS as Exhibit USA—I need not offer that. I think it is a decree in the Reichsgesetzblatt, of which I ask the Tribunal to take judicial notice, and it is identified as our Document 1439-PS. It appears at Page 606, 1939, Reichsgesetzblatt, Part II.

The covering declaration is signed by the Defendant Ribbentrop, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and then there is a heading:

“Treaty of Protection to be extended by the German Reich to the State of Slovakia.”


“The German Government and the Slovakian Government have agreed, after the Slovakian State has placed itself under the protection of the German Reich, to regulate by treaty the consequences resulting from this fact. For this purpose, the undersigned representatives of the two governments have agreed on the following provisions:


“Article 1. The German Reich undertakes to protect the political independence of the State of Slovakia and integrity of its territory.


“Article 2. For the purpose of making effective the protection undertaken by the German Reich, the German Armed Forces shall have the right, at all times, to construct military installations and to keep them garrisoned in the strength they deem necessary, in an area delimited on its western side, by the frontiers of the State of Slovakia, and on its eastern side by a line formed by the eastern rims of the Lower Carpathians, the White Carpathians, and the Javornik Mountains.”—Then I skip—


“The Government of Slovakia will organize its military forces in close agreement with the German Armed Forces.”

THE PRESIDENT: Wouldn’t that be a convenient time to break off? I understand, too, that it would be for the convenience of the Defense Counsel if the Tribunal adjourn for an hour and a quarter rather than for an hour at midday, and accordingly, the Tribunal will retire at 12:45 and sit again at 2:00.

[A recess was taken.]

MR. ALDERMAN: May it please the Tribunal, this secret protocol between Germany and Slovakia provided for close economic and financial collaboration between Germany and Slovakia. Mineral resources and subsoil rights were placed at the disposal of the German Government.

I offer in evidence Document 2793-PS, Exhibit USA-120, and from it I read Paragraph 3:

“Investigation, development, and utilization of the Slovak natural resources. In this respect the basic principle is that, insofar as they are not needed to meet Slovakia’s own requirements, they should be placed in first line at Germany’s disposal. The entire soil research”—“Bodenforschung” is the German word—“will be placed under the Reich Agency for soil research.”—that is the Reichsstelle für Bodenforschung—“The Government of the Slovak State will soon start an investigation to determine whether the present owners of concessions and privileges have fulfilled the industrial obligations prescribed by law and it will cancel concessions and privileges in cases where these duties have been neglected.”

In their private conversations the Nazi conspirators gave abundant evidence that they considered Slovakia a mere puppet state—in effect a German possession.

I offer in evidence Document R-100 as Exhibit USA-121. This document is a memorandum of information given by Hitler to Von Brauchitsch on 25 March 1939. Much of it deals with problems arising from recently occupied Bohemia and Moravia and Slovakia. I quote, beginning at the sixth paragraph:

“Colonel General Keitel shall inform Slovak Government via Foreign Office that it would not be allowed to keep or garrison armed Slovak units (Hlinka Guards) on this side of the border formed by the river Waag. They shall be transferred to the new Slovak territory. Hlinka Guards should be disarmed.


“Slovakia shall be requested via Foreign Office to deliver to us, against payment, any arms we want and which are still kept in Slovakia. This request is to be based upon agreement made between Army and Czech troops. For this payment those millions should be used which we will pour anyhow into Slovakia.


“Czech Protectorate:


“H. Gr.”—the translator’s note indicates that that probably means army groups, but I can’t vouch for it—“shall be asked again whether the request shall be repeated again for the delivery of all arms within a stated time limit and under the threat of severe penalties.


“We take all war material of former Czechoslovakia without paying for it. The guns bought by contract before 15 February, though, shall be paid for . . . . Bohemia and Moravia have to make annual contributions to the German Treasury. Their amount shall be fixed on the basis of the expenses earmarked formerly for the Czech Army.”

The German conquest of Czechoslovakia, in direct contravention of the Munich Agreement, was the occasion for the formal protest by the British and French Governments. These documents, Numbers TC-52 and TC-53, dated 17 March 1939, will be presented to the Tribunal by the British prosecutor.

On the same day, 17 March 1939, the Acting Secretary of State of the United States Government issued a statement, which I will offer in evidence and I invite the Court to take judicial notice of the entire volume, Document 2862-PS as Exhibit USA-122, which is an excerpt from the official volume entitled Peace and War: United States Foreign Policy, 1931-1941 issued under the seal of the Department of State of the United States of America. Incidentally, this volume which happens to be my own copy—and I hope I can get another one—I am placing in evidence, because I am quite certain that in its study of the background of this whole case, the Court will be very much interested in this volume, which is a detailed chronological history of all the diplomatic events leading up to and through the second World War of 1941. But what I am actually offering in evidence at the moment appears on Pages 454 and 455 of the volume, a statement by the Acting Secretary of State Welles, dated 17 March 1939:

“The Government of the United States has on frequent occasions stated its conviction that only through international support of a program of order based upon law can world peace be assured.


“This Government, founded upon and dedicated to the principles of human liberty and of democracy, cannot refrain from making known this country’s condemnation of the acts which have resulted in the temporary extinguishment of the liberties of a free and independent people with whom, from the day when the Republic of Czechoslovakia attained its independence, the people of the United States have maintained specially close and friendly relations.


“The position of the Government of the United States has been made consistently clear. It has emphasized the need for respect for the sanctity of treaties and of the pledged word, and for non-intervention by any nation in the domestic affairs of other nations; and it has on repeated occasions expressed its condemnation of a policy of military aggression.


“It is manifest that acts of wanton lawlessness and of arbitrary force are threatening the world peace and the very structure of modern civilization. The imperative need for the observance of the principles advocated by this Government has been clearly demonstrated by the developments which have taken place during the past 3 days.”

With Czechoslovakia in German hands, the Nazi conspirators had accomplished the program they had set themselves in the meeting in Berlin on 5 November 1937. You will recall that this program of conquest was intended to shorten their frontiers, to increase their industrial and food reserves, and to place them in a position, both industrially and strategically, from which they could launch more ambitious and more devastating campaigns of aggression. In less than a year and a half this program had been carried through to the satisfaction of the Nazi leaders, and at that point I would again invite the Court’s attention to the large chart on the wall. I think it is no mere figure of speech to make reference to the wolf’s head, what is known in Anglo-American law as caput lupinum.

The lower jaw formed near Austria was taken—the red part on the first chart—12 March 1938. Czechoslovakia thereby was encircled, and the next step was the absorption of the mountainous part, the Sudetenland, indicated on the second chart in red. On 1 October 1938 Czechoslovakia was further encircled and its defenses weakened, and then the jaws clamped in, or the pincers, as I believe General Keitel or General Jodl called them—I believe it was General Jodl’s diary—and you see what they did to Czechoslovakia. On 15 March 1939 the borders were shortened, new bases were acquired, and then Czechoslovakia was destroyed. Bohemia and Moravia are in black and Slovakia in what might be called light tan. But I have read to you the documents which showed in what condition Slovakia was left; and with the German military installations in Slovakia, you see how completely the southern border of Poland was flanked, as well as the western border, the stage being set for the next aggression, which the British prosecutor will describe to you.

Of all the Nazi conspirators the Defendant Göring was the most aware of the economic and strategic advantages which would accrue from the possession by Germany of Czechoslovakia.

I now offer in evidence Document 1301-PS, which is a rather large file, and we offer particularly Item 10 of the document, at Page 25 of the English translation. I offer it as Exhibit USA-123; Page 25 of the English translation contained the top-secret minutes of a conference with Göring in the Luftwaffe Ministry (the Air Ministry). The meeting which was held on 14 October 1938, just 2 weeks after the occupation of the Sudetenland, was devoted to the discussion of economic problems. As of that date, the Defendant Göring’s remarks were somewhat prophetic. I quote from the third paragraph, from the bottom of Page 26 of the English translation:

“The Sudetenland has to be exploited by every means. General Field Marshal Göring counts upon a complete industrial assimilation of Slovakia. Czech and Slovakia would become German dominions. Everything possible must be taken out. The Oder-Danube Canal has to be speeded up. Searches for oil and ore have to be conducted in Slovakia, notably by State Secretary Keppler.”

In the summer of 1939, after the incorporation of Bohemia and Moravia into the German Reich, Defendant Göring again revealed the great interest of the Nazi leaders in the Czech economic potential.

I offer in evidence Document R-133 as Exhibit USA-124. This document is the minutes, dated Berlin, 27 July 1939, signed by Müller, of a conference between Göring and a group of officials from the OKW and from other agencies of the German Government concerned with war production. This meeting had been held 2 days previously, on 25 July. I read the first part of the account of this meeting.

“In a rather long statement the Field Marshal explained that the incorporation of Bohemia and Moravia into the German economy had taken place, among other reasons, to increase the German war potential, by exploitation of the industry there. Directives, such as the decree of the Reich Minister for Economics (S 10 402/39 of 10 July 1939) as well as a letter with similar meaning to the Junkers firm, which might possibly lower the kind and extent of the armament measures in the Protectorate are contrary to this principle. If it is necessary to issue such directives, this should be done only with his consent. In any case, he insists,”—that is Defendant Göring insists—“in agreement with the directive by Hitler, that the war potential of the Protectorate is definitely to be exploited in part or in full and is to be directed towards mobilization as soon as possible.”

In addition to strengthening the Nazi economic potential for the following wars of aggression, the conquest of Czechoslovakia provided the Nazis with new bases from which to wage their next war of aggression, the attack on Poland.

You will recall the minutes of the conference between Göring and a pro-Nazi Slovak delegation in the winter of 1938-1939. Those minutes are Document 2801-PS, which I introduced into evidence earlier, as Exhibit USA-109. You will recall the last sentence of those minutes, a statement of Defendant Göring’s conclusions. I quote this sentence again, “Air bases in Slovakia are of great importance for the German Air Force for use against the East.”

I now offer in evidence Document 1874-PS, as Exhibit USA-125. This document is the German minutes of a conference which Defendant Göring held with Mussolini and Ciano on 15 April 1939, one month after the conquest of Czechoslovakia.

In this conference, Göring told his junior partners in the Axis of the progress of German preparations for war. He compared the strength of Germany with the strength of England and France. Not unnaturally, he mentioned the German occupation of Czechoslovakia in this connection. I read two paragraphs of these thoughts, on Page 4, Paragraph 2, of the German minutes.

“However, the heavy armament of Czechoslovakia shows, in any case, how dangerous this could have been, even after Munich, in the event of a serious conflict. Because of German action, the situation of both Axis countries was ameliorated—among other reasons—because of the economic possibilities which resulted from the transfer to Germany of the great production capacity of Czechoslovakia. That contributes toward a considerable strengthening of the Axis against the Western Powers.


“Furthermore, Germany now need not keep ready a single division for protection against that country in case of bigger conflict. This, too, is an advantage by which both Axis countries will, in the last analysis, benefit.”

Then on Page 5, Paragraph 2, of the German version:

“The action taken by Germany in Czechoslovakia is to be viewed as an advantage for the Axis in case Poland should finally join the enemies of the Axis powers. Germany could then attack this country from two flanks and would be within only 25 minutes flying distance from the new Polish industrial center, which had been moved further into the interior of the country, nearer to the other Polish industrial districts because of its proximity to the border. Now, by the turn of events, it is located again in the proximity of the border.”

And that flanking on two fronts is illustrated on the four-segment chart.

I think the chart itself demonstrates, better than any oral argument, the logic and cold calculation, the deliberation of each step to this point of the German aggression. More than that, it demonstrates what I might call the master fight of the aggressive war case, that is, that each conquest of the Nazi conspirators was deliberately planned, as a stepping stone to new and more ambitious aggression.

You will recall the words of Hitler, at the conference in the Reich Chancellery on 23 May 1939, when he was planning the Polish campaign, Document L-79, Exhibit Number USA-27. I quote from it:

“The period which lies behind us has, indeed, been put to good use. All measures have been taken in the correct sequence and in harmony with our aims.”

It is appropriate to refer to two other speeches of the Nazi leaders. In his lecture in Munich on 7 November 1943, the Defendant Jodl spoke as follows, and I quote from Page 5 of Document L-172, already received in evidence as Exhibit USA-34—on Page 8 of the German text:

“The bloodless solution of the Czech conflict in the autumn of 1938 and spring of 1939 and the annexation of Slovakia rounded off the territory of Greater Germany in such a way that it now became possible to consider the Polish problem on the basis of more or less favorable strategic premises.”

In the speech to his military commanders on 23 November 1939, Hitler described the process by which he had rebuilt the military power of the Reich. This is our Document 789-PS, Exhibit USA-23. I quote one passage from the second paragraph:

“The next step was Bohemia, Moravia, and Poland. This step also was not possible to accomplish in one campaign. First of all, the Western fortifications had to be finished. It was not possible to reach the goal in one effort. It was clear to me from the first moment, that I could not be satisfied with the Sudeten German territory. That was only a partial solution. The decision to march into Bohemia was made. Then followed the erection of the Protectorate and with that the basis for the action against Poland was laid. . . .”

Before I leave the subject of the aggression against Czechoslovakia, I should like to submit to the Court a document which became available to us too late to be included in our document book. It reached me Saturday, late in the afternoon or late at night. This is an official document, again from the Czechoslovakian Government, a supplement to the Czechoslovakian report, which I had previously offered in evidence. I now offer it, identified as Document 3061-PS, as Exhibit USA-126.

The document was furnished us, if the Court please, in the German text with an English translation, which didn’t seem to us quite adequate and we have had it re-translated into English and the translation has just been passed up, I believe, to the Tribunal. That mimeographed translation should be appended to our Document Book O.

I shall not read the report; it is about 12 pages long. The Court will take judicial notice of it, under the provisions of the Charter. I merely summarize. This document gives confirmation and corroboration to the other evidence which I presented to the Tribunal. In particular, it offers support to the following allegations:

First, the close working relationship between Henlein and the SDP, on the one hand, and Hitler and Defendants Hess and Ribbentrop, on the other;

Second, the use of the German Legation in Prague to direct the German Fifth Column activities;

Third, the financing of the Henlein movement by agencies of the German Government, including the German diplomatic representatives at Prague;

Fourth, the use of the Henlein movement to conduct espionage on direct orders from the Reich.

In addition, this document gives further details of the circumstances of the visit of President Hacha to Berlin on the night of 14 March. It substantiates the fact that President Hacha required the medical attention of Hitler’s physician and it supports the threat which the Defendant Göring made to the Czech Delegation.

Now, if it please the Tribunal, that concludes my presentation of what, to me, has always seemed one of the saddest chapters in human history, the rape and destruction of the frail little nation of Czechoslovakia.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE (Deputy Chief Prosecutor for the United Kingdom): May it please the Tribunal, before I tender the evidence which I desire to place before the Tribunal, it might be convenient if I explained how the British case is to be divided up and who will present the different parts.

I shall deal with the general treaties. After that, my learned friend, Colonel Griffith-Jones, will deal with Poland. Thirdly, Major Elwyn Jones will deal with Norway and Denmark. Fourthly, Mr. Roberts will deal with Belgium, Holland, and Luxembourg. Fifthly, Colonel Phillimore will deal with Greece and Yugoslavia. After that, my friend, Mr. Alderman, of the American Delegation, will deal on behalf of both delegations with the aggression against the U.S.S.R. and the U.S.A.

May I also, with the Tribunal’s permission, say one word about the arrangements that we have made as to documents. Each of the defendants’ counsel will have a copy of the document book—of the different document books—in English. In fact, 30 copies of the first four of our document books have already been placed in the defendants’ Information Center. We hope that the last document book, dealing with Greece and Yugoslavia, will have the 30 copies placed there today.

In addition, the defendants’ counsel have at least six copies in German of every document.

With regard to my own part of the case, the first section on general treaties, all the documents on this phase are in the Reichsgesetzblatt or Die Dokumente der Deutschen Politik, of which 10 copies have been made available to the defendants’ counsel, so that with regard to the portion with which the Tribunal is immediately concerned, the defendants’ counsel will have at least 16 copies in German of every document referred to.

Finally, there is a copy of the Reichsgesetzblatt and Die Dokumente available for the Tribunal, other copies if they so desire, but one is placed ready for the Tribunal if any member wishes to refer to a German text.

THE PRESIDENT: Do you propose to call any oral witnesses?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: No, My Lord, no oral witnesses.

If the Tribunal please, before I come to the first treaty I want to make three quotations to deal with a point which was mentioned in the speech of my learned friend, the Attorney General, yesterday.

It might be thought from the melancholy story of broken treaties and violated assurances, which the Tribunal has already heard, that Hitler and the Nazi Government did not even profess it necessary or desirable to keep the pledged word. Outwardly, however, the professions were very different. With regard to treaties, on the 18th of October 1933, Hitler said, “Whatever we have signed we will fulfill to the best of our ability.”

The Tribunal will note the reservation, “Whatever we have signed.”

But on the 21st of May 1935 Hitler said, “The German Government will scrupulously maintain every treaty voluntarily signed, even though it was concluded before their accession to power and office.”

On assurances Hitler was even more emphatic. In the same speech, the Reichstag Speech on May 21, 1935, Hitler accepted assurances as being of equal obligation, and the world at that time could not know that that meant of no obligation at all. What he actually said was:

“And when I now hear from the lips of a British statesman that such assurances are nothing and that the only proof of sincerity is the signature appended to collective pacts, I must ask Mr. Eden to be good enough to remember that it is a question of an assurance in any case. It is sometimes much easier to sign treaties with the mental reservations that one will reconsider one’s attitude at the decisive hour than to declare before an entire nation and with full opportunity one’s adherence to a policy which serves the course of peace because it rejects anything which leads to war.”

And then he proceeds with the illustration of his assurance to France.

Never having seen the importance which Hitler wished the world to believe he attached to treaties, I shall ask the Tribunal in my part of the case to look at 15 only of the treaties which he and the Nazis broke. The remainder of the 69 broken treaties shown on the chart and occurring between 1933 and 1941 will be dealt with by my learned friends.

There is one final point as to the position of a treaty in German law, as I understand it. The appearance of a treaty in the Reichsgesetzblatt makes it part of the statute law of Germany, and that is by no means an uninteresting aspect of the breaches which I shall put before the Tribunal.

The first treaty to be dealt with is the Convention for the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes, signed at The Hague on the 29th of July 1899. I ask that the Tribunal take judicial notice of the Convention, and for convenience I hand in as Exhibit GB-1 the British Document TC-1. The German reference is to the Reichsgesetzblatt for 1901, Number 44, Sections 401 to 404, and 482 and 483. The Tribunal will find the relevant charge in Appendix C as Charge 1.

As the Attorney General said yesterday, these Hague Conventions are only the first gropings towards the rejection of the inevitability of war. They do not render the making of aggressive war a crime, but their milder terms were as readily broken as the more severe agreements.

On 19 July 1899, Germany, Greece, Serbia, and 25 other nations signed a convention. Germany ratified the convention on 4 September 1900, Serbia on 11 May 1901, and Greece on 4 April 1901.

By Article 12 of the treaty between the Principal Allied and Associated Powers and the Serb-Croat-Slovene State, signed at the St. Germaine-en-Laye on 10 September 1919, the new Kingdom succeeded to all the old Serbian treaties, and later, as the Tribunal knows, changed its name to Yugoslavia.

I think it is sufficient, unless the Tribunal wish otherwise, for me to read the first two articles only:

“Article 1: With a view to obviating as far as possible recourse to force in the relations between states, the signatory powers agree to use their best efforts to insure the pacific settlement of international differences.


“Article 2: In case of serious disagreement or conflict, before an appeal to arms the signatory powers agree to have recourse, as far as circumstances allow, to the good offices or mediation of one or more friendly powers.”

After that the Convention deals with machinery, and I don’t think, subject to any wish of the Tribunal, that it is necessary for me to deal with it in detail.

The second treaty is the Convention for the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes, signed at The Hague on the 18th of October 1907. Again I ask the Tribunal to take judicial notice of this, and for convenience I hand in as Exhibit GB-2 the Final Act of the Conference at The Hague, which contains British Documents TC-2, 3, and 4. The reference to this Convention in German is to the Reichsgesetzblatt for 1910, Number 52, Sections 22 to 25; and the relevant charge is Charge 2.

This Convention, was signed at The Hague by 44 nations, and it is in effect as to 31 nations, 28 signatories, and 3 adherents. For our purposes it is in force as to the United States, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, and Russia.

By the provisions of Article 91 it replaces the 1899 Convention as between the contracting powers. As Greece and Yugoslavia are parties to the 1899 Convention and not to the 1907, the 1899 Convention is in effect with regard to them, and that explains the division of countries in Appendix C.

Again I only desire that the Tribunal should look at the first two articles:

“1. With a view to obviating as far as possible recourse to force in the relations between states, the contracting powers agree to use their best efforts to insure the pacific settlement of international differences.”

Then I don’t think I need trouble to read 2. It is the same article as to mediation, and again, there are a number of machinery provisions.

The third treaty is the Hague Convention relative to the opening of hostilities, signed at the same time. It is contained in the exhibit which I put in. Again I ask that judicial notice be taken of it. The British Document is TC-3. The German reference is the Reichsgesetzblatt for 1910, Number 2, Sections 82 to 102, and the reference in Appendix C to Charge 3.

This Convention applies to Germany, Poland, Norway, Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Russia. It relates to a procedural step in notifying one’s prospective opponent before opening hostilities against him. It appears to have had its immediate origin in the Russo-Japanese war, 1904, when Japan attacked Russia without any previous warning. It will be noted that it does not fix any particular lapse of time between the giving of notice and the commencement of hostilities, but it does seek to maintain an absolutely minimum standard of international decency before the outbreak of war.

Again, if I might refer the Tribunal to the first article:

“The contracting powers recognize that hostilities between them must not commence without a previous and explicit warning in the form of either a declaration of war, giving reasons, or an ultimatum with a conditional declaration of war.”

Then there are a number again of machinery provisions, with which I shall not trouble the Tribunal.

The fourth treaty is the Hague Convention 5, respecting the rights and duties of neutral powers and persons in case of war on land, signed at the same time. That is British Document TC-4, and the German reference is Reichsgesetzblatt 1910, Number 2, Sections 168 and 176. Reference in Appendix C is to Charge 4.

THE PRESIDENT: Is it necessary to give the German reference? If it is necessary for defendants’ counsel, all right, but if not it need not be done.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: If I may omit them it will save some time.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: If any of the defendants’ counsel want any specific reference perhaps they will be good enough to ask me.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Germany was an original signatory to the Convention, and the Treaty is in force as a result of ratification or adherence between Germany and Norway, Denmark, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, the U.S.S.R., and the United States.

I call the attention of the Tribunal to the short contents of Article 1, “The territory of neutral powers is inviolable.”

A point does arise, however, on this Convention. I want to make this clear at once. Under Article 20, the provisions of the present Convention do not apply except between the contracting powers, and then only if all the belligerents are parties to the Convention.

As Great Britain and France entered the war within 2 days of the outbreak of the war between Germany and Poland, and one of these powers had not ratified the Convention, it is arguable that its provisions did not apply to the second World War.

I do not want the time of the Tribunal to be occupied by an argument on that point when there are so many more important treaties to be considered. Therefore, I do not press that as a charge of a breach of treaty. I merely call the attention of the Tribunal to the terms of Article 1 as showing the state of international opinion at that time and as an element in the aggressive character of the war which we are considering.

THE PRESIDENT: Perhaps this would be a good time to break off.

[A recess was taken until 1400 hours.]


Afternoon Session

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: As the Tribunal adjourned I had come to the fifth treaty, the Treaty of Peace between the Allied and Associated Powers and Germany, signed at Versailles the 28th of June 1919. I again ask the Tribunal to take judicial cognizance of this treaty, and I again hand in for convenience Exhibit GB-3, which is a copy of the treaty, including the British documents TC-5 to TC-10 inclusive. The reference in Appendix C is to Charge 5.

Before I deal with the relevant portions, may I explain very briefly the layout of the treaty.

Part I contains the Covenant of the League of Nations, and Part II sets the boundaries of Germany in Europe. These boundaries are described in detail but Part II makes no provision for guaranteeing these boundaries.

Part III, Articles 31 to 117, with which the Tribunal is concerned, contains the political clauses for Europe. In it, Germany guarantees certain territorial boundaries in Belgium, Luxembourg, Austria, Czechoslovakia, France, Poland, Memel, Danzig, and so forth.

It might be convenient for the Tribunal to note, at the moment, the interweaving of this treaty with the next, which is the Treaty for the Restoration of Friendly Relations between the United States and Germany.

Parts I, II, and III of the Versailles Treaty are not included in the United States treaty. Parts IV, V, VI, VIII, IX, X, XI, XII, XIV, and XV are all repeated verbatim in the United States treaty from the Treaty of Versailles.

The Tribunal is concerned with Part V—the military, naval, and air clauses. Parts VII and XIII are not included in the United States treaty.

I don’t think there is any reason to explain what the parts are, but if the Tribunal wishes to know about any specific part, I shall be very happy to explain it.

The first part that the Tribunal is concerned with is that contained in the British Document TC-5, and consists of Articles 42 to 44 dealing with the Rhineland. These are very short, and as they are repeated in the Locarno Treaty, perhaps I had better read them once, just so that the Tribunal will have them in mind.

“Article 42: Germany is forbidden to maintain or construct any fortifications either on the left bank of the Rhine or on the right bank to the west of a line drawn 50 kilometers to the east of the Rhine.


“Article 43: In the area defined above, the maintenance and the assembly of armed forces, either permanently or temporarily, and military maneuvers of any kind, as well as the upkeep of all permanent works for mobilization, are in the same way forbidden.


“Article 44: In case Germany violates in any manner whatever the provisions of Articles 42 and 43, she shall be regarded as committing a hostile act against the powers signatory of the present treaty and as calculated to disturb the peace of the world.”

I am not going to put in evidence, but I simply draw the Tribunal’s attention to a document of which they can take judicial notice, as it has been published by the German State, the memorandum of March 7, 1936, giving their account of the breach. The matters regarding the breach have been dealt with by my friend, Mr. Alderman, and I don’t propose to go over the ground again.

The next part of the treaty is in the British Document TC-6, dealing with Austria:

“Article 80: Germany acknowledges and will respect strictly the independence of Austria within the frontiers which may be fixed in a treaty between that state and the Principal Allied and Associated Powers; she agrees that this independence shall be inalienable, except with the consent of the Council of the League of Nations.”

Again in the same way, the proclamation of Hitler dealing with Austria, the background of which has been dealt with by my friend, Mr. Alderman, is attached as TC-47. I do not intend to read it because the Tribunal can again take judicial notice of the public proclamation.

Next is Document TC-8, dealing with Memel:

“Germany renounces, in favor of the Principal Allied and Associated Powers, all rights and title over the territories included between the Baltic, the northeastern frontier of East Prussia as defined in Article 28 of Part II, (Boundaries of Germany) of the present treaty, and the former frontier between Germany and Russia.


“Germany undertakes to accept the settlement made by the Principal Allied and Associated Powers in regard to these territories, particularly insofar as concerns the nationality of inhabitants.”

I don’t think that the Tribunal has had any reference to the formal document of incorporation of Memel, of which again the Tribunal can take judicial notice; and I put in, for convenience, a copy as GB-4. It is British Document TC-53A, and it appears in our book. It is very short, so perhaps the Tribunal will bear with me while I read it:

“The Transfer Commissioner for the Memel territory, Gauleiter und Oberpräsident Erich Koch, effected on 3 April during a conference at Memel, the final incorporation of the Memel territory into the National Socialist Party Gau of East Prussia and into the state administration of the East Prussian Regierungsbezirk of Gumbinnen . . . .”

Then, next we come to TC-9, which is the article relating to Danzig, Article 100, and I shall read only the first sentence, because the remainder consists of geographical boundaries;

“Germany renounces, in favor of the Principal Allied and Associated Powers, all rights and title over the territory comprised within the following limits . . . .”

—And then the limits are set out and are described in a German map attached to the treaty.

Lieutenant Colonel Griffith-Jones, who will deal with this part of the case, will formally prove the documents relating to the occupation of Danzig, and I shall not trouble the Tribunal with them now.

So if the Tribunal would go on to British Document TC-7—that is Article 81, dealing with the Czechoslovak State:

“Germany, in conformity with the action already taken by the Allied and Associated Powers, recognizes the complete independence of the Czechoslovak State, which will include the autonomous territory of the Ruthenians to the south of the Carpathians. Germany hereby recognizes the frontiers of this state as determined by the Principal Allied and Associated Powers and other interested states.”

Mr. Alderman has dealt with this matter only this morning, and he has already put in an exhibit giving in detail the conference between Hitler and President Hacha, and the Foreign Minister Chvalkowsky, at which the Defendants Göring and Keitel were present. Therefore, I am not going to put in to the Tribunal the British translation of the captured Foreign Office minutes, which occurs in TC-48; but I put in formally, as Mr. Alderman asked me to this morning, as GB-6, the Document TC-49, which is the agreement signed by Hitler and the Defendant Ribbentrop for Germany and Dr. Hacha and Dr. Chvalkowsky for Czechoslovakia. It is an agreement of which the Tribunal will take judicial notice. I am afraid I can’t quite remember whether Mr. Alderman read it this morning; it is Document TC-49. He certainly referred to it.

THE PRESIDENT: No, he did not read it.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Then perhaps I might read it. Text of the:

“Agreement between the Führer and Reich Chancellor Adolf Hitler and the President of the Czechoslovak State Dr. Hacha . . . .


“The Führer and Reich Chancellor today received in Berlin, at their own request, the President of the Czechoslovak State, Dr. Hacha, and the Czechoslovak Foreign Minister, Dr. Chvalkowsky, in the presence of Herr von Ribbentrop, the Foreign Minister of the Reich. At this meeting the serious situation which had arisen within the previous territory of Czechoslovakia, owing to the events of recent weeks, was subjected to a completely open examination. The conviction was unanimously expressed on both sides that the object of all their efforts must be to assure quiet, order, and peace in this part of Central Europe. The President of the Czechoslovak State declared that, in order to serve this end and to reach a final pacification, he confidently placed the fate of the Czech people and of their country in the hands of the Führer of the German Reich. The Führer accepted this declaration and expressed his decision to assure to the Czech people, under the protection of the German Reich, the autonomous development of their national life, in accordance with their special characteristics. In witness whereof this document is signed in duplicate.”

The signatures I mentioned appear.

The Tribunal will understand that it is not my province to make any comment; that has been done by Mr. Alderman. And I am not putting forward any of the documents I read as having my support; they are merely put forward factually as part of the case.

The next document, which I put in as GB-7, is the British Document TC-50. That is Hitler’s proclamation to the German people, dated the 15th of March 1939. Again, I don’t think that Mr. Alderman read that document.

THE PRESIDENT: No, he did not read it.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Then I shall read it:

“Proclamation of the Führer to the German people, 15 March 1939.


“To the German People:


“Only a few months ago Germany was compelled to protect her fellow countrymen, living in well-defined settlements, against the unbearable Czechoslovakian terror regime; and during the last weeks the same thing has happened on an ever-increasing scale. This is bound to create an intolerable state of affairs within an area inhabited by citizens of so many nationalities.


“These national groups, to counteract the renewed attacks against their freedom and life, have now broken away from the Prague Government. Czechoslovakia has ceased to exist.


“Since Sunday at many places wild excesses have broken out, amongst the victims of which are again many Germans. Hourly the number of oppressed and persecuted people crying for help is increasing. From areas thickly populated by German-speaking inhabitants, which last autumn Czechoslovakia was allowed by German generosity to retain, refugees robbed of their personal belongings are streaming into the Reich.


“Continuation of such a state of affairs would lead to the destruction of every vestige of order in an area in which Germany is vitally interested particularly as for over 1,000 years it formed a part of the German Reich.


“In order definitely to remove this menace to peace and to create the conditions for a necessary new order in this living space, I have today resolved to allow German troops to march into Bohemia and Moravia. They will disarm the terror gangs and the Czechoslovakian forces supporting them, and protect the lives of all who are menaced. Thus they will lay the foundations for introducing a fundamental re-ordering of affairs which will be in accordance with the 1,000-year-old history and will satisfy the practical needs of the German and Czech peoples.”—Signed—“Adolf Hitler, Berlin, 15 March 1939.”

Then there is a footnote, an order of the Führer to the German Armed Forces of the same date, in which the substance is that they are told to march in, to safeguard lives and property of all inhabitants, and not to conduct themselves as enemies, but as an instrument for carrying out the German Reich Government’s decision.

I put in, as GB-8, the decrees establishing the Protectorate, which is TC-51.

I think again, as these are public decrees, the Tribunal can take judicial knowledge of them. Their substance has been fully explained by Mr. Alderman. With the permission of the Tribunal, I won’t read them in full now.

Then again, as Mr. Alderman requested, I put in, as GB-9, British Document TC-52, the British protest. If I might just read that to the Tribunal—it is from Lord Halifax to Sir Neville Henderson, our Ambassador in Berlin:

“Foreign Office, March 17, 1939.


“Please inform the German Government that His Majesty’s Government desire to make it plain to them that they cannot but regard the events of the past few days as a complete repudiation of the Munich Agreement and a denial of the spirit in which the negotiators of that Agreement bound themselves to co-operate for a peaceful settlement.


“His Majesty’s Government must also take this occasion to protest against the changes effected in Czechoslovakia by German military action, which are in their view, devoid of any basis of legality.”

And again at Mr. Alderman’s request, I put in as GB-10 the Document TC-53, which is the French protest of the same date, and if I might read the third paragraph:

“The French Ambassador has the honor to inform the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Reich, of the formal protest made by the Government of the French Republic against the measures which the communication of Count de Welczeck records.


“The Government of the Republic consider, in fact, that in face of the action directed by the German Government against Czechoslovakia, they are confronted with a flagrant violation of the letter and the spirit of the agreement signed at Munich on September 29, 1938.


“The circumstances in which the agreement of March 15 has been imposed on the leaders of the Czechoslovak Republic do not, in the eyes of the Government of the Republic, legalize the situation registered in that agreement.


“The French Ambassador has the honor to inform His Excellency, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Reich, that the Government of the Republic cannot recognize under these conditions the legality of the new situation created in Czechoslovakia by the action of the German Reich.”

I now come to Part 5 of the Versailles Treaty, and the relevant matters are contained in the British Document TC-10. As considerable discussion is centered around them, I read the introductory words:

“Part V, Military, Naval, and Air Clauses: In order to render possible the initiation of a general limitation of the armaments of all nations, Germany undertakes strictly to observe the military, naval, and air clauses which follow.


“Section 1. Military Clauses. Chapter I. Effectives and Cadres of the German Army.


“Article 159. The German military forces shall be demobilized and reduced as prescribed hereinafter.


“Article 160. (1) By a date which must not be later than March 31, 1920, the German Army must not comprise more than seven divisions of infantry and three divisions of cavalry.


“After that date, the total number of effectives in the Army of the states constituting Germany must not exceed 100,000 men, including officers and establishments of depots. The Army shall be devoted exclusively to the maintenance of order within the territory and to the control of the frontiers.


“The total effective strength of officers, including the personnel of staffs, whatever their composition, must not exceed 4,000.


“(2) Divisions and Army Corps headquarters staffs, shall be organized in accordance with Table Number 1 annexed to this Section. The number and strength of the units of infantry, artillery, engineers, technical services and troops laid down in the aforesaid table constitute maxima which must not be exceeded.”

Then there is a description of units that can have their own depots and the grouping of divisions under corps headquarters, and then the next two provisions are of some importance:

“The maintenance or formation of forces differently grouped or of other organizations for the command of troops or for preparation for war is forbidden.


“The great German General Staff and all similar organizations shall be dissolved and may not be reconstituted in any form.”

I don’t think I need trouble the Tribunal with Article 161, which deals with administrative services.

Article 163 provides the steps by which the reduction will take place, and then we come to Chapter 2, dealing with armament, and that provides that up till the time at which Germany is admitted as a member of the League of Nations, armaments shall not be greater than the amounts fixed in Table Number 11.

If the Tribunal will note the second part, Germany agrees that after she has become a member of the League of Nations, the armaments fixed in the said table shall remain in force until they are modified by the Council of the League. Furthermore, she hereby agrees strictly to observe the decisions of the Council of the League on this subject.

Then, 165 deals with guns and machine guns, and so forth, and 167 deals with notification of guns, and 168, the first part, says:

“The manufacture of arms, munitions, or any war material shall only be carried out in factories or works, the location of which shall be communicated to and approved by the governments of the Principal Allied and Associated Powers, and the number of which they retain the right to restrict.”

Article 169 deals with the surrender of material. Number 170 prohibits importation; 171 prohibits gas, and 172 provides for disclosure. Then 173, under the heading, “Recruiting and Military Training” deals with one matter, the breach of which is of great importance:

“Universal compulsory military service shall be abolished in Germany. The German Army may only be constituted and recruited by means of voluntary enlistment.”

Then the succeeding articles deal with the method of enlistment in order to prevent a quick rush through the army of men enlisted for a short time.

I think that all I need do is to draw the attention of the Tribunal to the completeness and detail with which all these points are covered in Articles 174 to 179.

Then, passing to TC-10, Article 180. That contains the prohibition of fortress works beyond a certain limit and in the Rhineland. The first sentence is:

“All fortified works, fortresses, and field works situated in German territory to the west of a line drawn 50 kilometers to the east of the Rhine shall be disarmed and dismantled.”

I shall not trouble the Tribunal with the tables which show the amounts.

Then we come to the naval clauses. If the Tribunal will be good enough to go on four pages, they will come to Article 181, and I will just read that to show the way in which the naval limitations are imposed and refer briefly to the others.

Article 181 says:

“After the expiration of a period of 2 months from the coming into force of the present treaty the German naval forces in commission must not exceed:


“Six battleships of the Deutschland or Lothringen type, six light cruisers, 12 destroyers, 12 torpedo boats, or an equal number of ships constructed to replace them as provided in Article 190.


“No submarines are to be included.


“All other warships, except where there is provision to the contrary in the present treaty, must be placed in reserve or devoted to commercial purposes.”

Then 182 simply deals with the mine sweeping necessary to clear up the mines, and 183 limits the personnel to 15,000, including officers and men of all grades and corps, and 184 deals with surface ships not in German ports, and the succeeding clauses deal with various details, and I pass at once to Article 191, which says:

“The construction or acquisition of any submarines, even for commercial purposes, shall be forbidden in Germany.”

Article 194 makes corresponding obligations of voluntary engagements for longer service, and 196 and 197 deal with naval fortifications and wireless stations.

Then, if the Tribunal please, would they pass to Article 198, the first of the air clauses. The essential and important sentence is the first:

“The Armed Forces of Germany must not include any military or naval air forces.”

I don’t think that I need trouble the Tribunal with the detailed provisions which occur in the next four clauses, which are all consequential.

Then, the next document, which for convenience is put next to that, is the British Document TC-44. For convenience I put in a copy as GB-11, but this again is merely ancillary to Mr. Alderman’s argument. It is the report of the formal statement made at the German Air Ministry about the restarting of the Air Corps, and I respectfully submit that the Tribunal can take judicial notice of that.

Similarly, without proving formally the long Document, TC-45, the Tribunal can again take judicial notice of the public proclamation, which is a well-known public document in Germany, the proclamation of compulsory military service. Mr. Alderman has again dealt with this fully in his address.

I now come to the sixth treaty, which is the treaty between the United States and Germany restoring friendly relations, and I put in a copy as Exhibit GB-12. It is Document TC-11, and the Tribunal will find it as the second last document in the document book. The purpose of this treaty was to complete official cessation of hostilities between the United States of America and Germany, and I have already explained to the Tribunal that it incorporated certain parts of the Treaty of Versailles. The relevant portion for the consideration of the Tribunal is Part V, and I have just concluded going through the clauses of the Treaty of Versailles which are repeated verbatim in this treaty. I therefore, with the approval of the Tribunal, will not read them again, but at Page 11 of my copy, they will see the clauses are repeated in exactly the same way.

Then I pass to the seventh treaty, which is the Treaty of Mutual Guarantee between Germany, Belgium, France, Great Britain, and Italy, negotiated at Locarno, October 16, 1925. I ask the Tribunal to take judicial notice of that, and I put in as Exhibit GB-13, the British Document TC-12.

I was dealing with the Treaty of Locarno, and it might be convenient if I just reminded the Tribunal of the treaties that were negotiated at Locarno, because they do all go together and are to a certain extent mutually dependent.

At Locarno, Germany negotiated five treaties:

(A) The Treaty of Mutual Guarantee between Germany, Belgium, France, Great Britain, and Italy; (B) the Arbitration Convention between Germany and France; (C) the Arbitration Convention between Germany and Belgium; (D) the Arbitration Treaty between Germany and Poland; and (E) an Arbitration Treaty between Germany and Czechoslovakia.

Article 10 of the Treaty of Mutual Guarantee provided that it should come into force as soon as ratifications were deposited at Geneva, in the archives of the League of Nations, and as soon as Germany became a member of the League of Nations. The ratifications were deposited on the 14th September 1926 and Germany became a member of the League of Nations on the 10th of September 1926.

The two arbitration conventions and the two arbitration treaties which I mentioned provide that they shall enter into force under the same conditions as the Treaty of Mutual Guarantee. That is Article 21 of the Arbitration Conventions and Article 22 of the Arbitration Treaties.

The most important of the five agreements is the Treaty of Mutual Guarantee. One of its purposes was to establish in perpetuity the borders between Germany and Belgium, and Germany and France. It contains no provision for denunciation or withdrawal therefrom and provides that it shall remain in force until the Council of the League of Nations decides that the League of Nations ensures sufficient protection to the parties to the treaty—an event which never happened—in which case the Treaty of Mutual Guarantee shall expire 1 year later.

The general scheme of the Treaty of Mutual Guarantee is that Article 1 provides that the parties guarantee three things:

The border between Germany and France, the border between Germany and Belgium, and the demilitarization of the Rhineland.

Article 2 provides that Germany and France, and Germany and Belgium, agree that they will not attack or invade each other with certain inapplicable exceptions, and Article 3 provides that Germany and France, and Germany and Belgium, agree to settle all disputes between them by peaceful means.

The Tribunal will remember, because this point was made by my friend, Mr. Alderman, that the first important violation of the Treaty of Mutual Guarantee appears to have been the entry of German troops into the Rhineland on 7 March 1936. The day after, France and Belgium asked the League of Nations Council to consider the question of the German re-occupation of the Rhineland and the purported repudiation of the treaty, and on the 12th of March, after a protest from the British Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Belgium, France, Great Britain, and Italy recognized unanimously that the re-occupation was a violation of this treaty, and on the 14th of March, the League Council duly and properly decided that it was not permissible and that the Rhineland clauses of the pact were not voidable by Germany because of the alleged violation by France in the Franco-Soviet Mutual Assistance Pact.

That is the background to the treaty with the international organizations that were then in force, and if I might suggest them to the Tribunal without adding to the summary which I have given, the relevant articles are 1, 2, and 3, which I have mentioned, and 4, which provides for the bringing of violations before the Council of the League, as was done, and 5 I ask the Tribunal to note, because it deals with the clauses of the Versailles Treaty which I have already mentioned. It says:

“The provisions of Article 3 of the present treaty are placed under the guarantee of the High Contracting Parties as provided by the following stipulations:


“If one of the powers referred to in Article 3 refuses to submit a dispute to peaceful settlement or to comply with an arbitral or judicial decision and commits a violation of Article 2 of the present treaty or a breach of Articles 42 or 43 of the Treaty of Versailles, the provisions of Article 4 of the present treaty shall apply.”

That is the procedure of going to the League or in the case of a flagrant breach, of taking more stringent action.

I remind the Tribunal of this provision because of the quotations from Hitler which I mentioned earlier, when he said that the German Government will scrupulously maintain every treaty voluntarily signed, even though they were concluded before their accession to power and office. Whatever may be said of the Treaty of Versailles, whatever may be argued and has been argued, no one has ever argued for a moment, to the best of my knowledge, that Herr Stresemann was in any way acting involuntarily when he signed, along with the other representatives, the Locarno pact on behalf of Germany. It was signed not only by Herr Stresemann, but by Herr Hans Luther, so that there you have a treaty freely entered into, which repeats the Rhineland provisions of Versailles and binds Germany in that regard. I simply call the attention of the Tribunal to Article 8, which deals with the remaining in force of the treaty. I might perhaps read it because as I told the Tribunal all the other treaties have the same lasting qualities, the same provisions as to the time they will last, as the Treaty of Mutual Guarantee. It says:

“Article 8. The present treaty shall be registered at the League of Nations in accordance with the Covenant of the League. It shall remain in force until the Council, acting on a request by one or other of the High Contracting Parties notified to the other signatory powers 3 months in advance, and voting at least by a two-thirds majority, decides that the League of Nations ensures sufficient protection to the High Contracting Parties; the treaty shall cease to have effect on the expiration of a period of 1 year from such decision.”

That is, that in signing this treaty, the German representatives clearly placed the question of repudiation or avoidance of the treaty in hands other than their own. They were at the time, of course, a member of the League, and a member of the Council of the League, but they left the repudiation and avoidance to the decision of the League.

Then the next treaty on my list is the Arbitration Treaty between Germany and Czechoslovakia, which was one of the Locarno group and to which I have already referred, but for convenience I have put in Exhibit GB-14, which is British Document TC-14. As a breach of this treaty, as charged in Charge 8, of Appendix C, I mentioned the background of the treaty, and I shall not go into it again but I think the only clauses that the Tribunal need look at, are Article 1, which is the governing clause, and says as follows (Document TC-14):

“All disputes of every kind between Germany and Czechoslovakia with regard to which the parties are in conflict as to their respective rights, and which it may not be possible to settle amicably by the normal methods of diplomacy, shall be submitted for decision either to an arbitral tribunal, or to the Permanent Court of International Justice as laid down hereafter. It is agreed that the disputes referred to above include, in particular, those mentioned in Article 13 of the Covenant of the League of Nations.


“This provision does not apply to disputes arising out of events prior to the present treaty and belonging to the past.


“Disputes for the settlement of which a special procedure is laid down in other conventions in force between the High Contracting Parties, shall be settled in conformity with the provisions of these conventions.”

Articles 2 to 21 of the machinery. In Article 22 the second sentence says it—that’s the present treaty—shall enter into and remain in force under the same conditions as the said treaty, which is the Treaty of Mutual Guarantee.

Now that, I think, is all I need mention about that treaty. I think I am right that my friend, Mr. Alderman, referred to it. It is certainly the treaty to which President Beneš unsuccessfully appealed during the crisis in the autumn of 1938. Now the ninth treaty which I should deal with is not in this document book, and I merely am putting it in formally, because my friend, Mr. Roberts, will deal with it and read the appropriate parts—if the Tribunal will be good enough to note it because it is mentioned in Charge 9 of Appendix C. It is the Arbitration Convention between Germany and Belgium also done at Locarno, of which I hand in a copy for convenience as GB-15. In fact, I can tell the Tribunal all these arbitration conventions are in the same form, and I am not going to deal with it because it is essentially part of the case concerned with Belgium, the Low Countries, and Luxembourg, which my friend, Mr. Roberts, will present. Therefore, I only ask the Tribunal to accept the formal document for the moment. And the same applies to the tenth treaty, which is mentioned in Charge 10 of Appendix C. That is the Arbitration Treaty between Germany and Poland, of which I ask the Tribunal to take notice, and I hand in as GB-16. That again will be dealt with by my friend, Colonel Griffith-Jones, when he is dealing with the Polish case.

I therefore can take the Tribunal straight to a matter which is not a treaty, but is a solemn declaration, and that is TC-18, which I now put in as Exhibit GB-17, and ask the Tribunal to take judicial notice of, as a Declaration of the Assembly of the League of Nations. The importance is the date which was the 24th of September 1927. The Tribunal may remember that I asked them to take judicial notice of the fact that Germany had become a member of the League of Nations on 10 September 1926, a year before.

The importance of this Declaration is not only its effect in international law, to which my learned friend, the Attorney General, referred, but the fact that it was unanimously adopted by the Assembly of the League, of which Germany was a free, and let me say at once, an active member at the time. I think that all I need read of TC-18 is, if the Tribunal would be good enough to look at it, the speech which begins “M. Sokal of Poland (Rapporteur),” and then the translation after the Rapporteur had dealt with the formalities, that this had gone to the third committee and been unanimously adopted, and he had been asked to act as Rapporteur, he says—the second paragraph:

“The committee was of opinion that, at the present juncture, a solemn resolution passed by the Assembly, declaring that wars of aggression must never be employed as a means of settling disputes between states, and that such wars constitute an international crime, would have a salutary effect on public opinion, and would help to create an atmosphere favorable to the League’s future work in the matter of security and disarmament.


“While recognizing that the draft resolution does not constitute a regular legal instrument, which would be adequate in itself and represent a concrete contribution towards security, the Third Committee unanimously agreed as to its great moral and educative value.”

Then he asked the Assembly to adopt the draft resolution, and I will read simply the terms of the resolution, which shows what so many nations, including Germany, put forward at that time:

“The Assembly, recognizing the solidarity which unites the community of nations, being inspired by a firm desire for the maintenance of general peace, being convinced that a war of aggression can never serve as a means of settling international disputes, and is in consequence an international crime; considering that a solemn renunciation of all wars of aggression would tend to create an atmosphere of general confidence calculated to facilitate the progress of the work undertaken . . . with a view to disarmament:


“Declares: 1. That all wars of aggression are and shall always be prohibited: 2. That every pacific means must be employed to settle disputes of every description, which may arise between states.


“The Assembly declares that the states, members of the League, are under an obligation to conform to these principles.”

After a solemn vote taken in the form of roll call the President announced—which you will see at the end of the extract:

“All the delegations having pronounced in favor of the declaration submitted by the Third Committee, I declare it unanimously adopted.”

The last general treaty which I have to place before the Tribunal is the Kellogg-Briand Pact. The Pact of Paris of 1928, which my learned friend, the Attorney General, in opening this part of the case read in extenso and commented on fully, I hand in as Exhibit GB-18—the British Document TC-19, which is a copy of that pact. I did not intend, unless the Tribunal desired otherwise, that I should read it again, as the Attorney General yesterday read it in full, but of course I am at the service of the Tribunal and therefore I leave that document before the Tribunal in that way.

Now all that remains for me to do is to place before the Tribunal certain documents which Mr. Alderman mentioned in the course of his address, and left to me. I am afraid that I haven’t placed them in a special order, because they don’t really relate to the treaties I have dealt with, but to Mr. Alderman’s argument. The first of these I hand in as Exhibit GB-19. It is British Document TC-26, and comes just after that resolution of the League of Nations to which the Tribunal had just been giving attention—TC-26. It is the assurance contained in Hitler’s speech on 21 May 1935, and it is very short, and unless the Tribunal has it in mind from Mr. Alderman’s speech, I will read it again; I am not sure of his reading it:

“Germany neither intends nor wishes to interfere in the domestic affairs of Austria, to annex Austria, or to attach that country to her. The German people and the German Government have, however, the very comprehensible desire, arising out of the simple feeling of solidarity due to a common national descent, that the right to self-determination should be guaranteed not only to foreign nations, but to the German people everywhere. I myself believe that no regime which is not anchored in the people, supported by the people, and desired by the people, can exist permanently.”

The next document which is TC-22, and which is on the next page, I now hand in as Exhibit GB-20. It is the copy of the official proclamation of the agreement between the German Government and the Government of the Federal State of Austria on 11 July 1936, and I am almost certain that Mr. Alderman did read this document, but I refer the Tribunal to Paragraph 1 of the agreement to remind them of the essential content:

“The German Government recognizes the full sovereignty of the Federal State of Austria in the sense of the pronouncements of the German Leader and Chancellor of the 21st of May 1935.”

I now have three documents which Mr. Alderman asked me to hand in with regard to Czechoslovakia. The first is TC-27, which the Tribunal will find two documents further on from the one of Austria, to which I have just been referring. That is the German assurance to Czechoslovakia, and what I am handing in as GB-21 is the letter from M. Masaryk, Jan Masaryk’s son, to Lord Halifax, dated the 12th of March 1938. Again I think that if Mr. Alderman did not read this, he certainly quoted the statement made by the Defendant Göring, which appears in the third paragraph. In the first statement the Field Marshal used the expression, “ich gebe Ihnen mein Ehrenwort,” which I understand means, “I give you my word of honor,” and if you will look down three paragraphs, after the Defendant Göring had asked that there would not be a mobilization of the Czechoslovak Army, the communication continues:

“M. Mastny was in a position to give him definite and binding assurances on this subject, and today spoke with Baron Von Neurath—that is the Defendant Von Neurath—who, among other things assured him on behalf of Herr Hitler that Germany still considers herself bound by the German-Czechoslovak Arbitration Convention concluded at Locarno in October 1925.”

So there I remind the Tribunal that in 1925 Herr Stresemann was speaking on behalf of Germany in an agreement voluntarily concluded. Had there been the slightest doubt of that, here is the Defendant Von Neurath giving the assurance on behalf of Hitler that Germany still considers herself bound by the German-Czechoslovak Arbitration Convention on 12 March 1938, 6 months before Dr. Beneš made a hopeless appeal to it, before the crisis in the autumn of 1938. Of course the difficult position of the Czechoslovak Government is set out in the last paragraph, but M. Masaryk says—and the Tribunal may think with great force—in his last sentence:

“They cannot however fail to view with great apprehension the sequel of events in Austria between the date of the bilateral agreement between Germany and Austria, 11 July 1936, and yesterday, 11 March 1938.”

I refrain from comment, but I venture to say that is one of the most pregnant sentences relating to this period.

Now the next document which is on the next page is the British Document TC-28, which I hand in as Exhibit GB-22. And that is an assurance of the 26th of September 1938, which Hitler gave to Czechoslovakia, and again—the Tribunal will check my memory—I don’t think that Mr. Alderman read this but . . .

THE PRESIDENT: No, I don’t think so.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Then I think if he did not, the Tribunal ought to have it before them, because it gives very important point as to the alleged governing principle of getting Germans back to the Reich, which the Nazi conspirators purported to ask for a considerable time, while it suited them. It says:

“I have little to explain. I am grateful to Mr. Chamberlain for all his efforts, and I have assured him that the German people want nothing but peace; but I have also told him that I cannot go back beyond the limits of our patience.”

The Tribunal will remember this is between the Godesberg visit and the Munich Pact:

“I assured him, moreover, and I repeat it here, that when this problem is solved there will be no more territorial problems for Germany in Europe. And I further assured him that from the moment when Czechoslovakia solves its other problems, that is to say, when the Czechs have come to an agreement with their other minorities peacefully, and without oppression, I will no longer be interested in the Czech State, and that, as far as I am concerned, I will guarantee it. We don’t want any Czechs. But I must also declare before the German people that in the Sudeten-German problem my patience is now at an end. I made an offer to Herr Beneš which was no more than the realization of what he had already promised. He has now peace or war in his hands. Either he will accept this offer and at length give the Germans their freedom, or we shall get this freedom for ourselves.”

Less than 6 months before the 15th of March Hitler was saying in the most violent terms that “he didn’t want any Czechs.” The Tribunal has heard the sequel from my friend, Mr. Alderman, this morning. The last document which I have been asked to put in, and which I now ask the Tribunal to take notice of, and hand in, is Exhibit GB-23, which is the British Document TC-23 and a copy of the Munich Agreement of September 29, 1938. That was signed by Hitler, the late Mr. Neville Chamberlain, M. Daladier, and Mussolini, and it is largely a procedural agreement by which the entry of German troops into the Sudeten-Deutsche territory is regulated. That is shown by the preliminary clause:

“Germany, the United Kingdom, France, and Italy, taking into consideration the agreement which has been already reached in principle, for the cession to Germany of the Sudeten-German territory, have agreed on the following terms and conditions governing the said cession and the measures consequent thereon, and by this agreement they each hold themselves responsible for the steps necessary to secure fulfillment.”

Then I don’t think, unless the Tribunal want me, I need go through the steps. In Article 4, it said that “The occupation by stages of the predominantly German territory by German troops will begin on 1 October.” The four territories are marked on a map. And by Article 6, “The final determination of the frontiers will be carried out by the international commission.” And it provides also for rights of option and release from the forces—the Czech forces of Sudeten Germans.

That is what Hitler was asking for in the somewhat rhetorical passage which I have just read out, and it will be observed that there is an annex to the agreement which is most significant.

“Annex to the Agreement:


“His Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom and the French Government have entered into the above agreement on the basis that they stand by the offer contained in Paragraph 6 of the Anglo-French Proposals of the 19th September, relating to an international guarantee of the new boundaries of the Czechoslovak State against unprovoked aggression.


“When the question of the Polish and Hungarian minorities in Czechoslovakia has been settled, Germany and Italy, for their part, will give a guarantee to Czechoslovakia.”

The Polish and Hungarian minorities, not the question of Slovakia which the Tribunal heard this morning. That is why Mr. Alderman submitted—and I respectfully joined him in his submission—that the action of the 15th of March was a flagrant violation of the letter and spirit of that agreement.

That, My Lord, is the part of the case which I desired to present.

THE PRESIDENT: We will adjourn now for 10 minutes.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: If your Lordship pleases. Thank you.

[A recess was taken.]

LIEUTENANT COLONEL J. M. G. GRIFFITH-JONES (Junior Counsel for the United Kingdom): May it please the Tribunal, Count Two of the Indictment charges these defendants with participating in the planning, the preparation, the initiation, and waging of various wars of aggression, and it charges that those wars are also in breach of international treaty. It is our purpose now to present to the Tribunal the evidence in respect of those aggressive wars against Poland and against the United Kingdom and France.

Under Paragraph (B) of the particulars to Count Two, reference is made to Count One in the Indictment for the allegations charging that those wars were wars of aggression, and Count One also sets out the particulars of the preparations and planning for those wars, and in particular those allegations will be found in Paragraph (F) 4. But, My Lord, with the Tribunal’s approval I would propose first to deal with the allegations of breach of treaties which are mentioned in Paragraph (C) of the particulars, and of which the details are set out in Appendix C. My Lord, those sections of Appendix C which relate to the war against Poland are Section 2, which charges a violation of the Hague Convention in respect of the pacific settlement of international disputes, on which Sir David has already addressed the Court, and I do not propose, with the Court’s approval, to say more than that.

Section 3 of Appendix C and Section 4 charge breaches of the other Hague Conventions of 1907. Section 5, Sub-section 4, charges a breach of the Versailles Treaty in respect of the Free City of Danzig, and Section 13, a breach of the Kellogg-Briand Pact.

All those have already been dealt with by Sir David Maxwell-Fyfe, and it remains, therefore, only for me to deal with two other sections of Appendix C: Section 10, which charges a breach of the Arbitration Treaty between Germany and Poland, signed at Locarno on the 16th of October 1925; and Section 15 of Appendix C which charges a violation of the Declaration of Non-Aggression which was entered into between Germany and Poland on the 26th of January 1934.

If the Tribunal would take Part I of the British Document Book Number 2, I will describe in a moment how the remaining parts are divided. The document book is divided into six parts. If the Tribunal will look at Part I for the moment—the document books which have been handed to the Counsel for the Defense are in exactly the same order, except that they are bound in one and not in six separate covers, in which the Tribunal’s documents are bound for convenience.

The German-Polish Arbitration Treaty, the subject matter of Section 10 of Appendix C, is Document TC-15 and appears the one but end document in the book. It has already been put in under the Number GB-16.

My Lord, I would quote the preamble and Articles 1 and 2 from that treaty:

“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. . . .”

Then, go on to 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.”

I go straight to 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.”

My Lord, thereafter the treaty goes on to lay down the procedure for arbitration and for conciliation.

THE PRESIDENT: It is in the same terms, is it not, as the arbitration treaty between Germany and Czechoslovakia, and Germany and Belgium?

LT. COL. GRIFFITH-JONES: Well—yes, it is, My Lord, both signed at Locarno.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes.

LT. COL. GRIFFITH-JONES: The words of the charge in Section 10, will be noted particularly in that Germany did, on or about the 1st of September 1939, unlawfully attack and invade Poland without first having attempted to settle its dispute with Poland by peaceful means.

The only other treaty to which I refer, the German-Polish Declaration of the 26th of January 1934, will be found as the last document in Part I of the Tribunal’s document book, which is the subject of Section 10 of Appendix C:

“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 PRESIDENT: Do you think it is necessary to read all this? We are taking judicial notice of it.

LT. COL. GRIFFITH-JONES: I am very much obliged; I am only too anxious to shorten this, if I can.

In view of what is later alleged by the Nazi Government, I would particularly draw attention to the last paragraph in that declaration.

“The declaration shall remain in effect for a period of 10 years counting from the day of exchange of instruments of ratification. In case it is not denounced by one of the two governments 6 months before the expiration of that period of time, it shall continue in effect but can then be denounced by either Government at any time 6 months in advance.”

My Lord, I pass then from the breach of treaties to present to the Court the evidence upon the planning and preparation of these wars and in support of the allegations that they were wars of aggression. For convenience, as I say, the documents have been divided into separate parts and if the Tribunal would look at the index, the total index to their document, which is a separate book, on the front page it will be seen how these documents have been divided. Part I is the “Treaties”; Part II is entitled “Evidence of German Intentions prior to March 1939.” It might perhaps be more accurately described as “pre-March 1939 evidence,” and it will be with that part that I would now deal.

My Lord, it has been put to the Tribunal that the actions against Austria and Czechoslovakia were in themselves part of the preparation for further aggression, and I now—dealing with the early history of this matter—wish to draw the Court’s particular attention only to those parts of the evidence which show that 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 preliminary aims; that they appreciated the whole time that they might well have to do so. And, what is more, although not until after March 1939 did they commence upon their immediate and specific preparations for 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—during this period, as afterwards, while they are making their preparations and carrying out their plans, they are giving to the outside world assurance after assurance so as to lull them out of any suspicion of their real object.

The dates, I think—as the learned Attorney General said in addressing you yesterday—the dates in this case, almost more than the documents, speak for themselves. The documents in this book are arranged in the order in which I will refer to them, and the first that I would refer to is Document TC-70, which will go in as GB-25.

It is only interesting to see what Hitler said of the agreement with Poland when it was signed in January 1934:

“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 in, might only too easily acquire the character of a dangerous traditional enmity.”

I go down to the one but last paragraph.

“In the spirit of this treaty the German Government is willing and prepared also to cultivate economic-political relations with Poland in such a way that here, too, the state of unprofitable suspicion can be succeeded by a period of useful co-operation. 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.”

That was in 1934. Three years later, again on the 30th of January, speaking in the Reichstag, Hitler said—this is Document PS-2368, which will be GB-26. I will, if I may, avoid so far as possible repeating passages which the Attorney General quoted in his speech the other day. The first paragraph, in fact, he quoted to the Tribunal. It is a short paragraph but perhaps I might read it now, but I will—dealing with this evidence—so far as possible avoid repetition:

“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 realities, 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.”

That was on the 30th of January 1937.

On the 24th of June 1937 we have a top-secret order, C-175, which has already been put in as USA-69. It is a top-secret order issued by the Reich Minister for War and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, signed “Von Blomberg.” It has at the top, “Written by an officer . . . . Outgoing documents in connection with this matter and dealing with it . . . are to be written by an officer.” So it is obviously highly secret. And with it is enclosed a directive for the unified preparation for war of the Armed Forces to come into force on the 1st of August 1937. The directive enclosed with it is divided into Part 1, “General Guiding Principles”; Part 2, “Likely Warlike Eventualities”; Part 3, “Special Preparations.”

The Tribunal will remember that the Attorney General quoted the opening passages:

“The general political position justifies the supposition that Germany need not consider an attack from any side.”

It goes on—the second paragraph:

“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.”

It then goes on to set out the preparations which are to be made, and I would particularly draw the Tribunal’s attention to Paragraph 2b:

“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.”

On the next page, under Paragraph 4:

“Special preparations are to be made for the following eventualities: Armed intervention against Austria; warlike entanglements with Red Spain.”

And thirdly, and this shows so clearly how they appreciated at that time that their actions against Austria and Czechoslovakia might well involve them in war:

“England, Poland, and Lithuania take part in a war against us.”

If the Tribunal would turn over to Part 2 of that directive, Page 5 of that document:

“For the treatment of probable warlike eventualities (concentrations) the following suppositions, tasks, and orders are to be considered as basic:


“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.”

I pass to Part 3, which will be found on Page 9 of that Exhibit, and I particularly refer to the last paragraph on that page under the heading “Special Case—Extension Red-Green”. It will be remembered that Red was Spain and Green was Czechoslovakia.

“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 the side of our opponents. Thereupon our military position would deteriorate to an unbearable, even hopeless extent. The political leadership will therefore do everything to keep these countries neutral, above all England and Poland.”

Thereafter, it sets out the conditions which are to be the basis for the discussion. Before I leave that document, the date will be noted: June 1937; and it shows clearly that at that date anyway, the Nazi Government appreciated the likelihood, if not the probability, of fighting England, and Poland, and France, and were perfectly prepared to do so, if they had to. On the 5th of November 1937—the Tribunal will remember—Hitler held his conference in the Reich Chancellery, the minutes of which have been referred to as the Hossbach notes. I refer to only one or two lines of that document to draw the attention of the Tribunal to what Hitler said in respect to England, Poland, and France. On Page 1 of that Exhibit, the middle of the page:

“The Führer 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.’ ”

He then went on, you will remember, to discuss what he described “participation in world economy,” and at the bottom of Page 2 he said:

“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.”

And at the end of that first paragraph on Page 3:

“The history of all times, Roman Empire, British Empire, has proved that every space expansion can be effected only 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.”

My Lord, it is clear that that reference was not only . . .

THE PRESIDENT: [Interposing.] It has been read already.

LT. COL. GRIFFITH-JONES: My object was only to try to collect, so far as England and Poland were concerned, the evidence that had been given. I would welcome in actual fact if the Tribunal thought that it was unnecessary, I would welcome the opportunity to . . .

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal would wish you not to read anything that has been read already.

LT. COL. GRIFFITH-JONES: I would pass then to the next document in that part of your document book. I put that document in. It was referred to by the Attorney General in his address yesterday, and it shows that on the same date the Hossbach meeting was taking place, a communiqué was being issued as a result of the Polish Ambassador’s audience with Hitler, in which it was said in the course of the conversation that it was confirmed that Polish-German relations should not meet with difficulties because of the Danzig question. That Document is TC-73. I put it in as GB-27. On the 2d of January . . .

THE PRESIDENT: That hasn’t been read before, has it?

LT. COL. GRIFFITH-JONES: It was read by the Attorney General in his opening.

THE PRESIDENT: In his opening? Very well.

LT. COL. GRIFFITH-JONES: On the 2d of January 1938 some unknown person wrote a memorandum for the Führer. This document was one of the German Foreign Office documents of which a microfilm was captured by Allied troops when they came into Germany. It is headed, “Very confidential—personal only,” and is called, “Deductions on the Report, German Embassy, London, regarding the Future Form of Anglo-German Relations”:

“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 once more against each other one day? To answer this question, one must realize the following:


“A change of the status quo in the East in the German sense can only be carried out by force. As 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 defend 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-French 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, for example, 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 next page goes on to discuss the possibilities of a strong partnership between Italy and Japan, and I would pass from my quotation to the next page where the writer is summarizing his ideas.

Paragraph 5:

“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 co-operation 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 and astute opponent in this game of diplomacy.


“The particular question whether, in the event of a war by Germany in Central Europe . . .”—I am afraid the translation of this is not very good—“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.”

And whoever it was that wrote that document appears to be on a fairly high level, because he concludes by saying:

“I should like to give the Führer some of these points of view verbally:”

That document is GB-28.

Well, I am afraid that the next two documents have gotten into your books in the wrong order. If you would refer to 2357-PS which is the one following our L-43—it will be remembered that document to the Führer which I have just read was dated the 2d of January 1938.

On the 20th of January 1938 Hitler spoke in the Reichstag.

THE PRESIDENT: February, the document said.

LT. COL. GRIFFITH-JONES: I beg your pardon—February 1938. That is 2357-PS, and will be GB-30. 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 differences, not only has there been a détente, but in the course of these 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, the most dangerous spot from this 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 friendly 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 co-operation.


“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.”

I turn back to the next—to the document which was in your document books, the one before that, L-43, which will be GB-29. This is a document to which the Attorney General referred yesterday. It is dated the 2d of May 1938, and is entitled “Organizational Study of 1930.” It comes from the office of the Chief of the Organizational Staff of the General Staff of the Air Force, and its purpose is 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. The result gained is termed ‘Distant Objective.’ From this shall be deduced the goal to be reached in the second phase of the setting-up process in 1942. This will be 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 Gaue, air divisions, et cetera.”

The table of contents, the Tribunal will see, is divided into various sections, and Section I is entitled “Assumptions.” If the Tribunal will turn over to the next page one finds the assumption under the heading “Assumptions I, frontier of Germany, see map, Enclosure 1.”

The Tribunal sees a reproduction of that map on the wall and it will be seen that on the 2d of May 1938, the Air Force were envisaging Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Austria, and Hungary, all coming within the bounds of the Reich. The original map is here attached to this file and if the Tribunal will look at the original exhibit, it will be seen that this organizational study has been prepared with the greatest care and thoroughness, with a mass of charts attached as appendices.

I would refer also to the bottom of the second page, to the Tribunal’s copy of the translation:

“Consideration of the principles of organization on the basis of the assumptions for war and peace made in Section I:


1) Attack forces: Principal adversaries: England, France, Russia.”

And it then goes on to say if all the 144 Geschwader are employed against England, they must be 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.

THE PRESIDENT: It is perhaps involved in the map. I think perhaps you should refer to the organization of the Air Force, with group commands at Warsaw and Königsberg.

LT. COL. GRIFFITH-JONES: I am much obliged. Under the paragraph “Assumptions,” Sub-heading 2, “Organization of the Air Force in Peacetime,” seven group commands:

1-Berlin, 2-Brunswick, 3-Munich, 4-Vienna, 5-Budapest, 6-Warsaw, and 7-Königsberg.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes.

LT. COL. GRIFFITH-JONES: I am very much obliged. And lastly, in connection with that document, on Page 4 of the Tribunal’s translation, the last paragraph:

“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 . . . .”

I emphasize only the opening, “The more the Reich grows in area, and the more the Air Force grows in strength . . .” Now I would say one word on that document. The original, I understand, is signed by an officer who is not at the top rank in the Air Force and I, therefore, don’t want to overemphasize the inferences that can be drawn from it, but it is submitted that it at least shows the lines upon which the General Staff of the Air Force were thinking at that date.

The Tribunal will remember that in February 1938 the Defendant Ribbentrop succeeded Von Neurath as Foreign Minister. We have another document from that captured microfilm, which is dated the 26th of August 1938, when Ribbentrop had become Foreign Minister, and it is addressed to him as “the Reich Minister via the State Secretary.” It is a comparatively short document and one that I will read in whole:

“The most pressing problem of German policy, the Czech problem, might easily, but must not, lead to a conflict with the Entente.”—TC-76 becomes GB-31—“Neither France nor England is 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 when this fruit could be plucked without too great a risk. She can only prepare the desired developments.”

I pass to the last paragraph on that page. I think I can leave out the intervening lines, Paragraph 5.

THE PRESIDENT: Should you not read the next paragraph, “For this purpose . . .”?

LT. COL. GRIFFITH-JONES: “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 is 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 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”—I put in an “is” because I think it is obviously left out of the copy that I have in front of me.—


“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 provoke resistance by the Entente at an earlier date and more energetically than our forces could stand up to.”

That was on the 26th of August 1938, just as the Czech crisis was leading up to a Munich settlement. While at Munich, or rather a day or two before the Munich Agreement was signed, Herr Hitler made a speech. On the 26th of September he said—I think Sir David Maxwell-Fyfe has just read this document to the Tribunal. I’ll refer to only two lines of it:

“I assured him, moreover, and I repeat it here, that when this problem is solved, there will be no more territorial problems for Germany in Europe.”

And again, the last document in your book, which is another extract from that same speech, I will not read to the Tribunal unless the Tribunal desire, because the Attorney General did quote it in full in his address yesterday. These two documents are already in, TC-28 as GB-2, and TC-29, which is the second extraction of that same speech, as GB-32.

My Lord, I would refer the Tribunal to one more document under this part which has already been put in by my American colleagues. It is C-23, now USA-49, and which appears before TC-28 in your document book. The particular passage of that exhibit, to which I would refer, is a letter from Admiral Carls, which appears at the bottom of the second page. It is dated some time in September, with no precise date, and is entitled, “Opinion on the ‘Draft Study of Naval Warfare against England.’ There is full agreement with the main theme of the study.” Again, the Attorney General quoted the remainder of that letter yesterday, which the Tribunal will remember.

“If, according to the Führer’s decision, Germany is to acquire a position of security as a world power she needs not only sufficient colonial possessions but also secure naval communications and secure access to the ocean.”

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 had intended, and as a result, they were not prepared straight away to start any further aggressive action against Poland or elsewhere, but Your Lordships heard this morning, when Mr. Alderman dealt in his closing remarks with the advantages that were gained by the seizure of Czechoslovakia, what Jodl and Hitler said on subsequent occasions, that Czechoslovakia was only setting the stage for the attack on Poland. It is, of course, obvious now that they intended and indeed had taken the decision to proceed against Poland as soon as Czechoslovakia had been entirely occupied. We know now, from what Hitler said in talking to his military commanders at a later date. The Tribunal will remember the speech where he said that 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—as the Tribunal will see—until the whole of Czechoslovakia had been taken in March, no pressure was put on; but immediately after the Sudetenland had been occupied, preliminary steps were taken to stir up trouble with Poland, which would and was to lead eventually to their excuse, or so-called justification for their attack on that country.

If the Tribunal would turn to Part 3. . .

THE PRESIDENT: I think it is time to adjourn now until 10 o’clock tomorrow morning.

[The Tribunal adjourned until 6 December at 1000 hours.]


FOURTEENTH DAY
Thursday, 6 December 1945

Morning Session

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal has received an urgent request from the defendants’ counsel that the Trial should be adjourned at Christmas for a period of 3 weeks. The Tribunal is aware of the many interests which must be considered in a trial of this complexity and magnitude, and, as the Trial must inevitably last for a considerable time, the Tribunal considers that it is not only in the interest of the defendants and their counsel but of every one concerned in the Trial that there should be a recess. On the whole it seems best to take that recess at Christmas rather than at a later date when the Prosecution’s case has been completed. The Tribunal will therefore rise for the Christmas week and over the 1st of January, and will not sit after the session on Thursday, the 20th of December, and will sit again on Wednesday, the 2d of January.

MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: I should like, in justice to my staff, to note the American objection to the adjournment for the benefit of the defendants.

LT. COL. GRIFFITH-JONES: May it please the Tribunal, the Tribunal will return to Part III of that document book in which I included the documents relating to the earlier discussions between the German and Polish Governments on the question of Danzig. Those discussions, the Tribunal will remember, started almost immediately after the Munich crisis in September 1938, and started, in the first place, as cautious and friendly discussions until the remainder of Czechoslovakia had finally been seized in March of the following year.

I would refer the Tribunal to the first document in that part, TC-73, Number 44. That is a document taken from the official Polish White Book, which I put in as Exhibit GB-27 (a). It gives an account of a luncheon which took place at the Grand Hotel, Berchtesgaden, on the 24th of October, where Ribbentrop saw Mr. Lipski, the Polish Ambassador to Germany:

“In a conversation of the 24th of October, over a luncheon at the Grand Hotel, Berchtesgaden, at which M. Hewel was present, Von Ribbentrop put forward a proposal for a general settlement of issues 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 a railway line across Pomorze (northern part of the corridor). In exchange Von Ribbentrop mentioned the possibility of an extension of the Polish-German Agreement to 25 years and a guarantee of Polish-German frontiers.”

I do not think I need read the following lines. I go to the last but one paragraph:

“Finally, I said to 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.”

I would emphasize the submission of the Prosecution as to this part of the case and that is that the whole question of Danzig was, indeed, as Hitler has himself said, no question at all. Danzig was raised simply as an excuse, a so-called justification, not for the seizure of Danzig, but for the invasion and seizure of the whole of Poland, and we see it starting now. As we progress with the story it will become ever more apparent that that is what the Nazi Government were really aiming at—only providing themselves with some kind of crisis which would provide some kind of justification for walking into the rest of Poland.

I turn to the next document. It is again a document taken from the Polish White Book, TC-73, Number 45, which will be GB-27 (b). TC-73 will be the Polish White Book, which I shall put in later. That document 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 suggestion put forward by Ribbentrop at Berchtesgaden on the 24th of October. I need not read the first page. The history of Polish-German relationship is set out, and the needs of Poland in respect of Danzig are emphasized. I turn to the second page of that exhibit, to Paragraph 6:

“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.”

It then sets out the guarantees to Poland under the existing statute, and I pass to Paragraph 7:

“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 bilateral 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.”

And then finally in Paragraph 8:

“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.”

The first stage in those negotiations had been entirely successful from the German point of view. They 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. They had offered to enter into negotiations, but they had not agreed, which is exactly what the German Government had hoped. They had not agreed to the return of Danzig to the Reich. The first stage in producing the crisis had been accomplished.

Shortly afterward, within a week or so of that taking place, after the Polish Government had offered to enter into discussions with the German Government, we find another top-secret order, issued by the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces, signed by the Defendant Keitel. It goes to the OKH, OKM, and OKW and it is headed, “The First Supplement to the Instruction Dated the 21st of October 1938”:

“The Führer has ordered: Apart from the three contingencies mentioned in the instructions of that date 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 a quasi-revolutionary occupation of Danzig, exploiting a politically favorable situation, not a war against Poland.”

We remember, of course, that at that moment the remainder of Czechoslovakia had not been seized and therefore they were not ready to go to war with Poland. That document does show how the German Government answered the proposal to enter into discussions. That is C-137 and will become GB-33.

On the 5th of January 1939 Mr. Beck had a conversation with Hitler. It is unnecessary to read the first part of that document, which is the next in the Tribunal’s book, TC-73, Number 48, which will become GB-34. In the first part of that conversation, of which that document is an account, Hitler offers to answer any questions. He says he has always followed the policy laid down by the 1934 agreement. He discusses the Danzig question and emphasizes that in the German view it must sooner or later return to Germany. I quote the last but one paragraph of that page:

“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 Körperschaft, 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.”

The Tribunal will remember that in the very last document we looked at, on the 24th of November, orders had already been received, or issued, for preparations to be made for the occupation of Danzig by surprise; yet here he is assuring the Polish Foreign Minister that there is to be no fait accompli and he can be quite at his ease.

I turn to the next step, Document TC-73, Number 49, which will become GB-35, conversation between Mr. Beck and Ribbentrop, on the day after the one to which I have just referred between Beck and Hitler.

THE PRESIDENT: Did you draw attention to the fact that the last conversation took place in the presence of the Defendant Ribbentrop?

LT. COL. GRIFFITH-JONES: I am very obliged to you. No, I did not. As I say, it was on the next day, the 6th of January. The date in actual fact does not appear on the copy I have got in my book. It does appear in the White Book itself.

“Mr. Beck asked 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.”

I emphasize this last paragraph:

“In answer 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.”

The Defendant Ribbentrop apparently was not satisfied with that one expression of good faith. On the 25th of the same month, January 1939, some fortnight or three weeks later, he was in Warsaw and made another speech, of which an extract is set out in PS-2530, which will become GB-36:

“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.”

And even so, the Nazi Government must have been still anxious that the Poles were beginning to sit up—Your Lordship will remember the expression “sit up” used in the note to the Führer—and to assume they would be the next in turn, because on the 30th of January Hitler again spoke in the Reichstag, 30th of January 1939, and gave further assurances of their good faith.

That document, that extract, was read by the Attorney General in his address, and therefore, I only put it in now as an exhibit. That is TC-73, Number 57, which will become GB-37.

That, then, brings us up to the March 1939 seizure of the remainder of Czechoslovakia and the setting up of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia.

If the Tribunal will now pass to the next part, Part IV, of that document book, I had intended to refer to three documents where Hitler and Jodl were setting out the advantage gained through the seizure of the remainder of Czechoslovakia. But the Tribunal will remember that Mr. Alderman, in his closing remarks yesterday morning, dealt very fully with that matter showing what advantages they did gain by that seizure and showing on the chart that he had on the wall the immense strengthening of the German position against Poland. Therefore, I leave that matter. The documents are already in evidence, and if the Tribunal should wish to refer to them, they are found in their correct order in the story in that document book.

As soon as that occupation had been completed, within a week of marching into the rest of Czechoslovakia, the heat was beginning to be turned on against Poland.

If the Tribunal would pass to Document TC-73, which is about half way through that document book—it follows after Jodl’s lecture, which is a long document—TC-73, Number 61. It is headed: “Official Documents concerning Polish-German Relations.” This will be GB-38.

On the 21st of March Mr. Lipski again saw Ribbentrop and the nature of the conversation was generally very much sharper than that that had been held a little time back at the Grand Hotel, Berchtesgaden:

“I saw Ribbentrop today. He began by saying he had asked me to call 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.”

I think I can go straight on to the larger paragraph, which commences with “further”:

“Further, 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 into the Reich. He said that there had been further conversations between you and him in Warsaw”—that is, between him, of course, and Mr. Beck—“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. Ribbentrop had talked to 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. 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 think it unnecessary that I should read the next page. Briefly, Ribbentrop emphasizes the German argument as to why Danzig should return to the Reich, and I turn to the first paragraph on the following page:

“I stated”—that is Mr. Lipski—“I 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 for 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 the matter over. 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 that they had discussed the Memel question, which called for a solution.”

That conversation took place on the 21st of March. It was not very long before the world knew what the solution to Memel was. On the next day German Armed Forces marched in.

If the Tribunal would turn over—I think the next document is unnecessary—turn over to TC-72, Number 17, which becomes GB-39.

As a result of these events, not unnaturally, considerable anxiety was growing both in the government of Great Britain and the Polish Government, and the two governments therefore had been undertaking conversations with each other.

On the 31st of March, the Prime Minister, Mr. Chamberlain, spoke in the House of Commons, and he explained that as a result of the conversations that had been taking place between the British and Polish Governments—I quote from the last but one paragraph of his statement:

“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.”

On the 6th of 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 she, Great Britain, be attacked. I need not read it all. In fact, I need not read any of it. I put it in. It is TC-72, Number 18. I put it in as GB-40.

The anxiety and concern that the governments of Poland and Great Britain were feeling at that time appear to have been well justified. During the same week, on the 3rd of April, the Tribunal will see in the next document an order signed by Keitel. It emanates from the High Command of the Armed Forces. It is dated Berlin, 3rd of April 1939. Its subject is: “Directive for the Armed Forces 1939-40”:

“ ‘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, Case White”—which is the code name for the operation against Poland—“Part II, Case White, is attached herewith. The signature of the Führer will be appended later.


“The Führer has added the following directives to Case White:


“1. Preparations must be made in such a way that the operation can be carried out at any time from 1st of September 1939 onwards.”—This is in April, the beginning of April.


“2. The High Command of the Armed Forces has been directed to draw up a precise timetable for Case White and to arrange by conferences the synchronized timings among the three branches of the Armed Forces.


“3. The plans of the branches of the Armed Forces and the details for the timetable must be submitted to the OKW by the 1st of May.”

That document, as the Tribunal will see on the following page under the heading “Distribution”, went to the OKH, OKM, OKW.

THE PRESIDENT: Are those words at the top part of the document, or are they just notes?

LT. COL. GRIFFITH-JONES: They are part of the document.

THE PRESIDENT: Directives from Hitler and Keitel, preparing for war.

LT. COL. GRIFFITH-JONES: I beg your pardon; no, they are not. The document starts from under the words “Translation of a document signed by Keitel.”

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, I see.

LT. COL. GRIFFITH-JONES: The first words being “top-secret.”

If the Tribunal will look at the second page, following after “Distribution”, it will be seen that there follows a translation of another document, dated the 11th of April, and that document is signed by Hitler:

“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.”—No question about war—“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. Case White;


“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.” Again that document goes to the OKH, OKM, OKW.

On the next page of the copy the Tribunal have, the translation of Annex I is set out, which is the safeguarding of the frontiers of the German Reich, and I would quote from Paragraph (2) under “Special Orders”:

“Legal Basis. It should be anticipated that a state of defense or a state of war, as defined in the Reich defense 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.”

My Lord, that document is C-120. It becomes GB-41. It contains some other later documents to which I shall refer in chronological order.

The statement of the Prime Minister in the House of Commons, followed by the Anglo-Polish communiqué of the 6th of April, was seized upon by the Nazi Government to urge on, as it were, the crisis which they were developing in Danzig between themselves and Poland.

On the 28th of 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.

I would only quote three short passages, or four short passages, from that document. It is TC-72, Number 14. It becomes GB-42. Some of these passages are worth quoting, if only to show the complete dishonesty of the whole document on the face of it:

“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 has been concluded between the Polish Government and the British Government a temporary understanding, to be replaced 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.”

Thereafter, the document sets out in the next three paragraphs the history of German friendship towards Poland. I quote from the last paragraph, Paragraph 5, on that page:

“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 and fundamental 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.”

I think I can omit Paragraph 6. Paragraph 7:

“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.”

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 document 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; the return of Danzig, the Autobahn, the railway, the promise by Germany of the 25 years’ guarantee, and I go down to the last but one paragraph on Page 3 of the Exhibit, under the heading (1):

“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, neighborly 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 26th of January 1934. Thereby, the Polish Government arbitrarily and unilaterally rendered this declaration null and void.”

In the last paragraph the German Government says that, nevertheless, they are prepared to continue friendly relations with Poland.

On the same day as that memorandum was issued Hitler made a speech in the Reichstag, 28 April, in which he repeated, in effect, the terms of the memorandum. This is Document TC-72, Number 13, which becomes GB-43. I would only refer the Tribunal to the latter part of the second page of the translation. He has again repeated the demands and offers that Germany made in March, and he goes on to say that the Polish Government have rejected his offer and lastly:

“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 . . . .”

It is unnecessary, My Lord, to read more of that. It shows us, as I say, how completely dishonest was everything that the German Government was saying at that time. There was Hitler, probably with a copy of the orders for Fall Weiss in his pocket as he spoke, saying 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 the 28th of April. It is set out in the next exhibit, TC-72, Number 16, which becomes GB-44. It is unnecessary to read more than . . .

THE PRESIDENT: It is stated as the 5th of May, not the 28th of April.

LT. COL. GRIFFITH-JONES: I beg your pardon, yes, on the 5th of May.

It is unnecessary to read more than two short paragraphs from that reply. I can summarize the document in a word. It sets out the objects 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 appreciate that there are difficulties about Danzig and have long been ready to carry out discussions. They set out again their part in the recent discussions, and I turn to the second page of the document, the one but last paragraph or, perhaps, I should go back a little to the top of that page, the first half of that page. The Polish Government allege that they wrote, as indeed they did, to the German Government on the 26th of March giving their point of view, that they 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. They said they were prepared to examine the possibilities of a motor road and railway facilities and that they received no reply to those proposals:

“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.”

Which, of course, in a word summarizes the whole position of the Polish point of view. And thereafter they reject the German accusation that the Anglo-Polish agreement is incompatible with the 1934 German-Polish agreement. They state that Germany herself has entered into similar agreements with other nations and lastly, on the next page, they too say that they are still willing to entertain a new pact with Germany, should Germany wish to do so.

If the Tribunal would turn back to the Document C-120, to the first two letters, to which I referred only a few minutes ago, it becoming GB-41. On the bottom of the page there is a figure 614, on the first page of that exhibit, “Directives from Hitler and Keitel Preparing for War and the Invasion of Poland”. I would refer to Page 6 of that particular exhibit. The page number will be found at the bottom of the page, in the center. It is a letter from the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, signed by Hitler and dated the 10th of May. It goes to OKW, OKH, OKM, various branches of the OKW and with it apparently were enclosed “Instructions for the Economic War and the Protection of Our Own Economy.” I only mention it now to show better that throughout this time preparations for the immediate aggression were continuing. That document will still be part of the same exhibit.

Again on the next page, which is headed Number C-120(1), I am afraid this is a précis only, not a full translation and therefore, perhaps, I will not read it. But it is the annex, showing the “Directives for the War against the Enemy Economy and Measures of Protection for Our Own Economy.”

As we will see later, not only were the 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.

I think this period of preparation, translated up to May 1939, finishes really with that famous meeting or conference in the Reich Chancellery on the 23rd of May about which the Tribunal has already heard. It was L-79 and is now Exhibit USA-27; and it was referred to, I think, and has been known as the “Schmundt minutes.” It is the last document which is in the Tribunal’s document book of this part and I do not propose to read anything of it. It has been read already and the Tribunal will remember that it was the speech in which Hitler was crying out for Lebensraum and said that Danzig was not the dispute at all. It was a question of expanding their living space in the East, where he said that the decision had been taken to attack Poland.

THE PRESIDENT: Would you remind me of the date of it?

LT. COL. GRIFFITH-JONES: The 23rd of May 1939. Your Lordship will remember that Göring, Raeder, and Keitel, among many others, were present. It has three particular lines of which I want to remind the Tribunal, where he said:

“If there were an alliance of France, England, and Russia against Germany, Italy, and Japan, I would be constrained to attack England and France with a few annihilating blows. The Führer doubts the possibility of a peaceful settlement with England.”

So that, not only has the decision been taken definitely to attack Poland, but almost equally definitely to attack England and France, also.

I pass to the next period, which I have described as the final preparations taken from June up to the beginning of the war, at the beginning of September—Part V of the Tribunal’s document book. If the Tribunal will glance at the index to the document book, they will find I have, for convenience, divided the evidence up under four subheadings:

Final preparations of the Armed Forces; economic preparation; the famous Obersalzberg speeches; and the political or diplomatic preparations urging on the crisis and the justification for the invasion of Poland.

I refer the Tribunal to the first document in that book, dealing with the final preparations of the Armed Forces. It again is an exhibit containing various documents, and I refer particularly to the second document, dated the 22d of June 1939. This is Document C-126, which will become GB-45.

It will be remembered that a precise timetable had been called for. Now, here it is:

“The Supreme Command of the Armed Forces has submitted to the Führer and Supreme Commander, a ‘preliminary timetable’ for Case White 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 Führer and 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 inquiries 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.”

All this became relevant, particularly relevant, later when we find the German Government making allegations of mobilization on the part of the Poles. Here we have it in May, or rather June—they are mobilizing, only doing so secretly:

“2. For reasons of security, the clearing of hospitals in the area of the frontier must not be carried out.”

If the Tribunal will turn to the top of the following page, it will be seen that that order is signed by the Defendant Keitel. I think it is unnecessary to read any further from that document. There is—which perhaps will save turning back, if I might take it rather out of date now—the first document on that front page of that exhibit, a short letter dated the 2d of August. It is only an extract, I am afraid, as it appears in the translation:

“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 Case White remaining unchanged. Commander, U-boats is handing in his operation orders by the 12th of August to the operations staff of the Navy.”

One must assume that the Defendant Dönitz knew that his U-boats were to go out into the Atlantic “by way of precaution in the event of the intention to carry out Case White remaining unchanged.”

I turn to the next document in the Tribunal’s book, C-30, which becomes GB-46. That is a letter dated the 27th of July. It contains orders for the air and sea forces for the occupation of the German Free City of Danzig:

“The Führer 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 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.”

It then sets out how the occupation is to be effected. All this again becomes more relevant when we discuss the diplomatic action of the last few days before the war, when Germany was purporting to make specious offers for the settlement of the question by peaceful means. I would like to offer this as evidence that the decision had been taken and nothing was going to move him from that decision. That document, as set out, says that, “There will be no hostile intention on the part of Poland so long as the occupation takes place without the force of arms.” Nevertheless, that was not the only condition upon which the occupation was to take place and we find that 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.

I refer the Tribunal to the next Document, TC-71, which becomes GB-47, where there are set out a few only of the reports which were coming back almost daily during this period from Mr. Shepherd, the Consul-General in Danzig, to the British Foreign Minister. The sum total of those reports can be found in the British Blue Book. I now would refer to only two of them as examples of the kind of thing that was happening.

I refer to the first that appears on that exhibit, dated the 1st of July 1939.

“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 forts, which constitute a popular public promenade on the 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, while he was roving Königsberg from the 28th of June to 30th of June, observed considerable military activity, including extensive shipment of camouflaged covered lorries and similar material, by small coasting vessels. On the 28th of June four medium-sized steamers, loaded with troops, lorries, field kitchens, and so forth, left Königsberg ostensibly returning to Hamburg after maneuvers, but actually proceeding to Stettin. Names of steamers . . . .”

And again, as another example, the report Number 11, on the next page of the exhibit, dated the 10th of July, states:

“The same informant, whom I believe to be reliable, advises me that on the 8th of July, he personally saw about 30 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 antiaircraft guns in position, which he estimated as being of over 3-inch caliber, and three six-barreled light antiaircraft machine guns. There were about 500 men, drilling with rifles, and the whole place is extensively fortified with barbed wire.”

I do not think it is necessary to occupy the Tribunal’s time in reading more. Those, as I say, are two reports only, of a number of others that can be found in the British Blue Book, which sets out the arming and preparation of the Free City of Danzig.

On the 12th of August and the 13th of August, when preparations were practically complete—and it will be remembered that they had to be complete for an invasion of Poland on the 1st of September—we find Hitler and the Defendant Ribbentrop at last disclosing their intentions to their allies, the Italians.

One of the passages in Hitler’s speech of the 23rd of May, it will be remembered—I will not quote it now because the document has been read before. However, in a passage in that speech Hitler, in regard to his proposed attack on Poland, had said, “Our object must be kept secret even from the Italians and the Japanese.”

Now, when his preparations are complete, he discloses his intentions to his Italian comrades, and does so in hope that they will join him.

The minutes of that meeting are long, and it is not proposed to read more than a few passages. The meeting can be summarized generally by saying, as I have, that Hitler is trying to persuade the Italians to come into the war with him. The Italians, or Ciano, rather, is most surprised. He had no idea, as he says, of the urgency of the matter; and they are not prepared. He, therefore, is trying to dissuade Hitler from starting off so soon until the Duce can have had a little more time to prepare himself.

The value—perhaps the greatest value—of the minutes of that meeting is that they show quite clearly the German intention to attack England and France ultimately, anyway, if not at the same time as Poland.

I refer the Tribunal to the second page of the exhibit. Hitler is trying to show the strength of Germany, the certainty of winning the war; and, therefore, he hopes to persuade the Italians to come in:

“At sea, England had for the moment no immediate reinforcements in prospect.”—I quote from the top of the second page.—“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.”

I quote this passage particularly to show the intention to attack England. We have been concentrating rather on Poland, but here his thoughts are turned entirely towards England:

“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 Führer 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 a hundred 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 Führer 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.”—Doubts which, perhaps, in view of the subsequent performances, were well justified.


“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 antitank and antiaircraft defense and at the moment neither France nor England could help her in this respect.”

What this Tribunal will appreciate, of course, is that Poland formed such a threat to Germany on Germany’s eastern frontier.

“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 Kraków, the population of their areas is indifferent. 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 approximately nine million Ukrainians, so that genuine Poles were much less in number than the total population and, as already said, their striking power was to be valued variably. 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 11 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.”

The argument goes on on those lines.

I pass on to the next page, at the top of the page:

“Coming back to the Danzig question, the Führer said to Count Ciano that it was impossible for him to go back now. 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 the appropriate sphere for Italy. For economic reasons also, Germany needed the foodstuffs and timber from these eastern regions.”

Now we get the truth of this matter. It is not the persecution of German minorities on the Polish frontiers, but the economic reasons, the need for foodstuffs and timber from Poland:

“In the case of Danzig, German interests were not only material, although the city had the greatest harbor in the Baltic—the transshipment by tonnage was 40 percent of that of Hamburg—but Danzig was a Nuremberg of the north, an ancient German city awaking sentimental feelings for every German, and the Führer 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 Führer’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, the Minister of Foreign Affairs 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 2 or 3 years. If immediate conflict was 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.”

No question of welcoming the cancellation of a general conflict; the only concern of anybody is as to 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.”

Thereafter, during the meeting, Ciano goes on to try to dissuade Hitler from any immediate action. I quote two lines from the argument at the top of Page 5 of the exhibit:

“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.”

Then we get the Führer’s answer to those arguments, half-way down Page 5:

“The Führer 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 conditions 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 October . . . and Germany would not be able to do anything about it since they obviously could not bombard or destroy the place.”

They couldn’t possibly bombard or destroy any place where there happened to be Germans living. Warsaw, Rotterdam, England, London—I wonder whether any sentiments of that kind were held in consideration in regard to those places.

“Ciano asked how soon, according to the Führer’s view, the Danzig question must be settled. The Führer answered that this settlement must be made one way or another by the end of August. To the question of Ciano as to what solution the Führer 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 Führer 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 . . . .”—That was something quite different.

The meeting was held over that night, and it continued on the following day.

On Page 7, in the middle of the page, it will be seen:

“The Führer 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.”

I go to the last line on that page:

“As matters now stand, Germany and Italy would simply not exist further in the world through the 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 in 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, because of its geographic location, was already the dominant power in the Mediterranean. On the other hand, the Führer 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.


“The Minister of Foreign Affairs 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 Führer said that Poland must be struck down so that for 10 years”—there appears to have been a query raised in the translation—“for so many years long she would have been incapable of fighting. In such a case, matters in the west could be settled.


“Ciano thanked the Führer 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 Führer believed that the conflict with Poland could be localized. On the basis of long experience he”—Ciano—“quite saw that so far the Führer 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 Führer 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 did not depend on the decision of the Führer, and German reaction would follow 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 Führer 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 . . . 4 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 date on which he could begin to take action was the end of August.


“Finally, the Führer reassured Ciano that since his youth he had favored German-Italian co-operation, and that no other view was expressed in his publications. 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 for better or for worse.”

THE PRESIDENT: We might adjourn now for 10 minutes.

[A recess was taken.]

LT. COL. GRIFFITH-JONES: If the Tribunal please, I never actually put that last document that I was referring to in as an exhibit. It is Document TC-77, which becomes GB-48.

Having referred the Tribunal to those documents showing that the military preparations were throughout the whole period in hand and nearing their completion, I would refer to one letter from the Defendant Funk, showing that at the same time the economists had not been idle. It is a letter dated the 26th of August 1939, in which Funk is writing to his Führer. He says:

“My Führer! 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 Göring, that you, my Führer, 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 Reich Bank 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 Reich Bank and of the whole of the German economy abroad on which it was possible to lay hands. 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 Führer. Heil my Führer”—signed—“Walter Funk.”

That document is PS-699, and it goes in as GB-49.

It is difficult in view of that letter to see how the Defendant Funk can say that he did not know of the preparations and of the intentions of the German Government to wage war.

I come now to the speech which Hitler made on the 22d of August at Obersalzberg to his commanders-in-chief. By the end of the third week of August, preparations were complete. That speech has already been read to the Tribunal. I would, perhaps, ask the Tribunal’s patience if I quoted literally half a dozen lines so as to carry the story on in sequence.

On the first page of PS-1014, which is already USA-30, the fourth line:

“Everybody shall have to make a point of it that we were determined from the beginning to fight the Western Powers.”

The second paragraph:

“Destruction of Poland is in the foreground. The aim is the 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.”

Again, the famous sentence in the third paragraph:

“I shall give a propagandists cause for starting the war, never mind whether it be plausible or not. The victor shall not be asked later on whether he told the truth or not. In starting and making a war, not the right is what matters but victory.”

We are going to see only too clearly how that propagandistic cause, which already had been put in hand, was brought to its climax.

I turn to the next page (798-PS, USA-29), the third paragraph:

“It was clear to me that a conflict with Poland had to come sooner or later. I had already made this decision in the spring, but I thought that I would first turn against the West in a few years, and only afterwards against the East.”

I refer to these passages again particularly to 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.

I refer lastly to the last page, a passage which becomes more and more significant as we continue the story of the last few days: I quote from the fourth paragraph:

“We need not be afraid of a blockade. The East will supply us with grain, cattle, coal, lead, and zinc. It is a big aim, which demands great efforts. I am only afraid that at the last minute some ‘Schweinehund’ will make a proposal for mediation.


“The political aim 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.”

And, again, the very last line becomes significant later:

“Göring answers with thanks to the Führer and the assurance that the Armed Forces will do their duty.”

We pass from the military-economic preparations and his exhortations to his generals to see how he was developing the position in the diplomatic and political field.

On the 23rd of 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. I put in the next document, which is taken from the British Blue Book, only as evidence of that event, an event that was, of course, aimed at stirring up the feeling in the Free City at that time. That is TC-72, Number 62, which becomes GB-50.

At the same time, frontier incidents were being manufactured by the Nazi Government with the aid of the SS. The Tribunal has already heard the evidence of General Lahousen the other day in which he referred to the provision of Polish uniforms to the SS forces for these purposes, so that dead Poles could be found lying about the German side of the frontier. I refer the Tribunal now to three short reports which corroborate the evidence that that gentleman came and gave before you, and they are found in the British Blue Book. They are reports from the British Ambassador in Warsaw.

The first of them, TC-72, Number 53, which becomes GB-51, is dated 26th of August.

“A series of incidents again occurred yesterday on German frontier.


“Polish patrol met a party of Germans one kilometer from the 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 an inspired lead article 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 defense. Facts spoke for themselves and acts of aggression came from German side. This was the best answer to the ravings of German press.


“Ministry for Foreign Affairs state uniformed German detachment has since shot a Pole across frontier and wounded another.”

I pass to the next report, TC-72, Number 54, which becomes GB-52. It is dated the same date, the 26th of August.

“Ministry for Foreign Affairs categorically deny story recounted by Hitler to the French Ambassador that 24 Germans were recently killed at Lodz and eight at Bielsko. The story is without any foundation whatever.”

And lastly, TC-72, Number 55, which becomes GB-53, the report of the next day, the 27th of August.

“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”—since the date when the rest of Czechoslovakia was seized and they were ready to go against Poland—“that has since March exacerbated feeling between the two nationalities. I suppose this has been done with the 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 the population in any commune.


“8. In the 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 Hitler’s allegations regarding German minority are false.”

And yet, again, we have further corroboration of General Lahousen’s evidence in a memorandum, which has been captured, of a conversation between the writer and Keitel. It is 795-PS, and it becomes GB-54. That conversation with Keitel took place on the 17th of August, and from the memorandum I quote the first paragraph:

“I reported my conference with Jost to Keitel. He said that he would not pay any attention to this action, as the Führer 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 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 Führer; that he could not ask the Führer 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.”

That then, My Lord, was the position at the end of the first week in August—I mean at the end of the third week in August. On the 22d of August the Russian-German Non-Aggression Pact was signed in Moscow, and we have heard in Hitler’s speech of that date to his commanders-in-chief how it had gone down as a shock to the rest of the world. In fact, 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 the 25th of August. Orders were given to invade Poland in the early hours of the 25th of August, and that I shall prove in a moment.

Oh the same day—the 23rd of August—that the German-Russian agreement was signed in Moscow, news reached England that it was being signed. And of course the significance of it from a military point of view as to Germany, particularly in the present circumstances, was obvious; and the British Government immediately made their position clear in one last hope—and that one last hope was that if they did so the German Government might possibly think better of it. And I refer to Document TC-72, Number 56; it is the first document in the next to the last part of the Tribunal document book, in which the Prime Minister wrote to Hitler. That document becomes GB-55:

“Your Excellency:

“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 cannot 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 more 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 delusion 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.”

Thereafter the Prime Minister urged the German Government to try and resolve the difficulty without recourse to the use of force; and he suggested that a truce should be declared while direct discussions between the two Governments, the Polish and German Governments, might take place. I quote in Prime Minister Chamberlain’s language:

“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.”

On the following day, the 23rd of August, Hitler replied to Prime Minister Chamberlain, and that document is TC-72, Number 60, and it becomes GB-56. He starts off by saying that Germany has always wanted England’s friendship, and has always done everything to get it; on the other hand, she has some essential interests which it is impossible for Germany to renounce. I quote the third paragraph:

“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 allegation which is disseminated by England regarding a German mobilization against Poland”—we see here the complete dishonesty of the whole business—“the assertion of aggressive designs towards Romania, Hungary, and so forth 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.”

Again I cannot help remembering the report by the British Ambassador, to which I just referred:

“The atrocities which since 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 obligations towards the Free City of Danzig, has made demands in the character of ultimata, and has initiated a process of economic strangulation.”

It goes on to say that “Germany will not tolerate a continuance of the persecution” and the fact that there is a British guarantee to Poland makes no difference to her determination to end this state of affairs. I quote from Paragraph 7:

“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.”

If the intention of the German Government had been peaceful, if they really wanted peace and not war, what was the purpose of these lies; these lies saying that they had never intended to attack England or France, carried out no mobilization, statements which, in view of what we now have, we know to be lies? What can have been their object if their intention had always been for a peaceful settlement of the Danzig question only? Then I quote again from the last paragraph:

“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 the 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.”

On the 25th of August the formal Anglo-Polish Agreement of mutual assistance was signed in London. It is unnecessary to read the document. The Tribunal will be well aware of its contents where both Governments undertake to give assistance to the other in the event of aggression against either by any third power. I point to Document TC-73; it is Number 91 and it becomes GB-57. I shall refer to the fact of its signing again in a moment but perhaps it is convenient while we are dealing with a letter between the British Prime Minister and Hitler to refer also to a similar correspondence which took place a few days later between the French Prime Minister M. Daladier and Hitler. I emphasize these because it is desired to show how deliberately the German Government was set about their pattern of aggression. “The French Ambassador in Berlin has informed me of your personal communication,” written on the 26th of August:

“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 alone.


“You cannot doubt but 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 co-operation in their own interests as well as in those of Europe and of the whole world. Unless you credit the French people with a lower sense of honor than I credit to the German nation, you cannot doubt that France loyally fulfills her obligations toward 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 with a 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 high-minded human being could understand it if a war of destruction were 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 people 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, toward 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.”

THE PRESIDENT: I think we will adjourn now until 2 o’clock.

[A recess was taken until 1400 hours.]


Afternoon Session

COLONEL ROBERT G. STOREY (Executive Trial Counsel for the United States): If it please the Tribunal, with the consent of Lieutenant Colonel Griffith-Jones, may I make an announcement to the Defense Counsel.

At 7:30 in the courtroom this evening, the remainder of the motion pictures which the United States will offer in evidence will be shown for the Defense Counsel. We urge that all of them come at 7:30.

DR. DIX: I believe I can say on behalf of all members of the Defense that they do not consider it necessary that the films be shown to them before the proceedings, that is, shown to them twice. We fully and with gratitude appreciate the courtesy and readiness to facilitate our work; but our evenings are very much taken up by the preparation of our cases and by the necessary consultations with our clients.

The question of films is on a level different from that of documents. Documents one likes to read in advance or simultaneously or later; but since we can hear and take note of the testimony of witnesses only during the main proceedings, we are, of course, to an even greater degree in a position and prepared to become acquainted with the films submitted as evidence only during the proceedings. We believe the Prosecution need not take the trouble of showing every film to us on some evening before it is shown again in the proceedings. We hope this will not be construed as, shall I say, a sort of demonstration in some respect, for the reason really is that our time is so fully taken up by our preparations that all superfluous work might well be spared both the Prosecution and us. I repeat and emphasize that we fully and gratefully appreciate the Prosecution’s manifest readiness to facilitate our work, and I ask that my words be understood in this light.

THE PRESIDENT: Do I understand that you think it will be unnecessary for the defendants’ counsel to have a preview of the films, to see them before they are produced in evidence? Is that what you are saying?

DR. DIX: Yes, that is what I said.

THE PRESIDENT: Colonel Storey, I am not sure that you were here when Dr. Dix began his observation; but I understand that what he says is that in view of the amount of preparation which the defendants’ counsel have to undertake, they do not consider it necessary to have a view of these films before they are produced in evidence, but at the same time he wishes to express his gratification at the co-operation of the Counsel for the Prosecution.

COL. STOREY: Very agreeable. It’s all right with us. We were doing it for their benefit.

THE PRESIDENT: Very well.

LT. COL. GRIFFITH-JONES: When the Tribunal rose for the adjournment, I had just read the letter from M. Daladier to Hitler, of the 26th of August. On the 27th of August Hitler replied to that letter, and I think it unnecessary to read the reply. The sense of it was very much the same as that which he wrote to the British Prime Minister in answer to the letter that he had received earlier in the week.

Those two letters are taken from the German White Book which I put in evidence as GB-58, so perhaps the Tribunal would treat both those letters as of the same number. After that, nobody could say that the German Government could be in any doubt as to the position that was to be taken up by both the British and French Governments in the event of a German aggression against Poland.

But the pleas for peace did not end there. On the 24th of August President Roosevelt wrote to both Hitler and the President of the Polish Republic. I quote only the first few paragraphs of his letter:

“In the message which I sent you on April the 14th, I stated that it appeared to be 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 goodwill 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 Governments 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.”

I think it is unnecessary to read any more of that letter. As I have already indicated to the Tribunal, the answer to that was the order to his armed forces to invade Poland on the following morning.

That document is Exhibit TC-72, Number 124, which becomes GB-59.

I put in evidence also the next document, TC-72, Number 126, GB-60, which is the reply to that letter from the President of the Polish Republic, in which he accepts the offer to settle the differences by any of the peaceful methods suggested.

On the 25th of 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 text of 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 are 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.”

But, My Lord, Germany would not accept, nor would she accept the appeals by the Pope which appear in the next document.

I am sorry—the President of Poland’s reply, TC-72 becomes Number 127, GB-61.

They would not agree to those proposals, nor would they pay heed to the Pope’s appeal, which is TC-72, Number 139 on the same date, the 24th of August, which becomes GB-62. I do not think it is necessary to read that. It is an appeal in similar terms. And there is yet a further appeal from the Pope on the 31st of August, TC-72, Number 14, which becomes GB-63. It is 141; I beg your pardon. It is TC-72, Number 141. I think the printing is wrong in the Tribunal’s translation:

“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.”

I think it is unnecessary to read the remainder of that. If the Pope had realized that those negotiations to which he referred as the “pending negotiations” in the last days of August, which we are about to deal with now, were completely bogus negotiations, bogus insofar as Germany was concerned, and put forward, as indeed they were—and as I hope to illustrate to the Tribunal in a moment—simply as an endeavor to dissuade England either by threat or by bribe from meeting her obligations to Poland, then perhaps he would have saved himself the trouble in ever addressing that last appeal.

It will be seen quite clearly that those final German offers, to which I now turn, were no offers in the accepted sense of the word at all; that there was never any intention behind them of entering into discussions, negotiation, arbitration, or any other form of peaceful settlement with Poland. They were just an attempt to make it rather easier to seize and conquer Poland than appeared likely if England and France observed the obligations that they had undertaken.

Perhaps I might, before dealing with the documents, summarize in a word those last negotiations.

On the 22d of August, as we have seen, the German-Soviet Pact was signed. On the 24th of August, orders were given to his 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 actually signed a formal pact of non-aggression and of mutual assistance. Until that time, it will be remembered, the position was that the Prime Minister had made a statement in the House and a joint communiqué had been issued—I think on the 6th of April—that they would in fact assist one another if either were attacked, but no formal agreement had been signed.

Now, on the 24th of August after those orders had been given by him, the news came that such a formal document had been signed; and the invasion was postponed for the sole purpose of making one last effort to keep England and France out of the war—not to end the war, not to cancel the war, but to keep them out.

And to do that, on the 25th of August, having postponed the invasion, Hitler issued a verbal communiqué to Sir Nevile Henderson which, as the Tribunal will see, was a mixture of bribe and threat with which he hoped to persuade England to keep out.

On the 28th of August Sir Nevile Henderson handed the British Government’s reply to that communiqué to Hitler. That reply stressed that the difference ought to be settled by agreement. The British Government put forward the view that Danzig should be guaranteed and, indeed, any agreement come to should be guaranteed by other powers, which, of course, in any event would have been quite unacceptable to the German Reich.

As I say, one really need not consider what would have been acceptable and not acceptable because once it had been made clear—as indeed it was in that British Government’s reply of the 28th of August—that England would not be put off assisting Poland in the event of German aggression, the German Government really had no concern with further negotiation but were concerned only to afford themselves some kind of justification and to prevent themselves appearing too blatantly to turn down all the appeals to reason that were being put forward.

On the 29th of August, in the evening at 7:15, Hitler handed to Sir Nevile Henderson the German Government’s answer to the British Government’s reply of the 28th. And here again in this document it is quite clear that the whole object of it was to put forward something which was quite unacceptable. He agrees to enter into direct conversations as suggested by the British Government, but he demands that those conversations must be based upon the return of Danzig to the Reich and also of the whole of the Corridor.

It will be remembered that hitherto, even when he alleged that Poland had renounced the 1934 agreement, even then he had put forward as his demands the return of Danzig alone and the arrangement for an extra-territorial Autobahn and railroad running through the Corridor to East Prussia. That was unacceptable then. To make quite certain, he now demands the whole of the Corridor; no question of an Autobahn or railway. The whole thing must become German.

Even so, even to make doubly certain that the offer would not be accepted, he says:

“. . . 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 Wednesday, the 30th of August 1939.”

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 to get authority to their Ambassador in Berlin by midnight the following night. It allowed them no kind of opportunity for discussing the matters at all. As Sir Nevile Henderson described it, the offer amounted to an ultimatum.

At midnight on the 30th of August at the time by which the Polish Plenipotentiary was expected to arrive, Sir Nevile Henderson saw Ribbentrop; and I shall read to you the account of that interview, in which Sir Nevile Henderson handed a further message to Ribbentrop in reply to the message that had been handed to him the previous evening, and at which 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 quickly 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, the 31st of August, Mr. Lipski saw Ribbentrop and could get no further than to be asked whether he came with full powers. When he did not—when he said he did not come with full powers, Ribbentrop said that he would put the position before the Führer. But, in actual fact, it was much too late to put any position to the Führer by that time, because on the 31st of August—I am afraid I am unable to give you the exact time—but on the 31st of August, Hitler had already issued his Directive Number 1 for the conduct of the war, in which he laid down H-Hour as being a quarter to five the following morning, the 1st of September. And on the evening of the 31st of August at 9 o’clock the German radio broadcast the proposals which Ribbentrop had read out to Sir Nevile 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 the 31st of August was the first that the Poles had ever heard of the proposals, and the first, in fact, that the British Government or their 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 when the broadcast was in its course, a copy of those proposals was handed to Sir Nevile Henderson, for the first time.

Having thus summarized for the convenience, I hope, of the Tribunal, the timing of events during that last week, I would ask the Tribunal to refer briefly to the remaining documents in that document book. I first put in evidence an extract from the interrogation of the Defendant Göring, which was taken on the 29th of August 1945.

DR. STAHMER: As defense counsel for the Defendant Göring, I object to the use of this document which is an extract from testimony given by the Defendant Göring. Since the defendant is present here in court, he can at any time be called to the stand and give direct evidence on this subject before the Tribunal.

THE PRESIDENT: Is that your objection?

DR. STAHMER: Yes.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal does not understand the ground of your objection, in view of Article 15 (c) and Article 16 (b) and (c) of the Charter. Article 15 (c) provides that the Chief Prosecutors shall undertake, among others, the duty of “the preliminary examination of all necessary witnesses and of the defendants”; and Article 16 provides that:

“In order to ensure fair trial for the defendants, the following procedure shall be followed: . . . (b) During any preliminary examination . . . of a defendant he shall have the right to give any explanation relevant to the charges made against him; (c) A preliminary examination of a defendant . . . shall be conducted in, or translated into, a language which the defendant understands.”

Those provisions of the Charter, in the opinion of the Tribunal, show that the defendants may be interrogated and that their interrogations may be put in evidence.

DR. STAHMER: I was prompted by the idea that when it is possible to call a witness, direct examination in court is preferable, since the evidence thus obtained is more concrete.

THE PRESIDENT: You certainly have the opportunity of summoning the defendant for whom you appear to give evidence himself, but that has nothing to do with the admissibility of his interrogation—his preliminary examination.

LT. COL. GRIFFITH-JONES: This extract is TC-90, which I put in as GB-64. I quote from the middle of the first answer. It is at the end of the 7th line. The Defendant Göring says there:

“On the day when England gave her official guarantee to Poland, the Führer 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.’ ”

THE PRESIDENT: Ought you not read the question before the answer?

LT. COL. GRIFFITH-JONES: I go back to 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 1939, was it not fairly obvious that a peaceful solution was impossible?”—answer—“Yes, it seemed impossible after my conviction”—I think that must be a bad translation—“according to my conviction.”


THE PRESIDENT: Yes.


LT. COL. GRIFFITH-JONES: [Continuing.] “. . . but not according to the convictions of the Führer. When it was mentioned to the Führer that England had given her guarantee to Poland, he said that England was also guaranteeing Romania, 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 Führer 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 4 or 5 days?’ At this same time—I do not know whether you know about that, Colonel—I was in communication 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.


“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?’


“Answer: ‘Yes.’


“Question: ‘And that the final issuance of the order for the campaign against Poland came sometime between the 15th and 20th of August 1939, after the signing of the treaty with Soviet Russia?’ ”—The dates obviously are wrong there.


“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.’ ”

My only comment upon that document is in respect to the second paragraph where Göring is purporting not to want war with England. The Court will remember how it was Göring, after the famous speech of the 22d of August to his commanders-in-chief, who got up and thanked the Führer for his exhortation and assured him that the Armed Forces would play their part.

I omit the next document in the document book, which carries the matter a little further, and we go on to Hitler’s verbal communiqué, as it is called in the British Blue Book, that he handed to Sir Nevile Henderson on the 25th of August, after he had heard of the signing of the Anglo-Polish agreement, in an endeavor to keep England from meeting her obligations. He states in the first paragraph, after hearing the British Ambassador, that he is anxious to make one more effort to save war. In the second paragraph, he asserts again that Poland’s provocations were unbearable; and I quote Paragraph 2:

“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 and 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.”—One sees the threats, veiled threats, appearing in this paragraph—“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 possible period of war.


“The Führer had always wanted Anglo-German understanding. War between England and Germany could at best bring some profit to Germany, but none at all to England.”

Then we come to the bribe:

“The Führer 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 . . . . His obligations to Italy remain untouched.”

Again he stresses irrevocable determination never to enter into war with Russia. I quote the last two paragraphs:

“If the British Government would consider these ideas, a blessing for Germany . . .”

THE PRESIDENT: Why do you not read the first few lines of Paragraph 3?

LT. COL. GRIFFITH-JONES: Yes; I did summarize it—Paragraph 3:

“He also desired to express the irrevocable determination of Germany never again to enter into conflict with Russia.”

THE PRESIDENT: Yes.

LT. COL. GRIFFITH-JONES: I quote the last two paragraphs:

“If the British Government would consider these ideas, a blessing for Germany and also for the British Empire might result. If they reject these ideas, there will be war. In no case will Great Britain emerge stronger; the last war proved it. The Führer repeats that he himself is a man of far-reaching decisions by which he is bound, and that this is his last offer . . . .”

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will adjourn and then the matter can be investigated.

[A recess was taken.]

LT. COL. GRIFFITH-JONES: I had just finished reading the offer from Hitler to the British Government, which was TC-72, Number 68, and which becomes GB-65.

The British Government were not, of course, aware of the real object that lay behind that message; and, taking it at its face value and desirous to enter into discussions, they wrote back on the 28th of August saying that they were prepared to enter into discussions. They agreed with Hitler that the differences must be settled, and I quote from Paragraph 4:

“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 22d 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.”

I go to the last paragraph on that page, Paragraph 6:

“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 commend itself both to Germany and to Poland.”

That, of course, knocked the German hopes on the head. They had failed by 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 their face as much as possible. The last document becomes GB-66. And I put in also Sir Nevile Henderson’s account of that interview, TC-72, Number 75, which becomes GB-67.

During that interview, the only importance of it is that Sir Nevile Henderson again emphasized the British attitude and that they were determined in any event to meet their obligations to Poland. One paragraph I would quote, which is interesting in view of the letters that were to follow, paragraph 10:

“In the end I asked him two straight questions: ‘Was he willing to negotiate directly with the Poles?’ and ‘Was he ready to discuss the question of an exchange of population?’ He replied in the affirmative as regards the latter, although there I have no doubt that he was thinking at the same time of a rectification of frontiers. As regards 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 Göring to discuss it with him.’ ”

Then in the next paragraph, again Sir Nevile Henderson finally repeated to him very solemnly the main note of the whole conversation, so far as he was concerned.

I pass to the next document, which is TC-72, Number 78, which becomes GB-68.

The German reply, as I outlined before, was handed to Sir Nevile Henderson at 7:15 p.m. on the 29th of August. The reply sets out the suggestion submitted by the British Government in their previous note; and it goes on to say that the German Government are prepared to enter into discussion on the basis that the whole of the Corridor, as well as Danzig, are returned to the Reich. I quote particularly the next to the last paragraph on the first page of that document:

“The demands of the German Government are in conformity with the revision of the Versailles Treaty, which has always been recognized as being necessary, in regard to this territory, namely: return of Danzig and the Corridor to Germany, the safeguarding of the existence of the German national group in the territories remaining to Poland.”

It is only just now, as I emphasized before, that that right has been recognized for so long. On the 28th of April his demands consisted only of Danzig, of an Autobahn, and of the railway.

The Tribunal will remember the position which he is trying to get out of now. He is trying to manufacture justification by putting forth proposals which under no possible circumstances could either Poland or Great Britain accept. But, as I said before, he wanted to make doubly certain.

I go to the second page, and start with the third paragraph:

“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 make 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 discussion. 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.”

And then, to the last but one paragraph:

“For the rest, in making these proposals, the German Government have never had any intention of touching Poland’s vital interests or questioning the existence of an independent Polish State.”

These letters really sound like the letters of some common swindler rather than of the government of a great nation.

“The German Government, accordingly, in these circumstances agree to accept the British Government’s offer of their good offices in securing the dispatch 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 negotiator.”

That was at 7:15 in the evening of the 29th of August and as I have explained, it allowed little time in order to get the Polish Emissary there by midnight the following night. That document was GB-68.

The next document, Sir Nevile Henderson’s account of the interval, summarizes what had taken place; and I quote particularly Paragraph 4:

“I remarked that this phrase”—that is the passage about the Polish Emissary being there by midnight the following night—“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 the urgency of the moment when the two fully mobilized armies were standing face to face.”

That was the interview on the evening of the 29th of August. The last document becomes GB-69.

Again the British Government replied, and Sir Nevile Henderson handed this reply to Ribbentrop at the famous meeting on midnight of the 30th of August at the time the Polish Emissary had been expected. I need not read at length. The British Government reciprocate the desire for improved relations. They stress again that they cannot sacrifice the interest of other friends in order to obtain an improvement in the situation. They understand, they say, that the German Government accept the condition that the settlement should be subject to international guarantee. They make a reservation as to the demands that the Germans put forward in their last letter and they are informing the Polish Government immediately; and lastly, they understand that the German Government are drawing up the proposals. That Document TC-72, Number 89, will be GB-70. For the account of the interview, we go to the next document in the Tribunal’s book, TC-72, Number 92, which becomes GB-71. It is not a very long document. It is perhaps worth reading in full:

“I told Herr Ribbentrop this evening that His Majesty’s Government found it difficult to advise the Polish Government to accept the procedure adumbrated in the German reply and suggested that he should adopt the normal contact, i.e. that when German proposals were ready, to invite the 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 this basis afforded prospect of settlement, His Majesty’s Government could be counted upon to do their best in Warsaw to temporize negotiations.


“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 16 or more articles which it contained. Though I cannot, therefore, guarantee the accuracy, the main points were . . . .”—and I need not read out the main points.

I go to Paragraph 3:

“When I asked Ribbentrop for text of these proposals in accordance with undertaking in 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 the matter in this way meant that the request for Polish representative to arrive in Berlin on the 30th of August constituted in fact an ultimatum, in spite of what he and Herr Hitler had assured me yesterday. This he denied, saying that the idea of an ultimatum was a figment of my imagination. Why then, I asked, could he not adopt the normal procedure and give me a copy of the proposals, and ask the Polish Ambassador to call on him just as Hitler had summoned me a few days ago, and hand them to him for communication to the Polish Government? In the most violent terms Ribbentrop said that he would never ask the Ambassador to visit him. He hinted that if the 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 Hitler’s notice. It was for the Chancellor to decide.


“We parted on that note, but I must tell you that Von Ribbentrop’s demeanor during an unpleasant interview was aping Hitler at his worst. He inveighed incidentally against the Polish mobilization, but I retorted that it was hardly surprising since Germany had also mobilized as Herr Hitler himself had admitted to me yesterday.”

Nevertheless, Sir Nevile Henderson did not know at that time that Germany had also already given the orders to attack Poland some days before. The following day, the 31st of August at 6:30 in the evening, Mr. Lipski, the Polish Ambassador, had an interview with Ribbentrop. This document, the next Document TC-73, Number 112, becomes GB-72, and is a short account in a report to Mr. Beck:

“I carried out my instructions. 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, the 30th of August. I replied that I had no direct information on the subject. In conclusion, Ribbentrop repeated that he had thought I would be empowered to negotiate. He would communicate my démarche to the Chancellor.”

As I have indicated already, it was too late. The orders had already been given on that day to the German Army to invade.

I turn to C-126. It is already in as GB-45. Other portions of it were put in, and I refer now to the letter on the second page, for the order (most-secret order). It is signed by Hitler and is described as his “Directive Number 1 for the Conduct of the War,” dated 31st of August 1939. Paragraph 1:

“(1) Now that all the political possibilities of disposing by peaceful means of a situation on the eastern frontier, which is intolerable for Germany, are exhausted, I have determined on a solution by force.


“(2) The attack on Poland is to be carried out in accordance with the preparations made for Case White 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.


“The date of attack: 1st of September 1939; time of attack: 4:45”—inserted in red pencil—“this time also applies to the operation at Gdynia, Bay of Danzig and the Dirschau Bridge.


“(3) 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.”

There it sets out the details of the order which, for the purpose of this Court, it is unnecessary to read. That evening at 9 o’clock the German radio broadcast the terms of the German proposals about which they were so willing to enter into discussions with the Polish Government. It sets out the proposals at length. It will be remembered that by this time neither Sir Nevile Henderson nor the Polish Government nor their Ambassador had yet been given their written copy of them, and it is indeed a document which is tempting to read—or to read extracts of it simply as an exhibition or an example of pure hypocrisy. I refer to the second paragraph Document TC-72, Number 98, exhibit GB-39:

“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.”

Now, we have heard the manner in which they did that. They then say that:

“Instead of a statement regarding the arrival of authorized Polish personage, the first answer the Government of the Reich received of their readiness for an understanding was the news of the Polish mobilization; and only toward 12 o’clock on the night of the 30th of August 1939, did they receive a somewhat general assurance of British readiness to help towards the commencement of negotiations.


“Although the fact that the Polish negotiator expected by the Government of the Reich did not arrive removed the necessary conditions for informing His Majesty’s Government of the views of the German Government as regards a 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 of negotiation in the event of the arrival of the Polish Plenipotentiary.”

And, thereafter, they go on to set out the story, or rather their version of the story, of the negotiations over the last few days.

I pass to the next but one document in the Tribunal’s book, TC-54, which becomes GB-73. On the 1st of September when his armies were already crossing the frontier and the whole of the frontier, he issued this proclamation to his Armed Forces:

“The Polish Government, unwilling to establish good neighborly relations as aimed at by me, want 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 resuscitated 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.”

And so we see 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 victor shall not be asked later on, whether he told the truth or not.” Might is what counts—or victory is what counts and not right.

On that day, the 1st of September, when news came of this violation of Polish ground, the British Government in accordance with their treaty obligations sent an ultimatum to the German Government in which they stated—I quote from the last paragraph:

“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 fulfil their obligations to Poland.”

By the 3rd of September no withdrawal had taken place, and so at 9 o’clock—the document, TC-72, Number 110, I have just referred to will be GB-74—at 9 o’clock on the 3rd of September, a final ultimatum was handed to the German Minister of Foreign Affairs. I quote from the third paragraph:

“Although this communication was made more than 24 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 11 o’clock British summer time today, the 3rd of 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.”

And so it was that at 11 o’clock on the 3rd of September a state of war existed between Germany and England and between Germany and France. All the appeals to peace, all the appeals to reason we now see completely stillborn; stillborn when they were made. Plans, preparations, intentions, determination to carry out this assault upon Poland, had been going on for months, for years before. It mattered not what anybody but the German Government had in mind or whatever rights anybody else but the German nation thought they had; and, if there is any doubt left at all after what we have seen, I would ask you to look at two more documents.

If you would look at the last document first of all, in your document book—1831-PS, which becomes GB-75. Even now on the 3rd of September, Mussolini offers some chance of peace.

We have here a telegram. It is timed 6:30 hours, and I am afraid I am unable to say whether that is 6:30 in the morning or evening; but it is dated the 3rd of September, and I quote:

“The Italian Ambassador handed to the State Secretary at the Duce’s order the following copy for the Führer and Reich Chancellor and for the Reich Minister for Foreign Affairs:


“ ‘Italy sends the information, leaving, of course, every decision to the Führer, that it still has a chance to call a conference with France, England, and Poland on the following basis:


“ ‘1. An armistice which would leave the army corps where they are at present’ ”—and it will be remembered that on the 3rd of September they had advanced a considerable way over the frontier—“ ‘2. calling a conference within 2 or 3 days;—“ ‘3. solution of the Polish-German controversy 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 her “moral satisfaction.” If she 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.’ ”

But, My Lord, perhaps even Mussolini did not appreciate what all Germany’s aims were; and, of course, the offer was turned down in the illuminating letter which Hitler was to write in reply. I refer you back to the document before that. It is still part of the same Exhibit GB-75.

THE PRESIDENT: As I understand it, the “GB” references you give are not on the documents at all; they are the exhibit numbers themselves, which are to be put on the document after they have been put in.

LT. COL. GRIFFITH-JONES: Yes. That is correct. They will be put in by the Court, of course.

THE PRESIDENT: Will you try to make clear the references which are on the document so that the Tribunal could find the document itself?

LT. COL. GRIFFITH-JONES: Yes. The last document was 1831-PS, and it is the very last one in the document book. That is the one I have just referred to—the telegram from Mussolini. The document to which I am about to refer is the one before last in the Tribunal’s book but it has the same number on it as the last because it forms part of the same exhibit.

THE PRESIDENT: I think if you would just explain the system in which the exhibits are numbered, it would help us.

LT. COL. GRIFFITH-JONES: The exhibits are numbered at the present moment before they are put in evidence with a variety of serial numbers, such as “PS”, “TC”, “L” and other letters. There is no significance attached to that at all. It depends on whom they have been found by and what files they have come from. When the documents are put in as exhibits, they are marked by the Court with a court number. The documents put in by the United States representatives were all prefixed with the letters “USA.” The documents which have been put in by the British prosecutors have all been prefixed with the letters “GB.” If it would be of any assistance to members of the Tribunal, I will have their document books marked up this evening with the new court numbers that have been put upon them by the Court officials, during the course of the day.

THE PRESIDENT: We will talk about that later.

LT. COL. GRIFFITH-JONES: If there is any document missing from any of these books, I have a copy.

THE PRESIDENT: You are going to read 1831-PS?

LT. COL. GRIFFITH-JONES: Yes, that is GB-75.

“Duce:


“I first want to thank you for your last attempt at a 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 2 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 a year or a 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 the fields that the Polish Army will collapse in a very short time. I doubt whether this fast success could have been achieved in 1 or 2 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 any more. 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 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 Socialistic 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 on unimportant tasks, but direct all on acts in the light of great operational considerations. The northern Polish Army, which is in 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.”

That completes the evidence which I propose to offer upon this part of the case in respect of the war of aggression against Poland, England, and France, which is charged in Count Two.

MAJOR F. ELWYN JONES (Junior Counsel for the United Kingdom): May it please the Tribunal, in the early hours of the morning of the 9th of April 1940 Nazi Germany invaded Norway and Denmark. It is my duty to present to the Tribunal the Prosecution’s evidence which has been prepared in collaboration with my American colleague, Major Hinely, with regard to these brutal wars of aggression, which were also wars in violation of international treaties, agreements, and assurances. With the Court’s permission I would like, first of all, to deal with the treaties and agreements and assurances that were in fact violated by these two invasions of Norway and Denmark.

The invasions were, of course, in the first instance violations of the Hague Convention and of the Kellogg-Briand Pact. My learned friend, Sir David Maxwell-Fyfe, has already dealt with those matters in the course of his presentation of the evidence. In addition to these general treaties, there were specific agreements between Germany and Norway and Denmark. In the first instance there was the Treaty of Arbitration and Conciliation between Germany and Denmark, which was signed at Berlin on 2 June 1926. The Court will find that treaty, TC-17, on the first page of British Document Book Number 3; and to that exhibit it may be convenient to give the Number GB-76. I am proposing to read only the first article of that treaty, which 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 Germany 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.”

Then there follows in the remaining articles the establishment of the machinery for arbitration.

I would next refer to the Treaty of Non-Aggression between Germany and Denmark, which was signed by the Defendant Ribbentrop on the 31st of May 1939 which, as the Tribunal will recollect, was 10 weeks after the Nazi seizure of Czechoslovakia. The Court will find that as Document TC-24 in the document book and it will now bear the Exhibit Number GB-77.

With the Court’s permission, in view of the identity of the signatory of that treaty, I would like to read the Preamble and Articles 1 and 2.

“The Chancellor of the German Reich and His Majesty, the King of Denmark and Iceland, being firmly resolved to maintain peace between Denmark and Germany in all circumstances, have agreed to confirm this resolve by means of a treaty and have appointed as their Plenipotentiaries: The Chancellor of the German Reich . . . and His Majesty, the King of Denmark and Iceland . . . .”

Article 1 reads as follows:

“The German Reich and the Kingdom of Denmark shall in no case resort to war or to any other use of force, one 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.”

Then Article 2 deals with the ratification of the treaty, and the second paragraph states:

“The treaty shall come into force on the exchange of the instruments of ratification and shall remain in force for a period of 10 years from that date . . . .”

As the Tribunal will observe, the treaty is dated the 31st of May 1939. At the bottom of the page there appears the signature of the Defendant Ribbentrop. The Tribunal will shortly see that less than a year after the signature of this treaty the invasion of Denmark by the Nazi forces was to show the utter worthlessness of treaties to which the Defendant Ribbentrop put his signature.

With regard to Norway, the Defendant Ribbentrop and the Nazi conspirators were party to a similar perfidy. In the first instance I would refer to Document TC-30, which is the next document in the British Document Book 3 and which will bear the Exhibit Number GB-78. The Tribunal will observe that that is an assurance given to Denmark, Norway, Belgium, and the Netherlands on the 28th of April 1939. That, of course, was after the annexation of Czechoslovakia had shaken the confidence of the world; and this was presumably an attempt, now submitted by the Prosecution to be a dishonest attempt, to try to reassure the Scandinavian States. The assurance is in a speech by Hitler and reads:

“. . . I have given binding declarations to a large number of states. None of these states can complain that even a trace of a demand contrary thereto has ever been made to them by Germany. None of the Scandinavian statesmen, for example, can contend that a request has ever been put to them by the German Government or by 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 the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Denmark, et cetera.”

A further assurance was given by the Nazi Government on the 2d of September 1939 which, as the Tribunal will recollect, was the day after the Nazi invasion of Poland. The Court will observe the next document in British Document Book 3 is the Document TC-31, which will be Exhibit GB-79. That is an aide-mémoire that was handed to the Norwegian Foreign Minister by the German Minister in Oslo on the 2d of September 1939. It reads:

“The German Reich Government are 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 their side that Norway will observe an unimpeachable neutrality towards the Reich and will not tolerate any breaches of Norwegian neutrality by any third party. Should the attitude of the Royal Norwegian Government differ from this so that any such breach of neutrality by a third party occurs, the Reich Government would then obviously be compelled to safeguard the interest of the Reich in such a way as the resulting situation might dictate.”

There follows, finally, the further German assurance to Norway, which appears as the next document in the book, TC-32, which will be Exhibit GB-80. That is a speech by Hitler on the 6th of October 1939; and if the Court will observe Paragraph 2 at the top of the page, the extract from the speech reads as follows:

“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 non-aggression pacts by Germany and have both refused them solely because they did not feel themselves threatened in any way.”

Those are clear and positive assurances which Germany gave. The Court will see that violation of those assurances is charged in Paragraph XXII of Appendix C of the Indictment at Page 43. The Court will notice that there is a minor typographical error in the date of the first assurance which is alleged in the Indictment to have been given on the 3rd of September 1939. The Court will see from Document TC-31, which is Exhibit GB-79, that the assurance was in fact given on the 2d of September 1939.

Now those treaties and assurances were the diplomatic background to the brutal Nazi aggression on Norway and Denmark, and the evidence which the Prosecution will now place before the Court will in my submission establish beyond reasonable doubt that these assurances were simply given to lull suspicion and cause the intended victims of Nazi aggression to be unprepared to meet the Nazi attack. For we now know that as early as October 1939 these conspirators and their confederates were plotting the invasion of Norway, and the evidence will indicate that the most active conspirators in that plot were the Defendants Raeder and Rosenberg.

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.

As the Tribunal will shortly see, in the Norwegian Vidkun Quisling the Defendant Rosenberg found a very model of the Fifth Column agent, the very personification of perfidy.

The evidence as to the early stages of the Nazi conspiracy to invade Norway is found in a letter which the Defendant Raeder wrote on the 10th of January 1944 to Admiral Assmann, the official German naval historian.

I put in this letter, the document C-66, which will be Exhibit GB-81, and which the Court will find further on in this book of documents. I should explain that in this book of documents the documents are inserted in the numerical order of the series to which they belong and not in the order of their submission to the Court. I am trusting that that will be a more convenient form of bundling them together than to set them down in the order of presentation.

THE PRESIDENT: 66?

MAJOR JONES: C-66. It is headed, “Memorandum to Admiral Assmann; for his own information; not to be used for publication.”

The Court will observe that the first page deals with Barbarossa. If the Tribunal turns to the next page headed “(b) Weserübung,” the Tribunal will find from documents which I shall shortly be submitting to the Court that Weserübung was the code name for the invasion of Norway and Denmark.

I will omit the first sentence. The document which, as I have said, is a communication from the Defendant Raeder to Assmann reads as follows:

“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/SKL”—which is the Chief of Staff of the Naval War Staff—“for their information and prepared some notes based on this letter . . . for my report to the Führer, which I made on the 10th of October 1939, since my opinion was absolutely identical with that of Admiral Carls, while at that time SKL was more dubious about the matter. In these notes I stressed the disadvantages which an occupation of Norway by the British would have for us: Control of the approaches to the Baltic, outflanking of our naval operations and of our air attacks on Britain, pressure on Sweden. I also stressed the advantages for us of the occupation of the Norwegian coast: Outlet to the North Atlantic, no possibility of a British mine barrier, as in the years 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 Führer 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.”

I will pause in the reading of that document at that point and return to it later so that the story may be revealed to the Court in a chronological order.

That report of Raeder, in my submission, shows that the whole 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.

This letter, an extract from which I have just read, has revealed that Raeder reported to Hitler on the 10th of October 1939 . . .

THE TRIBUNAL (Mr. Biddle): When was that report?

MAJOR JONES: The report, C-66, was made in January 1944 by the Defendant Raeder to Assmann, who was the German naval historian, and so, presumably, was for the purposes of history.

Before Raeder’s report of 10 October 1939 was made to the Führer, Raeder got a second opinion on the Norwegian invasion. On the 3rd of October Raeder made out the questionnaire to which I now invite the Court’s attention. It is Document C-122 and the Court will find it next but one to C-66 in the document book. That will now be Exhibit GB-82.

That, as the Tribunal will observe, is headed “Gaining of Bases in Norway (extract from War Diary)” and bears the date of the 3rd of October 1939. It reads:

“The Chief of the Naval Operations Staff”—who was the Defendant Raeder—“considers it necessary that the Führer be informed as soon as possible of the opinions of the Naval Operations 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 basic 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 decisive advantages suitable for supply position?”

Then there follows in parenthesis:

“The Commander of the U-boat Fleet”—which is a reference, of course, to the Defendant Dönitz—”. . . considers such harbors already extremely useful as equipment and supply bases at which Atlantic U-boats can call temporarily.”

And then Question (e):

“What decisive advantages would exist for the conduct of the war at sea in gaining bases in north Denmark, e.g. Skagen?”

There is, in our possession, a document C-5, to find which it will be necessary for the Court to go back in the document book to the first of the C exhibits. This will be Exhibit GB-83.

This is a memorandum written by the Defendant Dönitz on Norwegian bases. It presumably relates to the questionnaire of the Defendant Raeder which, as I have indicated, was in circulation at about that time. The document is headed, “Commander of the U-boat Fleet; Operations Division,” and is marked “most secret.” The subject is “Base in Norway.”

Then there are set out “suppositions,” “advantages and disadvantages,” and, over one page, “conclusions”. I am proposing to read the last paragraph, III:

“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 normal overhaul work after an encounter;


“c) Good opportunities for accommodating U-boat crews;


“d) Flak protection, L.A. antiaircraft armament, patrol and M/S units.


“(2) Establishment of the possibility of supplying fuel in Narvik as an alternative.”

That is a Dönitz memorandum.

Now, as the Tribunal saw in the report of Raeder to Assmann, in October 1939, Hitler was merely considering the Norwegian aggression and had not yet committed himself to it, although, as the Tribunal will see very shortly, Hitler was most susceptible to any suggestions of aggression against the territory of another country.

The documents will show that the Defendant Raeder persevered in pressing his point of view with regard to Norway, and at this stage he found a powerful ally in the Defendant Rosenberg.

The Nazi employment of traitors and the stimulation of treachery as a political weapon are now unhappily proven historical facts, but should proof be required of that statement it is found in the remarkable document which I now invite the Court to consider. I refer to Document 007-PS, which is after the TC and D series in the document book. That will be Exhibit GB-84.

That is headed on Page 1, “Brief Report on Activities of the Foreign Affairs Bureau of the Party”—Aussenpolitisches Amt der NSDAP—“from 1933 to 1943.” It reads:

“When the Foreign Affairs Bureau”—Aussenpolitisches Amt—“was established on the 1st of April 1933, the Führer 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 world 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 attentions on nations and states bordering on the Soviet Union. On the one 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”—and the Court will shortly see the significance of that phrase—“the bureau was compelled to use the most varying methods, taking into consideration the completely different living conditions, the ties of blood and intellect, and historical dependence of the movements observed by the bureau in those countries.


“In Scandinavia a progressively more outspoken pro-Anglo-Saxon attitude based on economic considerations had become more dominant after the World 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 Lübeck under its protection. The Reich conventions of this society were attended by many outstanding personalities, especially from Finland. While there were no openings for purely political co-operation in Sweden and Denmark, an association based on Greater Germanic ideology was found in Norway. Very close relations, which led to further consequences, were established with its founder.”

If the Court will turn to the end of the main part of the statement which is 4 pages forward—in the intervening pages, I may say, there is an account of the activity of Rosenberg’s bureau in various parts of Europe, and indeed of the world, which I am not proposing to call the Tribunal’s attention to at this stage—but if the Tribunal will look at the last paragraph of the main body of the report which bears the signature of the Defendant Rosenberg, the last two sentences read:

“With the outbreak of war it 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.”

If the Tribunal will turn to the annex to the document, which is on the next page, the Tribunal will appreciate what “exploitation of personal connections” involved.

Annex I to the document is headed, “Brief Report on Activities of the Foreign Affairs Bureau of the Nazi Party from 1933 to 1943.” It is headed, “The Political Preparation of the Military Occupation of Norway during the War Years 1939-40,” and it reads:

“As previously mentioned, of all political groupings in Scandinavia only Nasjonal Samling, led in Norway by the former Minister of War and retired major, 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 among the population. The bureau maintained constant relation 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 1938-39 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 Lübeck 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 statements would be of special interest to the Marshal of the Reich, Göring, for aero-strategical reasons, Quisling was referred to State Secretary Körner by the bureau. The Staff Director of the bureau handed the Chief of the Reich Chancellery a memorandum for transmission to the Führer . . . .”

In a later part of the document, which I shall read at a later stage of my presentation of the evidence, if I may, the Court will see how Quisling came into contact with Raeder. The Prosecution’s submission with regard to this document is that it is another illustration of the close interweaving between the political and the military leadership of the Nazi State, of the close link between the professional soldiers and the professional thugs.

The Defendant Raeder, in his report to Admiral Assmann, admitted his collaboration with Rosenberg; and I will invite the Court’s attention once more to Document C-66, which is Exhibit GB-81. In the page headed “Weserübung,” the second paragraph of the Raeder report 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 in the beginning of December and were taken to the Führer by me—with the approval of Reichsleiter Rosenberg . . . .”

I will later draw the attention of the Tribunal to the developments in December.

The details of the manner in which the Defendant Raeder did make contact personally with Quisling are not very clear. But I would draw the Court’s attention to the Document C-65, which precedes . . .

THE PRESIDENT: Would you read the end of that paragraph?

MAJOR JONES: With your Lordship’s permission, I would like to revert to that in a later stage in my unfolding of the evidence.

In the Document C-65, which will be Exhibit GB-85, we have a report of Rosenberg to Raeder in which the full extent of Quisling’s preparedness for treachery and his potential usefulness to the Nazi aggressors was reported and disclosed to the Defendant Raeder.

Paragraph 1 of that report deals with matters which I have already dealt with in reading Rosenberg’s statement, 007-PS. But if the Court will look at the second paragraph of Exhibit GB-85, C-65, it reads as follows:

“The reasons for a coup, on which Quisling made a report, would be provided by the fact that the Storthing”—that is to say the Norwegian parliament—“had, in defiance 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 showed me the original of a letter which he had received only 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.”

If the Court will turn to the next page of that document, the last two paragraphs, the details of a treacherous plot to overthrow the government of his own country, by the traitor Quisling in collaboration with the Defendant Rosenberg, will be indicated to the Court.

“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 forthwith, 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.”

How wrong Quisling was in that anticipation was shown, of course, by subsequent developments. The last sentence reads:

“Quisling gives figures of the number of German troops required which accord with German calculations.”

The Tribunal may think that there are no words in the whole vocabulary of abuse sufficiently strong to describe that degree of treachery.

THE PRESIDENT: Is that document dated?

MAJOR JONES: That document does not bear a date.

THE PRESIDENT: We will break off now.

[The Tribunal adjourned until 7 December 1945 at 1000 o’clock.]


FIFTEENTH DAY
Friday, 7 December 1945

Morning Session

MAJOR JONES: May it please the Tribunal, yesterday afternoon when the Tribunal adjourned I was dealing with the stage of the Nazi conspiracy against Norway at which the activities of the Defendants Raeder and Rosenberg converged. And the Court will remember that I submitted in evidence Document C-65, which was a report from the Defendant Rosenberg to Raeder regarding Quisling and ending with the infamous words, “Quisling gives figures of the number of German troops required which accord with German calculations.”

The Court has already received in evidence and has heard read material parts of Document C-66, which was the report of Raeder to Admiral Assmann which disclosed how, in December of 1939, the Defendant Raeder did in fact meet Quisling and Hagelin.

I now invite the Court to look at Document C-64 which, for the purpose of the record, will be Exhibit GB-86. The Court will observe that that is a report by Raeder of a meeting of the Naval Staff with Hitler on the 12th of December 1939, at 1200 hours, in the presence of the Defendants Keitel and Jodl, and Puttkammer, who at this time was adjutant to Hitler.

The report is headed “Norwegian Question,” and the first sentence reads:

“Commander-in-Chief, Navy”—who of course was the Defendant Raeder—“has received Quisling and Hagelin. Quisling creates the impression of being reliable.”

And then there follows, in the next two paragraphs, a statement of Quisling’s views, views with which the Court is by now familiar because of my reading of extracts from the Document 007-PS; but I draw the Court’s attention to the fourth paragraph in Document C-64, beginning:

“The Führer 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. Commander-in-Chief, Navy”—that is, of course, Raeder—“suggests that if the Führer forms a favorable impression, the OKW 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; (b) to agree to do so by force.”

That was the 12th of December, the meeting at which Raeder made this report to Hitler.

If the Court will now look at Document C-66, which is Raeder’s record of these transactions for the purpose of history, the Court will observe, in the last sentence of the second paragraph of the section of C-66 headed “(b) Weserübung,” these words:

“. . . thus we got in touch with Quisling and Hagelin, who came to Berlin at the beginning of December, and were taken to the Führer by me with the approval of Reichsleiter Rosenberg.”

And then the Court will observe a note at the end of the page:

“At the crucial moment R”—presumably Rosenberg—“hurt his foot, so that I visited him in his house on the morning of the 14th December.”

That is, of course, Raeder’s note; and it indicates the extent of his contact in this conspiracy. The report continues:

“On the grounds of the Führer’s discussion with Quisling and Hagelin on the afternoon of the 14th of December 1939, the Führer gave the order that preparations for the Norwegian operation were to be made by the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces.


“Until that moment the naval operations 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 Krancke in the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces were founded, however, on a memorandum of the naval war staff.”

The Court may well think that the note of the Defendant Raeder referring to the crucial moment was an appropriate one because the Court will see that on that day, the 14th of December, Hitler gave the order that preparations for the Norwegian operation were to be begun by the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces.

If the Court will now turn to Document 007-PS, which is further on in the document book and which the Court will remember is Rosenberg’s report on the activities of his organization—it is after the “D” documents—if the Court will turn to about 10 lines from the bottom of the first page of Annex I dealing with Norway, the Court will see that there were further meetings between Quisling and the Nazi chiefs in December; and I am going to read now the section beginning:

“As a result of these steps Quisling was granted a personal audience with the Führer on the 16th of December, and once more on the 18th of December. In the course of this audience the Führer 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 theater of war and to draw still other nations into the conflict.”

As I have said in opening the presentation of this part of the case, here was an instance where pressure had to be brought to bear on Hitler to induce him to take part in these operations.

The report continues:

“Should the enemy attempt”—there is a mis-translation here—“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, the Führer promised Quisling financial support of this movement, which is based on Greater Germanic 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”—that is to say, by Ribbentrop’s organization—“the Minister for Foreign Affairs”—that is to say, Ribbentrop—“being kept continuously informed by the Foreign Affairs Bureau”—which, of course, was 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.”

Here again the Court will note the close link between the Nazi politicians and the Nazi service chiefs.

The information that is available to the Prosecution as to the events of January 1940 is not full, but the Court will see that the agitation of the Defendants Raeder and Rosenberg did bear fruit, and I now invite the Court to consider a letter of Keitel’s, Document C-63, which for the purposes of the record will be Exhibit GB-87. The Court will observe that that is an order—a memorandum—signed by the Defendant Keitel dated the 27th of January 1940. It is marked “Most secret, five copies; reference, Study ‘N’;”—which was another code name for the Weserübung preparations—“access only through an officer.” It is indicated that “C-in-C of the Navy”—that is to say, the Defendant Raeder—“has a report on this.” The document reads:

“The Führer and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces 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 Führer has commissioned me to take over the direction of further preparations.


“A working staff has been formed at the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces headquarters for this purpose, and this represents at the same time the nucleus of a future operational staff.”

Then, at the end of the memorandum:

“All further plans will be made under the cover name Weserübung.”

I should like respectfully to draw the Tribunal’s attention to the importance of that document, to the signature of Keitel upon it, and to the date of this important decision.

Prior to this date, the 27th of 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 this Norwegian operation. The issuance of this directive of Keitel’s on the 27th January 1940 was the signal that the Supreme Command of the German Armed Forces, the OKW, had accepted the proposition of the group that was pressing for this Norwegian adventure, and turned the combined resources of the German military machine to the task of producing practical and co-ordinated plans for the Norwegian operation.

The Court will observe that from January onward the operational planning for the invasion of Norway and Denmark was started through the normal channels.

And now I would refer the Court to some entries in the diary of the Defendant Jodl, to see how the preparations progressed. That is Document Number 1809-PS, which will be for the purposes of the record Exhibit GB-88. That, the Court will observe, is the last document in the document book.

There is a slight confusion in the order in which the entries are set out in the diary because the first three pages relate to entries which will be dealt with in another part of the case.

I invite the Court’s attention to Page 3 of these extracts from Jodl’s diary beginning at the bottom February the 6th. The entry under the date line of February the 6th 1940 starts, “New idea: Carry out ‘H’ and Weser Exercise only, and guarantee Belgium’s neutrality for the duration of the war.”

I would like to repeat that entry if I may be permitted to do so. “New idea: Carry out ‘H’ and Weser Exercise only, and guarantee Belgium’s neutrality for the duration of the war.”

The next entry to which I invite the Court’s attention is the entry of the 21st of February.

THE TRIBUNAL (Mr. Biddle): What does that mean, to “carry out ‘H’ ”?

MAJOR JONES: That is a reference to another code word, “Hartmut,” which the Court will see disclosed in a subsequent document. That is another code word for this Norwegian and Danish operation.

The entry of February 21st in Jodl’s diary reads:

“Führer 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.”

Then the next entry, on the next page . . .

THE PRESIDENT: “Weser Exercise”—is that Norway too?

MAJOR JONES: That is Norway too, My Lord, yes. That is a translation of “Weserübung.”

The entry on the next page, under the date of February the 28th:

“I propose first to the Chief of OKW and then to the Führer that Case Yellow”—which as the Court knows is 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 Führer completely agrees, if this is in any way possible.”

So that the Court will observe that the new idea of February the 6th that the neutrality of Belgium might be preserved had been abandoned by February the 28th.

The next entry is of February the 29th—I am not troubling the Court with further entries of the 28th of February, which relate to the forces to be employed in the invasion of Norway and Denmark. February 29th, the second paragraph:

“Führer 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, Chief of Land Defense, instructed to make out immediately the order of the Army, Navy, and Air Force; and Chief ‘WZ’ to make out a similar order regarding the strengthening of the staff.”

And there for the moment, I will leave the entries in Jodl’s diary and refer the Court to the vital Document C-174, which for the purposes of the record will be Exhibit GB-89. The Court will see from that document that it is Hitler’s operation order to complete the preparations for the invasion of Norway and Denmark. It bears the date of the 1st of March 1940, and it is headed, “The Führer and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces; most secret.” Then, “Directive for Case Weserübung”:

“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—Weser Exercise. 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.”

The second part of Paragraph 1 reads:

“In view of our military and political power in comparison with that of the Scandinavian States, the force to be employed in the Weser Exercise 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.”

There follows, in Paragraph 2 on the next page:

“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.”

Paragraph 3:

“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.”

Then Paragraph 4 on the next page, “The Occupation of Denmark,” which is given the code name of “Weserübung Süd”:

“The task of Group XXI: Occupation by surprise of Jutland and of Fünen immediately after occupation of Zealand.


“Added to this, having secured the most important places, the group will break through as quickly as possible from Fünen to Skagen and to the east coast.”

Then there follow other instructions with regard to the operation. Paragraph 5:

“Occupation of Norway, ‘Weserübung Nord’ ”:


“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.”

And there follows a reference to the part of the Air Force, and I would like particularly to draw the Court’s attention to that reference. This is Paragraph 5 on Page 3 of Hitler’s directive:

“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.”

I am underlining that entry at this stage because I shall be referring to it in connection with a later document.

Whilst these preparations were being made and just prior to the final decision of Hitler . . .

THE PRESIDENT: Did you draw our attention to the defendant by whom it was initialed, Frick, on the first page of that document.

MAJOR JONES: That is an initial by Fricke. That is a different person altogether. That is a high functionary in the German Admiralty and has no connection with the defendant who is before the Tribunal.

As I was saying, My Lord, while these decisions were being made reports were coming in through Rosenberg’s organization from Quisling; and if the Court will again turn for the last time to Document 007-PS, which is Rosenberg’s report, the Tribunal will observe the kind of information which Rosenberg’s organization was supplying at this time. The third paragraph, “Quisling’s reports”—that is in Annex I in Rosenberg’s report, the section dealing with Norway, Page 6 on my copy—referring to the second page of the annex, the paragraph beginning with:

“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 view of the German Legation in Oslo which relied on the desire for neutrality of the then Norwegian Nygardsvold 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 with him; he therefore succeeded in gaining a foothold within governmental circles of the Nygardsvold Cabinet and in listening to the Cabinet members’ true views. Hagelin transmitted what he had heard to the bureau”—Rosenberg’s bureau—“which conveyed the news to the Führer through Reichsleiter Rosenberg. During the night of the 16th to 17th February English destroyers attacked the German steamer Altmark in Jössingfjord.”

The Tribunal will remember that that is a reference to the action by the British destroyer Cossack against the German naval auxiliary vessel Altmark which was carrying 300 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 the action taken by H.M.S. Cossack which was restricted to rescuing the 300 British prisoners on board—no attempt being made to destroy the Altmark or to capture the armed guards on board of her—was fully justified under international law.

Now the Rosenberg report which I interrupted to give that statement of the British view on the Altmark episode—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 Chief 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 Norwegians.”

And so the Tribunal will see that 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, which is the last document in the document book. I will refer the Court to the entry of the 3rd of March.

“The Führer expressed himself very sharply on the necessity of a swift entry into N”—which is Norway—“with strong forces.


“No delay by any branch of the Armed Forces. Very rapid acceleration of the attack necessary.”

Then the last entry on March the 3rd:

“Führer decides to carry out Weser Exercise before Case Yellow with a few days interval.”

So that the important issue of strategy which had been concerning the German High Command for some time had been decided by this date, and the fate of Scandinavia was to be sealed before the fate of the Low Countries; and the Court will observe from those entries of March 3 that by that date Hitler had become an enthusiastic convert to the idea of a Norwegian aggression.

The next entry in Jodl’s diary of the 5th of March:

“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 or Lützow 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 also.”

Then the next entry to which I desire to draw the Court’s attention is the entry of the 13th of March, which the Court may think is one of the most remarkable in the whole documentation of this case:

“Führer does not give order yet for ‘W.’ ”—Weser Exercise—


“He is still looking for justification.”

The entry of the next day, the 14th of March, shows a similar pre-occupation on the part of Hitler with seeking justification for this flagrant aggression. It reads:

“English keep vigil in the North Sea with 15 to 16 submarines; doubtful whether reason to safeguard own operations or prevent operations by Germans. Führer has not yet decided what reason to give for Weser Exercise.”

And then I would like the Court to look at the entry for the 21st of March, which by inadvertence has been included in the next page at the bottom of Page 6:

“Misgivings of Task Force 21 . . .”

The Court has seen from documents that I have put in already that Task Force 21 was Falkenhorst’s force, which was detailed to conduct this invasion.

“Misgivings of Task Force 21 about the long interval between taking up readiness positions at 0530 hours and closing of diplomatic negotiations. Führer 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.”

Comment upon that entry is, I think, unnecessary. The next entry, if the Court will turn to Page 5, of the 28th of March, the third sentence:

“Individual naval officers seem to be lukewarm concerning the Weser Exercise and need a stimulus. Also Falkenhorst and the other three commanders are worrying about matters which are none of their business. Krancke sees more disadvantages than advantages.


“In the evening the Führer visits the map room and roundly declares that he won’t stand for the Navy clearing out of the Norwegian ports right away. Narvik, Trondheim, and Oslo will have to remain occupied by naval forces.”

There the Court will observe that Jodl, as ever, is the faithful collaborator of Hitler.

Then April the 2d:

“1530 hours. Commander-in-Chief of the Air Force, Commander-in-Chief of the Navy, and General Von Falkenhorst with the Führer. All confirm preparations completed. Führer orders carrying out of the Weser Exercise for April the 9th.”

Then the last entry in the next page, the 4th of April:

“Führer drafts the proclamations. Pieckenbrock, Chief of Military Intelligence I, returns with good result from the talks with Quisling in Copenhagen.”

Until the very last the treachery of Quisling continued most active.

The Prosecution has in its possession a large number of operation orders that were issued in connection with the aggression against Norway and Denmark, but I propose only to draw the Court’s attention to two of them to illustrate the extent of the secrecy and the deception that was used by the defendants and their confederates in the course of that aggression. I would now draw the Court’s attention to Document C-115, which for the purpose of the record will be Exhibit GB-90. First of all I will draw the Court’s attention to the second paragraph, “General Orders,” with a date, “4th of April 1940”:

“The barrage-breaking vessels”—Sperrbrecher—“will penetrate inconspicuously and with lights on into Oslo Fjord disguised as merchant steamers.


“Challenge from coastal signal stations and look-outs are to be answered by the deceptive use of the names of English steamers. I lay particular stress on the importance of not giving away the operation before zero hour.”

Then the next entry is an order for reconnaissance forces dated the 24th of March 1940, “Behavior during entrance into the harbor.” The third paragraph is the part to which I wish to draw the Court’s attention:

“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 names of British warships:


KölnH.M.S. Cairo; Königsberg--H.M.S. Calcutta; BremseH.M.S. Faulkner; Karl PetersH.M.S. Halcyon; Leopard—British destroyer; Wolf—British destroyer; S-boats—British motor torpedo boats.


“Arrangements are to be made enabling British war flags to be illuminated. Continual readiness for making smoke screen.”

And then finally the next order dated the 24th of March 1940, Annex 3, “From Flag Officer, Reconnaissance Forces; most secret.” Next page, page two:

“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 Köln—‘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—‘Going Bergen, chasing German steamers.’ ”

Then I would draw the Court’s attention to Document C-151, which for the purposes of the record will be Exhibit GB-91, which is a Dönitz order in connection with this operation. If the Court will observe, it is headed:

“Top secret, Operation Order—‘Hartmut.’ Occupation of Denmark and Norway.


“This order comes into force on the code word 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 Weser Exercise.


“The operation ordered by the code word has as its objective the rapid surprise landing of troops in Norway. Simultaneously Denmark will be occupied from the Baltic and from the land side.”

And there is at the end of that paragraph another contribution by Dönitz to this process of deception:

“The naval force will, as they enter the harbor, fly the British flag until the troops have landed except, presumably, at Narvik.”

The Tribunal now knows as a matter of history that on the 9th of 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; and I would like to draw the Court’s attention to Document TC-55, Exhibit GB-92. That is at the beginning of the book of documents—the sixth document of the book. I am not proposing to read the whole of that memorandum; I have no doubt the defending counsel will deal with any parts which they consider relevant to the defense. The Court will observe that it is alleged that England and France were guilty in their maritime warfare of breaches of international law and that Britain and France were making plans themselves to invade and occupy Norway and that the Government of Norway was prepared to acquiesce in such a situation.

The memorandum states—and I would now draw the Court’s attention to Page 3 of the memorandum to the paragraph just below the middle of the page beginning “The German Troops”:

“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 as 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.”

In connection with that statement I would remind the Court that in his operation order of the 1st of March Hitler had then given orders to the Air Force to make use of Norwegian bases for air warfare against Britain. That is the 1st of March. And this is the memorandum which was produced as an excuse on the 9th of April. The last two paragraphs of the German memorandum to Norway and Denmark, the Court may think, are a classic Nazi combination of diplomatic hypocrisy and military threat. They read:

“The Reich Government thus expect that the Royal Norwegian Government and the Norwegian people will respond with understanding to the German measures and offer no resistance to them. 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 are 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 declare to the Royal Norwegian Government that Germany has no intention of infringing by her measures the territorial integrity and political independence of the Kingdom of Norway now or in the future.”

What the Nazis meant by the protection of the Kingdom of Norway was shown by their conduct on the 9th of April. I now refer the Court to Document TC-56, which will be Exhibit GB-93, which is a report by the Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Norwegian Forces. It is at the beginning of the document book, the last of the TC documents.

I will not trouble the Court with the first page of the report. If the Tribunal will turn to the second page:

“The Germans, considering the long lines of communications and the threat 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 its head.”

The next paragraph was read by the learned British Attorney General in his speech and I will only refer to the last paragraph but one:

“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 Blücher, 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 organized throughout the country.”

That is a brief picture of what occurred in Norway.

What happened in Denmark is described in a memorandum prepared by the Royal Danish Government, a copy of which I hand in as Exhibit GB-94 and an extract from which is in Document D-628, which follows the C documents.

“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 0420 hours”—in the morning that is—“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 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 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 had already taken place. In reply the German Minister expressed that the matter was very urgent, not least to avoid air bombardment.”

What happened thereafter is described in a dispatch from the British Minister in Copenhagen to the British Foreign Secretary, which the Tribunal will find in D-627, the document preceding the one which I have just read. That document, for the purposes of the record, will be GB-95. 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 while 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 co-operate 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 barracks. The door was locked so the Germans promptly burst it open with explosives 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 2 days later. After seizing the barracks a detachment was sent to Amalienborg, the King’s palace, 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 altitude.”

Then, the last paragraph of the dispatch reads:

“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 of 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 9th of April and drove blithely past a sentry who challenged him in blissful ignorance that this was not one of his own men. It took a bullet, which passed through the lapels of his coat, to disillusion him.”

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.

I will close by drawing the Court’s attention to two documents which indicate the kind of territorial integrity and political independence the Nazi conspirators contemplated for the victims of their aggression. I will first draw the Court’s attention to an entry in Jodl’s diary, which is the last document in the book, on the last page of the book, the entry dated 19th April:

“Renewed crisis. Envoy Brauer”—that is the German Minister to Norway—“is recalled. Since Norway is at war with us, the task of the Foreign Office is finished. In the Führer’s opinion force has to be used. It is said that Gauleiter Terboven will be given a post. Field Marshal”—which, as the Court will see from the other entries, is presumably a reference to the Defendant Göring—“is moving in the same direction. He criticizes as defect that we did not take sufficiently energetic measures against the civilian population, that we could have seized electrical plant, that the Navy did not supply enough troops. The Air Force cannot do everything.”

The Court will see from that entry and the reference to Gauleiter Terboven that already by the 19th of April rule by Gauleiter had replaced rule by Norwegians.

The final document is Document C-41, which will be Exhibit GB-96, which is a memorandum dated the 3rd of June 1940 signed by Fricke, who, of course, has no connection with the Defendant Frick. Fricke was at that date the head of the operations division of the German naval war staff, a key appointment in the very nerve center of German naval operations. That is why, as the Tribunal noticed, he came to be initialing the important naval documents.

That memorandum is as I have said, dated 3rd June 1940 and relates to questions of territorial expansion and bases:

“These problems are pre-eminently 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—for the subsequent use and operation of the Navy.


“It is too well known to need further mention that Germany’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 natural geographical facts, the demand is raised that somehow 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 the 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 Hangö, remain permanently as an enclave in the hostile state. Such areas might be considered possible around Brest and Trondheim . . . .


“3) The power of Greater Germany in the strategic areas acquired in this war should result in the existing population of these areas feeling themselves and being politically, economically, and militarily 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 are 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.”

Then Fricke recommends:

“The solution given in 3), therefore, appears to be the proper one—that is, to crush France, to occupy Belgium and part of northern and eastern France, to allow the Netherlands, Denmark, and Norway to exist on the basis indicated above.”

Then, the culminating paragraph of this report of Fricke reads as follows:

“Time will show how far the outcome of the war with England will make an extension of these demands possible.”

The submission of the Prosecution is that that and other documents which have been submitted to the Court tear apart the veil of the Nazi pretenses. These documents reveal the menace behind the good-will of Göring; they 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.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will now adjourn.

[A recess was taken.]

MR. ROBERTS: May it please the Tribunal, it is my duty to present that part of Count Two which relates to the allegations with regard to Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg. In Charges II, III, IV, IX, XI, XIII, XIV, XVIII, XIX, and XXIII there are charges of violating certain treaties and conventions and violating certain assurances. So far as the treaties are concerned, some of them have been put in evidence already, and I will indicate that when I come to them. May I, before I come to the detail, remind the Tribunal of the history of these unfortunate countries, the Netherlands and Belgium; especially Belgium, which for so many centuries was the cockpit of Europe.

The independence of Belgium was guaranteed as the Tribunal will remember, in 1839 by the great European powers. That guarantee was observed for 75 years until it was shamelessly broken in 1914 by the Germans, who brought all the horrors of war to Belgium and all the even greater horrors of a German occupation of Belgium. History was to repeat itself in a still more shocking fashion some 25 years after in 1940 as the Tribunal already knows.

The first treaty which was mentioned in these charges is the Hague Convention of 1907. That has been put in by my learned friend, Sir David, and I think I need say nothing about it.

The second treaty is the Locarno Convention, the Arbitration and Conciliation Convention of 1925. My Lord, that was between Germany and Belgium. That was put in by Sir David. It is GB-15, and I think I need say nothing more about that.

Belgium’s independence and neutrality was guaranteed by Germany in that document.

My Lords, the next treaty is the Hague Arbitration Convention of May 1926 between Germany and the Netherlands. That Document I ought formally to put in. It is in the Reichsgesetzblatt, which perhaps I may call RGB in the future for brevity; and it, no doubt, will be treated as a public document. But in my bundle of documents, which goes in the order in which I propose to refer to them, I think it is more convenient for the presentation of my case. That is the second or third document, TC-16.

THE PRESIDENT: It is Book 4, is it?

MR. ROBERTS: It is Book 4, My Lord. This is the Convention of Arbitration and Conciliation between Germany and the Netherlands signed at The Hague in May 1926. Your Lordships have the document; perhaps I need read only Article I:

“The contracting parties”—those are the Netherlands and the German Reich—“undertake to submit all disputes of any nature whatever which may arise between them which it has not been possible to settle by diplomacy and which have not been referred to the Permanent Court of International Justice to be dealt with by arbitration or conciliation as provided.”

And then, My Lords, there follow all the clauses which deal merely with the machinery of conciliation, which are unnecessary for me to read. May I just draw attention to the last article, Article 21, which provides that the Convention shall be valid for 10 years, and then shall remain in force for successive periods of 5 years until denounced by either party. And this treaty never was denounced by Germany at all.

I put that document in as Document TC-16, which will be Exhibit GB-97; and a certified copy is put in and a translation for the Court.

As the Tribunal already knows, in 1928 the Kellogg-Briand Pact was made at Paris, by which all the powers renounced recourse to war. That is put in as GB-18, and I need not, I think, put it in or refer to it again.

Then the last treaty—all of which, of course, belong to the days of the Weimar Republic—is the Arbitration Treaty between Germany and Luxembourg executed in 1929. That is Document TC-20 in the bundle. It is two documents further on than the one the Tribunal has last referred to. That is the Treaty of Arbitration and Conciliation between Germany and Luxembourg signed at Geneva in 1929. May I just read the first few words of Article 1, which are familiar:

“The contracting parties undertake to settle by peaceful means in accordance with the present treaty all disputes of any nature whatever which may arise between them and which it may not be possible to settle by diplomacy.”

And then there follow the clauses dealing with the machinery for peaceful settlement of disputes, which follow the common form.

My Lord, those were the treaty obligations. May I put in that last treaty, TC-20, which will be Exhibit GB-98.

My Lord, those were the treaty obligations between Germany and Belgium at the time when the Nazi Party came into power in 1933; and as you have heard from my learned friend, Hitler adopted and ratified the obligations of Germany under the Weimar Republic with regard to the treaties which had been entered into. My Lord, nothing more occurred to alter the position of Belgium until in March 1936. Germany reoccupied the Rhineland, announced, of course, the resumption of conscription, and so on. And Hitler on the 7th of March 1936 purported in a speech to repudiate the obligations of the German Government under the Locarno Pact; the reason given being the execution of the Franco-Soviet Pact of 1935. Sir David has dealt with that and has pointed out that there was no legal foundation for this claim to be entitled to renounce obligations under the Locarno Pact. But Belgium was, of course, left in the air in the sense that it had entered itself into various obligations under the Locarno Pact in return for the liabilities which other nations acknowledged; and now one of those liabilities, namely, the liability of Germany to observe the pact, had been renounced.

And so My Lord, on the 30th of January 1937, perhaps because Hitler realized the position of Belgium and of the Netherlands, Hitler, in the next document in the bundle, TC-33 and 35, which I hand in and which will be Exhibit GB-99, gave the solemn assurance—he used the word “solemn”—to Belgium and to the Netherlands. That has already been read by the Attorney General and so I don’t want to read it again. But the Tribunal will see that it is a full guarantee. In April of 1937 in a document which is not before the Court, France and England released Belgium from her obligations under the Locarno Pact. It is a matter of history and it does occur in an exhibit, but it hasn’t been copied. Belgium, of course, gave guarantees of strict independence and neutrality; and France and England gave guarantees of assistance should Belgium be attacked. And it was because of that that Germany on the 13th of October 1937—in the next document—gave a very clear and unconditional guarantee to Belgium—Document TC-34, which I offer in evidence as Exhibit GB-100—the German declaration of the 13th of October 1937, which shows the minutes:

“I have the honor on behalf of the German Government to make the following communication to Your Excellency:


“The German Government have taken cognizance with particular interest of the public declaration in which the Belgian Government define the international position of Belgium. For their part they have repeatedly given expression, especially through the declaration of the Chancellor of the German Reich in his speech of the 30th of January 1937, to their own point of view. The German Government have also taken cognizance of the declaration made by the British and French Governments on the 24th of April 1937.”

That is a document to which I have previously referred.

“Since the conclusion of a treaty to replace the Treaty of Locarno may still take some time and being desirous of strengthening the peaceful aspirations of the two countries, the German Government regard it as appropriate to define now their own attitude towards Belgium. To this end they make the following declaration:


“First: The German Government have taken note of the views which the Belgian Government have thought fit to express. That is to say, (a) of the policy of independence which they intend to exercise in full sovereignty; (b) of their determination to defend the frontiers of Belgium with all their forces against any aggression or invasion and to prevent Belgian territory from being used for purposes of aggression against another state as a passage or as a base of operation by land, by sea, or in the air, and to organize the defense of Belgium in an efficient manner to this purpose.


“Second: The German Government consider that the inviolability and integrity of Belgium are common interests of the Western Powers. They confirm their determination that in no circumstances will they impair this inviolability and integrity, and that they will at all times respect Belgian territory except, of course, in the event of Belgium’s taking part in a military action directed against Germany in an armed conflict in which Germany is involved.


“Third: The German Government, like the British and French Governments, are prepared to assist Belgium should she be subjected to an attack or to invasion.”

And then, on the following page:

“The Belgian Government have taken note with great satisfaction of the declaration communicated to them this day by the German Government. They thank the German Government warmly for this communication.”

My Lord, may I pause there to emphasize that document. There in October of 1937 is Germany giving a solemn guarantee to this small nation of its peaceful aspiration towards her and its assertion that the integrity of the Belgian frontier was a common interest between her and Belgium and the other Western Powers.

You have before you to try the leaders of the German Government and the leaders of the German Armed Forces. One doesn’t have to prove, does one, that every one of those accused must have known perfectly well of that solemn undertaking given by his government? Every one of these accused in their various spheres of activity—some more actively than the others—were party to the shameless breaking of that treaty two and a half years afterwards, and I submit that on the ordinary laws of inference and justice all those men must be fixed as active participators in that disgraceful breach of faith which brought misery and death to so many millions.

Presumably it will be contended on the part, for instance, of Keitel and Jodl that they were merely honorable soldiers carrying out their duty. This Tribunal, no doubt, will inquire what code of honor they observe which permits them to violate the pledged word of their country.

That this declaration of October 1937 meant very little to the leaders and to the High Command of Germany can be seen by the next document, which is Document PS-375 in the bundle. It is already an exhibit, USA-84, and has been referred to many times already. May I just refer—or remind the Tribunal—to one sentence or two. The document comes into existence on the 25th of August 1938 at the time when the Czechoslovakian drama was unfolding, and it was uncertain at that time whether there would be war with the Western Powers. It is top secret, prepared by the 5th section of the General Staff of the German Air Force. The subject: “Extended Case Green—Estimate of the Situation.” Probably the more correct words would be: “Appreciation of the Situation with Special Consideration of the Enemy.” Apparently some staff officer had been asked to prepare this appreciation. In view of the fact that it has been read before, I think I need only read the last paragraph which is Paragraph H and it comes at the bottom of Page 6, the last page but one of the document. Now H, “Requests to Armed Forces Supreme Command, Army and Navy”. This, you see, was an appreciation addressed by an Air Force staff officer. So these are requests to the Army and Navy. And then if one turns over the page, Number 4:

“Belgium and the Netherlands would, in German hands, represent an extraordinary advantage in the prosecution of the air war against Great Britain as well as against France. Therefore it is held to be essential to obtain the opinion of the Army as to the conditions under which an occupation of this area could be carried out and how long it would take. And in this case it would be necessary to reassess the commitment against Great Britain.”

The point that the Prosecution desires to make on that document is that it is apparently assumed by the staff officer who prepared this, and assumed quite rightly, that the leaders of the German nation and the High Command would not pay the smallest attention to the fact that Germany had given her word not to invade Holland or Belgium. They are recommending it as a militarily advantageous thing to do, strong in the knowledge that if the commanders and the Führer agree with that view treaties are to be completely ignored. Such, I repeat, was the honor of the German Government and of their leaders.

Now in March of 1939 as has been proved, the remainder of Czechoslovakia was peacefully annexed; and then came the time for further guarantees in the next document, the assurances—TC-35 and 39—which were given to Belgium and the Netherlands on the 28th of April 1939.

Those have been read by my learned friend, Major Elwyn Jones. They bear the number GB-78. I need not read them again.

There is also a guarantee to Luxembourg, which is on the next page, TC-42 (a). That was given in the same speech by Hitler in the Reichstag where Hitler was dealing with a communication from Mr. Roosevelt who was feeling a little uneasy on the other side of the Atlantic as to Hitler’s intentions. May I, before I read this document, say that I believe the Tribunal will be seeing a film of the delivery by Hitler of this part of this speech; and you will have the privilege of seeing Hitler in one of his jocular moods, because this was greeted and was delivered in a jocular vein. And you will see in the film that the Defendant Göring who sits above Hitler in the Reichstag appreciates very much the joke, the joke being this: That it is an absurd suggestion to make that Germany could possibly go to war with any of its neighbors—and that was the point of the joke that everybody appears to have appreciated very much.

Now, if I may read this document:

“Finally Mr. Roosevelt demands the readiness to give him an assurance that the German fighting forces will not attack the territory or possessions of the following independent nations and above all that they will not march into them. And he goes on to name the following as the countries in question:


“Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Holland, Belgium, Great Britain, Ireland, France, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Poland, Hungary, Romania, Yugoslavia, Russia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Iraq, Arabia, Syria, Palestine, Egypt, and Iran.


“Answer: I started off by taking the trouble to find out in the case of the countries listed firstly, whether they feel themselves threatened and secondly, and particularly, whether this question Mr. Roosevelt has asked us was put as the result of a démarche by them or at least with their consent.


“The answer was a general negative, which in some cases took the form of a blunt rejection. Actually this counter-question of mine could not be conveyed to some of the states and nations listed, since they are not at present in possession of their liberty (as for instance Syria) but are occupied by the military forces of democratic states and therefore deprived of all their rights.


“Thirdly, apart from that, all the states bordering on Germany have received much more binding assurances and above all much more binding proposals than Mr. Roosevelt asked of me in his peculiar telegram.”

You will see that although that is sneering at Mr. Roosevelt, it is suggesting in the presence, certainly, of the accused Göring as being quite absurd that Germany should nurture any warlike feeling against her neighbors. But the hollow falsity of that and the preceding guarantee is shown by the next document. May I put this document, TC-42 (a) in as Exhibit GB-101.

The next document (L-79) which is Hitler’s conference of the 23rd of May has been referred to many times and is Exhibit USA-27. Therefore I need only very shortly remind the Tribunal of two passages. First of all, on the first page it is interesting to see who was present: The Führer, Göring, Admiral Raeder, Brauchitsch, Colonel General Keitel, and various others who are not accused. Colonel Warlimont was there. He, I understand, was Jodl’s deputy.

Well now, the purpose of the conference was an analysis of the situation. Then may I refer to the third page down at the bottom. The stencil number is 819:

“What will this struggle be like?”

And then these words:

“The Dutch and Belgian air bases must be occupied by armed force. Declarations of neutrality must be ignored.”

Then, at the bottom:

“Therefore, if England intends to intervene in the Polish war, we must occupy Holland with lightning speed. We must aim at securing a new defense line on Dutch soil up to the Zuyder Zee.”

There is that decision made, “Declarations of neutrality must be ignored,” and there is the Grand Admiral present, and there is the Air Minister and Chief of the German Air Force, and there is General Keitel present. They all appear, and all their subsequent actions show that they acquiesced in that: Give your word and then break it. That is their code of honor. And you will see that at the end of the meeting, the very last page—the stencil number is 823—Field Marshal Göring asked one or two questions.

There was the decision of the 23rd of May. Is it overstating the matter to submit that any syllable of guarantee, any assurance given after that is just purely hypocrisy, is just the action—apart from the multiplicity of the crimes here—of the common criminal?

THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Roberts, I think we would like you so far as possible to confine yourself to the document.

MR. ROBERTS: Yes, My Lord, then we go to the 22d of August, 798-PS. That has already been put in and is Exhibit USA-29. My Lord, that was Hitler’s speech of the 22d of August. It has been read and re-read. I, My Lord, refer only to one passage, and that is at the bottom of the second page:

“Attack from the west from the Maginot Line: I consider this impossible.


“Another possibility is the violation of Dutch, Belgian, and Swiss neutrality. I have no doubts that all these states as well as Scandinavia will defend their neutrality by all available means.”

My Lord, I desire to emphasize the next sentence:

“England and France will not violate the neutrality of these countries.”

Then I desire to comment: I ask Your Lordship to bear that sentence in mind, that correct prophecy, when remembering the excuses given for the subsequent invasion of Belgium and the Netherlands.

My Lord, the next documents are TC-36, 40, and 42. Those are three assurances. Number 36 is by the Ambassador of Germany to the Belgian Government:

“In view of the gravity of the international situation, I am expressly instructed by the head of the German Reich to transmit to Your Majesty the following communication:


“Though the German Government are at present doing everything in their power to arrive at a peaceful solution of the questions at issue between the Reich and Poland, they nevertheless desire to define clearly here and now the attitude which they propose to adopt towards Belgium should a conflict in Europe become inevitable.


“The German Government are firmly determined to abide by the terms of the declaration contained in the German note of October 13, 1937. This provides in effect that Germany will in no circumstances impair the inviolability and integrity of Belgium and will at all times respect Belgian territory. The German Government renew this undertaking, however, in the expectation that the Belgian Government for their part will observe an attitude of strict neutrality and that Belgium will tolerate no violations on the part of a third power, but that on the contrary, she will oppose it with all the forces at her disposal. It goes without saying that if the Belgian Government were to adopt a different attitude the German Government would naturally be compelled to defend their interests in conformity with the new situation thus created.”

My Lord, may I make one short comment on the last part of that document? I submit it is clear that the decision having been made to violate the neutrality, as we know, those last words were put in to afford some excuse in the future.

That document will be Exhibit GB-102.

My Lord, TC-40, the next document, is a similar document communicated to Her Majesty the Queen of the Netherlands on the same day, the 26th of August 1939. Subject to the Tribunal’s direction, I don’t think I need read it. It is a public document in the German document book, and it has exactly the same features.

That will be Exhibit GB-103.

Then My Lords, TC-42, the next document (Exhibit GB-104) is a similar document relating to Luxembourg. That is dated the 26th of August, the same day. I am not certain; it has two dates. I think it is the 26th of August. My Lords, that is in the same terms a complete guarantee with the sting in the tail as in the other two documents. Perhaps I need not read it.

My Lords, as the Tribunal knows, Poland was occupied by means of the lightning victory; and in October German Armed Forces were free for other tasks. The first step that was taken so far as the Netherlands and Belgium are concerned is shown by the next document, which is, I think, in as GB-80; but the two central portions refer to Belgium and the Netherlands. It is the next document in Your Lordships’ bundle: Number 4.

THE PRESIDENT: TC-32?

MR. ROBERTS: Yes. It begins with TC-32, and then if you go to the next one, My Lords will see TC-37 on the same page—and then TC-41; both 37 and 41 refer to this matter. Now, this is a German assurance on the 6th of October 1939:

“Belgium.

“Immediately after I had taken over the affairs of the state I tried to create friendly relations with Belgium. I renounced any revision or any desire for revision. The Reich has not made any demands which would in any way be likely to be considered in Belgium as a threat.”

My Lord, there is a similar assurance to the Netherlands—the next part of the document:

“The new Reich has endeavored to continue the traditional friendship with the Netherlands. It has not taken over any existing differences between the two countries and has not created any new ones.”

I submit it is impossible to overemphasize the importance of those assurances of Germany’s good faith.

My Lord, the value of that good faith is shown by the next document which is of the very next day, the 7th of October. Those two guarantees were the 6th of October. Now we come to Document 2329-PS dated the 7th of October. It is from the Commander-in-Chief of the Army, Von Brauchitsch, and it is addressed to his Army groups. He said, third paragraph:

“The Dutch border between Ems and Rhine is to be observed only.


“At the same time Army Group B has to make all preparations according to special orders for immediate invasion of Dutch and Belgian territory if the political situation so demands.”

“If the political situation so demands”—the day after the guarantee!

It is quite clear from the next document. I put in the last document; that bears an original typewritten signature of Von Brauchitsch, and it will be Exhibit GB-105.

My Lord, the next document is in two parts. Both are numbered C-62. The first part is dated the 9th of October 1939, 2 days after the document I have read. My Lord, that was all read by the Attorney General in opening down to the bottom of Paragraph (b). Therefore, I won’t read it again. May I remind the Tribunal just of one sentence.

“Preparations should be made for offensive action on the northern flank of the Western Front crossing the area of Luxembourg, Belgium, and the Netherlands. This attack must be carried out as soon and as forcefully as possible.”

In the next paragraph, may I just read six words:

“The object of this attack is . . . to acquire as great an area of Holland, Belgium, and northern France as possible.”

That document is signed by Hitler himself. It is addressed to the three accused: The Supreme Commander of the Army, Keitel; Navy, Raeder; and Air Minister, Commander-in-Chief of the Air Force, Göring. That appears from the distribution.

I will hold that document over and will put that other one in with it.

My Lord, the next document is the 15th of October 1939. It is from the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces. It is signed by Keitel in what is to some of us his familiar red pencil signature, and it is again addressed to Raeder and Göring and to the General Staff of the Army.

Now that also has been read by the Attorney General; may I just remind the Tribunal that at the bottom of the page:

“It must be the object of the Army’s preparations to occupy—on receipt of a special order—the territory of Holland in the first instance as far as the Grebbe-Maas”—or Meuse—“line”.

The second paragraph deals with taking possession of the West Frisian Islands.

It is clear, in my submission, beyond discussion that from that moment the decision to violate the neutrality of these three countries had been made. All that remained was to work out the details, to wait until the weather became favorable, and in the meantime, to give no hint that Germany’s word was about to be broken again. Otherwise these small countries might have had some chance of combining among themselves and with their neighbors.

It will be Exhibit GB-106.

Well, the next document is a Keitel directive. It is Document 440-PS (Exhibit GB-107). It, again, is sent to the Supreme Command of the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force; and it gives details of how the attack is to be carried out. I want to read only a very few selected passages. Paragraph 2 on the first page:

“Contrary to previously issued instructions, all action intended against Holland may be carried out without a special order when the general attack will start.


“The attitude of the Dutch Armed Forces cannot be anticipated ahead of time.”

And then may I comment here: Would Your Lordship note this as a German concession?

“Wherever there is no resistance the entry should carry the character of a peaceful occupation.”

Then Paragraph (b) of the next paragraph:

“At first the Dutch area including the West Frisian Islands . . . is to be occupied up to the Grebbe-Maas line.”

The next two paragraphs, I need not read them, deal with action against the Belgian harbor; and in Paragraph 5):

“The 7th Airborne Division”—they were parachutists—“will be committed for the airborne operation after the possession of bridges across the Albert Canal”—which is in Belgium as the Court knows—“is assured.”

And then in Paragraph 6) (b) Luxembourg is mentioned. It is mentioned in Paragraph 5) as well. The signature is “Keitel,” but that is typed. It is authenticated by a staff officer.

THE PRESIDENT: Is that document in?

MR. ROBERTS: GB-107, My Lord.

Then the next document is C-10 (Exhibit GB-108) and it is dated the 28th of November 1939. That is a signature of Keitel in his red pencil and it is addressed to the Army, Navy, and Air Force. It deals with the fact that if a quick break-through should fail north of Liége—I think, My Lord, only machinery for carrying out the attack.

Paragraph 2) shows clearly that the Netherlands is to be violated. It speaks of “the occupation of Walcheren Island and thereby Flushing,” and the “taking of one or more of the Meuse crossings between Namur and Dinant.”

That will be 108.

My Lord, the documents show that from November until March of 1940 the High Command and the Führer were waiting for favorable weather before A-Day, as they called it. That was the attack on Luxembourg, Belgium, and the Netherlands.

My Lord, the next document, C-72, consists of 18 documents which range in date from the 7th of November until the 9th of May 1940. They are certified photostats I put in and they are all signed either by Keitel personally or by Jodl personally, and I don’t think it is necessary for me to read them. The Defense, I think, have all had copies of them, but they show that successively A-Day is being postponed for about a week, having regard to the weather reports. That will be Exhibit GB-109.

My Lord, on the 10th of January 1940, as the Attorney General informed the Tribunal, a German airplane made a forced landing in Belgium. The occupants endeavored to burn the orders of which they were in possession, but they were only partially successful. And the next document I offer is Document TC-58 (a); it will be Exhibit GB-110. The original is a photostat certified by the Belgian Government which, of course, came into possession of the original.

My Lord, I can summarize it. They are orders to the Commander of the 2d Air Force Fleet (Luftflotte) clearly for offensive action against France, Holland, and Belgium. One looks at the bottom of the first page. It deals with the disposition of the Belgian Army. The Belgian Army covers the Liége-Antwerp Line with its main force, its lighter forces in front of the Meuse-Schelde Canal. Then it deals with the disposition of the Dutch Army; and then if you turn over the page Number 3, you see that the German western army directs its attack between the North Sea and the Moselle with the strongest possible airforce support through the Belgian-Luxembourg region.

My Lord, I think I need read no more. The rest are operational details as to the bombing of the various targets in Belgium and in Holland.

My Lord, the next document I think is rather out of place for my purpose. My learned friend, Major Elwyn Jones, put in Jodl’s diary, which is GB-88, and I desire to refer very, very briefly to some extracts which are printed first in bundle Number 4.

If one looks at the entry for the 1st of February 1940 and then some lines down . . .

THE PRESIDENT: 1809-PS?

MR. ROBERTS: Yes, that’s right, My Lord, and GB-88.

THE PRESIDENT: We haven’t got the GB numbers on the documents.

MR. ROBERTS: I am sorry, My Lord, it’s my mistake.

If Your Lordship will look about eight lines down it says, “1700 hours General Jeschonnek”—and then:

“1) Behavior of parachute units. In front of The Hague they have to be strong enough to break in if necessary by sheer brute force. The 7th Division intends to drop units near the town.


“2) Political mission contrasts to some extent with violent action against the Dutch Air Force.”

My Lord, I think the rest I need not read; it is operational detail.

“2d February”—I refer again to Jodl’s entry under “a” as to “landings can be made in the center of The Hague.”

If Your Lordship will turn over the page—I omit February the 5th—you come to 26th February:

“Führer raises the question whether it is better to undertake the Weser Exercise before or after Case Yellow.”

And then on the 3rd of March, the last sentence:

“Führer decides to carry out Weser Exercise before Case Yellow with a few days’ interval.”

And then My Lord, there is an entry to which I desire to call Your Lordship’s attention, on May the 8th, that is, 2 days before the invasion—the top of the page:

“Alarming news from Holland, cancelling of furloughs, evacuations, road-blocks, other mobilization measures. According to reports of the intelligence service the British have asked for permission to march in, but the Dutch have refused.”

My Lord, may I make two short comments on that? The first is that the Germans are rather objecting because the Dutch are actually making some preparations to resist their invasion: “Alarming news” as they wrote. The second point is that Jodl is there recording that the Dutch according to their intelligence reports are still adhering properly to their neutrality. But I need not read any more of the diary extracts.

My Lord, that is the story except for the documents which were presented to Holland and to Belgium and to Luxembourg after the invasion was a fait accompli, because as history now knows at 4:30 a.m. on the 10th of May these three small countries were violently invaded with all the fury of modern warfare. No warning was given to them by Germany and no complaint was made by Germany of any br